Croatia & country Essay

Croatia & country Essay.

There are not so many countries in the world where the war made such a long-lasting impact as it did in the Republic of Croatia or Republika Hrvatska (as it is locally called). This country seemed to live in the continuous state of war. Starting from the ancient times and ending only in the beginning of the 21-st century, the war is deeply rooted in the consciousness of the Croatian people. Many generations of Croats lived in the unstable society in which the economy was in a very poor condition.

To understand all the peculiarities of Croatian society we need to analyze this country beginning from the old times up to present summer 2004.

Because only in June, 2004 did Croatia get the final approval from the European Unity to apply for the membership. It is expected in 2007-2010 that the Republic of Croatia will join the EU. For this country it is an achievement of great importance. Finally, after so many years of war and economical unstability will Croatia gain peace and prosperity in its land.

Let us start from some brief summary about the Republic of Croatia. Croatia is situated between central, southern and eastern Europe, because it has a rather peculiar shape that resembles a crescent or a horseshoe.

This accounts for its many neighbors: Slovenia, Hungary, Serbian part of Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegrin part of Serbia and Montenegro, and Italy across the Adriatic. Its terrain is diverse, containing: plains, lakes and rolling hills in the continental north and northeast (Central Croatia and Slavonia, part of the Pannonian plain); densely wooded mountains in Lika and Gorski Kotar, part of the Dinaric Alps; rocky coastlines on the Adriatic Sea (Istria, Northern Seacoast and Dalmatia). Croatia has a mixture of climates.

Northern Croatia has a continental climate; Central Croatia has a semi-highland and highland climate, while the Croatian coast has a Mediterranean climate. Winter temperatures range from -1 to 30°C in the continental region, -5 to 0°C in the mountain region and 5 to 10°C in the coastal region. Summer temperatures range from 22 to 26°C in the continental region, 15 to 20°C in the mountain region and 26 to 30°C in the coastal region. The total area is 56,542 km2, with an additional 31,067 km2 of territorial waters. Population is 4. 437.

460 Capital of Croatia is Zagreb (779. 145 inhabitants – the administrative, cultural, academic and communication centre of the country). Length of coast: 5,835 km – including 4,058 km of island, islet and reef coastline. Number of islands, islets and reefs: 1,185. The largest islands are those of Krk and Cres. There are 67 inhabited islands. Population: The majority of the population are Croats. National minorities include Serbs, Moslems, Slovenes, Italians, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, and others. Official language and alphabet are Croatian language and Latin alphabet.

The majority of the population are Roman Catholics, and in addition there are a number of those of Orthodox faith, as well as Muslims, and Christians of other denominations. Age structure: 0-14 years: 18. 3% (male 415,873; female 394,414), 15-64 years: 66. 1% (male 1,465,488; female 1,454,778), 65 years and over: 15. 6% (male 258,943; female 432,752) (2003 est. ). Median age: total: 38. 9 years: male: 37. 1 years female: 40. 7 years (2002) Population growth rate: 0. 31% (2003 est. ). Birth rate: 12. 76 births/1,000 population (2003 est. ) Death rate: 11.

25 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est. ). Net migration rate: 1. 61 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est. ). Sex ratio: at birth: 1. 06 male(s)/female, under 15 years: 1. 05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1. 01 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0. 6 male(s)/female total population: 0. 94 male(s)/female (2003 est. ). Infant mortality rate: total: 6. 92 deaths/1,000 live births female: 6. 01 deaths/1,000 live births male: 7. 78 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est. ) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74. 37 years male: 70. 76 years female: 78.

2 years (2003 est. ) Total fertility rate: 1. 93 children born/woman (2003 est. ). History. In 229 BC, Croatia’s native Illyrians lost their land to the Roman empire – in AD 285, Emperor Diocletian built the palace fortress in Split, now the greatest Roman ruin in eastern Europe. The Western Roman empire collapsed in the 5th century, and around 625, Slavic tribes migrated to Croatia from present-day Poland. The Croatian tribe moved into what is now Croatia, occupying the former Roman provinces of Dalmatian Croatia and Pannonian Croatia to the northeast.

The two provinces were united in 925 into a single kingdom which prospered into the 12th century. In 1242 a Tatar invasion devastated Croatia. In the 16th century, as the Turks threatened to take over the Balkans, northern Croatia turned to the Habsburgs of Austria for protection, remaining under their influence until 1918. Meanwhile, the Dalmatian coast was taken by Venice in the early 15th century and held until the end of the 17th century, when it was taken by Napoleonic France and made part of the Illyrian provinces (along with Istria and Slovenia).

A revival of Croatian cultural and political life began in 1835 – the serfs were liberated, and northern Croatia came under the rule of Hungary, which granted it a degree of internal autonomy. When the Austro-Hungarian empire was defeated in WWI, Croatia became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats & Slovenes, mercifully shortened to Yugoslavia in 1929. Croatian nationalists were angered that Belgrade was made capital of the union and, with the help of Macedonian nationalists, organized the assassination of King Alexander in 1934 in protest.

