The New Testament is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first part being the Old Testament, based on the Hebrew Bible. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the New Testaments together as sacred scripture; the New Testament has accompanied the spread of Christianity around the world. It serves as a source for Christian theology and morality. Extended readings and phrases directly from the New Testament are incorporated into the various Christian liturgies; the New Testament has influenced religious and political movements in Christendom and left an indelible mark on literature and music. The New Testament is a collection of Christian works written in the common Greek language of the 1st century AD, at different times by various writers, the modern consensus is that it provides important evidence regarding Judaism in the 1st century. In all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books: the four gospels, The Acts of the Apostles, twenty-one epistles, Revelation.
The united Catholic Church defined the 27-book canon. The earliest known complete list of the 27 books is by the 4th-century eastern Catholic bishop Athanasius; the first time that church councils approved this list was with the councils of Hippo and Carthage in North Africa and Pope Innocent I ratified the same canon in 405, but it is probable that a Council in Rome in 382 under pope Damasus gave the same list first. These councils provided the canon of the Old Testament, which included the apocryphal books; the original texts were written in the first century of the Christian Era, in Greek, the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the conquests of Alexander the Great until the Muslim conquests in the 7th century AD. All the works that became incorporated into the New Testament are believed to have been written no than around 120 AD. John A. T. Robinson, Dan Wallace, William F. Albright dated all the books of the New Testament before 70 AD. Others give a final date of 80 AD or of 96 AD.
Collections of related texts such as letters of the Apostle Paul and the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John were joined to other collections and single works in different combinations to form various Christian canons of Scripture. Over time, some disputed books, such as the Book of Revelation and the Minor Catholic Epistles were introduced into canons in which they were absent. Other works earlier held to be Scripture, such as 1 Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Diatessaron, were excluded from the New Testament; the Old Testament canon is not uniform among all major Christian groups including Roman Catholics, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Slavic Orthodox Churches, the Armenian Orthodox Church. However, the twenty-seven-book canon of the New Testament, at least since Late Antiquity, has been universally recognized within Christianity; the phrase new testament, or new covenant first occurs in Jeremiah 31:31. The same Greek phrase for'new covenant' is found elsewhere in the New Testament.
In early Bible translations into Latin, the phrase was rendered foedus,'federation', in Jeremiah 31:31, was rendered testamentum in Hebrews 8:8 and other instances, from which comes the English term New Testament. Modern English, like Latin, distinguishes testament and covenant as alternative translations, the treatment of the term Διαθήκη diathḗkē varies in Bible translations into English. John Wycliffe's 1395 version is a translation of the Latin Vulgate and so follows different terms in Jeremiah and Hebrews: Lo! Days shall come, saith the Lord, I shall make a new covenant with the house of Israel, with the house of Judah. For he reproving him saith, Lo! Days come, saith the Lord, when I shall establish a new testament on the house of Israel, on the house of Judah. Use of the term New Testament to describe a collection of first and second-century Christian Greek scriptures can be traced back to Tertullian. In Against Marcion, written c. 208 AD, he writes of: the Divine Word, doubly edged with the two testaments of the law and the gospel.
And Tertullian continues in the book, writing: it is certain that the whole aim at which he has strenuously laboured in the drawing up of his Antitheses, centres in this, that he may establish a diversity between the Old and the New Testaments, so that his own Christ may be separate from the Creator, as belonging to this rival god, as alien from the law and the prophets. By the 4th century, the existence—even if not the exact contents—of both an Old and New Testament had been established. Lactantius, a 3rd–4th century Christian author wrote in his early-4th-century Latin Institutiones Divinae: But all scripture is divided into two Testaments; that which preceded the advent and passion of Christ—that is, the law and the prophets—is called the Old.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition
The Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition is a 29-volume reference work, an edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. It was developed during the encyclopaedia's transition from a British to an American publication; some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time. This edition of the encyclopedia, containing 40,000 entries, is now in the public domain, many of its articles have been used as a basis for articles in Wikipedia. However, the outdated nature of some of its content makes its use as a source for modern scholarship problematic; some articles have special value and interest to modern scholars as cultural artifacts of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The 1911 eleventh edition was assembled with the management of American publisher Horace Everett Hooper. Hugh Chisholm, who had edited the previous edition, was appointed editor in chief, with Walter Alison Phillips as his principal assistant editor. Hooper bought the rights to the 25-volume 9th edition and persuaded the British newspaper The Times to issue its reprint, with eleven additional volumes as the tenth edition, published in 1902.
