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 – traveling 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


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 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).

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.

Related pages

leonardo-da-vinciPeople of the Renaissance (1350s to 1650s) The Renaissance covers the flowering of art and culture in Europe. Primarily in art, but also in science.

voltairePeople of the Enlightenment (1650s to 1780s) The enlightenment is a period which saw the growth of intellectual reason, individualism and a challenge to existing religious and political structures.

giuseppe-garibaldiPeople of the Nineteenth Century (1801-1900) Nineteenth Century saw the economic boom of the industrial revolution and world-wide movements for political change.

William_BlakeFamous Poets – The great poets – William Blake, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, John Keats, Homer, R. Tagore.

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.


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


  • 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 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.”


  • 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.


  • 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’.”



  • 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.


  • 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.”


  • 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)


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.

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.


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

Famous mathematicians

A list of the greatest and most influential mathematicians.


ThalesThales (c. 624 – c.547 BC) Greek philosopher who is considered one of the first mathematicians. Thales made pioneering use of geometry to calculate height and distance. He also used deductive reasoning in creating ‘Thales’ theorem. Thales was an important figure in the ‘Scientific Revolution of Ancient Greece, which rejected the use of mythology and developed science and reason.

Pythagoras (c. 570 BC – c 495 BC) Greek philosopher, spiritual leader and mathematician. Pythagoras is believed to be one of the first Western men to describe himself as a philosopher – ‘lover of wisdom’ His philosophy was based on the mystic traditions of Egypt and Greece. He is also credited with ‘Pythagoras theorem’ – about the relation of triangles in geometry.

writerEuclid (c. 325 – 265 BC) Greek mathematician. Euclid is often referred to as the ‘father of modern geometry.’ His book ‘Elements‘ provided the basis of mathematics into the Twentieth Century.

historicalArchimedes (287 B.C – 212) Mathematician, scientist and inventor. Archimedes made many contributions to mathematics, such as a calculation of pi, geometrical theorems and developing a concept of exponentiation for very large numbers.

PtolemyPtolemy (c. 90 – c. 168 AD) Greek / Roman mathematician, astronomer, poet and geographer. Ptolemy wrote one of the few surviving ancient works on astronomy – the Almagest.

aryabhataAryabhata (c. 476 – c. 550) Indian mathematician and astronomer. Aryabhata was influential in the development of trigonometry. In astronomy, he made accurate explanations of lunar eclipses’ and the circumference of the earth. His great works include: Āryabhaṭīya and the Arya-Siddhanta

Omar_KhayyamOmar Khayyám (1048-1131) Persian poet, philosopher, astronomer and mathematician. Khayyam wrote an influential work on algebra – Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra (1070)

FibonacciLeonardo Pisano Bigollo (1170-1250) Italian mathematician. Bigollo helped standardise the Hindu–Arabic numeral system – through his Liber Abaci (Book of Calculation) (1202). Bigollo is considered the greatest mathematician of the medieval ages.

writerRene Descartes (1596 – 1650) French philosopher and mathematician. Descartes made important discoveries in analytical geometry (bridging algebra and geometry), calculus and other fields of mathematics.

Pierre_de_FermatPierre de Fermat (1601-1665) French lawyer and amateur mathematician. Fermat helped develop infinitesimal calculus. Best known for his ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem, which he described in a margin of a copy of Diophantus’ Arithmetica.

Blaise_PascalBlaise Pascal (1623-1662) French mathematician, philosopher and inventor. Pascal worked on projective geometry and corresponded with Pierre de Fermat on probability theory. Pascal’s Triangle is a term given to his presentation on binomial coefficients, (“Treatise on the Arithmetical Triangle”) of 1653.

newtonSir Isaac Newton (1642-1726) English scientist. Newton made studies in mathematics, optics, physics, and astronomy. In his Principia Mathematica, published in 1687, he laid the foundations for classical mechanics, explaining the law of gravity and the Laws of Motion. In mathematics, he also studied power series, binomial theorem, and developed a method for approximating the roots of a function. Read On…

Roaring Twenties definition and facts

The Roaring Twenties is a term used to describe Western society in the 1920s. Sometimes known as the Jazz Age, it was characterized by new freedoms in social, economic and cultural aspects of life. It is often synonymous with pleasure seeking and people having a good time after the devastation of the First World War. In America especially, the economy boomed, with mass consumerism arriving for the first time. For the first time in history, ordinary workers were able to purchase goods, such as motor cars and radios. The Roaring Twenties also saw a loosening of social morality, though in America, prohibition saw alcohol outlawed and the subsequent growth of criminal bootlegging.

Facts about the Roaring Twenties

  • Bright Young Things was a term given to a group of bohemian young people, who enjoyed partying in 1920s London. These were predominately aristocrats and the ‘idle rich’
  • P.G. Wodehouse in his humorous novels, e.g. Jeeves and Wooster lampooned the habits of these ‘bright young things’ and idle rich.
  • During the 1920s, millions of African-Americans migrated from the south to north – to escape segregation and racism. It was termed the Great Migration.
  • The new black communities, helped to forge a new black identity, especially in major cities, like New York. The Harlem Renaissance was considered the flowering of a new negro identity and culture.
  • The 1920s also saw a re-emergence of the Klu Klux Klan, with membership peaking at over 4 million people during the 1920s.
  • Despite growing wealth and conspicuous consumption – during the 1920s, more than 60 per cent of Americans lived just below the poverty line – especially black-Americans and those living in rural areas.
  • In 1920, all women were given the right to vote in the US. (19th Amendment)
  • In 1921, Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, which later became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The greater availability of contraception, helped to liberate women, enabling a greater sexual promiscuity without risk of pregnancy
  • In the 1920s, divorce was made easier and the number of divorces doubled.
  • In the 1920s, more Americans lived in cities than in rural communities for the first time.
  • The 1920s saw the explosion of numerous dance crazes, including the Charleston and the Breakaway.
  • The Cotton Club was the most famous jazz club, played by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and other masters of jazz.
  • In 1927, ‘The Jazz Singer’ starring Al Jolson was the first major ‘talking’ movie. This led to the decline of the silent movie, but growth in cinema attendance.
  • The 1920s, saw an explosion in ownership of the radio. By the end of the 1920s, there were over 100 million radios in circulation.
  • Flappers was a term used to describe young women, who wore short skirts, listened to jazz music and took rebellious attitudes to old standards of morality.
  • In the 1920s, many banks, including the Federal Reserve had an ‘anti-flapper code’ – prohibiting women dressing too attractively.
  • Due to prohibition, speakeasies – illegal salons selling alcohol – became popular and numerous as the Prohibition years progressed.
  • In 1927, Charles Lindbergh was the first pilot to fly solo,non-stop across the Atlantic – in the “Spirit of Saint Louis”.
  • The economic boom of the 1920s was not equally felt across the country. Agriculture suffered from low prices and entered recession, even before the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
  • Art deco was a new style of architecture, which was based on pure, geometric shapes. The Empire State building was designed in the late 1920s and built in 1930-31.
  • Buying on the margin. The stock market boom caused many investors to buy shares on the margin – a way of increasing profits by taking more risk. This led to the creation of many new ‘paper millionaires.’
  • In the 1920s, there was a credit and share price bubble. The S&P 500 Share price index saw a rise in earnings per share from 20 (1922) to 100 in 1929. (What caused Wall Street Crash?)
  • The Roaring Twenties came to a shuddering halt on 29 October 1929 (Black Tuesday. Share prices fell by $40 billion in a single day. By 1930 the value of shares had fallen by 90%.

Read On…

Famous people of the Progressive Era

The Progressive Era was a period in American history from 1890 to the 1920s. The Progressive Era saw a mixture of political and social change, which sought to reduce inequality, corruption and introduce reforms to make society fairer.

Key Elements of the Progressive Era

  1. Anti-corruption. In the Nineteenth Century corruption was a major problem in American politics with local bosses controlling key positions of patronage and power. Progressives, such as Theodore Roosevelt, sought to take on corrupt political and voting practices.
  2. Labour market reforms. Progressives sought to reform working conditions. This included health and safety, the right to unionise and higher pay.
  3. Anti-trust. The Gilded Age, saw the development of monopolies which were highly profitable. In the Progressive Era, the government tackled many monopolies through anti-trust legislation.
  4. Women’s suffrage. The Progressive Era saw the culmination of efforts to give all women the vote (Nineteenth Amendment)
  5. Modernisation. Progressives generally sought the implementation of new scientific and business methods to overturn outdated customs and improve efficiency. This included Taylorism and the assembly line.
  6. Limited civil rights. Some progressives sought to improve conditions of black Americans, but the Progressive Age failed to end decades of segregation. In fact, the 1890s to 1920s saw the implementation of many ‘Jim Crow laws’ cementing segregation between races.
  7. Prohibition. Many progressives supported the banning of alcohol ‘prohibition’. One of the motivations was that they hoped it would reduce the economic power of salon owners who often exercised great influence.

Read On…

Famous feminists and quotes

Feminism is a broad range of movements and ideologies which seek to work towards greater equality between men and women. Within feminism, there are different strands and emphasis, but most feminists would share the same idea of equal rights and equal opportunities.

A list of famous feminists and famous quotes.

mary-wollstonecraftMary Wollstonecraft (1759 – 1797) English author, Wollstonecraft wrote the most significant book in the early feminist movement. Her tract “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” laid down a clear moral and practical basis for extending human and political rights to women.

“I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.”

– Mary Wollstonecraft

Sojourner_truthSojourner Truth (1797 – 1883) African-American abolitionist and women’s rights campaigner. In 1851, gave a famous extemporaneous speech “Ain’t I a woman?” which explained in plain language how women were essentially equal to men.

J.S. Mill (1806-1873) John Stuart Mill was a leading liberal philosopher of the Nineteenth Century. He argued for universal suffrage (extending the vote to women and all classes of people)  His pamphlet The Subjection of Women (1861) was influential for raising the issue of votes for women.

the legal subordination of one sex to the other — is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a principle of perfect equality, admitting no power or privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other.

– J.S. Mill Subjection of Women (1861)

harriet-beecher-stoweMargaret Fuller (1810 – 1850) An American women’s rights advocate. Her book Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845) was influential in changing perceptions about men and women and was one of the most important early feminist works. She argued for equality and women being more self-dependent and less dependent on men.

“Male and female represent the two sides of the great radical dualism. But in fact they are perpetually passing into one another. Fluid hardens to solid, solid rushes to fluid. There is no wholly masculine man, no purely feminine woman… Nature provides exceptions to every rule.”

― Margaret Fuller, Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845)

Read On…

Famous Austrians

maria_theresiaMaria Theresa (1740–1780) The only female ruler of the Habsburg Empire. Maria Theresa succeeded to the throne after the death of her father Charles VI. With great strength of will, Maria held together the disparate empire and instituted military, financial and education reforms which strengthened the international position of the Habsburg Empire.

Marie Antoinette (1755 – 1793) Born in Vienna Austria, she had an arranged marriage to the King of France (King Louis XVI) to help secure peace between the two countries. The marriage was not a great success, with Marie Antoinette often held up as a symbol of Royal decadence and profligacy, which was a factor in the French revolution. The negative portrayal was heightened by her Austrian origins. Whether fair or not, she was executed in 1793 for treason and holding principles in opposition to the French revolution.

mozartMozart (1756 – 1791) (Austria)  Born in Salzburg, and spending much of his life in Vienna, Mozart was one of the greatest classical composers of all time. A child prodigy, Mozart began composing at the age of six, and by the time he died, aged just 35, he had completed a remarkable array of symphonies, opera, chamber music and more.

Franz_SchubertFranz Schubert (1797 – 1828) Born in Vienna, Schubert was one of the great composers of the late classical and romantic period. He composed symphonies, sacred choral work, operas and a large body of piano music.

johann_straussJohann Strauss, Sr., composer (1804 –  1849) Austrian composer. He was famous for his waltzes and marches. His most famous work was the Radetsky March. The work became an unofficial anthem of Austria and was used to celebrate Austrian military victories.

Franz_LisztFranz Liszt (1811 – 1886) Hungarian born 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. Read On…