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Alexander Great


He was a king, a commander, and a conqueror. Alexander the Great was so powerful some people called him a god. He was one of the greatest generals in history, and he built a vast empire that extended from the Mediterranean Sea to India.

ALEXANDER’S EARLY LIFE

Alexander was born in Macedonia in 356 bc. His father, King Philip II of Macedonia, hired the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle to tutor young Alexander. In the summer of 336 bc, Philip was murdered by one of his bodyguards. Alexander then became king.

Many people in Macedonia plotted against the young king, but Alexander was shrewd. He quickly ordered the execution of all the conspirators. At the same time, some Greek cities ruled by Macedonia rebelled and others threatened to seek independence. Alexander crushed the rebellions and restored Macedonian rule.

INVASION OF ASIA

Next, in 334 bc, Alexander turned his attention toward the Persian Empire (now Iran) in southwest Asia. Alexander led Macedonian and Greek soldiers to attack Darius III, Persia’s king. Their armies met at Issus in Syria in 333 bc, and fought a fierce battle. Alexander won, and Darius fled.

CONTROL OF EGYPT

Alexander then led his soldiers south, into Egypt. Alexander seized power from the pharaoh, who ruled Egypt on behalf of the Persians. The grateful Egyptians saw Alexander as a person who freed them, and they crowned him pharaoh. At the mouth of the Nile River in northern Egypt, Alexander founded a new city. He named the city Alexandria, and it became a famous center of learning.

CONQUEROR OF PERSIA

In 331 bc, Alexander led his troops back north into Persia. King Darius was eager for revenge. Alexander and Darius fought another great battle, this time at Gaugamela. Once again, Alexander won. The battle at Gaugamela ended centuries of Persian rule in Asia.

Alexander then turned south and conquered other important Persian cities. At Persepolis, he burned down Darius’s palace to show he had conquered the Persian Empire. In 330 bc, Alexander went north to find Darius again. This time, Darius was killed by his own men as he fled.

WORLD EMPIRE

Alexander was a military genius and a great explorer. But he also had a grand ambition. He wanted to rule a world empire where people could live in peace with one another. From 330 to 327 bc, Alexander led his soldiers east, through Afghanistan and into Central Asia. As he travelled, he built more cities. He recruited soldiers, merchants, and scholars from many lands to settle there.

In 326 bc, Alexander turned south, into India. But by then his men were tired and weak. They were far from home in an unknown land. The soldiers rebelled and refused to go farther. Reluctantly, Alexander turned back. By 323 bc, he reached Babylon in Iraq. While there he caught a fever and died at the age of 33. His empire was divided among his generals.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Great Peopel, Who is Who | Comments Off on Alexander Great

Adolf Hitler


Adolf Hitler was a struggling young artist who became a feared dictator. He led his country into a bloody war that killed millions of people.

Hitler rose to power in Germany in the 1930s. He eventually started World War II (1939-1945), a conflict that left Europe in ruins.

HITLER’S CHILDHOOD

Adolf Hitler was born in 1889. He came from a well-to-do family in Austria-Hungary. His father was an important government worker. After his father died, Hitler quit school in the ninth grade. He decided to become an artist but had trouble finding work.

WORLD WAR I

Hitler volunteered for the German army during World War I (1914-1918) and served the whole war. Germany lost the war, and the country suffered terribly. Many Germans became jobless and poor. The people wanted someone to lead them back to glory again. Hitler wanted to be that person.

RISE TO POWER

After the war, Hitler joined the National German Socialists Workers’ Party. Many people called it the Nazi Party, for short. Hitler was an excellent public speaker. He appealed to German pride by constantly speaking about their racial superiority. This was the idea that one type of people are naturally better than others. He blamed other people, especially Jews, for Germany’s problems. His speeches attracted thousands of people who thought Hitler could be a great leader. The Nazi Party grew rapidly.

Hitler ran for political office in Germany and was elected in 1930. Three years later, in January 1933, Hitler became Germany’s chancellor, which was similar to a president. He immediately passed laws giving himself total power. Soon, Hitler had become a dictator. He controlled Germany’s government completely.

Hitler passed laws to get rid of people he did not like. They included his political enemies and Germans who were disabled or Jewish. Many of these people were sent to large camps, where they were held prisoner. Huge numbers of people were killed.

WORLD WAR II

Hitler also began rebuilding Germany’s military. He wanted a powerful army so he could conquer other countries, and eventually take over the world. He started by declaring Germany’s union with the neighboring country of Austria. Then he ordered German troops to occupy all of Czechoslovakia. When Hitler’s army invaded Poland in 1939, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany. World War II had begun.

