1. There are 196 countries in the world today (unless you don't count Taiwan). The newest country is South Sudan (independence on July 9th, 2011).
* Out of the 196 countries, 151 countries have visited my site (this Blog).
2. Former places names:
- Abyssinia, an ancient African kingdom, became Ethiopia.
- Angora, the home of angora goats, became Ankara, the capital of Turkey.
- Bohemia was a European kingdom. After World War I, the Czech people of Bohemia and Moravia joined the Slovaks of Slovakia to form the country of Czechoslovakia (the country was divided in 1993 into Czech Republic and Slovakia).
- Burma, a country in Asia, was renamed Myanmar in 1989 by the military government.
- Ceylon became a republic in 1972 and changed its name to Sri Lanka, which means “splendid thing.”
- Constantinople was named after the Roman emperor Constantine. When the Turks captured the city, they renamed it Istanbul. Many people still called it Constantinople until 1930, when it officially became Istanbul.
- Kampuchea is now Cambodia.
- Mesopotamia, the fertile plain between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, is now Iraq (as well as smaller parts of Syria, Turkey, and Iran).
- Peking, China, is now Beijing.
- The kingdom of Persia is now Iran.
- Prussia no longer exists. After World War II, it was divided among Poland, Germany, and the USSR.
- Rhodesia in Africa was named after Cecil Rhodes, an Englishman who encouraged European whites to settle in Africa. Today, Southern Rhodesia is Zimbabwe; Northern Rhodesia is Zambia.
- Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, became Ho Chi Minh City when the communists took over the country. Ho Chi Minh was a communist leader.
- St. Petersburg, Russia, was built by the Russian czar Peter the Great. Its name was changed to Petrograd and then to Leningrad. Lenin was the leader of the revolution that overthrew the Russian czars. In 1991 it was renamed St. Petersburg!
- Siam is now Thailand.
- Tanganyika and Zanzibar, in Africa, united to become one country, Tanzania.
- Zaire, the name of one of the largest countries in Africa, was changed in 1997 to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Balkans refers to the southeastern-most peninsula of Europe. It includes all or most of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro (formerly Yugoslavia), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and European Turkey. Southeast Romania and northern Greece are also part of the Balkans.
Central America refers to the seven countries of North America between Mexico and South America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
Latin America refers to all countries south of the United States-the nations of Central and South America and Mexico.
The Middle East: These countries of western Asia, northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula are related geographically: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), formed in 1949, has one goal: to protect democratic systems of government. Today the member countries are: Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Polynesia, “many islands,” is a collective term for the islands of the east-central Pacific Ocean, which include Cook, Easter, Pitcairn, Samoa, Tahiti, and Tuvalu, as well as the Hawaiian islands.
Southeast Asia: The countries that make up Southeast Asia are: Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (formerly called Burma), Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and East Timor.
The USSR, 15 republics in eastern Europe and northern Asia, was formed in 1922, after the Russian Revolution. Until 1991 it was the world's largest country, covering one-sixth of the land area of the world. Many people thought that the USSR and Russia were the same thing. But Russia was really only one of its republics. As of December 31, 1991, the USSR no longer existed as a single country. Instead, it became 15 independent countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus (Byelorussia), Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
The United Arab Emirates: This group of seven kingdoms was created in 1971 on the Persian Gulf coast of the Arabian Peninsula. They are ruled by sheiks. In the Muslim world, an emir is a ruler or prince; an emirate is his state. The kingdoms are: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Qaiwain.
The United Kingdom: These countries are ruled by the British royal family and Parliament: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Great Britain includes England, Scotland, and Wales. The British Isles include Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands.
The European Union: Formed in 1993, the EU is an economic and political confederation of European nations that are responsible for a common foreign and security policy and for cooperation on justice and home affairs. Twenty-seven countries - Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany (originally West Germany), Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden - are full members of the organizations of the EU.
That's all for today... Will be continued..
Have a nice day...