Erling Dekke Næss
Erling Dekke Næss, was a Norwegian shipowner and businessman. Brother of philosopher Arne Dekke Næss, his nephew was businessman Arne Næss Jr.. Best known for his early adoption of flags of convenience, Næss was Deputy Head of Nortraship's New York office from 1942 to 1946. Næss was the initiator behind the OBO carrier, he is credited as proposing the successful Norwegian International Ship Register, which allowed Norwegian shipowners to compete on an equal footing with flags of convenience. Erling Dekke Næss was born in Bergen and was son of Ragnar Næss, a businessman and banker, he had the younger being the well-known philosopher Arne Næss. The family moved to Kristiania in 1911 were his father died in 1913; the family seems to have been well off. Næss studied economy at the Royal Frederick University and earned a B. S. in 1920, achieved by studying on his own. He contemplated continued studies and travelled to Britain to finish a Ph. D. at the London School of Economics. Næss however did not have the financial resources to study, so he had to work.
He started out as a typist, writing letters to Scandinavian customers, but after a year he was made assistant in the new currency department. In the evenings he continued his studies in economics, was influenced by John Maynard Keynes. Of special interest for his research and work were the imbalances created by the German war reparations, as their consequences could be seen in the currency market with the German mark losing value against other main currencies; the young Næss was amazed at being in the center of the disastrous decline of the mark undermining the Weimar Republic. By the middle of 1923 Næss decided to concentrate on his Ph. D. and thus ended his engagement with the bank. The aim of his research was to show how fluctuations in the currency market influenced each nation's prices, he became a member of the Royal Economic Society in order to follow lectures by Keynes and others. Keynes was an eager proponent of economists investing in the market, in order to "live as one learned", young Næss followed this.
He started out with small investments in rubber, as there were huge imbalances in supply and demand which he had found through his research. With the profits he continued into tin, as he was successful he was offered a job as an analyst by his broker, so leaving him with less time for concluding his research. In 1927 Næss got to know Rupert Trouton, he presented Næss with a plan to buy control of his father-in-law's whaling enterprise, the Norwegian company A/S Hektor. In establishing the Hektor Whaling Ltd Næss got good use for his banking experience and contacts in City. Næss himself took £50,000 of the company's total capital of £600,000, a gamble, to make him a huge profit. Due to his success in this enterprise he was in the summer of 1928 contacted by the Norwegian whaling pioneers Torger Moe and Johan Rasmussen, asking his help to arrange financing of their Viking Whaling Company Ltd, as they planned to build one of the world's first whale factory ship; the vessel Vikingen was to be built with the whale processing factory on its deck.
Næss found the prospect interesting, arranged the financing and the first whaling company trading on the LSE started in January 1929. Næss did receive some critique from Norway for "selling out know-how" to the British, as whaling was a huge Norwegian industry. Næss' view was. Vikingen, with a deadweight tons of 15,000 tons was delivered in September 1929 and sailed for its first season, a huge success. There were however problems: as Vikingen was British registered, Norwegian stockowners were taxed twice. In order to remedy this, Næss found the innovative solution of moving the administration to France and registering the vessel Vikingen in Panama, as US-owned vessels had done since 1922. Næss had to overcome a number of obstacles, one of them arranging a tax agreement between the US and Panama. In concluding this agreement Næss got assistance from Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. After much research and work a Panama company named Viking Corporation was established and the Vikingen with its whaling vessels was sold to that company in 1931.
The various Norwegian sailors' organisations were informed that all wages and agreements would remain as before, a bonus would be given covering the fact that the seamen would not receive Norwegian public pensions. This was accepted by the powerful head of Mr. Ingvald Haugen; the purpose of the Viking Whaling Company Ltd was not only to operate its own whale factory ships but to buy shares in Norwegian companies. It bought shares in A/S Vestfold, A/S Sydhavet and A/S Rosshavet, all controlled by Johan Rasmussen & Co. Besides ships these companies had a whaling station on South Shetland; the profits were impressive. With the depression the prices collapsed, in the beginning of the 1930s there were a number of vessels laid up and restructuring in the business. Næss was involved in this the sale of the huge new whale factory ship Vestfold to a newly established company in London, as A/S Vestfold could not service its debtors; this was made possible by Næss's good connections in London, saved the Norwegian company from bankruptcy.