Germany’s mighty army soon captured France and began bombing England. In 1941, Hitler’s armies also invaded the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), often called Russia. This turned out to be a big mistake because the German army had trouble fighting in several countries at once.

THE HOLOCAUST

Hitler’s soldiers forced tens of thousands of Jews in Poland into small sections of the cities, known as ghettos. The Jews were not given adequate food, and many of them starved to death. Hitler’s army also sent millions of Jews from Germany and other countries to concentration camps. There, many were killed. The deaths of millions of Jews under Hitler is known as the Holocaust. About one-third of the world’s 18 million Jews died in the Holocaust, one of history’s greatest tragedies.

HITLER’S SUICIDE

The United States entered World War II in December 1941. Slowly, Germany began to lose the war. America and its allies launched the D-Day invasion of western Europe on June 6, 1944. They fought their way through France and into Germany in 1945. Facing defeat, Hitler killed himself. His reign of terror was finally over.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Great Peopel, Who is Who | Leave a comment

Saddam Hussein


May 21, 2009 Posted by | Great Peopel, Who is Who | Comments Off on Saddam Hussein

Socrates


What is love?
What is truth?
What is justice?

Socrates, a philosopher in ancient Greece, asked big questions like these and tried to make people think.

Socrates was born in Athens, Greece, in 469 bc. He devoted his life to philosophy. He taught students, made speeches, and debated with anyone who would listen to him.

KNOWING WHAT TO DO

Socrates wanted to find out the best way to live. He wondered why some people behaved well and others behaved badly. He thought that bad behavior resulted from ignorance. He believed that once people knew what was right, they would choose to behave well. Behaving well, Socrates claimed, was the best way to live.

ASKING QUESTIONS

Socrates’ beliefs made him urge fellow citizens to think hard about what they were doing. Was it right? Was it honest? Was it permitted by law? Through questions like these, he hoped to help people recognize their mistakes. This knowledge would bring them closer to the truth and help them lead better lives.

SOCRATES ON TRIAL

Socrates believed it was his duty to ask questions constantly. He thought his method of discussing and debating would help the people of Athens gain knowledge about themselves and their society.

But the government of Athens did not agree. They accused Socrates of corrupting (damaging) young peoples’ minds by inviting them to question and disagree. They said he ignored the Greek gods. In 399 bc, they put Socrates on trial.

Socrates defended his actions. But the jury found him guilty and sentenced him to death.

DOING THE RIGHT THING

Socrates’ friends wanted to help him escape. But Socrates felt that obeying the court’s decision was the right thing to do. Socrates spent his last day with his friends. Then, he calmly drank poison made from a hemlock plant and died.

Socrates wrote no books. But his student Plato admired Socrates so much that he described Socrates’ life and ideas in his own writings.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Great Peopel, Who is Who | Leave a comment

Vasco Da Gama


Vasco da Gama is best remembered as the first European to sail from Europe to India. The sea route he found helped Portugal build a rich empire overseas.

EARLY LIFE

Vasco da Gama was born in Sines, Portugal, around 1469. As a young man, da Gama studied navigation and astronomy. He went on to serve as an officer in the Portuguese navy.

In 1497, the king of Portugal asked da Gama to find a sea route to India by sailing around Africa. This would allow Portugal to control the rich Indian spice trade.

Could da Gama do it? Earlier Portuguese expeditions had rounded the southern tip of Africa. But these trips were long, difficult, and dangerous. Was it possible to travel from Europe to India in a single voyage?

VOYAGE TO INDIA

In July 1497, da Gama set sail from Lisbon, Portugal, with four ships. By January 1498, the expedition reached Mozambique on Africa’s southeastern coast. But Arab traders in Mozambique disliked the Portuguese. They drove da Gama away.

Farther north, on the coast of Kenya, da Gama recruited an Arab sailor to guide his ships across the Indian Ocean. In May 1498, they reached Calicut on India’s coast.

In Calicut, da Gama found pearls, jewels, and wonderful spices for sale. But the king and local merchants refused to trade with the Portuguese. Furious, da Gama sailed away. He arrived in Portugal in 1499 and was honored as a hero.

DA GAMA RETURNS TO INDIA

In 1502, da Gama made a second voyage to India. He returned to Calicut with warships and soldiers. Da Gama sank merchant vessels and killed many civilians. The king of Calicut surrendered.

Da Gama sailed home to Portugal carrying a rich cargo of spice. Portugal soon built a valuable trading empire in India.

In 1524, da Gama made his last voyage to India. The Portuguese king had named da Gama the governor of Portugal’s possessions there. Da Gama died three months after reaching India.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Great Peopel, Who is Who | Leave a comment