Lustre or luster is the way light interacts with the surface of a crystal, rock, or mineral. The word traces its origins back to the Latin lux, meaning "light", implies radiance, gloss, or brilliance. A range of terms are used to describe lustre, such as earthy, metallic and silky; the term vitreous refers to a glassy lustre. A list of these terms is given below. Lustre varies over a wide continuum, so there are no rigid boundaries between the different types of lustre; the terms are combined to describe intermediate types of lustre. Some minerals exhibit unusual optical phenomena, such as asterism or chatoyancy. A list of such phenomena is given below. Adamantine minerals possess a superlative lustre, most notably seen in diamond; such minerals are transparent or translucent, have a high refractive index. Minerals with a true adamantine lustre are uncommon, with examples being cerussite and cubic zirconia. Minerals with a lesser degree of lustre are referred to as subadamantine, with some examples being garnet and corundum.
Dull minerals exhibit little to no lustre, due to coarse granulations which scatter light in all directions, approximating a Lambertian reflector. An example is kaolinite. A distinction is sometimes drawn between dull minerals and earthy minerals, with the latter being coarser, having less lustre. Greasy minerals resemble grease. A greasy lustre occurs in minerals containing a great abundance of microscopic inclusions, with examples including opal and cordierite, jadeite. Many minerals with a greasy lustre feel greasy to the touch. Metallic minerals have the lustre of polished metal, with ideal surfaces will work as a reflective surface. Examples include galena and magnetite. Pearly minerals consist of thin transparent co-planar sheets. Light reflecting from these layers give them a lustre reminiscent of pearls; such minerals possess perfect cleavage, with examples including stilbite. Resinous minerals have the appearance of chewing gum or plastic. A principal example is amber, a form of fossilized resin.
Silky minerals have a parallel arrangement of fine fibres, giving them a lustre reminiscent of silk. Examples include asbestos and the satin spar variety of gypsum. A fibrous lustre has a coarser texture. Submetallic minerals are duller and less reflective. A submetallic lustre occurs in near-opaque minerals with high refractive indices, such as sphalerite and cuprite. Vitreous minerals have the lustre of glass; this type of lustre is one of the most seen, occurs in transparent or translucent minerals with low refractive indices. Common examples include calcite, topaz, beryl and fluorite, among others. Waxy minerals have a lustre resembling wax. Examples include chalcedony. Asterism is the display of a star-shaped luminous area, it is seen in some rubies, where it is caused by impurities of rutile. It can occur in garnet and spinel. Aventurescence is a reflectance effect like that of glitter, it arises from minute, preferentially oriented mineral platelets within the material. These platelets are so numerous that they influence the material's body colour.
In aventurine quartz, chrome-bearing fuchsite makes for a green stone and various iron oxides make for a red stone. Chatoyant minerals display luminous bands; such minerals are composed of parallel fibers, which reflect light into a direction perpendicular to their orientation, thus forming narrow bands of light. The most famous examples are tiger's eye and cymophane, but the effect may occur in other minerals such as aquamarine and tourmaline. Color change is most found in alexandrite, a variety of chrysoberyl gemstones. Other gems occur in color-change varieties, including sapphire, spinel. Alexandrite displays a color change dependent upon light, along with strong pleochroism; the gem results from small-scale replacement of aluminium by chromium oxide, responsible for alexandrite's characteristic green to red color change. Alexandrite from the Ural Mountains in Russia is green by red by incandescent light. Other varieties of alexandrite may be yellowish or pink in daylight and a columbine or raspberry red by incandescent light.
The optimum or "ideal" color change would be fine emerald green to fine purplish red, but this is rare. Iridescence is the'play' or'fire' of rainbow-coloured light caused by thin regular structures or layers beneath the surface of a gemstone. Similar to a thin film of oil on water, these layers interfere with the rays of reflected light, reinforcing some colours and cancelling others. Iridescence is seen at its best in precious opal. Schiller, from German for "color play", is the metallic iridescence originating from below the surface of a stone that occurs when light is reflected between layers of minerals, it is seen in moonstone and labradorite and is similar to adularescence and aventurescence
Cinnabar and cinnabarite deriving from the Ancient Greek: κιννάβαρι, refer to the common bright scarlet to brick-red form of mercury sulfide, the most common source ore for refining elemental mercury, is the historic source for the brilliant red or scarlet pigment termed vermilion and associated red mercury pigments. Cinnabar occurs as a vein-filling mineral associated with recent volcanic activity and alkaline hot springs; the mineral resembles quartz in its exhibiting birefringence. The color and properties derive from a structure, a hexagonal crystalline lattice belonging to the trigonal crystal system, crystals that sometimes exhibit twinning. Cinnabar has been used for its color since antiquity in the Near East, including as a rouge-type cosmetic, in the New World since the Olmec culture, in China since as early as the Yangshao culture, where it was used in coloring stoneware. Associated modern precautions for use and handling of cinnabar arise from the toxicity of the mercury component, recognized as early as ancient Rome.