Hooper's association with The Times ceased in 1909, he negotiated with the Cambridge University Press to publish the 29-volume eleventh edition. Though it is perceived as a quintessentially British work, the eleventh edition had substantial American influences, not only in the increased amount of American and Canadian content, but in the efforts made to make it more popular. American marketing methods assisted sales; some 14% of the contributors were from North America, a New York office was established to coordinate their work. The initials of the encyclopedia's contributors appear at the end of selected articles or at the end of a section in the case of longer articles, such as that on China, a key is given in each volume to these initials; some articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time, such as Edmund Gosse, J. B. Bury, Algernon Charles Swinburne, John Muir, Peter Kropotkin, T. H. Huxley, James Hopwood Jeans and William Michael Rossetti. Among the lesser-known contributors were some who would become distinguished, such as Ernest Rutherford and Bertrand Russell.
Many articles were carried over from some with minimal updating. Some of the book-length articles were divided into smaller parts for easier reference, yet others much abridged; the best-known authors contributed only a single article or part of an article. Most of the work was done by British Museum scholars and other scholars; the 1911 edition was the first edition of the encyclopædia to include more than just a handful of female contributors, with 34 women contributing articles to the edition. The eleventh edition introduced a number of changes of the format of the Britannica, it was the first to be published complete, instead of the previous method of volumes being released as they were ready. The print type was subject to continual updating until publication, it was the first edition of Britannica to be issued with a comprehensive index volume in, added a categorical index, where like topics were listed. It was the first not to include long treatise-length articles. Though the overall length of the work was about the same as that of its predecessor, the number of articles had increased from 17,000 to 40,000.
It was the first edition of Britannica to include biographies of living people. Sixteen maps of the famous 9th edition of Stielers Handatlas were translated to English, converted to Imperial units, printed in Gotha, Germany by Justus Perthes and became part this edition. Editions only included Perthes' great maps as low quality reproductions. According to Coleman and Simmons, the content of the encyclopedia was distributed as follows: Hooper sold the rights to Sears Roebuck of Chicago in 1920, completing the Britannica's transition to becoming a American publication. In 1922, an additional three volumes, were published, covering the events of the intervening years, including World War I. These, together with a reprint of the eleventh edition, formed the twelfth edition of the work. A similar thirteenth edition, consisting of three volumes plus a reprint of the twelfth edition, was published in 1926, so the twelfth and thirteenth editions were related to the eleventh edition and shared much of the same content.
However, it became apparent that a more thorough update of the work was required. The fourteenth edition, published in 1929, was revised, with much text eliminated or abridged to make room for new topics; the eleventh edition was the basis of every version of the Encyclopædia Britannica until the new fifteenth edition was published in 1974, using modern information presentation. The eleventh edition's articles are still of value and interest to modern readers and scholars as a cultural artifact: the British Empire was at its maximum, imperialism was unchallenged, much of the world was still ruled by monarchs, the tragedy of the modern world wars was still in the future, they are an invaluable resource for topics omitted from modern encyclopedias for biography and the history of science and technology. As a literary text, the encyclopedia has value as an example of early 20th-century prose. For example, it employs literary devices, such as pathetic fallacy, which are not as common in modern reference texts.
