Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Postal history is the study of postal systems and how they operate and, or, the study of the use of postage stamps and covers and associated postal artifacts illustrating historical episodes in the development of postal systems. The term is attributed to Robson Lowe, a professional philatelist, stamp dealer and stamp auctioneer, who made the first organised study of the subject in the 1930s and described philatelists as "students of science", but postal historians as "students of humanity". More philatelists describe postal history as the study of rates, routes and means. Postal history has become a philatelic collecting speciality in its own right. Whereas traditional philately is concerned with the study of the stamps per se, including the technical aspects of stamp production and distribution, philatelic postal history refers to stamps as historical documents. Postal history can include the study of postal rates, postal policy, postal administration, political effects on postal systems, postal surveillance and the consequences of politics and culture on postal systems.
The specialized area of philatelic history defines postal history as the study of rates charged for postal services provided, routes followed and special handling of letters. Areas of special interest include disrupted or transitional periods, such as wars and military occupations, mail to remote areas; the philatelic-based definition of the term developed. Philatelic students discovered that understanding and authentication of stamps depended on knowing why postal authorities issued particular stamps, where they were used and how. For instance, a stamp used before any other stamp of its type could be proved a forgery if it was postmarked at a location known not to have received any stamps until a date. Much information is still not known about the workings of postal systems, millions of old covers have survived, constituting a rich field of "artifacts" for analysis. In studying or collecting any postal history subject some overlap is inevitable because it is impossible to separate the different areas that affect the mail from one another.
The postal history topics described below are some of the popular topics. Regional studies are based on a geographical area, such as countries of origin, native districts, towns or villages, places associated with family roots, or workplaces. In the past collectors based their studies on "mail from," but "mail to" and "mail through" a place expand the postal service story because outgoing mail shows marking associated with the areas of study while incoming mail tells a much broader story and are now more to be included, it is best to select a topic to study, broad enough because narrow geographical boundaries will bring frustration due to the lack of material available. Examples are: Postal History of Brünn 1638-1875, Private and Foreign Post Offices in St. Thomas. Postal routes are alternate geographical based study areas that provide great variety due to the many places and services available along a route. For instance; the era for a geographical based study can add dimension depending on the services available or the changes that took place.
The period should seek to tell a complete story and not limit the chosen topic. Aerophilately specialises in the study of airmail. Philatelists observe the development of mail transport by air from its beginning, most aspects of airmail service have been extensively studied and documented by specialists, some of which are individually listed. Crash covers, Imperial Airways Empire route mail to Australia and South Africa, CAM or FAM routes to and from the United States are a few topics. Balloon mail was employed during the Siege of Paris to get mail out of the city during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. Balloons can be both manned and unmanned but balloon mail is not a common form of mail transport. Maritime mail is a theme. Study of a particular shipping line like, Cunard, P & O, Danube steamers, South American packets or American steamboat mail are a few options as are. Many ships applied their own endorsements so collecting examples of all ships of a particular shipping line can be aspired to.
Maiden voyages and wreck covers are desirable. Maritime mail rates changed and varied for different shipping lines over the same route that could be due to treaty changes or arguments between countries that involved retaliatory rates. Naval mail can fall in the Military mail category and are known to apply identifying endorsements or postmarks. Railway mail refers to mail carried or by rail transport from its inception in 1830 between Liverpool and Manchester in the UK until its decline in the late 20th century that include Railway letter stamped mail, TPO and RPO handstamps, instructional handstamps or manuscript notations, or the First Transcontinental Railroad. R
Philately is the study of stamps and postal history and other related items. It refers to the collection and research activities on stamps and other philatelic products. Philately involves more than just stamp collecting, which does not involve the study of stamps, it is possible to be a philatelist without owning any stamps. For instance, the stamps being studied may be rare, or reside only in museums; the word "philately" is the English translation of the French "philatélie", coined by Georges Herpin in 1864. Herpin stated that stamps had been collected and studied for the previous six or seven years and a better name was required for the new hobby than timbromanie, disliked, he took the Greek root word φιλ- phil-, meaning "an attraction or affinity for something", ἀτέλεια ateleia, meaning "exempt from duties and taxes" to form "philatelie". The introduction of postage stamps meant that the receipt of letters was now free of charge, whereas before stamps it was normal for postal charges to be paid by the recipient of a letter.
The alternative terms "timbromania", "timbrophily" and "timbrology" fell out of use as philately gained acceptance during the 1860s. Traditional philately is the study of the technical aspects of stamp production and stamp identification, including: The stamp design process The paper used The method of printing The gum The method of separation Any overprints on the stamp Any security markings, underprints or perforated initials The study of philatelic fakes and forgeries Thematic philately known as topical philately, is the study of what is depicted on individual stamps. There are hundreds of popular subjects, such as birds, ships, presidents, maps, space craft and insects on stamps. Stamps depicted on stamps constitute a topical area of collecting. Interesting aspects of topical philately include design alterations. Postal history studies the postal systems and how they operate and, or, the study of postage stamps and covers and associated material illustrating historical episodes of postal systems both before and after the introduction of the adhesive stamps.
