Chesapeake and Ohio Railway
The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway was a Class I railroad formed in 1869 in Virginia from several smaller Virginia railroads begun in the 19th century. Led by industrialist Collis P. Huntington, it reached from Virginia's capital city of Richmond to the Ohio River by 1873, where the railroad town of Huntington, West Virginia was named for him. Tapping the coal reserves of West Virginia, the C&O's Peninsula Extension to new coal piers on the harbor of Hampton Roads resulted in the creation of the new City of Newport News. Coal revenues led the forging of a rail link to the Midwest reaching Columbus and Toledo in Ohio and Chicago, Illinois. By the early 1960s the C&O was headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. In 1972, under the leadership of Cyrus Eaton, it became part of the Chessie System, along with the Baltimore and Ohio and Western Maryland Railway; the Chessie System was combined with the Seaboard Coast Line and Louisville and Nashville, both the primary components of the Family Lines System, to become a key portion of CSX Transportation in the 1980s.
C&O's passenger services ended in 1971 with the formation of Amtrak. Today Amtrak's tri-weekly Cardinal passenger train follows the historic and scenic route of the C&O through the New River Gorge in one of the more rugged sections of the Mountain State; the rails of the former C&O continue to transport intermodal and freight traffic, as well as West Virginia bituminous coal east to Hampton Roads and west to the Great Lakes as part of CSXT, a Fortune 500 company, one of seven Class I railroads operating in North America at the beginning of the 21st century. At the end of 1970 C&O operated 5067 miles of road on 10219 miles of track, not including WM or B&O and its subsidiaries; the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway traced its origin to the Louisa Railroad of Louisa County, begun in 1836, the James River & Kanawha Canal Company in Virginia, begun in 1785. The first train ran on December 20, 1837. A feeder line to connect with the predecessor of the Richmond and Potomac Railroad at what is now Doswell, by 1850 the Louisa Railroad had won the right in Virginia courts to build southeast to Richmond in competition with the RF&P.
It expanded west, reaching Charlottesville. In keeping with its new and larger vision, it was renamed the Virginia Central Railroad. However, plans to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains, the first mountain barrier to the west, at Swift Run Gap proved both financially and technically unfeasible; the Commonwealth of Virginia, always keen to help with internal improvements not only owned a portion of Virginia Central stock through the state Board of Public Works, but incorporated and financed the Blue Ridge Railroad to accomplish the hard and expensive task of crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains. Under the leadership of the great early civil engineer Claudius Crozet, the Blue Ridge RR built over the mountains using four tunnels: Greenwood Tunnel, Brookville Tunnel, Little Rock Tunnel, the 4,263-foot Blue Ridge Tunnel at the top of the pass one of the longest tunnels in the world. At the same time, Virginia Central was building westward from the west foot of the Blue Ridge, crossing the Shenandoah Valley and Great North Mountain reaching the foot of the Alleghany Mountains in 1856 at a point known as Jackson's River Station to be called Clifton Forge.
To finish its line across the mountainous territory of the Alleghany Plateau, the Commonwealth again chartered a state-subsidized railroad called the Covington and Ohio Railroad, authorized by the General Assembly in 1853. This company completed important grading work on the Alleghany grade and did considerable work on numerous tunnels over the mountains and in the west, it did a good deal of roadway work around Charleston on the Kanawha River. The American Civil War intervened, work was stopped on the westward expansion. During the Civil War the Virginia Central Railroad was one of the Confederacy's most important lines, carrying food from the Shenandoah region to Richmond, ferrying troops and supplies back and forth as the campaigns surrounded its tracks frequently, it had an important connection with the Orange and Alexandria Railroad at Virginia. On more than one occasion, the Virginia Central was used in actual tactical operations, transporting troops directly to the battlefield. But, it was a prime target for Federal armies, by the end of the war had only about five miles of track still in operation, $40 in gold in its treasury.
Following the war, Virginia Central officials, led by company president Williams Carter Wickham, realized that they would have to get capital to rebuild from outside the economically devastated South, attempted to attract British interests, without success. They succeeded in interesting Collis P. Huntington of New York. Huntington had been one of the "Big Four" involved in building the Central Pacific portion of the Transcontinental Railroad, just reaching completion. Huntington had a vision of a true transcontinental railroad that would go from sea to sea under one operating management, decided that the Virginia Central might be the eastern link to this system. Huntington supplied the Virginians with the money needed to complete the line to the Ohio River, through what was now the new state of West Virginia; the old Covington & Ohio's properties were conveyed to them in keeping with its new mission of linking the Tidewater coast of Vi
American Car and Foundry Company
American Car and Foundry is an American manufacturer of railroad rolling stock. One of its subsidiaries was once a manufacturer of motor coaches and trolley coaches under the brand names of ACF and ACF-Brill. Today, ACF is based in St. Charles, Missouri, it is owned by investor Carl Icahn. American Car and Foundry was formed and incorporated in New Jersey in 1899 as the result of the merger of 13 smaller railroad car manufacturers; the company was made up of: Later in 1899 ACF acquired Bloomsburg Car Manufacturing Company. Two years ACF acquired Jackson and Sharp Company, the Common Sense Bolster Company; the unified company made a great investment in the former Jackson & Woodin plant in Pennsylvania, spending about $3 million. It was at this plant that ACF built the first all-steel passenger car in the world in 1904; the car was built for the Interborough Rapid Transit system of New York City, the first of 300 such cars ordered by that system. 1904 and 1905 saw ACF build several motor trailers for the London Underground.
In those two years, ACF acquired Southern Car and Foundry, Indianapolis Car and Foundry and Indianapolis Car Company. During World War I ACF produced artillery gun mounts and ammunition, submarine chasers and other boats, railway cars, other equipment to support the Allies. ACF ranked 36th among United States corporations in the value of World War II production contracts. 1899: American Car & Foundry is formed from the merger of 13 smaller companies. 1899: ACF acquires Bloomsburg Car Manufacturing Company 1901: ACF acquires Jackson and Sharp Company and Common Sense Bolster Company 1904: ACF builds the first all-steel passenger car in the world for the Interborough Rapid Transit 1904: ACF acquires Southern Car and Foundry of Memphis, Tennessee 1905: ACF acquires Indianapolis Car and Foundry and Indianapolis Car Company 1922: ACF diversifies into the automotive industry with the acquisition of Carter Carburetor Corporation March 31, 1924: ACF acquires Pacific Car and Foundry 1925: ACF acquires Fageol Motors Company of Ohio and Hall-Scott Motor Car Company 1926: ACF acquires J. G. Brill Company 1927: ACF acquires Shippers Car Line 1935: ACF builds lightweight Rebel streamline trains for the Gulf and Northern Railroad 1939: ACF's Berwick plant switches to construction of military tanks.
August 2, 1941: ACF's 1,000th military tank is completed for the United States military effort of World War II 1954: The company changes its name to ACF Industries, Inc. 1954: ACF purchases Engineering and Research Corporation. 1954–1955: ACF delivers 35 "Astra Dome" dome cars to the Union Pacific Railroad January 1961: ACF delivers its last passenger car, Berwick plant closed, sold, to re-open as Berwick Forge & Fabricating Corporation. 1977: Southern Pacific Railroad came up with the idea of the first double-stack intermodal car in 1977. SP designed the first car with ACF Industries that same year. 1984: ACF is purchased by Carl Icahn 1997: ACF reaches leasing agreement with GE Capital Railcar for 35000 of its 46000 railcars on 16 year leases with optional purchase agreements. 2003: ACF Industries LLC became a successor to ACF Industries, Incorporated on May 1, 2003. In the past ACF built passenger and freight cars, including covered hopper cars for hauling such cargo as corn and other grains.
One of the largest customers was the Union Pacific Railroad, whose armour-yellow carbon-steel lightweight passenger rolling stock was built by ACF. The famous dome-observation car Native Son was an ACF product. Another important ACF railroad production were the passenger cars of the Missouri River "Eagle", a Missouri Pacific streamliner put on service on march 1940; this train, in its original shape, consisted of six cars including one baggage, one baggage-mail, two coaches one food and beverage car and the observation lounge-parlor car. All the passenger equipment was styled by industrial designer Raymond Loewy. Today the U. S. passenger car market is erratic in production and is handled by specialty manufacturers and foreign corporations. Competitors Budd, Pullman-Standard, Rohr Industries, the St. Louis Car Company have all either left the market or gone out of business; the manufacturing facility in Milton, Pennsylvania, is served by the Norfolk Southern Railway and is capable of manufacturing railcars and all related railcar components.
The plant is capable of producing pressure vessels in sizes 18,000–61,000 gwc, including propane tanks, compressed gas storage, LPG storage, all related components, including heads. The plant, covering 48 acres, provides 500,000 square feet of covered work area and seven miles of storage tracks; the Huntington, West Virginia, production site ceased production in late 2009. The site continues only as a repair facility. American Car Company Canadian Car and Foundry Jan Rogers Kniffen - former company treasurer List of rolling stock manufacturers ACF Industries - Official site ACF Industries Archival Collection - University of Missouri History of ACF trucks - Trucksplanet
A hopper car or hopper wagon is a type of railroad freight car used to transport loose bulk commodities such as coal, ore and track ballast. Two main types of hopper car exist: covered hopper cars, which are equipped with a roof, open hopper cars, which do not have a roof; this type of car is distinguished from a gondola car in that it has opening doors on the underside or on the sides to discharge its cargo. The development of the hopper car went along with the development of automated handling of such commodities, with automated loading and unloading facilities. Covered hopper cars are used for bulk cargo such as grain and fertilizer that must be protected from exposure to the weather. Open hopper cars are used for commodities such as coal, which can suffer exposure with less detrimental effect. Hopper cars have been used by railways. "Ore jennies" is predominantly a term for shorter open hopper cars hauling taconite by the Duluth and Iron Range Railway on Minnesota's Iron Range. A rotary car dumper permits the use of more compact gondola cars instead of hoppers.
Covered hoppers, are still in widespread use. The Coke Express, a unit train of hopper cars loaded with coke, with the words "Coke Express" painted on the sides of the hoppers. Increase in wheel loads has important implications for the rail infrastructure needed to accommodate future grain hopper car shipments; the weight of the car is transmitted to the rails and the underlying track structure through these wheel loads. As wheel loads increase, track maintenance expenses increase and the ability of a given rail weight, ballast depth, tie configuration to handle prolonged rail traffic decreases. Moreover, the ability of a given bridge to handle prolonged rail traffic decreases as wheel loads increase; the word "hopper", meaning a "container with a narrow opening at bottom", goes back to the thirteenth century, is found in Chaucer's story "The Reeve's Tale" in reference to a machine for grinding grain into flour. Gondola Gravity wagon called a slant wagon Victorian Railways hopper wagons Union Pacific #7801 – Photos and short history of an example of a typical self-clearing, open-top triple hopper Rail car manufacturing
Hammond is a city in Lake County, United States. It is part of the Chicago metropolitan area. First settled in the mid-19th century, it is one of the oldest cities of northern Lake County; as of the 2010 United States census, it is the largest in population: the 2010 population was 80,830, replacing Gary as the most populous city in Lake County. From north to south, Hammond runs from Lake Michigan down to the Little Calumet River; the city is traversed by numerous railroads and expressways, including the South Shore Line, Borman Expressway, Indiana Toll Road. Notable local landmarks include the parkland around Wolf Lake and the Horseshoe Hammond riverboat casino. Part of the Rust Belt, Hammond has been industrial from its inception, but is home to a Purdue University campus and numerous historic districts that showcase the residential and commercial architecture of the early 20th century. Hammond is located at 41°36′40″N 87°29′35″W; the city's elevation above sea level ranges from 577 feet to 610 feet.
The city sits within the boundaries of the former Lake Chicago, much of its land area consists of former dune and swale terrain, subsequently leveled. Most of the city is on sandy soil with a layer of black topsoil that varies from non-existent to several feet thick. Much of the exposed sand was removed for purposes such as industrial use to make glass. According to the 2010 census, Hammond has a total area of 24.886 square miles, of which 22.78 square miles is land and 2.106 square miles is water. Grand Calumet River Lake George Lake Michigan Little Calumet River Oxbow Lake Wolf Lake IllinoisBurnham Calumet City Chicago LansingIndianaEast Chicago Gary Griffith Highland Munster Whiting As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 80,830 people, 29,949 households, 19,222 families residing in the city; the population density was 3,548.3 inhabitants per square mile. There were 32,945 housing units at an average density of 1,446.2 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 59.4% White, 22.5% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 13.3% from other races, 3.3% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.1% of the population. There were 29,949 households of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.0% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.5% had a male householder with no wife present, 35.8% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.36. The median age in the city was 33.3 years. 27.6% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 49.0% male and 51.0% female. As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 83,048 people, 32,026 households and 20,880 families residing in the city; the population density was 3,630.0 per square mile. There were 34,139 housing units at an average density of 1,492.2 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 72.35% White, 14.57% African American, 0.41% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 9.32% from other races, 2.81% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.04% of the population. There were 32,026 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.9% were married couples living together, 16.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.8% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.23. In the city, the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males. The median income for a household in the city was $35,528, the median income for a family was $42,221. Males had a median income of $35,778 versus $25,180 for females; the per capita income for the city was $16,254. About 12.0% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.
Central Hammond Hessville North Hammond Robertsdale South Hammond Woodmar Most of Hammond's streets are laid out in a grid pattern similar to Chicago's streets. While Madison Street in Chicago acts as the reference point for north-south street numbering the first "1" is removed; the state line is used as the reference point for east-west street numbering. Other cities and towns in Northwest Indiana that use the Hammond numbering system are Whiting and Highland. Dyer uses the Hammond numbering system but the first number removed from the north-south streets is a "2," as by that point the Illinois numbers across the state line start with the number 2. I-9
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database to streamline operations, control costs, increase efficiency in library management, bringing libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world's information in order to best serve researchers and scholars; the first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first online cataloging by any library worldwide. Membership in OCLC is based on use of services and contribution of data. Between 1967 and 1977, OCLC membership was limited to institutions in Ohio, but in 1978, a new governance structure was established that allowed institutions from other states to join. In 2002, the governance structure was again modified to accommodate participation from outside the United States.
As OCLC expanded services in the United States outside Ohio, it relied on establishing strategic partnerships with "networks", organizations that provided training and marketing services. By 2008, there were 15 independent United States regional service providers. OCLC networks played a key role in OCLC governance, with networks electing delegates to serve on the OCLC Members Council. During 2008, OCLC commissioned two studies to look at distribution channels. In early 2009, OCLC negotiated new contracts with the former networks and opened a centralized support center. OCLC provides bibliographic and full-text information to anyone. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat—the OCLC Online Union Catalog, the largest online public access catalog in the world. WorldCat has holding records from private libraries worldwide; the Open WorldCat program, launched in late 2003, exposed a subset of WorldCat records to Web users via popular Internet search and bookselling sites.
In October 2005, the OCLC technical staff began a wiki project, WikiD, allowing readers to add commentary and structured-field information associated with any WorldCat record. WikiD was phased out; the Online Computer Library Center acquired the trademark and copyrights associated with the Dewey Decimal Classification System when it bought Forest Press in 1988. A browser for books with their Dewey Decimal Classifications was available until July 2013; until August 2009, when it was sold to Backstage Library Works, OCLC owned a preservation microfilm and digitization operation called the OCLC Preservation Service Center, with its principal office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The reference management service QuestionPoint provides libraries with tools to communicate with users; this around-the-clock reference service is provided by a cooperative of participating global libraries. Starting in 1971, OCLC produced catalog cards for members alongside its shared online catalog. OCLC commercially sells software, such as CONTENTdm for managing digital collections.
It offers the bibliographic discovery system WorldCat Discovery, which allows for library patrons to use a single search interface to access an institution's catalog, database subscriptions and more. OCLC has been conducting research for the library community for more than 30 years. In accordance with its mission, OCLC makes its research outcomes known through various publications; these publications, including journal articles, reports and presentations, are available through the organization's website. OCLC Publications – Research articles from various journals including Code4Lib Journal, OCLC Research, Reference & User Services Quarterly, College & Research Libraries News, Art Libraries Journal, National Education Association Newsletter; the most recent publications are displayed first, all archived resources, starting in 1970, are available. Membership Reports – A number of significant reports on topics ranging from virtual reference in libraries to perceptions about library funding. Newsletters – Current and archived newsletters for the library and archive community.
Presentations – Presentations from both guest speakers and OCLC research from conferences and other events. The presentations are organized into five categories: Conference presentations, Dewey presentations, Distinguished Seminar Series, Guest presentations, Research staff
A car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transportation. Most definitions of car say they run on roads, seat one to eight people, have four tires, transport people rather than goods. Cars came into global use during the 20th century, developed economies depend on them; the year 1886 is regarded as the birth year of the modern car when German inventor Karl Benz patented his Benz Patent-Motorwagen. Cars became available in the early 20th century. One of the first cars accessible to the masses was the 1908 Model T, an American car manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. Cars were adopted in the US, where they replaced animal-drawn carriages and carts, but took much longer to be accepted in Western Europe and other parts of the world. Cars have controls for driving, passenger comfort, safety, controlling a variety of lights. Over the decades, additional features and controls have been added to vehicles, making them progressively more complex; these include rear reversing cameras, air conditioning, navigation systems, in-car entertainment.
Most cars in use in the 2010s are propelled by an internal combustion engine, fueled by the combustion of fossil fuels. Electric cars, which were invented early in the history of the car, began to become commercially available in 2008. There are benefits to car use; the costs include acquiring the vehicle, interest payments and maintenance, depreciation, driving time, parking fees and insurance. The costs to society include maintaining roads, land use, road congestion, air pollution, public health, health care, disposing of the vehicle at the end of its life. Road traffic accidents are the largest cause of injury-related deaths worldwide; the benefits include on-demand transportation, mobility and convenience. The societal benefits include economic benefits, such as job and wealth creation from the automotive industry, transportation provision, societal well-being from leisure and travel opportunities, revenue generation from the taxes. People's ability to move flexibly from place to place has far-reaching implications for the nature of societies.
There are around 1 billion cars in use worldwide. The numbers are increasing especially in China and other newly industrialized countries; the word car is believed to originate from the Latin word carrus or carrum, or the Middle English word carre. In turn, these originated from the Gaulish word karros, it referred to any wheeled horse-drawn vehicle, such as a cart, carriage, or wagon. "Motor car" is attested from 1895, is the usual formal name for cars in British English. "Autocar" is a variant, attested from 1895, but, now considered archaic. It means "self-propelled car"; the term "horseless carriage" was used by some to refer to the first cars at the time that they were being built, is attested from 1895. The word "automobile" is a classical compound derived from the Ancient Greek word autós, meaning "self", the Latin word mobilis, meaning "movable", it entered the English language from French, was first adopted by the Automobile Club of Great Britain in 1897. Over time, the word "automobile" fell out of favour in Britain, was replaced by "motor car".
"Automobile" remains chiefly North American as a formal or commercial term. An abbreviated form, "auto", was a common way to refer to cars in English, but is now considered old-fashioned; the word is still common as an adjective in American English in compound formations like "auto industry" and "auto mechanic". In Dutch and German, two languages related to English, the abbreviated form "auto" / "Auto", as well as the formal full version "automobiel" / "Automobil" are still used — in either the short form is the most regular word for "car"; the first working steam-powered vehicle was designed — and quite built — by Ferdinand Verbiest, a Flemish member of a Jesuit mission in China around 1672. It was a 65-cm-long scale-model toy for the Chinese Emperor, unable to carry a driver or a passenger, it is not known with certainty if Verbiest's model was built or run. Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot is credited with building the first full-scale, self-propelled mechanical vehicle or car in about 1769, he constructed two steam tractors for the French Army, one of, preserved in the French National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts.
His inventions were, handicapped by problems with water supply and maintaining steam pressure. In 1801, Richard Trevithick built and demonstrated his Puffing Devil road locomotive, believed by many to be the first demonstration of a steam-powered road vehicle, it was unable to maintain sufficient steam pressure for long periods and was of little practical use. The development of external combustion engines is detailed as part of the history of the car but treated separately from the development of true cars. A variety of steam-powered road vehicles were used during the first part of the 19th century, including steam cars, steam buses and steam rollers. Sentiment against them led to the Locomotive Acts of 1865. In 1807, Nicéphore Niépce and his brother Claude created what was the world's first internal combustion engine, but they chose to install it in a boat on the river Saone in France. Coincidentally, in 1807 the Swiss inventor François Isaac de Rivaz designed his own'de Rivaz internal combustion engine' and used it to develop the world's first vehicle to be powered by such an engine.
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