Otters are carnivorous mammals in the subfamily Lutrinae. The 13 extant otter species are all semiaquatic, aquatic or marine, with diets based on fish and invertebrates. Lutrinae is a branch of the weasel family Mustelidae, which includes badgers, honey badgers, minks and wolverines; the word otter derives from the Old English word oter. This, cognate words in other Indo-European languages stem from the Proto-Indo-European language root *wódr̥, which gave rise to the English word "water". An otter's den is called a couch. Male otters are called dogs or boars, females are called bitches or sows, their offspring are called pups; the collective nouns for otters are bevy, lodge, romp or, when in water, raft. The feces of otters are identified by their distinctive aroma, the smell of, described as ranging from freshly mown hay to putrefied fish; the gestation period in otters is about 60 to 86 days. The newborn pup is cared for by the bitch and older offspring. Bitch otters reach sexual maturity at two years of age and males at three years.
The holt is built under a rocky cairn, more common in Scotland. It is lined with moss and grass. After one month, the pup can leave the holt and after two months, it is able to swim; the pup lives with its family for one year. Otters live up to 16 years, its usual source of food is fish, further downriver, but it may sample frogs and birds. Otters have long, slim bodies and short limbs, their most striking anatomical features are the powerful webbed feet used to swim, their seal-like abilities holding breath underwater. Most have sharp claws on their feet and all except the sea otter have long, muscular tails; the 13 species range in adult size from 0.6 to 1 to 45 kg in weight. The Asian small-clawed otter is the smallest otter species and the giant otter and sea otter are the largest, they have soft, insulated underfur, protected by an outer layer of long guard hairs. This traps a layer of air which keeps them dry and somewhat buoyant under water. Several otter species have high metabolic rates to help keep them warm.
European otters must eat 15% of their body weight each day, sea otters 20 to 25%, depending on the temperature. In water as warm as 10 °C, an otter needs to catch 100 g of fish per hour to survive. Most species hunt for three to nursing mothers up to eight hours each day. For most otters, fish is the staple of their diet; this is supplemented by frogs and crabs. Some otters are experts at opening shellfish, others will feed on available small mammals or birds. Prey-dependence leaves otters vulnerable to prey depletion. Sea otters are hunters of sea urchins and other shelled creatures, they are notable for their ability to use stones to break open shellfish on their stomachs. This skill must be learned by the young. Otters are active hunters, chasing prey in the water or searching the beds of rivers, lakes or the seas. Most species live beside water, but river otters enter it only to hunt or travel, otherwise spending much of their time on land to prevent their fur becoming waterlogged. Sea otters are more aquatic and live in the ocean for most of their lives.
Otters are playful animals and appear to engage in various behaviors for sheer enjoyment, such as making waterslides and sliding on them into the water. They may find and play with small stones. Different species vary in their social structure, with some being solitary, while others live in groups – in a few species these groups may be large. Genus Lutra Eurasian otter Hairy-nosed otter Japanese otter† Lutra euxena† Lutra castiglionis† Lutra simplicidens† Lutra trinacriae†Genus Hydrictis Spotted-necked otter Genus Lutrogale Smooth-coated otter Lutrogale robusta†Genus Lontra North American river otter Southern river otter Neotropical river otter Marine otter Genus Pteronura Giant otter Genus Amblonyx Asian small-clawed otter Genus Aonyx African clawless otter Genus Enhydra Sea otter Enhydra reevei†Genus †Megalenhydris Genus †Sardolutra Genus †Algarolutra Genus †Cyrnaonyx Genus †Teruelictis Genus †Enhydriodon Genus †Enhydritherium Genus †Teruelictis Genus †Limnonyx Genus †Lutravus Genus †Sivaonyx Genus †Torolutra Genus †Tyrrhenolutra Genus †Vishnuonyx Genus †Siamogale The European otter called the Eurasian otter, inhabits Europe, most of Asia and parts of North Africa.
In the British Isles, they were common as as the 1950s, but became rare in many areas due to the use of chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides, habitat loss and water pollution. Population levels are now recovering strongly; the UK Biodiversity Action Plan envisages the re-establishment of otters by 2010 in all the UK rivers and coastal areas they inhabited in 1960. Roadkill deaths have become one of the significant threats to the success of their re-establishment; the North American river otter became one of the major animals hunted and trapped for fur in North America after European contact. River otters eat a variety of fish and shellfish, as well as birds. They
A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, Romania and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, in Jamaica. In most of the United States, counties are the political subdivisions of a state; the city, town, or populated place that houses county government is known as the seat of its respective county. The county legislature, county courthouse, sheriff's department headquarters, hall of records and correctional facility are located in the county seat though some functions may be located or conducted in other parts of the county if it is geographically large. A county seat is but not always, an incorporated municipality; the exceptions include the county seats of counties that have no incorporated municipalities within their borders, such as Arlington County, Virginia. Ellicott City, the county seat of Howard County, is the largest unincorporated county seat in the United States, followed by Towson, the county seat of Baltimore County, Maryland.
Some county seats may not be incorporated in their own right, but are located within incorporated municipalities. For example, Cape May Court House, New Jersey, though unincorporated, is a section of Middle Township, an incorporated municipality. In some of the colonial states, county seats include or included "Court House" as part of their name. In the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the term "shire town" is used in place of county seat. County seats in Taiwan are the administrative centers of the counties. There are 13 county seats in Taiwan, which are in the forms of county-administered city, urban township or rural township. Most counties have only one county seat. However, some counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont have two or more county seats located on opposite sides of the county. An example is Harrison County, which lists both Biloxi and Gulfport as county seats; the practice of multiple county seat towns dates from the days.
There have been few efforts to eliminate the two-seat arrangement, since a county seat is a source of pride for the towns involved. There are 36 counties with multiple county seats in 11 states: Coffee County, Alabama St. Clair County, Alabama Arkansas County, Arkansas Carroll County, Arkansas Clay County, Arkansas Craighead County, Arkansas Franklin County, Arkansas Logan County, Arkansas Mississippi County, Arkansas Prairie County, Arkansas Sebastian County, Arkansas Yell County, Arkansas Columbia County, Georgia Lee County, Iowa Campbell County, Kentucky Kenton County, Kentucky Essex County, Massachusetts Middlesex County, Massachusetts Plymouth County, Massachusetts Bolivar County, Mississippi Carroll County, Mississippi Chickasaw County, Mississippi Harrison County, Mississippi Hinds County, Mississippi Jasper County, Mississippi Jones County, Mississippi Panola County, Mississippi Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Yalobusha County, Mississippi Jackson County, Missouri Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Seneca County, New York Bennington County, Vermont In New England, the town, not the county, is the primary division of local government.
Counties in this region have served as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems. Connecticut and Rhode Island have no county level of thus no county seats. In Vermont and Maine the county seats are designated shire towns. County government consists only of a Superior Court and Sheriff, both located in the respective shire town. Bennington County has two shire towns. In Massachusetts, most government functions which would otherwise be performed by county governments in other states are performed by town or city governments; as such, Massachusetts has dissolved many of its county governments, the state government now operates the registries of deeds and sheriff's offices in those counties. In Virginia, a county seat may be an independent city surrounded by, but not part of, the county of which it is the administrative center. Two counties in South Dakota have their county seat and government services centered in a neighboring county, their county-level services are provided by Fall River Tripp County, respectively.
In Louisiana, divided into parishes rather than counties, county seats are referred to as parish seats. Alaska is divided into boroughs rather than counties; the Unorganized Borough, which covers 49 % of Alaska's area, has equivalent. The state with the most counties is Texas, with 254, the state with the fewest counties is Delaware, with 3. County seat war Administrative center County town, administrative centres in Ireland and the UK Chef-lieu, administrative centres in Algeria, Luxembourg, France and Tunisia Municipality, equivalent to county in many c
The Cajuns known as Acadians are an ethnic group living in the U. S. state of Louisiana, in the Canadian maritimes provinces as well as Québec consisting in part of the descendants of the original Acadian exiles—French-speakers from Acadia in what are now the Maritimes of Eastern Canada. In Louisiana and Cajun are used as broad cultural terms without reference to actual descent from the deported Acadians. Today, the Cajuns make up a significant portion of south Louisiana's population and have exerted an enormous impact on the state's culture. While Lower Louisiana had been settled by French colonists since the late 17th century, the Cajuns trace their roots to the influx of Acadian settlers after the Great Expulsion from their homeland during the French and British hostilities prior to the Seven Years' War; the Acadia region to which modern Cajuns trace their origin consisted of what are now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island plus parts of eastern Quebec and northern Maine. Since their establishment in Louisiana, the Cajuns have developed their own dialect, Cajun French, developed a vibrant culture including folkways and cuisine.
The Acadiana region is associated with them. The origin of the designation Acadia is credited to the explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, commissioned by the King Francis I of France, who on his 16th-century map applied the ancient Greek name "Arcadia" to the entire Atlantic coast north of Virginia. "Arcadia" derives from the Arcadia district in Greece which since classical antiquity had the extended meanings of "refuge" or "idyllic place". Samuel de Champlain fixed the orthography with the'r' omitted in the 17th century; the term came to apply only to the northern part of the coast in what is now Canada and New England. The Cajuns retain a unique dialect of the French language and numerous other cultural traits that distinguish them as an ethnic group. Cajuns were recognized by the U. S. government as a national ethnic group in 1980 per a discrimination lawsuit filed in federal district court. Presided over by Judge Edwin Hunter, the case, known as Roach v. Dresser Industries Valve and Instrument Division, hinged on the issue of the Cajuns' ethnicity: We conclude that plaintiff is protected by Title VII's ban on national origin discrimination.
The Louisiana Acadian is alive and well. He is "up front" and "main stream." He is not asking for any special treatment. By affording coverage under the "national origin" clause of Title VII he is afforded no special privilege, he is given only the same protection as those with English, French, Czechoslavakian, Polish, Italian, Irish, et al. ancestors. The British Conquest of French Acadia happened in 1710. Over the next 45 years, the Acadians refused to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to Britain. During this period, Acadians participated in various militia operations against the British and maintained vital supply lines to the French fortress of Louisbourg and Fort Beausejour. During the French and Indian War, the British sought to neutralize the Acadian military threat and to interrupt their vital supply lines to Louisbourg by deporting Acadians from Acadia. During 1755–1763 Acadia consisted of parts of present-day Canada: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, the Gaspe Peninsula in the province of Quebec.
The deportation of the Acadians from these areas has become known as the Great Upheaval or Le Grand Dérangement. The Acadians' migration from Canada was spurred by the Treaty of Paris; the treaty terms provided 18 months for unrestrained emigration. Many Acadians moved to the region of the Atakapa in present-day Louisiana travelling via the French colony of Saint-Domingue. Joseph Broussard led the first group of 200 Acadians to arrive in Louisiana on February 27, 1765, aboard the Santo Domingo. On April 8, 1765, he was appointed militia captain and commander of the "Acadians of the Atakapas" region in St. Martinville; some of the settlers wrote to their family scattered around the Atlantic to encourage them to join them at New Orleans. For example, Jean-Baptiste Semer, wrote to his father in France: My dear father... you can come here boldly with my dear mother and all the other Acadian families. They will always be better off than in France. There are neither duties nor taxes to pay and the more one works, the more one earns without doing harm to anyone.
The Acadians were scattered throughout the eastern seaboard. Families were put on ships with different destinations. Many ended up west of the Mississippi River in what was French-colonized Louisiana, including territory as far north as Dakota territory. France had ceded the colony to Spain in 1762, prior to their defeat by Britain and two years before the first Acadians began settling in Louisiana; the interim French officials provided land and supplies to the new settlers. The Spanish governor, Bernardo de Gálvez proved to be hospitable, permitting the Acadians to continue to speak their language, practice their native religion, otherwise pursue their livelihoods with minimal interference; some families and individuals did travel north through the Louisiana territory to set up homes as far north as Wisconsin. Cajuns fought in the American Revolution. Although they fought for Spanish General Galvez, their contribution to the winning of the war has been recognized."Galvez leaves New Orleans with an army of Spanish regulars and the Louisiana militi
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is the capital of the U. S. state of Louisiana. Located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, it is the parish seat of East Baton Rouge Parish, the most populous parish in Louisiana, it is the 99th most populous city in the United States, second-largest city in Louisiana after New Orleans. It is the 16th most populous state capital; as of the U. S. Census Bureau's July 2017 estimate, Baton Rouge had a population of 227,549, down from 229,493 at the 2010 census. Baton Rouge is the center of Greater Baton Rouge, the second-largest metropolitan area in Louisiana, with a population of 834,159 as of 2017, up from 802,484 in 2010 and 829,719 in 2015; the city of Baton Rouge is a major industrial, medical, motion picture, growing technology center of the American South. It is the location of Louisiana State University, the LSU System's flagship university and the largest institution of higher education in the state, it is the location of Southern University, the flagship institution of the Southern University System, the only black college system in the nation.
The Port of Greater Baton Rouge is the 10th-largest in the United States in terms of tonnage shipped, is the farthest upstream Mississippi River port capable of handling Panamax ships. The Baton Rouge area owes its historical importance to its strategic site upon the Istrouma Bluff, the first natural bluff upriver from the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico; this allowed development of a business quarter safe from seasonal flooding. In addition, the city built a levee system stretching from the bluff southward to protect the riverfront and low-lying agricultural areas; the city is a culturally rich center, with settlement by immigrants from numerous European nations and African peoples brought to North America as slaves or indentured servants. It was ruled by seven different governments: French and Spanish in the colonial era. Human habitation in the Baton Rouge area has been dated to 12000–6500 BCE, based on evidence found along the Mississippi and Amite rivers. Earthwork mounds were built by hunter-gatherer societies in the Middle Archaic period, from the fourth millennium BCE.
The speakers of the Proto-Muskogean language divided into its descendant languages by about 1000 BCE. The Eastern Muskogean language began to diversify internally in the first half of the first millennium AD; the early Muskogean societies were the bearers of the Mississippian culture, which formed around 800 CE and extended in a vast network across the Mississippi and Ohio valleys, with numerous chiefdoms in the Southeast, as well. By the time the Spanish made their first forays inland from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in the early 16th century, by some evidence many political centers of the Mississippians were in decline, or abandoned. At the time, this region appeared to have been occupied by a collection of moderately sized native chiefdoms, interspersed with autonomous villages and tribal groups. Other evidence indicates these Mississippian settlements were thriving at the time of the first Spanish contact. Spanish expeditions encountered the remains of groups who had lost many people and been disrupted in the aftermath of infectious diseases, chronic among Europeans, unknowingly introduced by the first expedition.
French explorer Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville led an exploration party up the Mississippi River in 1698. The explorers saw a red pole marking the boundary between the Houma and Bayogoula tribal hunting grounds; the French name le bâton rouge is the translation of a native term rendered as Istrouma a corruption of the Choctaw iti humma. According to Pénicaut, From there we went five leagues higher and found high banks called écorts in that region, in savage called Istrouma which means red stick, as at this place there is a post painted red that the savages have sunk there to mark the land line between the two nations, namely: the land of the Bayagoulas which they were leaving and the land of another nation—thirty leagues upstream from the baton rouge—named the Oumas; the location of the red pole was at Scott's Bluff, on what is now the campus of Southern University. It was a 30-foot-high painted pole adorned with fish bones; the settlement of Baton Rouge by Europeans began in 1721 when French colonists established a military and trading post.
Since European settlement, Baton Rouge has been governed by France, Spain, the Republic of West Florida, the United States, the Confederate States, the United States again. In 1755, when French-speaking settlers of Acadia in Canada's Maritime provinces were expelled by British forces, many took up residence in rural Louisiana. Popularly known as Cajuns, the descendants of the Acadians maintained a separate culture. During the first half of the 19th century, Baton Rouge grew as the result of steamboat trade and transportation. Baton Rouge was incorporated in 1817. In 1822, the Pentagon Barracks complex of buildings was completed; the site has been used by the Spanish, British, Confederate States Army, United States Army and was part of the short-lived Republic of West Florida. In 1951, ownership o
Guatemala the Republic of Guatemala, is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; the territory of modern Guatemala once formed the core of the Maya civilization, which extended across Mesoamerica. Most of the country was conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century, becoming part of the viceroyalty of New Spain. Guatemala attained independence in 1821 as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, which dissolved by 1841. From the mid to late 19th century, Guatemala experienced civil strife. Beginning in the early 20th century, it was ruled by a series of dictators backed by the United Fruit Company and the United States government. In 1944, authoritarian leader Jorge Ubico was overthrown by a pro-democratic military coup, initiating a decade-long revolution that led to sweeping social and economic reforms.
A U. S.-backed military coup in 1954 installed a dictatorship. From 1960 to 1996, Guatemala endured a bloody civil war fought between the US-backed government and leftist rebels, including genocidal massacres of the Maya population perpetrated by the military. Since a United Nations-negotiated peace accord, Guatemala has witnessed both economic growth and successful democratic elections, though it continues to struggle with high rates of poverty, drug trade, instability; as of 2014, Guatemala ranks 31st of 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries in terms of the Human Development Index. Guatemala's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems includes a large number of endemic species and contributes to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot; the name "Guatemala" comes from the Nahuatl word Cuauhtēmallān, or "place of many trees", a derivative of the K'iche' Mayan word for "many trees" or more for the Cuate/Cuatli tree Eysenhardtia. This was the name the Tlaxcaltecan soldiers who accompanied Pedro de Alvarado during the Spanish Conquest gave to this territory.
The first evidence of human habitation in Guatemala dates back to 12,000 BC. Evidence, such as obsidian arrowheads found in various parts of the country, suggests a human presence as early as 18,000 BC. There is archaeological proof. Pollen samples from Petén and the Pacific coast indicate that maize cultivation had developed by 3500 BC. Sites dating back to 6500 BC have been found in the Quiché region in the Highlands, Sipacate and Escuintla on the central Pacific coast. Archaeologists divide the pre-Columbian history of Mesoamerica into the Preclassic period, the Classic period, the Postclassic period; until the Preclassic was regarded as a formative period, with small villages of farmers who lived in huts, few permanent buildings. However, this notion has been challenged by recent discoveries of monumental architecture from that period, such as an altar in La Blanca, San Marcos, from 1000 BC; the Classic period of Mesoamerican civilization corresponds to the height of the Maya civilization, is represented by countless sites throughout Guatemala, although the largest concentration is in Petén.
This period is characterized by urbanisation, the emergence of independent city-states, contact with other Mesoamerican cultures. This lasted until 900 AD, when the Classic Maya civilization collapsed; the Maya abandoned many of the cities of the central lowlands or were killed off by a drought-induced famine. The cause of the collapse is debated, but the drought theory is gaining currency, supported by evidence such as lakebeds, ancient pollen, others. A series of prolonged droughts, among other reasons such as overpopulation, in what is otherwise a seasonal desert is thought to have decimated the Maya, who relied on regular rainfall; the Post-Classic period is represented by regional kingdoms, such as the Itza, Kowoj and Kejache in Petén, the Mam, Ki'che', Chajoma, Tz'utujil, Poqomchi', Q'eqchi' and Ch'orti' in the highlands. Their cities preserved many aspects of Maya culture; the Maya civilization shares many features with other Mesoamerican civilizations due to the high degree of interaction and cultural diffusion that characterized the region.
Advances such as writing and the calendar did not originate with the Maya. Maya influence can be detected from Honduras, Northern El Salvador to as far north as central Mexico, more than 1,000 km from the Maya area. Many outside influences are found in Maya art and architecture, which are thought to be the result of trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest. After they arrived in the New World, the Spanish started several expeditions to Guatemala, beginning in 1519. Before long, Spanish contact resulted in an epidemic. Hernán Cortés, who had led the Spanish conquest of Mexico, granted a permit to Captains Gonzalo de Alvarado and his brother, Pedro de Alvarado, to conquer this land. Alvarado at first allied himself with the Kaqchikel nation to fight against their traditional rivals the K'iche' nation
Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U. S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, its largest city is New Orleans. Much of the state's lands were formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp; these contain a rich southern biota. There are many species of tree frogs, fish such as sturgeon and paddlefish. In more elevated areas, fire is a natural process in the landscape, has produced extensive areas of longleaf pine forest and wet savannas; these support an exceptionally large number of plant species, including many species of terrestrial orchids and carnivorous plants.
Louisiana has more Native American tribes than any other southern state, including four that are federally recognized, ten that are state recognized, four that have not received recognition. Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so influenced by a mixture of 18th-century French, Spanish, Native American, African cultures that they are considered to be exceptional in the US. Before the American purchase of the territory in 1803, present-day Louisiana State had been both a French colony and for a brief period a Spanish one. In addition, colonists imported numerous African people as slaves in the 18th century. Many came from peoples of the same region of West Africa. In the post-Civil War environment, Anglo-Americans increased the pressure for Anglicization, in 1921, English was for a time made the sole language of instruction in Louisiana schools before a policy of multilingualism was revived in 1974. There has never been an official language in Louisiana, the state constitution enumerates "the right of the people to preserve and promote their respective historic and cultural origins."
Louisiana was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643 to 1715. When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane; the suffix -ana is a Latin suffix that can refer to "information relating to a particular individual, subject, or place." Thus Louis + ana carries the idea of "related to Louis." Once part of the French Colonial Empire, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day Mobile Bay to just north of the present-day Canada–United States border, including a small part of what is now the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Gulf of Mexico did not exist 250 million years ago when there was but one supercontinent, Pangea; as Pangea split apart, the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico opened. Louisiana developed, over millions of years, from water into land, from north to south; the oldest rocks are exposed in areas such as the Kisatchie National Forest. The oldest rocks date back to the early Cenozoic Era, some 60 million years ago.
The history of the formation of these rocks can be found in D. Spearing's Roadside Geology of Louisiana; the youngest parts of the state were formed during the last 12,000 years as successive deltas of the Mississippi River: the Maringouin, Teche, St. Bernard, the modern Mississippi, now the Atchafalaya; the sediments were carried from north to south by the Mississippi River. In between the Tertiary rocks of the north, the new sediments along the coast, is a vast belt known as the Pleistocene Terraces, their age and distribution can be related to the rise and fall of sea levels during past ice ages. In general, the northern terraces have had sufficient time for rivers to cut deep channels, while the newer terraces tend to be much flatter. Salt domes are found in Louisiana, their origin can be traced back to the early Gulf of Mexico, when the shallow ocean had high rates of evaporation. There are several hundred salt domes in the state. Salt domes are important not only as a source of salt. Louisiana is bordered to the west by Texas.
The state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands of the north, the alluvial along the coast. The alluvial region includes low swamp lands, coastal marshlands and beaches, barrier islands that cover about 20,000 square miles; this area lies principally along the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, which traverses the state from north to south for a distance of about 600 mi ) and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The breadth of the alluvial region along the Mississippi is from 10 to 60 miles, along the other rivers, the alluvial region averages about 10 miles across; the Mississippi River flows along a ridge formed by its own natural deposits, from which the lands decline toward a river beyond at an average fall of six feet per mile. The alluvial lands along other streams present similar features; the higher and contiguous hill lands of the north and northwestern part of the state have an area of more than 25,000 square miles. They consist of prairie and woodl
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo