Utilitarianism is a family of consequentialist ethical theories. Although different varieties of utilitarianism admit different characterizations, the basic idea behind all of them is to in some sense maximize utility, defined in terms of well-being or related concepts. For instance, Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarianism, described utility as that property in any object, whereby it tends to produce benefit, pleasure, good, or happiness... to prevent the happening of mischief, evil, or unhappiness to the party whose interest is considered. Utilitarianism is a version of consequentialism, which states that the consequences of any action are the only standard of right and wrong. Unlike other forms of consequentialism, such as egoism and altruism, utilitarianism considers the interests of all beings equally. Proponents of utilitarianism have disagreed on a number of points, such as whether actions should be chosen based on their results or whether agents should conform to rules that maximize utility.
There is disagreement as to whether total, average or minimum utility should be maximized. Though the seeds of the theory can be found in the hedonists Aristippus and Epicurus, who viewed happiness as the only good, the tradition of utilitarianism properly began with Bentham, has included John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgwick, R. M. Hare, David Braybrooke, Peter Singer, it has been applied to social welfare economics, the crisis of global poverty, the ethics of raising animals for food and the importance of avoiding existential risks to humanity. Benthamism, the utilitarian philosophy founded by Jeremy Bentham, was modified by his successor John Stuart Mill, who popularized the word'Utilitarianism'. In 1861, Mill acknowledged in a footnote that, though "believing himself to be the first person who brought the word'utilitarian' into use, he did not invent it. Rather, he adopted it from a passing expression in" John Galt's 1821 novel Annals of the Parish. Mill seems to have been unaware that Bentham had used the term'utilitarian' in his 1781 letter to George Wilson and his 1802 letter to Étienne Dumont.
The importance of happiness as an end for humans has long been recognized. Forms of hedonism were put forward by Epicurus. Happiness was explored in depth by Aquinas. Different varieties of consequentialism existed in the ancient and medieval world, like the state consequentialism of Mohism or the political philosophy of Niccolò Machiavelli. Mohist consequentialism advocated communitarian moral goods including political stability, population growth, wealth, but did not support the utilitarian notion of maximizing individual happiness. Utilitarianism as a distinct ethical position only emerged in the eighteenth century. Although utilitarianism is thought to start with Jeremy Bentham, there were earlier writers who presented theories that were strikingly similar. In An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, David Hume writes: In all determinations of morality, this circumstance of public utility is principally in view. If any false opinion, embraced from appearances, has been found to prevail.
Hume studied the works of, corresponded with, Francis Hutcheson, it was he who first introduced a key utilitarian phrase. In An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, Hutcheson says when choosing the most moral action, virtue is in proportion to the number of people a particular action brings happiness to. In the same way, moral evil, or vice, is proportionate to the number of people made to suffer; the best action is the one that procures the greatest happiness of the greatest numbers—and the worst is the one that causes the most misery. In the first three editions of the book, Hutcheson included various mathematical algorithms "...to compute the Morality of any Actions." In this, he pre-figured the hedonic calculus of Bentham. Some claim. In Concerning the Fundamental Principle of Virtue or Morality, Gay argues that: happiness, private happiness, is the proper or ultimate end of all our actions… each particular action may be said to have its proper and peculiar end……, they still ought to tend to something farther.
To ask why I pursue happiness, will admit of no other answer than an explanation of the terms. This pursuit of happiness is given a theological basis: Now it is evident from the nature of God, viz. his being infinitely happy in himself from all eternity, from his goodness manifested in his works, that he could have no other design in creating mankind than their happiness.
Order of the Rising Sun
The Order of the Rising Sun is a Japanese order, established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji. The Order was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese government, created on 10 April 1875 by decree of the Council of State; the badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun. The design of the Rising Sun symbolizes energy as powerful as the rising sun in parallel with the "rising sun" concept of Japan; the order is awarded to those who have made distinguished achievements in international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their field, development in welfare or preservation of the environment. Prior to the end of World War II, it was awarded for exemplary military service. Beginning in 2003, the two lowest rankings for the Order of the Rising Sun were abolished, with the highest degree becoming a separate order known as the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, with the single rank of Grand Cordon. While it is the third highest order bestowed by the Japanese government, it is however the highest ordinarily conferred order.
