India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle
Andrei Alekseevich Amalrik, alternatively spelled Andrei or Andrey, was a Russian writer and dissident. Amalrik was best known in the Western world for his essay, Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984? Amalrik was born during the time of Joseph Stalin's purges; when the Soviet revolution broke out, Andrei's father a young man, volunteered for the Red Army. After the war he went into the film industry. Andrei's father fought in World War II in the Northern Fleet and the Red Army, he was overheard uttering negative views about Stalin's qualities as a military leader, which led to his arrest and imprisonment. In 1942 he was invalided out of the service. Andrei's father's hardships explain Andrei's decision to become a historian. For his father, after climbing the educational ladder, was after the war refused permission to study at the Academy of Sciences' Institute of History on account of what authorities felt was his own compromised political past, but as historian John Keep wrote: "Andrei has gone one better by not only writing history but by securing a place in it."Andrei's father developed a serious heart condition which required constant nursing.
This care was provided first by his wife, on her death from cancer in 1959 by his son Andrei, until Andrei's arrest prevented him from ministering to his father's needs. He died. In high school, Andrei Amalrik was truant, he was expelled a year before graduation. Despite this, he won admission to the history department at Moscow State University in 1959. In 1963, he angered the university with a dissertation suggesting that Scandinavian warrior-traders and Greeks, rather than Slavs, played the principal role in developing the early Russian state in the ninth century. Amalrik was expelled from Moscow University. Without a degree, Amalrik did odd jobs and wrote five unpublished plays but was soon under the gaze of the security police for an attempt to contact a Danish scholar through the Danish Embassy, he became close to the unofficial youth literary group SMOG. Amalrik's plays and an interest in modern non-representational art led to Amalrik's first arrest in May 1965. A charge of spreading pornography failed because the expert witnesses called by the prosecution refused to give the correct testimony.
However, the authorities accused Amalrik of "parasitism," and he was sentenced by an administrative tribunal to banishment in western Siberia for a two-and-a-half-year term. He was freed and rearrested and sent to exile in a farm village near Tomsk, in Siberia. Allowed to make a brief trip to Moscow after the death of his father, Amalrik persuaded Tatar expressionist artist, Gyuzel Makudinova, to marry him and share his exile, it was this exile. Thanks to the efforts of his lawyer, his sentence was overturned in 1966 and Amalrik returned to Moscow, moving with Gyuzel into a crowded communal apartment with one bath, one kitchen, one telephone. During the trial of writers Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel in February 1966, Amalrik and other dissenters stood outside of the trial to protest. Amalrik met with foreign correspondents to relay protests, took part in vigils outside courthouses and gave an interview to an American television reporter. After the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, pressure on Russia's intellectuals was stepped up by the authorities.
Amalrik's apartment was twice searched, in May 1969 and February 1970. Amalrik was best known in the Western world for his essay Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?, published in 1970. The book predicts the country's eventual breakup under the weight of social and ethnic antagonisms and a disastrous war with China. Writing in 1969, Amalrik wanted to make 1980 as the date of the Soviet downfall, because 1980 was a round number, but Amalrik was persuaded by a friend to change it to the Orwellian inspired year of 1984. Amalrik predicted the collapse of the regime would occur between 1980 and 1985. Amalrik said in his book: I must emphasize that my essay is based not on scholarly research but only on observation. From an academic point of view, it may appear to be only empty chatter, but for Western students of the Soviet Union, at any rate, this discussion should have the same interest that a fish would have for an ichthyologist if it began to talk. Amalrik was incorrect in some of his predictions, such as a coming military collision with China, the collapse of the Soviet Union occurred in 1991, not 1984.
