Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Cambodia the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is 181,035 square kilometres in area, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest; the sovereign state of Cambodia has a population of over 16 million. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, practised by 95 percent of the population; the country's minority groups include Vietnamese, Chams and 30 hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political and cultural centre of Cambodia; the kingdom is an elective constitutional monarchy with a monarch Norodom Sihamoni, chosen by the Royal Throne Council as head of state. The head of government is the Prime Minister Hun Sen, the longest serving non-royal leader in Southeast Asia, ruling Cambodia since 1985. In 802 AD, Jayavarman II declared himself king, uniting the warring Khmer princes of Chenla under the name "Kambuja"; this marked the beginning of the Khmer Empire, which flourished for over 600 years, allowing successive kings to control and exert influence over much of Southeast Asia and accumulate immense power and wealth.
The Indianised kingdom facilitated the spread of first Hinduism and Buddhism to much of Southeast Asia and undertook many religious infrastructural projects throughout the region, including the construction of more than 1,000 temples and monuments in Angkor alone. Angkor Wat is designated as a World Heritage Site. After the fall of Angkor to Ayutthaya in the 15th century, a reduced and weakened Cambodia was ruled as a vassal state by its neighbours. In 1863, Cambodia became a protectorate of France, which doubled the size of the country by reclaiming the north and west from Thailand. Cambodia gained independence in 1953; the Vietnam War extended into the country with the US bombing of Cambodia from 1969 until 1973. Following the Cambodian coup of 1970 which installed the right-wing pro-US Khmer Republic, the deposed king gave his support to his former enemies, the Khmer Rouge; the Khmer Rouge emerged as a major power, taking Phnom Penh in 1975 and carrying out the Cambodian genocide from 1975 until 1979, when they were ousted by Vietnam and the Vietnamese-backed People's Republic of Kampuchea, supported by the Soviet Union in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War.
Following the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, Cambodia was governed by a United Nations mission. The UN withdrew after holding elections in which around 90 percent of the registered voters cast ballots; the 1997 factional fighting resulted in the ousting of the government by Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Cambodian People's Party, who remain in power as of 2018. Cambodia is a member of the United Nations since 1955, ASEAN, the East Asia Summit, the WTO, the Non-Aligned Movement and La Francophonie. According to several foreign organisations, the country has widespread poverty, pervasive corruption, lack of political freedoms, low human development and a high rate of hunger. Cambodia has been described by Human Rights Watch's Southeast Asian Director, David Roberts, as a "vaguely communist free-market state with a authoritarian coalition ruling over a superficial democracy". While per capita income remains low compared to most neighboring countries, Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with growth averaging 7.6 percent over the last decade.
Agriculture remains the dominant economic sector, with strong growth in textiles, construction and tourism leading to increased foreign investment and international trade. The US World Justice Project's 2015 Rule of Law Index ranked Cambodia 76 out of 102 countries, similar to other countries in the region; the "Kingdom of Cambodia" is the official English name of the country. The English "Cambodia" is an anglicisation of the French "Cambodge", which in turn is the French transliteration of the Khmer កម្ពុជា kampuciə. Kampuchea is the shortened alternative to the country's official name in Khmer ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា prĕəh riəciənaacak kampuciə; the Khmer endonym Kampuchea derives from the Sanskrit name कम्बोजदेश kambojadeśa, composed of देश deśa and कम्बोज kamboja, which alludes to the foundation myths of the first ancient Khmer kingdom. The term Cambodia was in use in Europe as early as 1524, since Antonio Pigafetta cites it in his work Relazione del primo viaggio intorno al mondo as Camogia.
Colloquially, Cambodians refer to their country as either ស្រុកខ្មែរ srok khmae, meaning "Khmer's Land", or the more formal ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា prɑteih kampuciə "Country of Kampuchea". The name "Cambodia" is used most in the Western world while "Kampuchea" is more used in the East. There exists sparse evidence for a Pleistocene human occupation of present-day Cambodia, which includes quartz and quartzite pebble tools found in terraces along the Mekong River, in Stung Treng and Kratié provinces, in Kampot Province, although their dating is unreliable; some slight archaeological evidence shows communities of hunter-gatherers inhabited the region during Holocene: the most ancient archaeological discovery site in Cambodia is considered to be the cave of L'aang Spean, in Battambang Province, which belongs to the Hoabinhian period. Excavations in its lower
Indonesia the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is the world's largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands, at 1,904,569 square kilometres, the 14th largest by land area and the 7th largest in combined sea and land area. With over 261 million people, it is the world's 4th most populous country as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world's most populous island, is home to more than half of the country's population; the sovereign state is a constitutional republic with an elected parliament. It has 34 provinces. Jakarta, the country's capital, is the second most populous urban area in the world; the country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, the eastern part of Malaysia. Other neighbouring countries include Singapore, the Philippines, Australia and India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support a high level of biodiversity.
The country has abundant natural resources like oil and natural gas, tin and gold. Agriculture produces rice, palm oil, coffee, medicinal plants and rubber. Indonesia's major trading partners are China, United States, Japan and India. History of the Indonesian archipelago has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources, it has been an important region for trade since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and later Majapahit traded with entities from mainland China and the Indian subcontinent. Local rulers absorbed foreign cultural and political models from the early centuries and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Muslim traders and Sufi scholars brought Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolise trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Although sometimes interrupted by the Portuguese and British, the Dutch were the foremost European power for much of its 350-year presence in the archipelago. In early 20th century, the concept of "Indonesia" as a nation state emerged, independence movements began to take shape.
During the decolonisation of Asia after World War II, Indonesia achieved independence in 1949 following an armed and diplomatic conflict with the Netherlands. Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups, with the largest—and politically dominant—ethnic group being the Javanese. A shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika", articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Indonesia's economy is the world's 16th largest by nominal GDP and the 7th largest by GDP at PPP. Indonesia is a member of several multilateral organisations, including the UN, WTO, IMF and G20, it is a founding member of Non-Aligned Movement, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, East Asia Summit, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
The name Indonesia derives from the Greek name of the Indos and the word nesos, meaning "Indian islands". The name dates to the 18th century, far predating the formation of independent Indonesia. In 1850, George Windsor Earl, an English ethnologist, proposed the terms Indunesians—and, his preference, Malayunesians—for the inhabitants of the "Indian Archipelago or Malayan Archipelago". In the same publication, one of his students, James Richardson Logan, used Indonesia as a synonym for Indian Archipelago. However, Dutch academics writing in East Indies publications were reluctant to use Indonesia. After 1900, Indonesia became more common in academic circles outside the Netherlands, native nationalist groups adopted it for political expression. Adolf Bastian, of the University of Berlin, popularised the name through his book Indonesien oder die Inseln des Malayischen Archipels, 1884–1894; the first native scholar to use the name was Ki Hajar Dewantara, when in 1913 he established a press bureau in the Netherlands, Indonesisch Pers-bureau.
Fossils and the remains of tools show that the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited by Homo erectus, known as "Java Man", between 1.5 million years ago and 35,000 years ago. Homo sapiens reached the region around 45,000 years ago. Austronesian peoples, who form the majority of the modern population, migrated to Southeast Asia from what is now Taiwan, they arrived around 4,000 years ago, as they spread through the archipelago, confined the indigenous Melanesians to the far eastern regions. Ideal agricultural conditions and the mastering of wet-field rice cultivation as early as the 8th century BCE allowed villages and small kingdoms to flourish by the first century CE; the archipelago's strategic sea-lane position fostered inter-island and international trade, including links with Indian kingdoms and Chinese dynasties, which were established several centuries BCE. Trade has since fundamentally shaped Indonesian history. From the 7th century CE, the powerful Srivijaya naval kingdom flourished as a result of trade and the influences of Hinduism and Buddhism that were imported with it.
Between the 8th and 10th century CE, the agricultural Buddhist Saile
Denmark the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, is bordered to the south by Germany; the Kingdom of Denmark comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand and the North Jutlandic Island; the islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2, land area of 42,394 km2, the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2, a population of 5.8 million. The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark and Norway were ruled together under one sovereign ruler in the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523.
The areas of Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until Denmark -- Norway. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several devastating wars with the Swedish Empire, ending with large cessions of territory to Sweden. After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to Sweden, while Denmark kept the Faroe Islands and Iceland. In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. Denmark remained neutral during World War I. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. An industrialised exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century that created the basis for the present welfare state model with a developed mixed economy; the Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660.
It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation's capital, largest city, main commercial centre. Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948. Denmark negotiated certain opt-outs, it is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, the United Nations. Denmark is considered to be one of the most economically and developed countries in the world. Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks in some metrics of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance and human development; the country ranks as having the world's highest social mobility, a high level of income equality, is among the countries with the lowest perceived levels of corruption in the world, the eleventh-most developed in the world, has one of the world's highest per capita incomes, one of the world's highest personal income tax rates.
The etymology of the word Denmark, the relationship between Danes and Denmark and the unifying of Denmark as one kingdom, is a subject which attracts debate. This is centered on the prefix "Dan" and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan and the exact meaning of the -"mark" ending. Most handbooks derive the first part of the word, the name of the people, from a word meaning "flat land", related to German Tenne "threshing floor", English den "cave"; the -mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland, with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig. The first recorded use of the word Danmark within Denmark itself is found on the two Jelling stones, which are runestones believed to have been erected by Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth; the larger stone of the two is popularly cited as Denmark's "baptismal certificate", though both use the word "Denmark", in the form of accusative ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ tanmaurk on the large stone, genitive ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚱᚴᛅᚱ "tanmarkar" on the small stone.
The inhabitants of Denmark are there called "Danes", in the accusative. The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000–110,000 BC. Denmark has been inhabited since around 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident since 3900 BC; the Nordic Bronze Age in Denmark was marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot. During the Pre-Roman Iron Age, native groups began migrating south, the first tribal Danes came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age, in the Roman Iron Age; the Roman provinces maintained trade routes and relations with native tribes in Denmark, Roman coins have been found in Denmark. Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of North-West Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron; the tribal Danes came from the east Danish islands and Scania and spoke an early form of North Germanic.
Historians believe that before their arrival, most of Jutland and the nearest islands were settled by tribal J
Argentina the Argentine Republic, is a country located in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, the largest Spanish-speaking nation; the sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times; the country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century.
Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city; the country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with several waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest nation in the world by the early 20th century. Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, Argentina descended into political instability and economic decline that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it remained among the fifteen richest countries for several decades. Following the death of President Juan Perón in 1974, his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, ascended to the presidency, she was overthrown in 1976 by a U.
S.-backed coup which installed a right-wing military dictatorship. The military government persecuted and murdered numerous political critics and leftists in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that lasted until the election of Raúl Alfonsín as President in 1983. Several of the junta's leaders were convicted of their crimes and sentenced to imprisonment. Argentina is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America, retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America, membership in the G-15 and G-20 major economies, it is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States. Despite its history of economic instability, it ranks second highest in the Human Development Index in Latin America; the description of the country by the word Argentina has been found on a Venetian map in 1536.
In English the name "Argentina" comes from the Spanish language, however the naming itself is not Spanish, but Italian. Argentina means in Italian " of silver, silver coloured" borrowed from the Old French adjective argentine " of silver" > "silver coloured" mentioned in the 12th century. The French word argentine is the feminine form of argentin and derives from argent "silver" with the suffix -in; the Italian naming "Argentina" for the country implies Terra Argentina "land of silver" or Costa Argentina "coast of silver". In Italian, the adjective or the proper noun is used in an autonomous way as a substantive and replaces it and it is said l'Argentina; the name Argentina was first given by the Venetian and Genoese navigators, such as Giovanni Caboto. In Spanish and Portuguese, the words for "silver" are plata and prata and " of silver" is said plateado and prateado. Argentina was first associated with the silver mountains legend, widespread among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin.
The first written use of the name in Spanish can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera describing the region. Although "Argentina" was in common usage by the 18th century, the country was formally named "Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata" by the Spanish Empire, "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata" after independence; the 1826 constitution included the first use of the name "Argentine Republic" in legal documents. The name "Argentine Confederation" was commonly used and was formalized in the Argentine Constitution of 1853. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the country's name as "Argentine Republic", that year's constitutional amendment ruled all the names since 1810 as valid. In the English language the country was traditionally called "the Argentine", mimicking the typical Spanish usage la Argentina and resulting from a mistaken shortening of the fuller name'Argentine Republic'.'The Argentine' fell out of fashion during the mid-to-late 20th century, now the country is referred to as "Argentina".
In the Spanish language "Argentina" is feminine, taking the feminine article "La" as the i
Singapore the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%; the country is known for its transition from a developing to a developed one in a single generation under the leadership of its founder Lee Kuan Yew. In 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles founded colonial Singapore as a trading post of the British East India Company. After the company's collapse in 1858, the islands were ceded to the British Raj as a crown colony. During the Second World War, Singapore was occupied by Japan, it gained independence from the British Empire in 1963 by joining Malaysia along with other former British territories, but separated two years over ideological differences, becoming a sovereign nation in 1965.
After early years of turbulence and despite lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation developed as an Asian Tiger economy, based on external trade and its workforce. Singapore is a global hub for education, finance, human capital, logistics, technology, tourism and transport; the city ranks in numerous international rankings, has been recognised as the most "technology-ready" nation, top International-meetings city, city with "best investment potential", world's smartest city, world's safest country, second-most competitive country, third least-corrupt country, third-largest foreign exchange market, third-largest financial centre, third-largest oil refining and trading centre, fifth-most innovative country, the second-busiest container port. The Economist has ranked Singapore as the most expensive city to live in, since 2013, it is identified as a tax haven. Singapore is the only country in Asia with an AAA sovereign rating from all major rating agencies, one of 11 worldwide. Globally, the Port of Singapore and Changi Airport have held the titles of leading "Maritime Capital" and "Best Airport" for consecutive years, while Singapore Airlines is the 2018 "World's Best Airline".
Singapore ranks 9th on the UN Human Development Index with the 3rd highest GDP per capita. It is placed in key social indicators: education, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and housing. Although income inequality is high, 90% of homes are owner-occupied. According to the Democracy Index, the country is described as a "flawed democracy"; the city-state is home to 5.6 million residents, 39% of whom are foreign nationals, including permanent residents. There are four official languages: English, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil, its cultural diversity is reflected in major festivals. Pew Research has found. Multiracialism has been enshrined in its constitution since independence, continues to shape national policies in education, politics, among others. Singapore is a unitary parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government; the People's Action Party has won every election since self-government began in 1959. As one of the five founding members of ASEAN, Singapore is the host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat and Pacific Economic Cooperation Council Secretariat, as well as many international conferences and events.
It is a member of the East Asia Summit, Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth of Nations. The English name of Singapore is an anglicisation of the native Malay name for the country, in turn derived from Sanskrit, hence the customary reference to the nation as the Lion City, its inclusion in many of the nation's symbols. However, it is unlikely that lions lived on the island. There are however other suggestions for the origin of the name and scholars do not believe that the origin of the name is established; the central island has been called Pulau Ujong as far back as the third century CE "island at the end" in Malay. Singapore is referred to as the Garden City for its tree-lined streets and greening efforts since independence, the Little Red Dot for how the island-nation is depicted on many maps of the world and Asia, as a red dot. Singapore is referred to as the "Switzerland of Asia" in 2017 due to its neutrality on international and regional issues; the Greco-Roman astronomer Ptolemy identified a place called Sabana in the general area in the second century, the earliest written record of Singapore occurs in a Chinese account from the third century, describing the island of Pu Luo Chung.
This was itself a transliteration from the Malay name "Pulau Ujong", or "island at the end". The Nagarakretagama, a Javanese epic poem written in 1365, referred to a settlement on the island called Tumasik. In 1299, according to the Malay Annals, the Kingdom of Singapura was founded on the island by Sang Nila Utama. Although the historicity
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo