China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Pennsylvania General Assembly
The Pennsylvania General Assembly is the legislature of the U. S. commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The legislature convenes in the State Capitol building in Harrisburg. In colonial times, the legislature was known as the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly and was unicameral. Since the Constitution of 1776, the legislature has been known as the General Assembly; the General Assembly became a bicameral legislature in 1791. The General Assembly has 253 members, consisting of a Senate with 50 members and a House of Representatives with 203 members, making it the second-largest state legislature in the nation and the largest full-time legislature. Senators are elected for a term of four years. Representatives are elected for a term of two years; the Pennsylvania general elections are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years. A vacant seat must be filled by special election, the date of, set by the presiding officer of the respective house. Senators must be at least 25 years old, Representatives at least 21 years old.
They must be citizens and residents of the state for a minimum of four years and reside in their districts for at least one year. Individuals who have been convicted of felonies, including embezzlement and perjury, are ineligible for election. No one, expelled from the General Assembly may be elected. Legislative districts are drawn every ten years, following the U. S. Census. Districts are drawn by a five-member commission, of which four members are the majority and minority leaders of each house; the fifth member, who chairs the committee, is appointed by the other four and may not be an elected or appointed official. If the leadership can not decide on a fifth member, the State Supreme Court may appoint her. While in office, legislators may not hold civil office. If a member resigns, the Constitution states that he or she may not be appointed to civil office for the duration of the original term for which he or she was elected; the General Assembly is a continuing body within the term. It convenes at 12 o'clock noon on the first Tuesday of January each year and meets throughout the year.
Both houses adjourn on November 30 in even-numbered years, when the terms of all members of the House and half the members of the Senate expire. Neither body can adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other; the governor may call a special session. As of 2017, only 35 special sessions have been called in the history of Pennsylvania; the Assembly meets in the Pennsylvania State Capitol, completed in 1906. Under the Pennsylvania Constitution, the Assembly must meet in the City of Harrisburg and can move only if given the consent of both chambers. During the mid-19th century, the frustration of the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with the severe level of corruption in the General Assembly culminated in a constitutional amendment in 1864 which prevented the General Assembly from writing statutes covering more than one subject; the amendment was so poorly written that it prevented the General Assembly from undertaking a comprehensive codification of the Commonwealth's statutes until another amendment was pushed through in 1967 to provide the necessary exception.
This is why today, Pennsylvania is the only U. S. state. Pennsylvania is undertaking its first official codification process in the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. Speaker of the House of Representatives: Mike Turzai President pro tem of the Senate: Joseph B. Scarnati 2005 Pennsylvania General Assembly pay raise controversy Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, for the General Assembly before 1776 Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Pennsylvania General Assembly Legislative Process
17th United States Congress
The Seventeenth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. While its term was March 4, 1821, to March 4, 1823, during the fifth and sixth years of James Monroe's presidency, its first session began on December 3, 1821, ending on May 8, 1822, its second session began on December 2, 1822, to March 3, 1823; the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the third Census of the United States in 1810. Both chambers had a Democratic-Republican majority. March 5, 1821: Second inauguration of James Monroe as President of the United States. July 10, 1821: The United States took possession of its newly-bought Florida Territory from Spain. August 10, 1821: Missouri was admitted as the 24th U. S. state March 30, 1822: Florida Territory was formed from lands ceded by Spain The count below identifies party affiliations at the beginning of the first session of this congress.
Changes resulting from subsequent replacements are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section. During this congress, two Senate seats were added for the new state of Missouri. For the beginning of this congress, six seats from Massachusetts were reapportioned to the new state of Maine, 3 Stat. 555. During this congress, one House seat was added for the new state of Missouri, 3 Stat. 547. President: Daniel D. Tompkins President pro tempore: John Gaillard, elected December 3, 1821 Speaker: Philip P. Barbour, elected December 4, 1821 This list is arranged by chamber by state. Senators are listed by class, Representatives are listed by district. Skip to House of Representatives, below Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term began with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1826.
The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers. The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress. Replacements: 5 Democratic-Republicans: no net change Federalists: no net change Deaths: 2 Resignations: 6 Seats of newly admitted states: 2 Vacancies: 3 Total seats with changes: 12 replacements: 13 Democratic-Republicans: 1 seat net gain Federalists: 1 seat net loss deaths: 5 resignations: 15 contested election: 2 seats of newly admitted states: 1 Total seats with changes: 23 Lists of committees and their party leaders. Amendments to the Constitution Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses of the Senate Claims Commerce and Manufactures Debt Imprisonment Abolition District of Columbia Finance Foreign Relations Indian Affairs Judiciary Military Affairs Militia National Road from Cumberland to Wheeling Naval Affairs Pensions Post Office and Post Roads Public Lands Roads and Canals Tariff Regulation Whole Accountability of Public Moneys Accounts Agriculture Arkansas Territorial Limits Claims Commerce District of Columbia Elections Expenditures in the Navy Department Expenditures in the Post Office Department Expenditures in the State Department Expenditures in the Treasury Department Expenditures in the War Department Expenditures on Public Buildings Foreign Affairs Indian Affairs Manufactures Military Affairs Naval Affairs Pensions and Revolutionary War Claims Post Office and Post Roads Public Expenditures Public Lands Revisal and Unfinished Business Rules Standards of Official Conduct Ways and Means Whole Enrolled Bills Architect of the Capitol: Charles Bulfinch Librarian of Congress: George Watterston Chaplain: William Ryland elected November 17, 1820 Charles P. McIlvaine elected December 9, 1822 Secretary: Charles Cutts Sergeant at Arms: Mountjoy Bayly of New Hampshire Chaplain: Jared Sparks, elected December 3, 1821 John Brackenridge, elected December 2, 1822 Clerk: Thomas Dougherty of Kentucky Matthew St. Clair Clarke of Pennsylvania, elected December 3, 1822 Doorkeeper: Benjamin Birch of Maryland, elected December 4, 1821 Reading Clerks: Sergeant at Arms: Thomas Dunn of Maryland United States elections, 1820 United States presidential election, 1820 United States Senate elections, 1820 and 1821 United States House of Representatives elections, 1820 United States elections, 1822 United States Senate elections, 1822 and 1823 United States House of Representatives elections, 1822 Martis, Kenneth C..
The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Martis, Kenneth C.. The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Statutes at Large, 1789-1875 Senate Journal, First Forty-three Sessions of Congress House Journal, First Forty-three Sessions of Congress Biographical Directory of the U. S. Congress U. S. House of Representatives: House History U. S. Senate: Statistics and Lists Congressional Directory for the 17th Congress, 2nd Session
The Democratic-Republican Party was an American political party formed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison around 1792 to oppose the centralizing policies of the new Federalist Party run by Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury and chief architect of George Washington's administration. From 1801 to 1825, the new party controlled the presidency and Congress as well as most states during the First Party System, it began in 1791 as one faction in Congress and included many politicians, opposed to the new constitution. They called themselves Republicans after republicanism, they distrusted the Federalist tendency to centralize and loosely interpret the Constitution, believing these policies were signs of monarchism and anti-republican values. The party splintered in 1824, with the faction loyal to Andrew Jackson coalescing into the Jacksonian movement, the faction led by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay forming the National Republican Party and some other groups going on to form the Anti-Masonic Party.
The National Republicans, Anti-Masons, other opponents of Andrew Jackson formed themselves into the Whig Party. During the time that this party existed, it was referred to as the Republican Party. To distinguish it from the modern Republican Party, political scientists and pundits refer to this party as the Democratic-Republican Party or the Jeffersonian Republican Party; when the modern Republican Party was founded in 1854, it deliberately chose to name itself after the Jeffersonians. In response, contemporary Democrats embraced the name Democratic-Republican to reinforce their party's claim to the party's pre-Jacksonian history. Modern Democratic politicians continue to claim Jefferson as their founder; the party arose from the Anti-Administration faction which met secretly in the national capital to oppose Alexander Hamilton's financial programs. Jefferson denounced the programs as leading to subversive of republicanism. Jefferson needed to have a nationwide party to challenge the Federalists, which Hamilton was building up with allies in major cities.
Foreign affairs took a leading role in 1794–1795 as the Republicans vigorously opposed the Jay Treaty with the United Kingdom, at war with France. Republicans saw France as more democratic after its Revolution while the United Kingdom represented the hated monarchy; the party denounced many of Hamilton's measures as unconstitutional the national bank. The party was weakest in the Northeast, it demanded states' rights as expressed by the "Principles of 1798" articulated in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions that would allow states to nullify a federal law. Above all, the party stood for the primacy of the yeoman farmers. Republicans were committed to the principles of republicanism, which they feared were threatened by the supposed monarchical tendencies of the Hamiltonian Federalists; the party came to power in 1801 with the election of Jefferson in the 1800 presidential election. The Federalists—too elitist to appeal to most people—faded away and collapsed after 1815. Despite internal divisions, the Republicans dominated the First Party System until partisanship itself withered away during the Era of Good Feelings after 1816.
The party selected its presidential candidates in a caucus of members of Congress. They included James Madison and James Monroe. By 1824, the caucus system had collapsed. After 1800, the party dominated most state governments outside New England. By 1824, the party was split four ways and lacked a center as the First Party System collapsed; the emergence of the Second Party System in the 1820s and 30s realigned the old factions. One remnant followed Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren into the new Democratic Party by 1828. Another remnant, led by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, formed the National Republican Party in 1824 while some remaining smaller factions formed the Anti-Masonic Party, which along with some National Republican groups developed into the Whig Party by 1836. Most remaining National Republicans would soon after go on to be a part of the Free Soil and modern Republican parties in the 1840s and 1850s. Congressman James Madison started the party among Representatives in Philadelphia as the "Republican Party".
He, Jefferson and others reached out to include state and local leaders around the country New York and the South. The precise date of founding is disputed, but 1791 is a reasonable estimate and some time by 1792 is certain; the new party set up newspapers that made withering critiques of Hamiltonianism, extolled the yeoman farmer, argued for strict construction of the Constitution, favored the French Revolution opposed the United Kingdom and called for stronger state governments than the Federalist Party was proposing. The elections of 1792 were the first ones to be contested on anything resembling a partisan basis. In most states, the congressional elections were recognized—as Jefferson strategist John Beckley put it—as a "struggle between the Treasury department and the republican interest". In New York, the candidates for governor were a Federalist. Four states' electors voted for Clinton and one for Jefferson for Vice President in opposition to incumbent John Adams as well as casting their votes for President Washington.
Before 1804, electors cast two votes together wi
George M. Dallas
George Mifflin Dallas was an American politician and diplomat who served as mayor of Philadelphia from 1828 to 1829 and as the 11th vice president of the United States from 1845 to 1849. The son of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander J. Dallas, George Dallas attended elite preparatory schools before embarking on a legal career, he served as the private secretary to Albert Gallatin and worked for the Treasury Department and the Second Bank of the United States. He emerged as a leader of the "Family party" faction of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, Dallas developed a rivalry with James Buchanan, the leader of the "Amalgamator" faction. Between 1828 and 1835, he served as the mayor of Philadelphia, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Attorney General, he represented Pennsylvania in the United States Senate from 1831 to 1833 but declined to seek re-election. President Martin Van Buren appointed Dallas to the post of Minister to Russia, Dallas held that position from 1837 to 1839.
Dallas supported Van Buren's bid for another term in the 1844 presidential election, but James K. Polk won the party's presidential nomination; the 1844 Democratic National Convention nominated Dallas as Polk's running mate, Polk and Dallas defeated the Whig ticket in the general election. A supporter of expansion and popular sovereignty, Dallas called for the annexation of all of Mexico during the Mexican–American War, he sought to position himself for contention in the 1848 presidential election, but his vote to lower the tariff destroyed his base of support in his home state. Dallas served as the ambassador to Britain from 1856 to 1861 before retiring from public office. George Mifflin Dallas was born on July 10, 1792, to Alexander James Dallas and Arabella Maria Smith Dallas in Philadelphia, his father, born in Kingston and educated in Edinburgh, was the Secretary of the Treasury under United States President James Madison, was briefly the Secretary of War. George Dallas was given his middle name after Thomas Mifflin, another politician, good friends with his father.
Dallas was the second of six children, another of whom, would become the commander of Pensacola Navy Yard. During Dallas's childhood, the family lived in a mansion on Fourth Street, with a second home in the countryside, situated on the Schuylkill River, he was educated at Quaker-run preparatory schools, before studying at the College of New Jersey, from which he graduated with highest honors in 1810. While at College, he participated in several activities, including the American Whig–Cliosophic Society. Afterwards, he studied law, was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1813; as a new graduate, Dallas had little enthusiasm for legal practice. Just after this, Dallas accepted an offer to be the private secretary of Albert Gallatin, he went to Russia with Gallatin, sent there to try to secure its aid in peace negotiations between Great Britain and the United States. Dallas enjoyed the opportunities offered to him by being in Russia, but after six months there he was ordered to go to London to determine whether the War of 1812 could be resolved diplomatically.
In August 1814, he arrived in Washington, D. C. and delivered a preliminary draft of Britain's peace terms. There, he was appointed by James Madison to become the remitter of the treasury, considered a "convenient arrangement" because Dallas's father was serving at the time as that department's secretary. Since the job did not entail a large workload, Dallas found time to develop his grasp of politics, his major vocational interest, he became the counsel to the Second Bank of the United States. In 1817, Dallas's father died, ending Dallas's plan for a family law practice, he stopped working for the Second Bank of the United States and became the deputy attorney general of Philadelphia, a position he held until 1820. After the War of 1812 ended, Pennsylvania's political climate was chaotic, with two factions in that state's Democratic party vying for control. One, the Philadelphia-based "Family party", was led by Dallas, it espoused the beliefs that the Constitution of the United States was supreme, that an energetic national government should exist that would implement protective tariffs, a powerful central banking system, undertake internal improvements to the country in order to facilitate national commerce.
The other faction was called the "Amalgamators", headed by the future President James Buchanan. Voters elected Dallas mayor of Philadelphia as the candidate of the Family party, after the party had gained control of the city councils. However, he grew bored of that post, became the United States attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania in 1829, a position his father had held from 1801 to 1814, continued in that role until 1831. In December of that year, he won a five-man, eleven-ballot contest in the state legislature, that enabled him to become the Senator from Pennsylvania in order to complete the unexpired term of the previous senator who had resigned. Dallas served less than fifteen months—from December 13, 1831, to March 3, 1833, he was chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs. Dallas declined to seek re-election, in part due to a fight over the Second Bank of the United States, in part because his wife did not want to leave Philadelphia for Washington. Dallas resumed the practice of law, was attorney general of Pennsylvania from 1833 to 1835, was initiated to the Scottish Rite Freemasonry at the Franklin Lodge #134, served as the Grand Master of Freemasons in Pennsylvania in 1835.
He was appointed by Pr
James Ross (Pennsylvania politician)
James Ross was a lawyer who represented Pennsylvania in the U. S. Senate from 1794 to 1803. Born near Delta, York County, Pennsylvania, he was the son of Jane Ross. At eighteen, after having received a classical education, he moved to Canonsburg and taught at what would become Washington and Jefferson College, he was admitted to the bar in 1784 focusing on land law. A Federalist, he was a member of the convention that drafted a new constitution for Pennsylvania in 1789-1790. President George Washington appointed him to negotiate with the rebels of the Whiskey Rebellion defusing the situation without violence. On April 1, 1794, the Pennsylvania legislature elected him to the United States Senate to replace Albert Gallatin, removed by the legislature. There, he authored a new law for the public lands and fought President Thomas Jefferson's administration, he was elected to a second term in the Senate in 1797. In 1800, with the 1800 Presidential Election on the horizon, Ross introduced a controversial bill whereby, after the electoral votes were counted in Congress, the ballots would be turned over to a committee chaired by the Chief Justice and consisting of twelve members, six from each house of Congress.
The committee, acting behind closed doors, would be able to discard electoral votes deemed fraudulent after investigation. A group of horrified Republican Senators leaked the bill to arch-Republican Philadelphia printer William Duane, who published the contents in his Aurora on February 19, 1800; the Federalists dropped the bill. On January 15, 1803, amidst the controversies over Spain's revocation of the American right of deposit at New Orleans and French acquisition of Louisiana, Ross moved to afford Jefferson the ability to raise 50,000 troops to seize New Orleans. Jefferson did not want to have to use these troops, but the motion gave United States Minister to France Robert R. Livingston leverage in his negotiations, which resulted in the Louisiana Purchase, he ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Pennsylvania in 1799, 1802, 1808. During the late 1810s he is listed as the Pittsburgh City Council President, he died in Allegheny, now part of Pittsburgh. Ross Street in Downtown Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh suburb of Ross Township, the Fox Chapel borough street James Ross Place, Ross County, are named in his honor.
United States Congress. "James Ross". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. James Ross at Find a Grave
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