He failed to predict that he himself would not survive 1980. Correct was his argument that: If...one views the present "liberalization" as the growing decrepitude of the regime rather than its regeneration the logical result will be its death, which will be followed by anarchy." Amalrik predicted. Either power would pass to extremist elements and the country would "disintegrate into anarchy and intense national hatred," or the end would come peacefully and lead to a federation like the British Commonwealth or the European Common Market; as 1984 drew nearer, Amalrik revised the timetable but still predicted that the Soviet Union would collapse. Predictions of the Soviet Union's impending demise were discounted by many, if not most, Western academic specialists, had little impact on mainstream Sovietology. "Amalrik's essay was welcomed as a piece of brilliant literature in the West" but "irtu
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins between 1946, the year U. S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U. S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, the Truman Doctrine of 1947, ending between the Revolutions of 1989, which ended communism in Eastern Europe, the 1991 collapse of the USSR, when nations of the Soviet Union abolished communism and restored their independence. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars; the conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences. The capitalist West was led by the United States, a federal republic with a two-party presidential system, as well as the other First World nations of the Western Bloc that were liberal democratic with a free press and independent organizations, but were economically and politically entwined with a network of banana republics and other authoritarian regimes, most of which were the Western Bloc's former colonies.
Some major Cold War frontlines such as Indochina and the Congo were still Western colonies in 1947. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was a self-proclaimed Marxist–Leninist state led by its Communist Party, which in turn was dominated by a totalitarian leader with different titles over time, a small committee called the Politburo; the Party controlled the state, the press, the military, the economy, many organizations throughout the Second World, including the Warsaw Pact and other satellites, funded communist parties around the world, sometimes in competition with communist China following the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s. The two worlds were fighting for dominance in low-developed regions known as the Third World. In time, a neutral bloc arose in these regions with the Non-Aligned Movement, which sought good relations with both sides. Notwithstanding isolated incidents of air-to-air dogfights and shoot-downs, the two superpowers never engaged directly in full-scale armed combat. However, both were armed in preparation for a possible all-out nuclear world war.
Each side had a nuclear strategy that discouraged an attack by the other side, on the basis that such an attack would lead to the total destruction of the attacker—the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. Aside from the development of the two sides' nuclear arsenals, their deployment of conventional military forces, the struggle for dominance was expressed via proxy wars around the globe, psychological warfare, massive propaganda campaigns and espionage, far-reaching embargoes, rivalry at sports events, technological competitions such as the Space Race; the first phase of the Cold War began in the first two years after the end of the Second World War in 1945. The USSR consolidated its control over the states of the Eastern Bloc, while the United States began a strategy of global containment to challenge Soviet power, extending military and financial aid to the countries of Western Europe and creating the NATO alliance; the Berlin Blockade was the first major crisis of the Cold War. With the victory of the Communist side in the Chinese Civil War and the outbreak of the Korean War, the conflict expanded.
The USSR and the US competed for influence in Latin America and the decolonizing states of Africa and Asia. The Soviets suppressed the Hungarian Revolution of 1956; the expansion and escalation sparked more crises, such as the Suez Crisis, the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the closest the two sides came to nuclear war. Meanwhile, an international peace movement took root and grew among citizens around the world, first in Japan from 1954, when people became concerned about nuclear weapons testing, but soon in Europe and the US; the peace movement, in particular the anti-nuclear movement, gained pace and popularity from the late 1950s and early 1960s, continued to grow through the'70s and'80s with large protest marches and various non-parliamentary activism opposing war and calling for global nuclear disarmament. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, a new phase began that saw the Sino-Soviet split complicate relations within the Communist sphere, while US allies France, demonstrated greater independence of action.
The USSR crushed the 1968 Prague Spring liberalization program in Czechoslovakia, while the US experienced internal turmoil from the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War, which ended with the defeat of the US-backed Republic of Vietnam, prompting further adjustments. By the 1970s, both sides had become interested in making allowances in order to create a more stable and predictable international system, ushering in a period of détente that saw Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and the US opening relations with the People's Republic of China as a strategic counterweight to the Soviet Union. Détente collapsed at the end of the decade with the beginning of the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979; the early 1980s were another period of elevated tension, with the Soviet downing of KAL Flight 007 and the "Able Archer" NATO military exercises, both in 1983. The United States increased diplomatic and economic pressures on the Soviet Union, at a time when the communist state was suffering from economic stag
Balance of power (international relations)
The balance of power theory in international relations suggests that national security is enhanced when military capability is distributed so that no one state is strong enough to dominate all others. If one state becomes much stronger than others, the theory predicts that it will take advantage of its strength and attack weaker neighbors, thereby providing an incentive for those threatened to unite in a defensive coalition; some realists maintain that this would be more stable as aggression would appear unattractive and would be averted if there was equilibrium of power between the rival coalitions. When confronted by a significant external threat, states that wish to form alliances may "balance" or "bandwagon". Balancing is defined as allying with others against the prevailing threat, while states that have bandwagoned have aligned with the threat. States may employ other alliance tactics, such as buck-passing and chain-ganging. There is a longstanding debate among realists with regard to how the polarity of a system impacts which tactics states use.
Along with debates between realists about the prevalence of balancing in alliance patterns, other schools of international relations, such as constructivists, are critical of the balance of power theory, disputing core realist assumptions regarding the international system and the behavior of states. The principle involved in preserving the balance of power as a conscious goal of foreign policy, as David Hume pointed out in his Essay on the Balance of Power, is as old as history, was used by Greeks such as Thucydides both as political theorists and as practical statesmen. A 2018 study in International Studies Quarterly confirmed that "the speeches of the Corinthians from prior to the Persian Wars to the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War reveal an enduring thesis of their foreign policy: that imperial ambitions and leveling tendencies, such as those of Athens and Thebes, should be countered in order to prevent a tyrant city from emerging within the society of Greek city-states."It resurfaced in Renaissance among the Italian city-states in the 15th century.
Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, Lorenzo de' Medici, ruler of Florence, were the first rulers to pursue such a policy, with the Italic League, though historians have attributed the innovation to the Medici rulers of Florence. Discussion of the Florentine activity can be found in De Bello Italico, by Bernardo Rucellai, a Medici son-in-law; this was a history of the invasion of Italy by Charles VIII of France, introduced the phrase balance of power to historical analysis. Universalism, the dominant direction of European international relations prior to the Peace of Westphalia, gave way to the doctrine of the balance of power; the term gained significance after the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, where it was mentioned. Georg Schwarzenberger, Power Politics, p. 120 It was not until the beginning of the 17th century, when the science of international law assumed the discipline of structure, in the hands of Grotius and his successors, that the theory of the balance of power was formulated as a fundamental principle of diplomacy.
In accordance with this new discipline, the European states formed a sort of federal community, the fundamental condition of, the preservation of a balance of power, i.e. such a disposition of things that no one state, or potentate, should be able to predominate and prescribe laws to the rest. And, since all were interested in this settlement, it was held to be the interest, the right, the duty of every power to interfere by force of arms, when any of the conditions of this settlement were infringed upon, or assailed by, any other member of the community; this balance-of-power principle, once formulated, became an axiom of political science. Fénelon, in his Instructions, impressed the axiom upon the young Louis, Dauphin of France, Duke of Burgundy. Frederick the Great, in his Anti-Machiavel, proclaimed the'balance of power' principle to the world. In 1806 Friedrich von Gentz re-stated it with admirable clarity, in Fragments on the Balance of Power; the principle formed the basis of the coalitions against Louis XIV and Napoleon, the occasion, or the excuse, for most of the wars which Europe experienced between the Peace of Westphalia and the Congress of Vienna from the British vantage point.
During the greater part of the 19th century, the series of national upheavals which remodeled the map of Europe obscured the balance of power. Yet, it underlaid all the efforts of diplomacy to stay, or to direct, the elemental forces of nationalism let loose by the French Revolution. In the revolution's aftermath, with the restoration of comparative calm, the principle once more emerged as the operative motive for the various political alliances, of which the ostensible object was the preservation of peace. Regarding the era 1848–1914, English diplomatic historian A. J. P. Taylor argued: Europe has known as much peace as war. No one state has been strong enough to eat up all the rest, the mutual jealousy of the Great Powers has preserved the small states, which could not have preserved themselves. Regarding the last quarter-century of the period outlined by Taylor, his American colleague, diplomatic historian Edward Mead Earle, argued: “During the quarter-century beginning about 1890, Europe and the Far East lived under a precarious balance of power with the result … that the world moved crazily from one crisis to another and to catastrophe.”
