Belarus the Republic of Belarus known by its Russian name Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres is forested, its major economic sectors are manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Belarus declared independence as the Belarusian People's Republic, conquered by Soviet Russia; the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union in 1922 and was renamed as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Belarus lost half of its territory to Poland after the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921.
Much of the borders of Belarus took their modern shape in 1939, when some lands of the Second Polish Republic were reintegrated into it after the Soviet invasion of Poland, were finalized after World War II. During WWII, military operations devastated Belarus, which lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources; the republic was redeveloped in the post-war years. In 1945 the Byelorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR; the parliament of the republic proclaimed the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991. Alexander Lukashenko has served as the country's first president since 1994. Belarus has been labeled "Europe's last dictatorship" by some Western journalists, on account of Lukashenko's self-described authoritarian style of government. Lukashenko continued a number of Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of large sections of the economy.
Elections under Lukashenko's rule have been criticized as unfair. Belarus is the last country in Europe using the death penalty. Belarus's Democracy Index rating is the lowest in Europe, the country is labelled as "not free" by Freedom House, as "repressed" in the Index of Economic Freedom, is rated as by far the worst country for press freedom in Europe in the 2013–14 Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, which ranks Belarus 157th out of 180 nations. In 2000, Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation. Over 70% of Belarus's population of 9.49 million resides in urban areas. More than 80% of the population is ethnic Belarusian, with sizable minorities of Russians and Ukrainians. Since a referendum in 1995, the country has had two official languages: Russian; the Constitution of Belarus does not declare any official religion, although the primary religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The second-most widespread religion, Roman Catholicism, has a much smaller following.
Belarus is a member of the United Nations since its founding, the Commonwealth of Independent States, CSTO, EEU, the Non-Aligned Movement. Belarus has shown no aspirations for joining the European Union but maintains a bilateral relationship with the organisation, participates in two EU projects: the Eastern Partnership and the Baku Initiative; the name Belarus is related with the term Belaya Rus', i.e. White Rus'. There are several claims to the origin of the name White Rus'. An ethno-religious theory suggests that the name used to describe the part of old Ruthenian lands within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, populated by Slavs, Christianized early, as opposed to Black Ruthenia, predominantly inhabited by pagan Balts. An alternate explanation for the name comments on the white clothing worn by the local Slavic population. A third theory suggests that the old Rus' lands that were not conquered by the Tatars had been referred to as "White Rus'"; the name Rus is conflated with its Latin forms Russia and Ruthenia, thus Belarus is referred to as White Russia or White Ruthenia.
The name first appeared in Latin medieval literature. In some languages, including German and Dutch, the country is called "White Russia" to this day; the Latin term "Alba Russia" was used again by Pope Pius VI in 1783 to recognize the Society of Jesus there, exclaiming "Approbo Societatem Jesu in Alba Russia degentem, approbo." The first known use of White Russia to refer to Belarus was in the late-16th century by Englishman Sir Jerome Horsey, known for his close contacts with the Russian Royal Court. During the 17th century, the Russian tsars used "White Rus" to describe the lands added from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; the term Belorussia first rose in the days of the Russian Empire, the Russian Tsar was styled "the Tsar of All the Russias"
Politics of Russia
The politics of Russia take place in the framework of the federal semi-presidential republic of Russia. According to the Constitution of Russia, the President of Russia is head of state, of a multi-party system with executive power exercised by the government, headed by the Prime Minister, appointed by the President with the parliament's approval. Legislative power is vested in the two houses of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, while the President and the government issue numerous binding by-laws. Since gaining its independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, Russia has seen serious challenges in its efforts to forge a political system to follow nearly seventy-five years of Soviet rule. For instance, leading figures in the legislative and executive branches have put forth opposing views of Russia's political direction and the governmental instruments that should be used to follow it; that conflict reached a climax in September and October 1993, when President Boris Yeltsin used military force to dissolve the parliament and called for new legislative elections.
This event marked the end of Russia's first constitutional period, defined by the much-amended constitution adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1978. A new constitution, creating a strong presidency, was approved by referendum in December 1993. With a new constitution and a new parliament representing diverse parties and factions, Russia's political structure subsequently showed signs of stabilization; as the transition period extended into the mid-1990s, the power of the national government continued to wane as Russia's regions gained political and economic concessions from Moscow. Although the struggle between executive and legislative branches was resolved by the new constitution, the two branches continued to represent fundamentally opposing visions of Russia's future. Most of the time, the executive was the center of reform, the lower house of the parliament, State Duma, was a bastion of anti-reform communists and nationalists; the first constitution of the Soviet Union, as promulgated in 1924, incorporated a treaty of union between various Soviet republics.
Under the treaty, the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic became known as the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. Nominally, the borders of each subunit incorporated the territory of a specific nationality; the constitution endowed the new republics with sovereignty, although they were said to have voluntarily delegated most of their sovereign powers to the Soviet center. Formal sovereignty was evidenced by the existence of flags and other state symbols, by the republics' constitutionally guaranteed "right" to secede from the union. Russia was the largest of the Union republics in terms of population. During the Cold War era, ethnic Russians dominated government; because of the Russians' dominance in the affairs of the union, the RSFSR failed to develop some of the institutions of governance and administration that were typical of public life in the other republics: a republic-level communist party, a Russian academy of sciences, Russian branches of trade unions, for example.
As the titular nationalities of the other fourteen union republics began to call for greater republic rights in the late 1980s, ethnic Russians began to demand the creation or strengthening of various Russian institutions in the RSFSR. Certain policies of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev encouraged nationalities in the union republics, including the Russian Republic, to assert their rights; these policies included glasnost, which made possible open discussion of democratic reforms and long-ignored public problems such as pollution. Glasnost brought constitutional reforms that led to the election of new republic legislatures with substantial blocs of pro-reform representatives. In the RSFSR a new legislature, called the Congress of People's Deputies, was elected in March 1990 in a free and competitive vote. Upon convening in May, the congress elected Boris Yeltsin, a onetime Gorbachev protégé who had resigned/been exiled from the top party echelons because of his radical reform proposals and erratic personality, as president of the congress's permanent working body, the Supreme Soviet.
The next month, the Congress declared Russia's sovereignty over its natural resources and the primacy of Russia's laws over those of the central Soviet government. During 1990-1991, the RSFSR enhanced its sovereignty by establishing republic branches of organizations such as the Communist Party, the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union and television broadcasting facilities, the Committee for State Security. In 1991 Russia created a new executive office, the presidency, following the example of Gorbachev, who had created such an office for himself in 1990; the Russian presidential election of June 1991 conferred legitimacy on the office, whereas Gorbachev had eschewed such an election and had had himself appointed by the Soviet parliament. Despite Gorbachev's attempts to discourage Russia's electorate from voting for him, Yeltsin won the popular election to become the president, handily defeating five other candidates with more than 57 percent of the vote. Yeltsin used his role as president of Russia to trumpet Russian sovereignty and patriotism, his legitimacy as president was a major cause of the collapse of the coup by hard-line government and party officials against Gorbache
Tottenham Court Road
Tottenham Court Road is a major road in the Fitzrovia district of Central London, United Kingdom, running from St Giles Circus to Euston Road. A market street, it became well known for selling electronics and white goods in the 20th century; the name derives from the road's original use as a market thoroughfare from Oxford Street to the Manor of Tothele north of what is now Euston Road. It was mentioned as such in the Domesday Book; the area was described as Totenhale in 1184 and Totenhale Court by 1487. Although the road's name has a similar root and origin to the area of Tottenham in north London, the two are not directly related. Tottenham Court Road runs from St Giles Circus north to Euston Road in the London Borough of Camden near its boundary with the City of Westminster, a distance of about three-quarters of a mile, it has for many years been a one-way street: all three lanes are northbound only. It is regarded as marking the boundary between Bloomsbury to the east and Fitzrovia to the west, linking Somers Town to the north with Soho to the south.
The road has been the boundary between the parishes of St Giles and St Pancras. The south end of the road is close to the British Museum and to Centre Point, the West End's tallest building. There are a number of buildings belonging to University College London along the road, University College Hospital is near the north end of the road; the road is served by three stations on the London Underground—from south to north these are Tottenham Court Road, Goodge Street and Warren Street—and by numerous bus routes. On 3 June 2014 Camden Council announced plans to reserve the road for buses and bicycles only, during daylight hours from Monday to Saturday, they claimed it will make the street safer and boost business ahead of the opening of a new Crossrail station in 2018. The current one-way system will be replaced with two-way traffic flows. Wider pavements, cycle lanes and safer pedestrian crossings will be installed as part of the £26m plan; the area through which the road is built is mentioned in the Domesday Book as belonging to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral.
In the time of Henry III, a manor house north-west of what is now the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Euston Road belonged to one William de Tottenhall. In about the 15th century, the area was known variously as Totham, or Totting Hall. After changing hands several times, the manor was leased for 99 years to Queen Elizabeth, it came to be popularly called Tottenham Court. In 1639, the land was leased to Charles I until his execution ten years when it was sold to Ralph Harrison, it regained Crown ownership upon the Restoration of the Monarchy, where it was given a 41-year lease to Charles II. It subsequently became the property of the Fitzroys, who built Fitzroy Square on a part of the manor estate towards the end of the 18th century. There was a manor house at the northwest end of the road, this subsequently became the Adam and Eve pub; this was demolished to build the Euston Tower. Tottenham Court Road had become a place of entertainment by the mid-17th century. In 1645, three people were fined for drinking on a Sunday.
A Gooseberry Fair was held sporadically throughout the century, featured numerous booths with street entertainers. The Horse Shoe Brewery was established in 1764 on the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street; the current Horseshoe pub was built in the 19th century. Whitefield's Tabernacle was built in 1756 for the Reverend George Whitefield, subsequently became the world's largest Methodist church after it was extended in 1760, it was rebuilt in 1857 after being destroyed by fire, again in 1888 after the building collapsed. It was rebuilt as the Memorial Chapel. Tottenham Court Road was predominantly rural in nature until well into the 19th century; when Heal's was established on former farmland, the lease stipulated there must be appropriate accommodation for 40 cows. These cowsheds were destroyed in a fire in 1877. A 17th century farmhouse at the rear of No. 196 Tottenham Court Road was demolished in 1917. During the period leading up to and during World War I, a shooting range called Fairyland was at No. 92 Tottenham Court Road.
In 1909, Madan Lal Dhingra practised shooting here prior to his assassination of Sir William Hutt Curzon Wyllie. Other residents of India House and members of Abhinav Bharat practised shooting at the range and rehearsed assassinations they planned to carry out. In 1909 it was reported in a police investigation that the range was being used by two Suffragettes in a possible conspiracy to assassinate prime minister H. H. Asquith, it was where Donald Lesbini shot Alice Eliza Storey. R v Lesbini was a case that established in British and Australian law that, with regard to voluntary manslaughter, a reasonable man always has reasonable powers of self-control and is never intoxicated; the shooting range was run by Henry Stanton Morley. The Dominion Theatre opened in 1929, on the site of the old Horseshoe Brewery on Tottenham Court Road, it became a cinema in 1932, before reverting to a theatre. It has a capacity of 2,000. Tottenham Court Road is a significant shopping street, best known for its high concentration of consumer electronics shops, which range from shops specialising in cables and computer components to those dealing in package computers and audio-video systems.
Further north there are several furniture shops, including Heal's. In the 1950s and 1960s, Tottenham Court Road and a few of the adjoining streets became well known for stores selli
Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million. An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject. Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703. During the periods 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Imperial Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow, about 625 km to the south-east. Saint Petersburg is one of the most modern cities of Russia, as well as its cultural capital; the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Many foreign consulates, international corporations and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg. An admirer of everything German, Peter the Great named the city, Sankt-Peterburg.
On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, the Imperial government renamed the city Petrograd, meaning "Peter's city", in order to expunge the German name Sankt and Burg. On 26 January 1924, shortly after the death of Vladimir Lenin, it was renamed to Leningrad, meaning "Lenin's City". On 6 September 1991, Sankt-Peterburg, was returned. Today, in English the city is known as "Saint Petersburg". Local residents refer to the city by its shortened nickname, Piter; the city's traditional nicknames among Russians are the Window to Europe. Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, in what was called Ingermanland, inhabited by Finnic tribe of Ingrians; the small town of Nyen grew up around it. At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport in order to trade with the rest of Europe, he needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, on the White Sea in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter.
On 12 May 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans and soon replaced the fortress. On 27 May 1703, closer to the estuary 5 km inland from the gulf), on Zayachy Island, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city; the city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia. Tens of thousands of serfs died building the city; the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war. During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan. By 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals; the project is evident in the layout of the streets.
In 1716, Peter the Great appointed Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg. The style of Petrine Baroque, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, Kunstkamera and Paul Cathedral, Twelve Collegia, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great. In 1725, Peter died at the age of fifty-two, his endeavours to modernize Russia had met with opposition from the Russian nobility—resulting in several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his son. In 1728, Peter II of Russia moved his seat back to Moscow, but four years in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the Russian Empire. It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tsars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.
In 1736–1737 the city suffered from catastrophic fires. To rebuild the damaged boroughs, a committee under Burkhard Christoph von Münnich commissioned a new plan in 1737; the city was divided into five boroughs, the city centre was moved to the Admiralty borough, situated on the east bank between the Neva and Fontanka. It developed along three radial streets, which meet at the Admiralty building and are now one street known as Nevsky Prospekt, Gorokhovaya Street and Voznesensky Prospekt. Baroque architecture became dominant in the city during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Italian Bartolomeo Rastrelli with such buildings as the Winter Palace. In the 1760s, Baroque architecture was succeeded by neoclassical architecture. Established in 1762, the Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg ruled that no structure in the
Julius Martov or L. Martov was a politician and revolutionary who became the leader of the Mensheviks in early 20th-century Russia, he was an old friend and mentor of Leon Trotsky, who described him as the "Hamlet of Democratic Socialism". Vladimir Lenin, his longtime political opponent, confessed in 1921 that his single greatest regret was "that Martov is not with us. What an amazing comrade he is, what a pure man!" According to his sister and fellow Menshevik, Lydia Dan, Martov had an "inexhaustible charm that attracted people". As a result, some commented it was difficult to record why they followed him, he confessed that "I have the nasty privilege of being liked by people". Martov was born to a Jewish middle-class family in Turkey, his sister was fellow Menshevik leader Lydia Dan. He was arrested as a teenager, his grandfather paid 300 roubles to bail him. Instead of accepting his grandfather's suggestion of emigrating to the United States of America, he chose to be exiled for two years in Vilna.
He recounted that the famine crisis of 1891 made him a Marxist: "It became clear to me how superficial and groundless the whole of my revolutionism had been until and how my subjective political romanticism was dwarfed before the philosophical and sociological heights of Marxism". In Russia, Martov was a close colleague of Vladimir Lenin and with him, small group of Marxist intellectuals, founded the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class in 1895; the founders were arrested immediately after its establishment. Both Martov and Lenin were exiled to Siberia for this: Martov was sent to Turukhansk in the Arctic, while Lenin was sent to Shushenskoye in the comparatively warm "Siberian Italy". Forced to leave Russia and with other radical political figures living in exile, Martov joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and, in 1900, was one of the founding members, with Lenin, of the party journal Iskra. In Munich, Martov was on the editorial board alongside Potresov.
Martov was one the Marxists who wanted Nikolay Bauman expelled from the party after an incident where he drove a party member to suicide after drawing a vicious cartoon of her. With Lenin, on good terms with the Jewish Bund Martov would have a critical parallel role with Lenin in the opposition to the Bund from the positions of the RSDLP. At the Second Congress of the RSDLP in London in 1903, there was a dispute between Martov and Lenin over, to be considered a'member' of the RSDLP. Lenin had published his ideas for moving the party forward in his pamphlet What Is to Be Done?, considered to be a document putting forward the views of the entire Iskra group led by Lenin and Martov. However, in the London Congress of the party, differing definitions of party membership were put forward by the two men, with Lenin arguing for a restricted membership of committed cadre while Martov argued for a looser interpretation of membership. Martov refused to participate in the editorial board of Iskra with Lenin and Georgi Plekhanov, after Lenin had removed the three Menshevik veterans Axelrod and Zasulich.
Both Martov and Lenin based their ideas for party organization on those prevailing in the European social democratic parties, in particular that of Germany. The split with Lenin was based in differences of the wording of article one of the party statute, concerning membership definition, at the Second Party Congress in Brussels. Martov believed that RSDLP sympathizers who were willing to obey the party's leadership and recognize the party's program should be admitted as party members, as well as those people who were paid up party members who participated in one of party's organizations. Martov's view prevailed at first 28 to 23 votes, but the 5 Bundist delegates and 2 Economists walked out in reaction for the denying of their respective issues, Lenin's view now won a slight majority, they referred to themselves as Bolsheviks throughout the Congress, hence their adoption of the name Bolshevik which means'person of the majority'. The minority or'Menshevik' faction adopted the corresponding title.
The vote on the editorial board was not seen as important by any of the disputants at the time, in fact the Bolsheviks were in a minority but some delegates had not been present for the crucial vote who would otherwise have voted for the Mensheviks. Martov was one of the Jewish Marxist leaders, who rejected the demands for Jewish national autonomy, with the Iskra group favouring class interests over nationalism. Martov was described as being "too good an intellectual to be a successful politician", as he was held back by his integrity, "philosophical approach" to matters of politics, he tended to select political allies by the "coherence of their general worldview", instead of "practicality" or "timeliness". His "high minded approach" would win rounds of applause among the socialist intelligentsia. Nonetheless, Martov's noble principles made him too "soft" and "indecisive", at time when the opposite were politically required of him, he has been described as a "brilliant intellectual and party theoretician".
Together with fellow Wilno Social Democrat, Arkady Kremer, Martov explaine
A political party is an organized group of people with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests. While there is some international commonality in the way political parties are recognized and in how they operate, there are many differences, some are significant. Many political parties have an ideological core, but some do not, many represent ideologies different from their ideology at the time the party was founded. Many countries, such as Germany and India, have several significant political parties, some nations have one-party systems, such as China and Cuba; the United States is in practice a two-party system but with many smaller parties participating and a high degree of autonomy for individual candidates. Political factions have existed in democratic societies since ancient times. Plato writes in his Republic on the formation of political cliques in Classical Athens, the tendency of Athenian citizens to vote according to factional loyalty rather than for the public good.
In the Roman Republic, Polybius coined the term ochlocracy to describe the tendency of politicians to mobilise popular factionalist sentiment against their political rivals. Factional politics remained a part of Roman political life through the Imperial period and beyond, the poet Juvenal coined the phrase "bread and circuses" to describe the political class pandering to the citizenry through diversionary entertainments rather than through arguments about policy. "Bread and circuses" survived as part of Byzantine political life - for example, the Nika revolt during the reign of Justinian was a riot between the "Blues" and the "Greens"—two chariot racing factions at the Hippodrome, who received patronage from different Senatorial factions and religious sects. The patricians who sponsored the Blues and the Greens competed with each other to hold grander games and public entertainments during electoral campaigns, in order to appeal to the citizenry of Constantinople; the first modern political factions, can be said to have originated in early modern Britain.
The first political factions, cohering around a basic, if fluid, set of principles, emerged from the Exclusion Crisis and Glorious Revolution in late 17th century England. The Whigs supported Protestant constitutional monarchy against absolute rule, they were interested in the citizens of United Kingdom being free from the aristocracy and opposed to any tyranny, however they supported the constitutional aristocracy and does not consider the British nobility abusive because of its limits; the leader of the Whigs was Robert Walpole, who maintained control of the government in the period 1721–1742. As the century wore on, the factions began to adopt more coherent political tendencies as the interests of their power bases began to diverge; the Whig party's initial base of support from the great aristocratic families widened to include the emerging industrial interests and wealthy merchants. As well as championing constitutional monarchy with strict limits on the monarch's power, the Whigs adamantly opposed a Catholic king as a threat to liberty, believed in extending toleration to nonconformist Protestants, or dissenters.
A major influence on the Whigs were the liberal political ideas of John Locke, the concepts of universal rights employed by Locke and Algernon Sidney. Although the Tories were out of office for half a century, for most of this period the Tories retained party cohesion, with occasional hopes of regaining office at the accession of George II and the downfall of the ministry of Sir Robert Walpole in 1742, they acted as a united, though unavailing, opposition to Whig corruption and scandals. At times they cooperated with the "Opposition Whigs", Whigs who were in opposition to the Whig government, they regained power with the accession of George III in 1760 under Lord Bute. When they lost power, the old Whig leadership dissolved into a decade of factional chaos with distinct "Grenvillite", "Bedfordite", "Rockinghamite", "Chathamite" factions successively in power, all referring to themselves as "Whigs". Out of this chaos, the first distinctive parties emerged; the first such party was the Rockingham Whigs under the leadership of Charles Watson-Wentworth and the intellectual guidance of the political philosopher Edmund Burke.
Burke laid out a philosophy that described the basic framework of the political party as "a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavours the national interest, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed". As opposed to the instability of the earlier factions, which were tied to a particular leader and could disintegrate if removed from power, the party was centred around a set of core principles and remained out of power as a united opposition to government. A coalition including the Rockingham Whigs, led by the Earl of She
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion