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World War II

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World War II

Clockwise from top left: Commonwealth troops in the desert; Chinese civilians being buried alive by
Japanese soldiers; Soviet forces during a winter offensive; Carrier-borne Japanese planes readying
for take off; Soviet troops fighting in Berlin; A German submarine under attack.
Date September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945
Location Europe, Pacific, South-East Asia, China, Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa
Result Allied victory. Creation of the United Nations. Emergence of the United States and the
Soviet Union as superpowers. Creation of NATO and Warsaw Pact spheres of
influence in Europe leading to the Cold War. (more...)
Allies Axis powers
Allied leaders Axis leaders
Casualties and losses
Military dead: Military dead:
Over 14,000,000 Over 8,000,000
Civilian dead: Civilian dead:
Over 36,000,000 Over 4,000,000
Total dead: Total dead
Over 50,000,000 Over 12,000,000
...further details. ...further details.

Campaigns of World War II

Poland – Phoney War – Finland – Denmark & Norway
France & Benelux – Britain – Balkans – Yugoslav Front - Eastern Front – North West Europe (1944–
45) – Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa

Asia & The Pacific
China – Pacific Ocean – South-East Asia
South West Pacific – Japan – Manchuria (1945)

Other Campaigns
Atlantic – Strategic Bombing – North America
Contemporaneous Wars
Chinese Civil – Soviet-Japanese Border – French-Thai – Ecuadorian-Peruvian
World War II series


Asian events · European events · Timeline

Campaigns of World War II

Poland – Phoney War – Finland – Denmark & Norway
France & Benelux – Britain – Balkans – Yugoslav Front - Eastern Front –
North West Europe (1944–45) – Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa

Asia & The Pacific
China – Pacific Ocean – South-East Asia
South West Pacific – Japan – Manchuria (1945)

Other Campaigns
Atlantic – Strategic Bombing – North America
Contemporaneous Wars
Chinese Civil – Soviet-Japanese Border – French-Thai – Ecuadorian-Peruvian

1939 · 1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945
Eastern front · Battles · Military operations · Commanders
Technology · Atlas of the World Battle Fronts · Manhattan project
Aerial warfare · Home front · Collaboration · Resistance


Casualties · Further effects · War crimes · Consequences of Nazism

World War II topics
Alphabetical index: 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Campaigns | Countries | Equipment
Timeline | Basic topics | Portal | Category

History of World War II by region or sovereign state

Albania • Australia • Austria (Anschluss) • Belarus • Belgium • Brazil • Bulgaria • Canada •
Channel Islands • China • Czechoslovakia • Denmark • Egypt • Estonia • Finland • France •
Germany • Gibraltar • Greece • Hungary • India • Indonesia • Iran • Iraq • Ireland • Italy •
Japan • Laos • Latvia • Lithuania • Luxembourg • Macedonia • Malaya, North Borneo and
Sarawak (Malaysia) • Manchukuo • Mongolia • Myanmar • Netherlands • New Zealand •
Newfoundland • Norway • Philippines • Poland • Romania • Singapore • Slovakia •
South Africa • Soviet Union • Spain • Sweden • Switzerland • Thailand • Turkey • Ukraine •
United Kingdom • United States • Vietnam • Yugoslavia

World War II

Western Europe · Eastern Europe · Africa · Mediterranean · Asia and the Pacific · Atlantic
Military engagements · Topics · Conferences · Commanders

Major participants Allies (Leaders) China · Czechoslovakia · Poland · United
Kingdom · India · France · Australia · New
Zealand · South Africa · Canada · Norway ·
Belgium · Netherlands · Greece · Yugoslavia ·
Soviet Union · United States · Philippines ·
Mexico · Brazil · Italy · Romania · Bulgaria ·

Axis (Leaders) Japan · Germany · Slovakia · Italy · Bulgaria ·
Croatia · Finland · Hungary · Iraq · Romania ·
Thailand · Italian Social Republic

Resistance Austria · Czech lands · Denmark · Estonia ·
movements Ethiopia · France · Germany · Greece · Italy ·
Jewish · Korea · Latvia · Netherlands · Norway ·
Philippines · Poland · Thailand · Soviet Union ·
Slovakia · Western Ukraine · Vietnam ·
Yugoslavia: Partisans, Chetniks

Timeline Prelude Causes · in Asia · in Europe

1939 Invasion of Poland · Phoney War · Winter War · Battle of
the Atlantic

1940 Denmark and Norway · Battle of France · Battle of
Britain · Libya and Egypt · British Somaliland · Baltic
Occupation · Occupation of Bessarabia and Bukovina ·
Invasion of Indochina · Invasion of Greece

1941 East Africa Campaign · Invasion of Yugoslavia ·
Invasion of the Soviet Union · Middle East Campaign ·
Battle of Kiev · Siege of Leningrad · Battle of Moscow ·
Siege of Sevastopol · Attack on Pearl Harbor

1942 Battle of Midway · Battle of Stalingrad · Second Battle of
El Alamein · Operation Torch · Guadalcanal Campaign

1943 End in Africa · Battle of Kursk · Battle of Smolensk ·
Solomon Islands · Invasion of Sicily · Lower Dnieper
Offensive · Invasion of Italy · Gilbert and Marshall

1944 Cassino and Anzio · Invasion of Normandy · Mariana
and Palau Islands · Operation Bagration · Lvov–
Sandomierz Offensive · Warsaw Uprising · Jassy–
Kishinev Offensive · Belgrade Offensive · Liberation of
Paris · Gothic Line · Operation Market Garden ·
Operation Crossbow · Operation Pointblank · Budapest
Offensive · Battle of Leyte Gulf · Battle of the Bulge

1945 Vistula–Oder Offensive · Battle of Iwo Jima · Battle of
Okinawa · Final offensive in Italy · Battle of Berlin ·
Prague Offensive · Surrender of Germany · Soviet
invasion of Manchuria · Atomic bombings of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki · Surrender of Japan

Aspects General aspects Attacks on North America · Blitzkrieg ·
Comparative military ranks · Cryptography ·
Home front · Military awards · Military
equipment · Military production · Nazi plunder ·
Technology · Total war

Aftermath / Effects · Casualties · Expulsion of Germans ·
consequences Operation Paperclip · Occupation of Germany ·
Morgenthau Plan · Territorial changes ·
Occupation of Japan · First Indochina War ·
Cold War · Contemporary culture

Civilian impact / Allied war crimes · German war crimes · Italian
atrocities war crimes · Japanese war crimes · Soviet war
crimes · War crimes commited by the United
States · The Holocaust · Bombing of civilians

Category · Portal
World War II at Wiktionary WWII textbooks at Wikibooks WWII quotes at
Wikiquote WWII source texts at Wikisource WWII media at Commons WWII
news stories at Wikinews
World War II, or the Second World War,[1] (often abbreviated WWII or WW2) was a global military
conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including all of the great powers,[2] organized
into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. The war involved the mobilization of over
100 million military personnel, making it the most widespread war in history. In a state of "total war", the
major participants placed their complete economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of
the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Over 70 million people, the
majority of them civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.[3]

The starting date of the war is generally held to be September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland
and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by the United Kingdom, France and the British
Dominions.[4][5] However, as a result of other events, many belligerents entered the war before or after this
date, during a period which spanned from 1937 to 1941. Amongst these main events are the Marco Polo
Bridge Incident, the start of Operation Barbarossa, and the attack on Pearl Harbor and British and Dutch
colonies in South East Asia.

The Soviet Union and the United States emerged from the war as the world's leading superpowers. This
set the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 45 years. The United Nations was formed in the
hope of preventing another such conflict. The self determination spawned by the war accelerated
decolonisation movements in Asia and Africa, while Western Europe itself began moving toward

• 1 Background
• 2 Chronology
• 3 Course of the war
o 3.1 War in China
o 3.2 War breaks out in Europe
o 3.3 Axis advances
o 3.4 The war becomes global
o 3.5 The tide turns
o 3.6 Allies gain momentum
o 3.7 Allies close in
o 3.8 Axis collapse, Allied victory
• 4 Aftermath
• 5 Impact of the war
o 5.1 Casualties and war crimes
o 5.2 Concentration camps and slave work
o 5.3 Home fronts and production
o 5.4 War time occupation
o 5.5 Advances in technology and warfare
• 6 Historical era
• 7 See also
• 8 References

• 9 External links

Main article: Causes of World War II
In the aftermath of World War I, a defeated Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles.[6] This caused
Germany to lose a significant portion of its territory, prohibited the annexation of other states, limited the
size of German armed forces and imposed massive reparations. Russia's civil war led to the creation of the
Soviet Union which soon was under the control of Joseph Stalin. In Italy, Benito Mussolini seized power
as a fascist dictator promising to create a "New Roman Empire."[7] The Kuomintang (KMT) party in
China launched a unification campaign against regional warlords and nominally unified China in the mid-
1920s, but was soon embroiled in a civil war against its former Chinese communist allies. In 1931, an
increasingly militaristic Japanese Empire, which had long sought influence in China[8] as the first step of
its right to rule Asia, used the Mukden Incident as justification to invade Manchuria; the two nations then
fought several small conflicts, in Shanghai, Rehe and Hebei until the Tanggu Truce in 1933. Afterwards
Chinese volunteer forces continued the resistance to Japanese aggression in Manchuria, and Chahar and

German troops at the 1935 Nuremberg Rally.

Adolf Hitler, after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government in 1923, became the
leader of Germany in 1933. He abolished democracy, espousing a radical racially motivated revision of
the world order, and soon began a massive rearming campaign.[9] This worried France and the United
Kingdom, who had lost much in the previous war, as well as Italy, which saw its territorial ambitions
threatened by those of Germany.[10] To secure its alliance, the French allowed Italy a free hand in
Ethiopia, which Italy desired to conquer. The situation was aggravated in early 1935 when the Saarland
was legally reunited with Germany and Hitler repudiated the Treaty of Versailles, speeding up
remilitarization and introducing conscription. Hoping to contain Germany, the United Kingdom, France
and Italy formed the Stresa Front. The Soviet Union, concerned due to Germany's goals of capturing vast
areas of eastern Europe, concluded a treaty of mutual assistance with France.

Before taking effect though, the Franco-Soviet pact was required to go through the bureaucracy of the
League of Nations, rendering it essentially toothless[11][12] and in June 1935, the United Kingdom made an
independent naval agreement with Germany easing prior restrictions. The United States, concerned with
events in Europe and Asia, passed the Neutrality Act in August.[13] In October, Italy invaded Ethiopia,
with Germany the only major European nation supporting her invasion. Italy then revoked objections to
Germany's goal of making Austria a satellite state.[14]

In direct violation of the Versailles and Locarno treaties, Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland in March
1936. He received little response from other European powers.[15] When the Spanish Civil War broke out
in July, Hitler and Mussolini supported fascist Generalísimo Francisco Franco's nationalist forces in his
civil war against the Soviet-supported Spanish Republic. Both sides used the conflict to test new weapons
and methods of warfare[16] and the nationalists would prove victorious in early 1939.

With tensions mounting, efforts to strengthen or consolidate power were made. In October, Germany and
Italy formed the Rome-Berlin Axis and a month later Germany and Japan, each believing communism
and the Soviet Union in particular to be a threat, signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, which Italy would join
in the following year. In China, the Kuomintang and communist forces agreed on a ceasefire to present a
united front to oppose Japan.[17]

Other dates for the beginning of war include the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931,[18][19] the start of
the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937,[20][21] or one of several other events. Other sources follow A. J. P.
Taylor, who holds that there was a simultaneous Sino-Japanese War in East Asia, and a Second European
War in Europe and her colonies, but they did not become a World War until they merged in 1941; at
which point the war continued until 1945. This article uses the conventional dating.[22]

The end of the War also has several dates. Some sources end it from the armistice of August 14, 1945,
rather than the formal surrender; in some European histories, it ended on V-E Day. The Treaty of Peace
with Japan was not signed until 1951.

Course of the war
See also: Timeline of World War II

War in China

Japanese forces during the Battle of Wuhan.

In mid-1937, following the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Japan began a full invasion of China. The
Soviets quickly lent support to China, effectively ending China's prior cooperation with Germany.
Starting at Shanghai, the Japanese pushed Chinese forces back, capturing the capital Nanjing in
December. In June 1938 Chinese forces stalled the Japanese advance by flooding the Yellow River;
though this bought time to prepare their defenses at Wuhan, the city was still taken by October.[23] During
this time, Japanese and Soviet forces engaged in a minor skirmish at Lake Khasan; in May 1939, they
became involved in a more serious border war[24] that ended with signing a cease-fire agreement on
September 15 and restoring the status quo.[25]

War breaks out in Europe

In Europe, Germany and Italy were becoming bolder. In March 1938, Germany annexed Austria, again
provoking little response from other European powers.[26] Encouraged, Hitler began making claims on the
Sudetenland, a Czechoslovakian province with predominant ethnic German population; France and
Britain conceded these for a promise of no further territorial demands.[27] However, soon after that,
Germany and Italy forced Czechoslovakia to cede part of her remaining territories to Hungary and Poland.
In March 1939 Germany invaded the rump of Czechoslovakia to split it onto the German Protectorate of
Bohemia and Moravia and pro-German Slovak Republic.
Alarmed, and with Hitler making further demands on Danzig, France and Britain guaranteed their support
for Polish independence; when Italy conquered Albania in April, the same guarantee was extended to
Romania and Greece.[28] Shortly after the Franco-British pledges to Poland, Germany and Italy formalized
their own alliance with the Pact of Steel.

German Heinkel He 111 planes bombing Warsaw in 1939

In April, 1938, the USSR launched the tripartite alliance negotiations with the UK and France in an
attempt to contain Germany.[29] However, these negotiations failed due to mutual mistrust[30] and because
the collective security system in Europe was severely undermined by the Munich agreement and the
subsequent events.[31] Apprehensive of a possible war with Hitler while the Western powers remained
neutral or tacitly favorable to Hitler[32], the Soviet Union signed the non-aggression pact with Germany,
including a secret agreement to split Poland and Eastern Europe between them.[33]

Soviet and German officers in Poland, September 1939.

On September 1, 1939, Adolf Hitler launched his invasion of Poland and World War II broke out. France,
Britain, and the countries of the Commonwealth declared war on Germany but provided little military
support to Poland other than a small French attack into the Saarland.[34] On September 17, 1939, after
signing an armistice with Japan, the Soviets launched their own invasion of Poland.[35] By early October,
the campaign ended with division of Poland among Germany, the Soviet Union, Lithuania and
Slovakia[36], although officially Poland never surrendered.

At the same time as the battle in Poland, Japan launched its first attack against Changsha, a strategically
important Chinese city, but was repulsed by early October.[37]

Following the invasion of Poland, the Soviet Union began moving troops into the Baltic States. Finnish
resistance to similar pressure by the Soviet Union in late November led to the four-month Winter War,
ending with Finnish concessions.[38] France and the United Kingdom, treating the Soviet attack on Finland
as tantamount to entering the war on the side of the Germans[39] responded to the Soviet invasion by
supporting its expulsion from the League of Nations.[39] Though China had the authority to veto such an
action, it was unwilling to alienate itself from either the Western powers or the Soviet Union and instead
abstained.[39] The Soviet Union was displeased by this course of action and as a result suspended all
military aid to China.[39] By June 1940, the Soviet Armed Forces completed the occupation of the Baltic

German troops in Paris after the fall of France.

In Western Europe, British troops deployed to the Continent, but neither Germany nor the Allies launched
direct attacks on the other. In April, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway to secure shipments of iron-
ore from Sweden which the allies would try to disrupt. Denmark immediately capitulated, and despite
Allied support, Norway was conquered within two months.[41] British discontent over the Norwegian
campaign led to the replacement of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain by Winston Churchill on May
10, 1940.[42]

Axis advances

On that same day, Germany invaded France and the Low Countries. The Netherlands and Belgium were
overrun using blitzkrieg tactics in a few weeks. The French fortified Maginot Line was circumvented by a
flanking movement through the Ardennes region, mistakenly perceived by France as an impenetrable
natural barrier against armored vehicles. British troops were forced to evacuate the continent at Dunkirk,
abandoning their heavy equipment by the end of the month.[43] On June 10, Italy invaded, declaring war
on both France and the United Kingdom;[43] twelve days later France surrendered and was soon divided
into German and Italian occupation zones,[44] and an unoccupied rump state under the Vichy Regime. On
July 14, the British attacked the French fleet in Algeria to prevent their seizure by Germany.[45]

The RAF Supermarine Spitfire, used extensively during the Battle of Britain.

With France neutralized, Germany began an air superiority campaign over Britain to prepare for an
invasion.[46] The campaign failed and by September the invasion plans were cancelled. Using newly
captured French ports the German Navy enjoyed success against an over-extended Royal Navy, using U-
boats against British shipping in the Atlantic.[47] Italy began operations in the Mediterranean, initiating a
siege of Malta in June, conquering British Somaliland in August, and making an incursion into British-
held Egypt in early September. Japan increased its blockade of China in September by seizing several
bases in the northern part of the now-isolated French Indochina.[48]

Throughout this period, the neutral United States took measures to assist China and the Western Allies. In
November 1939, the American Neutrality Act was amended to allow Cash and carry purchases by the
Allies.[49] In 1940, following the German capture of Paris, the size of United States Navy was significantly
increased and after the Japanese incursion into Indochina, the United States embargoed iron, steel and
mechanical parts against Japan.[50] In September, the United States further agreed to a trade of American
destroyers for British bases.[51] Still, a large majority of the American public continued to oppose any
direct military intervention into the conflict well into 1941.[52]

At the end of September the Tripartite Pact between Japan, Italy and Germany formalized the Axis
Powers. The pact stipulated, with the exception of the Soviet Union, any country not in the war which
attacked any Axis Power would be forced to go to war against all three. [53] The Soviet Union expressed
interest in joining the Tripartite Pact, sending a modified draft to Germany in November and offering a
very German-favourable economic deal;[54] while Germany remained silent on the former, they accepted
the latter.[55] Regardless of the pact, the United States continued to support the United Kingdom and China
by introducing the Lend-Lease policy[56] and creating a security zone spanning roughly half of the Atlantic
Ocean where the United States Navy protected British convoys.[57] As a result, Germany and the United
States found themselves engaged in sustained, if undeclared, naval warfare in the North Atlantic by
October 1941, even though the United States remained officially neutral.[58]

In October, Italy invaded Greece but within days were repulsed and pushed back into Albania, where a
stalemate soon occurred.[59] Shortly after this, in Africa, Commonwealth forces launched offensives
against Egypt and Italian East Africa. By early 1941, with Italian forces having been pushed back into
Libya by the Commonwealth, Churchill ordered a dispatch of troops from Africa to bolster the Greeks.
The Italian Navy also suffered significant defeats, with the Royal Navy putting three Italian battleships
out of commission via carrier attack at Taranto, and several more warships neutralized at Cape Matapan.

German paratroopers invading Crete.

The Germans soon intervened to assist Italy. Hitler sent German forces to Libya in February and by the
end of March they had launched an offensive against the diminished Commonwealth forces. In under a
month, Commonwealth forces were pushed back into Egypt with the exception of the besieged port of
Tobruk. The Commonwealth attempted to dislodge Axis forces in May and again in June, but failed on
both occasions. In early April the Germans similarly intervened in the Balkans, invading Greece and
Yugoslavia; here too they made rapid progress, eventually forcing the Allies to evacuate after Germany
conquered the Greek island of Crete by the end of May.[61]

The Allies did have some successes during this time though. In the Middle East, Commonwealth forces
first quashed a coup in Iraq which had been supported by German aircraft from bases within Vichy-
controlled Syria,[62] then, with the assistance of the Free French, invaded Syria and Lebanon to prevent
further such occurrences.[63] In the Atlantic, the British scored a much needed public morale boost by
sinking the German flagship Bismarck.[64] Perhaps most importantly, during the Battle of Britain the
Royal Air Force had successfully resisted the Luftwaffe's assault, and on May 11, 1941, Hitler called off
the bombing campaign.[65]

In Asia, in spite of several offensives by both sides, the war between China and Japan was stalemated by
1940. In August of that year, Chinese communists launched an offensive in Central China; in retaliation,
Japan instituted harsh measures in occupied areas to reduce human and material resources for the
communists.[66] Mounting tensions between Chinese communist and nationalist forces culminated in
January 1941, effectively ending their co-operation.[67]
With the situation in Europe and Asia relatively stable, Germany, Japan and the Soviet Union made
preparations. With the Soviets wary of mounting tensions with Germany and the Japanese planning to
take advantage of the European War by seizing resource-rich European possessions in Southeast Asia the
two powers signed a neutrality agreement in April, 1941.[68] By contrast the Germans were steadily
making preparations for an attack on the Soviet Union, amassing forces on the Soviet border.[69]

The war becomes global

German soldiers in the Invasion of the Soviet Union, 1941.

On June 22, 1941, Germany, along with other European Axis members and Finland, invaded the Soviet
Union. The primary objectives of this surprise offensive[70] were the Baltic region, Moscow and Ukraine
with an ultimate goal to end campaign of 1941 near the line connecting Caspian and White Seas. Hitler's
goals were to eliminate the Soviet Union as a military power, exterminate Communism, generate so-
called 'living space'[71] by dispossessing the native population[72] and provide guaranteed access to the
strategic resources needed to defeat Germany's remaining rivals.[73] Although before the war the Red
Army was preparing for a strategic counter-offensive[74], "Barbarossa"' forced Stavka to adopt a strategic
defence. During the summer, Axis made significant gains into Soviet territory, inflicting immense losses
in personnel and matériel, however by the middle of August, German OKH decided to suspend the
offensive of a considerably depleted Army Group Center, and to divert a part of its armored force to
reinforce troops advancing toward central Ukraine and Leningrad[75]. The Kiev offensive was
overwhelmingly successful, resulting in encirclement and elimination of four Soviet armies, and made
further advance into Crimea and industrially developed Eastern Ukraine possible.

Khreshchatyk, the main street of Kiev, after German bombardment

The diversion of three quarters of Axis troops and majority of air forces from France and central
Mediterranean to the East[76][77] prompted the United Kingdom to reconsider her grand stategy.[78] In July,
the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union formed a military alliance against Germany[79] and shortly after
jointly invaded Iran to secure the Persian Corridor and Iran's oilfields.[80] In August, the United Kingdom
and the United States jointly issued the Atlantic Charter.[81] In November, Commonwealth forces launched
a counter-offensive in the desert, reclaiming all gains the Germans and Italians had made.[82]

Japan, hoping to capitalize on Germany's success in Europe, made several demands, including a steady
supply of oil, from the Dutch East Indies; these talks, however, broke down in June.[83] In July, Japan
seized military control of southern Indochina since it would not only put her in a better position to coerce
the Dutch East Indies into yielding, but it would also be a blow against China; should war be necessary, it
also improved their strategic position against the Americans and British.[84] The United States, United
Kingdom and other western governments reacted to the seizure of Indochina with a freeze on assets, while
the United States (which supplied 80% of Japan's oil[85]) responded by placing a complete oil embargo.[86]
Thus Japan was essentially forced to choose between withdrawing from Asia, or seizing the oil she
needed by force; the Japanese military did not consider the former an option, and many officers
considered the oil embargo an unspoken declaration of war.[87] The Imperial General Headquarters thus
planned to create a large perimeter stretching into the Central Pacific in order to facilitate a defensive war
while exploiting the resources of Southeast Asia; to prevent intervention while securing the perimeter it
was further planned to neutralize the United States Pacific Fleet on the outset.[88]

By October, when Axis operational objectives in Ukraine and the Baltic region were achieved, with only
Leningrad[89] and Sevastopol resisting in sieges[90] a major offensive against Moscow had been renewed.
After two months of fierce battles, the German army almost reached Moscow suburbs, where the
exhausted troops[91] were forced to suspend their offensive.[92] Despite impressive territorial gains, no
strategic goals of the campaign had been fully accomplished: two major Soviet cities hadn’t been
captured, Red Army's capability to resist was not broken, and the Soviet Union retained a considerable
part of its military potential. The blitzkrieg phase of WWII in Europe had ended.[93]

By early December, freshly mobilized reserves [94] allowed the Soviets to achieve numerical parity with
Axis troops[76]. This, as well as intelligence data that established a minimal amount of Soviet troops in the
East sufficient to prevent Japanese Kwantung Army from the attack[95], allowed the Soviets to mount a
massive counter-offensive that started on December 5 along 1000 km front and pushed German troops
100-250 km west.[96].

Two days later, on December 7, Japan attacked British, Dutch and American holdings with near
simultaneous offensives against Southeast Asia and the Central Pacific. These included an attack on the
American naval base of Pearl Harbor and landings in Thailand and Malaya.

These attacks prompted the United States, United Kingdom, other Western Allies and China (already a
belligerent), to formally declare war on Japan. Germany and the other members of the Tripartite Pact
responded by declaring war on the United States. In January, the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet
Union, China and twenty-two smaller or exiled governments issued the Declaration by United Nations
which affirmed the Atlantic Charter. [97] The Soviet Union did not adhere to the declaration, and
maintained a neutrality agreement with Japan[98][99] and exempted herself from the principle of self-

Japanese troops advancing through Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, by the end of April, 1942, Japan had almost fully conquered Burma, Philippines, Malaya,
Dutch East Indies, Singapore,[100] inflicting severe losses on Allied troops and taking a large number of
prisoners. They also achieved naval victories in the South China Sea, Java Sea and Indian Ocean[101] and
bombed the Allied naval base at Darwin, Australia. The only real success against Japan was a reverse at
renewed attack on Changsha in early January, 1942.[102] The easy victories over unprepared opponents left
Japan severely overconfident, as well as very overextended.
Germany retained the initiative as well. Exploiting dubious American naval command decisions, the U-
boat arm sunk significant resources off the American Atlantic coast.[103] Despite this, an American admiral
was placed in charge of more experienced Canadian escort forces, which carried out more of this duty in
the Atlantic than the U.S. for the duration of the war. Despite considerable losses, European Axis
members stopped a major Soviet offensive in Central and Southern Russia, keeping most territorial gains
they achieved during the previous year.[76] In North Africa, the Germans launched an offensive in January,
pushing the British back to positions at the Gazala Line by early February,[104] followed by a temporary
lull in combat which Germany used to prepare for their upcoming offensives.[105]

The tide turns

American aircraft attacking a Japanese cruiser at the Battle of Midway.

In early May, Japan initiated operations to capture Port Moresby via amphibious assault and thus sever
the line of communications between the United States and Australia. The Allies, however, intercepted and
turned back Japanese naval forces, preventing the invasion.[106] Japan's next plan, motivated by the earlier
bombing on Tokyo, was to seize Midway Atoll and lure American carriers into battle to be eliminated; as
a diversion, Japan would also send forces to occupy the Aleutian Islands.[107] In early June, Japan put their
operations into action but the Americans, having broken Japanese naval codes in late May, were fully
aware of the plans and force dispositions and used this knowledge to achieve a decisive victory over the
Imperial Japanese Navy.[108] With their capacity for aggressive action greatly diminished as a result of the
Midway battle, Japan chose to focus on a belated attempt to capture Port Moresby by an overland
campaign in the Territory of Papua.[109] The Americans planned a counterattack against Japanese positions
in the southern Solomon Islands, primarily Guadalcanal, as a first step towards capturing Rabaul, the
main Japanese base in Southeast Asia.[110] Both plans started in July, but by mid-September, the battle for
Guadalcanal took priority for the Japanese, and troops in New Guinea were ordered to withdraw from the
Port Moresby area to the northern part of the island.[111] Guadalcanal soon became a focal point for both
sides with heavy commitments of troops and ships in a battle of attrition. By the start of 1943, the
Japanese were defeated on the island and withdrew their troops.[112]

In Burma, Commonwealth forces mounted two operations. The first, an offensive into the Arakan region
in late 1942 went disastrously, forcing a retreat back to India by May 1943. [113] The second was the
insertion of irregular forces behind Japanese front-lines in February which, by the end of April, had
achieved dubious results.[114]
Soviet soldiers in the Battle of Stalingrad.

On Germany's eastern front, the Axis defeated Soviet offensives in the Kerch Peninsula and at
Kharkov[115] and then launched their main summer offensive against southern Russia in June, 1942, to
seize the oil fields of the Caucasus. The Soviets decided to make their stand at Stalingrad which was in
the path of the advancing German armies and by mid-November the Germans had nearly taken Stalingrad
in bitter street fighting when the Soviets began their second winter counter-offensive, starting with an
encirclement of German forces at Stalingrad[116] and an assault on the Rzhev salient near Moscow, though
the latter failed disastrously.[117] By early February, the German Army had taken tremendous losses; their
troops at Stalingrad had been forced to surrender and the front-line had been pushed back beyond its
position prior to their summer offensive. In mid-February, after the Soviet push had tapered off, the
Germans launched another attack on Kharkov, creating a salient in their front-line around the Russian city
of Kursk.[118]

In the west, concerns the Japanese might utilize bases in Vichy-held Madagascar caused the British to
invade the island in early May, 1942.[119] This success was off set soon after by an Axis offensive in Libya
which pushed the Allies back into Egypt until Axis forces were stopped at El Alamein.[120] On the
Continent, raids of Allied commandos on strategic targets, culminating in the disastrous Dieppe Raid,[121]
demonstrated the Western allies' inability to launch an invasion of continental Europe without much better
preparation, equipment, and operational security.[122] In August, the Allies succeeded in repelling a second
attack against El Alamein and, at a high cost, managed to get desperately needed supplies to the besieged
Malta.[123] A few months later the Allies commenced an attack of their own in Egypt, dislodging the Axis
forces and beginning a drive west across Libya.[124] This was followed up shortly after by an Anglo-
American invasion of French North Africa, which resulted in the region joining the Allies.[125] Hitler
responded to the defection by ordering the occupation of Vichy France,[125] though the Vichy Admiralty
managed to scuttle their fleet to prevent its capture by German forces.[126] The now pincered Axis forces in
Africa withdrew into Tunisia, which was conquered by the Allies by May 1943.[127]

Allies gain momentum

British troops firing a mortar during the Battle of Imphal.

In mainland Asia, the Japanese launched two major offensives. The first, started in March, 1944, was
against British positions in Assam, India[128] and soon led to Japanese forces besieging Commonwealth
positions at Imphal and Kohima;[129] by May however, other Japanese forces were being besieged in
Myitkyina by Chinese forces which had invaded Northern Burma in late 1943.[130] The second was in
China, with the goal of destroying China's main fighting forces, securing railways between Japanese-held
territory, and capturing Allied airfields.[131] By June the Japanese had conquered the province of Henan
and begun a renewed attack against Changsha in the Hunan province.[132]

Following the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Allies initiated several operations against Japan in the Pacific.
In May, 1943, American forces were sent to eliminate Japanese forces from the Aleutians,[133] and soon
after began major operations to isolate Rabaul by capturing surrounding islands, and to breach the
Japanese Central Pacific perimeter at the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.[134] By the end of March, 1944, the
Allies had completed both of these objectives, and additionally neutralized another major Japanese base in
the Caroline Islands. In April, the Allies then launched an operation to retake Western New Guinea.[135]

In the Mediterranean, Allied forces launched an invasion of Sicily in early July, 1943. The attack on
Italian soil, compounded with previous failures, resulted in the ousting and arrest of Mussolini later that
month.[136] The Allies soon followed up with an invasion of the Italian mainland in early September,
following an Italian armistice with the Allies.[137] When this armistice was made public on September 8,
Germany responded by disarming Italian forces, seizing military control of Italian areas,[138] and setting up
a series of defensive lines.[139] On September 12, German special forces further rescued Mussolini who
then soon established a new client state in German occupied Italy.[140] The Allies fought through several
lines until reaching the main German defensive line in mid-November.[141] In January 1944, the Allies
launched a series of attacks against the line at Monte Cassino and attempted to outflank it with landings at
Anzio. By late May both of these offensives had succeeded and, at the expense of allowing several
German divisions to retreat, on June 4 Rome was captured.[142]

A Soviet tank during the Battle of Kursk.

German operations in the Atlantic also suffered. By May 1943, German submarine losses were so high
that the naval campaign was temporarily called to a halt as Allied counter-measures became increasingly

In the Soviet Union, the Germans spent the spring and early summer of 1943 making preparations for a
large offensive in the region of Kursk; the Soviets anticipated such an action though and spent their time
fortifying the area.[144] On July 4, the Germans launched their attack, though only about a week later Hitler
cancelled the operation.[145] The Soviets were then able to mount a massive counter-offensive and, by June
1944, had largely expelled Axis forces from the Soviet Union and made incursions into Romania.[146]

In November, 1943, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met with Chiang Kai-shek in Cairo and
then with Joseph Stalin in Tehran. At the former conference, the post-war return of Japanese territory was
determined and in the latter, it was agreed that the Western Allies would invade Europe in 1944 and that
the Soviet Union would declare war on Japan within three months of Germany's defeat.

In January, 1944, the Soviets expelled the German forces from Leningrad region, ending the longest and
the most lethal siege in history. The following Soviet offensive was halted on the pre-war Estonian border
by the German Army Group North aided by Estonians hoping to re-establish national independence. This
delay retarded subsequent Soviet operations in the Baltic Sea region.[147]

Allies close in
Allied Invasion of Normandy.

On June 6, 1944 (known as D-Day), the Western Allies invaded northern France and, after reassigning
several Allied divisions from Italy, southern France;[148] by August 25, Paris was liberated.[149] During the
latter part of the year, the Western Allies continued to push back German forces in western Europe, and in
Italy ran into the last major defensive line.

On June 22, the Soviets launched a strategic offensive in Belarus (known as Operation Bagration) that
resulted in the almost complete destruction of the German Army Group Centre.[150] Soon after that,
another Soviet major strategic offensive forced the German troops from Ukraine and Eastern Poland.
Major assaults against Finland and Romania resulted in great successes, with Bulgaria, Romania and
Finland signing armistices with the Soviet Union,[151] and prompted Polish resistance forces to initiate
several uprisings in Poland, though the largest of these, in Warsaw, was conducted without expected
Soviet assistance and put down by German forces.[152] On October, the Soviets launched a massive assault
against Germany occupied Hungary that lasted until the fall of Budapest in February 1945.[153]

By the start of July, Commonwealth forces in Southeast Asia had repelled the Japanese sieges in Assam,
pushing the Japanese back to the Chindwin River[154] while the Chinese captured Myitkyina. In China, the
Japanese were having greater successes, having finally captured Changsha in mid-June and the city of
Hengyang by early August.[155] Soon after, they further invaded the province of Guangxi, winning major
engagements against Chinese forces at Guilin and Liuzhou by the end of November[156] and successfully
linking up their forces in China and Indochina by the middle of December.[157]

In the Pacific, American forces continued to press back the Japanese perimeter. In the middle of June,
1944, they began their offensive against the Mariana and Palau islands, scoring a decisive victory against
Japanese forces in the Philippine Sea. In late October, American forces invaded the Filipino island of
Leyte; soon after, Allied naval forces scored another large victory against the Japanese in the Leyte Gulf.

Axis collapse, Allied victory

American and Soviet troops meet east of the Elbe River.

On December 16, 1944 German forces counter-attacked in the Ardennes against the Western Allies. It
took six weeks for the Allies to repulse the attack. The Soviets attacked through Hungary, while the
Germans abandoned Greece and Albania and were driven out of southern Yugoslavia by partisans.[159] In
Italy, the Western Allies remained stalemated at the German defensive line. In mid-January 1945, the
Soviets attacked in Poland, pushing from the Vistula to the Oder river in Germany, and overran East

On February 4, U.S., British, and Soviet leaders met in Yalta. They agreed on the occupation of post-war
Germany,[161] and when the Soviet Union would join the war against Japan.[162]

In February, Western Allied forces entered Germany and closed to the Rhine river, while the Soviets
invaded Pomerania and Silesia. In March, the Western Allies crossed the Rhine north and south of the
Ruhr, encircling a large number of German troops, while the Soviets advanced to Vienna. In early April
the Western Allies finally pushed forward in Italy and swept across western Germany, while in late April
Soviet forces stormed Berlin; the two forces linked up on Elbe river on April 25.

Several changes in leadership occurred during this period. On April 12, U.S. President Roosevelt died; he
was succeeded by Harry Truman. Mussolini was killed by Italian partisans on April 28[163] and two days
later Hitler committed suicide, succeeded by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz.[164]

German forces surrendered in Italy on April 29 and in Western Europe on May 7.[165] However, fighting
continued on the Eastern Front until the Germans surrendered specifically to the Soviets on May 8. In
Prague, resistance of remnants of German Army continued until May 11.

Nuclear explosion at Hiroshima.

Soviet soldiers raising the Soviet flag over the Reichstag after its capture

In the Pacific theater, American forces advanced in the Philippines, clearing Leyte by the end of 1944.
They landed on Luzon in January 1945 and Mindanao in March.[166] British and Chinese forces defeated
the Japanese in northern Burma from October to March, then the British pushed on to Rangoon by May 3.
American forces also moved toward Japan, taking Iwo Jima by March, and Okinawa by June.[168]
American bombers destroyed Japanese cities, and American submarines cut off Japanese imports.[169]

On July 11, the Allied leaders met in Potsdam, Germany. They confirmed earlier agreements about
Germany,[170] and reiterated the demand for unconditional surrender by Japan, specifically stating that "the
alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction".[171] During this conference the United Kingdom held
its general election and Clement Attlee replaced Churchill as Prime Minister.
When Japan continued to reject the Potsdam terms, the United States then dropped atomic bombs on the
Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August. Between the two bombs, the Soviets invaded
Japanese-held Manchuria, as agreed at Yalta. On August 15, 1945 Japan surrendered, ending the war.[165]

Main article: Aftermath of World War II

Prime Minister Winston Churchill waves to crowds in London on Victory in Europe Day.

The Supreme Commanders on June 5, 1945 in Berlin: Bernard Montgomery, Dwight D. Eisenhower,
Georgy Zhukov and Jean de Lattre de Tassigny.

Soviet tanks on parade in Moscow after the defeat of Germany.

In an effort to maintain international peace,[172] the Allies formed the United Nations, which officially
came into existence on October 24, 1945.[173]

Regardless of this though, the alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union had begun to
deteriorate even before the war was over,[174] and the two powers each quickly established their own
spheres of influence.[175] In Europe, the continent was essentially divided between Western and Soviet
spheres by the so-called Iron Curtain which ran through and partitioned Allied occupied Germany and
occupied Austria. In Asia, the United States occupied Japan and administrated Japan's former islands in
the Western Pacific while the Soviets annexed Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands; the former Japanese
governed Korea was divided and occupied between the two powers. Mounting tensions between the
United States and the Soviet Union soon evolved into the formation of the American-led NATO and the
Soviet-led Warsaw Pact military alliances and the start of the Cold War between them.[176]
In many parts of the world, conflict picked up again within a short time of World War II ending. In China,
nationalist and communist forces quickly resumed their civil war. Communist forces were eventually
victorious and established the People's Republic of China on the mainland while nationalist forces ended
up retreating to the reclaimed island of Taiwan. In Greece, civil war broke out between Anglo-American
supported royalist forces and communist forces, with the royalist forces victorious. Soon after these
conflicts ended, war broke out in Korea between South Korea, which was backed by the western powers,
and North Korea, which was backed by the Soviet Union and China; the war resulted in essentially a
stalemate and ceasefire.

Following the end of the war, a rapid period of decolonization also took place within the holdings of the
various European colonial powers. These primarily occurred due to shifts in ideology, the economic
exhaustion from the war and increased demand by indigenous people for self-determination. For the most
part, these transitions happened relatively peacefully, though notable exceptions occurred in countries
such as Indochina, Madagascar, Indonesia and Algeria.[177] In many regions, divisions, usually for ethnic
or religious reasons, occurred following European withdrawal; this was seen prominently in the Mandate
of Palestine, leading to the creation of Israel and Palestine, and in India, resulting in the creation of the
Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.

Economic recovery following the war was varied in differing parts of the world, though in general it was
quite positive. In Europe, West Germany recovered quickly and doubled production from its pre-war
levels by the 1950s.[178] Italy came out of the war in poor economic condition,[179] but by 1950s, the Italian
economy was marked by stability and high growth.[180] The United Kingdom was in a state of economic
ruin after the war,[181] and continued to experience relative economic decline for decades to follow.[182]
France rebounded quite quickly, and enjoyed rapid economic growth and modernization. [183] The Soviet
Union also experienced a rapid increase in production in the immediate post-war era.[184] In Asia, Japan
experienced incredibly rapid economic growth, and led to Japan becoming one of the most powerful
economies in the world by the 1980s.[185] China, following the conclusion of its civil war, was essentially a
bankrupt nation.[186] By 1953 economic restoration seemed fairly successful as production had resumed
pre-war levels.[187] This growth rate mostly persisted, though it was briefly interrupted by the disastrous
Great Leap Forward economic experiment. At the end of the war, the United States produced roughly half
of the world's industrial output; by the 1970s though, this dominance had lessened significantly.[188]

Impact of the war
Casualties and war crimes

Main articles: World War II casualties and War crimes during World War II

World War II deaths
Estimates for the total casualties of the war vary, but most suggest that some 60 million people died in the
war, including about 20 million soldiers and 40 million civilians.[189][190][191] Many civilians died because of
disease, starvation, massacres, and deliberate genocide. The Soviet Union lost around 27 million people
during the war, about half of all World War II casualties.[192] Of the total deaths in World War II,
approximately 85 percent were on the Allied side (mostly Soviet and Chinese) and 15 percent on the Axis
side. One estimate is that 12 million civilians died in Nazi concentration camps,[193] 1.5 million by bombs,
7 million in Europe from other causes, and 7.5 million in China from other causes.[194] Figures on the
amount of total casualties vary to a wide extent because the majority of deaths were not documented.

Many of these deaths were a result of genocidal actions committed in Axis-occupied territories and other
war crimes committed by German as well as Japanese forces. The most notorious of German atrocities
was The Holocaust, the systematic genocide of Jews in territories controlled by Germany and its allies.
The Nazis also targeted other groups, including the Roma (targeted in the Porajmos), Slavs, and gay men,
exterminating an estimated five million additional people.[195] The targets of Ustaše regime were mostly
Serbs.[196] For Japan, the most well-known atrocity is the Nanking Massacre, in which several hundred
thousand Chinese civilians were raped and murdered.[197] The Japanese military murdered from nearly 3
million to over 10 million civilians, mostly Chinese.[198] According to Mitsuyoshi Himeta, at least 2.7
million died during the Sankō Sakusen implemented in Heipei and Shantung by General Yasuji Okamura.

Limited Axis usage of biological and chemical weapons is also known. The Italians used mustard gas
during their conquest of Abyssinia,[199] while the Japanese Imperial Army used a variety of such weapons
during their invasion and occupation of China (see Unit 731)[200] and in early conflicts against the Soviets.
Both the Germans and Japanese tested such weapons against civilians[202] and, in some cases, on
prisoners of war.[203]

While many of the Axis's acts were brought to trial in the world's first international tribunals,[204] incidents
caused by the Allies were not. Examples of such actions include population transfer in the Soviet Union,
the Soviet forced labour camps (Gulag),[206] Japanese American internment in the United States, the
Operation Keelhaul,[207] expulsion of Germans after World War II, the Soviet massacre of Polish citizens
and the controversial mass-bombing of civilian areas in enemy territory, most notably at Dresden.[208]

Large numbers of deaths can also be attributed, if even partially, indirectly to the war, such as the Bengal
famine of 1943.

Concentration camps and slave work

Further information: Consequences of German Nazism and Japanese war crimes

The Nazis were responsible for the killing of approximately six million Jews (overwhelmingly
Ashkenazi) as well as two million ethnic Poles and four million others who were deemed "unworthy of
life" (including the disabled and mentally ill, Soviet POWs, homosexuals, Freemasons, Jehovah's
Witnesses, and the Roma) as part of a program of deliberate extermination planned and executed by the
Nazi Germany. About 12 million, most of whom were Eastern Europeans, were employed in the German
war economy as forced labor in Germany during World War II.[209]
Victims of the Holocaust.

In addition to the Nazi concentration camps, the Soviet Gulag, or labor camps, led to the death of citizens
of occupied countries such as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, as well as German prisoners of war
(POW) and even Soviet citizens themselves who had been or were thought to be supporters of the Nazis.
Sixty percent of Soviet POWs died during the war.[211] Richard Overy gives the number of 5.7 million
Soviet POWs. Of those, 57% died or were killed, a total of 3.6 million.[212] Some of the survivors on their
return to the USSR were treated as traitors (see Order No. 270).[213]

Body disposal at Unit 731, the Japanese biological warfare research unit.

Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, many of which were used as labour camps, also had high death rates.
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East found the death rate of Western prisoners was 27.1
percent (for American POWs, 37 percent),[214] seven times that of POW's under the Germans and
Italians[215] The death rate among Chinese POWs was much larger; a directive ratified on August 5, 1937
by Hirohito declared that the Chinese were no longer protected under international law.[216] While 37,583
prisoners from the UK, 28,500 from the, Netherlands and 14,473 from United States were released after
the surrender of Japan, the number for the Chinese was only 56.[217]

According to a joint study of historians featuring Zhifen Ju, Mark Peattie, Toru Kubo, and Mitsuyoshi
Himeta, more than 10 million Chinese were mobilized by the Japanese army and enslaved by the Kōa-in
for slave labor in Manchukuo and north China.[218] The U.S. Library of Congress estimates that in Java,
between 4 and 10 million romusha (Japanese: "manual laborer"), were forced to work by the Japanese
military. About 270,000 of these Javanese laborers were sent to other Japanese-held areas in South East
Asia. Only 52,000 were repatriated to Java, meaning that there was a death rate of 80%.[219]
Mistreated and starved prisoners in the Mauthausen camp, Austria, 1945.

On February 19, 1942 Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, interning thousands of Japanese, Italians,
German Americans, and some emigrants from Hawaii who fled after the bombing of Pearl Harbor for the
duration of the war. 150,000 Japanese-Americans were interned by the U.S. and Canadian governments,
as well as nearly 11,000 German and Italian residents of the U.S.

Allied use of slave labor occurred mainly in the east, such as in Poland, [220] but more than a million was
also put to work in the west. For example, in the 1940's, Lac Saint-Jean, along with various other regions
within Canada, such as the Saguenay, Saint Helen's Island and Hull, Quebec, had Prisoner-of-war camps.
By 1942 the Lac St. Jean region had 2 camps with at least 50 POWs.[221] These prisoners were forced
into hard labour which included lumbering and assisting in the production of pulp and paper.[221] Canada's
war prisons, such as St. Helen's prison, camp forty seven (Camp 47), were numbered and remained
unnamed.[221][222] The POWs where classified into categories including their nationality and civilian or
military status.[221] Camp 47's POWs were mostly of Italian and German nationality. These prisoners were
forced into farming and lumbering the land. [221] By 1944 Camp 47 would be closed and shortly afterwards
destroyed because of an internal report on the treatment of prisoners.[221] By December 1945 it was
estimated by French authorities that 2,000 German prisoners were being killed or maimed each month in
mine-clearing accidents.[223]

Home fronts and production

Main articles: military production during World War II and Home front during World War II

Allied to Axis GDP ratio.

In Europe, prior to the start of the war, the Allies had significant advantages in both population and
economics. In 1938, the Western Allies (United Kingdom, France, Poland and British Dominions) had a
30% larger population and a 30% higher gross domestic product than the European Axis (Germany and
Italy); if colonies are included, it then gives the Allies more then a 5:1 advantage in population and nearly
2:1 advantage in GDP.[224] In Asia at the same time, China had roughly six times the population of Japan,
but only a 89% higher GDP; this is reduced to three times the population and only a 38% higher GDP if
Japanese colonies are included.[224]

Though the Allies economic and population advantages were largely mitigated during the initial rapid
blitzkrieg attacks of Germany and Japan, they became the decisive factor by 1942, after the United States
and Soviet Union joined the Allies, as the war largely settled into one of attrition.[225]
While the Allies' ability to out-produce the Axis is often attributed to the Allies having more access to
natural resources, other factors, such as Germany and Japan's reluctance to utilize women in the labour
force,[226][227] Allied strategic bombing,[228][229] and Germany's late shift to a war economy[230] contributed
significantly. Additionally, neither Germany nor Japan planned on fighting a protracted war, and were not
equipped to do so.[231][232] To improve their production, Germany and Japan used millions of slave
labourers;[233] Germany used about 12 million people, mostly from Eastern Europe,[234] while Japan
pressed more than 18 million people in Far East Asia.[235]

War time occupation

Main articles: Collaboration during World War II and Resistance during World War II

In Europe, occupation came under two very different forms. In western, northern and central Europe
(France, Norway, Denmark, the Low Countries, and the annexed portions of Czechoslovakia) Germany
established economic policies through which it collected roughly 69.5 billion reichmarks by the end of the
war; this figure does not include the sizable plunder of industrial products, military equipment, raw
materials and other goods.[236] Thus, the income from occupied nations was over 40% of the income
Germany collected from taxation, a figure which increased to nearly 40% of total German income as the
war went on.[237]

In the east, the much hoped for bounties of lebensraum were never attained as fluctuating front-lines and
Soviet scorched earth policies denied resources to the German invaders.[238] Unlike in the west, the Nazi
racial policy encouraged excessive brutality against what it considered to be the "inferior people" of
Slavic descent; most German advances were thus followed by mass executions.[239] Although resistance
groups did form in most occupied territories, they did not significantly hamper German operations in
either the east[240] or the west[241] until late 1943.

In Asia, Japan termed nations under its occupation as being part of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity
Sphere, essentially a Japanese hegemony which it claimed was for purposes of liberating colonized
peoples.[242] Although Japanese forces were originally welcomed as liberators from European domination
in many territories, their excessive brutality turned local public opinions against them within weeks.[243]
During Japan's initial conquest it captured 4 million barrels of oil left behind by retreating Allied forces,
and by 1943 was able to get production in the Dutch East Indies up to 50 million barrels, 76% of its 1940
output rate.[243]

Advances in technology and warfare

Main article: Technology during World War II

During the war, aircraft continued their roles of reconnaissance, fighters, bombers and ground-support
from World War I, though each area was advanced considerably. Two important additional roles for
aircraft were those of the airlift, the capability to quickly move high-priority supplies, equipment and
personnel, albeit in limited quantities;[244] and of strategic bombing, the targeted use bombs against
civilian areas in the hopes of hampering enemy industry and morale. [245] Anti-aircraft weaponry also
continued to advance, including key defences such as radar and greatly improved anti-aircraft artillery,
such as the German 88 mm gun. Jet aircraft saw their first limited operational use during World War II,
and though their late introduction and limited numbers meant that they had no real impact during the war
itself, the few which saw active service pioneered a mass-shift to their usage following the war.[246]

At sea, while advances were made in almost all aspects of naval warfare, the two primary areas of
development were focused around aircraft carriers and submarines. Although at the start of the war
aeronautical warfare had relatively little success,[247] actions at Taranto, Pearl Harbor, the South China Sea
and the Coral Sea soon established the carrier as the dominant capital ship in place of the battleship. [248][249]
In the Atlantic, escort carriers proved to be a vital part of Allied convoys, increasing the effective
protection radius dramatically and helping to seal the Mid-Atlantic gap.[250] Beyond their increased
effectiveness, carriers were also more economical than battleships due to the relatively low cost of
aircraft[251] and their not requiring to be as heavily armoured. [252] Submarines, which had proved to be an
effective weapon during the first World War[253] were anticipated by all sides to be important in the
second. The British focused development on anti-submarine weaponry and tactics, such as sonar and
convoys, while Germany focused on improving its offensive capability, with designs such as the Type VII
submarine and Wolf pack tactics.[254] Gradually, continually improving Allied technologies such as the
Leigh light, hedgehog, squid, and homing torpedoes proved victorious.

Land warfare changed drastically from the static front lines predominating in World War I to become
much more fluid and mobile. An important change was the concept of combined arms warfare, wherein
tight coordination was sought between the various elements of military forces; the tank, which had been
used predominantly for infantry support in the First World War, had evolved into the primary weapon of
these forces during the second.[255] In the late 1930s, tank design was considerably more advanced in all
areas then it had been during World War I,[256] and advances continued throughout the war in increasing
speed, armour and firepower. At the start of the war, most armies considered the tank to be the best
weapon against itself, and developed special-purpose tanks to that effect.[257] This line of thinking was all
but negated by the poor performance of the relatively light early tank armaments against armour, and
German doctrine of avoiding tank-versus-tank combat; the latter factor, along with Germany's use of
combined arms, were among the key elements of their highly successful blitzkrieg tactics across Poland
and France.[255] Many means of destroying tanks, including indirect artillery, anti-tank guns (both towed
and self-propelled), mines, short-ranged infantry antitank weapons, and other tanks were utilized. [257] Even
with large-scale mechanization of the various armies, the infantry remained the backbone of all forces,[258]
and throughout the war, most infantry equipment was similar to that utilized in World War I. [259] However
the United States became the first country to arm its soldiers with a semi-automatic rifle, in this case the
M-1 Garand. Some of the primary advances though, were the widespread incorporation of portable
machine guns, a notable example being the German MG42, and various submachine guns which were
well suited to close-quarters combat in urban and jungle settings.[259] The assault rifle, a late war
development which incorporated many of the best features of the rifle and submachine gun, became the
standard postwar infantry weapon for nearly all armed forces.

In terms of communications, most of the major belligerents attempted to solve the problems of complexity
and security presented by utilizing large codebooks for cryptography with the creation of various
ciphering machines, the most well known being the German Enigma machine.[260] SIGINT (signals
intelligence) was the countering process of decryption, with the notable examples being the British
ULTRA and the Allied breaking of Japanese naval codes. Another important aspect of military
intelligence was the use of deception operations, which the Allies successfully used on several occasions
to great effect, such as operations Mincemeat and Bodyguard, which diverted German attention and forces
away from the Allied invasions of Sicily and Normandy respectively.

Other important technological and engineering feats achieved during, or as a result of, the war include the
worlds first programmable computers (Z3, Colossus, and ENIAC), guided missiles and modern rockets,
the Manhattan Project's development of nuclear weapons, the development of artificial harbours and oil
pipelines under the English Channel.

Historical era
Preceded by
World History Succeeded by
1939–1945 Cold War

See also
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• The World at War (1974) is a 26-part Thames Television series that covers most aspects of World War II
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History of World War II by region or sovereign state

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Problem solving
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where
appropriate. (February 2008)


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Problem solving forms part of thinking. Considered the most complex of all intellectual functions,
problem solving has been defined as higher-order cognitive process that requires the modulation and
control of more routine or fundamental skills (Goldstein & Levin, 1987). It occurs if an organism or an
artificial intelligence system does not know how to proceed from a given state to a desired goal state. It is
part of the larger problem process that includes problem finding and problem shaping.


• 1 Overview
• 2 Europe
• 3 USA and Canada
• 4 Characteristics of difficult problems
• 5 Some problem-solving techniques
• 6 See also
• 7 Notes
• 8 References

• 9 External links

[edit] Overview
The nature of human problem solving methods has been studied by psychologists over the past hundred
years. There are several methods of studying problem solving, including; introspection, behaviorism,
simulation and computer modeling, and experiment.

Beginning with the early experimental work of the Gestaltists in Germany (e.g. Duncker, 1935), and
continuing through the 1960s and early 1970s, research on problem solving typically conducted relatively
simple, laboratory tasks (e.g. Duncker's "X-ray" problem; Ewert & Lambert's 1932 "disk" problem, later
known as Tower of Hanoi) that appeared novel to participants (e.g. Mayer, 1992). Various reasons
account for the choice of simple novel tasks: they had clearly defined optimal solutions, they were
solvable within a relatively short time frame, researchers could trace participants' problem-solving steps,
and so on. The researchers made the underlying assumption, of course, that simple tasks such as the
Tower of Hanoi captured the main properties of "real world" problems, and that the cognitive processes
underlying participants' attempts to solve simple problems were representative of the processes engaged
in when solving "real world" problems. Thus researchers used simple problems for reasons of
convenience, and thought generalizations to more complex problems would become possible. Perhaps the
best-known and most impressive example of this line of research remains the work by Newell and Simon

[edit] Europe
In Europe, two main approaches have surfaced, one initiated by Donald Broadbent (1977; see Berry &
Broadbent, 1995) in the United Kingdom and the other one by Dietrich Dörner (1975, 1985; see Dörner &
Wearing, 1995) in Germany. The two approaches have in common an emphasis on relatively complex,
semantically rich, computerized laboratory tasks, constructed to resemble real-life problems. The
approaches differ somewhat in their theoretical goals and methodology, however. The tradition initiated
by Broadbent emphasizes the distinction between cognitive problem-solving processes that operate under
awareness versus outside of awareness, and typically employs mathematically well-defined computerized
systems. The tradition initiated by Dörner, on the other hand, has an interest in the interplay of the
cognitive, motivational, and social components of problem solving, and utilizes very complex
computerized scenarios that contain up to 2,000 highly interconnected variables (e.g., Dörner, Kreuzig,
Reither & Stäudel's 1983 LOHHAUSEN project; Ringelband, Misiak & Kluwe, 1990). Buchner (1995)
describes the two traditions in detail.

To sum up, researchers' realization that problem-solving processes differ across knowledge domains and
across levels of expertise (e.g. Sternberg, 1995) and that, consequently, findings obtained in the laboratory
cannot necessarily generalize to problem-solving situations outside the laboratory, has during the past two
decades led to an emphasis on real-world problem solving. This emphasis has been expressed quite
differently in North America and Europe, however. Whereas North American research has typically
concentrated on studying problem solving in separate, natural knowledge domains, much of the European
research has focused on novel, complex problems, and has been performed with computerized scenarios
(see Funke, 1991, for an overview).

[edit] USA and Canada
In North America, initiated by the work of Herbert Simon on learning by doing in semantically rich
domains (e.g. Anzai & Simon, 1979; Bhaskar & Simon, 1977), researchers began to investigate problem
solving separately in different natural knowledge domains - such as physics, writing, or chess playing -
thus relinquishing their attempts to extract a global theory of problem solving (e.g. Sternberg & Frensch,
1991). Instead, these researchers have frequently focused on the development of problem solving within a
certain domain, that is on the development of expertise (e.g. Anderson, Boyle & Reiser, 1985; Chase &
Simon, 1973; Chi, Feltovich & Glaser, 1981).

Areas that have attracted rather intensive attention in North America include such diverse fields as:

• Reading (Stanovich & Cunningham, 1991)
• Writing (Bryson, Bereiter, Scardamalia & Joram, 1991)
• Calculation (Sokol & McCloskey, 1991)
• Political decision making (Voss, Wolfe, Lawrence & Engle, 1991)
• Managerial problem solving (Wagner, 1991)
• Lawyers' reasoning (Amsel, Langer & Loutzenhiser, 1991)
• Mechanical problem solving (Hegarty, 1991)
• Problem solving in electronics (Lesgold & Lajoie, 1991)
• Computer skills (Kay, 1991)
• Game playing (Frensch & Sternberg, 1991)
• Personal problem solving (Heppner & Krauskopf, 1987)
• Mathematical problem solving (Polya, 1945; Schoenfeld, 1985)
• Social problem solving (D'Zurilla & Goldfreid, 1971; D'Zurilla & Nezu, 1982)

[edit] Characteristics of difficult problems
As elucidated by Dietrich Dörner and later expanded upon by Joachim Funke, difficult problems have
some typical characteristics that can be summarized as follows:

• Intransparency (lack of clarity of the situation)
o commencement opacity
o continuation opacity
• Polytely (multiple goals)
o inexpressiveness
o opposition
o transience
• Complexity (large numbers of items, interrelations, and decisions)
o enumerability
o connectivity (hierarchy relation, communication relation, allocation relation)
o heterogeneity
• Dynamics (time considerations)
o temporal constraints
o temporal sensitivity
o phase effects
o dynamic unpredictability

The resolution of difficult problems requires a direct attack on each of these characteristics that are

In reform mathematics, greater emphasis is placed on problem solving relative to basic skills, where basic
operations can be done with calculators. However some "problems" may actually have standard solutions
taught in higher grades. For example, kindergarteners could be asked how many fingers are there on all
the gloves of 3 children, which can be solved with multiplication. [1]

[edit] Some problem-solving techniques
There are many approaches to problem solving, depending on the nature of the problem and the people
involved in the problem. The more traditional, rational approach is typically used and involves, e.g.,
clarifying description of the problem, analyzing causes, identifying alternatives, assessing each
alternative, choosing one, implementing it, and evaluating whether the problem was solved or not.

Another, more state-of-the-art approach is appreciative inquiry. That approach asserts that "problems" are
often the result of our own perspectives on a phenomenon, e.g., if we look at it as a "problem," then it will
become one and we'll probably get very stuck on the "problem." Appreciative inquiry includes
identification of our best times about the situation in the past, wishing and thinking about what worked
best then, visioning what we want in the future, and building from our strengths to work toward our
vision. [2]

1. divide and conquer: break down a large, complex problem into smaller, solvable problems.
2. Hill-climbing strategy, (also called gradient descent/ascent, difference reduction, greedy
algorithm) - attempting at every step to move closer to the goal situation. The problem with this
approach is that many challenges require that you temporarily move farther away from the goal
state. For example, traveling 1000 miles to the west might require driving a few miles east to an
airport. (see river crossing puzzle).
3. Means-end analysis, more effective than hill-climbing, requires the setting of subgoals based on
the process of getting from the initial state to the goal state when solving a problem.
4. Trial-and-error (also called guess and check)
5. Brainstorming
6. Morphological analysis
7. Method of focal objects
8. Lateral thinking
9. George Pólya's techniques in How to Solve It
10. Research: study what others have written about the problem (and related problems). Maybe there's
already a solution?
11. Assumption reversal (write down your assumptions about the problem, and then reverse them all)
12. Analogy: has a similar problem (possibly in a different field) been solved before?
13. Hypothesis testing: assuming a possible explanation to the problem and trying to prove the
14. Constraint examination: are you assuming a constraint which doesn't really exist?
15. Incubation: input the details of a problem into your mind, then stop focusing on it. The
subconscious mind will continue to work on the problem, and the solution might just "pop up"
while you are doing something else
16. Build (or write) one or more abstract models of the problem
17. Try to prove that the problem cannot be solved. Where the proof breaks down can be your starting
point for resolving it
18. Get help from friends or online problem solving community (e.g. 3form, InnoCentive)
19. delegation: delegating the problem to others.
20. Root Cause Analysis
21. Working Backwards (Halpern,2002)
22. Forward-Looking Strategy (Halpern, 2002)
23. Simplification (Halpern, 2002)
24. Generalization (Halpern, 2002)
25. Specialization (Halpern, 2002)
26. Random Search (Halpern, 2002)
27. Split-Half Method (Halpern,2002)
28. The GROW model

[edit] See also
• Abductive reasoning

• Analogy
• Artificial intelligence
• Brainstorming
• Common sense
• Common sense reasoning
• Creative problem solving
• Cyc
• Deductive reasoning
• Divergent thinking
• Educational psychology
• Executive function
• Facilitation
• General problem solver
• Inductive reasoning
• Innovation
• Intelligence amplification
• Inquiry
• Kepner-Tregoe
• Morphological Analysis
• Newell, Allen
• Portal:thinking
• Problem Statement
• RPR Problem Diagnosis
• Simon, Herbert
• Soar (cognitive architecture)
• Thought
• Transdisciplinary Studies
• Troubleshooting
• Wicked problem

[edit] Notes
1. ^ 2007 Draft, Washington State Revised Mathematics Standard
2. ^ Problem Solving

[edit] References
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards.
Please improve this article if you can. (April 2007)

The ASCII codes for the word "Wikipedia" represented in binary, the numeral system most commonly
used for encoding computer information.
For other uses, see Information (disambiguation).

Information as a concept has a diversity of meanings, from everyday usage to technical settings.
Generally speaking, the concept of information is closely related to notions of constraint, communication,
control, data, form, instruction, knowledge, meaning, mental stimulus, pattern, perception, and

Many people speak about the Information Age as the advent of the Knowledge Age[citation needed][weasel words] or
knowledge society, the information society, the Information revolution, and information technologies, and
even though informatics, information science and computer science are often in the spotlight, the word
"information" is often used without careful consideration of the various meanings it has acquired.

• 1 Etymology
• 2 Information as a message
o 2.1 Measuring information entropy
• 3 Information as a pattern
• 4 Information as sensory input
• 5 Information as an influence which leads to a transformation
• 6 Information as a property in physics
• 7 Information as records
• 8 Information and semiotics
• 9 References
• 10 Further reading
• 11 See also

• 12 External links

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest historical meaning of the word information in
English was the act of informing, or giving form or shape to the mind, as in education, instruction, or
training. A quote from 1387: "Five books come down from heaven for information of mankind." It was
also used for an item of training, e.g. a particular instruction. "Melibee had heard the great skills and
reasons of Dame Prudence, and her wise information and techniques." (1386)

The English word was apparently derived by adding the common "noun of action" ending "-ation"
(descended through French from Latin "-tio") to the earlier verb to inform, in the sense of to give form to
the mind, to discipline, instruct, teach: "Men so wise should go and inform their kings." (1330) Inform
itself comes (via French) from the Latin verb informare, to give form to, to form an idea of. Furthermore,
Latin itself already even contained the word informatio meaning concept or idea, but the extent to which
this may have influenced the development of the word information in English is unclear.

As a final note, the ancient Greek word for form was είδος eidos, and this word was famously used in a
technical philosophical sense by Plato (and later Aristotle) to denote the ideal identity or essence of
something (see Theory of forms). "Eidos" can also be associated with thought, proposition or even

Information as a message
Information is the state of a system of interest. Message is the information materialized.

Information is a quality of a message from a sender to one or more receivers. Information is always about
something (size of a parameter, occurrence of an event, etc). Viewed in this manner, information does not
have to be accurate; it may be a truth or a lie, or just the sound of a falling tree. Even a disruptive noise
used to inhibit the flow of communication and create misunderstanding would in this view be a form of
information. However, generally speaking, if the amount of information in the received message
increases, the message is more accurate.
This model assumes there is a definite sender and at least one receiver. Many refinements of the model
assume the existence of a common language understood by the sender and at least one of the receivers.
An important variation identifies information as that which would be communicated by a message if it
were sent from a sender to a receiver capable of understanding the message. In another variation, it is not
required that the sender be capable of understanding the message, or even cognizant that there is a
message, making information something that can be extracted from an environment, e.g., through
observation, reading or measurement.

Information is a term with many meanings depending on context, but is as a rule closely related to such
concepts as meaning, knowledge, instruction, communication, representation, and mental stimulus.
Simply stated, information is a message received and understood. In terms of data, it can be defined as a
collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn. There are many other aspects of information
since it is the knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction. But overall, information is
the result of processing, manipulating and organizing data in a way that adds to the knowledge of the
person receiving it.

Communication theory provides a numerical measure of the uncertainty of an outcome. For example, we
can say that "the signal contained thousands of bits of information". Communication theory tends to use
the concept of information entropy, generally attributed to C.E. Shannon (see below).

Another form of information is Fisher information, a concept of R.A. Fisher. This is used in application of
statistics to estimation theory and to science in general. Fisher information is thought of as the amount of
information that a message carries about an unobservable parameter. It can be computed from knowledge
of the likelihood function defining the system. For example, with a normal likelihood function, the Fisher
information is the reciprocal of the variance of the law. In the absence of knowledge of the likelihood law,
the Fisher information may be computed from normally distributed score data as the reciprocal of their
second moment.

Even though information and data are often used interchangeably, they are actually very different. Data is
a set of unrelated information, and as such is of no use until it is properly evaluated. Upon evaluation,
once there is some significant relation between data, and they show some relevance, then they are
converted into information. Now this same data can be used for different purposes. Thus, till the data
convey some information, they are not useful.

Measuring information entropy

The view of information as a message came into prominence with the publication in 1948 of an influential
paper by Claude Shannon, "A Mathematical Theory of Communication." This paper provides the
foundations of information theory and endows the word information not only with a technical meaning
but also a measure. If the sending device is equally likely to send any one of a set of N messages, then the
preferred measure of "the information produced when one message is chosen from the set" is the base two
logarithm of N (This measure is called self-information). In this paper, Shannon continues:

The choice of a logarithmic base corresponds to the choice of a unit for measuring information. If the base 2 is used
the resulting units may be called binary digits, or more briefly bits, a word suggested by J. W. Tukey. A device with
two stable positions, such as a relay or a flip-flop circuit, can store one bit of information. N such devices can store
N bits…[1]

A complementary way of measuring information is provided by algorithmic information theory. In brief,
this measures the information content of a list of symbols based on how predictable they are, or more
specifically how easy it is to compute the list through a program: the information content of a sequence is
the number of bits of the shortest program that computes it. The sequence below would have a very low
algorithmic information measurement since it is a very predictable pattern, and as the pattern continues
the measurement would not change. Shannon information would give the same information measurement
for each symbol, since they are statistically random, and each new symbol would increase the


It is important to recognize the limitations of traditional information theory and algorithmic information
theory from the perspective of human meaning. For example, when referring to the meaning content of a
message Shannon noted “Frequently the messages have meaning… these semantic aspects of
communication are irrelevant to the engineering problem. The significant aspect is that the actual message
is one selected from a set of possible messages” (emphasis in original).

In information theory signals are part of a process, not a substance; they do something, they do not
contain any specific meaning. Combining algorithmic information theory and information theory we can
conclude that the most random signal contains the most information as it can be interpreted in any way
and cannot be compressed.[citation needed]

Michael Reddy noted that "'signals' of the mathematical theory are 'patterns that can be exchanged'. There
is no message contained in the signal, the signals convey the ability to select from a set of possible
messages." In information theory "the system must be designed to operate for each possible selection, not
just the one which will actually be chosen since this is unknown at the time of design".

Information as a pattern
Information is any represented pattern. This view assumes neither accuracy nor directly communicating
parties, but instead assumes a separation between an object and its representation. Consider the following
example: economic statistics represent an economy, however inaccurately. What are commonly referred
to as data in computing, statistics, and other fields, are forms of information in this sense. The electro-
magnetic patterns in a computer network and connected devices are related to something other than the
pattern itself, such as text characters to be displayed and keyboard input. Signals, signs, and symbols are
also in this category. On the other hand, according to semiotics, data is symbols with certain syntax and
information is data with a certain semantic. Painting and drawing contain information to the extent that
they represent something such as an assortment of objects on a table, a profile, or a landscape. In other
words, when a pattern of something is transposed to a pattern of something else, the latter is information.
This would be the case whether or not there was anyone to perceive it.

But if information can be defined merely as a pattern, does that mean that neither utility nor meaning are
necessary components of information? Arguably a distinction must be made between raw unprocessed
data and information which possesses utility, value or some quantum of meaning. On this view,
information may indeed be characterized as a pattern; but this is a necessary condition, not a sufficient

An individual entry in a telephone book, which follows a specific pattern formed by name, address and
telephone number, does not become "informative" in some sense unless and until it possesses some
degree of utility, value or meaning. For example, someone might look up a girlfriend's number, might
order a take away etc. The vast majority of numbers will never be construed as "information" in any
meaningful sense. The gap between data and information is only closed by a behavioral bridge whereby
some value, utility or meaning is added to transform mere data or pattern into information.
When one constructs a representation of an object, one can selectively extract from the object (sampling)
or use a system of signs to replace (encoding), or both. The sampling and encoding result in
representation. An example of the former is a "sample" of a product; an example of the latter is "verbal
description" of a product. Both contain information of the product, however inaccurate. When one
interprets representation, one can predict a broader pattern from a limited number of observations
(inference) or understand the relation between patterns of two different things (decoding). One example of
the former is to sip a soup to know if it is spoiled; an example of the latter is examining footprints to
determine the animal and its condition. In both cases, information sources are not constructed or presented
by some "sender" of information. Regardless, information is dependent upon, but usually unrelated to and
separate from, the medium or media used to express it. In other words, the position of a theoretical series
of bits, or even the output once interpreted by a computer or similar device, is unimportant, except when
someone or something is present to interpret the information. Therefore, a quantity of information is
totally distinct from its medium.

Information as sensory input
Often information is viewed as a type of input to an organism or designed device. Inputs are of two kinds.
Some inputs are important to the function of the organism (for example, food) or device (energy) by
themselves. In his book Sensory Ecology, Dusenbery called these causal inputs. Other inputs
(information) are important only because they are associated with causal inputs and can be used to predict
the occurrence of a causal input at a later time (and perhaps another place). Some information is important
because of association with other information but eventually there must be a connection to a causal input.
In practice, information is usually carried by weak stimuli that must be detected by specialized sensory
systems and amplified by energy inputs before they can be functional to the organism or device. For
example, light is often a causal input to plants but provides information to animals. The colored light
reflected from a flower is too weak to do much photosynthetic work but the visual system of the bee
detects it and the bee's nervous system uses the information to guide the bee to the flower, where the bee
often finds nectar or pollen, which are causal inputs, serving a nutritional function.

Information is any type of sensory input. When an organism with a nervous system receives an input, it
transforms the input into an electrical signal. This is regarded information by some. The idea of
representation is still relevant, but in a slightly different manner. That is, while abstract painting does not
represent anything concretely, when the viewer sees the painting, it is nevertheless transformed into
electrical signals that create a representation of the painting. Defined this way, information does not have
to be related to truth, communication, or representation of an object. Entertainment in general is not
intended to be informative. Music, the performing arts, amusement parks, works of fiction and so on are
thus forms of information in this sense, but they are not necessarily forms of information according to
some definitions given above. Consider another example: food supplies both nutrition and taste for those
who eat it. If information is equated to sensory input, then nutrition is not information but taste is.

Information as an influence which leads to a transformation
Information is any type of pattern that influences the formation or transformation of other patterns. In this
sense, there is no need for a conscious mind to perceive, much less appreciate, the pattern. Consider, for
example, DNA. The sequence of nucleotides is a pattern that influences the formation and development of
an organism without any need for a conscious mind. Systems theory at times seems to refer to information
in this sense, assuming information does not necessarily involve any conscious mind, and patterns
circulating (due to feedback) in the system can be called information. In other words, it can be said that
information in this sense is something potentially perceived as representation, though not created or
presented for that purpose.
When Marshall McLuhan speaks of media and their effects on human cultures, he refers to the structure
of artifacts that in turn shape our behaviors and mindsets. Also, pheromones are often said to be
"information" in this sense.

(See also Gregory Bateson.)

Information as a property in physics
Main article: Physical information

In 2003, J. D. Bekenstein claimed there is a growing trend in physics to define the physical world as being
made of information itself (and thus information is defined in this way). Information has a well defined
meaning in physics. Examples of this include the phenomenon of quantum entanglement where particles
can interact without reference to their separation or the speed of light. Information itself cannot travel
faster than light even if the information is transmitted indirectly. This could lead to the fact that all
attempts at physically observing a particle with an "entangled" relationship to another are slowed down,
even though the particles are not connected in any other way other than by the information they carry.

Another link is demonstrated by the Maxwell's demon thought experiment. In this experiment, a direct
relationship between information and another physical property, entropy, is demonstrated. A consequence
is that it is impossible to destroy information without increasing the entropy of a system; in practical
terms this often means generating heat. Another, more philosophical, outcome is that information could
be thought of as interchangeable with energy. Thus, in the study of logic gates, the theoretical lower
bound of thermal energy released by an AND gate is higher than for the NOT gate (because information is
destroyed in an AND gate and simply converted in a NOT gate). Physical information is of particular
importance in the theory of quantum computers.

Information as records
Records are a specialized form of information. Essentially, records are information produced consciously
or as by-products of business activities or transactions and retained because of their value. Primarily their
value is as evidence of the activities of the organization but they may also be retained for their
informational value. Sound records management ensures that the integrity of records is preserved for as
long as they are required.

The international standard on records management, ISO 15489, defines records as "information created,
received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal
obligations or in the transaction of business". The International Committee on Archives (ICA) Committee
on electronic records defined a record as, "a specific piece of recorded information generated, collected or
received in the initiation, conduct or completion of an activity and that comprises sufficient content,
context and structure to provide proof or evidence of that activity".

Records may be retained because of their business value, as part of the corporate memory of the
organization or to meet legal, fiscal or accountability requirements imposed on the organization. Willis
(2005) expressed the view that sound management of business records and information delivered "…six
key requirements for good corporate governance…transparency; accountability; due process; compliance;
meeting statutory and common law requirements; and security of personal and corporate information."

Information and semiotics
Beynon-Davies [2] explains the multi-faceted concept of information in terms of that of signs and sign-
systems. Signs themselves can be considered in terms of four inter-dependent levels, layers or branches of
semiotics: pragmatics, semantics, syntactics and empirics. These four layers serve to connect the social
world on the one hand with the physical or technical world on the other.

Pragmatics is concerned with the purpose of communication. Pragmatics links the issue of signs with that
of intention. The focus of pragmatics is on the intentions of human agents underlying communicative
behaviour. In other words, intentions link language to action.

Semantics is concerned with the meaning of a message conveyed in a communicative act. Semantics
considers the content of communication. Semantics is the study of the meaning of signs - the association
between signs and behaviour. Semantics can be considered as the study of the link between symbols and
their referents or concepts; particularly the way in which signs relate to human behaviour.

Syntactics is concerned with the formalism used to represent a message. Syntactics as an area studies the
form of communication in terms of the logic and grammar of sign systems. Syntactics is devoted to the
study of the form rather than the content of signs and sign-systems.

Empirics is the study of the signals used to carry a message; the physical characteristics of the medium of
communication. Empirics is devoted to the study of communication channels and their characteristics,
e.g., sound, light, electronic transmission etc.

Communication normally exists within the context of some social situation. The social situation sets the
context for the intentions conveyed (pragmatics) and the form in which communication takes place. In a
communicative situation intentions are expressed through messages which comprise collections of inter-
related signs taken from a language which is mutually understood by the agents involved in the
communication. Mutual understanding implies that agents involved understand the chosen language in
terms of its agreed syntax (syntactics) and semantics. The sender codes the message in the language and
sends the message as signals along some communication channel (empirics). The chosen communication
channel will have inherent properties which determine outcomes such as the speed with which
communication can take place and over what distance.

1. ^ The Bell System Technical Journal, Vol. 27, p. 379, (July 1948).
2. ^ Beynon-Davies P. (2002). Information Systems: an introduction to informatics in Organisations.
Palgrave, Basingstoke, UK. ISBN: 0-333-96390-3

Further reading
• Alan Liu (2004). The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information, University
of Chicago Press
• Bekenstein, Jacob D. (2003, August). Information in the holographic universe. Scientific
• Luciano Floridi, (2005). 'Is Information Meaningful Data?', Philosophy and Phenomenological
Research, 70 (2), pp. 351 - 370. Available online at Oxford University
• Luciano Floridi, (2005). 'Semantic Conceptions of Information', The Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy (Winter 2005 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Available online at Stanford University

See also
• Informatics • Information theory • Library and Information
• Information architecture • Information in language Science
• Information broker theory • Medium
• Information communication • Infosphere • Metadata
technology • Accuracy • Observation
• Information entropy • Abstraction • Philosophy of information
• Information geometry • Algorithmic information • Physical information
• Information highway theory • Prediction
• Information ladder • Classified information • Propaganda model
• Information mapping • Complexity • Relevance
• Information overload o Complex system • Receiver operating
• Information processing o Complex adaptive characteristic
• Information processor system • Satisficing
• Information revolution • Cybernetics • Shannon–Hartley theorem
• Information sensitivity • Exformation o Claude Shannon
• Information science • Fisher information o Ralph Hartley
• Information system • Free Information
Infrastructure • Systems theory
• Information technology • Freedom of information

• Infornography
Major fields of Technology

Archaeology · Artificial intelligence · Ceramic engineering · Computing ·
Electronics · Energy · Energy storage · Engineering physics · Environmental
Applied science technology · Fisheries science · Materials science and engineering ·
Microtechnology · Nanotechnology · Nuclear technology · Optics · Particle
physics · Zoography

Communication · Graphics · Information technology · Music · Speech
recognition · Visual technology · Systematics · Informatics

Construction · Financial engineering · Industrial technology · Manufacturing ·
Machinery · Mining · Business informatics

Ammunition · Bombs · Combat engineering · Military technology · Military
technology and equipment · Naval engineering

Educational technology · Domestic appliances · Domestic technology · Food

Engineering Aerospace · Agricultural · Architectural · Audio · Automotive · Biological ·
Biochemical · Biomedical · BioTech · Broadcast · Building officials · Ceramic ·
Chemical · Civil · Computer · Construction · Control · Cryogenic · Engineering
technology · Electrical · Electronic · Environmental · Food · Genetic · Hydraulics ·
Industrial · Materials · Mechanical · Mechatronics · Metallurgical · Mining ·
Naval · Network · Nuclear · Optical · Petroleum · Radio Frequency · Software ·
Structural · Systems · Technician · Textile · Tissue · Transport · Traffic

Biomedical · Bioinformatics · Biotechnology · Cheminformatics · Fire protection
Health and safety engineering · Health technologies · Medical technology · Nutrition ·
Pharmaceuticals · Safety engineering · Sanitary engineering

Aerospace · Aerospace engineering · Automotive engineering · Marine
engineering · Motor vehicles · Space technology

External links

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
This article or section includes a list of references or external links, but its sources remain unclear
because it has insufficient inline citations.
You can improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (October 2008)
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding
reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2008)
For the defunct British television channel, see Lifestyle (TV channel).
"Way of life" redirects here. For other uses, see Way of life (disambiguation).

Lifestyle was originally coined by Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler in 1929. The current broader sense
of the word dates from 1961.[1]

In sociology, a lifestyle is the way a person lives. A lifestyle is a characteristic bundle of behaviors that
makes sense to both others and oneself in a given time and place, including social relations, consumption,
entertainment, and dress. The behaviors and practices within lifestyles are a mixture of habits,
conventional ways of doing things, and reasoned actions. A lifestyle typically also reflects an individual's
attitudes, values or worldview. Therefore, a lifestyle is a means of forging a sense of self and to create
cultural symbols that resonate with personal identity. Not all aspects of a lifestyle are entirely
voluntaristic. Surrounding social and technical systems can constrain the lifestyle choices available to the
individual and the symbols she/he is able to project to others and the self.[2]

The lines between personal identity and the everyday doings that signal a particular lifestyle become
blurred in modern society.[3] For example, "green lifestyle" means holding beliefs and engaging in
activities that consume fewer resources and produce less harmful waste (i.e. a smaller carbon footprint),
and deriving a sense of self from holding these beliefs and engaging in these activities. Some
commentators argue that, in Modernity, the cornerstone of lifestyle construction is consumption behavior,
which offers the possibility to create and further individualize the self with different products or services
that signal different ways of life.[4]

• 1 Politics
• 2 Advertising and marketing
• 3 Euphemism
• 4 References

• 5 Bibliography

[edit] Politics
The term lifestyle in politics can often be used in conveying the idea that society be accepting of a variety
of different ways of life—from the perspective that differences among ways of living are superficial,
rather than existential. Lifestyle is also sometimes used pejoratively, to mark out some ways of living as
elective or voluntary as opposed to others that are considered mainstream, unremarkable, or normative.

Within anarchism, lifestylism is the view that an anarchist society can be formed by changing one's own
personal activities rather than by engaging in class struggle.

[edit] Advertising and marketing
In business, "lifestyles" provide a means by which advertisers and marketers endeavor to target and match
consumer aspirations with products, or to create aspirations relevant to new products. Therefore marketers
take the patterns of belief and action characteristic of lifestyles and direct them toward expenditure and
consumption. These patterns reflect the demographic factors (the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards,
economic levels and so on) that define a group. As a construct that directs people to interact with their
worlds as consumers, lifestyles are subject to change by the demands of marketing and technological

[edit] Euphemism
"The lifestyle" is a term commonly used in BDSM and swinging.

[edit] References
1. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
2. ^ Spaargaren, G., and B. VanVliet. 2000. ‘Lifestyles, Consumption and the Environment: The Ecological
Modernisation of Domestic Consumption.’ Environmental Politics. 9(1): 50-75.
3. ^ Giddens, A. 1991. Modernity and self-identity: self and society in the late modern age. Cambridge: Polity
4. ^ Ropke, I. 1999. ‘The Dynamics of Willingness to Consume. Ecological Economics. 28: 399-420.

[edit] Bibliography
• Stebbins, Robert A. (2009) Personal decisions in the public square Beyond problem solving into a
positive sociology. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.
Retrieved from ""
Categories: Sociological terms | Subcultures
Hidden categories: Articles lacking in-text citations | Articles needing additional references from January

Sexual reproduction
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

The evolution of sexual reproduction is a major puzzle. The first fossilized evidence of sexually
reproducing organisms is from eukaryotes of the Stenian period, about 1.2 to 1 billion years ago.[1] Sexual
reproduction is the primary method of reproduction for the vast majority of macroscopic organisms,
including almost all animals and plants. Bacterial conjugation, the transfer of DNA between two bacteria,
is often mistakenly confused with sexual reproduction, because the mechanics are similar.

A major question is why sexual reproduction persists when parthenogenesis appears in some ways to be a
superior form of reproduction. Contemporary evolutionary thought proposes some explanations. It may be
due to selection pressure on the clade itself—the ability for a population to radiate more rapidly in
response to a changing environment through sexual recombination than parthenogenesis allows.
Alternatively, sexual reproduction may allow for the "ratcheting" of evolutionary speed as one clade
competes with another for a limited resource.

In the first stage of sexual reproduction, "meiosis," the number of chromosomes is reduced from a diploid
number (2n) to a haploid number (n). During "fertilization," haploid gametes come together to form a
diploid zygote and the original number of chromosomes (2n) is restored.

• 1 Plants
o 1.1 Flowering plants
o 1.2 Ferns
o 1.3 Bryophytes
• 2 Fungi
• 3 Insects
• 4 Mammals
o 4.1 Male
o 4.2 Female
o 4.3 Gestation
o 4.4 Birth
o 4.5 Monotremes
o 4.6 Marsupials
• 5 Fish
• 6 See also
• 7 Notes
• 8 References

[edit] Plants
Main article: Plant sexuality

[edit] Flowering plants

Flowers are the sexual organs of flowering plants.

Flowering plants are the dominant plant form on land and they reproduce by sexual and asexual means.
Often their most distinguishing feature is their reproductive organs, commonly called flowers. The anther
produces male gametophytes, the sperm is produced in pollen grains, which attach to the stigma on top of
a carpel, in which the female gametophytes (inside ovules) are located. After the pollen tube grows
through the carpel's style, the sex cell nuclei from the pollen grain migrate into the ovule to fertilize the
egg cell and endosperm nuclei within the female gametophyte in a process termed double fertilization.
The resulting zygote develops into an embryo, while the triploid endosperm (one sperm cell plus two
female cells) and female tissues of the ovule give rise to the surrounding tissues in the developing seed.
The ovary, which produced the female gametophyte(s), then grows into a fruit, which surrounds the
seed(s). Plants may either self-pollinate or cross-pollinate. Nonflowering plants like ferns, moss and
liverworts use other means of sexual reproduction.

[edit] Ferns

Ferns typically produce large diploid sporophytes with rhizomes, roots and leaves; and on fertile leaves
called sporangium, spores are produced. The spores are released and germinate to produce short, thin
gametophytes that are typically heart shaped, small and green in color. The gametophytes or thallus,
produce both motile sperm in the antheridia and egg cells in separate archegonia. After rains or when dew
deposits a film of water, the motile sperm are splashed away from the antheridia, which are normally
produce on the top side of the thallus, and swim in the film of water to the antheridia where they fertilize
the egg. To promote out crossing or cross fertilization the sperm are released before the eggs are receptive
of the sperm, making it more likely that the sperm will fertilize the eggs of different thallus. A zygote is
formed after fertilization, which grows into a new sporophytic plant. The condition of having separate
sporephyte and gametophyte plants is call alternation of generations. Other plants with similar
reproductive means include the Psilotum, Lycopodium, Selaginella and Equisetum.
[edit] Bryophytes

The bryophytes, which include liverworts, hornworts and mosses, reproduce both sexually and
vegetatively. They are small plants found growing in moist locations and like ferns, have motile sperm
with flagella and need water to facilitate sexual reproduction. These plants start as a haploid spore that
grows into the dominate form, which is a multicellular haploid body with leaf-like structures that
photosynthesize. Haploid gametes are produced in antherida and archegonia by mitosis. The sperm
released from the antherida respond to chemicals released by ripe archegonia and swim to them in a film
of water and fertilize the egg cells thus producing a zygote. The zygote divides by mitotic division and
grows into a sporophyte that is diploid. The multicellular diploid sporophyte produces structures called
spore capsules, which are connected by seta to the archegonia. The spore capsules produce spores by
meiosis, when ripe the capsules burst open and the spores are released. Bryophytes show considerable
variation in their breeding structures and the above is a basic outline. Also in some species each plant is
one sex while other species produce both sexes on the same plant.[2]

[edit] Fungi
Fungi are classified by the methods of sexual reproduction they employ. The outcome of sexual
reproduction most often is the production of resting spores that are used to survive inclement times and to
spread. There are typically three phases in the sexual reproduction of fungi, plasmogarny, karyogamy and

[edit] Insects

Insects mating on a liatris flower head.

Insect species make-up more than two-thirds of all extant animal species, and most insect species use sex
for reproduction, though some species are facultatively parthenogenetic. Many species have sexual
dimorphism, while in others the sexes look nearly identical. Typically they have two sexes with males
producing spermatozoa and females ovum, the ovums develop into eggs that have a covering called the
chorion, which forms before internal fertilization. Insects have very diverse mating and reproductive
strategies most often resulting in the male depositing spermatophore within the female, which stores the
sperm until she is ready for egg fertilization. After fertilization, and the formation of a zygote, and varying
degrees of development; the eggs are deposited outside the female in many species, or in some, they
develop further within the female and live born offspring are produced.

[edit] Mammals
There are three extant kinds of mammals: Monotremes, Placentals and Marsupials, all with internal
fertilisation. In placental mammals, offspring are born as juveniles: complete animals with the sex organs
present although not reproductively functional. After several months or years, the sex organs develop
further to maturity and the animal becomes sexually mature. Most female mammals are only fertile during
certain periods during their estrous cycle, at which point they are ready to mate. Individual male and
female mammals meet and carry out copulation. For most mammals, males and females exchange sexual
partners throughout their adult lives.

[edit] Male

For more details on this topic, see Male reproductive system (human).

The male reproductive system contains two main divisions: the penis, and the testicles, the latter of which
is where sperm are produced. In humans, both of these organs are outside the abdominal cavity, but they
can be primarily housed within the abdomen in other animals (for instance, in dogs, the penis is internal
except when mating). Having the testicles outside the abdomen best facilitates temperature regulation of
the sperm, which require specific temperatures to survive. Sperm are the smaller of the two gametes and
are generally very short-lived, requiring males to produce them continuously from the time of sexual
maturity until death. Prior to ejaculation the produced sperm are stored in the seminal vesicle, a small
gland that is located just behind the bladder.
A sperm cell is motile and swims via chemotaxis, using its flagellum to propel itself towards the ovum.

[edit] Female

For more details on this topic, see Female reproductive system (human).

The female reproductive system likewise contains two main divisions: the vagina and uterus, which act as
the receptacle for the sperm, and the ovaries, which produce the female's ova. All of these parts are
always internal. The vagina is attached to the uterus through the cervix, while the uterus is attached to the
ovaries via the Fallopian tubes. At certain intervals, the ovaries release an ovum, which passes through the
fallopian tube into the uterus.

If, in this transit, it meets with sperm, the sperm penetrate and merge with the egg, fertilizing it. The
fertilization usually occurs in the oviducts, but can happen in the uterus itself. The zygote then implants
itself in the wall of the uterus, where it begins the processes of embryogenesis and morphogenesis. When
developed enough to survive outside the womb, the cervix dilates and contractions of the uterus propel the
fetus through the birth canal, which is the vagina.

The ova, which are the female sex cells, are much larger than the sperm and are normally formed with in
the ovaries of the fetus before its birth. They are mostly fixed in location with in the ovary until their
transit to the uterus, and contain nutrients for the later zygote and embryo. Over a regular interval, in
response to hormonal signals, a process of oogenesis matures one ovum which is released and sent down
the Fallopian tube. If not fertilized, this egg is flushed out of the system through menstruation in humans
and other great apes and reabsorbed in other mammals in the estrus cycle.

[edit] Gestation

Main articles: Pregnancy (mammals) and Pregnancy

Gestation, called pregnancy in humans, is the period of time during which the fetus develops, dividing via
mitosis inside the female. During this time, the fetus receives all of its nutrition and oxygenated blood
from the female, filtered through the placenta, which is attached to the fetus' abdomen via an umbilical
cord. This drain of nutrients can be quite taxing on the female, who is required to ingest slightly higher
levels of calories. In addition, certain vitamins and other nutrients are required in greater quantities than
normal, often creating abnormal eating habits. The length of gestation, called the gestation period, varies
greatly from species to species; it is 40 weeks in humans, 56–60 in giraffes and 16 days in hamsters.

[edit] Birth

Main article: Childbirth

Once the fetus is sufficiently developed, chemical signals start the process of birth, which begins with
contractions of the uterus and the dilation of the cervix. The fetus then descends to the cervix, where it is
pushed out into the vagina, and eventually out of the female. The newborn, which is called an infant in
humans, should typically begin respiration on its own shortly after birth. Not long after, the placenta is
passed as well. Most mammals eat this, as it is a good source of protein and other vital nutrients needed
for caring for the young. The end of the umbilical cord attached to the young’s abdomen eventually falls
off on its own.

[edit] Monotremes

Monotremes, only five species of which exist, all from Australia and New Guinea, lay eggs. They have
one opening for excretion and reproduction called the cloaca. They hold the eggs internally for several
weeks, providing nutrients, and then lay them and cover them like birds. After less than two weeks the
young hatches and crawls into its mother’s pouch, much like marsupials, where it nurses for several
weeks as it grows.

[edit] Marsupials

Marsupials reproductive systems differ markedly from those of placental mammals. Females have two
vaginas, both of which open externally through one orifice but lead to different compartments within the
uterus. Males generally have a two-pronged penis, which corresponds to the females' two vaginae[3]. The
penis is used only for discharging semen into females, and is separate from the urinary tract.[citation needed]
Both sexes possess a cloaca[3], which is connected to a urogenital sac used to store waste before expulsion.

The female develops a kind of yolk sack in her womb which delivers nutrients to the embryo. Embryos of
bandicoots, koalas and wombats additionally form placenta-like organs that connect them to the uterine
wall, although the placenta-like organs are smaller than in placental mammals and it is not certain that
they transfer nutrients from the mother to the embryo.[4]

Pregnancy is very short, typically 4 to 5 weeks. The embryo is born at a very young stage of development,
and is usually less than 5 cm (2.0 in) long at birth. It has been suggested that the short pregnancy is
necessary to reduce the risk that the mother's immune system will attack the embryo.

The newborn marsupial uses its forelimbs (with relatively strong hands) to climb to a nipple, which is
usually in a pouch on the mother's belly. The mother feeds the baby by contracting muscles over her
mammary glands, as the baby is too weak to suck. The newborn marsupial's need to use its forelimbs in
climbing to the nipple has prevented the forelimbs from evolving into paddles or wings and has therefore
prevented the appearance of aquatic or truly flying marsupials (although there are several marsupial

[edit] Fish
The vast majority of fish species lay eggs that are then fertilized by the male,[5] some species lay their
eggs on a substrate like a rock or on plants, while others scatter their eggs and the eggs are fertilized as
they drift or sink in the water column. Some fish species use internal fertilization and then disperse the
developing eggs or give birth to live offspring. Fishes that have live-bearing offspring include the Guppy
and Mollies or Poecilia. Fishes that give birth to live young can be ovoviviparous, where the eggs are
fertilized within the female and the eggs simply hatch within the female body, or they can be viviparous,
where the female supplies nourishment to the internally growing offspring. Some fish are hermaphrodites,
where a single fish is both male and female and can produce eggs and sperm. In hermaphroditic fish,
some are male and female at the same time while in other fish they are serially hermaphroditic; starting as
one sex and changing to the other. In at least one hermaphroditic species, self-fertilization occurs when
the eggs and sperm are released together. Internal self-fertilization may occur in some other species.[6]
One fish species does not need sexual reproduction to produce offspring; Poecilia formosa can use
parthenogenesis for reproduction, where unfertilized eggs develop into embryos that produce female

[edit] See also
• Asexual reproduction
• Biological reproduction
• Mating in fungi
• Operational sex ratio
• Reptile
• Sex organ
• Sexual intercourse
• Anisogamy
• Isogamy
• Evolution of sexual reproduction

[edit] Notes

Sexual intercourse
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

The missionary position of human sexual intercourse depicted by Édouard-Henri Avril
A pair of lions copulating in the Maasai Mara, Kenya

Amplexus or pseudocopulation in amphibians

Sexual intercourse, in its biological sense, is the act in which the male reproductive organ (in humans
and other higher animals) enters the female reproductive tract, called copulation or coitus in other
reference.[1][2] The two entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case
with snails.

Traditionally, intercourse has been viewed as the natural endpoint of all sexual contact between a man and
a woman,[2] and is commonly confined to this definition today. The meaning of the term, however, has
been broadened in recent years, and now labels at least three different sex acts. These three types of
intercourse are: vaginal intercourse, involving vaginal penetration by the penis; oral intercourse, involving
oral caress of the sex organs; and anal intercourse, involving insertion of the male's penis into his partner's

Sex acts that involve the use of fingers or hands or mutual masturbation are more often referred to as
outercourse (with oral sex at times listed as an aspect),[3][4][5][6] while the term sex, in the context of sexual
intimacy, is often understood more widely to include any mutual genital stimulation.[7]

For most non-human animals, sexual intercourse occurs at the point of estrus (the most fertile period of
time in the female's reproductive cycle),[8][9] which increases the chances of successful impregnation.
However, bonobos,[10] dolphins,[11] and chimpanzees are known to engage in sexual intercourse even when
the female is not in estrus, and to engage in sex acts with same-sex partners.[12] In most instances, humans
have sex primarily for pleasure.[13] This behavior in the above mentioned animals is also presumed to be
for pleasure,[14] which in turn strengthens social bonds.


• 1 In animals
• 2 In humans
o 2.1 Coitus difficulties
• 3 Functions of sex beyond reproduction
o 3.1 Oral and anal sex
• 4 Sexual ethics and legality
o 4.1 Religious views
• 5 See also
• 6 References

• 7 External links

In animals
See also: Mating

Herring Gulls mating

Many animals which live in the water use external fertilization, whereas internal fertilization may have
developed from a need to maintain gametes in a liquid medium in the Late Ordovician epoch. Internal
fertilization with many vertebrates (such as reptiles, some fish, and most birds) occur via cloacal
copulation (see also hemipenis), while mammals copulate vaginally, and many basal vertebrates
reproduce sexually with external fertilization.

However, some terrestrial arthropods do use external fertilization. For primitive insects, the male deposits
spermatozoa on the substrate, sometimes stored within a special structure, and courtship involves
inducing the female to take up the sperm package into her genital opening; there is no actual copulation.
In groups such as dragonflies and many spiders, males extrude sperm into secondary copulatory structures
removed from their genital opening, which are then used to inseminate the female (in dragonflies, it is a
set of modified sternites on the second abdominal segment; in spiders, it is the male pedipalps). In
advanced groups of insects, the male uses its aedeagus, a structure formed from the terminal segments of
the abdomen, to deposit sperm directly (though sometimes in a capsule called a "spermatophore") into the
female's reproductive tract.

Sexuality portal

In humans
See also: Human sexual behavior and Human sexuality

Vaginal sexual intercourse, also called coitus, is the human form of copulation. While a purpose and
effect is reproduction, it is often performed exclusively for pleasure and/or as an expression of love and
emotional intimacy. Sexual intercourse typically plays a powerful bonding role; in many societies it is
normal for couples to have frequent intercourse while using birth control, sharing pleasure and
strengthening their emotional bond through sex even though they are deliberately avoiding pregnancy.

Sexual intercourse may also be defined as referring to other forms of insertive sexual behavior, such as
oral sex and anal intercourse. The phrase to have sex can mean any or all of these behaviors, as well as
other non-penetrative sex acts not considered here.
Coitus may be preceded by foreplay, which leads to sexual arousal of the partners, resulting in the
erection of the penis and natural lubrication of the vagina.

To engage in coitus, the erect penis is inserted into the vagina and one or both of the partners move their
hips to move the penis backward and forward inside the vagina to cause friction, typically without fully
removing the penis. In this way, they stimulate themselves and each other, often continuing until orgasm
in either or both partners is achieved. Penetration by the hardened erect penis is also known as
intromission, or by the Latin name immissio penis (Latin for "insertion of the penis").

Coitus is the basic reproductive method of humans. During ejaculation, which usually accompanies male
orgasm, a series of muscular contractions delivers semen containing male gametes known as sperm cells
or spermatozoa from the penis into the vagina.

The subsequent route of the sperm from the vault of the vagina is through the cervix and into the uterus,
and then into the fallopian tubes. Millions of sperm are present in each ejaculation, to increase the chances
of one fertilizing an egg or ovum. If the woman orgasms during or after male ejaculation, the
corresponding temporary reduction in the size of the vagina and the contractions of the uterus that occur
can help the sperm to reach the fallopian tubes[citation needed], though female orgasm is not necessary to
achieve pregnancy. When a fertile ovum from the female is present in the fallopian tubes, the male
gamete joins with the ovum resulting in fertilization and the formation of a new embryo. When a
fertilized ovum reaches the uterus, it becomes implanted in the lining of the uterus, known as
endometrium and a pregnancy begins.

Unlike most species, most of human copulation takes place in private. Furthermore, human sexual activity
is not linked to periods of estrus and can take place at any time during the reproductive cycle, even during

Coitus difficulties

Anorgasmia is regular difficulty reaching orgasm after ample sexual stimulation, causing personal
distress. The physical structure of the act of coitus favors penile stimulation over clitoral stimulation. The
location of the clitoris then often necessitates manual stimulation in order for the female to achieve
orgasm. About 15 percent of women report difficulties with orgasm, and as many as 10 percent of women
in the United States have never climaxed. Even women who orgasm regularly only climax about 50
percent to 70 percent of the time.[16]

Some males suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence, at least occasionally. For those whose
impotence is caused by medical conditions, prescription drugs such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra are
available. However, doctors caution against the unnecessary use of these drugs because they are
accompanied by serious risks such as increased chance of heart attack. Moreover, using a drug to
counteract the symptom—impotence—can mask the underlying problem causing the impotence and does
not resolve it. A serious medical condition might be aggravated if left untreated.

A more common sexual disorder in males is premature ejaculation (PE). The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration is examining the drug dapoxetine to treat premature ejaculation. In clinical trials, those
with PE who took dapoxetine experienced intercourse three to four times longer before orgasm than
without the drug. Another ejaculation-related disorder is delayed ejaculation, which can be caused as an
unwanted side effect of antidepressant medications such as Fluvoxamine.[citations needed]

The American Urological Association (AUA) estimates that premature ejaculation could affect 27 to 34
percent of men in the United States. The AUA also estimates that 10 to 12 percent of men in the United
States are affected by erectile dysfunction. Vaginismus is involuntary tensing of the pelvic floor
musculature, making coitus distressing, painful, and sometimes impossible. Dyspareunia is a medical term
signifying painful or uncomfortable intercourse, but does not specify the cause.[citations needed]

Although disability-related pain and mobility impairment can hamper intercourse, in many cases the most
significant impediments to intercourse for individuals with a disability are psychological.[17] In particular,
people who have a disability can find intercourse daunting due to issues involving their self-concept as a
sexual being,[18][19] or partner's discomfort or perceived discomfort.[17]

Functions of sex beyond reproduction
Sex as exercise burns calories to produce health benefits. Sex relieves stress, boosts the immune system
with higher levels of immunoglobulin A, improves cardiovascular health, increases self-esteem, improves
intimacy, reduces pain by production of the hormone oxytocin, reduces the risk of prostate cancer,
strengthens pelvic muscles, and promotes good sleep.[20] In addition, sex improves the sense of smell and
urinary bladder control.[21] However, sexual behavior can be a disease vector. Safe sex is a relevant harm
reduction philosophy.[22]

Humans, bonobos,[23] chimpanzees and dolphins[11] are the only[citation needed] species known to engage in
heterosexual behaviors even when the female is not in estrus, which is a point in her reproductive cycle
suitable for successful impregnation. These species, and others, are also known to engage in homosexual

In both humans and bonobos the female undergoes relatively concealed ovulation, so that both male and
female partners commonly do not know whether she is fertile at any given moment. One possible reason
for this distinct biological feature may be formation of strong emotional bonds between sexual partners
important for social interactions and, in the case of humans, long-term partnership rather than immediate
sexual reproduction.[13]

Humans, bonobos and dolphins are all intelligent social animals, whose cooperative behavior proves far
more successful than that of any individual alone. In these animals, the use of sex has evolved beyond
reproduction apparently to serve additional social functions. Sex reinforces intimate social bonds between
individuals to form larger social structures. The resulting cooperation encourages collective tasks that
promote the survival of each member of the group.

Alex Comfort[citation needed] and others[13] posit three potential advantages of intercourse in humans, which are
not mutually exclusive: reproductive, relational, and recreational. While the development of the Pill and
other highly effective forms of contraception in the mid- and late 20th century increased people's ability
to segregate these three functions, they still overlap a great deal and in complex patterns. For example: A
fertile couple may have intercourse while contracepting not only to experience sexual pleasure
(recreational), but also as a means of emotional intimacy (relational), thus deepening their bonding,
making their relationship more stable and more capable of sustaining children in the future (deferred
reproductive). This same couple may emphasize different aspects of intercourse on different occasions,
being playful during one episode of intercourse (recreational), experiencing deep emotional connection on
another occasion (relational), and later, after discontinuing contraception, seeking to achieve pregnancy
(reproductive, or more likely reproductive and relational).

Oral and anal sex

Main articles: Oral sex and Anal sex
Oral sex consists of all the sexual activities that involve the use of the mouth, tongue, and possibly throat
to stimulate genitalia. It is sometimes performed to the exclusion of all other forms of sexual activity. Oral
sex may include the ingestion or absorption of semen or vaginal fluids.

While there are many sexual acts involving the anus, anal cavity, sphincter valve and/or rectum, the
specific meaning of anal sex is the insertion of a man's penis into another person's rectum.

Sexual ethics and legality
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding
reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2008)
See also: Sexual ethics

Unlike some other sexual activities, vaginal intercourse has rarely been made taboo on religious grounds
or by government authorities, as procreation is inherently essential to the continuation to the species or of
any particular genetic line, which is considered to be a positive factor, and indeed, enables most societies
to continue in the first place. Many of the cultures that had prohibited sexual intercourse entirely no
longer exist; an exception is the Shakers, a group that reached a size of about 6,000 full members in 1840,
but as of 2006 had only four members left.[24] There are, however, many communities within cultures that
prohibit their members to engage in any form of sex, especially members of religious orders and the
priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church and priests in Buddhist monasteries. Within some ideologies,
coitus has been considered the only "acceptable" sexual activity. Relatively strict designations of
"appropriate" and "inappropriate" sexual intercourse have been in human culture for hundreds of years.
These legal or cultural restrictions may include:

• Sex among partners who are not married (this is sometimes referred to as fornication)
• Sex between a married person and someone to whom they are not married (called adultery or
extramarital sex).
• Commercial sex (also called prostitution).
• Sex between partners of the same sex (also called homosexuality).
• Sex between a living human and a human corpse (also called necrophilia).
• Sex between close relatives (also called incest).
• Adults having sex with children (depending on the country and its laws, also called child sexual
• Humans having sex with non-human animals (also called bestiality).
• Sex between members of different tribes, ethnic groups, or races, as in South Africa or the United
States during periods of racial segregation (also called miscegenation).
• Sexual intercourse during a woman's menstrual period, as in Islam and Judaism.

Often a community adapts its legal definitions during case laws for settling disputes. For example, in
2003 the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that same-sex relations do not constitute sexual
intercourse, based on a 1961 definition from Webster's Third New International Dictionary, in
Blanchflower v. Blanchflower, and thereby an accused spouse in a divorce case was found not guilty of
adultery based on this technicality.

Most countries have age of consent laws specifying the minimum legal age for engaging in sexual
intercourse. Sexual intercourse with a person against their will, or without their informed legal consent, is
referred to as rape, and is considered a serious crime in many cultures around the world, including those
found in Europe, northern and eastern Asia, and the Americas. Sex, regardless of consent, with a person
under the age of consent is often considered to be sexual assault or statutory rape. The age of consent
varies from country to country and often by state or region; commonly, the age of consent is set anywhere
between twelve and eighteen years of age, with sixteen years being the most common age the law sets.
Sometimes, the age of consent is lowered for people near the same age wishing to participate in
intercourse. For example, in Canada, the minimum age of consent for all couples is 14. However, the age
of consent can go below 14 on the condition that the couple still are not 2 years of age apart. Religions
may also set differing ages for consent, with Islam setting the age at puberty, which can vary from around
10 to 14. There are exceptions in the case of anal sex or people in a position of trust/authority.

Religious views

Main article: Religion and sexuality

Views on sexual intercourse, as of sexual activity in general, vary widely between religions, as well as
between different sects of the same religion, and even between different members of the same sect.

See also
• Synonyms for sexual intercourse – the • Non-penetrative sex
WikiSaurus list of synonyms and slang • Anal sex
words for sexual intercourse in many • Oral sex
languages • Sex toys
• Safe sex • Sexual arousal
• Sexual slang • Foreplay
• Sexology • Biological reproduction
• Orgasm • Sexual dysfunction
• Erogenous zone • Human sexual response cycle
• Human sexual behavior
• Rape
• Masturbation
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sexual intercourse

Human sexual behavior
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about sexual practices (i.e., physical sex). For broader aspects of sexual behavior see
human sexuality.
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding
reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2008)
Close relationships
Affinity · Attachment · Bonding
Boyfriend · Casual · Cohabitation
Compersion · Concubinage
Consort · Courtesan · Courtship
Divorce · Domestic partnership
Dower / Dowry / Bride price
Family · Friendship · Girlfriend
Husband · Hypergamy · Infatuation · Intimacy
Jealousy · Limerence · Love
Kinship · Marriage · Monogamy
Psychology of monogamy
Passion · Pederasty
Platonic love · Polyamory
Polyfidelity · Polygamy
Relationship abuse
Relationship breakup · Romance
Romantic friendship · Separation
Sexuality · Same-sex relationship
Significant other · Soulmate
Teen dating violence · Wedding
Widowhood · Wife


Human sexual behavior or different human sexual practices encompass a wide range of activities such
as strategies to find or attract partners (mating and display behaviour), interactions between individuals,
physical or emotional intimacy, and sexual contact.

Some cultures find only sexual contact within marriage acceptable; however, extramarital sexual activity
still takes place within such cultures. Unprotected sex poses a risk in unwanted pregnancy or sexually
transmitted diseases. In some areas, sexual abuse of individuals is prohibited by law and considered
against the norms of society.


• 1 Aspects of human sexual behavior
o 1.1 Sexual pleasure
o 1.2 Cultural aspects
o 1.3 Social norms and rules
o 1.4 Frequency of sexual activity
• 2 Safety and ancillary issues
• 3 Legal issues related to sexual behavior
o 3.1 Sodomy and same sex laws
• 4 Child sexuality
• 5 Footnotes

• 6 Further reading

[edit] Aspects of human sexual behavior
[edit] Sexual pleasure

Sexual pleasure is pleasure derived from any kind of sexual activity, most commonly masturbation and
sexual intercourse. Though orgasm (sexual climax) is generally known, sexual pleasure includes erotic
pleasure during foreplay, and pleasure due to fetish or BDSM.[1][2]

[edit] Cultural aspects

As with other behaviors, human intelligence and complex societies have produced among the most
complicated sexual behaviors of any animal. Most people experiment with a range of sexual activities
during their lives, though they tend to engage in only a few of these regularly. Most people enjoy some
sexual activities. However, most societies have defined some sexual activities as inappropriate (wrong
person, wrong activity, wrong place, etc.) Some people enjoy many different sexual activities, while
others avoid sexual activities altogether for religious or other reasons (see chastity, sexual abstinence).
Some societies and religions view sex as appropriate only within marriage.

Coitus, tacuinum sanitatis casanatensis (XIV century)

[edit] Social norms and rules

Main article: Social norm

Human sexual behavior, like many other kinds of activity engaged in by human beings, is generally
governed by social rules that are culturally specific and vary widely. These social rules are referred to as
sexual morality (what can and can not be done by society's rules) and sexual norms (what is and is not
expected). In the United States, attitudes towards premarital sex and the use of contraceptives correlate to
religious beliefs and political affiliation.[3]
Sexual ethics, morals, and norms relate to issues including deception/honesty, legality, fidelity and
consent. Some activities, known as sex crimes, are illegal in some jurisdictions, including those conducted
between (or among) consenting and competent adults (examples include sodomy law and adult-adult

Some people engage in various sexual activities as a business transaction. When this involves having sex
with, or performing certain actual sexual acts for another person, it is called prostitution. Other aspects of
the adult industry include (for example) telephone sex operators, strip clubs, pornography and the like.

Nearly all developed societies consider it a serious crime to force someone to engage in sexual behavior
or to engage in sexual behavior with someone who does not consent. This is called sexual assault, and if
sexual penetration occurs it is called rape, the most serious kind of sexual assault. The details of this
distinction may vary among different legal jurisdictions. Also, precisely what constitutes effective consent
to have sex varies from culture to culture and is frequently debated. Laws regulating the minimum age at
which a person can consent to have sex (age of consent) are frequently the subject of political and moral
debate[citation needed], as is adolescent sexual behavior in general. Additionally, many societies have forced
marriage, so consent does not really figure in to the equation of a sex crime.[citation needed]

It is possible to engage in sexual activity without a partner, primarily through masturbation and/or sexual

[edit] Frequency of sexual activity

The frequency of sexual intercourse might range from zero (sexual abstinence) to 15 or 20 times a week.[4]
It is generally recognized that postmenopausal women experience declines in frequency of sexual
intercourse.[5]. The average frequency of sexual intercourse for married couples is 2 to 3 times a week (in
America). [6]

[edit] Safety and ancillary issues
Main article: Safe sex

There are four main areas of risk in sexual activity, namely:

• choosing to trust a partner who is physically at risk
• sexually transmitted disease
• unwanted pregnancy
• seeking or engaging in an activity which is legally or culturally disapproved

These risks are raised by any condition (temporary or permanent) which impairs one's judgement, such as
excess alcohol or drugs, or emotional states such as loneliness, depression or euphoria. Carefully
considered activity can greatly reduce all of these issues.

Sexual behaviors that involve contact with the bodily fluids of another person entail risk of transmission
of sexually transmitted disease. Safe sex practices try to avoid this. These techniques are often seen as less
necessary for those in committed relationships with persons known to be free of disease; see fluid

Due to health concerns arising from HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, HPV and other sexually
transmitted infections, some people may want potential sex partners to be tested for STDs before
engaging in sex.
Sexual behaviors that involve the contact of semen with the vagina or vulva may result in pregnancy. To
prevent pregnancy, many people employ a variety of birth control measures. The most popular methods of
prevention are condoms, spermicides, hormonal contraception, and sterilization.

[edit] Legal issues related to sexual behavior
Main articles: Paraphilia#Legal views and Sex and the law

[edit] Sodomy and same sex laws

Various forms of same-sex sexual activity have been prohibited under law in many areas at different times
in history. In 2003, the Lawrence v Texas United States Supreme Court decision overturned all such laws
in the US.[7]

Usually, though not always, such laws are termed sodomy laws, but also include issues such as age of
consent laws, "decency" laws, and so forth. Laws prohibiting same-sex sexuality have varied widely
throughout history, varying by culture, religious and social taboos and customs, etc. Often such laws are
targeted or applied differently based on sex as well. For example, laws against same-sex sexual behavior
in the United Kingdom during the reign of Queen Victoria, sodomy or "buggery" laws were aimed
specifically at male same-sex sexual activity and did not target or even address female homosexuality. A
well known example of such laws applied in relatively modern times can be found in the life story of Alan

[edit] Child sexuality
Main article: Child sexuality

Child sexuality examines sexual feelings, behaviors, and developments in children. Children are naturally
curious about their bodies and sexual functions — they wonder where babies come from, they notice
anatomical differences between males and females, and many engage in genital play (often mistaken for
masturbation). In the past, children were often assumed to be sexually "pure", having no sexuality until
later development. Sigmund Freud was one of the first researchers to take child sexuality seriously. While
his ideas, such as psychosexual development and the Oedipus conflict, have been rejected or labeled
obsolete, acknowledging the existence of child sexuality was a milestone. Alfred Kinsey also examined
child sexuality in his Kinsey Reports.

Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which a child is abused for the sexual gratification of
someone else; child abuse is also a legal umbrella term describing criminal and civil offenses in which an
adult engages in sexual activity with a minor or exploits a minor for the purpose of sexual gratification.[8]
In addition to direct sexual contact, child sexual abuse also occurs when an adult exposes their
genitals to a child, asks or pressures a child to engage in sexual activities, displays pornography to a child,
or uses a child to produce child pornography.[12][10][9] The American Psychiatric Association states that
"children cannot consent to sexual activity with adults",[13][14] and condemns any such action: "An adult
who engages in sexual activity with a child is performing a criminal and immoral act which never can be
considered normal or socially acceptable behavior."[13] Nonetheless, transgenerational sexual contact is
present in a large number of societies[15] under the form of handling of toddlers's genitals and also, with
older kids, for the purpose of sexual training[16].

Possible effects of child sexual abuse include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety,
propensity to re-victimization in adulthood, and physical injury to the child, among other problems.[17][18]
Sexual abuse by a family member is a form of incest, and can result in more serious and long-term
psychological trauma, especially in the case of parental incest.[22]

[edit] Footnotes
Family name
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
It has been suggested that Surname be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)
"Last name" redirects here. For the song, see Last Name.

A family name or last name is a type of surname and part of a person's name indicating the family to
which the person belongs. The use of family names is widespread in cultures around the world. Each
culture has its own rules as to how these names are applied and used.
In many cultures (notably Western, Middle Eastern, and African) the family name is typically the last part
of a person's name. In some other cultures, the family name comes first. The latter is often called the
Eastern order because Europeans are not familiar with the examples of China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam.
Because the family name is normally given last in English-speaking societies, the term last name is
commonly used for family name.

Family names are most often used to refer to a stranger or in a formal setting, and are often used with a
title or honorific such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss, Dr., and so on. Generally the given name, Christian name,
first name, forename, or personal name is the one used by friends, family, and other intimates to address
an individual. It may also be used by someone who is in some way senior to the person being addressed.


• 1 Research on individual names
• 2 History
• 3 By language
o 3.1 English-speaking countries
o 3.2 Spanish-speaking countries
o 3.3 French-speaking countries
o 3.4 German-speaking countries
o 3.5 Portuguese-speaking countries
o 3.6 Dutch-speaking countries
• 4 By country
o 4.1 Armenia
o 4.2 Azerbaijan
o 4.3 Bulgaria
o 4.4 Finland
o 4.5 Georgia
o 4.6 Greece
o 4.7 Hungary
o 4.8 Iceland
o 4.9 India
o 4.10 Indonesia
o 4.11 Ireland & Scotland
 4.11.1 Surname prefixes
o 4.12 Iranian/Persian
o 4.13 Italy
o 4.14 Lithuania
o 4.15 Malta
o 4.16 Mongolia
o 4.17 Pakistan
o 4.18 The Philippines
 4.18.1 Unique Spanish family names in the Philippines
o 4.19 Romania
• 5 By region
o 5.1 Cultures of China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam
o 5.2 Scandinavia
o 5.3 Basque Country
o 5.4 Slavic countries
 5.4.1 Czech Republic
 5.4.2 Russia
 5.4.3 Poland
 5.4.4 South Slavs
 5.4.5 Ukraine and Belarus
o 5.5 Burundi/Rwanda
o 5.6 Eritrea/Ethiopia
• 6 By ethnic group
o 6.1 Jewish
o 6.2 Kurdish
o 6.3 Tibet
o 6.4 North Caucasian Adyghe Family Surnames
• 7 See also
• 8 References

• 9 External links

[edit] Research on individual names
Onomastics is the study of proper names of all kinds, including family names. A one-name study is a
collection of vital and other biographical data about all persons worldwide sharing a particular surname.
The Guild of One-Name Studies is a major UK-based organization in this field.

[edit] History
The oldest use of family or surnames is unclear. Surnames have arisen in cultures with large, concentrated
populations where single names for individuals became insufficient to identify them clearly. In many
cultures, the practice of using additional descriptive terms in identifying individuals has arisen. These
identifying terms or descriptors may indicate personal attributes, location of origin, occupation, parentage,
patronage, adoption, or clan affiliation. Often these descriptors developed into fixed clan identifications
which became family names in the sense that we know them today.

In China, according to legend, family names originated with Emperor Fu Xi in 2852 BC.[1][2] His
administration standardised the naming system in order to facilitate census-taking, and the use of census
information. The surnames "Zhu," "Lee," "Chung" and "Chang" are most popular in Taiwan, and/or
China. In Japan, family names were uncommon except among the aristocracy until the 19th century.

In Ancient Greece, during some periods, it became common to use one's place of origin as a part of a
person's official identification.[3] At other times, clan names and patronymics ("son of") were also
common. For example, Alexander the Great was known by the clan name Heracles and was, therefore,
Heracleides (as a supposed descendant of Heracles) and by the dynastic name Karanos/Caranus, which
referred to the founder of the dynasty to which he belonged. In none of these cases, though, were these
names considered formal parts of the person's name, nor were they explicitly inherited in the manner
which is common in many cultures today. They did, however, survive with a vengeance as clan names as
'Greeks' or 'Hellenes' or 'Minoans', as opposed to the toponymic 'The Sea Peoples' used by the Egyptians,
or 'Ionians', which is one of the names still used for the Greeks today by Arab-speaking people as
In the Roman Empire, the bestowal and use of clan and family names waxed and waned with changes in
the various subcultures of the realm. At the outset, they were not strictly inherited in the way that family
names are inherited in many cultures today. Eventually, though, family names began to be used in a
manner similar to most modern European societies. With the gradual influence of Greek/Christian culture
throughout the Empire, the use of formal family names declined.[4] By the time of the fall of the Roman
Empire in the 5th century, family names were uncommon in the Eastern Roman (i.e. Byzantine) Empire.
In Western Europe where Germanic culture dominated the aristocracy, family names were almost non-
existent. They would not significantly reappear again in Eastern Roman society until the 10th century,
apparently influenced by the familial affiliations of the Armenian military aristocracy.[4] The practice of
using family names spread through the Eastern Roman Empire and gradually into Western Europe
although it was not until the modern era that family names came to be explicitly inherited in the way that
they are today.

In the case of England, the most accepted theory of the origin of family names is to attribute their
introduction to the Normans and the Domesday Book of 1086. As such, documents indicate that surnames
were first adopted among the feudal nobility and gentry, and only slowly spread to the other parts of
society. Some of the early Norman nobility arriving in England during the Norman Conquest
differentiated themselves by affixing 'de' (of) in front of the name of their village in France. This is what
is known as a territorial surname, a consequence of feudal landownership. In medieval times in France,
those distinguishing themselves by this manner indicated lordship, or ownership, of their village. But
some early Norman nobles in England chose to drop the French derivations and simply call themselves
after the name of their new English holdings.

During the modern era, many cultures around the world adopted the practice of using family names,
particularly for administrative reasons, especially during the imperialistic age of European expansion and
particularly from the 17th to 19th centuries onward. Notable examples include the Netherlands (1811),
Japan (1870s), Thailand (1920), and Turkey (1934). Nonetheless, their use is not universal: Icelanders,
Tibetans, Burmese, and Javanese do not use family names.

[edit] By language
[edit] English-speaking countries

In Britain, hereditary surnames were adopted in the 13th and 14th centuries, initially by the aristocracy
but eventually by everyone. By 1400, most English and Scottish people had acquired surnames, but many
Scottish and Welsh people did not adopt surnames until the 17th century, or even later. Henry VIII (1509
- 1547) ordered that marital births be recorded under the surname of the father.[5]

Most surnames of British origin fall into seven types:

• Occupations (e.g., Smith, Sawyer, Clark, Cooper, Cook, Carpenter, Forrester, Head, Archer,
Baker, Dyer, Walker, Woodman, Taylor, Turner, Knight, Weaver)
• Personal characteristics (e.g., Short, Brown, Black, Whitehead, Long)
• Geographical features (e.g., Hill, Bridge, Lake, Lee, Wood, Forest, Fields, Stone, Morley, Head —
Middle English for hed = given a person who lived at the head of a river or on a hilltop.)
• Place names (e.g., Washington, Burton, London, Leighton, Hamilton, Sutton, Flint, Laughton)
• For those descended from land-owners, the name of their holdings, manor or estate (the name
Washington can also fall into this category, Old English components Hwæssa-inga-tūn "estate of
the descendants of Wassa")
• Patronymics, matronymics or ancestral, often from a person's given name (e.g., from male name:
Richardson, Williams, Thompson, Johnson) or female names Molson (from Moll for Mary),
Madison (from Maud), Emmott (from Emma), Marriott (from Mary) or from a clan name (for
those of Scottish origin, e.g., MacDonald, Forbes) with "Mac" Scottish Gaelic for son.
• Patronal, from patronage (Hickman meaning Hick's man, where Hick is a pet form of the name
Richard) or strong ties of religion Kilpatrick (follower of Patrick) or Kilbride (follower of
Bridget). It might be worth noting that Kil may come from the old Celtic word 'Cill' which means
Church. This would certainly support the claim that the surname is tied to the religion.

The original meaning of the name may no longer be obvious in modern English (e.g., a Cooper is one
who makes barrels, and the name Tillotson is a matronymic from a diminutive for Matilda). A much
smaller category of names relates to religion, though some of this category are also occupations. The
names Bishop, Priest, or Abbot, for example, may indicate that an ancestor worked for a bishop, a priest,
or an abbot, respectively, or possibly took such a role in a popular religious play (see pageant play).

In the Americas, the family names of many African-Americans have their origins in slavery (i.e. slave
name). Many of them came to bear the surnames of their former owners. Many freed slaves either created
family names themselves or adopted the name of their former master. Others, such as Muhammad Ali and
Malcolm X changed their name rather than live with one they believed had been given to their ancestors
by a slave owner.

In England and cultures derived from there (therefore, not in France, for example), there has long been the
patriarchal tradition for a woman to change her surname upon marriage from her birth name to her
husband's last name. From the first known US instance of a woman keeping her birth name, Lucy Stone in
1855, there has been a general increase in the rate of women keeping their original name. This has gone
through periods of flux, however, and the 1990s saw a decline in the percentage of name retention among
women. As of 2004, roughly 90% of American women automatically assumed their husband's surname
upon getting married.[6] Even in families where the wife has kept her birth name, parents often choose to
give their children their father's family name. In English-speaking countries, married women are
traditionally known as Mrs [Husband's full name].

In the Middle Ages, when a man from a lower-status family married an only daughter from a higher-status
family, he would often take the wife's family name. In the 18th and 19th centuries in Britain, bequests
were sometimes made contingent upon a man's changing (or hyphenating) his name, so that the name of
the testator continued. It is rare but not unknown for an English-speaking man to take the name of his
wife, whether for personal reasons or as a matter of tradition (such as among Canadian aboriginal groups,
especially the matrilineal Haida and Kwakiutl); it is increasingly common in the United States, where a
married couple may choose a new last name entirely.[citation needed] This has become more widely popular in
Southern California since the election of Antonio Villaraigosa as Los Angeles mayor.[citation needed]

As an alternative, both spouses may adopt a double-barrelled name. For instance, when John Smith and
Mary Jones marry each other, they may become known as John Smith-Jones and Mary Smith-Jones.
However, some consider the extra length of the hyphenated names undesirable. A spouse may also opt to
use his or her birth name as a middle name. An additional option, although rarely practiced, is the
adoption of a last name derived from a portmanteau of the prior names, such as "Simones". Some couples
keep their own last names but give their children hyphenated or combined surnames.

In some jurisdictions, a woman's legal name used to change automatically upon marriage. That change is
no longer a requirement (except in South Africa), but women may still easily change to their husband's
surname. Upon marriage, men in the United States can easily change their surname with the federal
government, through the Social Security Administration, but may face difficulty on the state level in some
states. In some places, civil rights lawsuits or constitutional amendments changed the law so that men
could also easily change their married names (e.g., in British Columbia and California).[7] (Note: many
Anglophone countries are also common-law countries.)
Many people choose to change their name when they marry, while others do not. There are many reasons
why people maintain their surname. One is that dropped surnames disappear throughout generations,
while the adopted surname survives. Another reason is that if a person's surname is well known due to his
or her particular family's heritage or prominence, he or she may choose to keep his or her birth surname.
Yet another is the identity crisis people may experience when giving up their surname. People in
academia, for example, who have previously published articles in academic journals under their birth
name often do not change their surname after marriage, in order to ensure that they continue to receive
credit for their past and future work. This practice is also common among physicians, attorneys, and other
professionals, as well as celebrities for whom continuity is important. Though the practice of women's
maintaining their surname after marriage is increasing, it has not caught on in the general population and
there is great peer pressure for women to change their names. Practices among same-sex married couples
do not at this point follow any discernible pattern, with some choosing to share surnames, while others do

In Southern gospel and folk music, families often perform together as groups. When female artists in
these genres marry, they usually adopt double-barrelled surnames if the husband comes from a noted
musical family as well (e.g. Allison Durham Speer, Kelly Crabb Bowling), or simply continue to go by
their birth names if the husband is not from such a family (e.g. Karen Peck, Libbi Perry, Janet Paschal).

Spelling of names in past centuries is often assumed to be a deliberate choice by a family, but due to very
low literacy rates, many families could not provide the spelling of their surname, and so the scribe, clerk,
minister, or official would write down the name on the basis of how it was spoken, or how they heard it.
This results in a great many variations, some of which occurred when families moved to another country
(e.g. Wagner becoming Wagoner, or Whaley becoming Whealy). With the increase in bureaucracy,
officially-recorded spellings tended to become the standard for a given family.

[edit] Spanish-speaking countries

For more details on this topic, see Spanish naming customs.

In medieval times, a patronymic system similar to the one still used in Iceland emerged. For example,
Álvaro, the son of Rodrigo would be named Álvaro Rodríguez. His son, Juan, would not be named Juan
Rodríguez, but Juan Álvarez. Over time, many of these patronymics became family names and are some
of the most common names in the Spanish-speaking world. Other sources of surnames are personal
appearance or habit, e.g. Delgado ("thin") and Moreno ("tan"); occupations, e.g. Molinero ("miller"), Rey
("King") and Guerrero ("warrior"); and geographic location or ethnicity, e.g. Alemán ("German").

However, nowadays in Spain and in many Spanish-speaking countries (former Spanish colonies, e.g.
Philippines, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Venezuela),
most people have two family names, although in some situations only the first is used. The first family
name is the paternal one, inherited from the father's paternal family name. The second family name is the
maternal one, inherited from the mother's paternal family name. (As an example, Mexican boxer Marco
Antonio Barrera's full name is Marco Antonio Barrera Tapia, though Barrera is the only one used in
general conversation.) In Spain, a new law approved in 1999 allows an adult to change the order of his/her
family names, and parents can also change the order of their children's family names if they agree (if one
of their children is at least 12 years old they need his/her agreement too).[8]

Depending on the country, the family names may or may not be linked by the conjunction y ("and"), i
("and", in Catalonia), de ("of") and de la ("of the", when the following word is feminine). However, in
many South American countries, people have now adopted the English-speaking custom of having a
single family name (e.g., in Argentina). Sometimes a new father transmits his complete family name by
creating a new one, combining his two family names, e.g., the paternal surname of the son of Javier
(given name) Reyes (paternal family name) de la Barrera (maternal surname) may become the new
paternal surname Reyes de la Barrera.

At present in Spain, women upon marrying keep their own two family names. In certain rare situations,
especially the nobility, she may be addressed as if her maternal surname had been replaced with her
husband's paternal surname, often linked with de. For example, a woman named Ana García Díaz, upon
marrying Juan Guerrero Macías, could be called Ana García de Guerrero. This custom, begun in
medieval times, is decaying and only has legal validity in Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Ecuador,
Guatemala, Peru, Panama, and to a certain extent in Mexico, where its use is becoming minor through
time. In Mexico, women who got married kept their first family name followed by "de" and then the
husband's last name. For example María Martínez López when married to Josué Vásquez Hernández
would then be María Martínez de Vásquez; this usage is being discontinued and it's only used by elder
women, or by adult females that knew that custom when they were little, also it's used to refer to a woman
who one doesn't know her full name and use her husband's last name instead (like in the former example).
In Peru and the Dominican Republic, women normally conserve all family names after getting married.
For example, if Rosa María Pérez Martínez marries Juan Martín De La Cruz Gómez, she will be called
Rosa María Pérez Martínez de De La Cruz, and if the husband dies, she will be called Rosa María Pérez
Martínez Vda. de De La Cruz (Vda. is the abbreviation for Viuda, "widow" in Spanish). In Ecuador, a
couple can choose the order of their children's surnames. Most choose the traditional order (e.g.,
Guerrero García in the example above), but some invert the order, putting the mother's paternal surname
first and the father's paternal surname last (e.g., García Guerrero from the example above). Such
inversion, if chosen, must be maintained for all the children. Spanish surnames are also based on location,
for example, " De La Torre" is Spanish for "Of The Tower" and is commonly used in Mexico, it is
thought to be from Spanish descent (from Spain) it may have been taken from Spanish conquistadors who
settled in Mexico.

In Argentina only one family name, the father's paternal family name, is commonly used and registered,
as in English-speaking countries (the real reason why many Argentinians [but by no means all, a large
proportion of them use two as per Spanish usage] use one last name is because a large proportion of the
dominant class come from Italian ascent, and therefore follow the conventions of this country). Women,
however, do not change their family names upon marriage and continue to use their birth family names
instead of their husband's family names.

In Cuba, both men and women carry their two family names (first their father's, and second their
mother's). Both are equally important and are mandatory for any official document. Married women never
change their original family names for their husband's. Even when they migrate to other countries where
this is a common practice, many prefer to adhere to their Cuban heritage and keep their maiden name.

In villages in Catalonia, people are often known by the name of their dwelling rather than by their
surnames. For example, Remei Pujol i Serra who lives at Ca l'Elvira would be referred to as "la Remei de
Ca l'Elvira."

[edit] French-speaking countries

For more details on this topic, see French name etymology.


For more details on this topic, see French name.

For more details on this topic, see Wallonian name.


For more details on this topic, see Canadian name.

[edit] German-speaking countries

For more details on this topic, see German family name etymology.

There are about 1,000,000[citation needed] different family names in German. German family names most often
derive from given names, occupational designations, bodily attributes or geographical names.
Hyphenations notwithstanding, they mostly consist of a single word; in those rare cases where the family
name is linked to the given names by particles such as von or zu, they usually indicate noble ancestry. Not
all noble families used these names (see Riedesel), while some farm families, particularly in Westphalia,
used the particle von or zu followed by their farm or former farm's name as a family name (see Meyer zu

Family names in German-speaking countries are usually positioned last, after all given names. There are
exceptions, however: In parts of Austria and the Alemannic-speaking areas, the family name is regularly
put in front of the first given name. Also in many - especially rural - parts of Germany, to emphasize
family affiliation there is often an inversion in colloquial use, in which the family name becomes a
possessive: Rüters Erich, for example, would be Erich of the Rüter family.

In Germany today, upon marriage, both partners can choose to keep their birth name or one of them can
adopt a hyphenated name of their birth names (the latter case is forbidden for both partners and for the last
names of children), or one of them can switch to their partner's name (if the partner keeps it). After that,
they must decide on one family name for all their future children, by pretty much the same rules. (German
Changing one's family name for reasons other than marriage, divorce or adoption is only possible in
Germany if the applicant can prove that they suffer extraordinarily due to their name.

[edit] Portuguese-speaking countries

Further information: Portuguese name

In the case of Portuguese naming customs, the main surname (the one used in alphasorting, indexing,
abbreviations, and greetings), appears last (reverse the order of Spanish surnames).

Each person usually has two family names: the first is the maternal family name; the last is the paternal
family name. A person can have up to six names (two first names and four surnames — he or she may
have two names from the mother and two from the father).

In ancient times a patronymic was commonly used — surnames like Gonçalves ("son of Gonçalo"),
Fernandes ("son of Fernando"), Nunes ("son of Nuno"), Soares ("son of Soeiro"), Sanches ("son of
Sancho"), Henriques ("son of Henrique") which along with many others are still in regular use as very
prevalent family names.
Brazilians usually call people only by their given names, omitting family names, even in many formal
situations (as in the press referring to authorities, e.g. "Former President Fernando Henrique", never
Former President Cardoso), or "President Lula" ("Lula" was actually his nickname). When formality or a
prefix requires a family name, the given name usually precedes the surname, e.g. João Santos, or Sr. João

[edit] Dutch-speaking countries

For more details on this topic, see Netherlands name etymology.

The Netherlands

For more details on this topic, see Dutch name.


For more details on this topic, see Flanders name.

South Africa

For more details on this topic, see Afrikaner name.

[edit] By country
[edit] Armenia

Armenian surnames almost always have the ending (Armenian: յան) transliterated into English as -yan
or -ian (spelled -ean (եան) in Western Armenian and pre-Soviet Eastern Armenian, of Parthian origin,
presumably meaning "son of"), though names with that ending can also be found among Persians and a
few other nationalities. Armenian surnames can derive from a geographic location, profession, noble rank,
personal characteristic or personal name of an ancestor. Armenians in the diaspora sometimes adapt their
surnames to help assimiliation. In Russia, many have changed -yan to -ov (or -ova for women). In Turkey,
many have changed the ending to -oglu (also meaning "son of"). In English and French-speaking
countries, many have shortened their name by removing the ending (for example Charles Aznavour). In
ancient Armenia, many noble names ended with the locative -t'si (example, Khorenatsi) or -uni
(Bagratuni). Several modern Armenian names also have a Turkish suffix which appears before -ian/-yan:
-lian denotes a placename; -djian denotes a profession. Some Western Armenian names have a particle
Der, while their Eastern counterparts have Ter. This particle indicates an ancestor who was a priest
(Armenian priests can choose to marry or remain celibate, but married priests cannot become bishop).
Thus someone named Der Bedrosian (Western) or Ter Petrosian (Eastern) is a descendent of an Armenian
priest. The convention is still in use today: the children of a priest named Hagop Sarkisian would be
called Der Sarkisian.

[edit] Azerbaijan

Traditional Azeri surnames usually end with "-lı", "-lu", (Turkic for 'with' or 'belonging to'), "-oğlu", "-
qızı" (Turkic for 'son of' and 'daughter of'), "-zade"(Persian for 'born of'). Azerbaijanis of Iranian decent
traditionally use suffixes such as '-pour' or '-zadeh', meaning 'born of' with their father's name. It is,
However, more usual for them to use the name of the city in which their ancestors lived in (e.g.
Tabrizpour for those from Tabriz) or their occupation (e.g. Damirchizadeh for blacksmiths).
However, following the occupation of Azerbaijan by the Red Army, the coutry became part of the Soviet
Union. As a result, Azeri people were forced to abandon their traditional Azeri surname suffixes and were
then replaced by Russian "-ov", "-yev" for men and "-ova", "-yeva" for women suffixes.

In 1991, Azerbaijan gained its independence from the Soviet Union. Since then, more and more Azeris
are switching back to their original surnames.

[edit] Bulgaria

Main article: Bulgarian name

Bulgarian names usually consists of three components - given name, father's name, family name.

Given names have many variations, but the most common names have christian/Greek (e.g. Maria, Ivan,
Christo, Peter, Pavel), Slavic (Ognyan, Miroslav, Tihomir) or Protobulgarian (Krum, Asparukh) (pre
christian) origin. Father's names normally consists of the father's first name and the "-ov" (male) or "-ova"
(female) or "-ovi" (plural) suffix. Family names usually also end with the "-ov", "-ev" (male) or "-ova", "-
ev" (female) or "-ovi", "-evi" (plural) suffix.

In many cases (depending on the name root) the suffixes can be also "-ski" (male and plural) or "-ska"
(female); "-ovski", "-evski" (male and plural) or "-ovska", "-evska" (female); "-in" (male) or "-ina"
(female) or "-ini" (plural); etc.

The meaning of the suffixes is similar to the English word "of", expressing membership/belonging to a
family. For example family name Ivanova means a person, belonging to the Ivanovi family. A father's
name Petr*ov* means son of Peter.

Regarding the different meaning of the prefixes, "-ov", "-ev"/"-ova", "-eva" are used for expressing
relationship to the father and "-in"/"-ina" - relationship to the mother (often for orphans with dead father).

[edit] Finland

Main article: Finnish name

Finland has two predominant surname traditions: the West Finnish and the East Finnish. Until the early
20th Century, Finland was a predominantly agrarian society and the names of West Finns were based on
their association with a particular area, farm, or homestead, e.g. Jaakko Jussila ("Jaakko from the farm of
Jussi"). On the other hand, the East Finnish surname tradition dates back to 13th century. There, the
Savonians pursued slash-and-burn agriculture which necessitated moving several times during a person's
lifetime. This in turn required the families to have surnames, which were in wide use among the common
folk as early as in the 13th century. By the mid-16th century, the East Finnish surnames had become
hereditary. Typically, the oldest East Finnish surnames were formed from the first names of the patriarchs
of the families, e.g. Ikävalko, Termonen, Pentikäinen. In the 16th, 17th and 17th centuries, new names
were most often formed by adding the place name of the former or current place of living (e.g.
Puumalainen < Puumala). In the East Finnish tradition, the females carried the family name of their
fathers in female form (e.g. Puumalatar < Puumalainen). By 19th century, this practice fell into disuse
due to the influence of West-European surname tradition.

In Western Finland, the agrarian names dominated, and the last name of the person was usually given
according to the farm or holding they lived on. In 1921, surnames became compulsory for all Finns. At
this point, the agrarian names were usually adopted as surnames. A typical feature of such names is the
addition of prefixes Ala- (Sub-) or Ylä- (Up-), giving the location of the holding along a waterway in
relation of the main holding. (e.g. Yli-Ojanperä, Ala-Verronen)

A third, foreign tradition of surnames was introduced in Finland by the Swedish-speaking upper and
middle classes which used typical German and Swedish surnames. By custom, all Finnish-speaking
persons who were able to get a position of some status in urban or learned society, discarded their Finnish
name, adopting a Swedish, German or (in case of clergy) Latin surnames. In the case of enlisted soldiers,
the new name was given regardless of the wishes of the individual.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the overall modernization process and especially, the political
movement of fennicization caused a movement for adoption of Finnish surnames. At that time, many
persons with a Swedish or otherwise foreign surname changed their family name to a Finnish one. The
features of nature with endings -o/ö, -nen (Meriö < Meri "sea", Nieminen < Niemi "point") are typical of
the names of this era, as well as more or less direct translations of Swedish names (Paasivirta <

In the 21st century Finland, the use of surnames follows the German model. Every person is legally
obliged to have a first and last name. At most, three first names are allowed. The Finnish married couple
may adopt the name of either spouse, or either spouse (or both spouses) may decide to use a double
barrelled name. The parents may choose either surname or the double barrelled surname for their children,
but all siblings must share the same surname.[10] All persons have the right to change their surname once
without any specific reason. A surname that is un-Finnish, contrary to the usages of the Swedish or
Finnish languages or is in use by any person resident in Finland cannot be accepted as the new name,
unless valid family reasons or religious or national customs give a reason for waiving this requirement.
However, persons may change their surname to any surname that has ever been used by their ancestors, if
they can prove such claim.[11] Some immigrants have had difficulty naming their children, as they must
choose from an approved list based on the family's household language.

In the Finnish language, the root of the surname can be modified by consonant gradation regularly when
inflected to a case. In contrast, first names do not undergo qualitative gradation (e.g. Hilta - Hiltan), only
quantitative gradation (Mikko - Mikon).

[edit] Georgia

Main article: Georgian surnames

Most eastern Georgian surnames end with the suffix of "-shvili", Georgian for "child" or "offspring".
Western Georgian surnames most commonly have the suffix "-dze", Georgian for "son". Megrelian
surnames usually end in "-ia" or "ua". Other location-specific endings exist: In Svaneti "-iani", meaning
"belonging to", or "hailing from", is common. In the eastern Georgian highlands common endings are
"uri" and "uli". Some noble family names end in "eli", meaning "of (someplace)". In Georgian, the
surname is not normally used as the polite form of address; instead, the given name is used together with a
title. For instance, Eduard Shevardnadze is politely addressed as bat'oni Edvardi "Mr. Eduard".

[edit] Greece

Greek surnames are most commonly patronymics. Occupation, characteristic or ethnic background and
location/origin-based surnames names also occur; they are sometimes supplemented by nicknames.
Commonly, Greek male surnames end in -s, which is the common ending for Greek masculine proper
nouns in the nominative case. Exceptionally, some end in -ou, indicating the genitive case of this proper
noun for patronymic reasons.

Although surnames are static today, dynamic and changing patronym usage survives in middle names in
Greece where the genitive of father's first name is commonly the middle name.

Because of their codification in the Modern Greek state, surnames have Katharevousa forms even though
Katharevousa is no longer the official standard. Thus, the Ancient Greek name Eleutherios forms the
Modern Greek proper name Lefteris, and former vernacular practice (prefixing the surname to the proper
name) was to call John Eleutherios as Leftero-giannis.

Modern practice is to call the same person Giannis Eleftheriou: the proper name is vernacular (and not
Ioannis), but the surname is an archaic genitive.

Female surnames, are most often in the Katharevousa genitive case of a male name. This is an innovation
of the Modern Greek state; Byzantine practice was to form a feminine counterpart of the male surname
(e.g. masculine Palaiologos, Byzantine feminine Palaiologina, Modern feminine Palaiologou).

In the past, women would change their surname when married, to that of their husband (again in genitive
case) signifying the transfer of "dependence" from the father to the husband. In earlier Modern Greek
society, women were named with -aina as a feminine suffix on the husband's first name: "Giorgaina",
"Mrs George", "Wife of George". Nowadays, a woman's surname does not change upon marriage, though
she can use the husband's surname socially. Children usually receive the paternal surname, though in rare
cases, if the bride and groom have agreed before the marriage, the children can receive the maternal

Some surnames are prefixed with Papa-, indicating ancestry from a priest, i.e. ."Papadopoulos", the "son
of the priest (papas)". Others, like Archi- and Mastro- signify "boss" and "tradesman" respectively.

Prefixes such as Konto-, Makro-, and Chondro-, describe body characteristics, such as "short", "tall/long"
and "fat". "Gero-" and "Palaio-" signify "old" or "wise".

Other prefixes include Hadji- which was an honorific deriving from the Arabic Hadj or pilgrimage, and
indicate that the person had made a pilgrimage (in the case of Christians to Jerusalem) and Kara- which is
attributed to the Turkish word for "black" deriving from the Ottoman Empire era.

Arvanitic surnames also exist. For example, the Arvanitic word for "brave" or "pallikari" (in Greek) being
"çanavar" or its shortened form "çavar" was pronounced "tzanavar" or "tzavar" giving birth to traditional
Arvanitic family names like "Tzanavaras" and/or "Tzavaras".[12]

Most Greek patronymic suffixes are diminutives, which vary by region. The most common Hellenic
patronymic suffixes are:

• -poulos/-poulou, which has Latin origin (pullus) and means "the little", representing "the son
of ...", so a man whose family name is "Christopoulos" means that his father was named
"Christos". This suffix is very spread mostly throughout the whole Greece and is original from the
Peloponessus in particular.
• -idis/-idou and -iadis/-iadou are both very ancient last names and clan forms used in the Pontus
and Asia Minor regions, i.e. "Michailidis", the "clan of Michael"
• -akis/-aki is associated primarily with Crete and the Aegean Islands. A patronymic signifying
"little" and/or "son" therefore "Theodorakis" being "little Theodore".
Others, less common are:

• -atos/-atou (From Cephallonia and other Ionian Islands under strong Italian influence);
• -as/-a (From Macedonia and Epirus);
• -ellis/-elli (From Lesvos Island);
• -akos/-akou (From Mani in the Laconia region) and -eas/-ea (From Mani in the Messinia region);
• -oglou (both genders, a Turkish root ending seen in immigrants from Asia Minor meaning "son
of", i.e. Sarafoglou, "the son of Sarafis");
• -ou (Genitive, from Cyprus).

The suffix -idis(often transliterated -ides in English and French languages) is the oldest in use. Zeus, for
example was also referred to as Cronides ("son of Cronus").

[edit] Hungary

Further information: Hungarian name, Hungarian name order

In Hungarian, like Asian languages but unlike most other European ones (see French and German above
for exceptions), the family name is placed before the given names. This usage does not apply to non-
Hungarian names, for example "Tony Blair" will remain "Tony Blair" when written in Hungarian texts.

Names of Hungarian individuals, however, appear in Western order in English writing.

[edit] Iceland

For more details on Naming conventions of Iceland, see Icelandic name.

In Iceland, most people have no family name; a person's last name is most commonly a patronymic, i.e.
derived from the father's first name. For example, when a man called Karl has a daughter called Anna and
a son called Magnús, their full names will typically be Anna Karlsdóttir ("Karl's daughter") and Magnús
Karlsson ("Karl's son"). The name is not changed upon marriage.

[edit] India

Main article: Indian family name

India is a country with numerous distinct cultures and language groups within it. Thus, Indian surnames,
where formalized, fall into seven general types. And many people from the southern states of Tamil Nadu
and Kerala do not use any formal surnames, though most might have one.

In Northern India, most of the people have their family name after the given names, whereas in Southern
India, the given names come after the family name.

• Patronymics and ancestry, where the father's name or an ancestor's given name is used in its
original form or in a derived form (e.g. Aggarwal or Agrawal or Agrawala derived from the
ancestor Agrasen).
• In Eastern India like Odisha (formerly Orissa), West Bengal Occupation of ancestors were as per
their Surnames (as per Hindu Community) like Sethi, Behera, Mallick, Das, Dash, Mohanty,
Subudhi, Kar, Dhal, Nayak, Panigrahi, Pattnaik, Mishra, Sahoo, Sahu, Senapati, Prusty, Rath etc.
• Occupations (Chamar, Patel or Patil meaning Village Headman, Gandhi, Kamath, Kulkarni,
Kapadia, Nadkarni, Patwardhan, Patwari, Shenoy, etc.) and priestly distinctions (Bhat, Bhattar,
Trivedi, Shukla, Chaturvedi, Twivedi, Purohit, Mukhopadhyay) Businesspeople: Amin, Shah. In
addition many Parsi, Bohra and Gujarati families have used English trade names as last names
since the 18th and 19th centuries (Contractor, Engineer, Builder).
• Caste or clan names (Pillai, Gounder, Boyar, Parmar, Sindhi, Vaish). Reddy and Naidu are not
surnames but suffixes to first names to indicate their clan or caste.
• Place names or names derived from places of ancestral origin (Aluru, Marwari, Gawaskar,
Gaonkar, Mangeshkar, Kapoor, Wamankar, Kokradi, Karnad).
• A few last names originate from the names (Juthani)
• The father's first name is used as a surname in certain Southern states, such as Kerala, Karnataka
and Tamil Nadu. However after the marriage the bride uses her husband's first name instead.
• Muslim surnames, generally following the same rules used in Pakistan. Khan among the most
popular, often signifying Afghan/Central Asian descent.
• Bestowed titles or other honorifics (titles bestowed by kings, rajas, nawabs and other nobles before
the British Raj (Wali, Rai, Rao, Tharakan, Panicker, Vallikappen, Moocken, etc.) and those
bestowed by the British (Rai, Bahadur). In Bengal, it is also common custom to create hybrid
surnames based on the previous last names and new titles (Raichoudhury)
• Names indicating nobility or feudal associations or honorifics (Chowdary, Naidu, Varma, Singh,
Burman, Raja, Reddy, Tagore, Thakur)
• Colonial Surnames based on tax or after religious conversion, particularly in Goa which was under
Portuguese control (D'Cruz, Pinto). Often, surnames of Portuguese noble families who were
accepted as godparents were used as the surnames of the converted. Some families still keep their
ancestral Hindu surnames along with their given Catholic Surnames eg. Miranda-Prabhu and

The convention is to write the first name followed by middle names and surname. It is common to use the
father's first name as the middle name or last name even though it is not universal. In some Indian states
like Maharashtra, official documents list the family name first, followed by a comma and the given

It is customary for wives to take the surname of their husband after marriage. In modern times, in urban
areas at least, this practice is not universal. In some rural areas, particularly in North India, wives may
also take a new first name after their nuptials. Children inherit their surnames from their father.

In some parts of Southern India, no formal surname is used, because the family has decided to forgo its
existing clan name. There has been a minor reversal of this trend in the recent times. This practice is
prevalent in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. For example, people from the kongu vellala gounder community of
Tamilnadu have in general two titles: the caste title Gounder and the clan name, example Perungudi.
Nowadays it is common for people not to use any of these titles. So a Konguvel, son of Shanmuganathan,
of say Erode, would call himself Konguvel Shanmughanathan, instead of the traditional Erode Perungudi
Konguvel Gounder. This practise is of very recent origin though. Wife or child takes the given name of
the husband or father (Usha married Satish, and may therefore be called Usha Satish or simply S. Usha).
In many communities, especially Christian, names are formed by the given name as the first name, the
family name and house name as the middle name(s) and the father's/husband's given name as the last
name. Thus, the last name changes with each generation. The house name would also change as
generations move out of their consanguineal family homes with the changing ownership of property upon
the death of the patriarch. The Dravidian movement in the beginning of 20th century was instrumental in
knocking off the concept of surnames in Tamil Nadu. Since many companies in the industrially rich
Tamil Nadu managed to filter candidates just by looking at their names, the movement went on to such an
extent that surnames/castenames were simply refused at primary school levels. The movement went so
active that even Streets, roads and galis where names with caste name was published, road-tar was applied
on caste names. For instance in a Ranganatha Mudaliar street, the Mudaliar name was struck off with tar,
leaving the street as Ranganathan Street. Similar was the case with almost all castes, Now it's hard to find
a Mudaliar, Nadar, Pillai, Goundar, Iyer, Chettiar etc in any public display. Only on arranged marriages,
people feel proud to publish their caste names. In cases where people arrange their own marriages
(intercaste / inter religion), the caste name almost vanishes. Hence the famous "ETHIRAJA MUDALIAR
College" in Chennai is simply "ETHIRAJ COLLEGE" or "Kamaraja nadar road" is simply "Kamaraj
road". This is being welcome my politicians from UP, Bihar etc.

Jains generally use Jain, Shah, Firodia, Singhal or Gupta as their last names. Sikhs generally use the
words Singh ("lion") and Kaur ("princess") as surnames added to the otherwise unisex first names of men
and women, respectively. It is also common to use a different surname after Singh in which case Singh or
Kaur are used as middle names (Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Surinder Kaur Badal). The tenth Guru of
Sikhism ordered (Hukamnama) that any man who considered himself a Sikh must use Singh in his name
and any woman who considered herself a Sikh must use Kaur in her name. Other middle names or
honorifics that are sometimes used as surnames include Kumar, Dev, Lal, and Chand.

The modern day spellings of names originated when families translated their surnames to English, with no
standardization across the country. Variations are regional, based on how the name was translated from
the local language to English in the 18th, 19th or 20th centuries during British rule. Therefore, it is
understood in the local traditions that Agrawal and Aggarwal represent the same name derived from Uttar
Pradesh and Punjab respectively. Similarly, Tagore derives from Bengal while Thakur is from Hindi-
speaking areas. The officially-recorded spellings tended to become the standard for that family. In the
modern times, some states have attempted at standardization, particularly where the surnames were
corrupted because of the early British insistence of shortening them for convenience. Thus Bandopadhyay
became Banerji, Mukhopadhay became Mukherji, Chattopadhyay became Chatterji etc. This coupled with
various other spelling variations created several surnames based on the original surnames. The West
Bengal Government now insists on re-converting all the variations to their original form when the child is
enrolled in school.

Some parts of Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal, Burma, and Indonesia have similar patronymic customs as that
of India.

[edit] Indonesia

Indonesians comprise more than 300 ethnic groups. Not all of these groups traditionally have surnames.
Nonetheless, Indonesians are well aware of the custom of family names, which is known as "Marga", or
"Fam", and such names have become a specific kind of identifier. People can tell what a person's heritage
is by his or her surname.

• The various ethnicities of Batak people from North Sumatra are known for their strict tradition of
preserving their family names, which are actually clan names. See Marga (Batak) for details.

• The clan names of the Minangkabau people are passed down from mothers to their children.
Minangkabau is the largest matrilineal society in the world.

• The Minahasan people of the North Sulawesi have an extensive list of surnames, such as Muntuan,
Nayoan, Wenas and Luntungan.

• Ambonese people of the Maluku Islands have family names such as Lawalata, Matulessy and

• The various ethnicities of the Dayak people from the provinces in Kalimantan have names such as
Dau and Narang.
• The Bugis people from South Sulawesi have surnames such as Mappanyukki, Mallarangeng and

Javanese people are the majority in Indonesia, and most do not have any surname. There are many
individuals who have only name, such as "Suharto" and "Sukarno". These are not only common with the
Javanese but also with ethnic groups who do not have the tradition of surnames. If, however, they are
Muslims, they might opt to follow Arabic naming customs.

[edit] Ireland & Scotland

For more details on this topic, see Irish name.

Many surnames in Ireland of Gaelic origin derive from ancestors' names, nicknames, or descriptive
names. In the first group can be placed surnames such as McMurrough and McCarthy, derived from
patronymics, or O'Brien and O'Grady, derived from ancestral names.

Gaelic surnames derived from nicknames include Ó Dubhda (from Aedh ua Dubhda - Aedh, the dark
one), O'Doherty (from dochartaigh, "destroyer" or "obtrusive"), Garvery (garbh, "rough" or "nasty"),
Manton (mantach, "toothless"), Bane (bán, "white", as in "white hair"), Finn (fionn, "fair", as in "fair
hair"), and Kennedy (cinnéide, "ugly head").

Very few Gaelic surnames are derived from placenames or venerated people/objects. Among those that
are included in this small group, several can be shown to be derivations of Gaelic personal names or
surnames. One notable exception is Ó Cuilleáin or O'Collins (from cuileann, "Holly") as in the Holly
Tree, considered one of the most sacred objects of pre-Christian Celtic culture. Another is Walsh (Irish:
Breatnach), meaning Welsh.

In areas where certain family names are extremely common, extra names are added that sometimes follow
this archaic pattern. In Ireland, for example, where Murphy is an exceedingly common name, particular
Murphy families or extended families are nicknamed, so that Denis Murphy's family were called The
Weavers and Denis himself was called Denis "The Weaver" Murphy. (See also O'Hay.)

For much the same reason, nicknames (e.g. the Fada Burkes, "the long/tall Burkes"), father's names (e.g.
John Morrissey Ned) or mother's maiden name (Kennedy becoming Kennedy-Lydon) can become
colloquial or legal surnames. The Irish family of de Courcy descends from Anglo-Normans who came to
Ireland following the Norman Conquest. (The name is of French derivation, and indicates that the family
once held a manor of that name in Normandy .) The de Courcy family was prominent In County Cork
from the earliest days of the Norman occupation and subsequently became prominent in Ireland.[13]

In addition to all this, Irish speaking areas still follow the old tradition of naming themselves after their
father, grandfather, great-grandfather and so on. Examples include Mike Bartly Pat Reilly ("Mike, son of
Bartholomew, son of Pat Reilly"), John Michel John Oge Pat Breanach ("John, son of Michael, son of
young John, son of Pat Breanach"), Tom Paddy-Joe Seoige ("Tom, son of Paddy-Joe Seoige"), and Mary
Bartly Mike Walsh ("Mary, daughter of Bartly, son of Mike Walsh"). Sometimes, the female line of the
family is used, depending on how well the parent is known in the area the person resides, e.g. Paddy
Mary John ("Paddy, son of Mary, daughter of John"). A similar tradition continues even in English-
speaking areas, especially in rural districts.

Some Irish surnames can be mistaken for non-Irish. Anglicization of many surnames has been so
thorough that bona-fide Irish names such as Crockwell and Harrington appear to be English. Other Irish
names can appear to be German (Bruder), Italian (Costello), or even Polish (Comiskey).
[edit] Surname prefixes

• Bean: "Wife", pronounced [bæn̺].
• De: "of the": a Norman-French habitational prefix used by some of the most common Irish
surnames among which are De Búrca, De Brún, De Barra, De Cíosóg, Devane and de Faoite. 'De'
historically has signaled ownership of lands and was traditionally therefore a mark of prestige.
• Mac: for most purposes, taken to mean "son of", as in Mac Néill (son of Neil). However, literally,
the "of" part does not come from the "Mac" prefix but from the patronymic that follows it. E.g., in
the case of MacNéill, Mac merely means "son", "Néill" (meaning "of Neil") is the genitive form of
Niall ("Neil"). In some cases if the second word begins with a vowel Mac then becomes Mag, as
in Mag Eocháin.
• Mhic: pronounced [vɪkʲ]. Compressed form of bean mhic ("wife of the son of") eg Máire Mhic
Néill (Máire, the wife of Mac Néill). This is the grammatically correct form of the prefix Mac
always taken by a woman after marriage (i.e. a woman marrying someone of the surname Mac
Néill would become Mhic Néill). Mhig (also pronounced [vɪkʲ]) is used similarly to Mag in some
cases (e.g. Mag Shamhráin/Mhig Shamhráin).
• Maol: In Pagan times this was expressed as Mug, as in the case of Mug Nuadat. The literal
expression of this is "slave of Nuada", i.e. "devotee of Nuada". In the Christian era the word Mael
was used in its place for given names such as Mael Bridget, Mael Padraig, Mael Lagan, Mael
Sechlainn, and Mael Martain. In later times, some of these given names evolved into surnames,
e.g. Ó Máel Sechlainn and Mac Mael Martain or Mael Lagan, which became after the 15th
Century the name Milligan.
• Fitz: a Norman-French word derived from the Latin word filius ("son"). It was used in
patronymics by thousands of men in the early Norman period in Ireland (e.g. fitz Stephen, fitz
Richard, fitz Robert, fitz William) and only on some occasions did it become used as an actual
surname, the most famous example being the FitzGerald Earls of Kildare. Yet well into the 17th
and 18th century it was used in certain areas dominated by the Old English of Ireland in its
original form, as a patronymic. The Tribes of Galway were especially good at conserving this
form, with examples such as John fitz John Bodkin and Michael Lynch fitz Arthur, used even as
late as the early 1800s. A number of illegitimate members of the British royal family were given
surnames which indicated their illegitimacy: some of the illegitimate children of King Charles II
were named FitzCharles or FitzRoy ("son of the King"); those of King James II were named
FitzJames; those of Prince William, Duke of Clarence and St Andrews (later King William IV)
were named FitzClarence. Note that "Fitzpatrick" is not Norman: it is actually a Normanisation of
the Gaelic surname Mac Ghiolla Phádraig.
• Ó: In Old Irish as ua ("grandson", "descendant"). E.g., the ancestor of the O'Brien clan, Brian
Boru (937-1014) was known in his lifetime as Brian mac Cennéide mac Lorcán ("Brian, the son of
Cennéide, the son of Lorcán "). Not until the time of his grandsons and great-grandsons was the
name O'Brien used as a surname, used to denote descent from an illustrious ancestor. It has for
some three hundred years been written as O', but in recent years the apostrophe is often dropped,
bringing it into line with early medieval forms. The apostrophe came into existence as an error by
the English, when in the process of anglicizing the surnames in Ireland, mistakenly recognized the
accent above the O as an apostrophe.
• Uí: This is the plural of Ó and is used in reference to a kin-group or clan, e.g. Uí Néill, in reference
to the O'Neill clan. It is pronounced [i].
• Ní: This is used for women instead of Ó before a surname and comes a shortened form of the Irish
word for a daughter, e.g. Máire Ní Bhriain ("Mary O'Brien").
• Nic: This is used for women instead of Mac, but only if this is their maiden name, never their
married name. Compressed form of iníon mhic ("daughter of the son of/Mac…"), e.g. Máire Nic
Charthaigh ("Mary, daughter of McCarthy"). Nig (pronounced [nɪkʲ]) is used in cases where the
surname uses Mag e.g. Nig Shamhráin.
[edit] Iranian/Persian

Persian personal names may have single or multiple surname elements and appear on title pages as

Affixes are:

i, ian, deh, dust, fard, far, ju, iya, nia, nizhad (or nejad), oo, par, parast, pour, rad, vand, vard, yar, zadeh,
zad, zand

Sometimes name of cities or towns are attached as the last word in the family name such as: Tehrani,
Shirazi, Esfahani, Tabrizi, Zanjani, Angurani, Samani, Farahani

Some common Persian last names are: Afsar, Agassi, Alivandi, Alizadeh, Amanpour, Ansari, Anvari,
Ariani, Arki, Ashtari, Azria, Bahari, Bahrami, Bakhtiari, Bateni, Bozorgi, Dashti, Davoodi, Ebadi, Elmi,
Emami, Esfahani, Fakoor, Farahani, Feiz, Firozi, Gharani, Gharibpour, Ghasemi, Golzari, Hosseini,
Javanmardy, Kalbasi, Karimi, Kashani, Kiani, Kiyanfar, Kiyanpour, Loghmani, Mehranzadeh, Milani,
Mirzapour, Motallebzadeh, Najafi, Nakhudeh, Niyazfar, Omidifar, Ovisi, Ovasi, Rabiee, Rahimi,
Rastinpour, Rezaei, Rouzrokh, Samani, Sarafpour, Sattari,Shirazi, Soltanzadeh, Souriani, Talebi, Tehrani,
Teymourian, Yari, Yazdani, Zahedi, Zandi,and Zandipour.

Many last names that end in "ian" (or sometimes "yan") are traditionally Persian last names (though this is
also common in Armenian last names, which are not related). This is the same for "-stan" which is a
Persian noun-maker suffix used for country names such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. which comes from
Persian meaning "land" or "province" (Ostan in Persian).

In the old traditional Persian culture the wife did not take on the husband's surname. Although she kept
her name, her husband's surname was used when she was referred to or addressed directly in a formal

[edit] Italy

See also: Category:Italian surnames
Main article: Italian name#Surnames

Italy has around 350,000 surnames. Most of them derive from the following sources: patronym or ilk (e.g.
Francesco Di Marco, "Francis, son of Mark" or Eduardo De Filippo, "Edward belonging to the family of
Philip"), occupation (e.g. Enzo Ferrari, "Enzo the Smith"), personal characteristic (e.g. nicknames or pet
names like Dario Forte, "Darius the Strong"), geographic origin (e.g. Elisabetta Romano, "Elisabeth from
Rome") and objects (e.g. Carlo Sacchi, "Charles Bags"). The two most common Italian family names,
Russo and Rossi, mean the same thing, "Red", possibly referring to a hair color that would have been very
distinctive in Italy.

Both Western and Eastern orders are used for full names: the given name usually comes first, but the
family name may come first in formal or administrative settings; lists are usually indexed according to the
last name.

Since 1975 women keep their surname when married, but they add the surname of the husband. They are
allowed to use both even when widows, until they contract a new marriage.[14] Sometimes both surnames
are written (the proper first), usually separated by in (e.g. Giuseppina Mauri in Crivelli) or, in case of
widows, ved. (vedova).
In a recently proposed law, a child may receive the surname of either the mother or the father.[citation needed]

[edit] Lithuania

Lithuanian names follow the Baltic distinction between male and female suffixes of names, although the
details are different. Male surnames usually end in -as, -is, -ius, or -us, whereas the female versions
change these suffixes to -aitė, -ytė, -iūtė, and -utė respectively (if unmarried) or -ienė (if married). Some
of Lithuanians have names of Polish or another Slavic origin, which are made to conform to Lithuanian
by changing the final -ski to -skas, such as Sadauskas, with the female version being -skienė.

[edit] Malta

Due to different cultures that had their impacts on the Maltese archipelago, several surnames were

• Sicilian & Italian Surnames:

Sicilian and Italian surnames are common due to the close vicinity to Malta. Examples include Bonello,
Camilleri, Cauchi, Chetcuti, Dalli, Darmanin, Farrugia, Giglio, Gauci, Delicata, Licari, Magri, Rizzo,
Schembri, Tabone, Troisi, Vassallo, etc.

• English Surnames

English surnames exist due to Malta forming a part of the British Empire in the 19th century and most of
the 20th. Examples include Bickle, Haidon, Harmsworth, Atkins, Mattocks, Martin, Wallbank, Smith,
Jones, Sixsmith, Woods, Turner, Henwood.

• Sicilian Semitic Surnames:

Semitic surnames are common, due to the early presence of Eastern and Southern Mediterranean people
in Malta. Examples include Sammut, Zammit, Said, Borg, Xuereb, Xerri, Grixti, Xriha, although the last
three are also written in a Italianized form, i.e. Scerri, Griscti, Sciriha, due to Maltese being written in the
Italian alphabet in the 19th century.

• Spanish Surnames

Spanish surnames exist too. One common Maltese surname that appears to be Spanish in origin is Calleja,
though, the first recorded instance of the surname on the Malta predates Spanish rule--Giovanni
Francesco Abela, the father of Maltese history suspected the surname to be of Greek origin (It should also
be noted that Calleja does appear in Sicily in Italy, another form of the name is Calleya). Another
common Maltese name that appears to be Spanish in origin is Galdes and less common surnames are
Enriquez, Herrera, Guzman, Inguanez, Carabez. A variant of Galdes exists and is Galdies, with only one
family possessing it.

• Greek Surnames:

Such as Papagiorcopoulo, Dacoutros, Vasilopoulos, Vasilis, Trakosopoulos

• French Surnames:

Such as Depuis, Montfort.
• Berber Surnames:


• German Surnames:

Surnames from foreign countries from Middle Ages include German ones such as von Brockdorff,
Engerer, Hyzler, Schranz, Craus, Fenech

• Jewish Surnames:

The Jews have also left a relic of their presence on the island with the surnames of Abela, Ellul,
Azzopardi and Cohen.

• Double Surnames:

Some Maltese women, in order to preserve a rare surname from becoming extinct after marriage, add their
maiden surname to their husband's. Sometimes, it becomes a sign of social status. These include: Spiteri-
Gonzi, Fleri Soler, Mifsud-Bonnici, Sammut-Alessi, Sammut-Testaferrata, Cachia-Zammit, Caruana
Curran, Vella-Maistre, Zarb Cousin, Fenech-Adami, Borg Olivier, Sant Fournier.

• Surnames showing places in Malta

The few original Maltese surnames are those which show places of origin, for example, Chircop (Kirkop),
Lia (Lija), Balzan (Balzan), Valletta (Valletta), Sciberras (Xebb ir-Ras Hill, on which Valletta was built)
and possibly Curmi from Qormi.

The village of Munxar, Gozo is characterised by the majority of its population having one from two
surnames, either Curmi or de Brincat. In Gozo, the surname Bajada is also very common.

• Foreign Minority Surnames

Recently, due to asylum seekers from third world countries, new family names have been created. An
example is Nwoko, following the naturalisation of footballer Chucks Nwoko. Others include Okoh,
Ohaegbu, Yekoko, Stefanov, Bogdanovic, Giorev, Mohammed, Abu Shala, Abu Shamala.

• Customs

Women take a man's surname upon marriage, and their name is written as: Maria Borg née Zammit in
official documents, but only as Maria Borg in informal scenarios. However some celebrities retain their
old name as a stage name. Generally children take the surname of their father, but some are given the
name of their mother, either alone or combined to their father's.

The custom to address a family is to use the initial and surname of the male and refer also to the family.
For example, if a letter is sent to a person named David Saliba and his family, one writes Mr. and Mrs. D.

Except for the new surnames from foreign countries, and sometimes the long, combined and rare ones,
generally the Maltese people do not give a lot of importance to the origins of their surnames, and cohabit
hand in hand.
• Some Maltese surnames

Some examples of surnames from Malta are:

• A: Abdilla; Abela; Agius; Anastasi; Ancilleri; Apap; Aquilina; Arpa; Arrigo; Asciak; Attard;
Axisa; Azzopardi
• B: Bajada; Baldacchino; Balzan; Barbara; Barbaro; Bartolo; Bencini; Bezzina; Bickle; Bilocca;
Bisazza; Boffa; Bonanno; Bonavia; Bonello; Bonnici; Bontempo; Borg; Briffa; Brincat; Bruno;
Bugeja; Buhagiar; Busuttil; Buttigieg
• C: Cachia; Calamatta; Calì; Calleja; Callus; Camenzuli; Camilleri; Cannataci; Carabott; Caruana;
Casha; Cassar; Cauchi; Cefai; Chetcuti; Chircop; Ciantar; Ciappara; Cilia; Cini; Coleiro; Coppini;
Cortis; Cremona; Cucciardi; Cumbo; Curmi; Cuschieri; Cutajar
• D: Dalli; Dalmas; D'Amato; Darmanin; Debattista; Debono; Debrincat; Decelis; Degabriele;
Degiovanni; Deguara; Delia; Delicata; Demanuele; Demicoli; Desira; Diacono; Dimech; Dingli
• E: Ebejer; Ellul; Esposito; Engerer
• F: Falzon; Farrugia; Fava; Fenech; Ferriggi; Filletti; Fleri Soler; Formosa; Francalanza; Frendo;
Friggieri; Fsadni
• G: Gafa'; Galdes; Galea; Gambin; Gatt; Gauci; Gerada; Ghigo; Ghirxi; Gonzi; Grech; Grillo;
Grima; Griscti; Grixti; Gusman
• H: Haber; Herrera; Hili; Hyzler
• I: Imbroll; Incorvaia; Inglott
• L: Laferla; Lanfranco; Lautier; Lewis; Lia
• M: Magri; Magro; Mahoney; Mallia; Mamo; Manduca; Mangion; Marmara; Massa; Meilak; Meli;
Mercieca; Micallef; Mifsud; Mintoff; Mizzi; Montebello; Montalto; Mugliett; Mula; Muscat;
• N: Nani; Naudi
• P: Pace; Padovani; Palmier; Parascandolo; Paris; Parnis; Pavia; Penza; Pirotta; Pisani; Piscopo;
Portelli; Privitelli; Psaila; Pule'; Pulis; Pullicino
• Q: Quattromani; Quintano
• R: Rapa; Rapinett; Refalo; Rizzo
• S: Sacco; Said; Saidon; Salerno; Saliba; Sammut; Sant; Sapiano; Sapienza; Savona; Scerri;
Sceberras; Schembri; Schiavone; Sciberras; Scicluna; Scriha; Seguna; Seychell; Spagnol; Spina;
Spiteri; Stivala; Suda; Sultana
• T: Tabone; Tanti; Tedesco; Testa; Theuma; Tonna; Trapani ;Troisi
• V: Valletta; Vassallo; Vella
• X: Xerri; Xuereb
• Z: Zahra; Zammit; Zarb; Zerafa; Zrinzo

[edit] Mongolia

Main article: Mongolian name

Mongolians do not use surnames in the way that most Westerners, Chinese or Japanese do. Since the
socialist period, patronymics - then called ovog, now called etsgiin ner - are used instead of a surname. If
the father's name is unknown, a matronymic is used. The patro- or matronymic is written before the given
name. Therefore, if a man with given name Tsakhia has a son, and gives the son the name Elbegdorj, the
son's full name is Tsakhia Elbegdorj. Very frequently, the patronymic is given in genitive case, i.e.
Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj. However, the patronymic is rather insignificant in everyday use and usually just
given as initial - Ts. Elbegdorj. People are normally just referred to and addressed by their given name
(Elbegdorj guai - Mr. Elbegdorj), and if two people share a common given name, they are usually just
kept apart by their initials, not by the full patronymic.
Since 2000, Mongolians have been officially using clan names - ovog, the same word that had been used
for the patronymics before - on their IDs. Many people chose the names of the ancient clans and tribes
such Borjigin, Besud, Jalair, etc. Also many extended families chose the names of the native places of
their ancestors. Some chose the names of their most ancient known ancestor. Some just decided to pass
their own given names (or modifications of their given names) to their descendants as clan names. Some
chose or other attributes of their lives as surnames. Gürragchaa chose Sansar (Cosmos). Clan names
precede the patronymics and given names, i.e. Besud Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.[15] In practice, these clan
names seem to have had no really significant effect, and are not even included in Mongolian passports.

[edit] Pakistan

Main articles: Pakistani name and List of Pakistani family names

Pakistani surnames are basically divided in three categories: Arab naming convention, tribal names and
ancestral names.

Muslim surnames include those of Arab heritage, e.g. Shaikh, Siddiqui, Abbasi, Syed, Farooqi, Osmani,
Alavi, Hassani, Hussaini, and Suhrawardi.

People claiming Afghan ancestry include those with family names Khan, Cheema, Suri etc.

Family names indicating Turkish heritage include Mughal, Chughtai , Mirza, Baig or Beg, Pasha, and

People claiming Indian ancestry include those with family names Barelwi, Lakhnavi, Delhvi, Bilgrami

People claiming Iranian ancestry include those with family names Agha, Firdausi, Ghazali, Hamadani,
Isfahani, Kashani, Kermani, Khorasani, Mir, Montazeri, Nishapuri, Noorani, Kayani, Qizilbash, Saadi,
Sabzvari, Shirazi, Sistani, Yazdani, Zahedi, and Zand.

Tribal names include Abro Afaqi, Afridi, Amini, Ashrafkhel, Awan, Bajwa, Baloch, Barakzai, Baranzai,
Bhatti, Bhutto,Ranjha, Bijarani, Bizenjo, Brohi, Bugti, Butt, Detho, Gabol, Ghaznavi, Ghilzai, Gichki,
Jakhrani, Jamali, Jamote, Janjua, Jatoi, Jutt Joyo, Junejo, Karmazkhel, Kayani, Khan, Khar, Khattak,
Khuhro, Lakhani, Leghari, Lodhi, Magsi, Malik, Mandokhel(MAYO, Marwat, Mengal, Mughal , Palijo,
Paracha,Panhwar, Popalzai, Qureshi, Rabbani, Raisani, Rakhshani, Soomro, Sulaimankhel, Talpur,
Talwar, Thebo, Yousafzai, and Zamani.

In Pakistan the official paperwork format regarding personal identity is as follows;

So and so, son of so and so, of such and such caste and religion and resident of such and such place. For
example, Amir Khan s/o Fakeer Khan, caste Mughal Kayani or Chauhan Rajput, Follower of religion
Islam, resident of Village Anywhere, Tehsil Anywhere, District.

A large number of Rajput converts to Islam have retained their surnames such as Chauhan ,Rathore,
Parmar, Janjua, Bargujar, etc.

[edit] The Philippines

Until the middle of the 19th century, there was no standardization of surnames in the Philippines. There
were native Filipinos without surnames, others whose surnames deliberately did not match that of their
families, as well as those who took certain surnames simply because they had a certain prestige, usually
ones dealing with the Roman Catholic religion, such as de los Santos and de la Cruz.

In 1849, Governor-general Narciso Clavería y Zaldúa decreed an end to these arbitrary practices, the
result of which was the Catálogo Alfabético de Apellidos ("Alphabetical Inventory of Surnames"). The
book contained many words coming from Spanish and the Philippine languages such as Tagalog and
many Basque surnames, such as Zuloaga or Aguirre.

In practice, the application of this decree varied from municipality to municipality. Some municipalities
received only surnames starting with a particular letter. For example, the majority of residents of the
island of Banton in the province of Romblon have surnames starting with F such as Fabicon, Fallarme,
Fadrilan, and Ferran. Thus, although there perhaps a majority of Filipinos have Spanish surnames, such a
surname does not always indicate Spanish ancestry.

The vast majority of Filipinos follow a naming system which is the reverse of the Spanish one. Children
take the mother's surname as their middle name, followed by their father's as their surname; for example,
a son of Juan de la Cruz and his wife Maria Agbayani may be David Agbayani de la Cruz. Women take
the surnames of their husband upon marriage; so upon her marriage to David de la Cruz, the full name of
Laura Yuchengco Macaraeg would become Laura Yuchengco Macaraeg de la Cruz.

There are other sources for surnames. Many Filipinos also have Chinese-derived surnames, which in some
cases could indicate Chinese ancestry. Many Hispanicised Chinese numerals and other Hispanicised
Chinese words, however, were also among the surnames in the Catálogo Alfabético de Apellidos. For
those whose surname may indicate Chinese ancestry, analysis of the surname may help to pinpoint when
those ancestors arrived in the Philippines. A hispanicised Chinese surname such as Cojuangco suggests an
18th-century arrival while a Chinese surname such as Lim suggests a relatively recent immigration. Some
Chinese surnames such as Tiu-Laurel are composed of the immigrant Chinese ancestor's surname as well
as the name of that ancestor's godparent on receiving Christian baptism.

In the predominantly Muslim areas of the southern Philippines, adoption of surnames was influenced by
connexions to that religion, its holy places, and prophets. As a result, surnames among Filipino Muslims
are largely Arabic-based, and include such surnames as Hassan and Haradji.

There are also Filipinos who, to this day, have no surnames at all, particularly if they come from
indigenous cultural communities.

[edit] Unique Spanish family names in the Philippines

Prior to the establishment of the Philippines as a US territory during the earlier part of the 20th century,
Filipinos usually followed Iberian naming customs. However, upon the promulgation of the Family Code
of 1987, Filipinos begin to adopt the American system of using their surnames.

A common Filipino name will consist of the given name (mostly 2 given names are given), the initial
letter of the mother's maiden name and finally the father's surname (i.e. Lucy Anne C. de Guzman). Also,
women are allowed to retain their maiden name or use both her and her husband's surname, separated by a
dash. This is common in feminist circles or when the woman hold a prominent office (e.g. Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo, Miriam Defensor-Santiago). In more traditional circles, especially those who belong
to the prominent families in the provinces, the custom of the woman being addressed as Mrs. Husband's
Full Name is still common.

For widows, who chose to marry again, two norms are in existence. For those who were widowed before
the Family Code, the full name of the woman remains while the surname of the deceased husband is
attached. That is, Maria Andres, who was widowed by Ignacio Dimaculangan will have the name Maria
Andres viuda de Dimaculangan. If she chooses to marry again, this name will still continue to exist while
the surname of the new husband is attached. That, if Maria marries Rene de los Santos, her new name will
be Maria Andres viuda de Dimaculangan de los Santos.

However, a new norm is also in existence. The woman may choose to use her husband's surname to be
one of her middle names. Thus, Maria Andres viuda de Dimaculangan de los Santos may also be called
Maria A.D. de los Santos.

Children will however automatically inherit their father's surname if they are considered legitimate. If the
child is born outside wedlock, the mother will automatically pass her surname to the child, unless the
father gives a written acknowledgment of paternity. The father may also choose to give the child both his
parents' surnames if he wishes (that is Gustavo Paredes, whose parents are Eulogio Paredes and Juliana
Angeles, while having Maria Solis as a wife, may name his child Kevin S. Angeles-Paredes.

In some Tagalog regions, the norm of giving patronyms, or in some cases matronyms, are also accepted.
These names are of course not official, since family names in the Philippines are inherited. It is not
uncommon to refer to someone as Juan anak ni Pablo (John, the Son of Pablo) or Juan apo ni Teofilo
(John, the grandson of Theophilus).

[edit] Romania

In Romania, like in most of Europe, a child inherits his father's family name, and a wife takes her
husband's last name. There are however exceptions and social pressure to follow this tradition is not
particularly strong in most families.

Until the 19th century, the names were primarily of the form "[given name] [father's name] [grandfather's
name]". The few exceptions are usually famous people or the nobility (boyars). The name reform
introduced around 1850, had the names changed to a western style, most likely imported from France,
consisting of a given name followed by a family name.

As such, the name is called prenume (French prénom), while the family name is called nume or, when
otherwise ambiguous, nume de familie ("family name"). Although not mandatory, middle names
(Romanian numele mic, literally, "small name") are common.

Historically, when the family name reform was introduced in the mid 19th century, the default was to use
a patronym, or a matronym when the father was dead or unknown. The typical derivation was to append
the suffix -escu to the father's name, e.g. Anghelescu ("Anghel's child") and Petrescu ("Petre's child").
(The -escu seems to come both from Old Slavonic -ьскъ and/or from Latin -iscum, thus being cognate
with Italian -esco and French -esque.) The other common derivation was to append the suffix -eanu to the
name of the place of origin, especially when one came from a different region, e.g. Munteanu ("from the
mountains") and Moldoveanu ("from Moldova"). These uniquely Romanian suffixes strongly identify
ancestral nationality.

There are also descriptive family names derived from occupations, nicknames, and events, e.g. Botezatu
("baptised"), Barbu ("bushy bearded"), Prodan ("foster"), Bălan ("blond"), Fieraru ("smith"), Croitoru

Romanian family names remain the same regardless of the sex of the person.
Although given names appear before family names in most Romanian contexts, official documents invert
the order, ostensibly for filing purposes. Correspondingly, Romanians often introduce themselves with
their family names first, especially in official contexts, e.g. a student signing a test paper in school.

Romanians bearing names of non-Romanian origin often adopt Romanianised versions of their ancestral
surnames, such as Jurovschi for Polish Żurowski, which preserves the original pronunciation of the
surname through transliteration. In other cases, as with Romanians of Hungarian origin, these changes
were often mandated by the state, as was the practice during the period of communist rule.[16]

[edit] By region
[edit] Cultures of China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam

Further information: Chinese surname, Korean family name, Japanese name, and Vietnamese

In Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese cultures, the family name is placed before the given
names. So the terms "first name" and "last name" are generally not used, as they do not in this case denote
the given and family names.

Chinese family names have many types of origins, dating back as early as pre-Qin era:

• from the land or state that one lived in or awarded: Chen 陳 after the state of Chen, Cai 蔡 after
the state of Cai;
• from the given name or Posthumous name of one's ancestor: Zhuang 莊 after King Zhuang of
• from the nobility status or officer status of one's ancestor: Wang 王 (a king) or Shi 史 (a history-
recording officer);
• and some other origins.

In history, some changed their surnames due to a naming taboo (from Zhuang 莊 to Yan 嚴 during the era
of Liu Zhuang 劉莊) or as an award by the Emperor(Li was often to senior officers during Tang Dynasty).

In modern days, some Chinese adopt a Western given name in addition to their original given names, e.g.
Lee Chu-ming (李柱銘) adopted the Western name Martin, which can often be used as a nickname of
Chu-ming. The adopted Western name can be put in front of their Chinese name, e.g. Martin LEE Chu-
ming. In addition, many people with Chinese names have non-Chinese first names which are commonly
used. Sometimes, the Chinese name becomes used as a "middle name", e.g. Martin Chu-ming Lee, or
even used a "last name", e.g. Lee Chu-ming Martin. Chinese names used in Western countries may be
rearranged when written to avoid misunderstanding, e.g. cellist Yo-Yo Ma. However, some well-known
Chinese names remain in the traditional order even in English literature, e.g. Mao Zedong, Yao Ming
(Note that the name on the back of Yao Ming's NBA jersey is "Yao," rather than "Ming," as the former is
his family name). Most people from mainland China stick with their own national standard to present
their names. For example, in all Olympic events all the PRC athletes' names are presented in the Chinese
ordering even when they are spelled out phonetically in Latin alphabets. Chinese athletes from other
countries especially those in the US team use the Western ordering. So the non-compliance to the Western
ordering is not a matter of cultural convention but a national standard adopted by PRC.

Vietnamese and Korean names are generally stated in East Asian order (family name first) even when
writing in English.
In English writings originating from non-English cultures (e.g. English newspapers in China), the family
name is often written with all capital letters to avoid being mistaken as a middle name, e.g. Laurence Yee-
ming KWONG or using small capitals, as Laurence KWONG Yee-ming or with a comma, as
AKUTAGAWA, Ryūnosuke to make clear which name is the family name. Such practice is particularly
common in mass-media reporting international events like the Olympic Games. The CIA World Factbook
stated that "The Factbook capitalizes the surname or family name of individuals for the convenience of
[their] users who are faced with a world of different cultures and naming conventions". For example,
Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing might be mistaken as Mr. Wing by readers unaware of Chinese naming

Vietnamese family names present an added complication. Like Chinese family names, they are placed at
the beginning of a name, but unlike Chinese names, they are not usually the primary form of address.
Rather, people will be referred to by their given name, usually accompanied by an honorific. For example,
Phan Van Khai is properly addressed as Mr. Khai, even though Phan is his family name. This pattern
contrasts with that of most other East Asian naming conventions.

In Japan, the civil law forces a common surname for every married couple, unless in a case of
international marriage. In most cases, women surrender their surnames upon marriage, and use the
surnames of their husbands. However, a convention that a man uses his wife's family name if the wife is
an only child is sometimes observed. A similar tradition called ru zhui (入贅) is common among Chinese
when the bride's family is wealthy and has no son but wants the heir to pass on their assets under the same
family name. The Chinese character zhui (贅) carries a money radical (貝), which implies that this
tradition was originally based on financial reasons. All their offspring carry the mother's family name. If
the groom is the first born with an obligation to carry his own ancestor's name, a compromise may be
reached in that the first male child carries the mother's family name while subsequent offspring carry the
father's family name. The tradition is still in use in many Chinese communities outside of mainland
China, but largely disused in China because of social changes from communism. Due to the economic
reform in the past decade, accumulation and inheritance of personal wealth made a come back to the
Chinese society. It is unknown if this financially motivated tradition would also come back to mainland

In Chinese, Korean, and Singaporean cultures, women keep their own surnames, while the family as a
whole is referred to by the surnames of the husbands.

In Hong Kong, some women would be known to the public with the surnames of their husbands
preceding their own surnames, such as Anson Chan Fang On Sang. Anson is an English given name, On
Sang is the given name in Chinese, Chan is the surname of Anson's husband, and Fang is her own
surname. A name change on legal documents is not necessary. In Hong Kong's English publications, her
family names would have been presented in small cap letters to resolve ambiguity, e.g. Anson CHAN
FANG On Sang in full or simply Anson Chan in short form.

In Macau, some people have their names in Portuguese spelt with some Portuguese style, such as Carlos
do Rosario Tchiang[17].

Chinese women in Canada, especially Hongkongers in Toronto, would preserve their maiden names
before the surnames of their husbands when written in English, for instance Rosa Chan Leung, where
Chan is the maiden name, and Leung is the surname of the husband.

In Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, surnames are predominantly monosyllabic (written with one
character), though a small number of common disyllabic (or written with two characters) surnames exists
(e.g. the Chinese name Ouyang, the Korean name Jegal and the Vietnamese name Phan-Tran).
Many Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese surnames are of the same origin, but simply pronounced
differently and even transliterated differently overseas in Western nations. For example, the common
Chinese surnames Chen, Chan, Chin, Cheng and Tan, the Korean surname Jin, as well as the Vietnamese
surname Trần are often all the same exact character 陳. The common Korean surname Kim is also the
common Chinese surname Jin, and written 金. The common Mandarin surnames Lin or Lim (林) is also
one and the same as the common Cantonese or Vietnamese surname Lam and Korean family name Lim
(written/pronounced as Im in South Korea). Interestingly, there are people with the surname of Hayashi
(林) in Japan too. The common Chinese surname 李, translated to English as Lee, is, in Chinese, the same
character but transliterated as Li according to pinyin convention. Lee is also a common surname of
Koreans, and the character is identical.

[edit] Scandinavia

In Scandinavia family names often, but certainly not always, originate from a patronymic. In Sweden, the
patronymic ending is -son, e.g. Karlsson ("Karl's son"). In Denmark and Norway, the corresponding
ending is -sen, as in Karlsen. Names ending with dotter/datter (daughter), such as Olofsdotter, are rare but
occurring, and only apply to females. Today, the patronymic names are passed on similarly to family
names in other Western countries, and a person's father doesn't have to be called Karl if he or she has the
surname Karlsson.

Before the 19th century there was the same system in Scandinavia as in Iceland today. Noble families,
however, as a rule adopted a family name, which could refer to a presumed or real forefather (e.g. Earl
Birger Magnusson Folkunge[citation needed] ) or to the family's coat of arms (e.g. King Gustav Eriksson Vasa).
In many surviving family noble names, such as Silfversparre ("silver chevron"; in modern spelling,
Silver-) or Stiernhielm ("star-helmet"; in modernized spelling, stjärnhjälm), the spelling is obsolete, but
since it applies to a name, remains unchanged. (Some names from relatively modern times also use
archaic or otherwise aberrant spelling as a stylistic trait; e.g. -quist pro -kvist "twig" or -grén pro -gren.)

Later on, people from the Scandinavian middle classes, particularly artisans and town dwellers, adopted
names in a similar fashion to that of the nobility. Family names joining two elements from nature such as
the Swedish Bergman, Holmberg ("island mountain"), Lindgren ("linden branch"), Sandström and
Åkerlund ("field meadow") were quite frequent and remain common today. The same is true for similar
Norwegian and Danish names.

Even more important a driver of change was the need, for administrative purposes, to develop a system
under which each individual had a "stable" name - a name that followed the person from birth till the end.
In the old days, people would be known by their name, patronymic and the farm they lived at. This last
element would change if a person got a new job, bought a new farm, or otherwise came to live somewhere
else. (This is part of the origin, in this part of the world, of the custom of women changing their names
upon marriage. Originally it indicated, basically, a change of address, and from older times, there are
numerous examples of men doing the same thing). The many patronymic names may derive from the fact
that people who moved from the country to the cities, also gave up the name of the farm they came from.
As a worker, you passed by your father's name, and this name passed on to the next generation as a family
name. Einar Gerhardsen, the Norwegian prime minister, used a true patronym, as his father was named
Gerhard Olsen (Gerhard, the son of Ola). Gerhardsen passed his own patronym on to his children as a
family name. This has been common in many working class families. The tradition of keeping the farm
name as a family name got stronger during the first half of the 20th century in Norway.

These names often indicated the place of residence of the family. For this reason, Denmark and Norway
have a very high incidence of names derived from those of farms, many signified by the suffixes like -bø,
-rud, -stuen, -løkken or even more predominantly -gaard -- the modern spelling is gård in Danish and has
changed to gard in Norwegian, but as in Sweden, archaic spelling persists in surnames. The most well-
known example of this kind of surname is probably Kierkegaard (original meaning: the farm located by
the Church or also churchyard and cemetery [although this is unlikely in the context] which, with kierke,
actually includes two archaic spellings), but many others could be cited. It should also be noted that, since
the names in question are derived from the original owners' domiciles, the possession of this kind of name
is no longer an indicator of affinity with others who bear it.

In many cases, names were taken from the nature around them. In Norway, for instance, there is an
abundancy of surnames based on coastal geography, with suffixes like -strand, -øy, -holm, -vik, -fjord or
-nes. A family name such as Dahlgren is derived from "dahl" meaning valley and "gren" meaning branch;
or similarly Upvall meaning "upper-valley"; It depends on the Scandinavian country, language, and

[edit] Basque Country

For more details on this topic, see Basque surnames.

[edit] Slavic countries

Slavic countries are noted for having masculine and feminine versions for many (but not all) of their
names. Most of their surnames have suffixes which are found to varying degrees over the different
nations. (Of course, many other names do not have suffixes at all.)

Note: the following list does not take regional spelling variations into account.

• -ov / -ev (-ova/-eva): Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia (sometimes as -iv); this has been
adopted by many non-Slavic peoples of Central Asia who are or have been under Russian rule,
such as the Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, etc. Note that -ev is the soft form of -ov, found after
palatalized consonants or sibilants. In English, -ev is also erroneously written after ch, even though
it is pronounced -ov (Gorbuchev, Khrushchev, etc.)
• -sky (-ska), -ski (-ska), -skiy (-skaya): Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Russia, Slovakia,
Bulgaria, Macedonia.
• Note that these first two can be combined: -ovsky (-ovska): Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic,
Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine.
• -ich, -vich, -ovich: ex-Yugoslavia (Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Slovenia, Macedonia), Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, occasionally Bulgaria.
Yugoslav ex.: Petrović, means Petar's son. In Russia, where patronyms are used, a person would
have two -(ov)ich names in a row; first the patronym, then the family name (see Shostakovich).
• -in (-ina): Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria
• -ko, -nko, -enko: Ukraine, Belarus
• -ak/-ek/-ik (-akova/-ekova/-ikova): Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, Slovenia, Croatia
• -uk, -yuk: Ukraine, Belarus
• -ski: Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria

If the name has no suffix, it may or may not have a feminine version. Sometimes it has the ending
changed (such as the addition of -a). In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, suffixless names, such as those
of German origin, are feminized by adding -ová (for example, Schusterová), but this is not done in
neighboring Poland, where feminine versions are only used for -ski (-ska) names (this includes -cki and
-dzki, which are in fact -ski preceded by a t or d respectively).

[edit] Czech Republic
Names of Czech people consist of given name (rodné jméno) and surname (příjmení). Usage of the
second or middle name is not common. Females' names are usually derived from males' ones by a suffix
-ová (Nováková) or -á for names being originally adjectives (Veselá), sometimes with a little change of
original name's ending (Sedláčková from Sedláček or Svobodová from Svoboda). Women change their
family names when they get married. Deriving women's names from foreigners' names is often
problematic since foreign names do not suit Czech language rules.

The family names are usually nouns (Svoboda, Král, Růžička), adjectives (Novotný, Černý, Veselý), verbs
in a past tense of the third person (Pospíšil) or they mean nothing particular (Dvořák, Beneš). There is
also a couple of names with more complicated origin which are actually complete sentences (Skočdopole,
Hrejsemnou or Vítámvás). The most common Czech family name is Novák / Nováková.

[edit] Russia

A full Russian name consists of personal (given) name, patronymic, and family name (surname).

Most Russian family names originated from patronymics, that is, father's name usually formed by adding
the adjective suffix -ov(a) or -ev(a)). Contemporary patronymics, however, have a substantive suffix -ich
for masculine and the adjective suffix -na for feminine.

For example, the proverbial triad of most common Russian surnames follows:

• Ivanov (son of Ivan),
• Petrov (son of Petr),
• Sidorov (son of Sidor).

Feminine forms of these surnames have the ending -a:

• Ivanova (daughter of Ivan),
• Petrova (daughter of Petr),
• Sidorova (daughter of Sidor).

Such a pattern of name formation is not unique to Russia or even to the Eastern and Southern Slavs in
general; quite common are also names derived from professions, places of origin, and personal
characteristics, with various suffixes (e.g. -in(a) and -sky (-skaia)).


• kuznets (smith) → Kuznetsov—Kuznetsova
• portnoi (tailor) → Portnov—Portnova
• pastukh (shepherd) → Pastukhov—Pastukhova.

Places of origin:

• Moskva (Moscow) → Moskvin—Moskvina, Moskovsky—Moskovskaia,
• Smolensk → Smolensky—Smolenskaia,
• Riazan → Riazanov—Riazanova.

Personal characteristics:

• tolsty (stout, fat) → Tolstov—Tolstova, Tolstoy—Tolstaya,
• nos (nose) → Nosov—Nosova,
• sedoi (grey-haired or -headed) → Sedov—Sedova.

A considerable number of “artificial” names exists, for example, those given to seminary graduates; such
names were based on Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church or Christian virtues.

Great Orthodox Feasts:

• rozhdestvo (Christmas) → Rozhdestvensky—Rozhdestvenskaia,
• voskresenie (Resurrection) → Voskresensky—Voskresenskaia,
• uspenie (Assumption) → Uspensky—Uspenskaia.

Christian virtues:

• philagathos (one who loves goodness) → Dobrolubov—Dobrolubova, Dobrolubsky—
• philosophos (one who loves wisdom) → Lubomudrov—Lubomudrova,
• theophilos (one who loves God) → Bogolubov—Bogolubova.

Many freed serfs were given surnames after those of their former owners. For example, a serf of the
Demidov family might be named Demidovsky, which translates roughly as "belonging to Demidov" or
"one of Demidov's bunch".

Grammatically, Russian family names follow the same rules as other nouns or adjectives (names ending
with -oy, -aya are grammatically adjectives), with exceptions: some names do not change in different
cases and have the same form in both genders (for example, Sedykh, Lata).

[edit] Poland

Main articles: Polish surnames and Polish name

In Poland and most of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, surnames first appeared during the
late Middle Ages. They initially denoted the differences between various people living in the same town
or village and bearing the same name. The conventions were similar to those of English surnames, using
occupations, patronymic descent, geographic origins, or personal characteristics. Thus, early surnames
indicating occupation include Karczmarz ("innkeeper"), Kowal ("blacksmith"), and Bednarczyk ("young
cooper"), while those indicating patronymic descent include Szczepaniak ("Son of Szczepan), Józefowicz
("Son of Józef), and Kaźmirkiewicz ("Son of Kazimierz"). Similarly, early surnames like Mazur ("the one
from Mazury") indicated geographic origin, while ones like Nowak ("the new one"), Biały ("the pale
one"), and Wielgus ("the big one") indicated personal characteristics.

In the early 16th century, ( the Polish Renaissance), toponymic names became common, especially among
the nobility. Initially, the surnames were in a form of "[first name] de ("z", "of") [location]". Later, most
surnames were changed to adjective forms, e.g. Jakub Wiślicki ("James of Wiślica") and Zbigniew
Oleśnicki ("Zbigniew of Oleśnica"), with masculine suffixes -ski, -cki, -dzki and -icz or respective
feminine suffixes -ska, -cka, -dzka and -icz on the east of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Names
formed this way are adjectives grammatically, and therefore change their form depending on gender; for
example, Jan Kowalski and Maria Kowalska collectively use the plural Kowalscy.

Names with masculine suffixes -ski, -cki, and -dzki, and corresponding feminine suffixes -ska, -cka, and
-dzka became associated with noble origin. Many people from lower classes successively changed their
surnames to fit this pattern. This produced many Kowalskis, Bednarskis, Kaczmarskis and so on. Today,
although most Polish speakers do not know about noble associations of -ski, -cki, -dzki and -icz endings,
such names still somehow sound better to them.

A separate class of surnames derive from the names of noble clans. These are used either as separate
names or the first part of a double-barrelled name. Thus, persons named Jan Nieczuja and Krzysztof
Nieczuja-Machocki might be related. Similarly, after World War I and World War II, many members of
Polish underground organizations adopted their war-time pseudonyms as the first part of their surnames.
Edward Rydz thus became Marshal of Poland Edward Śmigły-Rydz and Zdzisław Jeziorański became Jan

[edit] South Slavs

Surnames of some South Slavic groups such as Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins, and Bosniaks traditionally
end with the suffixes "-ić" and "-ović" (often transliterated to English and other western languages as "ic",
"ich", "ovic" or "ovich") which are a diminutive indicating descent i.e. "son of."

Noted exception from patronymic rule was a family name of prominent 19th century Serbia family
Babadudić from Baba (literally, granny) Duda.

In some cases family name was derived from a profession (e.g. blacksmith - "Kovač" → "Kovačević").

In general family names in all of these countries follow this pattern with some family names being
typically Serbian, some typically Croat and yet others being common throughout the whole linguistic

Children usually inherit fathers family name. In older naming convention which was common in Serbia
up until mid 19th century a persons name would consist of three distinct parts persons given name,
patronymic derived from father's personal name and the family name, as seen in for example in the name
of language reformer Vuk Stefanović Karadžić.

Official family names do not have distinct male or female forms. Somewhat archaic unofficial form of
adding suffixes to family names to form female form exists, with -eva, implying "daughter of" or "female
descendant of" or -ka, implying "wife of" or "married to".

Bosniak Muslim names follow the same formation pattern but are usually derived from proper names of
Islamic origin, often combining archaic Islamic or feudal Turkish titles i.e. Mulaomerović, Šabanadžović,
Hadžihafisbegović etc.

Also related to Turkish influence is prefix Hadži- found in some family names. Regardless of religion,
this prefix was derived from the honorary title which a distinguished ancestor eared by making a
pilgrimage to either Christian or Islamic holy places. Hadžibegić, being Bosniak Muslim example.

In Croatia where tribal affiliations persisted longer, Lika, Herzegovina etc., original family name came to
signify practically all people living in one area or holding of the nobles. The Šubić family owned land
around the Zrin River in the Central Croatian region of Banovina. The surname became Šubić Zrinski, the
most famous being Nikola Šubić Zrinski.

Due to discriminatory laws in Austro-Hungarian Empire some of Serb families of Vojvodina have
discarded suffix -ić in an attempt to mask their ethnicity and avoid heavy taxation.
Among the Bulgarians, another South Slavic people, the typical surname suffix is "-ov" (Ivanov,
Kovachev), although other popular suffixes also exist.

In the Republic of Macedonia, the most popular suffix today is "-ski".

Further information: Bulgarian name

[edit] Ukraine and Belarus

Ukrainian and Belarusian names evolved from the same Old East Slavic and Ruthenian language (western
Rus’) origins. Ukrainian and Belarusian names share many characteristics with family names from other
Slavic cultures. Most prominent are the shared root words and suffixes. For example, the root koval
(blacksmith) compares to the Polish kowal, and the root bab (woman) is shared with Polish, Slovakian,
and Czech. The suffix -vych (son of) corresponds to the South Slavic -vic, the Russian -vich, and the
Polish -wicz, while -sky, -ski, and -ska are shared with both Polish and Russian, and -ak with Polish.

However some suffixes are more uniquely characteristic to Ukrainian and Belarusian names, especially:
-chuk (Western Ukraine), -enko (all other Ukraine) (both son of), -ko (little [masculine]), -ka (little
[feminine]), -shyn, and -uk. See, for example, Ukrainian Presidents Leonid Kravchuk, and Viktor
Yushchenko, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, or former Soviet diplomat Andrei Gromyko.

[edit] Burundi/Rwanda

In Burundi and Rwanda, most, if not all surnames have God in it, for example Hakizimana (meaning God
cures), Nshimirimana (I thank God) or Havyarimana/Habyarimana (God gives birth). But not all
surnames end with the suffix -imana. Irakoze is one of these. (technically meaning Thank God, though it
is hard to translate it correctly in English or probably any other languages.)

[edit] Eritrea/Ethiopia

See also: Habesha name

The patronymic custom in most of Eritrea and Ethiopia gives children the father's first name as their
surname. The family then gives the child its first name. Middle names are unknown. So, for example, a
person's name might be Demesie Birhanu. In this case, Demesie is the first name and Birhanu is the
surname, and also the first name of the father.

The paternal grandfather's name is often used if there is a requirement to identify a person further, for
example, in school registration. Also, different cultures and tribes use as the family's name the father's or
grandfather's given name. For example, some Oromos use Warra Ali to mean families of Ali, where Ali,
is either the householder, a father or grandfather.

In Ethiopia, the customs surrounding the bestowal and use of family names is as varied and complex as
the cultures to be found there. There are so many cultures, nations or tribes, that currently there can be no
one formula whereby to demonstrate a clear pattern of Ethiopian family names. In general, however,
Ethiopians use their father's name as a surname in most instances where identification is necessary,
sometimes employing both father's and grandfather's names together where exigency dictates.

Many people in Eritrea have Italian surnames, but all of these are owned by Eritreans of Italian descent.

[edit] By ethnic group
[edit] Jewish

Main article: Jewish name

Jewish names have historically varied, encompassing throughout the centuries several different traditions.
The most usual last name for those of the priest tribe is "Kahen"/"Kohen"/"Cohen"(Kohen) and for those
of the Levites, "Levi". Those who came from Europe usually have "Rosen"("rose"), "Speil", "Gold", and
other Russian words as their names' prefixes, and "wyn"/"wein"("wine"), "berg"("mountain"), and other
Russian words as their names' suffixes. Most Sefaradic Jews adopted Arabic names, like "Azizi"("you're
[someones] love"), or added words to their original names, like "Kohenzadeh"("[she] bore a Kohen").
Names like "Johnson" and "Peterson"("Peter" not included) come from the Jewish tradition to use the
father's name as identification. So "Johnson" in Hebrew is "Ben Yochanon", meaning "Yochanon(John)'s

[edit] Kurdish

The majority of Kurds do not hold Kurdish names because the names have been banned in the countries
they primarily live in (namely Iran, Turkey and Syria). Kurds in these respective countries tend to hold
Turkish, Persian or Arabic names, in the majority of cases, forcefully appointed by the ruling
governments.[18] Others hold Arabic names as a result of the influence of Islam and Arab culture.

Kurds holding authentic Kurdish names are generally found in Diaspora or in Iraqi Kurdistan where
Kurds are relatively free. Traditionally, Kurdish family names are inherited from the tribes of which the
individual or families are members. However, some families inherit the names of the regions they are

Common affixes of authentic Kurdish names are "i" and "zade".

Some common Kurdish last names, which are also the names of their respective tribes, include Baradost,
Barzani, Berwari, Berzinji, Chelki, Diri, Doski, Jaf, Mutki, Rami, Rekani, Rozaki, Sindi, Tovi and Zebari.
Other names include Akreyi, Alan, Amedi, Botani, Hewrami, Kurdistani (or Kordestani), Mukri, and

Traditionally, Kurdish women did not inherit a man's last name. Although still not in practice by many
Kurds, this can be more commonly found today.

[edit] Tibet

Tibetan people are often named at birth by the parents, by a local Buddhist Lama or they may request a
name from the Dalai Lama. They are often given two names, but they do not have a family name.
Therefore all members of the family will have different names eg. Sonam Gyatso, Lhamo Drolma, Tenzin
Choden etc. They may change their name throughout life if advised by a Buddhist Lama, for example if a
different name removes obstacles. The Tibetans who enter monastic life take a name from their ordination
Lama, which will be a combination of the Lama's name and a new name for them.

[edit] North Caucasian Adyghe Family Surnames

In the case of Circassians, especially Adyges and Kabardians, hereditary surnames have been borne by
people for thousand of years. All Circassian people belong to a Clan.

Most surnames of Adyge origin fall into six types:
• Occupations (e.g., Smith, Hunter, Taylor etc.)
• Personal characteristics (e.g., Short, deaf, beautiful)
• Geographical features (e.g., Hill, River, cave, Wood, Fields etc.)
• Animal Names (e.g., Bear, Horse, snake,Fox, Wild boar etc.)
• Patronymics and ancestry, often from a male's given name son of.....”) or from an ethnic name
(e.g., Shapsug, Kabardey)
• Religious names (e.g., Shogen Priest, Yefendi Efendi, Mole Mullah)

"Shogen" comes from the Christian era and "Yefendi" and "Mole" come from the Muslim era.

In Circassian culture, women even when they marry, do not change their surnames. By keeping their
surnames and passing that it on to the next generation, children come to distinguish relatives from the
maternal side and respect her family as well as those from their father's side.

On the other hand, children cannot marry someone who bears the same surname as they do no matter how
distantly related.

In the Circassian tradition, the formula for surnames is patterned to mean “daughter of ...”

Abkhaz families follow similar naming patterns reflecting the common roots of the Abkhazian, Adygean
and Wubikh peoples.

Circassian family names cannot be derived from women's names and of the name of female ancestors.

[edit] See also

Look up Appendix:Names in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

• Surname map
• List of most common surnames
• Family name etymology, German family name etymology
• Family name affixes
• List of common Chinese surnames
• Family history
• Patronymic
• Personal name
• Nickname
• Maiden name
• Legal name

[edit] References

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

For other uses, see Transport (disambiguation).
"Transportation" redirects here. For other uses, see Transportation (disambiguation).

Ximen Station of the Metro Taipei

People walking in front of the bulk carrier BW Fjord

This content has an uncertain copyright status and is pending deletion. You can comment on its removal.

This article is part
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Topics | Portal
This box: view • talk • edit

Transport or transportation is the movement of people and goods from one location to another.
Transport is performed by various modes, such as air, rail, road and water.
The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations. Infrastructure consists of the fixed
installations necessary for transport, and may be roads, railways, airways, waterways, canals and pipelines
or terminals such as airports, railway stations, bus stations and seaports. Vehicles traveling on the network
include automobiles, bicycles, buses, trains, people and aircraft. Operations deal with the way the vehicles
are operated, and the procedures set for this purpose including the financing, legalities and policies. In the
transport industry, operations, and ownership of infrastructure, are both public and private, depending on
the country and mode.

Passenger transport may be public or private. Freight transport has become focused on containerization,
while bulk transport is used for large volumes or durable items. Transport plays an important part in
economic growth and globalization, but has a deteriorizing impact on the environment. While it is heavily
subsidized by governments, good planning of transport is essential to make traffic flow, and restrain urban


• 1 Mode
o 1.1 Human-powered
o 1.2 Animal-powered
o 1.3 Air
o 1.4 Rail
o 1.5 Road
o 1.6 Water
o 1.7 Other
o 1.8 Intermodal transport
• 2 History
• 3 Passenger
• 4 Freight
• 5 Impact
o 5.1 Planning
o 5.2 Financing
o 5.3 Environment
• 6 See also
• 7 Notes
• 8 References

• 9 External links

[edit] Mode
Main article: Mode of transport

A mode of transport is a technological solution that used a fundamentally different vehicle, infrastructure
and operations. The transport of a person or cargo may be by one or more modes, the latter called
intermodal transport. Each mode has its advantages and disadvantages, and will be chosen for a trip
depended on the nature of the purpose, cargo and destination. While there transport in air and on water
has their own mode, land transport has several modes.
[edit] Human-powered

Main article: Human-powered transport

Human-powered transport is the transport of person(s) and/or goods using human muscle-power. Like
animal-powered transport, human-powered transport has existed since time immemorial in the form of
walking, running and swimming. Modern technology has allowed machines to enhance human-power.
Many forms of human-powered transport remain popular for reasons of lower cost, leisure, physical
exercise and environmentalism. Human-powered transport is sometimes the only type available
(especially in underdeveloped or inaccessible regions), and is considered an ideal form of sustainable

Although humans are able to walk without infrastructure, the transport can be enhanced through the use of
roads, especially when enforcing the human power with vehicles, such as bicycles and inline skates.
Human-powered vehicles have also been developed for highly encumbering environments, such as snow
and water, by watercraft rowings and skiing; even the air can be entered with human-powered aircraft.

[edit] Animal-powered

Main article: Animal-powered transport

Animal-powered transport is the use of working animals (also known as beasts of burden) for the
movement of people and goods. Humans may ride some of the animals directly, use them as pack animals
for carrying goods, or harness them, singly or in teams, to pull (or haul) sleds or wheeled vehicles.
Animals are superior to people in their speed, endurance and carrying capacity; prior to the Industrial
Revolution they were used for all land transport impracticable for people, and they remain an important
mode of transport in less developed areas of the world.

[edit] Air

Air Canada Airbus A339 airliner
Main article: Aviation

A fixed-wing aircraft, commonly called airplane, is a heavier-than-air craft where movement of the wings
in relation to the aircraft is not used to generate lift. The term is used to distinguish from rotary-wing
aircraft, where the movement of the lift surfaces relative to the aircraft generates lift. A heliplane is both
fixed-wing and rotary-wing. Fixed-wing aircraft range from small trainers and recreational aircraft to
large airliners and military cargo aircraft.

Two necessities for aircraft are air flow over the wings for lift, and an area for landing. The majority of
aircraft also need an airport with the infrastructure to receive maintenance, restocking, refueling and for
the loading and unloading of crew, cargo and passengers. While the vast majority of aircraft land and take
off on land, some are capable of take off and landing on ice, snow and calm water.
The aircraft is the second fastest method of transport, after the rocket. Commercial jets can reach up to
875 kilometres per hour (544 mph), single-engine aircraft 175 kilometres per hour (109 mph). Aviation is
able to quickly transport people and limited amounts of cargo over longer distances, but incur high costs
and energy use; for short distances or in inaccessible places helicopters can be used.

[edit] Rail

InterCityExpress, a German high-speed passenger train
Main article: Rail transport

Rail transport is the transport of passengers and goods along railways (or railroads), consisting of two
parallel steel rails, generally anchored perpendicular to beams (termed sleepers or ties) of timber, concrete
or steel to maintain a consistent distance apart, or gauge. The rails and perpendicular beams are usually
then placed on a foundation made of concrete or compressed earth and gravel in a bed of ballast to
prevent the track from buckling (bending out of its original configuration) as the ground settles over time
beneath and under the weight of the vehicles passing above. The vehicles traveling on the rails are
arranged in a train; a series of individual powered or unpowered vehicles linked together, displaying
markers. These vehicles (referred to, in general, as cars, carriages or wagons) move with much less
friction than on rubber tires on a paved road, making them more energy efficient.

A train consists of rail vehicles that move along guides to transport freight or passengers from one place
to another. The guideway (permanent way) usually consists of conventional rail tracks, but might also be
monorail or maglev. Propulsion for the train is provided by a separate locomotive, or from individual
motors in self-propelled multiple units. Most trains are powered by diesel engines or by electricity
supplied by trackside systems, but other sources of power such as steam engine, horses, wire, gravity,
pneumatics, or gas turbines are possible.

Rail transport remains the most energy efficient land transport, and used for long-distance freight and all
distances of passenger transport. In cities rapid transit and trams are common parts of public transport.

[edit] Road

Main article: Road transport

Interstate 80 near Berkeley, United States
A road is an identifiable route, way or path between two or more places.[1] Roads are typically smoothed,
paved, or otherwise prepared to allow easy travel;[2] though they need not be, and historically many roads
were simply recognizable routes without any formal construction or maintenance.[3] In urban areas roads
may pass through a city or village and be named as streets, serving a dual function as urban space
easement and route.[4]

The most common road vehicle is the automobile; a wheeled passenger vehicle that carries its own motor.
Other users of roads include buses, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. As of 2002 there were
590 million automobiles worldwide.

The first forms of road transport were horses, oxen or even humans carrying goods over dirt tracks that
often followed game trails. The Roman Empire was in need for armies to be able to travel quickly; they
built deep roadbeds of crushed stone as an underlying layer to ensure that they kept dry, as the water
would flow out from the crushed stone, instead of becoming mud in clay soils. John Loudon McAdam
designed the first modern highways of inexpensive paving material of soil and stone aggregate known as
macadam during the Industrial Revolution. Coating of cobblestones and wooden paving were popular
during the 19th century while tarmac and concrete paving became popular during the 20th.

Automobiles offer high flexibility and with low capacity, but are deemed with high energy and area use,
and the main source of noise and air pollution in cities; buses allow for more efficient travel at the cost of
reduced flexibility. Road transport by truck is often the initial and final stage of freight transport.

[edit] Water

Automobile ferry in Croatia
Main article: Ship transport

Ship transport is the process of transport by barge, boat, ship or sailboat over a sea, ocean, lake, canal or
river. A watercraft is a vehicle designed to float on and move across (or under) water. The need for
buoyancy unites watercraft, and makes the hull a dominant aspect of its construction, maintenance and

The first craft were probably types of canoes cut out from tree trunks. The colonization of Australia by
Indigenous Australians provides indirect but conclusive evidence for the latest date for the invention of
ocean-going craft. Early sea transport was accomplished with ships that were either rowed or used the
wind for propulsion, or a combination of the two.

In the 1800s the first steam ships were developed, using a steam engine to drive a paddle wheel or
propeller to move the ship. The steam was produced using wood or coal. Now most ships have an engine
using a slightly refined type of petroleum called bunker fuel. Some specialized ships, such as submarines,
use nuclear power to produce the steam. Recreational or educational craft still use wind power, while
some smaller craft use internal combustion engines to drive one or more propellers, or in the case of jet
boats, an inboard water jet. In shallow draft areas hovercraft are propelled by large pusher-prop fans.
Although slow, modern sea transport is a highly effective method of transporting large quantities of non-
perishable goods. Transport by water is significantly less costly than air transport for trans-continental
shipping;[5] short sea shipping and ferries remain viable in coastal areas.[6]

[edit] Other

Trans-Alaska Pipeline for crude oil

Pipeline transport sends goods through a pipe, most commonly liquid and gases are sent, but pneumatic
tubes can send solid capsules using compressed air. Any chemically stable liquid or gas can be sent
through a pipeline; sewage, slurry, water and even beer pipelines exist,while long-distance networks are
used for petroleum and natural gas.

Cable transport is a broad mode where vehicles are pulled by cables instead of an internal power source. It
is most commonly used at steep gradient; typical solutions include aerial tramway, elevators, escalator
and ski lifts; some of these are categorized as conveyor transport.

Spaceflight is transport out of Earth's atmosphere into outer space by means of a spacecraft. While large
amounts of research have gone into technology, it is rarely used except to put satelites into orbit, and
conduct scientific experiments; man has landed on the moon, and probes have been send to all the planets
of the Solar System.

[edit] Intermodal transport

Main articles: Intermodal freight transport and Intermodal passenger transport

Intermodal freight transport is the combination of multiple modes of transportation for a single shipment;
containers allow seamless integration of sea, rail and road transport and have reduced transshipment costs.

Intermodal passenger transport is where a journey is performed through the use of several modes of
transport; since all human transport normally starts and ends with walking, all passenger transport can be
considered intermodal. Public transport may also involve the intermediate change of vehicle, within or
across modes, at at transport hub, such as a bus- or railway station.

[edit] History
Bullock team hauling wood in Australia
Main article: History of transport

Throughout history, new transport technology has been one of the key elements to foster a larger world
and better commerce. The development has allowed larger quantities to be sent longer distances, at higher
speed and at a lower cost. From nature humans are capable of transporting themselves by walking, though
from time immemorial animals have been domesticated for labor and transport. Inventions such as the
wheel and sled helped make animal transport more efficient, with the introduction of vehicles. Also water
transport, including rowed and sailed vessels, dates back to time immemorial, and was the only efficient
way to transport large quantities or over large distances prior to the industrial revolution. Because of
water transport's importance, most settlements were located at intersections of bodies of water.

The industrial revolution saw a number of inventions fundamentally change transport. With telegraphy,
communication became instant and independent of transport. The invention of the steam engine, closely
followed by its application in rail transport made land transport independent of human or animal muscles;
both speed and capacity exploded, helping to allow specialization through the location of manufacturing
being independent of natural resources. The 19th century also saw the development of the steam ship,
making global transport The development of the combustion engine and the automobile at the turn into
the 20th century, road transport became more viable, allowing the introduction of mechanical private
transport. In 1903 flight was invented, and after World War I it became a fast was to transport people and
express goods over long distances.[8]

After World War II, the automobile and airlines took higher shares of transport, reducing rail and water to
freight and short-haul passenger. Spaceflight was launched in the 1950s, with rapid growth until the
1970s, when interest dwindled. In the 1950s, the introduction of containerization gave massive efficiency
gains in freight transport, permitting globalization.[9] At the same time, high-speed rail in Asia and Europe
started taking passengers on long-haul routes from airlines, after the introduction of the Shinkansen in

[edit] Passenger
Main article: Travel

Passenger transport, or travel, is divided into public and private transport. Public is scheduled services on
fixed routes, while private is vehicles that provide ad hoc services at the riders desire. The latter offers
better flexibility, but has lower capacity, and a higher environmental impact. Travel may be as part of
daily commuting, for business or leisure.

Short-haul transport is dominated by the automobile and mass transit. The latter consists of buses in rural
and small cities, supplemented with commuter rail, trams and rapid transit in larger cities. Long-haul
transport involves the use of the automobile, trains, coaches and aircraft, the last of which have become
predominantly used for the longest, including intercontinental, travel. International travel may be
restricted for some individuals due to legislation and visa requirements.
[edit] Freight

Freight train with containers in the United Kingdom
Main article: Shipping

Freight transport, or shipping, is a key in the value chain in manufacturing.[10] With increased
specialization and globalization, production is being located further away from consumption, rapidly
increasing the demand for transport.[11] While all modes of transport are used for cargo transport, there is
high differentiation between the nature of the cargo transport, in which mode is chosen.[12] Logistics refers
to the entire process of transferring products from producer to consumer, including storage, transport,
transshipment, warehousing, material-handling and packaging, with associated exchange of information.
Incoterm deals with the handling of payment and responsibility of risk during transport.[14]

Containerization, with the standarization of ISO containers on all vehicles and at all ports, has
revolutionized international and domestic trade, offering huge reduction in transshipment costs.
Traditionally, all cargo had to be manually loaded and unloaded into the haul of any ship or car;
containerization allows for automated handling and transfer between modes, and the standardized sizes
allow for gains in economy of scale in vehicle operation. This has been one of the key driving factors in
international trade and globalization since the 1950s.[9]

Bulk transport is common with cargo that can be handled roughly without deterioration; typical examples
are ore, coal, cereals and petroleum. Because of the uniformity of the product, mechanical handling can
allow enormous quantities to be handled quickly and efficiently. The low value of the cargo combined
with high volume also means that economies of scale become essential in transport, and gigantic ships
and whole trains are commonly used to transport bulk. Liquid products with sufficient volume may also
be transported by pipeline.

Air freight has become more common for products of high value; while less than one percent of world
transport by volume is by airline, it amounts to forty percent of the value. Time has become especially
important in regards to principles such as postponement and just-in-time within the value chain, resulting
in a high willingness to pay for quick delivery of key components or items of high value-to-weight ratio.
In addition to mail, common items send by air include electronics and fashion clothing.

[edit] Impact
Transport is a key necessity for specialization—allowing production and consumption of product to occur
at different locations. Transport has throughout history been the gate to expansion; better transport allows
more trade and spread of people. Economic growth has always been dependent on increased capacity and
more rational transport.[16] But the infrastructure and operation of transport incurs large impact on the land
and is the largest drainer of energy, making transport sustainability a major issue.
Modern society dictates a physical distinction between home and work, forcing people to transport
themselves to place of work or study, supplemented by the need to temporarily relocate for other daily
activities. Passenger transport is also the essence tourism, a mayor part of recreational transport.
Commerce needs transport of people to conduct business, either to allow face-to-face communication for
important decisions, or to transport specialists from their regular place of work to sites where they are

[edit] Planning

The engineering of this roundabout in Bristol, United Kingdom, attempts to make traffic flow free-
Main article: Transport planning

Transport planning allows for high utilization and less impact regarding new infrastructure. Using models
of transport forecasting, planners are able to predict future transport patterns. On the operative level,
logistics allows owners of cargo to plan transport as part of the supply chain. Transport as a field is
studied through transport economics, the backbone for the creation of regulation policy by authorities.

Transport engineering, a sub-discipline of civil engineering, and must take into account trip generation,
trip distribution, mode choice and route assignment, while the operative level is handles through traffic

Because of the negative impacts made, transport often becomes the subject of controversy related to
choice of mode, as well as increased capacity. Automotive transport can be seen as a tragedy of the
commons, where the flexibility and comfort for the individual deteriorate the natural and urban
environment for all. Density of development depends on mode of transport, with public transport allowing
for better spacial utilization. Good land use keeps common activities close to peoples homes and places
higher-density development closer to transport lines and hubs; minimize the need for transport. There are
economies of agglomeration. Beyond transportation some land uses are more efficient when clustered.
Transportation facilities consume land, and in cities, pavement (devoted to streets and parking) can easily
exceed 20 percent of the total land use. An efficient transport system can reduce land waste.

Too much infrastructure and too much smoothing for maximum vehicle throughput means that in many
cities there is too much traffic and many—if not all—of the negative impacts that come with it. It is only
in recent years that traditional practices have started to be questioned in many places, and as a result of
new types of analysis which bring in a much broader range of skills than those traditionally relied on—
spanning such areas as environmental impact analysis, public health, sociologists as well as economists
who increasingly are questioning the viability of the old mobility solutions. European cities are leading
this transition.

[edit] Financing

Main article: Transport finance
Traffic congestion persists in São Paulo, Brasil despite of the no-drive days based on license numbers.

The financing of infrastructure can either be public or private. Transport is often a natural monopoly and a
necessity for the public; roads, and in some countries railways and airports are funded through taxation.
New infrastructure projects can involve large spendings.

Operations may be public, but airlines and road transport is commonly private, with the typical exception
of mass transit. International shipping remains a highly competitive industry with little regulation,[17] but
ports can be public owned.[18]

A local transit bus in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

[edit] Environment

Main articles: Peak oil and Global warming

Transport is a major use of energy, burning most of the world's petroleum; creating air pollution,
including nitrous oxides and particulates and being a significant contributor to global warming through
emission of carbon dioxide[19]—the fastest growing emission sector.[20] Environmental regulations in
developed countries have reduced the individual vehicles emission; this has been offset by an increase in
the number of vehicles and more use of each vehicle.[19] Energy use and emissions vary largely between
modes, causing environmentalists to call for a transition from air and road to rail and human-powered
transport and go to transport electrification and energy efficiency.

By subsector, road transport is the largest contributor to global warming.[21] (74%)[22] Other environmental
impacts of transport systems include traffic congestion and automobile-oriented urban sprawl, which can
consume natural habitat and agricultural lands. By reducing transportation emissions globally, it is
predicted that there will be significant positive effects on earth's air quality, acid rain, smog, and climate
change.[23] A detailed description of transport energy issues and options is obtainable in PDF format at the
Claverton Energy Research Group website.[24]

[edit] See also
• List of transport topics
• Transport in present-day nations and states
[edit] Notes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Communicate)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards.
Please improve this article if you can. (September 2008)
For other uses, see Communication (disambiguation).

Communication is the process to impart information from a sender to a receiver with the use of a
medium. Communication requires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality. There are
auditory means, such as speaking, singing and sometimes tone of voice, and nonverbal, physical means,
such as body language, sign language, paralanguage, touch, eye contact, or the use of writing.
Communication is defined as a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create
shared understanding. This process requires a vast repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal
processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. Use of these processes
is developmental and transfers to all areas of life: home, school, community, work, and beyond. It is
through communication that collaboration and cooperation occur.[1]

Communication is the articulation of sending a message through different media,[2] whether it be verbal or
nonverbal, so long as a being transmits a thought provoking idea, gesture, action, etc. Communication is a
learned skill. Most people are born with the physical ability to talk, but we must learn to speak well and
communicate effectively. Speaking, listening, and our ability to understand verbal and nonverbal
meanings are skills we develop in various ways. We learn basic communication skills by observing other
people and modeling our behaviors based on what we see. We also are taught some communication skills
directly through education, and by practicing those skills and having them evaluated.

Communication as an academic discipline relates to all the ways we communicate, so it embraces a large
body of study and knowledge. The communication discipline includes both verbal and nonverbal
messages. A body of scholarship all about communication is presented and explained in textbooks,
electronic publications, and academic journals. In the journals, researchers report the results of studies
that are the basis for an ever-expanding understanding of how we all communicate. Communication
happens at many levels (even for one single action), in many different ways, and for most beings, as well
as certain machines. Several, if not all, fields of study dedicate a portion of attention to communication, so
when speaking about communication it is very important to be sure about what aspects of communication
one is speaking about. Definitions of communication range widely, some recognizing that animals can
communicate with each other as well as human beings, and some are more narrow, only including human
beings within the parameters of human symbolic interaction.

Nonetheless, communication is usually described along a few major dimensions: Content (what type of
things are communicated), source, emisor, sender or encoder (by whom), form (in which form), channel
(through which medium), destination, receiver, target or decoder (to whom), and the purpose or pragmatic
aspect. Between parties, communication includes acts that confer knowledge and experiences, give advice
and commands, and ask questions. These acts may take many forms, in one of the various manners of
communication. The form depends on the abilities of the group communicating. Together, communication
content and form make messages that are sent towards a destination. The target can be oneself, another
person or being, another entity (such as a corporation or group of beings).
Communication can be seen as processes of information transmission governed by three levels of semiotic

1. Syntactic (formal properties of signs and symbols),
2. pragmatic (concerned with the relations between signs/expressions and their users) and
3. semantic (study of relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent).

Therefore, communication is social interaction where at least two interacting agents share a common set
of signs and a common set of semiotic rules. This commonly held rule in some sense ignores
autocommunication, including intrapersonal communication via diaries or self-talk.

In a simple model, information or content (e.g. a message in natural language) is sent in some form (as
spoken language) from an emisor/ sender/ encoder to a destination/ receiver/ decoder. In a slightly more
complex form a sender and a receiver are linked reciprocally. A particular instance of communication is
called a speech act. In the presence of "communication noise" on the transmission channel (air, in this
case), reception and decoding of content may be faulty, and thus the speech act may not achieve the
desired effect. One problem with this encode-transmit-receive-decode model is that the processes of
encoding and decoding imply that the sender and receiver each possess something that functions as a code
book, and that these two code books are, at the very least, similar if not identical. Although something like
code books is implied by the model, they are nowhere represented in the model, which creates many
conceptual difficulties.

Theories of coregulation describe communication as a creative and dynamic continuous process, rather
than a discrete exchange of information. Canadian media scholar Harold Innis had the theory that people
use different types of media to communicate and which one they choose to use will offer different
possiblities for the shape and durablility of society (Wark, McKenzie 1997). His famous example of this
is using ancient Egypt and looking at the ways they built themselves out of media with very different
properties stone and papyrus. Papyrus is what he called 'Space Binding'. it made possible the
trasnsmission of written orders across space, empires and enables the waging of distant military
campaigns and colonial adminstration. The other is stone and 'Time Binding', through the construction of
temples and the pyramids can sustain their authority generation to generation, through this media they can
change and shape communciation in their society (Wark, McKenzie 1997).


• 1 Types of communication
o 1.1 Dialogue
o 1.2 Nonverbal communication
o 1.3 Cultural Approach to Communication
o 1.4 Global Communication for Businesses
o 1.5 Non-human living organisms
 1.5.1 Plants and fungi
• 2 References
• 3 Sources

• 4 External links

[edit] Types of communication
There are only 3 major parts in any communication which are body language, voice tonality, and words.
According to the research (Mehrabian and Ferris,'Inference of Attitude from Nonverbal Communication
in Two Channels' in The Journal of Counselling Psychology Vol.31, 1967,pp.248-52), 55% of impact is
determined by body language--postures, gestures, and eye contact, 38% by the tone of voice, and 7% by
the content or the words used in the communication process. Although the exact percentage of influence
may differ from variables such as the listener and the speaker, communication as a whole strives for the
same goal and thus, in some cases, can be universal. System of signals, such as voice sounds, intonations
or pitch, gestures or written symbols which communicate thoughts or feelings. If a language is about
communicating with signals, voice, sounds, gestures, or written symbols, can animal communications be
considered as a language? Animals do not have a written form of a language, but use a language to
communicate with each another. In that sense, an animal communication can be considered as a separate

Human spoken and written languages can be described as a system of symbols (sometimes known as
lexemes) and the grammars (rules) by which the symbols are manipulated. The word "language" is also
used to refer to common properties of languages. Language learning is normal in human childhood. Most
human languages use patterns of sound or gesture for symbols which enable communication with others
around them. There are thousands of human languages, and these seem to share certain properties, even
though many shared properties have exceptions.

There is no defined line between a language and a dialect, but the linguist Max Weinreich is credited as
saying that "a language is a dialect with an army and a navy". Constructed languages such as Esperanto,
programming languages, and various mathematical formalisms are not necessarily restricted to the
properties shared by human languages.
[edit] Dialogue

Main article: Dialogue

A dialogue is a reciprocal conversation between two or more entities. The etymological origins of the
word (in Greek διά(diá,through) + λόγος(logos, word,speech) concepts like flowing-through meaning) do
not necessarily convey the way in which people have come to use the word, with some confusion between
the prefix διά-(diá-,through) and the prefix δι- (di-, two) leading to the assumption that a dialogue is
necessarily between only two parties. wha happens if a dumb person edits the article?!!!!!!!!

[edit] Nonverbal communication

Main article: Nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication is the process of communicating through sending and receiving wordless
messages. Such messages can be communicated through gesture, body language or posture; facial
expression and eye contact, object communication such as clothing, hairstyles or even architecture, or
symbols and infographics, as well as through an aggregate of the above, such as behavioral
communication. Speech may also contain nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice
quality, emotion and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation and stress.
Likewise, written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words,
or the use of emoticons.A portmanteau of the English words emotion (or emote) and icon, an emoticon is
a symbol or combination of symbols used to convey emotional content in written or message form.

[edit] Cultural Approach to Communication

Discussed in his article A Cultural Approach to Communication, communications theorist James W.
Carey draws on the notion that “society exists not only by transmission, by communication, but [also] in
transmission, in communication”, claiming that “societies distribute information…and that by such
transactions and the channels of communication peculiar to them society is made possible” [3]

From this, he suggests two ways of viewing the communication process and the relationship between
transmitter and receiver which demonstrate differing ideas of how communication and society are
integrated. These are as follows:

• Transmission model: communication as simply a process whereby messages are transmitted and
distributed in space for the control of distance and people. A somewhat hierarchical view, where the
communicating or gaining of knowledge is of the most importance.

• Ritual model: the maintenance of society in time through the representation of shared beliefs. Invites
participation on the basis of our assuming, where communication produces social bonds which tie men
and women together and make associated life possible by way of shared information.

[edit] Global Communication for Businesses

In his book Global Brains- Knowledge and Competencies for the 21st Century, Gary Ferraro emphasizes
the importance of successful global communication when taking a business overseas. In order for a
company to be successful in the global economy, the entering business must be aware and conscious of
communication protocols, within relevant countries. (Ferraro 2002)

[edit] Non-human living organisms
Communication in many of its facets is not limited to humans, or even to primates. Every information
exchange between living organisms — i.e. transmission of signals involving a living sender and receiver
— can be considered a form of communication. Thus, there is the broad field of animal communication,
which encompasses most of the issues in ethology. On a more basic level, there is cell signaling, cellular
communication, and chemical communication between primitive organisms like bacteria, and within the
plant and fungal kingdoms. All of these communication processes are sign-mediated interactions with a
great variety of distinct coordinations.

Animal communication is any behaviour on the part of one animal that has an effect on the current or
future behavior of another animal. Of course, human communication can be subsumed as a highly
developed form of animal communication. The study of animal communication, called zoosemiotics'
(distinguishable from anthroposemiotics, the study of human communication) has played an important
part in the development of ethology, sociobiology, and the study of animal cognition. This is quite evident
as humans are able to communicate with animals especially dolphins and other animals used in circuses
however these animals have to learn a special means of communication. Animal communication, and
indeed the understanding of the animal world in general, is a rapidly growing field, and even in the 21st
century so far, many prior understandings related to diverse fields such as personal symbolic name use,
animal emotions, animal culture and learning, and even sexual conduct, long thought to be well
understood, have been revolutionized.

[edit] Plants and fungi

Among plants, communication is observed within the plant organism, i.e. within plant cells and between
plant cells, between plants of the same or related species, and between plants and non-plant organisms,
especially in the rootzone. Plant roots communicate in parallel with rhizobia bacteria, with fungi and with
insects in the soil. This parallel sign-mediated interactions which are governed by syntactic, pragmatic
and semantic rules are possible because of the decentralized "nervous system" of plants. As recent
research shows 99% of intraorganismic plant communication processes are neuronal-like. Plants also
communicate via volatiles in the case of herbivory attack behavior to warn neighboring plants. In parallel
they produce other volatiles which attract parasites which attack these herbivores. In Stress situations
plants can overwrite the genetic code they inherited from their parents and revert to that of their grand- or

Fungi communicate to coordinate and organize their own growth and development such as the formation
of mycelia and fruiting bodies. Additionally fungi communicate with same and related species as well as
with nonfungal organisms in a great variety of symbiotic interactions, especially with bacteria, unicellular
eukaryotes, plants and insects. The used semiochemicals are of biotic origin and they trigger the fungal
organism to react in a specific manner, in difference while to even the same chemical molecules are not
being a part of biotic messages doesn’t trigger to react the fungal organism. It means, fungal organisms
are competent to identify the difference of the same molecules being part of biotic messages or lack of
these features. So far five different primary signalling molecules are known that serve to coordinate very
different behavioral patterns such as filamentation, mating, growth, pathogenicity. Behavioral
coordination and the production of such substances can only be achieved through interpretation processes:
self or non-self, abiotic indicator, biotic message from similar, related, or non-related species, or even
“noise”, i.e., similar molecules without biotic content-[5]

[edit] References
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Bomb (disambiguation).

The Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb produced in the United States.

A bomb is any of a range of explosive devices that typically rely on the exothermic chemical reaction of
an explosive material to produce an extremely sudden and violent release of energy. The word comes
from the Greek word βόμβος (bombos), an onomatopoetic term with approximately the same meaning as
"boom" in English. A nuclear weapon employs chemical-based explosives to initiate a much larger
nuclear-based explosion.
The term "bomb" is not usually applied to explosive devices used for civilian purposes such as
construction or mining, although the people using the devices may sometimes refer to them as bombs. The
military use of the term "bomb", or more specifically aerial bomb, typically refers to airdropped,
unpowered explosive weapons most commonly used by air forces and naval aviation. Other military
explosive devices not classified as "bombs" include grenades, shells, depth charges (used in water),
warheads when in missiles, or land mines. In unconventional warfare, "bomb" can refer to any of a
limitless range of explosive devices used as boobytraps or offensive weapons.


• 1 Effects
• 2 Types
• 3 Delivery
• 4 References

• 5 External links

[edit] Effects
Detonation causes destruction, injury and/or death within the blast radius through three distinct yet inter-
related phenomena: shock wave (a.k.a. detonation wave, pressure wave or overpressure), thermal wave
and fragmentation.

A shock wave is produced when an explosive event suddenly displaces a volume of air spherically
outward from the point of detonation. At its initial creation this phenomenon might best be visualized as a
round, thick "shell" of highly compressed air enclosing a vacuum. This shell of pressurized air will
expand outward at a speed described by the Chapman-Jouguet condition, typically several to many times
the speed of sound.

Even brief exposure to overpressure conditions can cause severe damage, crush injury and death. 1psi
overpressure can shatter windows, 5psi can rupture eardrums and shatter a 12-inch concrete wall, and
15psi can cause severe lung damage. Shock waves dissipate as they expand, and the greatest defense
against shock injuries is distance from the source of shock.[1] As a point of reference, the overpressure at
the Oklahoma City bombing was estimated in the range of 4000psi.[2]

Shock waves produced by explosive events actually have two distinct components, the positive and
negative wave. The positive wave shoves outward from the point of detonation, followed by the trailing
vacuum space which "sucks back" towards the point of origin as the shock bubble collapses back on itself.
This is most clearly observed in footage from the Trinity nuclear test where both the positive and negative
effects on buildings are evident.[3]

A thermal wave is created by the sudden release of heat caused by an explosion. Military bomb tests have
documented temperatures of 3000 to 4500˚F. While capable of inflicting severe to catastrophic burns and
causing secondary fires, thermal wave effects are considered very limited in range compared to shock and
fragmentation. This rule has been challenged, however, by military development of thermobaric weapons,
which employ a combination of negative shock wave effects and extreme temperature to incinerate
objects within the blast radius.

Fragmentation is produced by the acceleration of shattered pieces of bomb casing and adjacent physical
objects. This is technically distinct, although practically indistinguishable, from shrapnel, which is
physical objects, such as steel balls or nails, added to a bomb specifically to increase injury. While
conventionally viewed as small metal shards moving at super- to hypersonic speeds, fragmentation can
occur in epic proportions and travel for extensive distances. When the S.S. Grandcamp exploded in the
Texas City Disaster on April 16, 1947, one "fragment" of that blast was a two ton anchor which was
hurled nearly two miles inland to embed itself in the parking lot of the Pan American refinery.

[edit] Types

Device originally thought to be a pipe bomb, found to be a time bomb. From a United States government

Experts commonly distinguish between civilian and military bombs. The latter are almost always mass-
produced weapons, developed and constructed to a standard design out of standard components and
intended to be deployed in a standard way each time. By contrast, civilian bombs are usually custom-
made, developed to any number of designs, use a wide range of explosives of varying levels of power and
chemical stability, and are used in many different ways. For this reason, civilian-made bombs are
generally referred to as improvised explosive devices (IEDs). IEDs are divided into three basic categories
by basic size and delivery. Type 1 IEDs are hand-carried parcel or suitcase bombs, type 2 are "suicide
vests" worn by a bomber, and type 3 devices are vehicles laden with explosives to act as large-scale
stationary or self-propelled bombs, also known as VBIED (vehicle-borne IEDs).

Improvised explosive materials are typically very unstable and subject to spontaneous, unintentional
detonation triggered by a wide range of environmental effects ranging from impact and friction to
electrostatic shock. Even subtle motion, change in temperature, or the nearby use of cellphones or radios,
can trigger an unstable or remote-controlled device. Any interaction with explosive materials or devices
by unqualified personnel should be considered a grave and immediate risk of death or dire injury. The
safest response to finding an object believed to be an explosive device is to get as far away from it as

The term dirty bomb refers to a specialized device that relies on a comparatively low explosive yield to
scatter harmful material over a wide area. Most commonly associated with radiological or chemical
materials, dirty bombs seek to kill or injure and then to deny access to a contaminated area until a
thorough clean-up can be accomplished. In the case of urban settings, this clean-up may take extensive
time, rendering the contaminated zone virtually uninhabitable in the interim.

The most powerful kind of bomb in existence is the hydrogen bomb, a nuclear weapon with destructive
power measured in TNT equivalent. The most powerful bombs ever used in combat were the two bombs
dropped by the United States to attack Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the most powerful ever tested was
the Tsar Bomba. The most powerful non-nuclear bombs are the United States Air Force's MOAB
(officially Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or more commonly known as the "Mother of All Bombs") and the
Russian "Father of All Bombs".[4]
Bombs can also be classified according to the way they are set off and radius of effect.

[edit] Delivery

A Japanese bomb explodes on the flight deck of USS Enterprise, 24 August 1942, during the Battle of the
Eastern Solomons, causing minor damage.

The first air-dropped bombs were used by the Austrians in the 1849 siege of Venice. Two hundred
unmanned balloons carried small bombs, few bombs actually hit Venice.[5]

The first bombing from a fixed wing aircraft took place in 1911 when the Italians fought Arabs in what is
now Libya. The bombs were dropped by hand.[6]

The first significant terrorist bombing in the United States took place nine years later at noon on
September 16, 1920 when an explosives-laden horse-drawn wagon, detonated on the lunchtime-crowded
streets of New York's financial district. The Wall Street bombing employed many aspects of modern
terrorist devices, such as cast-iron slugs added for shrapnel, in a horrific attack that killed 38 and injured
some 400 others.

Modern military bomber aircraft are designed around a large-capacity internal bomb bay while fighter
bombers usually carry bombs externally on pylons or bomb racks, or on multiple ejection racks which
enable mounting several bombs on a single pylon. Modern bombs, precision-guided munitions, may be
guided after they leave an aircraft by remote control, or by autonomous guidance. When bombs such as
nuclear weapons are mounted on a powered platform, they are called guided missiles.

Some bombs are equipped with a parachute, such as the World War II "parafrag", which was an 11 kg
fragmentation bomb, the Vietnam-era daisy cutters, and the bomblets of some modern cluster bombs.
Parachutes slow the bomb's descent, giving the dropping aircraft time to get to a safe distance from the
explosion. This is especially important with airburst nuclear weapons, and in situations where the aircraft
releases a bomb at low altitude.[7]

A hand grenade is delivered by being thrown. Grenades can also be projected by other means using a
grenade launcher, such as being launched from the muzzle of a rifle using the M203 or the GP-30 or by
attaching a rocket to the explosive grenade as in a rocket propelled grenade (RPG).

A bomb may also be positioned in advance and concealed.
A bomb destroying a rail track just before a train arrives causes a train to derail. Apart from the damage to
vehicles and people, a bomb exploding in a transport network often also damages, and is sometimes
mainly intended to damage that network. This applies for railways, bridges, runways, and ports, and to a
lesser extent, depending on circumstances, to roads.

In the case of suicide bombing the bomb is often carried by the attacker on his or her body, or in a vehicle
driven to the target.

The Blue Peacock nuclear mines, which were also termed "bombs", were planned to be positioned during
wartime and be constructed such that, if they were disturbed, they would explode within ten seconds.

The explosion of a bomb may be triggered by a detonator or a fuse. Detonators are triggered by clocks,
remote controls like cell phones or some kind of sensor, such as pressure (altitude), radar, vibration or
contact. Detonators vary in ways they work, they can be electrical, fire fuze or blast initiated detonators
and others..

[edit] References

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

This article is about the country. For other uses, see Russia (disambiguation).

Russian Federation
Российская Федерация
Rossiyskaya Federatsiya

Flag Coat of arms

Anthem: Государственный гимн Российской
Федерации (Russian)
Gosudarstvenny gimn Rossiyskoy
Federatsii (transliteration)
State Anthem of the Russian Federation

Capital Moscow
(and largest city) 55°45′N 37°37′E

Russian official throughout nation;
Official languages twenty-seven others co-official in
various regions

79.8% Russian
3.8% Tatar
2.0% Ukrainian
Ethnic groups
1.2% Bashkir
1.1% Chuvash
12.1% others[1]

Demonym Russian

Government Federal semi-presidential republic

- President Dmitry Medvedev (Ind.)

- Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (UR)

Chairman of the
- Federation Sergey Mironov (FR)

Chairman of the
- Boris Gryzlov (UR)
State Duma

Novgorodians invited prince Rurik
to keep law and order, thus giving
Founded (862)1 birth to the Rurik dynasty that
ruled over all Russian lands
throughout more than 700 years[2]


- Total 17,075,400 km2 (1st)
6,592,800 sq mi

- Water (%) 13[3]


- 2008 estimate 142,008,838[4] (9th)

- 2002 census 145,166,731[5]

8.3/km2 (209th)
- Density
21.5/sq mi

GDP (PPP) 2007 estimate

- Total $2,089 trillion[6] (7th)

- Per capita $14,704[6] (52nd)

GDP (nominal) 2007 estimate

- Total $1,289 trillion[6] (11th)

- Per capita $9,074[6] (54th)

Gini (2005) 40.5[7]

HDI (2005) ▲ 0.802 (high[8]) (67th)
Currency Ruble (RUB)

Time zone (UTC+2 to +12)

- Summer (DST) (UTC+3 to +13)

Drives on the right

Internet TLD .ru (.su reserved), (.рф2 2009)

Calling code 7
The Russian Federation is the successor to earlier forms of
1 continuous statehood, starting from 9 century AD when Rurik, a
viking warrior, established "Russ" or "Rhos" state at Novgorod,
traditionally taken as the beginning of Russian statehood.

The .рф Top-level domain will be available for use in the Russian
Federation in the second quarter of 2009 and will only accept
domains which use the Cyrillic alphabet.[9]

Russia [ˈɹʌʃə] (help·info) (Russian: Россия, Rossiya), or[10] the Russian Federation (Russian: Российская
Федерация?·i, Rossiyskaya Federatsiya), is a transcontinental country extending over much of northern
Eurasia. It is a semi-presidential republic comprising 83 federal subjects. Russia shares land borders with
the following countries (counterclockwise from northwest to southeast): Norway, Finland, Estonia,
Latvia, Lithuania (via Kaliningrad Oblast), Poland (via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia,
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea, and is also close to the United States
(Alaska) and Japan. It borders the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Caspian Sea, the Baltic Sea, and
the Black Sea.

At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world, covering
more than an eighth of the Earth’s land area; with 142 million people, it is the ninth largest by population.
It extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe, spanning 11 time zones and
incorporating a great range of environments and landforms. Russia has the world's greatest reserves of
mineral and energy resources,[11] and is considered an energy superpower. It has the world's largest forest
reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world's unfrozen fresh water.[12]

The nation's history began with that of the East Slavs. The Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in
Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD.[13] Founded and ruled by a noble Viking warrior class and
their descendants, the first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus', arose in the 9th century and adopted
Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in 988,[14] beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic
cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium.[14] Kievan Rus' ultimately disintegrated and
the lands were divided into many small feudal states. The most powerful successor state to Kievan Rus'
was Moscow, which served as the main force in the Russian reunification process and independence
struggle against the Golden Horde. Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities
and came to dominate the cultural and political legacy of Kievan Rus'. By the 18th century, the nation had
greatly expanded through conquest, annexation and exploration to become the Russian Empire, which
was the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland eastward to the Pacific Ocean and Alaska.

Russia established worldwide power and influence from the times of the Russian Empire to being the
largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first and largest constitutionally socialist
state and a recognized superpower. The nation can boast a long tradition of excellence in every aspect of
the arts and sciences.[13] The Russian Federation was founded following the dissolution of the Soviet
Union in 1991, but is recognized as the continuing legal personality of the Soviet Union.[15] It has one of
the world's fastest growing major economies and has the world's eleventh largest GDP by nominal GDP
or seventh largest by purchasing power parity with the eighth largest military budget. It is one of the five
recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the world's largest stockpile of weapons of mass
destruction.[16] Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the
G8, APEC and the SCO, and is a leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.


• 1 Geography
o 1.1 Topography
o 1.2 Climate
• 2 History
o 2.1 Early periods
o 2.2 Kievan Rus'
o 2.3 Grand Duchy of Moscow and Tsardom of Russia
o 2.4 Imperial Russia
o 2.5 Soviet Russia
o 2.6 Russian Federation
• 3 Government and politics
• 4 Subdivisions
• 5 Foreign relations and military
• 6 Economy
• 7 Demographics
o 7.1 Education
o 7.2 Health
o 7.3 Language
o 7.4 Religion
• 8 Culture
o 8.1 Classical music and ballet
o 8.2 Literature
o 8.3 Motion pictures
o 8.4 Visual arts
o 8.5 Sports
• 9 See also
• 10 References and notes

• 11 External links

Main article: Geography of Russia

The Russian Federation stretches across a large extent of the north of the super-continent of Eurasia.
Because of its size, Russia displays both monotony and diversity. As with its topography, its climates,
vegetation, and soils span vast distances.[17] From north to south the East European Plain is clad
sequentially in tundra, coniferous forest (taiga), mixed and broad-leaf forests, grassland (steppe), and
semi-desert (fringing the Caspian Sea) as the changes in vegetation reflect the changes in climate. Siberia
supports a similar sequence but is taiga. The country contains 23 World Heritage Sites[18] and 40
UNESCO Biosphere reserves.[19]


The two widest separated points in Russia are about 8,000 km (5,000 mi) apart along a geodesic line.
These points are: the boundary with Poland on a 60 km long (40-mi long) spit of land separating the Gulf
of Gdańsk from the Vistula Lagoon; and the farthest southeast of the Kuril Islands, a few miles off
Hokkaidō Island, Japan. The points which are furthest separated in longitude are 6,600 km (4,100 mi)
apart along a geodesic. These points are: in the West, the same spit; in the East, the Big Diomede Island
(Ostrov Ratmanova). The Russian Federation spans 11 time zones.

Central Russian Upland, Zaraysk, Moscow Oblast
Sochi, Krasnodar Krai

Russia has the world's largest forest reserves[12] and is known as "the lungs of Europe",[20] second only to
the Amazon Rainforest in the amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs. It provides a huge amount of oxygen
for not just Europe, but the world. With access to three of the world's oceans — the Atlantic, Arctic and
Pacific — Russian fishing fleets are a major contributor to the world's fish supply.[21] The Caspian is the
source of what is considered the finest caviar in the world.

Most of Russia consists of vast stretches of plains that are predominantly steppe to the south and heavily
forested to the north, with tundra along the northern coast. Mountain ranges are found along the southern
borders, such as the Caucasus (containing Mount Elbrus, Russia's and Europe's highest point at 5,642 m /
18,511 ft) and the Altai, and in the eastern parts, such as the Verkhoyansk Range or the volcanoes on
Kamchatka. The Ural Mountains form a north-south range that divides Europe and Asia, rich in mineral
resources. Russia possesses 10% of the world's arable land.[22]

The plains of Western Siberia, Vasyugan River, Tomsk Oblast

Saranpaul, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug

Russia has an extensive coastline of over 37,000 kilometers (23,000 mi) along the Arctic and Pacific
Oceans, as well as the Baltic Sea, Sea of Azov, Black and Caspian seas.[7] The Barents Sea, White Sea,
Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea, Chukchi Sea, Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan
are linked to Russia. Major islands and archipelagos include Novaya Zemlya, the Franz Josef Land, the
Severnaya Zemlya, the New Siberian Islands, Wrangel Island, the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin. The
Diomede Islands (one controlled by Russia, the other by the United States) are just three kilometers
(1.9 mi) apart, and Kunashir Island is about twenty kilometers (12 mi) from Hokkaidō.

Russia has thousands of rivers and inland bodies of water, providing it with one of the world's largest
surface water resources. The largest and most prominent of Russia's bodies of fresh water is Lake Baikal,
the world's deepest, purest, most ancient and most capacious freshwater lake.[23] Lake Baikal alone
contains over one fifth of the world's fresh surface water.[24] Other major lakes include Lake Ladoga and
Lake Onega, two largest lakes in Europe. Of Russia's 100,000 rivers,[25] The Volga is the most famous—
not only because it is the longest river in Europe but also because of its major role in Russian history.
Russia has a wide natural resource base unmatched by any other country, including major deposits of
petroleum, natural gas, coal, timber and mineral resources.[7][26]


Main article: Climate of Russia

The climate of the Russian Federation formed under the influence of several determining factors. The
enormous size of the country and the remoteness of many areas from the sea result in the dominance of
the humid continental and subarctic climate, which is prevalent in European and Asian Russia except for
the tundra and the extreme southeast.[17] Mountains in the south obstructing the flow of warm air masses
from the Indian Ocean and the plain of the west and north makes the country open to Arctic and Atlantic

Throughout much of the territory there are only two distinct seasons — winter and summer; spring and
autumn are usually brief periods of change between extremely low temperatures and extremely high.[27]
The coldest month is January (on the shores of the sea—February), the warmest usually is July. Great
ranges of temperature are typical. In winter, temperatures get colder both from south to north and from
west to east.[17] Summers can be quite hot and humid, even in Siberia. A small part of Black Sea coast
around Sochi has a subtropical climate.[28] The continental interiors are the driest areas.

Main article: History of Russia

Early periods

Further information: Eurasian nomads, Scythia, Bosporan Kingdom, and Khazaria

Kurgan hypothesis: South Russia as the urheimat of Indo-European peoples

In prehistoric times, the vast steppes of Southern Russia were home to disunited tribes of nomadic
pastoralists. In classical antiquity, the Pontic Steppe was known as Scythia.[29] Remnants of these steppe
civilizations were discovered in the course of the 20th century in such places as Ipatovo,[29] Sintashta,[30]
Arkaim,[31] and Pazyryk.[32] In the latter part of the eighth century BC, Greek traders brought classical
civilization to the trade emporiums in Tanais and Phanagoria.[33] Between the third and sixth centuries BC,
the Bosporan Kingdom, a Hellenistic polity which succeeded the Greek colonies,[34] was overwhelmed by
successive waves of nomadic invasions,[35] led by warlike tribes, such as the Huns and Turkic Avars. A
Turkic people, the Khazars, ruled the lower Volga basin steppes between the Caspian and Black Seas
until the 8th century.[36]

An approximate map of the cultures in European Russia at the arrival of the Varangians

The ancestors of modern Russians are the Slavic tribes, whose original home is thought by some scholars
to have been the wooded areas of the Pinsk Marshes.[37] Moving into the lands vacated by the migrating
Germanic tribes, the Early East Slavs gradually settled Western Russia in two waves: one moving from
Kiev toward present-day Suzdal and Murom and another from Polotsk toward Novgorod and Rostov.[38]
From the 7th century onwards, the East Slavs constituted the bulk of the population in Western Russia[38]
and slowly but peacefully assimilated the native Finno-Ugric tribes, including the Merya,[39] the
Muromians,[40] and the Meshchera.[41]

Kievan Rus'

Main article: Kievan Rus'

Kievan Rus' in the 11th century

The 9th century saw the establishment of Kievan Rus', a predecessor state to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Scandinavian Norsemen, called "Vikings" in Western Europe and "Varangians" in the East,[42] combined
piracy and trade in their roamings over much of Northern Europe. In the mid-9th century, they ventured
along the waterways extending from the eastern Baltic to the Black and Caspian Seas.[43] According to the
earliest Russian chronicle, a Varangian named Rurik was elected ruler (konung or knyaz) of Novgorod
around the year 860;[14] his successors moved south and extended their authority to Kiev,[44] which had
been previously dominated by the Khazars.[45]

In the 10th to 11th centuries this state of Kievan Rus' became the largest and most prosperous in Europe.
The reigns of Vladimir the Great (980-1015) and his son Yaroslav I the Wise (1019-1054) constitute
the Golden Age of Kiev, which saw the acceptance of Orthodox Christianity and the creation of the first
East Slavic written legal code, the Russkaya Pravda.

In the 11th and 12th centuries, constant incursions by nomadic Turkic tribes, such as the Kipchaks and the
Pechenegs, caused a massive migration of Slavic populations to the safer, heavily forested regions of the
north, particularly to the area known as Zalesye.[47] Like many other parts of Eurasia, these territories were
overrun by the Mongols. About half of the Russian population perished during the invasion.[48] The
invaders, later known as Tatars, formed the state of the Golden Horde, which pillaged the Russian
principalities and ruled the southern and central expanses of Russia for over three centuries. Mongol rule
retarded the country's economic and social development.[49] However, the Novgorod Republic together
with Pskov retained some degree of autonomy during the time of the Mongol yoke and was largely spared
the atrocities that affected the rest of the country. Led by Alexander Nevsky, Novgorodians repelled the
Germanic crusaders who attempted to colonize the region. Kievan Rus' ultimately disintegrated as a state
because of in-fighting between members of the princely family that ruled it collectively. Kiev's
dominance waned, to the benefit of Vladimir-Suzdal in the north-east, Novgorod in the north-west and
Galicia-Volhynia in the south-west. Conquest by the Golden Horde in the 13th century was the final blow
and resulted in the destruction of Kiev in 1240.[50][51] Galicia-Volhynia was eventually absorbed into the
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, while the Mongol-dominated Vladimir-Suzdal and the independent
Novgorod Republic, two regions on the periphery of Kiev, established the basis for the modern Russian
Grand Duchy of Moscow and Tsardom of Russia

Main articles: Grand Duchy of Moscow and Tsardom of Russia

The growth of Russia, 1300—1796

A scene from medieval Russian history

The most powerful successor state to Kievan Rus' was Grand Duchy of Moscow. It would annex rivals
such as Tver and Novgorod, and eventually become the basis of the modern Russian state. After the fall of
Constantinople in 1453, Moscow claimed succession to the legacy of the Eastern Roman Empire. While
still under the domain of the Mongol-Tatars and with their connivance, the Duchy of Moscow (or
"Muscovy") began to assert its influence in Western Russia in the early 14th century. Assisted by the
Russian Orthodox Church and Saint Sergius of Radonezh's spiritual revival, Russia inflicted a defeat on
the Mongol-Tatars in the Battle of Kulikovo (1380). Ivan III (Ivan the Great) eventually threw off the
control of the Tatar invaders, consolidated surrounding areas under Moscow's dominion and was the first
to take the title "grand duke of all the Russias".[52]

In 1547, Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) was officially crowned the first Tsar of Russia. During his long reign,
Ivan IV annexed the Tatar khanates (Kazan, Astrakhan) along the Volga River and transformed Russia
into a multiethnic and multiconfessional state. Ivan IV promulgated a new code of laws (Sudebnik of
1550), established the first Russian feudal representative body (Zemsky Sobor) and introduced local self-
management into the rural regions.[53][54] But Ivan IV's rule was also marked by the long and unsuccessful
Livonian War against the coalition of Poland, Lithuania, and Sweden for access to the Baltic coast and sea
trade.[55] The military losses, epidemics and poor harvests[56] weakened the state, and the Crimean Tatars
were able to burn down Moscow.[57] The death of Ivan's sons, combined with the famine of 1601-1603,[58]
led to the civil war and foreign intervention of the Time of Troubles in the early 1600s.[59] By the mid-
17th century there were Russian settlements in Eastern Siberia, on the Chukchi Peninsula, along the Amur
River, and on the Pacific coast. The Bering Strait between North America and Asia was first sighted by a
Russian explorer in 1648.

Imperial Russia
Main article: Russian Empire

Peter the Great officially proclaimed the existence of the Russian Empire in 1721

Under the Romanov dynasty and Peter I (Peter the Great), the Russian Empire became a world power.
Ruling from 1682 to 1725, Peter defeated Sweden in the Great Northern War, forcing it to cede West
Karelia and Ingria (two regions lost by Russia in the Time of Troubles),[60] Estland, and Livland, securing
Russia's access to the sea and sea trade.[61] It was in Ingria that Peter founded a new capital, Saint
Petersburg. Peter's reforms brought considerable Western European cultural influences to Russia.
Catherine II (Catherine the Great), who ruled from 1762 to 1796, continued the efforts to establish Russia
as one of the Great Powers of Europe. In alliance with Prussia and Austria, Russia stood against
Napoleon's France and eliminated its rival Poland-Lithuania in a series of partitions, gaining large areas of
territory in the west. As a result of its victories in the Russo-Turkish War, by the early 19th century
Russia had made significant territorial gains in Transcaucasia. Napoleon's invasion of Russia at the height
of his power in 1812 failed miserably as obstinate Russian resistance combined with the bitterly cold
Russian winter dealt him a disastrous defeat, in which more than 95% of his invading force perished.[62]
The officers in the Napoleonic Wars brought ideas of liberalism back to Russia with them and even
attempted to curtail the tsar's powers during the abortive Decembrist revolt of 1825, which was followed
by several decades of political repression.

Napoleon's retreat from Moscow

The Russian Empire in 1866 and its spheres of influence

The prevalence of serfdom and the conservative policies of Nicolas I impeded the development of Russia
in the mid-nineteenth century. Nicholas's successor Alexander II (1855–1881) enacted significant
reforms, including the abolition of serfdom in 1861; these "Great Reforms" spurred industrialization.
However, many socio-economic conflicts were aggravated during Alexander III’s reign and under his son,
Nicholas II. Harsh conditions in factories created mass support for the revolutionary socialist movement.
In January 1905, striking workers peaceably demonstrated for reforms in Saint Petersburg but were fired
upon by troops, killing and wounding hundreds. The abject failure of the Tsar's military forces in the
initially-popular Russo-Japanese War, and the event known as "Bloody Sunday", ignited the Russian
Revolution of 1905. Although the uprising was swiftly put down by the army and although Nicholas II
retained much of his power, he was forced to concede major reforms, including granting the freedoms of
speech and assembly, the legalization of political parties and the creation of an elected legislative
assembly, the Duma; however, the hopes for basic improvements in the lives of industrial workers were
unfulfilled. Droughts and famines in Russia tended to occur on a fairly regular basis, with famine
occurring every 10-13 years. The 1891-92 famine killed approximately 500,000 people.[63] Cholera
epidemics claimed more than 2 million lives.[64]

Russia entered World War I in aid of its ally Serbia and fought a war across three fronts while isolated
from its allies. Russia did not want war but felt that the only alternative was German domination of
Europe. Although the army was far from defeated in 1916, the already-existing public distrust of the
regime was deepened by the rising costs of war, casualties (Russia suffered the highest number of both
military and civilian deaths of the Entente Powers), and tales of corruption and even treason in high
places, leading to the outbreak of the Russian Revolution of 1917. A series of uprisings were organized by
workers and peasants throughout the country, as well as by soldiers in the Russian army, who were
mainly of peasant origin. Many of the uprisings were organized and led by democratically-elected
councils called Soviets. The February Revolution overthrew the Russian monarchy, which was replaced
by a shaky coalition of political parties that declared itself the Provisional Government. The abdication
marked the end of imperial rule in Russia, and Nicholas and his family were imprisoned and later
executed during the Civil War. While initially receiving the support of the Soviets, the Provisional
Government proved unable to resolve many problems which had led to the February Revolution. The
second revolution, the October Revolution, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government
and created the world’s first Communist state.

Soviet Russia

Main articles: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, History of the Soviet Union, and Russian SFSR

Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolsheviks and founder of the USSR.

Following the October Revolution, a civil war broke out between the new regime and the Socialist
Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, and the White movement. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk concluded hostilities
with the Central Powers in World War I. Russia lost its Ukrainian, Polish and Baltic territories, and
Finland by signing the treaty. The Allied powers launched a military intervention in support of anti-
Communist forces and both the Bolsheviks and White movement carried out campaigns of deportations
and executions against each other, known respectively as the Red Terror and White Terror. The famine of
1921 claimed 5 million victims.[65] By the end of the Russian Civil War, some 20 million had died and the
Russian economy and infrastructure were completely devastated. Following victory in the Civil War, the
Russian SFSR together with three other Soviet republics formed the Soviet Union on 30 December 1922.
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic dominated the Soviet Union for its entire 69-year
history; the USSR was often referred to as "Russia" and its people as "Russians." The largest of the
republics, Russia contributed over half the population of the Soviet Union. After Lenin's death in 1924,
Joseph Stalin consolidated power and became dictator. Stalin launched a command economy, rapid
industrialization of the largely rural country and collectivization of its agriculture and the Soviet Union
was transformed from an agrarian economy to a major industrial powerhouse in a short span of time. This
transformation came with a heavy price, however; millions of citizens died as a consequence of his harsh

Stalingrad, 1942. The vast majority of the fighting in World War II took place on the Eastern Front.[66]
Nazi Germany suffered 80% to 93% of all casualties there[67][68]

First human in space, Yuri Gagarin

On 22 June 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union with the largest and most powerful invasion
force in human history,[69] opening the largest theater of the Second World War. Although the German
army had considerable success early on, they suffered defeats after reaching the outskirts of Moscow and
were dealt their first major defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942–1943.[70] Soviet forces
drove through Eastern Europe in 1944–45 and captured Berlin in May, 1945. In the conflict, Soviet
military and civilian death toll were 10.6 million and 15.9 million respectively,[71] accounting for half of
all World War II casualties. The Soviet economy and infrastructure suffered massive devastation[72] but
the Soviet Union emerged as an acknowledged superpower. The Red Army occupied Eastern Europe after
the war, including the eastern half of Germany; Stalin installed communist governments in these satellite
states. Becoming the world's second nuclear weapons power, the USSR established the Warsaw Pact
alliance and entered into a struggle for global dominance with the United States, which became known as
the Cold War.

After Stalin's death, Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin and eased his repressive policies.
He began the process of eliminating the Stalinist political system known as de-Stalinization and abolished
the Gulag labor camps, releasing millions of prisoners.[73] The Soviet Union launched the world's first
artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 and the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to
orbit the Earth aboard the first manned spacecraft, Vostok 1. Tensions with the United States heightened
when the two rivals clashed over the deployment of the U.S. Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Soviet
missiles in Cuba. Following the ousting of Khrushchev, another period of rule by collective leadership
ensued until Leonid Brezhnev established himself in the early 1970s as the pre-eminent figure in Soviet
politics. Brezhnev's rule oversaw economic stagnation and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which
dragged on without success and with continuing casualties inflicted by insurgents. Soviet citizens became
increasingly discontented with the war, ultimately leading to the withdrawal of Soviet forces by 1989.
From 1985 onwards, Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika
(restructuring) in an attempt to modernize the country. The USSR economy was the second largest in the
world prior to the Soviet collapse.[74] During its last years, the economy was afflicted by shortages of
goods in grocery stores, huge budget deficits and explosive growth in money supply leading to inflation.
In August 1991, an unsuccessful military coup against Gorbachev aimed at preserving the Soviet
Union instead led to its collapse. In Russia, Boris Yeltsin came to power and declared the end of
Communist rule. The USSR splintered into fifteen independent republics and was officially dissolved in
December 1991. Boris Yeltsin was elected the President of Russia in June 1991, in the first direct
presidential election in Russian history.

Russian Federation

Main article: History of post-Soviet Russia

1140th Anniversary of Russian statehood (2002)

During and after the disintegration of the USSR when-wide ranging reforms including privatisation and
market and trade liberalization were being undertaken,[76] the Russian economy went through a major
crisis. This period was characterized by deep contraction of output, with GDP declining by roughly 50
percent between 1990 and the end of 1995 and industrial output declining by over 50 percent.[77][76] In
October 1991, Yeltsin announced that Russia would proceed with radical, market-oriented reform along
the lines of "shock therapy", as recommended by the United States and International Monetary Fund.[78][79]
Price controls were abolished, privatization was started. Millions were plunged into poverty. According to
the World Bank, whereas 1.5% of the population was living in poverty in the late Soviet era, by mid-1993
between 39% and 49% of the population was living in poverty.[80] Delays in wage payment became a
chronic problem with millions being paid months, even years late. Russia took up the responsibility for
settling the USSR's external debts, even though its population made up just half of the population of the
USSR at the time of its dissolution.[81] The privatization process largely shifted control of enterprises from
state agencies to groups of individuals with inside connections in the Government and the mafia. Violent
criminal groups often took over state enterprises, clearing the way through assassinations or extortion.
Corruption of government officials became an everyday rule of life. Many of the newly rich mobsters and
businesspeople took billions in cash and assets outside of the country in an enormous capital flight.[82] The
long and wrenching depression was coupled with social decay. Social services collapsed and the birth rate
plummeted while the death rate skyrocketed. The early and mid-1990s was marked by extreme
lawlessness. Criminal gangs and organized crime flourished and murders and other violent crime spiraled
out of control.[83]

Moscow-City under construction. Moscow is the world's most expensive city for expatriates to live in.[84]

In 1993 a constitutional crisis resulted in the worst civil strife in Moscow since the October Revolution.[85]
President Boris Yeltsin illegally[86] dissolved the country's legislature which opposed his moves to
consolidate power and push forward with unpopular neo-liberal reforms; in response, legislators
barricaded themselves inside the White House, impeached Yeltsin and elected a new President and major
protests against Yeltsin's government resulted in hundreds killed. With military support, Yeltsin sent the
army to besiege the parliament building and disperse its defenders and used tanks and artillery to eject the

The 1990s were plagued by armed ethnic conflicts in the North Caucasus. Such conflicts took a form of
separatist Islamist insurrections against federal power, or of ethnic/clan conflicts between local groups.
Since the Chechen separatists declared independence in the early 1990s, an intermittent guerrilla war
(First Chechen War, Second Chechen War) has been fought between disparate Chechen rebel groups and
the Russian military. Terrorist attacks against civilians carried out by Chechen separatists, most notably
the Moscow theater hostage crisis and Beslan school siege, caused hundreds of deaths and drew
worldwide attention. High budget deficits and the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis caused the financial crisis
of 1998[87] and resulted in further GDP decline.[76] On 31 December 1999 Boris Yeltsin resigned from the
presidency, handing the post to the recently appointed prime minister, Vladimir Putin, who then won the
2000 election. Putin won popularity for suppressing the Chechen insurgency, although sporadic violence
still occurs throughout the North Caucasus. High oil prices and initially weak currency followed by
increasing domestic demand, consumption and investments has helped the economy grow for nine straight
years, alleviating the standard of living and increasing Russia's clout on the world stage.[7] While many
reforms made during the Putin administration have been generally criticized by Western nations as un-
democratic,[88] Putin's leadership over the return of order, stability and progress has won him widespread
popularity in Russia.[89] On March 7, 2008, Dmitry Medvedev was elected President of Russia.

Government and politics
Main articles: Government of Russia and Politics of Russia
Entrance to the Kremlin Senate, part of the Moscow Kremlin and the working residence of the Russian

According to the Constitution, which was adopted by national referendum on 12 December 1993
following the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis, Russia is a federation and formally a semi-presidential
republic, wherein the President is the head of state[90] and the Prime Minister is the head of government.
The Russian Federation is fundamentally structured as a representative democracy. Executive power is
exercised by the government.[91] Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Federal Assembly.
The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the Constitution of the
Russian Federation, which serves as the country's supreme legal document and as a social contract for the
people of the Russian Federation.

The White House, the seat of the Russian Government

The federal government is composed of three branches:

• Legislative: The bicameral Federal Assembly, made up of the State Duma and the Federation
Council adopts federal law, declares war, approves treaties, has the power of the purse, and has
power of impeachment, by which it can remove the President.
• Executive: The president is the commander-in-chief of the military, can veto legislative bills
before they become law, and appoints the Cabinet and other officers, who administer and enforce
federal laws and policies.
• Judiciary: The Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Supreme Court of Arbitration and lower
federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the Federation Council on the recommendation of
the president, interpret laws and can overturn laws they deem unconstitutional.

According to the Constitution, constitutional justice in the court is based on the equality of all citizens,[93]
judges are independent and subject only to the law,[94] trials are to be open and the accused is guaranteed a
defense.[95] Since 1996, Russia has instituted a moratorium on the death penalty in Russia, although capital
punishment has not been abolished by law.

The president is elected by popular vote for a four-year term[96] (eligible for a second term but
constitutionally barred for a third consecutive term);[97] election last held 2 March 2008. Ministries of the
government are composed of the premier and his deputies, ministers, and selected other individuals; all
are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Prime Minister (whereas the appointment of
the latter requires the consent of the State Duma). The national legislature is the Federal Assembly, which
consists of two chambers; the 450-member State Duma[98] and the 176-member Federation Council.
Leading political parties in Russia include United Russia, the Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic
Party of Russia and Fair Russia.

Main article: Subdivisions of Russia
Federal subjects

The Russian Federation comprises 83 federal subjects.[99] These subjects have equal representation—two
delegates each—in the Federation Council.[100] However, they differ in the degree of autonomy they enjoy.

• 46 oblasts (provinces): most common type of federal subjects, with federally appointed governor
and locally elected legislature.
• 21 republics: nominally autonomous; each has its own constitution, president, and parliament.
Republics are allowed to establish their own official language alongside Russian but are
represented by the federal government in international affairs. Republics are meant to be home to
specific ethnic minorities.
• Nine krais (territories): essentially the same as oblasts. The "territory" designation is historic,
originally given to frontier regions and later also to administrative divisions that comprised
autonomous okrugs or autonomous oblasts.
• Four autonomous okrugs (autonomous districts): originally autonomous entities within oblasts and
krais created for ethnic minorities, their status was elevated to that of federal subjects in the 1990s.
With the exception of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, all autonomous okrugs are still
administratively subordinated to a krai or an oblast of which they are a part.
• One autonomous oblast (the Jewish Autonomous Oblast): originally autonomous oblasts were
administrative units subordinated to krais. In 1990, all of them except the Jewish AO were
elevated in status to that of a republic.
• Two federal cities (Moscow and St. Petersburg): major cities that function as separate regions.

Federal districts and economic regions

Federal subjects are grouped into seven federal districts, each administered by an envoy appointed by the
President of Russia.[101] Unlike the federal subjects, the federal districts are not a subnational level of
government, but are a level of administration of the federal government. Federal districts' envoys serve as
liaisons between the federal subjects and the federal government and are primarily responsible for
overseeing the compliance of the federal subjects with the federal laws.

Map of the federal subjects of the Russian Federation

Foreign relations and military
Main articles: Foreign relations of Russia and Armed Forces of the Russian Federation

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev
The Russian Federation is recognized in international law as continuing the legal personality of the former
Soviet Union.[15] Russia continues to implement the international commitments of the USSR, and has
assumed the USSR's permanent seat on the UN Security Council, membership in other international
organizations, the rights and obligations under international treaties and property and debts. Russia has a
multifaceted foreign policy. It maintains diplomatic relations with 178 countries and has 140 embassies.
Russia's foreign policy is determined by the President and implemented by the Ministry of Foreign

As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Russia plays a major role in maintaining
international peace and security, and plays a major role in resolving international conflicts by
participating in the Quartet on the Middle East, the Six-party talks with North Korea, promoting the
resolution of the Kosovo conflict and resolving nuclear proliferation issues. Russia is a member of the
Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations, the Council of Europe, OSCE and APEC. Russia usually takes
a leading role in regional organizations such as the CIS, EurAsEC, CSTO, and the SCO. Former President
Vladimir Putin had advocated a strategic partnership with close integration in various dimensions
including establishment of four common spaces between Russia and the EU.[104] Since the collapse of the
Soviet Union, Russia has developed a friendlier, albeit volatile relationship with NATO. The NATO-
Russia Council was established in 2002 to allow the 26 Allies and Russia to work together as equal
partners to pursue opportunities for joint collaboration.[105]

Russian paratroopers at an exercise in Kazakhstan

Russia assumed control of Soviet assets abroad and most of the Soviet Union's production facilities and
defense industries are located in the country.[106] The Russian military is divided into the Ground Forces,
Navy, and Air Force. There are also three independent arms of service: Strategic Rocket Forces, Military
Space Forces, and the Airborne Troops. In 2006, the military had 1.037 million personnel on active duty.

The RT-2UTTH Topol M, an ICBM, allegedly capable of evading missile defenses

Russia has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world. It has the second largest fleet of ballistic
missile submarines and is the only country apart from the U.S. with a modern strategic bomber force.[16]
The country has a large and fully indigenous arms industry, producing all of its own military equipment.
Russia is the world's top supplier of weapons, a spot it has held since 2001, accounting for around 30% of
worldwide weapons sales[108] and exporting weapons to about 80 countries.[109] Following the Soviet
practice, it was mandatory before 2007 for all male citizens aged 18–27 to be drafted for two years'
Armed Forces service. Various problems associated with this, such as dedovschina (institutionalised
physical and psychological abuse), explain why the armed forces have reduced the conscription term first
to 18 months in 2007 and then to 12 since 2008, and are planning to increase the proportion of contract
servicemen to 70% of the armed forces by 2010.[7] Defense expenditure has quadrupled over the past six
years.[110] Official government military spending for 2008 is $40 billion, making it the eighth largest in the
world,[111] though various sources, including US intelligence,[112] and the International Institute for
Strategic Studies,[107] have estimated Russia’s military expenditures to be considerably higher.[113]
Currently, the military is undergoing a major equipment upgrade with about $200 billion on procurement
of military equipment between 2006 and 2015.[114]

Main article: Economy of Russia

Regional product per capita as of 2006 (darker is higher)

Since the turn of the century, rising oil prices, increased foreign investment, higher domestic consumption
and greater political stability have bolstered economic growth in Russia. The country ended 2007 with its
ninth straight year of growth, averaging 7% annually since the financial crisis of 1998. In 2007, Russia's
GDP was $2.076 trillion (est. PPP), the 6th largest in the world, with GDP growing 8.1% from the
previous year. Growth was primarily driven by non-traded services and goods for the domestic market, as
opposed to oil or mineral extraction and exports.[7] The average salary in Russia was $640 per month in
early 2008, up from $80 in 2000.[115] Approximately 14% of Russians lived below the national poverty
line in 2007,[116] significantly down from 40% in 1998 at the worst of the post-Soviet collapse.[80]
Unemployment in Russia was at 6% in 2007, down from about 12.4% in 1999.[117][118]

A Rosneft petrol station. Russia is the world's leading natural gas exporter and the second leading oil

Soyuz TMA-2 moves to launch pad, about to carry the first resident crew to the International Space
Russia has the world's largest natural gas reserves, the second largest coal reserves and the eighth largest
oil reserves. It is the world's leading natural gas exporter and the second leading oil exporter. Oil, natural
gas, metals, and timber account for more than 80% of Russian exports abroad.[7] Since 2003, however,
exports of natural resources started decreasing in economic importance as the internal market
strengthened considerably. Despite higher energy prices, oil and gas only contribute to 5.7% of Russia's
GDP and the government predicts this will drop to 3.7% by 2011.[119] Russia is also considered well ahead
of most other resource-rich countries in its economic development, with a long tradition of education,
science, and industry.[120] The country has more higher education graduates than any other country in

A simpler, more streamlined tax code adopted in 2001 reduced the tax burden on people, and dramatically
increased state revenue.[122] Russia has a flat personal income tax rate of 13 percent. This ranks it as the
country with the second most attractive personal tax system for single managers in the world after the
United Arab Emirates, according to a 2007 survey by investment services firm Mercer Human Resource
Consulting.[123][124] The federal budget has run surpluses since 2001 and ended 2007 with a surplus of 6%
of GDP. Over the past several years, Russia has used oil revenues from its Stabilization Fund of the
Russian Federation to prepay all Soviet-era sovereign debt to Paris Club creditors and the IMF. Oil export
earnings have allowed Russia to increase its foreign reserves from $12 billion in 1999 to $597.3 billion on
1 August 2008, the third largest reserves in the world.[125] The country has also been able to substantially
reduce its formerly massive foreign debt.[126]

Russia is Europe's key oil and gas supplier.[127]

The economic development of the country though has been uneven geographically with the Moscow
region contributing a disproportionately high amount of the country's GDP.[128] Much of Russia, especially
indigenous and rural communities in Siberia, lags significantly behind. Nevertheless, the middle class has
grown from just 8 million persons in 2000 to 55 million persons in 2006.[129] Russia is home to the largest
number of billionaires in the world after the United States, gaining 50 billionaires in 2007 for a total of

Over the last five years, fixed capital investments have averaged real gains greater than 10% per year and
personal incomes have achieved real gains more than 12% per year. During this time, poverty has
declined steadily and the middle class has continued to expand. Russia has also improved its international
financial position since the 1998 financial crisis.[7] A principal factor in Russia's growth has been the
combination of strong growth in productivity, real wages, and consumption.[131] Despite the country's
strong economic performance since 1999, however, the World Bank lists several challenges facing the
Russian economy including diversifying the economy, encouraging the growth of small and medium
enterprises, building human capital and improving corporate governance.[26] Inflation grew to about 12%
by the end of 2007, up from 9% in 2006. The upward trend continued in the first quarter of 2008, driven
largely by rising food costs.[116][7] Infrastructure, ageing and inadequate after years of being neglected, is
considered to be a bottleneck to economic growth.[132] The government has said $1 trillion will be invested
in infrastructure by 2020.[133]

Main article: Demographics of Russia

Ethnic composition (2002)[134]

Russians 79.8%

Tatars 3.8%

Ukrainians 2.0%

Chuvash 1.1%

Chechen 0.9%

Armenians 0.8%

Other/unspecified 10.3%

Population 1992–2008. Number of inhabitants in millions[135]

According to preliminary estimates, the resident population of the Russian Federation on 1 January 2008
was 142 million people. In 2007, the population shrank by 237,800 people, or by 0.17% (in 2006 - by
532,600 people, or by 0.37%). Migration grew by 50.2% in 2007[4] to reach 274,000.[136] The vast majority
of migrants came from CIS states and were Russians or Russian-speaking.[4] There are also an estimated
10 million illegal immigrants from the ex-Soviet states in Russia.[137] The Russian Federation is a diverse,
multi-ethnic society, home to as many as 160 different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples.[138] Though
Russia's population is comparatively large, its population density is low because of the country's
enormous size.[139] Population is densest in European Russia, near the Ural Mountains, and in southwest

73% of the population lives in urban areas.[140] As of the 2002 Census, the two largest cities in Russia are
Moscow (10,126,424 inhabitants) and Saint Petersburg (4,661,219). Eleven other cities have between one
and two million inhabitants: Chelyabinsk, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-
on-Don, Samara, Ufa, Volgograd, and Yekaterinburg. In 2006, 186,380 migrants arrived to the Russian
Federation of which 95% came from CIS countries.
Russia's population peaked in 1991 at 148,689,000.[141] The number of deaths during 2007 was 477,700
greater than the number of births. This is down from 687,100 in 2006.[4] According to data published by
the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, the mortality rate in Russia declined 4% in 2007, as compared
to 2006, reaching some 2 million deaths, while the birth rate grew 8.3% year-on-year to an estimated 1.6
million live births.[142] The primary causes of Russia's population decrease are a high death rate and low
birth rate. While Russia's birth-rate is comparable to that of other European countries (11.3 births per
1000 people in 2007[4] compared to the European Union average of 10.00 per 1000)[143] its population
declines at much greater rate due to a substantially higher death rate (In 2007, Russia's death rate was 14.7
per 1000 people[4] compared to the European Union average of 10.00 per 1000).[144] However, the Russian
health ministry predicts that by 2011, the death rate will equal the birth rate due to increases in fertility
and decline in mortality.[145]

Rank Core City Federal Pop. Rank Core City Federal Pop. view • talk • edit

Subject Subject

1 Moscow Moscow 10,126,424 11 Ufa Bashkortostan 1,042,437
2 Saint Saint 4,661,219 12 Volgograd Volgograd 1,011,417
Petersburg Petersburg
3 Novosibirsk Novosibirsk 1,425,508 13 Perm Perm 1,001,653
4 Nizhny Nizhny 1,311,252 14 Krasnoyarsk Krasnoyarsk 909,341
Novgorod Novgorod
5 Yekaterinburg Sverdlovsk 1,293,537 15 Saratov Saratov 873,055
6 Samara Samara 1,157,880 16 Voronezh Voronezh 848,752
7 Omsk Omsk 1,134,016 17 Tolyatti Samara 702,879
8 Kazan Tatarstan 1,105,289 18 Krasnodar Krasnodar 646,175 Saint Petersburg

9 Chelyabinsk Chelyabinsk 1,077,174 19 Ulyanovsk Ulyanovsk 635,947
10 Rostov-on-Don Rostov 1,068,267 20 Izhevsk Udmurtia 632,140
2002 Census[146]


Main article: Education in Russia

Moscow State University

Russia has a free education system guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution,[147] and has a literacy rate
of 99.4%.[7] Entry to higher education is highly competitive.[148] As a result of great emphasis on science
and technology in education, Russian medical, mathematical, scientific, and space and aviation research is
generally of a high order.[149][150]

The Russian Constitution grants a universal right to higher education free of charge through competitive
entry.[151] The Government allocates funding to pay the tuition fees within an established quota, or number
of students for each state institution. This is considered crucial because it provides access to higher
education to all skilled students, as opposed to only those who can afford it. In addition, students are paid
a small stipend and provided with free housing. However, the institutions have to be funded entirely from
the federal and regional budgets; institutions have found themselves unable to provide adequate teachers'
salaries, students' stipends, and to maintain their facilities.[152] To address the issue, many state institutions
started to open commercial positions, which have been growing steadily since.[153] Many private higher
education institutions have emerged to address the need for a skilled work-force for high-tech and
emerging industries and economic sectors.[152]


The Russian Constitution guarantees free, universal health care for all citizens.[154] While Russia has more
physicians, hospitals, and health care workers than almost any other country in the world on a per capita
basis,[155][156] since the collapse of the Soviet Union the health of the Russian population has declined
considerably as a result of social, economic, and lifestyle changes.[157] As of 2007, the average life
expectancy in Russia is 61.5 years for males and 73.9 years for females.[158] The average Russian life
expectancy of 67.7 years at birth is 10.8 years shorter than the overall figure in the European Union.[159]
The biggest factor contributing to this relatively low life expectancy for males is a high mortality rate
among working-age males from preventable causes (e.g., alcohol poisoning, stress, smoking, traffic
accidents, violent crimes). Mortality among Russian men rose by 60% since 1991, four to five times
higher than in Europe.[160] As a result of the large difference in life expectancy between men and women
and because of the lasting effect of World War II, where Russia lost more men than any other nation in
the world, the gender imbalance remains to this day and there are 0.859 males to every female.[7]

Heart diseases account for 56.7% of total deaths, with about 30% involving people still of working age.
About 16 million Russians suffer from cardiovascular diseases, placing Russia second in the world, after
Ukraine, in this respect.[160] Death rates from homicide, suicide and cancer are also especially high.[161]
According to a 2007 survey by Romir Monitoring, 52% of men and 15% of women smoke. More than
260,000 lives are lost each year as a result of tobacco use.[162] HIV/AIDS, virtually non-existent in the
Soviet era, rapidly spread following the collapse, mainly through the explosive growth of intravenous
drug use.[163] According to official statistics, there are currently more than 364,000 people in Russia
registered with HIV, but independent experts place the number significantly higher.[164] In increasing
efforts to combat the disease, the government increased spending on HIV control measures 20-fold in
2006, and the 2007 budget doubled that of 2006.[165] Since the Soviet collapse, there has also been a
dramatic rise in both cases of and deaths from tuberculosis, with the disease being particularly widespread
amongst prison inmates.[166]

In an effort to stem Russia’s demographic crisis, the government is implementing a number of programs
designed to increase the birth rate and attract more migrants to alleviate the problem. The government has
doubled monthly child support payments and offered a one-time payment of 250,000 Rubles (around
US$10,000) to women who had a second child since 2007.[167] In 2007, Russia saw the highest birth rate
since the collapse of the USSR.[168] The First Deputy PM also said about 20 billion rubles (about US$1
billion) will be invested in new prenatal centres in Russia in 2008–2009. Immigration is increasingly seen
as necessary to sustain the country's population.[169]


Countries where the Russian language is spoken
Main articles: Russian language and Languages of Russia
Russia's 160 ethnic groups speak some 100 languages.[13] According to the 2002 census, 142.6 million
people speak Russian, followed by Tatar with 5.3 million and German with 2.9 million speakers.[170]
Russian is the only official state language, but the Constitution gives the individual republics the right to
make their native language co-official next to Russian.[171] Despite its wide dispersal, the Russian
language is homogeneous throughout Russia. Russian is the most geographically widespread language of
Eurasia and the most widely spoken Slavic language.[172] Russian belongs to the Indo-European language
family and is one of the living members of the East Slavic languages; the others being Belarusian and
Ukrainian (and possibly Rusyn). Written examples of Old East Slavic (Old Russian) are attested from the
10th century onwards.[173]

Over a quarter of the world's scientific literature is published in Russian. Russian is also applied as a
means of coding and storage of universal knowledge—60–70% of all world information is published in
the English and Russian languages.[174] The language is one of the six official languages of the United


Main article: Religion in Russia

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, demolished during the Soviet period, was reconstructed from 1990–2000

Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism are Russia’s traditional religions, deemed part of Russia's
"historical heritage" in a law passed in 1997.[175] Estimates of believers widely fluctuate among sources,
and some reports put the number of non-believers in Russia as high as 16–48% of the population.[176]
Russian Orthodoxy is the dominant religion in Russia.[177] 95% of the registered Orthodox parishes belong
to the Russian Orthodox Church while there are a number of smaller Orthodox Churches.[178] However,
the vast majority of Orthodox believers do not attend church on a regular basis. Nonetheless, the church is
widely respected by both believers and nonbelievers, who see it as a symbol of Russian heritage and
culture.[179] Smaller Christian denominations such as Roman Catholics, Armenian Gregorian and various
Protestants exist.

The ancestors of many of today’s Russians adopted Orthodox Christianity in the 10th century.[179] The
2007 International Religious Freedom Report published by the US Department of State said that
approximately 100 million citizens consider themselves Russian Orthodox Christians.[180] According to a
poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, 63% of respondents considered themselves Russian
Orthodox, 6% of respondents considered themselves Muslim and less than 1% considered themselves
either Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant or Jewish. Another 12% said they believe in God, but did not
practice any religion, and 16% said they are non-believers.[181]

It is estimated that Russia is home to some 15–20 million Muslims.[182][183] However, surveys say that there
are only 7 to 9 million people who adhere to the Islamic faith in Russia.[184] Russia also has an estimated 3
million to 4 million Muslim migrants from the ex-Soviet states.[185] Most Muslims live in the Volga-Ural
region, as well as in the North Caucasus, Moscow,[186] Saint Petersburg and western Siberia.[187] Buddhism
is traditional for three regions of the Russian Federation: Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia.[188] Some
residents of the Siberian and Far Eastern regions, Yakutia, Chukotka, etc., practice shamanist, pantheistic,
and pagan rites, along with the major religions. Induction into religion takes place primarily along ethnic
lines. Slavs are overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian. Turkic speakers are predominantly Muslim,
although several Turkic groups in Russia are not.[189]

Main article: Russian culture

Classical music and ballet

Main articles: Russian music and Russian ballet

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893), composer

Russia's large number of ethnic groups have distinctive traditions of folk music. Music in 19th century
Russia was defined by the tension between classical composer Mikhail Glinka and his followers, who
embraced Russian national identity and added religious and folk elements to their compositions, and the
Russian Musical Society led by composers Anton and Nikolay Rubinstein, which was musically
conservative. The later Romantic tradition of Tchaikovsky, one of the greatest composers of the Romantic
era whose music has come to be known and loved for its distinctly Russian character as well as its rich
harmonies and stirring melodies, was brought into the 20th century by Sergei Rachmaninoff, one of the
last great champions of the Romantic style of European classical music.[citation needed]

World-renowned composers of the 20th century included Scriabin, Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev,
and Shostakovich. During most of the Soviet Era, music was highly scrutinized and kept within a
conservative, accessible idiom in conformity with the Stalinist policy of socialist realism. Russian
conservatories have turned out generations of world-renowned soloists. Among the best known are
violinists David Oistrakh and Gidon Kremer, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, pianists Vladimir Horowitz,
Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels, and vocalist Galina Vishnevskaya.[citation needed]

The Bolshoi Theatre. Currently, it is undergoing a four-year, $730 million restoration[190]
Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed the world's most famous works of ballet—Swan
Lake, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty. During the early 20th century, Russian dancers Anna
Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky rose to fame, and impresario Sergei Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes' travels
abroad profoundly influenced the development of dance worldwide.[191] Soviet ballet preserved the
perfected 19th century traditions,[192] and the Soviet Union's choreography schools produced one
internationally famous star after another, including Maya Plisetskaya, Rudolf Nureyev, and Mikhail
Baryshnikov. The Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow and the Kirov in Saint Petersburg remain famous throughout
the world.[193]


Main article: Russian literature

Russian literature is considered to be among the most influential and developed in the world, contributing
much of the world's most famous literary works.[194] Russia's literary history dates back to the 10th century
and by the early 19th century a native tradition had emerged, producing some of the greatest writers of all
time. This period and the Golden Age of Russian Poetry began with Alexander Pushkin, considered to be
the founder of modern Russian literature and often described as the "Russian Shakespeare".[195] Amongst
Russia's most renowned poets and writers of the 19th century are Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Lermontov,
Leo Tolstoy, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Ivan Goncharov, Mikhail Saltykov,
Aleksey Pisemsky, and Nikolai Leskov made lasting contributions to Russian prose. Tolstoy and
Dostoevsky in particular were titanic figures to the point that many literary critics have described one or
the other as the greatest novelist ever.[196][197]

Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), writer

By the 1880s Russian literature had begun to change. The age of the great novelists was over and short
fiction and poetry became the dominant genres of Russian literature for the next several decades which
became known as the Silver Age of Russian Poetry. Previously dominated by realism, symbolism
dominated Russian literature in the years between 1893 and 1914. Leading writers of this age include
Valery Bryusov, Andrei Bely, Vyacheslav Ivanov, Aleksandr Blok, Nikolay Gumilev,Dmitry
Merezhkovsky, Fyodor Sologub, Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva, Leonid
Andreyev, Ivan Bunin and Maxim Gorky.

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing civil war, Russian cultural life in was left in
chaos. Some established writers left Russia while a new generation of talented writers who had at least
some sympathy for the ideals of the revolution was emerging. The most ardent of these joined together in
writers organizations with the aim of creating a new and distinctive proletarian (working-class) culture
appropriate to the new state. Throughout the 1920s writers enjoyed broad tolerance. In the 1930s
censorship over literature was tightened in line with Joseph Stalin's policy of socialist realism. After his
death several thaws took place and restrictions on literature were eased. By the 1970s and 1980s, writers
were increasingly ignoring the guidelines of socialist realism. The leading writers of the Soviet era
included Yevgeny Zamiatin, Isaac Babel, Ilf and Petrov, Yury Olesha, Vladimir Nabokov, Mikhail
Bulgakov, Boris Pasternak, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Mikhail Sholokhov,
Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Andrey Voznesensky.

Motion pictures

Main article: Cinema of Russia

The world's oldest film school, the Russian State Institute of Cinematography

While in the industrialized nations of the West, motion pictures had first been accepted as a form of cheap
recreation and leisure for the working class, Russian filmmaking came to prominence following the 1917
revolution when it explored editing as the primary mode of cinematic expression.[198] Russian and later
Soviet cinema was a hotbed of invention in the period immediately following the 1917 revolution,
resulting in world-renowned films such as Battleship Potemkin.[199] Soviet-era filmmakers, most notably
Sergei Eisenstein and Andrei Tarkovsky, would become some of the world's most innovative and
influential directors.

Eisenstein also was a student of filmmaker and theorist Lev Kuleshov, who formulated the
groundbreaking editing process called montage at the world's first film school, the All-Union Institute of
Cinematography in Moscow. Dziga Vertov, whose kino-glaz (“film-eye”) theory—that the camera, like
the human eye, is best used to explore real life—had a huge impact on the development of documentary
film making and cinema realism. In 1932, Stalin made socialist realism the state policy; this stifled
creativity but many Soviet films in this style were artistically successful, including Chapaev, The Cranes
Are Flying and Ballad of a Soldier.[199] Leonid Gaidai's comedies of the 1960s and 1970s were immensely
popular, with many of the catch phrases still in use today. In 1969, Vladimir Motyl's White Sun of the
Desert was released, starting a genre known as 'osterns'. The film is watched by cosmonauts before any
trip into space.[200]

The 1980s and 1990s were a period of crisis in Russian cinema. Although Russian filmmakers became
free to express themselves, state subsidies were drastically reduced, resulting in fewer films produced.
The early years of the 21st century have brought increased viewership and subsequent prosperity to the
industry on the back of the economy's rapid development, and production levels are already higher than in
Britain and Germany.[201] Russia's total box-office revenue in 2007 was $565 million, up 37% from the
previous year[202] (by comparison, in 1996 revenues stood at $6 million).[201] Russian cinema continues to
receive international recognition. Russian Ark (2002) was the first feature film ever to be shot in a single

Visual arts

Main article: Russian visual arts
Early Russian painting focused on icon painting and vibrant frescos inherited by Russians from
Byzantium. As Moscow rose to power, Theophanes the Greek and Andrei Rublev are vital names
associated with the beginning of a distinctly Russian art. The Russian Academy of Arts was created in
1757, aimed to give Russian artists an international role and status. Notable portrait painters from the
Academy include Ivan Argunov, Fyodor Rokotov, Dmitry Levitzky and Vladimir Borovikovsky. Realism
flourished in the 19th century and the realists captured Russian identity. Russian landscapes of wide
rivers, forests, and birch clearings, as well as vigorous genre scenes and robust portraits of their
contemporaries asserted a sense of identity. Other artists focused on social criticism, showing the
conditions of the poor and caricaturing authority while critical realism flourished under the reign of
Alexander II.

Rus': The Soul of the People by Mikhail Nesterov, symbolic of Russia's historical spiritual quest

The Amber Room

After the abolition of serfdom in 1861 some artists made the circle of human suffering their focus. Artists
sometimes created wide canvasses to depict dramatic moments in Russian history. The Peredvizhniki
(wanderers) group of artists broke with Russian Academy and initiated a school of art liberated from
Academic restrictions. Their paintings had deep social and political meaning. Leading realists include
Ivan Shishkin, Arkhip Kuindzhi, Ivan Kramskoi, Vasily Polenov, Isaac Levitan, Vasily Surikov, Viktor
Vasnetsov, and Ilya Repin. By the 1830s the Academy was sending painters overseas to learn. The most
gifted of these were Aleksander Ivanov and Karl Briullov, both of whom were noted for the Romantic
historical canvasses. Uniquely Russian styles of painting emerged by the late 19th century that was
intimately engaged with the daily life of Russian society.

The exquisite decoration of the Moscow Metro

The Russian avant-garde is an umbrella term used to define the large, influential wave of modernist art
that flourished in Russia from approximately 1890 to 1930. The term covers many separate, but
inextricably related, art movements that occurred at the time; namely neo-primitivism, suprematism,
constructivism, rayonism and futurism. Notable artists from this era include El Lissitzky, Kazimir
Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, Vladimir Tatlin, Alexander Rodchenko, and Marc Chagall amongst others.
The Russian avant-garde reached its creative and popular height in the period between the Russian
Revolution of 1917 and 1932, at which point the ideas of the avant-garde clashed with the newly emerged
conservative Stalinist direction of socialist realism.

By the late 1920s the rigid policy of socialist realism enveloped the visual arts as it did literature and
motion pictures and soon the avant-garde had faded from sight. Some artists combined innovation with
socialist realism including Ernst Neizvestny, Ilya Kabakov, Mikhail Shemyakin, Erik Bulatov and Vera
Mukhina. They employed techniques as varied as primitivism, hyperrealism, grotesque, and abstraction,
but they shared a common distaste for the canons of socialist realism. Soviet artists produced works that
were furiously patriotic and anti-fascist in the 1940s. Events and battles from the Great Patriotic War were
depicted with stirring patriotism and after the war sculptors made many monuments to the war dead, the
greatest of which have a great restrained solemnity. In the 20th century many Russian artists made their
careers in Western Europe, due in part to the traumas of the Revolution. Russian artists such as Wassily
Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, and Naum Gabo spread their work and ideas internationally. These Russian
artists studied internationally in Paris and Munich and their involuntary exile spread the impact of Russian
art globally.


Main article: Sport in Russia

Maria Sharapova, the world's highest paid female athlete[203]

Russians have been successful at a number of sports and continuously finishing in the top rankings at the
Olympic Games. During the Soviet era, the national team placed first in the total number of medals won
at 14 of its 18 appearances; with these performances, the USSR was the dominant Olympic power of its
era. Since the 1952 Olympic Games, Soviet and later Russian athletes have always been in the top three
for the number of gold medals collected at the Summer Olympics. The 1980 Summer Olympic Games
were held in Moscow while the 2014 Winter Olympics will be hosted by Sochi.

As the Soviet Union, Russia was traditionally very strong in basketball, winning various Olympic
tournaments, World Championships and Eurobasket. At the moment they have various players in the
NBA, notably Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko, and are considered as a worldwide basketball force. In
2007, Russia defeated world champions Spain to win Eurobasket 2007. Russian basketball clubs such as
PBC CSKA Moscow (2006 and 2008 Euroleague Champions) have also had great success in European
competitions such as the Euroleague and the ULEB Cup.

During the soviet period, Russia was also a competitive footballing nation, reaching the finals of various
international tournaments. With ice hockey and possibly basketball, football is the most popular sport in
Russia today. Despite having fantastic players, the USSR never really managed to assert itself as one of
the major forces of international football, although its teams won various championships (such as Euro
1960) and reached numerous finals (such as Euro 1988). In recent years, Russian football, which suffered
terribly from the break up of 1991, has experienced something of a revival. Russian clubs (such as CSKA
Moscow, Zenit St Petersburg, Lokomotiv Moscow and of course Spartak Moscow) are becoming more
and more successful on the European stage (CSKA and Zenit winning the UEFA Cup in 2005 and 2008
respectively) and many predict that the Russian league will become one of the strongest in Europe, partly
due to Russia's wealth of footballing talent (visible in their team at Euro 2008) and also because of the
injection of serious money into the Russian game, which helps to attract notable foreign players as well.
The Russian national team, which played some of the most entertaining and skillful football of Euro 2008
and reached the semi final, losing to eventual champions Spain, is rapidly reemerging as a dominant force
in international football, under the guidance of Dutch manager Guus Hiddink.

Soviet gymnasts, track-and-field athletes, weight lifters, wrestlers, cross country skiers, and boxers were
consistently among the best in the world. Even since the collapse of the Soviet empire, Russian athletes
have continued to dominate international competition in these areas. Although ice hockey was only
introduced during the Soviet era, the national team soon dominated the sport internationally, winning gold
at almost all the Olympics and World Championships they contested, most recently in the 2008 World

Figure skating is another popular sport; in the 1960s, the Soviet Union rose to become a dominant power
in figure skating, especially in pair skating and ice dancing. At every Winter Olympics from 1964 until
the present day, a Soviet or Russian pair has won gold, often considered the longest winning streak in
modern sports history. Since the end of the Soviet era, tennis has grown in popularity and Russia has
produced a number of famous tennis players. Chess is a widely popular pastime; from 1927, Soviet and
Russian chess grandmasters have held the world championship almost continuously.

See also
Main article: List of basic Russia topics
Russia topics

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