The South has long been a region apart, even though it is not isolated by any formidable natural barriers and is itself subdivided into many distinctive areas: the coastal plains along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico; the Piedmont; the ridges, valleys, and high mountains bordering the Piedmont, especially the Great Smoky Mts. in North Carolina and Tennessee; areas of bluegrass, black-soil prairies, and clay hills west of the mountains; bluffs, floodplains, bayous, and delta lands along the Mississippi River; and W of the Mississippi, the interior plains and the Ozark Plateau.
The humid subtropical climate, however, is one unifying factor. Winters are neither long nor very cold, and no month averages below freezing. The long, hot growing season (nine months at its peak along the Gulf) and the fertile soil (much of it overworked or ruined by erosion) have traditionally made the South an agricultural region where such staples as tobacco, rice, and sugarcane have long flourished; citrus fruits, livestock, soybeans, and timber have gained in importance. Cotton, once the region's dominant crop, is now mostly grown in Texas, the Southwest, and California.
Since World War II, the South has become increasingly industrialized. High-technology (such as aerospace and petrochemical) industries have boomed, and there has been impressive growth in the service, trade, and finance sectors. The chief cities of the South are Atlanta, New Orleans, Charlotte, Miami, Memphis, and Jacksonville.
From William Byrd (1674-1744) to William Faulkner and Toni Morrison, the South has always had a strong regional literature. Its principal subject has been the Civil War, reflected in song and poetry from Paul Hamilton Hayne to Allen Tate and in novels from Thomas Nelson Page to Margaret Mitchell.
The basic agricultural economy of the Old South, which was abetted by the climate and the soil, led to the introduction (1617) of Africans as a source of cheap labor under the twin institutions of the plantation and slavery. Slavery might well have expired had not the invention of the cotton gin (1793) given it a firmer hold, but even so there would have remained the problem of racial tension. Issues of race have been central to the history of the South. Slavery was known as the "peculiar institution" of the South and was protected by the Constitution of the United States.
The Missouri Compromise (1820-21) marked the rise of Southern sectionalism, rooted in the political doctrine of states' rights, with John C. Calhoun as its greatest advocate. When differences with the North, especially over the issue of the extension of slavery into the federal territories, ultimately appeared insoluble, the South turned (1860-61) the doctrine of states' rights into secession (or independence), which in turn led inevitably to the Civil War. Most of the major battles and campaigns of the war were fought in the South, and by the end of the war, with slavery abolished and most of the area in ruins, the Old South had died.Reconstruction to World War II
The period of Reconstruction following the war set the South's political and social attitude for years to come. During this difficult time radical Republicans, African Americans, and so-called carpetbaggers and scalawags ruled the South with the support of federal troops. White Southerners, objecting to this rule, resorted to terrorism and violence and, with the aid of such organizations as the Ku Klux Klan, drove the Reconstruction governments from power. The breakdown of the plantation system during the Civil War gave rise to sharecropping, the tenant-farming system of agriculture that still exists in areas of the South. The last half of the 19th cent. saw the beginning of industrialization in the South, with the introduction of textile mills and various industries.
The troubled economic and political life of the region in the years between 1880 and World War II was marked by the rise of the Farmers' Alliance, Populism, and Jim Crow laws and by the careers of such Southerners as Tom Watson, Theodore Bilbo, Benjamin Tillman, and Huey Long. During the 1930s and 40s, thousands of blacks migrated from the South to Northern industrial cities.The Contemporary South
Since World War II the South has experienced profound political, economic, and social change. Southern reaction to the policies of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society caused the emergence of a genuine two-party system in the South. Many conservative Southern Democrats (such as Strom Thurmond) became Republicans because of disagreements over civil rights, the Vietnam War, and other issues. During the 1990s, Republican strength in the South increased substantially. After the 1994 elections, Republicans held a majority of the U.S. Senate and House seats from Southern states; Newt Gingrich, a Georgia Republican, became Speaker of the House.
During the 1950s and 60s the civil-rights movement, several key Supreme Court decisions, and federal legislation ended the legal segregation of public schools, universities, transportation, businesses, and other establishments in the South, and helped blacks achieve more adequate political representation. The process of integration was often met with bitter protest and violence. Patterns of residential segregation still exist in much of the South, as they do throughout the United States. The influx of new industries into the region after World War II made the economic life of the South more diversified and more similar to that of other regions of the United States.
The portions of the South included in the Sun Belt have experienced dramatic growth since the 1970s. Florida's population almost doubled between 1970 and 1990 and Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina have also grown considerably. Economically, the leading metropolitan areas of the South have become popular destinations for corporations seeking favorable tax rates, and the region's relatively low union membership has attracted both foreign and U.S. manufacturing companies. In the rural South, however, poverty, illiteracy, and poor health conditions often still predominate.
See works by C. Eaton, H. W. Odum, and U. B. Phillips; W. H. Stephenson and E. M. Coulter, ed., A History of the South (10 vol., 1947-73); F. B. Simkins and C. P. Roland, A History of the South (4th ed. 1972); C. V. Woodward, Origins of the New South (1971) and The Strange Career of Jim Crow (3d rev. ed. 1974); D. R. Goldfield, Cotton Fields and Skyscrapers (1982); E. and M. Black, Politics and Society in the South (1987); C. R. Wilson and W. Ferris, ed., The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (1989); D. R. Goldfield, The South for New Southerners (1991).
See L. Ultan, The Beautiful Bronx (1982); L. Ultan and G. Hermalyn, The Bronx in the Innocent Years (1985); E. Gonzalez et al., Building a Borough (1986).
See studies by R. H. Hethmon, ed. (1965, repr. 1991), D. Garfield (1980), F. Hirsch (1984, repr. 2001), and S. Frome (2001).
See V. I. Seroff, The Mighty Five (1948); M. O. Zetlin, The Five (tr. 1959).
The group burst on the international rock music scene in 1961. Their initial appeal derived as much from their wit, Edwardian clothes, and moplike haircuts as from their music. By 1963 they were the objects of wild adoration and were constantly followed by crowds of shrieking adolescent girls. By the late 1960s, "Beatlemania" had abated somewhat, and The Beatles were highly regarded by a broad spectrum of music lovers.
From 1963 to 1970 the group released 18 record albums that clearly document its musical development. The early recordings, such as Meet The Beatles (1964), are remarkable for their solid rhythms and excitingly rich, tight harmony. The middle albums, like Rubber Soul (1965) and Revolver (1966), evolved toward social commentary in their lyrics ("Eleanor Rigby," "Taxman") and introduced such instruments as the cello, trumpet, and sitar. In 1967, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band marked the beginning of The Beatles' final period, which is characterized by electronic techniques and allusive, drug-inspired lyrics. The group acted and sang in four films: A Hard Day's Night (1964), Help! (1965), Magical Mystery Tour (1968), and Let It Be (1970); all of these are outstanding for their exuberance, slapstick, and satire. They also were animated characters in the full-length cartoon, Yellow Submarine (1968). After they disbanded, all The Beatles continued to compose and record songs. In 1980, Lennon was shot to death by a fan, Mark Chapman. McCartney was knighted in 1997.
See John Lennon, In His Own Write (1964, repr. 2000); H. Davies, The Beatles (1968, repr. 1996); W. Mellers, Twilight of the Gods (1974); P. Norman, Shout! (1981); R. DiLello, The Longest Cocktail Party (1972, repr. 1983); T. Riley, Tell Me Why (1988); M. Lewisohn, The Beatles Recording Sessions (1988), The Beatles Day by Day (1990), and The Complete Beatles Chronicles (1992); I. MacDonald, Revolution in the Head (1994); M. Hertsgaard, A Day in the Life (1995); The Beatles Anthology (video, 1995; book, 2000); J. S. Wenner, ed., Lennon Remembers: The Rolling Stone Interviews (2000); B. Spitz, The Beatles: The Biography (2005).
See Juilliard (television documentary, 2003).
See study by G. Dietze (1960).
In the center of the Arctic is a large basin occupied by the Arctic Ocean. The basin is nearly surrounded by the ancient continental shields of North America, Europe, and Asia, with the geologically more recent lowland plains, low plateaus, and mountain chains between them. Surface features vary from low coastal plains (swampy in summer, especially at the mouths of such rivers as the Mackenzie, Lena, Yenisei, and Ob) to high ice plateaus and glaciated mountains. Tundras, extensive flat and poorly drained lowlands, dominate the regions. The most notable highlands are the Brooks Range of Alaska, the Innuitians of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the Urals, and mountains of E Russia. Greenland, the world's largest island, is a high plateau covered by a vast ice sheet except in the coastal regions; smaller ice caps are found on other Arctic islands.
The climate of the Arctic, classified as polar, is characterized by long, cold winters and short, cool summers. Polar climate may be further subdivided into tundra climate (the warmest month of which has an average temperature below 50°F;/10°C; but above 32°F;/0°C;) and ice cap climate (all months average below 32°F;/0°C;, and there is a permanent snow cover). Precipitation, almost entirely in the form of snow, is very low, with the annual average precipitation for the regions less than 20 in. (51 cm). Persistent winds whip up fallen snow to create the illusion of constant snowfall. The climate is moderated by oceanic influences, with regions abutting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans having generally warmer temperatures and heavier snowfalls than the colder and drier interior areas. However, except along its fringe, the Arctic Ocean remains frozen throughout the year, although the extent of the summer ice has shrunk significantly since the early 1980s.
Great seasonal changes in the length of days and nights are experienced N of the Arctic Circle, with variations that range from 24 hours of constant daylight ("midnight sun") or darkness at the Arctic Circle to six months of daylight or darkness at the North Pole. However, because of the low angle of the sun above the horizon, insolation is minimal throughout the regions, even during the prolonged daylight period. A famous occurrence in the arctic night sky is the aurora borealis, or northern lights.
Vegetation in the Arctic, limited to regions having a tundra climate, flourishes during the short spring and summer seasons. The tundra's restrictive environment for plant life increases northward, with dwarf trees giving way to grasses (mainly mosses, lichen, sedges, and some flowering plants), the ground coverage of which becomes widely scattered toward the permanent snow line. There are about 20 species of land animals in the Arctic, including the squirrel, wolf, fox, moose, caribou, reindeer, polar bear, musk ox, and about six species of aquatic mammals such as the walrus, seal, and whale. Most of the species are year-round inhabitants of the Arctic, migrating to the southern margins as winter approaches. Although generally of large numbers, some of the species, especially the fur-bearing ones, are in danger of extinction. A variety of fish is found in arctic seas, rivers, and lakes. The Arctic's bird population increases tremendously each spring with the arrival of migratory birds (see migration of animals). During the short warm season, a large number of insects breed in the marshlands of the tundra.
In parts of the Arctic are found a variety of natural resources, but many known reserves are not exploited because of their inaccessibility. The arctic region of Russia, the most developed of all the arctic regions, is a vast storehouse of mineral wealth, including deposits of nickel, copper, coal, gold, uranium, tungsten, and diamonds. The North American Arctic yields uranium, copper, nickel, iron, natural gas, and oil. The arctic region of Europe (including W Russia) benefits from good overland links with southern areas and ship routes that are open throughout the year. The arctic regions of Asian Russia and North America depend on isolated overland routes, summertime ship routes, and air transportation. Transportation of oil by pipeline from arctic Alaska was highly controversial in the early 1970s, with strong opposition from environmentalists. Because of the extreme conditions of the Arctic, the delicate balance of nature, and the slowness of natural repairs, the protection and preservation of the Arctic have been major goals of conservationists, who fear irreparable damage to the natural environment from local temperature increases, the widespread use of machinery, the interference with wildlife migration, and oil spills. Global warming and the increasing reduction in the permanent ice cover on the Arctic Ocean has increased interest in the region's ocean resouces.
The Arctic is one of the world's most sparsely populated areas. Its inhabitants, basically of Mongolic stock, are thought to be descendants of a people who migrated northward from central Asia after the ice age and subsequently spread W into Europe and E into North America. The chief groups are now the Lapps of Europe; the Samoyedes (Nentsy) of W Russia; the Yakuts, Tungus, Yukaghirs, and Chukchis of E Russia; and the Eskimo of North America. There is a sizable Caucasian population in Siberia, and the people of Iceland are nearly all Caucasian. In Greenland, the Greenlanders, a mixture of Eskimos and northern Europeans, predominate.
Because of their common background and the general lack of contact with other peoples, arctic peoples have strikingly similar physical characteristics and cultures, especially in such things as clothing, tools, techniques, and social organization. The arctic peoples, once totally nomadic, are now largely sedentary or seminomadic. Hunting, fishing, reindeer herding, and indigenous arts and crafts are the chief activities. The arctic peoples are slowly being incorporated into the society of the country in which they are located. With the Arctic's increased economic and political role in world affairs, the regions have experienced an influx of personnel charged with building and maintaining such things as roads, mineral extraction sites, weather stations, and military installations.
Many parts of the Arctic were already settled by the Eskimos and other peoples of Mongolic stock when the first European explorers, the Norsemen or Vikings, appeared in the region. Much later the search for the Northwest Passage and the Northeast Passage to reach Asia from Europe spurred exploration to the north. This activity began in the 16th cent. and continued in the 17th, but the hardships suffered and the negative results obtained by early explorers—among them Martin Frobisher, John Davis, Henry Hudson, William Baffin, and William Barentz—caused interest to wane. The fur traders in Canada did not begin serious explorations across the tundras until the latter part of the 18th cent. Alexander Mackenzie undertook extensive exploration after the beginnings made by Samuel Hearne, Philip Turnor, and others. Already in the region of NE Asia and W Alaska, the Russian explorations under Vitus Bering and others and the activities of the promyshlennyki [fur traders] had begun to make the arctic coasts known.
After 1815, British naval officers—including John Franklin, F. W. Beechey, John Ross, James Ross, W. E. Parry, P. W. Dease, Thomas Simpson, George Back, and John Rae—inspired by the efforts of John Barrow, took up the challenge of the Arctic. The disappearance of Franklin on his expedition between 1845 and 1848 gave rise to more than 40 searching parties. Although Franklin was not found, a great deal of knowledge was gained about the Arctic as a result, including the general outline of Canada's arctic coast.
Otto Sverdrup, D. B. MacMillan, and Vilhjalmur Stefansson added significant knowledge of the regions. Meanwhile, in the Eurasian Arctic, Franz Josef Land was discovered and Novaya Zemlya explored. The Northeast Passage was finally navigated in 1879 by Nils A. E. Nordenskjöld. Roald Amundsen, who went through the Northwest Passage (1903-6), also went through the Northeast Passage (1918-20). Greenland was also explored. Robert E. Peary reportedly won the race to be the first at the North Pole in 1909, but this claim is disputed. Although Fridtjof Nansen, drifting with his vessel Fram in the ice (1893-96), failed to reach the North Pole, he added enormously to the knowledge of the Arctic Ocean.
Air exploration of the regions began with the tragic balloon attempt of S. A. Andrée in 1897. In 1926, Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett flew over the North Pole, and Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth flew from Svalbard (Spitsbergen) to Alaska across the North Pole and unexplored regions N of Alaska. In 1928, George Hubert Wilkins flew from Alaska to Spitsbergen. The use of the "great circle" route for world air travel increased the importance of Arctic, while new ideas of the agricultural and other possibilities of arctic and subarctic regions led to many projects for development, especially in the USSR.
In 1937 and 1938 many field expeditions were sent out by British, Danish, Norwegian, Soviet, Canadian, and American groups to learn more about the Arctic. The Soviet group under Ivan Papinin wintered on an ice floe near the North Pole and drifted with the current for 274 days. Valuable hydrological, meteorological, and magnetic observations were made; by the time they were taken off the floe, the group had drifted 19° of latitude and 58° of longitude. Arctic drift was further explored (1937-40) by the Soviet icebreaker Sedov. Before World War II the USSR had established many meteorological and radio stations in the Arctic. Soviet activity in practical exploitation of resources also pointed the way to the development of arctic regions. Between 1940 and 1942 the Canadian vessel St. Roch made the first west-east journey through the Northwest Passage. In World War II, interest in transporting supplies gave rise to considerable study of arctic conditions.
After the war interest in the Arctic was keen. The Canadian army in 1946 undertook a project that had as one of its objects the testing of new machines (notably the snowmobile) for use in developing the Arctic. There was also a strong impulse to develop Alaska and N Canada, but no consolidated effort, like that of the Soviets, to take the natives into partnership for a full-scale development of the regions. Since 1954 the United States and Russia have established a number of drifting observation stations on ice floes for the purpose of intensified scientific observations. In 1955, as part of joint U.S.-Canadian defense, construction was begun on a c.3,000-mi (4,830-km) radar network (the Distant Early Warning line, commonly called the DEW line) stretching from Alaska to Greenland. As older radar stations were replaced and new ones built, a more sophisticated surveillance system developed. In 1993 the system, now stretching from NW Alaska to the coast of Newfoundland, was renamed the North Warning System.
With the continuing development of northern regions (e.g., Alaska, N Canada, and Russia), the Arctic has assumed greater importance in the world. During the International Geophysical Year (1957-58) more than 300 arctic stations were established by the northern countries interested in the arctic regions. Atomic-powered submarines have been used for penetrating the Arctic. In 1958 the Nautilus, a U.S. navy atomic-powered submarine, became the first ship to cross the North Pole undersea. Two years later the Skate set out on a similar voyage and became the first to surface at the Pole. In 1977 the Soviet nuclear icebreaker Arktika reached the North Pole, the first surface ship to do so.
In the 1960s the Arctic became the scene of an intense search for mineral and power resources. The discovery of oil on the Alaska North Slope (1968) and on Canada's Ellesmere Island (1972) led to a great effort to find new oil fields along the edges of the continents. In the summer of 1969 the SS Manhattan, a specially designed oil tanker with ice breaker and oceanographic research vessel features, successfully sailed from Philadelphia to Alaska by way of the Northwest Passage in the first attempt to bring commercial shipping into the region.
In 1971 the Arctic Ice Dynamics Joint Experiment (AIDJEX) began an international effort to study over a period of years arctic pack ice and its effect on world climate. In 1986 a seasonal "hole" in the ozone layer above the Arctic was discovered, showing some similarities to a larger depletion of ozone over the southern polar region; depletion of the ozone layer results in harmful levels of ultraviolet radiation reaching the earth from the sun. In the 21st cent. increased interest in the resources of the Arctic Ocean, prompted by a decrease in permanent ice cover due to global warming, have led to disputes among the Arctic nations over territorial claims. Practically all parts of the Arctic have now been photographed and scanned (by remote sensing devices) from aircraft and satellites. From these sources accurate maps of the Arctic have been compiled.
Classic narratives of arctic exploration include F. Nansen, In Northern Mists (tr. 1911); R. E. Amundsen, The North West Passage (tr., 2 vol., 1908); R. E. Peary, The North Pole (1910, repr. 1969); V. Stefansson, My Life with the Eskimo (1913) and The Friendly Arctic (1921).
For history and geography, see L. P. Kirwan, A History of Polar Exploration (1960); R. Thorén, Picture Atlas of the Arctic (1969); L. H. Neatby, Conquest of the Last Frontier (1966) and Discovery in Russian and Siberian Waters (1973); L. Rey et al., ed., Unveiling the Arctic (1984); F. Bruemmer and W. E. Taylor, The Arctic World (1987); R. McCormick, Voyages of Discovery in the Antarctic and Arctic Seas (1990); F. Fleming, Barrow's Boys (1998) and Ninety Degrees North: The Quest for the North Pole (2002); C. Officer and J. Page, A Fabulous Kingdom: The Exploration of the Arctic (2001).
The original Celtic inhabitants, converted to Christianity by St. Columba (6th cent.), were conquered by the Norwegians (starting in the 8th cent.). They held the Southern Islands, as they called them, until 1266. From that time the islands were formally held by the Scottish crown but were in fact ruled by various Scottish chieftains, with the Macdonalds asserting absolute rule after 1346 as lords of the isles. In the mid-18th cent. the Hebrides were incorporated into Scotland. The tales of Sir Walter Scott did much to make the islands famous. Emigration from the overpopulated islands occurred in the 20th cent., especially to Canada.
Although it has some industries (the manufacture of clothing, metal goods, printed materials, and food products), The Hague's economy revolves around government administration, which is centered there rather than in Amsterdam, the constitutional capital of the Netherlands. The Hague is the seat of the Dutch legislature, the Dutch supreme court, the International Court of Justice, and foreign embassies. The city is the headquarters of numerous companies, including the Royal Dutch Shell petroleum company. Also of economic importance are banking, insurance, and trade.
Among the numerous landmarks of The Hague is the Binnenhof, which grew out of the 13th-century palace and houses both chambers of the legislature; the Binnenhof contains the 13th-century Hall of Knights (Dutch Ridderzaal), where many historic meetings have been held. Nearby is the Gevangenenpoort, the 14th-century prison where Jan de Witt and Cornelius de Witt were murdered in 1672. The Mauritshuis, a 17th-century structure built as a private residence for John Maurice of Nassau, is an art museum and contains several of the greatest works of Rembrandt and Vermeer.
The Peace Palace (Dutch Vredespaleis), which was financed by Andrew Carnegie and opened in 1913, houses the Permanent Court of Arbitration and, since 1945, the International Court of Justice. Among the other notable buildings are the former royal palace; the Groote Kerk, a Gothic church (15th-16th cent.); the Nieuwe Kerk, containing Spinoza's tomb; the 16th-century town hall; and the Netherlands Conference Center (1969). Educational institutions in The Hague include schools of music and international law. Northwest of the city is Scheveningen, a popular North Sea resort and a fishing port.
The Hague was (13th cent.) the site of a hunting lodge of the counts of Holland ('s Gravenhage means "the count's hedge"). William, count of Holland, began (c.1250) the construction of a palace, around which a town grew in the 14th and 15th cent. In 1586 the States-General of the United Provs. of the Netherlands convened in The Hague, which later (17th cent.) became the residence of the stadtholders and the capital of the Dutch republic. In the 17th cent., The Hague rose to be one of the chief diplomatic and intellectual centers of Europe. William III (William of Orange), stadtholder of Holland and other Dutch provinces as well as king of England (1689-1702), was born in The Hague.
In the early 19th cent., after Amsterdam had become the constitutional capital of the Netherlands, The Hague received its own charter from Louis Bonaparte. It was (1815-30) the alternative meeting place, with Brussels, of the legislature of the United Netherlands. The Dutch royal residence from 1815 to 1948, the city was greatly expanded and beautified in the mid-19th cent. by King William II. In 1899 the First Hague Conference met there on the initiative of Nicholas II of Russia; ever since, The Hague has been a center for the promotion of international justice and arbitration.
The smallest country on the continent of Africa, The Gambia comprises Saint Mary's Island (site of Banjul) and, on the adjacent mainland, a narrow strip never more than 30 mi (48 km) wide; this finger of land borders both banks of the Gambia River for c.200 mi (320 km) above its mouth. The river, which rises in Guinea and flows c.600 mi (970 km) to the Atlantic, is navigable throughout The Gambia and is the main transport artery. Along The Gambia's coast are fine sand beaches; inland is the swampy river valley, whose fertile alluvial soils support rice cultivation. Peanuts, the country's chief cash crop, and some grains are raised on higher land. The climate is tropical and fairly dry.
The Gambia's population consists primarily of Muslim ethnic groups; the Malinke (Mandinka) is the largest, followed by the Fulani (Fula), Wolof, Diola (Jola), and Soninke (Serahuli). Almost a tenth of the population is Christian. English is the official language, but a number of African dialects are widely spoken. During the sowing and reaping seasons migrants from Senegal and Guinea also come to work in the country.
Despite attempts at diversification, The Gambia's economy remains overwhelmingly dependent on the export of peanuts and their byproducts and the re-exporting of imported foreign goods to other African nations. About three quarters of the population is employed in agriculture. Rice, millet, sorghum, corn, and cassava are grown for subsistence, and cattle, sheep, and goats are raised. There is also a fishing industry. The main industrial activities center around the processing of agricultural products and some light manufacturing. Tourism, which suffered following the 1994 military takeover, rebounded in the late 1990s. Besides peanut products, dried and smoked fish, cotton lint, palm kernels, and hides and skins are exported; foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery, and transportation equipment are imported. India, Great Britain, China, and Senegal are the country's leading trading partners. The Gambia is one of the world's poorest nations and relies heavily on foreign aid.
The Gambia is governed under the constitution of 1997. The president, who is both head of state and head of government, is popularly elected for a five-year term; there are no term limits. The unicameral legislature consists of a 53-seat National Assembly whose members also serve five-year terms; 48 members are elected and 5 are appointed by the president. Administratively, The Gambia is made up of five divisions and the capital city.
Portuguese explorers reaching the Gambia region in the mid-15th cent. reported a group of small Malinke and Wolof states that were tributary to the empire of Mali. The English won trading rights from the Portuguese in 1588, but their hold was weak until the early 17th cent., when British merchant companies obtained trading charters and founded settlements along the Gambia River. In 1816 the British purchased Saint Mary's Island from a local chief and established Banjul (called Bathurst until 1973) as a base against the slave trade. The city remained a colonial backwater under the administration of Sierra Leone until 1843, when it became a separate crown colony. Between 1866 and 1888 it was again governed from Sierra Leone. As the French extended their rule over Senegal's interior, they sought control over Britain's Gambia River settlements but failed during negotiations to offer Britain acceptable territory in compensation. In 1889, The Gambia's boundaries were defined, and in 1894 the interior was declared a British protectorate. The whole of the country came under British rule in 1902 and that same year a system of government was initiated in which chiefs supervised by British colonial commissioners ruled a variety of localities. In 1906 slavery in the colony was ended.
The Gambia continued the system of local rule under British supervision until after World War II, when Britain began to encourage a greater measure of self-government and to train some Gambians for administrative positions. By the mid-1950s a legislative council had been formed, with members elected by the Gambian people, and a system had been initiated wherein appointed Gambian ministers worked along with British officials. The Gambia achieved full self-government in 1963 and independence in 1965 under Dauda Kairaba Jawara and the People's Progressive party (PPP), made up of the predominant Malinke ethnic group. Following a referendum in 1970, The Gambia became a republic in the Commonwealth of Nations. In contrast to many other new African states, The Gambia preserved democracy and remarkable political stability in its early years of independence.
Since the mid-1970s large numbers of Gambians have migrated from rural to urban areas, resulting in high urban unemployment and overburdened services. The PPP demonstrated an interest in expanding the agricultural sector, but droughts in the late 1970s and early 1980s prompted a serious decline in agricultural production and a rise in inflation. In 1978, The Gambia entered into an agreement with Senegal to develop the Gambia River and its basin. Improvements in infrastructure and a heightened popular interest by outsiders in the country (largely because of the popularity of Alex Haley's novel Roots, set partially in The Gambia) helped spur a threefold increase in tourism between 1978 and 1988.
The Gambia was shaken in 1981 by a coup attempt by junior-ranking soldiers; it was put down with the intervention of Senegalese troops. In 1982, The Gambia and Senegal formed a confederation, while maintaining individual sovereignty; by 1989, however, popular opposition and minor diplomatic problems led to the withdrawal of Senegalese troops and the dissolution of Senegambia. In July, 1994, Jawara was overthrown in a bloodless coup and Yahya Jammeh assumed power as chairman of the armed forces and head of state.
Jammeh survived an attempted countercoup in Nov., 1994, and won the presidential elections of Sept., 1996, from which the major opposition leaders effectively had been banned. Only in 2001, in advance of new presidential elections, was the ban on political activities by the opposition parties lifted, and in Oct., 2001, Jammeh was reelected. The 2002 parliamentary elections, in which Jammeh's party won nearly all the seats, were boycotted by the main opposition party.
There was a dispute with Senegal in Aug.-Oct., 2005, over increased ferry charges across the Gambia river, which led to a Senegalese ferry boycott and a blockade of overland transport through Gambia, which hurt Senegal S of Gambia but also affected Gambian merchants. Gambia subsequently reduced the charges. A coup plot led by the chief of defense staff was foiled in Mar., 2006. Jammeh was again reelected in Sept., 2006, but the opposition denounced and rejected the election for being marred by intimidation. In the subsequent parliamentary elections (Jan. 2007), Jammeh's party again won all but a handful of the seats. Jammeh's rule has been marked by the often brutal treatment of real and percieved opponents.
See B. Rice, Enter Gambia (1968); H. B. Bachmann et al., Gambia: Basic Needs in The Gambia (1981); H. A. Gailey, Historical Dictionary of The Gambia (1987); D. P. Gamble, The Gambia (1988); F. Wilkins, Gambia (1988); M. F. McPherson and S. C. Radelet, ed., Economic Recovery in The Gambia (1996); D. R. Wright, The World and a Very Small Place in Africa (1997).
|Subfamily||Group||Subgroup||Languages and Principal Dialects|
|Anatolian||Hieroglypic Hittite*, Hittite (Kanesian)*, Luwian*, Lycian*, Lydian*, Palaic*|
|Baltic||Latvian (Lettish), Lithuanian, Old Prussian*|
|Celtic||Brythonic||Breton, Cornish, Welsh|
|Goidelic or Gaelic||Irish (Irish Gaelic), Manx*, Scottish Gaelic|
|Germanic||East Germanic||Burgundian*, Gothic*, Vandalic*|
|North Germanic||Old Norse* (see Norse), Danish, Faeroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish|
(see Grimm's law)
|High German||German, Yiddish|
|Low German||Afrikaans, Dutch, English, Flemish, Frisian, Plattdeutsch (see German language)|
|Greek||Aeolic*, Arcadian*, Attic*, Byzantine Greek*, Cyprian*, Doric*, Ionic*, Koiné*, Modern Greek|
|Indo-Iranian||Dardic or Pisacha||Kafiri, Kashmiri, Khowar, Kohistani, Romany (Gypsy), Shina|
|Indic or Indo-Aryan||Pali*, Prakrit*, Sanskrit*, Vedic*|
|Central Indic||Hindi, Hindustani, Urdu|
|East Indic||Assamese, Bengali (Bangla), Bihari, Oriya|
|Northwest Indic||Punjabi, Sindhi|
|Pahari||Central Pahari, Eastern Pahari (Nepali), Western Pahari|
|South Indic||Marathi (including major dialect Konkani), Sinhalese (Singhalese)|
|West Indic||Bhili, Gujarati, Rajasthani (many dialects)|
|Iranian||Avestan*, Old Persian*|
|East Iranian||Baluchi, Khwarazmian*, Ossetic, Pamir dialects, Pashto (Afghan), Saka (Khotanese)*, Sogdian*, Yaghnobi|
|West Iranian||Kurdish, Pahlavi (Middle Persian)*, Parthian*, Persian (Farsi), Tajiki|
|Italic||(Non-Romance)||Faliscan*, Latin, Oscan*, Umbrian*|
|Romance or Romanic||Eastern Romance||Italian, Rhaeto-Romanic, Romanian, Sardinian|
|Western Romance||Catalan, French, Ladino, Portuguese, Provençal, Spanish|
|Slavic or Slavonic||East Slavic||Belarusian (White Russian), Russian, Ukrainian|
|South Slavic||Bulgarian, Church Slavonic*, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian|
|West Slavic||Czech, Kashubian, Lusatian (Sorbian or Wendish), Polabian*, Polish, Slovak|
|Thraco-Illyrian||Albanian, Illyrian*, Thracian*|
|Thraco-Phrygian||Armenian, Grabar (Classical Armenian)*, Phrygian*|
|Tokharian (W China)||Tokharian A (Agnean)*, Tokharian B (Kuchean)*|
The Comoros is comprised of three main islands, Njazidja (or Ngazidja; also Grande Comore or Grand Comoros)—on which Moroni is located—Nzwani (or Ndzouani; also Anjouan), and Mwali (also Mohéli), and numerous coral reefs and islets. They are volcanic in origin, with interiors that vary from high peaks to low hills and coastlines that feature many sandy beaches. Njazidja is the site of an active volcano, Karthala, which, at 7,746 ft (2,361 m), is the islands' highest peak. The Comoros have a tropical climate with the year almost evenly divided between dry and rainy seasons; cyclones (hurricanes) are quite frequent. The islands once supported extensive rain forests, but most have been severely depleted.
The inhabitants are a mix mostly of African, Arab, Indian, and Malay ethnic strains. Sunni Muslims make up 98% of the population; there is a small Roman Catholic minority. Arabic and French are the official languages, and Comorian (or Shikomoro, a blend of Swahili and Arabic) is also spoken.
With few natural resources, poor soil, and overpopulation, the islands are one of the world's poorest nations. Some 80% of the people are involved in agriculture. Vanilla, ylang-ylang (used in perfumes), cloves, and copra are the major exports; coconuts, bananas, and cassava are also grown. Fishing, tourism, and perfume distillation are the main industries, and remittances from Comorans working abroad are an important source of revenue. Rice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods, petroleum products, and transportation equipment are imported. The country is heavily dependent on France for trade and foreign aid.
The Comoros is governed under the constitution of 2001. The president, who is head of state, is chosen from among the elected heads of the three main islands; the presidency rotates every five years. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is appointed by the president. The unicameral legislature consists of the 33-seat Assembly of the Union. Fifteen members are selected by the individual islands' local assemblies, and 18 are popularly elected. All serve five-year terms. Administratively, the country is divided into the three main islands and four municipalities.
The islands were populated by successive waves of immigrants from Africa, Indonesia, Madagascar, and Arabia. They were long under Arab influence, especially Shiragi Arabs from Persia who first arrived in A.D. 933. Portugal, France, and England staked claims in the Comoros in the 16th cent., but the islands remained under Arab domination. All of the islands were ceded to the French between 1841 and 1909. Occupied by the British during World War II, the islands were granted administrative autonomy within the French Union in 1946 and internal self-government in 1968. In 1975 three of the islands voted to become independent, while Mayotte chose to remain a French dependency.
Ahmed Abdallah Abderrahman was Comoros's first president. He was ousted in a 1976 coup, returned to power in a second coup in 1978, survived a coup attempt in 1983, and was assassinated in 1989. The nation's first democratic elections were held in 1990, and Saïd Mohamed Djohar was elected president. In 1991, Djohar was impeached and replaced by an interim president, but he returned to power with French backing. Multiparty elections in 1992 resulted in a legislative majority for the president and the creation of the office of prime minister.
Comoros joined the Arab League in 1993. A coup attempt in 1995 was suppressed by French troops. In 1996, Mohamed Taki Abdulkarim was elected president. In 1997, following years of economic decline, rebels took control of the islands of Nzwani and Mwali, declaring their secession and desire to return to French rule. The islands were granted greater autonomy in 1999, but voters on Nzwani endorsed independence in Jan., 2000, and rebels continue to control the island. Taki died in 1998 and was succeeded by Tadjiddine Ben Said Massounde. As violence spread to the main island, the Comoran military staged a coup in Apr., 1999, and Col. Azali Assoumani became president of the Comoros. An attempted coup in Mar., 2000, was foiled by the army.
Forces favoring reuniting with the Comoros seized power in Nzwani in 2001, and in December Comoran voters approved giving the three islands additional autonomy (and their own presidents) within a Comoran federation. Under the new constitution, the presidency of the Comoros Union rotates among the islands. In Jan., 2002, Azali resigned, and Prime Minister Hamada Madi became also interim president in the transitional government preparing for new elections. After two disputed elections (March and April), a commission declared Azali national president in May, 2002.
An accord in Dec., 2003, concerning the division of powers between the federal and island governments paved the way for legislative elections in 2004, in which parties favoring autonomy for the individual islands won a majority of the seats. The 2006 presidential election was won by Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi, a Sunni cleric regarded as a moderate Islamist.
In Apr., 2007, the president of Nzwani, Mohamed Bacar, refused to resign as required by the constitutional courts and used his police forces to retain power, holding an illegal election in June, after which he was declared the winner. The moves were denounced by the central government and the African Union, but the central government lacked the forces to dislodge Bacar. In Nov., 2007, the African Union began a naval blockade of Nzwani and imposed a travel ban on its government's officials. With support from African Union forces, Comoran troops landed on Mzwani in Mar., 2008, and reestablished federal control over the island. Bacar fled to neighboring Mayotte, then was taken to Réunion; in July he was flown to Benin. A referendum in May, 2009, approved of a constitutional amendment to extend the president's term to five years and replace the islands' presidents with governors.
See World Bank, Comoros (1983); M. and H. Ottenheimer, Historical Dictionary of the Comoro Islands (1994).
See R. Greenfield, Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia (1996); C. Brightman, Sweet Chaos: The Grateful Dead's American Adventure (1999); B. Jackson, Garcia: An American Life (1999); S. Peters, What a Long, Strange Trip (1999); R. G. Adams, ed., Deadhead Social Science (2000); D. McNally, A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead (2002); P. Lesh, Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead (2005).
See V. Weybright, The Star-spangled Banner (1935).
The public information stored in the multitude of computer networks connected to the Internet forms a huge electronic library, but the enormous quantity of data and number of linked computer networks also make it difficult to find where the desired information resides and then to retrieve it. A number of progressively easier-to-use interfaces and tools have been developed to facilitate searching. Among these are search engines, such as Archie, Gopher, and WAIS (Wide Area Information Server), and a number of commercial, Web-based indexes, such as Google or Yahoo, which are programs that use a proprietary algorithm or other means to search a large collection of documents for keywords and return a list of documents containing one or more of the keywords. Telnet is a program that allows users of one computer to connect with another, distant computer in a different network. The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is used to transfer information between computers in different networks. The greatest impetus to the popularization of the Internet came with the introduction of the World Wide Web (WWW), a hypertext system that makes browsing the Internet both fast and intuitive. Most e-commerce occurs over the Web, and most of the information on the Internet now is formatted for the Web, which has led Web-based indexes to eclipse the other Internet-wide search engines.
Each computer that is directly connected to the Internet is uniquely identified by a 32-bit binary number called its IP address. This address is usually seen as a four-part decimal number, each part equating to 8 bits of the 32-bit address in the decimal range 0-255. Because an address of the form 126.96.36.199 could be difficult to remember, a system of Internet addresses, or domain names, was developed in the 1980s. An Internet address is translated into an IP address by a domain-name server, a program running on an Internet-connected computer.
Reading from left to right, the parts of a domain name go from specific to general. For example, www.cms.hhs.gov is a World Wide Web site for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is part of the U.S. Health and Human Services Dept., which is a government agency. The rightmost part, or top-level domain (or suffix or zone), can be a two-letter abbreviation of the country in which the computer is in operation; more than 250 abbreviations, such as "ca" for Canada and "uk" for United Kingdom, have been assigned. Although such an abbreviation exists for the United States (us), it is more common for a site in the United States to use a generic top-level domain such as edu (educational institution), gov (government), or mil (military) or one of the four domains originally designated for open registration worldwide, com (commercial), int (international), net (network), or org (organization). In 2000 seven additional top-level domains (aero, biz, coop, info, museum, name, and pro) were approved for worldwide use, and other domains, including the regional domains asia and eu, have since been added. In 2008 new rules were adopted that would allow a top-level domain to be any group of letters, and the following year further rules changes permitted the use of other writing systems in addition to the Latin alphabet in domain names beginning in 2010.
The Internet evolved from a secret feasibility study conceived by the U.S. Dept. of Defense in 1969 to test methods of enabling computer networks to survive military attacks, by means of the dynamic rerouting of messages. As the ARPAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency network), it began by connecting three networks in California with one in Utah—these communicated with one another by a set of rules called the Internet Protocol (IP). By 1972, when the ARPAnet was revealed to the public, it had grown to include about 50 universities and research organizations with defense contracts, and a year later the first international connections were established with networks in England and Norway.
A decade later, the Internet Protocol was enhanced with a set of communication protocols, the Transmission Control Program/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), that supported both local and wide-area networks. Shortly thereafter, the National Science Foundation (NSF) created the NSFnet to link five supercomputer centers, and this, coupled with TCP/IP, soon supplanted the ARPAnet as the backbone of the Internet. In 1995 the NSF decommissioned the NSFnet, and responsibility for the Internet was assumed by the private sector. Progress toward the privatization of the Internet continued when Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit U.S. corporation, assumed oversight responsibility for the domain name system in 1998 under an agreement with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
Fueled by the increasing popularity of personal computers, e-mail, and the World Wide Web (which was introduced in 1991 and saw explosive growth beginning in 1993), the Internet became a significant factor in the stock market and commerce during the second half of the decade. By 2000 it was estimated that the number of adults using the Internet exceeded 100 million in the United States alone. The increasing globalization of the Internet has led a number of nations to call for oversight and governance of the Internet to pass from the U.S. government and ICANN to an international body, but a 2005 international technology summit agreed to preserve the status quo while establishing an international forum for the discussion of Internet policy issues.
See B. P. Kehoe, Zen and the Art of the Internet: A Beginner's Guide (4th ed. 1995); B. Pomeroy, ed., Beginnernet: A Beginner's Guide to the Internet and the World Wide Web (1997); L. E. Hughes, Internet E-Mail: Protocols, Standards, and Implementation (1998); J. S. Gonzalez, The 21st Century Internet (1998); D. P. Dern, Internet Business Handbook: The Insider's Internet Guide (1999).
See S. Vogel, The Pentagon: A History (2007).
The Philippines extend 1,152 mi (1,855 km) from north to south, between Taiwan and Borneo, and 688 mi (1,108 km) from east to west, and are bounded by the Philippine Sea on the east, the Celebes Sea on the south, and the South China Sea on the west. They comprise three natural divisions—the northern, which includes Luzon and attendant islands; the central, occupied by the Visayan Islands and Palawan and Mindoro; and the southern, encompassing Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. In addition to Manila, other important centers are Quezon City, also on Luzon; Cebu, on Cebu Island; Iloilo, on Panay; Davao and Zamboanga, on Mindanao; and Jolo, on Jolo Island in the Sulu Archipelago.
The Philippines are chiefly of volcanic origin. Most of the larger islands are traversed by mountain ranges, with Mt. Apo (9,690 ft/2,954 m), on Mindanao, the highest peak. Narrow coastal plains, wide valleys, volcanoes, dense forests, and mineral and hot springs further characterize the larger islands. Earthquakes are common. Of the navigable rivers, Cagayan, on Luzon, is the largest; there are also large lakes on Luzon and Mindanao.
The Philippines are entirely within the tropical zone. Manila, with a mean daily temperature of 79.5°F; (26. 4°C;), is typical of the climate of the lowland areas—hot and humid. The highlands, however, have a bracing climate; e.g., Baguio, the summer capital, on Luzon, has a mean annual temperature of 64°F; (17.8°C;). The islands are subject to typhoons, whose torrential rains can cause devastating floods; 5,000 people died on Leyte in 1991 from such flooding, and several storms in 2004 and 2006 caused deadly flooding and great destruction.
The great majority of the people of the Philippines belong to the Malay group and are known as Filipinos. Other groups include the Negritos (negroid pygmies) and the Dumagats (similar to the Papuans of New Guinea), and there is a small Chinese minority. The Filipinos live mostly in the lowlands and constitute one of the largest Christian groups in Asia. Roman Catholicism is professed by over 80% of the population; 5% are Muslims (concentrated on Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago; see Moros); about 2% are Aglipayans, members of the Philippine Independent Church, a nationalistic offshoot of Catholicism (see Aglipay, Gregorio); and there are Protestant and Evangelical groups. The official languages are Pilipino, based on Tagalog, and English; however, some 70 native languages are also spoken.
With their tropical climate, heavy rainfall, and naturally fertile volcanic soil, the Philippines have a strong agricultural sector, which employs over a third of the population. Sugarcane, coconuts, rice, corn, bananas, cassava, pineapples, and mangoes are the most important crops, and tobacco and coffee are also grown. Carabao (water buffalo), pigs, chickens, goats, and ducks are widely raised, and there is dairy farming. Fishing is a common occupation; the Sulu Archipelago is noted for its pearls and mother-of-pearl.
The islands have one of the world's greatest stands of commercial timber. There are also mineral resources such as petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, copper, zinc, chromite, and iron ore. Nonmetallic minerals include rock asphalt, gypsum, asbestos, sulfur, and coal. Limestone, adobe, and marble are quarried.
Manufacturing is concentrated in metropolitan Manila, near the nation's prime port, but there has been considerable industrial growth on Cebu, Negros, and Mindanao. Garments, footwear, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and wood products are manufactured, and the assembly of electronics and automobiles is important. Other industries include food processing and petroleum refining. The former U.S. military base at Subic Bay was redeveloped in the 1990s as a free-trade zone.
The economy has nonetheless remained weak, and many Filipinos have sought employment overseas; remittances from an estimated 8 million Filipinos abroad are economically important. Chief exports are semiconductors, electronics, transportation equipment, clothing, copper, petroleum products, coconut oil, fruits, lumber and plywood, machinery, and sugar. The main imports are electronic products, mineral fuels, machinery, transportation equipment, iron and steel, textiles, grains, chemicals, and plastic. The chief trading partners are the United States, Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
The Philippines is governed under the constitution of 1987. The president, who is both head of state and head of the government, is elected by popular vote for a single six-year term. There is a bicameral legislature, the Congress. Members of the 24-seat Senate are popularly elected for six-year terms. The House of Representatives consists of not more than 250 members, who are popularly elected for three-year terms. There is an independent judiciary headed by a supreme court. Administratively, the republic is divided into 79 provinces and 117 chartered cities.
The Negritos are believed to have migrated to the Philippines some 30,000 years ago from Borneo, Sumatra, and Malaya. The Malayans followed in successive waves. These people belonged to a primitive epoch of Malayan culture, which has apparently survived to this day among certain groups such as the Igorots. The Malayan tribes that came later had more highly developed material cultures.
In the 14th cent. Arab traders from Malay and Borneo introduced Islam into the southern islands and extended their influence as far north as Luzon. The first Europeans to visit (1521) the Philippines were those in the Spanish expedition around the world led by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Other Spanish expeditions followed, including one from New Spain (Mexico) under López de Villalobos, who in 1542 named the islands for the infante Philip, later Philip II.Spanish Control
The conquest of the Filipinos by Spain did not begin in earnest until 1564, when another expedition from New Spain, commanded by Miguel López de Legaspi, arrived. Spanish leadership was soon established over many small independent communities that previously had known no central rule. By 1571, when López de Legaspi established the Spanish city of Manila on the site of a Moro town he had conquered the year before, the Spanish foothold in the Philippines was secure, despite the opposition of the Portuguese, who were eager to maintain their monopoly on the trade of East Asia.
Manila repulsed the attack of the Chinese pirate Limahong in 1574. For centuries before the Spanish arrived the Chinese had traded with the Filipinos, but evidently none had settled permanently in the islands until after the conquest. Chinese trade and labor were of great importance in the early development of the Spanish colony, but the Chinese came to be feared and hated because of their increasing numbers, and in 1603 the Spanish murdered thousands of them (later, there were lesser massacres of the Chinese).
The Spanish governor, made a viceroy in 1589, ruled with the advice of the powerful royal audiencia. There were frequent uprisings by the Filipinos, who resented the encomienda system. By the end of the 16th cent. Manila had become a leading commercial center of East Asia, carrying on a flourishing trade with China, India, and the East Indies. The Philippines supplied some wealth (including gold) to Spain, and the richly laden galleons plying between the islands and New Spain were often attacked by English freebooters. There was also trouble from other quarters, and the period from 1600 to 1663 was marked by continual wars with the Dutch, who were laying the foundations of their rich empire in the East Indies, and with Moro pirates. One of the most difficult problems the Spanish faced was the subjugation of the Moros. Intermittent campaigns were conducted against them but without conclusive results until the middle of the 19th cent. As the power of the Spanish Empire waned, the Jesuit orders became more influential in the Philippines and acquired great amounts of property.Revolution, War, and U.S. Control
It was the opposition to the power of the clergy that in large measure brought about the rising sentiment for independence. Spanish injustices, bigotry, and economic oppressions fed the movement, which was greatly inspired by the brilliant writings of José Rizal. In 1896 revolution began in the province of Cavite, and after the execution of Rizal that December, it spread throughout the major islands. The Filipino leader, Emilio Aguinaldo, achieved considerable success before a peace was patched up with Spain. The peace was short-lived, however, for neither side honored its agreements, and a new revolution was brewing when the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898.
After the U.S. naval victory in Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, Commodore George Dewey supplied Aguinaldo with arms and urged him to rally the Filipinos against the Spanish. By the time U.S. land forces had arrived, the Filipinos had taken the entire island of Luzon, except for the old walled city of Manila, which they were besieging. The Filipinos had also declared their independence and established a republic under the first democratic constitution ever known in Asia. Their dreams of independence were crushed when the Philippines were transferred from Spain to the United States in the Treaty of Paris (1898), which closed the Spanish-American War.
In Feb., 1899, Aguinaldo led a new revolt, this time against U.S. rule. Defeated on the battlefield, the Filipinos turned to guerrilla warfare, and their subjugation became a mammoth project for the United States—one that cost far more money and took far more lives than the Spanish-American War. The insurrection was effectively ended with the capture (1901) of Aguinaldo by Gen. Frederick Funston, but the question of Philippine independence remained a burning issue in the politics of both the United States and the islands. The matter was complicated by the growing economic ties between the two countries. Although comparatively little American capital was invested in island industries, U.S. trade bulked larger and larger until the Philippines became almost entirely dependent upon the American market. Free trade, established by an act of 1909, was expanded in 1913.
When the Democrats came into power in 1913, measures were taken to effect a smooth transition to self-rule. The Philippine assembly already had a popularly elected lower house, and the Jones Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1916, provided for a popularly elected upper house as well, with power to approve all appointments made by the governor-general. It also gave the islands their first definite pledge of independence, although no specific date was set.
When the Republicans regained power in 1921, the trend toward bringing Filipinos into the government was reversed. Gen. Leonard Wood, who was appointed governor-general, largely supplanted Filipino activities with a semimilitary rule. However, the advent of the Great Depression in the United States in the 1930s and the first aggressive moves by Japan in Asia (1931) shifted U.S. sentiment sharply toward the granting of immediate independence to the Philippines.The Commonwealth
The Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act, passed by Congress in 1932, provided for complete independence of the islands in 1945 after 10 years of self-government under U.S. supervision. The bill had been drawn up with the aid of a commission from the Philippines, but Manuel L. Quezon, the leader of the dominant Nationalist party, opposed it, partially because of its threat of American tariffs against Philippine products but principally because of the provisions leaving naval bases in U.S. hands. Under his influence, the Philippine legislature rejected the bill. The Tydings-McDuffie Independence Act (1934) closely resembled the Hare-Howes-Cutting-Act, but struck the provisions for American bases and carried a promise of further study to correct "imperfections or inequalities."
The Philippine legislature ratified the bill; a constitution, approved by President Roosevelt (Mar., 1935) was accepted by the Philippine people in a plebiscite (May); and Quezon was elected the first president (Sept.). When Quezon was inaugurated on Nov. 15, 1935, the Commonwealth of the Philippines was formally established. Quezon was reelected in Nov., 1941. To develop defensive forces against possible aggression, Gen. Douglas MacArthur was brought to the islands as military adviser in 1935, and the following year he became field marshal of the Commonwealth army.World War II
War came suddenly to the Philippines on Dec. 8 (Dec. 7, U.S. time), 1941, when Japan attacked without warning. Japanese troops invaded the islands in many places and launched a pincer drive on Manila. MacArthur's scattered defending forces (about 80,000 troops, four fifths of them Filipinos) were forced to withdraw to Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island, where they entrenched and tried to hold until the arrival of reinforcements, meanwhile guarding the entrance to Manila Bay and denying that important harbor to the Japanese. But no reinforcements were forthcoming. The Japanese occupied Manila on Jan. 2, 1942. MacArthur was ordered out by President Roosevelt and left for Australia on Mar. 11; Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright assumed command.
The besieged U.S.-Filipino army on Bataan finally crumbled on Apr. 9, 1942. Wainwright fought on from Corregidor with a garrison of about 11,000 men; he was overwhelmed on May 6, 1942. After his capitulation, the Japanese forced the surrender of all remaining defending units in the islands by threatening to use the captured Bataan and Corregidor troops as hostages. Many individual soldiers refused to surrender, however, and guerrilla resistance, organized and coordinated by U.S. and Philippine army officers, continued throughout the Japanese occupation.
Japan's efforts to win Filipino loyalty found expression in the establishment (Oct. 14, 1943) of a "Philippine Republic," with José P. Laurel, former supreme court justice, as president. But the people suffered greatly from Japanese brutality, and the puppet government gained little support. Meanwhile, President Quezon, who had escaped with other high officials before the country fell, set up a government-in-exile in Washington. When he died (Aug., 1944), Vice President Sergio Osmeña became president. Osmeña returned to the Philippines with the first liberation forces, which surprised the Japanese by landing (Oct. 20, 1944) at Leyte, in the heart of the islands, after months of U.S. air strikes against Mindanao. The Philippine government was established at Tacloban, Leyte, on Oct. 23.
The landing was followed (Oct. 23-26) by the greatest naval engagement in history, called variously the battle of Leyte Gulf and the second battle of the Philippine Sea. A great U.S. victory, it effectively destroyed the Japanese fleet and opened the way for the recovery of all the islands. Luzon was invaded (Jan., 1945), and Manila was taken in February. On July 5, 1945, MacArthur announced "All the Philippines are now liberated." The Japanese had suffered over 425,000 dead in the Philippines.
The Philippine congress met on June 9, 1945, for the first time since its election in 1941. It faced enormous problems. The land was devastated by war, the economy destroyed, the country torn by political warfare and guerrilla violence. Osmeña's leadership was challenged (Jan., 1946) when one wing (now the Liberal party) of the Nationalist party nominated for president Manuel Roxas, who defeated Osmeña in April.The Republic of the Philippines
Manuel Roxas became the first president of the Republic of the Philippines when independence was granted, as scheduled, on July 4, 1946. In Mar., 1947, the Philippines and the United States signed a military assistance pact (since renewed) and the Philippines gave the United States a 99-year lease on designated military, naval, and air bases (a later agreement reduced the period to 25 years beginning 1967). The sudden death of President Roxas in Apr., 1948, elevated the vice president, Elpidio Quirino, to the presidency, and in a bitterly contested election in Nov., 1949, Quirino defeated José Laurel to win a four-year term of his own.
The enormous task of reconstructing the war-torn country was complicated by the activities in central Luzon of the Communist-dominated Hukbalahap guerrillas (Huks), who resorted to terror and violence in their efforts to achieve land reform and gain political power. They were largely brought under control (1954) after a vigorous attack launched by the minister of national defense, Ramón Magsaysay. The Huks continued to function, however, until 1970, and other Communist guerrilla groups have persisted in their opposition to the Philippine government. Magsaysay defeated Quirino in Nov., 1953, to win the presidency. He had promised sweeping economic changes, and he did make progress in land reform, opening new settlements outside crowded Luzon island. His death in an airplane crash in Mar., 1957, was a serious blow to national morale. Vice President Carlos P. García succeeded him and won a full term as president in the elections of Nov., 1957.
In foreign affairs, the Philippines maintained a firm anti-Communist policy and joined the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization in 1954. There were difficulties with the United States over American military installations in the islands, and, despite formal recognition (1956) of full Philippine sovereignty over these bases, tensions increased until some of the bases were dismantled (1959) and the 99-year lease period was reduced. The United States rejected Philippine financial claims and proposed trade revisions.
Philippine opposition to García on issues of government corruption and anti-Americanism led, in June, 1959, to the union of the Liberal and Progressive parties, led by Vice President Diosdad Macapagal, the Liberal party leader, who succeeded García as president in the 1961 elections. Macapagal's administration was marked by efforts to combat the mounting inflation that had plagued the republic since its birth; by attempted alliances with neighboring countries; and by a territorial dispute with Britain over North Borneo (later Sabah), which Macapagal claimed had been leased and not sold to the British North Borneo Company in 1878.Marcos and After
Ferdinand E. Marcos, who succeeded to the presidency after defeating Macapagal in the 1965 elections, inherited the territorial dispute over Sabah; in 1968 he approved a congressional bill annexing Sabah to the Philippines. Malaysia suspended diplomatic relations (Sabah had joined the Federation of Malaysia in 1963), and the matter was referred to the United Nations. (The Philippines dropped its claim to Sabah in 1978.) The Philippines became one of the founding countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1967. The continuing need for land reform fostered a new Huk uprising in central Luzon, accompanied by mounting assassinations and acts of terror, and in 1969, Marcos began a major military campaign to subdue them. Civil war also threatened on Mindanao, where groups of Moros opposed Christian settlement. In Nov., 1969, Marcos won an unprecedented reelection, easily defeating Sergio Osmeña, Jr., but the election was accompanied by violence and charges of fraud, and Marcos's second term began with increasing civil disorder.
In Jan., 1970, some 2,000 demonstrators tried to storm Malcañang Palace, the presidential residence; riots erupted against the U.S. embassy. When Pope Paul VI visited Manila in Nov., 1970, an attempt was made on his life. In 1971, at a Liberal party rally, hand grenades were thrown at the speakers' platform, and several people were killed. President Marcos declared martial law in Sept., 1972, charging that a Communist rebellion threatened, and opposition to Marcos's government did swell the ranks of Communist guerrilla groups, which continued to grow into the mid-1980s and continued on a smaller scale into the 21st cent. The 1935 constitution was replaced (1973) by a new one that provided the president with direct powers. A plebiscite (July, 1973) gave Marcos the right to remain in office beyond the expiration (Dec., 1973) of his term. Meanwhile the fighting on Mindanao had spread to the Sulu Archipelago. By 1973 some 3,000 people had been killed and hundreds of villages burned. Throughout the 1970s poverty and governmental corruption increased, and Imelda Marcos, Ferdinand's wife, became more influential.
Martial law remained in force until 1981, when Marcos was reelected, amid accusations of electoral fraud. On Aug. 21, 1983, opposition leader Benigno Aquino was assassinated at Manila airport, which incited a new, more powerful wave of anti-Marcos dissent. After the Feb., 1986, presidential election, both Marcos and his opponent, Corazon Aquino (the widow of Benigno), declared themselves the winner, and charges of massive fraud and violence were leveled against the Marcos faction. Marcos's domestic and international support eroded, and he fled the country on Feb. 25, 1986, eventually obtaining asylum in the United States.
Aquino's government faced mounting problems, including coup attempts, significant economic difficulties, and pressure to rid the Philippines of the U.S. military presence (the last U.S. bases were evacuated in 1992). In 1990, in response to the demands of the Moros, a partially autonomous Muslim region was created in the far south. In 1992, Aquino declined to run for reelection and was succeeded by her former army chief of staff Fidel Ramos. He immediately launched an economic revitalization plan premised on three policies: government deregulation, increased private investment, and political solutions to the continuing insurgencies within the country. His political program was somethat successful, opening dialogues with the Communist and Muslim guerillas. Although Muslim unrest and violence continued into the 21st cent, the government signed a peace accord with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1996, which led to an expansion of the autonomous region in 2001.
Several natural disasters, including the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on Luzon and a succession of severe typhoons, slowed the country's economic progress in the 1990s. The Philippines, however, escaped much of the economic turmoil seen in other East Asian nations in 1997 and 1998, in part by following a slower pace of development imposed by the International Monetary Fund. Joseph Marcelo Estrada, a former movie actor, was elected president in 1998, pledging to help the poor and develop the country's agricultural sector. In 1999 he announced plans to amend the constitution in order to remove protectionist provisions and attract more foreign investment.
Late in 2000, Estrada's presidency was buffetted by charges that he accepted millions of dollars in payoffs from illegal gambling operations. Although his support among the poor Filipino majority remained strong, many political, business, and church leaders called for him to resign. In Nov., 2000, Estrada was impeached by the house of representatives on charges of graft, but the senate, controlled by Estrada's allies, provoked a crisis (Jan., 2001) when it rejected examining the president's bank records. As demonstrations against Estrada mounted and members of his cabinet resigned, the supreme court stripped him of the presidency, and Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was sworn in as Estrada's successor. Estrada was indicted on charges of corruption in April, and his supporters attempted to storm the presidential palace in May. In Sept., 2007, he was convicted of corruption and sentenced to life imprisonment, but Estrada, who had been under house arrest since 2001, was pardoned the following month by President Macapagal-Arroyo.
A second Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), agreed to a cease-fire in June, 2001, but fighting with fundamentalist Islamic guerrillas continued, and there was a MNLF uprising on Jolo in November. Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, the U.S. government provided (2002) training and assistance to Philippine troops fighting the guerrillas. In 2003 fighting with the MILF again escalated, despite pledges by both sides that they would negotiate and exercise restraint; however, a truce was declared in July. In the same month several hundred soldiers were involved in a mutiny in Manila that the government claimed was part of a coup attempt.
Macapagal-Arroyo was elected president in her own right in May, 2004, but the balloting was marred by violence and irregularities as well as a tedious vote-counting process that was completed six weeks after the election. A series of four devastating storms during November and December killed as many as 1,000 in the country's north and east, particularly on Luzon. In early 2005 heavy fighting broke out on Mindanao between government forces and a splinter group of MILF rebels, and there was also fighting with a MNLF splinter group in Jolo.