The name comes from Ancient Greek: κιννάβαρι, a Greek word most applied by Theophrastus to several distinct substances. Other sources say the word comes from the Persian: a word of uncertain origin. In Latin, it was sometimes known as minium, meaning "red cinnamon", though both of these terms now refer to lead tetroxide. Cinnabar is found in a massive, granular or earthy form and is bright scarlet to brick-red in color, though it occurs in crystals with a nonmetallic adamantine luster, it resembles quartz in its symmetry. It exhibits birefringence, it has the highest refractive index of any mineral, its mean refractive index is 3.08, versus the indices for diamond and the non-mineral gallium arsenide, which are 2.42 and 3.93, respectively. The hardness of cinnabar is 2.0–2.5 on the Mohs scale, its specific gravity 8.1. Structurally, cinnabar belongs to the trigonal crystal system, it occurs as granular to massive incrustations. Crystal twinning occurs as simple contact twins. Note, mercury sulfide, HgS, adopts the cinnabar structure described, one additional structure, i.e. it is dimorphous.
Cinnabar is the more stable form, is a structure akin to that of HgO: each Hg center has two short Hg−S bonds, four longer Hg···S contacts. In addition, HgS is found in a non-cinnabar polymorph that has the zincblende structure. Cinnabar occurs as a vein-filling mineral associated with recent volcanic activity and alkaline hot springs. Cinnabar is deposited by epithermal ascending aqueous solutions far removed from their igneous source, it is associated with native mercury, realgar, marcasite, quartz, dolomite and barite. Cinnabar is found in all mineral extraction localities that yield mercury, notably Almadén; this mine was exploited from Roman times until 1991, being for centuries the most important cinnabar deposit in the world. Good cinnabar crystals have been found there.. Appear in Puerto Princesa, it was mined near Red Devil, Alaska on the middle Kuskokwim River. Red Devil was named after a primary source of mercury, it has been found in Dominica near its sulfur springs at the southern end of the island along the west coast.
Cinnabar is still being deposited at the present day, such as from the hot waters of Sulphur Bank Mine in California and Steamboat Springs, Nevada. As the most common source of mercury in nature, cinnabar has been mined for thousands of years as far back as the Neolithic Age. During the Roman Empire it was mined both as a pigment, for its mercury content. To produce liquid mercury, crushed cinnabar ore is roasted in rotary furnaces. Pure mercury separates from sulfur in this process and evaporates. A condensing column is used to collect the liquid metal, most shipped in iron flasks. Associated modern precautions for use and handling of cinnabar arise from the toxicity of the mercury component, recognized as early as in ancient Rome; because of its mercury content, cinnabar can be toxic to human beings. Though people in ancient South America used cinnabar for art, or processed it into refined mercury "the toxic properties of mercury were well known, it was dangerous to those who mined and processed cinnabar, it caused shaking, loss of sense, death.
Data suggest that mercury was retorted from cinnabar and the workers were exposed to the toxic mercury fumes." Overexposure to mercury, was seen as an occupational disease to the ancient Romans: "Mining in the Spanish cinnabar mines of Almadén, 225 km southwest of Madrid, was regarded as being akin to a death sentence due to the shortened life expectancy of the miners, who were slave
Mexico the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States. Covering 2,000,000 square kilometres, the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity, the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Puebla, Tijuana and León. Pre-Columbian Mexico dates to about 8000 BC and is identified as one of five cradles of civilization and was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec and Aztec before first contact with Europeans. In 1521, the Spanish Empire conquered and colonized the territory from its politically powerful base in Mexico-Tenochtitlan, administered as the viceroyalty of New Spain.
Three centuries the territory became a nation state following its recognition in 1821 after the Mexican War of Independence. The post-independence period was tumultuous, characterized by economic inequality and many contrasting political changes; the Mexican–American War led to a territorial cession of the extant northern territories to the United States. The Pastry War, the Franco-Mexican War, a civil war, two empires, the Porfiriato occurred in the 19th century; the Porfiriato was ended by the start of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which culminated with the promulgation of the 1917 Constitution and the emergence of the country's current political system as a federal, democratic republic. Mexico has the 11th largest by purchasing power parity; the Mexican economy is linked to those of its 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement partners the United States. In 1994, Mexico became the first Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, it is classified as an upper-middle income country by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country by several analysts.
The country is considered both a regional power and a middle power, is identified as an emerging global power. Due to its rich culture and history, Mexico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world for number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Mexico is an ecologically megadiverse country, ranking fourth in the world for its biodiversity. Mexico receives a huge number of tourists every year: in 2018, it was the sixth most-visited country in the world, with 39 million international arrivals. Mexico is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G8+5, the G20, the Uniting for Consensus group of the UN, the Pacific Alliance trade bloc. Mēxihco is the Nahuatl term for the heartland of the Aztec Empire, namely the Valley of Mexico and surrounding territories, with its people being known as the Mexica, it is believed to be a toponym for the valley which became the primary ethnonym for the Aztec Triple Alliance as a result, although it could have been the other way around.