In 1941 Germany invaded Yugoslavia and set up a fascist puppet government (the Ustashe) in Croatia. The Ustashe tried to expel all Serbs from Croatia, and when this didn’t work they set the pattern for ethnic cleansing by murdering around 350,000 ethnic Serbs, Jews and Roma. Not all Croats agreed with this policy, and many joined with the communist partisans to overthrow the Ustashe. By the time the war ended, about a million people had died in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Postwar Croatia was granted republic status within the Yugoslav Federation, governed by the communist Marshal Tito.

As Croatia outstripped the southern republics economically, it demanded greater autonomy, bringing a series of purges down on the heads of its residents during the 1970s. When Tito died in 1980, a farcical political system was instituted which resulted in the presidency rotating annually between the republics, and Croatia’s economy ground to a halt. In the late 1980s, severe repression of the Albanian majority in Serbia’s Kosovo province sparked fears that Serbia was trying to impose its rule over the rest of the Federation.

As communist governments fell throughout eastern Europe, Croats began agitating for autonomy and an end to communism. In 1990 Franjo Tudjman’s Croatian Democratic Union won elections. A new constitution was instituted which changed the status of Serbs in Croatia to a ‘national minority’ rather than a ‘constituent nation’. Serbian rights were not guaranteed by the new constitution, and many Serbs lost their government jobs. In June 1991 Croatia declared its independence from the Federation, and the Serbian enclave of Krajina declared its independence from Croatia.

Heavy fighting broke out throughout the country, and the Yugoslav People’s Army, dominated by Serb communists, intervened in support of the Serbs. When things looked hairy, Croatia agreed to freeze its independence declaration for three months. Nonetheless, fighting continued, and a quarter of Croatia fell to Serb militias and the federal army. In October 1991 the federal army moved against Dubrovnik and bombed the presidential palace in Zagreb, sparking EU sanctions against Serbia. In November Vukovar fell to the Serbs after a three-month siege.

In six months, 10,000 people had died, hundreds of thousands had fled, and tens of thousands of homes had been destroyed. After a series of unsuccessful cease-fires, the United Nations (UN) deployed a protection force in Serbian-held Croatia in December 1991. The federal army withdrew from Croatia and in May 1992 Croatia was admitted to the UN, after amending its constitution to protect minority groups and human rights. In Krajina, Serb paramilitary groups retained the upper hand and, in January 1993, Croatia launched an attack on the area.

Krajina responded by declaring itself a republic and forcibly relocating nearly 98% of its Croat population. In March 1994, Krajina signed a cease-fire but, in May 1995, violence again exploded. Krajina lost the support of Belgrade, Croatian forces flooded the area, and 150,000 Serbs fled, many from towns where their ancestors had lived for centuries. The Dayton agreement of December 1995 eventually brought a sense of stability to the country, allowing the government to attempt to deal with unemployed ex-soldiers, housing for displaced Croats and a severely damaged infrastructure.

President Franjo Tudjman died in December 1999, and in January 2000 his Croatian Democratic Union, which had ruled since 1990, was convincingly ousted by the centre-left opposition coalition. The charismatic, earthy Stipe Mesic was elected president. The new government promised to improve international relations, freedom of the press, the state of the economy and to address the country’s atrocious human-rights record. Ethnic and cultural conflicts. The census of 1991 was the last one held before the war in Croatia, marked by ethnic conflict between the Orthodox Serbs and the Catholic Croats.

In the ethnic and religious composition of population of Croatia of that time, those two sets of numbers are quoted as important: Croats 78. 1%, Catholics 76. 5% Serbs 12. 2%, Orthodox Christians 11. 1%. After the end of the war of the 1990s and everything else that it entailed, the numbers are: Croats 89. 6%, Catholics 87. 8%, Serbs 4. 5%, Orthodox Christians 4. 4%. The population change since 1991 was dramatic. The population change is seen by some as a campaign of ethnic cleansing between 1990 and 1995.

In earlier stages of the war, most of the Croats of eastern Slavonia, Baranja, Banija, Kordun, eastern Lika, northern Dalmatian Zagora and Konavle fled those areas as they were under Serbian military control. Conversely, most of the Serbs from Bilogora and northwestern Slavonia fled those areas as they were under Croatian military control. In later stages of the war, most of the Serbs of western Slavonia, Banija, Kordun, eastern Lika and northern Dalmatian Zagora fled those areas as they came under Croatian military control.

There were several incidents of what can be pretty clearly explained as ethnic cleansing: the attacks on and the subsequent expulsion of population from the villages and towns of Skabrnja, Kijevo, Vukovar, Medak. Although widely assumed to be a war in which ethnic cleansing was generally used, no international institution has yet established a clear pattern that would indicate that either side in the war in Croatia committed ethnic cleansing on the scale of the whole country, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague.

However, the leader of the rebel Serbs Milan Babic was indicted, plead guilty and was convicted for persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds, a crime against humanity, which combined with the content of his indictment implies that there was ethnic cleansing on the whole area of Krajina. The war ended with military victories of the Croatian government in 1995 and subsequent peaceful reintegration of the remaining renegade territory in eastern Slavonia in 1998. The exodus of the Krajina Serbs in 1995 was prompted by the advance of the Croatian troops, but it was still mostly self-organized rather than forced.

All of them have been officially called upon to stay shortly before the operation, and called to return after the end of the hostilities, with varying but increasing degrees of guarantees from the Croatian government. All persons that participated in the rebellion but committed no crimes were pardoned by the government in 1997. Most Croat refugees returned to their homes, while two thirds of the Serbs remain in exile; the other third either returned or had remained in Zagreb and other parts of Croatia not directly hit by war.

The current reasons why many Serb refugees still haven’t returned vary: for non-civilians, it’s fear of prosecution for war crimes (Croatian legal system, like the ICTY, has secret lists of war crimes suspects) and fear of retaliation; for civilians, it’s unfavorable property laws, ethnic discrimination by local authorities, and last but not the least, appalling economic conditions in the rural areas they inhabited. The property laws, in particular, favor Croats who immigrated into the previously predominantly Serb-inhabited areas after having been forced out of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Serbs.

The refugee situation is politically sensitive, as the Croatian government denies any ethnic cleaning on a large scale as is claimed by some of the Serbs (though not their governments). Slow refugee return and slow prosecution of Croatian army personnel are some of the main obstacles to Croatia’s application to the European Union. The status of women’s human rights in Croatia. In socialistic system, women were not proportionally represented at higher levels of decision-making bodies (around 20%).

After the political system changes and after the first multi-party elections, participation of women in Parliament, County and Municipal Assemblies, was drastically decreased. On all levels in decision-making bodies, the percentage of women dropped from 22% to 4,8% which included Croatia into the same group of countries with Iran, Sudan and Romania. After elections in 1995 out of 127 seats in the House of Representative only 11 (8,7%) were held by women and in the House of Counties out of 68 representatives only 4 were women. In County Assemblies situation was even worse.

According to the data from 1996 out of 776 representatives only 3 (4,25%) were women and in Municipal Assemblies the percentage of women was 7,05%. In 15 Municipal Assemblies, out of 70 representatives there was not one woman. Therefore, during the first years of transition period in Croatia, political changes marginalized women and removed them from the sphere of public life and political decision-making as it has been happening in other countries in transition. During the last parliamentary elections held on January 3, 2000 the situation started to change for the better.

Women started to participate in political life of the country as carriers of political changes. Women’s NGOs contributed to these changes with their active participation in election campaign. During election campaign for the House of Representatives of Croatian Parliament in 1995 and local elections and elections for the House of Counties in 1997, women’s NGOs established Women’s Ad Hoc Coalition for monitoring and influencing elections which demanded that political parties put more women on candidate lists and develop and promote women’s programs. Conclusion.

We see that after so many sufferings and mistakes the Republic of Croatia is heading towards a better future. New government and new reforms are supposed to change the long-lasting bad economical situation of Croatia. The political stability and peace help the tourism industry to gain back its positions. And this is very important because Croatia has a very good geographical location. Croatia emerged into the new millennium from a decade in which it experienced a bitter war as the former Yugoslavia broke up, and several years of authoritarian nationalism under the late president, Franjo Tudjman.

By early 2003 it had made sufficient progress to apply formally for EU membership, becoming the second former Yugoslav republic after Slovenia to do so. Croatia became an official candidate country in June 2004. Presidential and parliamentary elections at the beginning of 2000 ushered in politicians committed to Croatia’s integration into the European mainstream. Since the end of the Tudjman era, the constitution has been changed to shift power away from the president to the parliament.

Croatia has joined the World Trade Organization and has pledged to open up its economy. Progress has been made in Croatia’s willingness to confront the darker aspects of its actions during the violence which flared in the 1990s after independence from Yugoslavia. A number of Croatian military figures have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in massacres of Serbs and other war crimes. The government has said it will cooperate with the international tribunal in The Hague, something the late Tudjman refused to do.

Works Cited The World Factbook. Croatia. 30 August 30, 2004. <http://www. cia. gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/hr. html>. “Croatia. ” Encyclop? dia Britannica. 2004. Encyclop? dia Britannica Premium Service. 30 August 2004 <http://www. britannica. com/eb/article? eu=119668>. Facts about Croatia. 30 August 2004. <http://www. hr/hrvatska/index. en. shtml>. Croatia: Map, Facts, General Info. 30 August 2004. <http://www. croatiaemb. net/main. html>.

Croatia & country Essay

Country profile Essay

Country profile Essay.

In the summer of 2006, following the constitutional changes that came in the wake Slobodan Milosovich’s rule that ended in the 2000 general election, Montenegro held a referendum which preceded its declaration of independence from Serbia and Montenegro; in response to this the former declared itself a republic through a special parliamentary session. These events were brought by several factors including the signing in 2002 of the Belgrade Agreement that allowed for the Union to be restructured besides the assassination of the Serbian prime minister in 2003 which was following by the formation of a minority government.

A general election was held in 2004 that saw the election of Boris Tadic as the first Serbian president elected democratically. By the constitutional charter of Montenegro and Serbia, the latter inherits the state of the union and with it the membership to the United Nations as well as other bilateral and multilateral associations (Edmunds & Timothy, 2007).

The Serbian republic has a population of 7,498,001 spread over an area of 84,361 square kilometers who are in the main ethnic Serbs, Bosniaks, those of Romanian extraction, Albanians as well as Croatians, Bulgarians, ethnic Hungarians and Slovaks among other minor sub groups.

Culturally, the national languages spoken in the country include vary depending on the ethnicities while the major religions include Islam and Christianity with the Roman catholic church and the Russian orthodox having a particular presence.

Geographically the country is located in Central Eastern Europe bordered to by Macedonia, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary as well as Bosnia. Economically, Serbia faced a gloomy time in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union compounded by the political conflicts that rocked the Balkans devastating the economy so much so that by the year 2000, inflation was at 100%, GDP had fallen by more than half from 1990 while poverty rates had effectively doubled.

The social, political and economic reforms by the new government as well as increased integration of the nation with the EU and other international institutions have been at the core of the positive economic outlook and the relative political stability (International Monetary Fund, 2006b). Though agricultural output declined in the year 2005, the strong showings of industrial growth (grew by 1. 3%), rising trade, developments in the construction as well as in the financial services spurred the economy to grow by more than 6. 3%.

Inflation rate fell in the year 2006 to 11% compared to 17% in the preceding year fueled by growing demand, rising fuel prices, linking of prices to the exchange rate among other factors. In the same year, the budget surplus was 0. 6% of the GDP while the country’s current account deficit with the IMF has reduced to just over 11. 2%. These improvements were mainly attributed to expanding export growth coupled with a contraction in imports, increasing foreign investments which rose by 7. 7% of the GDP; foreign loans have soared by 7.

6% of the GDP while Serbia’s foreign exchange reserves rose to more than $5. 2 billion. It even gets better; the country’s debt service ration has risen to 6. 8% of the GDP even though the country’s debt to GDP ratio has kept high at 61% of the GDP (International Monetary Fund, 2006b). Serbia is already a member of the World Bank and the EBRD which have been crucial in the bankrolling the development strategies and it is making progress towards accession to the WTO and the European Union. Accession to these bodies would require greater changes to which the country faces varied challenges.

It attempts to comply with the Copenhagen criteria have been marred by the status of Kosovo which declared independence from Serbia in February>In addition, dealing with its past, and its cooperation with the international criminal court in trying and apprehending suspected war criminals notably Ratco Mladich and Radovan Kartdich among others was found wanting, not least because the suspected criminals still have political influences in the country and attempts to hand them over to the Hague may stir up political difficulties.

Other problems include border conflicts with her neighbors in the Balkans after the wars that resulted in borders being changed but without clear boundaries (Smith, 2002). Long standing political tensions inherent in the Balkans and in the Serbian case, the issue of Kosovo as well as Montenegro will remain a challenge to the Serbian economy as well its political ambitions to join the European Union.

Even though the three ‘countries’ were not badly scathed by the global financial crisis especially due to a low capital market integration with the European Union countries, this very fact has come in to haunt them, growth has stagnated due to a decline in remittances into the country as well as decline in the demand for the region’s exports (Hinton & Mercedes et al, 2008). Even so, Serbia’s efforts to join the European Union though facing opposition are in the right direction and its compliance with the Copenhagen criteria would bring its institutions and laws to EU’s standards that would in turn confer a measure of stability to the country.

Already the country’s membership to the EBRD and the World Bank has borne fruit by provision of emergency loans to fund its development programs but also helped the country avoid recession following the global credit crunch. The out look for Serbia is as positive as it is fragile. Reference: Arandarenko, Mihail & Mijatovic, Bosko (2008). Reforms in Serbia: achievements and challenges. Belgrade: Center for Liberal-Democratic Studies. Edmunds, Timothy (2007) . Security sector reform in transforming societies: Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. Manchester:Manchester University Press. Hinton, Mercedes et al (2008). Policing Developing Democracies.

New York York: Taylor & Francis. International Monetary Fund (2006a). Serbia and Montenegro: Poverty Reduction Strategy Progress Reports – Joint Staff Advisory . Washington DC: International Monetary Fund. International Monetary Fund, (2006b). Republic of Serbia: 2006 Article IV consultation and post-program monitoring discussions : staff report, staff supplement, public information notice on the Executive Board discussion, and statement by the Executive Director for the Republic of Serbai. New York: International Monetary Fund, 2006 Smith, P. (2002) . since 1989: politics and society: Washington: University of Washington Press.

Country profile Essay

Country Analysis Essay

Country Analysis Essay.

The economic prowess held by a certain country is one of the most decisive factors in becoming a world superpower. A country’s economy is one of the most influential elements that is needed in order to attain control and domination in the international economic arena. As such, individual countries strive hard to strengthen its economy. Each country develops its own economic policies which it believes can boost their chances and capabilities of expanding its market in the international arena, hence, extending its influence over other smaller and less powerful countries.

One of the strongest and most established economy over the history is that of the United States of America. Over a certain period, their economy has been proven to be highly influential. Their economic policies have been focused on finding a variety of ways to strengthen their influence upon foreign markets. On the other hand Mexico although a rising economy, has been proven to be dependent on the American economy (“Mexico’s Economy,” 2008).

Hence, Mexico suffers the drastic consequences brought about by the slump or success experienced by the economy of the U. S.

The U. S Economy The U. S economy has already established its position as the world’s most technologically advanced, powerful and largest economy. Their market-oriented policies meant that private firms and individuals have the upperhand in making decisions that are believed to be beneficial for their economy. They have wielded their policies in such a way that it can be more flexible than their competitors, which can better enhance their chances of strengthening more their hold for international domination (“United States, The World Factbook,” 2008).

In addition, the U. S market engined a number of technological innovations that secured them a greater leap of advantage from their competitors. As such, the innovations they held were able to reach distinct foreign markets which greatly added to their economy’s appeal. In line with these technological advances, they used such inventions and discoveries to power up their campaign on their “economics of war. ” Through the use of such advanced weapons, they engaged in the war as either the main participant of the war or the supplier of advanced ammunitions.

Through this tactic, they were able to conquer larger markets with their increasing military and political supremacy. On the aspect of foreign trade, the U. S economy is the biggest proponent and supporter of trade liberalization and globalization. They have used the tenets of liberalization in order to gain the supremacy from exporting products. Their economic strength is highly dependent on the success of international trade and balances (“Foreign Trade and Global Economic Policies,” 2001). Alongside these measures, the U.

S economists have fought hard to maintain fiscal and monetary policies that shall secure them from possible inflation occurences. The policies that were enacted became their tools to maintain sustainable growth and at the same time promote economic expansion while avoiding recessions (“Monetary and Fiscal Policy,” 2001). However, despite these measures and the strong influence that U. S economy has imposed on smaller and less powerful countries, their economy has slowed down. Their GDP rate started to fall and is predicted to drop lower in the next few years (“The American Economy,” 2006).

The Mexican Economy In contrast to the U. S economy who is highly advanced in terms of technological innovations, the Mexican economy is still operating on a rough mixture of semi-modern and outmoded industry and agricultural production (“Mexico, The World Factbook, 2008). However, recent developments in Mexico allowed them to expand their capabilities by developing more advanced technologies in the fields of communication and transportation. These developments, however are powered by Mexico’s trade and economic relationships with more advanced countries such as the United States and Canada.

These advances are heavily reliant with Mexico’s distinct and strong commercial partnerships with these two countries. Their consented participation upon the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) increased their activity under the tenets of liberalization and globalization. In addition, their commitment towards trade liberalization guided them in consolidating and promoting fiscal and monetary policies that shall help them ensure a credible and stable economy.

This deliberate openness to foreign trade and investment became an attractive economic feature that increased their foreign direct investments (“Country Briefings: Mexico,” 2008). However, despite the promising economy that Mexico has to offer with their rich natural resources, Mexico is heavily tied on the U. S economy. Any slowdown that the U. S economy will experience, it is more likely that Mexico will experience the same. U. S Economy vs. Mexican Economy According to the Index of Economic Freedom, the United States economy is 80. 6% free while the Mexican economy is 66. 4% free (“Index of Economic Freedom,” 2008).

From this feature alone, it can be recognized that U. S can freely operate their economy without the dictates of other countries, while the Mexican economy flourishes or falls down according to the trend that “superior” countries may impose upon them. This happens because of certain distinct factors. One is due to the fact that the American economy is technologically advanced compared to the Mexican economy. Thus, U. S gets the upperhand in dictating their terms and conditions to smaller countries, Mexico in particular, because they are highly dependent to the technology that U.

S supplies them with. Another distinct factor is that the U. S controls the larger market in terms of trade and investments, thus Mexico only takes partakes the role of an active international player while U. S holds the control over them. This is true not only on Mexico’s case but in other less developed countries as well. And while it is true that both U. S and Mexico adhere to the tenets of free trade, it is still observable that U. S is in control of the trade agreements. While the Mexican economy operates under certain tariff rates and export controls, the U.

S economy operates more freely with less restrictions. Thus, even in a nutshell, it is observable why the U. S is more advanced and economically more powerful. The economic diversity employed by U. S in their policies is so distinct which enables them to gain control over other economies. And as such, this control over foreign markets allows them to dictate the market grounds, and hence, be on top of the others. References Country Briefings: Mexico. (2008, June 16). Economist. com. Retrieved June 20, 2008, from http://www. economist. com/countries/Mexico/profile. cfm?

folder=Profile-Economic%20Data Foreign Trade and Global Economic Policies. (2001 February). International Information Programs. Retrieved June 19, 2008 from http://usinfo. state. gov/products/pubs/oecon/ Index of Economic Freedom. (2008) The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved June 20, 2008 from http://www. heritage. org/index/countries. cfm Mexico’s Economy. (2008, May 18). Economist. com. Retrieved June 19, 2008 from http://www. economist. com/research/backgrounders/displaybackgrounder. cfm? bg=629589 Mexico, The World Factbook. (2008, June 10). Central Intelligence Agency.

Retrieved June 19, 2008 from https://www. cia. gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us. html Monetary and Fiscal Policy. (2001 February). International Information Programs. Retrieved June 19, 2008 from http://usinfo. state. gov/products/pubs/oecon/ The American Economy. (2006, August 26). Economist. com. Retrieved June 20, 2008 from http://www. economist. com/business/displaystory. cfm? story_id=8079134 United States, The World Factbook. (2008, June 10). Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved June 19, 2008 from https://www. cia. gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us. html

Country Analysis Essay

Living in the City vs. Living in the Country Essay

Living in the City vs. Living in the Country Essay.

It is nearly impossible to find a good answer on the question, what is better: living in the city or living in the country. What is good for one person might not be good for another! Some people enjoy hyper-active life in cosmopolitan cities, where they can use all modern amenities and have practically unlimited opportunities for work and leisure. At the same time, other people feel the urge to be closer to Mother Nature. They take pleasure from living in calm and peaceful environment of the countryside and spend their free time fishing, hiking or picking berries in the forest.

Certainly, modern life in the city and the one in rural areas are connected with a great deal of differences. In my opinion, the nature of urban and rural life-styles and its effects on people is the most important difference between living in the city and living in the country. It is supposed that people who live in rural areas are calmer, more family-oriented, a little conservative and friendlier.

They are used to moving at a slower pace. However, in modern big cities life is very fast and dynamic.

Therefore, the people who live in today’s metropolises are generally busier, more career-oriented, focused and concerned about their own problems, more direct and broadminded. Undoubtedly, there is a certain stereotype in this common notion, but in a critical mass this idea is absolutely true! Besides, such factor as the opportunities for education, career development and living advanced social life, which are available in big cities and small towns, must be considered another important difference.

It is a known fact that the majority of higher education establishments, culture, sports and entertainment facilities, financial and healthcare institutions, hotels and big shopping malls, etc. , are located in cosmopolitan areas. At the same time, people who live in small towns and the countryside have less access to modern amenities and services, as well as quite limited opportunities for career and personal development, entertainment and leisure activities, and so on.

Social standards and traditions of communication is one more significant point of difference between living in big cities and living in the county. Rural communities are considerably less crowded than urban ones, so people who live in small towns usually know and understand each other better, willingly cooperate and support each other, frequently visit each other’s houses and have good friendly relations with each other.

In contrast to this, in big cities people are regularly involved in excessive social interaction and a great deal of various activities, that is why many of them feel tired of communication and tend to be less open to the others, than the people who live in rural areas. Finally, it is impossible not to mention the differences in day to day cost of living in big cities and in small towns. Even taking into account better job and career opportunities in modern metropolises, living in big cities is usually more expensive, and it is not always easy to afford everything one may need.

Therefore, many people have to get a second job in order to have extra income and make the ends meet. In contrast to this, in small towns it is relatively easier to minimize the expenses for housing and food. In addition, many families living in the country have their gardens, so they can live off the land and have fruit, vegetables and green foodstuffs of their own. The differences between living in big cities and living in small towns are not limited with the factors above. Such aspects as natural environment or social safety can be mentioned also.

Certainly, there are cultural, ethnic, economic, or even geographical dimensions, which can blur the mentioned generalizations, and it is possible to find people who live in rural areas but have the attitudes and life-style of cosmopolitan cities. Besides, such factors as technological progress and new job opportunities in modern countryside, as well as introduction of traffic free and green zones in big cities contribute into making the differences between living in small and big cities smaller and smaller.

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Living in the City vs. Living in the Country Essay

Burma (Myanmar): Country Profile Essay

Burma (Myanmar): Country Profile Essay.

Burma is a developing country located at the Southeast region of Asia. 61 years ago, Burma was under the colony of Britain but through the struggle and passion of the “48 million multi-ethnic people” of Burma, they gained their independence. As a result, an independent democratic parliament government with a new constitutional system was established which have helped in providing structure to the country. However, peace and stability did not last long because of the many detractors in the new concept of a unified nation.

In the late 1940s, members of ethnic groups demanded that they be given autonomy within a decade from the “new constitution and communists. ” This particular situation resulted to a civil war. Since then, the military commanded by “chief-of-staff General Ne Win” carried out a “coup and a military. ” This marked the beginning of a long brutal and absolute form of governance. This military takeover paved the way for the transformation of the Revolutionary Council which possessed the power to “suspend the constitution and to institute an authoritarian” regime.

Two of the major repercussions of this type of rule are the demise of parliamentary democracy and the imprisonment of “government ministers and ethnic leaders” (Burma Watch International, 2007). There have been many attempts to change the status quo in Burma but still the military junta continues to prevail. In the 21st century, the Burmese people are gradually grasping the real need for democracy and freedom. But after the 2007 protests, it seems that this goal is still farfetched from turning into a reality.

Moreover, suppression, violence and poverty still remain as the key problems of this highly promising country. Recent events on the political, economic, social, international relations and military arena that transpired in the past year would be discussed in the succeeding pages to obtain a collection of updated information about Burma’s current conditions. Political Situation By the 2nd quarter of 2008, a destructive cyclone hit the center of Burma yielding the deaths of thousands of civilians and millions of worth of agriculture and properties.

This tragedy worsened the living conditions of many Burmese people. To make things more unbearable, foreign assistance was blocked by the military to enter the country. As a consequence, victims of the cyclone were not able to get an adequate supply of food, water medicines and other essential needs. According to a journalist of Time magazine, the reason behind this restriction was that the military generals were afraid of the possible political repercussions of the cyclone.

They are worried that the “combination of popular anger and the junta’s reluctant but necessary acceptance of foreign assistance may yet combine to unseat a seemingly unshakeable regime” (Marhsall, 2008). Furthermore, the military believes that if foreign aid enters the country this could provide a chance for interested third parties in influencing the Burmese people in pushing for a democratic form of government. This is the possibility that the military is trying to evade for so many years. They will do everything in their power to maintain and preserve their sovereignty over Burma.

The obvious neglect and mismanagement of the military on the situation evoked the dissatisfaction of the Burmese people. To redeem the speedy deterioration of the image of the military, they released 9,002 political prisoners including a high-profiled opposition personality, U Win Tin. According to the military officials, the release was part of their plan for 2010 national elections which is intended to advance the “regime’s seven-point ‘Roadmap to Democracy. ’” This explanation was not well received by the public particularly those against the military junta.

According to a member of the National Coalition of the Union of Burma, an alliance of exile groups, “this is a publicity stunt and the international community should not fall for it… If they were serious, they would release all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi” who is the leader of the opposition. More so, it was emphasized that this move was really aimed in improving the negative image of Burma. Through this, “international pressure and domestic content” can be mitigated which if not addressed can lead to an unfavorable situation for the military.

Also, the timing of the release marked the anniversary of the 2007 protest campaigns pioneered by the Buddhist monks who were “violently suppressed by the military. ” Again, this was a strategic way of the military to conceal their abuses and exploitation of the human rights (Horn, 2008). Economic Situation Because of the political turmoil in Burma, the country’s economic growth has been limited. According to many experts, this prevailing situation is caused by the misadministration of the military regime combined with the incompetence of the military officials in running a country.

However, in defense for these harsh comments, the military retaliated by saying that because of the stringent economic restrictions, these deprived them and their country from attaining fiscal development. A Burmese military official said, “They are not only unfair but immoral. They are counter-productive and deprive countries of their right to development. ” Despite this, majority of the public and critics of the regime still believe that the ruling party only serves the regime and their cronies’ interests.

Additionally, the main causes for the existence of poverty and limited opportunities for the people are the “junta’s corruption, nepotism and cronyism. ” Because of this, foreign investors are easily repelled to do business in the country. Political instability, poverty and high taxes are the main concerns of businessmen which are believed to create an “unhealthy atmosphere for investment deals. ” On the other hand, regardless of the economic sanctions, Burma’s relationship with China and India had helped in boosting trade.

If only the regime can implement a few fiscal reforms particularly “wholesale reform in the areas of property rights and rational decision-making,” Burma can alleviate their poor economic conditions (Mungpi, 2008). Presently, the world has been experiencing an international economic crisis. Even though Burma does not have a lot of foreign investments, it can still feel the ripple effect of the recession. Relatively, Burma is not directly affected by the global economic crisis particularly in the banking industry. However, the field of trade has been negatively affected by the current fiscal situation.

For many local business people, they feel that their customers have lessened their purchases for the past few months. If this will continue, “manufacturing and commodity sales could decrease as much as 50%. ” Another repercussion is the massive lay off of employees of factories and companies, which is already starting to happen. Based on the data, there are over “134,900 registered workers in 18 industrial zones in Rangoon Division” who are vulnerable from being removed in the workforce. The garment industry is one of the leading sources of Burma’s revenues.

Businesses in this industry have been subjected to factory closures, reduction of orders and the lay off of “100,000 garment workers. ” Aside from these, timber exports and tourism have also tremendously declined (Lwin, 2009). It seemed that after the controversial pro-democracy Buddhist-led protests of 2007 and the catastrophic tragedy of Cyclone Nargis of 2008, Burma is continuously experiencing adverse situations that hinder it from achieving sustainable growth and development. Social Situation There are over “47,373,958” people in Burma.

Out of this total number, 9 people die out of 1,000 populations wherein a majority succumbs to waterborne diseases and infection to AIDS (CBS, 2009). Given this living conditions, the Burmese people are constantly experiencing social problems that have greatly reduced the quality of life for the past six decades. The main problem in the Burmese society is the issue of human rights. Since the implementation of the authoritarian rule by the military, the number of cases of those being abducted, raped, tortured, forced into labor and imprisoned have escalated.

According to Amnesty International, “torture has become an institution in Burma. ” These inhumane practices have become a way for the regime to suppress democracy and freedom. Religion, political beliefs and profession can become a basis for being arrested, molested or harassed by the military. As years passed by, human rights continue to be openly neglected and ignored in Burma by the ruling party (Open Society Institute, 2009). Moreover, narcotics is another concern that has been plaguing Burma wherein it is considered the “world’s second largest producer of illegal opium and Southeast Asia’s largest producer of methamphetamines.

” In addition, Burma was also “decertified” because they did not agree to conform to the efforts of the US to ban narcotics (United States Campaign for Burma, 2009). Generally, Burma is one of the countries that were labeled as a developing country. To be categorized as such means that Burma is in a challenging position wherein it has not yet achieved the necessary actions needed for national progress. At the moment, Burma is faced with the obligation of providing adequate social services particularly to the underprivileged.

Unfortunately, due to the military dictatorship that commenced in 1962 followed by the biggest natural calamity that destructed the nation, Burma is having difficulty in formulating solutions for their numerous social problems. Social needs ranging from basic infrastructure to health to education are urgently needed and wanted by the people (Open Society Institute, 2009). Citizens of Burma yearn to be prioritized by the so-called leaders of the country. As individuals, they want to reach their utmost potential so that they can be of service to their families, communities and the nation.

This can only be done if the current regime would set aside their self-interests and aim for the welfare of the majority. Military Status and International Relations The military is the ultimate weapon of the regime in maintaining power. Senior General Than Shwe is the Commander-in-Chief of this strong and able-bodied group of soldiers. It is within the ranks of the military that control the seat of power in Burma. They are the ones who rule over the many aspects of the country including the political, economic and social aspects. For years, the military has enforced their presence and rule over the Burmese society.

They justified their actions and legitimacy by stating that they are the only force that can hold the country in tact (Beech, 2007). Because of this, the military regime is doing everything in their influence to preserve their dominance over the public. The Burmese armed forces or Tatmadaw is actively involved in expanding and modernizing their soldiers and equipment. Even in the midst of an economic crisis, the military is still spending billions of dollars to enhance “Burma’s military capabilities. ” In the near future, Burma can transform into “one of the largest and best-equipped armed forces in Southeast Asia.

” If this happens, the military can have more power in manipulating Burma’s development. Also, intensifying the strength of the military and its international status specifically its affiliation with China will “give Burma a greater potential to influence the region’s wider strategic environment” (Ashton, 1998, p. 8). Meanwhile, in terms of international relations, Burma have initially forged various ties with a number of foreign countries but due to the 2007 cyclone tragedy, nations from Europe, America, Asia and international organizations have been hesitant in helping.

In a global perspective, many believe that implementing sanctions can put a pressure to the military regime in advocating democracy and facilitating national reconciliation. Without foreign aid and economic opportunities, the cost of living will rise while the standard of living will drop which can significantly affect the power and influence of the military junta over the Burmese (Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma, 2008). References Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma. (2008). Key issues – International Relations. . Retrieved January 15, 2009, from http://www. altsean. org/Key%20Issues/KeyIssuesInternational. htm

Ashton, W. (1998). Burma’s armed forces: – preparing for the 21st century. ASIA, 10, 28. Beech, H. (2007, October 1). Burma’s Faceless Leaders. Time Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2009, from http://www. time. com/time/world/article/0,8599,1666978,00. html Burma Watch International. (2007, September 25). Some background information about Burma. Retrieved January 15, 2009, from http://www. burmawatch. org/aboutburma. html CBS. (2009). Burma. Retrieved January 15, 2009, from http://www. cbsnews. com/stories/2007/10/04/country_facts/main3328831. shtml Horn, R. (2008). Burma Frees Democracy Fighter. Time Magazine.

Retrieved January 15, 2009, from http://www. time. com/time/world/article/0,8599,1843853,00. html Lwin, M. (2009). Burma’s Economy Feeling the Pain. The Irrawaddy. Retrieved January 15, 2009, from http://www. irrawaddy. org/article. php? art_id=14923 Marshall, A. (2008). Burma’s Woes: A Threat to the Junta. Time Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2009, from http://www. time. com/time/world/article/0,8599,1807994,00. html Mungpi. (2008). Burma’s economy: Does sanctions hinder development?. Burma News International. Retrieved January 15, 2009, from http://bnionline. net/index. php? option=com_content&task=vi

Burma (Myanmar): Country Profile Essay

“The Principle of the Mercantile System” (1776) Summary Essay

“The Principle of the Mercantile System” (1776) Summary Essay.

According to Adam Smith in this article, the basis of England’s wealth is gold and silver, not in the lands, houses, or resources. He goes on the explain through the article that England has lost it’s focus on the industry of the consumer and concentrated more on the importation of the money they receive from their colonies. The wealth is only considered to consist of gold and silver and, “that those metals could be brought into a country which had no mines only by the balance of trade, or by exporting to a greater value than it imported.

” Smith makes the point that England has started “a monopoly against their countrymen,” because the market encourages the industry to import products from foreign countries and place high duties upon them.

This is a nationalistic feeling because Smith is speaking for the people that the market in England is not for the people, but rather against them. It is built for the rich man to make his silver and gold and not for the working class families who survived on “cottage industry” or home-industry.

He sees the importance of the difference of economies in the big state, little-state scenario.

“The Principle of the Mercantile System” (1776) Summary Essay