Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers and the crossroads of the Pannonian Plain and the Balkans; the urban area of the City of Belgrade has a population of 1.23 million, while nearly 1.7 million people live within its administrative limits. One of the most important prehistoric cultures of Europe, the Vinča culture, evolved within the Belgrade area in the 6th millennium BC. In antiquity, Thraco–Dacians inhabited the region and, after 279 BC, Celts settled the city, naming it Singidūn, it was conquered by the Romans under the reign of Augustus and awarded Roman city rights in the mid-2nd century. It was settled by the Slavs in the 520s, changed hands several times between the Byzantine Empire, the Frankish Empire, the Bulgarian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary before it became the seat of the Serbian king Stefan Dragutin. In 1521, Belgrade was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and became the seat of the Sanjak of Smederevo.
It passed from Ottoman to Habsburg rule, which saw the destruction of most of the city during the Austro-Ottoman wars. Belgrade was again named the capital of Serbia in 1841. Northern Belgrade remained the southernmost Habsburg post until 1918. In a fatally strategic position, the city was razed 44 times. Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia from its creation in 1918 to its dissolution in 2006. Belgrade has special administrative status within Serbia and it is one of the five statistical regions that make up the country, its metropolitan territory is divided into each with its own local council. The city of Belgrade covers 3.6% of Serbia's territory, around 24% of the country's population lives within its administrative limits. It is classified as a Beta-Global City. Chipped stone tools found in Zemun show that the area around Belgrade was inhabited by nomadic foragers in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras; some of these tools are of Mousterian industry—belonging to Neanderthals rather than modern humans.
Aurignacian and Gravettian tools have been discovered near the area, indicating some settlement between 50,000 and 20,000 years ago. The first farming people to settle in the region are associated with the Neolithic Starčevo culture, which flourished between 6200 and 5200 BC. There are several Starčevo sites including the eponymous site of Starčevo; the Starčevo culture was succeeded by the Vinča culture, a more sophisticated farming culture that grew out of the earlier Starčevo settlements and named for a site in the Belgrade region. The Vinča culture is known for its large settlements, one of the earliest settlements by continuous habitation and some of the largest in prehistoric Europe. Associated with the Vinča culture are anthropomorphic figurines such as the Lady of Vinča, the earliest known copper metallurgy in Europe, a proto-writing form developed prior to the Sumerians and Minoans known as the Old European script, which dates back to around 5300 BC. Within the city proper, on Cetinjska Street, a skull of a Paleolithic human was discovered in 1890.
The skull is dated to before 5000 BC. Evidence of early knowledge about Belgrade's geographical location comes from a variety of ancient myths and legends; the ridge overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, for example, has been identified as one of the places in the story of Jason and the Argonauts. In the time of antiquity, the area was populated by Paleo-Balkan tribes, including the Thracians and the Dacians, who ruled much of Belgrade's surroundings. Belgrade was at one point inhabited by the Thraco-Dacian tribe Singi. In 34–33 BC, the Roman army, led by Silanus, reached Belgrade, it became the romanised Singidunum in the 1st century AD and, by the mid-2nd century, the city was proclaimed a municipium by the Roman authorities, evolving into a full-fledged colonia by the end of the century. While the first Christian Emperor of Rome —Constantine I known as Constantine the Great—was born in the territory of Naissus to the city's south, Roman Christianity's champion, Flavius Iovianus, was born in Singidunum.
Jovian reestablished Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, ending the brief revival of traditional Roman religions under his predecessor Julian the Apostate. In 395 AD, the site passed to the Eastern Byzantine Empire. Across the Sava from Singidunum was the Celtic city of Taurunum. In 442, the area was ravaged by Attila the Hun. In 471, it was taken by king of the Ostrogoths, who continued into Italy; as the Ostrogoths left, another Germanic tribe, the Gepids, invaded the city. In 539 it was retaken by the Byzantines. In 577, some 100,000 Slavs poured into Thrace and Illyricum, pillaging cities and more permanently settling the region; the Avars, under Bayan I, conquered the whole region and its new Slavic population by 582. Following Byzantine reconquest, the Byzantine chronicle De Administrando Imperio mentions the White Serbs, who had stopped in Belgrade on their way back home, asking the strategos for lands. In 829, Khan Omurtag was able to add its environs to the First Bulgarian Empire.