Earle concludes: “The bal
Winter of 1946–47 in the United Kingdom
The winter of 1946–47 was a harsh European winter noted for its impact in the United Kingdom. It caused severe hardships in living conditions. There were massive disruptions of energy supply for homes and factories. Animal herds starved to death. People suffered from the persistent cold, many businesses shut down temporarily; when warm weather returned, the ice thawed and flooding was severe in most low-lying areas. Beginning on 21 January 1947, the UK experienced several cold spells that brought large drifts of snow to the country, blocking roads and railways, which caused problems transporting coal to the electric power stations. Many had to shut down, forcing severe restrictions to cut power consumption, including restricting domestic electricity to nineteen hours per day and cutting some industrial supplies completely. In addition, radio broadcasts were limited, television services were suspended, some magazines were ordered to stop publishing, newspapers were reduced in size; these measures, on top of the low temperatures, badly affected public morale and the Minister of Fuel and Power, Emanuel Shinwell, became a scapegoat.
Towards the end of February, there were fears of a food shortage as supplies were cut off and vegetables were frozen into the ground. Mid-March brought warmer air to the country; this snowmelt ran off the frozen ground into rivers and caused widespread flooding. More than 100,000 properties were affected, the British Army and foreign aid agencies were required to provide humanitarian aid. With the cold spell over and the ground thawing, there were no further weather problems; the winter had severe effects on British industries, causing the loss of around 10% of the year's industrial production, 10 to 20% of cereal and potato crops, a quarter of sheep stocks. The governing Labour Party began to lose its popularity, which led to them losing many seats to the Conservative Party at the 1950 general election; that winter is cited as a factor in the devaluation of the pound from $4.03 to $2.80 and the introduction of the Marshall Plan to rebuild war-torn Europe. The effects on the rest of Europe were severe, with 150 deaths from cold and famine in Berlin, civil disorder in the Netherlands and business closures in the Republic of Ireland.
The effects of the cold winter were exacerbated by problems in the energy sector which caused coal supplies to become low. The coal and electricity industries had been nationalised by Clement Attlee's government and placed under the control of the Minister of Fuel and Power, Manny Shinwell. Shinwell oversaw efforts to increase production, but there were concerns that the coal supply was inadequate. At the start of the winter the coal stockpiles contained enough coal to last for just four weeks, compared to the usual supplies of ten to twelve weeks which existed before the war. However, Shinwell allowed himself to be lulled into a false sense of security by over-optimistic productivity reports from the National Union of Mineworkers; these reports failed to translate into real production as the government feared to take on the NUM, whose members' absentee rates were 2.5 times those of the pre-war period. The risk of a coal shortage caused the public to buy electric fires to ensure a source of heat for their homes.
This, in turn, put a greater strain on the supply of electricity – the monthly demand increase caused by electric fires in 1946 was the same as the annual increase in generating capacity. Shinwell was warned in mid-October that a coal shortage was possible, but gambled on a mild winter to keep consumption low so that he would not have to risk a confrontation with the miners; the winter began with two periods of cold weather in December 1946 and January 1947, but the coldest period did not begin until 21 January 1947. The main cause of the cold weather was an anti-cyclone; this high-pressure area blocked the progression of depressions across the Atlantic Ocean and forced them to the south of the United Kingdom, resulting in strong easterly winds which brought snow to eastern and south-eastern England before progressing across the entire country. This cold spell continued and by 30 January the Isles of Scilly were under 7 inches of snow and the overnight temperature at Writtle, was −20 °C. Throughout January the highest recorded temperature in England and Wales was 14 °C and the minimum was −21 °C.
The easterly winds continued into February, which developed into one of the coldest months on record. At Kew Observatory there was no recorded temperature above 5 °C for the month and only twice was the overnight temperature above 0 °C. No sunshine at all was recorded at Kew for twenty days from 2 February, whilst across England and Wales the month was the second-dullest February since records began in 1929, with only 30.8 hours of sunshine or 1.1 per day. In contrast, West Scotland was near-record dry and unusually sunny, though still cold. On 20 February the ferry service across the English Channel between Dover and Ostend was suspended due to pack ice off the Belgian coast. In some places snow fell on 26 days out of 28 in the month and a temperature of −21 °C was recorded at Woburn, Bedfordshire, on 25 February; as a result, railways were badly affected by drifts of light powdery snow and three hundred main roads were made unusable. Several hundred villages were cut off. Ice floes were seen off the coast of East Anglia, causing a hazard to shipping.
This cold weather exacerbated the fuel problem. Stockpiles of coal at the pits and depots could not be moved; the snow al
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Constructed by the German Democratic Republic, starting on 13 August 1961, the Wall cut off West Berlin from all of surrounding East Germany and East Berlin until government officials opened it in November 1989, its demolition began on 13 June 1990 and finished in 1992. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, accompanied by a wide area that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defenses; the Eastern Bloc portrayed the Wall as protecting its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany. GDR authorities referred to the Berlin Wall as the Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart; the West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the "Wall of Shame", a term coined by mayor Willy Brandt in reference to the Wall's restriction on freedom of movement. Along with the separate and much longer Inner German border, which demarcated the border between East and West Germany, it came to symbolize physically the "Iron Curtain" that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.
Before the Wall's erection, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions and defected from the GDR, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin. Between 1961 and 1989 the Wall prevented all such emigration. During this period over 100,000 people attempted to escape and over 5,000 people succeeded in escaping over the Wall, with an estimated death toll ranging from 136 to more than 200 in and around Berlin. In 1989 a series of revolutions in nearby Eastern Bloc countries—Poland and Hungary in particular—caused a chain reaction in East Germany that resulted in the demise of the Wall. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the Wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, euphoric people and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the Wall.
The "fall of the Berlin Wall" paved the way for German reunification, which formally took place on 3 October 1990. After the end of World War II in Europe, what remained of pre-war Germany west of the Oder-Neisse line was divided into four occupation zones, each one controlled by one of the four occupying Allied powers: the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union; the capital of Berlin, as the seat of the Allied Control Council, was subdivided into four sectors despite the city's location, within the Soviet zone. Within two years, political divisions increased between the other occupying powers; these included the Soviets' refusal to agree to reconstruction plans making post-war Germany self-sufficient, to a detailed accounting of industrial plants and infrastructure - some of, removed by the Soviets. France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Benelux countries met to combine the non-Soviet zones of Germany into one zone for reconstruction, to approve the extension of the Marshall Plan.
Following World War II, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin headed a group of nations on his Western border, the Eastern Bloc, that included Poland and Czechoslovakia, which he wished to maintain alongside a weakened Soviet-controlled Germany. As early as 1945, Stalin revealed to German communist leaders that he expected to undermine the British position within the British occupation zone, that the United States would withdraw within a year or two, that nothing would stand in the way of a united communist Germany within the bloc; the major task of the ruling communist party in the Soviet zone was to channel Soviet orders down to both the administrative apparatus and the other bloc parties, which in turn would be presented as internal measures. Property and industry was nationalized in the East German zone. If statements or decisions deviated from the described line and punishment would ensue, such as imprisonment and death. Indoctrination of Marxism-Leninism became a compulsory part of school curricula, sending professors and students fleeing to the West.
The East Germans created an elaborate political police apparatus that kept the population under close surveillance, including Soviet SMERSH secret police. In 1948, following disagreements regarding reconstruction and a new German currency, Stalin instituted the Berlin Blockade, preventing food and supplies from arriving in West Berlin; the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and several other countries began a massive "airlift", supplying West Berlin with food and other supplies. The Soviets mounted a public relations campaign against the Western policy change. Communists attempted to disrupt the elections of 1948, preceding large losses therein, while 300,000 Berliners demonstrated for the international airlift to continue. In May 1949, Stalin lifted the blockade; the German Democratic Republic was declared on 7 October 1949. By a secret treaty, the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs accorded the East Ge