Union of Lublin

The Union of Lublin was signed on 1 July 1569, in Lublin and created a single state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest countries in Europe at the time. It replaced the personal union of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with a real union and an elective monarchy, since Sigismund II Augustus, the last of the Jagiellons, remained childless after three marriages. In addition, the autonomy of Royal Prussia was abandoned; the Duchy of Livonia, tied to Lithuania in real union since the Union of Grodno, became a Polish–Lithuanian condominium. The Commonwealth was ruled by a single elected monarch who carried out the duties of King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, governed with a common Senate and parliament; the Union was an evolutionary stage in the Polish–Lithuanian alliance and personal union, necessitated by Lithuania's dangerous position in wars with Russia. Constituting a crucial event in the history of several nations, the Union of Lublin has been viewed quite differently by many historians.

Sometimes identified as the moment at which the szlachta rose to the height of their power, establishing a democracy of noblemen as opposed to absolute monarchy. Some historians concentrate on its positive aspects, emphasizing its peaceful, voluntary creation, inclusive character and its role in spreading of economical welfare and good laws; some Lithuanian historians are more critical of the Union, concluding it was an effect of domination by Polish nobles. There were long discussions before signing the union treaty. Lithuanian magnates were afraid of losing much of their powers, since the union would make their legal status equal to that of the much more numerous Polish lower nobility. Lithuania had been on the losing side of the Muscovite-Lithuanian Wars, by the second half of the 16th century, it faced the threat of total defeat in the Livonian war and incorporation into Russia; the Polish nobility, on the other hand, were reluctant to offer help to Lithuania without receiving anything in exchange.

The Polish and Lithuanian elites strengthened personal bonds and had opportunities to plan their united futures during increased military cooperation in the 1560s. Sigismund II Augustus, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, seeing the threat to Lithuania and to Poland, pressed for the union gaining more followers until he felt enough support to evict landowners forcibly who opposed the transition of territory from Lithuania to Poland. A clear motivation for Sigismund was that he was the last Jagiello and had no children or brothers who could inherit the throne. Therefore, the Union was an attempt to preserve the continuity of his dynasty's work since the personal union of Poland and Lithuania at the marriage of Jadwiga of Poland and Wladyslaw II Jagiello; the Union was one of the constitutional changes required to establish a formal elected monarchy, which would reign over both domains. The Sejm did not reach an agreement. One of the points of contention was the right of Poles to own land in the Grand Duchy.

After most of the Lithuanian delegation under the leadership of Vilnius Voivodeship's Mikołaj "Rudy" Radziwiłł left Lublin on 1 March, the king announced the incorporation into the Crown of Podlachia and the Kiev palatinate, with wide approval from the local gentry. Bratslav and eastern Podolia were transferred to Poland; those historic lands of Rus' are over half of modern Ukraine and were a substantial portion of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania's territory. The Rus' nobles there were eager to capitalise on the economic and political opportunities offered by the Polish sphere, by and large, they wanted their lands to become a part of the Polish Crown; the Lithuanians were forced to return to the Sejm under the leadership of Jan Hieronimowicz Chodkiewicz and to continue negotiations, using different tactics from those of Radziwiłł. Though the Polish szlachta wanted full incorporation of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania into the Crown, the Lithuanians continued to oppose that and agreed only to a federal state.

On 28 June 1569, the last objections were overcome, on 4 July, an act was accordingly signed by the king at Lublin Castle. The Union of Lublin was superseded by the Constitution of 3 May 1791, under which the federal Commonwealth was to be transformed into a unitary state by King Stanisław August Poniatowski; the status of semi-federal state was restored by the Reciprocal Guarantee of Two Nations. The constitution was not implemented and the Commonwealth was ended with the Partitions of Poland in 1795. After the Union, the Lithuanian nobles had the same formal rights as the Polish to rule the lands and subjects under their control. However, political advancement in the Catholic-dominated Commonwealth was a different matter. By the late 15th century, the Polish language was making rapid inroads among the Lithuanian and Rus' elites; the Lublin Union accelerated the process of Polonization. In culture and social life, both the Polish language and Catholicism became dominant for the Ruthenian nobility, most of whom were Ruthenian-speaking and Eastern Orthodox by religion.

However the commoners the peasants, continued to speak their own languages and after the Union of Brest converted to Eastern Catholicism. This created a significant rift between the lower social c

Kyle Rowley

Kyle Rowley is an arena football quarterback, a free agent. He played in the former af2, he played college football at Brown. Rowley was the first quarterback to win an AFL ArenaBowl and af2 ArenaCup Championship, with Nick Davila being the second, his personal career accolades include 2006 ArenaCup Player of the Game, 2008 af2 Offensive Player of the Year, 2010 ArenaBowl XXIII Championship MVP. During his career he broke the all-time AFL Record for touchdown passes in a game, broke the all-time record for touchdown passes in an AFL ArenaBowl. Prior to his AFL career he was voted by af2 coaches and league officials in 2009 as one of the top ten signal callers in league history, he has led the AFL in passer rating and touchdowns, led the af2 in single season completion percentage and completions, passer rating and touchdown/interception ratio touchdowns and touchdown passes and passing yards. He holds every Arkansas Twister and Columbus Wardog franchise passing records, he started his Arena Football career in 2003 and has played for numerous AFL and af2 teams, including the Charleston Swamp Foxes, Columbus Wardogs, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers, Manchester Wolves (2006, Philadelphia Soul, Grand Rapids Rampage, Arkansas Twisters, the Spokane Shock and the Orlando Predators.

Rowley attended Brown University from 1997 to 2001 and was a standout in the Ivy League, leading the league in every statistical passing category in his first and only season as the starter. In his first home start he broke the school's single game passing record with a 474 yards performance and broke the school's single game total offense record with 485 yards, he was part of one of only two Ivy League Championships in school history at the time and recorded more varsity football wins while at Brown than any other player in school history till that time. In 2006, while the Spokane Shock were an expansion team in the af2, he was brought in mid-season and proceeded to go undefeated as a starter, he helped lead the team to a 17-2 overall record on the season, an ArenaCup National Championship victory. He was named the ArenaCup Offensive Player of the Game and led the league that season in touchdown/interception ratio and passer rating. After his ArenaCup championship, Rowley was picked up by the Philadelphia Soul in 2007 to begin his AFL career.

During the 2007 season he was traded to the Grand Rapids Rampage where he suffered a knee injury in the final game of the season. He spent the next two seasons playing for the af2's Arkansas Twisters. In the 2008 season, his first season back from ACL surgery, he threw a league leading 98 Touchdowns and 125 passer rating before being selected as the Schutt Offensive Player of the Year by a vote of head coaches and press. With the return of the AFL in 2010 from bankruptcy in 2009, Rowley was picked up by the newest AFL franchise, the Spokane Shock, brought over from the disbanded af2, proceeded to win yet another expansion year national championship for the franchise. Over the course of the 2010 season, Rowley tallied a league best 130 touchdowns, 5,159 passing yards, 444 completions, 123 passing touchdowns en route to leading the Shock to an ArenaBowl XXIII win and being named the ArenaBowl XXIII MVP. In the league's final game Rowley set the record for Arena Bowl touchdown passes and Arena Bowl total touchdowns eclipsing the previous mark by two.

Prior to 2010 Rowley had played limited time for the AFL's Philadelphia Soul, the Grand Rapids Rampage in second half of the 2007 season. After a knee injury in the final game of 2007, a return to the af2 in 2008, an AFL league collapse in 2009, he returned to a revamped AFL in 2010 with the Spokane Shock, he signed with the Pittsburgh Power for the 2012 season but never played for them. He was released due to the AFL player strike. Rowley returned to the Spokane Shock for the fourth game of its season. Spokane's fortunes changed in the next game when Rowley, playing in his first home game for Spokane in 2012, helped the Shock defeat the Milwaukee Mustangs 57-26. Rowley completed 20 of 26 for five touchdowns, and despite only playing in 15 of 18 games for the Shock in 2012, Rowley tallied 101 total touchdowns and in a crucial game verses San Jose, broke the all-time AFL record for passing touchdowns in a single game. Before that no one in the 25-year history of the league had thrown 12 touchdowns in a single game.

Rowley signed with the Orlando Predators for the 2013 season. Rowley appeared in five games for the Predators being reassigned once the Predators made a trade for Aaron Garcia. Rowley was picked up two weeks by the Jacksonville Sharks. On April 9, 2014, Rowley was traded with Tracy Belton to the Predators to complete a trade for Aaron Garcia. On April 14, 2014, Rowley was traded to the winless Portland Thunder for wide receiver Jeffrey Solomon; the traded reunited Rowley with Thunder head coach, Matthew Sauk, the Shock offensive coordinator when Rowley lead the Shock to an ArenaBowl title. Rowley proceeded to lead the winless Thunder to a 2014 playoff berth and a near upset of the defending champion Arizona Rattlers. Sauk was fired after the 2014 season; when the Thunder hired Mike Hohensee for 2015, Rowley once again lead the Thunder to an unlikely playoff berth out of the Western Conference. On July 19, 2018, Rowley was assigned to the Albany Empire. WEEK THIRTEEN: ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK OFFENSIVE: Kyle Rowley | QB, Columbus Destroyers In what was his first Arena Football game since 2015, Col

Shahba Canton

The Shahba Canton is part of Aleppo Governorate, unilaterally declared part of Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. The canton was established to administer the areas captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the Aleppo Governorate west of the Euphrates, as part of the DFNS's Afrin Region; the Shahba autonomous region was founded during the first and second conferences of the Shahba region in Afrin on 28 January 2016 and 2–4 February 2016. The conferences set up the Shahba Regional Assembly with its own council and senate and a de facto autonomous administration, created on 22 March 2016; the borders of the canton are subject to change as a result of military developments in the Syrian Civil War. Shahba is a nickname for the city of Aleppo; the Shahba Canton denotes the parts of Northern Aleppo Governorate of Syria that are under the administrative control of Democratic Federation of Northern Syria as part of the Afrin Region and is located in the Aleppo Governorate west of the Euphrates around the city of Tel Rifaat.

It borders Afrin Canton to the west and clockwise areas controlled by Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and by the Syrian government. At latitude 36 and a half degrees north, the landscape consists of plains and low hills, rivers being Dhahab and Sajur. Part of the Fertile Crescent, its climate is "warm mediterranean" on the Köppen climate classification, as opposed to the colder, semi-arid regions to the south; the population of Shahba Canton consists of Arab Syrians and Arabized Kurds found throughout the canton, as well as a considerable Syrian Turkmen and Arabized Turkmen population toward the north of the canton. Toponymy and maps published by the French colonial authorities indicate that a significant percentage of inhabitants of Shahba who are classified as Arabs have Kurdish origins; as of March 2016, there were 450 inhabited villages in the Shahba plain to the north and the east of Aleppo around Azaz, Al-Bab, Manbij and As-Safira, 217 of them being Kurdish. Tell Rifaat is the largest city administered by de facto autonomous civil administrations operating under the umbrella of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria.

According to the 2004 Syrian census Tell Rifaat had 20,514 inhabitants. The second half of 2012, most of the region was captured from the Syrian government by opposition groups, including the People's Protection Units and its ally Jabhat al-Akrad. In January 2014 the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, infiltrating the region over the course of the previous year, launched a massive assault, which captured the region, including Manbij, Jarabulus and Al-Bab, up to Dabiq. On the western side, some territory in Azaz district stayed under control of non-ISIL forces and towns contested and changing hands between Afrin Canton based YPG and allies and diverse rebel militias, until a February 2016 offensive by SDF forces, inter alia capturing Tel Rifaat and Menagh Airbase, created today's borderline between them. To the east, near the city of Manbij, in December 2015 the Syrian Democratic Forces launched an offensive from the East across the Euphrates river and captured the strategic Tishrin Dam and surrounding villages, forming a small salient on the western bank of the river.

In the following months an offensive to capture Manbij city from ISIS was planned, but was delayed because of opposition and demands from the Turkish government. In May 2016 the SDF launched an offensive towards Manbij city along 3 axes: from the north and south along the banks of the Euphrates river, on the southern outskirts of Manbij city aiming to block the Raqqa-Manbij road. From 30 May to 12 June 2016, the Manbij offensive captured more than 100 villages from ISIL. On 14 August 2016, after securing Manbij, the SDF established the Al-Bab Military Council with the goal of securing the city of al-Bab and its surrounding countryside. On 19 August 2016, the SDF component Manbij Military Council announced that it took over the security of Manbij city center and surrounding villages. From late August 2016, Turkey assembled some Syrian rebel groups who with Turkish military support captured a strip of territory along the Turkish border from ISIL including the town of Jarabulus; this included some combat with Jarabulus Military Council SDF forces, which settled for an armistice line along the Sajur River.

To the south, SDF forces started offensives against ISIL west of Al-Bab in September 2016 and again in October 2016, capturing several villages in the process. On 13 April 2017, negotiations between Turkey-backed rebel groups and the SDF restarted under the mediation of the United States; the parties discussed control over the villages and towns of Tell Rifaat, Maryamin, Sheikh Issa, Herbel, Deir Jamal, several other villages situated in the western part of the Shahba Canton. The US-supported al-Mu'tasim Brigade represented the Turkey-backed rebel factions in the negotiations. Since its foundation the Shahba Canton has a Shahba Regional Assembly with its own council and senate. Shahba Regional Assembly has a direct representative inside the Democratic Syria Assembly and Cîhan Xedro is formally elected to represent the Al-Shahba Canton inside the MSD. Shahba Canton is governed following the Constitution of Rojava, it is noted for its explicit affirmation of minority rights, gender equality and a form of direct democracy known as Democratic Confederalism.

Article 8 of the 2014 of the DFNS constitution stipulates that "all Cantons in the Autonomous Regions are founded upo