During the years 1932-34 the prices on whale oil sank from £25 to £10 per ton. To counter this the fi
The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation; the corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century. Arabs, Persians and Azeris constitute the largest ethnic groups in the region by population. Arabs constitute the largest ethnic group in the region by a clear margin. Indigenous minorities of the Middle East include Jews, Assyrians, Copts, Lurs, Samaritans, Shabaks and Zazas. European ethnic groups that form a diaspora in the region include Albanians, Circassians, Crimean Tatars, Franco-Levantines, Italo-Levantines. Among other migrant populations are Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, Pashtuns and sub-Saharan Africans; the history of the Middle East dates back to ancient times, with the importance of the region being recognized for millennia. Several major religions have their origins in the Middle East, including Judaism and Islam.
The Middle East has a hot, arid climate, with several major rivers providing irrigation to support agriculture in limited areas such as the Nile Delta in Egypt, the Tigris and Euphrates watersheds of Mesopotamia, most of what is known as the Fertile Crescent. Most of the countries that border the Persian Gulf have vast reserves of crude oil, with monarchs of the Arabian Peninsula in particular benefiting economically from petroleum exports; the term "Middle East" may have originated in the 1850s in the British India Office. However, it became more known when American naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan used the term in 1902 to "designate the area between Arabia and India". During this time the British and Russian Empires were vying for influence in Central Asia, a rivalry which would become known as The Great Game. Mahan realized not only the strategic importance of the region, but of its center, the Persian Gulf, he labeled the area surrounding the Persian Gulf as the Middle East, said that after Egypt's Suez Canal, it was the most important passage for Britain to control in order to keep the Russians from advancing towards British India.
Mahan first used the term in his article "The Persian Gulf and International Relations", published in September 1902 in the National Review, a British journal. The Middle East, if I may adopt a term which I have not seen, will some day need its Malta, as well as its Gibraltar. Naval force has the quality of mobility; the British Navy should have the facility to concentrate in force if occasion arise, about Aden and the Persian Gulf. Mahan's article was reprinted in The Times and followed in October by a 20-article series entitled "The Middle Eastern Question," written by Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol. During this series, Sir Ignatius expanded the definition of Middle East to include "those regions of Asia which extend to the borders of India or command the approaches to India." After the series ended in 1903, The Times removed quotation marks from subsequent uses of the term. Until World War II, it was customary to refer to areas centered around Turkey and the eastern shore of the Mediterranean as the "Near East", while the "Far East" centered on China, the Middle East meant the area from Mesopotamia to Burma, namely the area between the Near East and the Far East.
In the late 1930s, the British established the Middle East Command, based in Cairo, for its military forces in the region. After that time, the term "Middle East" gained broader usage in Europe and the United States, with the Middle East Institute founded in Washington, D. C. in 1946, among other usage. The description Middle has led to some confusion over changing definitions. Before the First World War, "Near East" was used in English to refer to the Balkans and the Ottoman Empire, while "Middle East" referred to Iran, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Turkestan. In contrast, "Far East" referred to the countries of East Asia With the disappearance of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, "Near East" fell out of common use in English, while "Middle East" came to be applied to the re-emerging countries of the Islamic world. However, the usage "Near East" was retained by a variety of academic disciplines, including archaeology and ancient history, where it describes an area identical to the term Middle East, not used by these disciplines.
The first official use of the term "Middle East" by the United States government was in the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine, which pertained to the Suez Crisis. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles defined the Middle East as "the area lying between and including Libya on the west and Pakistan on the east and Iraq on the North and the Arabian peninsula to the south, plus the Sudan and Ethiopia." In 1958, the State Department explained that the terms "Near East" and "Middle East" were interchangeable, defined the region as including only Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. The Associated Press Styleboo
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as rock strata called coal seams. Coal is carbon with variable amounts of other elements. Coal is formed if dead plant matter decays into peat and over millions of years the heat and pressure of deep burial converts the peat into coal. Vast deposits of coal originates in former wetlands—called coal forests—that covered much of the Earth's tropical land areas during the late Carboniferous and Permian times; as a fossil fuel burned for heat, coal supplies about a quarter of the world's primary energy and two-fifths of its electricity. Some iron and steel making and other industrial processes burn coal; the extraction and use of coal causes much illness. Coal damages the environment, including by climate change as it is the largest anthropogenic source of carbon dioxide, 14 Gt in 2016, 40% of the total fossil fuel emissions; as part of the worldwide energy transition many countries use less coal. The largest consumer and importer of coal is China.
China mines account for half the world's coal, followed by India with about a tenth. Australia accounts for about a third of world coal exports followed by Russia; the word took the form col in Old English, from Proto-Germanic *kula, which in turn is hypothesized to come from the Proto-Indo-European root *gu-lo- "live coal". Germanic cognates include the Old Frisian kole, Middle Dutch cole, Dutch kool, Old High German chol, German Kohle and Old Norse kol, the Irish word gual is a cognate via the Indo-European root. Coal is composed of macerals and water. Fossils and amber may be found in coal. At various times in the geologic past, the Earth had dense forests in low-lying wetland areas. Due to natural processes such as flooding, these forests were buried underneath soil; as more and more soil deposited over them, they were compressed. The temperature rose as they sank deeper and deeper; as the process continued the plant matter was protected from biodegradation and oxidation by mud or acidic water.
This trapped the carbon in immense peat bogs that were covered and buried by sediments. Under high pressure and high temperature, dead vegetation was converted to coal; the conversion of dead vegetation into coal is called coalification. Coalification starts with dead plant matter decaying into peat. Over millions of years the heat and pressure of deep burial causes the loss of water and carbon dioxide and an increase in the proportion of carbon, thus first lignite sub-bituminous coal, bituminous coal, lastly anthracite may be formed. The wide, shallow seas of the Carboniferous Period provided ideal conditions for coal formation, although coal is known from most geological periods; the exception is the coal gap in the Permian -- Triassic extinction event. Coal is known from Precambrian strata, which predate land plants—this coal is presumed to have originated from residues of algae. Sometimes coal seams are interbedded with other sediments in a cyclothem; as geological processes apply pressure to dead biotic material over time, under suitable conditions, its metamorphic grade or rank increases successively into: Peat, a precursor of coal Lignite, or brown coal, the lowest rank of coal, most harmful to health, used exclusively as fuel for electric power generation Jet, a compact form of lignite, sometimes polished.
Bituminous coal, a dense sedimentary rock black, but sometimes dark brown with well-defined bands of bright and dull material It is used as fuel in steam-electric power generation and to make coke. Anthracite, the highest rank of coal is a harder, glossy black coal used for residential and commercial space heating. Graphite is difficult to ignite and not used as fuel. Cannel coal is a variety of fine-grained, high-rank coal with significant hydrogen content, which consists of liptinite. There are several international standards for coal; the classification of coal is based on the content of volatiles. However the most important distinction is between thermal coal, burnt to generate electricity via steam. Hilt's law is a geological observation, the higher its rank, it applies if the thermal gradient is vertical. The earliest recognized use is from the Shenyang area of China where by 4000 BC Neolithic inhabitants had begun carving ornaments from black lignite. Coal from the Fushun mine in northeastern China was used to smelt copper as early as 1000 BC.