In 1917, using the pseudonym of S. S. Van Dine, the US art critic and author Willard Huntington Wright published Misinforming a Nation, a 200+
Santa Cruz Department (Bolivia)
Santa Cruz, with an area of 370,621 km2, is the largest of the nine constituent departments of Bolivia occupying about one-third of the territory of the country. It is located in the eastern part of the country, sharing borders in the north and east with Brazil and with Paraguay in the south. In the 2012 census, it reported a population of 3,412,921; the capital is the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The department is one of the wealthiest departments in Bolivia, with huge reserves of natural gas. Besides, it has experienced the highest increase of economic growth during the last 50 years in Bolivia and South America. According to current Constitution, the highest authority in the department lies with the governor; the former figure of prefect was appointed by the President of the Republic till 2005, when the prefect for the first time was elected by popular vote to serve for a five-year term. In 2010 the first governor was elected according to the implementation of autonomy after a struggle for a decade by the people of Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz has a Departmental Assembly, which derives but differs from the previous Departmental Council. It is a state legislature with limited legislation powers, being able to make laws in certain subjects in exclusivity and in some others in concurrence with the state legislative branch.. The department covers a vast expanse of territory in eastern Bolivia, much of it rainforests, extending from the Andes to the border with Brazil; the department's economy depends on agriculture, with sugar, cotton and rice being grown. The amount of land cultivated by modern farming techniques is increasing in the Santa Cruz area, where weather allows for two crops a year. In recent years, the discovery of natural gas in the department has led to plans for the development of a regional natural gas industry, to boost the local economy. Bolivia’s energy minister said two proposed liquefied petroleum gas plants may allow the country to boost supplies to Brazil and Argentina by 2010, easing a shortage of the fuel after a lack of investment reduced output.
The processing plants would be built in Santa Cruz and each would produce about 200 tons of liquefied petroleum gas a day. The plants would help turn a deficit of gas into a “surplus”. In July 2004, the people voted in a nationwide referendum to allow for regulated exportation of the gas; the department hosts El Mutún, the world's second largest iron ore reserve and largest magnesium deposits are located there. Located in the Germán Busch Province in the Santa Cruz Department of Bolivia, near Puerto Suárez, El Mutún extends across the border into Brazil, where it is called the Serrania de Jacadigo. Known as the "Serrania Mutún", it has an area of about 75 square kilometers, its estimated reserves are about 40.205 billion tons of iron ore of 50% iron in hematite and magnetite form, in lesser quantities in siderite and manganese minerals. This can be compared with an estimate of the total world reserves of iron ore: 800 billion tons of crude ore containing more than 230 billion tons of iron. Santa Cruz Department covers a wide and diverse area.
In the west lies a series of temperate Sub-Andean ranges and valleys while to the north and south lies two different lowlands areas. To the northeast lies the flat Llanos Chiquitanos areas and beyond these the Serranías Chiquitanas ranges. In the far east the departments have small parts of the huge Pantanal wetland; the first settlers of Santa Cruz were Spaniards that accompanied Ñuflo de Chávez, as well as Guarani, some Flemings, Portuguese and Italians working for the Spanish crown. Among the first settlers there were Sephardic Jews converted to Christianity who were persecuted by the Inquisition in Spain. Santa Cruz has a multicultural population: 60% are Castizos with both Mestizo and European ascendants, 30% are Natives 10% are Whites of European descent, of whom about a quarter are so-called "Russian" Mennonites of German tradition and descent. At 416 meters above sea level, it is warm and tropical most of the year. Winters are short and last only 2–3 months but can get cold suddenly. "Surazos" can drop the temperature by as much as 30 degrees overnight.
This extreme cold lasts only a few days at a time and the beautiful, sub-tropical Santa Cruz is pleasant throughout most of the year. Here the climate varies by geographical zone: temperate to cold in the western sierras and warm to hot and humid as one descends into the extensive plains; the Department of Santa Cruz is divided into 15 provinces. During the stages of the Chaco war between Paraguay and Bolivia, as the Paraguayan army approached Santa Cruz department, local nationalists backed by a Paraguay-based independence movement sought to create a separate independent state in Santa Cruz department. A referendum on autonomy was held in Santa Cruz department in 2008. Eastern departments in Bolivia, including Santa Cruz, have majority of the natural gas reserves. Bolivian president Evo Morales is planning to introduce legislation to tackle the poverty in the country using tax revenues from richer departments like Santa Cruz. Additionally, Morales's attempts to change the constitution were opposed by the opposition governors who run five of Bolivia's nine regions.
