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  • gun control | Britannica.com
    the English Declaration of Rights Thomas Erle who had served as a general and was a member of Parliament proposed that every substantial householder in any town or city should be provided of a good musket in case of invasion In 1693 a similar proposal was made to allow every Protestant to keep a musket for the security of the government Such proposals failed however because they would arm the mob and thus were considered not very safe for any government Naturally the safety of the government was not the only reason restrictions on guns were imposed in England Gun control restrictions sometimes supported the hunting of game or the access of hunters to game preserves as well as to prevent crime and murders In the 1750s the Scottish philosopher and historian Adam Ferguson opposed such restrictions as preventing the establishment of a national militia because although a few domestic inconveniences would occur this should not deter us from the necessary Steps in arming the people for our own Defence against a foreign Enemy The English writer and MP Soame Jenyns also justified the removal of gun restrictions to further the establishment of a national militia Although Accidents such as murder may sometimes happen it did not matter he argued because every man in the militia will beget three Children before he kills one Man In the end neither of these arguments affected the well established gun restrictions in England In fact when mid 18th century militia reform was finally adopted George II 1727 60 ensured that all militia arms were kept by local lord lieutenants and only distributed during times of militia muster and training This was a practice that dated to the 1550s during the reign of Mary I when the law required that all guns and arms in cities boroughs towns parishes and hamlets were to be kept by local government officials and in places of safekeeping Gun control in the United States Similar to the practices in England the American colonies had numerous gun control laws concerning safety crime hunting the common defense and even slaves Despite those similarities the American colonies diverged from England s gun control laws in two respects First outside of the restrictions imposed upon slaves the American colonies did not restrict the use ownership and possession of guns based upon socioeconomic status Second the American colonies did not prescribe to a select militia based upon class Instead they prescribed to a universal draft whereby men of all classes were required to maintain guns and other accoutrements for the safety and defense of the state This belief in universal arms bearing in colonial America stemmed from the works of Italian political philosopher and theorist Niccolò Machiavelli British philosopher James Harrington English politician Algernon Sidney and British political pamphleteer John Trenchard all of whom discussed the importance of arms bearing to secure the rights of the people in a republic This philosophy of an armed citizenry in which every citizen is a soldier

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/technology/gun-control (2016-02-13)
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  • China | history - geography | Britannica.com
    one of the few existing countries that also flourished economically and culturally in the earliest stages of world civilization Indeed despite the political and social upheavals that frequently have ravaged the country China is unique among nations in its longevity and resilience as a discrete politico cultural unit Much of China s cultural development has been accomplished with relatively little outside influence the introduction of Buddhism from India constituting a major exception Even when the country was penetrated by such barbarian peoples as the Manchu these groups soon became largely absorbed into the fabric of Han Chinese culture This relative isolation from the outside world made possible over the centuries the flowering and refinement of the Chinese culture but it also left China ill prepared to cope with that world when from the mid 19th century it was confronted by technologically superior foreign nations There followed a century of decline and decrepitude as China found itself relatively helpless in the face of a foreign onslaught The trauma of this external challenge became the catalyst for a revolution that began in the early 20th century against the old regime and culminated in the establishment of a communist government in 1949 This event reshaped global political geography and China has since come to rank among the most influential countries in the world Central to China s long enduring identity as a unitary country is the province or sheng secretariat The provinces are traceable in their current form to the Tang dynasty ad 618 907 Over the centuries provinces gained in importance as centres of political and economic authority and increasingly became the focus of regional identification and loyalty Provincial power reached its peak in the first two decades of the 20th century but since the establishment of the People s Republic that power has been curtailed by a strong central leadership in Beijing Nonetheless while the Chinese state has remained unitary in form the vast size and population of China s provinces which are comparable to large and midsize nations dictate their continuing importance as a level of subnational administration Land China China stretches for about 3 250 miles 5 250 km from east to west and 3 400 miles 5 500 km from north to south Its land frontier is about 12 400 miles 20 000 km in length and its coastline extends for some 8 700 miles 14 000 km The country is bounded by Mongolia to the north Russia and North Korea to the northeast the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea to the east the South China Sea to the southeast Vietnam Laos Myanmar Burma India Bhutan and Nepal to the south Pakistan to the southwest and Afghanistan Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to the west In addition to the 14 countries that border directly on it China also faces South Korea and Japan across the Yellow Sea and the Philippines which lie beyond the South China Sea Quick Facts Images Videos Audio Interactive quizzes Lists 1 Statutory

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/place/China (2016-02-13)
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  • England | history - geography - constituent unit, United Kingdom | Britannica.com
    Justice Political process Health and welfare Housing Education Cultural life Daily life and social customs The arts Cultural institutions Sports and recreation Media and publishing History England predominant constituent unit of the United Kingdom occupying more than half the island of Great Britain Outside the British Isles England is often erroneously considered synonymous with the island of Great Britain England Scotland and Wales and even with the entire United Kingdom Despite the political economic and cultural legacy that has secured the perpetuation of its name England no longer officially exists as a governmental or political unit unlike Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland which all have varying degrees of self government in domestic affairs It is rare for institutions to operate for England alone Notable exceptions are the Church of England 101 of 15 299 words Quick Facts Images Videos 1 England does not have a formal government or constitution and a specifically English role in contemporary government and politics is hard to identify in any formal sense for these operate on a nationwide British basis Form of government 1 Leading city London Official language none National religion Church of England Monetary unit pound sterling Population 2011 53 012 456 Total

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/place/England (2016-02-13)
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  • Sweden | history - geography | Britannica.com
    edge north of the Arctic Circle are Sweden s highest peaks Mount Kebne Kebnekaise which is 6 926 feet 2 111 metres in elevation and Mount Sarek Sarektjåkkå which rises 6 854 feet 2 089 metres in the magnificent Sarek National Park The interior of southern Sweden Småland is a wooded upland with elevations of 980 to 1 300 feet 300 to 400 metres A region of poor and stony soils Småland has been cultivated through the ages with some difficulty as evidenced by the enormous mounds of stone cleared from the land More recently the area has been characterized by flourishing small factories Except for a stretch of scenic high coast the Bothnian coastal plain is low lying and stretches from Norrland into Svealand Most of the fairly level surface of eastern Svealand and northern Götaland was pressed below sea level by glaciers leaving a landscape of fragmented bedrock fertile clayey plains numerous lakes and sandy ridges Today these are intermingled with mixed forests and farmland Sweden s landscape changes from the hills of Småland to the fertile plains of Skåne which is physiographically and economically more similar to Denmark than to the rest of Sweden This is Sweden s oldest settled and most densely populated agricultural area The Swedish coastline is typically rocky with hundreds of small sometimes wooded islands Ground by glacial ice in the same direction they have a common rounded shape This type of coast known as skärgård is found in both the east and the west especially around Stockholm and Gothenburg Off the southern coast in the Baltic the large flat islands of Öland and Gotland are outcropping layers of sandstone and limestone Drainage Dal River Bernard Wolf DPI The country s chief rivers originate in the mountains of Norrland mostly flowing southeastward with many falls and rapids and emptying into the Gulf of Bothnia or the Baltic Sea The longest however is the Klar Göta River which rises in Norway and flows 447 miles 719 km reaching Lake Väner Vänern and continuing southward out of the lake s southern end to the North Sea along its southernmost course are the famous falls of Trollhättan The Muonio and Torne rivers form the frontier with Finland and in the south the Dal River marks the transition to Svealand The rivers except in the far north where they are protected are sources of hydroelectric power In Svealand are Sweden s largest lakes including Lakes Väner 2 181 square miles 5 650 square km Vätter Vättern 738 square miles 1 911 square km and Mälar Mälaren 440 square miles 1 139 square km The shores of Lakes Siljan and Storsjön and the river valleys support agriculture Soils The dominant soil of Sweden is till formed under glacial ice Till that comes from the archaic bedrock of granites and gneisses forms a poor soil and forestry and polluted acid rain add to its acidification On the other hand small areas of clayey till from younger sedimentary limestone scattered

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/place/Sweden (2016-02-13)
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  • Mozambique | history - geography | Britannica.com
    of Maputo Bay Maputo is the commercial and cultural centre of the country and its sidewalk cafés bars and discotheques offer some of the liveliest nightlife in southern Africa Other major cities and towns most of which lie on or near the Indian Ocean coast include Beira Quelimane Chimoio Tete Nampula and Nacala Land Mozambique Encyclopædia Britannica Inc Mozambique is about the size of the combined areas of the U S states of Colorado New Mexico and Utah most of its territory stretches along the Indian Ocean coast from Cape Cabo Delgado in the north past the capital city of Maputo in the south It is bordered to the north by Tanzania to the east by the Mozambique Channel which separates it from the island of Madagascar to the south and southwest by South Africa and Swaziland to the west by Zimbabwe and to the northwest by Zambia Malawi and Lake Nyasa Relief Lowlands dominate the southern provinces narrowing to a mere coastal plain north of the cleft where the Zambezi River cuts through the country s midsection The Zambezi valley the lower section of which is a part of the Eastern Great Rift Valley is Mozambique s most dramatic geographic feature Throughout the country the land rises gently from east to west In the centre and north it slopes steadily into the high plains and ultimately to the mountainous regions on the northwest border with Malawi and Zambia Four of Mozambique s five highland regions straddle the west and northwest border areas the Chimoio Plateau on the border with Zimbabwe the Marávia highlands bordering Zambia and the Angónia highlands and Lichinga Plateau which lie respectively west and east of Malawi s protrusion into Mozambique Mount Binga the country s highest elevation at 7 992 feet 2 436 metres is part of the Chimoio highlands The 7 936 foot 2 419 metre peak at Mount Namúli dominates the Mozambican highland which constitutes much of the northern interior Quick Facts Images Videos Audio quizzes Lists 1 The new metical MTn replaced the old metical MT on July 1 2006 at a rate 1 MTn MT 1 000 Official name República de Moçambique Republic of Mozambique Form of government multiparty republic with a single legislative house Assembly of the Republic 250 Head of state and government President Filipe Nyusi Capital Maputo Official language Portuguese Official religion none Monetary unit new metical MTn plural meticais 1 Population 2014 est 25 042 000 Expand Total area sq mi 308 642 Total area sq km 799 380 Urban rural population Urban 2011 37 6 Rural 2011 62 4 Life expectancy at birth Male 2012 50 7 years Female 2012 54 9 years Literacy percentage of population age 15 and over literate Male 2008 69 5 Female 2008 40 1 GNI per capita U S 2013 590 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 Next Page Comments Share Email Print Cite Last Updated 1 15 2015 You may also be interested in Zambezi

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/place/Mozambique (2016-02-13)
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  • South Africa | history - geography | Britannica.com
    Great Karoo region Drakensberg PG Images Fotolia The Great Escarpment see Drakensberg known by a variety of local names such as uKhahlamba Zulu Barrier of Spears and the Natal Drakensberg forms the longest continuous topographic feature in South Africa and provides scenery of great beauty The escarpment is part of uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000 It runs southward from the far northeast where it is generally known as the Transvaal Drakensberg Afrikaans Dragon Mountains It is there in KwaZulu Natal province that the country s highest point Njesuthi 11 181 feet 3 408 metres is found Farther south the escarpment forms the boundary first between KwaZulu Natal and Free State provinces and then between KwaZulu Natal and Lesotho There it reaches elevations of nearly 11 000 feet 3 300 metres including some of the country s highest peaks such as Mont aux Sources 10 823 feet 3 299 metres The mountainous escarpment continues southwestward dividing Lesotho from the Eastern Cape province where it runs westward across Eastern Cape at lesser elevations of 5 000 to 8 000 feet 1 500 to 2 400 metres and is known as the Stormberg Farther to the west it becomes the Nuweveld Range and the Roggeveld Mountains and forms the approximate boundary between Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces At its western extreme in the vicinity of Mount Bokkeveld and Mount Kamies 5 600 feet 1 700 metres the escarpment is not well defined An area of ancient folded mountains with elevations between 3 000 and 7 600 feet 900 and 2 300 metres lies in the southwest of the country it includes ranges such as the Tsitsikama Outeniqua Groot Swart Lange Ceder Drakenstein and Hottentots Holland mountains as well as Table Mountain and its associated features at Cape Town Both above and below the Great Escarpment the topography tends to be broken Open plains are rare occurring mainly in northwestern Free State and farther to the west and in smaller areas such as the Springbok Flats north of Pretoria Ridges mountains and deeply incised valleys are common mainly left by the erosion of ancient landforms There is little genuine coastal plain between the escarpment and the sea except in northern KwaZulu Natal where it reaches a width of about 50 miles 80 km and in parts of Western Cape For most of its 1 836 mile 2 955 km length the coastline consists of fairly steep slopes rising rapidly inland and often includes long stretches of beach Most of the coastline has been uplifted or created by falling sea levels in the recent geologic past with the result that there are few flooded river valleys or natural harbours Exceptions include the Knysna Lagoon in Western Cape and the Buffalo River at East London In KwaZulu Natal longshore drift over many centuries has created spits and bluffs from beach sand in a number of places these features have enclosed bays which have provided both remarkable sanctuaries

