History of China

Written by,  Sebastiaan Han, Netherlands

forbidden city

 

The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC from the Shang dynasty. Ancient historical texts such as the Records of the Grand Historian (c. 100 BC) and the Bamboo Annals (296 BC) describe a Xia dynasty (c. 2070–1600 BC) before the Shang, but no writing is known from the period, and Shang writings do not indicate the existence of the Xia.

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The Xia Dynasty (2070-1600 BC)

The Xia dynasty is the legendary, possibly mythical first dynasty in traditional Chinese history. We never found any written records of this dynasty, but there are a few ancient texts which indicate the existence of this dynasty.  The Xia dynasty was the first government to emerge in ancient China and became the first to apply to the policy of dynastic succession; and so making it the first dynasty of China

The Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC)

Archaeological findings providing evidence for the existence of the Shang dynasty, c. 1600–1046 BC, are divided into two parts. The first part, from the earlier Shang period, comes from sources at Erligang, Zhengzhou, and Shangcheng. The second part, from the later Shang or Yin period, is at Anyang, in modern-day Henan, which has been confirmed as the last of the Shang’s nine capitals (c. 1300–1046 BC).

The Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC)

This is the longest-lasting dynasty China has known. The Zhou dynasty began to emerge in the Yellow River Valley. They captured the territory that belonged to the Shangs. The Zhou lived west of the Shang, and the Zhou leader had been appointed Western Protector by the Shang. The ruler of the Zhou, King Wu, with the assistance of his brother, the Duke of Zhou, as regent, managed to defeat the Shang at the Battle of Muye.

The Zhou people were not invaders; they were Chinese-speaking people descendant from the Longshan Neolithic culture. During the course of several centuries, the Zhou moved away from barbarian pressures, migrating towards the westernmost agricultural basin of North China, the lower Wei River valley, present-day Shaanxi province. Here they began to develop Shang-style agriculture, and they also built a city in an area named Plain of Zhou, which gave its name to the state and the dynasty. The Shang ruling class considered the Zhou “semibarbarious country cousins”. For many years the Zhou and the Shang coexisted alternating peace and war.

CHINA map

The Warring States period (476-221 BC)

After further political disagreements, seven prominent states remained by the end of 5th century BC, and the years consolidation in which these few states battled each other are known as the Warring States period. Though there remained a nominal Zhou king until 256 BC, he was largely a figurehead and held little real power.

Numerous developments were made during this period in culture and mathematics, examples include an important literary achievement, the Zuo Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals, which summarizes the preceding Spring and Autumn period and the bundle of 21 bamboo slips from the Tsinghua collection, which was invented during this period dated to 305  BC, are the world’s earliest example of a two digit decimal multiplication table, indicating that sophisticated commercial arithmetic was already established during this period.

As neighboring territories of these warring states, including areas of modern Sichuan and Liaoning, were annexed, they were governed under the new local administrative system of commandery and prefecture. This system had been used since the Spring and Autumn period, and parts can still be seen in the modern system of Sheng & Xian (province and county).

The final expansion in this period began during the reign of Ying Zheng, the king of Qin. After he got the approval and trust of Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong and Guangxi in 214 BC, this enabled him to call himself the First Emperor (Qin Shi Huang).

The Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC)

The Qin Dynasty is well-know because of the great Terracotta army. The Qin dynasty was the first dynasty of Imperial China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. Named for its heartland in Qin state, the dynasty was founded by Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of Qin. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the Legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the fourth century BC, during the Warring States period. In the mid and late third century BC, the Qin state carried out a series of swift conquests, first ending the powerless Zhou dynasty, and eventually conquering the other six of the Seven Warring States. Its 15 years was the shortest major dynasty in Chinese history, consisting of only two emperors, but created an imperial system that lasted, with interruption and adaptation, until 1912 CE.

The Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD)

Han dynasty

The Han Dynasty was founded by Liu Bang, who was victorious in the Chu–Han Contention that brought to the fall of the Qin dynasty. A golden age in Chinese history, the Han Dynasty’s long period of stability and prosperity created the foundation of China as a unified state under a central imperial bureaucracy, which was to last intermittently for most of the next two millennia. The Han Dynasty saw an age of economic prosperity and witnessed a significant growth of their economy first established during the Zhou dynasty (c. 1050–256 BC). The coinage issued by the central government mint in 119 BC remained the standard coinage of China until the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD).

This in particular is a special era for me personally because my ancestors originate from China and specifically from the Han Dynasty. Before my family came to the Netherlands, they lived in Indonesia for many centuries. They came there from China to trade opium and to begin a new business. Several big Chinese families have been settled in Java for centuries, but so far very little has been done to investigate the social integration into the Javanese society and their part of the local economy, but my ancestors are traced back all the way to the 18th century and they played a significant part in the economic development of the “Oosthoek” or Eastern Salient. The family grew bigger and bigger until the Second World War. When the Japanese army came to Indonesia, they took almost everything from my family for their own usage. My grandfather decided to move to the Netherlands, but a lot of family members are still in Indonesia and other parts of the world.

Three Kingdoms (AD 220–280)

By the 2nd century, the empire declined amidst land acquisitions, invasions, and feuding between clans and eunuchs. The Yellow Turban Rebellion broke out in AD 184, happening in an era of warlords. In the ensuing turmoil, three states tried to gain predominance in the period of the Three Kingdoms.

After Cao Cao reunified the north in 208, his son proclaimed the Wei Dynasty in 220. Soon, Wei’s rivals, Shu and Wu, proclaimed their independence, leading China into the Three Kingdoms period. This period was characterized by a gradual decentralization of the state that had existed during the Qin and Han dynasties, and an increase in the power of great families.

In 266, the Jin Dynasty overthrew the Wei and later unified the country in 280, but this union was short-lived.

The Jin Dynasty (AD 266-420)Jin-Dynasty

The Jin Dynasty or the Jin Empire was a Chinese dynasty traditionally dated from 266 to 420. It was founded by Sima Yan, son of Sima Zhao, who was made Prince of Jin and  declared the founder of the dynasty. It followed the Three Kingdoms period, which ended with the conquest of Eastern Wu by the Jin.

The Jin Dynasty was severely weakened by internecine fighting among imperial princes and lost control of northern China after non-Han Chinese settlers rebelled and captured Luoyang and Chang’an. In 317, a Jin prince in modern-day Nanjing became emperor and continued the dynasty, now known as the Eastern Jin, which held southern China for another century. Prior to this move, historians refer to the Jin Dynasty as the Western Jin.

The Sui Dynasty (AD 581-618)

The Sui Dynasty was a short-lived imperial dynasty of China of great significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties and reinstalled the rule of ethnic Han Chinese in the entirety of China proper, along with the reuniting of former nomadic ethnic people within its territory.

A lasting legacy of the Sui Dynasty was the Grand Canal. With the eastern capital Luoyang at the center of the network, it linked the west-lying capital Chang’an to the economic and agricultural centers of the east towards Hangzhou, and to the northern border near modern Beijing. While the pressing initial motives were for shipment of grains to the capital, and for transporting troops and military logistics, the reliable inland shipment links would facilitate domestic trades, flow of people and cultural exchange for centuries.

The Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907)

The Tang Dynasty was founded by Emperor Gaozu on 18 June 618. It was a golden age of Chinese civilization and considered to be the most prosperous period of China with significant developments in culture, art, literature, particularly poetry, and technology. Buddhism became the predominant religion for the common people. Chang’an (modern Xi’an), the national capital, was the largest city in the world during its time.

Underlying the prosperity of the early Tang Dynasty was a strong centralized bureaucracy with efficient policies. The government was organized as “Three Departments and Six Ministries” to separately draft, review, and implement policies. These departments were run by royal family members as well as scholar officials who were selected by imperial examinations. These practices, which matured in the Tang dynasty, were continued by the later dynasties, with some modifications.

Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (AD 907–960)

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The period of political disunity between the Tang and the Song, known as the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, lasted from 907 to 960. During this half-century, China was in all respects a multi-state system. Five regimes, namely, Liang, Tang, Jin, Han and Zhou, rapidly succeeded one another in control of the traditional Imperial heartland in northern China. Among the regimes, rulers of  Tang, Jin and Han were sinicized Shatuo Turks, which ruled over the ethnic majority of Han Chinese. More stable and smaller regimes of mostly ethnic Han rulers coexisted in south and western China over the period, cumulatively constituted the “Ten Kingdoms”.

Amidst political chaos in the north, the strategic Sixteen Prefectures (region along today’s Great Wall) were ceded to the emerging Khitan Liao Dynasty, which drastically weakened the defense of the China proper against northern nomadic empires. To the south, Vietnam gained lasting independence after being a Chinese prefecture for many centuries. With wars dominated in Northern China, there were mass southward migrations of population, which further enhanced the southward shift of cultural and economic centers in China. The era ended with the coup of Later Zhou general Zhao Kuangyin, and the establishment the Song dynasty in 960, which eventually annihilated the remains of the “Ten Kingdoms” and reunified China.

Yuan Dynasty (AD 1271–1368)

The Yuan Dynasty, officially the Great Yuan, was the empire or ruling dynasty of China established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongolian Borjigin clan. It followed the Song Dynasty and preceded the Ming Dynasty.

Genghis Khan and his sons set the foundation for the Yuan Dynasty by defeating the Western Xia and conquering Central Asia, Mongolia, and the Hexi Corridor. This gave them a base of manpower, horses, technology, and experience to finish the conquest of the fierce Jin army and then to go on and conquer the Dali empire and the Song empire.

Genghis Khan died in 1227 and had named his son, Ogedei, to be the next emperor. Ogedei was said to rule the whole Mongol empire from 1229 to 1241, but he concentrated his efforts in the eastern part of it. In 1232, he invaded the Jin Empire in alliance with the Song Empire. Jin was defeated in 1234. From 1235, Ogedei started a campaign with the Song Dynasty.

Kublai was a grandson of Genghis Khan. He had a comparatively long rule and reformed the empire to increase his power and make the empire prosper.

In 1253, he captured the Dali Kingdom in Yunnan Province.

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In 1259, Kublai campaigned against the Southern Song Dynasty.

In 1260, Kublai took the throne after his elder brother, Mongke, died.When he heard that his elder brother, who was the Great Khan Mongke, had died, he and another brother went to war. Both of them wanted to be the Khan.

They fought a series of battles and Kublai won. This caused a division in the Mongol Empire. The Golden Horde that controlled the area of Russia and Chagatai Khanate did not recognize Kublai Khan as their ruler.

Kublai sent large armies against the Song people in the 1270s. In 1276, the Mongols captured the Song capital of Hangzhou and most of the Song Dynasty clan. However, two young brothers of the captured Song emperor escaped and went south.

In 1227 , the Song Dynasty court fled to Quanzhou.  They were attacked there by a rich Muslim merchant. They fled again to Hong Kong and the court attempted to make a stand there in 1279, but they were soundly defeated by the Mongols. The last emperor died there at the age of 9 in 1279.

The Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644)

The Ming dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China – then known as the Great Ming Empire – for 276 years following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese.

Urbanization increased as the population grew and as the division of labor grew more complex. Large urban centers, such as Nanjing and Beijing, also contributed to the growth of private industry. In particular, small-scale industries grew up, often specializing in paper, silk, cotton, and porcelain goods. For the most part, however, relatively small urban centers with markets proliferated around the country. Town markets mainly traded food, with some necessary manufactures such as pins or oil.

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The Ming Dynasty intervened deeply in the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–98), which ended with the withdrawal of all invading Japanese forces in Korea, and the restoration of the Joseon Dynasty, its traditional ally and tributary state. The regional hegemony of the Ming dynasty was preserved at a toll on its resources. Coincidentally, with Ming’s control in Manchuria in decline, the Manchu (Jurchen) tribes, under their chieftain Nurhaci, broke away from Ming’s rule, and emerged as a powerful, unified state, which was later proclaimed as the Qing dynasty. It went on to subdue the much weakened Korea as its tributary, conquered Mongolia, and expanded its territory to the outskirt of the Great Wall. The most elite army of the Ming dynasty was to station at the Shanhai Pass to guard the last stronghold against the Manchus, which weakened its suppression of internal peasants uprisings.

Qing Dynasty (AD 1644–1911)

Qing dynasty

The Qing Dynasty, officially the Great Qing, was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China.

The Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) was the last imperial dynasty in China. Founded by the Manchus, it was the second conquest dynasty to rule the entire territory of China and its people. The Manchus were formerly known as Jurchens, residing in the northeastern part of the Ming territory outside the Great Wall. They emerged as the major threat to the late Ming Dynasty after Nurhaci united all Jurchen tribes and established an independent state. However, the Ming Dynasty would be overthrown by Li Zicheng’s peasants rebellion, with Beijing captured in 1644 and the Chongzhen Emperor, the last Ming emperor, committing suicide.

In response to calamities within the empire and threats from imperialism, the Self-Strengthening Movement was an institutional reform in the second half of the 1800s. The aim was to modernize the empire, with prime emphasis on strengthening the military. However, the reform was undermined by corrupt officials, cynicism, and quarrels within the imperial family. As a result, the “Beiyang Fleet” were soundly defeated in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895). The Guangxu Emperor and the reformists then launched a more comprehensive reform effort, the Hundred Days’ Reform (1898), but it was soon overturned by the conservatives under Empress Dowager Cixi in a military coup.

At the turn of the 20th century, the violent Boxer Rebellion opposed foreign influence in Northern China, and attacked Chinese Christians and missionaries. When Boxers entered Beijing, the Qing government ordered all foreigners to leave. But instead the foreigners and many Chinese were besieged in the foreign legations quarter. The Eight-Nation Alliance sent the Seymour Expedition of Japanese, Russian, Italian, German, French, American, and Austrian troops to relieve the siege. The Expedition was stopped by the Boxers at the Battle of Langfang and forced to retreat. Due to the Alliance’s attack on the Dagu Forts, the Qing government in response sided with the Boxers and declared war on the Alliance. There was fierce fighting at Tientsin. The Alliance formed the second, much larger Gaselee Expedition and finally reached Beijing; the Qing government evacuated to Xi’an. The Boxer Protocol ended the war.

Modern China

Republic of China (since 1912)

Frustrated by the Qing court’s resistance to reform and by China’s weakness, young officials, military officers, and students began to advocate the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and the creation of a republic. They were inspired by the revolutionary ideas of Sun Yat-sen. A revolutionary military uprising, the Wuchang Uprising, began on 10 October 1911, in Wuhan. The provisional government of the Republic of China was formed in Nanjing on 12 March 1912. The Xinhai Revolution ended 2,000 years of dynastic rule in China.

After the success of the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty, Sun Yat-sen was declared President, but Sun was forced to turn power over to Yuan Shikai, who commanded the New Army and was Prime Minister under the Qing government, as part of the agreement to let the last Qing monarch abdicate (a decision Sun would later regret). Over the next few years, Yuan proceeded to abolish the national and provincial assemblies, and declared himself emperor in late 1915. Yuan’s imperial ambitions were fiercely opposed by his subordinates; faced with the prospect of rebellion, he abdicated in March 1916, and died in June of that year.

Yuan’s death in 1916 left a power vacuum in China; the republican government was all but shattered. This ushered in the Warlord Era, during which much of the country was ruled by shifting coalitions of competing provincial military leaders.

In 1919, the May Fourth Movement began as a response to the terms imposed on China by the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I, but quickly became a nationwide protest movement about the domestic situation in China. The protests were a moral success as the cabinet fell and China refused to sign the Treaty of Versailles, which had awarded German holdings to Japan. The New Culture Movement stimulated by the May Fourth Movement waxed strong throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

 

Sources:

Wikipedia

https://www.ancient.eu/

https://www.britannica.com

Why Danes are The Happiest People on Earth

Louise Mohr, Denmark

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Again this year the Danish people are dominating the World’s Happiness Report and ranks among the top three happiest of 155 countries surveyed. On the other hand, the U.S. is with a four-spot drop, ranked 18th this year.

So why is it that these pastry-loving, LEGO building people are winning the happiness race? And how do they compare to the States?

The Danish welfare state works.

Danes pay some of the highest income tax rates in the world (45% on average), but, in exchange, every Dane gets free health care, free K-college education (the students are paid approx. $900 a month by the government to go to school), highly subsidized child care and generous unemployment benefits.

Some might lift an eyebrow over the high tax-rate, but the Danes don’t look at the tax rate as a burden, but as an investment in our society and quality of life.

If you lose a job in Denmark, it’s not a big deal. Unemployment is built into the system. This is in connection to the “flexibility model”, which, quickly explained, is a system built on freedom for employees. The government programs retrain workers and position them better for the job market. By doing this, we create strong connections and also provide a guaranteed safety net, giving unemployment benefits for up to two years.

The government also has a great retirement system, providing for the elders over 65+ population through a combination of state-founded pension and private employer-funded pension programs. This not only relieves the stress for the elderly, but makes them feel secure about their retirement.

Here’s a video that explains further: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=095ULhvaH5E

The perhaps most important aspect of the Danish culture is “hygge”, which they value as a cultural construct. It refers to high-quality social interactions. It’s used as as a noun, adjective or verb, and events and places can also be “hyggelige” (hygge-like). “Hygge” is most commonly translated as “cozy”, but is more an intentional intimacy, which can happen when you have safe, balanced and harmonious shared experiences.

“Hygge” is the Danish sense of well-being. Although Denmark is a highly individualized country, “hygge” promotes egalitarianism and strengthens the trust between people. It’s fair to say that “hygge” is fully integrated into the Danish culture psyche and culture.

But Denmark is not the only  country that has a concept similar to hygge – the Norwegains have “koselig”, the Swedes “mysig”, the Dutch “gezenlligheid” and the Germans “gemütlichkeit”.

The U.S. also places a high value on individualism, but there’s no real cultural equivalent of “hygge”. Income is generally associated with happiness. Even though the GDP is on the rise and the unemployment has been declining, levels of happiness in the U.S. have been steadily decreasing.

The U.S. income also continues to be an issue. There’s been a marked decrease in interpersonal trust toward institutions like the government as well as the media.

At it’s core, “hygge” is about building trust and intimacy with others. Americans could probably use a little more of that in their lives.

As a Dane in America, i find the the lack of free healthcare the most problematic. The United States reminds to be the only industrialized country in the world that fails to provide universal healthcare for all citizens. The concerns regarding this are significant and continues. Most people here are scared to get sick, and because of the high cost they avoid the doctors. American healthcare is the source of innumerable issues for many, both those withe and without coverage. These issues are not limited to the financial prospect, but has a far-reaching influence on their quality of life, psychological stability, and fundamental happiness for society at large.

After spending 3 months here, i can vouch for the rudimentary differences between America and Denmark. The divergences extend beyond policy, logistics or political agendas. There is a complete different feel to the place, a different tone to the culture on a fundamental level. I truly believe that America could learn something extremely vulnerable form the danish culture, if they had the trust to do so.

Santa Barbara Real Estate

Jelle Van Dijck, Belgium

After being in Santa Barbara for a few days, there is one thing everyone tells me about living here: it’s so expensive. Is Santa Barbara becoming the new Beverly Hills? Is the middle class being excluded from this beautiful place?

13600 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93117

Coming from Belgium, I’m surprised to see the price of a single-family home. Prices are more than double than what I’m used to. What would be influencing these prices? Is it the gorgeous coastline and mountains, or is it the amount of multi-millionaires and celebrities that escape busy LA and San Francisco? Many celebrities put Santa Barbara on the map by buying a home to live in on the weekends or during holidays. It’s their second home to get away from work. Same situation with the owners of big companies, they probably run their businesses out of LA or San Francisco and come to Santa Barbara to live a stress-free life. This is influencing the prices of the different neighborhoods in the city. Some places are becoming exclusive and hard to get in for many families.

SB real estate prices

In the future, I see myself as a real estate agent and real estate investor. Everywhere I go, I look for what’s on the market and what prices are common in the area. (The Zillow app is a real good friend of mine). If you look at the statistics, you can conclude that the median sale price is around $1 million dollars in almost the whole county of Santa Barbara. If a middle class family is looking for a place to live, they are most likely to find an apartment downtown or a single-family house in the Goleta area that they can afford. If they are looking for a house closer to downtown (West-Montecito, Mission Canyon or Hope Ranch), the listings get more exclusive and you are most likely to pay $2-3 million dollars for a single-family house all the way up to $30 million dollars.

Is it realistic for a young couple who just got out of college to find a home that suits their ideas for the future? Maybe they want kids and a dog, so they will need a garden and a good location close to school. In their situation, they need a single-family home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a decent sized garden for their dog and kids to run around in. If both of them have a job, they are likely to have at least two cars. So they also need a garage or enough parking space on the driveway or down the street.

5360 Plunkett Ln

I went to Zillow.com and entered my needs all the way from West-Goleta to East-Carpinteria. The website gave me around 130 results. Only 19 of these homes were priced under 1 million dollars (which is around 14%). Only five of these homes are close to the downtown-area. The remaining 14 homes are located in Goleta or Carpenteria. So for first-time home buyers, it’s probably more interesting to start looking for a place in Goleta or Carpinteria, or they can buy a condo around the downtown area for the same price. If you really want to live downtown or in the more exclusive areas of Santa Barbara, you’ll have to save enough money and decide to move later in your life. This explains the statistics I found about the residents of Santa Barbara on Trulia.com. Only 52% of the residents of Santa Barbara are the owners of their own houses. Also, the median age of a home-owner in Santa Barbara is 42.

The Luxury Side of Santa Barbara

So for this topic, I didn’t just want to write about these nice homes by looking at the pictures and the descriptions. I wanted to see these homes and see for myself why these homes are so expensive. Is it the view, the safety of the neighborhood or the privacy that make these homes so expensive?

There are many expensive houses in Santa Barbara county, some which are more expensive than the others. But for “The Luxury Side of Santa Barbara”, I want to focus more on three luxury areas: Hope Ranch, Montecito and Santa Ynez. Hope Ranch and Montecito are very similar. Both areas offer beautiful ocean and mountain views and there are even some homes which have access to a private beach. Santa Ynez is different. It is located around 30 minutes North-East from Santa Barbara. Most of the homes are considered ranches which have vineyards, paddocks and barns.

  • Hope Ranch

Hope Ranch is located west of downtown, the area has beautiful palm tree lined streets and a few gorgeous golf courses. Home prices in this area go all the way up to $25 million dollars. On Sunday October 7th, I went to three open houses in this area.

 

1.  3429 Sea Ledge Lane $6,950,000

The first house was a beautiful beach house with amazing views of the ocean and the Channel Islands. It was the smallest house I visited, but still the most expensive one. This is not surprising since the two most imported things in real estate are location and views.

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2.  3240 Campanil Drive $3,199,000

The next house I visited was just a few-minutes drive up the mountain. This house was the least expensive one, but still the biggest house with the most living space, indoors and outdoors. Since it was higher up the mountain and all the electricity cables on the street were underground, the views got even five times better.

 

3.  4050 Via Laguna $4,000,000

The last house I visited was all the way up north in Hope Ranch. The house was located on a dead-end street and was surrounded by a beautiful golf course. Since this house has no views, it provides you a lot of privacy and it has a pool and hot-tub. This house felt very different than the other two homes, but from the inside it was definitely the most updated.

  • Montecito

Montecito is located east of Santa Barbara. This area has the most beautiful and exclusive real estate in Santa Barbara. Montecito is a community of its own. There are some beautiful stores, hotels and beaches that are very famous and exclusive. Some hotels in Montecito are considered the best in the United States. Montecito is also known for having celebrity residents. Ellen DeGeneres, Katy Perry and Oprah Winfrey all own a beautiful estate in Montecito. On Sunday October 14th, I went to three open houses in this area.

1.  636 Woodley Road $6,795,000

This house, close to Coast Village Road, is a modern house with floor-to-ceiling windows and gorgeous mountain views. The modern homes are very rare here in Santa Barbara. That’s why the house is rather expensive for it’s low square footage.

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2.  1147 Glenview Road $5,900,000

The next house was just down the street from the first one. This one faced towards the ocean so it has beautiful ocean views. The house had multiple levels with a gorgeous game room, sauna and even an outdoor kitchen. Every room has a beautiful ocean view.

 

3.  2775 Bella Vista Drive $7,000,000

The last house I saw in Montecito was definitely the best one I saw in all of Santa Barbara. It was all the way up in the mountains of Montecito, far away from the busy streets downtown. It was extremely quiet. The only thing you could hear were the birds and the fountain that was running into the pool. The views here were almost unbelievable. You could see all the way from Carpinteria to downtown SB and the pier.

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  • Santa Ynez

Santa Ynez is about a 30-minute drive from Santa Barbara, but also has some amazing luxury real estate. The real estate is very different from Hope Ranch or Montecito. Most people in Santa Ynez want a vineyard or horses, so most of the real estate has a lot of land and people are looking for ranches. Prices can also get really high. You can buy a rather small ranch for about $3-4 million, but, if you are looking for a ranch with more than 100 acres of land, you can easily pay around $13-14 million dollars. Santa Ynez is also a popular spot for celebrities. The famous “Neverland Ranch”, which used to be Micheal Jackson’s house, is now for sale for over $60 million dollars. Also, the famous singer Pink bought a ranch in Santa Ynez five years ago and is now starting her own wine brand.

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So, in conclusion, I can say that Santa Barbara is an expensive place for first-time homebuyers and maybe even homebuyers in general. There are also many hidden places that were turned into exclusive and luxury neighborhoods, and, last but not least, there is a real estate market for celebrities that want to escape LA for more privacy.

 

What’s Happening with the Pipeline Project in Canada?

Maxime Vautrelle, France

It is a big disappointment for the Canadian government. At the end of August, the justice  stopped the construction of The TransMountain expansion.

One of the biggest projects in Canada, the TransMountain is compromised. The goal was the transportation of energy (petrol, oil, gas…) across Canada and the north of the United States of America. Actually, a pipeline makes the transportation from Chicago (with different ways) to Edmonton in the county of Alberta (Canada). This one is called Embridge Alberta Clipper. Also, the other biggest one is the Express and Platte from Pakota (near Chicago) to Hardisty (Alberta County).

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The Federal Court of Appeal cancelled the executive order to continue the project on the 30th of August. For the institution, the Canadian government has missed these obligations. They should consulted the native populations before approving the project, and they didn’t in November 2016.

The Appeals Court is thinking about the consequences on the environment for the expansion. If  the TransMoutain is built he should do the transportation from Edmonton to Vancouver, and the Canadian president, Justin Trudeau, accepted the project of Kinder Morgan (the investment company) in despite this cost (Ten billion dollars).

In the ‘First Nations’ camp it’s a victory. The balance sheet of the jugdment said, the ONE (Office National of Energy) has been a big mistake in the evaluations of this office can’t  be use for the expansion. The public interest and the environment impact was disregarded altough the economic impact on the region : The weekly capacity of the TransMoutain’s transportation could be 300,000 barrels to 900,000 barrels. The numbers of the tankers will be 34 against 5 actually.

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Finally, the negociations between the different institutions should continue until an agreement, but the project raise so many problems. Actually it’s a public project bought by Trudeau’s administration, and many people in politic had criticized this spending. Greenpeace in head, the ecologic organisation asked the government to take these billions and spend it in favor of the renewable energies.

This case is pushing Justin Trudeau and this administration in the turmoil and it will be difficult for the President to find a positive issue. With the expansion of TranMountain the internationale figure of the Canada and his ‘green-values’, and the weakness of Justin Trudeau confront in the institutions, the Canadian government lives these worst hours.

FIFA World Cup 2018

Chloe Persoglio , Nico Cojocari (France,Belgium)

The best footballers are going to battle next month until there is only one team left, the champion. There is no higher reward, every player dreams of it. Football might just be a game, but when it comes to the World Cup, it is more than that. You can see passion, determination and the will to win on the player’s faces. There is no better way to make your country proud.

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It takes place every four years and it was created in 1928 in France by Jules Rimet.

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The tournament includes 32 teams and starts from June 14 to July 16. The competition has 8 groups of 4 teams that are randomly assigned. Each team plays 3 games, 1 against every other team in the group. The two best teams in the group go further to the 16th round then 8th, 4th, 2nd then the finals.

The selected teams are :

Iceland, England, Russia, Denmark, France, Belgium, Germany, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Japan, Korean Republic, RI Iran, Croatia, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Serbia, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay.

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Even though some influential nations like Italy and  Holland are missing, it is still going to be the most viewed event in the world. Brazil is looking for redemption since they lost 7-1 against the previous champion, Germany. France wants to prove that they are capable of winning since they lost to Portugal at the Euro 2016 final. At the same time, Portugal definitely wants to show that is was not luck that helped them get the Cup. These are just examples. Every team wants to prove something and win the World Cup.Image result for brazil 7-1

Holding the World Cup has many benefits. One of them is the tourism opportunities that it offers to the local markets. People from all around the world are going to go to Russia in June and spend money there. All the media attraction will be around the World Cup and people are definitely going to enjoy it as much as possible.

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Some will even enjoy it too much since there is a drug tolerance. Travelers have the right to declare drugs at customs if they have a doctor’s approval  written in Russian. Marijuana, cocaine and heroin are among the hundreds of drugs and prescriptions on the list of substances travelers can declare.

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We are definitely going to support our nations, Belgium and France. As patriots it is our duty to support our country. If your country is not selected,do not choose another one who is seen as a favorite to win but the one that is connected to you.

France Squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur/England), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain);

Defenders: Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart/Germany), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona/Spain), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/Spain), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Adil Rami (Marseille), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City/England), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid/Spain);

Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Manchester United/England), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich/Germany), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus/Italy), Ngolo Kante (Chelsea/England), Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla/Spain);

Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/Spain), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea/England), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona/Spain), Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Thomas Lemar (Monaco).

 

Dates:

  1. France vs Australia – 16 June 2018
  2. France vs Peru – 21 June 2018
  3. Denmark vs France – 26 June 2018

Belgium Squad:

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg).

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur).

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea/Dortmund), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli).

Dates:

  1. Belgium vs Panama– 18 June 2018
  2. Belgium vs Tunisia– 23 June 2018
  3. England vs Belgium– 28 June 2018

Calendar :

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easy consumerism

By Jeanne Beaudoin from France

 

Consumerism is the protection or promotion of the interests of consumers and the preoccupation of society with the acquisition of consumer goods. What is the great danger of consumerism today? First of all, we will talk about the danger of consumerism for each one, and then we will talk about how consumerism is dangerous for the world.

 

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The society is dangerous for every mind because everything is too easy: we want tomato; we just have to go to a shop and buy tomato. Everything we want is possible because of the consumerism. This facility is negative for everybody because we become selfish; we are just some complacent yet covetous heart. We don’t know the real difficulty; everything is served on a silver platter. We’ve never have to fight to eat, to drink water, to take a shower… Everything we need is available. And because everything we need is given, we are every time searching something better, something we can’t have. We cannot appreciate a glass of water because it is unlimited. We are eternally unsatisfied. We do everything for our own interest and it is always difficult to do something if it is against our own inte

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rest. Why would I like help each other if it’s difficult and if I can stay in front of my TV? Consumerism cut our interest for the world off. It is very dangerous because often some people never realize this. But, it is also dangerous for the world.

 

Consumerism is daRésultats de recherche d'images pour « consumerism »ngerous for everybody because it gives us everything we want, letting some people being selfish. But it is also dangerous for our environment. Due to consumerism, the world is going to die slowly. To have beautiful clothes and furniture we kill lots of sheep, elephants, snakes and other animal species extinctions have happened at times. To give us lots of paper, we create deforestation. It is very selfish because we won’t have enough oxygen since trees are lungs of the Earth. Consumerism entrains climate change from the smog of enterprises and powerful countries. Consumerism also creates a big difference between rich and poor people. When someone is poor it is very difficult for him to leave this circle of poverty. Poor countries have lots of difficulties to live next to very rich countries because of this consumerism. It’s almost impossible to become a rich country for a poor country because rich countries try to steal their wealth (petroleum…).

 

In conclusion, we can say than consumerism is negative from every point of view. I hope in the future we will find a solution to have less selfish people and a better world.

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Olympic Games History

Tom Lumiere ,  France

The Ancient Olympic Games were religious and athletic festivals held every four years at the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, a city of Greece. Competition was among representatives of several city-states and kingdoms of Ancient Greece. These Games featured mainly athletic, but also combat sports, such as battle and the pankration, horse and chariot racing events. It has been generally written that during the Games, all conflicts with the participating city-states were suspended until the Games were finished. This cessation of hostilities was known as the Olympic peace or accord. This idea is a modern illusion because the Greeks never suspended their wars

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The modern Olympic Games (FrenchJeux olympiques) are best international sporting events presenting summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world’s principal sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are adhered every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by developing every four years but two years apart.

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Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games. Baron Pierre de Coubertin (French) founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, principal to the first modern Games in Athens in 1896. The IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority.

Pierre de Coubertin

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The reason why I choose is that since I was young, I have been

going to every summer Olympic Games: ‘Athens in 2004, Beijing in  2008, London in 2012, Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and I will go to Tokyo in 2020’ .

 

 

A Peak Into The Family Business

Bart Rooijakkers  (The Netherlands)

“What else are you gonna do all summer?” Is what I heard every year before the vacation. From my family who was trying to persuade me to work for the company during the summer. Despite my protest, i was actually convinced every year.

From the day i turned 9, Working in the family company became a regular thing. My family has a bulb farm, They farm the bulbs other companies use to grow flowers to sell them. The whole family regularly worked here to help out, and earn money on the side. Although i was never really big on the work, It was always a good time working with my nephews and nieces. We used to have a lot of fun just messing around, This, however, resulted in less work being done.

 

Rooijakkers Breezand B.V was founded in the year 1906, The first bulbs were harvested by my great-grandfather Henk Sr. In his years of being in charge, he made a simple small-town bulb farm into a Multi-national Allround the year farm. Then after he passed away My Grandfather Jacob Rooyakkers Took the reigns, he had a big part to play in the expansion of the company. In 1991 he, Along with another dutch Farmer named: Jan Van Der Wereld, Became partners in the Sun Valley Group. A group of farmers/businessmen that work around all across the world.

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Jacob (Left) Jan (Middle) Leen (right)

 

 

 
Currently, Rooijakkers B.V has business with a lot of different partners all around the world. The biggest business is with The United States, However, there are farms/Partners in: Kenia, France, and Canada aswell. In The United States. Somewhere in the 90’s, the 3 partners decided it was time to expand their business into another branch: Real Estate. They bought all the ground in a small town. They rent these houses to people who live there. This makes for good business. however, the costs were high aswell, Because a lot of buildings needed repair/work done to them.

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When my Grandfather started getting of age, He asked his Sons/Nephews To help him run he company. Which they did, The “Board” now consisted of: 3 Brothers (My Uncles and Father), And 3 Nephews. They ran the company for several years until for personal reasons 2 of the nephews stepped out of the company. After this it was just: My Grandfather, the 3 brothers and 1 nephew. in 2010 My grandfather passed away, this led some tragic problems. 4 years after this the company was now run by: My father, my Uncle and the nephew. As it currently still is.

 

as of my own experience with the company, Although i did not like the work. I am glad i worked in the company for all those summers. As it has shaped my personality and thoughts in a big way. I stopped working for the company in the year 2017, because of school and different personal reasons. i will always remember the days in the glaring summer sun, and these are the memories that remind me of home. Although it’s good to be here i miss the sight of the fields full of flowers.

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A New Era in Global Marketing Communication

A New Era in Global Marketing Communication

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Writer: Shantel F. Mbulo

A question regarding globalization, which we an answer to is. How will the global market look in 10 years? Well that is a question I can answer in a heartbeat. With the growing demands and emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and last but not least China, call for new marketing strategies. A marketing strategy that works in Denmark might not work in Zambia, caused by language barriers and cultural differences. In order for a Danish company to successfully penetrate the Zambian market, the company must seek above gaining economic surplus. The company might even need to adjust their product to the country in interest.

 

Communication Is Key Another important factor to be aware of, is the manner in which you communicate. Before penetrating a market, research is the core of succeeding. Behavioral patterns vary, consumers therefor demand to know why a company belongs in their country, and a company should be very keen on emphasizing this. Hence, hyper-transparency is king, if any failure on this field a company simply gets discredited and weakens its opportunity. As Eminem rapped it “You only got one shot do not miss the chance to blow”.

Digitalization of Globalization The past 5 years there has been huge growth in PR companies. This is caused by the growth in digital influencers such as bloggers, reviewers etc. This has called for more media awareness. The Internet never sleeps; you therefore need to be aware of the vast changing trends. However, not all get to be a part of the vast change. There are still 3rd world countries that are left out. Though they are following the smartphone trends, they still don’t have the network to use the internet as we do in the western world. Some third world countries still live by the pre-industrial model, it is therefore impossible to approach them as they were a third world country. So, what is the perfect recipe as to including these on the global scene? A lot of companies seem to fail on this task.

offshoringThe Effect of outsourcing At times companies decide to outsource in order to gain higher economic surplus in their company. Unfortunately this is done without reviewing the country’s infrastructure. With this being said, outsourcing is not only negative, it is positive as it creates jobs for people who otherwise would have been unemployed. However, as mentioned previously. If the only goal is to gain economic surplus, it will be an unstable business, if the cultural communication is poor so will communication be in general. For a business to thrive better on foreign grounds you must make an effort to communicate, be transparent, an reliable to ensure a healthy relation within the company as well as having a good reputation amongst 3rd word countries.

The Richest Person in Saudi Arabia

By Abdulmajeed Alfrayan, Saudi Arabia

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Sulaiman AL-Rajhi is the richest person in Saudi Arabia.   When he was 16 he started selling the water in the street. He was working at the same time in a restaurant to earn the money for his family. When he earned some extra money he went to trade  in fruits and other things until he reached what he is now, the richest man in Saudi Arabia.

 

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Sulaiman AL-Rajhi has the largest bank in the Middle East. He has more than 50 thousand employees.

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Sulaiman Al-Rajhi was born in Al Bukairiyah, located in Al Qassim province in Saudi Arabia, and grew up in the Nejd desert with his brother, Saleh. Sulaiman Abdulaziz Al Rajhi holds the largest individual stake in his family’s Al Rajhi Bank.

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Sulaiman AL-Rajhi invested more than his half money to benefit kids and the poor people.