Silent Spring is an environmental science book by Rachel Carson. The book was published on September 27, 1962, documenting the adverse environmental effects caused by the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation, public officials of accepting the industry's marketing claims unquestioningly. Starting in the late 1950s, prior to the book's publication, Carson had focused her attention on environmental conservation environmental problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides; the result of her research was Silent Spring, which brought environmental concerns to the American public. The book was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, owing to public opinion, it brought about numerous changes, it spurred a reversal in the United States' national pesticide policy, led to a nationwide ban on DDT for agricultural uses, helped to inspire an environmental movement that led to the creation of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Over three decades in 1996, a follow-up book, Beyond Silent Spring, co-written by H. F. van Emden and David Peakall, was published. In 2006, Silent Spring was named one of the 25 greatest science books of all time by the editors of Discover magazine. In the mid-1940s, Carson became concerned about the use of synthetic pesticides, many of, developed through the military funding of science after World War II; the United States Department of Agriculture's 1957 fire ant eradication program, which involved aerial spraying of DDT and other pesticides mixed with fuel oil and included the spraying of private land, prompted Carson to devote her research, her next book, to pesticides and environmental poisons. Landowners in Long Island filed a suit to have the spraying stopped, many in affected regions followed the case closely. Though the suit was lost, the Supreme Court granted petitioners the right to gain injunctions against potential environmental damage in the future, laying the basis for environmental actions.
The impetus for Silent Spring was a letter written in January 1958 by Carson's friend, Olga Owens Huckins, to The Boston Herald, describing the death of birds around her property resulting from the aerial spraying of DDT to kill mosquitoes, a copy of which Huckins sent to Carson. Carson wrote that this letter prompted her to study the environmental problems caused by chemical pesticides; the Audubon Naturalist Society opposed chemical spraying programs and recruited Carson to help publicize the U. S. government's spraying related research. Carson began the four-year project of Silent Spring by gathering examples of environmental damage attributed to DDT, she tried to enlist essayist E. B. White and a number of journalists and scientists to her cause. By 1958, Carson had arranged a book deal, with plans to co-write with Newsweek science journalist Edwin Diamond. However, when The New Yorker commissioned a long and well-paid article on the topic from Carson, she began considering writing more than the introduction and conclusion as planned.
Diamond would write one of the harshest critiques of Silent Spring. As her research progressed, Carson found a sizable community of scientists who were documenting the physiological and environmental effects of pesticides, she took advantage of her personal connections with many government scientists, who supplied her with confidential information on the subject. From reading the scientific literature and interviewing scientists, Carson found two scientific camps: those who dismissed the possible danger of pesticide spraying barring conclusive proof, those who were open to the possibility of harm and, willing to consider alternative methods, such as biological pest control. By 1959, the USDA's Agricultural Research Service responded to the criticism by Carson and others with a public service film, Fire Ants on Trial; that spring, Carson wrote a letter, published in The Washington Post, that attributed the recent decline in bird populations—in her words, the "silencing of birds"—to pesticide overuse.
The same year, the 1957, 1958, 1959 crops of U. S. cranberries were found to contain high levels of the herbicide aminotriazole and the sale of all cranberry products was halted. Carson attended the ensuing FDA hearings on revising pesticide regulations, she wondered about the possible "financial inducements behind certain pesticide programs". Research at the Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health brought Carson into contact with medical researchers investigating the gamut of cancer-causing chemicals. Of particular significance was the work of National Cancer Institute researcher and founding director of the environmental cancer section Wilhelm Hueper, who classified many pesticides as carcinogens. Carson and her research assistant Jeanne Davis, with the help of NIH librarian Dorothy Algire, found evidence to support the pesticide-cancer connection. By 1960, Carson had sufficient research material and the writing was progressing rapidly, she had investigated hundreds of individual incidents of pesticide exposure and the resulting human sickness and ecological damage.
In January 1960, she suffered an illness. As she
Ahimsa means'not to injure' and'compassion' and refers to a key virtue in Indian religions. The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hiṃs – to strike. Ahimsa is referred to as nonviolence, it applies to all living beings—including all animals—in ancient Indian religions. Ahimsa is one of the cardinal virtues and an important tenet of Jainism and Buddhism. Ahimsa is a multidimensional concept, inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy. Ahimsa has been related to the notion that any violence has karmic consequences. While ancient scholars of Hinduism pioneered and over time perfected the principles of Ahimsa, the concept reached an extraordinary status in the ethical philosophy of Jainism. Most popularly, Mahatma Gandhi believed in the principle of ahimsa. Ahimsa's precept of'cause no injury' includes one's deeds and thoughts. Classical literature of Hinduism such as Mahabharata and Ramayana, as well as modern scholars debate principles of Ahimsa when one is faced with war and situations requiring self-defence.
The historic literature from India and modern discussions have contributed to theories of Just War, theories of appropriate self-defence. The word Ahimsa—sometimes spelled as Ahinsa—is derived from the Sanskrit root hiṃs – to strike. Nonviolence or Ahimsa is one of the cardinal virtues and an important tenet of Jainism and Buddhism, it is a multidimensional concept, inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy. It has been related to the notion that any violence has karmic consequences. While ancient scholars of Hinduism pioneered and over time perfected the principles of Ahimsa, the concept reached an extraordinary status in the ethical philosophy of Jainism. Parsvanatha, the twenty-third tirthankara of Jainism, advocated for and preached the concept of nonviolence in around eighth-century BC. Mahavira, the twenty-fourth and the last tirthankara further strengthened the idea in sixth-century BC. Ahimsa as an ethical concept evolved in Vedic texts.
The oldest scripts indirectly do not emphasise it. Over time, the Hindu scripts revise ritual practices and the concept of Ahimsa is refined and emphasised Ahimsa becomes the highest virtue by the late Vedic era. For example, hymn 10.22.25 in the Rig Veda uses the words Satya and Ahimsa in a prayer to deity Indra. The term Ahimsa appears in the text Taittiriya Shakha of the Yajurveda, where it refers to non-injury to the sacrificer himself, it occurs several times in the Shatapatha Brahmana in the sense of "non-injury". The Ahimsa doctrine is a late Vedic era development in Brahmanical culture; the earliest reference to the idea of non-violence to animals in a moral sense, is in the Kapisthala Katha Samhita of the Yajurveda, which may have been written in about the 8th century BCE. Bowker states the word is uncommon in the principal Upanishads. Kaneda gives examples of the word Ahimsa in these Upanishads. Other scholars suggest Ahimsa as an ethical concept that started evolving in the Vedas, becoming an central concept in Upanishads.
The Chāndogya Upaniṣad, dated to the 8th or 7th century BCE, one of the oldest Upanishads, has the earliest evidence for the Vedic era use of the word Ahimsa in the sense familiar in Hinduism. It bars violence against "all creatures" and the practitioner of Ahimsa is said to escape from the cycle of rebirths; some scholars state that this 8th or 7th-century BCE mention may have been an influence of Jainism on Vedic Hinduism. Others scholar state that this relationship is speculative, though Jainism is an ancient tradition the oldest traceable texts of Jainism tradition are from many centuries after the Vedic era ended. Chāndogya Upaniṣad names Ahimsa, along with Satyavacanam, Danam, Tapo, as one of five essential virtues; the Sandilya Upanishad lists ten forbearances: Ahimsa, Asteya, Daya, Kshama, Dhriti and Saucha. According to Kaneda, the term Ahimsa is an important spiritual doctrine shared by Hinduism and Jainism, it means'non-injury' and'non-killing'. It implies the total avoidance of harming of any kind of living creatures not only by deeds, but by words and in thoughts.
The Mahabharata, one of the epics of Hinduism, has multiple mentions of the phrase Ahimsa Paramo Dharma, which means: non-violence is the highest moral virtue. For example, Mahaprasthanika Parva has the verse: The above passage from Mahabharata emphasises the cardinal importance of Ahimsa in Hinduism, means: Some other examples where the phrase Ahimsa Paramo Dharma are discussed include Adi Parva, Vana Parva and Anushasana Parva; the Bhagavad Gita, among other things, discusses the doubts and questions about appropriate response when one faces systematic violence or war. These verses develop the concepts of lawful violence in self-defence and the theories of
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment with specialized medical and nursing staff and medical equipment. The best-known type of hospital is the general hospital, which has an emergency department to treat urgent health problems ranging from fire and accident victims to a sudden illness. A district hospital is the major health care facility in its region, with a large number of beds for intensive care and additional beds for patients who need long-term care. Specialized hospitals include trauma centers, rehabilitation hospitals, children's hospitals, seniors' hospitals, hospitals for dealing with specific medical needs such as psychiatric treatment and certain disease categories. Specialized hospitals can help reduce health care costs compared to general hospitals. Hospitals are classified as general, specialty, or government depending on the sources of income received. A teaching hospital combines assistance to people with teaching to medical nurses; the medical facility smaller than a hospital is called a clinic.
Hospitals have a range of departments and specialist units such as cardiology. Some hospitals have outpatient departments and some have chronic treatment units. Common support units include a pharmacy and radiology. Hospitals are funded by the public sector, health organisations, health insurance companies, or charities, including direct charitable donations. Hospitals were founded and funded by religious orders, or by charitable individuals and leaders. Hospitals are staffed by professional physicians, surgeons and allied health practitioners, whereas in the past, this work was performed by the members of founding religious orders or by volunteers. However, there are various Catholic religious orders, such as the Alexians and the Bon Secours Sisters that still focus on hospital ministry in the late 1990s, as well as several other Christian denominations, including the Methodists and Lutherans, which run hospitals. In accordance with the original meaning of the word, hospitals were "places of hospitality", this meaning is still preserved in the names of some institutions such as the Royal Hospital Chelsea, established in 1681 as a retirement and nursing home for veteran soldiers.
During the Middle Ages, hospitals served different functions from modern institutions. Middle Ages hospitals were hostels for pilgrims, or hospital schools; the word "hospital" comes from the Latin hospes, signifying a foreigner, hence a guest. Another noun derived from this, hospitium came to signify hospitality, the relation between guest and shelterer, hospitality and hospitable reception. By metonymy the Latin word came to mean a guest-chamber, guest's lodging, an inn. Hospes is thus the root for the English words host hospitality, hospice and hotel; the latter modern word derives from Latin via the ancient French romance word hostel, which developed a silent s, which letter was removed from the word, the loss of, signified by a circumflex in the modern French word hôtel. The German word'Spital' shares similar roots; the grammar of the word differs depending on the dialect. In the United States, hospital requires an article; some patients go to a hospital just for diagnosis, treatment, or therapy and leave without staying overnight.
Hospitals are distinguished from other types of medical facilities by their ability to admit and care for inpatients whilst the others, which are smaller, are described as clinics. The best-known type of hospital is the general hospital known as an acute-care hospital; these facilities handle many kinds of disease and injury, have an emergency department or trauma center to deal with immediate and urgent threats to health. Larger cities may have several hospitals of facilities; some hospitals in the United States and Canada, have their own ambulance service. A district hospital is the major health care facility in its region, with large numbers of beds for intensive care, critical care, long-term care. In California, "district hospital" refers to a class of healthcare facility created shortly after World War II to address a shortage of hospital beds in many local communities. Today, district hospitals are the sole public hospitals in 19 of California's counties, are the sole locally-accessible hospital within nine additional counties in which one or more other hospitals are present at substantial distance from a local community.
Twenty-eight of California's rural hospitals and 20 of its critical-access hospitals are district hospitals. They are formed by local municipalities, have boards that are individually elected by their local communities, exist to serve local needs, they are a important provider of healthcare to uninsured patients and patients with Medi-Cal. In 2012, district hospitals provided $54 million in uncompensated care in California. Types of specialised hospitals incl
The Ogooué, some 1,200 kilometres long, is the principal river of Gabon in west central Africa and the fourth largest river in Africa by volume of discharge, trailing only the Congo and Zambezi. Its watershed drains nearly the entire country of Gabon, with some tributaries reaching into the Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea; the Ogooué River rises in the northwest of the Bateke Plateaux near Republic of Congo. It runs northwest, enters Gabon near Boumango. Poubara Falls are near Maulongo. From Lastoursville until Ndjole, the Ogooué is non-navigable due to rapids. From the latter city, it runs west, enters the Gulf of Guinea near Ozouri, south of Port Gentil; the Ogowe Delta is about 100 km long and 100 km wide. The Ogooué Basin is 223,856 square kilometres, of which 173,000 square kilometres or 73 percent lies within Gabon, it consists of undisturbed rainforest with some savanna grassland where the mid-year dry season is longest. It is home to a high biodiversity. All three species of African crocodile, for instance, occur in the river: the Nile crocodile, the dwarf crocodile, the slender-snouted crocodile.
It is the type locality for the catfish Synodontis acanthoperca. The Mpassa River is a tributary of the Ogooué River; the Ndjoumou River is the main tributary of Mpassa River. The Ogooué is navigable from Ndjole to the sea, it is used to bring wood to the Port Gentil Harbour. The Ogowe Basin includes several major conservation reverves, notably Lope National Park; the catchment area has an average population density of 4 people per km². Towns along the river include Ayem, Adané, Lambaréné, Booué, Maulongo, Mboungou-Mbadouma, Lastoursville and Franceville near the Congo border. Towns in Congo include Zanaga; the first European explorer to trace the river to its source was Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, who traveled in the area in the 1870s. In 1896, Mary Kingsley traveled along the Ogooué by canoe to collect its specimens of unknown fish; the Ogowe River receives water of numerous tributaries including: Abanga, which rises in the Cristal Mountains, near Medouneu Baniaka Dilo Iyinda, the most important tributary Letili Lassio Lebombi Lekabi Lekedi Lekoni, which flows across Akieni and Leconi Letili Leyou Lolo Mbine Ngolo Ngounie Nke Offoue Okano, whose main tributary is the Lara River Mpassa, which flows across Franceville Sebe, which flows past Okondja Wagny Perusset André.
1983. Oro-Hydrographie in Geographie et Cartographie du Gabon, Atlas Illustré led by The Ministère de l'Education Nationale de la Republique Gabonaise. Pg 10-13. Paris, France: Edicef. Petringa, Maria. Brazza, A Life for Africa. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006. ISBN 9781-4259-11980. Describes Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza's extensive explorations of the Ogoué River basin. National Geographic. 2003. African Adventure Atlas Pg 24,72. Led by Sean Fraser. Gardinier David. 1994. Historical Dictionary of Gabon 2nd Edition. USA: The Scarercrow Press, Inc. Direction General de L'Environnement.1999. Stratégie nationale et Plan D'action sur la biodiversité biologique du Gabon; the Atlas of Africa. Pg 201. By Regine Van Chi-Bonnardel. Jeune Afrique Editions. Lerique Jacques. 1983. Hydrographie-Hydrologie. in Geographie et Cartographie du Gabon, Atlas Illustré led by The Ministère de l'Education Nationale de la Republique Gabonaise. Pg 14-15. Paris, France: Edicef. World Resources Institute map of Ogooué watershed Map of the Ogoué River basin at Water Resources eAtlas Maria Petringa's 1997 "Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza: Brief Life of a Lover of Africa" about Brazza's extensive explorations of the Ogoué River basin Website about the dinosaur hunt
Philosophy of culture
Philosophy of culture is a branch of philosophy that examines the essence and meaning of culture. The German philosopher Immanuel Kant has formulated an individualist definition of "enlightenment" similar to the concept of bildung: "Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity." He argued that this immaturity comes not from a lack of understanding, but from a lack of courage to think independently. Against this intellectual cowardice, Kant urged: Sapere aude, "Dare to be wise!" In reaction to Kant, German scholars such as Johann Gottfried Herder argued that human creativity, which takes unpredictable and diverse forms, is as important as human rationality. Moreover, Herder proposed a collective form of bildung: "For Herder, Bildung was the totality of experiences that provide a coherent identity, sense of common destiny, to a people." In 1795, the great linguist and philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt called for an anthropology that would synthesize Kant's and Herder's interests.
During the Romantic era, scholars in Germany those concerned with nationalist movements—such as the nationalist struggle to create a "Germany" out of diverse principalities, the nationalist struggles by ethnic minorities against the Austro-Hungarian Empire—developed a more inclusive notion of culture as "worldview". According to this school of thought, each ethnic group has a distinct worldview, incommensurable with the worldviews of other groups. Although more inclusive than earlier views, this approach to culture still allowed for distinctions between "civilized" and "primitive" or "tribal" cultures. In 1860, Adolf Bastian argued for "the psychic unity of mankind", he proposed that a scientific comparison of all human societies would reveal that distinct worldviews consisted of the same basic elements. According to Bastian, all human societies share a set of "elementary ideas"; this view paved the way for the modern understanding of culture. Franz Boas was trained in this tradition, he brought it with him when he left Germany for the United States.
In the 19th century, humanists such as English poet and essayist Matthew Arnold used the word "culture" to refer to an ideal of individual human refinement, of "the best, thought and said in the world." This concept of culture is comparable to the German concept of bildung: "...culture being a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best, thought and said in the world."In practice, culture referred to an élite ideal and was associated with such activities as art, classical music, haute cuisine. As these forms were associated with urban life, "culture" was identified with "civilization". Another facet of the Romantic movement was an interest in folklore, which led to identifying a "culture" among non-elites; this distinction is characterized as that between high culture, namely that of the ruling social group, low culture. In other words, the idea of "culture" that developed in Europe during the 18th and early 19th centuries reflected inequalities within European societies.
Matthew Arnold contrasted "culture" with anarchy. According to Hobbes and Rousseau, the Native Americans who were being conquered by Europeans from the 16th centuries on were living in a state of nature. According to this way of thinking, one could classify some countries and nations as more civilized than others and some people as more cultured than others; this contrast led to Herbert Spencer's theory of Social Darwinism and Lewis Henry Morgan's theory of cultural evolution. Just as some critics have argued that the distinction between high and low cultures is an expression of the conflict between European elites and non-elites, some critics have argued that the distinction between civilized and uncivilized people is an expression of the conflict between European colonial powers and their colonial subjects. Other 19th-century critics, following Rousseau have accepted this differentiation between higher and lower culture, but have seen the refinement and sophistication of high culture as corrupting and unnatural developments that obscure and distort people's essential nature.
These critics considered folk music to express a natural way of life, while classical music seemed superficial and decadent. This view portrayed indigenous peoples as "noble savages" living authentic and unblemished lives and uncorrupted by the stratified capitalist systems of the West. In 1870 the anthropologist Edward Tylor applied these ideas of higher versus lower culture to propose a theory of the evolution of religion. According to this theory, religion evolves from more polytheistic to more monotheistic forms. In the process, he redefined culture as a diverse set of activities characteristic of all human societies; this view paved the way for the modern understanding of culture. A Philosophy of Culture: The Scope of Holistic Pragmatism by Morton White Cultura
A civilization or civilisation is any complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification imposed by a cultural elite, symbolic systems of communication, a perceived separation from and domination over the natural environment. Civilizations are intimately associated with and further defined by other socio-politico-economic characteristics, including centralization, the domestication of both humans and other organisms, specialization of labour, culturally ingrained ideologies of progress and supremacism, monumental architecture, societal dependence upon farming and expansionism. Civilization has been understood as a larger and "more advanced" culture, in contrast to smaller primitive cultures; some scholars have described civilization as being multicultural. In this broad sense, a civilization contrasts with non-centralized tribal societies, including the cultures of nomadic pastoralists, Neolithic societies or hunter-gatherers, but it contrasts with the cultures found within civilizations themselves.
As an uncountable noun, "civilization" refers to the process of a society developing into a centralized, stratified structure. Civilizations are organized in densely populated settlements divided into hierarchical social classes with a ruling elite and subordinate urban and rural populations, which engage in intensive agriculture, small-scale manufacture and trade. Civilization concentrates power, extending human control over the rest of nature, including over other human beings. Civilization, as its etymology suggests, is a concept linked to towns and cities; the earliest emergence of civilizations is associated with the final stages of the Neolithic Revolution, culminating in the rapid process of urban revolution and state formation, a political development associated with the appearance of a governing elite. The English word civilization comes from the 16th-century French civilisé, from Latin civilis, related to civis and civitas; the fundamental treatise is Norbert Elias's The Civilizing Process, which traces social mores from medieval courtly society to the Early Modern period.
In The Philosophy of Civilization, Albert Schweitzer outlines two opinions: one purely material and the other material and ethical. He said that the world crisis was from humanity losing the ethical idea of civilization, "the sum total of all progress made by man in every sphere of action and from every point of view in so far as the progress helps towards the spiritual perfecting of individuals as the progress of all progress". Adjectives like "civility" developed in the mid-16th century; the abstract noun "civilization", meaning "civilized condition", came in the 1760s, again from French. The first known use in French is in 1757, by Victor de Riqueti, marquis de Mirabeau, the first use in English is attributed to Adam Ferguson, who in his 1767 Essay on the History of Civil Society wrote, "Not only the individual advances from infancy to manhood, but the species itself from rudeness to civilisation"; the word was therefore opposed to barbarism or rudeness, in the active pursuit of progress characteristic of the Age of Enlightenment.
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, during the French Revolution, "civilization" was used in the singular, never in the plural, meant the progress of humanity as a whole. This is still the case in French; the use of "civilizations" as a countable noun was in occasional use in the 19th century, but has become much more common in the 20th century, sometimes just meaning culture. Only in this generalized sense does it become possible to speak of a "medieval civilization", which in Elias's sense would have been an oxymoron. In the 18th century, civilization was not always seen as an improvement. One important distinction between culture and civilization is from the writings of Rousseau his work about education, Emile. Here, being more rational and driven, is not in accord with human nature, "human wholeness is achievable only through the recovery of or approximation to an original prediscursive or prerational natural unity". From this, a new approach was developed in Germany, first by Johann Gottfried Herder, by philosophers such as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.
This sees cultures as natural organisms, not defined by "conscious, deliberative acts", but a kind of pre-rational "folk spirit". Civilization, in contrast, though more rational and more successful in material progress, is unnatural and leads to "vices of social life" such as guile, hypocrisy and avarice. In World War II, Leo Strauss, having fled Germany, argued in New York that this opinion of civilization was behind Nazism and German militarism and nihilism. Social scientists such as V. Gordon Childe have named a number of traits that distinguish a civilization from other kinds of society. Civilizations have been distinguished by their means of subsistence, types of livelihood, settlement patterns, forms of government, social stratification, economic systems and other cultural traits. Andrew Nikiforuk argues, it took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, build cities" and considers slavery to be a common feature of pre-modern civilizations. All civilizations have depended on agriculture for subsistence, with the possible exception of some early civilizations in Peru which may have depended upon maritime resources.
Grain farms can result in accumulate
Gabon the Gabonese Republic, is a country on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, the Gulf of Guinea to the west, it has an area of nearly 270,000 square kilometres and its population is estimated at 2 million people. Its capital and largest city is Libreville. Since its independence from France in 1960, the sovereign state of Gabon has had three presidents. In the early 1990s, Gabon introduced a multi-party system and a new democratic constitution that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and reformed many governmental institutions. Abundant petroleum and foreign private investment have helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the 7th highest HDI and the fourth highest GDP per capita in the region. GDP grew by more than 6% per year from 2010 to 2012. However, because of inequality in income distribution, a significant proportion of the population remains poor.
Gabon's name originates from gabão, Portuguese for "cloak", the shape of the estuary of the Komo River by Libreville. The earliest inhabitants of the area were Pygmy peoples, they were replaced and absorbed by Bantu tribes as they migrated. In the 15th century, the first Europeans arrived. By the 18th century, a Myeni speaking kingdom known as Orungu formed in Gabon. On February 10, 1722, Bartholomew Roberts, a Welsh pirate known as Black Bart, died at sea off Cape Lopez, he raided ships off the Americas and West Africa from 1719 to 1722. French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza led his first mission to the Gabon-Congo area in 1875, he founded the town of Franceville, was colonial governor. Several Bantu groups lived in the area, now Gabon when France occupied it in 1885. In 1910, Gabon became one of the four territories of French Equatorial Africa, a federation that survived until 1959. In World War II, the Allies invaded Gabon in order to overthrow the pro-Vichy France colonial administration.
The territories of French Equatorial Africa became independent on August 17, 1960. The first president of Gabon, elected in 1961, was Léon M'ba, with Omar Bongo Ondimba as his vice president. After M'ba's accession to power, the press was suppressed, political demonstrations banned, freedom of expression curtailed, other political parties excluded from power, the Constitution changed along French lines to vest power in the Presidency, a post that M'ba assumed himself. However, when M'ba dissolved the National Assembly in January 1964 to institute one-party rule, an army coup sought to oust him from power and restore parliamentary democracy. French paratroopers flew in within 24 hours to restore M'ba to power. After a few days of fighting, the coup ended and the opposition was imprisoned, despite widespread protests and riots. French soldiers still remain in the Camp de Gaulle on the outskirts of Gabon's capital to this day; when M'Ba died in 1967, Bongo replaced him as president. In March 1968, Bongo declared Gabon a one-party state by dissolving the BDG and establishing a new party—the Parti Democratique Gabonais.
He invited all Gabonese, regardless of previous political affiliation. Bongo sought to forge a single national movement in support of the government's development policies, using the PDG as a tool to submerge the regional and tribal rivalries that had divided Gabonese politics in the past. Bongo was elected President in February 1975. Bongo was November 1986 to 7-year terms. In early 1990 economic discontent and a desire for political liberalization provoked violent demonstrations and strikes by students and workers. In response to grievances by workers, Bongo negotiated with them on a sector-by-sector basis, making significant wage concessions. In addition, he promised to open up the PDG and to organize a national political conference in March–April 1990 to discuss Gabon's future political system; the PDG and 74 political organizations attended the conference. Participants divided into two loose coalitions, the ruling PDG and its allies, the United Front of Opposition Associations and Parties, consisting of the breakaway Morena Fundamental and the Gabonese Progress Party.
The April 1990 conference approved sweeping political reforms, including creation of a national Senate, decentralization of the budgetary process, freedom of assembly and press, cancellation of an exit visa requirement. In an attempt to guide the political system's transformation to multiparty democracy, Bongo resigned as PDG chairman and created a transitional government headed by a new Prime Minister, Casimir Oye-Mba; the Gabonese Social Democratic Grouping, as the resulting government was called, was smaller than the previous government and included representatives from several opposition parties in its cabinet. The RSDG drafted a provisional constitution in May 1990 that provided a basic bill of rights and an independent judiciary but retained strong executive powers for the president. After further review by a constitutional committee and the National Assembly, this document came into force in March 1991. Opposition to the PDG continued after the April 1990 conference, in September 1990, two coup d'état attempts were uncovered and aborted.
Despite anti-government demonstrations after the untimely death of an opposition leader, the first multiparty National Assembly elections in almo