85.6 percent voted in favour of autonomy, because the referendum was illegal, Evo morales started prosecuting people that were supporters of colonialism and serfdom. Kaa-Iya del Gran
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra known as Santa Cruz, is the largest city in Bolivia and the capital of the Santa Cruz department. Situated on the Pirai River in the eastern Tropical Lowlands of Bolivia, the city of Santa Cruz and its metropolitan area are home to over 70% of the population of the department and it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world; the city was first founded in 1561 by Spanish explorer Ñuflo de Chavez about 200 km east of its current location, was moved several times until it was established on the Pirai River in the late 16th century. For much of its history, Santa Cruz was a small outpost town, after Bolivia gained its independence in 1825 there was little attention from the authorities or the population in general to settle the region, it was not until after the middle of the 20th century with profound agrarian and land reforms that the city began to grow at a fast pace. The city is Bolivia's most populous, produces nearly 35% of Bolivia's gross domestic product, receives over 40% of all foreign direct investment in the country.
This has helped make Santa Cruz the most important business center in Bolivia and the preferred destination of migrants from all over the country. Like much of the history of the people of the region, the history of the area before the arrival of European explorers is not well documented because of the somewhat nomadic nature and the absence of a written language in the culture of the local tribes. However, recent data suggests that the current location of the city of Santa Cruz was inhabited by an Arawak tribe that came to be known by the Spanish as Chané. Remains of ceramics and weapons have been found in the area, leading researchers to believe they had established settlements in the area. Among the few known facts of these tribes, according to accounts of the first Spanish explorers that came into contact with the Chané, are that they had a formal leader, a cacique, called Grigota for several years but his reign came to an end after one of the several Guarani incursions in the area; the first Europeans to set foot in the area were Spanish conquistadores from the created Governorate of New Andalusia that encompassed the territories of present-day Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia.
In 1549, Captain General Domingo Martinez de Irala became the first Spaniard to explore the region, but it was not until 1558 that Ñuflo de Chaves, who had arrived in Asuncion in 1541 with Alvar Nuñez/Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, led a new expedition with the objective of settling the region. After discovering that a new expedition from Asuncion was underway, he traveled to Lima and persuaded the Viceroy to create a new province and grant him the title of governor on February 15, 1560. Upon returning from Lima, Chaves founded the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra on February 26, 1561, 220 km east of its present-day location, to function as the capital of the newly formed province of Moxos and Chaves; the settlement was named after Chaves's home town in Extremadura, where he grew up before venturing to America. Shortly after the founding, attacks from local tribes became commonplace and Ñuflo de Chaves was killed in 1568 by Itatine natives. After Chaves's death, the conflicts with the local population as well as power struggles in the settlement forced the authorities in Peru to order the new governor, Lorenzo Suarez de Figueroa to relocate the city to the west.
Many of the inhabitants, chose to stay behind and continued living in the original location. On September 13, 1590 the city was moved to the banks of the Guapay Empero river and renamed San Lorenzo de la Frontera; the conditions proved to be more severe at the new location forcing the settlers to relocate once again on May 21, 1595. Although this was the final relocation of the city, the name San Lorenzo continued to be used until the early 17th century, when the settlers who remained behind in Santa Cruz de la Sierra were convinced by the colonial authorities to move to San Lorenzo. After they moved the city was consolidated in 1622 and took its original name of Santa Cruz de la Sierra given by Ñuflo de Chaves over 60 years before. Remnants of the original settlement can be visited in Santa Cruz la Vieja, an archaeological site south of San José de Iquitos. Over the next 200 years, several tribes were either incorporated under Spanish control or defeated by force; the city became an important staging point for Jesuit Missions to Chiquitos and Moxos, leading to the conversion of thousands of Guaranies, Moxeños, Chiquitanos and Chiriguanos that became part of the racially mixed population of the modern Santa Cruz, Beni and Tarija departaments of Bolivia.
Another important role the small town played in the region for the Spanish Empire was to contain the incursions of Portuguese Bandeirantes, many of which were repelled by the use of force over the years. The efforts for consolidating the borders of the Empire were not overlooked by the authorities in Lima, who granted the province a great degree of autonomy; the province was ruled by a Captain General based in Santa Cruz, and, in turn, the city government was administered by two mayors and a council of four people. Citizens of Santa Cruz were exempt from all imperial taxes and the mita system used in the rest of the Viceroyalty of Peru was not practiced. However, in spite of its strategic importance, the city did not grow much in colonial times. Most of the economic activity was centered in the mining centers of the west and the main source of income of the city was agriculture. Animosity towards imperial author
Haiti the Republic of Haiti and called Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola, east of Cuba in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea. It occupies the western three-eighths of the island. Haiti is 27,750 square kilometres in size and has an estimated 10.8 million people, making it the most populous country in the Caribbean Community and the second-most populous country in the Caribbean as a whole. The region was inhabited by the indigenous Taíno people. Spain landed on the island on 5 December 1492 during the first voyage of Christopher Columbus across the Atlantic; when Columbus landed in Haiti, he had thought he had found India or China. On Christmas Day 1492, Columbus's flagship the Santa Maria ran aground north of what is now Limonade; as a consequence, Columbus ordered his men to salvage what they could from the ship, he created the first European settlement in the Americas, naming it La Navidad after the day the ship was destroyed. The island was claimed by Spain, which ruled until the early 17th century.
Competing claims and settlements by the French led to the western portion of the island being ceded to France, which named it Saint-Domingue. Sugarcane plantations, worked by slaves brought from Africa, were established by colonists. In the midst of the French Revolution and free people of color revolted in the Haitian Revolution, culminating in the abolition of slavery and the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte's army at the Battle of Vertières. Afterward the sovereign state of Haiti was established on 1 January 1804—the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean, the second republic in the Americas, the only nation in the world established as a result of a successful slave revolt; the rebellion that began in 1791 was led by a former slave and the first black general of the French Army, Toussaint Louverture, whose military genius and political acumen transformed an entire society of slaves into an independent country. Upon his death in a prison in France, he was succeeded by his lieutenant, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who declared Haiti's sovereignty and became the first Emperor of Haiti, Jacques I.
The Haitian Revolution lasted just over a dozen years. The Citadelle Laferrière is the largest fortress in the Americas. Henri Christophe—former slave and first king of Haiti, Henri I—built it to withstand a possible foreign attack, it is a founding member of the United Nations, Organization of American States, Association of Caribbean States, the International Francophonie Organisation. In addition to CARICOM, it is a member of the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, it has the lowest Human Development Index in the Americas. Most in February 2004, a coup d'état originating in the north of the country forced the resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. A provisional government took control with security provided by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti; the name Haiti comes from the indigenous Taíno language, the native name given to the entire island of Hispaniola to mean, "land of high mountains."
The h is silent in French and the ï in Haïti has a diacritical mark used to show that the second vowel is pronounced separately, as in the word naïve. In English, this rule for the pronunciation is disregarded, thus the spelling Haiti is used. There are different anglicizations for its pronunciation such as HIGH-ti, high-EE-ti and haa-EE-ti, which are still in use, but HAY-ti is the most widespread and best-established; the name was restored by Haitian revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines as the official name of independent Saint-Domingue, as a tribute to the Amerindian predecessors. In French, Haiti's nickname is the "Pearl of the Antilles" because of both its natural beauty, the amount of wealth it accumulated for the Kingdom of France. At the time of European conquest, the island of Hispaniola, of which Haiti occupies the western three-eighths, was one of many Caribbean islands inhabited by the Taíno Native Americans, speakers of an Arawakan language called Taino, preserved in the Haitian Creole language.
The Taíno name for the entire island was Haiti. The people had migrated over centuries into the Caribbean islands from South America. Genetic studies show, they originated in Central and South America. After migrating to Caribbean islands, in the 15th century, the Taíno were pushed into the northeast Caribbean islands by the Caribs. In the Taíno societies of the Caribbean islands, the largest unit of political organization was led by a cacique, or chief, as the Europeans understood them; the island of Haiti was divided among five Caciquats: the Magua in the north east, the Marien in the north west, the Xaragua in the south west, the Maguana in the center region of Cibao and the Higuey in the south east. The caciquedoms were tributary kingdoms, with payment consisting of harvests. Taíno cultural artifacts include cave paintings in several locations in the country; these have become national symbols of tourist attractions. Modern-day Léogane started as a French colonial town in the southwest, is beside the former capital of the caciquedom of Xaragua.
The Rio Grande is one of the principal rivers in the southwest United States and northern Mexico. The Rio Grande begins in south-central Colorado in the United States and flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, it forms part of the Mexico–United States border. According to the International Boundary and Water Commission, its total length was 1,896 miles in the late 1980s, though course shifts result in length changes. Depending on how it is measured, the Rio Grande is either the fourth- or fifth-longest river system in North America; the river serves as part of the natural border between the U. S. state of Texas and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas. A short stretch of the river serves as part of the boundary between the U. S. states of New Mexico. Since the mid–20th century, heavy water consumption by farms and cities along with many large diversion dams on the river has left only 20% of its natural discharge to flow to the Gulf. Near the river's mouth, the irrigated lower Rio Grande Valley is an important agricultural region.
The Rio Grande's watershed covers 182,200 square miles. Many endorheic basins are situated within, or adjacent to, the Rio Grande's basin, these are sometimes included in the river basin's total area, increasing its size to about 336,000 square miles; the Rio Grande rises in the western part of the Rio Grande National Forest in the U. S. state of Colorado. The river is formed by the joining of several streams at the base of Canby Mountain in the San Juan Mountains, just east of the Continental Divide. From there, it flows through the San Luis Valley south into the Middle Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico, passing through the Rio Grande Gorge near Taos toward Española, picking up additional water from the San Juan-Chama Diversion Project from the Rio Chama, it continues on a southerly route through the desert cities of Albuquerque and Las Cruces to El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. In the Albuquerque area, the river flows past a number of historic Pueblo villages, including Sandia Pueblo and Isleta Pueblo.
Below El Paso, it serves as part of the border between the United States and Mexico. The official river border measurement ranges from 889 miles to 1,248 miles, depending on how the river is measured. A major tributary, the Rio Conchos, enters at Ojinaga, below El Paso, supplies most of the water in the border segment. Other tributaries include the Pecos and the smaller Devils, which join the Rio Grande on the site of Amistad Dam. Despite its name and length, the Rio Grande is not navigable by ocean-going ships, nor do smaller passenger boats or cargo barges use it as a route, it is navigable at all, except by small boats in a few places. The Rio Grande rises in high flows for much of its length at high elevation. In New Mexico, the river flows through the Rio Grande rift from one sediment-filled basin to another, cutting canyons between the basins and supporting a fragile bosque ecosystem on its flood plain. From El Paso eastward, the river flows through desert. Although irrigated agriculture exists throughout most of its stretch, it is extensive in the subtropical Lower Rio Grande Valley.
The river ends in a sandy delta at the Gulf of Mexico. During portions of 2001 and 2002, the mouth of the Rio Grande was blocked by a sandbar. In the fall of 2003, the sandbar was cleared by high river flows around 7,063 cubic feet per second. Navigation was active during much of the 19th century, with over 200 different steamboats operating between the river's mouth close to Brownsville and Rio Grande City, Texas. Many steamboats from the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers were requisitioned by the U. S. government and moved to the Rio Grande during the Mexican–American War in 1846. They provided transport for the U. S. Army, under General Zachary Taylor, to invade Monterrey, Nuevo León, via Camargo Municipality, Tamaulipas. Army engineers recommended that with small improvements, the river could be made navigable as far north as El Paso; those recommendations were never acted upon. The Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge, a large swing bridge, dates back to 1910 and is still in use today by automobiles connecting Brownsville with Matamoros, Tamaulipas.
The swing mechanism has not been used since the early 1900s, when the last of the big steamboats disappeared. At one point, the bridge had rail traffic. Railroad trains no longer use this bridge. A new rail bridge connecting the U. S. and Mexico was built about 15 miles west of the Matamoros International Bridge. It was inaugurated in August 2015, it moved all rail operations out of downtown Matamoros. The West Rail International Crossing is the first new international rail crossing between the U. S. and Mexico in 105 years. The Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge is now operated by the Brownsville and Matamoros Bridge Company, a joint venture between the Mexican government and the Union Pacific Railroad. At the mouth of the Rio Grande, on the Mexican side, was the large commercial port of Bagdad, Tamaulipas. During the American Civil War, this was the only legitimate port of the Confederacy. European warships anchored offshore to maintain the port's neutrality, managed to do so throughout that conflict, despite occasional stare-downs with blockading ships from the US Navy.