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/place/South-Africa (2016-02-13)
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  • Uruguay | history - geography | Britannica.com
    democratic rule was restored Such adversities have caused many Uruguayans to emigrate to Europe and North America as Galeano has remarked We export our young Almost half the people are concentrated in the metropolitan area of Montevideo the capital the second and third largest cities Salto and Paysandú are small by comparison Facing a deep bay at the mouth of the Río de la Plata Montevideo blends historic areas with tall office towers and well appointed shopping centres The old city with its many museums open air markets and restaurants remains the heart of Montevideo and sees thousands of international visitors each year Popular as tourist destinations too are beach resorts such as Piriápolis and Punta del Este as well as the colonial masterpiece Colonia del Sacramento Quick Facts Images Videos Audio quizzes Lists 1 Includes the vice president who serves as ex officio presiding officer Official name República Oriental del Uruguay Oriental Republic of Uruguay Form of government republic with two legislative houses Senate 31 1 House of Representatives 99 Head of state and government President Tabaré Vázquez Capital Montevideo Official language Spanish Official religion none Monetary unit peso uruguayo UYU Population 2014 est 3 304 000 Expand Total area sq mi 68 679 Total area sq km 177 879 Urban rural population Urban 2011 94 7 Rural 2011 5 3 Life expectancy at birth Male 2012 73 7 years Female 2012 80 7 years Literacy percentage of population age 15 and over literate Male 2010 97 9 Female 2010 98 7 GNI per capita U S 2013 15 180 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next Page Comments Share Email Print Cite Last Updated 4 21 2015 You may also be interested in South America Uruguay River Colonia del Sacramento Negro River Brazil Argentina history of Latin America Chile Peru Colombia Venezuela Bolivia Keep exploring Countries of the World The Country Quiz Journey Around the World 9 Unsportsmanlike Sportsmen Uruguay Table of Contents What made you want to look up Uruguay To From Subject Comments Please limit to 900 characters Cancel Britannica Stories Behind The News Philosophy Religion Healing the Schism Pope Meets Patriarch Behind The News Science Gravitational Waves Observed Spotlight History Thomas Malthus s 250th Birthday See More Stories FEATURED QUIZZES Vocabulary Quiz True or False Spell It See More Quizzes About Us About Our Ads Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use 2016 Encyclopædia Britannica Inc Please select the sections you want to print Select All Table of contents Introduction Land People Economy Government and society Cultural life History Cancel MLA style Uruguay Encyclopædia Britannica Encyclopædia Britannica Online Encyclopædia Britannica Inc 2016 Web 12 Feb 2016 http www britannica com place Uruguay APA style Uruguay 2016 In Encyclopædia Britannica Retrieved from http www britannica com place Uruguay Harvard style Uruguay 2016 Encyclopædia Britannica Online Retrieved 12 February 2016 from http www britannica com place Uruguay Chicago Manual of Style Encyclopædia Britannica Online s v Uruguay accessed February 12 2016 http www britannica com

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/place/Uruguay (2016-02-13)
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  • communism | ideology | Britannica.com
    least the major means of production e g mines mills and factories and the natural resources of a society Communism is thus a form of socialism a higher and more advanced form according to its advocates Exactly how communism differs from socialism has long been a matter of debate but the distinction rests largely on the communists adherence to the revolutionary socialism of Karl Marx Soviet Union Lenin addressing crowd

    Original URL path: http://www.britannica.com/topic/communism (2016-02-13)
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