In the colonial era, back when Mexico was called New Spain this territory became the Intendency of Mexico and after New Spain achieved independence from the Spanish Empire it came to be known as the State of Mexico with the new country being named after its capital: the City of Mexico, which itself was founded in 1524 on top of the ancient Mexica capital of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. Traditionally, the name Tenochtitlan was thought to come from Nahuatl tetl and nōchtli and is thought to mean "Among the prickly pears rocks". However, one attestation in the late 16th-century manuscript known as "the Bancroft dialogues" suggests the second vowel was short, so that the true etymology remains uncertain; the suffix -co is the Nahuatl locative, making the word a place name. Beyond that, the etymology is uncertain, it has been suggested that it is derived from Mextli or Mēxihtli, a secret name for the god of war and patron of the Mexica, Huitzilopochtli, in which case Mēxihco means "place where Huitzilopochtli lives".
Another hypothesis suggests that Mēxihco derives from a portmanteau of the Nahuatl words for "moon" and navel. This meaning might refer to Tenochtitlan's position in the middle of Lake Texcoco; the system of interconnected lakes, of which Texcoco formed the center, had the form of a rabbit, which the Mesoamericans pareidolically associated with the moon rabbit. Still another hypothesis suggests that the word is derived from Mēctli, the name of the goddess of maguey; the name of the city-state was transliterated to Spanish as México with the phonetic value of the letter x in Medieval Spanish, which represented the voiceless postalveolar fricative. This sound, as well as the voiced postalveolar fricative, represented by a j, evolved into a voiceless velar fricative during the 16th century; this led to the use of the variant Méjico in many publications in Spanish, most notably in Spain, whereas in Mexico and most other Spanish–speaking countries, México was the preferred spelling. In recent years, the Real Academia Española, which regulates the Spanish l
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Peru the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river. Peruvian territory was home to several ancient cultures. Ranging from the Norte Chico civilization in the 32nd century BC, the oldest civilization in the Americas and one of the five cradles of civilization, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in pre-Columbian America, the territory now including Peru has one of the longest histories of civilization of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 4th millennia BCE; the Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a viceroyalty that encompassed most of its South American colonies, with its capital in Lima.
Peru formally proclaimed independence in 1821, following the military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar, the decisive battle of Ayacucho, Peru secured independence in 1824. In the ensuing years, the country enjoyed relative economic and political stability, which ended shortly before the War of the Pacific with Chile. Throughout the 20th century, Peru endured armed territorial disputes, social unrest, internal conflicts, as well as periods of stability and economic upswing. Alberto Fujimori was elected to the presidency in 1990. Fujimori left the presidency in 2000 and was charged with human rights violations and imprisoned until his pardon by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in 2017. After the president's regime, Fujimori's followers, called Fujimoristas, have caused political turmoil for any opposing faction in power causing Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to resign in March 2018; the sovereign state of Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. It is classified as an emerging market with a high level of human development and an upper middle income level with a poverty rate around 19 percent.
It is one of the region's most prosperous economies with an average growth rate of 5.9% and it has one of the world's fastest industrial growth rates at an average of 9.6%. Its main economic activities include mining, manufacturing and fishing; the country forms part of The Pacific Pumas, a political and economic grouping of countries along Latin America's Pacific coast that share common trends of positive growth, stable macroeconomic foundations, improved governance and an openness to global integration. Peru ranks high in social freedom. Peru has a population of 32 million, which includes Amerindians, Europeans and Asians; the main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine and music; the name of the country may be derived from Birú, the name of a local ruler who lived near the Bay of San Miguel, Panama City, in the early 16th century.
When his possessions were visited by Spanish explorers in 1522, they were the southernmost part of the New World yet known to Europeans. Thus, when Francisco Pizarro explored the regions farther south, they came to be designated Birú or Perú. An alternative history is provided by the contemporary writer Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, son of an Inca princess and a conquistador, he said the name Birú was that of a common Indian happened upon by the crew of a ship on an exploratory mission for governor Pedro Arias de Ávila, went on to relate more instances of misunderstandings due to the lack of a common language. The Spanish Crown gave the name legal status with the 1529 Capitulación de Toledo, which designated the newly encountered Inca Empire as the province of Peru. Under Spanish rule, the country adopted the denomination Viceroyalty of Peru, which became Republic of Peru after independence; the earliest evidences of human presence in Peruvian territory have been dated to 9,000 BC. Andean societies were based on agriculture, terracing.
Organization relied on reciprocity and redistribution because these societies had no notion of market or money. The oldest known complex society in Peru, the Norte Chico civilization, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3,000 and 1,800 BC; these early developments were followed by archaeological cultures that developed around the coastal and Andean regions throughout Peru. The Cupisnique culture which flourished from around 1000 to 200 BC along what is now Peru's Pacific Coast was an example of early pre-Incan culture; the Chavín culture that developed from 1500 to 300 BC was more of a religious than a political phenomenon, with their religious centre in Chavín de Huantar. After the decline of the Chavin culture around the beginning of the 1st century AD, a series of localized and specialized cultures rose and fell
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000