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The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and south west, to the north by the Greater Antilles starting with Cuba, to the east by the Lesser Antilles, to the south by the north coast of South America; the entire area of the Caribbean Sea, the numerous islands of the West Indies, adjacent coasts, are collectively known as the Caribbean. The Caribbean Sea is one of the largest seas and has an area of about 2,754,000 km2; the sea's deepest point is the Cayman Trough, between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, at 7,686 m below sea level. The Caribbean coastline has many gulfs and bays: the Gulf of Gonâve, Gulf of Venezuela, Gulf of Darién, Golfo de los Mosquitos, Gulf of Paria and Gulf of Honduras; the Caribbean Sea has the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. It runs 1,000 km along the coasts of Mexico, Belize and Honduras; the name "Caribbean" derives from the Caribs, one of the region's dominant Native American groups at the time of European contact during the late 15th century.
After Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas in 1492, the Spanish term Antillas applied to the lands. During the first century of development, Spanish dominance in the region remained undisputed. From the 16th century, Europeans visiting the Caribbean region identified the "South Sea" as opposed to the "North Sea"; the Caribbean Sea had been unknown to the populations of Eurasia until 1492, when Christopher Columbus sailed into Caribbean waters on a quest to find a sea route to Asia. At that time the Western Hemisphere in general was unknown to most Europeans, although it had been discovered between the years 800 and 1000 by the vikings. Following the discovery of the islands by Columbus, the area was colonized by several Western cultures. Following the colonization of the Caribbean islands, the Caribbean Sea became a busy area for European-based marine trading and transports, this commerce attracted pirates such as Samuel Bellamy and Blackbeard; as of 2015 the area is home to borders 12 continental countries.
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Caribbean Sea as follows: On the North. In the Windward Channel – a line joining Caleta Point and Pearl Point in Haïti. In the Mona Passage – a line joining Cape Engaño and the extreme of Agujereada in Puerto Rico. Eastern limits. From Point San Diego Northward along the meridian thereof to the 100-fathom line, thence Eastward and Southward, in such a manner that all islands and narrow waters of the Lesser Antilles are included in the Caribbean Sea as far as Galera Point. From Galera Point through Trinidad to Galeota Point and thence to Baja Point in Venezuela. Note that, although Barbados is an island on the same continental shelf, it is considered to be in the Atlantic Ocean rather than the Caribbean Sea; the Caribbean Sea is an oceanic sea situated on the Caribbean Plate. The Caribbean Sea is separated from the ocean by several island arcs of various ages; the youngest stretches from the Lesser Antilles to the Virgin Islands to the north east of Trinidad and Tobago off the coast of Venezuela.
This arc was formed by the collision of the South American Plate with the Caribbean Plate and includes active and extinct volcanoes such as Mount Pelee, the Quill on Sint Eustatius in the Caribbean Netherlands and Morne Trois Pitons on Dominica. The larger islands in the northern part of the sea Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico lie on an older island arc; the geological age of the Caribbean Sea is estimated to be between 160 and 180 million years and was formed by a horizontal fracture that split the supercontinent called Pangea in the Mesozoic Era. It is assumed the proto-caribbean basin existed in the Devonian period. In the early Carboniferous movement of Gondwana to the north and its convergence with the Euramerica basin decreased in size; the next stage of the Caribbean Sea's formation began in the Triassic. Powerful rifting led to the formation of narrow troughs, stretching from modern Newfoundland to the west coast of the Gulf of Mexico which formed siliciclastic sedimentary rocks. In the early Jurassic due to powerful marine transgression, water broke into the present area of the Gulf of Mexico creating a vast shallow pool.
The emergence of deep basins in the Caribbean occurred during the Middle Jurassic rifting. The emergence of these basins marked the beginning of the Atlantic Ocean and contributed to the destruction of Pangaea at the end of the late Jurassic. During the Cretaceous the Caribbean acquired the shape close to that seen today. In the early Paleogene due to Marine regression the Caribbean became separated from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean by the land of Cuba and Haiti; the Caribbean remained like this for most of the Cenozoic until the Holocene when rising water levels of the oceans restored communication with the Atlantic Ocean. The Caribbean's floor is composed of sub-oceanic sediments of deep red clay in the deep basins and troughs. On continental slopes and ridges calcareous silts are found. Clay minerals having been deposited by the mainland river Orinoco and the Magdalena River. Deposits on th