France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
St. Ingbert is a town in the Saarpfalz district in Saarland, Germany with a population of 37,361, it is situated 10 km north-east of Saarbrücken and 10 km south-west of Neunkirchen. Sankt Ingbert is an old industrial town. Major employers now include the software company SAP Festo automation technologies. St. Ingbert is named after the Irish Saint St Ingobert and for 300 years belonged to the electorate of Trier; the town is served by St. Ingbert railway station. St. Ingbert is situated only 10 km away from the Saarbrücken Airport; the Saarländisches Karnevalsmuseum exhibits carnival costumes of the Saar region. The St. Ingberter Pfanne is a well-known cabaret event, which took first place in 1985; the Internationales Jazzfestival Sankt Ingbert took first place in 1987. St. Ingbert is twinned with: Saint-Herblain, since 1981 N'Diaganiao, since 1986 Radebeul, since 1987 Rhodt unter Rietburg in Edenkoben, since 1959 Albert Weisgerber, german painter Jupp Derwall, manager of German national football team 1978–1984 Peter Hartz, German businessman Bernd Schneider, racecar driver This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"St Ingbert". Encyclopædia Britannica. 24. Cambridge University Press. P. 9. St. Ingbert official website
Kazanlak (Bulgarian: Казанлъ̀к, Kazanlǎk, Thracian and Greek Σευθόπολις is a Bulgarian town in Stara Zagora Province, located in the middle of the plain of the same name, at the foot of the Balkan mountain range, at the eastern end of the Rose Valley. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous Kazanlak Municipality; the town is among the 15 biggest industrial centres in Bulgaria, with a population of 44,760 people as of Dec 2017. It is the center of rose oil extraction in Bulgaria and the oil-producing rose of Kazanlak is one of the most recognizable national symbols; the oldest settlement in the area of the modern-day city dates back to the Neolithic era. During the 4th-3rd centuries BCE the lands on the upper Tundzha river were within the dominion of the Thracian ruler Seuthes III and took an important place in the historical development of Thrace during the Hellenistic era; the Thracian city of Seuthopolis was uncovered near Kazanlak and studied at the time of the construction of the Koprinka Reservoir.
In the 4th century BCE, near the ancient Thracian capital of Seuthopolis and close to the city, a magnificent Thracian tomb was built. Consisting of a vaulted brickwork "beehive" tomb, it contains, among other things, painted murals representing a Thracian couple at a ritual funeral feast; the tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. In the Middle Ages the valley became an administrative center of the Krun region where the Bulgarian boyar Aldimir ruled. After 1370 Kazanlak was under Ottoman dominion, its modern name is derived from the Turkish Kazanlık. The modern city dates back to the beginning of the 15th century, it was founded as a military fortress to protect the Shipka Pass and developed as a city of craftsmen. More than 50 handcrafts developed such as tanning, goldsmithing, frieze weaving, cooperage and, of course, rose cultivation; the oil-producing rose, imported from central Asia via Persia and Turkey, found all the necessary conditions to thrive – proper temperature, high moisture and light, cinnamon-forest soils.
Kazanlak rose oil has won gold medals at expositions in Paris, Philadelphia, Antwerp and Milan. After Bulgarian independence the handcrafts declined due to the loss of the markets in the huge Ottoman Empire; the textile and military industries were developed. The Bulgarian climate is temperate, with average temperatures from 0 °C to 1.5 °C in January, 21 °C in July. The average altitude is 350 m. Spring temperatures rise comparatively early and are above 5 °C and above 10 °C but sometimes there are some cold spring periods; the summer temperatures are moderate and the average summer rainfall is rather high at the beginning of summer. During the second half of the summer and the beginning of the autumn, there are continuous drops in rainfall; until the middle of November, the average autumn temperature is above 5 °C, above 10 °C until the end of October. The winter is mild, with comparatively low snowfall, short-lasting snow-cover and low minimum temperatures; the highest rainfall is in June, the lowest in February and March.
The general wind direction is from north-east. The town of Kazanlak and the surrounding region is situated in the western part of the Kazanlak Valley. There are various soil types maroon soils which are suitable for growing oleaginous cultures and herbs; the Kazanlak Valley was formed during the Quaternary Period with the rise of the Balkan and Sredna Gora Mountains and the submergence of the Fore-Balkan fields. The fault character of the Valley is evidenced by the hot mineral springs near the village of Ovoshtnik and the town of Pavel Banya. Morphologically, the Kazanlak Valley is divided into three areas; the western area is the broadest one and has a lot of hills due to the numerous alluvials, formed by the rivers flowing through the Balkan Mountains. Although the average altitude is 350 m, here it reaches up to 500 m; the central area is narrower and lower, the relief of the eastern area is much more complex. Soil cover is related to the relief, flora of the region and the economical activity of the man.
