Modern Countries Part 8

Spain (Europe)

Flag of Spain

Capital: Madrid 

Population: 47.4 Million 

Size: 195,360 sq. miles 

Currency: Euro 

Tallest point: Teide 12,188 feet tall 

Main religion: Christain 58.6%

Main languages: Spanish, Catalan, Valencian, Galician, and Basque. 

About: In 1492, multiple kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula united to form the Country of Spain.

Sagrat Cor Basilica in Barcelona, Spain.

Sri Lanka (Asia)

Flag of Sri Lanka

Capital: Colombo 

Population: 21.9 Million 

Size: 25,300 sq. miles 

Currency: Sri Lankan rupee 

Tallest point: Pidurutalagala 8,281 feet tall 

Main religion: Buddhism 70.2%

Main languages: Sinhala and Tamil 

About: Sri Lanka was made a dominion by Great Britain on February 4, 1948. It gained full independence from British rule on May 22, 1972. 

Sigiriya rock in Dambulla, Sri Lanka.

Sudan (Africa)

Flag of Sudan

Capital: Khartoum 

Population: 44.9 Million 

Size: 728,215 sq. miles 

Currency: Sudanese pound 

Tallest point: Mount Kinyeti 10,456 feet tall 

Main religion: Islam 97% 

Main languages: Arabic and English 

About: On January 1, 1956, Sudan became independent from British rule. It was formerly part of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. 

Nubian pyramids called Jebel Barkal, in Karima, Northern State of Sudan.

Suriname (South America)

Flag of Suriname

Capital: Paramaribo 

Population: 575,990 

Size: 63,252 sq. miles 

Currency: Surinamese dollar 

Tallest point: Julianatop 4,199 feet tall 

Main religion: Christain 52.3% 

Main languages: Dutch, Akurio, Caribbean Hindustani, Ndyuka, and Arawak

About: On November 25, 1975, Suriname became independent from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

Arya Dewaker Hindu temple in Paramaribo, Suriname. Suriname has a large population of Hindus, with 18.8% of the country being Hindu.

Sweden (Europe)

Flag of Sweden

Capital: Stockholm 

Population: 10.4 Million 

Size: 173,860 sq. miles 

Currency: Swedish krona 

Tallest point: Kebnekaise 6,879 feet tall 

Main religion: Christain 66.8% 

Main languages: Swedish, Finnish, Sami, Meankieli, and Romani 

About: In the 12th Century, Sweden was unified by different kingdoms. 

Stockholm city hall in Stockholm, Sweden.

Switzerland (Europe)

Flag of Switzerland

Capital: Bern 

Population: 8.5 Million 

Size: 15,940 sq. miles 

Currency: Swiss franc 

Tallest point: Monte Rosa 15,203 feet tall 

Main religion: Chritain 66.5% 

Main languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh 

About: Switzerland was founded circa 1300, but it became a federal state September 12, 1848. 

Skyline of Lucerne, Switzerland.

Syria (Asia)

Flag of Syria

Capital: Damascus 

Population: 17.5 Million 

Size: 71,500 sq. miles 

Currency: Syrian pound 

Tallest point: Mount Hermon 9,323 feet tall 

Main religion: Islam 87% 

Main languages: Arabic 90-100%

About: On May 14, 1930, Syria was granted its own state by France, but on April 17, 1946 it gained full independence from France. 

The ancient city of Palmyra, in Tadmur, Syria.

Tajikistan (Asia)

Flag of Tajikistan

Capital: Dushbane 

Population: 9.5 Million 

Size: 55,300 sq. miles 

Currency: Somoni 

Tallest point: Mount Garmo 21,637 feet tall 

Main religion: Islam 98%

Main languages: Tajik, Russian, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, and Shughni 

About: On September 9, 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved, Tajikistan became independent from the USSR. 

Rudaki Park, Dushbane, Tajikistan.

Tanzania (Africa)

Flag of Tanzania

Capital: Dodoma (Or Dodoma City) 

Population: 61.1 Million 

Size: 365,756 sq. miles 

Currency: Tanzanian shilling 

Tallest point: Mount Kilimanjaro 19,341 feet tall 

Main religion: Christain 63.1% 

Main languages: Swahili, English, and Arabic 

About: On December 9, 1961, Tanzania became independent from Great Britain, but it was then called Tanganyika. On April 25, 1977, it adopted its current constitution and became known as Tanzania. 

Mount Kilimajaro, in Northeast Tanzania. It is the largest mountain in Tanzania and in the continent of Africa, standing at 19,341 feet tall.

Thailand (Asia)

Flag of Thailand

Capital: Bangkok 

Population: 69.9 Million 

Size: 198,120 sq. miles 

Currency: Baht 

Tallest point: Doi Inthanon 8,415 feet tall 

Main religion: Buddhism 93.5% 

Main languages: Thai, Isan, Kam Mueang, Pak Tai, and Malay

About: On June 14, 1932, there was a coup d’etat in Thailand, forcing a constitutional monarchy on the old monarch. And in April 2017, their current constitution was established.  

Wat Arun temple in Bangkok, Thailand.

Togo (Africa)

Flag of Togo

Capital: Lome 

Population: 8.6 Million 

Size: 21,925 sq. miles 

Currency: West African Franc (CFA Franc) 

Tallest point: Mount Agou 3,235 feet tall 

Main religion: Christain 43.7% 

Main languages: French, Ewe, and Kabiye 

About: On April 27, 1960, Togo became independent from France. It was formerly part of French Togoland. 

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, in Lome, Togo.

Tonga (Australia and the Pacific)

Flag of Tonga

Capital: Nuku’alofa 

Population: 100,651 

Size: 289 sq. miles 

Currency: Pa’anga 

Tallest point: Unnamed Location on Kao Island 3,389 feet tall 

Main religion: Chritstain 98% 

Main languages: English and Tongan 

About: On June 4, 1970, Tonga became independent from Great Britain. 

‘Eau Island, Tonga.

Trinidad and Tobago (North America)

Flag of Trinidad and Tobago

Capital: Port of Spain 

Population: 1.3 Million 

Size: 1,981 sq. miles 

Currency: Trinidad and Tobago dollar 

Tallest point: El Cerro del Aripo 3,080 feet tall 

Main religion: Christain 63.2% 

Main languages: English 

About: On August 31, 1962, Trinidad and Tobago became independent from the United Kingdom. 

Fort King George, in Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago.

Tunisia (Africa)

Flag of Tunisia

Capital: Tunis 

Population: 11.7 Million 

Size: 64,170 sq. miles

 Currency: Tunisian dinar 

Tallest point: Jebel ech Chambi 5,066 feet tall 

Main religion: Islam 98% (Mandated) 

Main languages: Arabic, Berber, and French

About: Tunisia gained independence from France on March 20, 1956, and it became a Republic on July 25, 1957. It was formerly part of French West Africa. 

Ancient Roman Coliseum in the old city of El Djem, Tunisia.

Turkey (Asia)

Flag of Turkey

Capital: Ankara 

Population: 83.6 Million 

Size: 302,455 sq. miles 

Currency: Turkish lira

Tallest point: Mount Ararat 16,584 feet tall 

Main religion: Islam 82% 

Main languages: Turkish and Kurdish 

About: On May 19, 1919, Turkey waged the war of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. On October 29, 1923, the war was over, and Turkey declared that they were a free republic. 

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey.

Turkmenistan (Asia)

Flag of Turkmenistan

Capital: Ashgabat 

Population: 6 Million 

Size: 189,660 sq. miles 

Currency: Turkmenistan manat 

Tallest point: Mount Ayrybaba 10,295 feet tall 

Main religion: Islam 93.7%

Main languages: Turkmen and Russian 

About: On October 27, 1991, Turkmenistan became independent from the USSR. On December 26, 1991, it was recognized as a sovereign state. 

Ruhyyet Palace, in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Tuvalu (Australia and the Pacific)

Flag of Tuvalu

Capital: Funafuti 

Population: 11,646 

Size: 10 sq. miles 

Currency: Tuvaluan dollar 

Tallest point: Unnamed Location on Niulakita Island 15 feet tall 

Main religion: Christain 96-100%

Main languages: Tuvuluan and English 

About: On October 1, 1978, Tuvalu became independent from the United Kingdom. 

View of Funafuti, Tuvalu.

Uganda (Africa)

Flag of Uganda

Capital: Kampala 

Population: 42.7 Million 

Size: 93,065 sq. miles 

Currency: Ugandan shilling 

Tallest point: Mount Stanley 16,762 feet tall 

Main religion: Christain 84.4%

Main languages: English and Swahili 

About: On October 9, 1962, Uganda became independent from the United Kingdom. 

Gaddafi Mosque, in Kampala, Uganda.

Ukraine (Europe)

Flag of Ukraine

Capital: Kyiv (Or Kiev) 

Population: 41.3 Million 

Size: 233,062 sq. miles 

Currency: Hryvnia 

Tallest point: Hoverla 6,762 feet tall 

Main religion: Christain 87.3% 

Main languages: Ukrainian, Russian, Belarussian, Bulgarian, and Crimean Tatar

About: On August 24, 1991, Ukraine became independent from the USSR.

St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine.

United Arab Emirates (Or UAE) (Asia)

Flag of United Arab Emirates

Capital: Abu Dhabi 

Population: 9.8 Million 

Size: 32,300 sq. miles 

Currency: UAE dirham 

Tallest point: Jebel Al-Mebrah 5,666 feet tall 

Main religion: Islam 76% (Endorsed by State, but not mandated) 

Main languages: Arabic 

About: On December 2, 1971, became independent from the United Kingdom. It was formerly part of the Trucial States, joined with Oman. 

Skyline of Dubai, the largest city in the UAE. Dubai has the tallest building in the world called the Burj Khalifa standing at 2,717 feet tall. They also built a huge artificial palm leaf (it’s upside down in this picture) to put more building and houses on.

United Kingdom (Or Great Britain) (Europe)

Flag of United Kingdom

Capital: London 

Population: 67.8 Million 

Size: 93,628 sq. miles 

Currency: Pound Sterling 

Tallest point: Ben Nevis 4,413 feet tall 

Main religion: Christain 59.5% 

Main languages: English, Scottish Gaelic, and Irish 

About: On January 1, 1801, England, Ireland, and Scotland unified to become the United Kingdom. On December 5, 1922, Ireland split away from the United Kingdom. 

View of London with Westminster Palace and Big Ben.

United States of America (North America)

Flag of the United States of America

Capital: Washington D.C. 

Population: 331.4 Million 

Size: 9,833,520 sq. miles 

Currency: United States dollar 

Tallest point: Denali (Formerly known as Mount McKinley) 20,194 feet tall 

Main religion: Christain 65% 

Main languages: English and Spanish 

About: On July 4, 1776, the United States of America declared independence from the United Kingdom. 

St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America.

Uruguay (South America)

Flag of Uruguay

Capital: Montevideo 

Population: 3.5 Million 

Size: 68,037 sq. miles 

Currency: Uruguayan peso 

Tallest point: Cerro Catedral 1,685 feet tall 

Main religion: Christain 57% 

Main languages: Spanish and Portuguese

About: On August 27, 1828, Uruguay became independent from the Empire of Brazil. 

Palacio Salvo, in Montevideo, Uruguay.

History of the American Revolution Part 2: 1777-1778

Important or major battles from 1777-1778

Political Situation

During the American Revolution the British army was far superior than the Americans; especially their navy. In 1776, the British landed in New York at the landing of Kip’s Bay. They held it until 1783. The British had taken New Jersey as well. The Americans and the British had started negotiations, and were going well until the British demanded that Americans reject the Declaration of Independence.

Betsy Ross flag, made in 1777

After this the negotiations ceased. The British had sent General Burgoyne down from Canada to sea off New England. The other British army rather than supporting Burgoyne like they were supposed to went to take Pennsylvania instead. The British had also put their attention south and some of the bloodiest battles were fought there. 

Battle of Oriskany

The Americans stationed near the Mohawk River, New York, were worried about a possible British attack by the Oneida Indian tribes. On August 5, 1777, a American militia set out to the city of Oriska and camped there. Other Americans under the command of Joseph Brant traveled to reinforce the American in Oriska. General Leger of the British sent a force to attack the Americans. The British prepared an ambush and lied in wait for the right time to shoot. Unexpectedly, some of the British opened fired giving away their position. The plan was to attack the Americans while they were inside a ravine, but some of the British panicked and fled.

Battle of Oriskany

The Americans eventually fought their way out of the ravine and onto flat land. General Herkimer of the Americans was wounded in the fighting, and died days later. The American relief force was blocked, and the British advance failed making the battle inconclusive. The battle was one of the bloodiest battles of the war despite being inconclusive. 

Battle of Brandywine

The British moved their force from New Jersey into Delaware County, Pennsylvania. General Washington had stationed his force between the Elk River and Philadelphia. Washington didn’t know the strength of the British because they hadn’t set up camp. After a skirmish at the battle of Cooch’s Bridge, Washington moved his men to Chadds Ford. On September 11, 1777, a heavy fog set in that provided cover for the British troops. British and Hessian forces moved to attack the Americans at Brandywine Creek. British and Americans skirmished near Welch’s Tavern. The main British column commanded by General Howe and General Cornwallis attacked and battled at the American right flank.

Battle of Brandywine

The Hessian troops also threatened the American far right flank. The British also caught the American left flank by surprise and battled there also. A British bayonet charge in the middle flank made the Americans there fall back. General Washington and General Greene arrived with reinforcements at this time. The newly arrived Americans stopped the British and gave time for the rest of the Americans to retreat. Another British attack was sent on the center flank again, which weakened it. The Americans had to retreat and the British would have pursued them but it was dark so the Army successfully retreated.

7th Pennsylvania Regiment flag, known as the Brandywine flag

The British had 93 killed, 483 wounded, and 6 missing. The Americans had 250 killed, 600 wounded, and 400 captured, an outstanding British victory.

Battles of Saratoga 

The British were enraged that it had been 2 years and the war hadn’t ended yet. They devised a plan to split New England off from the rest of the Thirteen Colonies. The British sent a force down from Canada into New York. British General John Burgoyne reached the Hudson river valley in September of 1777. In July of 1777, the British had recaptured Fort Ticonderoga and the American army was in retreat. The battles of Saratoga consisted of two battles: the Battle of Freeman’s Farm and the Battle of Bemis Heights. American Generals Benedict Arnold and Horatio Gates were the two commanders during the battles. 

Battle of Freeman’s Farm

British attack during the Battle of Freeman’s Farm.

American Field General Daniel Morgan charged into British General John Burgoyne’s main column, and scattered Burgoyne’s men into the woods. The battle was going through phases of fighting and non fighting throughout the day. At one point the center of the British line was almost broken, but the British repulsed the Americans. The final part of the battle the British gained the upper hand, and pushed the Americans back. Fortunately for the Americans, it became dark so the British stopped their push. The British were victorious at the Battle of Freeman’s Farm, and the Americans prepared for the second battle. 

Battle of Bemis Heights 

General Burgoyne surrenders after the Battle of Bemis Heights.

Before the start of the American attack, General Benedict Arnold had joined the fight with the Americans. The Americans started to attack a British encampment of 300, led by Benedict Arnold. He pushed farther and farther, and was wounded in the process. They eventually pushed as far as to expose the main British camp fully. British General Burgoyne was now outnumbered 3 to 1 because of the heavy casualties he had suffered in the past engagements. So Burgoyne along with 6,222 of his men surrendered to the American army. Both battles combined ended with 330 American casualties and 1,135 British casualties, not including the captured soldiers. 

Battle of Germantown

Battle of Germantown.

On September 26, 1777, Philadelphia, the capital of America, had been occupied by British General Charles Cornwallis. The Americans decided to go attack Cornwallis, along General William Howe, and some Hessian mercenaries, who were positioned in a small city known as Germantown, which was then its own city west of Philadelphia, but is now a neighborhood inside the city of Philadelphia. The American force moved southward, and the British pickets didn’t see them because of the darkness of the early morning. All three of the American columns had now advanced in position to attack their enemy. They attacked the British, and William Howe thought he was facing a smaller force than he was actually facing. A regiment of 120 British infantry was separated from the main force, and set defensive positions at a house called Cliveden. Even though they were outnumbered, the British at Cliveden, repulsed a series of brutal American attacks. General Henry Knox of the patriots, set four cannons around the Cliveden mansion to besiege the British inside. After two more assaults, some Americans managed to enter the house, but were cut down by volleys of British inside. American Lieutenant Colonel John Laurens, who was part of George Washington’s staff, instructed his men to pile firewood and set fire around the house.

Americans attacking Cliveden Mansion

This failed however, because Laurens was bayoneted while trying to set the wood in front of the house. Meanwhile, at the other part of the battle, American General John Sullivan, deployed three brigades to attack the left and center of the British main column. This attack was repulsed because they ran out of ammunition, and were separated from each other. General Nathaniel Green arrived at the fight, and attacked a different part of the British force. His men were cut down and forced to retreat. At Cliveden, one of the brigades still attacking it, retreated. Cornwallis, seeing the Americans confusion and retreat, did a counter-attack, and forced the 9th Virginia regiment to surrender. After this the rest of the American forces fell back. The Americans suffered 673 casualties, not including 438 captured as well. The British suffered 533 casualties. The British now had full control of Philadelphia, forcing the Americans to move their capital to York, Pennsylvania. 

Battle of Monmouth 

Battle of Monmouth.

The Battle of Monmouth was the last battle in the Philadelphia campaign. It was fought Between Manalapan Township and Freehold Township, now Monmouth, New Jersey. On June 15, 1778, British forces under General Sir Henry Clinton, marched from Philadelphia, to New Jersey with 17,660 men. During the march, there was a severe heat wave, and the average temperature in June of that year was 90 degrees fahrenheit. On June 24, the first division of Clinton’s men arrived in Allentown, New Jersey. While there, they skirmished with local militias. On June 17, General George Washington, decided to pursue the British from Pennsylvania down into New Jersey. On June 27, General Washington and General Charles Lee, reached Englishtown, New Jersey. On June 28, the first shots were fired near Monmouth Courthouse in the morning. Gen. Charles Lee was going to cross a bridge between Englishtown and Monmouth, but for some reason waited for one hour. Once he crossed, he and 550 men commanded by Colonels Richard Butler, and Henry Jackson, reached Monmouth Courthouse. There he found a British force, and underestimated their strength and was repulsed. After this, Clinton ordered Cornwallis to advance on Lee’s men at Monmouth Courthouse. Lee retreated two miles west after a short battle. At 10:00, the main body of General Washington’s army had arrived to support Lee. Lee’s men chaotically retreated, and when Washington arrived he rallied the troops and stopped the chaos.

Washington rallying his men at the Battle of Monmouth.

The British attacked, and the Americans put up a good fight. American General Anthony Wayne, and his men eventually fell back, and retreated back across a bridge. Washington, who was north of Lee and Wayne, fought for a while too, but eventually fell back a couple miles. Washington and Lee, met up at a road, and defended it from British attacks for a while. After fierce battling until about 5:00, which resulted in mostly American victories, Clinton fell back to Monmouth Courthouse. After this battle, Washington and Lee’s army were heavily battered and retreated to Englishtown making the battle indecisive. In the end, the British held the ground, but suffered 1,134 casualties, whereas the Americans only suffered 500.

Capture of Savannah 

Historical marker about the Capture of Savannah.

The Capture of Savannah was a major battle fought in Savannah, Georgia on December 29, 1778.  After dealing with forces in New England, British General Sir Henry Clinton, organized an army of 3,000 troops, and directed his attention south. Clinton’s goal was to capture Savannah, march south, and take Saint Augustine, the capital of East Florida. Georgia was defended by American General Robert Howe, (no relation to General William Howe of the British army) and various Southern militias. Gen. Clinton gave command of the operation to General Archibald Campbell, who was in charge of the capture of the city. The British forces were made up of regular British army, Southern loyalists, and Hessian mercenaries. Campbell decided that he would land at Girardeau’s Plantation, two miles outside of Savannah. The British encountered American forces after landing, and charged the Americans who fired two volleys of musket fire at them before retreating. Campbell now moved closer to the city. Robert Howe, the American General, made defensive lines outside the city. These troops were under trained militia men commanded by Issac Huger and William Thompson, but were also supported by four pieces of field artillery. Campbell ordered his troops to march through a swamp and attack the Americans.

Americans retreating during the Capture of Savannah.

The Americans were quickly defeated, and retreated chaotically through a swamp. The Capture of Savannah was a complete British victory, and Campbell gained control of the city, with only 7 killed and 17 wounded, whereas the Americans had 94 killed or wounded and 453 captured.