The highest Japanese order, the Order of the Chrysanthemum, is reserved for heads of state or royalty, while the second highest order, the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, is reserved for politicians. The modern version of this honour has been conferred on non-Japanese recipients beginning in 1981; the awarding of the Order is administered by the Decoration Bureau of the Cabinet Office headed by the Japanese Prime Minister. It can be awarded posthumously; the Order was awarded in nine classes until 2003, when the Grand Cordon with Paulownia Flowers was made a separate order, the lowest two classes were abolished. Since it has been awarded in six classes. Conventionally, a diploma is prepared to accompany the insignia of the order, in some rare instances, the personal signature of the Emperor will have been added; as an illustration of the wording of the text, a translation of a representative 1929 diploma says: By the grace of Heaven, Emperor of Japan, seated on the throne occupied by the same dynasty from time immemorial, We confer the Second Class of the Imperial Order of Meiji upon Henry Waters Taft, a citizen of the United States of America and a director of the Japan Society of New York, invest him with the insignia of the same class of the Order of the Double Rays of the Rising Sun, in expression of the good will which we entertain towards him.
In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hand and caused the Grand Seal of State to be affixed at the Imperial Palace, this thirteenth day of the fifth month of the fourth year of Shōwa, corresponding to the 2,589th year from the accession to the throne of Emperor Jimmu." The star for the Grand Cordon and Second Class is a silver star of eight points, each point having three alternating silver rays. It is worn on the right chest for the 2nd Class; the badge for the Grand Cordon to Sixth Classes is an eight-pointed badge bearing a central red enamelled sun disc, with gilt points, with four gilt and four silver points, or with silver points. It is suspended from three enamelled paulownia leaves on a ribbon in white with red border stripes, worn as a sash from the right shoulder for the Grand Cordon, as a necklet for the 2nd and 3rd Classes and on the left chest for the 4th to 6th Classes; the badge for the Seventh and Eighth Classes consisted of a silver medal in the shape of three paulownia leaves, enamelled for the 7th Class and plain for the 8th Class.
Both were suspended on a ribbon, again in white with red border stripes, worn on the left chest. Both classes were abolished in 2003 and replaced by the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, a single-class order that now ranks above the Order of the Rising Sun. Henry Hajimu Fujii, 1971 Bolesław Orliński, 1926 Fudeko Reekie, 2013 John Wilson, 1895 In 2003, the 7th and 8th levels – named for leaves of the Paulownia tree, long used as a mon for the highest levels of Japanese society – were moved to a new and distinct order, the single-class Order of the Paulownia Flowers. Tetsuzō Iwamoto 1942 Leonard Kubiak 1926 In 2003, the 7th and 8th levels – named for leaves of the Paulownia tree, long used as a mon for the highest levels of Japanese society – were moved to a new and distinct order, the single-class Order of the Paulownia Flowers. Order of Civil Merit Order of Chula Chom Klao and Order of the White Elephant Order of St. Michael and St. George Legion of Honour Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" Order of Isabella the Catholic Order of Merit of the Italian Republic Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria Order of Prince Henry Peterson, James W. Barry C. Weaver and Michael A. Quigley.
Orders and Medals of Japan and Associated States. San Ramon, California: Orders and Medals Society of America. ISBN 1-890974-09-9. Japan, Cabinet Office: Decorations and Medals Decoration Bureau: Order of the Rising Sun Japan Mint: Production Process
Tokyo Prefecture was a Japanese government entity which existed between 1868 and 1943. When the prefecture was established with the merger of the two shogunate city administrations in the Meiji restoration in 1868, Tokyo consisted only of the former city area of the shogunate capital Edo. Beginning in 1871, the territory of Tokyo was expanded beyond Edo in several steps to reach its present extent with the Tama transfer in 1893; the surrounding former shogunate domain in Musashi province was administrated by Musashi governors, but split up between the prefectures Shinagawa, Kosuge and Ōmiya/Urawa. In 1871/72, the surrounding rural areas from these three prefectures and the Setagaya exclave of Hikone ex-domain/prefecture were merged into Tokyo; the "system of large and small/major and minor districts", tied to the modernized family registration system created an subdivision of all prefectures into numbered subunits. In 1878, the ancient ritsuryō districts were reactivated as administrative units in rural areas, the status of urban districts was newly introduced for major cities.
Under the gunkuchōson-hensei-hō, both urban and rural districts were further subdivided into urban and rural units. Tokyo contained only six districts, but other rural areas were added to Tokyo later; when the modern municipalities were introduced in 1889, Tokyo was subdivided into c. 80 municipalities: 1 city, a handful of towns, dozens of villages. With the Tama transfer of 1893, the number of municipalities in Tokyo grew to over 170. By 1943, there were only 87 municipalities left: 18 towns and 66 villages. After the Tama transfer, Tokyo City remained the dominant part of Tokyo in terms of population and economic strength; that increased further during the progressing industrialization and the explosive growth of the city in the early 20th century, only temporarily set back by the devastation brought about by the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake. The outskirts grew, but Tokyo City's dominance within Tokyo only increased again as many of the explosively grown suburbs were merged into Tokyo City in 1932, including some of the largest towns in Japanese history with over 100,000 inhabitants each such as West Sugamo in North Toshima District and Shibuya in Toyotama District.
Various plans for a unification of the prefectural and city government were discussed over the decades. An early proposal in the 1890s by Home Minister Nomura Yasushi envisioned to separate the rural areas of Tokyo as Musashi prefecture and transform only Tokyo City into a "Metropolis", but it failed in the Imperial Diet; some plans those by the commoner political parties and during the "Taishō democracy" of the 1920s, envisioned a "Metropolis" more similar to a special city: an enlarged, prefecture-level city with more local autonomy. While the city did gain some additional authority under the 1922 "six major cities law", the governments made plans for a "Metropolis" system – the 1932 "Greater Tokyo City" mergers had been part of a Metropolis plan from the Tokyo City Assembly –, the actual reform was carried out as part of the Tōjō cabinet's wartime authoritarian centralization measures. Not only was the Home Ministry control over prefectures and municipalities tightened as in the whole country – municipal mayors became appointive similar to the Meiji era –.
Thus, in 1943, 86 of Tokyo's 87 municipalities remained Tokyo's municipalities, Tokyo City was abolished, all municipalities and the 35 ex-city wards were now part of Tokyo Metropolis which continues to serve as prefectural government for all of Tokyo, but now additionally as the municipal government in former Tokyo City. The governor of Tokyo chiji as in all prefectures, was now called chōkan and tied more to the Imperial government than the governors of other prefectures, he became a shinninkan, meaning he was appointed directly by the Emperor, in the same procedure as a member of the Cabinet, the governors of Chōsen/Korea or Taiwan/Formosa, or an Army General or Navy Admiral. The "Metropolis" is not to be confused with the Tokyo metropolitan area which extends into prefectures other than Tokyo and, depending on definition, may or may not include all of the "Metropolis". In 1944/45, the establishment of regional bureaus created new parallel local administrative structures, lacking the limited control by elected assemblies that prefectures and municipalities featured.
And on the local level, the pre-existing neighbourhood associations had been tied into the totalitarian Yokusankai vision and were endowed with far-reaching authority to establish an
Prince Itō Hirobumi was a Japanese statesman and genrō. A London-educated samurai of the Chōshū Domain and an influential figure in the early Meiji Restoration government, he chaired the bureau which drafted the Meiji Constitution in the 1880s. Looking to the West for legal inspiration, Itō rejected the United States Constitution as too liberal and the Spanish Restoration as too despotic before drawing on the British and German models the Prussian Constitution of 1850. Dissatisfied with the prominent role of Christianity in European legal traditions, he substituted references to the more traditionally Japanese concept of kokutai or "national polity", which became the constitutional justification for imperial authority. In 1885, he became Japan's first Prime Minister, an office his constitutional bureau had introduced, he went on to hold the position four times, becoming one of the longest serving PMs in Japanese history, wielded considerable power out of office as the occasional head of Emperor Meiji's Privy Council.
A monarchist, Itō favoured a large, bureaucratic government and opposed the formation of political parties. His third term in government was ended by the consolidation of the opposition into the Kenseitō party in 1898, prompting him to found the Rikken Seiyūkai party in response, he resigned his fourth and final ministry in 1901 after growing weary of party politics, but served as head of the Privy Council twice more before his death. Itō's foreign policy was ambitious, he strengthened diplomatic ties with Western powers including Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Asia he oversaw the First Sino-Japanese War and negotiated Chinese surrender on terms aggressively favourable to Japan, including the annexation of Taiwan and the release of Korea from the Chinese Imperial tribute system. Itō sought to avoid a Russo-Japanese War through the policy of Man-Kan kōkan – surrendering Manchuria to the Russian sphere of influence in exchange for the acceptance of Japanese hegemony in Korea.
A diplomatic tour of the United States and Europe brought him to Saint Petersburg in November 1901, where he was unable to find compromise on this matter with Russian authorities. Soon the government of Katsura Tarō elected to abandon the pursuit of Man-Kan kōkan, tensions with Russia continued to escalate towards war; the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905 made Itō the first Japanese Resident-General of Korea. He supported the sovereignty of the indigenous Joseon monarchy as a protectorate under Japan, but he accepted and agreed with the powerful Imperial Japanese Army, which favoured the total annexation of Korea, resigning his position as Resident-General and taking a new position as the President of the Privy Council of Japan in 1909. Four months Itō was assassinated by Korean-independence activist and nationalist An Jung-geun in Manchuria; the annexation process was formalised by another treaty the following year after Ito's death. Through his daughter Ikuko, Itō was the father-in-law of politician and author Suematsu Kenchō.
Itō's birth name was Hayashi Risuke. His father Hayashi Jūzō was the adopted son of Mizui Buhei, an adopted son of Itō Yaemon's family, a lower-ranked samurai from Hagi in Chōshū Domain. Mizui Buhei was renamed Itō Naoemon. Mizui Jūzō took the name Itō Jūzō, Hayashi Risuke was renamed to Itō Shunsuke at first Itō Hirobumi, he was a student of Yoshida Shōin at the Shōka Sonjuku and joined the Sonnō jōi movement, together with Katsura Kogorō. Itō was chosen as one of the Chōshū Five who studied at University College London in 1863, the experience in Great Britain convinced him Japan needed to adopt Western ways. In 1864, Itō returned to Japan with fellow student Inoue Kaoru to attempt to warn Chōshū Domain against going to war with the foreign powers over the right of passage through the Straits of Shimonoseki. At that time, he met Ernest Satow for the first time a lifelong friend. After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Itō was appointed governor of Hyōgo Prefecture, junior councilor for Foreign Affairs, sent to the United States in 1870 to study Western currency systems.
Returning to Japan in 1871, he established Japan's taxation system. That year, he was sent on the Iwakura Mission around the world as vice-envoy extraordinary, during which he won the confidence of Ōkubo Toshimichi, one of the leaders of the Meiji government. In 1873, Itō was made a full councilor, Minister of Public Works, in 1875 chairman of the first Assembly of Prefectural Governors, he participated in the Osaka Conference of 1875. After Ōkubo's assassination, he took over the post of Home Minister and secured a central position in the Meiji government. In 1881 he urged leaving himself in unchallenged control. Itō went to Europe in 1882 to study the constitutions of those countries, spending nearly 18 months away from Japan. While working on a constitution for Japan, he wrote the first Imperial Household Law and established the Japanese peerage system in 1884. In 1885, he negotiated the Convention of Tientsin with Li Hongzhang, normalizing Japan's diplomatic relations with Qing-dynasty China.
In 1885, based on European ideas, Itō established a cabinet system of government, replacing the Daijō-kan as the decision-making state organization, on December 22, 1885, he became the first prime minister of Japan. On April 30, 1888, Itō resigned as prime minister, but headed the new Privy Council to maintain power behind-the-scenes. In 1889, he b
Japanese names in modern times consist of a family name, followed by a given name. More than one given name is not used. Japanese names are written in kanji, which are characters Chinese in origin but Japanese in pronunciation; the kanji for a name may have a variety of possible Japanese pronunciations, hence parents might use hiragana or katakana when giving a birth name to their newborn child. Names written in hiragana or katakana are phonetic renderings, so lack the visual meaning of names expressed in the logographic kanji. Japanese family names are varied: according to estimates, there are over 100,000 different surnames in use today in Japan; the three most common family names in Japan are Satō, Takahashi. This diversity is in stark contrast to the situation in other nations of the East Asian cultural sphere, which reflects a different history: while Chinese surnames have been in use for millennia and were reflective of an entire clan or adopted from nobles and were thence transferred to Korea and Vietnam via noble names, the vast majority of modern Japanese family names date only to the 19th century, following the Meiji restoration, were chosen at will.
The recent introduction of surnames has two additional effects: Japanese names became widespread when the country had a large population instead of dating to ancient times, since little time has passed, Japanese names have not experienced as significant a surname extinction as has occurred in the much longer history in China. Surnames occur with varying frequency in different regions. Many Japanese family names derive from features of the rural landscape. While family names follow consistent rules, given names are much more diverse in pronunciation and character usage. While many common names can be spelled or pronounced, many parents choose names with unusual characters or pronunciations, such names cannot in general be spelled or pronounced unless both the spelling and pronunciation are given. Unusual pronunciations have become common, with this trend having increased since the 1990s. For example, the popular masculine name 大翔 is traditionally pronounced "Hiroto", but in recent years alternative pronunciations "Haruto", "Yamato", "Taiga", "Sora", "Taito", "Daito", "Masato" have all entered use.
Male names end in -rō -ta or -o, or contain ichi, kazu, ji, or dai. Female names end in -ko or -mi. Other popular endings for female names include -ka and -na; the majority of Japanese people have one surname and one given name with no other names, except for the Japanese imperial family, whose members bear no surname. The family name – myōji, uji or sei – precedes the given name, called the "name" – or "lower name"; the given name may be referred to as the "lower name" because, in vertically written Japanese, the given name appears under the family name. People with mixed Japanese and foreign parentage may have middle names. Myōji, uji and sei had different meanings. Sei was the patrilineal surname, why up until now it has only been granted by the emperor as a title of male rank; the lower form of the name sei being tei, a common name in Japanese men, although there was a male ancestor in ancient Japan from whom the name'Sei' came. There were few sei, most of the medieval noble clans trace their lineage either directly to these sei or to the courtiers of these sei.
Uji was another name used to designate patrilineal descent, but merged with myōji around the same time. Myōji was what a family chooses to call itself, as opposed to the sei granted by the emperor. While it was passed on patrilineally in male ancestors including in male ancestors called haku, one had a certain degree of freedom in changing one's myōji. See Kabane. Multiple Japanese characters have the same pronunciations, so several Japanese names have multiple meanings. A particular kanji itself can have multiple meanings and pronunciations. In some names, Japanese characters phonetically "spell" a name and have no intended meaning behind them. Many Japanese personal names use puns. Few names can serve either as surnames or as given names. Therefore, to those familiar with Japanese names, which name is the surname and, the given name is apparent, no matter which order the names are presented in; this thus makes it unlikely that the two names will be confused, for example, when writing in English while using the family name-given name naming order.
However, due to the variety of pronuncia
First Sino-Japanese War
The First Sino-Japanese War was fought between China and Japan over influence in Korea. After more than six months of unbroken successes by Japanese land and naval forces and the loss of the port of Weihaiwei, the Qing government sued for peace in February 1895; the war demonstrated the failure of the Qing dynasty's attempts to modernize its military and fend off threats to its sovereignty when compared with Japan's successful Meiji Restoration. For the first time, regional dominance in East Asia shifted from China to Japan; the humiliating loss of Korea as a tributary state sparked an unprecedented public outcry. Within China, the defeat was a catalyst for a series of political upheavals led by Sun Yat-sen and Kang Youwei, culminating in the 1911 Xinhai Revolution; the war is known in China as the War of Jiawu, referring to the year as named under the traditional sexagenary system of years. In Japan, it is called the Japan–Qing War. In Korea, where much of the war took place, it is called the Qing–Japan War.
After two centuries, the Japanese policy of seclusion under the shōguns of the Edo period came to an end when the country was opened to trade by the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854. In the years following the Meiji Restoration of 1868 and the fall of the shogunate, the newly formed Meiji government embarked on reforms to centralize and modernize Japan; the Japanese had sent delegations and students around the world to learn and assimilate Western arts and sciences, with the intention of making Japan an equal to the Western powers. These reforms transformed Japan from a feudal society into a modern industrial state; the Qing Dynasty had started to undergo reform in both military and political doctrine, but was far from successful. In January 1864, Cheoljong of Joseon died without a male heir, through Korean succession protocols Gojong of Korea ascended the throne at the age of 12. However, as King Gojong was too young to rule, the new king's father, Yi Ha-ŭng, became the Heungseon Daewongun, or lord of the great court, ruled Korea in his son's name as regent.
The term Daewongun referred to any person, not the king but whose son took the throne. With his ascendancy to power the Daewongun initiated a set of reforms designed to strengthen the monarchy at the expense of the Yangban class, he pursued an isolationist policy and was determined to purge the kingdom of any foreign ideas that had infiltrated into the nation. In Korean history, the king's in-laws enjoyed great power the Daewongun acknowledged that any future daughters-in-law might threaten his authority. Therefore, he attempted to prevent any possible threat to his rule by selecting as a new queen for his son an orphaned girl from among the Yŏhŭng Min clan, which lacked powerful political connections. With Empress Myeongseong as his daughter-in-law and the royal consort, the Daewongun felt secure in his power. However, after she had become queen, Min recruited all her relatives and had them appointed to influential positions in the name of the king; the Queen allied herself with political enemies of the Daewongun, so that by late 1873 she had mobilized enough influence to oust him from power.
In October 1873, when the Confucian scholar Choe Ik-hyeon submitted a memorial to King Gojong urging him to rule in his own right, Queen Min seized the opportunity to force her father-in-law's retirement as regent. The departure of the Daewongun led to Korea's abandonment of its isolationist policy. On February 26, 1876, after confrontations between the Japanese and Koreans, the Ganghwa Treaty was signed, opening Korea to Japanese trade. In 1880, the King sent a mission to Japan, headed by Kim Hong-jip, an enthusiastic observer of the reforms taking place there. While in Japan, the Chinese diplomat Huang Zunxian presented him with a study called "Chaoxian Celue", it warned of the threat to Korea posed by the Russians and recommended that Korea maintain friendly relations with Japan, at the time too economically weak to be an immediate threat, to work with China, seek an alliance with the United States as a counterweight to Russia. After returning to Korea, Kim presented the document to King Gojong, so impressed with the document that he had copies made and distributed to his officials.
In 1880, following Chinese advice and breaking with tradition, King Gojong decided to establish diplomatic ties with the United States. After negotiations through Chinese mediation in Tianjin, the Treaty of Peace, Amity and Navigation was formally signed between the United States and Korea in Incheon on May 22, 1882. However, there were two significant issues raised by the treaty, the first concerned Korea's status as an independent nation. During the talks with the Americans, the Chinese insisted that the treaty contain an article declaring that Korea was a dependency of China and argued that the country had long been a tributary state of China, but the Americans opposed such an article, arguing that a treaty with Korea should be based on the Treaty of Ganghwa, which stipulated that Korea was an independent state. A compromise was reached, with Shufeldt and Li agreeing that the King of Korea would notify the U. S president in a letter that Korea had special status as a tributary state of China.
The treaty between the Korean government and the United States became the model for all treaties between it and other Western countries. Korea signed similar trade and commerce treaties with Great Britain and Germany in 1883, with Italy and
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly