Famous Composers

A list of famous and influential composers throughout history, including the greatest composers Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

Composers of the Medieval period

hildegard-von-bingenHildegard von Bingen (1097 – 1179) German writer, mystic, composer and polymath. Hildegard wrote many liturgical songs, which pushed the boundaries of traditional Gregorian Chant. Her greatest work was Ordo Virtutum (Play of the Virtues) – a morality play.

Composers of the Renaissance period

 

john-dunstableJohn Dunstable (1390 – 1453) English composer of polyphonic music. Dunstable had a big influence on the development of music through his creation of chords with triads, which became known as the Burgundian School: la countenance angloise or “the English countenance” e.g Quam pulchra es.

Giovanni-da_PalestrinaGiovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525 – 1594) Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music. Palestrina was a prolific composer of masses, motets, madrigals and offertories. An influential work was Missa Papae Marcelli (Pope Marcellus Mass)

William_ByrdWilliam Byrd (1543 – 1623) English composer of the Renaissance. He wrote in many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony. He helped the development of Anglican church music, and also secular vocal music with his use of Tudor consort and keyboard fantasia.

Composers of the Baroque Period

 

Henry_PurcellHenry Purcell (1659-1695) English composer of the Baroque period. Purcell wrote some early baroque classics such as Te Deum and Jubilate Deo. He also wrote for theatre and England’s first opera.

j.s.bachBach (1685 – 1750) German composer of the Baroque period. One of the most prolific composers of all time. Bach brought Baroque music to its pinnacle of musical maturity. Famous works of Bach include: Brandenburg Concertos, the Mass in B minor, St Matthew’s Passion, St John’s Passion; Bach also wrote organ pieces and over 300 sacred cantatas.

George_Frideric_HandelGeorge Frederick Handel (1685 – 1759) German-born composer who spent a lot of time in England. He wrote operas and oratorios. Famous works include Messiah “Hallelujah Chorus”, Music For The Royal Fireworks, Jephtha, Chaconne Variations in G  Coronation Anthems, Zadok the Priest.

Composers of the Classical Period

 

Joseph_HaydnJoseph Haydn (1732 – 1809) Prolific Austrian composer of the classical period. He helped develop chamber music such as the piano trio and string quartet. Also wrote amongst first extensive symphonies and contributed to the development of sonata. Haydn’s famous works include Cello Concerto No.1 in C major and Symphony No.94 in G major.

mozartMozart (1756 – 1791) Austrian classical composer. Composing from the age of 6, Mozart’s repertoire varied from light waltzes and dances to the spiritual elevating choral music of Missa Brevis and Mass in C minor. He composed over 600 pieces, including symphonies, operas (e.g. Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), concertos (e.g. Piano Concerto no. 21) and chamber music.

Ludwig_van_BeethovenBeethoven (1770 – 1827) German composer and pianist of the classical and romantic period. Another prodigious genius. Beethoven’s compositions invoked both tremendous power, and soulfulness; he had a lasting influence over western classical music. His greatest works include his Symphonies No.6 and his choral work Missa Solemnis.

Gioachino-RossiniGioachino Rossini (1792 – 1868) Italian composer. Rossini wrote 38 great operas, transforming the opera into its modern form. Great Italian works include The Barber of Seville (1816) and La Cenerentola. He also moved to Paris and wrote for the French theatre, including the operas Count Ory (1828) and William Tell (1829)

Franz_SchubertFranz Schubert (1797 – 1828) Austrian composer who bridged the classical and romantic periods. One of the few composers to evoke the spirit of Mozart, especially in his work – Symphony number 5. Schubert composed seven symphonies sacred music, operas and piano music. He was also a great composer of secular vocal songs. Famous works include his immortal version of Ave Maria D.839Piano Sonata in A major, D 959, Symphony in C major (Great C major, D 944), and Symphony No.5 in Bb major D.485.

Composers of the Romantic Period

 

Hector_BerliozHector Berlioz (1803 – 1869) French composer of the Romantic period. Berlioz composed a Requiem for 210 voices Grande Messe des morts (Requiem) and Symphonie fantastique. He made significant contributions to the romantic period and the development of the modern orchestra.

Felix-MendelssohnFelix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847) German composer of the romantic period. Mendelssohn wrote symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano music and chamber music. His famous works include Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave) (1830), Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (1844) and his piano compositions – ‘Songs without words’

frederic-chopinFrederick Chopin (1810 – 1849) Polish-born classical composer. Important compositions include piano collections, Études, Opp. 10 and 25, and the 24 Preludes, Op. 28. Chopin also wrote numerous polonaises, sonatas, waltzes, impromptus and nocturnes. Chopin is the most influential composer for the piano, becoming a staple for all piano students.

Franz_LisztFranz Liszt (1811 – 1886) Hungarian composer and virtuoso pianist. Liszt was a prominent member of the “New German School” of musicians. Significant compositions include Piano Sonata in B minor (1853), “Liebesträume No. 3”. He also transcribed for the piano great works by other composers, such as Schubert. Also developed new musical ideas, such as the symphonic poem.

Giuseppe-verdiGiuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901) Italian opera composer of the romantic period. Verdi is considered one of the greatest opera composer of all time. Famous works include “Va, Pensiero” (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves), the “Coro di zingari” (Anvil Chorus) from Il Trovatore and the “Grand March” from Aida. He also composed other works outside opera, such as Messa da Requiem (1874).

Richard-WagnerRichard Wagner (1813 – 1883) German composer who wrote epic operas such as the  Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). Beginning in the romantic tradition, Wagner developed his own complex and unique style of ‘total art’

Johann_Strauss_IIJohann Strauss Jr. (1825 – 1899) Austrian composer of popular light music. He wrote over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles. Famous works include Blue Danube Waltz, Egyptian March, Persian March and Roses from the South Waltz.

Johannes-BrahmsJohannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) German composer who spent most of his life in Austria. Although of the romantic period, Brahms used many of the principles of baroque and classical music in his compositions. Famous works include Violin Concerto in D major, Op 77, “Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90: Allegro con brio”  and Sinfonia n. 2 em ré major op. 73

TchaikovskyPyotr Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893) Russian composer. Tchaikovsky was the greatest composer of the Romantic period. Compositions include the 1812 Overture, Romeo and Juliet Overture, Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor and ballet compositions – Swan Lake and Nutcracker.

Saint-SaensCamille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921) French composer, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. Famous works include  Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880) and The Carnival of the Animals (1887).

Rimsky-KorsakovNikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 – 1908) Russian composer who infused a Russian tradition of folk music into a classical genre. He wrote five operas, symphonies and orchestral works. Famous works include Scheherazade, Capriccio Espagnol  (including The Flight of the Bumble Bee).

Gabriel-FaureGabriel Faure (1845 – 1924) French composer of the late Romantic period. Faure composed intimate Chamber music and many compositions for the piano. Famous works include choral masterpieces – Pavane and Requiem, and his Nocturnes for piano, such as Après un rêve” and “Clair de lune”.

Edvard_GriegEdvard Greig (1843 – 1907) Norwegian composer. Greig was one of the most notable composers of the Romantic period. Famous works include – Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 16, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46, IV. (In the Hall of the Mountain King) and Peer Gynt Suite No.1

Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Century – neo-classical / Impressionist

Edward_ElgarEdward Elgar (1857 – 1934) English composer who created many great orchestral works of the late classical repertoire. Famous works include Enigma Variations (1899) and Symphony No. 2 in E-flat, Op. 63 (1909–1911). Many works are important for British / English musical identity, e.g. Pomp and Circumstance, (including Land of Hope and Glory)

Gustav_MahlerGustav Mahler (1860 – 1911) (Austrian Empire / now the Czech Republic) Mahler was a composer of the late Romantic period. His symphonies (No. 5, No. 2 and No.1) have become some of the best known in the classical repertoire.

Claude_DebussyClaude Debussy (1862 – 1918) French composer of Impressionist music. Debussy used non-traditional scales and chromaticism to develop new strands of classical music. Famous works include Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque), Reverie (1890) and Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune.

Sergei_RachmaninoffSergei Rachmaninoff (1873 –1943) Russian composer. Rachmaninoff wrote five works for piano and orchestra. His most popular works included Concerto No. 2 in C minor, and Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 (1909). Rachmaninoff was one of most daring composers, noted for his difficult pieces and extensive chords.

Gustav_HolstGustav Holst (1874 – 1934) English composer best known for his orchestral works The Planets. Holst was influenced by Wagner, but later developed his own style inspired by both English folk music and Indian mythology / Vedas.

stravinsky-igorIgor Stravinsky (1882-1971) Russian born composer, who lived in both France and America. He was an influential composer for his development of neo-classical styles. He wrote ballets, such as The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911) and The Rite of Spring (1913)

George_GershwinGeorge Gershwin (1898 – 1938) American composer who combined both classical and popular music. Famous for his modern jazz classic Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and the opera “Porgy and Bess.”

Dmitri-shostakovichDmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975) Russian composer who fused neo-classical and post-romantic styles. Famous works include Waltz, no.2, Symphony No. 15 and Piano Concerto No.2.

Leonard_BernsteinLeonard Bernstein. (1918 – 1990) American composer. The conductor of the New York Philharmonic orchestra. Bridged classical music and popular music. Wrote musicals: “On The Town,” “Wonderful Town,” and “West Side Story.”

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Famous Composers”, Oxford, UK. www.biographyonline.net Published 4 March. 2015. Last updated 8 February 2018.

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  • Meet the Famous Composers Bk 1: Short Sessions on the Lives, Times and Music of the Great Composers, Book & CD (Learning Link) at Amazon

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Famous people of the Romantic Period

The Romantic period or Romantic era lasted from the end of the Eighteenth Century towards the mid 19th Century.

Romanticism was a movement which highlighted the importance of:

  • The individual emotions, feelings, and expressions of artists.
  • It rejected rigid forms and structures. Instead, it placed great stress on the individual, unique experience of an artist/writer.
  • Romanticism gave great value to nature, and artists experience within nature. This was in stark contrast to the rapid industrialisation of society in the Nineteenth Century.
  • Romanticism was considered idealistic – a belief in greater ideals than materialism and rationalism and the potential beauty of nature and mystical experience.
  • Romanticism was influenced by the ideals of the French and American revolution, which sought to free man from a rigid autocratic society. Over time, it also became more associated with burgeoning nationalistic movements, e.g. movement for Italian independence.

Famous Romantic Poets

poetWilliam Blake (1757 –1827) Poet, artist, and mystic. Blake wrote Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience, The Four Zoas, and Jerusalem. Blake is not considered a classical, romantic poet, but his new style of poetry and mystical experience of nature had a significant influence on the growth of romanticism.

poetRobert Burns (1759 – 1796) Scottish romantic poet who was influential in the development of romantic poetry. He wrote in both English and Scottish and also contributed to radical politics.

poetSamuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 –1834) English romantic poet and a member of the “Lakes Poets.” Coleridge’s famous poems included The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel and Kubla Khan. Coleridge helped to bring to England the concept of German idealism. (an important strand of Romanticism)

poetLord Byron (1788 – 1824) English romantic poet, who led a flamboyant, extravagant lifestyle – travelling across Europe. His works included Don Juan, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and She Walks in Beauty.

poetPercy Bysshe Shelley (1792 –1822) English romantic poet, and friend to John Keats. Famous works include Queen Mab, Prometheus Unbound and Adonais – his tribute to Keats. Shelley was also an atheist and radical political writer.

John_KeatsJohn Keats (1795 – 1821) English Romantic poet. One of his best-known works is Endymion: A Poetic Romance (1817). Famous poems include; A Thing of Beauty (Endymion), Bright Star, When I Have Fears, Ode To A Nightingale.

 

Writers of the Romantic period

willy-brandtJohann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832) German poet, playwright, and author. Goethe’s work  The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) influential in creating an ideal of a passionate and sensitive main character.

Walter_ScottSir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832) Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet. Scott’s novels gained a global appeal, and he was an important romantic novelist. Notable works include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake, and Waverley.

Mary ShelleyMary Shelley (1797 – 1851) English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, and travel writer. Shelley wrote Frankenstein (1818). Shelley was a political radical, expressing more support for greater social co-operation than typical of more individualistic romantics.

Honore_de_BalzacHonore de Balzac (1799 –  1850) French novelist and short story writer. Balzac was an influential realist writer who created characters of moral ambiguity – often based on his own real-life examples. His greatest work was the collection of short stories La Comédie Humaine.

frenchAlexandre Dumas (1802 – 1870) Author of historical dramas such as The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, and the Marie Antoinette romances. Dumas was a larger than life character and influential writer.

frenchVictor Hugo (1802 – 1885) Perhaps the greatest French author. Noted for his poetry and novels. His novels include Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831. Also became a leading Republican.

Gustave_FlaubertGustave Flaubert (1821 – 1880) Influential French writer who combined both literary realism with aspects of the romantic tradition. He is best known for his novel Madame Bovary (1857).

 

Writers of the American Romantic Era

Edgar_Allan_PoeEdgar Allan Poe (1809 –  1849) American poet and author. Poe is considered an influential member of the American Romantic movement. He wrote fiction, poetry, essays and literary criticism.

writerWalt Whitman (1819 – 1892) American poet. Wrote Leaves of Grass, a groundbreaking new style of poetry. Whitman was a bridge between the movements of transcendentalism and realism.

writerEmily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) American female poet. Led secluded lifestyle, and left a legacy of many, short vivid poems, often on themes of death and immortality.

 

Romantic Artists

Eugene_Delacroix_-_La_liberte_guidant_le_peuple

Eugène Delacroix – La liberté Guidant le Peuple. Commemorates the French Revolution of 1830 (July Revolution) on 28 July 1830.

 

Francisco_de_GoyaFrancisco José de Goya (1746 – 1828) Spanish romantic painter. De Goya combined the classical style of the Old Masters with a new realism, ambiguity and imagination.

artist John M.W. Turner (1775 – 1851) British landscape artist. Known as the painter of light, Turner was an artistic figure from the Romantic period and one of the precursors to Impressionism.

ConstableJohn Constable (1776 – 1837) English romantic painter. Constable was noted for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale – offering an idealised view of the countryside – one of the ideals of romanticism.

Eugene_DelacroixEugène Delacroix (1798 – 1863) French romantic painter. Delacroix was influential for pioneering an expressive use of colour, movement, imagination and romantic content. He was influential for the impressionists.

 

Composers of the Romantic period

Hector_BerliozHector Berlioz (1803 – 1869) French composer of the Romantic period. Berlioz composed a Requiem for 210 voices Grande Messe des morts (Requiem) and Symphonie fantastique. 

Felix-MendelssohnFelix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847) German composer of the romantic period. Mendelssohn wrote symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano music and chamber music. His famous works include Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave) (1830), Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (1844)

frederic-chopinFrederick Chopin (1810 – 1849) Polish-born Classical composer. Important compositions include piano collections, Études, Opp. 10 and 25, and the 24 Preludes, Op. 28. Chopin also wrote numerous polonaises, sonatas, waltzes, impromptus and nocturnes.

Franz_LisztFranz Liszt (1811 – 1886) Hungarian composer and virtuoso pianist. Liszt was a prominent member of the “New German School” of musicians. Significant compositions include; Piano Sonata in B minor (1853), “Liebesträume No. 3″.

TchaikovskyPyotr Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893) Russian composer. Tchaikovsky was the greatest composer of the Romantic period. Compositions include the 1812 Overture, Romeo and Juliet Overture, Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor andballet compositions – Swan Lake and Nutcracker.

Saint-SaensCamille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921) French composer, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. Famous works include  Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse Macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880) and The Carnival of the Animals (1887).

Gabriel-FaureGabriel Faure (1845 – 1924) French composer of the late Romantic period. Faure composed intimate Chamber music and many compositions for the piano. Famous works include choral masterpieces – Pavane and Requiem, and his Nocturnes for piano, such as Après un rêve” and “Clair de lune”.

Edvard_GriegEdvard Greig (1843 – 1907) Norwegian composer. Greig was one of the most notable composers of the Romantic period. Famous works include – Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 16, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46, IV. (In the Hall of the Mountain King) and Peer Gynt Suite No.1

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Famous People of the Romantic Period”, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net, 16 March 2015.

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Facts about Abraham Lincoln

Key facts about Abraham Lincoln

  • lincoln-100Born February 12, 1809. Assassinated April 15, 1865.
  • 16th US President 1861-1865
  • Lincoln was President during the American Civil War, leading the Union to victory over the Confederate states.
  • Issued Emancipation Proclamation 1st January 1863
  • Gave Gettysburg Address 19 Nov 1863.
  • 1865 – helped pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery in the United States.
  • Assassinated by Confederate spy, John Wilkes Booth one week after the surrender of Lee’s Confederate Army.


Signature

Bouncing back from Failure

Lincoln’s life was notable for numerous setbacks and personal misfortune.

Lincoln failed in business in 1831 and again in 1833.  He was defeated for the Legislature in 1832 defeated for speaker in 1838, defeated for Elector in 1840. Lincoln was defeated for Congress in 1843 and 1848. Defeated for Senate in 1855 and 1858. Defeated for Vice-President in 1856. He suffered a nervous breakdown in 1836.

His mother died when he was nine. His beloved sister Sarah died from childbirth in 1821. He also had younger brother Tommy, who died three days old. His first love Ann Rutledge died of typhoid fever in 1835. He also saw two of his young sons die – Edward and “Willie” Lincoln (1862.)

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”

Lincoln Observed: The Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks

Appearance

  • Abraham_LincolnLincoln was noted for his unusual, ugly looks. Walt Whitman gives a typical description on seeing Lincoln: “Lincoln has a face like a Hoosier Michael Angelo, so awful ugly it becomes beautiful, with its strange mouth, its deep cut, criss-cross lines, and its doughnut complexion.”
  • Height: Lincoln was tall (6″ 4′) and relatively thin. A neighbour in New Salem said of Lincoln he was “thin as a beanpole and ugly as a scarecrow.”
  • Weight: Most sources suggest around 180lbs.  During his presidency, he is believed to have lost weight.
  • Beard. Lincoln was the first President to wear a beard.
  • He grew a beard after an 11-year old girl, Grace Bedell, wrote a letter in the fall of 1860 saying that he would be more charming with whiskers. ‘for you would look a great deal better for your face is so thin‘. Lincoln replied to her letter and started to grow a beard (Letter) (In the 1990s, the original letter was sold for $1,000,000.)

Personal life

Lincoln_O-60_by_Brady,_1862

  • Lincoln was born in a one-room log cabin in Kentucky on the Western Frontier.
  • He was named Abraham Lincoln after his paternal grandfather who was a military captain in the American Revolution and was killed by Native Americans in 1786.
  • In 1816, his family moved to an unbroken forest in Indiana – a non-slaveholding territory.
  • Lincoln had two brushes with death; 1816 he was saved from drowning, 1819 he was kicked unconscious by a horse.
  • Lincoln read late into the night to improve his own education. He sought out any good books he could read.
  • In 1825, he left a borrowed book on George Washington out in the rain; the farmer Josiah Crawford made Lincoln work for two days to pay off the costs of damage to the book.
  • Lincoln abstained from alcohol and tobacco throughout his life
  • Lincoln supported the Temperance movement, though he also suggested the Temperance movement would be more successful if it concentrated less on denunciation and more an emphatic/sympathetic understanding of those who drink.
  • Lincoln became very close to his step-mother Sarah “Sally” Bush Johnson who his father remarried. His step-mother helped to re-invigorate the family home after finding it in a state of disrepair.
  • He was not close to his father and did not attend his funeral.
  • Lincoln was physically strong, adept at using an axe. However, he was said to be not keen on manual labour.
  • Until he was 21, he had to give all earnings to his father. It gave him a natural empathy for those who could not keep the fruits of their labour.
  • Up until 1827, Lincoln earned no more than 31 cents per day for manual labour. He once ferried two passengers halfway across the Ohio river, and he was tossed two half dollar coins. Saying: “It was a most important incident in my life. I could scarcely credit that I, a poor boy, had earned a dollar in less than a day. … The world seemed wider and fairer before me.
  • Lincoln volunteered for the Army during the Black Hawk War, though he never saw action.
  • On one occasion during the Black Hawk War, he saved the life of a Potawatomi – a native Indian who wandered into this camp. His men wanted to kill him, but Lincoln intervened to prevent this.
  • In 1832, Lincoln opened a general store in New Salem, Illinois. It proved a commercial failure. Lincoln liked to talk politics to customers, and his partner drank heavily building up debts.
  • After his business failed in 1833, he was left with debts of $1100. He avoided bankruptcy and referred to it as his “National Debt.” He eventually paid it off.
  • Lincoln worked at various jobs – farm hand, rail-splitter, county surveyor, lawyer, boatman, General Store Manager, New Salem Postmaster, speaker.
  • Lincoln became an adept boatman, making long trips down the major rivers of Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio.
  • Lincoln is the only president to successfully apply for a patent (No. 6469). His device was to help boats stuck on sandbanks.
  • As president, he earned $25,000 a year. On his death, he left no will and had an estate of $82,000.
  • He married Mary Todd in 1842. Lincoln was not confident around women, stating once “I can never be satisfied with anyone who would be blockhead enough to have me.”

Lawyer

  • Lincoln attended school for less than a year.
  • Lincoln was an entirely self-taught lawyer, learning from  Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England.
  • Lincoln was admitted to the bar in 1836.
  • Lincoln’s law practices were based in Springfield, Illinois.
  • Lincoln and his partners handled over 5,000 cases. From murder charges to civil and Railroad cases.
  • Lincoln took one case to the US Supreme Court Lewis v. Lewis (1849)
  • In 1858, he defended William Armstrong on the count of murder. He successfully defended his client after using a Farmer’s Almanac to show on that day the moon was at a low angle, and witnesses could not have seen the event in detail.

Slavery

  • Lincoln witnessed slavery first-hand while sailing down to New Orleans. It is said he took a vow to end slavery after seeing a beautiful negro girl sold into slavery.
  • Lincoln opposed slavery by often referring to the Declaration of Independence and the opening lines on the equality of men. Lincoln contented the Founding Fathers intended for slavery to die out and for the US to aspire closer to this lofty goal of equality.
  • In the 1850s, Lincoln opposed acts such as the Kansas-Nebraska Act which could see the spread of slavery into free states.
  • In the 1850s, Lincoln was not an abolitionist. He did not believe the constitution allowed to interfere in the southern slaveholding states. However, he personally wished for all men to be free and denounced the extension of slavery into any new state.
  • In 1857, Lincoln denounced the Supreme Court’s decision in Dred Scott v Sanford, arguing that Declaration of Independence
    ‘did consider all men created equal — equal in certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.”

Politics

Abraham-lincon

  • From 1834-1842, Lincoln served as a Whig politician holding a seat in the Illinois state legislature.
  • Lincoln’s domestic policies included supporting internal improvements – government spending on infrastructure, such as canals, roads and bridges.
  • Lincoln quietly expressed support for giving women the vote at a time when it was rare: “I go for admitting all whites to the right of suffrage who pay taxes or bear arms – by no means excluding females.” June 13, 1836 (Sangamo Journal)
  • 1847-49 he was a Whig member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Lincoln was critical of President Polk’s actions over the Mexico War. This was politically costly for Lincoln, as many considered it unpatriotic to question the President’s motives and action over the war.
  • After two years in Congress, he decided not to re-stand for election and 1849 returned to being a lawyer.
  • In 1854, Lincoln ran for Senate as a Whig. Despite leading after six rounds, Lincoln asked his friends to vote for the anti-slavery Lyman Trumbull. Lincoln felt his withdrawal was necessary to beat the incumbent pro-slavery Democratic candidate. Trumball would remember this act of political magnanimity, and he went on to co-author the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery.
  • In 1858, Lincoln campaigned for Senate against Stephen Douglass. There were seven major debates, which attracted large crowds. Douglas supported the extension of slavery. Lincoln opposed the extension
  • Although he lost this 1858 election, his performance impressed many in the new Republican Party.
  • During the 1860 election for the Republican Nomination, Lincoln was considered the outsider. He had little executive experience, serving only two years in the House of Representatives.
  • In the 1860 Presidential election, Lincoln  was promoted as the “The Rail-splitter candidate” Lincoln’s humble roots, coming from a log-cabin and hard manual labour of splitting logs for rails was used to portray their candidate as a man of the people, someone embodying the “American Dream.”
  • In the 1860 election, Lincoln won – becoming the first US president from the Republican Party.
  • In 1860, turnout was a record 82.2%.
  • He won the electoral college by 180 to 123, though received only 39% of the national vote.
  • In the 1861 Inaugural address, Lincoln made overtures to the south to prevent secession.
  • As President, Lincoln vetoed only four bills passed by Congress.
  • In 1861, Lincoln signed a bill for the first US income tax of 3% on incomes over $800.
  • Lincoln was responsible, in 1863, for making Thanksgiving a major US holiday.
  • In 1863 Lincoln approved the creation of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • In 1864, Lincoln approved a grant and federal support for Yosemite Valley and the nearby Mariposa Big Tree Grove to be used for public recreation (later National Park)
  • In 1864, Lincoln was re-elected in a landslide, receiving 78% of the Union soldiers vote.

Lincoln during the Civil War


Lincoln and his cautious General McClellan.

  • Lincoln was determined to avoid firing the first shots in any Civil War with the South. However, ignoring the advice of many in his cabinet, he also approved the Federal Fort Sumter to be restocked, leading to the first skirmish of the war.
  • In the early months of the war, Lincoln tread carefully to keep Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri and Delaware from joining the Confederacy. Lincoln said, “I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.”
  • Lincoln assumed sweeping powers during the Civil War, taking a close interest in military issues as Commander in Chief.
  • Lincoln’s acts included a military draft, suspension of habeas corpus and the power to appoint generals.
  • Lincoln avidly read many military manuals and became frustrated with generals, such as McClellan who he considered too timid.
  • During the Civil War, Lincoln was criticised by both “Copperheads” southern Democrats supportive of slavery in the south, and radical Republicans who wished to see the immediate abolition of slavery.
  • In 1862, Lincoln stated the Civil War was primarily about defending the Union: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.”
  • However, on September 22, 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves in 10 states under Union control. The end of slavery now became a military objective.
  • On signing the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln stated: “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right than I do in signing this paper.”
  • The Gettysburg Address November 19th. Lincoln spoke for just three minutes, saying 272 words.
  • Lincoln was ill during the Gettysburg Address with an early stage of smallpox.
  • At Gettysburg, a fellow senator Edward Everett gave the main address, speaking before Lincoln for two hours and 13,607-words.
  • In 1863/64, Lincoln appointed General Ulysses S. Grant to the command of the Union army.
  • Many criticised General Grant and spread rumours of his heavy drinking, but Lincoln, supportive of his general, reportedly stated: ‘Well, I wish some of you would tell me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.”
  • Lincoln toured battlefields. On one occasion, Captain Oliver Wendell Holmes shouted at him, “Get down, you damn fool, before you get shot!”
  • Lincoln often showed compassion to deserters. He rarely allowed execution for desertion. Overturning 75% of death sentences for desertion – rising to 95 percent by the middle of the war.

Assassination

  • Abraham Lincoln was assassinated Good Friday, April 14, 1865, while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre.
  • On the day of his death, Lincoln told his wife, he wished to visit the Holy Land.
  • Booth was a Confederate spy from Maryland, who was incensed when Lincoln supported voting rights for blacks in a speech 11 April 1865.

Personal characteristics

  • “Honest Abe” – Abraham Lincoln gained the nickname of ‘Honest Abe’ when his business partner died and Lincoln inherited his debts. Rather than flee town, as was common in the West, Lincoln remained and worked hard for several years to pay off his debts.
  • Lincoln was widely considered a man of integrity, truth and conscience.
  • In 1856, Walt Whitman denounced northern, eastern Democrats, stating he wished to vote for a Presidential candidate who had the following characteristics. “I would be much pleased to see some heroic, shrewd, fully-informed, healthy-bodied, middle-aged, beard-faced American blacksmith or boatman come down from the West across the Alleghanies.”
  • Lincoln rarely resorted to slogans, stereotypes and personal attacks in politics, but generally offered considerations developed from his reflections and reading.
  • In the political sphere, Lincoln generally rejected equal voting rights for black voters (it was a minority political view in the 1860s). Frederick Douglass, who sometimes disagreed with Lincoln, nevertheless stated. “He treated me as a man… He did not let me feel for a moment that there was any difference in the colour of our skins.”

Religion

  • Lincoln loved to read the Bible. He never joined any particular church, though he did attend different churches with his wife, especially when President.
  • Lincoln expressed belief in an all-powerful God, but no explicit profession of Christian beliefs.

Unusual facts about Lincoln

  • On November 9, 1863, he saw the actor John Wilkes Booth – his eventual assassin during a play ‘The Marble Heart’ at Ford’s Theatre.
  • In 1842 Abraham Lincoln almost fought a duel with swords with the Illinois State Auditor, James Shields. The duel never took place after friends intervened.
  • On October 3, 1863, President Lincoln made the traditional Thanksgiving celebration a national holiday.
  • After Lincoln was elected president in 1860, the King of Siam offered him a gift of elephants.
  • Co-incidences with the assassination of JFK and A.Lincoln. Both presidents were shot in the head on a Friday seated beside their wives. Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre; Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln automobile, made by Ford. (more co-incidences)

Labels applied to Lincoln

  • “Spotty Lincoln” – over Lincoln’s desire to enforce President Polk to point to spot where the first conflict with Mexico actually occurred.
  • “Black Republican” – During the 1858 Senate election, Lincoln was given the derogatory label ‘Black Republican’ for his support for black Americans.
  • The Great Emancipator.
  • Father Abraham – For biblical reference to Abraham who led his people during the war.
  • The Tycoon – For energetic leadership of Civil War
  • Uncle Abe – For his kindly, avuncular nature.

Historical Reputation

  • In scholarly ranking polls, Lincoln has been rated as the best president in a poll of polls (Washington Post)

Related

lincoln-100Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th President of the US from 1861-1865. He led the Union forces during the American civil war. Lincoln led the North to victory preserving the Union and passing a bill to abolish legal slavery.

Lincoln_MemorialLincoln Quotes – “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

People of The American Civil War (1861-65) A list of over 20 famous and influential figures in the American Civil War (1861 – 1865) Includes politicians, generals, soldiers, spies and social activists. Including; Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Facts Abraham Lincoln”, Oxford, UK. www.biographyonline.net, 13 March 2017.

Major periods in world history

This is a list of the major periods in world history. It includes broad global eras, such as the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. It also includes modern eras, which have lasted only a few decades, such as the Gilded Age, Progressive Age and the Information Age.

 

stone-ageStone Age (50,000–3000 BCE) The Stone Age refers to the broad range of ‘pre-history’ which lasted from approx 30,000 BC to 6,000BC where the first metals started to be used. In the stone age, use of metals was scarce, and the most common building materials and weapons were wood and stone. Much of this history is undocumented, though some archaeological evidence persists.

bronze-ageBronze Age (3000–1300 BCE) The Bronze age refers to the broad period of history when cultures in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world made the first uses of bronze, from mining copper and tin. Bronze enabled more powerful tools and weapons. It was an age where the first writing systems became devised and used.

iron-ageIron Age (1200–230 BCE) The iron age was a period of economic development, where iron and steel enabled a greater use of metal tools which were stronger than previous Bronze Age items. The era led to developments in agricultural production, and we see the first evidence of written manuscripts, which includes great religious texts such as the Indian Vedas, (Sanskrit), and the Hebrew Bible.

egypt-pyramids-sphinxAncient Egypt (3000–300 BCE) Ancient Egypt was a civilisation which inhabited the banks of the Nile. Egypt was successful in using technology to increase agricultural production, giving spare labour for other pursuits, such as cultural, religious and military. Egypt was ruled by powerful Pharaohs, though there began a slow decline after being invaded by foreign powers. By 30 BC Egypt fell under the rule of the Roman Empire.

mahabharata-monumentAncient India (7000 BCE or earlier to c. 500CE) Ancient India refers to a long period of history which includes the Vedic ages and the development of Indus and Aryan ; it. Ancient India includes the period from the earliest Vedic sages and Vedas and the great Indian epics of the  Ramayana and Mahabharata are said to have occurred. See: Famous Indians

Akropolis by Leo_von_KlenzeAncient Greece (8th Century BCE–0 CE) Ancient Greece is considered the birthplace of modern democracy and representative government. Ancient Greece also produced some of the earliest Western philosophy, with great thinkers such as Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Ancient Greece also was an important source of early Western literature, with epic poets such as Homer. Other contributions of Ancient Greece include modern sports (Olympics) and scientific innovations. See: Famous Greeks

Roman_forumAncient Rome (8th Century BCE–476 CE) The Roman Empire was centred on the city of Rome and the Italian peninsula. Rome went through different phases, from classical Republic government to autocratic Emperors. At its peak, the power of Rome extended throughout the majority of Europe, laying many foundations of Western civilisations. Towards the end of the Roman Empire, it adopted Christianity as its official religion; this helped the religion to spread across Europe. See: Famous Italians

Bayeux_Tapestry-250Middle Ages (Europe, 4CE–1500CE) Also known as the post-classical era. The Middle Ages stretches from the end of the Roman Empire and classical period and the Renaissance of the 15th Century. It includes the rise of Islam in the Middle East. The Middle Ages is often considered a period of relative cultural ‘darkness’, with severe wars (e.g. 100-year war, crusades), plagues, religious persecution and a relative lack of learning.

sunset-mosque-250Islamic Golden Age (Middle East, 750CE–1300CE) This refers to a period in the Islamic World which saw a flourishing of science, mathematics, and preservation of classical writings, such as Aristotle. The Islamic Golden Age saw the creation of centres of learning, science, and culture, beginning with the House of Wisdom in Baghdad.

map-explorers-worldAge of Discovery (or Exploration) (Europe, 1400CE–1700CE) The Age of Discovery refers to a period in the late Middle Ages/Renaissance where foreign travel and discovery was an influential part of European societies. In the Age of Discovery, European powers discovered and settled in different continents, changing the fate of the Americas, Africa and Asia. It led to a global spread of Christianity and ideas of Western civilisation, it also marked the growth of the global slave trade. See: Famous explorers

protestant-reformationThe Protestant Reformation (Europe, 16th century) The Protestant Reformation was a Christian movement, which criticised the excesses of the Catholic Church and promoted a new branch of Protestant Christianity which emphasised the pre-eminence of the Bible over the priesthood and the church. The Protestant Reformation began with Martin Luther pinning 95 theses to the church door of Wittenburg, Saxony. The ideas of the Reformation were spread with the help of the newly developed printing press. See: People of the Protestant Reformation

renaissanceThe Renaissance (1350s–1650s) The Renaissance was a period in the late Middle Ages which saw a rebirth of culture, arts, science and learning. The Renaissance included artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo and scientists such as Galileo and Copernicus. See:  People of the Renaissance | Facts about the Renaissance

age-enlightenment-The Enlightenment (1650s–1780s) The Enlightenment is a period which saw the growth of intellectual reason, individualism and a challenge to existing religious and political structures. Enlightenment ideas had an influence on the American and French revolutions and also limited the power of religious authority. See:  Famous People of The Enlightenment

liberty-franceAge of Revolution (1750–1917) The Age of Revolution is a period in which the Western world underwent several major revolutions, changing society from autocratic monarchies to more democratic republics. Major revolutions of this era, include the American and French revolution, European-political revolts of 1848, nationalist revolutions of Italy, Greece and Latin America. It also includes the Haitian revolution against slavery. See: Famous Revolutionaries

romantic-eraThe Romantic Era (1790s–1850s) Romantic poets (Blake, Keats, Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley) and Romantic artists, composers and writers. The Romantic era was partly a reaction against faith in reason alone. It was also a reaction to the industrial revolution, emphasising a faith in nature and man’s spiritual needs.

Powerloom_weaving

Powerloom weaving

Industrial Revolution (1750s–1900) The industrial revolution is a phase of social development which saw the growth of mass industrial production and the shift from a largely agrarian economy to an industrial economy based on coal, steel, railways and specialisation of labour.

british-empireAge of Imperialism (c. 1700–1950s) The Age of Imperialism refers to the process of (mostly) European powers conquering and annexing other countries. Imperial powers ruled dominion countries directly. The most widely spread Empire was the British Empire, which at its peak covered 25% of the globe, in countries, such as India, the West Indies and parts of Australasia.

Troops-first-world-warThe First World War (1914–1918) The First World War was a devastating global war, mostly centred on Europe and the battlefields of France and Belgium. It featured troops from across the world and later involved the US. See: People of The First World War

Interwar+Period-Inter-war era (1918–1939) A period of peace in between the two world wars. It was characterised by economic boom and bust, and the growth of polarising ideologies, in particular, Fascism and Communism.

1920s-Jazzing_orchestra_1921Roaring Twenties (1919–1929) The roaring twenties refers to the period of rapid economic expansion and rise in US living standards. It also saw an emergence of new music and a decline in strict morality. The ‘Roaring Twenties’ was associated particularly with the East coast of the US and major European cities, such as Paris and London.

unemployed-great-depressionGreat Depression (1929–39) The 1930s were a period of global economic downturn. Major economies experienced mass unemployment and stark poverty. It also led to the rise of political extremism, e.g. Nazi Party in Germany.

Cold-war-flagThe Cold War (1948–1990) The Cold War refers to the period of ideological conflict between the Communist East, and Western democracies. The cold war saw a period of rising tension, especially over the proliferation of nuclear weapons. There was no direct war between the US and the Soviet Union, but both sides gave support to ideologically similar regimes in minor conflicts around the world. See: People of The Cold War

First_Web_Server-250Information Age (1971–present)
The Information age refers to the new modern technologies which have shaped the modern world. These technologies include computers, the Internet and mobile phones. Key figures include business entrepreneurs, such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Periods of American history

american-revolutionAmerican revolution (1765–1783) The American Revolution was the period of political upheaval in which the American colonies declared their independence from British rule.

See: People who built America

american-civil-warAmerican Civil War (1861–1865) The American civil war was the intense fighting between the Federal army, led by President Abraham Lincoln and the Confederate armies of the South, who wished to break away from the union to defend slavery.

reconstruction-eraReconstruction era (1865–1877) The period of rebuilding in the south after the civil war.

railwayThe Gilded Age (1870–1900)  The Gilded Age refers to the last part of the US industrial revolution. The Gilded Age included rapid economic growth, but also refers to the immorality behind the accumulation of great wealth by a few leading industrialists, such as J.D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, who came to define the Gilded Age.

Votes-for-WomenProgressive Era (1890–1920) The progressive era was a period of political activism which included causes such as votes for women, labour and trade unions movements and civil rights. It also included movements to regulate aspects of Capitalism and big business.

Civil_RightsCivil rights movement (1950–1960) The civil rights movement is principally aimed at supporting rights of African Americans and ending segregation. The wider civil rights movement has spread over the whole of American history, but the 1950s and 60s saw some of the most intense activism. Further reading: Civil rights activists


 

Periods of British history

william-ShakespeareElizabethan period (England, 1558–1603) A period in English history marked by the rule of Queen Elizabeth I. It saw Britain emerge as a major world power. It also saw the English Renaissance, with figures, such as Shakespeare and William Byrd.

Queen_VictoriaVictorian age (1837–1901) The Victorian Age co-coincided with the latter part of the Industrial Revolution. In Britain, it also saw the growing strength and extent of the British Empire. The Victorian Age is associated with a stricter type of morality.

Edward_viiEdwardian Age  (1901–1914) A period of growth in science, technology and also rising tensions between the major European powers. Also saw the ‘heroic age’ of exploration.

 

Historical centuries

rene-descartesPeople of the Seventeenth Century (1601–1700) Famous people of the 17th century, which included the emerging European Enlightenment. Including; Shakespeare, Charles I, Louis XIV, Rene Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Locke and Galileo.

 

Peter-the-greatPeople of the Eighteenth Century (1701–1800) Famous leaders, statesmen, scientists, philosophers and authors. Including; Louis XIV, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

giuseppe-garibaldiThe Nineteenth Century (1801–1900) The Nineteenth Century saw the economic boom of the industrial revolution and worldwide movements for political change, which included the suffrage movement for women, growing nationalist movements and also the emergence of workers movements in response to the inequality of the industrial revolution.

Winston_S_ChurchillPeople of the Twentieth Century (1901–2000) Famous people of the turbulent century. Including Lenin, Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt and Thatcher.

Barack_ObamaPeople of the Twenty-First Century (2001–) Politicians, musicians, authors, scientists and sports figures.

 

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Different periods of World History,” Oxford, www.biographyonline.net, 29/02/2016. Updated 22nd September 2017.

People of the American Civil War

A list of over 20 famous and influential figures in the American Civil War (1861 – 1865) Includes politicians, generals, soldiers, spies and social activists.

Politicians

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th President of the US from 1861-1865. Lincoln’s election caused the south to secede from the US. Lincoln led Union forces to resist the split and preserve the Union. After a long war, Union troops prevailed. The Civil War enabled Abraham Lincoln to promise the end of slavery, and in 1865 a bill to outlaw slavery was passed. Lincoln was assassinated shortly after the end of the war.

President-Jefferson-DavisJefferson Davis (1808 –  1889) Davis was a senator from Mississippi. During the Civil War, he was the President of the Southern Confederate States who wished to retain slavery and break away from the Union. Davis was considered an ineffective leader, often getting lost in detail and lacking popular appeal. Despite some military successes, the Confederate States slowly lost ground economically, politically and on the battlefield. After the war, he was arrested for treason though he was never tried.

President_Andrew_JohnsonAndrew J. Johnson (1808 – 1875) A Senator from Tennessee, Johnson rejected the southern secession and remained with the Union cause. He was a Union military governor of Tennessee, and in 1864, Lincoln chose him as Vice-President. Johnson as a Southern Unionist was an ideal candidate for Lincoln who wanted to unite the country. After Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson became President (1865 – 1869) He opposed the implementation of federal voting rights to Black Americans and enabled southern states to rejoin the Union while denying voting rights to former black slaves.

salmon-chaseSalmon P. Chase (1808 – 1873) Chase was a leading opponent of slavery and supported voting rights for black Americans. He also helped to found the modern Republican party as a new party opposed to slavery. After losing the 1860 nomination, he served as US Secretary of the Treasury during the Civil War. In his tenure, Chase set up a national banking system to help fund the war effort. After the Civil War, Chase served as Chief Justice of the US.

Read On…

Facts about the American Revolution

  • The American Revolution was a struggle between 13 American colonies and Great Britain.
  • The American colonies wished to attain independence and create a new sovereign nation – the United States.
  • The American Revolutionary War lasted for eight years – between April 1775 to September 1783.
  • The American colonists supporting independence were named Patriots.
  • The American army was known as the Continental Army after the Continental Congress of 13 states.
  • The 13 colonies were Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.
  • Colonists remaining loyal to the British crown were known as ‘loyalists’.
  • British soldiers were known as ‘redcoats’ or ‘devils.’
  • During the war, the majority of people living in the American colonies were ‘fence sitters’ not taking either side.
  • The American Commander in Chief was George Washington.
  • The British military commander at the start of Revolution was Sir William Howe, though he was later replaced due to failures in the British war effort.
  • King George III led British resistance to American independence. The British Prime Minister was Lord North (a Tory)
  • Not all British MPs supported military action against the American Patriots. The ‘Whig’ faction, e.g. Edmund Burke criticised military action to resolve the issue.
  • During the war, African-American slaves served on both sides of the war. The British offered freedom to slaves who escaped their masters and served with loyalist forces. After 1776, George Washington raised a small number of black only units.
  • During the chaos of war, many slaves were able to escape.  In South Carolina, 30% of slaves escaped, migrated or died during the conflict.
  • Approx 25,000 American Patriots died during military service – the biggest cause of death was disease – often in unsanitary prisoner of warships.
  • Compared to the ratio of the population, The War of Independence was the second-deadliest American conflict after the Civil War.
  • In 1776, the population of the 13 American colonies was estimated at 2.4 million. 85% of the white population was of British descent, with 9% of German origin and 4% Dutch.
  • Approx 42,000 British sailors deserted in the war. American colonies also had difficulties raising troops due to the economic need to stay on a farm. 90% of the American population worked on farms.
  • The British army was weakened by needing to also fight in the Caribbean.

Read On…

Famous Swedish People

Despite a population of less than 10 million, Sweden has produced many famous people. Of particular note, despite a small population, Sweden is in the top 10 list of countries regarding the total number of Olympic medals (including Summer and Winter Games) – This makes Sweden have one of the highest (4th) ‘medal to population ratios’ in the world.

Gustavus_Adolphus,_King_of_Sweden_1611-1632_Gustav II Adolf (1594 – 1632) King of Sweden who helped establish Sweden as major European power during the Thirty Years War. Gustav was a pioneering military leader and also a skilled administrator. He reformed Swedish society, creating a strong system of government and administration. His success helped strengthen the influence of Protestantism in Europe. He died in battle in 1632.

 

Emanuel_SwedenborgEmanuel Swedenborg (1688 – 1772) Born Stockholm, Swedenborg was a noted mining engineer, innovator, scientist, philosopher and Christian mystic. He wrote an influential volume on the afterlife, Heaven and Hell (1758). He advocated a version of Christianity where works count as much as faith.

Alfred_NobelAlfred Nobel (1833 – 1896) Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, and armaments manufacturer. Nobel invented dynamite and held 350 other patents. He left a legacy to fund prizes for key sciences, and most notably the Nobel Peace Prize – which is one of the most prestigious awards in the world.

Tage_ErlanderTage Erlander (1901 – 1985) Sweden’s longest serving Prime Minister from (1946 – 69). Erlander was a moderate who expanded social welfare and maintained Sweden’s strict neutrality and remaining nuclear free.

Dag_HammarskjoldDag Hammarskjöld (1905–1961), Second Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953-61. Hammarskjold played a key role in the the development of the embryonic United Nations in the difficult Cold War years of the 1950s.

Raoul_WallenbergRaoul Wallenberg (1912 – 1945) Swedish architect, businessman and diplomat. While serving as special envoy to Hungary during Second World War, Wallenberg saved tens of thousands of Jews from persecution by offering them Swedish nationality and protection in Swedish buildings. He was taken by Soviet agents in Jan 1945 and died in Soviet custody.

Ingvar_KampradIngvar Kamprad (1926 – ) Business entrepreneur, Kamprad is the founder of the furniture chain IKEA. It has made him one of the richest self-made businessmen in the world. Based on a philosophy of simplicity, frugality and enthusiasm for the product.

Olof_PalmeOlof Palme (1927 – 1986) Two-term Prime Minister for the Social Democrat party – from 1969-76 and 1982-86. Palme was a pivotal figure in Swedish politics. He also committed Sweden to a policy of non-alignment with the major blocs (US / Soviet). He also supported Third World Liberation movements. Assassinated on the street in 1986.

 

Film / Music

Greta_GarboGreta Garbo (1905–1990) actress. One of the greatest female actresses. Garbo was a star of both silent film and early talkies. She was awarded an honorary Academy Award in 1954.

Ingrid Bergmaningrid-bergman (1915 –  1982) Swedish actress who was highly regarded for her roles in influential films, such as Casablanca (1942), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) and Anastasia (1956). She is the second most decorated Hollywood actress, with three Oscars.

directorIngmar Bergman (1918 – 2007) Swedish film director who was highly influential in shaping a new strand of films addressing issues of faith, death and sex. Famous films include; The Virgin Spring (1960), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Fanny and Alexander (1983) and The Magician (Ansiktet) (1960).

abbaAbba (1972 -82) Hugely successful pop group from Stockholm. Comprising Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad they sold 300 million-plus records worldwide.

 

Famous Sports Persons

tennisBjorn Borg (1956 – ) (Sweden, tennis) During a relatively short career, he won 11 Grand Slam titles. Borg won 89% of Grand Slam games he participated in – a record today.

Ingemar_StenmarkJan Ingemar Stenmark (1956 – ) Widely considered the greatest Slalom skier of all time. Stenmark won a record 86 Slalom World Cups over a career of 16 seasons. Double Olympic medallist and three World Championships.

Jan-Ove_WaldnerJan-Ove Waldner (1965 – ) (Sweden, table tennis). Waldner has been at the pinnacle of table tennis for over two decades.  He won a medal at every World Championship from 1983 to 2001. Olympic gold medallist in 1992.

Magda_Forsberg_AntholzMagdalena “Magda” Forsberg (1967 – ) Forsberg was the dominant biathlete during her career of 1997 to 2002. She was World Champion six consecutive times and

Annika_SorenstamAnnika Sörenstam (1970 – ) (Sweden, golf) Most successful female golfer. Sorenstam has won 72 official LPGA titles.

zlatan-IbrahimovicZlatan Ibrahimović (1971- ) Swedish striker who has played for Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, A.C. Milan Paris St Germain and Sweden national team. For Sweden, he scored 51 goals from 100 games. He is also known for his acerbic charismatic personality.

Anja_ParsonAnja Sofia Tess Pärson (1981 – ) Olympic gold medallist and seven times World Champion. The versatile Alpine Skier has won 42 World Cup meetings, including Giant Slalom, Downhill, Slalom and Super G.

 

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Famous Swedish people”, Oxford, UK www.biographyonline.net 9th February 2015. Updated 28th February 2017.

Related pages

Indian Independence Movement

The Indian independence movement encompasses the efforts to free India from British rule from the Nineteenth Century until the granting of Independence in 1947. The Independence Movement involved a range of different strategies from revolutionary acts of violence, to peaceful non-violent protests.

Leaders of the Independence movement

GK-GokhaleGopal Krishna Gokhale 1866 – 1915 Gokhale was an early leader of the Indian National Congress. Gokhale supported social and political reform which would give India greater autonomy. He was considered a moderate – working with British institutions and opposing more direct approaches to independence. Gokhale was an important mentor to Gandhi.

gandhiMahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948) The foremost political leader of the Indian independence movement. For over two decades, Gandhi led a peaceful independence movement, characterised by non-violent protests, such as boycotts and the Salt March. He commanded respect from both Hindus and Muslim, but, despite seeking a united India, was unable to avoid the partition of 1947. He was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic in 1948.

sri_aurobindoSri Aurobindo (1872 – 1950)  One of the key figures in the early Indian Independence movement, Aurobindo initiated early efforts at full independence and was sympathetic to armed resistance. After his retreat to a spiritual ashram, he rarely spoke on political matters apart from in 1942, where he urged Congress and Gandhi to accept the Cripps proposal to give Indian Dominion status. Sri Aurobindo became a noted philosopher, poet and Spiritual Teacher.

al-JinnahAli Jinnah (1876 – 1948) Jinnah was leader of the All-India Muslim league from 1913 to 1947 and then as Pakistan’s first Governor. Initially, Jinnah advocated Hindu-Muslim unity and supported the All-India Home Rule League. But from 1940, he rejected the idea of a united India and advocated an independent Muslim state of Pakistan.

muhammad-IqbalSir Muhammad Iqbal (1877 – 21 April 1938) Iqbal was an Islamic poet, philosopher and politician. As President of the All-Muslim League, Iqbal was influential in promoting the idea of separate Muslim provinces and ultimately was influential in encouraging Jinnah to embrace the idea of a separate nation of Pakistan

nehruJawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) – Nehru was an influential nationalist from the 1910s. With the backing of Gandhi, he came to lead Congress, moving the party to the left and seeking a united independent India. After Congress was politically diminished after the British crackdown on the ‘Quit India’ movement of 1942, Congress was unable to prevent the partition of India. Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945) Indian nationalist leader. Netaji raised a united Indian army  (INA) of all religious faiths in an attempt to gain independence for India through military means.

 

Indian Revolutionaries

Bal_G._TilakBal Gangadhar Tilak (1856 – 1920) Prominent early leader of the Indian nationalist cause. Tilak was an early proponent of Swaraj and was imprisoned for sedition. Despite his radical stance, Gandhi saw Tilak as one of his political mentors.

Bipin-Chandra-PalBipin Chandra Pal (1858–1932) One of the early Indian nationalist leaders, who like Lala Rai and Tilak, proposed direct action to secure Indian freedom.

Lala_lajpat_RaiLala Lajpat Rai (1865 – 1928) Punjabi author and politician, Lal was a leader of the Indian independence movement. Lal died after sustaining injuries in a protest against British rule. This led to major demonstrations across India.

Chittaranjan_DasChitta Ranjan Das (1870-1925) Lawyer and politician – Das represented Sri Aurobindo at the Alipore bomb trial and founded the Bengali Swaraj ‘Independence’ Party in Bengal.

Surya_SenSurya Sen (1894 –  1934) Surya Sen was an Indian revolutionary who was elected President of the Chittagong Indian National Congress. In 1930, he led a group of revolutionaries in the Chittagong Armoury raid, and three years later was captured and executed.

Bhagat_SinghBhagat Singh (1907 – 1931) Singh was a leader of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). Born a Sikh he became influenced by Marxist and Anarchist philosophies and was committed to gaining independence for India, through violence if necessary. He was executed in 1931 for his part in killing a British officer.

 

Women in the Independence movement

authorSarojini Naidu (1879-1949) Influential Indian author and poet. Also Indian independence activist and poet.

sister_NiveditaSister Nivedita (1867 – 1911) Born in Ireland, Sister Nivedita moved to India after meeting Swami Vivekananda in London, 1895. In India, she was involved in social work and the cause of Indian independence.

Annie_BesantAnnie Besant (1847 – 1933) Besant came to India because of her interest in Theosophy. She also campaigned for Indian independence and for a year was the leader of the fledgeling Indian National Congress in 1917.

Matangini_HazraMatangini Hazra (1870 – 1942) Hazra popularly known as “Gandhi Buri” was an Indian protester shot dead by the British Indian police in 1942. Hazra played a long role in the Indian independence movement. In 1942 the Quit India movement sought to take a police station in Midnapore district when she was shot carrying an Indian flag.

People of the Indian Renaissance

Raja_Ram_Mohan_RoyRaja Rammohun Roy (1772 –  1833) Considered the father of the Indian Renaissance for his attempts to promote reform and also protect Indian rights. He helped to found the influential Brahmo Samaj which was a reforming Hindu organisation dedicated to both modernisations and also promoting Hindu values.

Sri Ramakrishna (1836 – 1886) An illiterate mystic. Ramakrishna inspired many influential people in both India and the West. His spiritual sadhana offered a synthesis of all the main religious and spiritual strands.

Jagadish_Chandra_BoseSri Jagadish Chandra Bose (1858 –  1937) Bengali polymath. Bose took an interest in a wide range of sciences. He made contributions to plant physiology, microwave optics and radio waves. Bose was part of the Indian scientific renaissance.

rabindranath_tagore-150Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) The Seer-Poet of modern India. Tagore was the first Indian to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Tagore was influential in creating a new genre of songs and wrote the national anthem adopted by both India and later Bangladesh.

vivekanandaSwami Vivekananda (1863 – 1902 ) – Vivekananda played an important role in revitalising pride in India and Hinduism as a source of universal tolerance. Many leaders acknowledged their debt to Vivekananda for his inspiration, dynamism and motivation to uplift India – both materially and spiritually.

Dwijendra_Lal_RoyDwijendra Lal Roy (1863 – 1913) – Bengali poet and playwright. Wrote over 500 Bengali songs. Influential Indian nationalist, who opposed the partition of Bengal, and helped to raise the political awareness of Bengal.

kazai-NazrulKazi Nazrul Islam (1899 – 1976) Bengali poet, writer, musician and revolutionary. Islam was a committed revolutionary often jailed for his protests against British rule. Also, a noted composer and considered National Poet of Bangladesh.

 

Founding Fathers of India

Bankim_chandraBankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (1838 – 1894) Bengali poet, author and journalist. Bankim composed Vande Mataram – which became the national song of India and played a pivotal role in the Indian nationalist movement.

Sardar_patelSardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875 – 1950) Indian barrister and politician. Patel was a leading figure in the leadership of the Indian Congress and played a leading role in the Independence struggle. He was deputy Prime Minister 1947-50 and is considered one of India’s founding fathers for helping to integrate the Indian states after independence.

RadhakrishnanDr S. Radhakrishnan (1888 – 1975) Radhakrishnan was the foremost philosopher of modern Indian thought. He defended Hinduism and sought to make it relevant to the modern age. 2nd President of India.

Dr B.R. AmbedkarDr._Bhim_Rao_Ambedkar (1891 – 1956) – Political activist and social reformer who campaigned for greater equality for ‘untouchable castes’ and women. Ambedkar played a key role in drafting the Indian constitution.

VenkataramanPresident R Venkataraman (1910 – 2009) Indian lawyer, Indian independence activist and Eighth President of India.

 

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Indian Independence Movement,” Oxford, UK www.biographyonline.net 9th February 2015. Last updated 1 February 2018.Book Cover

Freedom at Midnight
– The story of Indian Independence at Amazon.

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gandhiFamous Indians – A list of Indian men and women throughout the ages. Categories include politicians, scientists, sports people, spiritual figures and cultural figures. Includes Mahatma Gandhi, Akbar, Swami Vivekananda and Indira Gandhi.

Famous Revolutionaries – People who inspired or began revolutions. Including Spartacus, Joan of Arc, George Washington, Karl Marx.

 

Famous people of the Cold War

The Cold War was a period of military and political tensions between the Soviet Union (and Warsaw Pact members) and the US (and NATO allies). The Cold War lasted roughly from 1947-1991.

After the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, the two wartime allies – the Soviet Union and the US became increasingly split on ideological and political grounds. This led to the division of Europe into the Eastern (Communist) block and Western Europe (democracy)

Berlin wall

Throughout the ‘Cold War,’ the two main protagonists the Soviet Union and the US, avoided direct confrontation, but there was a confrontational build up in nuclear weapons and, during the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’ of 1961, the two sides came close to war. Also, throughout the period, minor conflicts, such as the Korean War and the Vietnam War, were played out in proxy between the major powers and their allies.

Key events in the Cold War include

  • Berlin Blockade (1948-49) the Soviet Union trying to gain control of the whole of Berlin
  • Korean War (1950-53) US fighting Communist North Korea.
  • Berlin Crisis (1961) – Building of Berlin Wall to stop people leaving the East
  • Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) – Closest to nuclear war as the Soviet Union moved nuclear missiles towards Cuba.
  • Vietnam War (1955-75) US involved in fighting Vietcong Communist forces
  • 1970s – Strategic Arms limitations talks leading to a period of détente.
  • 1979 – Soviet invasion of Afghanistan restoring tensions.
  • 1980 – Olympic boycott. First by the US in Moscow then by the Soviet Union in US 1984.
  • Mid-1980s – Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduces perestroika (reorganisation) and glasnost (openness).
  • 1989. Gorbachev allows Eastern European countries to break away from Warsaw Pact and overthrow the Communist one-party state.
  • 1991 – Formal dissolution of the USSR.

Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) After leading Great Britain in the Second World War, he was one of the first leaders to raise the spectre of an ‘Iron Curtain’ descending across Europe.

Dwight Eisenhower (1890 – 1969) Eisenhower was supreme military commander of Allied forces in Western Europe. When President of the US 1953-61, he articulated a domino theory – arguing Communism should be stopped before allowing it to spread.  He ended the Korean War in 1953, but sent the first US troops to Vietnam and prepared to intervene in Cuba. He made some attempts to limit nuclear weapon proliferation, but this was generally unsuccessful, and nuclear stockpiles increased on both sides.

Joseph Stalin (1879 – 1953) Leader and dictator of the Soviet Union. After the end of the Second World War, Stalin was committed to taking ideological and political control of Eastern Europe. He saw this as a buffer zone against the West. This attempt to control Eastern Europe was one of the main factors in the birth of the Cold War.

John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963) US President (1961-63) As President he helped to defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis which came perilously close to escalation. He delivered a famous speech in West Berlin arguing the Berlin Wall showed the failure of Communism. In 1961, he ordered the expanse of the Space Race programme.

nikita-krushchevNikita Khrushchev (1894 – 1971) Successor to Stalin. He led the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 during the tense years of the Cold War. He cut conventional forces, but built up the number of nuclear missiles and was involved in the stand-off when in 1962 missiles were sent to Cuba – an ally of the Soviet Union.

Leonid_BreznevLeonid Brezhnev (1906-1982) Brezhnev took over from Khrushchev in 1964. He followed a policy of détente with the West – signing treaties to limit the proliferation of nuclear arms. He also ordered the invasion of Czechoslovakia in the Prague Spring of 1968. Brezhnev also ordered Soviet troops into Afghanistan in 1979, rekindling Cold War tensions.

willy-brandtWilly Brandt (1913-1992) German politician and statesman. After WWII he became the Mayor of Berlin – playing a key role during the Cold War tensions, centred around Berlin. Brandt became Chancellor of Germany in 1979. He sought rapprochement with the East and creating a stronger, united Europe.

Charles de Gaulle (1890 – 1970) Under de Gaulle’s presidency, France became a member of the EEC, and de Gaulle encouraged a European federation. However, he sought to lead France on a non-aligned course and withdrew France from NATO in 1969. He criticised the US involvement in the Vietnam War.

Yuri_AndropovYuri Andropov (1914 – 1984) As Soviet Ambassador to Hungary, he ordered the suppression of the Hungarian revolution of 1954. He was later elected to Chairman of KGB, where he suppressed dissent and encouraged the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. He was the leader of the Soviet Union for 15 months in 1982-84.

U_Thant U Thant (1909 – 1974) was a Burmese diplomat and the third United Nations Secretary-General. U Thant played a crucial role in diffusing the Cuban Missile Crisis and was widely respected for his calmness, detachment and commitment to conflict resolution in his role as UN Secretary-General 1961-1971.

Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 – ) Russian President from 1984-1991. Gorbachev initiated a policy of Glasnost and Perestroika. These policies of reform and openness led to a decline in Cold War tensions, the fall of the Berlin wall and the ending of Communist party rule in the Soviet Union. He negotiated with Reagan to reduce nuclear weapons, and unlike his predecessors, allowed Eastern European countries to leave the Warsaw Pact and become independent democracies.

Lech Walesa. (1943-) Leader of the Polish Solidarity Movement – he helped to bring about the end of one-party Communist rule. Became first non-Communist President in 1991. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983.

Pope John Paul II (1920 – 2005) Pope John Paul met with the main protagonists of the Cold War and led to improved relations between the Soviet Union and the Vatican. Considered a moral force for reducing Cold War tensions.

Neil Armstrong (1930 – 2012) US Pilot and astronaut. In 1969, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to successful land and walk on the moon, giving the memorable quote. Armstrong saw the Space Race as a helpful diversion from Cold War Tensions

Lyndon Johnson (1908 – 1973) – US President 1963-69. Johnson took over from the assassinated JFK. He expanded America’s role in Vietnam and took a hard line against Communism.

Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004) – US President (1980 – 1988) Reagan pursued an aggressive anti-Communist foreign policy. But, in his second term was involved in negotiations which led to arms reductions.

samantha-smithSamantha Smith (1972 – 1985) Samantha was an American schoolgirl. In 1982, she wrote a leader to the leader of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov, asking why relations between the US and the Soviet Union were so tense. Her letter was published in Pravda, and later Andropov replied. Smith was also invited to visit the Soviet Union, which she did – saying she found Russians to be just like Americans.

Writers

writerGeorge Orwell (1903 – 1950) – English author. Famous works include Animal Farm, and 1984. Both stark warnings about the dangers of totalitarian states. Orwell was one of the first to coin the term ‘Cold War’ back in 1945.

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Famous People of the Cold War”, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net, 4th February 2015. Updated 12 January 2018.

 

The Cold War: A New History

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