The varied Bulgarian natural environment has produced about 20 soil subtypes. This region is characterised by cinnamon-forest soil; the spreading of the accumulative river materials along the Tundzha river and the Eninska river has formed alluvial soil types and subtypes. The draining and the intended geological base together with the drought-resistant and thermophilic forest vegetation are the reason for the spreading of the forest soils; the arable lands related to this soil type are inclined and that leads to the degradable effect of the plane and ravine erosion. The alluvial soils are high-productive – they are represented by arable lands of I, II and III category, they cover two-thirds of the searched territory and this is an obstruction to the town growth. The lands are planted with roses and perennial plants. Low-productive and degraded lands are located only north-east of Kazanlak. Part of them are covered with pastures; this region is not rich in mineral resources of industrial importance but there are several non-metalliferous minerals of local importance.
There is a clay deposit for brick manufacturing in Manastirska Niva locality two km west of Kazanlak. A greisen-pit for broken stone, paving stones, kerbs is located 7 km east of the town in Kara Dere locality. Sand and felt are extracted from the pits near the vil
La Baule-Escoublac referred to as La Baule, is a commune in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France. A century-old seaside resort in southern Brittany with beautiful villas, luxury hotels and an original mix of old Breton and exclusive seaside culture with a 9 kilometre long sand beach, La Baule has long been home to French high society's seaside residences. During July and August each year, the population of La Baule increases with many Parisians staying for weeks and regular day-trippers from Nantes. Parisians can take the train in Paris Montparnasse Station and it is about 3 hours to go to La Baule. Despite this, La Baule is still unknown outside France. In 1779, a violent storm buried the village of Escoublac, near the current location of La Baule, under sand. Escoublac was rebuilt further inland. At that time, the unstable dunes were occupied only by customs officers, who gave them the name of Bôle, a term indicating an flooded maritime meadow, it was only in 1879, when the Saint-Nazaire-Croisic railroad was conceived by Parisian industrialist Jules-Joseph Hennecart that the tourist potential of the coast was recognised.
Just before the inauguration of the line, Hennecart bought 40 ha of dunes for the Society of Escoublac Dunes and commissioned local architect Georges Lafont to design the new town. Lafont designed a long sand promenade named a chapel. After the railroad opened Lafont built more than 250 villas, taking the lead in the development of the seaside resort. In 1918, casino business magnate François André set up the redesigning of the La Baule resort based on the Deauville model by combining casinos, luxury hotels and sports facilities all on one site. In the 1920s, Parisian businessman Louis Lajarrige designed the successful Bois d'Amour district at La Baule-les-Pins and formed an agreement with the railroad company to move the rails away from the seaside to ensure a direct access to the beach. On July 27, 1927 the new stations of La Baule-les-Pins and La Baule-Escoublac were inaugurated while the old station was torn down to create a flower garden square. By that time, La Baule has become a fashionable seaside resort.
During World War II La Baule formed part of the protective stretch of coast leading to the nearby harbour city of Saint-Nazaire, home of one of the biggest U-Boat stations the Germans built. It not only serviced the German submarine fleet, but was the only dry dock on the Atlantic capable of housing the German battleship Tirpitz, one of two Bismarck-class ships built for the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. La Baule and the surrounding areas were occupied by the Germans throughout World War II. During the occupation a large number of Jewish residents and resistance members were deported to the concentration camps. In 2011 a small group of local residents formed a group to create a permanent memorial, in the form of Stolperstein, to the 32 Jewish deportees since, although there was a memorial in La Baule to 40 named war victims, there was no mention there or on any other memorial of the 32 Jewish deportees; the Mayor refused to allow a request for the Stolpersteines to be installed, claiming that to do so might infringe the French consititutional principles of secularism and freedom of opinion and that the Mairie would therefore need to consult the Conseil d'État, France's constitutional court.
In fact, Stolpersteines contain no reference to the religion of the victim, commemorated and'freedom of opinion/expression' has never been invoked in either French or European jurisprudence to justify the refusal to commemorate individual victims of war crimes. The Mayor of La Baule has refused to elaborate on his reasoning and there is no record of the Municipal Council of La Baule having sought a declaration from the Conseil d'Etat in respect of these objections; such was the importance attached to the area by the Germans that their troops kept fighting in La Baule and Saint-Nazaire for nine months longer than in the rest of the department surrendering on May 11, 1945, making this one of the last liberated parts of France. This episode is called Poche de Saint-Nazaire from the French expression poche de resistance. One of France's most exclusive seaside resorts during the first half of the 20th century, La Baule has become much more democratized since the 1960s. Today the resort mixes wealthy family villas, luxury hotels and seaside apartment buildings, creating an original and unique atmosphere of social diversity.
The nearby region has long been an area of contact and conflict between Breton culture and that of the neighbouring Loire valley, is rich with historic places, walled cities, not to mention 19th century seaside resorts, such as Quiberon, many typical Breton fishing villages. The Grand Prix de la Baule was a Grand Prix motor racing event held there during the 1930s. Today, the Grand Prix de la Ville de La Baule is a prestigious equestrian show jumping competition, part of the international Equestrian Nations Cup series. Local tourist authorities refer to the bay as "the most beautiful in Europe". Furthermore, La Baule is part of the Côte d'Amour, which features beautiful cliffs and amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean; the commune of Escoublac has achieved a new vitality with the restoration of its civic cent
Francia called the Kingdom of the Franks, or Frankish Empire was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks during the Early Middle Ages, it is the predecessor of the modern states of Germany. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, West Francia became the predecessor of France, East Francia became that of Germany. Francia was among the last surviving Germanic kingdoms from the Migration Period era before its partition in 843; the core Frankish territories inside the former Western Roman Empire were close to the Rhine and Maas rivers in the north. After a period where small kingdoms inter-acted with the remaining Gallo-Roman institutions to their south, a single kingdom uniting them was founded by Clovis I, crowned King of the Franks in 496, his dynasty, the Merovingian dynasty, was replaced by the Carolingian dynasty. Under the nearly continuous campaigns of Pepin of Herstal, Charles Martel, Pepin the Short and Louis the Pious—father, grandson, great-grandson and great-great-grandson—the greatest expansion of the Frankish empire was secured by the early 9th century, by this point dubbed as the Carolingian Empire.
During the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties the Frankish realm was one large kingdom polity subdivided into several smaller kingdoms effectively independent. The geography and number of subkingdoms varied over time, but a basic split between eastern and western domains persisted; the eastern kingdom was called Austrasia, centred on the Rhine and Meuse, expanding eastwards into central Europe. It evolved into the Holy Roman Empire; the western kingdom Neustria was founded in Northern Roman Gaul, as the original kingdom of the Merovingians it came over time to be referred to as Francia, now France, although in other contexts western Europe could still be described as "Frankish". In Germany there are prominent other places named after the Franks such as the region of Franconia, the city of Frankfurt, Frankenstein Castle; the Franks emerged in the 3rd century as a term covering Germanic tribes living on the northern Rhine frontier of the Roman Empire, including the Bructeri, Chamavi and Salians.
While all of them had a tradition of participating in the Roman military, the Salians were allowed to settle within the Roman Empire. In 357, having been living in the civitis of Batavia for some time, Emperor Julian, who forced the Chamavi back out of the empire at the same time, allowed the Salians to settle further away from the border, in Toxandria; some of the early Frankish leaders, such as Flavius Bauto and Arbogast, were committed to the cause of the Romans, but other Frankish rulers, such as Mallobaudes, were active on Roman soil for other reasons. After the fall of Arbogastes, his son Arigius succeeded in establishing a hereditary countship at Trier and after the fall of the usurper Constantine III some Franks supported the usurper Jovinus. Jovinus was dead by 413, but the Romans found it difficult to manage the Franks within their borders; the Frankish king Theudemer was executed by the sword, in c. 422. Around 428, the king Chlodio, whose kingdom may have been in the civitas Tungrorum, launched an attack on Roman territory and extended his realm as far as Camaracum and the Somme.
Though Sidonius Apollinaris relates that Flavius Aetius defeated a wedding party of his people, this period marks the beginning of a situation that would endure for many centuries: the Germanic Franks ruled over an increasing number of Gallo-Roman subjects. The Merovingians, reputed to be relatives of Chlodio, arose from within the Gallo-Roman military, with Childeric and his son Clovis being called "King of the Franks" in the Gallo-Roman military before having any Frankish territorial kingdom. Once Clovis defeated his Roman competitor for power in northern Gaul, Syagrius, he turned to the kings of the Franks to the north and east, as well as other post-Roman kingdoms existing in Gaul: Visigoths and Alemanni; the original core territory of the Frankish kingdom came to be known as Austrasia, while the large Romanised Frankish kingdom in northern Gaul came to be known as Neustria. Chlodio's successors are obscure figures, but what can be certain is that Childeric I his grandson, ruled a Salian kingdom from Tournai as a foederatus of the Romans.
Childeric is chiefly important to history for bequeathing the Franks to his son Clovis, who began an effort to extend his authority over the other Frankish tribes and to expand their territorium south and west into Gaul. Clovis converted to Christianity and put himself on good terms with the powerful Church and with his Gallo-Roman subjects. In a thirty-year reign Clovis defeated the Roman general Syagrius and conquered the Kingdom of Soissons, defeated the Alemanni and established Frankish hegemony over them. Clovis defeated the Visigoths and conquered all of their territory north of the Pyrenees save Septimania, conquered the Bretons and made them vassals of Francia, he conquered most or all of the neighbouring Frankish tribes along the Rhine and incorporated them into his kingdom. He incorporated the various Roman military settlements scattered over Gaul: the Saxons of Bessin, the Britons and the Alans of Armorica and Loire valley or the Taifals of Poitou to name a few prominent ones. By the end of his life, Clovis ruled all of Gaul save the Gothic province of Septimania and the Burgundian kingdom in the southeast.
The Merovingians were a hereditary monarchy. The Frankish kings adhered to th
Abbaretz is a commune in the Loire-Atlantique department in the Pays de la Loire region of western France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Abbaroises. Abbaretz is located 20 km north-east of Blain. Access to the commune is by the D2 road from Nozay in the west passing through the village and continuing east to La Meilleraye-de-Bretagne; the D1 road comes from Treffieux in the north passing through continuing south. The D35 road comes from Issé in the north-east passing through the village and continuing south-west to Puceul; the D24 road branches from the D1 goes south-east to Joué-sur-Erdre. The D69 road from Issé to Nort-sur-Erdre passes through the east of the commune. Apart from the village there are the hamlets of: Abbaretz has been known by the following names: Abbaretiacum Abbaret Abbarez Abbarrez Abbaretz Abbaret La Baretz Abbareium Abbaretz; the name Abbaretz originates from the Gallo language, the language of Upper Brittany: Abarèt in Gallo Until the 8th century the parish of Abbaretiacum had its own Lord Bishop under the Bishops of Nantes.
Following the invasion of Normandy and civil wars in Brittany in the 11th and 12th centuries Abbaretz ceased to be a feudal state. During the 10th century the lords of Chateaubriand took effective possession of the territory of Abbaretz: to enter Abbaretz was a privilege they gave to one of their younger sons, known by the name of Le Boeuf, First Lord of Nozay and Issé. In 1123, the Duke Conan confirmed the church of Nantes as the owner of the church at Abbaretz. In June 1230 Brient Le Boeuf, called "The Old Man", Lord of Issé, donated to the Cistercian Abbey of Notre Dame de Melleray, for the salvation of his soul, some land he owned at Abbaretz; the monks of this monastery built a chapel dedicated to St. Margaret. At the same time, Geoffroy de Trent abandoned his portion of Melleray Abbey and two-thirds of all the tithes of the land of the Abbaretz forest. In 1242, Guégon Le Gruc and his wife Agathe of Trent confirmed this pious donation; the parishioners of Abbaretz tried to oppose the increase in their tithes by the monks at Melleray.
From the documents in the process, it can be seen that the area called the Forest of Abbaretz was inhabited in 1235 by Daniel and Bernard de Rozé, Guy Lague, Robin Daniel, Guillaume Robin, Riwallon Le Duc, Guillaume Robert, Pierre Constanz, Geffroy Grimaut, Guillaume Raffrey, Judicaël Troynel who were all vassals of Geoffroy Trent. When the diocese of Nantes was divided into archdeaconries and deaneries, the parish of Abbaretz was included in the deanery of Chateaubriand, a member of the archdeaconry of Mee; the fiefs component of the Lordship of Abbaretz was composed of several parts: the income from Nozay the income from Issé the income from Vioreau the barony of Derval, The Melleray AbbeyThe headquarters of the most important Lordship was located at the Chateau de La Riviere which belongs to the Briant family and passed into the hands of the lords of Chateaubriant the House of Montmorency, the Prince of Condé. List of Successive Mayors of Abbaretz According to the classification established by the INSEE, Abbaretz is a commune which forms part of the crown of a large urban pole projecting from the urban area of Nantes to the urban area of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire.
Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 Percentage Distribution of Age Groups in Abbaretz and Loire-Atlantique Department French and the local language of Gallo are spoken in the area. The Gallo language is in danger of extinction according to a study by Serge Jouin in his thesis: "The Gallo speech of Abbaretz and elsewhere...", published in two volumes in 1982 and 1984. Abbaretz is a point of survey for the linguistic atlas by Messrs. Guillaume and Chauveau. Site of the tin mine; the area was known for its tin production into the 1960s but it has now been converted to recreational purposes. The lake, produced from tin extraction has an area of 15 hectares and is used for water skiing; the slag heap is 121 metres high provides a scenic view with para-sailing opportunities. Chestnut tree of the Nonneries: this is a classified tree 800 years old. Old Forges of the Jahotière which has now been converted into a hotel and function centre; the parish Church of Saint-Pierre has a Chalice, registered as an historical object.
Communes of the Loire-Atlantique department Abbaretz commune website The bordering communes of Abbaretz Abbaretz on Lion 1906 Abbaretz on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Abbaretz on the 1750 Cassini Map Abbaretz on the INSEE website INSEE
Republic of Ireland
Ireland known as the Republic of Ireland, is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, located on the eastern part of the island, whose metropolitan area is home to around a third of the country's over 4.8 million inhabitants. The sovereign state shares its only land border with a part of the United Kingdom, it is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south-east, the Irish Sea to the east. It is a parliamentary republic; the legislature, the Oireachtas, consists of a lower house, Dáil Éireann, an upper house, Seanad Éireann, an elected President who serves as the ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach, elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President; the state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It had the status of Dominion until 1937 when a new constitution was adopted, in which the state was named "Ireland" and became a republic, with an elected non-executive president as head of state.
It was declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955, it joined the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, in 1973. The state had no formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but during the 1980s and 1990s the British and Irish governments worked with the Northern Ireland parties towards a resolution to "the Troubles". Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the Irish government and Northern Ireland Executive have co-operated on a number of policy areas under the North-South Ministerial Council created by the Agreement. Ireland ranks among the top twenty-five wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, as the tenth most prosperous country in the world according to The Legatum Prosperity Index 2015. After joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth.
The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 1995 and 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by an unprecedented financial crisis that began in 2008, in conjunction with the concurrent global economic crash. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index, it performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD; the Irish government has followed a policy of military neutrality through non-alignment since prior to World War II and the country is not a member of NATO, although it is a member of Partnership for Peace. The 1922 state, comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland, was "styled and known as the Irish Free State".
The Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that "the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland". Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, "It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland." The 1948 Act does not name the state as "Republic of Ireland", because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution. The government of the United Kingdom used the name "Eire" and, from 1949, "Republic of Ireland", for the state; as well as "Ireland", "Éire" or "the Republic of Ireland", the state is referred to as "the Republic", "Southern Ireland" or "the South". In an Irish republican context it is referred to as "the Free State" or "the 26 Counties". From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, the island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the island's population of over 8 million fell by 30%. One million Irish died of starvation and/or disease and another 1.5 million emigrated to the United States.
This set the pattern of emigration for the century to come, resulting in constant population decline up to the 1960s. From 1874, under Charles Stewart Parnell from 1880, the Irish Parliamentary Party gained prominence; this was firstly through widespread agrarian agitation via the Irish Land League, that won land reforms for tenants in the form of the Irish Land Acts, secondly through its attempts to achieve Home Rule, via two unsuccessful bills which would have granted Ireland limited national autonomy. These led to "grass-roots" control of national affairs, under the Local Government Act 1898, in the hands of landlord-dominated grand juries of the Protestant Ascendancy. Home Rule seemed certain when the Parliament Act 1911 abolished the veto of the House of Lords, John Redmond secured the Third Home Rule Act in 1914. However, the Unionist movement had been growing since 1886 among Irish Protestants after the introduction of the first home rule bill, fearing discrimination and loss of economic and social privileges if Irish Catholics achieved real political power