The Python programming language is a high level general-purpose programming language. It has dynamic, strong, and duck typing. It's notable for its use of whitespace to delimit code blocks.
Python 3+ breaks compatibility with Python 2.
Guido van Rossum developed Python at CWI, and used his experience from working with the ABC language, which was created for scientists and linguists who had no prior computer science experience. Rossum wanted to focus on language extensibility and clean design. The ability to write modules in C to extend the language allowed Rossum and his colleagues to add a lot of support from other libraries [Venners].
Python's design stresses good coding habits, as is evident in the white-space delimited code blocks and strong typing. However, Python is still very expressive, and allows for elegantly compact statements [Python Docs].
Data abstraction is generally achieved using an object-oriented model, though the language allows for multiple paradigms. Python encapsulates even the primitive data types as objects.
The modular design of Python has helped it spread to a wide number of domains, including Web development. The Apache Web server has a module to allow Python to run within the server.
Good for Beginners?
Python is a powerful scripting language, and its design helps encourage good coding habits. I feel it's a good start for a first programming language. It has a rich standard library and a clean implementation, should you ever get curious about how the interpreter itself works.