The first record of the name Belograd appeared on April, 16th, 878, in
Niš is the third largest city in Serbia and the administrative center of the Nišava District. According to the 2011 census, the city proper has a population of 187,544, while its administrative area has a population of 260,237 inhabitants. Niš has long been a crossroads between West. Founded by the Celtic Scordisci in 279 BC, the city would serve as the birthplace of three Roman emperors: Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor and the founder of Constantinople. Playing a prominent role in the history of the Byzantine Empire, the city's past would earn it the nickname The Emperor's City. After about 400 years of Ottoman rule, the city was liberated in 1878 and became part of the Principality of Serbia, though not without great bloodshed—remnants of which can be found throughout the city. Today, Niš is one of the most important economic centers in Serbia in the electronics, mechanical engineering and tobacco industries. Constantine the Great Airport is Niš's international airport. In 2013, the city was host to the celebration of 1700 years of Constantine's Edict of Milan.
The town was named after the Nišava River. It was first named Navissos by Celtic tribes in the 3rd century BC rom this term comes the Latin Naissus, the Greek Nysos and the Slavic Niš. Legend has it that Niš was founded by a certain Prince Nisa, who built it using the nearby Humska Čuka stone; the name is rendered as Nish or Nissa in English. Archaeological evidence shows Neolithic settlements in the city and its surroundings dating from 5,000 to 2,000 BC. A notable archaeological site is Humska Čuka, in the nearby settlement of Hum. In the Iron Age, theThracians dominated the region, with one of their chief settlements being the nearby Aiadava. In 279 BC, during the Gallic invasion of the Balkans, the Celtic Scordisci defeated the Triballi and founded the city as Navissos. During the Roman conquest of the Balkans between 168 and 75 BC, the city, known as Naissus in Latin, was used as a base of operations. Naissus was first mentioned in Roman documents near the beginning of the 2nd century CE, was considered a place worthy of note in the Geography of Ptolemy of Alexandria.
The Romans occupied the town during the Dardanian campaign, set up a legionary camp in the city. The city, called refugia and vici in pre-Roman relation, as a result of its strategic position developed as an important garrison and market town in the province of Moesia Superior. In 272 AD, the future Emperor Constantine. Constantine created the Dacia Mediterranea province, of which Naissus was the capital, which included Remesiana on the Via Militaris and the towns of Pautalia and Germania, he lived in Naissus from 316-322. In 364 AD, the imperial Villa Mediana 3 km was the site where emperors Valentinian and Valens met and divided the Roman Empire into halves which they would rule as co-emperors It was besieged by the Huns in 441 and devastated in 448, again in 480 when the partially-rebuilt town was demolished by the Barbarians. Byzantine Emperor Justinian I restored the town but it was destroyed by the Avars once again; the Slavs, in their campaign against Byzantium, conquered Niš and settled here in 540.
In 805, the town and its surroundings were taken by Bulgarian Emperor Krum. In the 11th century Byzantium reclaimed control over the surrounding area. During the People's Crusade, on July 3, 1096, Peter the Hermit clashed with Byzantine forces at Niš. Manuel I fortified the town, but under his successor Andronikos I it was seized by the Hungarian king Béla III. Byzantine control was reestablished, but in 1185 it fell under Serbian control. By 1188, Niš became the capital of Serbian king Stefan Nemanja. On July 27, 1189, Nemanja received German emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his 100,000 crusaders at Niš. Niš is mentioned in descriptions of Serbia under Vukan in 1202. In 1203, Kaloyan of Bulgaria annexed Niš. Stefan Nemanjić regained the region; the fall of the Serbian Empire, conquered by Ottoman Sultan Murad I in 1385, decided the fate of Niš as well. After a 25-day-long siege the city fell to the Turks, it was returned to Serbian rule in 1443. Niš again fell under Ottoman rule in 1448, remained thusly for 241 years.
During Ottoman rule Niš was a seat of civil administration. A Silesian traveler stated in 1596 that the route from Sofia to Niš was littered with corpses and described the gates of Niš as bedecked with the freshly-severed heads of poor Bulgarian peasants. In 1689 Niš was seized by the Austrian army during the Great Turkish War, but the Turks regained it in 1690. In 1737, Niš was again seized by the Austrians, who attempted to rebuild the fortifications around the city. In that same year, the Turks would reclaim the city without resistance. During the First Serbian Uprising in 1809, Serbian revolutionaries attempted to liberate Niš in the famous Battle of Čegar. After the defeat of the Serbian forces, the Ottoman commander of Niš ordered the heads of the slain Serbs mounted on a tower to serve as a warning; the tower is known as the Skull Tower. In 1821, the Ottomans arrested the Bishop of Niš, Milentija, as well as 200 Serbian patriots, on charges of preparing an uprising in the Niš area in support of the Greek War of Independence.
On June 13 of that year, Bishop Milentija and other Serbian
Skopje is the capital and largest city of North Macedonia. It is the country's political, cultural and academic center; the territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC. A Paeonian city, Scupi became the capital of Dardania in the second century BC. On the eve of the 1st century AD, the settlement was seized by the Romans and became a military camp; when the Roman Empire was divided into eastern and western halves in 395 AD, Scupi came under Byzantine rule from Constantinople. During much of the early medieval period, the town was contested between the Byzantines and the Bulgarian Empire, whose capital it was between 972 and 992. From 1282, the town was part of the Serbian Empire and acted as its capital city from 1346 to 1371. In 1392, Skopje was conquered by the Ottoman Turks who called it Üsküb, with this name being in use in English for a time; the town stayed under Ottoman control for over 500 years, serving as the capital of pashasanjak of Üsküp and the Vilayet of Kosovo.
At that time the city was famous for its oriental architecture. In 1912, it was annexed by the Kingdom of Serbia during the Balkan Wars. During the First World War the city was seized by the Bulgarian Kingdom, after this war, it became part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes becoming the capital of the Vardarska banovina. In the Second World War the city was conquered by the Bulgarian Army, part of the Axis powers. In 1944, it became the capital city of Democratic Macedonia, a federal state, part of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia; the city developed after World War II, but this trend was interrupted in 1963 when it was hit by a disastrous earthquake. In 1991, it became the capital city of an independent Macedonia. Skopje is located on the upper course of the Vardar River, is located on a major north-south Balkan route between Belgrade and Athens, it is a center for metal-processing, timber, textile and printing industries. Industrial development of the city has been accompanied by development of the trade and banking sectors, as well as an emphasis on the fields of transportation and sport.
According to the last official count from 2002, Skopje had a population of 506,926 inhabitants. Skopje is located in the north of the country, in the center of the Balkan peninsula, halfway between Belgrade and Athens; the city was built in the Skopje valley, oriented on a west-east axis, along the course of the Vardar river, which flows into the Aegean Sea in Greece. The valley is 20 kilometres wide and it is limited by several mountain ranges to the North and South; these ranges limit the urban expansion of Skopje, which spreads along the Vardar and the Serava, a small river which comes from the North. In its administrative boundaries, the City of Skopje stretches for more than 33 kilometres, but it is only 10 kilometres wide. Skopje is 245 m above sea level and covers 571.46 km2. The urbanised area only covers 337 km2, with a density of 65 inhabitants per hectare. Skopje, in its administrative limits, encompasses many villages and other settlements, including Dračevo, Gorno Nerezi and Bardovci.
According to the 2002 census, the City of Skopje comprised 506,926 inhabitants. The City of Skopje reaches the Kosovo border to the North-East. Clockwise, it is bordered by the Macedonian municipalities of Čučer-Sandevo, Aračinovo, Studeničani, Sopište, Želino and Jegunovce; the Vardar river, which flows through Skopje, is at 60 kilometres from its source near Gostivar. In Skopje, its average discharge is 51 m3/s, with a wide amplitude depending on seasons, between 99.6 m3/s in May and 18.7 m3/s in July. The water temperature is comprised between 18.1 °C in July. Several rivers meet the Vardar within the city boundaries; the largest is the Treska, 130 kilometres long. It crosses the Matka Canyon before reaching the Vardar on the western extremity of the City of Skopje; the Lepenec, coming from Kosovo, flows into the Vardar on the northwestern end of the urban area. The Serava coming from the North, had flowed through the Old Bazaar until the 1960s, when it was diverted towards the West because its waters were polluted.
It met the Vardar close to the seat of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Nowadays, it flows into the Vardar near the ruins of Scupi; the Markova Reka, the source of, on Mount Vodno, meets the Vardar at the eastern extremity of the city. These three rivers are less than 70 kilometres long; the city of Skopje comprises two artificial lakes, located on the Treska. The lake Matka is the result of the construction of a dam in the Matka Canyon in the 1930s, the Treska lake was dug for leisure purpose in 1978. Three small natural lakes can be found on the northeastern edge of the urban area; the river Vardar caused many floods, such as in 1962, when its outflow reached 1110 m3/s−1. Several works have been carried since Byzantine times to limit the risks, since the construction of the Kozjak dam on the Treska in 1994, the flood risk is close to zero; the subsoil contains a large water table, alimented by
Pekinška Patka is an eminent Serbian and former Yugoslav punk rock band from Novi Sad. Their debut album, Plitka poezija, released in 1980, is considered the first punk rock album by a band coming from Serbia. Being one of the first punk acts in Yugoslavia, they played a major role in opening doors for many bands that came after. On their second and last album, Strah od monotonije, released in 1981, they turned towards post-punk and darkwave sound, disbanding during the same year. In 2008, the band reunited to perform on the main stage of Exit Festival alongside Sex Pistols, in 2010, they reunited once again, continuing their activity. Pekinška Patka's roots are found in Trafo, a short-lived cover band formed in 1976 by electric guitarist Sreten Kovačević with Nebojša Čonkić providing the vocals. Further featuring Štrc on bass and Zare on drums, the band performed rock standards covers of The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, etc; the following year, Kovačević formed Café Express, a pop band featuring Čonkić as guest vocalist in addition to Boba Mama on guitar, Aleksandar Čerevicki on keyboards, Aleksandar Kravić on bass, Laslo "Cila" Pihler on drums, vocalist Aleksandar Krstić.
During early summer 1978, Čonkić, at the time 25-year-old teacher at Mihajlo Pupin High School in Novi Sad, visited London where, among various acts, he saw The Clash, The Specials, Midge Ure, Glen Matlock's Rich Kids, The Skids, Magazine perform live, before returning home to Yugoslavia full of impressions and ideas about putting together a band with a new sound. In July 1978, Kovačević, drummer Laslo "Cila" Pihler, Čonkić decided to form a punk rock group inspired by the British punk bands; the first lineup featured bass guitarist Miloš "Žure" Žurić. The band held rehearsals at the University of Novi Sad's Faculty of Mechanical Engineering building where their first live performance took place. Four people attended all of them friends of the band members. After that, Čonkić and Kovačević started working on new material in Serbian language. Soon, Srbislav "Srba" Dobanovački became the new bass guitarist; the band's first official live appearance took place in December 1978 at Novi Sad's Klub 24 venue and got the local public talking due to the commotion it raised among the club's staff who were sufficiently shocked by the performance that they decided to put a stop to it, sending the crowd of about 200 youngsters home.
The immediate reason was the band's performance of an impromptu vulgar punk cover of a communist youth work action song featuring the modified lyrics "Brižit Bardo bere čičke. The band based their act on melodic punk and vivid public image with high-energy live shows featuring constant jumping and gyrating that had a strong effect on the young crowds. Being one of the first groups in the country with this kind of sound and performing style, they attracted media interest before releasing any material. Čonkić used those media appearances for self-promotion, delivering sweeping statements like: "We're the first important thing to happen to Yugoslav rock since the days of Ivo Robić and Marko Novoselić". He purposely courted controversy with soundbites such as referring to his group as the "first Orthodox punk band", which went against the doctrine of the ruling Communist League that much promoted atheism in Yugoslav society; the band developed a cult following among the sections of Novi Sad youth who expressed their devotion by spraying "Čonta je Bog" graffiti throughout the city.
All of this unconventionality got the band plenty of attention from local communist authorities who saw subversive and incendiary potential in their sound and appearance. As a result, despite generating a lot of interest, not only in the city but throughout other parts of Vojvodina, the band experienced problems with live performances, many of which would get canceled on the day of the show on suggestions from the authorities. In December 1978, the band played the last BOOM Festival, being held in their hometown that year; the band appeared at the Festival Omladina with the song "Bela šljiva". Vesna Vrandečić won the festival's main award, their whole performance was broadcast on national television, the first TV appearance of any punk band in Yugoslavia. This raised their profile as far; the band continued playing and soon developed a wider following in bigger Yugoslav cities: Belgrade and Zagreb. They signed with Jugoton after its representatives saw them perform at Zagreb's Kulušić club; the first Pekinška Patka release became a vinyl 7-inch single "Bela šljiva" / "Biti ružan, pametan i mlad" produced by Slobodan Konjović.
Good reception of that single, with 35,000 copies sold, paved the way for them to begin recording a full-length debut album. In October 1979, the band was invited to perform in the village of Stepanovićevo at the anniversary celebration of the end of World War II; the band performed their standard set-list and the show featured blowing of condoms and throwing them to the audience as well as swearing on stage, met with a mixture of shock and delight by the audience. Another punk rock band, Gomila G, which played as the opening act, performed the song "God save Martin Bormann", the reason why the authorities and the media turne
The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are sometimes cited as the first true punk rock group. Despite achieving only limited commercial success the band was influential in the United States and the United Kingdom. All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname "Ramone", although none of them were biologically related, they performed 2,263 concerts, touring nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell concert and disbanded. By 2014, all four of the band's original members had died – lead singer Joey Ramone, bass guitarist Dee Dee Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone and drummer Tommy Ramone. Recognition of the band's importance built over the years, are now mentioned in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as number 26 in the Rolling Stone magazine list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" and number 17 in VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock".
In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only by the Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the original four members and Tommy's replacement on drums, Marky Ramone, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on their first year of eligibility, though Joey had died by then. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; the original members of the band met in and around the middle-class neighborhood of Forest Hills in the New York City borough of Queens. John Cummings and Thomas Erdelyi had both been in a high-school garage band from 1965 to 1967 known as the Tangerine Puppets, they became friends with Douglas Colvin, who had moved to the area from Germany, Jeffrey Hyman, the initial lead singer of the glam rock band Sniper, founded in 1972. The Ramones began taking shape in early 1974 when Cummings and Colvin invited Hyman to join them in a band. Colvin wanted to play guitar and sing, Cummings would play guitar and Hyman would play drums.
The lineup was to be completed with their friend Richie Stern on bass. However, after only a few rehearsals it became clear that Richie Stern could not play bass, so in addition to singing, Colvin switched from guitar to bass and Cummings became the only guitarist. Colvin was the first to adopt the name "Ramone", he was inspired by Paul McCartney's use of the pseudonym Paul Ramon during his Silver Beetles days. Dee Dee convinced the other members to take on the name and came up with the idea of calling the band the Ramones. Hyman and Cummings became Johnny Ramone, respectively. A friend of the band, Monte A. Melnick, helped to arrange rehearsal time for them at Manhattan's Performance Studios, where he worked. Johnny's former bandmate Erdelyi was set to become their manager. Soon after the band was formed, Dee Dee realized that he could not sing and play his bass guitar simultaneously. Dee Dee would continue, however, to count off each song's tempo with his signature rapid-fire shout of "1-2-3-4!"
Joey soon realized that he could not sing and play drums and left the position of drummer. While auditioning prospective replacements, Erdelyi would take to the drums and demonstrate how to play the songs, it became apparent that he was able to perform the group's music better than anyone else, he joined the band as Tommy Ramone. The Ramones played before an audience for the first time on March 1974, at Performance Studios; the songs they played were fast and short. Around this time, a new music scene was emerging in New York centered on two clubs in downtown Manhattan—Max's Kansas City and, more famously, CBGB; the Ramones made their CBGB debut on August 16, 1974. Legs McNeil, who cofounded Punk magazine the following year described the impact of that performance: "They were all wearing these black leather jackets, and they counted off this song... and it was just this wall of noise... They looked so striking; these guys were not hippies. This was something new."The band swiftly became regulars at the club, playing there seventy-four times by the end of the year.
After garnering considerable attention for their performances—which averaged about seventeen minutes from beginning to end—the group was signed to a recording contract in late 1975 by Seymour Stein of Sire Records. After they were seen by Sire A&R man Craig Leon he brought the band to the attention of the label. Stein's wife, Linda Stein, saw the band play at Mothers. By this time, the Ramones were recognized as leaders of the new scene, being referred to as "punk"; the group's unusual frontman had a lot to do with their impact. As Dee Dee explained, "All the other singers were copying David Johansen, copying Mick Jagger... But Joey was unique unique." The Ramones recorded their debut album, Ramones, in February 1976. Of the fourteen songs on the album, the longest, "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement" surpassed two and a half minutes. While the songwriting credits were shared by the entire band, Dee Dee was the primary writer; the Ramones album was produced by Sire's Craig Leon, with Tommy as associate producer, on an low budget of about $6,400 and released in April.
The now iconic front cover photograph of the band was taken by Roberta Bayley, a photographer for Punk magazine. Punk, responsible for codifying the term for the scene emerging around CBGB, ran
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti