Odd Fellows, or Oddfellows Odd Fellowship or Oddfellowship, is an international fraternity consisting of lodges first documented in 1730 in London. The first known lodge was called Loyal Aristarcus Lodge No. 9, suggesting there were earlier ones in the 18th century. Notwithstanding, convivial meetings were held "in much revelry and as not, the calling of the Watch to restore order." Names of several British pubs today suggest past Odd Fellows affiliations. In the mid-18th century, following the Jacobite risings, the fraternity split into the rivaling Order of Patriotic Oddfellows in southern England, favouring William III of England, the Ancient Order of Oddfellows in northern England and Scotland, favouring the House of Stuart. Odd Fellows from that time include John Wilkes and Sir George Savile, 8th Baronet of Thornton, advocating civil liberties and reliefs, including Catholic emancipation. Political repressions such as the Unlawful Oaths Act and the Unlawful Societies Act, resulted in neutral amalgamation of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows in 1798.
Since the fraternity has remained religiously and politically independent. George IV of the United Kingdom, admitted in 1780, was the first documented of many Odd Fellows to attend freemasonry, although the societies remain mutually independent. In 1810, further instigations led to the establishment of the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity in England. Odd Fellows spread overseas, including formally chartering the fraternity in the United States in 1819. In 1842, due to British authorities intervening in the customs and ceremonies of British Odd Fellows and in light of post-colonial American sovereignty, the American Odd Fellows became independent as the Independent Order of Odd Fellows under British-American Thomas Wildey, soon constituting the largest sovereign grand lodge. By the mid-19th century, the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity become the largest and richest fraternal organisation in the United Kingdom. To this day, beyond recreational activities, Odd Fellows promote philanthropy, the ethic of reciprocity and charity, albeit with some grand lodges implying Judeo-Christian affiliation.
Still largest, the American-seated Independent Order of Odd Fellows enrolls some 600,000 members divided in 10,000 lodges in 30 countries, inter-fraternally recognised by the second largest, the British-seated Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity. In total, members of all international branches combined are estimated in the millions worldwide. Several theories aim to explain the etymological background of the name "Odd Fellows" spelled "Oddfellows" in British English. In the 18th century United Kingdom, major trades were organised in guilds or other forms of syndicates, but smaller trades did not have equivalent social or financial security. One theory has it that "odd fellows", people who exercised unusual, miscellaneous "odd trades" joined together to form a larger group of "odd fellows". Another theory suggests that in the beginning of odd fellowship in the 18th century, at the time of the early era of industrialisation, it was rather odd to find people who followed noble values such as fraternalism and charity.
The name was adopted at a time when the severance into sects and classes was so wide that persons aiming at social union and mutual help were a marked exception to the general rule. It met a mixed reaction from the upper classes, who may have seen them as a source of revenue by taxes, but as a threat to their authority. Any suggestion of history before the 18th century is considered mere speculation; the Odd Fellows are one of the earliest and oldest fraternal societies, but their early history is obscure and undocumented. Due to increased trade during the Middle Ages, guilds came to make up a part of the urban culture, grouping people from a number of trades banded together. Hence, people of an odd assortment of trades speculatively brought the background of the early history of Odd Fellows; when the English King Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church, the guilds were viewed by him as supporting the Pope, in 1545 he confiscated all material property of the guilds. Queen Elizabeth I took from the guilds the responsibility for training apprentices, by the end of her reign, most guilds had been suppressed.
Dubious traditions, tracing the fraternity's origins back to Roman Emperors Nero in A. D. 55, its name to Titus in A. D. 79 because of their odd signs and ceremonies, are at best considered peculiarities. Although some of these legends are at best dubious, the evolution from the guilds is more reliably documented. By the 13th century, the tradesmen's guilds had become prosperous. During the 14th century, with the growth of trade, the guild "Masters" moved to protect their power by restricting access to the guilds. In response, the less experienced "Fellows" set up their own rival guilds; the exact origin of Oddfellowship is involved in obscurity. It must have had a beginning, but just when and where, no historian has been able to ascertain. All of its history prior to the introduction of the Order into England is conjecture founded upon proofless, and, in most cases, absurd traditions. Great antiquity has been claimed for the order... Oddfellows themselves, now admit that the institution cannot be traced back beyond the first half of the 18th century.
There were numerous Oddfellow organizations in England in the 1700s. One Edwardian Oddfellow history argued that in 1710 there was a'Loyal Lintot of Oddfellows' in London; the first Oddfellows group in South Yorkshire, dates from 1730. The earliest surviving documented eviden
Damon and Pythias
In Greek historic writings and Pythias is a legend illustrating the Pythagorean ideal of friendship. Pythias is charged with plotting against the tyrannical Dionysius I of Syracuse. Pythias requests of Dionysius to be allowed to settle his affairs on the condition that his friend, Damon, be held hostage and, should he, not return, be executed in his stead. Pythias does return, the amazed Dionysius, impressed by the love and trust in their friendship, frees him and Damon; as told by Aristoxenus, after him Cicero, Diodorus Siculus, others and his friend Damon, both followers of the philosopher Pythagoras, traveled to Syracuse during the reign of the tyrannical Dionysius I. Pythias was sentenced to death. Accepting his sentence, Pythias asked to be allowed to return home one last time to settle his affairs and bid his family farewell. Not wanting to be taken for a fool, the king refused, believing that, once released, Pythias would flee and never return. Damon offered himself as a hostage in Pythias' absence, when the king insisted that, should Pythias not return by an appointed time, Damon would be executed in his stead, Damon agreed and Pythias was released.
Dionysius was convinced that Pythias would never return, as the day Pythias promised to return came and went, he called for Damon's execution—but just as the executioner was about to kill Damon, Pythias returned. Apologizing to his friend for the delay, Pythias explained that on the passage back to Syracuse pirates had captured his ship and thrown him overboard, but that he swam to shore and made his way back to Syracuse as as possible, arriving just in time to save his friend. So astonished by and pleased with their friendship, Dionysius pardoned both men, it was said that the tyrant sought to become their third friend, but was denied. Another version says that it was a test planned by his courtiers; the Pythagoreans were renowned for their moral strength and superiority, but some Syracusan courtiers argued the claim was false, others disagreed, so with their king they devised a test—a crisis that would show whether two Pythagoreans lived up to that reputation. In 1564, the material was made into a tragicomic play by the English poet Richard Edwardes.
The best-known modern treatment of the legend is the German ballad Die Bürgschaft, written in 1799 by Friedrich Schiller, based on the Gesta Romanorum version. In 1821, the Irish poet John Banim wrote a play based on the legend. Familiarity with this play led Justus H. Rathbone to found the fraternal order Knights of Pythias. In 1915, the book The Story of Damon and Pythias by Albert Payson Terhune was published, it was "adapted and illustrated from the photo-play conceived and produced by The Universal Film Manufacturing Company", referring to the 1914 film starring William Worthington and Herbert Rawlinson. This book, like the German ballad, casts Damon as the condemned and the one who must return in time to save Pythias; the short story "Pythias" by Frederik Pohl, published in 1955, entwines the mythic elements with modern political and psychokinetic concerns. The film The Delicate Delinquent featured characters "Mike Damon" and "Sidney Pythias"; as released, the film only vaguely resembled the legend – Pythias avoids jail – but it originated as a testament to the Martin & Lewis friendship.
In a 1959 Leave It to Beaver episode, Beaver's father relates the Damon and Pythias story and Beaver donates his homework to friend Larry to prove their friendship. Larry confesses moments; the 1962 MGM film Damon and Pythias remained true to the ancient story. In Japan, the short story "Run, Melos!" by Osamu Dazai and a nursery tale by Miekichi Suzuki were based on the legend, in 1992, Toei Company, Ltd. adapted it into an anime. The Dreamworks animated film "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas" features the title character going on a journey to find a treasure, while his best friend remains behind in Syracuse to be executed in his place should he fail to return; the story was rather faithfully reproduced in an episode of the animated series Mythic Warriors: Guardians of Legend. "Damon and Pythias" came to be an idiomatic expression for "true friendship." Thus, Denis Diderot's short story, "The Two Friends from Bourbonne", begins "There used to be two men here who might be called the Damon and Pythias of Bourbonne."
The canines Bummer and Lazarus were eulogized as "the Damon and Pythias of San Francisco" upon Bummer's death in 1865. In Robert Louis Stevenson's novella "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", Henry Jekyll's two oldest friends, Dr. Lanyon and Mr. Utterson, have the following exchange while discussing Dr. Jekyll's apparent self-imposed isolation:...said Utterson. “I thought you had a common bond of interest.” “We had,” was the reply. "But it is. He began to go wrong, wrong in the mind… Such unscientific balderdash,” said the doctor, flushing purple, “would have estranged Damon and Pythias.” This little spirit of temper was somewhat of a relief to Mr. Utterson. “They have only differed on some point of science,” he thought… The use of the Damon-and-Pythias idiom would seem to indicate that, whether the difference was on a point of science or something else, it was not "only" some trivial difference. Chapter Two (entitled "Damon a
Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of Freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow, Master Mason; the candidate of these three degrees is progressively taught the meanings of the symbols of Freemasonry, entrusted with grips and words to signify to other members that he has been so initiated. The initiations are part allegorical morality part lecture; the three degrees are offered by Craft Freemasonry. Members of these organisations are known as Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, are administered by their own bodies; the basic, local organisational unit of Freemasonry is the Lodge. The Lodges are supervised and governed at the regional level by a Grand Lodge or Grand Orient.
There is no worldwide Grand Lodge that supervises all of Freemasonry. Modern Freemasonry broadly consists of two main recognition groups. Regular Freemasonry insists that a volume of scripture is open in a working lodge, that every member profess belief in a Supreme Being, that no women are admitted, that the discussion of religion and politics is banned. Continental Freemasonry is now the general term for the jurisdictions which have removed some, or all, of these restrictions; the Masonic lodge is the basic organisational unit of Freemasonry. The Lodge meets to conduct the usual formal business of any small organisation. In addition to business, the meeting may perform a ceremony to confer a Masonic degree or receive a lecture, on some aspect of Masonic history or ritual. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Lodge might adjourn for a formal dinner, or festive board, sometimes involving toasting and song; the bulk of Masonic ritual consists of degree ceremonies. Candidates for Freemasonry are progressively initiated into Freemasonry, first in the degree of Entered Apprentice.
Some time in a separate ceremony, they will be passed to the degree of Fellowcraft, they will be raised to the degree of Master Mason. In all of these ceremonies, the candidate is entrusted with passwords and grips peculiar to his new rank. Another ceremony is officers of the Lodge. In some jurisdictions Installed Master is valued as a separate rank, with its own secrets to distinguish its members. In other jurisdictions, the grade is not recognised, no inner ceremony conveys new secrets during the installation of a new Master of the Lodge. Most Lodges have some sort of social calendar, allowing Masons and their partners to meet in a less ritualised environment. Coupled with these events is the obligation placed on every Mason to contribute to charity; this occurs at both Grand Lodge level. Masonic charities contribute to many fields, such as disaster relief; these private local Lodges form the backbone of Freemasonry, a Freemason will have been initiated into one of these. There exist specialist Lodges where Masons meet to celebrate events, such as sport or Masonic research.
The rank of Master Mason entitles a Freemason to explore Masonry further through other degrees, administered separately from the Craft, or "Blue Lodge" degrees described here, but having a similar format to their meetings. There is little consistency in Freemasonry; because each Masonic jurisdiction is independent, each sets its own procedures. The wording of the ritual, the number of officers present, the layout of the meeting room, etc. varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The officers of the Lodge are appointed annually; every Masonic Lodge has two Wardens, a secretary and a treasurer. There is a Tyler, or outer guard, always present outside the door of a working Lodge. Other offices vary between jurisdictions; each Masonic Lodge exists and operates according to a set of ancient principles known as the Landmarks of Freemasonry. These principles have thus far eluded any universally accepted definition. Candidates for Freemasonry will have met most active members of the Lodge they are joining before they are initiated.
The process varies between jurisdictions, but the candidate will have been introduced by a friend at a Lodge social function, or at some form of open evening in the Lodge. In modern times, interested people track down a local Lodge through the Internet; the onus is on candidates to ask to join. Once the initial inquiry is made, an interview follows to determine the candidate's suitability. If the candidate decides to proceed from here, the Lodge ballots on the application before he can be accepted; the absolute minimum requirement of any body of Freemasons is that the candidate must be free, considered to be of good character. There is an age requirement, varying between Grand Lodges, capable of being overridden by a dispensation from the Grand Lodge; the underlying assumption is that the candidate should
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon known as the Order of Solomon's Temple, the Knights Templar or the Templars, were a Catholic military order recognised in 1139 by the papal bull Omne datum optimum. The order was founded in 1119 and was active until 1312 when it was perpetually suppressed by Pope Clement V by the bull Vox in excelso; the Templars became a favoured charity throughout Christendom and grew in membership and power. They were prominent in Christian finance. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the order, who formed as much as 90% of the order's members, managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, developing innovative financial techniques that were an early form of banking, building its own network of nearly 1,000 commanderies and fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land, arguably forming the world's first multinational corporation.
The Templars were tied to the Crusades. Rumours about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created distrust, King Philip IV of France – in debt to the order – took advantage of this distrust to destroy them and erase his debt. In 1307, he had many of the order's members in France arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, burned at the stake. Pope Clement V disbanded the order in 1312 under pressure from King Philip; the abrupt reduction in power of a significant group in European society gave rise to speculation and legacy through the ages. After Europeans in the First Crusade captured Jerusalem in 1099, many Christians made pilgrimages to various sacred sites in the Holy Land. Although the city of Jerusalem was secure under Christian control, the rest of Outremer was not. Bandits and marauding highwaymen preyed upon pilgrims, who were slaughtered, sometimes by the hundreds, as they attempted to make the journey from the coastline at Jaffa through to the interior of the Holy Land.
In 1119, the French knight Hugues de Payens approached King Baldwin II of Jerusalem and Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem, proposed creating a monastic order for the protection of these pilgrims. King Baldwin and Patriarch Warmund agreed to the request at the Council of Nablus in January 1120, the king granted the Templars a headquarters in a wing of the royal palace on the Temple Mount in the captured Al-Aqsa Mosque; the Temple Mount had a mystique because it was above what was believed to be the ruins of the Temple of Solomon. The Crusaders therefore referred to the Al-Aqsa Mosque as Solomon's Temple, from this location the new order took the name of Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, or "Templar" knights; the order, with about nine knights including Godfrey de Saint-Omer and André de Montbard, had few financial resources and relied on donations to survive. Their emblem was of two knights riding on a single horse; the impoverished status of the Templars did not last long. They had a powerful advocate in Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a leading Church figure, the French abbot responsible for the founding of the Cistercian Order of monks and a nephew of André de Montbard, one of the founding knights.
Bernard put his weight behind them and wrote persuasively on their behalf in the letter'In Praise of the New Knighthood', in 1129, at the Council of Troyes, he led a group of leading churchmen to approve and endorse the order on behalf of the church. With this formal blessing, the Templars became a favoured charity throughout Christendom, receiving money, land and noble-born sons from families who were eager to help with the fight in the Holy Land. Another major benefit came in 1139, when Pope Innocent II's papal bull Omne Datum Optimum exempted the order from obedience to local laws; this ruling meant that the Templars could pass through all borders, were not required to pay any taxes, were exempt from all authority except that of the pope. With its clear mission and ample resources, the order grew rapidly. Templars were the advance shock troops in key battles of the Crusades, as the armoured knights on their warhorses would set out to charge at the enemy, ahead of the main army bodies, in an attempt to break opposition lines.
One of their most famous victories was in 1177 during the Battle of Montgisard, where some 500 Templar knights helped several thousand infantry to defeat Saladin's army of more than 26,000 soldiers. Although the primary mission of the order was militaristic few members were combatants; the others acted in support positions to assist the knights and to manage the financial infrastructure. The Templar Order, though its members were sworn to individual poverty, was given control of wealth beyond direct donations. A nobleman, interested in participating in the Crusades might place all his assets under Templar management while he was away. Accumulating wealth in this manner throughout Christendom and the Outremer, the order in 1150 began generating letters of credit for pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land: pilgrims deposited their valuables with a local Templar preceptory before embarking, received a document indicating the value of their deposit used that document upon arrival in the Holy Land to retrieve their funds in an amount of treasure of equal value.
This innovative arrangement was an early form of banking and may have been the first formal system to support the use of cheques. Based on this mi
The temperance movement is a social movement against the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Participants in the movement criticize alcohol intoxication or promote complete abstinence, with leaders emphasizing alcohol's negative effects on health and family life; the movement promotes alcohol education as well as demands new laws against the selling of alcohols, or those regulating the availability of alcohol, or those prohibiting it. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the temperance movement became prominent in many countries English-speaking and Scandinavian ones, it led to Prohibition in the United States from 1920 to 1933. In the late-seventeenth century, alcohol was a vital part of colonial life as a beverage and commodity for men and children. Drinking was accepted and integrated into society. Despite that, drunkenness was common and not seen as a social problem; the attitudes towards alcohol began to change in the late eighteenth century. One of the reasons for the shifting attitudes was the necessity for sober laborers to operate heavy machinery, developed as a result of the Industrial Revolution.
Anthony Benezet suggested abstinence from alcohol in 1775. As early as the 1790s, physician Benjamin Rush researched the danger that drinking alcohol could lead to disease that leads to a lack of self-control and he cited abstinence as the only treatment option. Rush condemned the use of distilled spirits; as well as addiction, Rush noticed the correlation that drunkenness had with disease, death and crime. According to, “Pompili, Maurizio et al,” there is increasing evidence that, aside from the volume of alcohol consumed, the pattern of the drinking is relevant for health outcomes. Overall, there is a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and more than 60 types of diseases and injuries. Alcohol is estimated to cause about 20–30% of cases of esophageal cancer, liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, homicide and motor vehicle accidents. After the American Revolution, Rush called upon ministers of various churches to act in preaching the messages of temperance. However, abstinence messages were ignored by Americans until the 1820s.
In the eighteenth century, there was a "Gin Craze" in the Kingdom of Great Britain. The bourgeoisie became critical of the widespread drunkenness among the lower classes. Motivated by the bourgeoisie's desire for order, amplified by the population growth in the cities, the drinking of gin became the subject of critical national debate. In the early nineteenth-century United States, alcohol was still regarded as a necessary part of the American diet for both practical and social reasons. On one hand, water supplies were polluted, milk was not always available, coffee and tea was expensive. On the other hand, social construct of the time made. Drunkenness was not a problem, because people would only drink small amounts of alcohol throughout the day, but at the turn of the nineteenth-century and subsequent intoxication became an issue that led to the disintegration of the family. Early temperance societies associated with churches were located in upstate New York and New England, but only lasted a few years.
These early temperance societies called for moderate drinking, but had little influence outside of their geographical areas. In 1743, John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Churches, proclaimed "that buying and drinking of liquor, unless necessary, were evils to be avoided". In 1810, Calvinist ministers met with a seminary in Massachusetts to write articles about abstinence from alcohol to use in preaching to their congregations; the Massachusetts Society for the Suppression of Intemperance was formed in 1813. The organization only accepted men of high social standing and encouraged moderation in alcohol consumption, its peak of influence was in 1818, but the MSSI ended in 1820 and made no significant mark on the future of the temperance movement. Other small temperance societies appear in the 1810s, but had little impact outside their immediate regions and they disbanded soon after, their methods had little effect in implementing temperance, drinking increased until after 1830. The temperance movement began at a national level in the 1820s, having been popularized by evangelical temperance reformers and among the middle classes.
There was a concentration on advice against hard spirits rather than on abstinence from all alcohol and on moral reform rather than legal measures against alcohol. An early temperance movement began during the American Revolution in Connecticut and New York state, with farmers forming associations to ban whiskey distilling; the movement spread to eight states, advocating temperance rather than abstinence and taking positions on religious issues such as observance of the Sabbath. After the American Revolution there was a new emphasis on good citizenship for the new republic. With the Evangelical Protestant religious revival of the 1820s and'30s, called the Second Great Awakening, social movements began aiming for a perfect society; this included temperance. The Awakening brought with it an optimism about moral reform, achieved through volunteer organizations. Although the temperance movement was nonsectarian in principle, the movement consisted of church-goers; the temperance movement promoted temperance and emphasized th
A fraternity, or fraternal organization is an organization, club or fraternal order traditionally of men associated together for various religious or secular aims. Fraternity in the Western concept developed in the Christian context, notably with the religious orders in the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages; the concept was further extended with medieval confraternities and guilds. In the early modern era, these were followed by fraternal orders such as freemasons and odd fellows, along with gentlemen's clubs, student fraternities, fraternal service organizations. Members are referred to as a brother or – in religious context – Frater or Friar. Today, connotations of fraternities vary according to context including companionships and brotherhoods dedicated to the religious, academic, physical, or social pursuits of its members. Additionally, in modern times, it sometimes connotes a secret society regarding freemasonry, odd fellows, various academic, student societies. Although membership in fraternities was and still is limited to men since the development of orders of Catholic sisters and nuns in the Middle Ages and henceforth, this is not always the case.
There are mixed male and female fraternities and fraternal orders, as well as wholly female religious orders and societies, some of which are known as sororities in North America. Notable modern fraternities or fraternal orders that with time have evolved to more or less permit female members, include some grand lodges operating among freemasons and odd fellows. There are known fraternal organizations which existed as far back as ancient clan hero and goddess cults of Greek religions and in the Mithraic Mysteries of ancient Rome; the background of the modern world of fraternities can be traced back to the confraternities in the Middle Ages, which were formed as lay organisations affiliated with the Catholic Church. Some were groups of men and women who were endeavoring to ally themselves more with the prayer and activity of the church; these confraternities evolved into purely secular fraternal societies, while the ones with religious goals continue to be the format of the modern Third Orders affiliated with the mendicant orders.
Other yet took the shape as military orders during the Crusades, which provided inspiration for elements of quite a few modern fraternal orders. The development of modern fraternal orders was dynamic in the United States, where the freedom to associate outside governmental regulation is expressly sanctioned in law. There have been hundreds of fraternal organizations in the United States, at the beginning of the 20th century the number of memberships equaled the number of adult males; this led to the period being referred to as "the Golden age of fraternalism." In 1944 Arthur M. Schlesinger coined the phrase "a nation of joiners". Alexis de Tocqueville referred to the American reliance on private organization in the 1830s in Democracy in America. There are many attributes that fraternities may or may not have, depending on their structure and purpose. Fraternities can have differing degrees of secrecy, some form of initiation or ceremony marking admission, formal codes of behavior, dress codes disciplinary procedures differing amounts of real property and assets.
The only true distinction between a fraternity and any other form of social organizations is the implication that the members are associated as equals for a mutually beneficial purpose rather than because of a religious, commercial, or familial bond - although there are fraternities dedicated to each of these fields of association. On college campuses, fraternities may be divided into four different groups: social, service and honorary. Fraternities can be organized for many purposes, including university education, work skills, ethnicity, politics, chivalry, other standards of personal conduct, service, performing arts, family command of territory, crime. There is always an explicit goal of mutual support, while there have been fraternal orders for the well-off there have been many fraternities for those in the lower ranks of society for national or religious minorities. Trade unions grew out of fraternities such as the Knights of Labor; the ability to organize apart from the institutions of government and religion, was a fundamental part of the establishment of the modern world.
In Living the Enlightenment, Margaret C. Jacobs showed that the development of Jurgen Habermas's "public space" in 17th-century Netherlands was related to the establishment of lodges of Freemasons; the development of fraternities in England can be traced from guilds that emerged as the forerunners of trade unions and friendly societies. These guilds were set up to protect and care for their members at a time when there was no welfare state, trade unions or universal health care. Various secret signs and handshakes were created to serve as proof of their membership allowing them to visit guilds in distant places that are associated with the guild they belong. Over the next 300 years or so, the idea of "ordinary" people joining together to improve their situation met with varying degrees of opposition from "People in Power", depending on whether they were seen as a source of revenue or a threat to their power; when Henry VIII broke from the Roman Catholic Church, he viewed the guilds as supporters of the Pope, in 1545 expropriated
Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark and Sweden; the majority national languages of these three, belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. In English usage, Scandinavia sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, always known locally as the Nordic countries. While part of the Nordic countries, the remote Norwegian islands of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are not in Scandinavia, nor is Greenland, a constituent country within the Kingdom of Denmark; the Faroe Islands are sometimes included. The name Scandinavia referred to the former Danish, now Swedish, region of Scania. Scandinavia and Scandinavian entered usage in the late 18th century, being introduced by the early linguistic and cultural Scandinavist movement; the majority of the population of Scandinavia are descended from several North Germanic tribes who inhabited the southern part of Scandinavia and spoke a Germanic language that evolved into Old Norse.
Icelanders and the Faroese are to a significant extent descended from the Norse and are therefore seen as Scandinavian. Finland is populated by Finns, with a minority of 5% of Swedish speakers. A small minority of Sami people live in the extreme north of Scandinavia; the Danish and Swedish languages form a dialect continuum and are known as the Scandinavian languages—all of which are considered mutually intelligible with one another. Faroese and Icelandic, sometimes referred to as insular Scandinavian languages, are intelligible in continental Scandinavian languages only to a limited extent. Finnish and Meänkieli are related to each other and more distantly to the Sami languages, but are unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Apart from these, German and Romani are recognized minority languages in parts of Scandinavia. "Scandinavia" refers to Denmark and Sweden. Some sources argue for the inclusion of the Faroe Islands and Iceland, though that broader region is known by the countries concerned as Norden, or the Nordic countries.
The use of "Scandinavia" as a convenient general term for Denmark and Sweden is recent. According to some historians, it was adopted and introduced in the eighteenth century, at a time when the ideas about a common heritage started to appear and develop into early literary and linguistic Scandinavism. Before this time, the term "Scandinavia" was familiar to classical scholars through Pliny the Elder's writings and was used vaguely for Scania and the southern region of the peninsula; as a political term, Scandinavia was first used by students agitating for pan-Scandinavianism in the 1830s. The popular usage of the term in Sweden and Norway as a unifying concept became established in the nineteenth century through poems such as Hans Christian Andersen's "I am a Scandinavian" of 1839. After a visit to Sweden, Andersen became a supporter of early political Scandinavism. In a letter describing the poem to a friend, he wrote: "All at once I understood how related the Swedes, the Danes and the Norwegians are, with this feeling I wrote the poem after my return:'We are one people, we are called Scandinavians!'".
The clearest example of the use of Scandinavia is Finland, based on the fact that most of modern-day Finland was part of the Swedish kingdom for hundreds of years, thus to much of the world associating Finland with all of Scandinavia. However, the creation of a Finnish identity is unique in the region in that it was formed in relation to two different imperial models, the Swedish and the Russian, as described by the University of Jyväskylä based editorial board of the Finnish journal Yearbook of Political Thought and Conceptual History. Various promotional agencies of the Nordic countries in the United States serve to promote market and tourism interests in the region. Today, the five Nordic heads of state act as the organization's patrons and according to the official statement by the organization its mission is "to promote the Nordic region as a whole while increasing the visibility of Denmark, Iceland and Sweden in New York City and the United States"; the official tourist boards of Scandinavia sometimes cooperate under one umbrella, such as the Scandinavian Tourist Board.
The cooperation was introduced for the Asian market in 1986, when the Swedish national tourist board joined the Danish national tourist board to coordinate intergovernmental promotion of the two countries. Norway's government entered one year later. All five Nordic governments participate in the joint promotional efforts in the United States through the Scandinavian Tourist Board of North America. While the term "Scandinavia" is used for Denmark and Sweden, the term "Nordic countries" is used unambiguously for Denmark, Sweden and Iceland, including their associated territories. Scandinavia can thus be considered a subset of the Nordic countries. Furthermore, the term Fennoscandia refers to Scandinavia and Karelia, excluding Denmark and overseas territories, but the usage of this term is restricted to geology when speaking of the Fennoscandian Shield. In addition to the mainland Scandinavian countries of: Denmark Norway (constitutional monarchy with a parliament