Marco Polo, the Italian who traveled to China in the 13th century, described coal as "black stones... which burn like logs", said coal was so plentiful, people could take three hot baths a week. In Europe, the earliest reference to the use of coal as fuel is from the geological treatise On stones by the Greek scientist Theophrastus: Among the materials that are dug because they are useful, those known as anthrakes are made of earth, once set on fire, they burn like charcoa
The draft or draught of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull, with the thickness of the hull included. Draft determines the minimum depth of water a boat can safely navigate; the draft can be used to determine the weight of the cargo on board by calculating the total displacement of water and using Archimedes' principle. A table made by the shipyard shows the water displacement for each draft; the density of the water and the content of the ship's bunkers has to be taken into account. The related term "trim" is defined as the difference between the forward and aft drafts; the draft aft is measured in the perpendicular of the stern. The draft forward is measured in the perpendicular of the bow; the mean draft is obtained by calculating from the averaging of the stern and bow drafts, with correction for water level variation and value of the position of F with respect to the average perpendicular. The trim of a ship is the difference between the aft draft.
When the aft draft is greater the vessel is deemed to have a negative trim, it has a positive trim when the forward draft is the greater. In such a case it is referred to as being down-by-the-head. In commercial ship operations, the ship will quote the mean draft as the vessel's draft; however in navigational situations, the maximum draft the aft draft, will be known on the bridge and will be shared with the pilot. The draft of a ship can be affected by multiple factors, not considering the rise and fall of the ship by displacement: Variation by trim Variation by list Variation by water level change Allowance of fresh water draft variation by passage from fresh to sea water or vice versa Heat variation in navigating shallow waters Variation as a result of a ship moving in shallow waters, or squat The drafts are measured with a "banded" scale, from bow and to stern, for some ships, the average perpendicular measurement is used; the scale may use metric units. If the English system is used, the bottom of each marking is the draft in feet and markings are 6 inches high.
In metric marking schemes, the bottom of each draft mark is the draft in decimeters and each mark is one decimeter high. Larger ships try to maintain an average water draft when they are light, in order to make a better sea crossing and reduce the effects of the wind. In order to achieve this they use sailing ballasts to stabilize the ship, following the unloading of cargo; the water draft of a large ship has little direct link with its stability because stability depends on the respective positions of the metacenter of the hull and the center of gravity. It is true, that a "light" ship has quite high stability which can lead to implying too much rolling of the ship. A laden ship can have either a strong or weak stability, depending upon the manner by which the ship is loaded; the draft of ships can be increased when the ship is in motion in shallow water, a phenomenon known as squat. Draft is a significant factor limiting navigable waterways for large vessels; this includes many shallow coastal waters and reefs, but some major shipping lanes.
Panamax class ships—the largest ships able to transit the Panama Canal—do have a draft limit but are limited by beam, or sometimes length overall, for fitting into locks. However, ships can be longer and higher in the Suez Canal, the limiting factor for Suezmax ships is draft; some supertankers are able to transit the Suez Canal when unladen or laden, but not when laden. Canals are not the only draft-limited shipping lanes. A Malaccamax ship, is the deepest draft able to transit the busy but shallow Strait of Malacca; the Strait only allows ships to have.4 m more draft than the Suez Canal. Capesize, Ultra Large Crude Carriers and a few Chinamax carriers, are some of the ships that have too deep a draft when laden, for either the Strait of Malacca or the Suez Canal. A small draft allows pleasure boats to navigate through shallower water; this makes it possible for these boats to access smaller ports, to travel along rivers and to'beach' the boat. A large draft ensures a good level of stability in strong wind.
For example: Ballasts placed low in the keel of a boat such as a dragon boat with a draft of 1.20 m for a length of 8.90 m. A boat like a catamaran can mitigate the problem by retrieving good stability in a small draft, but the width of the boat increases. For submarines, which can submerge to different depths at sea, a term called keel depth is used, specifying the current distance from the water surface to the bottom of the submarine's keel, it is used in navigation to avoid underwater obstacles and hitting the ocean floor, as a standard point on the submarine for depth measurements. Submarines also have a specified draft used while operating on the surface, for navigating in harbors and at docks. Air draft Hull Naval architecture Waterline Hayler, William B.. American Merchant Seaman's Manual. Cornell Maritime Prress. ISBN 0-87033-549-9. Turpin, Edward A.. Merchant Marine Officers' Handbook. Centreville, MD: Cornell Maritime Press. ISBN 0-87033-056-X
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Brazil the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, its most populated city is São Paulo; the federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers, it borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats; this unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system; the ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the ninth largest GDP in the world by nominal, eight and PPP measures, it is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. It is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Union of South American Nations, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is that the word "Brazil" comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was valued by the European textile industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders in return for assorted European consumer goods; the official Portuguese name of the land, in original Portuguese records, was the "Land of the Holy Cross", but European sailors and merchants called it the "Land of Brazil" because of the brazilwood trade. The popular appellation eclipsed and supplanted the official Portuguese name; some early sailors called it the "Land of Parrots". In the Guarani language, an official language of Paraguay, Brazil is called "Pindorama"; this was the name the indigenous population gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees".
Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years. The earliest pottery found in the Western Hemisphere was excavated in the Amazon basin of Brazil and radiocarbon dated to 8,000 years ago; the pottery was found near Santarém and provides evidence that the tropical forest region supported a complex prehistoric culture. The Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó in the Amazon delta from 800 CE to 1400 CE, developing sophisticated pottery, social stratification, large populations, mound building, complex social formations such as chiefdoms. Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people semi-nomadic who subsisted on hunting, fishing and migrant agriculture; the indigenous population of Brazil comprised several large indigenous ethnic groups. The Tupí people were subdivided into the Tupiniquins and Tupinambás, there were many subdivisions of the other gro
South Africa the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation, it is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status; the remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European and multiracial ancestry. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures and religions, its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, the fourth highest number in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most coloured and white South Africans.
The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, regular elections have been held for a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics; the National Party imposed apartheid in 1948. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in 1990. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's liberal democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity in the wake of apartheid; the World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, a newly industrialised country.
Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa; however and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, maintains significant regional influence; the name "South Africa" is derived from the country's geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation, the country was named the Union of South Africa in English, reflecting its origin from the unification of four separate British colonies. Since 1961, the long form name in English has been the "Republic of South Africa". In Dutch, the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika. Since 1994, the Republic has had an official name in each of its 11 official languages. Mzansi, derived from the Xhosa noun umzantsi meaning "south", is a colloquial name for South Africa, while some Pan-Africanist political parties prefer the term "Azania".
South Africa contains human-fossil sites in the world. Archaeologists have recovered extensive fossil remains from a series of caves in Gauteng Province; the area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been branded "the Cradle of Humankind". The sites include one of the richest sites for hominin fossils in the world. Other sites include Gondolin Cave Kromdraai, Coopers Cave and Malapa. Raymond Dart identified the first hominin fossil discovered in Africa, the Taung Child in 1924. Further hominin remains have come from the sites of Makapansgat in Limpopo Province and Florisbad in the Free State Province, Border Cave in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Klasies River Mouth in Eastern Cape Province and Pinnacle Point and Die Kelders Cave in Western Cape Province; these finds suggest that various hominid species existed in South Africa from about three million years ago, starting with Australopithecus africanus. There followed species including Australopithecus sediba, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo helmei, Homo naledi and modern humans.
Modern humans have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 170,000 years. Various researchers have located pebble tools within the Vaal River valley. Settlements of Bantu-speaking peoples, who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were present south of the Limpopo River by the 4th or 5th century CE, they displaced and absorbed the original Khoisan speakers, the Khoikhoi and San peoples. The Bantu moved south; the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050. The southernmost group was the Xhosa people, whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoisan people; the Xhosa reached the Great Fish River, in today's Eastern Cape Province. As they migrated, these larger Iron Age populations