In June, 2005, the president was beset by a vote-rigging charge based on a tape of a conversation she had with an election official. She denied the allegation while acknowledging that she had been recorded and apologizing for what she called a lapse in judgment, but the controversy combined with other scandals (including allegations that her husband and other family members had engaged in influence peddling and received bribes) to create a national crisis. Promising government reform, she asked (July) her cabinet to resign, and several cabinet members subsequently called on Macapagal-Arroyo to resign (as did Corazon Aquino). At the same time the supreme court suspended sales tax increases that had been enacted in May as part of a tax reform package designed to reduce the government's debt. In August and September the president survived an opposition move to impeach her when her opponents failed to muster the votes needed to force a trial in the senate.
In Feb., 2006, the government engaged in talks, regarded as a prelude to formal peace negotiations, with the MILF, and dicussions between the two sides continued in subsequent months. Late in the month, President Macapagal-Arroyo declared a weeklong state of emergency when a coup plot against her was discovered. Intended to coincide with the 20th anniversary celebrations of the 1986 demonstrations that brought down Ferdinand Marcos, the coup was said to have involved several army generals and left-wing legislators. The state of emergency was challenged in court and upheld after the fact, but the supreme court declared aspects of the emergency's enforcement unconstitutional.
In October the supreme court declared a move to revise the constitution through a "people's initiative," replacing the presidential system of government with a parliamentary one, unconstitutional, but the government only abandoned its attempt to revise the constitution in December after the Roman Catholic church attacked an attempt by the house of representatives to call a constituent assembly and by the opposition-dominated senate. In 2006 there was fierce fighting on Jolo between government forces and Islamic militants; it continued into 2007, and there were also clashes in Basilan and Mindanao.
In Jan., 2007, a government commission blamed many of the more than 800 deaths of activists during Macapagal-Arroyo's presidency on the military. The president promised action in response to the report, but the chief of the armed forces denounced the report as unfair and strained. Congressional elections in May, 2007, were marred by fraud allegations and by violence during the campaign; the voting left the opposition in control of the senate and Macapagal-Arroyo's allies in control of the house. In November there was a brief occupation of a Manila hotel by soldiers, many of whom had been involved in the 2003 mutiny. In Oct., 2007, the president's husband was implicated in a kickback scandal involving a Chinese company; the investigation continued into 2008, and prompted demonstrations by her opponents and calls for her to resign.
A peace agreement that would have expanded the area of Mindanao that was part of the Muslim autonomous region was reached in principle with the MILF in Nov., 2007. Attempts to finalize the agreement, however, collapsed in July, 2008, when Muslims accused the government of reopening settled issues; the agreement was also challenged in court by Filipinos opposed to it. In August significant fighting broke out between government forces and rebels that the MILF said were renegades; two months later the supreme court declared the agreement unconstitutional. Fighting in the region continued into 2009.
Luzon was battered by several typhoons in Sept.-Oct, 2009; the Manila area and the mountainous north were most severely affected, and more than 900 persons died. In Nov., 2009, the country was stunned by the murder of the wife of an opposition candidate for the governorship of Maguindanao prov. and a convoy of 56 people who joined her as she went to register his candidacy; the governor, Andal Ampatuan, and his son were charged with rebellion and murder respectively in relation to the slaughter and events after it.
See E. H. Blair and J. A. Robertson, ed., The Philippine Islands, 1493-1888 (55 vol., 1903-9; Vol. LIII, Bibliography); L. Morton, The Fall of the Philippines (1953); T. Friend, Between Two Empires: The Ordeal of the Philippines, 1929-1946 (1965); E. G. Maring and J. M. Maring, Historical and Cultural Dictionary of the Philippines (1973); B. D. Romulo, Inside the Palace: The Rise and Fall of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos (1987); S. Burton, Impossible Dream: The Marcoses, the Aquinos, and the Unfinished Revolution (1988); D. J. Steinberg, The Philippines (1988); D. Wurfel, Filipino Politics (1988); S. Karnow, In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines (1989); B. M. Linn, The U.S. Army and Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899-1902 (1989).
See A. G. Adair and M. H. Crockett, ed., Heroes of the Alamo (2d ed. 1957); Lon Tinkle, 13 Days to Glory (1958); W. Lord, A Time to Stand (1961); W. C. Davis, Three Roads to the Alamo (1998); R. Roberts and J. S. Olson, A Line in the Sand (2000).
The islands, composed mainly of limestone and coral, rise from a vast submarine plateau. Most are generally low and flat, riverless, with many mangrove swamps, brackish lakes (connected with the ocean by underground passages), and coral reefs and shoals. Fresh water is obtained from rainfall and from desalinization. Navigation is hazardous, and many of the outer islands are uninhabited and undeveloped, although steps have been taken to improve transportation facilities. Hurricanes occasionally cause severe damage, but the climate is generally excellent. In addition to New Providence, other main islands are Grand Bahama, Great and Little Abaco (see Abaco and Cays), the Biminis, Andros, Eleuthera, Cat Island, San Salvador, Great and Little Exuma (Exuma and Cays), Long Island, Crooked Island, Acklins Island, Mayaguana, and Great and Little Inagua (see Inagua).
The population is primarily of African and mixed African and European descent; some 12% is of European heritage, with small minorities of Asian and Hispanic descent. More than three quarters of the people belong to one of several Protestant denominations and nearly 15% are Roman Catholic. English is the official language. The Bahamas have a relatively low illiteracy rate. The government provides free education through the secondary level; the College of the Bahamas was established in 1974, although most Bahamians who seek a higher education study in Jamaica or elsewhere.
The islands' vivid subtropical atmosphere—brilliant sky and sea, lush vegetation, flocks of bright-feathered birds, and submarine gardens where multicolored fish swim among white, rose, yellow, and purple coral—as well as rich local color and folklore, has made the Bahamas one of the most popular resorts in the hemisphere. The islands' many casinos are an additional attraction, and tourism is by far the country's most important industry, providing 60% of the gross domestic product and employing about half of the workforce. Financial services are the nation's other economic mainstay, although many international businesses left after new government regulations on the financial sector were imposed in late 2000. Salt, rum, aragonite, and pharmaceuticals are produced, and these, along with animal products and chemicals, are the chief exports. The Bahamas also possess facilities for the transshipment of petroleum. The country's main trading partners are the United States and Spain. Since the 1960s, the transport of illegal narcotic drugs has been a problem, as has the flow of illegal refugees from other islands.
The Bahamas are governed under the constitution of 1973 and have a parliamentary form of government. There is a bicameral legislature consisting of a 16-seat Senate and a 40-seat House of Assembly. The prime minister is the head of government, and the monarch of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by an appointed governor-general, is the titular head of state. The nation is divided into 21 administrative districts.
Before the arrival of Europeans, the Bahamas were inhabited by the Lucayos, a group of Arawaks. Christopher Columbus first set foot in the New World in the Bahamas (1492), presumably at San Salvador, and claimed the islands for Spain. Although the Lucayos were not hostile, they were soon exterminated by the Spanish, who did not in fact colonize the islands.
The first settlements were made in the mid-17th cent. by the English. In 1670 the islands were granted to the lords proprietors of Carolina, who did not relinquish their claim until 1787, although Woodes Rogers, the first royal governor, was appointed in 1717. Under Rogers the pirates and buccaneers, notably Blackbeard, who frequented the Bahama waters, were driven off. The Spanish attacked the islands several times, and an American force held Nassau for a short time in 1776. In 1781 the Spanish captured Nassau and took possession of the whole colony, but under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1783) the islands were ceded to Great Britain.
After the American Revolution many Loyalists settled in the Bahamas, bringing with them black slaves to labor on cotton plantations. Plantation life gradually died out after the emancipation of slaves in 1834. Blockade-running into Southern ports in the U.S. Civil War enriched some of the islanders, and during the prohibition era in the United States the Bahamas became a base for rum-running.
The United States leased areas for bases in the Bahamas in World War II and in 1950 signed an agreement with Great Britain for the establishment of a proving ground and a tracking station for guided missiles. In 1955 a free trade area was established at the town of Freeport. It proved enormously successful in stimulating tourism and has attracted offshore banking.
In the 1950s black Bahamians, through the Progressive Liberal party (PLP), began to oppose successfully the ruling white-controlled United Bahamian party; but it was not until the 1967 elections that they were able to win control of the government. The Bahamas were granted limited self-government as a British crown colony in 1964, broadened (1969) through the efforts of Prime Minister Lynden O. Pindling. The PLP, campaigning on a platform of immediate independence, won an overwhelming victory in the 1972 elections and negotiations with Britain were begun.
On July 10, 1973, the Bahamas became a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations. In 1992, after 25 years as prime minister and facing recurrent charges of corruption and ties to drug traffickers, Pindling was defeated by Hubert Ingraham of the Free National Movement (FNM). A feeble economy, mostly due to a decrease in tourism and the poor management of state-owned industries, was Ingraham's main policy concern. Ingraham was returned to office in 1997 with an ironclad majority, but lost power in 2002 when the PLP triumphed at the polls and PLP leader Perry Christie replaced Ingraham as prime minister. Concern over the government's readiness to accommodate the tourist industry contributed to the PLP's losses in the 2007 elections, and Ingraham and the FNM regained power.
See H. P. Mitchell, Caribbean Patterns (2d ed. 1970); J. E. Moore, Pelican Guide to the Bahamas (1988).
The legend echoed the epic poem Nibelungenlied in which the dragon-slaying hero Siegfried is stabbed in the back by Hagen von Tronje. Der Dolchstoß is cited as an important factor in Adolf Hitler's later rise to power, as the Nazi Party grew its original political base largely from embittered World War I veterans, and those who were sympathetic to the Dolchstoß interpretation of Germany's then-recent history.
Many were under the impression that the Triple Entente had ushered in the war, and as such saw the war as one in which Germany's cause was justified. Imperial Russia was seen to have expansionist ambitions and France's dissatisfaction due to the outcome of the Franco-Prussian War was widely known. Later, the Germans were shocked to learn that Great Britain had entered the war, and many felt their country was being "ganged up on"; the Germans felt that Britain was using the Belgian neutrality issue to enter the war and neutralize a Germany that was threatening its own commercial interests.
As the war dragged on, illusions of an easy victory were smashed, and Germans began to suffer tremendously from what would become a long and enormously costly war. With the initial Euphoria gone, old divisions resurfaced. Nationalist loyalties came into question once again as initial enthusiasms subsided. Subsequently, suspicion of Roman Catholics, Social Democrats and Jews grew. There was a considerable amount of political tension prior to the war, especially due to the growing presence of Social Democrats in the Reichstag. This was a great concern for aristocrats in power and the military; this contingent was particularly successful in denying Erich Ludendorff the funds for the German Army that he claimed were necessary and lobbied for.
On November 1, 1916, the German Military High Command administered the Judenzählung (German for "Jewish Census"). It was designed to confirm allegations of the lack of patriotism among German Jews, but the results of the census disproved the accusations and were not made public. A number of German Jews viewed "the Great War" as an opportunity to prove their commitment to the German homeland.
Civil disorder grew as a result of an inability to make ends meet, with or without the alleged "shortage of patriotism." While it is true that production slumped during the crucial years of 1917 and 1918, the nation had maximized its war effort and could take no more. Raw production figures confirm that Germany could not have possibly won a war of attrition against Britain, France and the United States combined. Despite its overwhelming individual power, Germany's industrial might and population were matched and outclassed by the Entente as a whole. Russia's exit in late 1917 did little to change the overall picture, as the United States had already joined the war on April 16th of that same year. American industrial capacity alone outweighed that of Germany.
Although the Germans were frequently depicted as "primordial aggressors responsible for the war", German peace proposals were all but rejected. Ludendorff was convinced that the Entente wanted little other than a Carthaginian peace. This was not the message most Germans heard coming from the other side. Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points were particularly popular among the German people. Socialists and liberals, especially the Social Democrats that formed the majority of the parliamentary body, were already known "agitators" for social change prior to 1914. When peace and full restoration were promised by the Allies, patriotic enthusiasm especially began to wane. Likewise, Germany's allies began to question the cause for the war as the conflict dragged on, and found their questions answered in the Allied propaganda.
When the armistice finally came in 1918, Ludendorff's prophecy appeared accurate almost immediately; although the fighting had ended, the British maintained their blockade of the European continent for a full year, leading to starvation and severe malnutrition. The non-negotiable peace agreed to by Weimar politicians in the Treaty of Versailles was certainly not what the German peace-seeking populace had expected.
Conservatives, nationalists and ex-military leaders began to speak critically about the peace and Weimar politicians, socialists, communists, and Jews were viewed with suspicion due to presumed extra-national loyalties. It was claimed that they had not supported the war and had played a role in selling out Germany to its enemies. These November Criminals, or those who seemed to benefit from the newly formed Weimar Republic, were seen to have "stabbed them in the back" on the home front, by either criticizing German nationalism, instigating unrest and strikes in the critical military industries or profiteering. In essence the accusation was that the accused committed treason against the "benevolent and righteous" common cause.
These theories were given credence by the fact that when Germany surrendered in November 1918, its armies were still in French and Belgian territory, Berlin remained 450 miles from the nearest front, and the German armies retired from the field of battle in good order. The Allies had been amply resupplied by the United States, which also had fresh armies ready for combat, but Britain and France were too war-weary to contemplate an invasion of Germany with its unknown consequences. No Allied army had penetrated the western German frontier, Western Front, and on the Eastern Front, Germany had already won the war against Russia, concluded with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. In the West, Germany had come close to winning the war with the Spring Offensive. Contributing to the Dolchstoßlegende, its failure was blamed on strikes in the arms industry at a critical moment of the offensive, leaving soldiers without an adequate supply of materiel. The strikes were seen to be instigated by treasonous elements, with the Jews taking most of the blame. This overlooked Germany's strategic position and ignored how the efforts of individuals were somewhat marginalized on the front, since the belligerents were engaged in a new kind of war. The industrialization of war had dehumanized the process, and made possible a new kind of defeat which the Germans suffered as a total war emerged.
The weakness of Germany's strategic position was exacerbated by the rapid collapse of its allies in late 1918, following allied victories on the Eastern and Italian fronts. Bulgaria was the first to sign an armistice on September 29 1918 at Saloniki. On October 30 the Ottoman Empire capitulated at Mudros. On November 3 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. The Armistice with Austria-Hungary was signed in the Villa Giusti, near Padua, on November 3. Austria and Hungary signed separate armistices following the overthrow of the Habsburg monarchy.
Nevertheless, this social mythos of domestic betrayal resonated among its audience, and its claims would codify the basis for public support for the emerging Nazi Party, under a racialist-based form of nationalism. The anti-Semitism was intensified by the Bavarian Soviet Republic, a Communist government which ruled the city of Munich for two weeks before being crushed by the Freikorps militia. Many of the Bavarian Soviet Republic's leaders were Jewish, a fact that allowed anti-Semitic propagandists to make the connection with "Communist treason".
I have asked His Excellency to now bring those circles to power which we have to thank for coming so far. We will therefore now bring those gentlemen into the ministries. They can now make the peace which has to be made. They can eat the broth which they have prepared for us!
On November 11, 1918, the representatives of the newly formed Weimar Republic signed an armistice with the Allies which would end World War I. The subsequent Treaty of Versailles led to further territorial and financial losses. As the Kaiser had been forced to abdicate and the military relinquished executive power, it was the temporary "civilian government" that sued for peace - the signature on the document was of the Catholic Centrist Matthias Erzberger, a civilian, who was later killed for his alleged treason. This led to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Even though they publicly despised the treaty, it was most convenient for the generals — there were no war-crime tribunals, they were celebrated as undefeated heroes, and they could covertly prepare for removing the republic that they had helped to create.
The official birth of the term itself possibly can be dated to mid-1919, when Ludendorff was having lunch with British general Sir Neil Malcolm. Malcolm asked Ludendorff why it was that he thought Germany lost the war. Ludendorff replied with his list of excuses: the home front failed us, etc. Then Sir Neil Malcolm said that "it sounds like you were stabbed in the back, then?" The phrase was to Ludendorff's liking, and he let it be known among the general staff that this was the 'official' version, then disseminated throughout German society. This was picked up by right-wing political factions and used as a form of attack against the SPD-led early Weimar government, which had come to power in the German Revolution of November 1918.
In November 1919, the newly elected Weimar National Assembly initiated a Untersuchungsausschuß für Schuldfragen to investigate the causes of the World War and Germany's defeat. On November 18th, von Hindenburg testified in front of this parliamentary commission, and cited a December 17, 1918 Neue Zürcher Zeitung article that summarized two earlier articles in the Daily Mail by British General Frederick Barton Maurice with the phrase that the German army had been 'dagger-stabbed from behind by the civilian populace' ("von der Zivilbevölkerung von hinten erdolcht."). (Maurice later disavowed having used the term himself.). It was particularly this testimony of Hindenburg that led to the wide spread of the Dolchstoßlegende in post-WWI Germany.
Richard Steigmann-Gall says that the stab-in-the-back legend traces back to a sermon preached on February 3, 1918, by Protestant Court Chaplain Bruno Doehring, six months before the war had even ended. German scholar Boris Barth, in contrast to Steigmann-Gall, implies that Doehring did not actually use the term, but spoke only of 'betrayal.' Barth traces the first documented use to a centrist political meeting in the Munich Löwenbräu-Keller on November 2, 1918, in which Ernst Müller-Meiningen, a member of the Progressive coalition in the Reichstag, used the term to exhort his listeners to keep fighting:
As long as the front holds, we damned well have the duty to hold out in the homeland. We would have to be ashamed of ourselves in front of our children and grandchildren if we attacked the battle front from the rear and gave it a dagger-stab. (wenn wir der Front in den Rücken fielen und ihr den Dolchstoss versetzten.)
Barth also shows that the term was primarily popularized by the patriotic German newspaper Deutsche Tageszeitung that repeatedly quoted the Neue Zürcher article after Hindenburg had referred to it in front of the parliamentary inquiry commission.
Charges of a Jewish conspirational element in Germany's defeat drew heavily upon figures like Kurt Eisner, a Berlin-born German Jew who lived in Munich. He had written about the illegal nature of the war from 1916 onward, and he also had a large hand in the Munich revolution until he was assassinated in February 1919. The Weimar Republic under Friedrich Ebert violently suppressed workers' uprisings with the help of Gustav Noske and Reichswehr General Groener, and tolerated the paramilitary Freikorps forming all across Germany. In spite of such tolerance, the Republic's legitimacy was constantly attacked with claims such as the stab-in-the-back. Many of its representatives such as Matthias Erzberger and Walther Rathenau were assassinated, and the leaders were branded as "criminals" and Jews by the right-wing press dominated by Alfred Hugenberg.
German historian Friedrich Meinecke already attempted to trace the roots of the term in a June 11, 1922, article in the Viennese newspaper Neue Freie Presse. In the 1924 national election, the Munich cultural journal Süddeutsche Monatshefte published a series of articles blaming the SPD and trade unions for Germany's defeat in World War I (the illustration on this page is the April 1924 title of that journal, which came out during the trial of Adolf Hitler and Ludendorff for high treason following the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. The editor of an SPD newspaper sued the journal for defamation, giving rise to what is known as the Munich Dolchstossprozess from October 19 to November 20, 1924. Many prominent figures testified in that trial, including members of the parliamentary committee investigating the reasons for the defeat, so some of its results were made public long before the publication of the committee report in 1928.
The Dolchstoß was a central image in propaganda produced by the many right-wing and traditionally conservative political parties that sprang up in the early days of the Weimar Republic, including Hitler's NSDAP. For Hitler himself, this explanatory model for World War I was of crucial personal importance. He had learned of Germany's defeat while being treated for temporary blindness following a gas attack on the front. In Mein Kampf, he described a vision at this time which drove him to enter politics. Throughout his career, he railed against the "November criminals" of 1918, who had stabbed the German Army in the back.
Even provisional President Friedrich Ebert contributed to the myth when he saluted returning veterans with the oration that "no enemy has vanquished you" (kein Feind hat euch überwunden!) and "they returned undefeated from the battlefield (sie sind vom Schlachtfeld unbesiegt zurückgekehrt)" on November 10th, 1918. The latter quote was shortened to im Felde unbesiegt as a semi-official slogan of the Reichswehr. Ebert had meant these sayings as a tribute to the German soldier, but it only contributed to the prevailing feeling.