It includes the study of postmarks, post offices, postal authorities, postal rates and regulations and the process by which letters are moved from sender to recipient, including routes and choice of conveyance. A classic example is the Pony Express, the fastest way to send letters across the United States during the few months that it operated. Covers that can be proven to have been sent by the Pony Express are prized by collectors. Aerophilately is the branch of postal history. Philatelists have observed the development of mail transport by air from its beginning, all aspects of airmail services have been extensively studied and documented by specialists. Astrophilately is the branch of postal history that specializes in the study of stamps and postmarked envelopes that are connected to the outer space. Postal stationery includes stamped envelopes, postal cards, letter sheets, aérogrammes and wrappers, most of which have an embossed or imprinted stamp or indicia indicating the prepayment of postage.
Erinnophilia is the study of objects that are not postal stamps. Examples include Easter Seals, Christmas Seals, propaganda labels, so forth. Philatelic literature documents the results of philatelic study and includes thousands of books and periodicals. Revenue philately is the study of stamps used to collect taxes or fees on such things as, legal documents, court fees, tobacco, alcoholic drinks and medicines, playing cards, hunting licenses and newspapers. Maximaphily is the study of Maximum Cards. Maximum Cards can be defined as a picture post card with postage stamp on the same theme and a cancellation, with a maximum concordance between all three. Youth philately is the study of stamps with colorful characters, it is aimed at getting kids to be interested in stamp collecting. Philately uses a number of tools, including stamp tongs to safely handle the stamps, a strong magnifying glass and a perforation gauge to measure the perforation gauge of the stamp; the identification of watermarks is important and may be done with the naked eye by turning the stamp over or holding it up to the light.
If this fails watermark fluid may be used, which "wets" the stamp to reveal the mark. Some tools are available online; these are collector clubs, enthusiast forums and trading platforms. Other common tools include stamp stock books and stamp hinges. Philatelic organisations sprang up soon after people started studying stamps, they include local and international clubs and societies where collectors come together to share the various aspects of their hobby. One of the most known organizations is the American Philatelic Society. List of notable postage stamps List of philatelic topics List of philatelists Postal history Stamp collecting Sefi, A. J. An Introduction to Advanced Philately, with special reference to typical methods of stamp production. London: Rowley & Rowley, 1926. Sutton, R. J. & K. W. Anthony; the Stamp Collector's Encyclopaedia. 6th edition. London: Stanley Paul, 1966. Williams, L. N. & M. Fundamentals of Philately. State College: The American Philatelic Society, 1971. Can Plastic Films
A postage stamp is a small piece of paper issued by a post office, postal administration, or other authorized vendors to customers who pay postage, who affix the stamp to the face or address-side of any item of mail—an envelope or other postal cover —that they wish to send. The item is processed by the postal system, where a postmark or cancellation mark—in modern usage indicating date and point of origin of mailing—is applied to the stamp and its left and right sides to prevent its reuse; the item is delivered to its addressee. Always featuring the name of the issuing nation, a denomination of its value, an illustration of persons, institutions, or natural realities that symbolize the nation's traditions and values, every stamp is printed on a piece of rectangular, but sometimes triangular or otherwise shaped special custom-made paper whose back is either glazed with an adhesive gum or self-adhesive; because governments issue stamps of different denominations in unequal numbers and discontinue some lines and introduce others, because of their illustrations and association with the social and political realities of the time of their issue, they are prized for their beauty and historical significance by stamp collectors whose study of their history and of mailing systems is called philately.
Because collectors buy stamps from an issuing agency with no intention to use them for postage, the revenues from such purchases and payments of postage can make them a source of net profit to that agency. Throughout modern history, numerous methods were used to indicate that postage had been paid on a mailed item, so several different men have received credit for inventing the postage stamp. William DockwraIn 1680, William Dockwra, an English merchant in London, his partner Robert Murray established the London Penny Post, a mail system that delivered letters and small parcels inside the city of London for the sum of one penny. Confirmation of paid postage was indicated by the use of a hand stamp to frank the mailed item. Though this'stamp' was applied to the letter or parcel itself, rather than to a separate piece of paper, it is considered by many historians to be the world's first postage stamp. Lovrenc KoširIn 1835, the Slovene civil servant Lovrenc Košir from Ljubljana in Austria-Hungary, suggested the use of "artificially affixed postal tax stamps" using "gepresste papieroblate", but although civil bureaucrats considered the suggestion in detail, it was not adopted.
Rowland HillIn 1836, a Member of Parliament, Robert Wallace, gave Sir Rowland Hill numerous books and documents about the postal service, which Hill described as a "half hundred weight of material". After a detailed study, on 4 January 1837 Hill submitted a pamphlet entitled Post Office Reform: Its Importance and Practicability, marked "private and confidential," and not released to the general public, to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Thomas Spring Rice; the Chancellor summoned Hill to a meeting at which he suggested improvements and changes to be presented in a supplement, which Hill duly produced and submitted on 28 January 1837. Summoned to give evidence before the Commission for Post Office Enquiry on 13 February 1837, Hill read from the letter he wrote to the Chancellor that included a statement saying that the notation of paid postage could be created "...by using a bit of paper just large enough to bear the stamp, covered at the back with a glutinous wash...". This would become the first unambiguous description of a modern adhesive postage stamp.
Shortly afterward, Hill's revision of the booklet, dated 22 February 1837, containing some 28,000 words, incorporating the supplement given to the Chancellor and statements he made to the Commission, was published and made available to the general public. Hansard records that on 15 December 1837, Benjamin Hawes asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer "whether it was the intention of the Government to give effect to the recommendation of the Commissioners of the Post-office, contained in their ninth report relating to the reduction of the rates of postage, the issuing of penny stamps?"Hill’s ideas for postage stamps and charging paid-postage based on weight soon took hold, were adopted in many countries throughout the world. With the new policy of charging by weight, using envelopes for mailing documents became the norm. Hill’s brother Edwin invented a prototype envelope-making machine that folded paper into envelopes enough to match the pace of the growing demand for postage stamps. Rowland Hill and the reforms he introduced to the United Kingdom postal system appear on several of its commemorative stamps.
James ChalmersIn the 1881 book The Penny Postage Scheme of 1837, Scotsman Patrick Chalmers claimed that his father, James Chalmers, published an essay in August 1834 describing and advocating a postage stamp, but submitted no evidence of the essay's existence. Until he died in 1891, Patrick Chalmers campaigned to have his father recognized as the inventor of the postage stamp; the first independent evidence for Chalmers' claim is an essay, dated 8 February 1838 and received by the Post Office on 17 February 1838, in which he proposed adhesive postage stamps to the General Post Office. In this 800-word document concerning methods of indicating that postage had been paid on mail he states: "Therefore, of Mr Hill’s plan of a uniform rate of postage... I conceive that the most simple and economical mode... would be by Slips... in the hope that Mr Hill’s plan may soon be carried into operation I would sugg
British Overseas Territories
The British Overseas Territories or United Kingdom Overseas Territories are 14 territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories; these territories do not form part of the United Kingdom and, with the exception of Gibraltar, are not part of the European Union. Most of the permanently inhabited territories are internally self-governing, with the UK retaining responsibility for defence and foreign relations. Three are inhabited only by a transitory population of scientific personnel, they all share the British monarch as head of state. As of April 2018 the Minister responsible for the Territories excluding the Falkland Islands and the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus, is the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN; the other three territories are the responsibility of the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas. The fourteen British Overseas Territories are: The term "British Overseas Territory" was introduced by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, replacing the term British Dependent Territory, introduced by the British Nationality Act 1981.
Prior to 1 January 1983, the territories were referred to as British Crown Colonies. Although the Crown dependencies of Jersey and the Isle of Man are under the sovereignty of the British monarch, they are in a different constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom; the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are themselves distinct from the Commonwealth realms, a group of 16 independent countries each having Elizabeth II as their reigning monarch, from the Commonwealth of Nations, a voluntary association of 53 countries with historic links to the British Empire. With the exceptions of the British Antarctic Territory and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Territories retain permanent civilian populations. Permanent residency for the 7,000 civilians living in the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia is limited to citizens of the Republic of Cyprus. Collectively, the Territories encompass a population of about 250,000 people and a land area of about 1,727,570 square kilometres.
The vast majority of this land area, 1,700,000 square kilometres, constitutes the uninhabited British Antarctic Territory, while the largest territory by population, accounts for a quarter of the total BOT population. At the other end of the scale, three territories have no civilian population. Pitcairn Islands, settled by the survivors of the Mutiny on the Bounty, is the smallest settled territory with 49 inhabitants, while the smallest by land area is Gibraltar on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula; the United Kingdom participates in the Antarctic Treaty System and, as part of a mutual agreement, the British Antarctic Territory is recognised by four of the six other sovereign nations making claims to Antarctic territory. Early colonies, in the sense of English subjects residing in lands hitherto outside the control of the English government, were known as "Plantations"; the first, colony was Newfoundland, where English fishermen set up seasonal camps in the 16th century. It is now a province of Canada known as Labrador.
It retains strong cultural ties with Britain. English colonisation of North America began in 1607 with the settlement of Jamestown, the first successful permanent colony in Virginia, its offshoot, was settled inadvertently after the wrecking of the Virginia company's flagship there in 1609, with the Virginia Company's charter extended to include the archipelago in 1612. St. George's town, founded in Bermuda in that year, remains the oldest continuously inhabited British settlement in the New World. Bermuda and Bermudians have played important, sometimes pivotal, but underestimated or unacknowledged roles in the shaping of the English and British trans-Atlantic Empires; these include maritime commerce, settlement of the continent and of the West Indies, the projection of naval power via the colony's privateers, among other areas. The growth of the British Empire in the 19th century, to its territorial peak in the 1920s, saw Britain acquire nearly one quarter of the world's land mass, including territories with large indigenous populations in Asia and Africa.
From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, the larger settler colonies – in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa – first became self-governing colonies and achieved independence in all matters except foreign policy and trade. Separate self-governing colonies federated to become Canada, South Africa, Rhodesia; these and other large self-governing colonies had become known as Dominions by the 1920s. The Dominions achieved full independence with the Statute of Westminster. Through a process of decolonisation following the Second World War, most of the British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean gained independence; some colonies becam
The Royal Navy is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France; the modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century. From the middle decades of the 17th century, through the 18th century, the Royal Navy vied with the Dutch Navy and with the French Navy for maritime supremacy. From the mid 18th century, it was the world's most powerful navy until surpassed by the United States Navy during the Second World War; the Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the unmatched world power during the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries. Due to this historical prominence, it is common among non-Britons, to refer to it as "the Royal Navy" without qualification. Following World War I, the Royal Navy was reduced in size, although at the onset of World War II it was still the world's largest.
By the end of the war, the United States Navy had emerged as the world's largest. During the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines and active in the GIUK gap. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its focus has returned to expeditionary operations around the world and remains one of the world's foremost blue-water navies. However, 21st century reductions in naval spending have led to a personnel shortage and a reduction in the number of warships; the Royal Navy maintains a fleet of technologically sophisticated ships and submarines including two aircraft carriers, two amphibious transport docks, four ballistic missile submarines, six nuclear fleet submarines, six guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates, 13 mine-countermeasure vessels and 22 patrol vessels. As of November 2018, there are 74 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy, plus 12 ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; the RFA replenishes Royal Navy warships at sea, augments the Royal Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities through its three Bay-class landing ship vessels.
It works as a force multiplier for the Royal Navy doing patrols that frigates used to do. The total displacement of the Royal Navy is 408,750 tonnes; the Royal Navy is part of Her Majesty's Naval Service, which includes the Royal Marines. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, an admiral and member of the Defence Council of the United Kingdom; the Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Royal Navy operates three bases in the United Kingdom; as the seaborne branch of HM Armed Forces, the RN has various roles. As it stands today, the RN has stated its 6 major roles as detailed below in umbrella terms. Preventing Conflict – On a global and regional level Providing Security At Sea – To ensure the stability of international trade at sea International Partnerships – To help cement the relationship with the United Kingdom's allies Maintaining a Readiness To Fight – To protect the United Kingdom's interests across the globe Protecting the Economy – To safe guard vital trade routes to guarantee the United Kingdom's and its allies' economic prosperity at sea Providing Humanitarian Aid – To deliver a fast and effective response to global catastrophes The strength of the fleet of the Kingdom of England was an important element in the kingdom's power in the 10th century.
At one point Aethelred II had an large fleet built by a national levy of one ship for every 310 hides of land, but it is uncertain whether this was a standard or exceptional model for raising fleets. During the period of Danish rule in the 11th century, the authorities maintained a standing fleet by taxation, this continued for a time under the restored English regime of Edward the Confessor, who commanded fleets in person. English naval power declined as a result of the Norman conquest. Following the Battle of Hastings, the Norman navy that brought over William the Conqueror disappeared from records due to William receiving all of those ships from feudal obligations or because of some sort of leasing agreement which lasted only for the duration of the enterprise. More troubling, is the fact that there is no evidence that William adopted or kept the Anglo-Saxon ship mustering system, known as the scipfryd. Hardly noted after 1066, it appears that the Normans let the scipfryd languish so that by 1086, when the Doomsday Book was completed, it had ceased to exist.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in 1068, Harold Godwinson's sons Godwine and Edmund conducted a ‘raiding-ship army’ which came from Ireland, raiding across the region and to the townships of Bristol and Somerset. In the following year of 1069, they returned with a bigger fleet which they sailed up the River Taw before being beaten back by a local earl near Devon. However, this made explicitly clear that the newly conquered England under Norman rule, in effect, ceded the Irish Sea to the Irish, the Vikings of Dublin, other Norwegians. Besides ceding away the Irish Sea, the Normans ceded the North Sea, a major area where Nordic peoples traveled. In 1069, this lack of naval presence in the North Sea allowed for the invasion an