Replacement for HP G62-a25EA Laptop Battery

Replacement for HP G62-a25EA Laptop Battery

we are glad to reply you as soon as possible. Our purpose is to help customer to enjoy a comfortable life by offering high quality HP G62-a25EA battery.

Type: Li-ion
Capacity: 5200 mah/7800mah/10400mah //can run 5-6 hours
Volt: 10.8 V
Size: 204.85 x 52.23 x 20.80mm
Color: Black

HP G62-a25EA battery are usually made with Li-Ion batteries and the very nature of Li-Ion batteries is that they have about 500-600 charges and last at most about 4-5 years (shelf life). They also have a self-discharge rate of about 1% per day so you need to be sure to charge them at least every 6 months.

So how can you care for your battery to get the maximum life out of it?

1.) Always use your laptop on a hard surface.

Laptops are portable and it’s easy to set your laptop on your G62-a25EA battery or on your bed and use it at your lesiure. That’s one of the benefits of having a portable computer. Flexibility. But if you want to extend your battery life you have to watch out for overheating your laptop.

Heat is one of the biggest obstacles to battery life longevity. Your laptop computer fan cannot circulate the air properly when your laptop is sitting on soft surface.

2.) Do not keep your battery installed when you use your laptop on AC for an extended period of time.

While your laptop is undoubtedly using a smart charger to charge your battery even a constant trickle charge over months can reduce your battery life. For best results, only charge your HP battery G62-a25EA when you need to charge it, don’t leave the HP G62-a25EA battery plugged in all the time.

More importantly than the trickle charger affect is the ‘storage’ of a Li-Ion battery at elevated temperatures. The optimum storage temperature for a Li-Ion battery is at 0 deg. C. The optimum storage charge level is about 40%. Unfortunately we tend to store fully charged and at the temperatures found in a running laptop you’ll find a significant reduction in battery for your laptop performance after only 12-18 months.

3.) Use a full charge cycle before recharging

Li-Ion and NiMH battery (which most laptop battery are), do not have a memory which you might find in NiCad batteries. However, each chemistry has a limited number of charge cycles, so use a full charge cycle before re-charging to maximize your HP G62-a25EA Battery usage.

Because this may be very difficult to manage, you’ll need to consider the cost-benefit ratio for keeping track of how far discharged the battery is before you charge it again.

4.) Be careful where you store your laptop

This goes back to the heat issue. Don’t leave your HP G62-a25EA laptop in the car where it can get very hot..Batteries hate heat and your battery will go on strike permenantly if you expose it to too much heat.
Laptop Batteries Don’ts:
Do not disassemble.
Do not leave on charge for extended periods.
Do not short-circuit. A short-circuit may cause severe damage to the laptop batteries.
Do not drop, hit or otherwise abuse the laptop battery as this may result in the exposure of the cell contents, which are corrosive.
Do not expose the battery to moisture or rain.
Keep your laptop battery away from fire or other sources of extreme heat. Do not incinerate. Exposure of laptop battery to extreme heat may result in an explosion .

Fast shipping to the whole Europe(United Kingdom, Germany,France,Belgium,Italy,Switzerland,Sweden,Spain,Norway,Netherlands,Greece, Romania,Dänemark,Finnland,Irland,Portugal and so on),

the price is including VAT!Payment by PayPal,Guaranteed 1 year warranty,the large capacity battery can run 5-6 hours.

30 days money back if you use not satisfied ,100% replacement manufacturer compatible.

Remember that all laptops are not created equal.You may have gotten 4 hours from your last laptop while on laptop battery , but your new laptop might pull more juice to run that gaming quality processor, or the power hogging programs you’re running now. Read your owner’s manual to find out what you should expect from your laptop battery and be sure to compare apples to apples when purchasing a replacement HP G62-a25EA battery. Not all laptop batteries are made to the same specs. We recommend buying a battery that has at least as much capacity as your original battery (that’s the mAh rating), and preferrably the same chemistry as well.

If you simply aren’t sure what to get, check with a professional. Our customer service staff are trained to know how to compare HP battery G62-a25EA and they are happy to help find the right fit for your laptop.

The HP G62-a25EA Laptop Battery is also compatible with the following models:

HP G62-a00 Battery

HP G62-a00EF Battery

HP G62-a01SA Battery

HP G62-a02SA Battery

HP G62-a03SA Battery

HP G62-a04EA Battery

HP G62-a04SA Battery

HP G62-a10SA Battery

HP G62-a11SA Battery

HP G62-a27SA Battery

HP G62-a28SA Battery

HP G62-a29EA Battery

HP G62-a29SA Battery

HP G62-a30SA Battery

HP G62-a44SA Battery

HP G62-a53SG Battery

HP G62-a11SE Battery

HP G62-a12SA Battery

HP G62-a12SE Battery

HP G62-a13EE Battery

HP G62-a13SA Battery

HP G62-a13SE Battery

HP G62-a14SA Battery

HP G62-a15EO Battery

HP G62-a15SA Battery

HP G62-a24SA Battery

HP G62-a25EA Battery

HP G62-a25SA Battery

HP G62-a26SA Battery

HP G62-a38EE Battery

HP G62-a44EE Battery

HP G62-a60SA Battery

HP G62-a16SA Battery

HP G62-a17EA Battery

HP G62-a17SA Battery

HP G62-a18SA Battery

HP G62-a19EA Battery

HP G62-a19SA Battery

HP G62-a20SA Battery

HP G62-a21EA Battery

HP G62-a21SA Battery

HP G62-a22SA Battery

HP G62-a22SE Battery

HP G62-a23SA Battery

HP G62-a40SA Battery

HP G62-a43SA Battery

HP G62-a45SA Battery

HP G62-a50SG Battery

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

The People’s Republic of China

The People’s Republic of China

China, officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is the world’s most-populous country, with a population of over 1.3 billion. The East Asian state covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres, and is the world’s second-largest country by land area,[1HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery

3] and the third- or fourth-largest in total area, depending on the definition of total area.[14]

The People’s Republic of China is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party of China.[15]

HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four directly controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau).[16] Its capital city is Beijing.[17]

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca BatteryThe PRC also claims Taiwan—which is controlled by the Republic of China (ROC), a separate political entity—as its 23rd province, a claim controversial due to the complex political status of Taiwan and the unresolved Chinese Civil War. The PRC government denies the legitimacy of the ROC.

HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery

China’s landscape is vast and diverse, with forest steppes and the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts occupying the arid north and northwest near Mongolia and Central Asia, and subtropical forests being prevalent in the wetter south near Southeast Asia. The terrain of western China is rugged and elevated, with the Himalaya,

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separating China from South and Central Asia. The world’s apex, Mt. Everest (8,848 m), lies on the China–Nepal border, while the world’s second-highest point, K2 (8,611 m), is situated on China’s border with Pakistan.

HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery The country’s lowest and the world’s third-lowest point, Lake Ayding (−154 m), is located in the Turpan Depression. The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third- and sixth-longest in the world, have their sources in the Tibetan Plateau and continue to the densely populated eastern seaboard.

HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa BatteryChina’s coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 kilometres (9,000 mi) long—the 11th-longest in the world—and is bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East and South China Seas.

The nation of China has had numerous historical incarnations. The ancient Chinese civilization—one of the world’s earliest—flourished in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain.[1

HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery8] China’s political system was based on hereditary monarchies, known as dynasties, beginning with the semi-mythological Xia of the Yellow River basin (approx. 2000 BC) and ending with the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911.

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery Since 221 BC, when the Qin Dynasty first conquered several states to form a Chinese empire, the country has expanded, fractured and been reformed numerous times. The Republic of China, founded in 1911 after the overthrow of the Qing dynasty, ruled the Chinese mainland until 1949. In 1945, the ROC acquired Taiwan from Japan following World War II.

HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

In the 1946–1949 phase of the Chinese Civil War, the Chinese Communist Party defeated the nationalist Kuomintang in mainland China and established the People’s Republic of China in Beijing on 1 October 1949. The Kuomintang relocated the ROC government to Taiwan, establishing its capital in Taipei.

HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 Battery The ROC’s jurisdiction is now limited to Taiwan and several outlying islands, including Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. Since 1949, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (now widely known as “Taiwan”) have remained in dispute over the sovereignty of China and the political status of Taiwan,

HP Pavilion dv6z Batterymutually claiming each other’s territory and competing for international diplomatic recognition. In 1971, the PRC gained admission to the United Nations and took the Chinese seat as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. China is also a member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the WTO, APEC, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation,

HP Pavilion dv6t-1100 Battery the BCIM and the G-20. As of September 2011, all but 23 countries have recognized the PRC as the sole legitimate government of China.

Since the introduction of market-based economic reforms in 1978, China has become the world’s fastest-growing major economy.[19HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery

HP Pavilion dv6t-1000 Battery

] As of 2012, it is the world’s second-largest economy, after the United States, by both nominal GDP and purchasing power parity (PPP),[20] and is also the world’s largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods.

HP Pavilion dv6t BatteryIn per capita terms, China ranked 90th by nominal GDP and 91st by GDP (PPP) in 2011, according to the IMF. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world’s largest standing army, with the second-largest defense budget. In 2003, China became the third nation in the world, after the former Soviet Union and the United States, to independently launch a successful manned space mission.

HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Battery China has been characterized as a potential superpower by a number of academics,[21] military analysts,[22] and public policy and economics analysts.[23]

This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters. HP Pavilion DV5-1030EE Battery

The word “China” is derived from Cin (چین), a Persian name for China popularized in medieval Europe by the account of the 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco Polo.[26][27] The first recorded use in English dates from 1555.[28] The Persian word is, in turn, derived from the Sanskrit word Cīna (चीन),[2

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery9] which was used as a name for China as early as AD 150.[30] There are various scholarly theories regarding the origin of this word. The traditional theory, proposed in the 17th century by Martino Martini, is that “China” is derived from “Qin” (秦), the westernmost of the Chinese kingdoms during the Zhou Dynasty, or from the succeeding Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC).[31HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery

] The word Cīna is used in two Hindu scriptures – the Mahābhārata of the 5th century BC and the Laws of Manu of the 2nd century BC – to refer to a country located in the Tibetan-Burman borderlands east of India.[32][33]

HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Battery

In China, common names for the country include Zhōngguó (Chinese: 中国; literally “the Central State(s)”) and Zhōnghuá (Chinese: 中华), although the country’s official name has been changed numerous times by successive dynasties and modern governments. The term Zhongguo appeared in various ancient texts,

HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery

such as the Classic of History of the 6th century BC,[34] and in pre-imperial times it was often used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia from the barbarians. The term, which can be either singular or plural,

HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Battery

referred to the group of states in the central plain. It was only in the nineteenth century that the term emerged as the formal name of the country. The Chinese were not unique in regarding their country as “central”, since other civilizations had the same view.[35] HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery

History

Main articles: History of China and Timeline of Chinese history

Prehistory

Main article: Chinese prehistory

Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 250,000 and 2.24 million years ago.[36] A cave in Zhoukoudian (near present-day Beijing) exhibits fossils dated at between 300,000 and 780,000 BC.[37][3

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery8][39] The fossils are of Peking Man, an example of Homo erectus who used fire. There are also remains of Homo sapiens dating back to 18,000–11,000 BC found at the Peking Man site.[40]

Early dynastic rule

See also: Dynasties in Chinese history

Jade deer ornament dating from the Shang Dynasty.

Chinese tradition names the first dynasty Xia, but it was considered mythical until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou in Henan Province in 1959.[41] Archaeologists have since uncovered urban sites, bronze implements, HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery

and tombs in locations cited as Xia’s in ancient historical texts, but it is impossible to verify that these remains are of the Xia without written records from the period.

HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca Battery

Some of the thousands of life-size Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty, ca. 210 BC.

The Great Wall of China was built by several dynasties over two thousand years to protect the sedentary agricultural regions of the Chinese interior from incursions by nomadic pastoralists of the northern steppes.

The first Chinese dynasty that left historical records, the loosely feudal Shang (Yin), settled along the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BC. HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

The oracle bone script of the Shang Dynasty represent the oldest forms of Chinese writing found and the direct ancestor of modern Chinese characters used throughout East Asia. The Shang were invaded from the west by the Zhou,

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery who ruled from the 12th to the 5th century BC, until their centralized authority was slowly eroded by feudal warlords. Many independent states eventually emerged out of the weakened Zhou state, and continually waged war with each other in the Spring and Autumn Period,

HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery

only occasionally deferring to the Zhou king. By the time of the Warring States Period, there were seven powerful sovereign states, each with its own king, ministry and army.

Imperial China

The first unified Chinese state was established by Qin Shi Huang of the Qin state in 221 BC. Qin Shi Huang proclaimed himself the “First Emperor” (始皇帝), and imposed many reforms throughout China,

HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery notably the forced standardization of the Chinese language, measurements, length of cart axles, and currency. The Qin Dynasty lasted only fifteen years, falling soon after Qin Shi Huang’s death, as its harsh legalist and authoritarian policies led to widespread rebellion.[42][43

HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery

The subsequent Han Dynasty ruled China between 206 BC and 220 AD, and created a lasting Han cultural identity among its populace that extends to the present day.[42] HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery

][43] The Han Dynasty expanded the empire’s territory considerably with military campaigns reaching Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia and Central Asia, and also helped establish the Silk Road in Central Asia. China was for a large part of the last two millennia the world’s largest economy.[44]

HP Pavilion DV7-1214EA BatteryHowever, in the later part of the Qing Dynasty, China’s economic development began to slow and Europe’s rapid development during and after the Industrial Revolution enabled it to surpass China.

HP Pavilion DV7-1212EA Battery

After the collapse of Han, another period of disunion followed, including the highly chivalric period of the Three Kingdoms.[45] Independent Chinese states of this period such as Wu opened diplomatic relations with Japan,[46] introducing the Chinese writing system there. In 580 AD, China was reunited under the Sui.[4

HP Pavilion DV7-1211EA Battery

7] However, the Sui Dynasty was short-lived after a failure in the Goguryeo-Sui Wars (598–614) weakened it.[48][49]

Under the succeeding Tang and Song dynasties, Chinese technology and culture reached its zenith.[50] The Tang Empire was at its height of power until the middle of the 8th century, when the An Shi Rebellion destroyed the prosperity of the empire.[

HP Pavilion DV7-1213EA Battery

51] The Song Dynasty was the first government in world history to issue paper money and the first Chinese polity to establish a permanent standing navy.[52] Between the 10th and 11th centuries, the population of China doubled in size. This growth came about through expanded rice cultivation in central and southern China, and the production of abundant food surpluses.

HP Pavilion DV7-1038CA Battery

Within its borders, the Northern Song Dynasty had a population of some 100 million people. The Song Dynasty was a culturally rich period for philosophy and the arts. Landscape art and portrait painting were brought to new levels of maturity and complexity after the Tang Dynasty, and social elites gathered to view art,

HP Pavilion DV7-3178CA Battery

share their own, and trade precious artworks. Philosophers such as Cheng Yi and Chu Hsi reinvigorated Confucianism with new commentary, infused Buddhist ideals, and emphasized a new organization of classic texts that brought about the core doctrine of Neo-Confucianism.

HP Pavilion DV7-1125EA Battery

Detail from Along the River During the Qingming Festival, a 12th-century painting showing everyday life in the Song Dynasty’s capital city, Bianjing (today’s Kaifeng).

In 1271, the Mongol leader and fifth Khagan of the Mongol Empire Kublai Khan established the Yuan Dynasty, with the last remnant of the Song Dynasty falling to the Yuan in 1279. Before the Mongol invasion, HP Pavilion DV7-1000EA Battery

Chinese dynasties reportedly had approximately 120 million inhabitants; after the conquest was completed in 1279, the 1300 census reported roughly 60 million people.[53]

Late dynastic rule

A peasant named Zhu Yuanzhang overthrew the Yuan Dynasty in 1368 and founded the Ming Dynasty.[5

HP Pavilion DV7-1130EA Battery4] Ming Dynasty thinkers such as Wang Yangming would further critique and expand Neo-Confucianism with ideas of individualism and innate morality that would have tremendous impact on later Japanese thought. Chosun Korea also became a nominal vassal state of Ming China and adopted much of its Neo-Confucian bureaucratic structure. HP Pavilion DV7-1001EA Battery

Under the Ming Dynasty, China enjoyed another golden age, developing one of the strongest navies in the world and a rich and prosperous economy amid a flourishing of art and culture. It was during this period that Zheng He led explorations throughout the world, possibly reaching America. During the early Ming Dynasty,

HP Pavilion DV7-1135EA Battery China’s capital was moved from Nanjing to Beijing. In 1644, Beijing was sacked by a coalition of rebel forces led by Li Zicheng, a minor Ming official turned leader of the peasant revolt. The last Ming Chongzhen Emperor committed suicide when the city fell.

HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA Battery

The Manchu Qing Dynasty then allied with Ming Dynasty general Wu Sangui and overthrew Li’s short-lived Shun Dynasty, and subsequently seized control of Beijing, which became the new capital of the Qing Dynasty.

HP Pavilion DV7-1105EA Battery

The Qing Dynasty, which lasted until 1912, was the last imperial dynasty of China. In the 19th century, the Qing Dynasty adopted a defensive posture towards European imperialism, even though it engaged in an imperialistic expansion of its own into Central Asia. At this time, China awoke to the significance of the rest of the world,

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EG Battery the West in particular. As China opened up to foreign trade and missionary activity, opium produced by British India was forced onto Qing China. Two Opium Wars with Britain weakened the Emperor’s control. European imperialism proved to be disastrous for China:

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EF Battery

The Arrow War (1856–1860) [2nd Opium War] saw another disastrous defeat for China. The subsequent passing of the humiliating Treaty of Tianjin in 1856 and the Beijing Conventions of 1860 opened up more of the country to foreign penetrations and more ports for their vessels. Hong Kong was ceded over to the British.

HP Pavilion DV7-1055EA BatteryThus, the “unequal treaties system” was established. Heavy indemnities had to be paid by China, and more territory and control were taken over by the foreigners.[55]

A 19th-century painting depicting the Taiping Rebellion of 1850–1864.

The weakening of the Qing regime, and the apparent humiliation of the unequal treaties in the eyes of the Chinese people had several consequences. One consequence[according to whom?] was the Taiping Rebellion,

HP Pavilion DV7-1007EF Batterya civil war which lasted from 1851 to 1862. The rebellion was led by Hong Xiuquan, who was partly influenced by an idiosyncratic interpretation of Christianity. Hong believed himself to be the son of God and the younger brother of Jesus. Although the Qing forces were eventually victorious,

HP Pavilion DV7-1075LA Battery

the civil war was one of the bloodiest in human history, costing at least 20 million lives (more than the total number of fatalities in World War I), with some estimates of up to two hundred million. Other costly rebellions followed the Taiping Rebellion, such as the Punti-Hakka Clan Wars (1855–67), Nien Rebellion (1851–1868),

HP Pavilion DV7-1107EA Battery Miao Rebellion (1854–73), Panthay Rebellion (1856–1873) and the Dungan revolt (1862–1877).[56][57]

These rebellions resulted in an estimated loss of several million lives each and led to disastrous results for the economy and the countryside.[58][59

HP Pavilion DV7-1004EA Battery][60] The flow of British opium hastened the empire’s decline. In the 19th century, the age of colonialism was at its height and the great Chinese Diaspora began; today, about 35 million overseas Chinese live in Southeast Asia.[

HP Pavilion DV7-1050EA Battery

61] Emigration rates were strengthened by domestic catastrophes such as the famine of 1876–79, which claimed between 9 and 13 million lives in northern China.[62] From 108 BC to 1911 AD, China experienced 1,828 famines,[63] or one per year, somewhere in the empire.[64] HP Pavilion DV7-1014CA Battery

While China was wracked by continuous war, Meiji Japan succeeded in rapidly modernizing its military, and set its sights on the conquest of Korea and Manchuria. At the request of the Korean emperor, the Qing government sent troops to aid in suppressing the Tonghak Rebellion in 1894. However, Japan also sent troops to Korea, HP Pavilion DV7-1002EA Battery

leading to the First Sino-Japanese War, which resulted in Qing China’s loss of influence in the Korean Peninsula as well as the cession of Taiwan (including the Pescadores) to Japan.

Following this series of defeats, a reform plan for the empire to become a modern Meiji-style constitutional monarchy was drafted by the Guangxu Emperor in 1898, HP Pavilion DV7-1020EA Battery

but was opposed and stopped by the Empress Dowager Cixi, who placed Emperor Guangxu under house arrest in a coup d’état. Further destruction followed the ill-fated 1900 Boxer Rebellion against westerners in Beijing. HP Pavilion DV7-1003EA Battery

By the early 20th century, mass civil disorder had begun, and calls for reform and revolution were heard across the country. The 38-year-old Emperor Guangxu died under house arrest on 14 November 1908, suspiciously just a day before Cixi’s own death. With the throne empty, he was succeeded by Cixi’s handpicked heir, Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M/H Battery

his two year old nephew Puyi, who became the Xuantong Emperor. Guangxu’s consort became the Empress Dowager Longyu. In another coup de’tat, Yuan Shikai overthrew the last Qing emperor, and forced empress Dowager Longyu to sign the abdication decree as regent in 1912,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZJ/B Batteryending two thousand years of imperial rule in China. She died, childless, in 1913.

Republic of China (1912–1949)

Main articles: Republic of China (1912–1949) and History of the Republic of China

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2011)

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11SR/B Battery

Sun Yat-sen, the father of modern China (seated on right), and Chiang Kai-shek, later President of the Republic of China.

On 1 January 1912, the Republic of China was established, heralding the end of Imperial China. Sun Yat-sen of the Kuomintang (the KMT or Nationalist Party) was proclaimed provisional president of the republic. However,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11XU/Q Battery the presidency was later given to Yuan Shikai, a former Qing general, who had ensured the defection of the entire Beiyang Army from the Qing Empire to the revolution. In 1915, Yuan proclaimed himself Emperor of China, but was forced to abdicate and reestablish the republic in the face of popular condemnation, Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S/B Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11Z/B Battery not only from the general population but also from among his own Beiyang Army and its commanders.

After Yuan Shikai’s death in 1916, China was politically fragmented, with an internationally recognized but virtually powerless national government seated in Beijing. Regional warlords exercised actual control over their respective territories. Sony Vaio VGN-AW21Z/B Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11ZR/B Battery In the late 1920s, the nationalist Kuomintang, under Chiang Kai-shek, was able to reunify the country under its own control with a series of deft military and political maneuverings, known collectively as the Northern Expedition. Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZS/B Battery

The Kuomintang moved the nation’s capital to Nanjing and implemented “political tutelage”, an intermediate stage of political development outlined in Sun Yat-sen’s San-min program for transforming China into a modern democratic state. Effectively, political tutelage meant one-party rule by the Kuomintang, but the party was politically divided into competing cliques.

Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M BatteryThis political division made it difficult for Chiang to battle the Communists, which the Kuomintang had been warring against since 1927 in the Chinese Civil War. This war continued successfully for the Kuomintang, especially after the Communists were forced to retreat in the Long March,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S Battery until the Xi’an Incident and Japanese aggression forced Chiang to confront Imperial Japan.

The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), a part of World War II, forced an uneasy alliance between the Kuomintang and the Communists. The Japanese “three-all policy” in northern China—”kill all, burn all and destroy all”—led to numerous war atrocities being committed against the civilian population;

Sony Vaio VGN-AW31M/H Batteryin all, as many as 20 million Chinese civilians were killed.[65].[66] An estimated 200,000 Chinese were massacred in the city of Nanjing alone during the Japanese occupation.[67] Japan unconditionally surrendered to China in 1945. Taiwan, including the Pescadores, was retroceded.

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41JF/H BatteryChina emerged victorious but war-ravaged and financially drained. The continued distrust between the Kuomintang and the Communists led to the resumption of the Chinese Civil War. In 1947, constitutional rule was established, but because of the ongoing Civil War many provisions of the ROC constitution were never implemented in mainland China.[citation needed]

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41MF/H Battery

People’s Republic of China (1949–present)

Main article: History of the People’s Republic of China

Major combat in the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949 with the Communist Party in control of mainland China, and the Kuomintang retreating offshore, reducing the ROC’s territory to only Taiwan, Hainan, and their surrounding islands.

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41XH/Q Battery

On 1 October 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic of China,[68] which was commonly known in the West as “Communist China” or “Red China” during the Cold War.[69] In 1950, the People’s Liberation Army succeeded in capturing Hainan from the ROC, Sony Vaio VGN-AW41ZF/H Battery occupying Tibet, and defeating the majority of the remaining Kuomintang forces in Yunnan and Xinjiang provinces, though some Kuomintang holdouts survived until much later.

Mao Zedong proclaiming the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Mao encouraged population growth, and under his leadership the Chinese population almost doubled from around 550 million to over 900 million.[ Sony Vaio VGN-NS38E/S Battery

70] However, the economic and social plan known as the Great Leap Forward resulted in an estimated 45 million deaths between 1958 and 1961, mostly from starvation.[71Sony Vaio VGN-NS12M/S Battery

] In 1966, Mao and his allies launched the Cultural Revolution, which would last until Mao’s death a decade later. The Cultural Revolution, motivated by power struggles within the Party and a fear of the Soviet Union, led to a major upheaval in Chinese society. In October 1971, the PRC replaced the Republic of China in the United Nations,

Sony Vaio VGN-NS20EF/W Battery and took its seat as a permanent member of the Security Council. In that same year, for the first time, the number of countries recognizing the PRC surpassed those recognizing the ROC in Taipei as the government of China.[7

Sony Vaio VGN-NS20EF/S Battery

2] In February 1972, at the peak of the Sino-Soviet split, Mao and Zhou Enlai met Richard Nixon in Beijing. However, the U.S. did not officially recognise the PRC as China’s sole legitimate government until 1 January 1979.

Sony Vaio VGN-NS20EF/P Battery

After Mao’s death in 1976 and the arrest of the Gang of Four, who were blamed for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping quickly wrested power from Mao’s anointed successor Hua Guofeng. Although he never became the head of the party or state himself, Deng was in fact the Paramount Leader of China at that time,

Sony Vaio VGN-NS30Z/S Battery his influence within the Party led the country to significant economic reforms. The Communist Party subsequently loosened governmental control over citizens’ personal lives and the communes were disbanded with many peasants receiving multiple land leases,

Sony Vaio VGN-NS30E/S Batterywhich greatly increased incentives and agricultural production. This turn of events marked China’s transition from a planned economy to a mixed economy with an increasingly open market environment, a system termed by some “market socialism”;[7

Sony Vaio VGN-NS20M/S Battery3] the Communist Party of China officially describes it as “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. China adopted its current constitution on 4 December 1982.

The death of pro-reform official Hu Yaobang helped to spark the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, during which students and others campaigned for several months, speaking out against corruption and in favour of greater political reform, Sony Vaio VGN-NS12M/W Battery

including democratic rights and freedom of speech. However, they were eventually put down on 4 June when PLA troops and vehicles entered and forcibly cleared the square, resulting in numerous casualties.

Sony Vaio VGN-NS20J/P BatteryThis event was widely reported and brought worldwide condemnation and sanctions against the government.[74][75] The “Tank Man” incident in particular became famous.

Sony Vaio VGN-NS20E/P Battery

The city of Shanghai has become a symbol of China’s rapid economic expansion since the 1990s.

President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji, both former mayors of Shanghai, led the nation in the 1990s. Under Jiang and Zhu’s ten years of administration, Sony Vaio VGN-NS36E Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-NS11J/S Battery China’s economic performance pulled an estimated 150 million peasants out of poverty and sustained an average annual gross domestic product growth rate of 11.2%.[76][77] The country formally joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Although rapid economic growth has made the Chinese economy the world’s second-largest, this growth has also severely impacted the country’s resources and environment.[78Sony Vaio VGN-NS10E/S Battery

Another concern is that the benefits of economic development has not been distributed evenly, resulting in a wide development gap between urban and rural areas. As a result, under President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, Sony Vaio VGN-NS10L/S Battery] the Chinese government initiated policies to address these issues of equitable distribution of resources, though the outcome remains to be seen.[79] More than 40 million farmers have been displaced from their land,[80] usually for economic development, contributing to the 87,000 demonstrations and riots across China in 2005.[8

Sony  VGP-BPS21A/b Battery

1] Living standards have improved significantly but political controls remain tight.[82]

Geography

The People’s Republic of China is the second-largest country in the world by land area after Russia[13] and is either the third- or fourth-largest by total area, after Russia, Canada and, depending on the definition of total area, the United States.[83] China’s total area is generally stated as being approximately 9,600,000 km2 (3,700,000 sq mi). Sony  VGP-BPS13 Battery

[84] Specific area figures range from 9,572,900 km2 (3,696,100 sq mi) according to the Encyclopædia Britannica,[85] 9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi) according to the UN Demographic Yearbook,[86] to 9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi) according to the CIA World Factbook,[87] and 9,640,011 km2 (3,722,029 sq mi) including Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract, which are controlled by China and claimed by India.[88]

Sony  VGP-BPS21/S Battery None of these figures include the 1,000 square kilometres (386.1 sq mi) of territory ceded to China by Tajikistan following the ratification of a Sino-Tajik border agreement in January 2011.[89]

Sony  VGP-BPS21B Battery

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the total area of the United States, at 9,522,055 km2 (3,676,486 sq mi), is slightly smaller than that of China. Meanwhile, the CIA World Factbook states that China’s total area was greater than that of the United States until the coastal waters of the Great Lakes was added to the United States’ total area in 1996.[90] Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

China has the longest combined land border in the world, measuring 22,117 km (13,743 mi) from the mouth of the Yalu River to the Gulf of Tonkin. China borders 14 nations, more than any other country except Russia, which also borders 14. China extends across much of East Asia, bordering Vietnam, Laos, Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

and Burma in Southeast Asia; India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan[91] in South Asia; Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia; a small section of Russian Altai and Mongolia in Inner Asia; and the Russian Far East and North Korea in Northeast Asia. Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13/S Battery

Additionally, China shares maritime boundaries with South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. The PRC and the Republic of China (Taiwan) make mutual claims over each other’s territory and the frontier between areas under their respective control is closest near the islands of Kinmen and Matsu, off the Fujian coast,

Sony  VGP-BPS21A Batterybut otherwise run through the Taiwan Strait. The PRC and ROC assert identical claims over the entirety of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, and the southern-most extent of these claims reach Zengmu Ansha (James Shoal), which would form a maritime frontier with Malaysia.

Sony  VGP-BPS21 Battery

Landscape and climate

Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, in Tibet.

The South China Sea coast at Hainan.

The territory of China lies between latitudes 18° and 54° N, and longitudes 73° and 135° E. China’s landscapes vary significantly across its vast width. In the east, along the shores of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea,

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery

there are extensive and densely populated alluvial plains, while on the edges of the Inner Mongolian plateau in the north, broad grasslands predominate. Southern China is dominated by hills and low mountain ranges, while the central-east hosts the deltas of China’s two major rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River.

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/Q BatteryOther major rivers include the Xi, Mekong, Brahmaputra and Amur. To the west, major mountain ranges, most notably the Himalayas, and high plateaus feature among the more arid landscapes of the north, such as the Taklamakan and the Gobi Desert. China’s highest point, Mt. Everest (8848m) Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

, lies on the Sino-Nepalese border. The country’s lowest point is the dried lake bed of Ayding Lake (−154m) in the Turpan Depression.

A major environmental issue in China is the continued expansion of its deserts, particularly the Gobi Desert, which is currently the world’s fifth-largest desert.[ Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/S Battery

92][93] Although barrier tree lines planted since the 1970s have reduced the frequency of sandstorms, prolonged drought and poor agricultural practices have resulted in dust storms plaguing northern China each spring, Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13/Q Battery which then spread to other parts of East Asia, including Korea and Japan. According to China’s environmental watchdog, Sepa, China is losing a million acres (4,000 km²) per year to desertification.[94] Water quality, erosion, and pollution control have become important issues in China’s relations with other countries. Melting glaciers in the Himalayas could potentially lead to water shortages for hundreds of millions of people.[95]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery

China’s climate is mainly dominated by dry seasons and wet monsoons, which lead to a pronounced temperature differences between winter and summer. In the winter, northern winds coming from high-latitude areas are cold and dry; in summer, southern winds from coastal areas at lower latitudes are warm and moist.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56 BatteryThe climate in China differs from region to region because of the country’s extensive and complex topography.

Biodiversity

Main article: Wildlife of China

A giant panda photographed in Sichuan.

China is one of 17 megadiverse countries,[96] lying in two of the world’s major ecozones: the Palearctic and the Indomalaya.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S Battery

In the Palearctic zone, mammals such as the horse, camel, tapir, and jerboa can be found. Among the species found in the Indomalaya region are the Leopard Cat, bamboo rat, treeshrew, and various monkey and ape species. Some overlap exists between the two regions due to natural dispersal and migration; deer,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54J Batteryantelope, bears, wolves, pigs, and numerous rodent species can all be found in China’s diverse climatic and geological environments. The famous giant panda is found only in a limited area along the Yangtze River. China suffers from a continuing problem with trade in endangered species, although there are now laws to prohibit such activities.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54E Battery

China also hosts a variety of forest types. Cold coniferous forests predominate in the north of the country, supporting animal species such as moose and the Asian black bear, along with over 120 bird species. Moist conifer forests can have thickets of bamboo as an understorey,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46Z Battery

replaced by rhododendrons in higher montane stands of juniper and yew. Subtropical forests, which dominate central and southern China, support as many as 146,000 species of flora. Tropical and seasonal rainforests, though confined to Yunnan and Hainan Island, contain a quarter of all the plant and animal species found in China. Sony VAIO VGN-FW41E/H Battery

Environment

Main article: Environment in the People’s Republic of China

See also: Water resources of the People’s Republic of China

Wind turbines in Xinjiang. The Dabancheng project is Asia’s largest wind farm.

In recent decades, China has suffered from severe environmental deterioration and pollution.[97] While regulations such as the 1979 Environmental Protection Law are fairly stringent, Sony VAIO VGN-FW41J/H Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46S Batteryenforcement of them is poor, as they are frequently disregarded by local communities and government officials in favour of rapid economic development.

Environmental campaigners such as Ma Jun have warned of the danger that water pollution poses to Chinese society.[9

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26JG Battery8] According to the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources, roughly 300 million Chinese do not have access to safe drinking water, and 40% of China’s rivers have been polluted by industrial and agricultural waste as of late 2011.[99] This crisis is compounded by the perennial problem of water shortages, with 400 out of 600 surveyed Chinese cities reportedly short of drinking water.[100][101]

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26EG Battery

However, China is the world’s leading investor in renewable energy technologies, with $34.6 billion invested in 2009 alone.[102][103] China produces more wind turbines and solar panels than any other country,[104] and renewable energy projects, such as solar water heating, are widely pursued at the local level.[105]

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MR Battery By 2009, over 17% of China’s energy was derived from renewable sources – most notably hydroelectric power plants, of which China has a total installed capacity of 197 GW.[106] In 2011, the Chinese government announced plans to invest four trillion yuan (US$618.55 billion) in water infrastructure projects over a ten-year period, and to complete construction of a flood prevention and anti-drought system by 2020.[107] Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H Battery

Politics

Main article: Politics of the People’s Republic of China

See also: Politics of the Republic of China

The People’s Republic of China, along with Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, and Cuba, is one of the five remaining official Communist states in the world.[108][109] Sony VAIO VGN-FW41ZJ/H Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MG Batterybut simple characterizations of China’s political structure since the 1980s are no longer possible.[10] The Chinese government has been variously described as communist and socialist, but also as authoritarian, with heavy restrictions remaining in many areas, most notably on the Internet, Sony VAIO VGN-FW46M Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H Battery

the press, freedom of assembly, reproductive rights, and freedom of religion.[110] Its current political/economic system has been termed by its leaders as “Socialism with Chinese characteristics”.Sony VAIO VGN-FW51 Battery

Compared to its closed-door policies until the mid-1970s, the liberalization of China has resulted in the administrative climate being less restrictive than before. China is far different from liberal democracy or social democracy that exists in most of Europe or North America, and the National People’s Congress (highest state body) has been described as a “rubber stamp” body.[1

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24JG Battery11] China’s incumbent President is Hu Jintao, who is also the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, and its Premier is Wen Jiabao, who is also a senior member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24EG Battery

The Great Hall of the People in Beijing, where the National People’s Congress convenes.

The country is ruled by the Communist Party of China (CPC), whose power is enshrined in China’s constitution.[112] The Chinese electoral system is hierarchical, whereby local People’s Congresses are directly elected,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56J Battery

and all higher levels of People’s Congresses up to the National People’s Congress (NPC) are indirectly elected by the People’s Congress of the level immediately below.[113] The political system is partly decentralized,[114

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56E Battery] with limited democratic processes internal to the party and at local village levels, although these experiments have been marred by corruption. There are other political parties in China, referred to in China as democratic parties, which participate in the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery

There have been some moves toward political liberalization, in that open contested elections are now held at the village and town levels,[115][116] and that legislatures have shown some assertiveness from time to time.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26M Battery

However, the Party retains effective control over government appointments: in the absence of meaningful opposition, the CPC wins by default most of the time. Political concerns in China include lessening the growing gap between rich and poor and fighting corruption within the government leadership.[117]

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24S Battery

The level of support to the government action and the management of the nation is among the highest in the world, with 86% of people who express satisfaction with the way things are going in their country and with their nation’s economy according to a 2008 Pew Research Center survey.[118]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW35F Battery

Administrative divisions

Main articles: Administrative divisions of the People’s Republic of China, Districts of Hong Kong, and Municipalities of Macau

See also: Administrative divisions of the Republic of China

The People’s Republic of China has administrative control over 22 provinces, and considers Taiwan to be its 23rd province, although Taiwan is currently governed by the Republic of China, which disputes the PRC’s claim.[11

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56M Battery9] China also has five subdivisions officially termed autonomous regions, each with a designated minority group; four municipalities; and two Special Administrative Regions (SARs), which enjoy a degree of political autonomy.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery

These 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, and four municipalities can be collectively referred to as “mainland China”, a term which usually excludes the SARs of Hong Kong and Macau.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery

Foreign relations

Main article: Foreign relations of the People’s Republic of China

Hu Jintao with former US President George W. Bush in 2006.

China has diplomatic relations with 171 countries and maintains embassies in 162.[120] Its legitimacy is disputed by the Republic of China and a few other countries; it is thus the largest and most populous state with limited recognition. Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery

Sweden was the first western country to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic on 9 May 1950.[121] In 1971, the PRC replaced the Republic of China as the sole representative of China in the United Nations and as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.[122

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51 Battery] China was also a former member and leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, and still considers itself an advocate for developing countries.[123]

Under its interpretation of the One-China policy, China has made it a precondition to establishing diplomatic relations that the other country acknowledges its claim to Taiwan and severs official ties with the government of the Republic of China.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H Battery Chinese officials have protested on numerous occasions when foreign countries have made diplomatic overtures to Taiwan,[124] especially in the matter of armament sales.[125] Political meetings between foreign government officials and the 14th Dalai Lama are also opposed by China, as it considers Tibet to be formally part of China.[126]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46M Battery

Much of China’s current foreign policy is reportedly based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence of Zhou Enlai—non-interference in other states’ affairs, non-aggression, peaceful coexistence, equality and mutual benefits. China’s foreign policy is also driven by the concept of “harmony without uniformity”, which encourages diplomatic relations between states despite ideological differences.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41ZJ/H Battery This policy has led China to support states that are regarded as dangerous or repressive by Western nations, such as Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Iran.[127] Conflicts with foreign countries have occurred at times in China’s recent history, particularly with the United States; for example

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H Batterythe US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo conflict in May 1999 and the US-China spy plane incident in April 2001. China’s foreign relations with many Western nations suffered for a time following the military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, although in recent years China has improved its diplomatic links with the West.[128][129] , Sony VAIO VGN-FW41J/H Battery

Trade relations

In recent decades, China has played an increasing role in calling for free trade areas and security pacts amongst its Asia-Pacific neighbors. In 2004, China proposed an entirely new East Asia Summit (EAS) framework as a forum for regional security issues, pointedly excluding the United States.[130] The EAS, which includes ASEAN Plus Three, Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

India, Australia and New Zealand, held its inaugural summit in 2005. China is also a founding member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), along with Russia and the Central Asian republics.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery

In 2000, the U.S. Congress approved “permanent normal trade relations” (PNTR) with China, allowing Chinese exports in at the same low tariffs as goods from most other countries.[131] Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush asserted that free trade would gradually open China to democratic reform.[132]

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR BatteryBush was furthermore an advocate of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).[133] China has a significant trade surplus with the United States, its most important export market.[134] In the early 2010s, U.S. politicians argued that the Chinese yuan was significantly undervalued, giving China an unfair trade advantage.[135]

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR Battery

Sinophobic attitudes often target Chinese minorities and nationals living outside of China. Sometimes, such anti-Chinese attitudes turn violent, as occurred during the 13 May Incident in Malaysia in 1969 and the Jakarta riots of May 1998 in Indonesia, in which more than 2,000 people died.[136]

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H BatteryIn recent years, a number of anti-Chinese riots and incidents have also occurred in Africa and Oceania.[137][138] Anti-Chinese sentiment is often rooted in socio-economics.[139]

Territorial disputes

Map depicting territorial disputes between the PRC and its neighboring regimes. For a larger map, see here.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H Battery

Main article: Foreign relations of the People’s Republic of China#International territorial disputes

China has been involved in a number of international territorial disputes, mostly resulting from the legacy of unequal treaties imposed on China during the historical period of New Imperialism. Since the 1990s,

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H BatteryChina has been entering negotiations to resolve its disputed land borders, usually by offering concessions and accepting less than half of the disputed territory with each party. China’s only remaining land border disputes are a disputed border with India and an undefined border with Bhutan.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X BatteryChina is additionally involved in more minor multilateral disputes over the ownership of several small islands in the East and South China Seas.[140][141]

Sino-Japanese relations

Main article: Sino-Japanese relations

The relationship between China and Japan has been strained at times by Japan’s refusal to acknowledge its wartime past to the satisfaction of China. Revisionist comments made by prominent Japanese officials and some Japanese history textbooks regarding the 1937 Nanjing Massacre have been a focus of particular controversy. Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery

Sino-Japanese relations warmed considerably after Shinzo Abe became the Prime Minister of Japan in September 2006, and a joint historical study conducted by China and Japan released a report in 2010 which pointed toward a new consensus on the issue of World War 2-era atrocities.[142

Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery However, in the early 2010s, relations cooled once more, with Japan accusing China of withholding its reserves of valuable rare earth elements.[143]

China and the developing world

A meeting of G5 leaders in 2007, with China’s Hu Jintao second from right.

China is heavily engaged, both politically and economically, with numerous nations in the developing world. Most notably, they have followed a policy of engaging with African nations for trade and bilateral co-operation.[144] ] Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery

[145] Xinhua, China’s official news agency, states that there are no less than 750,000 Chinese nationals working or living in Africa.[146] China has furthermore strengthened its ties with major South American economies, becoming the largest trading partner of Brazil and building strategic links with Argentina.[147][148HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA Battery

] Along with Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, China is a member of the BRICS group of emerging major economies, and hosted the group’s third official summit at Sanya in Hainan Province in April 2011.[149]

HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Battery

Emerging superpower status

China is regularly hailed as a potential new superpower, with certain commentators citing its rapid economic progress, growing military might, very large population, and increasing international influence as signs that it will play a prominent global role in the 21st century. Others,

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Batteryhowever, warn that economic bubbles and demographic imbalances could slow or even halt China’s growth as the century progresses.[150][151][152][153][154]

HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Battery

Sociopolitical issues and reform

See also: Human rights in the People’s Republic of China, Hukou system, Social welfare in China, Elections in the People’s Republic of China, and Feminism in the People’s Republic of China

The Chinese democracy movement, social activists, and some members of the Communist Party of China have all identified the need for social and political reform. HP Pavilion DV6-1120SA Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery While economic and social controls have been greatly relaxed in China since the 1970s, political freedom is still tightly restricted. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China states that the “fundamental rights” of citizens include freedom of speech, freedom of the press,

HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Battery the right to a fair trial, freedom of religion, universal suffrage, and property rights. However, in practice, these provisions do not afford significant protection against criminal prosecution by the State.[155][156][157]

As the Chinese economy expanded following Deng Xiaoping’s 1978 reforms, tens of millions of rural Chinese who have moved to the cities[15HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX Battery

8] find themselves treated as second-class citizens by China’s hukou household registration system, which controls state benefits.[159] Property rights are often poorly protected, and eminent domain land seizures have had a disproportionate effect on poorer peasants.[158] In 2003, the average Chinese farmer paid three times more taxes than the average urban dweller, despite having one-sixth of the annual income.[1HP Pavilion DV4-1125BR Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery59] However, a number of rural taxes have since been reduced or abolished, and additional social services provided to rural dwellers.[160][161][162]

Censorship of political speech and information, most notably on the Internet,[163] is openly and routinely used in China to silence criticism of the government and the ruling Communist Party.[164][165

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca Battery] In 2005, Reporters Without Borders ranked China 159th out of 167 states in its Annual World Press Freedom Index, indicating a very low level of perceived press freedom.[166] The government has suppressed demonstrations by organizations that it considers a potential threat to “social stability”, as was the case with the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca BatteryThe Communist Party has had mixed success in controlling information: a powerful and pervasive media control system faces equally strong market forces, an increasingly educated citizenry, and technological and cultural changes that are making China more open to the wider world, especially on environmental issues.[167] HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

[168] However, attempts are still made by the Chinese government to control public access to outside information, with online searches for politically sensitive material being blocked by the so-called Great Firewall.[169]

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

A number of foreign governments and NGOs routinely criticize China’s human rights record, alleging widespread civil rights violations, including systematic use of lengthy detention without trial, forced confessions, torture, mistreatment of prisoners, and restrictions of freedom of speech, assembly, association,

HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery

religion, the press, and labor rights.[110] China executes more people than any other country, accounting for 72% of the world’s total in 2009, though it is not the largest executioner per capita.[170]

HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery

This high execution rate is partly due to the fact that numerous white-collar crimes, such as fraud, are punishable by death in China. However, in the early 2010s, China began restricting the application of capital punishment for some such crimes.[171] HP Pavilion DV6-1220EO Battery

The Chinese government has responded to foreign criticism by arguing that the notion of human rights should take into account a country’s present level of economic development, and focus more on the people’s rights to subsistence and development in poorer countries.[172] The rise in the standard of living, literacy,

HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery and life expectancy for the average Chinese since the 1970s is seen by the government as tangible progress made in human rights.[173] Improvements in workplace safety, and efforts to combat natural disasters such as the perennial Yangtze River floods, are also portrayed in China as progress in human rights for a still largely poor country.[172][174] HP Pavilion DV5-1015ED Battery

Some Chinese politicians have spoken out in favor of reforms, while others remain more conservative. In 2010, Premier Wen Jiabao stated that China needs “to gradually improve the democratic election system so that state power will truly belong to the people and state power will be used to serve the people.” Despite his status, Wen’s comments were later censored by the government.[175]

HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery

As the social, cultural and political consequences of economic growth and reform become increasingly manifest, tensions between the conservatives and reformists in the Communist Party are sharpening. Zhou Tianyong, the vice director of research of the Central Party School, HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL Battery

argues that gradual political reform as well as repression of those pushing for overly rapid change over the next thirty years will be essential if China is to avoid an overly turbulent transition to a democratic, middle-class-dominated polity.[176][177] HP Pavilion DV6-1230SB Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

Military

Main article: People’s Liberation Army

A PLAAF Chengdu J-10 fighter aircraft.

With 2.3 million active troops, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the largest standing military force in the world, commanded by the Central Military Commission (CMC).[178] The PLA consists of the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF), the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF),

HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery and a strategic nuclear force, the Second Artillery Corps. According to SIPRI, China’s military expenditure in 2011 totalled US$129.2 billion (923 billion yuan), constituting the world’s second-largest military budget.[17HP Pavilion DV6-1215SA Battery

HP Pavilion DV5-1005EL Battery

9] However, the United States government has claimed that China does not report its real level of military spending, which is allegedly much higher than the official budget.[180]

As a recognised nuclear weapons state, China is considered both a major regional military power and an emerging military superpower.[181

HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery] As of August 2011, China’s Second Artillery Corps is believed to maintain at least 195 nuclear missiles, including 75 ICBMs.[182] Nonetheless, China is the only member of the UN Security Council to have relatively limited power projection capabilities.[183] To offset this,

HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery it has begun developing power projection assets, such as aircraft carriers, and has established a network of foreign military relationships that has been compared to a string of pearls.

HP Pavilion DV5-1030EE Battery

Members of a Chinese military honor guard. China possesses the largest standing army in the world, with around 2.3 million active personnel. Its ground forces alone total 1.7 million soldiers.

China has made significant progress in modernizing its military since the early 2000s. It has purchased state-of-the-art Russian fighter jets, such as the Sukhoi Su-30s, HP Pavilion DV5-1121EM Battery

and has also produced its own modern fighters, most notably the Chinese J-10s and the J-11s.[184] China is furthermore engaged in developing an indigenous stealth aircraft, the Chengdu J-20.[185][186

HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery] China’s ground forces have also undergone significant modernisations, replacing its ageing Soviet-derived tank inventory with numerous variants of the modern Type 99 tank, and upgrading its battlefield C3I systems to enhance its network-centric warfare capabilities.[187]

HP Pavilion DV5-1032EG Battery China has furthermore acquired and improved upon the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile system.[188] Russia later produced the next-generation S-400 Triumf system, with China reportedly having spent $500 million on a downgraded export version of it.[189]

HP Pavilion DV5-1020TX Battery A number of indigenous missile technologies have also been developed – in 2007, China conducted a successful test of an anti-satellite missile,[190] and its first indigenous land-attack cruise missile, the CJ-10, HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery

entered service in 2009. In 2011, the Pentagon reported that China was believed to be testing the JL-2 missile, a submarine-launched nuclear ICBM with multiple-warhead delivery capabilities.[182]

In recent years, much attention has been focused on enhancing the blue-water capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.[191] In August 2011, China’s first aircraft carrier, the refurbished Soviet vessel Varyag, began sea trials.[1HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 Battery

92] China furthermore maintains a substantial fleet of submarines, including several nuclear-powered attack and ballistic missile submarines.[193] On 13 March 2011, the PLAN missile frigate Xuzhou was spotted off the coast of Libya, marking the first time in history a Chinese warship sailed into the Mediterranean. HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

The ship’s entrance into the Mediterranean was officially part of a humanitarian mission to rescue Chinese nationals from the 2011 Libyan civil war, though analysts such as Fareed Zakaria viewed the mission as also being an attempt to increase China’s global military presence.[194]

HP Pavilion dv6-2112SA Battery

Little information is available regarding the motivations supporting China’s military modernization. A 2007 report by the US Secretary of Defense noted that “China’s actions in certain areas increasingly appear inconsistent with its declaratory policies”.[195] For its part, China claims it maintains an army purely for defensive purposes.[196] HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

Economy

Main articles: Economy of the People’s Republic of China and List of Chinese administrative divisions by GDP

The Shanghai Stock Exchange building in Shanghai’s Lujiazui financial district. Shanghai is China’s largest urban economy, and has the 25th largest city GDP in the world, totalling US$304 billion in 2011.[197]

As of 2012, China has the world’s second-largest economy in terms of nominal GDP, totalling approximately US$7.298 trillion according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[6] HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery

However, China’s 2011 nominal GDP per capita of US$5,184 puts it behind around ninety countries (out of 183 countries on the IMF list) in global GDP per capita rankings.[6] If PPP is taken into account in GDP figures,

HP Pavilion dv6-2114A BatteryChina is again second only to the United States – in 2011, its PPP GDP reached $11.316 trillion, corresponding to $8,394 per capita.[6] In 2009, China’s primary, secondary, and tertiary industries contributed 10.6%, 46.8%, and 42.6% respectively to its total GDP.

HP Pavilion dv6-2110EA Battery

From its founding in 1949 until late 1978, the People’s Republic of China was a Soviet-style centrally planned economy, without private businesses or capitalism. To propel the country towards a modern, industrialized communist society, Mao Zedong instituted the Great Leap Forward in the early 1960s,

HP Pavilion dv6-1330SA Battery although this had decidedly mixed economic results.[198] Following Mao’s death in 1976 and the consequent end of the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping and the new Chinese leadership began to reform the economy and move towards a more market-oriented mixed economy under one-party rule.

HP Pavilion dv6-1216SA BatteryCollectivization of the agriculture was dismantled and farmlands were privatized to increase productivity. Modern-day China is mainly characterized as having a market economy based on private property ownership,[199][200] and is one of the leading examples of state capitalism.[201][202]

HP Pavilion dv6-1210EA Battery

Under the post-Mao market reforms, a wide variety of small-scale private enterprises were encouraged, while the government relaxed price controls and promoted foreign investment. Foreign trade was focused upon as a major vehicle of growth, leading to the creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs),

HP Pavilion dv6-1140EA Battery

first in Shenzhen and then in other Chinese cities. Inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were restructured by introducing western-style management systems, with unprofitable ones being closed outright, resulting in massive job losses. By the latter part of 2010, China was reversing some of its economic liberalization initiatives, with state-owned companies buying up independent businesses in the steel, auto and energy industries.[203] HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery

In 1978, Deng Xiaoping initiated China’s market-oriented reforms.

Since economic liberalization began in 1978, China’s investment- and export-led[204] economy has grown almost a hundredfold[205]

HP Pavilion dv6-1120SA Battery and is the fastest-growing major economy in the world.[206] According to the IMF, China’s annual average GDP growth between 2001 and 2010 was 10.5%, and the Chinese economy is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 9.5% between 2011 and 2015. Between 2007 and 2011,

HP Pavilion dv6-1120EA BatteryChina’s economic growth rate was equivalent to all of the G7 countries’ growth combined.[207] According to the Global Growth Generators index announced by Citigroup in February 2011, China has a very high 3G growth rating.[208] HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery

China is the third-most-visited country in the world, with 55.7 million inbound international visitors in 2010.[209] It is a member of the WTO and is the world’s second-largest trading power behind the US, with a total international trade value of US$3.64 trillion in 2011.[2

HP Pavilion dv6-1215SA Battery10] Its foreign exchange reserves reached US$2.85 trillion by the end of 2010, an increase of 18.7% over the previous year, making its reserves by far the world’s largest.[211][212] China owns an estimated $1.6 trillion of US securities.[213] China, holding US$1.16 trillion in US Treasury bonds,[214]

HP Pavilion dv6-1210SA Battery is the largest foreign holder of US public debt.[215][216] China is the world’s third-largest recipient of inward foreign direct investment (FDI), attracting $115 billion in 2011 alone, marking a 9% increase over 2010.[217][218] China also increasingly invests abroad, with a total outward FDI of $68 billion in 2010.[219] HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

A graph comparing the 2011 GDPs of major economies in US$ billions,

according to IMF data.

China’s success has been primarily due to manufacturing as a low-cost producer. This is attributed to a combination of cheap labor, good infrastructure, relatively high productivity, favorable government policy, and a possibly undervalued exchange rate. HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery

The latter has been sometimes blamed for China’s huge trade surplus (US$262.7 billion in 2007)[220] and has become a major source of dispute between China and its major trading partners—the US, EU, and Japan—despite the yuan having been de-pegged and having risen in value by 20% against the US dollar since 2005.[22HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery

] China is moreover widely criticised for manufacturing large quantities of counterfeit goods – in 2005, the Asia Business Council alleged that the counterfeiting industry accounted for 8% of China’s GDP at the time.[222][223] HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery1

The state still dominates in strategic “pillar” industries (such as energy and heavy industries), but private enterprise (composed of around 30 million private businesses)[224] has expanded enormously; in 2005, it accounted for anywhere between 33%[225] to 70%[226] of national GDP, while the OECD estimate for that year was over 50%[22Sony VAIO VGN-FW56E Battery

7] of China’s national output, up from 1% in 1978.[228] Its stock market in Shanghai, the SSE, has raised record amounts of IPOs and its benchmark Shanghai Composite index has doubled since 2005. SSE’s market capitalization reached US$3 trillion in 2007, making it the world’s fifth-largest stock exchange.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery

Foreign currency reserves and gold minus external debt, based on 2010 data from CIA Factbook. China’s foreign currency reserves are currently the world’s largest.

China now ranks 29th in the Global Competitiveness Index,[229] although it is only ranked 135th among the 179 countries measured in the Index of Economic Freedom.[230] 46 Chinese companies made the list in the 2010 Fortune Global 500 (Beijing alone with 30).

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56 Battery231] Measured using market capitalization, four of the world’s top ten most valuable companies are Chinese. Some of these include first-ranked PetroChina, third-ranked Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (the world’s most valuable bank), fifth-ranked China Mobile (the world’s most valuable telecommunications company) and seventh-ranked China Construction Bank.[232] Sony VAIO VGN-FW56J Battery

Although a middle-income country by Western standards, China’s rapid growth has pulled hundreds of millions of its people out of poverty since 1978. Today, about 10% of the Chinese population live below the poverty line of US$1 per day (down from 64% in 1978), Sony VAIO VGN-NW24EG Battery

while life expectancy has increased to 73 years. More than 93% of the population is literate,[233] compared to only 20% in 1950.[234]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S BatteryUrban unemployment in China reportedly declined to 4% by the end of 2007, although true overall unemployment may be as high as 10%.[235]

China’s middle-class population (defined as those with annual income of at least US$17,000) has reached more than 100 million as of 2011,[236] Sony VAIO VGN-NW24JG Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54J Batterywhile the number of super-rich individuals worth more than 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million) is estimated to be 825,000, according to Hurun Report.[237] Based on the Hurun rich list, the number of US dollar billionaires in China doubled from 130 in 2009 to 271 in 2010, giving China the world’s second-highest number of billionaires.[238] Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MG Battery

China’s retail market was worth RMB 8.9 trillion (US$1.302 trillion) in 2007, and is growing at 16.8% annually.[239] China is also now the world’s second-largest consumer of luxury goods behind Japan, with 27.5% of the global share.[240] Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MR Battery

Nanjing Road, a major shopping street in Shanghai.

In recent years, China’s rapid economic growth has contributed to severe consumer inflation,[241] causing the prices of basic goods to rise steeply. Food prices in China increased by over 21% in the first four months of 2008 alone.[242

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54E Battery

] To curb inflation and moderate rising property prices, the Chinese government has instituted a number of fiscal regulations and amendments, raising interest rates and imposing limits on bank loans. In September 2011, consumer prices rose by 6.1% compared to a year earlier, marking a reduction in inflation from the peak of 6.5% in July 2011.[243Sony VAIO VGN-NW26EG Battery

] A side-effect of increased economic regulation was a slowdown in overall growth – China’s quarterly GDP growth fell to 9.1% in October 2011, down from 9.5% in the previous quarter,[243] and sank to 8.1% in April 2012.[244]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46Z Battery

The Chinese economy is highly energy-intensive and inefficient—on average, industrial processes in China use 20%–100% more energy than similar ones in OECD countries.[245] China became the world’s largest energy consumer in 2010,[246Sony VAIO VGN-FW46S Battery

] but still relies on coal to supply about 70% of its energy needs.[247] Coupled with lax environmental regulations, this has led to massive water and air pollution, leaving China with 20 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities.[245Sony VAIO VGN-NW26JG Battery

] Consequently, the government has promised to use more renewable energy, planning to make renewables constitute 30% of China’s total energy production by 2050.[248] In 2010, China became the largest wind energy provider in the world, Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

with a total installed wind power capacity of 41.8 GW.[249] In January 2011, Russia began scheduled oil shipments to China, pumping 300,000 barrels of oil per day via the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean oil pipeline.[250]

Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery

Science and technology

Value in dollars of high-tech exports by country in 2009. The value of Chinese high-tech exports was more than twice that of any other nation.

China was a world leader in science and technology until the Ming Dynasty. Ancient Chinese discoveries and inventions, such as papermaking, printing, the compass, and gunpowder (the Four Great Inventions),

Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Batterycontributed to the economic development of Asia and Europe. However, Chinese scientific activity entered a prolonged decline in the fourteenth century. Unlike European scientists, medieval Chinese thinkers did not attempt to reduce observations of nature to mathematical laws, and they did not form a scholarly community offering peer review and progressive research.

Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery There was an increasing concentration on literature, the arts, and public administration, while science and technology were seen as trivial or restricted to limited practical applications.[251] The causes of this Great Divergence continue to be debated. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

After repeated military defeats by Western nations in the 19th century, Chinese reformers began promoting modern science and technology as part of the Self-Strengthening Movement. After the Communist victory in 1949,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Batteryefforts were made to organize science and technology based on the model of the Soviet Union. However, Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 had a catastrophic effect on Chinese research, as academics were persecuted and the training of scientists and engineers was severely curtailed for nearly a decade. After Mao’s death in 1976,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Batteryscience and technology was established as one of the Four Modernizations, and the Soviet-inspired academic system was gradually reformed.[251]

Plan-view diagram of the completed Chinese space station, which is planned to enter operation in 2020.

In modern China, science and technology are seen as vital for achieving economic and political goals, and are held as a source of national pride to a degree sometimes described as “techno-nationalism”.[252

Sony VAIO VGN-SR31M Battery] Almost all of the members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China have engineering degrees.[253] Since the end of the Cultural Revolution, China has become one of the world’s leading technological powers, spending over US$100 billion on scientific research and development in 2011 alone.[25Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

4] China is also rapidly developing its education system with an emphasis on science, mathematics and engineering; in 2009, it produced over 10,000 Ph.D. engineering graduates, and as many as 500,000 BSc graduates,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN Batterymore than any other country.[255] China is also the world’s second-largest publisher of scientific papers, producing 121,500 in 2010 alone, including 5,200 in leading international scientific journals.[256] Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

The Chinese space program is one of the world’s most active, and is a major source of national pride.[257] In 1970, China launched its first satellite, Dong Fang Hong I. In 2003, China became the third country to independently send humans into space, with Yang Liwei’s spaceflight aboard Shenzhou 5. In 2008, China conducted its first spacewalk with the Shenzhou 7 mission. In 2011,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S BatteryChina’s first space station module, Tiangong-1, was launched, marking the first step in a project to assemble a large manned station by 2020.[258] The active Chinese Lunar Exploration Program includes a planned lunar rover launch in 2013, and possibly a manned lunar landing in 2025.[259] Experience gained from the lunar program may be used for future programs such as the exploration of Mars and Venus.[260] Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

Infrastructure

Communications

Main article: Telecommunications in the People’s Republic of China

China currently has the most cellphone users of any country in the world, with over 800 million users as of July 2010.[261] It also has the world’s largest number of internet and broadband users.[262] By December 2010,

Sony VGP-BPS21/S BatteryChina had around 457 million internet users, an increase of 19% over the previous year, and by the end of 2011 the number of internet users had exceeded 500 million.[263][264][265] According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), China’s average internet connection speed is 100.9 kbit/s, less than half of the global average of 212.5 kbit/s.[266]

Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

China Telecom and China Unicom, the country’s two largest broadband providers, accounted for 20% of global broadband subscribers, whereas the world’s ten largest broadband service providers combined accounted for 39% of the world’s broadband customers. Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery

China Telecom alone serves 55 million broadband subscribers, while China Unicom serves more than 40 million. The massive rise in internet use in China continues to fuel rapid broadband growth,

Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery whereas the world’s other major broadband ISPs operate in the mature markets of the developed world, with high levels of broadband penetration and rapidly slowing subscriber growth.[267]

Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

Transport

Main article: Transport in the People’s Republic of China

There are 85,000 km (52,800 mi) of divided expressways in China.

A high-speed maglev train leaving Pudong International Airport, Shanghai.

Transportation in mainland China has undergone intense state-led development since the late 1990s. The national road network has been significantly expanded through the creation of a network of expressways,

Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

known as the National Trunk Highway System (NTHS). By the end of 2011, China’s expressways had reached a total length of 85,000 km (53,000 mi), second only to the network of the United States.[268] Private car ownership is growing rapidly in China, which surpassed the United States as the world’s largest automobile market in 2009,

Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Batterywith total car sales of over 13.6 million.[269] Analysts predict that annual car sales in China may rise as high as 40 million by 2020.[270]

China also possesses the world’s longest high-speed rail network, with over 9,676 km (6,012 mi) of service routes. Of these, 3,515 km (2,184 mi) serve trains with top speeds of 300 km/h (190 mph).[271] In 2011,

Sony VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

China unveiled a prototype train capable of reaching speeds of 310 mph (500 km/h), the first ultra-high-speed train developed solely by its domestic railway industry.[272] China intends to operate approximately 16,000 km (9,900 mi) of high-speed rail lines by 2020.[273]

Sony VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

As of 2012, China is the world’s largest constructor of new airports, and the Chinese government has begun a US$250 billion five-year project to expand and modernize domestic air travel.[274] However, long-distance transportation remains dominated by railways and charter bus systems. Railways are the vital carrier in China;

Sony VGP-BPS13 Batterty they are monopolized by the state, divided into various railway bureaux in different regions. Due to huge demand, the system is regularly subject to overcrowding, particularly during holiday seasons, such as Chunyun during the Chinese New Year. The Chinese rail network carried an estimated 1.68 billion total passengers in 2010 alone.[273]

Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

Rapid transit systems are also rapidly developing in China’s major cities, in the form of networks of underground or light rail systems. Hong Kong has one of the most developed transport systems in the world, while Shanghai has a high-speed maglev rail line connecting the city to its main international airport,

Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery Pudong International Airport. China is additionally developing its own satellite navigation system, dubbed Beidou, which began offering commercial navigation services in mainland China in 2011, and is planned to offer global coverage by 2020.[275] Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of the People’s Republic of China

A population density map of the People’s Republic of China. The eastern, coastal provinces are much more densely populated than the western interior.

As of July 2010, the People’s Republic of China has an estimated total population of 1,338,612,968. About 21% of the population (145,461,833 males; 128,445,739 females) are 14 years old or younger, 71% (482,439,115 males; Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

455,960,489 females) are between 15 and 64 years old, and 8% (48,562,635 males; 53,103,902 females) are over 65 years old. The population growth rate for 2006 was 0.6%.[276] Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery

proportion of mainland Chinese people aged 14 or younger was 16.60%, while the number aged 60 or older grew to 13.26%, giving a total proportion of 29.86% dependents. The proportion of the population of workable age was thus around 70%.[277]

Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery

By end of 2010, the

With a population of over 1.3 billion and dwindling natural resources, China is very concerned about its population growth and has attempted, with mixed results,[278] to implement a strict family planning policy. The government’s goal is one child per family, with exceptions for ethnic minorities and a degree of flexibility in rural areas.

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Battery It is hoped that population growth in China will stabilize in the early decades of the 21st century, though some projections estimate a population of anywhere between 1.4 billion and 1.6 billion by 2025. China’s family planning minister has indicated that the one-child policy will be maintained until at least 2020.[279] Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery

Population of China from 1949 to 2008.

The one-child policy is resisted, particularly in rural areas, because of the need for agricultural labour and a traditional preference for boys (who can later serve as male heirs). Families who breach the policy often lie during the census.[280]

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR BatteryOfficial government policy opposes forced sterilization or abortion, but allegations of coercion continue as local officials, who are faced with penalties for failing to curb population growth, may resort to forcible measures, or manipulation of census figures.[citation needed]

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H Battery

The decreasing reliability of China population statistics since family planning began in the late 1970s has made evaluating the effectiveness of the policy difficult.[280] Data from the 2010 census implies that the total fertility rate may now be around 1.4.[281] Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H Battery The government is particularly concerned with the large imbalance in the sex ratio at birth, apparently the result of a combination of traditional preference for boys and family planning pressure, which led to a ban on using ultrasound devices in an attempt to prevent sex-selective abortion.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H Battery

According to the 2010 census, there were 118.06 boys born for every 100 girls, which is 0.53 points lower than the ratio obtained from a population sample survey carried out in 2005.[282] However, the gender ratio of 118.06 is still beyond the normal range of around 105 percent, and experts warn of increased social instability should this trend continue.[283 Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X Battery

] For the population born between the years 1900 and 2000, it is estimated that there could be 35.59 million fewer females than males.[284] Other demographers argue that perceived gender imbalances may arise from the underreporting of female births.[ Sony VPCS135EC Battery

] A recent study suggests that as many as three million Chinese babies are hidden by their parents every year.[288] According to the 2010 census, males accounted for 51.27 percent of the total population, while females made up 48.73 percent of the total.[282] Sony VPCS136EC Battery

Ethnic groups

Main articles: List of ethnic groups in China, Ethnic minorities in China, and Ethnic groups in Chinese history

China officially recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups, the largest of which are the Han Chinese, who constitute about 91.51% of the total population.[290Sony VPCS138EC Battery

Sony VPCYB15JC Battery] The Han Chinese—the world’s largest single ethnic group—outnumber other ethnic groups in every province, municipality and autonomous region except Tibet and Xinjiang, and are descended from ancient Huaxia tribes living along the Yellow River. Sony VPCS139GC Battery

Ethnic minorities account for about 8.49% of the population of China, according to the 2010 census.[290] Compared with the 2000 population census, the Han population increased by 66,537,177 persons, or 5.74%, while the population of the 55 national minorities combined increased by 7,362,627 persons, or 6.92%.[290] Sony VPCYA15EC Battery

The 2010 census recorded a total of 593,832 foreign citizens living in China. The largest such groups were from South Korea (120,750), the United States (71,493) and Japan (66,159).[291]

Languages

Main articles: Languages of China and List of endangered languages in China

Sony VPCYA26EC Battery

1990 map of Chinese ethnolinguistic groups.

The languages most spoken in China belong to the Sino-Tibetan language family. There are also several major linguistic groups within the Chinese language itself. The most spoken varieties are Mandarin (spoken by over 70% of the population), Wu (includes Shanghainese), Yue (includes Cantonese and Taishanese)

Sony VPCYA25EC Battery Min (includes Hokkien and Teochew), Xiang, Gan, and Hakka. Non-Sinitic languages spoken widely by ethnic minorities include Zhuang, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur, Hmong and Korean.[292] Standard Mandarin, a variety of Mandarin based on the Beijing dialect, is the official national language of China and is used as a lingua franca between people of different linguistic backgrounds. , Sony VPCYA16EC Battery

Classical Chinese was the written standard in China for thousands of years, and allowed for written communication between speakers of various unintelligible languages and dialects in China. Written vernacular Chinese, or baihua, is the written standard, based on the Mandarin dialect and first popularized in Ming Dynasty novels. Sony VPCF21Z1E Battery

It was adopted, with significant modifications, during the early 20th century as the national standard. Classical Chinese is still part of the high school curriculum, and is thus intelligible to some degree to many Chinese. Sony VPCF22J1E Battery

Sony VPCF13M1E/H Battery Since their promulgation by the government in 1956, Simplified Chinese characters have become the official standardized written script used to write the Chinese language within mainland China, supplanting the use of the earlier Traditional Chinese characters.

Urbanization

See also: List of cities in the People’s Republic of China, List of cities in the People’s Republic of China by population, and Metropolitan regions of China  Sony VPCF22L1E Battery

Since 2000, China’s cities have expanded at an average rate of 10% annually. It is estimated that China will add 400 million people to its urban population by 2025.[293] The country’s urbanization rate increased from 17.4% to 46.8% between 1978 and 2009, a scale unprecedented in human history.[29Sony VPCF22M1E Battery

4] Between 150 and 200 million migrant workers work part-time in the major cities, returning home to the countryside periodically with their earnings.[295][296]

Today, the People’s Republic of China has dozens of cities with one million or more long-term residents, including the three global cities of Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. The figures in the table below are from the 2008 census, Sony VPCF22S1E Battery

and are only estimates of the urban populations within administrative city limits; a different ranking exists when considering the total municipal populations (which includes suburban and rural populations). Sony VPCF22S8E Battery

The large “floating populations” of migrant workers make conducting censuses in urban areas difficult;[297] the figures below do not include the floating population, only long-term residents.

In 1986, China set the long-term goal of providing compulsory nine-year basic education to every child. As of 2007,

Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI Batterythere were 396,567 primary schools, 94,116 secondary schools, and 2,236 higher education institutions in China.[298] In February 2006, the government advanced its basic education goal by pledging to provide completely free nine-year education, including textbooks and fees.[299

Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery] Free compulsory education in China consists of elementary school and middle school, which lasts for 9 years (ages 6–15); almost all children in urban areas continue with three years of high school.

As of 2007, 93.3% of the population over age 15 are literate.[276] In 2000, China’s literacy rate among 15-to-24-year-olds was 98.9% (99.2% for males and 98.5% for females).[300] In March 2007,

Sony VPCF13Z8E/BI Battery the Chinese government declared education a national “strategic priority”; the central budget for national scholarships was tripled between 2007 and 2009, and 223.5 billion yuan (US$28.65 billion) of extra state funding was allocated between 2007 and 2012 to improve compulsory education in rural areas.[301] Sony VPCF23M1E Battery

Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery

In 2009, Chinese students from Shanghai achieved the world’s best results in mathematics, science and literacy, as tested by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide evaluation of 15-year-old school pupils’ scholastic performance.[302]

The quality of Chinese colleges and universities varies considerably across the country. The consistently top-ranked universities in mainland China are:[303][304] Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery

Beijing: Peking University, Tsinghua University, Renmin University of China, Beijing Normal University

Main article: Public health in the People’s Republic of China

The Ministry of Health, together with its counterparts in the provincial health bureaux, oversees the health needs of the Chinese population.[30

Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery5] An emphasis on public health and preventive medicine has characterized health policy since the early 1950s. At that time, the Communist Party started the Patriotic Health Campaign, which was aimed at improving sanitation and hygiene, as well as treating and preventing several diseases. Sony VPCF231S1E Battery

Diseases such as cholera, typhoid and scarlet fever, which were previously rife in China, were nearly eradicated by the campaign.

After Deng Xiaoping began instituting economic reforms in 1978, the health of the Chinese public improved rapidly due to better nutrition, although many of the free public health services provided in the countryside disappeared along with the People’s Communes. Sony VPCF23S1E Battery

Sony VPCF13M1E/B BatteryHealthcare in China became mostly privatised, and experienced a significant rise in quality. The national life expectancy at birth rose from about 35 years in 1949 to 73.18 years in 2008,[306][307] and infant mortality decreased from 300 per thousand in the 1950s to around 23 per thousand in 2006.[39][30Sony VPCF24M1E Battery

Sony VPCF1318E/H Battery8] Malnutrition as of 2002 stood at 12% of the population, according to United Nations FAO sources.[309] In 2009, the government began a large-scale healthcare provision initiative worth US$124 billion, which is expected to eventually cover 90% of China’s population.[310]

Sony VPCF13J0E/H Battery

Despite significant improvements in health and the construction of advanced medical facilities, China has several emerging public health problems, such as respiratory illnesses caused by widespread air pollution[311] and hundreds of millions of cigarette smokers,[312][313] a possible future HIV/AIDS epidemic,

Sony VPCF13E8E Battery and an increase in obesity among urban youths.[314][315] China’s large population and densely populated cities have led to serious disease outbreaks in recent years, such as the 2003 outbreak of SARS, although this has since been largely contained.[316]

Estimates of excess deaths in China from environmental pollution (apart from smoking) are placed at 760,000 people per annum from air and water pollution (including indoor air pollution).[317]

Sony VPCF13E4E BatteryIn 2007, China overtook the United States as the world’s biggest producer of carbon dioxide.[318] Some 90% of China’s cities suffer from some degree of water pollution,[319] and nearly 500 million people lacked access to safe drinking water in 2005.[32Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery

Sony VPCF12E1E/H Battery

Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery

Sony VPCF12M1E/H Battery0] Reports by the World Bank and the New York Times have claimed industrial pollution, particularly of the air, to be a significant health hazard in China.[321] Sony VPCF11S1E Battery

Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The People’s Republic of China

China, officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is the world’s most-populous country, with a population of over 1.3 billion. The East Asian state covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres, and is the world’s second-largest country by land area,[1HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery

3] and the third- or fourth-largest in total area, depending on the definition of total area.[14]

The People’s Republic of China is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party of China.[15]

HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four directly controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau).[16] Its capital city is Beijing.[17]

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca BatteryThe PRC also claims Taiwan—which is controlled by the Republic of China (ROC), a separate political entity—as its 23rd province, a claim controversial due to the complex political status of Taiwan and the unresolved Chinese Civil War. The PRC government denies the legitimacy of the ROC.

HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery

China’s landscape is vast and diverse, with forest steppes and the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts occupying the arid north and northwest near Mongolia and Central Asia, and subtropical forests being prevalent in the wetter south near Southeast Asia. The terrain of western China is rugged and elevated, with the Himalaya,

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separating China from South and Central Asia. The world’s apex, Mt. Everest (8,848 m), lies on the China–Nepal border, while the world’s second-highest point, K2 (8,611 m), is situated on China’s border with Pakistan.

HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery The country’s lowest and the world’s third-lowest point, Lake Ayding (−154 m), is located in the Turpan Depression. The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third- and sixth-longest in the world, have their sources in the Tibetan Plateau and continue to the densely populated eastern seaboard.

HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa BatteryChina’s coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 kilometres (9,000 mi) long—the 11th-longest in the world—and is bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East and South China Seas.

The nation of China has had numerous historical incarnations. The ancient Chinese civilization—one of the world’s earliest—flourished in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain.[1

HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery8] China’s political system was based on hereditary monarchies, known as dynasties, beginning with the semi-mythological Xia of the Yellow River basin (approx. 2000 BC) and ending with the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911.

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery Since 221 BC, when the Qin Dynasty first conquered several states to form a Chinese empire, the country has expanded, fractured and been reformed numerous times. The Republic of China, founded in 1911 after the overthrow of the Qing dynasty, ruled the Chinese mainland until 1949. In 1945, the ROC acquired Taiwan from Japan following World War II.

HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

In the 1946–1949 phase of the Chinese Civil War, the Chinese Communist Party defeated the nationalist Kuomintang in mainland China and established the People’s Republic of China in Beijing on 1 October 1949. The Kuomintang relocated the ROC government to Taiwan, establishing its capital in Taipei.

HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 Battery The ROC’s jurisdiction is now limited to Taiwan and several outlying islands, including Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. Since 1949, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (now widely known as “Taiwan”) have remained in dispute over the sovereignty of China and the political status of Taiwan,

HP Pavilion dv6z Batterymutually claiming each other’s territory and competing for international diplomatic recognition. In 1971, the PRC gained admission to the United Nations and took the Chinese seat as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. China is also a member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the WTO, APEC, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation,

HP Pavilion dv6t-1100 Battery the BCIM and the G-20. As of September 2011, all but 23 countries have recognized the PRC as the sole legitimate government of China.

Since the introduction of market-based economic reforms in 1978, China has become the world’s fastest-growing major economy.[19HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery

HP Pavilion dv6t-1000 Battery

] As of 2012, it is the world’s second-largest economy, after the United States, by both nominal GDP and purchasing power parity (PPP),[20] and is also the world’s largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods.

HP Pavilion dv6t BatteryIn per capita terms, China ranked 90th by nominal GDP and 91st by GDP (PPP) in 2011, according to the IMF. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world’s largest standing army, with the second-largest defense budget. In 2003, China became the third nation in the world, after the former Soviet Union and the United States, to independently launch a successful manned space mission.

HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Battery China has been characterized as a potential superpower by a number of academics,[21] military analysts,[22] and public policy and economics analysts.[23]

This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters. HP Pavilion DV5-1030EE Battery

The word “China” is derived from Cin (چین), a Persian name for China popularized in medieval Europe by the account of the 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco Polo.[26][27] The first recorded use in English dates from 1555.[28] The Persian word is, in turn, derived from the Sanskrit word Cīna (चीन),[2

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery9] which was used as a name for China as early as AD 150.[30] There are various scholarly theories regarding the origin of this word. The traditional theory, proposed in the 17th century by Martino Martini, is that “China” is derived from “Qin” (秦), the westernmost of the Chinese kingdoms during the Zhou Dynasty, or from the succeeding Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC).[31HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery

] The word Cīna is used in two Hindu scriptures – the Mahābhārata of the 5th century BC and the Laws of Manu of the 2nd century BC – to refer to a country located in the Tibetan-Burman borderlands east of India.[32][33]

HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Battery

In China, common names for the country include Zhōngguó (Chinese: 中国; literally “the Central State(s)”) and Zhōnghuá (Chinese: 中华), although the country’s official name has been changed numerous times by successive dynasties and modern governments. The term Zhongguo appeared in various ancient texts,

HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery

such as the Classic of History of the 6th century BC,[34] and in pre-imperial times it was often used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia from the barbarians. The term, which can be either singular or plural,

HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Battery

referred to the group of states in the central plain. It was only in the nineteenth century that the term emerged as the formal name of the country. The Chinese were not unique in regarding their country as “central”, since other civilizations had the same view.[35] HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery

History

Main articles: History of China and Timeline of Chinese history

Prehistory

Main article: Chinese prehistory

Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 250,000 and 2.24 million years ago.[36] A cave in Zhoukoudian (near present-day Beijing) exhibits fossils dated at between 300,000 and 780,000 BC.[37][3

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery8][39] The fossils are of Peking Man, an example of Homo erectus who used fire. There are also remains of Homo sapiens dating back to 18,000–11,000 BC found at the Peking Man site.[40]

Early dynastic rule

See also: Dynasties in Chinese history

Jade deer ornament dating from the Shang Dynasty.

Chinese tradition names the first dynasty Xia, but it was considered mythical until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou in Henan Province in 1959.[41] Archaeologists have since uncovered urban sites, bronze implements, HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery

and tombs in locations cited as Xia’s in ancient historical texts, but it is impossible to verify that these remains are of the Xia without written records from the period.

HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca Battery

Some of the thousands of life-size Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty, ca. 210 BC.

The Great Wall of China was built by several dynasties over two thousand years to protect the sedentary agricultural regions of the Chinese interior from incursions by nomadic pastoralists of the northern steppes.

The first Chinese dynasty that left historical records, the loosely feudal Shang (Yin), settled along the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BC. HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

The oracle bone script of the Shang Dynasty represent the oldest forms of Chinese writing found and the direct ancestor of modern Chinese characters used throughout East Asia. The Shang were invaded from the west by the Zhou,

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery who ruled from the 12th to the 5th century BC, until their centralized authority was slowly eroded by feudal warlords. Many independent states eventually emerged out of the weakened Zhou state, and continually waged war with each other in the Spring and Autumn Period,

HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery

only occasionally deferring to the Zhou king. By the time of the Warring States Period, there were seven powerful sovereign states, each with its own king, ministry and army.

Imperial China

The first unified Chinese state was established by Qin Shi Huang of the Qin state in 221 BC. Qin Shi Huang proclaimed himself the “First Emperor” (始皇帝), and imposed many reforms throughout China,

HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery notably the forced standardization of the Chinese language, measurements, length of cart axles, and currency. The Qin Dynasty lasted only fifteen years, falling soon after Qin Shi Huang’s death, as its harsh legalist and authoritarian policies led to widespread rebellion.[42][43

HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery

The subsequent Han Dynasty ruled China between 206 BC and 220 AD, and created a lasting Han cultural identity among its populace that extends to the present day.[42] HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery

][43] The Han Dynasty expanded the empire’s territory considerably with military campaigns reaching Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia and Central Asia, and also helped establish the Silk Road in Central Asia. China was for a large part of the last two millennia the world’s largest economy.[44]

HP Pavilion DV7-1214EA BatteryHowever, in the later part of the Qing Dynasty, China’s economic development began to slow and Europe’s rapid development during and after the Industrial Revolution enabled it to surpass China.

HP Pavilion DV7-1212EA Battery

After the collapse of Han, another period of disunion followed, including the highly chivalric period of the Three Kingdoms.[45] Independent Chinese states of this period such as Wu opened diplomatic relations with Japan,[46] introducing the Chinese writing system there. In 580 AD, China was reunited under the Sui.[4

HP Pavilion DV7-1211EA Battery

7] However, the Sui Dynasty was short-lived after a failure in the Goguryeo-Sui Wars (598–614) weakened it.[48][49]

Under the succeeding Tang and Song dynasties, Chinese technology and culture reached its zenith.[50] The Tang Empire was at its height of power until the middle of the 8th century, when the An Shi Rebellion destroyed the prosperity of the empire.[

HP Pavilion DV7-1213EA Battery

51] The Song Dynasty was the first government in world history to issue paper money and the first Chinese polity to establish a permanent standing navy.[52] Between the 10th and 11th centuries, the population of China doubled in size. This growth came about through expanded rice cultivation in central and southern China, and the production of abundant food surpluses.

HP Pavilion DV7-1038CA Battery

Within its borders, the Northern Song Dynasty had a population of some 100 million people. The Song Dynasty was a culturally rich period for philosophy and the arts. Landscape art and portrait painting were brought to new levels of maturity and complexity after the Tang Dynasty, and social elites gathered to view art,

HP Pavilion DV7-3178CA Battery

share their own, and trade precious artworks. Philosophers such as Cheng Yi and Chu Hsi reinvigorated Confucianism with new commentary, infused Buddhist ideals, and emphasized a new organization of classic texts that brought about the core doctrine of Neo-Confucianism.

HP Pavilion DV7-1125EA Battery

Detail from Along the River During the Qingming Festival, a 12th-century painting showing everyday life in the Song Dynasty’s capital city, Bianjing (today’s Kaifeng).

In 1271, the Mongol leader and fifth Khagan of the Mongol Empire Kublai Khan established the Yuan Dynasty, with the last remnant of the Song Dynasty falling to the Yuan in 1279. Before the Mongol invasion, HP Pavilion DV7-1000EA Battery

Chinese dynasties reportedly had approximately 120 million inhabitants; after the conquest was completed in 1279, the 1300 census reported roughly 60 million people.[53]

Late dynastic rule

A peasant named Zhu Yuanzhang overthrew the Yuan Dynasty in 1368 and founded the Ming Dynasty.[5

HP Pavilion DV7-1130EA Battery4] Ming Dynasty thinkers such as Wang Yangming would further critique and expand Neo-Confucianism with ideas of individualism and innate morality that would have tremendous impact on later Japanese thought. Chosun Korea also became a nominal vassal state of Ming China and adopted much of its Neo-Confucian bureaucratic structure. HP Pavilion DV7-1001EA Battery

Under the Ming Dynasty, China enjoyed another golden age, developing one of the strongest navies in the world and a rich and prosperous economy amid a flourishing of art and culture. It was during this period that Zheng He led explorations throughout the world, possibly reaching America. During the early Ming Dynasty,

HP Pavilion DV7-1135EA Battery China’s capital was moved from Nanjing to Beijing. In 1644, Beijing was sacked by a coalition of rebel forces led by Li Zicheng, a minor Ming official turned leader of the peasant revolt. The last Ming Chongzhen Emperor committed suicide when the city fell.

HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA Battery

The Manchu Qing Dynasty then allied with Ming Dynasty general Wu Sangui and overthrew Li’s short-lived Shun Dynasty, and subsequently seized control of Beijing, which became the new capital of the Qing Dynasty.

HP Pavilion DV7-1105EA Battery

The Qing Dynasty, which lasted until 1912, was the last imperial dynasty of China. In the 19th century, the Qing Dynasty adopted a defensive posture towards European imperialism, even though it engaged in an imperialistic expansion of its own into Central Asia. At this time, China awoke to the significance of the rest of the world,

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EG Battery the West in particular. As China opened up to foreign trade and missionary activity, opium produced by British India was forced onto Qing China. Two Opium Wars with Britain weakened the Emperor’s control. European imperialism proved to be disastrous for China:

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EF Battery

The Arrow War (1856–1860) [2nd Opium War] saw another disastrous defeat for China. The subsequent passing of the humiliating Treaty of Tianjin in 1856 and the Beijing Conventions of 1860 opened up more of the country to foreign penetrations and more ports for their vessels. Hong Kong was ceded over to the British.

HP Pavilion DV7-1055EA BatteryThus, the “unequal treaties system” was established. Heavy indemnities had to be paid by China, and more territory and control were taken over by the foreigners.[55]

A 19th-century painting depicting the Taiping Rebellion of 1850–1864.

The weakening of the Qing regime, and the apparent humiliation of the unequal treaties in the eyes of the Chinese people had several consequences. One consequence[according to whom?] was the Taiping Rebellion,

HP Pavilion DV7-1007EF Batterya civil war which lasted from 1851 to 1862. The rebellion was led by Hong Xiuquan, who was partly influenced by an idiosyncratic interpretation of Christianity. Hong believed himself to be the son of God and the younger brother of Jesus. Although the Qing forces were eventually victorious,

HP Pavilion DV7-1075LA Battery

the civil war was one of the bloodiest in human history, costing at least 20 million lives (more than the total number of fatalities in World War I), with some estimates of up to two hundred million. Other costly rebellions followed the Taiping Rebellion, such as the Punti-Hakka Clan Wars (1855–67), Nien Rebellion (1851–1868),

HP Pavilion DV7-1107EA Battery Miao Rebellion (1854–73), Panthay Rebellion (1856–1873) and the Dungan revolt (1862–1877).[56][57]

These rebellions resulted in an estimated loss of several million lives each and led to disastrous results for the economy and the countryside.[58][59

HP Pavilion DV7-1004EA Battery][60] The flow of British opium hastened the empire’s decline. In the 19th century, the age of colonialism was at its height and the great Chinese Diaspora began; today, about 35 million overseas Chinese live in Southeast Asia.[

HP Pavilion DV7-1050EA Battery

61] Emigration rates were strengthened by domestic catastrophes such as the famine of 1876–79, which claimed between 9 and 13 million lives in northern China.[62] From 108 BC to 1911 AD, China experienced 1,828 famines,[63] or one per year, somewhere in the empire.[64] HP Pavilion DV7-1014CA Battery

While China was wracked by continuous war, Meiji Japan succeeded in rapidly modernizing its military, and set its sights on the conquest of Korea and Manchuria. At the request of the Korean emperor, the Qing government sent troops to aid in suppressing the Tonghak Rebellion in 1894. However, Japan also sent troops to Korea, HP Pavilion DV7-1002EA Battery

leading to the First Sino-Japanese War, which resulted in Qing China’s loss of influence in the Korean Peninsula as well as the cession of Taiwan (including the Pescadores) to Japan.

Following this series of defeats, a reform plan for the empire to become a modern Meiji-style constitutional monarchy was drafted by the Guangxu Emperor in 1898, HP Pavilion DV7-1020EA Battery

but was opposed and stopped by the Empress Dowager Cixi, who placed Emperor Guangxu under house arrest in a coup d’état. Further destruction followed the ill-fated 1900 Boxer Rebellion against westerners in Beijing. HP Pavilion DV7-1003EA Battery

By the early 20th century, mass civil disorder had begun, and calls for reform and revolution were heard across the country. The 38-year-old Emperor Guangxu died under house arrest on 14 November 1908, suspiciously just a day before Cixi’s own death. With the throne empty, he was succeeded by Cixi’s handpicked heir, Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M/H Battery

his two year old nephew Puyi, who became the Xuantong Emperor. Guangxu’s consort became the Empress Dowager Longyu. In another coup de’tat, Yuan Shikai overthrew the last Qing emperor, and forced empress Dowager Longyu to sign the abdication decree as regent in 1912,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZJ/B Batteryending two thousand years of imperial rule in China. She died, childless, in 1913.

Republic of China (1912–1949)

Main articles: Republic of China (1912–1949) and History of the Republic of China

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2011)

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11SR/B Battery

Sun Yat-sen, the father of modern China (seated on right), and Chiang Kai-shek, later President of the Republic of China.

On 1 January 1912, the Republic of China was established, heralding the end of Imperial China. Sun Yat-sen of the Kuomintang (the KMT or Nationalist Party) was proclaimed provisional president of the republic. However,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11XU/Q Battery the presidency was later given to Yuan Shikai, a former Qing general, who had ensured the defection of the entire Beiyang Army from the Qing Empire to the revolution. In 1915, Yuan proclaimed himself Emperor of China, but was forced to abdicate and reestablish the republic in the face of popular condemnation, Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S/B Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11Z/B Battery not only from the general population but also from among his own Beiyang Army and its commanders.

After Yuan Shikai’s death in 1916, China was politically fragmented, with an internationally recognized but virtually powerless national government seated in Beijing. Regional warlords exercised actual control over their respective territories. Sony Vaio VGN-AW21Z/B Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11ZR/B Battery In the late 1920s, the nationalist Kuomintang, under Chiang Kai-shek, was able to reunify the country under its own control with a series of deft military and political maneuverings, known collectively as the Northern Expedition. Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZS/B Battery

The Kuomintang moved the nation’s capital to Nanjing and implemented “political tutelage”, an intermediate stage of political development outlined in Sun Yat-sen’s San-min program for transforming China into a modern democratic state. Effectively, political tutelage meant one-party rule by the Kuomintang, but the party was politically divided into competing cliques.

Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M BatteryThis political division made it difficult for Chiang to battle the Communists, which the Kuomintang had been warring against since 1927 in the Chinese Civil War. This war continued successfully for the Kuomintang, especially after the Communists were forced to retreat in the Long March,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S Battery until the Xi’an Incident and Japanese aggression forced Chiang to confront Imperial Japan.

The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), a part of World War II, forced an uneasy alliance between the Kuomintang and the Communists. The Japanese “three-all policy” in northern China—”kill all, burn all and destroy all”—led to numerous war atrocities being committed against the civilian population;

Sony Vaio VGN-AW31M/H Batteryin all, as many as 20 million Chinese civilians were killed.[65].[66] An estimated 200,000 Chinese were massacred in the city of Nanjing alone during the Japanese occupation.[67] Japan unconditionally surrendered to China in 1945. Taiwan, including the Pescadores, was retroceded.

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41JF/H BatteryChina emerged victorious but war-ravaged and financially drained. The continued distrust between the Kuomintang and the Communists led to the resumption of the Chinese Civil War. In 1947, constitutional rule was established, but because of the ongoing Civil War many provisions of the ROC constitution were never implemented in mainland China.[citation needed]

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41MF/H Battery

People’s Republic of China (1949–present)

Main article: History of the People’s Republic of China

Major combat in the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949 with the Communist Party in control of mainland China, and the Kuomintang retreating offshore, reducing the ROC’s territory to only Taiwan, Hainan, and their surrounding islands.

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41XH/Q Battery

On 1 October 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic of China,[68] which was commonly known in the West as “Communist China” or “Red China” during the Cold War.[69] In 1950, the People’s Liberation Army succeeded in capturing Hainan from the ROC, Sony Vaio VGN-AW41ZF/H Battery occupying Tibet, and defeating the majority of the remaining Kuomintang forces in Yunnan and Xinjiang provinces, though some Kuomintang holdouts survived until much later.

Mao Zedong proclaiming the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Mao encouraged population growth, and under his leadership the Chinese population almost doubled from around 550 million to over 900 million.[ Sony Vaio VGN-NS38E/S Battery

70] However, the economic and social plan known as the Great Leap Forward resulted in an estimated 45 million deaths between 1958 and 1961, mostly from starvation.[71Sony Vaio VGN-NS12M/S Battery

] In 1966, Mao and his allies launched the Cultural Revolution, which would last until Mao’s death a decade later. The Cultural Revolution, motivated by power struggles within the Party and a fear of the Soviet Union, led to a major upheaval in Chinese society. In October 1971, the PRC replaced the Republic of China in the United Nations,

Sony Vaio VGN-NS20EF/W Battery and took its seat as a permanent member of the Security Council. In that same year, for the first time, the number of countries recognizing the PRC surpassed those recognizing the ROC in Taipei as the government of China.[7

Sony Vaio VGN-NS20EF/S Battery

2] In February 1972, at the peak of the Sino-Soviet split, Mao and Zhou Enlai met Richard Nixon in Beijing. However, the U.S. did not officially recognise the PRC as China’s sole legitimate government until 1 January 1979.

Sony Vaio VGN-NS20EF/P Battery

After Mao’s death in 1976 and the arrest of the Gang of Four, who were blamed for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping quickly wrested power from Mao’s anointed successor Hua Guofeng. Although he never became the head of the party or state himself, Deng was in fact the Paramount Leader of China at that time,

Sony Vaio VGN-NS30Z/S Battery his influence within the Party led the country to significant economic reforms. The Communist Party subsequently loosened governmental control over citizens’ personal lives and the communes were disbanded with many peasants receiving multiple land leases,

Sony Vaio VGN-NS30E/S Batterywhich greatly increased incentives and agricultural production. This turn of events marked China’s transition from a planned economy to a mixed economy with an increasingly open market environment, a system termed by some “market socialism”;[7

Sony Vaio VGN-NS20M/S Battery3] the Communist Party of China officially describes it as “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. China adopted its current constitution on 4 December 1982.

The death of pro-reform official Hu Yaobang helped to spark the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, during which students and others campaigned for several months, speaking out against corruption and in favour of greater political reform, Sony Vaio VGN-NS12M/W Battery

including democratic rights and freedom of speech. However, they were eventually put down on 4 June when PLA troops and vehicles entered and forcibly cleared the square, resulting in numerous casualties.

Sony Vaio VGN-NS20J/P BatteryThis event was widely reported and brought worldwide condemnation and sanctions against the government.[74][75] The “Tank Man” incident in particular became famous.

Sony Vaio VGN-NS20E/P Battery

The city of Shanghai has become a symbol of China’s rapid economic expansion since the 1990s.

President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji, both former mayors of Shanghai, led the nation in the 1990s. Under Jiang and Zhu’s ten years of administration, Sony Vaio VGN-NS36E Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-NS11J/S Battery China’s economic performance pulled an estimated 150 million peasants out of poverty and sustained an average annual gross domestic product growth rate of 11.2%.[76][77] The country formally joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Although rapid economic growth has made the Chinese economy the world’s second-largest, this growth has also severely impacted the country’s resources and environment.[78Sony Vaio VGN-NS10E/S Battery

Another concern is that the benefits of economic development has not been distributed evenly, resulting in a wide development gap between urban and rural areas. As a result, under President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, Sony Vaio VGN-NS10L/S Battery] the Chinese government initiated policies to address these issues of equitable distribution of resources, though the outcome remains to be seen.[79] More than 40 million farmers have been displaced from their land,[80] usually for economic development, contributing to the 87,000 demonstrations and riots across China in 2005.[8

Sony  VGP-BPS21A/b Battery

1] Living standards have improved significantly but political controls remain tight.[82]

Geography

The People’s Republic of China is the second-largest country in the world by land area after Russia[13] and is either the third- or fourth-largest by total area, after Russia, Canada and, depending on the definition of total area, the United States.[83] China’s total area is generally stated as being approximately 9,600,000 km2 (3,700,000 sq mi). Sony  VGP-BPS13 Battery

[84] Specific area figures range from 9,572,900 km2 (3,696,100 sq mi) according to the Encyclopædia Britannica,[85] 9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi) according to the UN Demographic Yearbook,[86] to 9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 sq mi) according to the CIA World Factbook,[87] and 9,640,011 km2 (3,722,029 sq mi) including Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract, which are controlled by China and claimed by India.[88]

Sony  VGP-BPS21/S Battery None of these figures include the 1,000 square kilometres (386.1 sq mi) of territory ceded to China by Tajikistan following the ratification of a Sino-Tajik border agreement in January 2011.[89]

Sony  VGP-BPS21B Battery

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the total area of the United States, at 9,522,055 km2 (3,676,486 sq mi), is slightly smaller than that of China. Meanwhile, the CIA World Factbook states that China’s total area was greater than that of the United States until the coastal waters of the Great Lakes was added to the United States’ total area in 1996.[90] Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

China has the longest combined land border in the world, measuring 22,117 km (13,743 mi) from the mouth of the Yalu River to the Gulf of Tonkin. China borders 14 nations, more than any other country except Russia, which also borders 14. China extends across much of East Asia, bordering Vietnam, Laos, Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

and Burma in Southeast Asia; India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan[91] in South Asia; Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia; a small section of Russian Altai and Mongolia in Inner Asia; and the Russian Far East and North Korea in Northeast Asia. Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13/S Battery

Additionally, China shares maritime boundaries with South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. The PRC and the Republic of China (Taiwan) make mutual claims over each other’s territory and the frontier between areas under their respective control is closest near the islands of Kinmen and Matsu, off the Fujian coast,

Sony  VGP-BPS21A Batterybut otherwise run through the Taiwan Strait. The PRC and ROC assert identical claims over the entirety of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, and the southern-most extent of these claims reach Zengmu Ansha (James Shoal), which would form a maritime frontier with Malaysia.

Sony  VGP-BPS21 Battery

Landscape and climate

Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, in Tibet.

The South China Sea coast at Hainan.

The territory of China lies between latitudes 18° and 54° N, and longitudes 73° and 135° E. China’s landscapes vary significantly across its vast width. In the east, along the shores of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea,

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery

there are extensive and densely populated alluvial plains, while on the edges of the Inner Mongolian plateau in the north, broad grasslands predominate. Southern China is dominated by hills and low mountain ranges, while the central-east hosts the deltas of China’s two major rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River.

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/Q BatteryOther major rivers include the Xi, Mekong, Brahmaputra and Amur. To the west, major mountain ranges, most notably the Himalayas, and high plateaus feature among the more arid landscapes of the north, such as the Taklamakan and the Gobi Desert. China’s highest point, Mt. Everest (8848m) Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

, lies on the Sino-Nepalese border. The country’s lowest point is the dried lake bed of Ayding Lake (−154m) in the Turpan Depression.

A major environmental issue in China is the continued expansion of its deserts, particularly the Gobi Desert, which is currently the world’s fifth-largest desert.[ Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/S Battery

92][93] Although barrier tree lines planted since the 1970s have reduced the frequency of sandstorms, prolonged drought and poor agricultural practices have resulted in dust storms plaguing northern China each spring, Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13/Q Battery which then spread to other parts of East Asia, including Korea and Japan. According to China’s environmental watchdog, Sepa, China is losing a million acres (4,000 km²) per year to desertification.[94] Water quality, erosion, and pollution control have become important issues in China’s relations with other countries. Melting glaciers in the Himalayas could potentially lead to water shortages for hundreds of millions of people.[95]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery

China’s climate is mainly dominated by dry seasons and wet monsoons, which lead to a pronounced temperature differences between winter and summer. In the winter, northern winds coming from high-latitude areas are cold and dry; in summer, southern winds from coastal areas at lower latitudes are warm and moist.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56 BatteryThe climate in China differs from region to region because of the country’s extensive and complex topography.

Biodiversity

Main article: Wildlife of China

A giant panda photographed in Sichuan.

China is one of 17 megadiverse countries,[96] lying in two of the world’s major ecozones: the Palearctic and the Indomalaya.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S Battery

In the Palearctic zone, mammals such as the horse, camel, tapir, and jerboa can be found. Among the species found in the Indomalaya region are the Leopard Cat, bamboo rat, treeshrew, and various monkey and ape species. Some overlap exists between the two regions due to natural dispersal and migration; deer,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54J Batteryantelope, bears, wolves, pigs, and numerous rodent species can all be found in China’s diverse climatic and geological environments. The famous giant panda is found only in a limited area along the Yangtze River. China suffers from a continuing problem with trade in endangered species, although there are now laws to prohibit such activities.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54E Battery

China also hosts a variety of forest types. Cold coniferous forests predominate in the north of the country, supporting animal species such as moose and the Asian black bear, along with over 120 bird species. Moist conifer forests can have thickets of bamboo as an understorey,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46Z Battery

replaced by rhododendrons in higher montane stands of juniper and yew. Subtropical forests, which dominate central and southern China, support as many as 146,000 species of flora. Tropical and seasonal rainforests, though confined to Yunnan and Hainan Island, contain a quarter of all the plant and animal species found in China. Sony VAIO VGN-FW41E/H Battery

Environment

Main article: Environment in the People’s Republic of China

See also: Water resources of the People’s Republic of China

Wind turbines in Xinjiang. The Dabancheng project is Asia’s largest wind farm.

In recent decades, China has suffered from severe environmental deterioration and pollution.[97] While regulations such as the 1979 Environmental Protection Law are fairly stringent, Sony VAIO VGN-FW41J/H Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46S Batteryenforcement of them is poor, as they are frequently disregarded by local communities and government officials in favour of rapid economic development.

Environmental campaigners such as Ma Jun have warned of the danger that water pollution poses to Chinese society.[9

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26JG Battery8] According to the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources, roughly 300 million Chinese do not have access to safe drinking water, and 40% of China’s rivers have been polluted by industrial and agricultural waste as of late 2011.[99] This crisis is compounded by the perennial problem of water shortages, with 400 out of 600 surveyed Chinese cities reportedly short of drinking water.[100][101]

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26EG Battery

However, China is the world’s leading investor in renewable energy technologies, with $34.6 billion invested in 2009 alone.[102][103] China produces more wind turbines and solar panels than any other country,[104] and renewable energy projects, such as solar water heating, are widely pursued at the local level.[105]

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MR Battery By 2009, over 17% of China’s energy was derived from renewable sources – most notably hydroelectric power plants, of which China has a total installed capacity of 197 GW.[106] In 2011, the Chinese government announced plans to invest four trillion yuan (US$618.55 billion) in water infrastructure projects over a ten-year period, and to complete construction of a flood prevention and anti-drought system by 2020.[107] Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H Battery

Politics

Main article: Politics of the People’s Republic of China

See also: Politics of the Republic of China

The People’s Republic of China, along with Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, and Cuba, is one of the five remaining official Communist states in the world.[108][109] Sony VAIO VGN-FW41ZJ/H Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MG Batterybut simple characterizations of China’s political structure since the 1980s are no longer possible.[10] The Chinese government has been variously described as communist and socialist, but also as authoritarian, with heavy restrictions remaining in many areas, most notably on the Internet, Sony VAIO VGN-FW46M Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H Battery

the press, freedom of assembly, reproductive rights, and freedom of religion.[110] Its current political/economic system has been termed by its leaders as “Socialism with Chinese characteristics”.Sony VAIO VGN-FW51 Battery

Compared to its closed-door policies until the mid-1970s, the liberalization of China has resulted in the administrative climate being less restrictive than before. China is far different from liberal democracy or social democracy that exists in most of Europe or North America, and the National People’s Congress (highest state body) has been described as a “rubber stamp” body.[1

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24JG Battery11] China’s incumbent President is Hu Jintao, who is also the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, and its Premier is Wen Jiabao, who is also a senior member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24EG Battery

The Great Hall of the People in Beijing, where the National People’s Congress convenes.

The country is ruled by the Communist Party of China (CPC), whose power is enshrined in China’s constitution.[112] The Chinese electoral system is hierarchical, whereby local People’s Congresses are directly elected,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56J Battery

and all higher levels of People’s Congresses up to the National People’s Congress (NPC) are indirectly elected by the People’s Congress of the level immediately below.[113] The political system is partly decentralized,[114

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56E Battery] with limited democratic processes internal to the party and at local village levels, although these experiments have been marred by corruption. There are other political parties in China, referred to in China as democratic parties, which participate in the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery

There have been some moves toward political liberalization, in that open contested elections are now held at the village and town levels,[115][116] and that legislatures have shown some assertiveness from time to time.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26M Battery

However, the Party retains effective control over government appointments: in the absence of meaningful opposition, the CPC wins by default most of the time. Political concerns in China include lessening the growing gap between rich and poor and fighting corruption within the government leadership.[117]

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24S Battery

The level of support to the government action and the management of the nation is among the highest in the world, with 86% of people who express satisfaction with the way things are going in their country and with their nation’s economy according to a 2008 Pew Research Center survey.[118]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW35F Battery

Administrative divisions

Main articles: Administrative divisions of the People’s Republic of China, Districts of Hong Kong, and Municipalities of Macau

See also: Administrative divisions of the Republic of China

The People’s Republic of China has administrative control over 22 provinces, and considers Taiwan to be its 23rd province, although Taiwan is currently governed by the Republic of China, which disputes the PRC’s claim.[11

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56M Battery9] China also has five subdivisions officially termed autonomous regions, each with a designated minority group; four municipalities; and two Special Administrative Regions (SARs), which enjoy a degree of political autonomy.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery

These 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, and four municipalities can be collectively referred to as “mainland China”, a term which usually excludes the SARs of Hong Kong and Macau.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery

Foreign relations

Main article: Foreign relations of the People’s Republic of China

Hu Jintao with former US President George W. Bush in 2006.

China has diplomatic relations with 171 countries and maintains embassies in 162.[120] Its legitimacy is disputed by the Republic of China and a few other countries; it is thus the largest and most populous state with limited recognition. Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery

Sweden was the first western country to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic on 9 May 1950.[121] In 1971, the PRC replaced the Republic of China as the sole representative of China in the United Nations and as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.[122

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51 Battery] China was also a former member and leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, and still considers itself an advocate for developing countries.[123]

Under its interpretation of the One-China policy, China has made it a precondition to establishing diplomatic relations that the other country acknowledges its claim to Taiwan and severs official ties with the government of the Republic of China.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H Battery Chinese officials have protested on numerous occasions when foreign countries have made diplomatic overtures to Taiwan,[124] especially in the matter of armament sales.[125] Political meetings between foreign government officials and the 14th Dalai Lama are also opposed by China, as it considers Tibet to be formally part of China.[126]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46M Battery

Much of China’s current foreign policy is reportedly based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence of Zhou Enlai—non-interference in other states’ affairs, non-aggression, peaceful coexistence, equality and mutual benefits. China’s foreign policy is also driven by the concept of “harmony without uniformity”, which encourages diplomatic relations between states despite ideological differences.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41ZJ/H Battery This policy has led China to support states that are regarded as dangerous or repressive by Western nations, such as Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Iran.[127] Conflicts with foreign countries have occurred at times in China’s recent history, particularly with the United States; for example

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H Batterythe US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo conflict in May 1999 and the US-China spy plane incident in April 2001. China’s foreign relations with many Western nations suffered for a time following the military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, although in recent years China has improved its diplomatic links with the West.[128][129] , Sony VAIO VGN-FW41J/H Battery

Trade relations

In recent decades, China has played an increasing role in calling for free trade areas and security pacts amongst its Asia-Pacific neighbors. In 2004, China proposed an entirely new East Asia Summit (EAS) framework as a forum for regional security issues, pointedly excluding the United States.[130] The EAS, which includes ASEAN Plus Three, Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

India, Australia and New Zealand, held its inaugural summit in 2005. China is also a founding member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), along with Russia and the Central Asian republics.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery

In 2000, the U.S. Congress approved “permanent normal trade relations” (PNTR) with China, allowing Chinese exports in at the same low tariffs as goods from most other countries.[131] Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush asserted that free trade would gradually open China to democratic reform.[132]

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR BatteryBush was furthermore an advocate of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).[133] China has a significant trade surplus with the United States, its most important export market.[134] In the early 2010s, U.S. politicians argued that the Chinese yuan was significantly undervalued, giving China an unfair trade advantage.[135]

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR Battery

Sinophobic attitudes often target Chinese minorities and nationals living outside of China. Sometimes, such anti-Chinese attitudes turn violent, as occurred during the 13 May Incident in Malaysia in 1969 and the Jakarta riots of May 1998 in Indonesia, in which more than 2,000 people died.[136]

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H BatteryIn recent years, a number of anti-Chinese riots and incidents have also occurred in Africa and Oceania.[137][138] Anti-Chinese sentiment is often rooted in socio-economics.[139]

Territorial disputes

Map depicting territorial disputes between the PRC and its neighboring regimes. For a larger map, see here.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H Battery

Main article: Foreign relations of the People’s Republic of China#International territorial disputes

China has been involved in a number of international territorial disputes, mostly resulting from the legacy of unequal treaties imposed on China during the historical period of New Imperialism. Since the 1990s,

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H BatteryChina has been entering negotiations to resolve its disputed land borders, usually by offering concessions and accepting less than half of the disputed territory with each party. China’s only remaining land border disputes are a disputed border with India and an undefined border with Bhutan.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X BatteryChina is additionally involved in more minor multilateral disputes over the ownership of several small islands in the East and South China Seas.[140][141]

Sino-Japanese relations

Main article: Sino-Japanese relations

The relationship between China and Japan has been strained at times by Japan’s refusal to acknowledge its wartime past to the satisfaction of China. Revisionist comments made by prominent Japanese officials and some Japanese history textbooks regarding the 1937 Nanjing Massacre have been a focus of particular controversy. Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery

Sino-Japanese relations warmed considerably after Shinzo Abe became the Prime Minister of Japan in September 2006, and a joint historical study conducted by China and Japan released a report in 2010 which pointed toward a new consensus on the issue of World War 2-era atrocities.[142

Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery However, in the early 2010s, relations cooled once more, with Japan accusing China of withholding its reserves of valuable rare earth elements.[143]

China and the developing world

A meeting of G5 leaders in 2007, with China’s Hu Jintao second from right.

China is heavily engaged, both politically and economically, with numerous nations in the developing world. Most notably, they have followed a policy of engaging with African nations for trade and bilateral co-operation.[144] ] Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery

[145] Xinhua, China’s official news agency, states that there are no less than 750,000 Chinese nationals working or living in Africa.[146] China has furthermore strengthened its ties with major South American economies, becoming the largest trading partner of Brazil and building strategic links with Argentina.[147][148HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA Battery

] Along with Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, China is a member of the BRICS group of emerging major economies, and hosted the group’s third official summit at Sanya in Hainan Province in April 2011.[149]

HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Battery

Emerging superpower status

China is regularly hailed as a potential new superpower, with certain commentators citing its rapid economic progress, growing military might, very large population, and increasing international influence as signs that it will play a prominent global role in the 21st century. Others,

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Batteryhowever, warn that economic bubbles and demographic imbalances could slow or even halt China’s growth as the century progresses.[150][151][152][153][154]

HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Battery

Sociopolitical issues and reform

See also: Human rights in the People’s Republic of China, Hukou system, Social welfare in China, Elections in the People’s Republic of China, and Feminism in the People’s Republic of China

The Chinese democracy movement, social activists, and some members of the Communist Party of China have all identified the need for social and political reform. HP Pavilion DV6-1120SA Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery While economic and social controls have been greatly relaxed in China since the 1970s, political freedom is still tightly restricted. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China states that the “fundamental rights” of citizens include freedom of speech, freedom of the press,

HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Battery the right to a fair trial, freedom of religion, universal suffrage, and property rights. However, in practice, these provisions do not afford significant protection against criminal prosecution by the State.[155][156][157]

As the Chinese economy expanded following Deng Xiaoping’s 1978 reforms, tens of millions of rural Chinese who have moved to the cities[15HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX Battery

8] find themselves treated as second-class citizens by China’s hukou household registration system, which controls state benefits.[159] Property rights are often poorly protected, and eminent domain land seizures have had a disproportionate effect on poorer peasants.[158] In 2003, the average Chinese farmer paid three times more taxes than the average urban dweller, despite having one-sixth of the annual income.[1HP Pavilion DV4-1125BR Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery59] However, a number of rural taxes have since been reduced or abolished, and additional social services provided to rural dwellers.[160][161][162]

Censorship of political speech and information, most notably on the Internet,[163] is openly and routinely used in China to silence criticism of the government and the ruling Communist Party.[164][165

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca Battery] In 2005, Reporters Without Borders ranked China 159th out of 167 states in its Annual World Press Freedom Index, indicating a very low level of perceived press freedom.[166] The government has suppressed demonstrations by organizations that it considers a potential threat to “social stability”, as was the case with the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca BatteryThe Communist Party has had mixed success in controlling information: a powerful and pervasive media control system faces equally strong market forces, an increasingly educated citizenry, and technological and cultural changes that are making China more open to the wider world, especially on environmental issues.[167] HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

[168] However, attempts are still made by the Chinese government to control public access to outside information, with online searches for politically sensitive material being blocked by the so-called Great Firewall.[169]

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

A number of foreign governments and NGOs routinely criticize China’s human rights record, alleging widespread civil rights violations, including systematic use of lengthy detention without trial, forced confessions, torture, mistreatment of prisoners, and restrictions of freedom of speech, assembly, association,

HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery

religion, the press, and labor rights.[110] China executes more people than any other country, accounting for 72% of the world’s total in 2009, though it is not the largest executioner per capita.[170]

HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery

This high execution rate is partly due to the fact that numerous white-collar crimes, such as fraud, are punishable by death in China. However, in the early 2010s, China began restricting the application of capital punishment for some such crimes.[171] HP Pavilion DV6-1220EO Battery

The Chinese government has responded to foreign criticism by arguing that the notion of human rights should take into account a country’s present level of economic development, and focus more on the people’s rights to subsistence and development in poorer countries.[172] The rise in the standard of living, literacy,

HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery and life expectancy for the average Chinese since the 1970s is seen by the government as tangible progress made in human rights.[173] Improvements in workplace safety, and efforts to combat natural disasters such as the perennial Yangtze River floods, are also portrayed in China as progress in human rights for a still largely poor country.[172][174] HP Pavilion DV5-1015ED Battery

Some Chinese politicians have spoken out in favor of reforms, while others remain more conservative. In 2010, Premier Wen Jiabao stated that China needs “to gradually improve the democratic election system so that state power will truly belong to the people and state power will be used to serve the people.” Despite his status, Wen’s comments were later censored by the government.[175]

HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery

As the social, cultural and political consequences of economic growth and reform become increasingly manifest, tensions between the conservatives and reformists in the Communist Party are sharpening. Zhou Tianyong, the vice director of research of the Central Party School, HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL Battery

argues that gradual political reform as well as repression of those pushing for overly rapid change over the next thirty years will be essential if China is to avoid an overly turbulent transition to a democratic, middle-class-dominated polity.[176][177] HP Pavilion DV6-1230SB Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

Military

Main article: People’s Liberation Army

A PLAAF Chengdu J-10 fighter aircraft.

With 2.3 million active troops, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the largest standing military force in the world, commanded by the Central Military Commission (CMC).[178] The PLA consists of the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF), the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF),

HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery and a strategic nuclear force, the Second Artillery Corps. According to SIPRI, China’s military expenditure in 2011 totalled US$129.2 billion (923 billion yuan), constituting the world’s second-largest military budget.[17HP Pavilion DV6-1215SA Battery

HP Pavilion DV5-1005EL Battery

9] However, the United States government has claimed that China does not report its real level of military spending, which is allegedly much higher than the official budget.[180]

As a recognised nuclear weapons state, China is considered both a major regional military power and an emerging military superpower.[181

HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery] As of August 2011, China’s Second Artillery Corps is believed to maintain at least 195 nuclear missiles, including 75 ICBMs.[182] Nonetheless, China is the only member of the UN Security Council to have relatively limited power projection capabilities.[183] To offset this,

HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery it has begun developing power projection assets, such as aircraft carriers, and has established a network of foreign military relationships that has been compared to a string of pearls.

HP Pavilion DV5-1030EE Battery

Members of a Chinese military honor guard. China possesses the largest standing army in the world, with around 2.3 million active personnel. Its ground forces alone total 1.7 million soldiers.

China has made significant progress in modernizing its military since the early 2000s. It has purchased state-of-the-art Russian fighter jets, such as the Sukhoi Su-30s, HP Pavilion DV5-1121EM Battery

and has also produced its own modern fighters, most notably the Chinese J-10s and the J-11s.[184] China is furthermore engaged in developing an indigenous stealth aircraft, the Chengdu J-20.[185][186

HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery] China’s ground forces have also undergone significant modernisations, replacing its ageing Soviet-derived tank inventory with numerous variants of the modern Type 99 tank, and upgrading its battlefield C3I systems to enhance its network-centric warfare capabilities.[187]

HP Pavilion DV5-1032EG Battery China has furthermore acquired and improved upon the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile system.[188] Russia later produced the next-generation S-400 Triumf system, with China reportedly having spent $500 million on a downgraded export version of it.[189]

HP Pavilion DV5-1020TX Battery A number of indigenous missile technologies have also been developed – in 2007, China conducted a successful test of an anti-satellite missile,[190] and its first indigenous land-attack cruise missile, the CJ-10, HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery

entered service in 2009. In 2011, the Pentagon reported that China was believed to be testing the JL-2 missile, a submarine-launched nuclear ICBM with multiple-warhead delivery capabilities.[182]

In recent years, much attention has been focused on enhancing the blue-water capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.[191] In August 2011, China’s first aircraft carrier, the refurbished Soviet vessel Varyag, began sea trials.[1HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 Battery

92] China furthermore maintains a substantial fleet of submarines, including several nuclear-powered attack and ballistic missile submarines.[193] On 13 March 2011, the PLAN missile frigate Xuzhou was spotted off the coast of Libya, marking the first time in history a Chinese warship sailed into the Mediterranean. HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

The ship’s entrance into the Mediterranean was officially part of a humanitarian mission to rescue Chinese nationals from the 2011 Libyan civil war, though analysts such as Fareed Zakaria viewed the mission as also being an attempt to increase China’s global military presence.[194]

HP Pavilion dv6-2112SA Battery

Little information is available regarding the motivations supporting China’s military modernization. A 2007 report by the US Secretary of Defense noted that “China’s actions in certain areas increasingly appear inconsistent with its declaratory policies”.[195] For its part, China claims it maintains an army purely for defensive purposes.[196] HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

Economy

Main articles: Economy of the People’s Republic of China and List of Chinese administrative divisions by GDP

The Shanghai Stock Exchange building in Shanghai’s Lujiazui financial district. Shanghai is China’s largest urban economy, and has the 25th largest city GDP in the world, totalling US$304 billion in 2011.[197]

As of 2012, China has the world’s second-largest economy in terms of nominal GDP, totalling approximately US$7.298 trillion according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[6] HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery

However, China’s 2011 nominal GDP per capita of US$5,184 puts it behind around ninety countries (out of 183 countries on the IMF list) in global GDP per capita rankings.[6] If PPP is taken into account in GDP figures,

HP Pavilion dv6-2114A BatteryChina is again second only to the United States – in 2011, its PPP GDP reached $11.316 trillion, corresponding to $8,394 per capita.[6] In 2009, China’s primary, secondary, and tertiary industries contributed 10.6%, 46.8%, and 42.6% respectively to its total GDP.

HP Pavilion dv6-2110EA Battery

From its founding in 1949 until late 1978, the People’s Republic of China was a Soviet-style centrally planned economy, without private businesses or capitalism. To propel the country towards a modern, industrialized communist society, Mao Zedong instituted the Great Leap Forward in the early 1960s,

HP Pavilion dv6-1330SA Battery although this had decidedly mixed economic results.[198] Following Mao’s death in 1976 and the consequent end of the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping and the new Chinese leadership began to reform the economy and move towards a more market-oriented mixed economy under one-party rule.

HP Pavilion dv6-1216SA BatteryCollectivization of the agriculture was dismantled and farmlands were privatized to increase productivity. Modern-day China is mainly characterized as having a market economy based on private property ownership,[199][200] and is one of the leading examples of state capitalism.[201][202]

HP Pavilion dv6-1210EA Battery

Under the post-Mao market reforms, a wide variety of small-scale private enterprises were encouraged, while the government relaxed price controls and promoted foreign investment. Foreign trade was focused upon as a major vehicle of growth, leading to the creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs),

HP Pavilion dv6-1140EA Battery

first in Shenzhen and then in other Chinese cities. Inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were restructured by introducing western-style management systems, with unprofitable ones being closed outright, resulting in massive job losses. By the latter part of 2010, China was reversing some of its economic liberalization initiatives, with state-owned companies buying up independent businesses in the steel, auto and energy industries.[203] HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery

In 1978, Deng Xiaoping initiated China’s market-oriented reforms.

Since economic liberalization began in 1978, China’s investment- and export-led[204] economy has grown almost a hundredfold[205]

HP Pavilion dv6-1120SA Battery and is the fastest-growing major economy in the world.[206] According to the IMF, China’s annual average GDP growth between 2001 and 2010 was 10.5%, and the Chinese economy is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 9.5% between 2011 and 2015. Between 2007 and 2011,

HP Pavilion dv6-1120EA BatteryChina’s economic growth rate was equivalent to all of the G7 countries’ growth combined.[207] According to the Global Growth Generators index announced by Citigroup in February 2011, China has a very high 3G growth rating.[208] HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery

China is the third-most-visited country in the world, with 55.7 million inbound international visitors in 2010.[209] It is a member of the WTO and is the world’s second-largest trading power behind the US, with a total international trade value of US$3.64 trillion in 2011.[2

HP Pavilion dv6-1215SA Battery10] Its foreign exchange reserves reached US$2.85 trillion by the end of 2010, an increase of 18.7% over the previous year, making its reserves by far the world’s largest.[211][212] China owns an estimated $1.6 trillion of US securities.[213] China, holding US$1.16 trillion in US Treasury bonds,[214]

HP Pavilion dv6-1210SA Battery is the largest foreign holder of US public debt.[215][216] China is the world’s third-largest recipient of inward foreign direct investment (FDI), attracting $115 billion in 2011 alone, marking a 9% increase over 2010.[217][218] China also increasingly invests abroad, with a total outward FDI of $68 billion in 2010.[219] HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

A graph comparing the 2011 GDPs of major economies in US$ billions,

according to IMF data.

China’s success has been primarily due to manufacturing as a low-cost producer. This is attributed to a combination of cheap labor, good infrastructure, relatively high productivity, favorable government policy, and a possibly undervalued exchange rate. HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery

The latter has been sometimes blamed for China’s huge trade surplus (US$262.7 billion in 2007)[220] and has become a major source of dispute between China and its major trading partners—the US, EU, and Japan—despite the yuan having been de-pegged and having risen in value by 20% against the US dollar since 2005.[22HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery

] China is moreover widely criticised for manufacturing large quantities of counterfeit goods – in 2005, the Asia Business Council alleged that the counterfeiting industry accounted for 8% of China’s GDP at the time.[222][223] HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery1

The state still dominates in strategic “pillar” industries (such as energy and heavy industries), but private enterprise (composed of around 30 million private businesses)[224] has expanded enormously; in 2005, it accounted for anywhere between 33%[225] to 70%[226] of national GDP, while the OECD estimate for that year was over 50%[22Sony VAIO VGN-FW56E Battery

7] of China’s national output, up from 1% in 1978.[228] Its stock market in Shanghai, the SSE, has raised record amounts of IPOs and its benchmark Shanghai Composite index has doubled since 2005. SSE’s market capitalization reached US$3 trillion in 2007, making it the world’s fifth-largest stock exchange.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery

Foreign currency reserves and gold minus external debt, based on 2010 data from CIA Factbook. China’s foreign currency reserves are currently the world’s largest.

China now ranks 29th in the Global Competitiveness Index,[229] although it is only ranked 135th among the 179 countries measured in the Index of Economic Freedom.[230] 46 Chinese companies made the list in the 2010 Fortune Global 500 (Beijing alone with 30).

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56 Battery231] Measured using market capitalization, four of the world’s top ten most valuable companies are Chinese. Some of these include first-ranked PetroChina, third-ranked Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (the world’s most valuable bank), fifth-ranked China Mobile (the world’s most valuable telecommunications company) and seventh-ranked China Construction Bank.[232] Sony VAIO VGN-FW56J Battery

Although a middle-income country by Western standards, China’s rapid growth has pulled hundreds of millions of its people out of poverty since 1978. Today, about 10% of the Chinese population live below the poverty line of US$1 per day (down from 64% in 1978), Sony VAIO VGN-NW24EG Battery

while life expectancy has increased to 73 years. More than 93% of the population is literate,[233] compared to only 20% in 1950.[234]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S BatteryUrban unemployment in China reportedly declined to 4% by the end of 2007, although true overall unemployment may be as high as 10%.[235]

China’s middle-class population (defined as those with annual income of at least US$17,000) has reached more than 100 million as of 2011,[236] Sony VAIO VGN-NW24JG Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54J Batterywhile the number of super-rich individuals worth more than 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million) is estimated to be 825,000, according to Hurun Report.[237] Based on the Hurun rich list, the number of US dollar billionaires in China doubled from 130 in 2009 to 271 in 2010, giving China the world’s second-highest number of billionaires.[238] Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MG Battery

China’s retail market was worth RMB 8.9 trillion (US$1.302 trillion) in 2007, and is growing at 16.8% annually.[239] China is also now the world’s second-largest consumer of luxury goods behind Japan, with 27.5% of the global share.[240] Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MR Battery

Nanjing Road, a major shopping street in Shanghai.

In recent years, China’s rapid economic growth has contributed to severe consumer inflation,[241] causing the prices of basic goods to rise steeply. Food prices in China increased by over 21% in the first four months of 2008 alone.[242

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54E Battery

] To curb inflation and moderate rising property prices, the Chinese government has instituted a number of fiscal regulations and amendments, raising interest rates and imposing limits on bank loans. In September 2011, consumer prices rose by 6.1% compared to a year earlier, marking a reduction in inflation from the peak of 6.5% in July 2011.[243Sony VAIO VGN-NW26EG Battery

] A side-effect of increased economic regulation was a slowdown in overall growth – China’s quarterly GDP growth fell to 9.1% in October 2011, down from 9.5% in the previous quarter,[243] and sank to 8.1% in April 2012.[244]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46Z Battery

The Chinese economy is highly energy-intensive and inefficient—on average, industrial processes in China use 20%–100% more energy than similar ones in OECD countries.[245] China became the world’s largest energy consumer in 2010,[246Sony VAIO VGN-FW46S Battery

] but still relies on coal to supply about 70% of its energy needs.[247] Coupled with lax environmental regulations, this has led to massive water and air pollution, leaving China with 20 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities.[245Sony VAIO VGN-NW26JG Battery

] Consequently, the government has promised to use more renewable energy, planning to make renewables constitute 30% of China’s total energy production by 2050.[248] In 2010, China became the largest wind energy provider in the world, Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

with a total installed wind power capacity of 41.8 GW.[249] In January 2011, Russia began scheduled oil shipments to China, pumping 300,000 barrels of oil per day via the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean oil pipeline.[250]

Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery

Science and technology

Value in dollars of high-tech exports by country in 2009. The value of Chinese high-tech exports was more than twice that of any other nation.

China was a world leader in science and technology until the Ming Dynasty. Ancient Chinese discoveries and inventions, such as papermaking, printing, the compass, and gunpowder (the Four Great Inventions),

Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Batterycontributed to the economic development of Asia and Europe. However, Chinese scientific activity entered a prolonged decline in the fourteenth century. Unlike European scientists, medieval Chinese thinkers did not attempt to reduce observations of nature to mathematical laws, and they did not form a scholarly community offering peer review and progressive research.

Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery There was an increasing concentration on literature, the arts, and public administration, while science and technology were seen as trivial or restricted to limited practical applications.[251] The causes of this Great Divergence continue to be debated. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

After repeated military defeats by Western nations in the 19th century, Chinese reformers began promoting modern science and technology as part of the Self-Strengthening Movement. After the Communist victory in 1949,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Batteryefforts were made to organize science and technology based on the model of the Soviet Union. However, Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 had a catastrophic effect on Chinese research, as academics were persecuted and the training of scientists and engineers was severely curtailed for nearly a decade. After Mao’s death in 1976,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Batteryscience and technology was established as one of the Four Modernizations, and the Soviet-inspired academic system was gradually reformed.[251]

Plan-view diagram of the completed Chinese space station, which is planned to enter operation in 2020.

In modern China, science and technology are seen as vital for achieving economic and political goals, and are held as a source of national pride to a degree sometimes described as “techno-nationalism”.[252

Sony VAIO VGN-SR31M Battery] Almost all of the members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China have engineering degrees.[253] Since the end of the Cultural Revolution, China has become one of the world’s leading technological powers, spending over US$100 billion on scientific research and development in 2011 alone.[25Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

4] China is also rapidly developing its education system with an emphasis on science, mathematics and engineering; in 2009, it produced over 10,000 Ph.D. engineering graduates, and as many as 500,000 BSc graduates,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN Batterymore than any other country.[255] China is also the world’s second-largest publisher of scientific papers, producing 121,500 in 2010 alone, including 5,200 in leading international scientific journals.[256] Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

The Chinese space program is one of the world’s most active, and is a major source of national pride.[257] In 1970, China launched its first satellite, Dong Fang Hong I. In 2003, China became the third country to independently send humans into space, with Yang Liwei’s spaceflight aboard Shenzhou 5. In 2008, China conducted its first spacewalk with the Shenzhou 7 mission. In 2011,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S BatteryChina’s first space station module, Tiangong-1, was launched, marking the first step in a project to assemble a large manned station by 2020.[258] The active Chinese Lunar Exploration Program includes a planned lunar rover launch in 2013, and possibly a manned lunar landing in 2025.[259] Experience gained from the lunar program may be used for future programs such as the exploration of Mars and Venus.[260] Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

Infrastructure

Communications

Main article: Telecommunications in the People’s Republic of China

China currently has the most cellphone users of any country in the world, with over 800 million users as of July 2010.[261] It also has the world’s largest number of internet and broadband users.[262] By December 2010,

Sony VGP-BPS21/S BatteryChina had around 457 million internet users, an increase of 19% over the previous year, and by the end of 2011 the number of internet users had exceeded 500 million.[263][264][265] According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), China’s average internet connection speed is 100.9 kbit/s, less than half of the global average of 212.5 kbit/s.[266]

Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

China Telecom and China Unicom, the country’s two largest broadband providers, accounted for 20% of global broadband subscribers, whereas the world’s ten largest broadband service providers combined accounted for 39% of the world’s broadband customers. Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery

China Telecom alone serves 55 million broadband subscribers, while China Unicom serves more than 40 million. The massive rise in internet use in China continues to fuel rapid broadband growth,

Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery whereas the world’s other major broadband ISPs operate in the mature markets of the developed world, with high levels of broadband penetration and rapidly slowing subscriber growth.[267]

Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

Transport

Main article: Transport in the People’s Republic of China

There are 85,000 km (52,800 mi) of divided expressways in China.

A high-speed maglev train leaving Pudong International Airport, Shanghai.

Transportation in mainland China has undergone intense state-led development since the late 1990s. The national road network has been significantly expanded through the creation of a network of expressways,

Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

known as the National Trunk Highway System (NTHS). By the end of 2011, China’s expressways had reached a total length of 85,000 km (53,000 mi), second only to the network of the United States.[268] Private car ownership is growing rapidly in China, which surpassed the United States as the world’s largest automobile market in 2009,

Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Batterywith total car sales of over 13.6 million.[269] Analysts predict that annual car sales in China may rise as high as 40 million by 2020.[270]

China also possesses the world’s longest high-speed rail network, with over 9,676 km (6,012 mi) of service routes. Of these, 3,515 km (2,184 mi) serve trains with top speeds of 300 km/h (190 mph).[271] In 2011,

Sony VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

China unveiled a prototype train capable of reaching speeds of 310 mph (500 km/h), the first ultra-high-speed train developed solely by its domestic railway industry.[272] China intends to operate approximately 16,000 km (9,900 mi) of high-speed rail lines by 2020.[273]

Sony VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

As of 2012, China is the world’s largest constructor of new airports, and the Chinese government has begun a US$250 billion five-year project to expand and modernize domestic air travel.[274] However, long-distance transportation remains dominated by railways and charter bus systems. Railways are the vital carrier in China;

Sony VGP-BPS13 Batterty they are monopolized by the state, divided into various railway bureaux in different regions. Due to huge demand, the system is regularly subject to overcrowding, particularly during holiday seasons, such as Chunyun during the Chinese New Year. The Chinese rail network carried an estimated 1.68 billion total passengers in 2010 alone.[273]

Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

Rapid transit systems are also rapidly developing in China’s major cities, in the form of networks of underground or light rail systems. Hong Kong has one of the most developed transport systems in the world, while Shanghai has a high-speed maglev rail line connecting the city to its main international airport,

Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery Pudong International Airport. China is additionally developing its own satellite navigation system, dubbed Beidou, which began offering commercial navigation services in mainland China in 2011, and is planned to offer global coverage by 2020.[275] Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of the People’s Republic of China

A population density map of the People’s Republic of China. The eastern, coastal provinces are much more densely populated than the western interior.

As of July 2010, the People’s Republic of China has an estimated total population of 1,338,612,968. About 21% of the population (145,461,833 males; 128,445,739 females) are 14 years old or younger, 71% (482,439,115 males; Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

455,960,489 females) are between 15 and 64 years old, and 8% (48,562,635 males; 53,103,902 females) are over 65 years old. The population growth rate for 2006 was 0.6%.[276] Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery

proportion of mainland Chinese people aged 14 or younger was 16.60%, while the number aged 60 or older grew to 13.26%, giving a total proportion of 29.86% dependents. The proportion of the population of workable age was thus around 70%.[277]

Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery

By end of 2010, the

With a population of over 1.3 billion and dwindling natural resources, China is very concerned about its population growth and has attempted, with mixed results,[278] to implement a strict family planning policy. The government’s goal is one child per family, with exceptions for ethnic minorities and a degree of flexibility in rural areas.

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Battery It is hoped that population growth in China will stabilize in the early decades of the 21st century, though some projections estimate a population of anywhere between 1.4 billion and 1.6 billion by 2025. China’s family planning minister has indicated that the one-child policy will be maintained until at least 2020.[279] Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery

Population of China from 1949 to 2008.

The one-child policy is resisted, particularly in rural areas, because of the need for agricultural labour and a traditional preference for boys (who can later serve as male heirs). Families who breach the policy often lie during the census.[280]

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR BatteryOfficial government policy opposes forced sterilization or abortion, but allegations of coercion continue as local officials, who are faced with penalties for failing to curb population growth, may resort to forcible measures, or manipulation of census figures.[citation needed]

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H Battery

The decreasing reliability of China population statistics since family planning began in the late 1970s has made evaluating the effectiveness of the policy difficult.[280] Data from the 2010 census implies that the total fertility rate may now be around 1.4.[281] Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H Battery The government is particularly concerned with the large imbalance in the sex ratio at birth, apparently the result of a combination of traditional preference for boys and family planning pressure, which led to a ban on using ultrasound devices in an attempt to prevent sex-selective abortion.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H Battery

According to the 2010 census, there were 118.06 boys born for every 100 girls, which is 0.53 points lower than the ratio obtained from a population sample survey carried out in 2005.[282] However, the gender ratio of 118.06 is still beyond the normal range of around 105 percent, and experts warn of increased social instability should this trend continue.[283 Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X Battery

] For the population born between the years 1900 and 2000, it is estimated that there could be 35.59 million fewer females than males.[284] Other demographers argue that perceived gender imbalances may arise from the underreporting of female births.[ Sony VPCS135EC Battery

] A recent study suggests that as many as three million Chinese babies are hidden by their parents every year.[288] According to the 2010 census, males accounted for 51.27 percent of the total population, while females made up 48.73 percent of the total.[282] Sony VPCS136EC Battery

Ethnic groups

Main articles: List of ethnic groups in China, Ethnic minorities in China, and Ethnic groups in Chinese history

China officially recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups, the largest of which are the Han Chinese, who constitute about 91.51% of the total population.[290Sony VPCS138EC Battery

Sony VPCYB15JC Battery] The Han Chinese—the world’s largest single ethnic group—outnumber other ethnic groups in every province, municipality and autonomous region except Tibet and Xinjiang, and are descended from ancient Huaxia tribes living along the Yellow River. Sony VPCS139GC Battery

Ethnic minorities account for about 8.49% of the population of China, according to the 2010 census.[290] Compared with the 2000 population census, the Han population increased by 66,537,177 persons, or 5.74%, while the population of the 55 national minorities combined increased by 7,362,627 persons, or 6.92%.[290] Sony VPCYA15EC Battery

The 2010 census recorded a total of 593,832 foreign citizens living in China. The largest such groups were from South Korea (120,750), the United States (71,493) and Japan (66,159).[291]

Languages

Main articles: Languages of China and List of endangered languages in China

Sony VPCYA26EC Battery

1990 map of Chinese ethnolinguistic groups.

The languages most spoken in China belong to the Sino-Tibetan language family. There are also several major linguistic groups within the Chinese language itself. The most spoken varieties are Mandarin (spoken by over 70% of the population), Wu (includes Shanghainese), Yue (includes Cantonese and Taishanese)

Sony VPCYA25EC Battery Min (includes Hokkien and Teochew), Xiang, Gan, and Hakka. Non-Sinitic languages spoken widely by ethnic minorities include Zhuang, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur, Hmong and Korean.[292] Standard Mandarin, a variety of Mandarin based on the Beijing dialect, is the official national language of China and is used as a lingua franca between people of different linguistic backgrounds. , Sony VPCYA16EC Battery

Classical Chinese was the written standard in China for thousands of years, and allowed for written communication between speakers of various unintelligible languages and dialects in China. Written vernacular Chinese, or baihua, is the written standard, based on the Mandarin dialect and first popularized in Ming Dynasty novels. Sony VPCF21Z1E Battery

It was adopted, with significant modifications, during the early 20th century as the national standard. Classical Chinese is still part of the high school curriculum, and is thus intelligible to some degree to many Chinese. Sony VPCF22J1E Battery

Sony VPCF13M1E/H Battery Since their promulgation by the government in 1956, Simplified Chinese characters have become the official standardized written script used to write the Chinese language within mainland China, supplanting the use of the earlier Traditional Chinese characters.

Urbanization

See also: List of cities in the People’s Republic of China, List of cities in the People’s Republic of China by population, and Metropolitan regions of China  Sony VPCF22L1E Battery

Since 2000, China’s cities have expanded at an average rate of 10% annually. It is estimated that China will add 400 million people to its urban population by 2025.[293] The country’s urbanization rate increased from 17.4% to 46.8% between 1978 and 2009, a scale unprecedented in human history.[29Sony VPCF22M1E Battery

4] Between 150 and 200 million migrant workers work part-time in the major cities, returning home to the countryside periodically with their earnings.[295][296]

Today, the People’s Republic of China has dozens of cities with one million or more long-term residents, including the three global cities of Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. The figures in the table below are from the 2008 census, Sony VPCF22S1E Battery

and are only estimates of the urban populations within administrative city limits; a different ranking exists when considering the total municipal populations (which includes suburban and rural populations). Sony VPCF22S8E Battery

The large “floating populations” of migrant workers make conducting censuses in urban areas difficult;[297] the figures below do not include the floating population, only long-term residents.

In 1986, China set the long-term goal of providing compulsory nine-year basic education to every child. As of 2007,

Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI Batterythere were 396,567 primary schools, 94,116 secondary schools, and 2,236 higher education institutions in China.[298] In February 2006, the government advanced its basic education goal by pledging to provide completely free nine-year education, including textbooks and fees.[299

Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery] Free compulsory education in China consists of elementary school and middle school, which lasts for 9 years (ages 6–15); almost all children in urban areas continue with three years of high school.

As of 2007, 93.3% of the population over age 15 are literate.[276] In 2000, China’s literacy rate among 15-to-24-year-olds was 98.9% (99.2% for males and 98.5% for females).[300] In March 2007,

Sony VPCF13Z8E/BI Battery the Chinese government declared education a national “strategic priority”; the central budget for national scholarships was tripled between 2007 and 2009, and 223.5 billion yuan (US$28.65 billion) of extra state funding was allocated between 2007 and 2012 to improve compulsory education in rural areas.[301] Sony VPCF23M1E Battery

Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery

In 2009, Chinese students from Shanghai achieved the world’s best results in mathematics, science and literacy, as tested by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide evaluation of 15-year-old school pupils’ scholastic performance.[302]

The quality of Chinese colleges and universities varies considerably across the country. The consistently top-ranked universities in mainland China are:[303][304] Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery

Beijing: Peking University, Tsinghua University, Renmin University of China, Beijing Normal University

Main article: Public health in the People’s Republic of China

The Ministry of Health, together with its counterparts in the provincial health bureaux, oversees the health needs of the Chinese population.[30

Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery5] An emphasis on public health and preventive medicine has characterized health policy since the early 1950s. At that time, the Communist Party started the Patriotic Health Campaign, which was aimed at improving sanitation and hygiene, as well as treating and preventing several diseases. Sony VPCF231S1E Battery

Diseases such as cholera, typhoid and scarlet fever, which were previously rife in China, were nearly eradicated by the campaign.

After Deng Xiaoping began instituting economic reforms in 1978, the health of the Chinese public improved rapidly due to better nutrition, although many of the free public health services provided in the countryside disappeared along with the People’s Communes. Sony VPCF23S1E Battery

Sony VPCF13M1E/B BatteryHealthcare in China became mostly privatised, and experienced a significant rise in quality. The national life expectancy at birth rose from about 35 years in 1949 to 73.18 years in 2008,[306][307] and infant mortality decreased from 300 per thousand in the 1950s to around 23 per thousand in 2006.[39][30Sony VPCF24M1E Battery

Sony VPCF1318E/H Battery8] Malnutrition as of 2002 stood at 12% of the population, according to United Nations FAO sources.[309] In 2009, the government began a large-scale healthcare provision initiative worth US$124 billion, which is expected to eventually cover 90% of China’s population.[310]

Sony VPCF13J0E/H Battery

Despite significant improvements in health and the construction of advanced medical facilities, China has several emerging public health problems, such as respiratory illnesses caused by widespread air pollution[311] and hundreds of millions of cigarette smokers,[312][313] a possible future HIV/AIDS epidemic,

Sony VPCF13E8E Battery and an increase in obesity among urban youths.[314][315] China’s large population and densely populated cities have led to serious disease outbreaks in recent years, such as the 2003 outbreak of SARS, although this has since been largely contained.[316]

Estimates of excess deaths in China from environmental pollution (apart from smoking) are placed at 760,000 people per annum from air and water pollution (including indoor air pollution).[317]

Sony VPCF13E4E BatteryIn 2007, China overtook the United States as the world’s biggest producer of carbon dioxide.[318] Some 90% of China’s cities suffer from some degree of water pollution,[319] and nearly 500 million people lacked access to safe drinking water in 2005.[32Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery

Sony VPCF12E1E/H Battery

Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery

Sony VPCF12M1E/H Battery0] Reports by the World Bank and the New York Times have claimed industrial pollution, particularly of the air, to be a significant health hazard in China.[321] Sony VPCF11S1E Battery

Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Catholic Church and Pope

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world’s largest Christian church, with more than one billion members.[1] Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ,[2HP Pavilion DV4-1123US Battery

] administering the sacraments[3] and exercising charity.[4]

The Catholic Church is among the oldest institutions in the world and has played a prominent role in the history of Western civilisation.[

HP Pavilion DV5-2134US Battery] It teaches that it is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ,[6][7] that its bishops are the successors of Christ’s apostles and that the Pope is the sole successor to Saint Peter.[8][note 1][9][note 2][note 3] 5

HP Pavilion DV5-2130US Battery

Catholic doctrine maintains that the Church is infallible when it dogmatically teaches a doctrine of faith or morals.[10][11][12][note 4] Catholic worship is centred on the Eucharist in which the Church teaches that bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. HP Pavilion DV4-1144US Battery

The Church holds the Blessed Virgin Mary in special regard. Catholic beliefs concerning Mary include her Immaculate Conception without original sin, her Motherhood of God [13] and her bodily Assumption into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.[14][note 5] HP Pavilion DV4-1220US Battery

Further information: Roman Catholic (term) and Catholic (Christian terminology)

The term “catholic”, derived from the Greek word καθολικός (katholikos) which means “universal” or “general”, was first used to describe the Church in the early 2nd century.[15] The term katholikos is equivalent to καθόλου (katholou),

HP Pavilion DV5-1250US Batterya contraction of the phrase καθ’ ὅλου (kath’ holou) meaning “according to the whole”.[16] Thus the full name Catholic Church roughly means “universal” or “whole” church.

HP Pavilion DV5-1019US Battery

The combination “the Catholic Church” (he katholike ekklesia) is found for the first time in the letter of St Ignatius, written about the year 110. The words run: “Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus may be, there is the universal [katholike] Church.”[17]

HP Pavilion DV5-1002US Battery Later, in the “Catechetical Discourses” of St. Cyril of Jerusalem the name “Catholic Church” is used to distinguish it from other groups that also call themselves the church: St Cyril writes, “And if ever thou art sojourning in any city, inquire not simply where the Lord’s House is (for the other sects of the profane also attempt to call their own dens houses of the Lord) nor merely where the Church is,

HP Pavilion DV5-1000US Battery but where is the Catholic Church. For this is the peculiar name of this Holy Church, the mother of us all, which is the spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God”.[17][18]

HP Pavilion DV4-1433US Battery

Since the East-West Schism of 1054, the churches that remained in communion with the See of Rome (the diocese of Rome and its bishop, the Pope, the primal patriarch) continued to call itself “Catholic”, while the Eastern churches that rejected the Pope’s primal authority have generally been known as “Orthodox” or “Eastern Orthodox”.[

HP Pavilion DV4-1431US Battery

19] Following the Reformation in the 16th century, the Church continued to use the term “Catholic” to distinguish itself from the various Protestant denominations that split off.[19]

The name “Catholic Church” is the most common designation used in official church documents (e.g., the Catechism of the Catholic Church).[20]

HP Pavilion DV4-1430US Battery

It is also the term which Paul VI used when signing the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council.[21] However, Church documents produced by both the Holy See[22] and by certain national episcopal conferences[23]

HP Pavilion DV4-1332US Battery

occasionally refer to the Church by the name Roman Catholic Church. The Catechism of Pope Pius X published in 1908 also used the term “Roman” to distinguish the Catholic Church from other Christian communities who are not in full communion with Rome.[24] HP Pavilion DV4-1227US Battery

The Church holds that Christ instituted the papacy, upon giving the keys of Heaven to Saint Peter. Represented in a painting by Pietro Perugino.

The Church’s hierarchy is headed by the Bishop of Rome, the pope, a position which makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church (which is composed of the Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the see of Rome). HP Pavilion DV4-1280US Battery

HP Pavilion DV4-1281US BatteryThe current office-holder is Pope Benedict XVI, who was elected in a papal conclave on 19 April 2005.[note 6]

The office of the pope is known as the Papacy. His ecclesiastical jurisdiction is often called the “Holy See” (Sancta Sedes in Latin), or the “Apostolic See” (meaning the see of the Apostle Saint Peter).[25][26] Directly serving the Pope is the Roman Curia, HP Pavilion DV6-1030US Battery

the central governing body that administers the day-to-day business of the Catholic Church. The pope is also head of state of Vatican City State,[27] a sovereign city-state entirely enclaved within the city of Rome.

HP Pavilion DV6-3250US Battery

Following the death or resignation of a pope,[note 7] members of the College of Cardinals who are under age 80 meet in the Sistine Chapel in Rome to elect a new pope.[ HP Pavilion DV6-1050US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3240US Battery29] The position of cardinal is a rank of honour bestowed by popes on certain ecclesiastics, such as leaders within the Roman Curia, bishops serving in major cities and distinguished theologians. Although this election, known as a papal conclave, can theoretically elect any male Catholic as pope, since 1389 only fellow cardinals have been elevated to that position.[30]

HP Pavilion DV6-3230US Battery

For advice and assistance in governing, the Pope may turn to the College of Cardinals, the next highest level in the hierarchy.[31]

[edit]Autonomous particular churches

Main articles: Latin Church and Eastern Catholic Churches

The Catholic Church is made up of 23 autonomous particular churches, each of which accepts the paramountcy of the Bishop of Rome on matters of doctrine. HP Pavilion DV6-1122US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3216US Battery [32] These churches, also known by the Latin term sui iuris churches, are communities of Catholic Christians whose forms of worship reflect different historical and cultural influences rather than differences in doctrine. In general, each sui iuris church is headed by a patriarch or high ranking bishop,[3

HP Pavilion DV6-3210US Battery3] and has a degree of self-governance over the particulars of its internal organisation, liturgical rites, liturgical calendar and other aspects of its spirituality.

HP Pavilion DV6-3160US Battery

The largest of the particular churches is the Latin Church which reports over one billion members. It developed in western Europe and North Africa before spreading throughout the world. The Latin Church considered itself to be the oldest and largest branch of Western Christianity,[

HP Pavilion DV6-3150US Battery

34] a heritage of certain beliefs and customs originating in Western Europe that are also shared by many Christian denominations that trace their origins to the Protestant Reformation.[34]

HP Pavilion DV6-3143US Battery

Relatively small in terms of adherents compared to the Latin Church, but important to the overall structure of the Church, are the 22 self-governing Eastern Catholic Churches with a membership of 17.3 million as of 2010.[35]

HP Pavilion DV6-3140US BatteryThe Eastern Catholic Churches follow the traditions and spirituality of Eastern Christianity and are composed of Eastern Christians who have always remained in full communion with the Catholic Church or who have chosen to reenter full communion in the centuries following the East-West Schism and earlier divisions.

HP Pavilion DV6-3122US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3130US Battery

Some Eastern Catholic Churches are governed by a patriarch who is elected by the synod of the bishops of that church,[36] others are headed by a major archbishop,[37] others are under a metropolitan,[38] and others consist of individual eparchies.[39

HP Pavilion DV6-3120US Battery

] The Roman Curia has a specific department, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, to maintain relations with them.

Examples of Eastern Catholic Churches can be found in the side bar “Major Sui Iuris Churches”.

Part of a series on

Christianity

HP Pavilion DV6-3050US Battery

[edit]Dioceses, parishes and religious orders

Individual countries, regions, or major cities are served by local particular churches known as dioceses or eparchies, each overseen by a Catholic bishop. Each diocese is united with one of the worldwide “sui iuris” particular churches, such as the Latin Church, or one of the many Eastern Catholic Churches. As of 2008,

HP Pavilion DV6-3040US Battery the Catholic Church altogether comprised 2,795 dioceses.[40] The bishops in a particular country or region are often organised into an episcopal conference,[41] which aids in maintaining a uniform style of worship and co-ordination of social justice programmes within the areas served by member bishops.

HP Pavilion DV6-1030US Battery

Dioceses are further divided into numerous individual communities called parishes, each staffed by one or more priests, deacons, and/or lay ecclesial ministers.[42] Parishes are responsible for the day to day celebration of the sacraments and pastoral care of the Catholic laity.

Ordained Catholics, as well as members of the laity, may enter into consecrated life either on an individual basis, as a hermit or consecrated virgin,

HP Pavilion DV6-3030US Battery

or by joining an institute of consecrated life (a religious institute or a secular institute) in which to take vows confirming their desire to follow the three evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience.[43] Examples of institutes of consecrated life are the Benedictines, the Carmelites, the Dominicans, the Franciscans, the Missionaries of Charity and the Sisters of Mercy.[4HP Pavilion DV6-1230US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3020US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3022US Battery

3]

[edit]Membership statistics

Further information: Catholicism by country

Total church membership (both lay and clerical) in 2007 was 1.147 billion people,[44] increasing from the 1950 figure of 437 million[45] and the 1970 figure of 654 million.[46] On 31 December 2008, membership was 1.166 billion, HP Pavilion DV6-1240US Battery

an increase of 11.54% over the same date in 2000, only slightly greater than the rate of increase of the world population (10.77%).

HP Pavilion DV6-3010US Battery The increase was 33.02% in Africa, but only 1.17% in Europe. It was 15.91% in Asia, 11.39% in Oceania, and 10.93% in the Americas. As a result, Catholics were 17.77% of the total population in Africa, 63.10% in the Americas, 3.05% in Asia, 39.97% in Europe, 26.21% in Oceania, and 17.40% of the world population. HP Pavilion DV6-1250US Battery

Of the world’s Catholics, the proportion living in Africa grew from 12.44% in 2000 to 14.84% in 2008, while those living in Europe fell from 26.81% to 24.31%.[1] Membership in the Catholic Church is attained through baptism or reception into the Church (for individuals previously baptised in non-Catholic Christian churches).[4

HP Pavilion DV6-2190US Battery

] For some years until 2009, if someone formally left the Church, that fact was noted in the register of the person’s baptism.

At the end of 2007, Vatican records listed 408,024 Catholic priests in the world, 762 more than at the beginning of the year. The main growth areas have been Asia and Africa, with 21.1 per cent and 27.6 per cent growth respectively.

HP Pavilion DV6-2180US Battery

In North and South America, numbers have remained approximately the same, while there was a 6.8 per cent decline in Europe and a 5.5 per cent decrease in Oceania from 2000 to 2007.[44]

[edit]Worship and liturgy

HP Pavilion DV6-2170US Battery

Main article: Catholic liturgy

Altar in St Mary’s Church in Alexandria, Virginia. The altar is at the centre of Catholic worship because it is there that the “Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” takes place.

Among the 23 autonomous (sui iuris) churches, numerous forms of worship and liturgical traditions exist, called “rites”,

HP Pavilion DV6-2157US Batterywhich reflect historical and cultural diversity rather than differences in belief.[48] In the definition of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, “a rite is the liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony, culture and circumstances of history of a distinct people, by which its own manner of living the faith is manifested in each Church sui iuris”,[49] but the term is often limited to liturgical patrimony. HP Pavilion DV6-1280US Battery

The most commonly used liturgy is the Roman Rite, but even in the Latin Catholic Church a few other rites are in use, and the Eastern Catholic Churches have distinct rites.

[edit]Celebration of the Eucharist

In all rites the Mass, or Divine Liturgy, is the centre of Catholic worship. The Catholic Church teaches that at each Mass the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ by the words of consecration spoken by the priest. HP Pavilion DV6-2043US Battery

The Latin Church teaches that this happens by transubstantiation.[50] The words of consecration are drawn from the three synoptic Gospels and a Pauline letter.[51] The Church teaches that Christ established a New Covenant with humanity through the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, as described in these biblical verses. HP Pavilion DV7-1020US Battery

Hoc est enim corpus meum…

“”

— Roman Missal, during the words of consecration (Latin). [52]

Because the Church teaches that Christ is present in the Eucharist,[53] there are strict rules about who may confect and who may receive the Eucharist. The sacrament can only be celebrated by an ordained Catholic priest or bishop.

HP Pavilion DV7-1262US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1270US Battery Those who are conscious of being in a state of mortal sin are forbidden from receiving the sacrament until they have received absolution through the sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance).[54] Catholics are normally obliged to abstain from eating for at least an hour before receiving the sacrament.[54]

HP Pavilion DV7-1260US Battery

Catholics are not permitted to receive the Eucharist as celebrated in Protestant churches, which in the view of the Catholic Church lack the sacrament of Holy Orders, and thus also lack a valid Eucharist.[55] Likewise, Protestants are not normally permitted to receive communion in the Catholic Church.

HP Pavilion DV7-1240US Battery

This is because unity with the Catholic faith is seen as necessary before one can partake of the Church’s sacraments. In relation to the churches of Eastern Christianity not in communion with the Holy See,

HP Pavilion DV7-1170US Battery the Catholic Church is less restrictive, declaring that “a certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged.”[56]

Tridentine Mass in a chapel of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston in April 2009. This ancient form of the Roman Rite dates back to 1570; most elements are centuries older

HP Pavilion DV7-1150US Battery

The Roman Rite is the most common rite of worship used by the Catholic Church. Its use is found worldwide, spread by missionary activity originating in European Catholic nations throughout Christian history.[58]

HP Pavilion DV7-1137US Battery

Two forms of the Roman Rite are authorised at present: that of the post-1969 editions of the Roman Missal (Mass of Paul VI), which is now the ordinary form of the rite and is celebrated mostly in the vernacular, i.e., the language of the people; and that of the 1962 edition (the Tridentine Mass), now an extraordinary form.[53][note 8] HP Pavilion DV7-1130US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1134US Battery An outline of the major liturgical elements of Roman Rite Mass can be found in the side bar.

In the United States, “Anglican Use” parishes have been created. They use a variation of the Roman rite that retains some of the wording of the Anglican liturgical rites.[note 9] Implementation is expected of the authorisation granted in 2009 for the creation wherever appropriate of ordinariates for groups of Anglicans who have been approved for entrance into the Catholic Church and who may in the future use a rite that incorporates elements of Anglican tradition.[59]

HP Pavilion DV4-1028US BatteryOther Western liturgical rites (non-Roman) include the Ambrosian Rite and the Mozarabic Rite.

[edit]Eastern liturgical rites

An Eastern Catholic bishop of the Syro-Malabar Church holding the Mar Thoma Cross which symbolises the heritage and identity of the Saint Thomas Christians of India

The liturgical rites of the Eastern Catholic Churches are very similar to, HP Pavilion DV7-1444US Battery

and often identical with, the rites used by the Eastern Orthodox and other Eastern Christian churches which historically developed in Russia, Caucasus and the Balkans, Northeastern Africa and the Middle East,

HP Pavilion DV4-1020US Battery but are no longer in communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. The Eastern Catholic Churches are either groups of faithful which have restored full communion with the Bishop of Rome, while preserving their identity as Eastern Christians, or groups with which full communion has never been broken.

HP Pavilion DV7-2180US Battery

The rites used by the Eastern Catholic Churches include the Byzantine rite, in its Antiochian, Greek and Slavonic varieties, the Alexandrian rite, the Syriac rite, the Armenian rite, the Maronite rite and the Chaldean rite. In the past some of the rites used by the Eastern Catholic Churches were subject to some degree of liturgical Latinisation.

HP Pavilion DV7-3180US Battery

However, in recent years Eastern Catholic Churches have returned to traditional Eastern practices in accord with the Vatican II decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum. Each church has its own liturgical calendar. HP Pavilion DV7-1450US Battery

[edit]Doctrine

See also: Catholic theology and Catholic social teaching

The fundamental beliefs of the Christian religion are summarised in the Nicene Creed. For Catholics, they are detailed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.[60][61] Based on the promises of Christ in the Gospels, HP Pavilion DV7-2040US Battery

the Church believes that it is continually guided by the Holy Spirit and so protected infallibly from falling into doctrinal error.[62] The Catholic Church teaches that the Holy Spirit reveals God’s truth through Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium.[63HP Pavilion DV7-2111US Battery

]

Sacred Scripture consists of the 73 book Catholic Bible. This is made up of the 46 books found in the ancient Greek version of the Old Testament—known as the Septuagint[64]—and the 27 New Testament writings first found in the Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209 and listed in Athanasius’ Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter.[6

HP Pavilion DV7-3160US Battery5][note 10] Sacred Tradition consists of those teachings believed by the Church to have been handed down since the time of the Apostles.[66] Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are collectively known as the “deposit of faith” (depositum fidei). These are in turn interpreted by the Magisterium (from magister,

HP Pavilion DV7-3080US Battery

Latin for “teacher”), the Church’s teaching authority, which is exercised by the Pope and the College of Bishops in union with the Pope, the bishop of Rome.[67] HP Pavilion DV7-2170US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-2180US Battery

[edit]Trinity

Crucifixion of Christ

by Albrecht Altdorfer, 1526

The Catholic Church holds that there is one eternal God, who exists as a mutual indwelling of three persons: God the Father; God the Son; and the Holy Spirit, which make up the Trinity.

Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, God the Son. HP Pavilion DV7-2270US Battery

In an event known as the Incarnation, through the power of the Holy Spirit, God became united with human nature through the conception of Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Christ therefore is both fully divine and fully human. HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery

It is taught that Christ’s mission on earth included giving people his teachings and providing his example for them to follow as recorded in the four Gospels.[68] HP Pavilion DV7-3060US Battery

The Church teaches that through the passion (suffering) of Christ and his crucifixion as described in the Gospels, all people have an opportunity for forgiveness and freedom from sin, and so can be reconciled to God.[69]

HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Battery The Resurrection of Jesus gained for humans a possible spiritual immortality previously denied to them because of original sin.[70] By reconciling with God and following Christ’s words and deeds, an individual can enter the Kingdom of God, which is the “… reign of God over people’s hearts and lives”.[71] HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery

The Greek term “Christ” and the Hebrew “Messiah” both mean “anointed one”, referring to the Christian belief that Jesus’ death and resurrection are the fulfillment of the Old Testament’s Messianic prophecies.[72]

[edit]Apostolicity

According to the Catechism, the Catholic Church professes to be the “sole Church of Christ”, which is described in the Nicene Creed as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.[73] The church teaches that its founder is Jesus Christ, who appointed the twelve Apostles to continue his work as the Church’s earliest bishops.[74] Catholic belief holds that the Church “is the continuing presence of Jesus on earth”,[7

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery5] and that all duly consecrated bishops have a lineal succession from the apostles.[76] In particular, the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), is considered the successor to the apostle Simon Peter, from whom the Pope derives his supremacy over the Church.[77] The Church is further described in the papal encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi as the Mystical Body of Christ.[78]

HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Battery

The Church teaches that the fullness of the “means of salvation” exists only in the Catholic Church, but the Church acknowledges that the Holy Spirit can make use of Christian communities separated from itself to “impel towards Catholic unity” and thus bring people to salvation.

HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery It teaches that anyone who is saved is saved through the Church but that people can be saved ex voto and by pre-baptismal martyrdom as well as when conditions of invincible ignorance are present,[62] although invincible ignorance in itself is not a means of salvation.

HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Battery

[edit]Sacraments

Main article: Sacraments of the Catholic Church

A priest during a baptism in Italy

According to the Council of Trent, Christ instituted seven sacraments and entrusted them to the Church.[79] These are Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance), Anointing of the Sick (formerly called Extreme Unction,

HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery one of the “Last Rites”), Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony. Sacraments are visible rituals that Catholics see as signs of God’s presence and effective channels of God’s grace to all those who receive them with the proper disposition (ex opere operato).[80] The Catechism of the Catholic Church categorises the sacraments into three groups, HP Pavilion DV5-1030EE Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca Battery

the “sacraments of Christian initiation”, “sacraments of healing” and “sacraments at the service of communion and the mission of the faithful”. These groups broadly reflect the stages of people’s natural and spiritual lives which each sacrament is intended to serve.[81] HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery

[edit]Sacraments of Christian initiation

Main article: Sacraments of Initiation

[edit]Baptism

As viewed by the Catholic Church, Baptism is the first of three sacraments of initiation as a Christian.[82] It washes away all sins, both original sin and personal actual sins.[83] It makes a person a member of the Church.[84] As a gratuitous gift of God that requires no merit on the part of the person who is baptised, it is conferred even on children, HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery

[85] who, though they have no personal sins, need it on account of original sin.[86] If a new-born child is in a danger of death, anyone – be it a doctor, a nurse, or a parent – may baptise the child[citation needed]. Baptism marks a person permanently and cannot be repeated.[87

HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca Battery

] The Catholic Church recognises as valid baptisms conferred even by people who are not Catholics or Christians, provided that they intend to baptise (“to do what the Church does when she baptises”) and that they use the Trinitarian baptismal formula.[88] HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Eucharist at the canonization of Frei Galvão in São Paulo, Brazil on 11 May 2007

[edit]Confirmation

The Catholic Church sees the sacrament of confirmation as required to complete the grace given in baptism.[89] When adults are baptised, HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery

confirmation is normally given immediately afterwards,[90] a practice followed even for infants in the Eastern Catholic Church.[91] In the West confirmation of children is delayed until they are old enough to understand or even until they are in their teens.[92] In Western Christianity, particularly Catholicism, the sacrament is called confirmation, because it confirms and strengthens the grace of baptism;

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Batteryin the Eastern Church, it is called chrismation, because the essential rite is the anointing of the person with chrism,[93] a mixture of olive oil and some perfumed substance, usually balsam, blessed by a bishop.[9

HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery

4] Those who receive confirmation must be in a state of grace, which for those who have reached the age of reason means that they should first be cleansed spiritually by the sacrament of Penance; they should also have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to show in their lives that they are Christians.[95] HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery

[edit]Eucharist

For Catholics, the Eucharist is the sacrament which completes Christian initiation,[96] is the perpetuation of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross,[97] and a banquet in which Christ himself is consumed.[98] The Eucharistic sacrifice always includes prayers, readings from the Bible, consecration of wheat bread and grape wine, HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery

and communion by at least some of the participants (in particular the priest) in the consecrated elements,[99] which by the consecration become, in a way surpassing understanding, the body and blood of Jesus Christ,[100] a change known as transubstantiation.[101] The ceremony in which a Catholic first receives the Eucharist is known as First Communion. HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

[edit]Sacraments of healing

[edit]Penance

A Catholic believer prays in a church in Mexico.

The sacrament of penance (also called reconciliation, forgiveness, confession and conversion[102]) exists for the conversion of those who, after baptism, separate themselves from Christ by sin.[103] Essential to this sacrament are acts both by the sinner (examination of conscience, contrition with a determination not to sin again,

HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery confession to a priest, and performance of some act to repair the damage caused by sin) and by the priest (determination of the act of reparation to be performed and absolution).[104] Serious sins (mortal sins) must be confessed within at most a year and always before receiving Holy Communion,

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery

while confession of venial sins also is recommended.[105] The priest is bound under the severest penalties to maintain the “seal of confession”, absolute secrecy about any sins revealed to him in confession.[106]

HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery

[edit]Anointing of the Sick

While chrism is used only for the three sacraments that cannot be repeated (baptism, confirmation, ordination), a different oil is used by a priest or bishop to bless a Catholic who, because of illness or old age, has begun to be in danger of death.[107] This sacrament, known as Anointing of the Sick, is believed to give comfort,

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

peace, courage and, if the sick person is unable to make a confession, even forgiveness of sins.[108] Although it is not reserved for those in proximate danger of death, it is often administered as one of the Last Rites.

HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery

[edit]Sacraments at the service of communion

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church there are two sacraments of communion directed towards the salvation of others: priesthood and marriage (CCC 1534). Within the general vocation to be a Christian,

HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery

these two sacraments consecrate to specific mission or vocation among the people of God. Men receive the holy orders to feed the Church by the word and grace. Spouses marry so that their love may be fortified to fulfil duties of their state (CCC 1535). HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

[edit]Ordination

Holy Orders is a sacrament in three degrees or orders, episcopate (bishops), presbyterate (priests) and diaconate (deacons), which consecrates and deputes some Christians to serve the whole body by these specific titles.[109HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery] The Church has defined rules on who may be ordained into the clergy. In the Latin Rite, the priesthood and diaconate are generally restricted to celibate men.[110][111] Men who are already married may be ordained in the Eastern Catholic Churches in most countries,[112HP Pavilion DV7-1000EA Battery

] and may become deacons even in the Western Church[110][111] (see Clerical marriage). But after becoming a Roman Catholic priest, a man may not get married (see Clerical celibacy) unless he is later formally laicised.

HP Pavilion DV7-1214EA Battery

All clergy, whether deacons, priests or bishops, may preach, teach, baptise, witness marriages and conduct funeral liturgies.[113] Only bishops and priests can administer the sacraments of the Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance) and Anointing of the Sick.[114][115] Only bishops can administer the sacrament of Holy Orders, which ordains someone into the clergy.[116] HP Pavilion DV7-1001EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1212EA Battery

[edit]Matrimony

Marriage, understood as an indissoluble union between a man and a woman,[117] if entered into validly by any baptised man and baptised woman, is considered a sacrament by the Catholic Church.[118] The church does not recognise divorce as ending a valid marriage and allows state recognised divorce only as a means of protecting children or property,

HP Pavilion DV7-1211EA Batterywithout allowing remarriage following such a divorce. Apart from the requirements, such as freedom of consent, that it sees as applicable to all, the church has established certain specific requirements for the validity of marriages by Catholics.[119] Failure to observe the Church’s regulations,

HP Pavilion DV7-1213EA Battery as well as defects applicable to all marriages, may be grounds for a church declaration of the invalidity of a marriage, a declaration usually referred to as an annulment.[120]

[edit]Judgement after death

The Church teaches that, immediately after death, the soul of each person will receive a particular judgment from God.[12

HP Pavilion DV7-1038CA Battery

1] This teaching also attests to another day when Christ will sit in a universal judgment of all mankind. This final judgment, according to Church teaching, will bring an end to human history and mark the beginning of a new and better heaven and earth ruled by God in righteousness.[121

HP Pavilion DV7-3178CA Battery] The basis on which each person’s soul is judged is detailed in the Gospel of Matthew, which lists works of mercy to be performed even to people considered “the least of Christ’s brothers”.[122

HP Pavilion DV7-1125EA Battery] Emphasis is upon Christ’s words that “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”.[123]

According to the Catechism, “The Last Judgement will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life.”[123] Depending on the judgement rendered, a soul may enter one of three states of afterlife: HP Pavilion DV7-1014CA Battery

Heaven is a time of glorious union with God and a life of unspeakable joy that lasts forever.[121]

Purgatory is a temporary condition for the purification of souls who, although saved, are not free enough from sin to enter directly into heaven.[121] Souls in purgatory may be aided in reaching heaven by the prayers of the faithful on earth and by the intercession of saints.[124] HP Pavilion DV7-1002EA Battery

Final Damnation: Finally, those who persist in living in a state of mortal sin and do not repent before death subject themselves to hell, an everlasting separation from God.[121] The Church teaches that no one is condemned to hell without having freely decided to reject God.[121] No one is predestined to hell and no one can determine whether anyone else has been condemned.[1

HP Pavilion DV7-1130EA Battery21] Catholicism teaches that through God’s mercy a person can repent at any point before death and be saved.[125] Some Catholic theologians have speculated that the souls of unbaptised infants who die in original sin are assigned to limbo although this is not an official doctrine of the Church.[126]

HP Pavilion DV7-1135EA Battery

[edit]Virgin Mary

The Blessed Virgin Mary is highly regarded in the Catholic Church, proclaiming her as Mother of God, sinless, free from original sin and as an intercessor.

Main articles: Blessed Virgin Mary (Roman Catholic) and Roman Catholic Mariology

See also: Mary (mother of Jesus)

HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA Battery

Devotions to Mary are part of Catholic piety but are distinct from the worship of God.[127] The Church holds Mary, as Perpetual Virgin and Mother of God, in special regard. Catholic beliefs concerning Mary include her Immaculate Conception without the stain of original sin and bodily assumption into heaven at the end of her life,

HP Pavilion DV7-1105EA Battery

both of which have been infallibly defined as dogma, by Pope Pius IX in 1854 and Pope Pius XII in 1950 respectively.[128]

Mariology deals not only with her life but also her veneration in daily life, prayer and Marian art, music and architecture. Several liturgical Marian feasts are celebrated throughout the Church Year and she is honoured with many titles such as Queen of Heaven. Pope Paul VI called her Mother of the Church because,

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EG Battery by giving birth to Christ, she is considered to be the spiritual mother to each member of the Body of Christ.[128] Because of her influential role in the life of Jesus, prayers and devotions such as the Rosary, the Hail Mary, the Salve Regina and the Memorare are common Catholic practices.[129]

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EF Battery

The Church has affirmed certain Marian apparitions, as at Lourdes, Fátima, Guadalupe[130] and the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help.[131] Pilgrimages to these sites are popular Catholic devotions.[132]

HP Pavilion DV7-1055EA Battery

[edit]History

Main article: History of the Catholic Church

See also: Early history of Christianity and Historiography of early Christianity

This detail of a fresco (1481–82) by Pietro Perugino in the Sistine chapel shows Jesus giving the keys of heaven to Saint Peter.

[edit]Apostolic period

Catholic tradition and doctrine hold that the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD in Judea within the Roman Empire. The New Testament records Jesus’ activities and teaching, his appointment of the twelve Apostles and his instructions to them to continue his work.[133][134]

HP Pavilion DV7-1007EF Battery

The Catholic Church teaches that the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, in an event known as Pentecost, signalled the beginning of the public ministry of the Catholic Church.[76] Catholic doctrine teaches that the contemporary Catholic Church is the continuation of this early Christian community.

HP Pavilion DV7-1075LA Battery It interprets the Confession of Peter found in the Gospel of Matthew as Christ’s designation of Saint Peter the Apostle and his successors, the Bishops of Rome to be the temporal head of his Church, a doctrine known as apostolic succession.[135][136][137][138]

[edit]Spread throughout the Roman Empire 

HP Pavilion DV7-1107EA Battery

Conditions in the Roman Empire facilitated the spread of new ideas. The empire’s well-defined network of roads and waterways allowed for easier travel, while the Pax Romana made it safe to travel from one region to another.

HP Pavilion DV7-1004EA Battery

The government had encouraged inhabitants, especially those in urban areas, to learn Greek, and the common language allowed ideas to be more easily expressed and understood.[139] Unlike most religions in the Roman Empire, however, Christianity required its adherents to renounce all other gods, a practice adopted from Judaism (see Idolatry). HP Pavilion DV7-1020EA Battery

The Christians’ refusal to join pagan celebrations meant they were unable to participate in much of public life, which caused non-Christians–including government authorities–to fear that the Christians were angering the gods and thereby threatening the peace and prosperity of the Empire.

HP Pavilion DV7-1050EA BatteryThe resulting persecutions were a defining feature of Christian self-understanding until Christianity was legalised in the 4th century.[140]

In 313, the struggles of the Early Church were lessened by the legalisation of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine I. In 380, HP Pavilion DV7-1003EA BatteryChristianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire by the decree of the Emperor, which would persist until the fall of the Western Roman Empire and, later, with the Eastern Roman Empire until the Fall of Constantinople. During this time (the period of the Seven Ecumenical Councils) there were considered five primary sees according to Eusebius: Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria, known as the Pentarchy. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

[edit]Middle Ages

After the destruction of the Western Roman Empire, the Western Christianity was a major factor in the preservation of classical civilisation,[citation needed] establishing monasteries and sending missionaries to convert the peoples of northern Europe as far as Ireland in the north. In the Eastern Christianity,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Batterythe Byzantine Empire preserved Orthodoxy well after the massive invasions of Islam in the mid-7th century. The invasions of Islam devastated three of the five Patriarchal sees, capturing Jerusalem first, then Alexandria, and then finally, in the mid-8th century, Antioch.

Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P BatteryThe whole period of the next five centuries was dominated by the struggle between Christianity and Islam throughout the Mediterranean Basin. The battles of Poitiers and Toulouse preserved the Catholic tradition even though Rome itself was ravaged in 850 and Constantinople was besieged.

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/W Battery

[edit]Doctrinal disputes and schisms

See also: Criticism of Catholic actions in history

In the 11th century, already strained relations between the primarily Greek church and the Latin church in the developed into the Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity respectively, partially due to conflicts over Papal authority.

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery

The fourth crusade and the sacking of Constantinople by renegade crusaders proved the final breach. In the 16th century, in response to the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church engaged in a process of substantial reform and renewal, known as the Counter-Reformation.[14

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery

1] In subsequent centuries, Catholicism spread widely across the world despite experiencing a reduction in its hold on European populations due to the growth of religious scepticism during and after the Enlightenment.

Sony VAIO VGN-SR31M Battery

In 1854 Pope Pius IX with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic bishops, whom he had consulted from 1851 to 1853, proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.[142] In 1870, the First Vatican Council affirmed the doctrine of papal infallibility when exercised in specifically defined pronouncements.[143]

Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN Battery

[144] Controversy over this and other issues resulted in a breakaway movement called the Old Catholic Church.[145]

[edit]Second Vatican Council

The Second Vatican Council in the 1960s introduced the most significant changes to Catholic practices since the Council of Trent four centuries before. Initiated by Pope John XXIII, this ecumenical council modernised the practices of the Catholic Church,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

allowing the Mass to be said in the vernacular (local language), and encouraging “fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations.”[146] It intended to engage the Church more closely with the present world (aggiornamento), which was described by its advocates as an “opening of the windows”.[147]

Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

In addition to changes in the liturgy, it led to changes to the Church’s approach to ecumenism,[148] and a call to improved relations with non-Christian religions, especially Judaism, in its document Nostra Aetate.[149]

Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

The Council, however, generated significant controversy in implementing its reforms; proponents of the “Spirit of Vatican II” such as Swiss theologian Hans Küng claimed Vatican II had “not gone far enough” to change church policies.[ Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

150] Traditionalist Catholics, such as Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, however, strongly criticised the council, arguing that the council’s liturgical reforms led “to the destruction of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments,” among other issues.[151] Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

[edit]New evangelisation

Pope John Paul II recognised the need to evangelise an increasingly secular world and used new means to reach the faithful. He instituted World Youth Day, a “worldwide encounter with the Pope”, for young people from all over the world which is celebrated every two to three years.[152] He travelled more than any other pope, Sony Vaio VGN-NW21MF Battery

visiting 129 countries and preaching the Gospel in nearly every part of the world.[153] He also used television and radio as means of spreading the Gospel. Sony Vaio VGN-NW21EF Battery

[edit]Contemporary issues

Main article: History of the Catholic Church since 1962

See also: Criticism of the Catholic Church

Pope John Paul II with U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

[edit]Social justice issues

Main article: Catholic social teaching

In 1978, Pope John Paul II, formerly archbishop of Kraków in then-Communist Poland, became the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years. His 27-year pontificate was one of the longest in history.[154] Mikhail Gorbachev,

Sony Vaio VGN-NW31EF Batterythe president of the Soviet Union, credited the Polish pope with hastening the fall of Communism in Europe.[155]

The Catholic nun Mother Teresa of Calcutta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work among India’s poor.[ Sony Vaio VGN-NW21ZF Battery

56] Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo won the same award in 1996 for “work towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor”.[157]

[edit]Sexuality and gender issues

See also: Catholic teachings on sexual morality and Catholic ordination of women

Soon after the close of the Second Vatican Council, Church teachings about sexuality became an issue of increasing controversy due to changing cultural attitudes in the Western world (see the Sexual Revolution). In his encyclical Humanae Vitae[158] (1968) 1Sony Vaio VGN-NW21JF Battery

, Pope Paul VI rejected all artificial contraception (though he permitted the regulation of births by means of natural family planning), contradicting those voices in the Church that saw at the time the birth control pill as an ethically justifiable method of contraception. Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M/H Battery

This teaching was continued especially by John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, where he decried contraception and abortion as well as euthanasia as symptoms of a “culture of death” and called for a “culture of life”.[159]

Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZJ/B Battery

Efforts in support of the ordination of women led to several rulings by the Roman Curia or Popes against the proposal, as in Declaration on the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (1976),

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11SR/B BatteryMulieris Dignitatem (1988) and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (1994). According to the latest ruling, found in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II concluded, “I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”[16Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S/B Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11ZR/B Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11Z/B Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11XU/Q Battery

0] In defiance of these rulings, opposition groups such as Roman Catholic Womenpriests have performed alleged ordination ceremonies (with, reputedly, an ordaining male Catholic bishop in the first few instances) which, according to canon law, are both illicit and invalid and considered mere simulations[16

Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M Battery1] of the sacrament of Ordination.[162][note 11] The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith responded by issuing a statement clarifying that any Catholic bishops involved in ordination ceremonies for women, as well as the women themselves if they were Catholic,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S Batterywould automatically receive the penalty of excommunication (latae sententiae, literally “sentence passed”, i.e. automatically), citing canon 1378 of canon law and other church laws.[163]

Sony Vaio VGN-AW31M/H Battery

[edit]Sex abuse cases

Main article: Catholic sex abuse cases

In the 1990s and 2000s, the issue of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy became the subject of media coverage and public debate in the United States, Ireland, Australia and other countries. The Church was criticised for its handling of abuse complaints when it became known that some bishops had shielded accused priests,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41JF/H Batterytransferring them to other pastoral assignments where some continued to commit sexual offences. In response to the scandal, the Church has established formal procedures to prevent abuse, encourage reporting of any abuse that occurs and to handle such reports promptly, although groups representing victims have disputed their effectiveness.[164] In September 2011,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41MF/H Battery

a submission was lodged with the International Criminal Court alleging that the Pope, Cardinal Angelo Sodano dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone Vatican Secretary of State and Cardinal William Levada head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, had committed a crime against humanity by failing to prevent or punish perpetrators of rape and sexual violence in a “systematic and widespread” concealment which included failure to co-operate with relevant law enforcement agencies.[165Sony Vaio VGN-AW21Z/B Battery

] In a statement to the Associated Press, the Vatican described this as a “ludicrous publicity stunt and a misuse of international judicial processes.” Lawyers and law professors emphasised that the case is likely to fall outside the court’s jurisdiction. [166] Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZS/B Battery

————-

The Pope (from Latin: papa; from Greek: πάππας (pappas),[1] a child’s word for father)[2] is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church.[3] In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle. The current office-holder is Pope Benedict XVI, who was elected in a papal conclave on 19 April 2005.[nb 1] Sony Vaio VGN-AW41ZF/H Battery

The office of the pope is known as the papacy. His ecclesiastical jurisdiction is often called the “Holy See” (Sancta Sedes in Latin), or the “Apostolic See” based upon the Church tradition that the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul were martyred in Rome. Sony Vaio VGN-AW41XH/Q Battery

The pope is also head of state of Vatican City,[4] a sovereign city-state entirely enclaved within the city of Rome.

The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and had a prominent part in human history.[5

Sony  VGP-BPS21A/b Battery] The Popes in ancient times helped in the spread of Christianity and resolve various doctrinal disputes.[6] In the Middle Ages they played a role of secular importance in Western Europe, often serving as referees between the monarchs and averting several wars.[7][8][9] Currently,

Sony  VGP-BPS21/S Battery in addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes are dedicated to ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, charitable work, and the defense of human rights.[10][11]

Sony  VGP-BPS21B Battery

Having been gradually forced to give up temporal power, popes now focus almost exclusively on religious matters.[6] Over the centuries, papal claims of spiritual authority have been ever more clearly expressed, culminating in 1870 with the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra—literally “from the chair (of St. Peter)”—to issue a formal definition of faith or morals.[6]

Sony  VGP-BPS21A Battery The first explicit such occasion (after the proclamation), and so far the last, was in 1950, with the definition of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary.

The word pope derives from Greek πάππας meaning “Father”. This title was first assumed by the Patriarchs of Alexandria, long before it was assumed by the Bishops of Rome. In fact, the first to carry the title of pope was the Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Heracleus (232–49 AD), Sony  VGP-BPS13 Battery

Sony  VGP-BPS21 Battery

the 13th Alexandrine Patriarch.[12][13] Papa has been the specific designation for the Archbishop of Alexandria, Patriarch of Egypt, and the See of Saint Mark, whose ecclessiastic title is “Papa Abba”, the Abba stands for the devotion of all monastics, from Pentapolis in the West to Constantinople in the East, to his guidance.

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/Q BatteryAbba is the most powerful designation, that for all monks in the East to voluntarily follow his spiritual authority.[12] The first record in history of the term “pope” is assigned to Pope Heraclas of Alexandria in a letter written by the bishop of Rome, Dionysius, to

I received this rule and ordinance from our blessed pope, Heraclas. Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest recorded use of the title “pope” in English is in an Old English translation (c. 950) of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People:

Þa wæs in þa tid Uitalius papa þæs apostolican seðles aldorbiscop.[15] Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

In Modern English:

At that time, Pope Vitalian was chief bishop of the apostolic see.

It is difficult to ascertain the identity of the first Bishop of Rome to carry the title Pope of Rome. Some sources suggest that it was Pope Marcellinus (d. 304 AD),[16] while other sources suggest that this did not happen until the 6th century, with Pope John I (523–6 AD) the first to assume this title.[12]

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery Bestowing the title on Rome’s Pontiff did not strip it from Alexandria’s, and the Roman Catholic Church recognizes this ecclesiastical fact.[12] From the 6th century, the imperial chancery of Constantinople normally reserved this designation for the Bishop of Rome. From the early 6th century, Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13/S Battery

it began to be confined in the West to the Bishop of Rome, a practice that was firmly in place by the 11th century, when Pope Gregory VII declared it reserved for the Bishop of Rome.[16]

Catholics recognize the pope as a successor to Saint Peter, whom, according to Roman Catholic teaching,

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13/Q BatteryJesus named as the “shepherd” and “rock” of the Catholic Church, which according to Catholic dogma is the one true Church founded by Christ.[17][18] Peter never bore the title of “pope”, which came into use three centuries later, but Catholics traditionally recognize him as the first pope,[19]

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/S Battery while official declarations of the Church only speak of the popes as holding within the college of the Bishops a role analogous to that held by Peter within the college of the Apostles, of which the college of the Bishops, a distinct entity, is the successor.[20] Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

[21][22]

Protestants generally agree that Jesus singled out Peter as the focal point of the first-century church. However, they contend that the New Testament offers no proof that Jesus established the papacy nor even that he established Peter as the first bishop of Rome.[2Sony Vaio VGN-NW31EF Battery

3] The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus personally appointed Peter as leader of the Church and in its dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium makes a clear distinction between apostles and bishops, presenting the latter as the successors of the former, with the pope as successor of Peter in that he is head of the bishops as Peter was head of the apostles.[2Sony Vaio VGN-NW20ZF Battery

4] Some historians have argued that the notion that Peter was the first bishop of Rome and founded the episcopal see there can be traced back no earlier than the 3rd century.[25] The writings of the Church Father Irenaeus who wrote around 180 AD reflect a belief that Peter “founded and organised” the Church at Rome.[26Sony Vaio VGN-NW24S Battery

] Moreover, Irenaeus was not the first to write of Peter’s presence in the early Roman Church. Clement of Rome wrote in a letter to the Corinthians, c. 96[27Sony Vaio VGN-NW26M Battery

] about the persecution of Christians in Rome as the “struggles in our time” and presented to the Corinthians its heroes, “first, the greatest and most just columns, the “good apostles” Peter and Paul.[

Sony Vaio VGN-NW20SF Battery8] St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote shortly after Clement and in his letter from the city of Smyrna to the Romans he said he would not command them as Peter and Paul did.[29] Given this and other evidence, many scholars agree that Peter was martyred in Rome under Nero, 2Sony Vaio VGN-NW20EF Battery

although some scholars argue that he may have been martyred in Palestine.[30][31][32]

Various Christian communities would have had a group of presbyter-bishops functioning as leaders of their local churches. Gradually, episcopacies were established in metropolitan areas.[33] It has been conjectured[who?]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41ZJ/H Batterythat Antioch, where Peter was before he went to Rome, may have been one of the first Christian communities to have adopted such a structure.[ Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

33] In Rome there were many who claimed to be the rightful bishop though again Irenaeus stressed the validity of one line of bishops from the time of St. Peter up to his contemporary Pope Victor I and listed them.[

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H Battery34] Some[who?] writers claim that the emergence of a single bishop in Rome probably did not occur until the middle of the 2nd century. In their view, Linus, Cletus and Clement were possibly prominent presbyter-bishops but not necessarily monarchical bishops.[25] This would not affect their authority as popes in Catholic Theology. Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21I Battery

The Holy See was accorded prominence in the early Church period in issues related to matters of the whole Catholic Church.[35]

Early Christianity (c. 30–325)

It seems that at first the terms ‘episcopos’ and ‘presbyter’ were used interchangeably.[36] The consensus among scholars has been that, at the turn of the 1st and 2nd centuries, local congregations were led by bishops and presbyters whose offices were overlapping or indistinguishable.[37]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41J/H Battery There was probably no single ‘monarchical’ bishop in Rome before the middle of the 2nd century … and likely later.”[38] Other scholars and historians disagree, citing the historical records of St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Irenaeus who recorded the linear succession of Bishops of Rome (the popes) up until their own times. Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery

They also cite the importance accorded to the popes in the ecumenical councils, including the early ones.[39]

In the early Christian era, Rome and a few other cities had claims on the leadership of worldwide Catholic Church. James the Just, known as “the brother of the Lord”, served as head of the Jerusalem church,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Batterywhich is still honored as the “Mother Church” in Orthodox tradition. Alexandria had been a center of Jewish learning and became a center of Christian learning. Rome had a large congregation early in the apostolic period whom Paul the Apostle addressed in his Epistle to the Romans, and according to tradition Paul was martyred there. Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery

During the 1st century of the Church (ca. 30–130), the Roman capital became recognized as a Christian center of exceptional importance. Pope Clement I at the end of the 1st century wrote an epistle to the Church in Corinth intervening in a major dispute, and apologizing for not having taken action earlier.[4

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery0] However, there are only a few other references of that time to recognition of the authoritative primacy of the Roman See outside of Rome. In the Ravenna Document of 13 October 2007,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51 Battery

theologians chosen by the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Churches stated: “41. Both sides agree… that Rome, as the Church that ‘presides in love’ according to the phrase of St Ignatius of Antioch (To the Romans, Prologue), occupied the first place in the taxis, and that the bishop of Rome was therefore the protos among the patriarchs. Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery

They disagree, however, on the interpretation of the historical evidence from this era regarding the prerogatives of the Bishop of Rome as protos, a matter that was already understood in different ways in the first millennium.” In addition,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H Battery in the last years of the 1st century AD the Church in Rome intervened in the affairs of the Christian Church in Corinth to help solve their internal disputes.

Later in the 2nd century AD, there were more manifestations of Roman authority over other churches. In 189 AD, assertion of the primacy of the Church of Rome may be indicated in Irenaeus of Lyons’s Against Heresies (3:3:2):

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46M Battery

“With [the Church of Rome], because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree… and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition.” In 195 AD, Pope Victor I, in what is seen as an exercise of Roman authority over other churches, excommunicated the Quartodecimans for observing Easter on the 14th of Nisan, Sony  VAIO VGN-FW31M Battery

the date of the Jewish Passover, a tradition handed down by St. John the Evangelist (see Easter controversy). Celebration of Easter on a Sunday, as insisted on by the pope, is the system that has prevailed (see computus).

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41ZJ/H Battery

Early popes helped spread Christianity and resolve doctrinal disputes.[6]

Nicaea to East-West Schism (325–1054)

The Edict of Milan in 313 granted freedom to all religions in the Roman Empire,[41] beginning the Peace of the Church. In 325, the First Council of Nicaea condemned Arianism, declaring trinitarianism dogmatic, and in its sixth canon recognized the special role of the sees of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch.[42]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H Battery Great defenders of Trinitarian faith included the Popes, especially Pope Liberius, who was exiled to Berea by Constantius II for his Trinitarian faith,[43] Damasus I, and several other bishops.[44]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41J/H Battery

In 380 Catholicism was declared the sole state religion of the Roman Empire.[45][46] While the civil power in the East controlled the church and the bishop of Constantinople, the capital, wielded much power,[47] in the West the Bishops of Rome was able to consolidate the influence and power they already possessed.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41E/H Battery [47] After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, barbarian tribes were converted to Arian Christianity or Catholicism;[48] Clovis I, king of the Franks, was the first important barbarian ruler to convert to Catholicism rather than Arianism, allying himself with the papacy. Other tribes, such as the Visigoths, later abandoned Arianism in favour of Catholicism.[48]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW3ZJ Battery

Medieval Age

Gregory the Great (c 540–604) who established medieval themes in the Church, in a painting by Carlo Saraceni, c. 1610, Rome.

After the fall of Rome, the pope served as a source of authority and continuity. Gregory the Great (c 540–604) administered the church with strict reform. From an ancient senatorial family, Gregory worked with the stern judgement and discipline typical of ancient Roman rule. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11J Battery

Theologically, he represents the shift from the classical to the medieval outlook; his popular writings are full of dramatic miracles, potent relics, demons, angels, ghosts, and the approaching end of the world.[49]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW21ZR Battery

Gregory’s successors were largely dominated by the Exarch of Ravenna, the Byzantine emperor’s representative in Italy. These humiliations, the weakening of the empire in the face of Muslim expansion, and the inability of the emperor to protect the papal estates against the Lombards,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW21J Batterymade Pope Stephen II turn from Emperor Constantine V. He appealed to the Franks to protect his lands. Pepin the Short subdued the Lombards and donated Italian land to the papacy. When Leo III crowned Charlemagne (800), he established the precedent that, in the West, no man would be emperor without anointment by a pope.[49] Sony VAIO VGN-FW11Z Battery

From the seventh century it became common for European monarchies and nobility to found churches and perform investiture or deposition of clergy in their states and fiefdoms, their personal interests causing corruption among the clergy.[50][5Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZRU Battery

] This practice had become common because often the prelates and secular rulers were also participants in public life.[52Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZU Battery1] To combat this and other practices that had corrupted the Church between the years 900 and 1050, centres emerged promoting ecclesiastical reform, the most important being the Abbey of Cluny, which spread its ideals throughout Europe.[51] Sony VAIO VGN-FW46M Battery

This reform movement gained strength with the election of Pope Gregory VII in 1073, who adopted a series of measures in the movement known as the Gregorian Reform, in order to fight strongly against simony and the abuse of civil power and try to restore ecclesiastical discipline, including celibacy.[4

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery4] The conflict between popes and secular autocratic rulers such as the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and Henry I of England, known as the question of investiture, was only resolved in 1122, by the Concordat of Worms, in which the pope decreed that clerics were to be invested by clerical leaders, and temporal rulers by lay investiture.[5Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H Battery

0] Soon after, Pope Alexander III began reforms that would lead to the establishment of canon law.[49]

Since the beginning of the seventh century the Islamic Caliphate had conquered much of the southern Mediterranean, and represented a threat to Christianity.[ Sony VAIO VGN-FW51 Battery

53] In 1095, the Byzantine emperor Alexius I asked for military aid from Pope Urban II against the Muslim invasionns.[54] Urban, at the council of Clermont, called the First Crusade to assist the Byzantine Empire to regain the old Christian territories, especially Jerusalem.[55] Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery

The low point of the papacy was 867–1049.[56] The papacy came under the control of vying political factions. Popes were variously imprisoned, starved, killed, and deposed by force. The family of a certain papal official made and unmade popes for fifty years. The official’s great-grandson, Pope John XII,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56 Battery held orgies of debauchery in the Lateran palace. Emperor Otto I of Germany had John accused in an ecclesiastical court, which deposed him and elected a layman as Pope Leo VIII. John mutilated the Imperial representatives in Rome and had himself reinstated as pope. Conflict between the Emperor and the papacy continued,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S Battery and eventually dukes in league with the emperor were buying bishops and popes almost openly.[56]

In 1049, Leo IX became pope, at last a pope with the character to face the papacy’s problems. He traveled to the major cities of Europe to deal with the church’s moral problems firsthand, notably simony and clerical marriage and concubinage. With his long journey, he restored the prestige of the papacy in the north.[56]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54J Battery

East–West Schism to Reformation (1054–1517)

A historical map of the Mediterranean states in 1400. The Western Schism lasted from 1378 to 1417.

The East and West churches split definitively in 1054. This fracture was caused more by political events than by slight diversities of creed. Popes had galled the emperors by siding with the king of the Franks, crowning a rival Roman emperor, appropriating the Exarchate of Ravenna, and driving into Greek Italy.[56]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54E Battery

In the Middle Ages, popes struggled with monarchs over power.[6]

From 1309 to 1377, the pope resided not in Rome but in Avignon. The Avignon Papacy was notorious for greed and corruption.[5

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46Z Battery7] During this period, the pope was effectively an ally of France, alienating France’s enemies, such as England.[58]

The pope was understood to have the power to draw on the “treasury” of merit built up by the saints and by Christ, so that he could grant indulgences,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46S Battery

reducing one’s time in purgatory. The concept that a monetary fine or donation accompanied contrition, confession, and prayer eventually gave way to the common assumption that indulgences depended on a simple monetary contribution. The popes condemned misunderstandings and abuses, but were too pressed for income to exercise effective control over indulgences.[57]

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26JG Battery

Popes also contended with the cardinals, who sometimes attempted to assert the authority of councils over the pope’s. Conciliar theory holds that the supreme authority of the church lies with a General Council, not with the pope. Its foundations were laid early in the 13th century, and it culminated in the 15th century.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26EG Battery The failure of the conciliar theory to gain broad acceptance after the 15th century is taken as a factor in the Protestant Reformation.[59]

Various anti-popes challenged papal authority, especially during the Western Schism (1378–1417). In this schism, the papacy had returned to Rome from Avignon, but an anti-pope was installed in Avignon, as if to extend the papacy there.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MR Battery

The Eastern Church continued to decline with the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, undercutting Constantinople’s claim to equality with Rome. Twice an Eastern Emperor tried to force the Eastern Church to reunify with the West. Papal claims of superiority were a sticking point in reunification, which failed in any event. In the 15th century, the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MG Battery

Reformation to present (1517 to today)

As part of the Catholic Reformation, Pope Paul III (1534–49) initiated the Council of Trent (1545–63), which established the triumph of the papacy over those who sought to reconcile with Protestants or oppose Papal claims. Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery

Protestant Reformers criticized the papacy as corrupt and characterized the pope as the antichrist.

Popes instituted a Catholic Reformation[6] (1560–1648), which addressed the challenges of the Protestant Reformation and instituted internal reforms. Pope Paul III initiated the Council of Trent,

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24JG Batterywhose definitions of doctrine and whose reforms sealed the triumph of the papacy over elements in the church that sought conciliation with Protestants and opposed papal claims.[60]

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24EG Battery

Gradually forced to give up secular power, the popes focused on spiritual issues.[6]

In 1870, the First Vatican Council proclaimed the dogma of papal infallibility for those rare occasions the pope speaks ex cathedra when issuing a solemn definition of faith or morals.[6]

Later the same year, Victor Emmanuel II seized Rome from the pope’s control and substantially completed the unification of Italy.[6]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56J Battery

In 1929, the Lateran Treaty between Italy and Pope Pius XI established the Vatican City State, guaranteeing papal independence from secular rule.[6] Sony VAIO VGN-FW56M Battery

In 1950, the pope defined the Assumption of Mary as dogma, the only time that a pope has spoken ex cathedra since papal infallibility was explicitly declared.

The Petrine Doctrine is still controversial as an issue of doctrine that continues to divide the eastern and western churches and separate Protestants from Rome. Sony VAIO VGN-FW35F Battery

Saint Peter and the origin of the office

See also: Primacy of Simon Peter

The dogmas and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church teach that the institution of the papacy was first mandated by interpretations of several Biblical passages, mainly Matthew 16:13–19:[nb 2]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56E Battery

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? …And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26M Battery And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it. Sony VAIO VGN-NW24S Battery

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Catholics believe that this passage shows Jesus establishing his church on the shoulders of Simon son of John (Peter). Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

The Catholic scholarly community agrees with the church’s interpretation that the “rock” Jesus refers to in this passage is Peter, an interpretation that some other scholars agree with.[61]

Since the Protestant reformation, Protestant scholars have asserted that the “rock” Jesus referred to was Jesus himself,

Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery or Peter’s faith. The argument follows that, when Jesus says, “You are Peter (Greek: Πέτροζ(Petros), small stone as a pebble), and upon this rock Greek: πέτρα(petra), a large stone edifice as a cliff or ledge) I will build my Church”, Jesus is pointing to something much larger than Peter,

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Batterybased on the clear distinction in the Greek of a small stone and a large rock cliff as well as the Greek grammatical structure, as the basis for his kingdom, not making a pope of Peter as Catholics claim.[62]

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR Battery The truth that Peter affirmed in verse 16 is that Jesus is Christ and faith in Him serves as the foundation of the Church and the whole set of the apostles teaching not solely or even mainly, little pebble, that is Peter.[63][64][65] Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery

Others, using Peter’s own words, argue that Christ intended himself as the foundation of the church and not Peter.[66] Others have argued that the church is indeed built upon Jesus and faith, but also on the disciples as the roots and foundations of the church on the basis of Paul’s teaching in Romans and Ephesians, though not primarily Peter.[67Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery

]

The reference to the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” here is the basis for the symbolic keys often found in Catholic papal symbolism, such as in the Vatican Coat of Arms. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X Battery

Election, death and resignation

Election

Main article: Papal conclave

The Giving of the Keys to Saint Peter painted by Pietro Perugino (1492)

The pope was originally chosen by those senior clergymen resident in and near Rome. In 1059 the electorate was restricted to the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, and the individual votes of all Cardinal Electors were made equal in 1179. Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H Battery

Pope Urban VI, elected 1378, was the last pope who was not already a cardinal at his election. Canon law requires that if a layman or non-bishop is elected, he receives episcopal consecration from the Dean of the College of Cardinals before assuming the Pontificate. Under present canon law, the pope is elected by the cardinal electors, comprising those cardinals who are under the age of 80.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H Battery

The Second Council of Lyons was convened on 7 May 1274, to regulate the election of the pope. This Council decreed that the cardinal electors must meet within ten days of the pope’s death, and that they must remain in seclusion until a pope has been elected; this was prompted by the three-year Sede Vacante following the death of Pope Clement IV in 1268. Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H Battery By the mid-16th century, the electoral process had evolved into its present form, allowing for variation in the time between the death of the pope and the meeting of the cardinal electors.

Traditionally, the vote was conducted by acclamation, Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

by selection (by committee), or by plenary vote. Acclamation was the simplest procedure, consisting entirely of a voice vote, and was last used in 1621. Pope John Paul II abolished vote by acclamation and by selection by committee, and henceforth election will be by full vote by ballot of the Sacred College of Cardinals.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery

The conclave in Konstanz where Pope Martin V was elected

The election of the pope almost always takes place in the Sistine Chapel, in a sequestered meeting called a “conclave” (so called because the cardinal electors are theoretically locked in, cum clave, i.e., with key, until they elect a new pope).

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery Three cardinals are chosen by lot to collect the votes of absent cardinal electors (by reason of illness), three are chosen by lot to count the votes, and three are chosen by lot to review the count of the votes.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery

The ballots are distributed and each cardinal elector writes the name of his choice on it and pledges aloud that he is voting for “one whom under God I think ought to be elected” before folding and depositing his vote on a plate atop a large chalice placed on the altar (in the 2005 conclave, a special urn was used for this purpose instead of a chalice and plate). The plate is then used to drop the ballot into the chalice,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51 Battery

making it difficult for electors to insert multiple ballots. Before being read, the ballots are counted while still folded; if the number of ballots does not match the number of electors, the ballots are burned unopened and a new vote is held. Otherwise, each ballot is read aloud by the presiding Cardinal,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW3ZJ Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46M Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H who pierces the ballot with a needle and thread, stringing all the ballots together and tying the ends of the thread to ensure accuracy and honesty. Balloting continues until someone is elected by a two-thirds majority.[68] Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21I Battery

The formal declaration of “Habemus Papam” after the election of Pope Martin V

One of the most prominent aspects of the papal election process is the means by which the results of a ballot are announced to the world. Once the ballots are counted and bound together, they are burned in a special stove erected in the Sistine Chapel, with the smoke escaping through a small chimney visible from St. Peter’s Square.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW21ZRThe ballots from an unsuccessful vote are burned along with a chemical compound to create black smoke, or fumata nera. (Traditionally, wet straw was used to produce the black smoke, but this was not completely reliable. The chemical compound is more reliable than the straw.) When a vote is successful,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW21J Battery

the ballots are burned alone, sending white smoke (fumata bianca) through the chimney and announcing to the world the election of a new pope. At the end of the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, church bells were also rung to signal that a new pope had been chosen. Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery

The Dean of the College of Cardinals then asks two solemn questions of the cardinal who has been elected. First he asks, “Do you freely accept your election?” If he replies with the word “Accepto”, his reign begins at that instant, not at the inauguration ceremony several days afterward.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW21ER BatteryThe Dean then asks, “By what name shall you be called?” The new pope then announces the regnal name he has chosen. (If the Dean is elected pope, the Vice Dean performs this task.)

Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZU Battery

The new pope is led through the “Door of Tears” to a dressing room where three sets of white papal vestments (immantatio) await: small, medium, and large. Donning the appropriate vestments and reemerging into the Sistine Chapel, the new pope is given the “Fisherman’s Ring” by the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery

whom he first either reconfirms or reappoints. The pope then assumes a place of honor as the rest of the cardinals wait in turn to offer their first “obedience” (adoratio) and to receive his blessing.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZRU Battery

The Senior Cardinal Deacon then announces from a balcony over St. Peter’s Square the following proclamation: Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum! Habemus Papam! (“I announce to you a great joy! We have a pope!”). He then announces the new pope’s Christian name along with his newly chosen regnal name.

Sony  VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

Until 1978 the pope’s election was followed in a few days by the Papal Coronation. A procession with great pomp and circumstance formed from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Basilica, with the newly elected pope borne in the sedia gestatoria. There, after a solemn Papal Mass, the new pope was crowned with the triregnum (papal tiara) and he gave for the first time as pope the famous blessing Urbi et Orbi (“to the City [Rome] and to the World”).Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery

Sony  VAIO VGN-FW31M Battery Another renowned part of the coronation was the lighting of a bundle of flax at the top of a gilded pole, which would flare brightly for a moment and then promptly extinguish, with the admonition Sic transit gloria mundi (“Thus passes worldly glory”). A similar warning against papal hubris made on this occasion was the traditional exclamation “Annos Petri non videbis”,

Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF/S Battery

reminding the newly crowned pope that he would not live to see his rule lasting as long as that of St. Peter, who according to tradition headed the church for 35 years and has thus far been the longest reigning pope in the history of the Catholic Church.[69] SONY VGN-FW41E/H BATTERY

A traditionalist Catholic belief claims the existence of a Papal Oath sworn, at their coronation, by all popes from Pope Agatho to Pope Paul VI, but which since the abolition of the coronation ceremony is no longer used. There is no reliable authority for this claim. SONY VGN-FW41J/H BATTERY

The Latin term sede vacante (“while the see is vacant”)[70] refers to a papal interregnum, the period between the death of a pope and the election of his successor. From this term is derived the term sedevacantism,

Sony VAIO VGN-NW31ZF/S Batterywhich designates a category of dissident Catholics who maintain that there is no canonically and legitimately elected pope, and that there is therefore a Sede Vacante. One of the most common reasons for holding this belief is the idea that the reforms of the Second Vatican Council and especially the replacement of the Tridentine Mass with the Mass of Paul VI are heretical,

Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF Battery and that those responsible for initiating and maintaining these changes are heretics and not true popes.[71][72][73] Sedevacantists are considered to be schismatics by the mainstream Roman Catholic Church. SONY VGN-FW41M/H BATTERY

Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/S Battery

For centuries, from 1378 on, those elected to the papacy were predominantly Italians. Prior to the election of the Polish cardinal Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II in 1978, the last non-Italian was Pope Adrian VI of the Netherlands, elected in 1522. John Paul II was followed by the German-born Benedict XVI, leading some to believe that, although Rome is in Italy, Italian domination of the papacy is over.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/w Battery

Death

Funeral of Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 2005, presided over by Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI

The current regulations regarding a papal interregnum—that is, a sede vacante (“vacant seat”)—were promulgated by John Paul II in his 1996 document Universi Dominici Gregis. During the “Sede Vacante”, the Sacred College of Cardinals, composed of the pope’s principal advisors and assistants,

Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/P Battery is collectively responsible for the government of the Church and of the Vatican itself, under the direction of the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church; however, canon law specifically forbids the cardinals from introducing any innovation in the government of the Church during the vacancy of the Holy See.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/P BatteryAny decision that requires the assent of the pope has to wait until the new pope has been elected and accepts office.

In recent centuries it was traditional, when a pope was judged to have died, for the Cardinal Chamberlain to confirm the death ceremonially by gently tapping the pope’s head thrice with a silver hammer,

Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Batterycalling his birth name each time. This custom was not followed at the death of Pope John Paul I[74] and was not revived upon the death of Pope John Paul II.[75] The Cardinal Chamberlain then retrieves the Ring of the Fisherman and cuts it in two in the presence of the Cardinals.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF/S Battery The Pope’s seals are defaced, to keep them from ever being used again, and his personal apartment is sealed.

The body then lies in state for several days before being interred in the crypt of a leading church or cathedral; all who have died in the 20th and 21st centuries have been interred in St. Peter’s Basilica. A nine-day period of mourning (novendialis) follows the interment. SONY VGN-FW41ZJ/H BATTERY

Resignation

Main article: Papal resignation

The Code of Canon Law 332 §2 states, “If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.”

Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF/T Battery

The official list of titles of the Pope, in the order in which they are given in the Annuario Pontificio, is: Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God.[76] Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF/S Battery

The official list of titles does not include all the titles that are officially used.

Pope

The best-known title, that of “Pope”, does not appear in the official list, but is commonly used in the titles of documents, and appears, in abbreviated form, in their signatures. Thus Pope Paul VI signed as “Paulus PP. VI”, the “PP.” standing for “Papa” (“Pope”).[Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF/T Battery

The title "Pope" was from the early 3rd century an honorific designation used for any bishop in the West.[82] In the East it was used only for the Bishop of Alexandria.[82] Pope Marcellinus (d. 304) is the first Bishop of Rome shown in sources to have had the title “Pope” used of him. From the 6th century, the imperial chancery of Constantinople normally reserved this designation for the Bishop of Rome.[

Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF/S Battery82] From the early 6th century, it began to be confined in the West to the Bishop of Rome, a practice that was firmly in place by the 11th century,[82] when Pope Gregory VII declared it reserved for the Bishop of Rome. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF/S Battery

In Eastern Christianity, where the title “Pope” is used also of the Bishop of Alexandria, the Bishop of Rome is often referred to as the “Pope of Rome”, regardless of whether the speaker or writer is in communion with Rome or not.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW11Z/S Battery

Vicar of Jesus Christ

“Vicar of Jesus Christ” (Vicarius Iesu Christi) is one of the official titles of the Pope given in the Annuario Pontificio. It is commonly used in the slightly abbreviated form “Vicar of Christ” (Vicarius Christi). While it is only one of the terms with which the Pope is referred to as “Vicar”, it is “more expressive of his supreme headship of the Church on earth, Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Battery

which he bears in virtue of the commission of Christ and with vicarial power derived from him”, a vicarial power believed to have been conferred on Saint Peter when Christ said to him: “Feed my lambs. . . . Feed my sheep” (John 21:16-17).[83] Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/P Battery

The first record of the application of this title to a Bishop of Rome appears in a synod of 495 with reference to Pope Gelasius I.[84] But at that time, and down to the 9th century, other bishops too referred to themselves as vicars of Christ, Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF/S Battery

and for another four centuries this description was sometimes used of kings and even judges,[85] as it had been used in the 5th and 6th centuries to refer to the Byzantine emperor.[86] Earlier still, in the 3rd century, Tertullian used “vicar of Christ” to refer to the Holy Spirit[87][88] sent by Jesus.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW11Z/T Battery [89] Its use specifically for the Pope appears in the 13th century in connection with the reforms of Pope Innocent III,[86] as can be observed already in his 1199 letter to Leo I, King of Armenia.[90] Other historians suggest that this title was already used in this way in association with the pontificate of Pope Eugenius III (1145–1153).[84] Sony VAIO VGN-NW11S/S Battery

This title “Vicar of Christ” is thus not used of the Pope alone and has been used of all bishops since the early centuries.[91] The Second Vatican Council referred to all bishops as “vicars and ambassadors of Christ”,[92Sony VAIO VGN-NW11S/T Battery

] and this description of the bishops was repeated by Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Ut unum sint, 95. The difference is that the other bishops are vicars of Christ for their own local churches, the Pope is vicar of Christ for the whole Church.[93] Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF Battery

On at least one occasion the title “Vicar of God” (a reference to Christ as God) was used of the pope.[83]

The title “Vicar of Peter” (Vicarius Petri) is used only of the Pope, not of other bishops. Variations of it include: “Vicar of the Prince of the Apostles” (Vicarius Principis Apostolorum) and “Vicar of the Apostolic See” (Vicarius Sedis Apostolicae).[83Sony VAIO VGN-NW24S Battery

] Saint Boniface described Pope Gregory II as vicar of Peter in the oath of fealty that he took in 722.[94] In today’s Roman Missal, the description “vicar of Peter” is found also in the collect of the Mass for a saint who was a pope.[95] Sony VAIO VGN-NW26M Battery

Pontiff

The title “Servant of the Servants of God”, although used by Church leaders including St. Augustine and St. Benedict, was first used by Pope St. Gregory the Great in his dispute with the Patriarch of Constantinople after the latter assumed the title “Ecumenical Patriarch”.Sony VAIO VGN-NW20ZF Battery

It was not reserved for the pope until the 13th century. The documents of the Second Vatican Council reinforced the understanding of this title as a reference to the pope’s role as a function of collegial authority, in which the Bishop of Rome serves the world’s bishops. Sony VAIO VGN-NW20SF Battery

Patriarch of the West

From 1863 until 2005, the Annuario Pontificio included also the title “Patriarch of the West”. This title was first used by Pope Theodore I in 642, and was only used occasionally. Indeed, it did not begin to appear in the pontifical yearbook until 1863. On 22 March 2006, Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/P Battery

the Vatican released a statement explaining this omission on the grounds of expressing a “historical and theological reality” and of “being useful to ecumenical dialogue”. The title Patriarch of the West symbolized the pope’s special relationship with, Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/P Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery and jurisdiction over, the Latin Church—and the omission of the title neither symbolizes in any way a change in this relationship, nor distorts the relationship between the Holy See and the Eastern Churches, as solemnly proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council.[113]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56 Battery

Other titles

Other titles commonly used are “His Holiness”, “Holy Father”. In Spanish and Italian, “Beatísimo/Beatissimo Padre” (Most Blessed Father) is often used in preference to “Santísimo/Santissimo Padre” (Most Holy Father). In the medieval period, “Dominus Apostolicus” (“the Apostolic Lord”) was also used. Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/w Battery

Signature

As indicated above, the Pope normally signs documents using the title “Papa” in the abbreviated form “PP.” and with the numeral, as in “Benedictus PP. XVI” (Pope Benedict XVI). Exceptions are bulls of canonization and decrees of ecumenical councils, which the Pope signs with the formula, “Ego N. Episcopus Ecclesiae catholicae”,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S Battery without the numeral, as in “Ego Paulus Episcopus Ecclesiae catholicae” (I, Paul, Bishop of the catholic/universal Church).[114] The Pope’s signature is followed, in bulls of canonization, by those of all the cardinals resident in Rome, and in decrees of ecumenical councils, by the signatures of the other bishops participating in the council, each signing as Bishop of a particular see.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54J Battery

Papal bulls are headed N. Episcopus Servus Servorum Dei (“Name, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God”). In general, they are not signed by the Pope, but Pope John Paul II introduced in the mid-1980s the custom by which the Pope signs not only bulls of canonization but also, using his normal signature, such as “Benedictus PP. XVI”, bulls of nomination of bishops.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54E Battery

Regalia and insignia

Main article: Papal regalia and insignia

“Triregnum”, also called the “tiara” or “triple crown”, represents the pope’s three functions as “supreme pastor”, “supreme teacher” and “supreme priest”. Recent popes have not, however, worn the triregnum, though it remains the symbol of the papacy and has not been abolished. In liturgical ceremonies the Pope wear an episcopal mitre (an erect cloth hat).

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46Z Battery

Pastoral Staff topped by a crucifix, a custom established before the 13th century (see papal cross).

Pallium, or pall, a circular band of fabric worn around the neck over the chasuble. It forms a yoke about the neck, breast and shoulders and has two pendants hanging down in front and behind, and is ornamented with six crosses.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46S BatteryPreviously, the pallium worn by the Pope was identical to those he granted to the primates, but in 2005 Pope Benedict XVI began to use a distinct papal pallium that is larger than the primatial, and was adorned with red crosses instead of black. Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/S Battery

“Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven”, the image of two keys, one gold and one silver. The silver key symbolizes the power to bind and loose on Earth, and the gold key the power to bind and loose in Heaven.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26JG Battery

Ring of the Fisherman, a gold ring decorated with a depiction of St. Peter in a boat casting his net, with the Pope’s name around it.

Umbraculum (better known in the Italian form ombrellino) is a canopy or umbrella consisting of alternating red and gold stripes, which used to be carried above the pope in processions. Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF Battery

Sedia gestatoria, a mobile throne carried by twelve footmen (palafrenieri) in red uniforms, accompanied by two attendants bearing flabella (fans made of white ostrich feathers), and sometimes a large canopy, carried by eight attendants. The use of the flabella was discontinued by Pope John Paul I. The use of the sedia gestatoria was discontinued by Pope John Paul II.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26EG Battery

The coat of arms of the Holy See. That of the State of Vatican City is the same except that the positions of the gold and silver keys are interchanged.[115]

In heraldry, each pope has his own Papal Coat of Arms. Though unique for each pope, the arms are always surmounted by the two keys in saltire (i.e., crossed over one another so as to form an X) behind the escutcheon (shield) (one silver key and one gold key, Sony VAIO VGN-NW31ZF/S Battery

tied with a red cord), and above them a silver triregnum with three gold crowns and red infulae (lappets—two strips of fabric hanging from the back of the triregnum which fall over the neck and shoulders when worn).

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MR Battery This is blazoned: “two keys in saltire or and argent, interlacing in the rings or, beneath a tiara argent, crowned or”). With the recent election of Benedict XVI in 2005, his personal coat of arms eliminated the papal tiara; a mitre with three horizontal lines is used in its place, with the pallium, a papal symbol of authority more ancient than the tiara, the use of which is also granted to metropolitan archbishops as a sign of communion with the See of Rome, was added underneath of the shield.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MG BatteryThe distinctive feature of the crossed keys behind the shield was maintained. The omission of the tiara in the Pope’s personal coat of arms, however, did not mean the disappearance of it from papal heraldry, since the coat of arms of the Holy See was kept unaltered.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24JG Battery

The flag most frequently associated with the pope is the yellow and white flag of Vatican City, with the arms of the Holy See (blazoned: “Gules, two keys in saltire or and argent, interlacing in the rings or, beneath a tiara argent, crowned or”) on the right-hand side (the “fly”) in the white half of the flag (the left-hand side—the “hoist”—is yellow). Sony VAIO VGN-FW56E Battery

The pope’s escucheon does not appear on the flag. This flag was first adopted in 1808, whereas the previous flag had been red and gold, the traditional colors of the papacy. Although Pope Benedict XVI replaced the triregnum with a mitre on his personal coat of arms, it has been retained on the flag. Sony VAIO VGN-FW56J Battery

Status and authority

Main articles: Primacy of the Roman Pontiff and Papal infallibility

To maintain contacts with local clergymen and Catholic communities, the popes grant private audiences as well as public ones. Here the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross from Uden (Netherlands) are received by Pope Pius XII. Sony VAIO VGN-NW24EG Battery

First Vatican Council

The status and authority of the Pope in the Catholic Church was dogmatically defined by the First Vatican Council on 18 July 1870. In its Dogmatic Constitution of the Church of Christ, the Council established the following canons:[116] Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

“If anyone says that the blessed Apostle Peter was not established by the Lord Christ as the chief of all the apostles, and the visible head of the whole militant Church, or, that the same received great honour but did not receive from the same our Lord Jesus Christ directly and immediately the primacy in true and proper jurisdiction: let him be anathema.[117] Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

If anyone says that it is not from the institution of Christ the Lord Himself, or by divine right that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in the same primacy, let him be anathema.[118]

Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery

If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction, but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world; Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

or, that he possesses only the more important parts, but not the whole plenitude of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate, or over the churches altogether and individually, and over the pastors and the faithful altogether and individually: let him be anathema.[119]

Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery

We, adhering faithfully to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God, our Saviour, the elevation of the Catholic religion and the salvation of Christian peoples, with the approbation of the sacred Council, teach and explain that the dogma has been divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontiff, Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians by his supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the universal Church,

Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery through the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, operates with that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished that His church be instructed in defining doctrine on faith and morals; and so such definitions of the Roman Pontiff from himself, but not from the consensus of the Church, are unalterable. But if anyone presumes to contradict this definition of Ours, which may God forbid: let him be anathema.”[120] Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

Second Vatican Council

Pope Pius XII, wearing the traditional 1877 Papal Tiara, is carried through St Peter’s Basilica on a sedia gestatoria c. 1955.

In its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (1964), the Second Vatican Council declared:

“Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place. For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old, making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock. Bishops,

Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff,

Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown so that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.

… this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded. Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN Battery

And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith, by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals. And therefore his definitions, of themselves, Sony VAIO VGN-SR31M Battery

and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery

but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith. The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery

when that body exercises the supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith.”[121]

Sony VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

Pope Pius VII, bishop of Rome, next to Cardinal Caprara. The Pope wears the pallium, a liturgical vestment that is used heraldically at the foot of the coat of arms of Benedict XVI.

Sony VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

Residence and jurisdiction

The pope’s official seat or cathedral is the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, and his official residence is the Palace of the Vatican. He also possesses a summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, situated on the site of the ancient city of Alba Longa. Until the time of the Avignon Papacy, the residence of the Pope was the Lateran Palace, donated by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.

Sony VGP-BPS13 Batterty

The Pope’s ecclesiastical jurisdiction (the Holy See) is distinct from his secular jurisdiction (Vatican City). It is the Holy See that conducts international relations; for hundreds of years, the papal court (the Roman Curia) has functioned as the government of the Catholic Church.

Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

The names “Holy See” and “Apostolic See” are ecclesiastical terminology for the ordinary jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome (including the Roman Curia); the pope’s various honors, powers, and privileges within the Catholic Church and the international community derive from his Episcopate of Rome in lineal succession from the Apostle Saint Peter (see Apostolic Succession). Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery

Consequently, Rome has traditionally occupied a central position in the Catholic Church, although this is not necessarily so. The Pope derives his pontificate from being Bishop of Rome but is not required to live there; according to the Latin formula ubi Papa, ibi Curia, wherever the Pope resides is the central government of the Church, provided that the pope is Bishop of Rome. As such, between 1309 and 1378, Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery

the popes lived in Avignon, France (see Avignon Papacy), a period often called the Babylonian Captivity in allusion to the Biblical exile of Israel.

Though the Pope is the diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Rome, he delegates most of the day-to-day work of leading the diocese to the Cardinal Vicar, who assures direct episcopal oversight of the diocese’s pastoral needs, Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery

not in his own name but in that of the Pope. The current Cardinal Vicar is Agostino Vallini, who was appointed to the office in June 2008.

Political role

Antichristus, a woodcut by Lucas Cranach of the pope using the temporal power to grant authority to a generously contributing ruler

Though the progressive Christianisation of the Roman Empire in the 4th century did not confer upon bishops civil authority within the state, Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery

the gradual withdrawal of imperial authority during the 5th century left the pope the senior imperial civilian official in Rome, as bishops were increasingly directing civil affairs in other cities of the Western Empire. This status as a secular and civil ruler was vividly displayed by Pope Leo I’s confrontation with Attila in 452.

Sony VGP-BPS13A/B BatteryThe first expansion of papal rule outside of Rome came in 728 with the Donation of Sutri, which in turn was substantially increased in 754, when the Frankish ruler Pippin the Younger gave to the pope the land from his conquest of the Lombards. Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

The pope may have utilized the forged Donation of Constantine to gain this land, which formed the core of the Papal States. This document, accepted as genuine until the 15th century, states that Constantine I placed the entire Western Empire of Rome under papal rule. In 800 Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish ruler Charlemagne as Roman Emperor, Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

a major step toward establishing what later became known as the Holy Roman Empire; from that date onward the popes claimed the prerogative to crown the Emperor, though the right fell into disuse after the coronation of Charles V in 1530. Pope Pius VII was present at the coronation of Napoleon I in 1804, but did not actually perform the crowning. Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery

As mentioned above, the pope’s sovereignty over the Papal States ended in 1870 with their annexation by Italy.

Popes like Alexander VI, an ambitious if spectacularly corrupt politician, and Pope Julius II, a formidable general and statesman, were not afraid to use power to achieve their own ends, which included increasing the power of the papacy. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery

This political and temporal authority was demonstrated through the papal role in the Holy Roman Empire (especially prominent during periods of contention with the Emperors, such as during the Pontificates of Pope Gregory VII and Pope Alexander III). Papal bulls, interdict, and excommunication (or the threat thereof) have been used many times to increase papal power. The Bull Laudabiliter in 1155 authorized Henry II of England to invade Ireland. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery

In 1207, Innocent III placed England under interdict until King John made his kingdom a fiefdom to the Pope, complete with yearly tribute, saying, “we offer and freely yield…to our lord Pope Innocent III and his catholic successors, the whole kingdom of England and the whole kingdom of Ireland with all their rights and appurtenences for the remission of our sins”.[1Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X Battery

22] The Bull Inter caetera in 1493 led to the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, which divided the world into areas of Spanish and Portuguese rule. The Bull Regnans in Excelsis in 1570 excommunicated Elizabeth I of England and declared that all her subjects were released from all allegiance to her. The Bull Inter Gravissimas in 1582 established the Gregorian Calendar.[123] Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H Battery

International position

Under international law, a serving head of state has sovereign immunity from the jurisdiction of the courts of other countries, though not from that of international tribunals.[124][125][126] This immunity is sometimes loosely referred to as “diplomatic immunity”, which is, strictly speaking, the immunity enjoyed by the diplomatic representatives of a head of state.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H Battery

International law treats the Holy See, essentially the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, as the juridical equal of a state. It is distinct from the state of Vatican City, existing for many centuries before the foundation of the latter. (It is common, however, for publications to use “Holy See”, “Vatican/Vatican City”, Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H Battery

and even “Rome” interchangeably, and incorrectly.) Most countries of the world maintain the same form of diplomatic relations with the Holy See that they entertain with other states. Even countries without those diplomatic relations participate in international organizations of which the Holy See is a full member. Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR Battery

It is as head of the Holy See, not of Vatican City, that the U.S. Justice Department ruled that the Pope enjoys head-of-state immunity.[1Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery27] This head-of-state immunity, recognized by the United States, must be distinguished from that envisaged under the United States’ Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, which, while recognizing the basic immunity of foreign governments from being sued in American courts, lays down nine exceptions, Sony VPCF22J1E Battery

including commercial activity and actions in the United States by agents or employees of the foreign governments. It was in relation to the latter that, in November 2008, the United States Court of Appeals in Cincinnati decided that a case over sexual abuse by Catholic priests could proceed,

Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI Battery

Sony VPCF13M1E/H Battery provided the plaintiffs could prove that the bishops accused of negligent supervision were acting as employees or agents of the Holy See and were following official Holy See policy.[128][129]

Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery

In April 2010 there was press coverage in Britain concerning a proposed plan by atheist campaigners and a prominent barrister to have Pope Benedict XVI arrested and prosecuted in the UK for alleged offences, dating from several decades before, in failing to take appropriate action regarding Catholic sex abuse cases and concerning their disputing his immunity from prosecution in that country.[13

Sony VPCF13Z8E/BI Battery

0] This was generally dismissed as “unrealistic and spurious”.[131] Another barrister said that it was a “matter of embarrassment that a senior British lawyer would want to allow himself to be associated with such a silly idea”.[132] Sony VPCF22L1E Battery

Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery

Objections to the papacy

Antichristus, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, from Luther’s 1521 Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist. The Pope is signing and selling indulgences.

The Pope’s claim to authority is either disputed or not recognised at all by other churches. The reasons for these objections differ from denomination to denomination. Sony VPCF22M1E Battery

Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

Orthodox, Anglican and Old Catholic churches

Other traditional Christian churches (Assyrian Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Old Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Independent Catholic Churches, etc.) accept the doctrine of Apostolic Succession and,

Sony VPCF13M1E/B Batteryto varying extents, papal claims to a primacy of honour while generally rejecting that the pope is the successor to Peter in any unique sense not true of any other bishop. Primacy is regarded as a consequence of the pope’s position as bishop of the original capital city of the Roman Empire,

Sony VPCF1318E/H Batterya definition explicitly spelled out in the 28th canon of the Council of Chalcedon. These churches see no foundation to papal claims of universal immediate jurisdiction, or to claims of papal infallibility. Several of these churches refer to such claims as ultramontanism.

Sony VPCF13J0E/H Battery

Protestant denominations

Main article: Historicism (Christian eschatology)

Many Christian denominations reject the claims of Petrine primacy of honor, Petrine primacy of jurisdiction, and papal infallibility. These denominations vary from simply not accepting the Pope’s claim to authority as legitimate and valid, to believing that the Pope is the Antichrist[133] from 1 John 2:18,[13

Sony VPCF13E8E Battery4] the Man of Sin from 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12,[135] and the Beast out of the Earth from Revelation 13:11-18.[136] The sweeping rejection includes some denominations of Lutherans: Confessional Lutherans hold that the pope is the Antichrist, stating that this article of faith is part of a quia rather than quatenus subscription to the Book of Concord. Sony VPCF22S1E Battery

In 1932, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) adopted A Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod, which a small number of Lutheran church bodies now hold.[137] Statement 43, Of the Antichrist:[138] Sony VPCF22S8E Battery

Sony VPCF23M1E Battery

Christus, by Lucas Cranach. This woodcut of John 13:14–17 is from Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist. Cranach shows Jesus kissing Peter’s foot during the footwashing. This stands in contrast to the opposing woodcut, where the Pope demands others kiss his feet.

Sony VPCF13E4E Battery

Antichristus, by the Lutheran Lucas Cranach the Elder. This woodcut of the traditional practice of kissing the Pope’s toe is from Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist. The two fingers the Pope is holding up symbolizes his claim to be the Church’s substitute for Christ’s earthly presence.

Sony VPCF12M1E/H Battery

43. As to the Antichrist we teach that the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures concerning the Antichrist, 2 Thess. 2:3-12;1 John 2:18, have been fulfilled in the Pope of Rome and his dominion. All the features of the Antichrist as drawn in these prophecies, including the most abominable and horrible ones, for example,

Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery that the Antichrist “as God sitteth in the temple of God”, 2 Thess. 2:4; that he anathematizes the very heart of the Gospel of Christ, that is, the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins by grace alone, for Christ’s sake alone, through faith alone, without any merit or worthiness in man (Rom. 3:20-28; Gal. 2:16);

Sony VPCF12E1E/H Battery

that he recognizes only those as members of the Christian Church who bow to his authority; and that, like a deluge, he had inundated the whole Church with his antichristian doctrines till God revealed him through the Reformation—these very features are the outstanding characteristics of the Papacy. (Cf. Smalcald Articles, Triglot, p. 515, Paragraphs 39-41; Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery

p. 401, Paragraph 45; M. pp. 336, 258.) Hence we subscribe to the statement of our Confessions that the Pope is “the very Antichrist.” (Smalcald Articles, Triglot, p. 475, Paragraph 10; M., p. 308.)

The claim of temporal power over all secular governments, including territorial claims in Italy, raises objection.[

Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery] The papacy’s complex relationship with secular states such as the Roman and Byzantine Empires are also objections. Some disapprove of the autocratic character of the papal office.[140] In Western Christianity these objections both contributed to and are products of the Protestant Reformation. 13

Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

Antipopes

Main articles: Antipope and Western Schism

Groups sometimes form around antipopes, who claim the Pontificate without being canonically and properly elected to it.

Traditionally, this term was reserved for claimants with a significant following of cardinals or other clergy. 9

Sony VPCF11S1E Battery

The existence of an antipope is usually due either to doctrinal controversy within the Church (heresy) or to confusion as to who is the legitimate pope at the time (see schism). Briefly in the 15th century, three separate lines of popes claimed authenticity (see Papal Schism). Even Catholics don’t all agree whether certain historical figures were popes or antipopes. Though antipope movements were significant at one time, they are now overwhelmingly minor fringe causes.

Sony VPCF24M1E Battery

Other uses of the title “pope”

In the earlier centuries of Christianity, the title “Pope”, meaning “father”, had been used by all bishops. Some popes used the term and others didn’t. Eventually, the title became associated especially with the Bishop of Rome. In a few cases, the term is used for other Christian clerical authorities. Sony VPCF23S1E Battery

In the Roman Catholic Church

The “Black Pope” is a name that was popularly, but unofficially, given to the Superior General of the Society of Jesus due to the Jesuits’ importance within the Church. This name, based on the black colour of his cassock, Sony VPCF231S1E Battery

was used to suggest a parallel between him and the “White Pope” (since the time of Pope Pius V the Popes dresses in white) and the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (formerly called the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith), whose red cardinal’s cassock gave him the name of the “Red Pope” in view of the authority over all territories that were not considered in some way Catholic. In the present time this cardinal has power over mission territories for Catholicism, Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery

essentially the Churches of Africa and Asia,[141] but in the past his competence extended also to all lands where Protestants or Eastern Christianity was dominant. Some remnants of this situation remain, with the result that, for instance, New Zealand is still in the care of this Congregation.

Sony VPCY21S1E Battery

In the Eastern Churches

Since the papacy of Heraclas in the 3rd century, the Bishop of the Alexandria in both the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria continue to be called “Pope”, the former being called “Coptic Pope” or, more properly, Sony VPCF24Q1E Battery

“Pope and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Orthodox and Apostolic Throne of Saint Mark the Evangelist and Holy Apostle” and the last called “Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa”.

In the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church and Serbian Orthodox Church, it is not unusual for a village priest to be called a “pope” (“поп” pop). Sony VPCF23QIE Battery However, this should be differentiated from the words used for the head of the Catholic Church (Bulgarian “папа” papa, Russian “папа римский” papa rimskiy). Sony VPCCW1S1R Battery

Sony VPCCW1S1T Battery

In New Religious Movements

Some New Religious Movements, especially those that have disassociated themselves from the Catholic Church yet retain a Catholic hierarchical framework, will use the designation “pope” for a movement’s founder or current leader. Sony VPCCW1S1T/R Battery

One example in Africa is the Legio Maria Church of Africa. Another example is Cao Dai, a Vietnamese faith that duplicates the Catholic hierarchy, which is declared legitimate by religious authorities in Cao Dai due to the fact that, according to them, God created both Catholicism and Cao Dai. Sony VPCCW1S1T/W Battery

Sony VPCCW1Z4E Battery

Sony VPCCW12EN/BU Battery

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

World War II

World War II

World War II, or the Second World War (often abbreviated as WWII or WW2), was a global war that was under way by 1939 and ended in 1945. It involved a vast majority of the world’s nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million people serving in military units.

HP Pavilion dv6-3118sa Battery In a state of “total war”, the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. HP Pavilion dv6-3111sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3103sa Battery Marked by significant events involving the mass death of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it resulted in 50 million to over 70 million fatalities. These deaths make the war the deadliest conflict in human history.[1]

Although Japan was already at war with China in 1937,[ HP Pavilion dv6-3048sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3122sa Battery2] the world war is generally said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany, and subsequent declarations of war on Germany and Italy by France and most of the countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth. Germany set out to establish a large empire in Europe. From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or subdued much of continental Europe;

HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Batteryamid Nazi-Soviet agreements, the nominally neutral Soviet Union fully or partially invaded, occupied and annexed territories of its six European neighbours, including Poland. Britain and the Commonwealth remained the only major force continuing the fight against the Axis, with battles taking place in North Africa as well as the long-running Battle of the Atlantic. In June 1941, the European Axis launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, giving a start to the largest land theatre of war in history, HP Pavilion dv6-3032sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3180sa Batterywhich tied down the major part of the Axis’ military forces. In December 1941, Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and joined the Axis, attacked the United States and European possessions in the Pacific Ocean, quickly conquering much of the West Pacific.

HP Pavilion dv6-3185sa Battery

The Axis advance was stopped in 1942, after Japan lost a series of naval battles and European Axis troops were defeated in North Africa and, decisively, at Stalingrad. In 1943, with a series of German defeats in Eastern Europe, the Allied invasion of Fascist Italy, HP Pavilion dv6-3046sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3180ea Battery and American victories in the Pacific, the Axis lost the initiative and undertook strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. HP Pavilion dv6-3056sa Battery

The war in Europe ended with the capture of Berlin by Soviet and Polish troops and the subsequent German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945. During 1944 and 1945 the United States defeated the Japanese Navy and captured key West Pacific islands, HP Pavilion dv6-3068ea Battery

dropping atomic bombs on the country as the invasion of the Japanese Archipelago (“Home Islands”) became imminent. The war in Asia ended on 15 August 1945 when Japan agreed to surrender.

HP Pavilion dv6-3118sa Battery

The total victory of the Allies over the Axis in 1945 ended the conflict. World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world. The United Nations (UN) was established to foster international cooperation and prevent future conflicts. The great powers that were the victors of the war—the United States, Soviet Union, HP Pavilion dv6-3112sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3298ea Battery China, Britain, and France—became the permanent members of the UN’s Security Council.[3] The Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers started to decline, while the decolonisation of Asia and Africa began.

HP Pavilion dv6-3123sa Battery Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery. Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to stabilise postwar relations.

HP Pavilion dv6-3122sa Battery

See also: Timeline of World War II

The start of the war is generally held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland; Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. Other dates for the beginning of war include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937.[4][5]

Others follow British historian A. J. P. Taylor,

HP Pavilion dv6-3121sa Batterywho held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred simultaneously 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.[6] HP Pavilion dv6-3116sa Battery

The exact date of the war’s end is also not universally agreed upon. It has been suggested that the war ended at the armistice of 14 August 1945 (V-J Day), rather than the formal surrender of Japan (2 September 1945); HP Pavilion G6-1004SA Battery

HP Pavilion G6-1007SA Battery

in some European histories, it ended on V-E Day (8 May 1945). However, the Treaty of Peace with Japan was not signed until 1951,[7] and that with Germany not until 1990.[8]

Background 

HP Pavilion G6-2022SA Battery

Main article: Causes of World War II

World War I radically altered the political map, with the defeat of the Central Powers, including Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire; and the 1917 Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia. Meanwhile, HP Pavilion G6-1058SA Battery

HP Pavilion G6-2014SA Batteryexisting victorious Allies such as France, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Romania gained territories, while new states were created out of the collapse of Austria-Hungary and the Russian and Ottoman Empires. HP Pavilion G6-1061SA Battery

HP Pavilion G6-1207SA Battery

In the aftermath of the war, irredentist and revanchist nationalism became important in a number of European states. Irredentism and revanchism were strong in Germany because of the significant territorial, colonial, HP Pavilion G6-1224SA Battery

HP Pavilion G6-1236SA Battery

and financial losses incurred by the Treaty of Versailles. Under the treaty, Germany lost around 13 percent of its home territory and all of its overseas colonies, while German annexation of other states was prohibited, reparations were imposed, and limits were placed on the size and capability of the country’s armed forces.[ HP Pavilion G6-1255SA Battery

HP Pavilion G6-1347EA Battery9] Meanwhile, the Russian Civil War had led to the creation of the Soviet Union.[10]

The German Empire was dissolved in the German Revolution of 1918–1919, and a democratic government, later known as the Weimar Republic, was created. The interwar period saw strife between supporters of the new republic and hardline opponents on both the right and left. Although Italy as an Entente ally made some territorial gains, HP Pavilion G6-1257SA Battery

HP Pavilion G7-1000SA Battery

HP Pavilion G7-1004SA Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca Battery

HP Pavilion G6-1202SA Battery

Italian nationalists were angered that the promises made by Britain and France to secure Italian entrance into the war were not fulfilled with the peace settlement. From 1922 to 1925, the Fascist movement led by Benito Mussolini seized power in Italy with a nationalist, totalitarian, and class collaborationist agenda that abolished representative democracy, repressed socialist, left wing and liberal forces, HP Pavilion G6-1255SA Battery

HP Pavilion G6-1309EA Batteryand pursued an aggressive foreign policy aimed at forcefully forging Italy as a world power—a “New Roman Empire”.[11] In Germany, the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler sought to establish a fascist government in Germany. With the onset of the Great Depression, domestic support for the Nazis rose and, in 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. In the aftermath of the Reichstag fire, Hitler created a totalitarian single-party state led by the Nazis.[12] HP Pavilion G6-1259SA Battery

HP Pavilion G6-1303SA Battery

The Kuomintang (KMT) party in China launched a unification campaign against regional warlords and nominally unified China in the mid-1920s, but was soon embroiled in a civil war against its former Chinese communist allies.[13] In 1931, an increasingly militaristic Japanese Empire, which had long sought influence in China[HP Pavilion G6-1351EA Battery

14] as the first step of what its government saw as the country’s right to rule Asia, used the Mukden Incident as a pretext to launch an invasion of Manchuria and establish the puppet state of Manchukuo.[15] Too weak to resist Japan, HP Pavilion G6-1359EA Battery

China appealed to the League of Nations for help. Japan withdrew from the League of Nations after being condemned for its incursion into Manchuria. The two nations then fought several battles, in Shanghai, Rehe and Hebei, HP Pavilion G6-1365EA Battery

until the Tanggu Truce was signed in 1933. Thereafter, Chinese volunteer forces continued the resistance to Japanese aggression in Manchuria, and Chahar and Suiyuan.[16]

Benito Mussolini (left) and Adolf Hitler (right)

Adolf Hitler, after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government in 1923, became the Chancellor of Germany in 1933. He abolished democracy, espousing a radical, racially motivated revision of the world orderHP Pavilion G6-1381EA Battery

and soon began a massive rearmament campaign.[17] Meanwhile, France, to secure its alliance, allowed Italy a free hand in Ethiopia, which Italy desired as a colonial possession. The situation was aggravated in early 1935 when the Territory of the Saar Basin was legally reunited with Germany and Hitler repudiated the Treaty of Versailles, HP Pavilion G6-1391EA Battery

accelerated his rearmament programme and introduced conscription.[18]

Hoping to contain Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy formed the Stresa Front. The Soviet Union, concerned due to Germany’s goals of capturing vast areas of eastern Europe, wrote a treaty of mutual assistance with France. Before taking effect though, the Franco-Soviet pact was required to go through the bureaucracy of the League of Nations, which rendered it essentially toothless.[19][20] However, in June 1935, HP Pavilion G6-1369EA Battery

the United Kingdom made an independent naval agreement with Germany, easing prior restrictions. The United States, concerned with events in Europe and Asia, passed the Neutrality Act in August.[21] In October, Italy invaded Ethiopia, HP Pavilion G6-1159SA Battery

HP Pavilion G6-1301SA Battery and Germany was the only major European nation to support the invasion. Italy subsequently dropped its objections to Germany’s goal of absorbing Austria.[22]

Hitler defied the Versailles and Locarno treaties by remilitarizing the Rhineland in March 1936. He received little response from other European powers.[23] When the Spanish Civil War broke out in July, Hitler and Mussolini supported the fascist and authoritarian Nationalist forces in their civil war against the Soviet-supported Spanish Republic. HP Pavilion G6-1251SA Battery

Both sides used the conflict to test new weapons and methods of warfare,[24] with the Nationalists winning the war in early 1939. In October 1936, Germany and Italy formed the Rome-Berlin Axis. A month later, Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, which Italy would join in the following year. In China, HP Pavilion G6-1253SA Battery

HP Pavilion G6-1257SA Battery after the Xi’an Incident the Kuomintang and communist forces agreed on a ceasefire in order to present a united front to oppose Japan.[25]

Pre-war events

Invasion of Ethiopia

Main article: Second Italo-Abyssinian War

The Second Italo–Abyssinian War was a brief colonial war that began in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d’Italia) and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire (also known as Abyssinia).

HP Pavilion G72-B20SA BatteryThe war resulted in the military occupation of Ethiopia and its annexation into the newly created colony of Italian East Africa (Africa Orientale Italiana, or AOI); in addition, it exposed the weakness of the League of Nations as a force to preserve peace. Both Italy and Ethiopia were member nations, but the League did nothing when the former clearly violated the League’s own Article X.[26] HP Pavilion G72-110SA Battery

HP Pavilion G72-B15SA Battery

Spanish Civil War

Main article: Spanish Civil War

The ruins of Guernica after the bombing.

Germany and Italy lent support to the Nationalist insurrection led by general Francisco Franco in Spain. The Soviet Union supported the existing government, the Spanish Republic, which showed leftist tendencies. Both Germany and the USSR used this proxy war as an opportunity to test improved weapons and tactics.

HP Pavilion G72-B02SA Battery The deliberate Bombing of Guernica by the German Condor Legion in April 1937 contributed to widespread concerns that the next major war would include extensive terror bombing attacks on civilians.[27][28] HP Pavilion G72-130SA Battery

HP Pavilion G72-B01SA Battery

Japanese invasion of China

Main article: Second Sino-Japanese War

A Chinese machine gun nest in the Battle of Shanghai, 1937.

In July 1937, Japan captured the former Chinese imperial capital of Beijing after instigating the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which culminated in the Japanese campaign to invade all of China.[29] The Soviets quickly signed a non-aggression pact with China to lend materiel support,

HP Pavilion G72-B01EA Battery effectively ending China’s prior cooperation with Germany. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek deployed his best army to defend Shanghai, but after three months of fighting, Shanghai fell. The Japanese continued to push the Chinese forces back, capturing the capital Nanking in December 1937 and committed the Nanking Massacre.

HP Pavilion G72-A40SA Battery

In June 1938, Chinese forces stalled the Japanese advance by flooding the Yellow River; this manoeuvre bought time for the Chinese to prepare their defenses at Wuhan, but the city was taken by October.[30]

HP Pavilion G72-A30SA Battery Japanese military victories did not bring about the collapse of Chinese resistance that Japan had hoped to achieve, instead the Chinese government relocated inland to Chongqing and continued the war.[31] HP Pavilion G72-A10SA Battery

Japanese invasion of the Soviet Union and Mongolia

See also: Nanshin-ron and Soviet–Japanese border conflicts

Soviet troops fought the Japanese during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol in Mongolia, 1939.

On 29 July 1938, the Japanese invaded the USSR and were checked at the Battle of Lake Khasan. Although the battle was a Soviet victory, HP Pavilion G72-102SA Battery

HP Pavilion G72-105SA Battery

HP Pavilion G72-A20SA Battery the Japanese dismissed it as an inconclusive draw, and on 11 May 1939 decided to move the Japanese-Mongolian border up to the Khalkhin Gol River by force. After initial successes the Japanese assault on Mongolia was checked by the Red Army that inflicted the first major defeat on the Japanese Kwantung Army.[32][33] HP Pavilion DV6-1333SA Battery

These clashes convinced some factions in the Japanese government that they should focus on conciliating the Soviet government to avoid interference in the war against China and instead turn their military attention southward, towards the US and European holdings in the Pacific,

HP Pavilion DV6-3185SA Battery and also prevented the sacking of experienced Soviet military leaders such as Georgy Zhukov, who would later play a vital role in the defence of Moscow.[34]

European occupations and agreements

Further information: Anschluss, Appeasement, Munich Agreement, German occupation of Czechoslovakia, and Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact  HP Pavilion DV6-3175SA Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-6152SA Battery

From left to right (front): Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini, and Ciano pictured before signing the Munich Agreement.

In Europe, Germany and Italy were becoming bolder. In March 1938, Germany annexed Austria, again provoking little response from other European powers.[35HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-2114SA Battery

] Encouraged, Hitler began pressing German claims on the Sudetenland, an area of Czechoslovakia with a predominantly ethnic German population; and soon France and Britain conceded this territory to Germany in the Munich Agreement, which was made against the wishes of the Czechoslovak government, HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-2110EA Batteryin exchange for a promise of no further territorial demands.[36] Soon after that, however, Germany and Italy forced Czechoslovakia to cede additional territory to Hungary and Poland.[37] In March 1939, Germany invaded the remainder of Czechoslovakia and subsequently split it into the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the pro-German client state, the Slovak Republic.[38] HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1330SA Battery

Alarmed, and with Hitler making further demands on Danzig, France and Britain guaranteed their support for Polish independence; when Italy conquered Albania in April 1939, the same guarantee was extended to Romania and Greece.[39HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1216SA Battery] Shortly after the Franco-British pledge to Poland, Germany and Italy formalised their own alliance with the Pact of Steel.[40]

In August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact,[41] a non-aggression treaty with a secret protocol. The parties gave each other rights, “in the event of a territorial and political rearrangement,” HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1210EA Batteryto “spheres of influence” (western Poland and Lithuania for Germany, and eastern Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Bessarabia for the USSR). It also raised the question of continuing Polish independence.[42] HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1140EA Battery

Course of the war

War breaks out in Europe

Common parade of German Wehrmacht and Soviet Red Army on 23 September 1939 in Brest, Eastern Poland at the end of the Invasion of Poland. At centre is Major General Heinz Guderian and at right is Brigadier Semyon Krivoshein. HP Pavilion dv6t Battery

HP Pavilion dv6t-1000 Battery

On 1 September 1939, Germany and Slovakia—a client state in 1939—attacked Poland.[43] On 3 September France and Britain, followed by the countries of the Commonwealth,[44] declared war on Germany but provided little support to Poland other than a small French attack into the Saarland.[45] HP Pavilion dv6t-1100 Battery

Britain and France also began a naval blockade of Germany on 3 September which aimed to damage the country’s economy and war effort.[46][47] On 17 September, after signing a cease-fire with Japan, the Soviets also invaded Poland.[48] Poland’s territory was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union, with Lithuania and Slovakia also receiving small shares. The Poles did not surrender; HP Pavilion dv6z Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1120SA Battery they established a Polish Underground State and an underground Home Army, and continued to fight with the Allies on all fronts outside Poland.[49] About 100,000 Polish military personnel were evacuated to Romania and the Baltic countries; many of these soldiers later fought against the Germans in other theaters of the war.[50] Poland’s Enigma codebreakers were also evacuated to France.[51HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1120EA Battery] During this time, Japan launched its first attack against Changsha, a strategically important Chinese city, but was repulsed by late September.[52] HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

Following the invasion of Poland and a German-Soviet treaty governing Lithuania, the Soviet Union forced the Baltic countries to allow it to station Soviet troops in their countries under pacts of “mutual assistance.”[53][54][55] Finland rejected territorial demands and was invaded by the Soviet Union in November 1939.[56

HP Pavilion dv6-1215SA Battery] The resulting conflict ended in March 1940 with Finnish concessions.[57] France and the United Kingdom, treating the Soviet attack on Finland as tantamount to entering the war on the side of the Germans, responded to the Soviet invasion by supporting the USSR’s expulsion from the League of Nations.[55] HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

German troops by the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, after the 1940 fall of France.

In Western Europe, British troops deployed to the Continent, but in a phase nicknamed the Phoney War by the British and “Sitzkrieg” (sitting war) by the Germans, neither side launched major operations against the other until April 1940.[58HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery

] The Soviet Union and Germany entered a trade pact in February 1940, pursuant to which the Soviets received German military and industrial equipment in exchange for supplying raw materials to Germany to help circumvent the Allied blockade.[59] HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery

In April 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway to secure shipments of iron ore from Sweden, which the Allies were about to disrupt.[60] Denmark immediately capitulated, and despite Allied support, Norway was conquered within two months.[61] In May 1940 Britain invaded Iceland to preempt a possible German invasion of the island. HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

[62] British discontent over the Norwegian campaign led to the replacement of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with Winston Churchill on 10 May 1940.[63]

Axis advances

Germany invaded France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg on 10 May 1940.[64] The Netherlands and Belgium were overrun using blitzkrieg tactics in a few days and weeks, respectively.[65]

HP Pavilion dv6-1210SA BatteryThe French fortified Maginot Line and the Allied forces in Belgium were circumvented by a flanking movement through the thickly wooded Ardennes region,[66] mistakenly perceived by French planners as an impenetrable natural barrier against armoured vehicles.[67] British troops were forced to evacuate the continent at Dunkirk, abandoning their heavy equipment by early June.[68] HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery

On 10 June, Italy invaded France, declaring war on both France and the United Kingdom;[69] twelve days later France surrendered and was soon divided into German and Italian occupation zones,[70] and an unoccupied rump state under the Vichy Regime. HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery

On 3 July, the British attacked the French fleet in Algeria to prevent its possible seizure by Germany.[71]

In June, during the last days of the Battle of France, the Soviet Union forcibly annexed Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,[54] and then annexed the disputed Romanian region of Bessarabia. Meanwhile, Nazi-Soviet political rapprochement and economic cooperation[7HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery2][73] gradually stalled,[74][75] and both states began preparations for war.[76]

With France neutralized, Germany began an air superiority campaign over Britain (the Battle of Britain) to prepare for an invasion.[77] The campaign failed, and the invasion plans were canceled by September.[77] HP Pavilion dv6-2112SA Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery

Using newly captured French ports, the German Navy enjoyed success against an over-extended Royal Navy, using U-boats against British shipping in the Atlantic.[ HP Pavilion dv6-3005sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3010sa Battery

78] Italy began operations in the Mediterranean, initiating a siege of Malta in June, conquering British Somaliland in August, and making an incursion into British-held Egypt in September 1940. Japan increased its blockade of China in September by seizing several bases in the northern part of the now-isolated French Indochina.[79] HP Pavilion dv6-3015sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery

The Battle of Britain ended the German advance in Western Europe.

Throughout this period, the neutral United States took measures to assist China and the Western Allies. In November 1939, the American Neutrality Act was amended to allow “cash and carry” purchases by the Allies.[80HP Pavilion dv6-3020sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3025sa Battery

] In 1940, following the German capture of Paris, the size of the United States Navy was significantly increased and, after the Japanese incursion into Indochina, the United States embargoed iron, steel and mechanical parts against Japan.[81HP Pavilion dv6-3030sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3035sa Battery

] In September, the United States further agreed to a trade of American destroyers for British bases.[82] Still, a large majority of the American public continued to oppose any direct military intervention into the conflict well into 1941.[83] HP Pavilion dv6-3040sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

At the end of September 1940, the Tripartite Pact united Japan, Italy and Germany to formalize the Axis Powers.[84] The Tripartite Pact stipulated that any country, with the exception of the Soviet Union, not in the war which attacked any Axis Power would be forced to go to war against all three.[8HP Pavilion dv6-3045sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3120sa Battery5] During this time, the United States continued to support the United Kingdom and China by introducing the Lend-Lease policy authorizing the provision of materiel and other items[86] and creating a security zone spanning roughly half of the Atlantic Ocean where the United States Navy protected British convoys.[8HP Pavilion dv6-3050eo Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3116sa Battery7] As a result, Germany and the United States found themselves engaged in sustained naval warfare in the North and Central Atlantic by October 1941, even though the United States remained officially neutral.[88][89] HP Pavilion dv6-3050sa Battery

The Axis expanded in November 1940 when Hungary, Slovakia and Romania joined the Tripartite Pact.[90] In October 1940, Italy invaded Greece but within days was repulsed and pushed back into Albania, where a stalemate soon occurred.[ HP Pavilion dv6-3055sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3060sa Battery

91] In December 1940, British Commonwealth forces began counter-offensives against Italian forces in Egypt and Italian East Africa.[92] By early 1941, with Italian forces having been pushed back into Libya by the Commonwealth, Churchill ordered a dispatch of troops from Africa to bolster the Greeks.[93

HP Pavilion dv6-3115sa Battery] The Italian Navy also suffered significant defeats, with the Royal Navy putting three Italian battleships out of commission by a carrier attack at Taranto, and neutralising several more warships at the Battle of Cape Matapan.[94] HP Pavilion dv6-3065ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3110sa Battery

German paratroopers invading the Greek island of Crete, May 1941.

The Germans soon intervened to assist Italy. Hitler sent German forces to Libya in February, and by the end of March they had launched an offensive against the diminished Commonwealth forces.[95] In under a month, Commonwealth forces were pushed back into Egypt with the exception of the besieged port of Tobruk.[ HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Battery

96] The Commonwealth attempted to dislodge Axis forces in May and again in June, but failed on both occasions.[97] In early April, following Bulgaria’s signing of the Tripartite Pact, the Germans intervened in the Balkans by invading Greece and Yugoslavia following a coup;

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Batteryhere too they made rapid progress, eventually forcing the Allies to evacuate after Germany conquered the Greek island of Crete by the end of May.[98]

The Allies did have some successes during this time. In the Middle East, Commonwealth forces first quashed a coup in Iraq which had been supported by German aircraft from bases within Vichy-controlled Syria,[99HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Battery] then, with the assistance of the Free French, invaded Syria and Lebanon to prevent further such occurrences.[100] In the Atlantic, the British scored a much-needed public morale boost by sinking the German flagship Bismarck.[10

HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery1] Perhaps most importantly, during the Battle of Britain the Royal Air Force had successfully resisted the Luftwaffe’s assault, and the German bombing campaign largely ended in May 1941.[102] HP Pavilion DV5-1030EE Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Battery

In Asia, despite several offensives by both sides, the war between China and Japan was stalemated by 1940. In order to increase pressure on China by blocking supply routes, and to better position Japanese forces in the event of a war with the Western powers, Japan had seized military control of southern Indochina[10HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery3] In August of that year, Chinese communists launched an offensive in Central China; in retaliation, Japan instituted harsh measures (the Three Alls Policy) in occupied areas to reduce human and material resources for the communists.[104] Continued antipathy between Chinese communist and nationalist forces culminated in armed clashes in January 1941, effectively ending their co-operation.[105HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca Battery] With the situation in Europe and Asia relatively stable, Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union made preparations. With the Soviets wary of mounting tensions with Germany and the Japanese planning to take advantage of the European War by seizing resource-rich European possessions in Southeast Asia, HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca Battery the two powers signed the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact in April 1941.[106] By contrast, the Germans were steadily making preparations for an attack on the Soviet Union, amassing forces on the Soviet border.[107]

The war becomes global

German infantry and armoured vehicles battle the Soviet defenders on the streets of Kharkov, October 1941. HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

On 22 June 1941, Germany, along with other European Axis members and Finland, invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. The primary targets of this surprise offensive[108] were the Baltic region, Moscow and Ukraine, with an ultimate goal of ending the 1941 campaign near the Arkhangelsk-Astrakhan line, connecting the Caspian and White Seas. HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery

Hitler’s objectives were to eliminate the Soviet Union as a military power, exterminate Communism, generate Lebensraum (“living space”)[109] by dispossessing the native population[110] and guarantee access to the strategic resources needed to defeat Germany’s remaining rivals.[111] HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

Although the Red Army was preparing for strategic counter-offensives before the war,[112] Barbarossa forced the Soviet supreme command to adopt a strategic defence. During the summer, the Axis made significant gains into Soviet territory, inflicting immense losses in both personnel and materiel. By the middle of August, however, HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Batterythe German Army High Command decided to suspend the offensive of a considerably depleted Army Group Centre, and to divert the 2nd Panzer Group to reinforce troops advancing towards central Ukraine and Leningrad.[11HP Pavilion dv6t-1000 Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1214EA Battery

3] The Kiev offensive was overwhelmingly successful, resulting in encirclement and elimination of four Soviet armies, and made further advance into Crimea and industrially developed Eastern Ukraine (the First Battle of Kharkov) possible.[114] HP Pavilion dv6t-1100 Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1212EA Battery

Soviet counter-attack during the battle of Moscow, December, 1941.

The diversion of three quarters of the Axis troops and the majority of their air forces from France and the central Mediterranean to the Eastern Front[115] prompted Britain to reconsider its grand strategy.[116] HP Pavilion dv6z Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1211EA Battery In July, the UK and the Soviet Union formed a military alliance against Germany[117] The British and Soviets invaded Iran to secure the Persian Corridor and Iran’s oil fields.[118] In August, the United Kingdom and the United States jointly issued the Atlantic Charter.[119] HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1213EA Battery

Romania made the largest contribution to recapture territory ceded to the USSR and pursue its leader Ion Antonescu’s desire to combat communism.[120] By October, when Axis operational objectives in Ukraine and the Baltic region were achieved, with only the sieges of Leningrad[121] and Sevastopol continuing,[12HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

2] a major offensive against Moscow had been renewed. After two months of fierce battles, the German army almost reached the outer suburbs of Moscow, where the exhausted troops[123] were forced to suspend their offensive.[1HP Pavilion DV7-1000 Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1038CA Battery24] Large territorial gains were made by Axis forces, but their campaign had failed to achieve its main objectives: two key cities remained in Soviet hands, the Soviet capability to resist was not broken, and the Soviet Union retained a considerable part of its military potential. The blitzkrieg phase of the war in Europe had ended.[125]

HP Pavilion DV7-1000EA Battery

The Axis-controlled territory in Europe at the time of its maximal expansion (1941–42).

By early December, freshly mobilised reserves[126] allowed the Soviets to achieve numerical parity with Axis troops.[127] This, as well as intelligence data that established a minimal number of Soviet troops in the East sufficient to prevent any attack by the Japanese Kwantung Army,[12

HP Pavilion DV7-3178CA Battery8] allowed the Soviets to begin a massive counter-offensive that started on 5 December along a 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) front and pushed German troops 100–250 kilometres (62–160 mi) west.[129] HP Pavilion DV7-1001EA Battery

German successes in Europe encouraged Japan to increase pressure on European governments in south-east Asia. The Dutch government agreed to provide Japan oil supplies from the Dutch East Indies, while refusing to hand over political control of the colonies. Vichy France, by contrast, agreed to a Japanese occupation of French Indochina.[13HP Pavilion DV7-1050EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1004EA Battery

0] The United States, United Kingdom and other Western governments reacted to the seizure of Indochina with a freeze on Japanese assets, while the United States (which supplied 80 percent of Japan’s oil[131]) responded by placing a complete oil embargo.[1HP Pavilion DV7-1107EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1125EA Battery32] That meant Japan was essentially forced to choose between abandoning its ambitions in Asia and the prosecution of the war against China, or seizing the natural resources it needed by force; the Japanese military did not consider the former an option, and many officers considered the oil embargo an unspoken declaration of war.[133]

HP Pavilion DV7-1130EA BatteryJapan planned to rapidly seize European colonies in Asia to create a large defensive perimeter stretching into the Central Pacific; the Japanese would then be free to exploit the resources of Southeast Asia while exhausting the over-stretched Allies by fighting a defensive war.[134HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery

] To prevent American intervention while securing the perimeter it was further planned to neutralise the United States Pacific Fleet from the outset.[135] On 7 December (8 December in Asian time zones), 1941,

HP Pavilion DV7-1135EA Battery Japan attacked British and American holdings with near-simultaneous offensives against Southeast Asia and the Central Pacific.[136] These included an attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, landings in Thailand and Malaya[136] and the battle of Hong Kong.

HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA Battery

The February 1942 Fall of Singapore saw 80,000 Allied soldiers captured and enslaved by the Japanese.

These attacks led the U.S., Britain, Australia and other Allies to formally declare war on Japan. Germany and the other members of the Tripartite Pact responded by declaring war on the United States. In January, the United States, HP Pavilion DV7-1075LA Battery

Britain, Soviet Union, China, and 22 smaller or exiled governments issued the Declaration by United Nations, which affirmed the Atlantic Charter.[137] The Soviet Union did not adhere to the declaration; it maintained a neutrality agreement with Japan,[138][139] and exempted itself from the principle of self-determination.[1HP Pavilion DV7-1007EF Battery

19] From 1941, Stalin persistently asked Churchill, and then Roosevelt, to open a ‘second front’ in France.[140] The Eastern front became the major theatre of war in Europe and the many millions of Soviet casualties dwarfed the few hundred thousand of the Western Allies; Churchill and Roosevelt said they needed more preparation time, leading to claims they stalled to save Western lives at the expense of Soviet lives.[141HP Pavilion DV7-1055EA Battery

]

Meanwhile, by the end of April 1942, Japan and its ally Thailand had almost fully conquered Burma, Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, Singapore,[142] and Rabaul, inflicting severe losses on Allied troops and taking a large number of prisoners. Despite a stubborn resistance in Corregidor, the Philippines was eventually captured in May 1942, HP Pavilion DV7-1008EF Battery

forcing the government of the Philippine Commonwealth into exile.[143] Japanese forces also achieved naval victories in the South China Sea, Java Sea and Indian Ocean,[144] and bombed the Allied naval base at Darwin, Australia

HP Pavilion DV7-1105EA BatteryThe only real Allied success against Japan was a Chinese victory at Changsha in early January 1942.[145] These easy victories over unprepared opponents left Japan overconfident, as well as overextended.[146] . HP Pavilion DV7-1008EG Battery

Germany retained the initiative as well. Exploiting dubious American naval command decisions, the German navy ravaged Allied shipping off the American Atlantic coast.[147] Despite considerable losses, European Axis members stopped a major Soviet offensive in Central and Southern Russia, keeping most territorial gains they achieved during the previous year.[1HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery

48] In North Africa, the Germans launched an offensive in January, pushing the British back to positions at the Gazala Line by early February,[149] followed by a temporary lull in combat which Germany used to prepare for their upcoming offensives.[150]

Axis advance stalls

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

American dive bombers engage the Mikuma at the Battle of Midway, June 1942.

In early May 1942, Japan initiated operations to capture Port Moresby by amphibious assault and thus sever communications and supply lines between the United States and Australia. The Allies, however, HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1003EA Battery

prevented the invasion by intercepting and defeating the Japanese naval forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea.[151] Japan’s next plan, motivated by the earlier Doolittle Raid, was to seize Midway Atoll and lure American carriers into battle to be eliminated; as a diversion, Japan would also send forces to occupy the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.[1HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery

52] In early June, Japan put its operations into action but the Americans, having broken Japanese naval codes in late May, were fully aware of the plans and force dispositions and used this knowledge to achieve a decisive victory at Midway over the Imperial Japanese Navy.[153]

HP Pavilion DV7-1020EA Battery

With its capacity for aggressive action greatly diminished as a result of the Midway battle, Japan chose to focus on a belated attempt to capture Port Moresby by an overland campaign in the Territory of Papua.[1

HP Pavilion DV7-1002EA Battery54] The Americans planned a counter-attack against Japanese positions in the southern Solomon Islands, primarily Guadalcanal, as a first step towards capturing Rabaul, the main Japanese base in Southeast Asia.[155] HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery

Both plans started in July, but by mid-September, the Battle for Guadalcanal took priority for the Japanese, and troops in New Guinea were ordered to withdraw from the Port Moresby area to the northern part of the island, where they faced Australian and United States troops in the Battle of Buna-Gona.[156] HP Pavilion DV7-1014CA Battery5 Guadalcanal soon became a focal point for both sides with heavy commitments of troops and ships in the battle for Guadalcanal. By the start of 1943, the Japanese were defeated on the island and withdrew their troops.[1HP Pavilion DV7 Series Battery

7] In Burma, Commonwealth forces mounted two operations. The first, an offensive into the Arakan region in late 1942, went disastrously, forcing a retreat back to India by May 1943.[158] The second was the insertion of irregular forces behind Japanese front-lines in February which, by the end of April, had achieved dubious results.[159] HP Pavilion DV6-1215SA Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Battery

Soviet soldiers attack a house during the Battle of Stalingrad, 1943.

On Germany’s eastern front, the Axis defeated Soviet offensives in the Kerch Peninsula and at Kharkov,[16HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery

0] and then launched their main summer offensive against southern Russia in June 1942, to seize the oil fields of the Caucasus and occupy Kuban steppe, while maintaining positions on the northern and central areas of the front. The Germans split the Army Group South into two groups: Army Group A struck lower Don River while Army Group B struck south-east to the Caucasus, towards Volga River.[16HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery1] The Soviets decided to make their stand at Stalingrad, which was in the path of the advancing German armies.

By mid-November the Germans had nearly taken Stalingrad in bitter street fighting when the Soviets began their second winter counter-offensive, starting with an encirclement of German forces at Stalingrad[16HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery

2] and an assault on the Rzhev salient near Moscow, though the latter failed disastrously.[163] By early February 1943, the German Army had taken tremendous losses; German troops at Stalingrad had been forced to surrender[HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

164] and the front-line had been pushed back beyond its position before the summer offensive. In mid-February, after the Soviet push had tapered off, the Germans launched another attack on Kharkov, creating a salient in their front line around the Russian city of Kursk.[165]

HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Battery

British Crusader tanks moving to forward positions during the North African Campaign.

By November 1941, Commonwealth forces had launched a counter-offensive, Operation Crusader, in North Africa, and reclaimed all the gains the Germans and Italians had made.[166] In the West, concerns the Japanese might utilize bases in Vichy-held Madagascar caused the British to invade the island in early May 1942.[16HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery

7] This success was offset soon after by an Axis offensive in Libya which pushed the Allies back into Egypt until Axis forces were stopped at El Alamein.[168] On the Continent, raids of Allied commandos on strategic targets, culminating in the disastrous Dieppe Raid,[16HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery

9] demonstrated the Western Allies’ inability to launch an invasion of continental Europe without much better preparation, equipment, and operational security.[170] HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery

In August 1942, the Allies succeeded in repelling a second attack against El Alamein[171] and, at a high cost, managed to deliver desperately needed supplies to the besieged Malta.[172] A few months later, the Allies commenced an attack of their own in Egypt, dislodging the Axis forces and beginning a drive west across Libya.[17HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery

3] This attack was followed up shortly after by an Anglo-American invasion of French North Africa, which resulted in the region joining the Allies.[174] Hitler responded to the French colony’s defection by ordering the occupation of Vichy France;[17HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Battery4] although Vichy forces did not resist this violation of the armistice, they managed to scuttle their fleet to prevent its capture by German forces.[175] The now pincered Axis forces in Africa withdrew into Tunisia, which was conquered by the Allies in May 1943.[176]

HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery

Allies gain momentum

A contemporary video showing bombing of Hamburg by the Allies.

Soviet Il-2 planes attacking a Wehrmacht column during the Battle of Kursk, 1 July 1943.

Following the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Allies initiated several operations against Japan in the Pacific. In May 1943, Allied forces were sent to eliminate Japanese forces from the Aleutians,[177] HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca Batteryand soon after began major operations to isolate Rabaul by capturing surrounding islands, and to breach the Japanese Central Pacific perimeter at the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.[178] By the end of March 1944, the Allies had completed both of these objectives,

HP Pavilion dv6-2112SA Battery

and additionally neutralised the major Japanese base at Truk in the Caroline Islands. In April, the Allies then launched an operation to retake Western New Guinea.[179]

In the Soviet Union, both the Germans and the Soviets spent the spring and early summer of 1943 making preparations for large offensives in Central Russia. HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-2114A Battery On 4 July 1943, Germany attacked Soviet forces around the Kursk Bulge. Within a week, German forces had exhausted themselves against the Soviets’ deeply echeloned and well-constructed defences[180][181] and, for the first time in the war, Hitler cancelled the operation before it had achieved tactical or operational success.[182] This decision was partially affected by the Western Allies’ invasion of Sicily launched on 9 July which, combined with previous Italian failures, resulted in the ousting and arrest of Mussolini later that month.[183]

HP Pavilion dv6-2110EA Battery

On 12 July 1943, the Soviets launched their own counter-offensives, thereby dispelling any hopes of the German Army for victory or even stalemate in the east. The Soviet victory at Kursk heralded the downfall of German superiority,[184] giving the Soviet Union the initiative on the Eastern Front.[185][186HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

] The Germans attempted to stabilise their eastern front along the hastily fortified Panther-Wotan line, however, the Soviets broke through it at Smolensk and by the Lower Dnieper Offensives.[187]

HP Pavilion dv6-1330SA Battery

In early September 1943, the Western Allies invaded the Italian mainland, following an Italian armistice with the Allies.[188] Germany responded by disarming Italian forces, seizing military control of Italian areas,[189] HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1216SA Battery and creating a series of defensive lines.[190] German special forces then rescued Mussolini, who then soon established a new client state in German occupied Italy named the Italian Social Republic.[191] The Western Allies fought through several lines until reaching the main German defensive line in mid-November.[192] HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery

German operations in the Atlantic also suffered. By May 1943, as Allied counter-measures became increasingly effective, the resulting sizable German submarine losses forced a temporary halt of the German Atlantic naval campaign.[ HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

193] In November 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met with Chiang Kai-shek in Cairo[194] and then with Joseph Stalin in Tehran.[1HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery

95] The former conference determined the post-war return of Japanese territory,[194] while the latter included agreement that the Western Allies would invade Europe in 1944 and that the Soviet Union would declare war on Japan within three months of Germany’s defeat.[195]

HP Pavilion dv6-1210EA Battery

British troops firing a mortar during the Battle of Imphal, North East India, 1944.

From November 1943, during the seven-week Battle of Changde, the Chinese forced Japan to fight a costly war of attrition, while awaiting Allied relief.[196][197] In January 1944, the Allies launched a series of attacks in Italy against the line at Monte Cassino and attempted to outflank it with landings at Anzio.[198]

HP Pavilion dv6-1140EA Battery By the end of January, a major Soviet offensive expelled German forces from the Leningrad region,[199] ending the longest and most lethal siege in history. The following Soviet offensive was halted on the pre-war Estonian border by the German Army Group North aided by Estonians hoping to re-establish national independence. This delay slowed subsequent Soviet operations in the Baltic Sea region.[20

HP Pavilion dv6-1120SA Battery

0] By late May 1944, the Soviets had liberated Crimea, largely expelled Axis forces from Ukraine, and made incursions into Romania, which were repulsed by the Axis troops.[201] The Allied offensives in Italy had succeeded and, at the expense of allowing several German divisions to retreat, on 4 June Rome was captured.[202]

HP Pavilion dv6-1120EA Battery

The Allies experienced mixed fortunes in mainland Asia. In March 1944, the Japanese launched the first of two invasions, an operation against British positions in Assam, India,[203] and soon besieged Commonwealth positions at Imphal and Kohima.[204] HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery

In May 1944, British forces mounted a counter-offensive that drove Japanese troops back to Burma,[204] and Chinese forces that had invaded northern Burma in late 1943 besieged Japanese troops in Myitkyina.[20HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery

5] The second Japanese invasion attempted to destroy China’s main fighting forces, secure railways between Japanese-held territory and capture Allied airfields.[206] By June, the Japanese had conquered the province of Henan and begun a renewed attack against Changsha in the Hunan province.[207] HP Pavilion dv6-1210SA Battery

Allies close in

Allied Invasion of Normandy, 6 June 1944

Red Army personnel and equipment crossing a river during the northern Summer of 1944

On 6 June 1944 (known as D-Day), after three years of Soviet pressure,[208] the Western Allies invaded northern France. After reassigning several Allied divisions from Italy, they also attacked southern France.[209HP Pavilion dv6-1215SA Battery

] These landings were successful, and led to the defeat of the German Army units in France. Paris was liberated by the local resistance assisted by the Free French Forces on 25 August[210] and the Western Allies continued to push back German forces in Western Europe during the latter part of the year. Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

An attempt to advance into northern Germany spear-headed by a major airborne operation in the Netherlands ended with a failure.[211] After that, the Western Allies slowly pushed into Germany, unsuccessfully trying to cross the Rur river in a large offensive. Sony VPCF11C5E Battery

Sony VPCF11D4E Battery

In Italy the Allied advance also slowed down, when they ran into the last major German defensive line.

On 22 June, the Soviets launched a strategic offensive in Belarus (known as “Operation Bagration”) that resulted in the almost complete destruction of the German Army Group Centre.[212] Soon after that, another Soviet strategic offensive forced German troops from Western Ukraine and Eastern Poland. Sony VPCF11M1E/H Battery

Sony VPCF11S1E/B Battery

The successful advance of Soviet troops prompted resistance forces in Poland to initiate several uprisings, though the largest of these, in Warsaw, as well as a Slovak Uprising in the south, were not assisted by the Soviets and were put down by German forces.[213] Sony VPCF115FG/B Battery

Sony VPCF2 Battery

The Red Army’s strategic offensive in eastern Romania cut off and destroyed the considerable German troops there and triggered a successful coup d’état in Romania and in Bulgaria, followed by those countries’ shift to the Allied side.[214]

Sony VPCF21Z1E Battery

Polish insurgents during the Warsaw Uprising.

In September 1944, Soviet Red Army troops advanced into Yugoslavia and forced the rapid withdrawal of the German Army Groups E and F in Greece, Albania and Yugoslavia to rescue them from being cut off.[215Sony VPCF22J1E Battery

] By this point, the Communist-led Partisans under Marshal Josip Broz Tito, who had led an increasingly successful guerrilla campaign against the occupation since 1941, controlled much of the territory of Yugoslavia and were engaged in delaying efforts against the German forces further south. Sony VPCF22L1E Battery

Sony VPCF13V5002B Battery

Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery

Sony VPCF24Q1E Battery

Sony VPCF23QIE Battery In northern Serbia, the Red Army, with limited support from Bulgarian forces, assisted the Partisans in a joint liberation of the capital city of Belgrade on 20 October. A few days later, the Soviets launched a massive assault against German-occupied Hungary that lasted until the fall of Budapest in February 1945.[216] Sony VPCF22M1E Battery

Sony VPCF13M1E/H Battery In contrast with impressive Soviet victories in the Balkans, the bitter Finnish resistance to the Soviet offensive in the Karelian Isthmus denied the Soviets occupation of Finland and led to the signing of Soviet-Finnish armistice on relatively mild conditions,[217][218] with a subsequent shift to the Allied side by Finland.

By the start of July,

Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI BatteryCommonwealth forces in Southeast Asia had repelled the Japanese sieges in Assam, pushing the Japanese back to the Chindwin River[219] while the Chinese captured Myitkyina. In China, the Japanese were having greater successes, having finally captured Changsha in mid-June and the city of Hengyang by early August.[ Sony VPCF22S1E Battery

Sony VPCF13Z8E/BI Battery

Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery220] Soon after, they further invaded the province of Guangxi, winning major engagements against Chinese forces at Guilin and Liuzhou by the end of November[221] and successfully linking up their forces in China and Indochina by the middle of December.[222]

In the Pacific, American forces continued to press back the Japanese perimeter. Sony VPCF22S8E Battery

In mid-June 1944 they began their offensive against the Mariana and Palau islands, and decisively defeated Japanese forces in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. These defeats led to the resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Tōjō and provided the United States with air bases to launch intensive heavy bomber attacks on the Japanese home islands. Sony VPCF23M1E Battery

Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery In late October, American forces invaded the Filipino island of Leyte; soon after, Allied naval forces scored another large victory during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, one of the largest naval battles in history.[223]

Axis collapse, Allied victory

Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

American and Soviet troops meet in April 1945, east of the Elbe River.

On 16 December 1944, Germany attempted its last desperate measure for success on the Western Front by using most of its remaining reserves to launch a massive counter-offensive in the Ardennes to attempt to split the Western Allies, encircle large portions of Western Allied troops and capture their primary supply port at Antwerp in order to prompt a political settlement.[224

Sony VPCF13M1E/B Battery] By January, the offensive had been repulsed with no strategic objectives fulfilled.[224] In Italy, the Western Allies remained stalemated at the German defensive line. In mid-January 1945, the Soviets attacked in Poland, pushing from the Vistula to the Oder river in Germany, and overran East Prussia.[22Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery

5] On 4 February, U.S., British, and Soviet leaders met for the Yalta Conference. They agreed on the occupation of post-war Germany,[226] and when the Soviet Union would join the war against Japan.[227]

Sony VPCF1318E/H Battery

In February, the Soviets invaded Silesia and Pomerania, while Western Allies invaded Western Germany and closed to the Rhine river. By March, the Western Allies crossed the Rhine north and south of the Ruhr, encircling the German Army Group B,[2Sony VPCF231S1E Battery

Sony VPCF13J0E/H Battery28] while the Soviets advanced to Vienna. In early April, the Western Allies finally pushed forward in Italy and swept across Western Germany, while Soviet forces stormed Berlin in late April; the two forces linked up on Elbe river on 25 April. On 30 April 1945, the Reichstag was captured, signalling the military defeat of Third Reich.[229] Sony VPCF23S1E Battery

A devastated Berlin street in the city centre post Battle of Berlin, taken 3 July 1945.

Several changes in leadership occurred during this period. On 12 April, U.S. President Roosevelt died and was succeeded by Harry Truman. Benito Mussolini was killed by Italian partisans on 28 April.[230] Two days later, Hitler committed suicide, and was succeeded by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz.[231]

Sony VPCF13E8E Battery

German forces surrendered in Italy on 29 April. The German instrument of surrender was signed on 7 May in Rheims,[232] and ratified on 8 May in Berlin.[233] German Army Group Centre resisted in Prague until 11 May.[234]

Sony VPCF13E4E Battery

In the Pacific theatre, American forces accompanied by the forces of the Philippine Commonwealth advanced in the Philippines, clearing Leyte by the end of April 1945. They landed on Luzon in January 1945 and captured Manila in March following a battle which reduced the city to ruins. Fighting continued on Luzon, Mindanao and other islands of the Philippines until the end of the war.[235] Sony VPCF24M1E Battery

Atomic explosion at Nagasaki, 9 August 1945.

In May 1945, Australian troops landed in Borneo, overrunning the oilfields there. British, American and Chinese forces defeated the Japanese in northern Burma in March, and the British pushed on to reach Rangoon by 3 May.[236Sony VPCF11S1E Battery

] Chinese forces started to counterattack in Battle of West Hunan that occurred between 6 April and 7 June 1945. American forces also moved towards Japan, taking Iwo Jima by March, and Okinawa by the end of June.[23

Sony VPCF12M1E/H Battery7] American bombers destroyed Japanese cities, and American submarines cut off Japanese imports.[238]

On 11 July, the Allied leaders met in Potsdam, Germany. They confirmed earlier agreements about Germany,[239] and reiterated the demand for unconditional surrender of all Japanese forces by Japan, specifically stating that “the alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction”.[24Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

0] During this conference the United Kingdom held its general election, and Clement Attlee replaced Churchill as Prime Minister.[241] When Japan continued to ignore the Potsdam terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August. Between the two bombs, the Soviets, Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery

pursuant to the Yalta agreement, invaded Japanese-held Manchuria, and quickly defeated the Kwantung Army, which was the largest Japanese fighting force.[242][243] The Red Army also captured Sakhalin Island and the Kuril Islands. Sony VPCF12E1E/H Battery

Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery On 15 August 1945 Japan surrendered, with the surrender documents finally signed aboard the deck of the American battleship USS Missouri on 2 September 1945, ending the war.[232]

Aftermath

Main article: Aftermath of World War II

The Supreme Commanders on 5 June 1945 in Berlin: Bernard Montgomery, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Georgy Zhukov and Jean de Lattre de Tassigny

The Allies established occupation administrations in Austria and Germany. The former became a neutral state, non-aligned with any political bloc. Sony VPCF11S1E Battery

Sony VPCF23QIE Battery The latter was divided onto western and eastern occupation zones controlled by the Western Allies and the USSR, accordingly. A denazification program in Germany led to the prosecution of Nazi war criminals and the removal of ex-Nazis from power, although this policy moved towards amnesty and re-integration of ex-Nazis into West German society.[2Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

44] Germany lost a quarter of its pre-war (1937) territory, the eastern territories: Silesia, Neumark and most of Pomerania were taken over by Poland; East Prussia was divided between Poland and the USSR, followed by the expulsion of the 9 million Germans from these provinces, as well as of 3 million Germans from the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery

Sony VPCF24Q1E Batteryto Germany. By the 1950s, every fifth West German was a refugee from the east. The USSR also took over the Polish provinces east of the Curzon line (from which 2 million Poles were expelled),[245] Eastern Romania,[246][247] and part of eastern Finland[248] and three Baltic states.[249][250]

Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery

Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives the “Victory” sign to crowds in London on Victory in Europe Day.

In an effort to maintain peace,[251] the Allies formed the United Nations, which officially came into existence on 24 October 1945,[252] and adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, as a common standard for all member nations.[25Sony VPCF12E1E/H Battery

Sony VPCF13M1E/H Battery

3] The great powers that were the victors of the war—the United States, Soviet Union, China, Britain, and France—formed the permanent members of the UN’s Security Council.[254] The five permanent members remain so to the present, although there have been two seat changes, between the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China in 1971, Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery

and between the Soviet Union and its successor state, the Russian Federation, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union had begun to deteriorate even before the war was over,[255Sony VPCF12M1E/H Battery

] Germany had been de facto divided, and two independent states, Federal Republic of Germany and German Democratic Republic[256] Sony VPCF13E4E Battery

were created within the borders of Allied and Soviet occupation zones, accordingly. The rest of Europe was also divided onto Western and Soviet spheres of influence.[257] Most eastern and central European countries fell into the Soviet sphere, which led to establishment of Communist led regimes,

Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI Batterywith full or partial support of the Soviet occupation authorities. As a result, Poland, Hungary,[258] Czechoslovakia,[259] Romania, Albania,[260] and East Germany became Soviet Satellite states. Communist Yugoslavia conducted a fully independent policy causing tension with the USSR.[261]

Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery

Post-war division of the world was formalised by two international military alliances, the United States-led NATO and the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact;[262] the long period of political tensions and military competition between them, the Cold War, would be accompanied by unprecedented arms race and proxy wars.[263] Sony VPCF13E8E Battery

Sony VPCF13Z8E/BI Battery

World map of colonization at the end of the Second World War in 1945. With the end of the war, the wars of national liberation ensued, leading to the creation of Israel, the often bloody decolonization of Asia and (somewhat later) of Africa. Sony VPCF13J0E/H Battery

In Asia, the United States led the occupation of Japan and administrated Japan’s former islands in the Western Pacific, while the Soviets annexed Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands.[264] Korea, formerly under Japanese rule, was divided and occupied by the US in the South and the Soviet Union in the North between 1945 and 1948. Sony VPCF1318E/H Battery

Separate republics emerged on both sides of the 38th parallel in 1948, each claiming to be the legitimate government for all of Korea, which led ultimately to the Korean War.[265] In China, nationalist and communist forces resumed the civil war in June 1946. Sony VPCF13M1E/B Battery

Communist forces were victorious and established the People’s Republic of China on the mainland, while nationalist forces retreated to Taiwan in 1949.[266] In the Middle East, the Arab rejection of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine and the creation of Israel marked the escalation of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

While European colonial powers attempted to retain some or all of their colonial empires, their losses of prestige and resources during the war rendered this unsuccessful, leading to decolonisation.[267][268] Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery

The global economy suffered heavily from the war, although participating nations were affected differently. The US emerged much richer than any other nation; it had a baby boom and by 1950 its gross domestic product per person was much higher than that of any of the other powers and it dominated the world economy.[269][270Sony VPCCW1S1E Battery

] The UK and US pursued a policy of industrial disarmament in Western Germany in the years 1945–1948.[271] Due to international trade interdependencies this led to European economic stagnation and delayed European recovery for several years.[ Sony VPCCW1S1R Battery

272][273] Recovery began with the mid 1948 currency reform in Western Germany, and was sped up by the liberalization of European economic policy that the Marshall plan (1948–1951) both directly and indirectly caused.[274][2Sony VPCCW1S1T Battery

75] The post 1948 West German recovery has been called the German economic miracle.[276] Also the Italian[277][278] and French economies rebounded.[279] By contrast, the United Kingdom was in a state of economic ruin,[280Sony VPCCW1S1T/R Battery

] and continued relative economic decline for decades.[281] The Soviet Union, despite enormous human and material losses, also experienced rapid increase in production in the immediate post-war era.[282] Japan experienced incredibly rapid economic growth, becoming one of the most powerful economies in the world by the 1980s.[2Sony VPCCW1S1T/W Battery

83] China returned to its pre-war industrial production by 1952.[284]

Impact

Casualties and war crimes

Main articles: World War II casualties and War crimes during World War II

World War II deaths

Estimates for the total casualties of the war vary, because many deaths went unrecorded. Most suggest that some 60 million people died in the war, including about 20 million soldiers and 40 million civilians.[285][286][287Sony VPCCW1Z4E Battery

Sony VPCCW12EN/BU Battery] Many civilians died because of disease, starvation, massacres, bombing and deliberate genocide. The Soviet Union lost around 27 million people during the war,[288] including 8.7 million military and 19 million civilian deaths. The largest portion of military dead were ethnic Russians (5,756,000), HP Pavilion DV4-1123US Battery

followed by ethnic Ukrainians (1,377,400).[289] One of every four Soviet citizens was killed or wounded in that war.[290] Germany sustained 5.3 million military losses, mostly on the Eastern Front and during the final battles in Germany.[291] HP Pavilion DV4-1144US Battery

HP Pavilion DV4-1332US Battery

Of the total deaths in World War II approximately 85 percent—mostly Soviet and Chinese—were on the Allied side and 15 percent on the Axis side. Many of these deaths were caused by war crimes committed by German and Japanese forces in occupied territories. An estimated 11[292] to 17[293] HP Pavilion DV4-1430US Battery

million civilians died as a direct or indirect result of Nazi ideological policies, including the systematic genocide of around six million Jews during The Holocaust along with a further five million Roma, homosexuals as well as Slavs and other ethnic and minority groups.[294] Roughly 7.5 million civilians died in China under Japanese occupation,[295] HP Pavilion DV4-1431US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3022US Battery and hundreds of thousands (varying estimates) of ethnic Serbs, along with gypsies and Jews, were murdered by the Axis-aligned Croatian Ustaše in what would become Yugoslavia, with retribution-related killings of Croatian civilians later in the war.[296]

HP Pavilion DV4-1433US Battery

Chinese civilians to be buried alive by Japanese soldiers.

The best-known Japanese atrocity was the Nanking Massacre, in which several hundred thousand Chinese civilians were raped and murdered.[2HP Pavilion DV5-1000US Battery

HP Pavilion DV4-1280US Battery

HP Pavilion DV4-1281US Battery

97] Between 3 million to more than 10 million civilians, mostly Chinese, were killed by the Japanese occupation forces.[298] Mitsuyoshi Himeta reported 2.7 million casualties occurred during the Sankō Sakusen. General Yasuji Okamura implemented the policy in Heipei and Shantung.[299] HP Pavilion DV5-1002US Battery

The Axis forces employed limited biological and chemical weapons. The Italians used mustard gas during their conquest of Abyssinia,[300] while the Imperial Japanese Army used a variety of such weapons during their invasion and occupation of China (see Unit 731)[301HP Pavilion DV5-1019US Battery

][302] and in early conflicts against the Soviets.[303] Both the Germans and Japanese tested such weapons against civilians[304] and, in some cases, on prisoners of war.[305]

While many of the Axis’s acts were brought to trial in the world’s first international tribunals,[306] incidents caused by the Allies were not. HP Pavilion DV5-1250US Battery

HP Pavilion DV4-1227US BatteryExamples of such Allied actions include population transfers in the Soviet Union and Japanese American internment in the United States; the Operation Keelhaul,[307] expulsion of Germans after World War II, mass rape of German women by Soviet Red Army; the Soviet Union’s Katyn massacre, for which Germans faced counter-accusations of responsibility.

HP Pavilion DV4-1220US Battery Large numbers of famine deaths can also be partially attributed to the war, such as the Bengal famine of 1943 and the Vietnamese famine of 1944–45.[308]

It has been suggested by some historians[who?] that the mass-bombing of civilian areas in enemy territory, including Tokyo and most notably the German cities of Dresden, HP Pavilion DV5-2130US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3020US BatteryHamburg and Cologne by Western Allies, which resulted in the destruction of more than 160 cities and the deaths of more than 600,000 German civilians be considered as war crimes.[309]

Concentration camps and slave work

Further information: The Holocaust, Consequences of Nazism, Japanese war crimes, and Allied war crimes during World War II

HP Pavilion DV6-3010US Battery

The Nazis were responsible for The Holocaust, the killing of approximately six million Jews (overwhelmingly Ashkenazim), as well as two million ethnic Poles and four million others who were deemed “unworthy of life” (including the disabled and mentally ill, Soviet POWs, homosexuals, Freemasons, HP Pavilion DV5-2134US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-2190US BatteryJehovah’s Witnesses, and Romani) as part of a programme of deliberate extermination. About 12 million, most of whom were Eastern Europeans, were employed in the German war economy as forced labourers.[310]

HP Pavilion DV6-2180US Battery

Dead bodies in the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp after liberation, possibly political prisoners or Soviet POWs

In addition to Nazi concentration camps, the Soviet gulags (labour camps) led to the death of citizens of occupied countries such as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, as well as German prisoners of war (POWs) and even Soviet citizens who had been or were thought to be supporters of the Nazis.[31

HP Pavilion DV6-2170US Battery Sixty percent of Soviet POWs of the Germans died during the war.[312] Richard Overy gives the number of 5.7 million Soviet POWs. Of those, 57 percent died or were killed, a total of 3.6 million.[313] Soviet ex-POWs and repatriated civilians were treated with great suspicion as potential Nazi collaborators, and some of them were sent to the GULAG upon being checked by the NKVD.[314] 1]

HP Pavilion DV6-2157US Battery

Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, many of which were used as labour camps, also had high death rates. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East found the death rate of Western prisoners was 27.1 percent (for American POWs, 37 percent),[3HP Pavilion DV6-1030US Battery

15] seven times that of POWs under the Germans and Italians.[316] While 37,583 prisoners from the UK, 28,500 from the Netherlands, and 14,473 from United States were released after the surrender of Japan, the number for the Chinese was only 56.[317] HP Pavilion DV6-1050US Battery

According to historian Zhifen Ju, at least five million Chinese civilians from northern China and Manchukuo were enslaved between 1935 and 1941 by the East Asia Development Board, or Kōain, for work in mines and war industries. After 1942, the number reached 10 million.[3

HP Pavilion DV6-2043US Battery18] The U.S. Library of Congress estimates that in Java, between 4 and 10 million romusha (Japanese: “manual laborers”), were forced to work by the Japanese military. About 270,000 of these Javanese laborers were sent to other Japanese-held areas in South East Asia, and only 52,000 were repatriated to Java.[319] HP Pavilion DV6-1122US Battery

Mistreated and starved prisoners in the Mauthausen camp, Austria, 1945

On 19 February 1942, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, interning thousands of Japanese, Italians, German Americans, and some emigrants from Hawaii who fled after the bombing of Pearl Harbor for the duration of the war. The U.S. and Canadian governments interned 150,000 Japanese-Americans,[320][321HP Pavilion DV6-1230US Battery

] In addition, 14,000 German and Italian residents of the U.S. who had been assessed as being security risks were also interned.[322]

In accordance with the Allied agreement made at the Yalta Conference millions of POWs and civilians were used as forced labor by the Soviet Union.[323] In Hungary’s case, Hungarians were forced to work for the Soviet Union until 1955.[324] HP Pavilion DV6-1240US Battery

Home fronts and production

Main articles: Military production during World War II and Home front during World War II

Allied to Axis GDP ratio

The Soviet T-34, the most-produced tank of the war, going to the front. Over 57,000 T-34s had been built in the USSR by 1945.

In Europe, before the outbreak of the war, the Allies had significant advantages in both population and economics.

HP Pavilion DV6-1280US BatteryIn 1938, the Western Allies (United Kingdom, France, Poland and British Dominions) had a 30 percent larger population and a 30 percent higher gross domestic product than the European Axis (Germany and Italy); HP Pavilion DV6-1250US Battery

if colonies are included, it then gives the Allies more than a 5:1 advantage in population and nearly 2:1 advantage in GDP.[325] In Asia at the same time, China had roughly six times the population of Japan, but only an 89 percent higher GDP; HP Pavilion DV6-3030US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3250US Batterythis is reduced to three times the population and only a 38 percent higher GDP if Japanese colonies are included.[325]

Though the Allies’ economic and population advantages were largely mitigated during the initial rapid blitzkrieg attacks of Germany and Japan, they became the decisive factor by 1942, after the United States and Soviet Union joined the Allies, as the war largely settled into one of attrition.[326

HP Pavilion DV6-3240US Battery] While the Allies’ ability to out-produce the Axis is often attributed to the Allies having more access to natural resources, other factors, such as Germany and Japan’s reluctance to employ women in the labour force,[327][328] Allied strategic bombing,[329][330] and Germany’s late shift to a war economy[331HP Pavilion DV6-1030US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3230US Battery] contributed significantly. Additionally, neither Germany nor Japan planned to fight a protracted war, and were not equipped to do so.[332][333] To improve their production, Germany and Japan used millions of slave labourers;[334] Germany used about 12 million people, mostly from Eastern Europe,[310] while Japan pressed more than 18 million people in Far East Asia.[318][319] HP Pavilion DV6-3040US Battery

Occupation

Main articles: Collaboration with the Axis Powers during World War II, Resistance during World War II, and German-occupied Europe

In Europe, occupation came under two very different forms. In Western, Northern and Central Europe (France, Norway, Denmark, the Low Countries, and the annexed portions of Czechoslovakia) Germany established economic policies through which it collected roughly 69.5 billion reichmarks (27.8 billion US Dollars) by the end of the war; HP Pavilion DV6-3050US Battery

this figure does not include the sizable plunder of industrial products, military equipment, raw materials and other goods.[335] Thus, the income from occupied nations was over 40 percent of the income Germany collected from taxation, a figure which increased to nearly 40 percent of total German income as the war went on.[336] HP Pavilion DV6-3120US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3216US Battery

Soviet partisans hanged by German forces in January 1943

In the East, the much hoped for bounties of Lebensraum were never attained as fluctuating front-lines and Soviet scorched earth policies denied resources to the German invaders.[337] Unlike in the West, the Nazi racial policy encouraged excessive brutality against what it considered to be the “inferior people” of Slavic descent; most German advances were thus followed by mass executions.[3

HP Pavilion DV6-3210US Battery38] Although resistance groups did form in most occupied territories, they did not significantly hamper German operations in either the East[339] or the West[340] until late 1943.

HP Pavilion DV6-3160US Battery

In Asia, Japan termed nations under its occupation as being part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, essentially a Japanese hegemony which it claimed was for purposes of liberating colonised peoples.[341]

HP Pavilion DV6-3150US BatteryAlthough Japanese forces were originally welcomed as liberators from European domination in many territories, their excessive brutality turned local public opinions against them within weeks.[342] During Japan’s initial conquest it captured 4,000,000 barrels (640,000 m3) of oil (~5.5×105 tonnes) left behind by retreating Allied forces, HP Pavilion DV6-3122US Battery

and by 1943 was able to get production in the Dutch East Indies up to 50 million barrels (~6.8×106 t), 76 percent of its 1940 output rate.[342]

Advances in technology and warfare

Main article: Technology during World War II

Aircraft were used for reconnaissance, as fighters, bombers and ground-support, and each role was advanced considerably. Innovation included airlift (the capability to quickly move limited high-priority supplies, equipment and personnel);[343

HP Pavilion DV6-3143US Battery] and of strategic bombing (the bombing of civilian areas to destroy industry and morale).[344] Anti-aircraft weaponry also advanced, including defences such as radar and surface-to-air artillery, such as the German 88 mm gun. The use of the jet aircraft was pioneered, and though late introduction meant it had little impact, it led to jets becoming standard in worldwide air forces.[345] HP Pavilion DV6-3130US Battery

U-995 Type VIIC at the German navy memorial at Laboe. Between 1939 and 1945, 3,500 Allied merchant ships were sunk at a cost of 783 German U-boats.

Advances were made in nearly every aspect of naval warfare, most notably with aircraft carriers and submarines. Although at the start of the war aeronautical warfare had relatively little success, actions at Taranto, Pearl Harbor, the South China Sea and the Coral Sea established the carrier as the dominant capital ship in place of the battleship.[346HP Pavilion DV6-3140US Battery

][347][348] In the Atlantic, escort carriers proved to be a vital part of Allied convoys, increasing the effective protection radius and helping to close the Mid-Atlantic gap.[349] Carriers were also more economical than battleships due to the relatively low cost of aircraft[350] and their not requiring to be as heavily armoured.[35HP Pavilion DV7-1020US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1130US Battery

1] Submarines, which had proved to be an effective weapon during the First World War[352] were anticipated by all sides to be important in the second. The British focused development on anti-submarine weaponry and tactics, such as sonar and convoys, HP Pavilion DV7-1134US Battery

HP Pavilion DV4-1028US Batterywhile Germany focused on improving its offensive capability, with designs such as the Type VII submarine and wolfpack tactics.[353] Gradually, improving Allied technologies such as the Leigh light, hedgehog, squid, and homing torpedoes proved victorious.

Land warfare changed from the static front lines of World War I to increased mobility and combined arms.

HP Pavilion DV4-1020US Battery The tank, which had been used predominantly for infantry support in the First World War, had evolved into the primary weapon.[354] In the late 1930s, tank design was considerably more advanced than it had been during World War I,[355] and advances continued throughout the war in increasing speed, armour and firepower.

HP Pavilion DV7-2180US Battery

Boeing B-17E in flight. The Allies had lost 160,000 airmen and 33,700 planes during the air war over Europe.[356]

At the start of the war, most commanders thought enemy tanks should be met by tanks with superior specifications.[357] This idea was challenged by the poor performance of the relatively light early tank guns against armour, and German doctrine of avoiding tank-versus-tank combat. This,

HP Pavilion DV7-3180US Batteryalong with Germany’s use of combined arms, were among the key elements of their highly successful blitzkrieg tactics across Poland and France.[354] Many means of destroying tanks, including indirect artillery, anti-tank guns (both towed and self-propelled), mines, s

HP Pavilion DV7-3060US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-3080US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-3160US Batteryhort-ranged infantry antitank weapons, and other tanks were utilised.[357] Even with large-scale mechanisation, infantry remained the backbone of all forces,[358] and throughout the war, most infantry were equipped similarly to World War I.[359]

The portable machine gun spread, a notable example being the German MG42, and various submachine guns which were suited to close combat in urban and jungle settings.[359] The assault rifle,

HP Pavilion DV7-2270US Battery a late war development incorporating many features of the rifle and submachine gun, became the standard postwar infantry weapon for most armed forces.[360][361]

Most major belligerents attempted to solve the problems of complexity and security presented by using large codebooks for cryptography with the use of ciphering machines, the most well known being the German Enigma machine.[362] SIGINT (signals intelligence) was the countering process of decryption,

HP Pavilion DV7-2180US Batterywith the notable examples being the Allied breaking of Japanese naval codes[363] and British Ultra, which was derived from methodology given to Britain by the Polish Cipher Bureau, which had been decoding Enigma for seven years before the war.[364] Another aspect of military intelligence was the use of deception, HP Pavilion DV7-1137US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1150US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-2170US Batterywhich the Allies used to great effect, such as in operations Mincemeat and Bodyguard.[363][365] Other technological and engineering feats achieved during, or as a result of, the war include the world’s first programmable computers (Z3, Colossus, and ENIAC), guided missiles and modern rockets, the Manhattan Project’s development of nuclear weapons and the development of artificial harbours and oil pipelines under the English Channel.[366] HP Pavilion DV7-1170US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1240US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1260US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1262US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1270US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1444US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1450US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-2040US Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-2111US Battery

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Greek government-debt crisis

The Greek government-debt crisis is one of a number of current European sovereign-debt crises. Beginning in late 2009, fears of a sovereign debt crisis developed among investors concerning Greece’s ability to meet its debt obligations due to strong increase in government debt levels.[1][2][

Sony VPCY21S1E Battery

3] This led to a crisis of confidence, indicated by a widening of bond yield spreads and the cost of risk insurance on credit default swaps compared to the other countries in the eurozone, most importantly Germany.[4][5]

Sony VPCF23QIE Battery

The downgrading of Greek government debt to junk bond status in April 2010 created alarm in financial markets. On 2 May 2010, the eurozone countries and the IMF agreed on a €110 billion bailout loan for Greece,

Sony VPCF24Q1E Batteryconditional on the implementation of austerity measures. In October 2011, Eurozone leaders agreed to offer a second €130 billion bailout loan for Greece, conditional not only the implementation of another austerity package, but also that all private creditors should agree to a restructure of the Greek debt,

Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery

reducing the debt burden from a forecasted 198% of GDP in 2012 to 121% of GDP by 2020.

The second bailout deal was finally ratified by all parties in February 2012, and became active one month later, after the last condition regarding a successful debt restructure of all Greek government bonds, had also been met.

Sony VPCF13V5002B Battery

The latest bailout plan is to cover all Greek financial needs from 2012-2014. If Greece can manage to comply with all economic targets outlined in the bailout plan, a full return to use the private capital markets for covering future financial needs, will be possible again in 2015.

Sony VPCF13M1E/H Battery

In mid-May 2012 the crisis and impossibility to form a new coalition government after elections, led to strong speculation Greece would have to leave the Eurozone. The potential exit became known as “Grexit” and started to affect international market behaviour. Sony VPCF13M1E/B Battery

In order to understand when, how and why the Greek government-debt crisis erupted and eventually how it can be solved, it is important to note the crisis is not limited to a simple debt level problem. Several other main causes exist along with the debt level problem. Already in January 2010,

Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI Battery before the extent of the debt-crisis was truly known, the Greek Ministry of Finance highlighted in their Stability and Growth Program 2010 these five main causes for the significantly deteriorated economic results recorded in 2009 (compared to the published budget figures ahead of the year):[6] Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

GDP growth rates: After 2008, GDP growth rates were lower than the Greek national statistical agency had anticipated. The Greek government now acknowledges the need for implementing economic reforms to improve competitiveness (being hampered during the last decade,

Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery due to excessive salary increases and counterproductive bureaucratic laws and procedures), and the need to redirect much of its current governmental spending from non-growth sectors (e.g. military) into growth stimulating sectors. Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery

Government deficit: Huge fiscal imbalances developed during the past six years from 2004 to 2009, where “the output increased in nominal terms by 40%, while central government primary expenditures increased by 87% against an increase of only 31% in tax revenues.” Sony VPCF13Z8E/BI Battery

Thus the Greek government now acknowledges the need to restore the fiscal balance of the public budget, by implementing permanent real expenditure cuts (meaning expenditures are only allowed to grow 3.8% from 2009 to 2013, Sony VPCF1 Battery

which is below the expected inflation at 6.9%), and with overall revenues planned to grow 31.5% from 2009 to 2013, secured not only by new/higher taxes but also by a major reform of the ineffective Tax Collection System. Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

Sony VPCF11C5E Battery

Government debt-level: Since it had not been reduced during the good years with strong economic growth, there was no room for the government to continue running large deficits in 2010, neither for the years ahead. Sony VPCF11D4E Battery

Therefore, it was not enough for the government just to implement the needed long term economic reforms, as the debt then rapidly would develop into an unsustainable size, before the results of such reforms were achieved. Sony VPCF11M1E/H Battery

Thus the government acknowledged that they now immediately needed to implement both permanent and temporary austerity measures that – in combination with an expected return of positive GDP growth rates in 2011 – would result in the baseline deficit decreasing from €30.6 billion in 2009 to only €5.6 billion in 2013, Sony VPCF11S1E/B Battery

finally making it possible to stabilize the debt-level relative to GDP at 120% in 2010 and 2011, followed by a downward trend in 2012 and 2013.

Political budget compliance: Was acknowledged to be in strong need of future improvement, and for 2009 it was even found to be: “A lot worse than normal, due to economic control being more lax in a year with political elections”.Sony VPCF115FG/B Battery

In order to improve the level of budget compliance for upcoming years, the Greek government wanted to implement a new reform to strengthen the monitoring system in 2010, making it possible to keep better track on the future developments of revenues and expenses, both at the governmental and local level. Sony VPCF2 Battery

Statistical credibility: Problems with unreliable data had existed ever since Greece applied for membership of the Euro in 1999.[7] In the five years from 2005–2009, Eurostat each year noted a reservation about the fiscal statistical numbers for Greece, Sony VPCF21Z1E Battery

and way too often previously reported figures got revised to a somewhat worse figure, after a couple of years.[8][9][10] In regards of 2009 the flawed statistics made it impossible to predict accurate numbers for GDP growth, Sony VPCF22J1E Battery

budget deficit and the public debt; which by the end of the year all turned out to be far worse than originally anticipated. As the new Greek government acknowledged the need for a stronger statistical credibility, both in order to restore the trust among financial investors and as a mean for the government to better know the level and necessity of future economic reforms (in advance),

Sony VPCYA17GH/R Battery they now pledged to correct all previous statistical methodological issues, “by making the National Statistics Service an independent legal entity and phasing in, during the first quarter of 2010, all the necessary checks and balances that will improve the accuracy and reporting of fiscal statistics”.Sony VPCF22L1E Battery

Sony VPCF22M1E Battery

Combined charts of Greece’s GDP and Debt since 1970; also of Deficit since 2000. Absolute terms time series are in current euros.

The Greek economy was one of the fastest growing in the eurozone from 2000 to 2007; during that period, it grew at an annual rate of 4.2% as foreign capital flooded the country.[11] A strong economy and falling bond yields allowed the government of Greece to run large structural deficits. Sony VPCF22S1E Battery

According to an editorial published by the Greek right-wing newspaper Kathimerini, large public deficits are one of the features that have marked the Greek social model since the restoration of democracy in 1974. Sony VPCF22S8E Battery

After the removal of the right-wing military junta, the government wanted to bring disenfranchised left-leaning portions of the population into the economic mainstream.[12] In order to do so, successive Greek governments have, among other things, customarily run large deficits to finance public sector jobs, pensions, and other social benefits.[13] Sony VPCF23M1E Battery

Since 1994, the ratio of debt to GDP has remained above 94.0%.[14] In the turmoil of the Global Financial Crisis it rapidly grew above the maximum sustainable level for Greece (defined by a many of economists to be 120%). Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery

Sony VPCF231S1E Battery

According to “The Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece” published by the EU Commission in October 2011, the debt level is even expected to reach a highly unsustainable level of 198% in 2012, if the proposed debt restructure agreement is not implemented.[15]

Initially, currency devaluation helped finance the borrowing. After the introduction of the euro in January 2001,

Sony VPCF23QIE Battery

the devaluation tool disappeared. Throughout the next 8 years, Greece was however able to continue its high level of borrowing, due to the lower interest rates government bonds in euro could command, in combination with a long series of strong GDP growth rates. Problems however started to rise,

Sony VPCF24Q1E Battery

when the Global Financial Crisis peaked with negative repercussions hitting all national economies in September 2008. The Global Financial Crisis had a particularly large negative impact on the GDP growth rates in Greece.

Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery

Two of the country’s largest industries are tourism and shipping, and both were badly affected by the downturn, with revenues falling 15% in 2009.[16]

Another consistent problem Greece has suffered from in recent decades, is the government’s tax income. Each year it is several times below the expected level. In 2010, the estimated tax evasion costs for the Greek government amounted to well over $20 billion per year.[17] Sony VPCF23S1E Battery

To keep within the monetary union guidelines, the government of Greece had also for many years misreported the country’s official economic statistics.[18][19] At the beginning of 2010, it was discovered that Greece had paid Goldman Sachs and other banks hundreds of millions of dollars in fees since 2001,

Sony VPCF13V5002B Battery for arranging transactions that hid the actual level of borrowing.[20] The purpose of these deals made by several successive Greek governments, was to enable them to continue spending, while hiding the actual deficit from the EU.[20] Sony VPCF24M1E Battery

As reported in the table below, the revised statistics revealed that Greece at all years from 2000-2010 had exceeded the Euros stability criteria, with the yearly deficits exceeding the recommended maximum limit at 3.0% of GDP, and also the debt level clearly exceeding the recommended limit at 60% of GDP. Sony VPCF11S1E Battery

In February 2010, the new government of George Papandreou (elected in October 2009), revised the 2009 deficit from a previously estimated 5% to an alarming 12.7% of GDP.[21] In April 2010, the reported 2009 deficit was further increased to 13.6%,[Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

22] and at the time of the final revised calculation by Eurostat it ended at 15.6% of GDP, which proved to be the highest deficit for any EU country in 2009. The figure for Greek government debt at the end of 2009, was also increased from its first November estimate at €269.3 billion (113% of GDP),[23][24] to a revised €299.7 billion (129% of GDP). Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery

This major upward revision of the deficit and debt level, was caused by flawed estimates and statistics previously being reported by the Greek authorities in 2009, resulting in the need for Eurostat to perform an in depth Financial Audit of the fiscal years 2006-09. Sony VPCF12E1E/H Battery

After having conducted the financial audit, Eurostat noted in November 2010, that all “methodological issues” now had been fixed, and that the new revised numbers for 2006-2009 now finally was considered as being reliable.[25][26][27] Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery

Despite the crisis, the Greek government’s bond auction in January 2010 had the offered amount of €8bn 5-year bonds over-subscribed by four times.[28] At the next auction in March, the Financial Times again reported: “

Sony VPCF13M1E/H BatteryAthens sold €5bn in 10-year bonds and received orders for three times that amount”.[29] The continued successful auction and sale of bonds, was however only possible at the cost of increased yields, which in return caused a further worsening of the Greek public deficit.

Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI Battery

As a result, the rating agencies downgraded the Greek economy to junk status in late April 2010. In practical terms this caused the private capital market to freeze, so that all the Greek financial needs now instead had to be covered by international bailout loans, in order to avoid a sovereign default.[30] In April 2010, it was estimated that up to 70% of Greek government bonds were held by foreign investors (primarily banks).

Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery

[24] The subsequent bailout loans paid to Greece, were mainly used to pay for the maturing bonds, but of course also to finance the continued yearly budget deficits.

If the yearly budget deficit in percentage of GDP exceeds the combined rates of real GDP growth and HICP inflation, this will by itself cause an increase of the debt to GDP ratio roughly equal to the amount of percentage points it exceeds.

Sony VPCF13Z8E/BI Battery

Besides the debt generated by the yearly budget deficit, the government however also has to deal with other sorts of debt accounts that each year can contribute to significant debt level changes. The real GDP growth in 2011 was calculated to a -6.9% decline.[36] This was 1.4pp worse, compared to the -5.5% estimate published in October 2011. Sony VPCF12M1E/H Battery

A GDP growth forecast for 2012 was subsequently also revised downwards from -2.8% to -4.4%.[37] The worse economic outlook could potentially call for a need to further increase the existing bailout packages.

Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery

[edit]Evolution of the crisis

In the early-mid 2000s, Greece’s economy was strong and the government took advantage by running a large deficit, partly due to high defense spending amid historic enmity to Turkey. As the world economy cooled in the late 2000s,

Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

Greece was hit especially hard because its main industries — shipping and tourism — were especially sensitive to changes in the business cycle. As a result, the country’s debt began to pile up rapidly. In early 2010, as concerns about Greece’s national debt grew, policy makers suggested that emergency bailouts might be necessary.

Sony VPCF13M1E/B Battery

[edit]Danger of default

Further information: Sovereign default

Interest rate of Greek two-year government bonds traded in the secondary market reflecting the markets’ assessment of investment risk (source: Bloomberg). Sony VPCF13E4E Battery

Without a bailout agreement, there was a possibility that Greece would prefer to default on some of its debt. The premiums on Greek debt had risen to a level that reflected a high chance of a default or restructuring. Analysts gave a wide range of default probabilities, estimating a 25% to 90% chance of a default or restructuring.[38][39] Sony VPCF13E8E Battery

Sony VPCF13J0E/H Battery

Sony VPCF13l8E/H Battery

A default would most likely have taken the form of a restructuring where Greece would pay creditors, which include the up to €110 billion 2010 Greece bailout participants i.e. Eurozone governments and IMF, only a portion of what they were owed, perhaps 50 or 25 percent.[40] It has been claimed that this could destabilise the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, which is backed by government securities.[41]

HP Pavilion dv6-3118sa Battery

Some experts have nonetheless argued that the best option at this stage for Greece is to engineer an “orderly default” on Greece’s public debt which would allow the country to withdraw simultaneously from the eurozone and reintroduce a national currency, HP Pavilion dv6-3111sa Battery

such as its historical drachma, at a debased rate[42] (essentially, coining money). Economists who favor this approach to solve the Greek debt crisis typically argue that a delay in organising an orderly default would wind up hurting EU lenders and neighboring European countries even more.[43]

HP Pavilion dv6-3103sa Battery

At the moment, because Greece is a member of the eurozone, it cannot unilaterally stimulate its economy with monetary policy, as has happened with other economic zones, for example the U.S. Federal Reserve expanding its balance sheet over $1.3 trillion since the global financial crisis began,

HP Pavilion dv6-3122sa Battery temporarily creating new money and injecting it into the system by purchasing outstanding debt, that money to be destroyed when the debt is paid back, later.[44]

[edit]Downgrading of creditworthiness HP Pavilion dv6-3048sa Battery

On 23 April 2010, the Greek government requested an EU/IMF bailout package to be activated, providing them with a loan of €45 billion to cover their financial needs for the remaining part of 2010.[45][dead link][46] A few days later on 27 April Standard & Poor’s slashed Greece’s sovereign debt rating to BB+ or “junk” status[47]

HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery amidst hints of default by the Greek government,[48][49] in which case investors were thought to lose 30–50% of their money.[48] Stock markets worldwide and the Euro currency declined in response to this announcement.[50]

HP Pavilion dv6-3180sa BatteryYields on Greek government two-year bonds rose to 15.3% following the downgrading.[51] Some analysts continue to question Greece’s ability to refinance its debt. Standard & Poor’s estimates that in the event of default investors would fail to get 30–50% of their money back.[48] Stock markets worldwide declined in response to this announcement.[52]

HP Pavilion dv6-3185sa Battery

Following downgradings by Fitch and Moody’s, as well as Standard & Poor’s,[53] Greek bond yields rose in 2010, both in absolute terms and relative to German government bonds.[54] Yields have risen, particularly in the wake of successive ratings downgrading. HP Pavilion dv6-3032sa Battery

According to The Wall Street Journal, “with only a handful of bonds changing hands, the meaning of the bond move isn’t so clear.”[55]

On 3 May 2010, the European Central Bank (ECB) suspended its minimum threshold for Greek debt “until further notice”,[56]

HP Pavilion dv6-3180ea Battery meaning the bonds will remain eligible as collateral even with junk status. The decision will guarantee Greek banks’ access to cheap central bank funding, and analysts said it should also help increase Greek bonds’ attractiveness to investors.[5HP Pavilion dv6-3046sa Battery

7] Following the introduction of these measures the yield on Greek 10-year bonds fell to 8.5%, 550 basis points above German yields, down from 800 basis points earlier.[58] As of 22 September 2011, Greek 10-year bonds were trading at an effective yield of 23.6%, more than double the amount of the year before.[59]

HP Pavilion dv6-3118sa Battery

[edit]First bailout loan and austerity measures (May 2010 – June 2011)

On 1 May 2010, the Greek government announced a series of austerity measures[60] to persuade Germany, the last remaining holdout, to sign on to a larger EU/IMF loan package.[6HP Pavilion dv6-3056sa Battery

1] The next day the eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund agreed to a three year €110 billion loan (see below) retaining relatively high interest rates of 5.5%,[62] conditional on the implementation of austerity measures. HP Pavilion dv6-3068ea Battery

Credit rating agencies immediately downgraded Greek governmental bonds to an even lower junk status. This was followed by an announcement of the ECB on 3 May that it will still accept as collateral all outstanding and new debt instruments issued or guaranteed by the Greek government, regardless of the nation’s credit rating, in order to maintain banks’ liquidity.[63] HP Pavilion dv6-3112sa Battery

The new austerity package was met with great anger by the Greek public, leading to massive protests, riots and social unrest throughout Greece. On 5 May 2010, a national strike was held in opposition to the planned spending cuts and tax increases. In Athens some protests turned violent, killing three people.[61]

HP Pavilion dv6-3298ea Battery

Interim prime minister Lucas Papademos defends the austerity measures in parliament (November 2011).

Still the situation did not improve. It was originally hoped that Greece’s first adjustment plan together with the €110 billion support package would reestablish Greek access to private capital markets by the end of 2012.

HP Pavilion dv6-3123sa Battery

However it was soon found that this process would take much longer. The November 2010 revisions of 2009 deficit and debt levels made accomplishment of the 2010 targets even harder, and indications signaled a recession harsher than originally feared.[64] HP Pavilion dv6-3116sa Battery

In May 2011 it became evident that due to the severe economic crisis tax revenues were lower than expected, making it even harder for Greece to meet its fiscal goals.[65]

Following the findings of a bilateral EU-IMF audit in June, which called for even further austerity measures, Standard and Poor’s downgraded Greece’s sovereign debt rating to CCC, the lowest in the world.[66]

HP Pavilion dv6-3122sa BatteryAfter the major political parties failed to reach consensus on the necessary measures to qualify for a further bailout package, and amidst riots and a general strike, Prime Minister George Papandreou proposed a re-shuffled cabinet, and asked for a vote of confidence in the parliament.[67][68] HP Pavilion dv6-3121sa Battery

The crisis sent ripples around the world, with major stock exchanges exhibiting losses.[69] To ensure the release of the next 12 billion euros from the eurozone bail-out package (without which Greece would have had to default on loan repayments in mid-July), the government proposed additional spending cuts worth €28 billion over five years.[70] HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

On 27 June 2011, trade union organizations commenced a forty-eight hour labor strike, intended to pressure parliament members into voting against the austerity package, the first such strike since 1974.

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca BatteryOne United Nations official also cautioned, that the next planned package with new extra austerity measures in Greece could potentially pose a violation of human rights, if it was implemented without careful consideration to the peoples need for “food, water, adequate housing and work under fair and equitable conditions”.[71HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery

] Nevertheless, the new extra fourth package with austerity measures was approved on 29 June 2011, with 155 out of 300 members of parliament voting in favor. HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery

[edit]Second bailout loan and austerity measures (July 2011 – current)

EU emergency measures continued at an extraordinary summit on 21 July 2011 in Brussels, where euro area leaders agreed to extend Greek (as well as Irish and Portuguese) loan repayment periods from 7 years to a minimum of 15 years and to cut interest rates to 3.5%.HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery

They also approved to construct a new €109 billion support package, of which the exact content was to be debated and agreed on at a later summit, although it was already certain to include a demand for large privatization efforts.[7HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery

2] In the early hours of 27 October 2011, eurozone leaders and the IMF also came to an agreement with banks to accept a 50% write-off of (some part of) Greek debt,[73][74][75] the equivalent of €100 billion,[73] to reduce the country’s debt level from €340bn to €240bn or 120% of GDP by 2020.[73][76][77][78] HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

On 7 December 2011, the new interim national union government led by Lucas Papademos submitted its plans for the 2012 budget, promising to cut its deficit from 9% of GDP 2011 to 5.4% in 2012, mostly due to the write-off of debt held by banks. Excluding interest payments, Greece even expects a primary surplus in 2012 of 1.1%.[7HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca Battery

9] The austerity measures have helped Greece bring down its primary deficit before interest payments, from €25bn (11% of GDP) in 2009 to €5bn (2.4% of GDP) in 2011,[80][81] but as a side-effect they also contributed to a worsening of the Greek recession, which began in October 2008 and only became worse in 2010 and 2011.[36] HP Pavilion dv6-3050sa Battery

Overall the Greek GDP had its worst decline in 2011 with -6.9%,[37] a year where the seasonal adjusted industrial output ended 28.4% lower than in 2005,[82][83] and with 111,000 Greek companies going bankrupt (27% higher than in 2010).[84][85HP Pavilion dv6-3055sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3180ea Battery] As a result, the seasonal adjusted unemployment rate also grew from 7.5% in September 2008 to a record high of 19.9% in November 2011, while the Youth unemployment rate during the same time rose from 22.0% to as high as 48.1%.[86HP Pavilion dv6-3060sa Battery

][87] Overall the share of the population living at “risk of poverty or social exclusion” did not increase significantly during the first 2 year of the crisis. The figure was measured to 27.6% in 2009 and 27.7% in 2010, which was also just slightly worse than the EU27-average at 23.4%,[88] but for 2011 the figure was now estimated to have risen sharply above 33%.[89]

HP Pavilion dv6-3140sa Battery

In February 2012, an IMF official negotiating Greek austerity measures, admitted the so far implemented measures were harming Greece in the short term, and cautioned that although further spending cuts were certainly still needed, HP Pavilion dv6-3065ea Battery

it was important the fiscal consolidation was not implemented with an excessive pace, as time should now also be given for the implemented economic reforms to start to work.[80]

Some of the economic experts had argued in June 2010, HP Pavilion dv6-3070ea Battery

that the best option both for Greece and EU, would be to engineer an orderly default on Greece’s public debt, and by the same time force Greece to withdraw from the eurozone, with a reintroduction of its national currency the drachma at a debased rate. The argument for the latter part of this radical approach,

HP Pavilion dv6-3130sa Batterywas that Greece also strongly needed to improve its competitiveness in order to reestablish positive growth rates, and a reintroduction of the old drachma would enable Greece to return using the devaluation tool as a mean for that.[42][90]

HP Pavilion dv6-3125sa Battery

In June 2011, a majority of the economists indeed agreed to recommend an orderly default straight away, as it was predicted to be unavoidable for Greece at the long term, and that a delay in organising an orderly default (by lending Greece more money throughout a few more years), would just wind up hurting EU lenders and neighboring European countries even more.[91] However,

HP Pavilion dv6-3120sa Batteryif Greece were to leave the euro, the economic and political impact would be devastating. According to Japanese financial company Nomura an exit would lead to a 60 percent devaluation of the new drachma. UBS warned of “hyperinflation, military coups and possible civil war that could afflict a departing country”.[92][9HP Pavilion dv6-3085ea Battery

3] A confidential staff note drawn up in February 2012 by the Institute of International Finance, also revealed that they now favoured an orderly default with a continued Greek membership of the Euro, as the opposite scenario was expected to create losses of at least €1 trillion.[94]

HP Pavilion dv6-3116sa Battery

To avoid a chaotic Greek disorderly default and/or the systemic risks to the Eurozone in the scenario with Greece leaving the Euro, the EU leaders decided in October 2011, HP Pavilion dv6-3100sa Battery

to engineer and offer an orderly default combined with a €130bn bailout loan, making it possible for Greece to continue as a full member of the Euro. The offered orderly default and bailout loan, was however conditional, that Greece at the same time approved a new austerity package.[78]

[edit]2012

HP Pavilion dv6-3115sa Battery

On 12 February 2012, amid riots in Athens and other cities that left stores looted and burned and more than 120 people injured, the Greek parliament approved the new austerity package, with a 199-74 majority.

HP Pavilion dv6-3110sa Battery Forty-three lawmakers from the ruling Socialist PASOK and conservative New Democracy who voted against the bill were immediately expelled from their parties, reducing the ruling coalitions’s majority in the 300-seat parliament from 236 to 193.[ HP Pavilion dv6-3110ea Battery95] The vote is now expected to pave the way for the EU, ECB and IMF to jointly release the funds, which are supposed to cover all the Greek financial needs in 2012-2014. According to the bailout plan, Greece should then be stable enough for a full return in 2015, to obtain all its future needs of economic funding from the private capital markets.[96]

On 21 February 2012 the Euro Group finalized the second bailout package (see below), which was extended from €109 billion to €130 billion. In a marathon meeting in Brussels private holders of governmental bonds accepted a slightly bigger haircut of 53.5%[97HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery

] Creditors are invited to swap their Greek bonds into new 3.65% bonds with a maturity of 30 years, thus facilitating a €110bn debt reduction for Greece, if all private bondholders accept the swap.[98

HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Battery] EU Member States agreed to an additional retroactive lowering of the bailout interest rates. Furthermore they will pass on to Greece all profits that their central banks made by buying Greek bonds at a debased rate until 2020. Altogether this is expected to bring down Greece’s unsustainable debt level from 165% in 2011, HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Batteryto a more sustainable level of 117% of GDP in 2020,[99] somewhat lower than the originally expected 120.5%.[97] The deal is expected to be finalized before 20 March, when Greece needs to repay bonds worth €14.5bn or default on its debts.[100]

HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Battery

On 9 March 2012 a crucial milestone was reached, when it was announced that 85.8% of private holders of Greek government bonds regulated by Greek law (equal to €152 billion), had agreed to the debt restructuring deal. As this number was above the 66.7% threshold, it enabled the Greek government to activate a collective action clause (CAC),

HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery so that the remaining 14.2% (equal to €25 billion) were also forced to agree. At the same time it was announced that 69.8% of private holders of Greek government bonds regulated by foreign law (equal to €20 billion), also had agreed to the debt restructuring deal. Thus, the total amount of debt to be restructured was now guaranteed to be minimum 95.7% (equal to €196.7 out of €205.5 billion),

HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Battery

while the remaining 4.3% of the private holders (equal to €8.8 billion) were offered a prolonged deadline at March 23 to voluntarily join the debt swap.[101] A deadline that subsequently got prolonged further to April 20,[102][103

HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery

] with the positive outcome, that the total and final amount of acceptance rose to 96.9% (equal to €199.1 out of €205.5 billion), corresponding to a haircut or debt relief worth €106.5 bn.[104] The Greek government currently discuss, how they shall treat the remaining group of foreign bondholders who opted to refuse the deal,

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca Batteryand a final answer is only expected after the May 6 national election; but in all circumstances no later than May 15, where the first holdouts are due for a repayment of their maturing bond.[105]

HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca Battery

After the announcement from Greece, that minimum 95.7% of the holders of Greek government bonds would be a part of the scheduled debt swap, the president of the Euro Group Jean-Claude Juncker declared, that Greece had now also met the last of the conditions, for the next bailout package to be activated.[106]

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery As the debt swap deal caused significant economic losses to private creditors, Fitch downgraded Greece’s sovereign debt rating from C to RD (Restricted Default),[107] and the ISDA declared a credit event, meaning that €3.5 billion[108] worth of credit default swaps (CDSs) on Greek debt would be triggered.[109

HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery] The deal with a €107 bn debt relief, is the largest government debt restructuring in history.[106]

In regards of the debt to GDP ratio, it should however be noted the deal only slightly improved the numbers. The reason for this, is that Greece along with the debt relief, had to setup some “temporary debt” in the form of a €35 bn bank guarantee for the restructured debt and €25 bn to recapitalize Greek banks.

HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery

So the net reduction of debt, will straight away only have the seize of €46.5bn (equal to a 22%-point GDP ratio decline), with the full €106.5bn (equal to a 50%-point GDP ratio decline) only to take effect some years ahead if the situation develop as planned. HP Pavilion DV5-1030EE Battery

The temporary debt will of course be financed by the new €130bn bailout package.[110] In May 2012, the EU threatened Greece to either agree to the debt rescue plan or leave the eurozone.

[edit]International ramifications

HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery

Greece represents only 2.5% of the eurozone economy.[111] Despite its size, the danger is that a default by Greece may cause investors to lose faith in other eurozone countries. This concern is focused on Portugal and Ireland,

HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Batteryboth of whom have high debt and deficit issues.[112] Italy also has a high debt, but its budget position is better than the European average, and it is not considered among the countries most at risk.[1

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

13] Recent rumours raised by speculators about a Spanish bail-out were dismissed by Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as “complete insanity” and “intolerable”.[114]

Spain has a comparatively low debt among advanced economies, at only 53% of GDP in 2010, more than 20 points less than Germany, France or the US, and more than 60 points less than Italy, Ireland or Greece,[115

HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery

] and according to Standard & Poor’s it does not risk a default.[116] Spain and Italy are far larger and more central economies than Greece; both countries have most of their debt controlled internally, and are in a better fiscal situation than Greece and Portugal, making a default unlikely unless the situation gets far more severe.[117] HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery

[edit]Countermeasures

[edit]Measures taken by the Greek government

Greece adopted a number of austerity packages since 2010. According to research published on 5 May 2010 by Citibank, the fiscal tightening is “unexpectedly tough”. The first 3 austerity packages will amount to a total of €30 billion (equal to 12.5% of the 2009 Greek GDP), and consist of tightenings equal to 5% of GDP in 2010, with a further set of tightenings equal to 4% of GDP in 2011.[118] HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery

[edit]First austerity package – February 2010

The first round came with the signing of the memorandums with the IMF and the ECB concerning a loan of €80 billion. The package was implemented on 9 February 2010 and included a freeze in the salaries of all government employees, a 10% cut in bonuses, as well as cuts in overtime workers, public employees and work-related travels.[119] HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 Battery

[edit]Second austerity package – March 2010

On 5 March 2010, amid new fears of bankruptcy, the Greek parliament passed the “Economy Protection Bill”, which was expected to save another €4.8 billion.[120] The measures include (in addition to the above):[121]

HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery30% cuts in Christmas, Easter and leave of absence bonuses, a further 12% cut in public bonuses, a 7% cut in the salaries of public and private employees, a rise of VAT from 4.5% to 5%, from 9% to 10% and from 19% to 21%, a rise of tax on petrol to 15%, a rise in the (already existing) taxes on imported cars of up to 10%–30%, among others. HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

On 23 April 2010, after realizing the second austerity package failed to improve the country’s economic position, the Greek government requested that the EU/International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package be activated.[122] Greece needed money before 19 May, or it would face a debt roll over of $11.3bn.[123][124][

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery125] The IMF had said it was “prepared to move expeditiously on this request”.[126]

Shortly after the European Commission, the IMF and ECB set up a tripartite committee (the Troika) to prepare an appropriate programme of economic policies underlying a massive loan. The Troika was led by Servaas Deroose,

HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Batteryfrom the European Commission, and included also Poul Thomsen (IMF) and Klaus Masuch (ECB) as junior partners. In return the Greek government agreed to implement further measures.[127]

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

[edit]Third austerity package – May 2010

On 1 May 2010, Prime Minister George Papandreou announced a new round of austerity measures, which have been described as “unprecedented”.[128] The proposed changes, which aim to save €38 billion through 2012,

HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Batteryrepresent the biggest government overhaul in a generation.[61] The bill was submitted to Parliament on 4 May and approved on separate votes on 29 and 30 June.[129][130] It was met with a nationwide general strike and massive protests the following day, with three people being killed, dozens injured, and 107 arrested.[61] HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

The measures include:[131][132][133]

An 8% cut on public sector allowances (in addition to the two previous austerity packages) and a 3% pay cut for DEKO (public sector utilities) employees.

Public sector limit of €1,000 introduced to bi-annual bonus, abolished entirely for those earning over €3,000 a month. HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery

Limit of €500 per month to 13th and 14th month salaries of public employees; abolished for employees receiving over €3,000 a month.

Limit of €800 per month to 13th and 14th month pension installments; abolished for pensioners receiving over €2,500 a month. HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery

Return of a special tax on high pensions.[which?]

Extraordinary taxes imposed on company profits.

Rise in the value of property (and thus higher taxes).

Rise of an additional 10% for all imported cars.

Changes were planned to the laws governing lay-offs and overtime pay.[specify]

Increases in value added tax to 23% (from 19%), 11% (from 9%) and 5.5% (from 4%).

10% rise in luxury taxes and sin taxes on alcohol, cigarettes, and fuel.

Equalization of men’s and women’s pension age limits. HP Pavilion DV7-1000EA Battery

General pension age has not changed, but a mechanism has been introduced to scale them to life expectancy changes.

A financial stability fund has been created.[specify]

Average retirement age for public sector workers will be increased from 61 to 65.[134]

The number of public-owned companies shall be reduced from 6,000 to 2,000.[134]

The number of municipalities shall shrink from 1,000 to 400.[134] HP Pavilion DV7-1001EA Battery

On 2 May 2010, a loan agreement was reached between Greece, the other eurozone countries, and the International Monetary Fund. The deal consisted of an immediate €45 billion in loans to be provided in 2010, with more funds available later. The first installment covered €8.5 billion of Greek bonds that became due for repayment.[135]

In total, €110 billion have been agreed on.[136][137] The interest for the eurozone loans is 5%, considered to be a rather high level for any bailout loan. The European Monetary Union loans will be pari passu and not senior like those of the IMF. In fact the seniority of the IMF loans themselves has no legal basis but is respected nonetheless. HP Pavilion DV7-1014CA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1002EA Battery

The loans should cover Greece’s funding needs for the next three years (estimated at €30 billion for the rest of 2010 and €40 billion each for 2011 and 2012).[118] According to EU officials, France and Germany[138] demanded that their military dealings with Greece be a condition of their participation in the financial rescue.[139]

HP Pavilion DV7-1214EA Battery

As of 12 May 2010, the deficit was down 40% from the previous year.[134]

[edit]Fourth austerity package (Mid-term plan) – June 2011

Further austerity was introduced in 2011. In the midst of public discontent, massive protests and a 24-hour-strike throughout Greece,[140][14

HP Pavilion DV7-1212EA Battery1] the parliament debated on whether or not to pass a new austerity bill, known in Greece as the “mesoprothesmo” (the mid-term [plan]).[142][143] The government’s intent to pass further austerity measures was met with discontent from within the government and parliament as well,[143]

HP Pavilion DV7-1211EA Battery but was eventually passed with 155 votes in favor[142][143] (a marginal 5-seat majority). Horst Reichenbach headed up the task force overseeing Greek implementation of austerity and structural adjustment.[144]

HP Pavilion DV7-1213EA Battery

The new measures included:[145][146]

Raising €50 billion from privatizations and sales of government property.

Increasing taxes for those with a yearly income of over €8,000.

An extra tax for those with a yearly income of over €12,000.

Increasing VAT in the housing industry.

An extra tax of 2% for combating unemployment.

Lower pension payments ranging from 6% to 14% from the previous 4% to 10%.

Creation of a special agency responsible with exploiting government property, and others.

On 11 August 2011 the government introduced more taxes, this time targeted at people owning immovable property.[147

HP Pavilion DV7-1038CA Battery

] The new tax, which is to be paid through the owner’s electricity bill,[147] will affect 7.5 million Public Power Corporation accounts[147] and ranges from 3 to 20 euro per square meter.[148] The tax will apply for 2011–2012 and is expected to raise €4 billion in revenue.[147] HP Pavilion DV7-1020EA Battery

On 19 August 2011 the Greek Minister of Finance, Evangelos Venizelos, said that new austerity measures “should not be necessary”.[149] On 20 August 2011 it was revealed that the government’s economic measures were still out of track;[150] government revenue went down by €1.9 billion while spending went up by €2.7 billion.[150] HP Pavilion DV7-1003EA Battery

On a meeting with representatives of the country’s economic sectors on 30 August 2011, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance acknowledged that some of the austerity measures were irrational,[151] such as the high VAT, and that they were forced to take them with a gun to the head.[151]

HP Pavilion DV7-3178CA Battery

[edit]Negotiations about a fifth austerity package (October 2011 – January 2012)

In October, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou got parliamentary backing for further austerity measures.

HP Pavilion DV7-1125EA BatteryThese new measures would allow Greece to get an extra installment of international loans that would prevent a sovereign default and they would make possible the partial write-off of Greek debt, the so called Private Sector Involvement (PSI).[152] As a result of this backing, Greece was granted by the EU a quid pro quo of further austerity for a €100bn loan and a 50% debt reduction through PSI.[1

HP Pavilion DV7-1130EA Battery53] Within a week, Papandreou, backed unanimously by his cabinet, announced a referendum on the deal, sending shockwaves through the financial markets.[154][155] This resulted in Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s prime minister Nicolas Sarkozy issuing an ultimatum declaring that,

HP Pavilion DV7-1135EA Battery

unless the referendum resulted in the approval of the new measures, they would withhold an overdue €6bn loan payment to Athens, money that Greece needed by mid-December.[154][156] Papandreou cancelled the referendum the next day after the New Democracy Party, leaders of the opposition, agreed to back the agreement.[154]

HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA Battery

On 10 November Papandreou resigned as prime minister following an agreement with the New Democracy party and the Popular Orthodox Rally to appoint a new prime minister of common acceptance promulgate laws associated with implementing the new measures that were agreed with the EU.[157]

HP Pavilion DV7-1105EA Battery

The person chosen for this task was non-MP technocrat Lucas Papademos, former Governor of the Bank of Greece and former Vice President of the European Central Bank; his appointment was criticised by left-wing parties and branded “unconstitutional”.[158HP Pavilion DV7-1050EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1004EA Battery

] By contrast, three separate polls taken when Papademos assumed office revealed that around 75% of Greeks thought that temporary, emergency technocratic rule was “positive”.[158]

The EU insisted that whichever government was elected after Papademos in 2012, it must be bound to honour the agreed upon EU-IMF austerity strategy.[159] It thus demanded that Greek party-political leaders sign legally-binding letters to this effect, HP Pavilion DV7-1107EA Battery

as well as to any additional measures that might be required in future as part of the second rescue-package.[159] Papademos argued in favour of signing, even in the face of opposition from major pro-austerity factions in his government.[1HP Pavilion DV7-1075LA Battery

59] Such letters would bind Greek governments to austerity and structural adjustment through to 2020.[15

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EG Battery9] It was announced that the general election to replace Papademos’ technocratic administration was to be delayed until April, or even May, 2012 because more time was needed to finalise plans for austerity and structural adjustment, as well as to complete negotiations over the Greek debt reduction.[160][161] HP Pavilion DV7-1007EF Battery

Finalising the deal on the 50% PSI debt write-off, required by the troika as a condition for extending more aid, proved difficult in early 2012, with hedge funds being the most difficult to persuade.[162][163][164][1

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EF Battery65] In an interview with The New York Times, Papademos said that if his country did not receive unanimous agreement from its bondholders to voluntarily write down €100bn of Greek’s €340bn debt, he would consider legislating to force bondholder losses, and that if things went well, Greeks could expect “an end to austerity” in 2013.[16HP Pavilion DV7-1055EA Battery6] Others believed that even the proposed 50% would not be enough to prevent a sovereign default.[166][167][168]

Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery

[edit]Fifth austerity package – February 2012

In February 2012, facing sovereign default, Greece was in need of more funds from the IMF and EU by 20 March 2012, and was negotiating over the next lending package, worth €130 billion. On 10 February 2012,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Batterythe Greek cabinet approved the draft bill of a new austerity plan, which has been calculated to improve the 2012 budget deficit with €3.3 billion (and a further €10 billion improvement scheduled for 2013 and 2014). The austerity plan includes:[81][169]

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/W Battery

22% cut in minimum wage from the current €750 per month.

Holiday wage bonuses (two extra months of full wage being paid each year) are permanently cancelled.

150,000 jobs cut from state sector by 2015, of which 15,000 shall be cut by the end of 2012.

Pension cuts worth €300 million in 2012.

Changes to laws to make it easier to lay off workers.

Health and defense spending cuts.

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery

Industry sectors are given the right to negotiate lower wages depending on economic development.

Opening up closed professions to allow for more competition, particularly in the health, tourism, and real estate sectors.

Privatizations worth €15 billion by 2015, including Greek gas companies DEPA and DESFA. In the medium term, the goal remains at €50 billion.

The latest round of austerity measures means Greece will likely face at least another year of recession, presaging another round of business closures, before the economy will start to grow again,[170] and foreign observers were shocked by the cold-heartedness of German negotiators.[171]

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery

Showing position of disagreement, the transport minister Makis Voridis from the Popular Orthodox Rally party, along with five deputy ministers from various ministries, decided to resign.[172] On 11 February, caretaker prime minister Lucas Papademos warned of “social explosion and chaos” if the parliament would not approve the deal the next day. Speaking to members of Parliament before their vote,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR31M Battery Papademos stated that if the majority of them chose to vote against the austerity measures there would be several onerous consequences, including that the government would not be able to pay the salaries of its employees. On 13 February, the Greek Parliament subsequently approved this latest round of austerity measures by a vote of 199 to 74. During the period of parliamentary debate,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN Battery

massive protests were witnessed in Athens that left stores looted and burned and more than 120 people injured. The riot was one of the worst since 2010.[173][174]

Despite being one of the ruling parties, the Popular Orthodox Rally voted against the plan and withdrew itself from the government.

Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

Forty-three MPs from the other two ruling parties (socialist PASOK and conservative New Democracy) also voted against the plan and were immediately expelled from their parties. This reduced the combined power of these two parties from 236 to 193 seats, which is still majority for the 300-seat parliament of Greece.[95

Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery] The vote was a major precondition for the EU and IMF to jointly release the funds, which are supposed to cover all financial needs in 2012 and 2013, with the hope that Greece can start lending again at the private capital markets in 2014.[78] Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

The determination of the leaders of Greek ruling parties to implement the new austerity package was however doubted. For example, Antonis Samaras (leader of New Democracy) talked about renegotiating the deal, despite voting for the austerity package. Because of such uncertainty,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Batterythe Eurozone finance ministers demanded Greek main politicians to sign a written assurance for their continued support to implement the austerity package, both before and after any elections.[175] Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

After passing the new austerity package on 13 February, there still remained four other hurdles for Greece, to receive the new €130 billion bailout loan:[176]

€325 million out of the total €3.3 billion austerity package still needed to be specified in the form of some exact “structural expenditure reductions”, Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

to be outlined and passed by a separate political bill.

Written commitments from the main party leaders should be filed, to guarantee their continued support for the austerity program, both before and after elections in April 2012.

Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZJ/B Battery

The debt restructure agreement, with a debt write-off worth €107 billion, needs to be implemented by a bond swap in early March 2012, involving minimum 95% of the private creditors. Under the terms of the deal,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11SR/B Batteryall the holders (banks, pension funds, insurers and others) of €206 billion in Greek government bonds, would have to -if they accept the deal either voluntarily or by a collective action clause- write down the face value of their holdings by 53.5%, by swapping bonds they hold for longer-dated securities that pay a lower coupon.

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11XU/Q Battery

When calculated for the bonds with the longest maturity, the 53.5% haircut of face value, will be equal to a 74% loss on the net present value of the debt.

A debt sustainability report by the Troika, based upon the full implementation of the latest austerity package and the debt restructure agreement,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11Z/B Battery

needs to show a sustainable outlook for the Greek economy, with the debt relative to GDP being reduced to 120% in 2020.

As of 19 February, Greece had managed to pass the first two hurdles. The debt restructure agreement and the result of the debt sustainability report was however still pending. Some of the newest calculations suggested that Greece would now need an enhanced bailout at €136 billion,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11ZR/B Batteryand they were still likely to exceed the 120% debt level in 2020. It is now up to the Troika to decide if this can be accepted under the previous terms. Alternatively, the slightly worse outlook for the debt numbers can also be counterfeited, by some further debt restructuring and/or demands for additional austerity measures.[177Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M/H Battery

]

[edit]Fight against corruption and tax evasion

OECD estimated in August 2009, the size of the Greek black market to be around €65bn (equal to 25% of GDP), resulting each year in €20bn of unpaid taxes.[178] This is a European record in relative terms,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M Batteryand in comparison almost twice as big as the German black market (estimated to 15% of GDP). Several successive Greek governments had in the past attempted to improve the situation, but all failed.

Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S BatteryA rapid increase in government revenues through implementing a more effective tax collecting system has been recommended. Implementing the proper reforms, is however estimated to be a slow process, requiring at least two legislative periods before they start to work.[179]

Sony Vaio VGN-AW31M/H Battery

Transparency International, an independent corruption monitoring NGO, found that 13% of Greeks paid fakelaki (bribery in the form of envelopes with cash donations) in 2009, which was estimated to account for €787 million in yearly corruption payments.[179] Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S/B Battery

At the same time it was estimated that roughly €1 billion was paid by companies in bribes to public institutions for avoiding bureaucratic rules or to get other benefits. When calculating all sorts of corruption in Greece, the total amount is estimated to be roughly €3.5 billion per year (equal to 1.75% of the Greek GDP).

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41JF/H Battery Compared with corruption levels measured by Transparency International for 160 other countries, Greece ranked at 49th in 2004, was down at 57th in 2008, and slumped to 71st in 2009.[180] The government elected in October 2009 had on its agenda to increase the fight against fakelaki and other forms of corruption.[179] Sony Vaio VGN-AW21Z/B Battery

Anticorruption measures

The Inspector General of Public Administration[181] has started an online census of civil servants. In connection with this census he has uncovered a number criminal offenses, including an entire non-existent health authority.[182] Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZS/B Battery

Tax collection improvements

In 2010 the government has implemented a tax reform. The year 2012 saw the introduction of a duty of non-cash payments for amounts over 1,500 Euros.[183][184]

The Greek police have established a special unit, which deals exclusively with tax offenses. Germany has offered experts from its financial management and tax investigation office to help build a more efficient tax administration.[185Sony Vaio VGN-AW41ZF/H Battery

] However, months later it was not clear whether Greek officials would accept the offer.[186]

In November 2011, the new Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos called upon all persons who owe the state more than €150,000 to pay their outstanding taxes until 24 November or find their names on a black list published on the Internet. Sony Vaio VGN-AW41XH/Q Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41MF/H Battery The government later revealed the list, which also includes a number of prominent Greeks, including pop stars and sportsmen.[187]

[edit]Measures taken by the EU and IMF

[edit]First rescue package (May 2010)

Having had the credit rating agencies further downgraded Greece’s ability to achieve and the risk premiums on long-term Greek government bonds first record levels, the Greek government requested on 23 April 2010 official financial assistance. Sony  VGP-BPS13 Battery

The European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed on 1–2 May 2010 with the Greek government to a three-year financial aid program (loan commitments) totaling €110 billion. The Greek debt in exchange for household should be consolidated within three years, so that the budget deficit should be reduced by 2014 to below 3 percent.[188]

Sony  VGP-BPS21A/b Battery

Of the €110 billion promised by the IMF took €30bn, the Eurozone €80bn (as bilateral loan commitments). Instrumental in determining the rates of the individual euro area countries in the €80bn of the Eurozone was the respective equity interest in the capital of the ECB,

Sony  VGP-BPS21/S Battery which in turn is determined every five years after the prorated share of a country in the total population and economic output in the EU. The German share of the €80bn was 28%, or about €22.4bn in three years[189] while France paid €16.8bn.[190]

Sony  VGP-BPS21B Battery

In May 2010 Greece received the first tranche of the bailout money totaling €20bn.[191] Of this total, 5.5 billion came from the IMF and 14.5 billion of Euro states.[1Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

2]

On 13 September the second tranche of €6.5bn was disbursed. The 3rd tranche of the same amount was paid on 19 January 2011. On 16 March, 4th tranche in the amount of €10.9 billion was paid out, followed by the 5th installment on 2 July.[1Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

92] The 6th tranche of €8bn was paid out after months of delay in early December. Of this amount, the IMF took over €2.2bn.[193] Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13/S Battery

[edit]Second rescue package (July 2011 – February 2012)

Early version – July 2011

Since the first rescue package proved insufficient, the 17 leaders of Euro countries approved a (preliminary) second rescue package at an EU summit on 21 July 2011.[194] It was agreed that the aid package has a volume of €100 billion,

Sony  VGP-BPS21A Battery provided by the newly created European Financial Stability Facility. The repayment period was extended from seven to 15 years and the interest rate was lowered to 3.5%.[195]

Sony  VGP-BPS21 Battery

For the first time, this also included a private sector involvement, meaning that the private financial sector accepted a voluntary cut. It was agreed that the net contribution of banks and insurance companies to support Greece would include an additional €37 billion in 2014.[19

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery6] The planned purchase of Greek bonds from private creditors by the euro rescue fund at their face value will burden the private sector with at least another €12.6 billion.[197] Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

It was also announced at the EU summit, a reconstruction plan for Greece in order to promote economic growth.[195] The European Commission established a “Task Force for Greece”.[198]

EU summit – 26 October 2011

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

On the night of 26 to 27 October at the EU summit, the politicians made two important decisions to reduce the risk of a possible contagion to other countries, in the case of a Greek default. The first decision was to require all European banks to achieve 9% capitalization, to make them strong enough to withstand those financial losses that potentially could erupt from a Greek default. The second decision was to leverage the EFSF from €500bn to €1 trillion, Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/S Battery

as a firewall to protect financial stability in other Eurozone countries with a looming debt crisis. The leverage had previously been criticized from many sides,[199] because it is something taxpayers ultimately risk to pay for, due to the significantly increased risks assumed by the EFSF.[200] Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

Furthermore, the Euro countries agreed on a plan to cut the debt of Greece from today’s 160% to 120% of GDP by 2020. As part of that plan, it was proposed that all owners of Greek governmental bonds should “voluntarily” accept a 50% haircut of their bonds (resulting in a debt reduction worth €100bn),

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery

and moreover accept interest rates being reduced to only 3.5%. At the time of the summit, this was at first formally accepted by the government banks in Europe. The task to negotiate a final deal, also including the private creditors, was handed over to the Greek politicians.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56 Battery

In view of the uncertainty of the domestic political development in Greece, the first disbursement was suspended after Prime Minister George Papandreou announced on 1 November 2011 that he wanted to hold a referendum on the decisions of the Euro summit. After two days of intense pressure, particularly from Germany and France,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S Battery

he finally gave up on the idea. On 11 November 2011 he was succeeded as prime minister by Loukas Papadimos, who leads a new transitional government. The most important task of this interim government was to finalize the “haircut deal” for Greek governmental bonds and pass a new austerity package, Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54J Battery

to comply with the Troika requirements for receiving the second bailout loan worth €130bn (enhanced from the previously offered amount at €109bn).

Final agreement – February 2012

The Troika behind the second bailout package defined three requirements for Greece to comply with in order to receive the money. The first requirement was to finalize an agreement whereby all private holders of governmental bonds would accept a 50% haircut with yields reduced to 3.5%, thus facilitating a €100bn debt reduction for Greece. Sony VAIO VGN-FW56M Battery

The second requirement was that Greece needed to implement another demanding austerity package in order to bring its budget deficit into sustainable territory. The third and final requirement was that a majority of the Greek politicians should sign an agreement guaranteeing their continued support for the new austerity package, Sony VAIO VGN-FW35F Battery

even after the elections in April 2012.[78]

On 21 February 2012, the Euro Group finalized the second bailout package. In a thirteen-hour marathon meeting in Brussels, EU Member States agreed to a new €100 billion loan and a retroactive lowering of the bailout interest rates to a level of just 150 basis points above the Euribor. The IMF will provide “a significant contribution” to that loan but will only decide in the second week of March how much that will be.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54E Battery EU Member States will also pass on to Greece all profits which their central banks made by buying Greek bonds at a debased rate until 2020. Private investors accepted a slightly bigger haircut of 53.5% of the face value of Greek governmental bonds,[97] the equivalent to an overall loss of around 75%.[201]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46Z Battery

It is the world’s biggest debt restructuring deal, affecting some €206bn of bonds.[202] The creditors are invited to swap their current Greek bonds into new bonds with a maturity of between 11 and 30 years and lower average yields of 3.65% (2% for the first three years, 3% for the next five years, and 4.2% thereafter),

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46S Battery

thus facilitating a €100bn debt reduction for Greece.[97][100] Euro-area Member States have pledged to contribute €30bn for private sector participation.[203] In case not enough bondholders agree to a voluntary bond swap, the Greek government has threatened to retroactively introduce a collective action clause to enforce participation.[98] Sony VAIO VGN-NW24S Battery

The cash will be handed over after it is clear that private-sector bondholders do indeed join in the haircut, and after Greece gives evidence of the legal framework that it will put in place to implement dozens of “prior actions” – from sacking underperforming tax collectors to passing legislation to liberalise the country’s closed professions, tightening rules against bribery and readying at least two large state-controlled companies for sale by June.[100][2Sony VAIO VGN-NW26M Battery

04] In return for the bailout money Greece accepts “an enhanced and permanent presence on the ground” of European monitors. It will also have to service its debts from a special, separate escrow account, depositing sums in advance to meet payments that fall due in the following three months.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26JG Battery This operation will be supervised by the troika: the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank.[100]

On 3 March 2012, The Institute of International Finance said twelve of its steering committee would swap their bonds and accept a loss of up to 75%.[205] When all acceptances had been counted at March 9,

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26EG Battery and after the Greek parliament subsequently had decided to activate a collective action clause for the bonds covered by Greek law, the overall share of Greek government bonds to face a debt swap had reached 95.7% (equal to €197 billion). Sony VAIO VGN-FW56E Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56J Battery

The remaining 4.3% of bond holders covered by foreign law and refusing the debt swap (equal to €9 billion), were given two weeks of extra time to reconsider and volountarily join the swap.[101]

When the swap is executed,

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MR Batterythe bond holders will receive a cash payment on 15% of their original holding, and become issued with new Greek bonds worth 31.5% of their old bonds (covered by 24 new securities). Combined this will result in a 53.5% haircut of the face value, so that the Greek debt pile overall will decrease from its current level at €350 billion, to a more sustainable level around €250 billion.[206]

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MG Battery

[edit]Speculation about a third rescue package

A Financial Times editorial on 22 February 2012 argued leaders had “proved themselves unable to settle on a solution that will not need to be revisited yet again”, that at best the deal could only hope to remedy one part of the Greek disaster, namely the country’s debilitated public finances, though it would not likely even do that.[207Sony VAIO VGN-NW24EG Battery

] The eurozone’s latest plan did, at least, evince consistency with the currency block’s previous behaviour:

from the start, its approach has been a halfway house of resisting a sovereign default but not doing enough to remove the risk altogether. The reason is obvious: core governments find it politically impossible to put up more money. Sony VAIO VGN-NW24JG Battery

So it is unfathomable that they did not demand more from private creditors. The debt restructuring leaves Greece and its helpers with €100bn of debt that could have been written down entirely and left funds to address future “accidents” without resorting to a third rescue. If there is another showdown with Greece it will have been caused by this.[207] Sony VAIO VGN-FW46S Battery

The German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Euro Group president Jean-Claude Juncker shared the scepticism, and did not rule out a third bailout.[208][209] According to a leaked official report from the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Greece may need another €50 billion ($66bn) from 2015 to 2020.[

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery

201] The second bailout’s programme began veering off course before it even began. A Financial Times review of the bailout report noted an assumption that Greece’s economy shrank by 6.9% during 2011, but Athens duly announced the shrinkage had actually been 7.5%. Sony VAIO VGN-FW46Z Battery

“It wouldn’t be the first time a Greek bailout failed to live up to optimistic expectations”, concluded the newspaper.[210]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56 Battery

In mid-May 2012 the crisis and impossibility to form a new coalition government after elections led to strong speculation Greece would have to leave the Eurozone. The potential exit became known as “Grexit” and started to affect international market behaviour. Sony VAIO VGN-FW54E Battery

[edit]Economic and social effects of austerity measures

See also: 2010–2012 Greek protests

Protests in Athens on 25 May 2011

In exchange for European funding Greece was forced to impose strict fiscal austerity.[211][212] As early as 2010 some economists expressed fears that the negative impact of tighter fiscal policy could offset the positive impact of lower borrowing costs and social disruption could have a significantly negative impact on investment and growth in the longer term.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54J Battery

In a 2003 study that analyzed 133 IMF austerity programmes, the IMF’s independent evaluation office found that policy makers consistently underestimated the disastrous effects of rigid spending cuts on economic growth.[213][214] Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S Battery

US economist Joseph Stiglitz has also criticised the EU for being too slow to help Greece, insufficiently supportive of the new government, lacking the will power to set up sufficient “solidarity and stabilisation framework” to support countries experiencing economic difficulty, and too deferential to bond rating agencies.[215] Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

Overall the increase in the share of the population living at “risk of poverty or social exclusion” was not significant during the first 2 year of the crisis. The figure was measured to 27.6% in 2009 and 27.7% in 2010 (and only slightly worse than the EU27-average at 23.4%),[88] but for 2011 the estimated figure rose sharply above 33%.[

Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery89] According to an IMF official, austerity measures have helped Greece bring down its primary deficit before interest payments, from €24.7bn (10.6% of GDP) in 2009 to just €5.2bn (2.4% of GDP) in 2011,[80][81

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Battery

] but as a side-effect they also contributed to a worsening of the Greek recession, which began in October 2008 and only became worse in 2010 and 2011.[36]

Overall the Greek GDP had its worst decline in 2011 with -6.9%,[37] a year where the seasonal adjusted industrial output ended 28.4% lower than in 2005, Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery

[82][83] and with 111,000 Greek companies going bankrupt (27% higher than in 2010).[84][85] As a result, the seasonal adjusted unemployment rate also grew from 7.5% in September 2008 to a record high of 19.9% in November 2011, while the Youth unemployment rate during the same time rose from 22.0% to as high as 48.1%.[86][8Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery

7]

In an economy without a welfare regime to speak of, the impact of five consecutive years of recession has taken its toll. Charitable foundations that used to fund educational programmes have taken a big hit themselves in their bank deposits and have now shifted to paying for soup kitchens on the streets of Athens.

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR BatteryNeighbourhoods are marked by buildings that owners are desperate to sell or rent and a major increase in the homeless sleeping rough. Almost half of Greece’s young people are unemployed, as are one in five of their older peers. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery

Despondency is everywhere, despite the “rescue”. If future Greek governments keep to the terms of the bailout, by 2020 public debt will be back to what is was when the crisis erupted in 2009.[216]

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H Battery

“[F]ood aid, in a western European capital?” remarked one appalled BBC journalist, before observing: “You do not measure a people’s ability to survive in percentages of Gross Domestic Product.”[217

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H Battery] Another BBC reporter wrote: “As you walk around the streets of Athens and beyond you can see the social fabric tearing.”[218] The social effects of the austerity measures on the Greek population have been severe, as well as on poor and needy foreign immigrants, with some Greek citizens turning to NGOs for healthcare treatment[219] and having to give up children for adoption.[

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H Battery20] The suicide rate in Greece used to be the lowest in Europe,[218] but by March 2012 it had increased by 40%;[221] Dimitris Christoulas, a 77-year-old pensioner, shot himself outside the Greek parliament in April because the austerity measures had “annihilated all traces for my survival”.[218][222] 2Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X Battery

In June the previous year, at the time of the Greek parliaments approval of the fourth austerity package, an independent United Nations official had cautioned that this additional package of austerity in Greece could potentially pose a violation of human rights, Sony VPCF138FC Battery

if it were implemented without careful consideration to the population’s need for “food, water, adequate housing and work under fair and equitable conditions”.[7Sony VPCF219FC Battery

Sony VPCYB15JC Battery1] On 17 October 2011 Minister of Finance Evangelos Venizelos announced that the government would establish a new fund, aimed at helping those who were hit the hardest from the government’s austerity measures.[223] The money for this agency will come from the proceeds made by tackling tax evasion.[223] Sony VPCS135EC Battery

In February 2012, it was reported that 20,000 Greeks had been made homeless during the preceding year, and that 20 per cent of shops in the historic city centre of Athens were empty.[170] The same month, Poul Thomsen, a Danish IMF official overseeing the Greek austerity programme,

Sony VPCYA26EC Batterywarned that ordinary Greeks were at the “limit” of their toleration of austerity, and he called for a higher International recognition of “the fact that Greece has already done a lot fiscal consolidation, at a great cost to the population”;[Sony VPCS136EC Battery

Sony VPCYA25EC Battery224] and moreover cautioned that although further spending cuts were certainly still needed, they should not be implemented rapidly, as it was crucial first to give some more time for the implemented economic reforms to start to work.[80] Estimates in mid-March 2012 were that an astonishing one in 11 residents of greater Athens—some 400,000 people—were visiting a soup kitchen daily.[225] Sony VPCS138EC Battery

Prominent UK economist Roger Bootle summarised the state of play at the end of February 2012:

Since the beginning of 2008, Greek real GDP has fallen by more than 17pc. On my forecasts, by the end of next year, the total fall will be more like 25pc. Unsurprisingly, employment has also fallen sharply, by about 500,000, Sony VPCS139GC Battery

in a total workforce of about 5 million. The unemployment rate is now more than 20pc. . . . A 25pc drop is roughly what was experienced in the US in the Great Depression of the 1930s. The scale of the austerity measures already enacted makes you wince. In 2010 and 2011, Greece implemented fiscal cutbacks worth almost 17pc of GDP. Sony VPCYA15EC Battery

Sony VPCYA16EC BatteryBut because this caused GDP to wilt, each euro of fiscal tightening reduced the deficit by only 50 cents. . . . Attempts to cut back on the debt by austerity alone will deliver misery alone.[226]

[edit]Criticism of Germany’s role

The neutrality of this section is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (May 2012) Sony VPCF21Z1E Battery

Germany has played a major role in every discussion to do with the Greek debt crisis. This is not surprising, given that the country was Greece’s biggest creditor going into the maelstrom, but the Germans have come under heavy fire for perceived hypocrisy and for the austerity and debt-relief programme they have helped impose on Greece, Sony VPCF22J1E Battery

ts own national interests rather than attempting to solve the crisis and make the adjustments necessary for the Mediterranean country to recover.[227][228] Sony VPCF22L1E Battery

Sony VPCF13M1E/H Battery a programme that has led to accusations of Germany engaging in a “naked pursuit” of i

[edit]Charges of hypocrisy

Hypocrisy has been alleged on multiple bases. “Germany is coming across like a know-it-all in the debate over aid for Greece”, commented Der Spiegel,[ Sony VPCF22M1E Battery

229] though German economic historian Albrecht Ritschl describes his country as “king when it comes to debt. Calculated based on the amount of losses compared to economic performance, Germany was the biggest debt transgressor of the 20th century.”[229] Despite calling for the Greeks to adhere to fiscal responsibility, Sony VPCF22S1E Battery

and although Germany’s tax revenues are at a record high, with the interest it has to pay on new debt at close to zero, Germany still missed its own cost-cutting targets in 2011 and is also falling behind on its goals for 2012.[230] There have been widespread accusations that Greeks are lazy, but analysis of OECD data shows that the average Greek worker puts in 50% more hours per year than their German counterpart,[2Sony VPCF22S8E Battery

n.[232] US economist Mark Weisbrot has also noted that while the eurozone giant’s post-crisis recovery has been touted as an example of an economy of a country that “made the short-term sacrifices necessary for long-term success”, Germany did not apply to its economy the harsh pro-cyclical austerity measures that are being imposed on countries like Greece,[23

Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI Battery31] and the average retirement age of a Greek is, at 61.7 years, older than that of a Germa 3] In addition, he noted that Germany did not lay off hundreds of thousands of its workers despite a decline in output in its economy but reduced the number of working hours to keep them employed,

Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery at the same time as Greece and other countries were pressured to adopt measures to make it easier for employers to lay off workers.[233] Sony VPCF23M1E Battery

Sony VPCF13Z8E/BI Battery Weisbrot concludes that the German recovery provides no evidence that the problems created by the use of a single currency in the eurozone can be solved by imposing “self-destructive” pro-cyclical policies as has been done in Greece and elsewhere.[2Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery

3] Arms sales are another fountainhead for allegations of hypocrisy. Coalition MP Dimitris Papadimoulis:

If there is one country that has benefited from the huge amounts Greece spends on defence it is Germany. Just under 15% of Germany’s total arms exports are made to Greece, its biggest market in Europe. Greece has paid over €2bn for submarines that proved to be faulty and which it doesn’t even need.

Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery It owes another €1bn as part of the deal. That’s three times the amount Athens was asked to make in additional pension cuts to secure its latest EU aid package. . . . Well after the economic crisis had begun, Germany and France were trying to seal lucrative weapons deals even as they were pushing us to make deep cuts in areas like health. . Sony VPCF231S1E Battery

. . There’s a level of hypocrisy here that is hard to miss. Corruption in Greece is frequently singled out as a cause for waste but at the same time companies like Ferrostaal and Siemens are pioneers in the practice.[234] Sony VPCF23S1E Battery

Sony VPCF24M1E Battery

Yet even more hypocrisy stems not from the fact of the arms sales but from the way in which they conducted: Germany complains of Greek corruption, yet the murky arms sales meant that the trade with Greece became synonymous with high-level bribery and corruption; former defence minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos was gaoled in April 2012 ahead of his trial on charges of accepting an €8m bribe from Ferrostaal.[234]

Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

[edit]Alleged pursuit of national self-interest

Since the euro came into circulation in 2002—a time when the country was suffering slow growth and high unemployment—Germany’s export performance, coupled with sustained pressure for moderate wage increases (German wages increased more slowly than those of any other eurozone nation) and rapidly rising wage increases elsewhere, Sony VPCF11S1E Battery

provided its exporters with a competitive advantage that resulted in German domination of trade and capital flows within the currency block.[235] Germany’s total export trade value nearly tripled between 2000 and 2007, and though a significant proportion of this is accounted for by trade with China,[22

Sony VPCF13M1E/B Battery7] its trade surplus with the rest of the EU grew from €46.4 bn to €126.5 bn during those seven years. Germany’s bilateral trade surpluses with the Mediterranean countries are especially revealing: between 2000 and 2007, Greece’s annual trade deficit with Germany grew from €3 bn to €5.5 bn;

Sony VPCF1318E/H BatteryItaly’s doubled, from €9.6 bn to €19.6 bn; Spain’s almost tripled, from €11 bn to €27.2 bn; and Portugal’s quadrupled, from €1 bn to €4.2 bn.[236] Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman remarked: “Listen to many European leaders—especially, but by no means only, the Germans—and you’d think that their continent’s troubles are a simple morality tale of debt and punishment: Governments borrowed too much, now they’re paying the price, and fiscal austerity is the only answer.”[2Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery

Sony VPCF12E1E/H Battery

37] Germans see their government finances and trade competitiveness as an example to be followed by Greece, Portugal and other troubled countries in Europe,[238] but the problem is more than simply a question of southern European countries emulating Germany.[23

Sony VPCF13J0E/H Battery9] Dealing with debt via domestic austerity and a move toward trade surpluses is very difficult without the option of devaluing your currency, and Greece cannot devalue because it is chained to the euro.[240Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery

] Roberto Perotti of Bocconi University has also shown that on the rare occasions when austerity and expansion coincide, the coincidence is almost always attributable to rising exports associated with currency depreciation.[24Sony VPCF12M1E/H Battery

1] As can be seen from the case of China and the US, however, where China has had the yuan pegged to the dollar, it is possible to have an effective devaluation in situations where formal devaluation cannot occur, and that is by having the inflation rates of two countries diverge.[242] Sony VPCF13E4E Battery

Sony VPCF13E8E Battery If German inflation rises faster than that of Greece and other strugglers, then the real effective exchange rate will move in the strugglers’ favour despite the shared currency. Trade between the two can then rebalance, aiding recovery, as Greece’s products become cheaper.[240] Dean Baker therefore argued that the problem is Germany continuing[243]

Sony VGN-SR45H/P Battery

to shut off just such an adjustment mechanism, meaning its “position on the heavily indebted southern countries is absurd. It wants to maintain its huge trade surplus with these countries, while still insisting that they make good on their debts. This is like a store owner insisting that his customers keep buying more from him, while still paying off their debts.”[2Sony VGN-SR39VN/S Battery

39] “The counterpart to Germany living within its means is that others are living beyond their means”, agreed Philip Whyte, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform. “So if Germany is worried about the fact that other countries are sinking further into debt, it should be worried about the size of its trade surpluses, but it isn’t.”[ Sony VGN-SR39XN/S Battery

244] Germany, though not the worst offender, has even been ringing up arms sales to Greece in the order of tens of millions of euros,[245

Sony VGN-SR45H/N Battery] and has “recruited thousands of the Continent’s best and brightest . . . a migration of highly qualified young job-seekers that could set back Europe’s stragglers even more, while giving Germany a further leg up.”[246] Sony VGN-SR29VN/S Battery

OECD projections of relative export prices—a measure of competitiveness—showed Germany beating all euro zone members except for crisis-hit Spain and Ireland for 2012, with the lead only widening in subsequent years.[247]

Sony VGN-SR45H/B Battery

In March 2012, Bernhard Speyer of Deutsche Bank reiterated: “If the eurozone is to adjust, southern countries must be able to run trade surpluses, and that means somebody else must run deficits. One way to do that is to allow higher inflation in Germany but I don’t see any willingness in the German government to tolerate that,

Sony VGN-SR51MF Battery or to accept a current account deficit.”[248] A research paper by Credit Suisse concurred: “Solving the periphery economic imbalances does not only rest on the periphery countries’ shoulders even if these countries have been asked to bear most of the burden. Part of the effort to re-balance Europe also has to been borne by Germany via its current account.”[249] Even with such policies,

Sony VGN-SR51MF/W Battery Greece and other countries would face years of hard times, but at least there would be some hope of recovery.[250] By May 2012, there were signs that the status quo, and “it’s tough to overstate just how fantastic the status quo has been for Germany”, was beginning to change as even France began to challenge German policy.[2Sony VGN-SR29XN/S Battery

51]

As if to emphasise the root problem, when downgrading France and other eurozone countries in January 2012, S&P gave one of its reasons as “divergences in competitiveness between the eurozone’s core and the so-called ‘periphery’”.[25

Sony VGN-SR51B Battery2] The Germans “wear their anti-inflation obsession as a badge of honour”,[238] but Krugman again warned that “price stability for Germany . . . [means] catastrophe for the euro.”[253

Sony VGN-SR51B/S Battery] He estimates that Spain and other peripherals need to reduce their price levels relative to Germany by around 20 percent to become competitive again:

If Germany had 4 percent inflation, they could do that over 5 years with stable prices in the periphery—which would imply an overall eurozone inflation rate of something like 3 percent. But if Germany is going to have only 1 percent inflation,

Sony VGN-SR51B/P Batterywe’re talking about massive deflation in the periphery, which is both hard (probably impossible) as a macroeconomic proposition, and would greatly magnify the debt burden. This is a recipe for failure, and collapse.[253

Sony VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

]

Germany insists that it is ready to do “everything” to guarantee the eurozone.[254] “Yet, for all the rhetoric, little has changed. The austerity strategy imposed by Berlin on Europe’s ‘Arc of Depression’—against the better judgement of the European Commission,

Sony VGN-SR41M/W Battery

the OECD, International Monetary Fund, and informed economic opinion across the globe—has not been modified in the slightest even though economic contraction has proved deeper than expected in every single victim country.”[254

Sony VGN-SR41M/S Battery

] The version of adjustment offered by Germany and its allies is that austerity will lead to an internal devaluation, i.e. deflation, which would enable Greece gradually to regain competitiveness. “Yet this proposed solution is a complete non-starter”, noted one UK economist. “If austerity succeeds in delivering deflation,

Sony VGN-SR41M/P Battery

then the growth of nominal GDP will be depressed; most likely it will turn negative. In that case, the burden of debt will increase.”[2

Sony VGN-SR3S1 Battery

26] Strictly in terms of reducing wages relative to Germany, Greece has made ‘progress’: private-sector wages fell 5.4% in the third quarter of 2011 from a year earlier and 12% since their peak in the first quarter of 2010.[25

Sony VGN-SR3CW/B Battery

5] A leaked European Commission report called for nominal wages in the business economy to be reduced by a further 15% during 2012–2014.[256]

The question then is whether Germany would accept the price of inflation for the benefit of keeping the eurozone together.[257] On the upside, inflation, at least to start with, would make Germans happy as their wages rose in keeping with inflation.[2Sony VGN-SR31M/S Battery

57] Regardless of these positives, as soon as the monetary policy of the ECB—which has been catering to German desires for low inflation[258][259]—began to look like it might stoke inflation in Germany, Merkel moved to counteract, cementing the impossibility of a recovery for struggling countries.[24

Sony VGN-SR21M/S Battery8] With eurozone adjustment locked out by Germany, economic hardship elsewhere in the currency block actually suits its export-oriented economy, because it causes the euro to depreciate,[

Sony VGN-SR19XN Battery260] making German exports cheaper and so more competitive.[238][261] Germany’s unemployment continued its downward trend to record lows in March 2012,[262] and in April the country enjoyed selling its two-year government bonds at a record-low interest rate of 0.14% (though the real interest is actually negative).[263] Sony VGN-SR19VN Battery

German and other financial institutions have scooped a huge chunk of the rescue package: “more than 80 percent of the rescue package is going to creditors—that is to say, to banks outside of Greece and to the ECB. The billions of taxpayer euros are not saving Greece. They’re saving the banks.”[26HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6t Battery

4] The shift in liabilities from European banks to European taxpayers has been staggering: one study found that the public debt of Greece to foreign governments, including debt to the EU/IMF loan facility and debt through the eurosystem, increased by €130 bn, from €47.8 bn to €180.5 billion, between January 2010 and September 2011.[ HP Pavilion dv6t-1000 Battery

265] The combined exposure of foreign banks to Greek entities—public and private—was around 80bn euros by mid-February 2012. In 2009 they were in for well over 200bn.[266] The director of LSE’s Hellenic Observatory mused: “Who is rescued by the bailouts of the European debt crisis? The question won’t go away. . . .

HP Pavilion dv6-2114SA Battery The Greek banks—vital to the provision of new investment in an economy facing a sixth year of continuous recession—have certainly not been ‘rescued’ . . . [and] face large-scale nationalisation. . .

HP Pavilion dv6-2110EA Battery . Athenians might well turn the aphorism around and warn their partners in Lisbon: ‘Beware of Europeans bearing gifts.’”[216]

All of this has resulted in an outpouring of anti-German sentiment within Greece,[267] the situation perhaps inflamed by the fact that “during much of the 20th century, the situation was radically different: after the first world war and again after the second world war, HP Pavilion dv6t-1100 Battery

Germany was the world’s largest debtor, and in both cases owed its economic recovery to large-scale debt relief.”[268] When Horst Reichenbach arrived in Athens towards the end of 2011 to head a new European Union task force, the Greek media instantly dubbed him “Third Reichenbach”.[244]

HP Pavilion dv6-1330SA Battery

[edit]Hedge funds

Though it was largely foreign banks, represented in the various talks by the Institute of International Finance, who originally held Greek government bonds they had so recklessly bought, by the time of the February 2012 negotiations they had sold on perhaps half their holdings, largely to hedge funds and other investors not represented at the talks.[269] In February, hedge funds were thought to control 25–30% of Greek bonds, and are widely believed to be unwilling to participate in any voluntary debt reduction, complicating any deal. Their reluctance to take losses stems from their reckoned investment strategy,

HP Pavilion dv6-1216SA Battery which would bring profit from a formal default on Greek bonds via a pay-out from the bond insurance. To neuter the hedge-fund veto on negotiations, the Greek government was expected to, and did, pass retroactive legal provisions to allow it to force a restructuring on bondholders.[27

HP Pavilion dv6-1210EA Battery

0] An imposed deal, however, would apparently trigger CDS payments,[269] the Greek case might be more complicated than Argentina, putting some investors off. One hedge fund that had earlier told Reuters it was considering legal options said it had now decided to agree to the swap, even though that would mean a small loss.[271HP Pavilion dv6z Battery

HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 Battery

]

“For much of the past 18 months, investing in or against eurozone bonds has been a fool’s errand for the world’s $2tn hedge fund industry. A regime of political vacillation and punishing volatility left few fund managers who sought to play the crisis-stricken market with anything to show for their efforts.”[272][273]

HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

[edit]Analysis of the restructuring

The obsession with the Greek minimum wage, and the insistence on slashing it, is incomprehensible.[274] In March, Nouriel Roubini ruminated: “A myth is developing that private creditors have accepted significant losses in the restructuring of Greece’s debt, while the official sector gets off scot free.

HP Pavilion dv6-1140EA Battery. . . The reality is that most of the gains in good times . . . were privatised while most of the losses have been now socialised. Taxpayers of Greece’s official creditors, not private bondholders, will end up paying for most of the losses deriving from Greece’s past, current and future insolvency.”

HP Pavilion dv6-1120SA Battery

Greece’s public debt will [remain] unsustainable at close to 140 per cent of gross domestic product: at best, it will fall to 120 per cent by 2020 and could rise as high as 160 per cent of GDP. Why? A “haircut” of €110bn on privately held bonds is matched by an increase of €130bn in the debt Greece owes to official creditors.

HP Pavilion dv6-1120EA Battery

A significant part of this increase in Greece’s official debt goes to bail out private creditors: €30bn for upfront cash sweeteners on the new bonds that effectively guarantee much of their face value. Any future further haircuts to make Greek debt sustainable will therefore fall disproportionately on the growing claims of the official sector.

HP Pavilion dv6-1215SA Battery

Loans of at least €25bn from the European Financial Stability Facility to the Greek government will go towards recapitalising banks in a scheme that will keep those banks in private hands and allow shareholders to buy back any public capital injection with sweetly priced warrants. The new bonds will also be subject to English law,

HP Pavilion dv6-1210SA Battery where the old bonds fell under Greek jurisdiction. So if Greece were to leave the eurozone, it could no longer pass legislation to convert euro-denominated debt into new drachma debt. This is an amazing sweetener for creditors.[275] HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

One estimate is that Greece actually subscribed to €156bn worth of new debt in order to get €206bn worth of old debt to be written off, meaning the trumpeted write-down of €110bn by the banks and others is more than double the true figure of €50bn that was truly written off. Taxpayers are now liable for more than 80% of Greece’s debt.[1

HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery

10] According to Robert Reich, in the background of the Greek bailouts and debt restructuring lurks Wall Street. While US banks are owed only about €5bn by Greece, they have more significant exposure to the situation via German and French banks, who were significantly exposed to Greek debt.

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca BatteryMassively reducing the liabilities of German and French banks with regards to Greece thus also serves to protect US banks.[276]

[edit]Public opinion

According to a poll by Public Issue and SKAI Channel, PASOK—who won the national elections of 2009 with 43.92% of the vote—has seen its approval rating decimated to a mere 8%, placing it fifth after right-wing New Democracy (31%), HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery

left-wing Democratic Left (18%), left-wing Communist Party of Greece (KKE) (12.5%) and left-wing SYRIZA (12%). The same poll suggested that Papanderou is the least popular political leader with a 9% approval rating, while 71% of Greeks do not trust Papademos as prime minister.[277

HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery]

In a poll published on 18 May 2011, 62% of the people questioned felt the IMF memorandum that Greece signed in 2010 was a bad decision that hurt the country, while 80% had no faith in the Minister of Finance, Giorgos Papakonstantinou, to handle the crisis.[278] Evangelos Venizelos replaced Mr. Papakonstantinou on 17 June.

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery75% of those polled gave a negative image of the IMF, and 65% feel it is hurting Greece’s economy.[278] 64% felt that the possibility of sovereign default is likely. When asked about their fears for the near future, Greeks highlighted unemployment (97%), poverty (93%) and the closure of businesses (92%).[278] HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery

Polls have shown that, despite the awful sitution, the vast majority of Greeks are not in favour of leaving the eurozone,[128Sony VAIO VGN-Z11MN/B Battery

] a fact attributed by some to there having been “so much propaganda over the years about the merits of the euro and the perils of being outside it that both expert and popular opinion can barely see straight. It is true that default and a euro exit could endanger Greece’s continued membership of the EU. More importantly, Sony VAIO VGN-Z11VN/X Battery

though, there is a strong element of national pride. For Greece to leave the euro would seem like a national humiliation. Mind you, quite how agreeing to decades of misery under German subjugation allows Greeks to hold their heads high defeats me.”[226] Sony VAIO VGN-Z11WN/B Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z41WD/B Battery

[edit]Call for debt audit commission

In the documentary Debtocracy made by a group of Greek journalists, it is argued that Greece should create an audit commission, and force bondholders to suffer from losses, like Ecuador did.

[edit]Speculation about Euro exit

Sony VAIO VGN-Z41MD/B Battery

“The euro should now be recognized as an experiment that failed”, wrote Martin Feldstein in 2012.[279] Economists, mostly from outside Europe, and associated with Modern Monetary Theory and other post-Keynesian schools condemned the design of the Euro currency system from the beginning [280][281]

Sony VAIO VGN-Z31MN Battery

and have since been advocating that Greece (and the other debtor nations) unilaterally leave the eurozone, which would allow Greece to withdraw simultaneously from the eurozone and reintroduce its national currency the drachma at a debased rate.[42][90][282] Sony VAIO VGN-Z11XN/B Battery

Economists who favor this radical approach to solve the Greek debt crisis typically argue that an orderly default is unavoidable for Greece at the long term, and that a delay in organising an orderly default (by lending Greece more money throughout a few more years), would just wind up hurting EU lenders and neighboring European countries even more.[9Sony VAIO VGN-Z Series Battery

1] Fiscal austerity or a euro exit is the alternative to accepting differentiated government bond yields within the Euro Area. If Greece remains in the euro while accepting higher bond yields, reflecting its high government deficit, Sony VAIO VGN-Z21VN/X Battery

then high interest rates would dampen demand, raise savings and slow the economy. An improved trade performance and less reliance on foreign capital would be the result.[citation needed]

Sony VAIO VGN-Z26VN Battery

However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy have said on numerous occasions that they would not allow the eurozone to disintegrate and have linked the survival of the Euro with that of the entire European Union.[283][284] In September 2011, EU commissioner Joaquín Almunia shared this view, saying that expelling weaker countries from the euro was not an option: “Those who think that this hypothesis is possible just do not understand our process of integration”.[2

Sony VAIO VGN-Z21WN/B Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z21XN Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z21ZN/X Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z31MN/B Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z31VN/X Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z31WN/B Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z31ZN/X Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z51WG/B Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z Series Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z21MN Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z21WN Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z26GN Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z31WN Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z46GD Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z51WG Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z51XG/B Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z56MG Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z56VG Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z Series Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3068ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3112sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3116sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3121sa Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z11MN/B Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z11VN/X Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z11WN/B Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z11XN/B Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z Series Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z21VN/X Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z21WN/B Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z21XN Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z21ZN/X Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z31MN/B Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z31VN/X Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z31WN/B Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z31ZN/X Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-Z51WG/B Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3122sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3123sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3298ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3118sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3180ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 Battery

  HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1210SA Battery

  HP Pavilion dv6-1215SA Battery

  HP Pavilion dv6-1120EA Battery

  HP Pavilion dv6-1120SA Battery

  HP Pavilion dv6-1140EA Battery

  HP Pavilion dv6-1210EA Battery

  HP Pavilion dv6-1216SA Battery

  HP Pavilion dv6-1330SA Battery

  HP Pavilion dv6-2110EA Battery

  HP Pavilion dv6-2114A Battery

  HP Pavilion dv6-2112SA Battery

  HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3111sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3048sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3032sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3046sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-3056sa Battery

85]

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

High quality HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery

High quality HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery

Replacement HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery for your Pavilion DV7-1210EA laptop. Our HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA batteries are produced under the highest industry standard and quality control and made up of Grade-A battery cell(Panasonic).

This replacement HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery is the highest quality product you can buy which has passed international certification ( CE, UL, ROHS, ISO9001/9002 ). No memory effect, works great as a spare providing extra power when traveling or away from the home/office. Long life, these HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA batteries can be charged/discharged 500-750 cycles( have passed rigorously tested ). Every piece HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery pack combination protection by the PCP board, PCM board, intellectual power measurement circuit : automatically adjusts the charging time to achieve the maximum amount of charge, over-charge protection, over-discharge protection, overcurrent protection, short circuit protection.

We offer superb pre-sales and after-sales service, warranty this HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery full 1 year and 30-days money back,100% OEM compatible with the original HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA laptop battery. Also our HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA laptop battery have take rigid test to ensure stability and safety for users before out of the battery manufactory. Usually this high capacity( 12 Cell 10400mAh ) HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery offer same even higher utilisation period than that of the original HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery.

Thanks for buy HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery at salebattery.de. In order to ensure the quality of this HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery and let you 100% satisfied with our product, before shipment we will test the quality.

Some tips for increase the length of HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery

Please carefully read the instructions before use the battery.
2. new HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery for the first time use, make sure to run out all the power, then to charge about 12 hours.
4. Best to use a dedicated AC adapter for charging the new HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA batteries
3. Best to turn off your HP laptop when the Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery charging, don’t unplug the power charging or use your computer when in charging.
5. If don’t use laptop for a long time, please remove the HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery,and placed it in ventilated and dry place.
6. Should avoid excessively high or low temperature environment to use the HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA laptop battery, the temperature is too low or high will affect the battery life.

Warranty

  1. Brand new,100% OEM compatible with the original HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery.
    2. Full One Year Warranty,30 Days Money Back policy in every product we sell. During the product warranty days, unartificial defective product is free to be replaced, and we will afford all shipping fee.
    3. Hi-quality,CE, RoHS, UL and ISO9001:2000 certification for quality assurance,100% safe for use.
    4. Guaranteed to meet or exceed original specifications.
    5. Grade-A cells(PANASONIC) for our HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA replacement battery pack.
    6. Best quality products at the best price with best after sales service,you will be satisfied with our service and this Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery, if you have any questions or feedbacks about our HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA battery or our services pleasecontact us directly, our customer service will reply you within 24 hours.

HP Pavilion DV7-series Battery Fits Model:

HP Pavilion DV7 Series Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1000 Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1000EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1001EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1014CA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1002EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1020EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1038CA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1213EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1003EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1050EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1004EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1107EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1075LA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1007EF Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1211EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1212EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1214EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1055EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EF Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EG Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1105EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1135EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1130EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1125EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-3178CA Battery

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Olympic Games

The Olympic Games

The Olympic Games, is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate.[2] Sony Vaio VGN-NR31E/S Battery

The Games are currently held every two years, with Summer and Winter Olympic Games alternating, although they occur every four years within their respective seasonal games. Originally, the ancient Olympic Games were held in Olympia, Sony Vaio VGN-NR31ER/S Battery

Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894. The IOC has since become the governing body of the Olympic Movement, whose structure and actions are defined by the Olympic Charter.

Sony Vaio VGN-NR31E/S Battery

The evolution of the Olympic Movement during the 20th and 21st centuries has resulted in several changes to the Olympic Games. Some of these adjustments include the creation of the Winter Games for ice and winter sports,

Sony Vaio VGN-NR38Z/T Battery the Paralympic Games for athletes with a physical disability, and the Youth Olympic Games for teenage athletes. The IOC has had to adapt to the varying economic, political, and technological realities of the 20th century. As a result,

Sony Vaio VGN-NR38Z/S Battery the Olympics shifted away from pure amateurism, as envisioned by Coubertin, to allow participation of professional athletes. The growing importance of the mass media created the issue of corporate sponsorship and commercialization of the Games. World Wars led to the cancellation of the 1916, 1940, and 1944 Games.

Sony Vaio VGN-NR38S/S Battery

Large boycotts during the Cold War limited participation in the 1980 and 1984 Games.

The Olympic Movement consists of international sports federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs), and organizing committees for each specific Olympic Games. As the decision-making body,

Sony Vaio VGN-NR38M/S Battery

the IOC is responsible for choosing the host city for each Olympic Games. The host city is responsible for organizing and funding a celebration of the Games consistent with the Olympic Charter. The Olympic program,

Sony Vaio VGN-NR38E/S Batteryconsisting of the sports to be contested at the Games, is also determined by the IOC. The celebration of the Games encompasses many rituals and symbols, such as the Olympic flag and torch,

Sony Vaio VGN-NR31ZR/S Battery as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. Over 13,000 athletes compete at the Summer and Winter Olympics in 33 different sports and nearly 400 events. The first, second, and third place finishers in each event receive Olympic medals; gold, silver, and bronze, respectively.

The Games have grown in scale to the point that nearly every nation is represented. Such growth has created numerous challenges, including boycotts, Sony Vaio VGN-NR31J/S Battery

doping, bribery of officials, and terrorism. Every two years, the Olympics and its media exposure provide unknown athletes with the chance to attain national, and in particular cases, international fame. The Games also constitute a major opportunity for the host city and country to showcase itself to the world.

Sony Vaio VGN-NR31Z/T Battery

The Ancient Olympic Games were a series of competitions held between representatives of several city-states and kingdoms from Ancient Greece, which featured mainly athletic but also combat and chariot racing events.

Sony Vaio VGN-NR31Z/S Battery

During the Olympic games all struggles against the participating city-states were postponed until the games were finished.[3] The origin of these Olympics is shrouded in mystery and legend.[4] One of the most popular myths identifies Heracles and his father Zeus as the progenitors of the Games.[5][6][7] According to legend,

Sony Vaio VGN-NR31SR/S Battery

it was Heracles who first called the Games “Olympic” and established the custom of holding them every four years.[8] A legend persists that after Heracles completed his twelve labors, he built the Olympic stadium as an honor to Zeus. Sony Vaio VGN-NR31MR/S Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-NR31S/S Battery

Following its completion, he walked in a straight line for 200 steps and called this distance a “stadion” (Greek: στάδιον, Latin: stadium, “stage”), which later became a unit of distance. Another myth associates the first Games with the ancient Greek concept of Olympic truce (ἐκεχειρία, ekecheiria).[9] The most widely accepted date for the inception of the Ancient Olympics is 776 BC; this is based on inscriptions, Sony VAIO VGN-NR21E/S Battery

found at Olympia, of the winners of a footrace held every four years starting in 776 BC.[10] The Ancient Games featured running events, a pentathlon (consisting of a jumping event, discus and javelin throws, a foot race and wrestling),

Sony VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery

boxing, wrestling, pankration, and equestrian events.[11][12] Tradition has it that Coroebus, a cook from the city of Elis, was the first Olympic champion.[13]

The Olympics were of fundamental religious importance, featuring sporting events alongside ritual sacrifices honoring both Zeus (whose famous statue by Phidias stood in his temple at Olympia) and Pelops, divine hero and mythical king of Olympia.

Sony VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery

Pelops was famous for his chariot race with King Oenomaus of Pisatis.[14] The winners of the events were admired and immortalized in poems and statues.[15] The Games were held every four years, and this period, known as an Olympiad, was used by Greeks as one of their units of time measurement. Sony VAIO VGN-NR21J/S Battery

The Games were part of a cycle known as the Panhellenic Games, which included the Pythian Games, the Nemean Games, and the Isthmian Games.[16]

The Olympic Games reached their zenith in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, but then gradually declined in importance as the Romans gained power and influence in Greece. There is no consensus on when the Games officially ended, Sony VAIO VGN-NR21S/S Battery

the most common-held date is 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I declared that all pagan cults and practices be eliminated.[17] Another date cited is 426 AD, when his successor Theodosius II ordered the destruction of all Greek temples.[18] After the demise of the Olympics, they were not held again until the late 19th century. Sony VAIO VGN-NR21S/T Battery

Modern Games

Forerunners

Further information: Wenlock Olympian Society Annual Games and Zappas Olympics

Baron Pierre de Coubertin

The first significant attempt to emulate the ancient Olympic Games was the L’Olympiade de la République, a national Olympic festival held annually from 1796 to 1798 in Revolutionary France.[19]
Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/T Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery The competition included several disciplines from the ancient Greek Olympics. The 1796 Games also marked the introduction of the metric system into sport.[19]

In 1850 an Olympian Class was started by Dr William Penny Brookes at Much Wenlock, in Shropshire, England. In 1859, Dr Brookes changed the name to Wenlock Olympian Games. This annual sports festival continues to this day.[2HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery

0] The Wenlock Olympian Society was founded by Dr. Brookes on November 15, 1860.[21]:28

Between 1862 and 1867, Liverpool held an annual Grand Olympic Festival. Devised by John Hulley and Charles Melly, these games were the first to be wholly amateur in nature and international in outlook, although only ‘gentlemen amateurs’ could compete.[ HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery

22][23] The programme of the first modern Olympiad in Athens in 1896 was almost identical to that of the Liverpool Olympics.[24] In 1865 Hulley, Dr. Brookes and E.G. Ravenstein founded the National Olympian Association in Liverpool, a forerunner of the British Olympic Association.

HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa BatteryIts articles of foundation provided the framework for the International Olympic Charter.[25] In 1866, a national Olympic Games in Great Britain was organized at London’s Crystal Palace.[26] HP Pavilion DV5-1030EE Battery

Revival

Stamp from first Olympic stamp set

Greek interest in reviving the Olympic Games began with the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821. It was first proposed by poet and newspaper editor Panagiotis Soutsos in his poem “Dialogue of the Dead”, published in 1833.[21]:1 Evangelis Zappas, a wealthy Greek-Romanian philanthropist, first wrote to King Otto of Greece, in 1856, offering to fund a permanent revival of the Olympic Games.[21]:14 Zappas sponsored the first Olympic Games in 1859, which was held in an Athens city square.

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca BatteryAthletes participated from Greece and the Ottoman Empire. Zappas funded the restoration of the ancient Panathenaic stadium so that it could host all future Olympic Games.[21]:14

HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Battery

The Panathinaiko Stadium hosted Olympics in 1870 and 1875.[21]:2, 13–23, 81 Thirty thousand spectators attended that Games in 1870 though no official attendance records are available for the 1875 Games.[21]:44 In 1890,

HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Batteryafter attending the Olympian Games of the Wenlock Olympian Society, Baron Pierre de Coubertin was inspired to found the International Olympic Committee (IOC).[27] Coubertin built on the ideas and work of Brookes and Zappas with the aim of establishing internationally rotating Olympic Games that would occur every four years.[27] HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery

He presented these ideas during the first Olympic Congress of the newly created International Olympic Committee. This meeting was held from June 16 to June 23, 1894, at the Sorbonne University in Paris. On the last day of the Congress, it was decided that the first Olympic Games, to come under the auspices of the IOC, would take place in Athens in 1896.[2HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery

8] The IOC elected the Greek writer Demetrius Vikelas as its first president.[21]:100–105

1896 Games

Main article: 1896 Summer Olympics

The opening ceremony in the Panathinaiko Stadium

The first Games held under the auspices of the IOC was hosted in the Panathenaic stadium in Athens in 1896. These Games brought together 14 nations and 241 athletes who competed in 43 events.[29]

HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea BatteryZappas and his cousin Konstantinos Zappas had left the Greek government a trust to fund future Olympic Games. This trust was used to help finance the 1896 Games.[21]:117[30][31] George Averoff contributed generously for the refurbishment of the stadium in preparation for the Games.[21HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery]:128 The Greek government also provided funding, which was expected to be recouped through the sale of tickets to the Games and from the sale of the first Olympic commemorative stamp set.[21]:128

The Greek officials and public were enthusiastic about the experience of hosting these Games. This feeling was shared by many of the athletes, who even demanded that Athens be the host of the Olympic Games on a permanent basis.

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca Battery

The IOC did not approve this request. The committee planned that the modern Olympics would rotate internationally. As such they decided to hold the second Games in Paris.[32]

Changes and adaptations

Main article: Summer Olympic Games

After the success of the 1896 Games, the Olympics entered a period of stagnation that threatened their survival. The Olympic Games held at the Paris Exposition in 1900 and the World’s Fair at St. Louis in 1904 were side-shows. HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery

The Games at Paris did not have a stadium; however, this was the first time women took part in the games. The St. Louis Games hosted 650 athletes, but 580 were from the United States. The homogeneous nature of these celebrations was a low point for the Olympic Movement.[33] The Games rebounded when the 1906 Intercalated Games (so-called because they were the second Games held within the third Olympiad) were held in Athens. HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery

These Games are not officially recognized by the IOC and no Intercalated Games have been held since. These Games, which were hosted at the Panathenaic stadium in Athens, attracted a broad international field of participants, and generated great public interest. This marked the beginning of a rise in both the popularity and the size of the Olympics.[34] HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery

Winter Games

Main article: Winter Olympic Games

Ice hockey game during the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz

The Winter Olympics (first held in Chamonix, France, in 1924) were created to feature snow and ice sports that were logistically impossible to hold during the Summer Games. Figure skating (in 1908 and 1920) and ice hockey (in 1920) were featured as Olympic events at the Summer Olympics.

HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca Battery The IOC desired to expand this list of sports to encompass other winter activities. At the 1921 Olympic Congress, in Lausanne, it was decided to hold a winter version of the Olympic Games. A winter sports week (it was actually 11 days) was held in 1924 in Chamonix, France; this event became the first Winter Olympic Games.[3HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery

] The IOC mandated that the Winter Games be celebrated every four years on the same year as their summer counterpart.[36] This tradition was upheld until the 1992 Games in Albertville, France; after that, beginning with the 1994 Games, the Winter Olympics were held on the third year of each Olympiad. HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery5

Paralympics

Main article: Paralympic Games

In 1948, Sir Ludwig Guttmann, determined to promote the rehabilitation of soldiers after World War II, organized a multi-sport event between several hospitals to coincide with the 1948 London Olympics. Guttmann’s event, known then as the Stoke Mandeville Games, became an annual sports festival. Over the next twelve years, HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 Battery

Guttmann and others continued their efforts to use sports as an avenue to healing. For the 1960 Olympic Games, in Rome, Guttmann brought 400 athletes to compete in the “Parallel Olympics”, which became known as the first Paralympics.

HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery Since then, the Paralympics have been held in every Olympic year. As of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, the host city for the Olympics has also played host to the Paralympics.[37] In 2001 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) signed an agreement which guaranteed that host cities would be contracted to manage both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.[38][ HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

39] The agreement came into effect at the Summer Games in Beijing 2008, and the Winter Games in Vancouver 2010. Chairman of the London organising committee, Lord Coe, said about the 2012 Summer Paralympics and Olympics in London, England that, HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery

“ We want to change public attitudes towards disability, celebrate the excellence of Paralympic sport and to enshrine from the very outset that the two Games are an integrated whole.    ”

HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery

[40]

Youth Games

Main article: Youth Olympic Games

In 2010, the Olympic Games were complemented by the Youth Games, which gives athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 the chance to compete. The Youth Olympic Games were conceived by IOC president Jacques Rogge in 2001 and approved during the 119th Congress of the IOC.[41][42]

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea BatteryThe first Summer Youth Games were held in Singapore from 14–26 August 2010, while the inaugural Winter Games will be hosted in Innsbruck, Austria, two years later.[43] These Games will be shorter than the senior Games; the summer version will last twelve days, while the winter version will last nine days.[4HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery

4] The IOC allows 3,500 athletes and 875 officials to participate at the Summer Youth Games, and 970 athletes and 580 officials at the Winter Youth Games.[45][46] The sports to be contested will coincide with those scheduled for the senior Games, however there will be variations on the sports including mixed NOC and mixed gender teams as well as a reduced number of disciplines and events.[47] HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery

Recent games

From 241 participants representing 14 nations in 1896, the Games have grown to about 10,500 competitors from 204 countries at the 2008 Summer Olympics.[48] The scope and scale of the Winter Olympics is smaller. For example, HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery

Turin hosted 2,508 athletes from 80 countries competing in 84 events, during the 2006 Winter Olympics.[49] During the Games most athletes and officials are housed in the Olympic village. This village is intended to be a self-contained home for all the Olympic participants. It is furnished with cafeterias, health clinics, and locations for religious expression.[50] HP Pavilion DV7-1000EA Battery

The IOC allowed the formation of National Olympic Committees representing countries that did not meet the strict requirements for political sovereignty that other international organizations demand. As a result, colonies and dependencies are permitted to compete at Olympic Games. Examples of this include territories such as Puerto Rico,

HP Pavilion DV7-1214EA Battery

Bermuda and Hong Kong, all of which compete as separate nations despite being legally a part of another country.[51] The current version of the Charter does only allow new National Olympic Committees representing “independent State recognised by the international community”.

HP Pavilion DV7-1212EA Battery

It therefore did not allow the formation of National Olympic Committees for Sint Maarten and Curaçao when they gained the same constitutional status as Aruba in 2010, although it recognized the Aruban Olympic Committee in 1986.[52][53] HP Pavilion DV7-1001EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1211EA Battery

International Olympic Committee

Main article: International Olympic Committee

IOC headquarters in Lausanne

The Olympic Movement encompasses a large number of national and international sporting organizations and federations, recognized media partners, as well as athletes, officials, judges, and every other person and institution that agrees to abide by the rules of the Olympic Charter.[54]

HP Pavilion DV7-1213EA Battery

As the umbrella organization of the Olympic Movement, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is responsible for selecting the host city, overseeing the planning of the Olympic Games, updating and approving the sports program, and negotiating sponsorship and broadcasting rights.[55] The Olympic Movement is made of three major elements: HP Pavilion DV7-1014CA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1038CA Battery

International Federations (IFs) are the governing bodies that supervise a sport at an international level. For example, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) is the IF for football (soccer), and the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) is the international governing body for volleyball. There are currently 35 IFs in the Olympic Movement, representing each of the Olympic sports.[56]

HP Pavilion DV7-3178CA Battery

National Olympic Committees (NOCs) represent and regulate the Olympic Movement within each country. For example, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is the NOC of the United States. There are currently 205 NOCs recognized by the IOC.[48] HP Pavilion DV7-1002EA Battery

Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) constitute the temporary committees responsible for the organization of a specific celebration of the Olympics. OCOGs are dissolved after each Games, once the final report is delivered to the IOC.

French and English are the official languages of the Olympic Movement. The other language used at each Olympic Games is the language of the host country. Every proclamation (such as the announcement of each country during the parade of nations in the opening ceremony) is spoken in these three languages, or the main two depending on whether the host country is an English or French speaking country.[57] HP Pavilion DV7-1020EA Battery

Criticism

The IOC has often been criticized for being an intractable organization, with several members on the committee for life. The leadership of IOC presidents Avery Brundage and Juan Antonio Samaranch was especially controversial. Brundage was president for over 20 years, and during his tenure he protected the Olympics from political involvement.[58] HP Pavilion DV7-1003EA Battery

He was accused of both racism, for his handling of the apartheid issue with the South African delegation, and anti-Semitism.[59] Under the Samaranch presidency, the office was accused of both nepotism and corruption.[60] Samaranch’s ties with the Franco regime in Spain were also a source of criticism.[61]

HP Pavilion DV7-1125EA Battery

In 1998, it was uncovered that several IOC members had taken bribes from members of the Salt Lake City bid committee for the hosting of the 2002 Winter Olympics, to ensure their votes were cast in favor of the American bid. The IOC pursued an investigation which led to the resignation of four members and expulsion of six others.

HP Pavilion DV7-1130EA Battery

The scandal set off further reforms that would change the way host cities are selected, to avoid similar cases in the future.[62]

A BBC documentary entitled Panorama: Buying the Games, aired in August 2004, investigated the taking of bribes in the bidding process for the 2012 Summer Olympics.[63] The documentary claimed it was possible to bribe IOC members into voting for a particular candidate city. After being narrowly defeated in their bid for the 2012 Summer Games,[6HP Pavilion DV7-1050EA Battery

4] Parisian Mayor Bertrand Delanoë specifically accused the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the London Bid Committee (headed by former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe) of breaking the bid rules. He cited French President Jacques Chirac as a witness; Chirac gave guarded interviews regarding his involvement.[65HP Pavilion DV7-1004EA Battery

] The allegation was never fully explored. The Turin bid for the 2006 Winter Olympics was also shrouded in controversy. A prominent IOC member, Marc Hodler, strongly connected with the rival bid of Sion, Switzerland, alleged bribery of IOC officials by members of the Turin Organizing Committee.

HP Pavilion DV7-1135EA BatteryThese accusations led to a wide-ranging investigation. The allegations also served to sour many IOC members against Sion’s bid and potentially helped Turin to capture the host city nomination.[66]

Commercialization

Main article: Cost of the Olympic Games

The IOC originally resisted funding by corporate sponsors. It was not until the retirement of IOC president Avery Brundage,

HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA Battery

in 1972, that the IOC began to explore the potential of the television medium and the lucrative advertising markets available to them.[67] Under the leadership of Juan Antonio Samaranch the Games began to shift toward international sponsors who sought to link their products to the Olympic brand.[68] HP Pavilion DV7-1107EA Battery

Budget

During the first half of the 20th century the IOC ran on a small budget.[68][69] As president of the IOC from 1952 to 1972, Avery Brundage rejected all attempts to link the Olympics with commercial interest.[67] Brundage believed the lobby of corporate interests would unduly impact the IOC’s decision-making.[67

HP Pavilion DV7-1105EA Battery] Brundage’s resistance to this revenue stream meant the IOC left organizing committees to negotiate their own sponsorship contracts and use the Olympic symbols.[67] When Brundage retired the IOC had US$2 million in assets; eight years later the IOC coffers had swelled to US$45 million.

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EG Battery [67] This was primarily due to a shift in ideology toward expansion of the Games through corporate sponsorship and the sale of television rights.[67] When Juan Antonio Samaranch was elected IOC president in 1980 his desire was to make the IOC financially independent.[69]

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EF Battery

The 1984 Summer Olympics became a watershed moment in Olympic history. The Los Angeles-based organizing committee, led by Peter Ueberroth, was able to generate a surplus of US$225 million, which was an unprecedented amount at that time.[70] The organizing committee had been able to create such a surplus in part by selling exclusive sponsorship rights to select companies.[70

HP Pavilion DV7-1055EA Battery

The IOC sought to gain control of these sponsorship rights. Samaranch helped to establish The Olympic Program (TOP) in 1985, in order to create an Olympic brand.[68] Membership in TOP was, and is, very exclusive and expensive. Fees cost US$50 million for a four year membership.[69HP Pavilion DV7-1075LA Battery

] Members of TOP received exclusive global advertising rights for their product category, and use of the Olympic symbol, the interlocking rings, in their publications and advertisements.[71] HP Pavilion DV7-1007EF Battery

Effect of television

The 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin were the first Games to be broadcast on television, though only to local audiences.[72] The 1956 Winter Olympics were the first internationally televised Olympic Games,[73] and the following Winter Games had their broadcasting rights sold for the first time to specialized television broadcasting networks—CBS paid US$394,000 for the American rights,[74] and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) allocated US$660,000.[

HP Pavilion DV7-1214EA Battery68] In the following decades the Olympics became one of the ideological fronts of the Cold War. Superpowers jockeyed for political supremacy, and the IOC wanted to take advantage of this heightened interest via the broadcast medium.[74] The sale of broadcast rights enabled the IOC to increase the exposure of the Olympic Games, thereby generating more interest,

HP Pavilion DV7-1212EA Battery which in turn created more appeal to advertisers time on television. This cycle allowed the IOC to charge ever-increasing fees for those rights.[74] For example, CBS paid US$375 million for the rights of the 1998 Nagano Games,[75] while NBC spent US$3.5 billion for the broadcast rights of all the Olympic Games from 2000 to 2012.[6HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA Battery

8]

Viewership increased exponentially from the 1960s until the end of the century. This was due to the use of satellites to broadcast live television worldwide in 1964, and the introduction of color television in 1968.[7

HP Pavilion DV7-1211EA Battery6] Global audience estimates for the 1968 Mexico City Games was 600 million, whereas at the Los Angeles Games of 1984, the audience numbers had increased to 900 million; that number swelled to 3.5 billion by the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.[77] However, at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, NBC drew the lowest ratings for any Summer or Winter Olympics since 1968.[7

HP Pavilion DV7-1213EA Battery8] This was attributed to two factors: one was the increased competition from cable channels, the second was the internet, which was able to display results and video in real time. Television companies were still relying on tape-delayed content, which was becoming outdated in the information era.[

HP Pavilion DV7-1038CA Battery79] A drop in ratings meant that television studios had to give away free advertising time.[80] With such high costs charged to broadcast the Games, the added pressure of the internet, and increased competition from cable, the television lobby demanded concessions from the IOC to boost ratings.[8

HP Pavilion DV7-3178CA Battery

1] The IOC responded by making a number of changes to the Olympic program. At the Summer Games, the gymnastics competition was expanded from seven to nine nights, and a Champions Gala was added to draw greater interest.[

HP Pavilion DV7-1125EA Battery

82] The IOC also expanded the swimming and diving programs, both popular sports with a broad base of television viewers.[82] Finally, the American television lobby was able to dictate when certain events were held so that they could be broadcast live during prime time in the United States.[83] The result of these efforts was mixed: HP Pavilion DV7-1135EA Battery

the ratings for the 2006 Winter Games, held in Torino, Italy, were significantly lower than those for the 2002 Games, while there was a sharp increase in viewership for the 2008 Summer Olympics, staged in Beijing.[80][84] HP Pavilion DV7-1130EA Battery

Controversy

The sale of the Olympic brand has been controversial. The argument is that the Games have become indistinguishable from any other commercialized sporting spectacle.[71] Specific criticism was levelled at the IOC for market saturation during the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Games. The cities were awash in corporations and merchants attempting to sell Olympic-related wares.[85]

Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery The IOC indicated that they would address this to prevent spectacles of over-marketing at future Games.[85] Another criticism is that the Games are funded by host cities and national governments; the IOC incurs none of the cost, yet controls all the rights and profits from the Olympic symbols.

Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P BatteryThe IOC also takes a percentage of all sponsorship and broadcast income.[71] Host cities continue to compete ardently for the right to host the Games, even though there is no certainty that they will earn back their investments.[86] Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

Symbols

Main article: Olympic symbols

The Olympic flag

The Olympic Movement uses symbols to represent the ideals embodied in the Olympic Charter. The Olympic symbol, better known as the Olympic rings, consists of five intertwined rings and represents the unity of the five inhabited continents (America, Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe). The colored version of the rings—blue, yellow, black, green, and red—over a white field forms the Olympic flag. These colors were chosen because every nation had at least one of them on its national flag.

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/W BatteryThe flag was adopted in 1914 but flown for the first time only at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. It has since been hoisted during each celebration of the Games.[87]

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery

The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius, a Latin expression meaning “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. Coubertin’s ideals are further expressed in the Olympic creed:

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.[87]

Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery

Months before each Games, the Olympic flame is lit in Olympia in a ceremony that reflects ancient Greek rituals. A female performer, acting as a priestess, ignites a torch by placing it inside a parabolic mirror which focuses the sun’s rays; Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

she then lights the torch of the first relay bearer, thus initiating the Olympic torch relay that will carry the flame to the host city’s Olympic stadium, where it plays an important role in the opening ceremony.[88] Though the flame has been an Olympic symbol since 1928, Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

the torch relay was introduced at the 1936 Summer Games, as part of the German government’s attempt to promote its National Socialist ideology.[87]

The Olympic mascot, an animal or human figure representing the cultural heritage of the host country, was introduced in 1968. It has played an important part on the Games identity promotion since the 1980 Summer Olympics,

Sony VAIO VGN-SR31M Battery when the Russian bear cub Misha reached international stardom.[89] The mascots of the most recent Summer Olympics, in Beijing, were the Fuwa, five creatures that represent the five fengshui elements important in Chinese culture.[90] Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN Battery

Ceremonies

Main article: Olympic Games ceremony

Opening

A scene from the opening ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles

As mandated by the Olympic Charter, various elements frame the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.[91][92] Most of these rituals were established at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp.[93] The ceremony typically starts with the hoisting of the host country’s flag and a performance of its national anthem.[91][ Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

92] The host nation then presents artistic displays of music, singing, dance, and theater representative of its culture.[93] The artistic presentations have grown in scale and complexity as successive hosts attempt to provide a ceremony that outlasts its predecessor’s in terms of memorability.

Sony Vaio VGN-NW31EF BatteryThe opening ceremony of the Beijing Games reportedly cost $100 million, with much of the cost incurred in the artistic segment.[94]

After the artistic portion of the ceremony, the athletes parade into the stadium grouped by nation. Greece is traditionally the first nation to enter in order to honor the origins of the Olympics. Nations then enter the stadium alphabetically according to the host country’s chosen language,

Sony Vaio VGN-NW21ZF Batterywith the host country’s athletes being the last to enter. During the 2004 Summer Olympics, which was hosted in Athens, Greece, the Greek flag entered the stadium first, while the Greek delegation entered last. Sony Vaio VGN-NW21MF Battery

Speeches are given, formally opening the Games. Finally, the Olympic torch is brought into the stadium and passed on until it reaches the final torch carrier—often a well-known and successful Olympic athlete from the host nation—who lights the Olympic flame in the stadium’s cauldron.[91][92] Sony Vaio VGN-NW21EF Battery

Closing

Athletes gather in the stadium during the closing ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics

The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games takes place after all sporting events have concluded. Flag-bearers from each participating country enter the stadium, followed by the athletes who enter together, without any national distinction. Sony Vaio VGN-NW21JF BatteryThree national flags are hoisted while the corresponding national anthems are played: the flag of Greece, to honor the birthplace of the Olympic Games; the flag of the current host country, and the flag of the country hosting the next Summer or Winter Olympic Games.[9Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M/H Battery

5] The president of the organizing committee and the IOC president make their closing speeches, the Games are officially closed, and the Olympic flame is extinguished.[96] In what is known as the Antwerp Ceremony, the mayor of the city that organized the Games transfers a special Olympic flag to the president of the IOC,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M Battery who then passes it on to the mayor of the city hosting the next Olympic Games.[97] After these compulsory elements, the next host nation briefly introduces itself with artistic displays of dance and theater representative of its culture. Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S/B Battery

Medal presentation

A medal ceremony during the 2008 Summer Olympics

A medal ceremony is held after each Olympic event is concluded. The winner, second and third-place competitors or teams stand on top of a three-tiered rostrum to be awarded their respective medals.[98]

Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S Battery After the medals are given out by an IOC member, the national flags of the three medalists are raised while the national anthem of the gold medalist’s country plays.[99] Volunteering citizens of the host country also act as hosts during the medal ceremonies, as they aid the officials who present the medals and act as flag-bearers.[1

Sony Vaio VGN-AW31M/H Battery00] For every Olympic event, the respective medal ceremony is held, at most, one day after the event’s final. For the men’s marathon, the competition is usually held early in the morning on the last day of Olympic competition and its medal ceremony is then held in the evening during the closing ceremony.

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41JF/H Battery

Sports

Main article: Olympic sports

The Olympic Games program consists of 35 sports, 30 disciplines and nearly 400 events. For example, wrestling is a Summer Olympic sport, comprising two disciplines: Greco-Roman and Freestyle. It is further broken down into fourteen events for men and four events for women, each representing a different weight class.[10

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41MF/H Battery

] The Summer Olympics program includes 26 sports, while the Winter Olympics program features 15 sports.[102] Athletics, swimming, fencing, and artistic gymnastics are the only summer sports that have never been absent from the Olympic program. Cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping, and speed skating have been featured at every Winter Olympics program since its inception in 1924.

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41XH/Q Battery

Current Olympic sports, like badminton, basketball, and volleyball, first appeared on the program as demonstration sports, and were later promoted to full Olympic sports. Some sports that were featured in earlier Games were later dropped from the program.[103]

Sony Vaio VGN-AW41ZF/H Battery

Olympic sports are governed by international sports federations (IFs) recognized by the IOC as the global supervisors of those sports. There are 35 federations represented at the IOC.[104] There are sports recognized by the IOC that are not included on the Olympic program. Sony Vaio VGN-AW21Z/B Battery

These sports are not considered Olympic sports, but they can be promoted to this status during a program revision that occurs in the first IOC session following a celebration of the Olympic Games.[105][106

Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZS/B Battery

] During such revisions, sports can be excluded or included in the program on the basis of a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the IOC.[107] There are recognized sports that have never been on an Olympic program in any capacity, including chess and surfing.[108]

Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZJ/B Battery

In October and November 2004, the IOC established an Olympic Programme Commission, which was tasked with reviewing the sports on the Olympic program and all non-Olympic recognized sports. The goal was to apply a systematic approach to establishing the Olympic program for each celebration of the Games.[109]

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11SR/B Battery The commission formulated seven criteria to judge whether a sport should be included on the Olympic program.[109] These criteria are history and tradition of the sport, universality, popularity of the sport,

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11XU/Q Battery

image, athletes’ health, development of the International Federation that governs the sport, and costs of holding the sport.[109] From this study five recognized sports emerged as candidates for inclusion at the 2012 Summer Olympics: golf, karate, Sony Vaio VGN-AW11Z/B Battery

rugby union, roller sports and squash.[109] These sports were reviewed by the IOC Executive Board and then referred to the General Session in Singapore in July 2005. Of the five sports recommended for inclusion only two were selected as finalists: karate and squash.[10Sony Vaio VGN-AW11ZR/B Battery

9] Neither sport attained the required two-thirds vote and consequently they were not promoted to the Olympic program.[109] In October 2009 the IOC voted to instate golf and rugby union as Olympic sports for the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games.[110] Sony  VGP-BPS13 Battery

The 114th IOC Session, in 2002, limited the Summer Games program to a maximum of 28 sports, 301 events, and 10,500 athletes.[109] Three years later, at the 117th IOC Session, the first major program revision was performed, which resulted in the exclusion of baseball and softball from the official program of the 2012 London Games.

Sony  VGP-BPS21A/b Battery Since there was no agreement in the promotion of two other sports, the 2012 program will feature just 26 sports.[109] The 2016 and 2020 Games will return to the maximum of 28 sports given the addition of rugby and golf.[110]

Sony  VGP-BPS21/S Battery

Amateurism and professionalism

Further information: Amateurism

Professional NHL players were allowed to participate in ice hockey starting in 1998 (1998 Gold medal game between Russia and the Czech Republic pictured).

The ethos of the aristocracy as exemplified in the English Independent school greatly influenced Pierre de Coubertin.[111]

Sony  VGP-BPS21B Battery

The independent schools subscribed to the belief that sport formed an important part of education, an attitude summed up in the saying mens sana in corpore sano, a sound mind in a sound body. In this ethos, a gentleman was one who became an all-rounder, not the best at one specific thing. There was also a prevailing concept of fairness, in which practicing or training was considered tantamount to cheating.[1

Sony  VGP-BPS21A Battery11] Those who practiced a sport professionally were considered to have an unfair advantage over those who practiced it merely as a hobby.[111]

The exclusion of professionals caused several controversies throughout the history of the modern Olympics. The 1912 Olympic pentathlon and decathlon champion Jim Thorpe was stripped of his medals when it was discovered that he had played semi-professional baseball before the Olympics.

Sony  VGP-BPS21 Battery

His medals were posthumously restored by the IOC in 1983 on compassionate grounds.[112] Swiss and Austrian skiers boycotted the 1936 Winter Olympics in support of their skiing teachers, who were not allowed to compete because they earned money with their sport and were thus considered professionals.[113]

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery

As class structure evolved through the 20th century, the definition of the amateur athlete as an aristocratic gentleman became outdated.[111

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery] The advent of the state-sponsored “full-time amateur athlete” of the Eastern Bloc countries further eroded the ideology of the pure amateur, as it put the self-financed amateurs of the Western countries at a disadvantage. Nevertheless, the IOC held to the traditional rules regarding amateurism.[114

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

] Beginning in the 1970s, amateurism requirements were gradually phased out of the Olympic Charter. After the 1988 Games, the IOC decided to make all professional athletes eligible for the Olympics, subject to the approval of the IFs.[115

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/S Battery

] As of 2004, the only sports in which no professionals compete are boxing and wrestling, although even this requires a definition of amateurism based on fight rules rather than on payment,

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

as some boxers and wrestlers receive cash prizes from their National Olympic Committees. In men’s football (soccer), only three professional players over the age of 23 are eligible to participate per team in the Olympic tournament.[115] Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

Controversies

Main article: Olympic Games scandals and controversies

Boycotts

Map showing the countries that boycotted the 1976 (yellow), 1980 (blue) and 1984 (red) Summer Olympics.

Australia, Great Britain and Switzerland are the only countries to send a team to every Olympic Games since their inception in 1896. Most countries miss an Olympics due to a lack of qualified athletes,

Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13/S Battery but some choose to boycott a celebration of the Games for several different reasons. The Olympic Council of Ireland boycotted the 1936 Berlin Games, because the IOC insisted its team needed to be restricted to the Irish Free State rather than representing the entire island of Ireland.[116] Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

There were three boycotts of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics: Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland refused to attend because of the repression of the Hungarian uprising by the Soviet Union, but did send an equestrian delegation to Stockholm;

Sony Vaio VGN-NW31EF Battery Cambodia, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon boycotted the Games because of the Suez Crisis; and China (the “People’s Republic of China”) boycotted the Games because Taiwan (the “Republic of China”) was allowed to compete in the games.[117] Sony Vaio VGN-NW21MF Battery

In 1972 and 1976 a large number of African countries threatened the IOC with a boycott to force them to ban South Africa and Rhodesia, because of their segregationist regimes. New Zealand was also one of the African boycott targets, because its national rugby union team had toured apartheid-ruled South Africa.

Sony Vaio VGN-NW31JF Battery

The IOC conceded in the first two cases, but refused to ban New Zealand on the grounds that rugby was not an Olympic sport.[118] Fulfilling their threat, twenty African countries were joined by Guyana and Iraq in a Tanzania-led withdrawal from the Montreal Games, after a few of their athletes had already competed.[118][

Sony Vaio VGN-NW31ZF/S Battery119] Taiwan also decided to boycott these Games because the People’s Republic of China (PRC) exerted pressure on the Montreal organizing committee to keep the delegation from the Republic of China (ROC) from competing under that name. The ROC refused a proposed compromise that would have still allowed them to use the ROC flag and anthem as long as the name was changed.[12

Sony Vaio VGN-NW21ZF Battery

0] Taiwan did not participate again until 1984, when it returned under the name of Chinese Taipei and with a special flag and anthem.[121] Sony Vaio VGN-NW21JF Battery

In 1980 and 1984, the Cold War opponents boycotted each other’s Games. Sixty-five nations refused to compete at the Moscow Olympics in 1980 because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This boycott reduced the number of nations participating to 81, the lowest number since 1956.[12Sony Vaio VGN-NW21EF Battery

2] The Soviet Union and 14 of its Eastern Bloc partners (except Romania) countered by boycotting the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984, contending that they could not guarantee the safety of their athletes.

Sony Vaio VGN-NW20SF Battery Soviet officials defended their decision to withdraw from the Games by saying that “chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria are being whipped up in the United States”.[123] The boycotting nations of the Eastern Bloc staged their own alternate event, the Friendship Games, in July and August.[124][125]

Sony Vaio VGN-NW20EF Battery

There had been growing calls for boycotts of Chinese goods and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in protest of China’s human rights record, and in response to Tibetan disturbances and ongoing conflict in Darfur. Ultimately, no nation supported a boycott.[12

Sony Vaio VGN-NW26M Battery

6][127] In August 2008, the government of Georgia called for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics, set to be held in Sochi, Russia, in response to Russia’s participation in the 2008 South Ossetia war.[128][129]

Sony Vaio VGN-NW24S Battery

Politics

Jesse Owens on the podium after winning the long jump at the 1936 Summer Olympics

Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the Black Power salute on the podium

The Olympic Games have been used as a platform to promote political ideologies almost from its inception.

Sony Vaio VGN-NW20ZF Battery

Nazi Germany wished to portray the Nationalist Socialist Party as benevolent and peace-loving when they hosted the 1936 Games, though they used the Games to display Aryan superiority.[130] Germany was the most successful nation at the Games, which did much to support their allegations of Aryan supremacy, Sony Vaio VGN-NW11S/S Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-NW31EF Battery but notable victories by African American Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals, and Hungarian Jew Ibolya Csák, blunted the message.[131] The Soviet Union did not participate until the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. Instead, starting in 1928, the Soviets organized an international sports event called Spartakiads. Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

During the interwar period of the 1920s and 1930s, communist and socialist organizations in several countries, including the United States, attempted to counter what they called the “bourgeois” Olympics with the Workers Olympics.[132Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21I Battery

][133] It was not until the 1956 Summer Games that the Soviets emerged as a sporting superpower and, in doing so, took full advantage of the publicity that came with winning at the Olympics.[134] Individual athletes have also used the Olympic stage to promote their own political agenda. At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery

two American track and field athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who finished first and third in the 200 meters, performed the Black Power salute on the victory stand. The second place finisher, Peter Norman of Australia, wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge in support of Smith and Carlos. In response to the protest, Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery

IOC President Avery Brundage told the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to either send the two athletes home or withdraw the track and field team. The USOC opted for the former.[135]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46M Battery

Currently, the government of Iran has taken steps to avoid any competition between its athletes and those from Israel. An Iranian judoka, Arash Miresmaeli, did not compete in a match against an Israeli during the 2004 Summer Olympics. Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery

Although he was officially disqualified for being overweight, Miresmaeli was awarded US$125,000 in prize money by the Iranian government, an amount paid to all Iranian gold medal winners. He was officially cleared of intentionally avoiding the bout, but his receipt of the prize money raised suspicion.[136] Sony  VAIO VGN-FW31M Battery

Use of performance enhancing drugs

Main article: Use of performance-enhancing drugs in the Olympic Games

Thomas Hicks running the marathon at the 1904 Summer Olympics

In the early 20th century, many Olympic athletes began using drugs to improve their athletic abilities. For example, the winner of the marathon at the 1904 Games, Thomas Hicks, was given strychnine and brandy by his coach.[137

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41ZJ/H Battery] The only Olympic death linked to doping occurred at the Rome Games of 1960. During the cycling road race, Danish cyclist Knud Enemark Jensen fell from his bicycle and later died. A coroner’s inquiry found that he was under the influence of amphetamines.[138] By the mid-1960s,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H Batterysports federations were starting to ban the use of performance enhancing drugs; in 1967 the IOC followed suit.[139]

The first Olympic athlete to test positive for the use of performance enhancing drugs was Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, a Swedish pentathlete at the 1968 Summer Olympics, who lost his bronze medal for alcohol use.[140]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41J/H Battery

The most publicized doping-related disqualification was that of Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, who won the 100 meter dash at the 1988 Seoul Olympics but tested positive for stanozolol. His gold medal was subsequently stripped and awarded to runner-up Carl Lewis, who himself had tested positive for banned substances prior to the Olympics.[141] Sony VAIO VGN-FW11J Battery

In the late 1990s, the IOC took the initiative in a more organized battle against doping, by forming the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 1999. There was a sharp increase in positive drug tests at the 2000 Summer Olympics and 2002 Winter Olympics. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11Z Battery

Several medalists in weightlifting and cross-country skiing were disqualified because of doping offenses. During the 2006 Winter Olympics, only one athlete failed a drug test and had a medal revoked. The IOC-established drug testing regimen (now known as the Olympic Standard) has set the worldwide benchmark that other sporting federations around the world attempt to emulate.[142]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H BatteryDuring the Beijing games, 3,667 athletes were tested by the IOC under the auspices of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Both urine and blood tests were used to detect banned substances. Several athletes were barred from competition by their National Olympic Committees prior to the Games; only three athletes failed drug tests while in competition in Beijing.[138][143]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery

Gender discrimination

Charlotte Cooper of the United Kingdom, first woman Olympic champion, in 1900

Women athletes were first allowed to compete at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, but at the 1992 Summer Olympics thirty-five countries were still fielding all-male delegations.[144] This number dropped rapidly over the following years.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51 Battery In 1996, Lita Fariman was the first woman to compete for Iran at the Olympics, in shooting.[145] In 2000, Bahrain sent two women competitors for the first time: Fatema Hameed Gerashi and Mariam Mohamed Hadi Al Hilli.[146] In 2004, Robina Muqim Yaar and Friba Razayee became the first women to compete for Afghanistan at the Olympics.[1

Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H Battery47] In 2008, the United Arab Emirates sent female athletes (Maitha Al Maktoum competed in taekwondo, and Latifa Al Maktoum in equestrian) to the Olympic Games for the first time. Both athletes were from Dubai’s ruling family.[148] Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZRU Battery

By 2010 only three countries had never sent female athletes to the Games: Brunei, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Brunei had taken part in only three celebrations of the Games, sending a single athlete on each occasion, but Saudi Arabia and Qatar had been competing regularly with all-male teams.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46M BatteryIn 2010, the International Olympic Committee announced it would “press” these countries to enable and facilitate the participation of women for the 2012 Summer Games; Anita DeFrantz, chair of the IOC’s Women and Sports Commission, suggested that countries be barred if they prevented women from competing. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZU Battery

Shortly thereafter, the Qatar Olympic Committee announced that it “hoped to send up to four female athletes in shooting and fencing” to the 2012 Summer Games in London. In Saudi Arabia, by contrast, national law explicitly prohibits women from competing at the Olympics – the only country where this is the case.[149][150]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41ZJ/H Battery

In 2008, Ali Al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, likewise called for Saudi Arabia to be barred from the Games, describing its ban on women athletes as a violation of the International Olympic Committee charter. He noted: “For the last 15 years, many international nongovernmental organizations worldwide have been trying to lobby the IOC for better enforcement of its own laws banning gender discrimination. [...Sony VAIO VGN-FW21J Battery

] While their efforts did result in increasing numbers of women Olympians, the IOC has been reluctant to take a strong position and threaten the discriminating countries with suspension or expulsion.”[144] In July 2010, The Independent reported: Sony VAIO VGN-FW21ZR Battery

“Pressure is growing on the International Olympic Committee to kick out Saudi Arabia, who are likely to be the only major nation not to include women in their Olympic team for 2012. [...] Should Saudi Arabia [...] send a male-only team to London, we understand they will face protests from equal rights and women’s groups which threaten to disrupt the Games”.[150] Sony VAIO VGN-FW3ZJ Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H Battery

The only sport on the Olympic programme that features men and women competing together is the equestrian disciplines. There is no “Women’s Eventing”, or ‘Men’s Dressage’. As of 2008 there were still more medal events for men than women. With the addition of women’s boxing to the programme in the 2012 Summer Olympics, however, female athletes will be able to compete in all the same sports as men.[151]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41J/H Battery

Violence

Three Olympiads had to pass without a celebration of the Games because of war: the 1916 Games were cancelled because of World War I, and the summer and winter games of 1940 and 1944 were cancelled because of World War II. Sony VAIO VGN-FW41E/H Battery

The South Ossetia War between Georgia and Russia erupted on the opening day of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Both President Bush and Prime Minister Putin were attending the Olympics at that time and spoke together about the conflict at a luncheon hosted by Chinese President Hu Jintao.[152

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery

] When Nino Salukvadze of Georgia won the bronze medal in the 10 meter air pistol competition, she stood on the medal podium with Natalia Paderina, a Russian shooter who had won the silver. In what became a much-publicized event from the Beijing Games, Salukvadze and Paderina embraced on the podium after the ceremony had ended.[153] Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H Battery

Terrorism has had an impact on the Olympic Games. In 1972, when the Summer Games were held in Munich, Germany, eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by the terrorist group Black September in what is now known as the Munich massacre. Sony VAIO VGN-FW51 Battery

The terrorists killed two of the athletes soon after they had taken them hostage and killed the other nine during a failed liberation attempt. A German police officer and 5 terrorists also perished.[154] During the Summer Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta, Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery

United States, a bomb was detonated at the Centennial Olympic Park, which killed two and injured 111 others. The bomb was set by Eric Robert Rudolph, an American domestic terrorist, who is currently serving a life sentence for the bombing.[15

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56 Battery5] Security at the Olympic Games has been an increasing concern and focus for Olympic planners since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.[156]

Citizenship

IOC rules for citizenship

The Olympic Charter requires that an athlete is a national of the country they compete for. Dual nationals may compete for either country, as long as three years have passed between when the competitor competed for his former country. However, if the NOCs and IF involved agree, the IOC Executive Board may reduce or cancel this period.[

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S Battery

157] This waiting period exists only for those who previously competed for one nation and want to compete for another. If an athlete gains a new or second nationality, they do not have to wait any designated amount of time before participating for the new or second nation. The IOC is only concerned with issues of citizenship and nationality after individual nations have granted citizenship to athletes.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54J Battery

Reasons for changing citizenship

Sometimes, athletes become citizens of new nations solely for the purpose of competing in the Olympics. This usually happens either because people are drawn to sponsorships and training facilities in places like the United States or because an athlete does not qualify in their original country.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54E Battery

This is usually because there are many qualified athletes in an athlete’s home country and they want to be able to participate as well as help the team of their new country. Between 1992 and 2008, there were about fifty athletes that have immigrated to the United States to compete on the US Olympic team after having previously competed for another nation.[158

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46Z Battery] Recently teams from Bahrain and Qatar have been almost exclusively made up of foreign-born athletes.

Citizenship changes and disputes

One of the most famous cases of changing nationality for the Olympics was Zola Budd, a South African runner who immigrated to the United Kingdom because there was an apartheid-era ban on the Olympics in South Africa.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46S BatteryBudd was eligible for British citizenship because her grandfather was born there, but British citizens accused the government of expediting the citizenship process for her.[159]

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26JG Battery

Other notable examples include Kenyan runner Bernard Lagat who became a United States citizen in May 2004. The Kenyan constitution requires that one renounce their Kenyan citizenship when they become a citizen of another nation. Lagat competed for Kenya in the 2004 Athens Olympics even though he had already become a United States citizen.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26EG Battery According to Kenya, he was no longer a Kenyan citizen, leaving his silver medal in jeopardy. Lagat said he started the citizenship process in late 2003 and did not expect to become an American citizen until after the Athens games.[16Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery

0] Basketball player Becky Hammon was not being considered for the United States Olympic team but wanted to play in an Olympic Games, so she immigrated to Russia where she already played in a domestic league during the WNBA offseason. Hammon received criticism from Americans, including the US national team coach, even being called unpatriotic.[161] Sony VAIO VGN-FW56M Battery

Champions and medalists

Further information: Lists of Olympic medalists and List of multiple Olympic gold medalists

The athletes or teams who place first, second, or third in each event receive medals. The winners receive gold medals, which were solid gold until 1912, then made of gilded silver and now gold-plated silver. Every gold medal however must contain at least six grams of pure gold.[162]

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MR Battery The runners-up receive silver medals and the third-place athletes are awarded bronze medals. In events contested by a single-elimination tournament (most notably boxing), third place might not be determined and both semifinal losers receive bronze medals. At the 1896 Olympics only the first two received a medal; Sony VAIO VGN-FW35F Battery

silver for first and bronze for second. The current three-medal format was introduced at the 1904 Olympics.[citation needed] From 1948 onward athletes placing fourth, fifth, and sixth have received certificates, which became officially known as victory diplomas; Sony VAIO VGN-NW24S Battery

in 1984 victory diplomas for seventh- and eighth-place finishers were added. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, the gold, silver, and bronze medal winners were also given olive wreaths.[163] The IOC does not keep statistics of medals won, but National Olympic Committees and the media record medal statistics as a measure of success.[164] Sony VAIO VGN-NW26M Battery

Host nations and cities

Map of Summer Olympics locations. Countries that have hosted one Summer Olympics are shaded green, while countries that have hosted two or more are shaded blue.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MG Battery

Map of Winter Olympics locations. Countries that have hosted one Winter Olympics are shaded green, while countries that have hosted two or more are shaded blue. Sony VAIO VGN-FW56E Battery

Main article: List of Olympic Games host cities

The host city for an Olympic Games is usually chosen seven years ahead of their celebration.[165] The process of selection is carried out in two phases that span a two-year period. The prospective host city applies to its country’s National Olympic Committee; if more than one city from the same country submits a proposal to its NOC, Sony VAIO VGN-FW56J Battery

the national committee typically holds an internal selection, since only one city per NOC can be presented to the International Olympic Committee for consideration. Once the deadline for submission of proposals by the NOCs is reached, the first phase (Application) begins with the applicant cities asked to complete a questionnaire regarding several key criteria related to the organization of the Olympic Games.[1Sony VAIO VGN-NW24EG Battery

66] In this form, the applicants must give assurances that they will comply with the Olympic Charter and with any other regulations established by the IOC Executive Committee.[1Sony VAIO VGN-NW24JG Battery 65] The evaluation of the filled questionnaires by a specialized group provides the IOC with an overview of each applicant’s project and their potential to host the Games. On the basis of this technical evaluation, the IOC Executive Board selects the applicants that will proceed to the candidature stage.[166] Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

Once the candidate cities are selected, they must submit to the IOC a bigger and more detailed presentation of their project as part of a candidature file. Each city is thoroughly analyzed by an evaluation commission.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H BatteryThis commission will also visit the candidate cities, interviewing local officials and inspecting prospective venue sites, and submit a report on its findings one month prior to the IOC’s final decision. During the interview process the candidate city must also guarantee that it will be able to fund the Games.[1

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Battery65] After the work of the evaluation commission, a list of candidates is presented to the General Session of the IOC, which must assemble in a country that does not have a candidate city in the running. The IOC members gathered in the Session have the final vote on the host city. Once elected,

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR Battery

the host city bid committee (together with the NOC of the respective country) signs a Host City Contract with the IOC, officially becoming an Olympic host nation and host city.[165]

By 2016, the Olympic Games will have been hosted by 44 cities in 23 countries, but by cities outside Europe and North America on only eight occasions. Since the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea,

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H Batterythe Olympics have been held in Asia or Oceania four times, a sharp increase compared to the previous 92 years of modern Olympic history. The 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro will be the first for a South American country. No bids from countries in Africa have succeeded.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H Battery

The United States has hosted four Summer and four Winter Olympics, more than any other nation. Among Summer Olympics host nations, the United Kingdom has been the host of two Games, and will host its third Olympics in 2012 in London. Germany, Australia, France and Greece are the other nations to have hosted the Summer Olympics twice. Among host cities, only Los Angeles,

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H Battery Paris, Athens and London have played host to the Olympic Games more than once – each holding that honor twice. With the 2012 Games scheduled to take place in London, the British capital will hold the distinction of hosting the modern Games three times, more than any other city.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X Battery

Concerning the Winter Olympics, France has hosted three Games, while Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Japan and Italy have hosted twice. The most recent Games were held in Vancouver, Canada’s second Winter Olympics and third overall. The next Winter Games will be in Sochi, Russia in 2014, which will be the first time this nation has hosted. Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery

———————————————————

The Winter Olympic Games is a sporting event, which occurs every four years. The first celebration of the Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, France, in 1924. The original sports were alpine and cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery

Nordic combined, ski jumping and speed skating. The Games were held every four years from 1924 until 1936 when they were interrupted by World War II. The Olympics resumed in 1948 and were celebrated every four years. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V BatteryThe Winter and Summer Olympic Games were held in the same years until 1992, when the governing body for the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), decided to place the Summer and Winter Games on separate four-year cycles in alternating even-numbered years. Sony VPCF219FC Battery

The Winter Games have evolved since their inception. Sports have been added and some of them, such as luge, short track speed skating and freestyle skiing, have earned a permanent spot on the Olympic programme. Others, such as speed skiing, bandy and skijoring, were demonstration sports but never incorporated as Olympic sports. Sony VPCS135EC Battery

The rise of television as a global medium for communication enhanced the profile of the Games. It created an income stream, via the sale of broadcast rights and advertising, which has become lucrative for the IOC. This allowed outside interests, such as television companies and corporate sponsors, to exert influence.

Sony VPCF115FG/B BatteryThe IOC has had to address several criticisms, internal scandals, the use of performance enhancing drugs by Winter Olympians, as well as a political boycott of the Winter Olympics. Nations have used the Winter Games to showcase the claimed superiority of their political systems.

Sony VPCF11S1E/B Battery

The Winter Olympics have been hosted on three continents, but never in a country in the southern hemisphere. The United States has hosted the Games four times; France has been the host three times; Austria, Canada, Italy, Japan,

Sony VPCF11M1E/H Battery Norway and Switzerland have hosted the Games twice. In 2014 Sochi will be the first Russian city to host the Winter Olympics. The IOC has selected Pyeongchang, South Korea, to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Sony VPCF11D4E Battery

The first international multi-sport event for winter sports was the Nordic Games held in Sweden in 1901. Originally organised by General Viktor Gustaf Balck, the Nordic Games were held again in 1903 and 1905 and then every fourth year thereafter until 1926.[ Sony VPCS136EC Battery

1] Balck was a charter member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and a close friend of Olympic Games founder Pierre de Coubertin. He attempted to have winter sports, specifically figure skating, added to the Olympic programme but was unsuccessful until the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom.[1] Sony VPCS138EC Battery

Four figure skating events were contested and at which Ulrich Salchow (10-time world champion) and Madge Syers won the individual titles.[2][3] Sony VPCS139GC Battery

Three years later Italian count Eugenio Brunetta d’Usseaux proposed that the IOC stage a week of winter sports included as part of the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. The organisers opposed this idea because they desired to protect the integrity of the Nordic Games and were concerned about a lack of facilities for winter sports.[4][5Sony VPCYA15EC Battery

][6] The idea was resurrected for the 1916 Games, which were to be held in Berlin, Germany. A winter sports week with speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey and Nordic skiing was planned, but the 1916 Olympics was cancelled after the outbreak of World War I.[5] Sony VPCYA16EC Battery

The first Olympics after the war were held in Antwerp, Belgium and featured figure skating and ice hockey tournament.[5] At the IOC Congress held the following year it was decided that the host nation of the 1924 Summer Olympics, Sony VPCYA25EC Battery

France, would host a separate “International Winter Sports Week” under the patronage of the IOC. Chamonix was chosen to host this “week” (actually 11 days) of events. The Games proved to be a success when more than 250 athletes from 16 nations competed in 16 events.[7] Athletes from Finland and Norway won 28 medals, Sony VPCYA26EC Battery

more than the rest of the participating nations combined.[8] In 1925 the IOC decided to create a separate Olympic Winter Games and the 1924 Games in Chamonix was retroactively designated as the first Winter Olympics.[5][7] Sony VPCYB15JC Battery

St. Moritz, Switzerland, was appointed by the IOC to host the second Olympic Winter Games in 1928.[9] Fluctuating weather conditions challenged the hosts. The opening ceremony was held in a blizzard while warm weather conditions plagued sporting events throughout the rest of the Games.[10] Because of the weather the 10,000 metre speed-skating event had to be abandoned and officially cancelled.[11] Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

The weather was not the only note-worthy aspect of the 1928 Games; Sonja Henie of Norway made history when she won the figure skating competition at the age of 15. She became the youngest Olympic champion in history, a distinction she would hold for 74 years.[12] Sony VPCF11C5E Battery

The next Winter Olympics was the first to be hosted outside of Europe. Seventeen nations and 252 athletes participated.[13] This was less than in 1928 as the journey to Lake Placid, United States, was a long and expensive one for most competitors who had little money in the midst of the Great Depression. Sony VPCF21Z1E Battery

The athletes competed in fourteen events in four sports.[13] Virtually no snow fell for two months before the Games, it was not until mid-January that there was enough snow to hold all the events.[1

Sony VPCF11S1E Battery4] Sonja Henie defended her Olympic title and Eddie Eagan, who had been an Olympic champion in boxing in 1920, won the gold in the men’s bobsleigh event to become the first, and so far only, Olympian to have won gold medals in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.[13]

Sony VPCF24M1E Battery

The German towns of Garmisch and Partenkirchen joined to organise the 1936 edition of the Winter Games, held on February 6–16.[1

Sony VPCF23S1E Battery5] This would be the last time the Summer and Winter Olympics were held in the same country in the same year. Alpine skiing made its Olympic debut, but skiing teachers were barred from entering because they were considered to be professionals.[16] Because of this decision the Swiss and Austrian skiers refused to compete at the Games.[16] Sony VPCF22J1E Battery

[edit]World War II

World War II interrupted the celebrations of the Winter Olympics. The 1940 Games had been awarded to Sapporo, Japan, but the decision was rescinded in 1938 because of the Japanese invasion of China. The Games were moved to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, but the German invasion of Poland in 1939,

Sony VPCF231S1E Battery which precipitated the commencement of World War II in Europe, forced the cancellation of the 1940 Games.[17] Due to the ongoing war the 1944 Games, originally scheduled for Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, were cancelled.[18]

[edit]1948 to 1960 Sony VPCF22L1E Battery

St. Moritz was selected to host the first post-war Games in 1948. Switzerland’s neutrality had protected the town during World War II and most of the venues were in place from the 1928 Games, which made St. Moritz a logical choice to become the first city to host a Winter Olympics twice.[19

Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery] Twenty-eight countries competed in Switzerland, but athletes from Germany and Japan were not invited.[20] Controversy erupted when two hockey teams from the United States arrived, both claiming to be the legitimate U.S. Olympic hockey representative. The Olympic flag presented at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp was stolen, as was its replacement.

Sony VPCF23M1E BatteryThere was unprecedented parity at these Games, during which 10 countries won gold medals—more than any Games to that point.[21]

Sony VPCF22M1E Battery

The opening ceremonies of the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo

The Olympic Flame for the 1952 Games in Oslo, was lit in the fireplace by skiing pioneer Sondre Nordheim and the torch relay was conducted by 94 participants entirely on skis.[22][23] Bandy, a popular sport in the Nordic countries, Sony VPCF22S1E Battery

Sony VPCF22S8E Battery was featured as a demonstration sport; though only Norway, Sweden and Finland fielded teams. Norwegian athletes won 17 medals, which outpaced all the other nations.[24] They were led by Hjalmar Andersen who won three gold medals in four events in the speed skating competition.[25] Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

After not being able to host the Games in 1944, Cortina d’Ampezzo was selected to organise the 1956 Winter Olympics. At the opening ceremonies the final torch bearer, Guido Caroli, entered the Olympic Stadium on ice skates. Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery

Sony VPCY21S1E Battery As he skated around the stadium his skate caught on a cable and he fell, nearly extinguishing the flame. He was able to recover and lit the cauldron.[26] These were the first Winter Games to be televised, though no television rights would be sold until the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.[27]

Sony VPCF23QIE Battery The Cortina Games were used to test the feasibility of televising large sporting events.[27] The Soviet Union made its Olympic debut and had an immediate impact, winning more medals than any other nation.[28]

Sony VPCF24Q1E Battery

Chiharu Igaya won the first Winter Olympics medal for Japan and the continent of Asia, when he placed second in the slalom.[29]

The IOC awarded the 1960 Olympics to Squaw Valley, United States. Since the village was underdeveloped there was a rush to construct infrastructure and sports facilities like an ice arena, speed-skating track, and a ski-jump hill.[30]

Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery

[31] The opening and closing ceremonies were produced by Walt Disney.[32] The Squaw Valley Olympics had a number of notable firsts: it was the first Olympics to have a dedicated athletes’ village; it was the first to use a computer (courtesy of IBM) to tabulate results; Sony VPCF12E1E/H Battery

and the first to feature female speed skating events. The bobsleigh events were absent for the first and only time because the organising committee found it too expensive to build the bobsleigh run.[32] Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery

Sony VPCF12M1E/H Battery

[edit]1964 to 1980

The Herb Brooks Arena, site of the “Miracle on Ice”, photo taken ca. 2007

The Austrian city of Innsbruck was the host in 1964. Although Innsbruck was a traditional winter sports resort, warm weather caused a lack of snow during the Games and the Austrian army was asked to transport snow and ice to the sport venues.[32Sony VPCF13E4E Battery

Sony VPCF13E8E Battery

] Soviet speed-skater Lidia Skoblikova made history by sweeping all four speed-skating events. Her career total of six gold medals set a record for Winter Olympics athletes.[32] Luge was first contested in 1964, although the sport received bad publicity when a competitor was killed in a pre-Olympic training run.[33][34] Sony VPCF13J0E/H Battery

Held in the French town of Grenoble, the 1968 Winter Olympics were the first Olympic Games to be broadcast in colour. There were 37 nations and 1,158 athletes competing in 35 events.[35] Frenchman Jean-Claude Killy became only the second person to win all the men’s alpine skiing events.

Sony VPCF13V5002B Battery

The organising committee sold television rights for $2 million, which was more than double the price of the broadcast rights for the Innsbruck Games.[36] Venues were spread over long distances requiring three athletes’ villages. Sony VPCF1318E/H Battery

The organisers claimed this was required to accommodate technological advances. Critics disputed this, alleging that the layout was necessary to provide the best possible venues for television broadcasts at the expense of the athletes.[36] Sony VPCF13M1E/B Battery

The 1972 Winter Games, held in Sapporo, Japan, were the first to be hosted outside North America or Europe. The issue of professionalism became contentious during the Sapporo Games. Three days before the Games IOC president Avery Brundage threatened to bar a number of alpine skiers from competing because they participated in a ski camp at Mammoth Mountain in the United States.

Sony VPCF13M1E/H BatteryBrundage reasoned that the skiers had financially benefited from their status as athletes and were therefore no longer amateurs.[37] Eventually only Austrian Karl Schranz, who earned more than all the other skiers, was not allowed to compete.[38] Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

Canada did not send teams to the 1972 or 1976 ice hockey tournaments in protest of their inability to use players from professional leagues.[39] Francisco Ochoa became the only Spaniard to ever win a Winter Olympic gold medal when he triumphed in the slalom.[40] Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery

The 1976 Winter Games had been awarded to Denver, United States, but in 1972 the city’s voters passed a referendum declining to be hosts.[4

Sony VPCF13Z8E/BI Battery

1] Innsbruck, which had maintained the infrastructure from the 1964 Games, was chosen to replace Denver.[42] Two Olympic flames were lit because it was the second time the Austrian town had hosted the Games.[4Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery

Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI Battery2] The 1976 Games featured the first combination bobsleigh and luge track, in neighbouring Igls.[40] The Soviet Union won its fourth consecutive ice hockey gold medal.[42]

In 1980 the Olympics returned to Lake Placid who had hosted the 1932 Games. The first boycott of a Winter Olympics occurred during the 1980 Games when Taiwan refused to participate after an edict by the IOC mandated that they change their name and national anthem.[43Sony VPCF1 Battery

] The IOC was attempting to accommodate China, who wished to compete using the same name and anthem that had been used by Taiwan.[43] American speed-skater Eric Heiden set either an Olympic or world record in each of the five events he competed in.[4

Sony VPCF13M1E/H Battery

4] Hanni Wenzel won both the slalom and giant slalom and her country, Liechtenstein, became the smallest nation to produce an Olympic gold medallist.[13] In the “Miracle on Ice” the American hockey team beat the favoured Soviets and went on to win the gold medal.[45]

Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI Battery

[edit]1984 to 1998

A replica of the 1984 Winter Olympics medal in Sarajevo

Alberto Tomba, winner of five Olympic medals in Calgary, Albertville, and Lillehammer

Sapporo, Japan and Gothenburg, Sweden, were front-runners to host the 1984 Winter Olympics. It was therefore a surprise when Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, was selected as host.[4Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

6] The Games were well-organised and displayed no indication of the war that would soon engulf the country.[47] A total of 49 nations and 1,272 athletes participated in 39 events. Host nation Yugoslavia won its first Olympic medal when alpine skier Jure Franko won a silver in the giant slalom. Sony VPCF11C5E Battery

Another sporting highlight was the free dance performance of British ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. Their performance to Ravel’s Boléro earned the pair the gold medal after achieving unanimous perfect scores for artistic impression.[47] Sony VPCF11D4E Battery

Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery

In 1988 the Canadian city of Calgary, hosted the first Winter Olympics to span 16 days.[48] New events were added: ski-jumping and speed skating; while future Olympic sports curling, short track speed skating and freestyle skiing made their appearance as demonstration sports. Sony VPCF11M1E/H Battery

For the first time the speed skating events were held indoors, on the Olympic Oval. Dutch skater Yvonne van Gennip won three gold medals and set two world records, beating skaters from the favoured East German team in every race.[4Sony VPCF11S1E/B Battery

Sony VPCF13Z8E/BI Battery9] Her medal total was equalled by Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykänen, who won all three events in his sport. Alberto Tomba, an Italian skier, made his Olympic debut by winning both the giant slalom and slalom. East German Christa Rothenburger won the women’s 1,000 metre speed skating event. Sony VPCF115FG/B Battery

Seven months later she would earn a silver in track cycling at the Summer Games in Seoul, to become the first and only athlete to win medals in both a Summer and Winter Olympics in the same year.[48]

Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery

The 1992 Games were the last to be held in the same year as the Summer Games.[50] They were hosted in the French Savoie region in the city of Albertville, though only 18 events were held in the city. The rest of the events were spread out over the Savoie.[50] Political changes of the time were reflected in the Olympic teams appearing in France: Sony VPCF2 Battery

this was the first Games to be held after the fall of Communism and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and Germany competed as a single nation for the first time since the 1964 Games; former Yugoslavian republics Croatia and Slovenia made their debuts as independent nations; Sony VPCF21Z1E Battery

most of the former Soviet republics still competed as a single team known as the Unified Team, but the Baltic States made independent appearances for the first time since before World War II.[51] At 16 years old, Finnish ski jumper Toni Nieminen made history by becoming the youngest male Winter Olympic champion.[52]

Sony VPCF11C4E/B BatteryNew Zealand skier Annelise Coberger became the first Winter Olympic medallist from the southern hemisphere when she won a silver medal in the women’s slalom.

In 1986 the IOC had voted to separate the Summer and Winter Games and place them in alternating even-numbered years.

Sony VPCF13M1E/B Battery

This change became effective for the 1994 Games, held in Lillehammer, Norway, which became the first Winter Olympics to be held separate from the Summer Games.[53] After the division of Czechoslovakia in 1993 the Czech Republic and Slovakia made their Olympic debuts.[54] The women’s figure skating competition garnered media attention when American skater Nancy Kerrigan was injured on January 6, 1994,

Sony VPCF1318E/H Battery

in an assault planned by the ex-husband of opponent Tonya Harding.[55] Both skaters competed in the Games, but the gold medal was won by Oksana Baiul. She became Ukraine’s first Olympic champion.[56][57] Johann Olav Koss of Norway won three gold medals coming first in all of the distance speed skating events.[58]

Sony VPCF13J0E/H Battery

The 1998 Winter Olympics were held in the Japanese city of Nagano and were the first Games to host more than 2,000 athletes.[59] The men’s ice hockey tournament was opened to professionals for the first time. Canada and the United States, with their many NHL players, were favoured to win the tournament.[59Sony VPCF22J1E Battery

Sony VPCF13E4E Battery

Sony VPCF13E8E Battery

] Neither won any hockey medals however, as the Czech Republic prevailed.[59] Women’s ice hockey made its debut and the United States won the gold medal.[60] Bjørn Dæhlie of Norway won three gold medals in Nordic skiing. He became the most decorated Winter Olympic athlete with eight gold medals and twelve medals overall.[ Sony VPCF22L1E Battery

Sony VPCF12M1E/H Battery59] Austrian Hermann Maier survived a crash during the downhill competition and returned to win gold in the super-g and the giant slalom.[59] A wave of new world records were set in speed skating because of the introduction of the clap skate.[61]

Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery

[edit]2002 to present

Olympic flame during the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City

The 19th Olympic Winter Games were held in Salt Lake City, United States, hosting 77 nations and 2,399 athletes in 78 events in 7 sports.[62

Sony VPCF12E1E/H Battery] German Georg Hackl won a silver in the singles luge, becoming the first athlete in Olympic history to win medals in the same individual event in five consecutive Olympics.[62] Canada achieved an unprecedented double by winning both the men’s and women’s ice hockey gold medals.[6

Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery2] Canada became embroiled with Russia in a controversy that involved the judging of the pairs figure skating competition. The Russian pair of Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze competed against the Canadian pair of Jamie Salé and David Pelletier for the gold medal.

Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery The Canadians appeared to have skated well enough to win the competition, yet the Russians were awarded the gold. The judging broke along Cold War lines with judges from former Communist countries favouring the Russian pair and judges from Democratic nations voting for the Canadians.

Sony VPCF11S1E Battery The only exception was the French judge, Marie-Reine Le Gougne, who awarded the gold to the Russians. An investigation revealed that she had been pressured to give the gold to the Russian pair regardless of how they skated; in return the Russian judge would look favourably on the French entrants in the ice dancing competition.[6Sony VPCF22M1E Battery

3] The IOC decided to award both pairs the gold medal in a second medal ceremony held later in the Games.[64] Australian Steven Bradbury became the first gold medallist from the southern hemisphere when he won the 1,000 metre short-track speed skating event.[65] Sony VPCF22S1E Battery

The Italian city of Turin hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics. It was the second time that Italy had hosted the Winter Olympic Games. South Korean athletes won 10 medals, including 6 gold in the short-track speed skating events. Sun-Yu Jin won three gold medals while her teammate Hyun-Soo Ahn won three gold medals and a bronze.[6Sony VPCF22S8E Battery

6] In the women’s Cross-Country team pursuit Canadian Sara Renner broke one of her poles and, when he saw her dilemma, Norwegian coach Bjørnar Håkensmoen decided to lend her a pole. In so doing she was able to help her team win a silver medal in the event at the expense of the Norwegian team, who finished fourth.[66][6Sony VPCF23M1E Battery

7] Claudia Pechstein of Germany became the first speed skater to earn nine career medals.[66] In February 2009 Pechstein tested positive for “blood manipulation” and received a two-year suspension, which she appealed.

Sony VPCF24M1E BatteryThe Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld her suspension but a Swiss court ruled that she could compete for a spot on the 2010 German Olympic team.[68] This ruling was brought to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, which overturned the lower court’s ruling and precluded her from competing in Vancouver.[69] Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery

A memorial to Nodar Kumaritashvili in Whistler, photographed on March 20, 2010

In 2003 the IOC awarded the 2010 Winter Olympics to Vancouver, thus allowing Canada to host its second Winter Olympics. With a population of more than 2.5 million people Vancouver is the largest metropolitan area to ever host a Winter Olympic Games.[70] Over 80 countries and 5,000 athletes participated in 86 events.[71] Sony VPCF231S1E Battery

Sony VPCF23S1E Battery The death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in a training run on the day of the opening ceremonies cast a pall over the Games. His death forced officials at the Whistler Sliding Centre to change the track to make it safer.[72] Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjørgen won five medals in the six cross-country events on the women’s programme. She finished the Olympics with three golds, a silver and a bronze.[73] Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery

The Vancouver Games were notable for the poor performance of the Russian athletes. From their first Winter Olympics in 1956 to the 2006 games, a Soviet or Russian delegation had never been outside the top five medal-winning nations. Sony VPCF24Q1E Battery

In 2010 they finished sixth in total medals and eleventh in gold medals. President Dmitry Medvedev called for the resignation of top sports officials immediately after the Games.[74] The success of Asian countries stood in stark contrast to the under-performing Russian team with Vancouver marking a high point for medals won by Asian countries. Sony VPCF23QIE Battery

In 1992 the Asian countries had won fifteen medals, three of which were gold. In Vancouver the total number of medals won by athletes from Asia had increased to thirty-one, with eleven of them being gold. The rise of Asian nations in Winter Olympics sports is due in part to the growth of winter sports programmes and the interest in winter sports in nations such as South Korea, Japan and China.[75][76]

[edit]FutureSony VPCY21S1E Battery

Sochi, Russia, was elected as the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics over Salzburg, Austria, and Pyeongchang, South Korea. This will be the first time that Russia will host a Winter Olympics.[77]

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Battery

Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery

The Olympic Village and Olympic Stadium will be located on the Black Sea coast. All of the mountain venues will be 50 kilometres (30 mi) away in the alpine region known as Krasnaya Polyana.[77] On July 6, 2011, the IOC selected the city of Pyeongchang, South Korea to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.[78]

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR Battery

[edit]Controversy

Main article: Olympic Games scandals and controversies#Winter Olympics

Juan Antonio Samaranch, former IOC president, was implicated in a bidding scandal for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The process for awarding host city honours came under intense scrutiny after Salt Lake City had been awarded the right to host the 2002 Games.[79] Soon after the host city had been announced it was discovered that the organisers had engaged in an elaborate bribery scheme to curry favour with IOC officials.[

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H Battery

79] Gifts and other financial considerations were given to those who would evaluate and vote on Salt Lake City’s bid. These gifts included medical treatment for relatives, a college scholarship for one member’s son and a land deal in Utah. Even IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch received two rifles valued at $2,000.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H BatterySamaranch defended the gift as inconsequential since, as president, he was a non-voting member.[80] The subsequent investigation uncovered inconsistencies in the bids for every Games (both summer and winter) since 1988.[81Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

] For example the gifts received by IOC members from the Japanese Organising Committee for Nagano’s bid for the 1998 Winter Olympics were described by the investigation committee as “astronomical”.[82

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H Battery] Although nothing strictly illegal had been done, the IOC feared that corporate sponsors would lose faith in the integrity of the process and that the Olympic brand would be tarnished to such an extent that advertisers would begin to pull their support.[ Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery

83] The investigation resulted in the expulsion of 10 IOC members and the sanctioning of another 10. New terms and age limits were established for IOC membership, and 15 former Olympic athletes were added to the committee. Stricter rules for future bids were imposed, with ceilings imposed on the value of gifts IOC members could accept from bid cities.[84][85][86] Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery

[edit]Host city legacy

According to the IOC, the host city is responsible for, “…establishing functions and services for all aspects of the Games, such as sports planning, venues, finance, technology,accommodation, catering, media services etc., as well as operations during the Games.”[8Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery

] Due to the cost of hosting an Olympic Games most host cities never realise a profit on their investment.[88Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X Battery7] For example the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, cost $12.5 billion. By comparison the Torino Games of 2006 cost $3.6 billion to host.[89] The organisers claimed that the cost of extending the bullet train service from Tokyo to Nagano was responsible for the large price tag.[89Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

The organising committee hoped that the exposure of the Olympic Games, and the expedited access to Nagano from Tokyo, would be a boon to the local economy for years afterward. Nagano's economy did experience a two-year post-Olympic spur, but the long term effects have not materialised as planned.[8Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

9] The possibility of heavy debt, coupled with unused sports venues and infrastructure that saddle the local community with upkeep costs and no practical post-Olympic value, is a deterrent to prospective host cities.[90]

Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery

To mitigate these concerns the IOC has enacted several initiatives. First it has agreed to fund part of the host city’s budget for staging the Games.[91] Secondly, the IOC limits the qualifying host countries to those that have the resources and infrastructure to successfully host an Olympic Games without negatively impacting the region or nation. This eliminates a large portion of the developing world.[92]

Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery Finally, cities bidding to host the Games are required to add a “legacy plan” to their proposal. This requires prospective host cities and the IOC, to plan with a view to the long-term economic and environmental impact that hosting the Olympics will have on the region.[93]

Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery

[edit]Doping

In 1967 the IOC began enacting drug testing protocols. They started by randomly testing athletes at the 1968 Winter Olympics.[94] The first Winter Games athlete to test positive for a banned substance was Alois Schloder, a West German hockey player,[9Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

5] but his team was still allowed to compete.[96] During the 1970s testing outside of competition was escalated because it was found to deter athletes from using performance-enhancing drugs.[97] The problem with testing during this time was a lack of standardisation of the test procedures, which undermined the credibility of the tests.

Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery It was not until the late 1980s that international sporting federations began to coordinate efforts to standardise the drug-testing protocols.[98] The IOC took the lead in the fight against steroids when it established the independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in November 1999.[99][100] Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

The 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin became notable for a scandal involving the emerging trend of blood doping, the use of blood transfusions or synthetic hormones such as Erythropoietin (EPO) to improve oxygen flow and thus reduce fatigue.[101] Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

The Italian police conducted a raid on the Austrian cross-country ski team’s residence during the Games where they seized blood-doping specimens and equipment.[102] This event followed the pre-Olympics suspension of 12 cross-country skiers who tested positive for unusually high levels of hemoglobin, which is evidence of blood doping.[101] Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN Battery

[edit]Commercialisation

Avery Brundage, as president of the IOC from 1952 to 1972, rejected all attempts to link the Olympics with commercial interests as he felt that the Olympic movement should be completely separate from financial influence.[103] The 1960 Winter Olympics marked the beginning of corporate sponsorship of the Games.[10

Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery3] Despite Brundage’s strenuous resistance the commercialisation of the Games continued during the 1960s, and revenue generated by corporate sponsorship swelled the IOC’s coffers.[104] By the Grenoble Games Brundage had become so concerned about the direction of the Winter Olympic Games towards commercialisation that, if it could not be corrected, he felt the Winter Olympics should be abolished.[1Sony VAIO VGN-SR31M Battery

05] Brundage’s resistance to this revenue stream meant that the IOC was unable to gain a share of the financial windfall that was coming to host cities, and had no control over the structuring of sponsorship deals. When Brundage retired the IOC had $2 million in assets; Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery

eight years later its accounts had swelled to $45 million. This was due to a shift in ideology among IOC members, towards expansion of the Games through corporate sponsorship and the sale of television rights.[103]

Sony VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

Brundage’s concerns proved prophetic. The IOC has charged more for television broadcast rights at each successive Games.[106] At the 1998 Nagano Games American broadcaster CBS paid $375 million, whereas the 2006 Turin Games cost NBC $613 million to broadcast.[107] The more television companies have paid to televise the Games, the greater their persuasive power has been with the IOC.[106][108]

Sony VGP-BPS13/Q Battery For example, the television lobby has influenced the Olympic programme by dictating when event finals are held, so that they appear in prime time for television audiences. They have pressured the IOC to include new events, such as snowboarding, that appeal to broader television audiences. This has been done to boost ratings, which were slowly declining until the 2010 Games.[109][11

Sony VGP-BPS13 Batterty

0]

In 1986 the IOC decided to stagger the Summer and Winter Games. Instead of holding both in the same calendar year the committee decided to alternate them every two years, although both Games would still be held on four-year cycles.[111Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery

] It was decided that 1992 would be the last year to have both a Winter and Summer Olympic Games.[53] There were two underlying reasons for this change: first was the television lobby’s desire to maximise advertising revenue as it was difficult to sell advertising time for two Games in the same year;[1

Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery11] second was the IOC’s desire to gain more control over the revenue generated by the Games. It was decided that staggering the Games would make it easier for corporations to sponsor individual Olympic Games, which would maximise revenue potential. The IOC sought to directly negotiate sponsorship contracts so that they had more control over the Olympic “brand”.[112]

Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery The first Winter Olympics to be hosted in this new format were the 1994 Games in Lillehammer.[50]

[edit]Politics

[edit]Cold War

A postage stamp issued by East Germany in commemoration of their first Winter Olympics as an independent country

The Winter Olympics have been an ideological front in the Cold War since the Soviet Union first participated at the 1956 Winter Games. It did not take long for the Cold War combatants to discover what a powerful propaganda tool the Olympic Games could be. Soviet and American politicians used the Olympics as an opportunity to prove the perceived superiority of their respective political systems.[1Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery

13] The successful Soviet athlete was feted and honoured. Irina Rodnina, three-time Olympic gold medallist in figure skating, was awarded the Order of Lenin after her victory at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck.[11

Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery4] Soviet athletes who won gold medals could expect to receive between $4,000 and $8,000 depending on the prestige of the sport. A world record was worth an additional $1,500.[115] In 1978 the United States Congress responded to these measures by passing legislation that reorganised the United States Olympic Committee. It also approved financial rewards to medal-winning athletes.[11Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery

6]

The Cold War created tensions amongst countries allied to the two superpowers. The strained relationship between East and West Germany created a difficult political situation for the IOC. Because of its role in World War II, Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery

Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery Germany was not allowed to compete at the 1948 Winter Olympics.[20] In 1950 the IOC recognised the West German Olympic Committee,[117] and invited East and West Germany to compete as a unified team at the 1952 Winter Games. East Germany declined the invitation and instead sought international legitimacy separate from West Germany.[1

HP Pavilion DV5-2130US Battery

HP Pavilion DV5-2134US Battery

18] In 1955 the Soviet Union recognised East Germany as a sovereign state, thereby giving more credibility to East Germany’s campaign to become an independent participant at the Olympics. The IOC agreed to provisionally accept the East German National Olympic Committee with the condition that East and West Germans compete on one team.[ HP Pavilion DV4-1123US Battery

119] The situation became tenuous when the Berlin Wall was constructed in 1962 and western nations began refusing visas to East German athletes.[120] The uneasy compromise of a unified team held until the 1968 Grenoble Games when the IOC officially split the teams and threatened to reject the host-city bids of any country that refused entry visas to East German athletes.[121]

[edit]Boycott

HP Pavilion DV5-1250US Battery

The Winter Games have had only one national team boycott when Taiwan decided not to participate in the 1980 Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid. Prior to the Games the IOC agreed to allow China to compete in the Olympics for the first time since 1952. China was given permission to compete as the “People’s Republic of China” (PRC) and to use the PRC flag and anthem.

HP Pavilion DV5-1019US BatteryUntil 1980 the island of Taiwan had been competing under the name “Republic of China” (ROC) and had been using the ROC flag and anthem.[43] The IOC attempted to have the countries compete together but when this proved to be unacceptable the IOC demanded that Taiwan cease to call itself the “Republic of China”.[122HP Pavilion DV4-1144US Battery

HP Pavilion DV5-1002US Battery][123] The IOC renamed the island “Chinese Taipei” and demanded that it adopt a different flag and national anthem; stipulations that Taiwan would not agree to. Despite numerous appeals and court hearings the IOC’s decision stood. When the Taiwanese athletes arrived at the Olympic village with their Republic of China identification cards they were not admitted.

HP Pavilion DV5-1000US BatteryThey subsequently left the Olympics in protest, just before the opening ceremonies.[43] Taiwan returned to Olympic competition at the 1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo as Chinese Taipei. The country agreed to compete under a flag bearing the emblem of their National Olympic Committee and to play the anthem of their National Olympic Committee should one of their athletes win a gold medal. The agreement remains in place to this day.[124]

HP Pavilion DV4-1433US Battery

[edit]Sports

Chapter 1, article 6 of the 2007 edition of the Olympic Charter defines winter sports as “sports which are practised on snow or ice.”[125] Since 1992 a number of new sports have been added to the Olympic programme; which include short track speed skating, snowboarding, freestyle and moguls skiing.

HP Pavilion DV4-1431US Battery The addition of these events has broadened the appeal of the Winter Olympics beyond Europe and North America. While European powers such as Norway and Germany still dominate the traditional Winter Olympic sports, countries such as South Korea, Australia and Canada are finding success in the new sports. HP Pavilion DV4-1220US Battery

The results are more parity in the national medal tables, more interest in the Winter Olympics and higher global television ratings.[126]

Demonstration sports have historically provided a venue for host countries to attract publicity to locally popular sports by having a competition without granting medals. Demonstration sports were discontinued after 1992. Military patrol, HP Pavilion DV4-1227US Battery

a precursor to the biathlon, was a medal sport in 1924 and was demonstrated in 1928, 1936 and 1948, becoming an official sport in 1960.[143] The special figures figure skating event was only contested at the 1908 Summer Olympics.[1HP Pavilion DV4-1280US Battery

44] Bandy (Russian hockey) is a sport popular in the Nordic countries and Russia. In the latter it’s considered a national sport.[145] It was demonstrated at the Oslo Games.[146] Bandy will be featured as a part of the cultural programme in Sochi 2014[147] and might become a full medal sport in Pyoengchang 2018.[

HP Pavilion DV4-1430US Battery148] Ice stock sport, a German variant of curling, was demonstrated in 1936 in Germany and 1964 in Austria.[16] The ski ballet event, later known as ski-acro, was demonstrated in 1988 and 1992.[149] Skijöring, skiing behind dogs, was a demonstration sport in St. Moritz in 1928.[146] A sled-dog race was held at Lake Placid in 1932.[146HP Pavilion DV4-1281US Battery

HP Pavilion DV4-1332US Battery] Speed skiing was demonstrated in Albertville at the 1992 Winter Olympics.[150] Winter pentathlon, a variant of the modern pentathlon, was included as a demonstration event at the 1948 Games in Switzerland. It was composed of cross-country skiing, shooting, downhill skiing, fencing and horse riding.[129]

HP Pavilion DV6-1030US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-1050US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-1122US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-1230US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-1240US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-1250US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-1280US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-2043US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-2157US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-2170US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-2180US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-2190US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3010US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3020US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3022US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3030US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-1030US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3040US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3050US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3120US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3122US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3130US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3140US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3143US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3150US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3160US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3210US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3216US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3230US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3240US Battery

HP Pavilion DV6-3250US Battery

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The World War

The World War

World War I (WWI), which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939 (World War II), and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. It involved all the world’s great powers,[5] HP Pavilion DV4-1123US Battery

which were assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (based on the Triple Entente of the United Kingdom, France and Russia) and the Central Powers (originally centred around the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy; HP Pavilion DV4-1144US Battery

but, as Austria–Hungary had taken the offensive against the agreement, Italy did not enter into the war).[6] These alliances both reorganised (Italy fought for the Allies), and expanded as more nations entered the war.

HP Pavilion DV5-2134US Battery Ultimately more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history.[7][8] More than 9 million combatants were killed, largely because of great technological advances in firepower without corresponding advances in mobility.

HP Pavilion DV5-2130US Battery It was the sixth-deadliest conflict in world history, subsequently paving the way for various political changes such as revolutions in the nations involved.[9]

Long-term causes of the war included the imperialistic foreign policies of the great powers of Europe, including the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire,

HP Pavilion DV5-1250US Batterythe Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, the British Empire, the French Republic, and Italy. The assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by a Yugoslav nationalist in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina was the proximate trigger of the war. It resulted in a Habsburg ultimatum against the Kingdom of Serbia.[10][1

HP Pavilion DV5-1019US Battery1] Several alliances formed over the previous decades were invoked, so within weeks the major powers were at war; via their colonies, the conflict soon spread around the world.

HP Pavilion DV5-1002US Battery

On 28 July, the conflict opened with the Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia,[12][13] followed by the German invasion of Belgium, Luxembourg and France; and a Russian attack against Germany. After the German march on Paris was brought to a halt, the Western Front settled into a static battle of attrition with a trench line that changed little until 1917. HP Pavilion DV4-1220US Battery

In the East, the Russian army successfully fought against the Austro-Hungarian forces but was forced back from East Prussia and Poland by the German army. Additional fronts opened after the Ottoman Empire joined the war in 1914, Italy and Bulgaria in 1915 and Romania in 1916. The Russian Empire collapsed in March 1917,

HP Pavilion DV5-1000US Batteryand Russia left the war after the October Revolution later that year. After a 1918 German offensive along the western front, United States forces entered the trenches and the Allies drove back the German armies in a series of successful offensives. Germany, which had its own trouble with revolutionaries at this point,

HP Pavilion DV4-1433US Batteryagreed to a cease-fire on 11 November 1918, later known as Armistice Day. The war had ended in victory for the Allies.

Events on the home fronts were as tumultuous as on the battle fronts, as the participants tried to mobilize their manpower and economic resources to fight a total war. By the end of the war, four major imperial powers — the German, Russian,

HP Pavilion DV4-1431US Battery

Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires — ceased to exist. The successor states of the former two lost a great amount of territory, while the latter two were dismantled entirely. The map of central Europe was redrawn into several smaller states.[1

HP Pavilion DV4-1430US Battery

4] The League of Nations was formed in the hope of preventing another such conflict. The European nationalism spawned by the war and the breakup of empires, the repercussions of Germany’s defeat and problems with the Treaty of Versailles are generally agreed to be factors contributing to World War II.[15]

HP Pavilion DV4-1332US Battery

In Canada, Maclean’s Magazine in October 1914 said, “Some wars name themselves. This is the Great War.”[16] During the Interwar period, the war was most often called the World War and the Great War, in English-speaking countries.

HP Pavilion DV4-1281US Battery

After the onset of the Second World War in 1939, the terms World War I or the First World War became standard, with British and Canadian historians favouring the First World War, and Americans World War I. The notion that the “World War” was merely the first in a series was not a new idea at the time, however;

HP Pavilion DV4-1280US Battery

it was first introduced in September 1914 by German philosopher Ernst Haeckel, who claimed that “there is no doubt that the course and character of the feared ‘European War’ … will become the first world war in the full sense of the word.”[17] The First World War was the title of a 1920 history by the officer and journalist Charles à Court Repington. HP Pavilion DV4-1227US Battery

Background

Main article: Causes of World War I

Map of the participants in World War I: Allied Powers in green, Central Powers in orange, and neutral countries in grey

In the 19th century, the major European powers had gone to great lengths to maintain a balance of power throughout Europe, resulting by 1900 in a complex network of political and military alliances throughout the continent.[6HP Pavilion DV6-1030US Battery

] These had started in 1815, with the Holy Alliance between Prussia, Russia, and Austria. Then, in October 1873, German Chancellor Bismarck negotiated the League of the Three Emperors (German: Dreikaiserbund) between the monarchs of Austria–Hungary, HP Pavilion DV6-1050US Battery

Russia and Germany. This agreement failed because Austria–Hungary and Russia could not agree over Balkan policy, leaving Germany and Austria–Hungary in an alliance formed in 1879, called the Dual Alliance. This was seen as a method of countering Russian influence in the Balkans as the Ottoman Empire continued to weaken.[6

HP Pavilion DV6-3050US Battery] In 1882, this alliance was expanded to include Italy in what became the Triple Alliance.[18]

After 1870, European conflict was averted largely through a carefully planned network of treaties between the German Empire and the remainder of Europe orchestrated by Bismarck. He especially worked to hold Russia at Germany’s side to avoid a two-front war with France and Russia.

HP Pavilion DV6-3040US BatteryWhen Wilhelm II ascended to the throne as German Emperor (Kaiser), Bismarck’s alliances were gradually de-emphasised. For example, the Kaiser refused to renew the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia in 1890. Two years later, the Franco-Russian Alliance was signed to counteract the force of the Triple Alliance. HP Pavilion DV6-1122US Battery

In 1904, the United Kingdom sealed an alliance with France, the Entente Cordiale, and in 1907, the United Kingdom and Russia signed the Anglo-Russian Convention. This system of interlocking bilateral agreements formed the Triple Entente.[6] HP Pavilion DV6-1230US Battery

HMS Dreadnought. A naval arms race existed between the United Kingdom and Germany.

German industrial and economic power had grown greatly after unification and the foundation of the Empire in 1871.

HP Pavilion DV6-1030US BatteryFrom the mid-1890s on, the government of Wilhelm II used this base to devote significant economic resources to building up the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy), established by Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz,

HP Pavilion DV6-3030US Battery in rivalry with the British Royal Navy for world naval supremacy.[19] As a result, each nation strove to out-build the other in terms of capital ships. With the launch of HMS Dreadnought in 1906, the British Empire expanded on its significant advantage over its German rival.[19

HP Pavilion DV6-3022US Battery

] The arms race between Britain and Germany eventually extended to the rest of Europe, with all the major powers devoting their industrial base to producing the equipment and weapons necessary for a pan-European conflict.[20] Between 1908 and 1913, the military spending of the European powers increased by 50 percent.[21] HP Pavilion DV6-1240US Battery

Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian-Serb student, was arrested immediately after he assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

Austria-Hungary precipitated the Bosnian crisis of 1908–1909 by officially annexing the former Ottoman territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which it had occupied since 1878. This angered the Kingdom of Serbia and its patron,

HP Pavilion DV6-3020US Battery

the Pan-Slavic and Orthodox Russian Empire.[22] Russian political manoeuvring in the region destabilised peace accords that were already fracturing in what was known as “the powder keg of Europe”.[22]

HP Pavilion DV6-3010US Battery

Ethno-linguistic map of Austria–Hungary, 1910

In 1912 and 1913 the First Balkan War was fought between the Balkan League and the fracturing Ottoman Empire. The resulting Treaty of London further shrank the Ottoman Empire, creating an independent Albanian State while enlarging the territorial holdings of Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro,

HP Pavilion DV6-2190US Battery and Greece. When Bulgaria attacked both Serbia and Greece on 16 June 1913, it lost most of Macedonia to Serbia and Greece and Southern Dobruja to Romania in the 33-day Second Balkan War, further destabilising the region.[23] HP Pavilion DV6-1250US Battery

On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian-Serb student and member of Young Bosnia, assassinated the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo, Bosnia.[24]

HP Pavilion DV6-2180US BatteryThis began a period of diplomatic manoeuvring among Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France, and Britain called the July Crisis. Wanting to finally end Serbian interference in Bosnia, Austria-Hungary delivered the July Ultimatum to Serbia, a series of ten demands intentionally made unacceptable, HP Pavilion DV6-1280US Battery

intending to provoke a war with Serbia.[25] When Serbia agreed to only eight of the ten demands, Austria-Hungary declared war on 28 July 1914. HP Pavilion DV6-2043US Battery

Strachan argues, “Whether an equivocal and early response by Serbia would have made any difference to Austria-Hungary’s behaviour must be doubtful. Franz Ferdinand was not the sort of personality who commanded popularity, and his demise did not cast the empire into deepest mourning”.[26]

HP Pavilion DV6-2170US Battery

The Russian Empire, unwilling to allow Austria–Hungary to eliminate its influence in the Balkans, and in support of its longtime Serb protégés, HP Pavilion DV6-2157US Battery

ordered a partial mobilisation one day later.[18] When the German Empire began to mobilise on 30 July 1914, France, resentful of the German conquest of Alsace-Lorraine during the Franco-Prussian War, ordered French mobilisation on 1 August. HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery

Germany declared war on Russia on the same day.[27] The United Kingdom declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, following an “unsatisfactory reply” to the British ultimatum that Belgium must be kept neutral.[28] HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery

Theatres of Conflict

Opening hostilities

Confusion among the Central Powers

The strategy of the Central Powers suffered from miscommunication. Germany had promised to support Austria-Hungary’s invasion of Serbia, but interpretations of what this meant differed. Previously tested deployment plans had been replaced early in 1914, but the replacements had never been tested in exercises.

HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa BatteryAustro-Hungarian leaders believed Germany would cover its northern flank against Russia.[29] Germany, however, envisioned Austria-Hungary directing most of its troops against Russia, while Germany dealt with France. This confusion forced the Austro-Hungarian Army to divide its forces between the Russian and Serbian fronts. HP Pavilion DV5-1030EE Battery

On 9 September 1914, the Septemberprogramm, a possible plan which detailed Germany’s specific war aims and the conditions that Germany sought to force on the Allied Powers, was outlined by German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg. It was never officially adopted.

African campaigns

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery

Lettow surrendering his forces to the British at Abercorn

Main article: African theatre of World War I

Some of the first clashes of the war involved British, French, and German colonial forces in Africa. On 7 August, French and British troops invaded the German protectorate of Togoland. On 10 August, German forces in South-West Africa attacked South Africa; sporadic and fierce fighting continued for the rest of the war. HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery

The German colonial forces in German East Africa, led by Colonel Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, fought a guerrilla warfare campaign during World War I and only surrendered two weeks after the armistice took effect in Europe.[30] HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

Serbian campaign

Serbian troops artillery positions in the Battle of Kolubara.

Main article: Serbian Campaign (World War I)

Austria invaded and fought the Serbian army at the Battle of Cer and Battle of Kolubara beginning on 12 August. Over the next two weeks Austrian attacks were thrown back with heavy losses,

HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Batterywhich marked the first major Allied victories of the war and dashed Austro-Hungarian hopes of a swift victory. As a result, Austria had to keep sizable forces on the Serbian front, weakening its efforts against Russia.[31] Serbia’s defeat of the Austro-Hungarian invasion of 1914 counts among the major upset victories of the last century.[32] HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery

German forces in Belgium and France

German soldiers in a railway goods van on the way to the front in 1914. A message on the car spells out “Trip to Paris”; early in the war all sides expected the conflict to be a short one.

Main article: Western Front (World War I) HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery

At the outbreak of the First World War, the German army (consisting in the West of seven field armies) carried out a modified version of the Schlieffen Plan, designed to quickly attack France through neutral Belgium before turning southwards to encircle the French army on the German border.[10]

HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery

The plan called for the right flank of the German advance to converge on Paris, and initially the Germans were successful, particularly in the Battle of the Frontiers (14–24 August). By 12 September, the French, with assistance from the British forces, halted the German advance east of Paris at the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September). HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery

The last days of this battle signified the end of mobile warfare in the west.[10] The French offensive into Germany, launched on 7 August with the Battle of Mulhouse, had limited success.

In the east, only one field army defended East Prussia, and when Russia attacked in this region it diverted German forces intended for the Western Front.

HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea BatteryGermany defeated Russia in a series of battles collectively known as the First Battle of Tannenberg (17 August – 2 September), but this diversion aggravated problems of insufficient speed of advance from rail-heads not foreseen by the German General Staff. The Central Powers were denied a quick victory and forced to fight a war on two fronts. HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery

The German army had fought its way into a good defensive position inside France and had permanently incapacitated 230,000 more French and British troops than it had lost itself. Despite this, communications problems and questionable command decisions cost Germany the chance of early victory.[33]

HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery

Asia and the Pacific

Main article: Asian and Pacific theatre of World War I

New Zealand occupied German Samoa (later Western Samoa) on 30 August. On 11 September, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force landed on the island of Neu Pommern (later New Britain),

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca Batterywhich formed part of German New Guinea. Japan seized Germany’s Micronesian colonies and, after the Siege of Tsingtao, the German coaling port of Qingdao in the Chinese Shandong peninsula. Within a few months, the Allied forces had seized all the German territories in the Pacific; only isolated commerce raiders and a few holdouts in New Guinea remained.[34][35

HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca Battery

Sunlight Soap ad, placed in a trench (1915)

Military tactics before World War I had failed to keep pace with advances in technology. These advances allowed for impressive defence systems, which out-of-date military tactics could not break through for most of the war. Barbed wire was a significant hindrance to massed infantry advances. ] HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

Artillery, vastly more lethal than in the 1870s, coupled with machine guns, made crossing open ground extremely difficult.[36] The Germans introduced poison gas; it soon became used by both sides, though it never proved decisive in winning a battle. Its effects were brutal, causing slow and painful death,

HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery and poison gas became one of the most-feared and best-remembered horrors of the war.[citation needed] Commanders on both sides failed to develop tactics for breaching entrenched positions without heavy casualties.

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery

In time, however, technology began to produce new offensive weapons, such as the tank.[37] Britain and France were its primary users; the Germans employed captured Allied tanks and small numbers of their own design. After the First Battle of the Marne, both Entente and German forces began a series of outflanking manoeuvres,

HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery

in the so-called “Race to the Sea”. Britain and France soon found themselves facing entrenched German forces from Lorraine to Belgium’s coast.[10] Britain and France sought to take the offensive, while Germany defended the occupied territories; consequently, German trenches were much better constructed than those of their enemy.

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

Anglo-French trenches were only intended to be “temporary” before their forces broke through German defences.[38] Both sides tried to break the stalemate using scientific and technological advances. On 22 April 1915 at the Second Battle of Ypres,

HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery

the Germans (violating the Hague Convention) used chlorine gas for the first time on the Western Front. Algerian troops retreated when gassed and a six-kilometre (four-mile) hole opened in the Allied lines that the Germans quickly exploited,

HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery

taking Kitcheners’ Wood. Canadian soldiers closed the breach at the Second Battle of Ypres.[39] At the Third Battle of Ypres, Canadian and ANZAC troops took the village of Passchendaele.

In the trenches: Royal Irish Rifles in a communications trench on the first day on the Somme, 1 July 1916. HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

On 1 July 1916, the British Army endured the bloodiest day in its history, suffering 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 dead, on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Most of the casualties occurred in the first hour of the attack. The entire Somme offensive cost the British Army almost half a million men.[40]

HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery

Neither side proved able to deliver a decisive blow for the next two years, though protracted German action at Verdun throughout 1916,[41] combined with the bloodletting at the Somme, brought the exhausted French army to the brink of collapse. HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

Futile attempts at frontal assault came at a high price for both the British and the French poilu (infantry) and led to widespread mutinies, especially during the Nivelle Offensive.[42] HP Pavilion DV7-1000EA Battery

A battleship squadron of the Hochseeflotte at sea

Throughout 1915–17, the British Empire and France suffered more casualties than Germany, because of both the strategic and tactical stances chosen by the sides. Strategically, while the Germans only mounted a single main offensive at Verdun, HP Pavilion DV7-1001EA Battery

the Allies made several attempts to break through German lines. Tactically, German commander Erich Ludendorff’s doctrine of “elastic defence” was well suited for trench warfare. This defence had a lightly defended forward position and a more powerful main position farther back beyond artillery range, from which an immediate and powerful counter-offensive could be launched.[43][44]

HP Pavilion DV7-1214EA Battery

Ludendorff wrote on the fighting in 1917,

The 25th of August concluded the second phase of the Flanders battle. It had cost us heavily … The costly August battles in Flanders and at Verdun imposed a heavy strain on the Western troops. In spite of all the concrete protection they seemed more or less powerless under the enormous weight of the enemy’s artillery.

HP Pavilion DV7-1212EA BatteryAt some points they no longer displayed the firmness which I, in common with the local commanders, had hoped for. The enemy managed to adapt himself to our method of employing counter attacks … I myself was being put to a terrible strain. The state of affairs in the West appeared to prevent the execution of our plans elsewhere. Our wastage had been so high as to cause grave misgivings, and had exceeded all expectation.[45]

On the battle of the Menin Road Ridge, Ludendorff wrote,

Another terrific assault was made on our lines on the 20 September … The enemy’s onslaught on the 20th was successful, which proved the superiority of the attack over the defence. Its strength did not consist in the tanks; we found them inconvenient, but put them out of action all the same. The power of the attack lay in the artillery, and in the fact that ours did not do enough damage to the hostile infantry as they were assembling, and above all, at the actual time of the assault.[46]

Around 1.1 to 1.2 million soldiers from the British and Dominion armies were on the Western Front at any one time.[47] A thousand battalions,

HP Pavilion DV7-1211EA Batteryoccupying sectors of the line from the North Sea to the Orne River, operated on a month-long four-stage rotation system, unless an offensive was underway. The front contained over 9,600 kilometres (5,965 mi) of trenches. Each battalion held its sector for about a week before moving back to support lines and then further back to the reserve lines before a week out-of-line, often in the Poperinge or Amiens areas.

HP Pavilion DV7-1213EA Battery

In the 1917 Battle of Arras, the only significant British military success was the capture of Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Corps under Sir Arthur Currie and Julian Byng. The assaulting troops could, for the first time, overrun, rapidly reinforce and hold the ridge defending the coal-rich Douai plain.[48][49]

HP Pavilion DV7-1038CA Battery

Naval war

Main article: Naval warfare of World War I

At the start of the war, the German Empire had cruisers scattered across the globe, some of which were subsequently used to attack Allied merchant shipping. The British Royal Navy systematically hunted them down,

HP Pavilion DV7-3178CA Battery though not without some embarrassment from its inability to protect Allied shipping. For example, the German detached light cruiser SMS Emden, part of the East-Asia squadron stationed at Tsingtao, seized or destroyed 15 merchantmen, as well as sinking a Russian cruiser and a French destroyer.

HP Pavilion DV7-1125EA Battery

However, most of the German East-Asia squadron—consisting of the armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, light cruisers Nürnberg and Leipzig and two transport ships—did not have orders to raid shipping and was instead underway to Germany when it met British warships. The German flotilla and Dresden sank two armoured cruisers at the Battle of Coronel, HP Pavilion DV7-1014CA Battery

but was almost destroyed at the Battle of the Falkland Islands in December 1914, with only Dresden and a few auxiliaries escaping, but at the Battle of Más a Tierra these too were destroyed or interned.[50]

HP Pavilion DV7-1130EA Battery

Soon after the outbreak of hostilities, Britain began a naval blockade of Germany. The strategy proved effective, cutting off vital military and civilian supplies, although this blockade violated accepted international law codified by several international agreements of the past two centuries.[51] Britain mined international waters to prevent any ships from entering entire sections of ocean, causing danger to even neutral ships.[52] Since there was limited response to this tactic, Germany expected a similar response to its unrestricted submarine warfare.[53]

The 1916 Battle of Jutland (German: Skagerrakschlacht, or “Battle of the Skagerrak”) developed into the largest naval battle of the war, the only full-scale clash of battleships during the war, and one of the largest in history. It took place on 31 May – 1 June 1916,

HP Pavilion DV7-1135EA Batteryin the North Sea off Jutland. The Kaiserliche Marine’s High Seas Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer, squared off against the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet, led by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. The engagement was a stand off, as the Germans, outmanoeuvred by the larger British fleet,

HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA Battery

managed to escape and inflicted more damage to the British fleet than they received. Strategically, however, the British asserted their control of the sea, and the bulk of the German surface fleet remained confined to port for the duration of the war.[54] HP Pavilion DV7-1002EA Battery

German U-boats attempted to cut the supply lines between North America and Britain.[55] The nature of submarine warfare meant that attacks often came without warning, giving the crews of the merchant ships little hope of survival.[55][

HP Pavilion DV7-1105EA Battery56] The United States launched a protest, and Germany changed its rules of engagement. After the notorious sinking of the passenger ship RMS Lusitania in 1915, Germany promised not to target passenger liners, while Britain armed its merchant ships, placing them beyond the protection of the “cruiser rules” which demanded warning and placing crews in “a place of safety” (a standard which lifeboats did not meet).[57]

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EG Battery

Finally, in early 1917 Germany adopted a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, realising the Americans would eventually enter the war.[55][58] Germany sought to strangle Allied sea lanes before the U.S. could transport a large army overseas, but could maintain only five long-range U-boats on station, to limited effect.[55]

HP Pavilion DV7-1008EF Battery

U-155 exhibited near Tower Bridge in London after the First World War.

The U-boat threat lessened in 1917, when merchant ships began travelling in convoys, escorted by destroyers. This tactic made it difficult for U-boats to find targets, which significantly lessened losses; after the hydrophone and depth charges were introduced, HP Pavilion DV7-1020EA Battery

HP Pavilion DV7-1003EA Battery

accompanying destroyers might attack a submerged submarine with some hope of success. Convoys slowed the flow of supplies, since ships had to wait as convoys were assembled. The solution to the delays was an extensive program to build new freighters. Troopships were too fast for the submarines and did not travel the North Atlantic in convoys.[59] The U-boats had sunk more than 5,000 Allied ships, at a cost of 199 submarines.[60] HP Pavilion DV7-1050EA Battery

World War I also saw the first use of aircraft carriers in combat, with HMS Furious launching Sopwith Camels in a successful raid against the Zeppelin hangars at Tondern in July 1918, as well as blimps for antisubmarine patrol.[61] HP Pavilion DV7-1004EA Battery

Southern theatres

War in the Balkans

Main articles: Balkans Campaign (World War I), Serbian Campaign (World War I), and Macedonian front (World War I)

Austrian troops executing captured Serbians. Serbia lost about 850,000 people, a quarter of its pre-war population.[62] HP Pavilion DV7-1107EA Battery

Faced with Russia, Austria-Hungary could spare only one-third of its army to attack Serbia. After suffering heavy losses, the Austrians briefly occupied the Serbian capital, Belgrade. A Serbian counter attack in the battle of Kolubara, HP Pavilion DV7-1075LA Battery

however, succeeded in driving them from the country by the end of 1914. For the first ten months of 1915, Austria-Hungary used most of its military reserves to fight Italy. German and Austro-Hungarian diplomats, however, scored a coup by persuading Bulgaria to join in attacking Serbia. The Austro-Hungarian provinces of Slovenia, HP Pavilion DV7-1007EF Battery

Croatia and Bosnia provided troops for Austria-Hungary, invading Serbia as well as fighting Russia and Italy. Montenegro allied itself with Serbia.[63] HP Pavilion DV7-1055EA Battery

Serbia was conquered in a little more than a month, as the Central Powers, now including Bulgaria, sent in 600,000 troops. The Serbian army, fighting on two fronts and facing certain defeat, retreated into northern Albania (which they had invaded at the beginning of the war). The Serbs suffered defeat in the Battle of Kosovo. HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery

Montenegro covered the Serbian retreat towards the Adriatic coast in the Battle of Mojkovac in 6–7 January 1916, but ultimately the Austrians conquered Montenegro, too. The surviving 70,000 Serbian soldiers were evacuated by ship to Greece.[64] HP Pavilion DV5-1020TX Battery

In late 1915, a Franco-British force landed at Salonica in Greece, to offer assistance and to pressure the government to declare war against the Central Powers. Unfortunately for the Allies, the pro-German King Constantine I dismissed the pro-Allied government of Eleftherios Venizelos, before the Allied expeditionary force could arrive.[65HP Pavilion DV5-1032EG Battery

] The friction between the king of Greece and the Allies continued to accumulate with the National Schism, which effectively divided Greece between regions still loyal to the king and the new provisional government of Venizelos in Salonica.

HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca BatteryAfter intensive diplomatic negotiations and an armed confrontation in Athens between Allied and royalist forces (an incident known as Noemvriana) the king of Greece resigned, and his second son Alexander took his place. HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery

Venizelos returned to Athens on 29 May 1917 and Greece, now unified, officially joined the war on the side of the Allies. The entire Greek army was mobilized and began to participate in military operations against the Central Powers on the Macedonian front. HP Pavilion DV5-1030EE Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery

Bulgarian soldiers in a trench, preparing to fire against an incoming airplane

After conquest, Serbia was divided between Austro-Hungary and Bulgaria. In 1917 the Serbs launched the Toplica Uprising and liberated for a short time the area between the Kopaonik mountains and the South Morava river.

HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca Battery

The uprising was crushed by joint efforts of Bulgarian and Austrian forces at the end of March 1917.

The Macedonian Front in the beginning was mostly static. French and Serbian forces retook limited areas of Macedonia by recapturing Bitola on 19 November 1916 as a result of the costly Monastir Offensive which brought stabilization of the front.

HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

Serbian and French troops finally made a breakthrough, after most of the German and Austro-Hungarian troops had withdrawn. This breakthrough was significant in defeating Bulgaria and Austro-Hungary, which led to the final victory of WWI. The Bulgarians suffered their only defeat of the war at the Battle of Dobro Pole but days later,

HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery

they decisively defeated British and Greek forces at the Battle of Doiran, avoiding occupation. After Serbian breakthrough of Bulgarian lines, Bulgaria capitulated on 29 September 1918.[66] Hindenburg and Ludendorff concluded that the strategic and operational balance had now shifted decidedly against the Central Powers and a day after the Bulgarian collapse, HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery

during a meeting with government officials, insisted on an immediate peace settlement.[67]

The disappearance of the Macedonian front meant that the road to Budapest and Vienna was now opened for the 670,000-strong army of general Franchet d’Esperey as the Bulgarian surrender deprived the Central Powers of the 278 infantry battalions and 1,500 guns (the equivalent of some 25 to 30 German divisions) that were previously holding the line.[6HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery

8] The German high command responded by sending only seven infantry and one cavalry division but these forces were far from enough for a front to be reestablished.[68] HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery

Ottoman Empire

Main article: Middle Eastern theatre of World War I

The Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in the war, the secret Ottoman-German Alliance having been signed in August 1914.[ HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery

69] It threatened Russia’s Caucasian territories and Britain’s communications with India via the Suez Canal. The British and French opened overseas fronts with the Gallipoli (1915) and Mesopotamian campaigns. In Gallipoli, the Ottoman Empire successfully repelled the British, French, and Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs). HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery

HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea BatteryIn Mesopotamia, by contrast, after the disastrous Siege of Kut (1915–16), British Imperial forces reorganised and captured Baghdad in March 1917.

A British artillery battery emplaced on Mount Scopus in the Battle of Jerusalem.

Further to the west, the Suez Canal was successfully defended from Ottoman attacks in 1915 and 1916; in August a joint German and Ottoman force was defeated at the Battle of Romani by the Anzac Mounted and the 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Divisions. HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery

Following this victory, a British Empire Egyptian Expeditionary Force advanced across the Sinai Peninsula, pushing Ottoman forces back in the Battle of Magdhaba in December and the Battle of Rafa on the border between the Egyptian Sinai and Ottoman Palestine in January 1917. HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Battery

In March and April at the First and Second Battles of Gaza, German and Ottoman forces stopped the advance, but at the end of October the Sinai and Palestine Campaign resumed, when Allenby’s XXth Corps, XXI Corps and Desert Mounted Corps won the Battle of Beersheba.

HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca BatteryTwo Ottoman armies were defeated a few weeks later at the Battle of Mughar Ridge, and early in December Jerusalem was captured following another Ottoman defeat at the Battle of Jerusalem (1917). About this time Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein was relieved of his duties as the Eighth Army’s commander,

HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Batteryreplaced by Djevad Pasha, and a few months later the commander of the Ottoman Army in Palestine, Erich von Falkenhayn, was replaced by Otto Liman von Sanders.

A reorganised Egyptian Expeditionary Force, with an additional mounted division under Field Marshal Edmund Allenby, HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery

broke Ottoman forces at the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918. In six weeks, during virtually continuous operations, battles were successfully fought by British infantry and Australian, British, Indian and New Zealand, Light Horse, HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Battery

mounted Yeomanry, Lancers and Mounted Rifle brigades. They campaigned across the Jordan River to Amman in the east and northwards to capture Nablus and Tulkarm in the Judean Hills, and followed the Mediterranean coast into the Jezreel Valley (Esdraelon Plain), where Afula, Jenin and Nazareth were captured,

HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Batteryalong with Daraa east of the Jordan River on the Hejaz railway. Semakh and Tiberias on the Sea of Gallilee, were captured on the way northwards to Damascus and Aleppo. The Armistice of Mudros was signed on 30 October, when two and a half Ottoman armies had been defeated and captured.

HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

Russian forest trench at the Battle of Sarikamish

Russian armies generally had the best of it in the Caucasus. Enver Pasha, supreme commander of the Ottoman armed forces, was ambitious and dreamed of re-conquering central Asia and areas that had been lost to Russia previously. He was, however, a poor commander.[70] HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery

He launched an offensive against the Russians in the Caucasus in December 1914 with 100,000 troops; insisting on a frontal attack against mountainous Russian positions in winter, he lost 86% of his force at the Battle of Sarikamish.[71]

HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery

General Yudenich, the Russian commander from 1915 to 1916, drove the Turks out of most of the southern Caucasus with a string of victories.[71] In 1917, Russian Grand Duke Nicholas assumed command of the Caucasus front. Nicholas planned a railway from Russian Georgia to the conquered territories,

HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery so that fresh supplies could be brought up for a new offensive in 1917. However, in March 1917 (February in the pre-revolutionary Russian calendar), the Czar was overthrown in the February Revolution and the Russian Caucasus Army began to fall apart.

HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery

German soldiers in Jerusalem

Instigated by the Arab bureau of the British Foreign Office, the Arab Revolt started with the help of Britain in June 1916 at the Battle of Mecca, led by Sherif Hussein of Mecca, and ended with the Ottoman surrender of Damascus. Fakhri Pasha, the Ottoman commander of Medina, resisted for more than two and half years during the Siege of Medina.[72] HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Battery

Along the border of Italian Libya and British Egypt, the Senussi tribe, incited and armed by the Turks, waged a small-scale guerrilla war against Allied troops. The British were forced to dispatch 12,000 troops to oppose them in the Senussi Campaign. Their rebellion was finally crushed in mid-1916.[73]

HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery

Italian participation

Main article: Italian Campaign (World War I)

Further information: Battles of the Isonzo

Austro-Hungarian mountain corps in Tyrol

Italy had been allied with the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires since 1882 as part of the Triple Alliance. However, the nation had its own designs on Austrian territory in Trentino, Istria, and Dalmatia. Rome had a secret 1902 pact with France, HP Pavilion dv6t Battery

effectively nullifying its alliance.[74] At the start of hostilities, Italy refused to commit troops, arguing that the Triple Alliance was defensive and that Austria–Hungary was an aggressor. The Austro-Hungarian government began negotiations to secure Italian neutrality, offering the French colony of Tunisia in return. HP Pavilion dv6t-1000 Battery

The Allies made a counter-offer in which Italy would receive the Southern Tyrol, Julian March and territory on the Dalmatian coast after the defeat of Austria-Hungary. This was formalised by the Treaty of London.

HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 BatteryFurther encouraged by the Allied invasion of Turkey in April 1915, Italy joined the Triple Entente and declared war on Austria-Hungary on 23 May. Fifteen months later Italy declared war on Germany. HP Pavilion dv6t-1100 Battery

Militarily, the Italians had numerical superiority. This advantage, however, was lost, not only because of the difficult terrain in which fighting took place, but also because of the strategies and tactics employed. Field Marshal Luigi Cadorna, HP Pavilion dv6z Battery

a staunch proponent of the frontal assault, had dreams of breaking into the Slovenian plateau, taking Ljubljana and threatening Vienna. Cadorna’s plan did not take into account the difficulties of the rugged Alpine terrain, or the technological changes that created trench warfare, giving rise to a series of bloody and inconclusive stalemated offensives. HP Pavilion dv6-1210SA Battery

Depiction of the Battle of Doberdò, fought in August 1916 between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian army.

On the Trentino front, the Austro-Hungarians took advantage of the mountainous terrain, which favoured the defender. After an initial strategic retreat, the front remained largely unchanged, HP Pavilion dv6-1215SA Battery

while Austrian Kaiserschützen and Standschützen engaged Italian Alpini in bitter hand-to-hand combat throughout the summer. The Austro-Hungarians counterattacked in the Altopiano of Asiago, towards Verona and Padua, in the spring of 1916 (Strafexpedition), but made little progress.

HP Pavilion dv6-2112SA Battery

Beginning in 1915, the Italians under Cadorna mounted eleven offensives on the Isonzo front along the Isonzo River, northeast of Trieste. All eleven offensives were repelled by the Austro-Hungarians, who held the higher ground. In the summer of 1916, the Italians captured the town of Gorizia. After this minor victory, the front remained static for over a year, despite several Italian offensives. In the autumn of 1917,

HP Pavilion dv6-2114A Batterythanks to the improving situation on the Eastern front, the Austro-Hungarian troops received large numbers of reinforcements, including German Stormtroopers and the elite Alpenkorps. The Central Powers launched a crushing offensive on 26 October 1917, spearheaded by the Germans.

HP Pavilion dv6-2110EA Battery

They achieved a victory at Caporetto. The Italian Army was routed and retreated more than 100 kilometres (62 mi) to reorganise, stabilising the front at the Piave River. Since in the Battle of Caporetto the Italian Army had heavy losses, the Italian Government called to arms the so-called ’99 Boys (Ragazzi del ’99): that is,

HP Pavilion dv6-1330SA Battery

all males who were 18 years old. In 1918, the Austro-Hungarians failed to break through, in a series of battles on the Piave River, and were finally decisively defeated in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in October of that year. From 5–6 November 1918, Italian forces were reported to have reached Lissa, Lagosta, Sebenico,

HP Pavilion dv6-1216SA Batteryand other localities on the Dalmatian coast.[75] By the end of hostilities in November 1918, the Italian military had seized control of the entire portion of Dalmatia that had been guaranteed to Italy by the London Pact.[76] In 1918, Admiral Enrico Millo declared himself Italy’s Governor of Dalmatia.[76] Austria-Hungary surrendered in early November 1918.[77][78]

HP Pavilion dv6-1210EA Battery

Romanian participation

Main article: Romania during World War I

Marshal Joffre inspecting Romanian troops

Romania had been allied with the Central Powers since 1882. When the war began, however, it declared its neutrality, arguing that because Austria-Hungary had itself declared war on Serbia, Romania was under no obligation to join the war. HP Pavilion dv6-1120EA Battery

When the Entente Powers promised Romania large territories of eastern Hungary (Transylvania and Banat) that had a large Romanian population in exchange for Romania’s declaring war on the Central Powers, the Romanian government renounced its neutrality, HP Pavilion dv6-1120SA Battery

and on 27 August 1916 the Romanian Army launched an attack against Austria-Hungary, with limited Russian support. HP Pavilion dv6-1140EA Battery The Romanian offensive was initially successful, pushing back the Austro-Hungarian troops in Transylvania, but a counterattack by the forces of the Central Powers drove back the Russo-Romanian forces. As a result of the Battle of Bucharest the Central Powers occupied Bucharest on 6 December 1916. Sony VAIO VGN-FW41ZJ/H Battery

Fighting in Moldova continued in 1917, resulting in a costly stalemate for the Central Powers.[79][80] Russian withdrawal from the war in late 1917 as a result of the October Revolution meant that Romania was forced to sign an armistice with the Central Powers on 9 December 1917.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery

In January 1918, Romanian forces established control over Bessarabia as the Russian Army abandoned the province. Although a treaty was signed by the Romanian and the Bolshevik Russian government following talks from 5–9 March 1918 on the withdrawal of Romanian forces from Bessarabia within two months,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56 Batteryon 27 March 1918 Romania attached Bessarabia to its territory, formally based on a resolution passed by the local assembly of the territory on the unification with Romania.

Romania officially made peace with the Central Powers by signing the Treaty of Bucharest on 7 May 1918. Under that treaty, Romania was obliged to end war with the Central Powers and make small territorial concessions to Austria-Hungary,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S Battery ceding control of some passes in the Carpathian Mountains, and grant oil concessions to Germany. In exchange, the Central Powers recognised the sovereignty of Romania over Bessarabia. The treaty was renounced in October 1918 by the Alexandru Marghiloman government, and Romania nominally re-entered the war on 10 November 1918.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54J BatteryThe next day, the Treaty of Bucharest was nullified by the terms of the Armistice of Compiègne.[81][82] Total Romanian deaths from 1914 to 1918, military and civilian, within contemporary borders, were estimated at 748,000.[83] Sony VAIO VGN-FW46M Battery

The role of India

Further information: Third Anglo-Afghan War and Hindu-German Conspiracy

Contrary to British fears of a revolt in India, the outbreak of the war saw an unprecedented outpouring of loyalty and good will towards the United Kingdom.[84][85Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H Battery

] Indian political leaders from the Indian National Congress and other groups were eager to support the British war effort since they believed that strong support for the war effort would further the cause of Indian Home Rule. The Indian Army in fact outnumbered the British Army at the beginning of the war; about 1.3 million Indian soldiers and labourers served in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54E Batterywhile both the central government and the princely states sent large supplies of food, money, and ammunition. In all, 140,000 men served on the Western Front and nearly 700,000 in the Middle East. Casualties of Indian soldiers totalled 47,746 killed and 65,126 wounded during World War I.[86

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46Z Battery] The suffering engendered by the war as well as the failure of the British government to grant self-government to India after the end of hostilities bred disillusionment and fuelled the campaign for full independence that would be led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and others.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46S Battery

Russian troops awaiting a German attack

Eastern Front

Initial actions

Main article: Eastern Front (World War I)

While the Western Front had reached stalemate, the war continued in East Europe. Initial Russian plans called for simultaneous invasions of Austrian Galicia and German East Prussia. Although Russia’s initial advance into Galicia was largely successful, Sony VAIO VGN-FW51 Battery

it was driven back from East Prussia by Hindenburg and Ludendorff at Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes in August and September 1914.[87][8Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery

8] Russia’s less developed industrial base and ineffective military leadership was instrumental in the events that unfolded. By the spring of 1915, the Russians had retreated into Galicia, and in May the Central Powers achieved a remarkable breakthrough on Poland’s southern frontiers.[89] On 5 August they captured Warsaw and forced the Russians to withdraw from Poland.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26JG BatteryRussian Revolution

Main article: Russian Revolution (1917)

Further information: North Russia Campaign

Vladimir Illyich Lenin

Despite the success of the June 1916 Brusilov Offensive in eastern Galicia,[90] dissatisfaction with the Russian government’s conduct of the war grew. The offensive’s success was undermined by the reluctance of other generals to commit their forces to support the victory.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26EG Battery Allied and Russian forces were revived only temporarily by Romania’s entry into the war on 27 August. German forces came to the aid of embattled Austro-Hungarian units in Transylvania, and Bucharest fell to the Central Powers on 6 December.

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MR Battery Meanwhile, unrest grew in Russia, as the Tsar remained at the front. Empress Alexandra’s increasingly incompetent rule drew protests and resulted in the murder of her favourite, Rasputin, at the end of 1916. Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery

In March 1917, demonstrations in Petrograd culminated in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and the appointment of a weak Provisional Government which shared power with the Petrograd Soviet socialists. This arrangement led to confusion and chaos both at the front and at home. The army became increasingly ineffective.[89]

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24MG Battery

Russian Cossacks on the front, 1915

Signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (9 February 1918) are: 1. Count Ottokar von Czernin, 2. Richard von Kühlmann, and 3. Vasil Radoslavov

Discontent and the weaknesses of the Provisional Government led to a rise in popularity of the Bolshevik Party, led by Vladimir Lenin,

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24JG Battery

which demanded an immediate end to the war. The successful armed uprising by the Bolsheviks of November was followed in December by an armistice and negotiations with Germany. At first the Bolsheviks refused the German terms, but when German troops began marching across the Ukraine unopposed, the new government acceded to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on 3 March 1918. The treaty ceded vast territories, including Finland, the Baltic provinces, parts of Poland and Ukraine to the Central Powers.[9

Sony VAIO VGN-NW24EG Battery1] Despite this enormous apparent German success, the manpower required for German occupation of former Russian territory may have contributed to the failure of the Spring Offensive and secured relatively little food or other materiel. Sony VAIO VGN-FW56M Battery

With the adoption of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Entente no longer existed. The Allied powers led a small-scale invasion of Russia, partly to stop Germany from exploiting Russian resources and, to a lesser extent, to support the “Whites” (as opposed to the “Reds”) in the Russian Civil War.[92] Allied troops landed in Arkhangelsk and in Vladivostok.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56J Battery

Central Powers proposal for starting peace negotiations

On the way to Verdun. “They shall not pass” is a phrase which for all time will be associated with the heroic defense of Verdun.

In December 1916, after ten brutal months of the Battle of Verdun and a successful offensive against Romania, the Germans attempted to negotiate a peace with the Allies. Soon after, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson attempted to intervene as a peacemaker, asking in a note for both sides to state their demands. Sony VAIO VGN-FW35F Battery

Lloyd George’s War Cabinet considered the German offer to be a ploy to create divisions amongst the Allies. After initial outrage and much deliberation, they took Wilson’s note as a separate effort, signalling that the U.S.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56E Batterywas on the verge of entering the war against Germany following the “submarine outrages”. While the Allies debated a response to Wilson’s offer, the Germans chose to rebuff it in favour of “a direct exchange of views”.Sony VAIO VGN-NW24S Battery

Sony VAIO VGN-NW26M Battery

Learning of the German response, the Allied governments were free to make clear demands in their response of 14 January. They sought restoration of damages, the evacuation of occupied territories, reparations for France, Russia and Romania, and a recognition of the principle of nationalities. This included the liberation of Italians, Slavs, Romanians, Czecho-Slovaks, and the creation of a “free and united Poland”. Sony VAIO VGN-NW26M Battery

On the question of security, the Allies sought guarantees that would prevent or limit future wars, complete with sanctions, as a condition of any peace settlement.[93] The negotiations failed and the Entente powers rejected the German offer, because Germany did not state any specific proposals.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H BatteryTo Wilson, the Entente powers stated that they would not start peace negotiations until the Central powers evacuated all occupied Allied territories and provided indemnities for all damage which had been done.[94]

1917–1918

French troopers under General Gouraud, with their machine guns amongst the ruins of a cathedral near the Marne, driving back the Germans. 1918 Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

German film crew recording the action.

Developments in 1917

Events of 1917 proved decisive in ending the war, although their effects were not fully felt until 1918.

The British naval blockade began to have a serious impact on Germany. In response, in February 1917,

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Battery

the German General Staff convinced Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg to declare unrestricted submarine warfare, with the goal of starving Britain out of the war. German planners estimated that unrestricted submarine warfare would cost Britain a monthly shipping loss of 600,000 tons.

Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR BatteryThe General Staff acknowledged that the policy would almost certainly bring the United States into the conflict, but calculated that British shipping losses would be so high that they would be forced to sue for peace after 5 to 6 months, before American intervention could make an impact.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H BatteryIn reality, tonnage sunk rose above 500,000 tons per month from February to July. It peaked at 860,000 tons in April. After July, the newly re-introduced convoy system became extremely effective in reducing the U-boat threat. Britain was safe from starvation while German industrial output fell, and the United States troops joined the war in large numbers far earlier than Germany had anticipated.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H Battery

On 3 May 1917, during the Nivelle Offensive, the weary French 2nd Colonial Division, veterans of the Battle of Verdun, refused their orders, arriving drunk and without their weapons. Their officers lacked the means to punish an entire division, and harsh measures were not immediately implemented.

Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H Battery

Then, mutinies afflicted an additional 54 French divisions and saw 20,000 men desert. The other Allied forces attacked but sustained tremendous casualties.[95] However, appeals to patriotism and duty, as well as mass arrests and trials,

Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X Battery encouraged the soldiers to return to defend their trenches, although the French soldiers refused to participate in further offensive action.[96] Robert Nivelle was removed from command by 15 May, replaced by General Philippe Pétain, who suspended bloody large-scale attacks. Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery

Haut-Rhin, France, 1917

The victory of Austria–Hungary and Germany at the Battle of Caporetto led the Allies at the Rapallo Conference to form the Supreme War Council to coordinate planning. Previously, British and French armies had operated under separate commands. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery

In December, the Central Powers signed an armistice with Russia. This released large numbers of German troops for use in the west. With German reinforcements and new American troops pouring in, the outcome was to be decided on the Western Front. The Central Powers knew that they could not win a protracted war, Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery

but they held high hopes for success based on a final quick offensive. Furthermore, the leaders of the Central Powers and the Allies became increasingly fearful of social unrest and revolution in Europe. Thus, both sides urgently sought a decisive victory.[97] Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

Entry of the United States

Main article: American entry into World War I

Non-intervention

At the outbreak of the war the United States pursued a policy of non-intervention, avoiding conflict while trying to broker a peace. When a German U-boat sank the British liner RMS Lusitania on 7 May 1915 with 128 Americans among the dead, Sony VPCF11C5E Battery

President Woodrow Wilson insisted that “America is too proud to fight” but demanded an end to attacks on passenger ships. Germany complied. Wilson unsuccessfully tried to mediate a settlement. However, he also repeatedly warned that the U.S.A. would not tolerate unrestricted submarine warfare,

Sony VPCF23QIE Battery in violation of international law. Former president Theodore Roosevelt denounced German acts as “piracy”.[98] Wilson was narrowly reelected in 1916 as his supporters emphasized “he kept us out of war”.

Sony VPCF24Q1E Battery

In January 1917, Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare, realizing it would mean American entry. The German Foreign Minister, in the Zimmermann Telegram, invited Mexico to join the war as Germany’s ally against the United States. In return, the Germans would finance Mexico’s war and help it recover the territories of Texas, Sony VPCF11D4E Battery

New Mexico, and Arizona.[99] Wilson released the Zimmerman note to the public, and Americans saw it as casus belli—a cause for war. Wilson called on antiwar elements to end all wars, by winning this one and eliminating militarism from the globe. He argued that the war was so important that the U.S. had to have a voice in the peace conference.[100] Sony VPCF11M1E/H Battery

President Wilson before Congress, announcing the break in official relations with Germany on 3 February 1917.

U.S. declaration of war on Germany

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Woodrow Wilson Urges Congress to Declare War on Germany

After the sinking of seven U.S. merchant ships by submarines and the publication of the Zimmerman telegram, Wilson called for war on Germany,[101] which the U.S. Congress declared on 6 April 1917. Sony VPCF11S1E/B Battery

First active U.S. participation

American soldiers on the Piave front hurling a shower of hand grenades into the Austrian trenches

Two Allied soldiers run towards a bunker.

The United States was never formally a member of the Allies but became a self-styled “Associated Power”. The United States had a small army, but, after the passage of the Selective Service Act, it drafted 2.8 million men,[102] and by summer 1918 was sending 10,000 fresh soldiers to France every day.

Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery

In 1917, the U.S. Congress gave U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans when they were drafted to participate in World War I, as part of the Jones Act. Germany had miscalculated, believing it would be many more months before American soldiers would arrive and that their arrival could be stopped by U-boats.[103]

Sony VPCF13V5002B Battery

The United States Navy sent a battleship group to Scapa Flow to join with the British Grand Fleet, destroyers to Queenstown, Ireland, and submarines to help guard convoys. Several regiments of U.S. Marines were also dispatched to France. The British and French wanted U.S. units used to reinforce their troops already on the battle lines and not waste scarce shipping on bringing over supplies. Sony VPCF115FG/B Battery

The U.S. rejected the first proposition and accepted the second. General John J. Pershing, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) commander, refused to break up U.S. units to be used as reinforcements for British Empire and French units. As an exception, he did allow African-American combat regiments to be used in French divisions. Sony VPCF2 Battery

The Harlem Hellfighters fought as part of the French 16th Division, earning a unit Croix de Guerre for their actions at Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Sechault.[104] AEF doctrine called for the use of frontal assaults, which had long since been discarded by British Empire and French commanders because of the large loss of life.[105] Sony VPCF21Z1E Battery

Austrian offer of separate peace

In 1917, Emperor Charles I of Austria secretly attempted separate peace negotiations with Clemenceau, with his wife’s brother Sixtus in Belgium as an intermediary, without the knowledge of Germany. When the negotiations failed, his attempt was revealed to Germany, resulting in a diplomatic catastrophe.[106][107] Sony VPCF22J1E Battery

German Spring Offensive of 1918

Main article: Spring Offensive

German General Erich Ludendorff drew up plans (codenamed Operation Michael) for the 1918 offensive on the Western Front. The Spring Offensive sought to divide the British and French forces with a series of feints and advances. The German leadership hoped to strike a decisive blow before significant U.S. forces arrived. Sony VPCF22L1E Battery

The operation commenced on 21 March 1918 with an attack on British forces near Amiens. German forces achieved an unprecedented advance of 60 kilometres (37 mi).[108]

British and French trenches were penetrated using novel infiltration tactics, also named Hutier tactics, after General Oskar von Hutier. Previously, attacks had been characterised by long artillery bombardments and massed assaults. However, in the Spring Offensive of 1918, Sony VPCF22M1E Battery

Ludendorff used artillery only briefly and infiltrated small groups of infantry at weak points. They attacked command and logistics areas and bypassed points of serious resistance. More heavily armed infantry then destroyed these isolated positions. German success relied greatly on the element of surprise.[109]

Sony VPCF13M1E/H Battery

The front moved to within 120 kilometres (75 mi) of Paris. Three heavy Krupp railway guns fired 183 shells on the capital, causing many Parisians to flee. The initial offensive was so successful that Kaiser Wilhelm II declared 24 March a national holiday. Many Germans thought victory was near.

Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI Battery

After heavy fighting, however, the offensive was halted. Lacking tanks or motorised artillery, the Germans were unable to consolidate their gains. This situation was not helped by the supply lines now being stretched as a result of their advance.[110] Sony VPCF22S1E Battery

The sudden stop was also a result of the four Australian Imperial Force (AIF) divisions that were “rushed” down, thus doing what no other army had done: stopping the German advance in its tracks. During that time the first Australian division was hurriedly sent north again to stop the second German breakthrough. Sony VPCF22S8E Battery

British 55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division troops blinded by tear gas during the Battle of Estaires, 10 April 1918.

General Foch pressed to use the arriving American troops as individual replacements. Pershing sought instead to field American units as an independent force. These units were assigned to the depleted French and British Empire commands on 28 March. A Supreme War Council of Allied forces was created at the Doullens Conference on 5 November 1917.[111] General Foch was appointed as supreme commander of the allied forces. Haig, Petain, and Pershing retained tactical control of their respective armies; Foch assumed a coordinating rather than a directing role, and the British, French, and U.S. commands operated largely independently.[111]

Following Operation Michael, Germany launched Operation Georgette against the northern English Channel ports.

Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery

The Allies halted the drive after limited territorial gains by Germany. The German Army to the south then conducted Operations Blücher and Yorck, pushing broadly towards Paris. Operation Marne was launched on 15 July, attempting to encircle Reims and beginning the Second Battle of the Marne. The resulting counterattack, starting the Hundred Days Offensive, marked the first successful Allied offensive of the war.

Sony VPCF13Z8E/BI Battery

By 20 July the Germans were back across the Marne at their Kaiserschlacht starting lines,[112] having achieved nothing. Following this last phase of the war in the West, the German Army never regained the initiative. German casualties between March and April 1918 were 270,000, including many highly trained storm troopers.

Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery

Meanwhile, Germany was falling apart at home. Anti-war marches became frequent and morale in the army fell. Industrial output was 53 percent of 1913 levels.

New states under war zone

Main articles: Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Democratic Republic of Armenia, Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, and Democratic Republic of Georgia 

Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

In the late spring of 1918, three new states were formed in the South Caucasus: the Democratic Republic of Armenia, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Georgia, which declared their independence from the Russian Empire.[1

Sony VPCF13M1E/B Battery13] Two other minor entities were established, the Centrocaspian Dictatorship and South West Caucasian Republic (the former was liquidated by Azerbaijan in the autumn of 1918 and the latter by a joint Armenian-British task force in early 1919). With the withdrawal of the Russian armies from the Caucasus front in the winter of 1917–18, Sony VPCF23M1E Battery

the three major republics braced for an imminent Ottoman advance, which commenced in the early months of 1918. Solidarity was briefly maintained when the Transcaucasian Federative Republic was created in the spring of 1918 but collapsed in May,

Sony VPCF1318E/H Batterywhen the Georgians asked and received protection from Germany and the Azerbaijanis concluded a treaty with the Ottoman Empire that was more akin to a military alliance. Armenia was left to fend for itself and struggled for five months against the threat of a full-fledged occupation by the Ottoman Turks.[114] Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery

Sony VPCF231S1E Battery

Allied victory: summer and autumn 1918

Main articles: Hundred Days Offensive and Weimar Republic

The Allied counteroffensive, known as the Hundred Days Offensive, began on 8 August 1918. The Battle of Amiens developed with III Corps British Fourth Army on the left, the French First Army on the right, and the Australian and Canadian Corps spearheading the offensive in the centre through Harbonnières.[115][11

Sony VPCF13J0E/H Battery6] It involved 414 tanks of the Mark IV and Mark V type, and 120,000 men. They advanced 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) into German-held territory in just seven hours. Erich Ludendorff referred to this day as the “Black Day of the German army”.[115][117] Sony VPCF23S1E Battery

Aerial view of ruins of Vaux, France, 1918

The Australian-Canadian spearhead at Amiens, a battle that was the beginning of Germany’s downfall,[46] helped pull forward the British armies to the north and the French armies to the south. On the British Fourth Army front at Amiens,

Sony VPCF13E8E Battery after an advance as far as 14 miles (23 km), German resistance stiffened, and the battle there concluded. But the French Third Army lengthened the Amiens front on 10 August, when it was thrown in on the right of the French First Army, and advanced 4 miles (6 km), liberating Lassigny in fighting which lasted until 16 August. Sony VPCF24M1E Battery

South of the French Third Army, General Charles Mangin (The Butcher) drove his French Tenth Army forward at Soissons on 20 August to capture eight thousand prisoners, two hundred guns, and the Aisne heights overlooking and menacing the German position north of the Vesle.[118] Another “Black day”, as described by Erich Ludendorff. Sony VPCF11S1E Battery

Meanwhile General Byng of the British Third Army, reporting that the enemy on his front was thinning in a limited withdrawal, was ordered to attack with 200 tanks towards Bapaume, opening the Battle of Albert, with specific orders “To break the enemy’s front, in order to outflank the enemy’s present battle front” (opposite the British Fourth Army at Amiens). Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

[46] Allied leaders had now realised that to continue an attack after resistance had hardened was a waste of lives, and it was better to turn a line than to try to roll over it. They began to undertake attacks in quick order to take advantage of successful advances on the flanks, then broke them off when each attack lost its initial impetus.[118] Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery

The British Third Army’s 15-mile (24 km) front north of Albert progressed after stalling for a day against the main resistance line to which the enemy had withdrawn.[119] Rawlinson’s British Fourth Army was able to push its left flank forward between Albert and the Somme, straightening the line between the advanced positions of the Third Army and the Amiens frontSony VPCF12E1E/H Battery

, which resulted in recapturing Albert at the same time.[118] On 26 August the British First Army on the left of the Third Army was drawn into the battle, extending it northward to beyond Arras. The Canadian Corps,

Sony VPCF13E4E Battery already back in the vanguard of the First Army, fought its way from Arras eastward 5 miles (8 km) astride the heavily defended Arras-Cambrai area before reaching the outer defences of the Hindenburg Line, breaching them on the 28 and 29 August. Bapaume fell on 29 August to the New Zealand Division of the Third Army, and the Australians, still leading the advance of the Fourth Army,

Sony VPCF12M1E/H Batterywere again able to push forward at Amiens to take Peronne and Mont Saint-Quentin on 31 August. Further south, the French First and Third Armies had slowly fought forward while the Tenth Army, which had by now crossed the Ailette and was east of the Chemin des Dames, neared the Alberich position of the Hindenburg Line.[1Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery

20] During the last week of August the pressure along a 70-mile (113 km) front against the enemy was heavy and unrelenting. From German accounts, “Each day was spent in bloody fighting against an ever and again on-storming enemy, and nights passed without sleep in retirements to new lines.”[11

Sony VPCCW12EN/BU Battery

8] Even to the north in Flanders the British Second and Fifth Armies during August and September were able to make progress, taking prisoners and positions that had previously been denied them.[120]

Sony VPCCW1Z4E Battery

American troops in Vladivostok, Siberia, August 1918

Close-up view of an American major in the basket of an observation balloon flying over territory near front lines

On 2 September the Canadian Corps’ outflanking of the Hindenburg line, with the breaching of the Wotan Position, made it possible for the Third Army to advance, which sent repercussions all along the Western Front.

Sony VPCCW1S1T/W Battery That same day Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL) had no choice but to issue orders to six armies to withdraw back into the Hindenburg Line in the south, behind the Canal du Nord on the Canadian-First Army’s front and back to a line east of the Lys in the north. This ceded without a fight the salient seized the previous April.[1Sony VPCCW1E8R/WU Battery

21] According to Ludendorff “We had to admit the necessity …to withdraw the entire front from the Scarpe to the Vesle.”[122]

In nearly four weeks of fighting beginning 8 August, over 100,000 German prisoners were taken, 75,000 by the BEF and the rest by the French. As of “The Black Day of the German Army”, the German High Command realised the war was lost and made attempts to reach a satisfactory end.

Sony VPCCW1S1T/R BatteryThe day after that battle Ludenforff told Colonel Mertz: “We cannot win the war any more, but we must not lose it either.” On 11 August he offered his resignation to the Kaiser, who refused it, replying, “I see that we must strike a balance. We have nearly reached the limit of our powers of resistance. Sony VPCCW1S1E Battery

The war must be ended.” On 13 August at Spa, Hindenburg, Ludendorff, the Chancellor, and Foreign Minister Hintz agreed that the war could not be ended militarily, and on the following day the German Crown Council decided that victory in the field was now most improbable. Austria and Hungary warned that they could only continue the war until December, and Ludendorff recommended immediate peace negotiations, Sony VPCCW1S1R Battery

to which the Kaiser responded by instructing Hintz to seek the mediation of the Queen of the Netherlands. Prince Rupprecht warned Prince Max of Baden: “Our military situation has deteriorated so rapidly that I no longer believe we can hold out over the winter; it is even possible that a catastrophe will come earlier.” Sony VPCCW1S1T BatteryOn 10 September Hindenburg urged peace moves to Emperor Charles of Austria, and Germany appealed to the Netherlands for mediation. On 14 September Austria sent a note to all belligerents and neutrals suggesting a meeting for peace talks on neutral soil, Sony VPCF138FC Battery

and on 15 September Germany made a peace offer to Belgium. Both peace offers were rejected, and on 24 September OHL informed the leaders in Berlin that armistice talks were inevitable.[120]

Sony VPCS139GC Battery

September saw the Germans continuing to fight strong rear-guard actions and launching numerous counterattacks on lost positions, but only a few succeeded, and then only temporarily. Contested towns, villages, heights, and trenches in the screening positions and outposts of the Hindenburg Line continued to fall to the Allies, with the BEF alone taking 30,441 prisoners in the last week of September.

Sony VPCS138EC BatteryFurther small advances eastward would follow the Third Army’s victory at Ivincourt on 12 September, the Fourth Army’s at Epheny on 18 September, and the French gain of Essigny-le-Grand a day later. On 24 September a final assault by both the British and French on a 4-mile (6.4 km) front would come within 2 miles (3.2 km) of St. Sony VPCF219FC Battery

Quentin.[120] With the outposts and preliminary defensive lines of the Siegfried and Alberich Positions eliminated, the Germans were now completely back in the Hindenburg Line. With the Wotan position of that line already breached and the Siegfried position in danger of being turned from the north, the time had now come for an Allied assault on the whole length of the line. Sony VPCS135EC Battery

The Allied attack on the Hindenburg Line, begun on 26 September, included U.S. soldiers. The still-green American troops suffered problems coping with supply trains for large units on a difficult landscape.[123Sony VPCS136EC Battery

] The following week cooperating French and American units broke through in Champagne at the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge, forcing the Germans off the commanding heights, and closing towards the Belgian frontier.[1Sony VPCYA15EC Battery

24] The last Belgian town to be liberated before the armistice was Ghent, which the Germans held as a pivot until the Allies brought up artillery.[125][126] The German army had to shorten its front and use the Dutch frontier as an anchor to fight rear-guard actions. Sony VPCYA16EC Battery

Men of U.S. 64th Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, celebrate the news of the Armistice, 11 November 1918

When Bulgaria signed a separate armistice on 29 September, the Allies gained control of Serbia and Greece. Ludendorff, having been under great stress for months, suffered something similar to a breakdown. It was evident that Germany could no longer mount a successful defence.[127][128]

Sony VPCF24M1E Battery

Meanwhile, news of Germany’s impending military defeat spread throughout the German armed forces. The threat of mutiny was rife. Admiral Reinhard Scheer and Ludendorff decided to launch a last attempt to restore the “valour” of the German Navy. Knowing the government of Prince Maximilian of Baden would veto any such action, Ludendorff decided not to inform him. Sony VPCYA25EC Battery

Nonetheless, word of the impending assault reached sailors at Kiel. Many, refusing to be part of a naval offensive which they believed to be suicidal, rebelled and were arrested. Ludendorff took the blame; the Kaiser dismissed him on 26 October. Sony VPCYA26EC Battery

The collapse of the Balkans meant that Germany was about to lose its main supplies of oil and food. Its reserves had been used up, even as U.S. troops kept arriving at the rate of 10,000 per day.[129]

Sony VPCF23S1E Battery

Having suffered over 6 million casualties, Germany moved towards peace. Prince Maximilian of Baden took charge of a new government as Chancellor of Germany to negotiate with the Allies. Telegraphic negotiations with President Wilson began immediately, in the vain hope that he would offer better terms than the British and French.

Sony VPCF231S1E Battery

Instead Wilson demanded the abdication of the Kaiser. There was no resistance when the Social Democrat Philipp Scheidemann on 9 November declared Germany to be a republic. Imperial Germany was dead; a new Germany had been born: the Weimar Republic.[130] Sony VPCYB15JC Battery

Armistices and capitulations

The signing of the armistice.

In the forest of Compiègne after agreeing to the armistice that ended the war, Foch is seen second from the right. The carriage seen in the background, where the armistice was signed, was later chosen as the symbolic setting of Pétain’s June 1940 armistice. Sony VPCF1 Battery

It was moved to Berlin as a prize, but because of Allied bombing was eventually moved to Crawinkel, Thuringia, where it was deliberately destroyed by SS troops in 1945.[131]

The collapse of the Central Powers came swiftly. Bulgaria was the first to sign an armistice, on 29 September 1918 at Saloniki.[132] On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated at Moudros (Armistice of Mudros).[132]

Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery

On 24 October, the Italians began a push which rapidly recovered territory lost after the Battle of Caporetto. This culminated in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, which marked the end of the Austro-Hungarian Army as an effective fighting force. Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

The offensive also triggered the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the last week of October, declarations of independence were made in Budapest, Prague, and Zagreb. On 29 October, the imperial authorities asked Italy for an armistice. But the Italians continued advancing, reaching Trento, Udine, and Trieste.

Sony VPCF23M1E Battery On 3 November Austria–Hungary sent a flag of truce to ask for an Armistice. The terms, arranged by telegraph with the Allied Authorities in Paris, were communicated to the Austrian commander and accepted.

Sony VPCF22S8E Battery

The Armistice with Austria was signed in the Villa Giusti, near Padua, on 3 November. Austria and Hungary signed separate armistices following the overthrow of the Habsburg Monarchy.

Following the outbreak of the German Revolution of 1918–1919, a republic was proclaimed on 9 November. The Kaiser fled to the Netherlands.

Sony VPCF22S1E BatteryOn 11 November an armistice with Germany was signed in a railroad carriage at Compiègne. At 11 am on 11 November 1918—”the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”—a ceasefire came into effect. Opposing armies on the Western Front began to withdraw from their positions. Canadian Private George Lawrence Price was shot by a German sniper at 10:57 and died at 10:58.[133

Sony VPCF22M1E Battery] American Henry Gunther was killed 60 seconds before the armistice came into force while charging astonished German troops who were aware the Armistice was nearly upon them.[134] The last British soldier to die was Pte George Edwin Ellison. The last casualty of the war was a German, Lieutenant Thomas,

Sony VPCF22L1E Battery

who, after 11 am, was walking towards the line to inform Americans who had not yet been informed of the Armistice that they would be vacating the buildings behind them.[135] The occupation of the Rhineland took place following the Armistice. The occupying armies consisted of American, Belgian, British and French forces.

Sony VPCF22J1E Battery

Allied superiority and the stab-in-the-back legend, November 1918

In November 1918 the Allies had ample supplies of men and materiel to invade Germany. Yet at the time of the armistice, no Allied force had crossed the German frontier; the Western Front was still almost 900 mi (1,400 km) from Berlin;

Sony VPCF21Z1E Battery

and the Kaiser’s armies had retreated from the battlefield in good order. These factors enabled Hindenburg and other senior German leaders to spread the story that their armies had not really been defeated. This resulted in the stab-in-the-back legend,[136] Sony VPCF11C5E Battery

[137] which attributed Germany’s defeat not to its inability to continue fighting (even though up to a million soldiers were suffering from the 1918 flu pandemic and unfit to fight), but to the public’s failure to respond to its “patriotic calling” and the supposed intentional sabotage of the war effort, particularly by Jews, Socialists, and Bolsheviks. Sony VPCF11D4E Battery

A formal state of war between the two sides persisted for another seven months, until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles with Germany on 28 June 1919. Later treaties with Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria,

Sony VPCF2 Batteryand the Ottoman Empire were signed. However, the negotiation of the latter treaty with the Ottoman Empire was followed by strife (the Turkish War of Independence), and a final peace treaty between the Allied Powers and the country that would shortly become the Republic of Turkey was not signed until 24 July 1923, at Lausanne. Sony VPCF11M1E/H Battery

Some war memorials date the end of the war as being when the Versailles Treaty was signed in 1919, which was when many of the troops serving abroad finally returned to their home countries; by contrast, most commemorations of the war’s end concentrate on the armistice of 11 November 1918. Legally, Sony VPCF11S1E/B Battery

the formal peace treaties were not complete until the last, the Treaty of Lausanne, was signed. Under its terms, the Allied forces divested Constantinople on 23 August 1923. Sony VPCF115FG/B Battery

Technology

See also: Technology during World War I and Weapons of World War I

Armoured cars

The First World War began as a clash of 20th-century technology and 19th-century tactics, with the inevitably large ensuing casualties. By the end of 1917, however, the major armies, now numbering millions of men, had modernised and were making use of telephone, wireless communication,[138] armoured cars, tanks,[13Sony VPCF11S1E Battery

9] and aircraft. Infantry formations were reorganised, so that 100-man companies were no longer the main unit of manoeuvre; instead, squads of 10 or so men, under the command of a junior NCO, were favoured.

Sony VPCY21S1E Battery

Artillery also underwent a revolution. In 1914, cannons were positioned in the front line and fired directly at their targets. By 1917, indirect fire with guns (as well as mortars and even machine guns) was commonplace, using new techniques for spotting and ranging, notably aircraft and the often overlooked field telephone. Counter-battery missions became commonplace, also, and sound detection was used to locate enemy batteries. Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

Germany was far ahead of the Allies in utilising heavy indirect fire. The German Army employed 150 and 210 mm howitzers in 1914, when typical French and British guns were only 75 and 105 mm. The British had a 6 inch (152 mm) howitzer, Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery

but it was so heavy it had to be hauled to the field in pieces and assembled. Germans also fielded Austrian 305 mm and 420 mm guns, and already by the beginning of the war had inventories of various calibers of Minenwerfer ideally suited for trench warfare.[140] Sony VPCF12E1E/H Battery

Much of the combat involved trench warfare, in which hundreds often died for each yard gained. Many of the deadliest battles in history occurred during the First World War. Such battles include Ypres, the Marne, Cambrai, the Somme,

Sony VPCF23QIE Battery Verdun, and Gallipoli. The Germans employed the Haber process of nitrogen fixation to provide their forces with a constant supply of gunpowder, despite the British naval blockade.[141] Artillery was responsible for the largest number of casualties[142] and consumed vast quantities of explosives.

Sony VPCF24Q1E Battery

The large number of head wounds caused by exploding shells and fragmentation forced the combatant nations to develop the modern steel helmet, led by the French, who introduced the Adrian helmet in 1915. It was quickly followed by the Brodie helmet, worn by British Imperial and U.S. troops, and in 1916 by the distinctive German Stahlhelm, a design, with improvements, still in use today.

Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery

“Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!… Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime… Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.”- Wilfred Owen, DULCE ET DECORUM EST, 1917[143] Sony VPCF12F4E/H Battery

Sony VPCF13V5002B Battery

The widespread use of chemical warfare was a distinguishing feature of the conflict. Gases used included chlorine, mustard gas and phosgene. Few war casualties were caused by gas,[144] as effective countermeasures to gas attacks were quickly created, such as gas masks. Sony VPCF12M1E/H Battery

The use of chemical warfare and small-scale strategic bombing were both outlawed by the 1907 Hague Conventions, and both proved to be of limited effectiveness,[145] though they captured the public imagination.[146] Sony VPCF13E4E Battery

The most powerful land-based weapons were railway guns weighing hundreds of tons apiece. These were nicknamed Big Berthas, even though the namesake was not a railway gun. Germany developed the Paris Gun, able to bombard Paris from over 100 kilometres (62 mi), Sony VPCF13E8E Battery

though shells were relatively light at 94 kilograms (210 lb). While the Allies also had railway guns, German models severely out-ranged and out-classed them.

Sony VPCF13M1E/H Battery

Aviation

Main article: Aviation in World War I

RAF Sopwith Camel. In April 1917, the average life expectancy of a British pilot on the Western Front was 93 flying hours.[147]

Fixed-wing aircraft were first used militarily by the Italians in Libya on 23 October 1911 during the Italo-Turkish War for reconnaissance, soon followed by the dropping of grenades and aerial photography the next year.

Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI BatteryBy 1914 their military utility was obvious. They were initially used for reconnaissance and ground attack. To shoot down enemy planes, anti-aircraft guns and fighter aircraft were developed. Strategic bombers were created, principally by the Germans and British, though the former used Zeppelins as well.[14

Sony VPCF12S1E/B Battery8] Towards the end of the conflict, aircraft carriers were used for the first time, with HMS Furious launching Sopwith Camels in a raid to destroy the Zeppelin hangars at Tondern in 1918.[149]

Sony VPCF13Z8E/BI Battery

Johnson’s Nieuport 16 armed with Le Prieur rockets for attacking observation balloons.

Manned observation balloons, floating high above the trenches, were used as stationary reconnaissance platforms, reporting enemy movements and directing artillery. Balloons commonly had a crew of two, equipped with parachutes.,[15Sony VPCF13J0E/H Battery

0] so that if there was an enemy air attack the crew could parachute to safety. (At the time, parachutes were too heavy to be used by pilots of aircraft (with their marginal power output), and smaller versions were not developed until the end of the war; they were also opposed by British leadership, who feared they might promote cowardice.)[151] Sony VPCF1318E/H Battery

German trench destroyed by a mine explosion. Approximately 10,000 German troops were killed when the 19 mines were simultaneously detonated.

Recognised for their value as observation platforms, balloons were important targets of enemy aircraft. To defend them against air attack, Sony VPCF13M1E/B Battery

they were heavily protected by antiaircraft guns and patrolled by friendly aircraft; to attack them, unusual weapons such as air-to-air rockets were even tried. Thus, the reconnaissance value of blimps and balloons contributed to the development of air-to-air combat between all types of aircraft, and to the trench stalemate, Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery

because it was impossible to move large numbers of troops undetected. The Germans conducted air raids on England during 1915 and 1916 with airships, hoping to damage British morale and cause aircraft to be diverted from the front lines, and indeed the resulting panic led to the diversion of several squadrons of fighters from France.[148][151] Sony VPCF13Z8E Battery

Improvements in naval technology during World War I

Germany deployed U-boats (submarines) after the war began. Alternating between restricted and unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic, the Kaiserliche Marine employed them to deprive the British Isles of vital supplies. The deaths of British merchant sailors and the seeming invulnerability of U-boats led to the development of depth charges (1916), Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

hydrophones (passive sonar, 1917), blimps, hunter-killer submarines (HMS R-1, 1917), forward-throwing anti-submarine weapons, and dipping hydrophones (the latter two both abandoned in 1918).[152] To extend their operations, the Germans proposed supply submarines (1916). Most of these would be forgotten in the interwar period until World War II revived the need.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery

Improvements in ground warfare technology in World War I

British Vickers machine gun

Trenches, machine guns, air reconnaissance, barbed wire, and modern artillery with fragmentation shells helped bring the battle lines of World War I to a stalemate. The British sought a solution with the creation of the tank and mechanised warfare. The first tanks were used during the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916. Sony  VAIO VGN-FW21I Battery

Mechanical reliability was an issue, but the experiment proved its worth. Within a year, the British were fielding tanks by the hundreds, and they showed their potential during the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917,

Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery by breaking the Hindenburg Line, while combined arms teams captured 8000 enemy soldiers and 100 guns. The conflict also saw the introduction of Light automatic weapons and submachine guns, such as the Lewis Gun, the Browning automatic rifle, and the Bergmann MP18.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery

Flamethrowers and subterranean transport

Another new weapon, the flamethrower, was first used by the German army and later adopted by other forces. Although not of high tactical value, the flamethrower was a powerful, demoralising weapon that caused terror on the battlefield. It was a dangerous weapon to wield, as its heavy weight made operators vulnerable targets.

Sony VAIO VGN-FW56 Battery

Trench railways evolved to supply the enormous quantities of food, water, and ammunition required to support large numbers of soldiers in areas where conventional transportation systems had been destroyed. Internal combustion engines and improved traction systems for automobiles and trucks/lorries eventually rendered trench railways obsolete. Sony VAIO VGN-FW56E Battery

War crimes

Genocide and ethnic cleansing

Main article: Ottoman casualties of World War I

See also: Armenian Genocide, Assyrian Genocide, Greek genocide, and Genocide denial

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54S Battery

Austro-Hungarian soldiers executing Serb civilians during World War I occupation, Mačva, 1914

The ethnic cleansing of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian population, including mass deportations and executions, during the final years of the Ottoman Empire is considered genocide.[153] The Ottomans saw the entire Armenian population as an enemy[154] that had chosen to side with Russia at the beginning of the war.[155

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54J Battery] In early 1915, a number of Armenians joined the Russian forces, and the Ottoman government used this as a pretext to issue the Tehcir Law (Law on Deportation). This authorized the deportation of the Armenians from eastern provinces of the Empire to Syria between 1915 and 1917. The exact number of deaths is unknown: while Balakian gives a range of 250,000 to 1.5 million for the deaths of Armenians,[1

Sony VAIO VGN-FW54E Battery56] the International Association of Genocide Scholars estimates over 1 million.[153] The government of Turkey has consistently rejected charges of genocide, arguing that those who died were victims of inter-ethnic fighting, famine, or disease during the First World War.[15

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46Z Battery

7] Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Greeks, and some scholars consider those events to be part of the same policy of extermination.[158][159][160]

Sony VAIO VGN-FW46S Battery

Remains of Armenians burnt alive in the cattle shed in Aly-Zrna, 1915

Russian Empire

Main article: Anti-Jewish pogro