1) Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was born in a humble background in 1809 in the State of Kentucky. When he was nine years old his mother died and he was brought up in great hardship. He studied law and became a distinguished lawyer. He was also a great orator. In 1847, Lincoln was elected to the Congress and retained his seat till 1849. In 1860, Lincoln was elected as the 16th President of the USA as a Republican Candidate.
As President, Lincoln played a great role in keeping the nation unified. He strongly advocated the integrity of the USA and refused to give the southern states the right to secede from the Union.
His greatest contribution to humanity was the abolition of slavery. In 1862 by his Emancipation Proclamation, he freed all the slaves and set forth an example for other countries to do so. It was Lincoln who gave us the famous principle of democracy, i.e., the government of the people, by the people and for the people.
2) The 4 Main Causes of American Civil War
During the years 1861 to 1865, differences arose between the States of the South and the federal government supported by the States of the North. The factors which led to the outbreak of the Civil War in America were the following:
- Difference in economic structure between the northern and southern states – the northern states were industrialized, whereas the southern states were dependent on plantations.
- Problem of slavery – the northern states were free states and used paid labor in their factories, whereas the southern states were slaves states and employed slave labor in their factories and plantations.
- Territorial Expansion – the northern states wanted the newly settled colonies to be free states, whereas the southern states wanted them to be slave states.
- Fear of Republican Control – the southern states feared that if Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln would become the President, he would abolish slavery.
3)The Significance of the American Civil War
The American Civil war which lasted for four years took a heavy toll of men and money. Nevertheless, it produced far-reaching results of immense significance. Some of these are the following:
- It put an end to the institution of slavery.
- It abolished from American politics the idea of state sovereignty and secession and welded the people of the USA into a strong nation.
- It led to the rapid industrialization of the USA and provided great impetus to paper currency and growth of business.
- It led to introduction of a number of new weapons and better means of transport and communication to be sued for warfare.
4) Gautam Buddha
The founder of Buddhism, Gautama Siddhartha, was born at Lumbini near Kapilavastu in India around 563 BC. Gautama was the son of a chief of the Shakya clan. Initially, he led a life of luxury. He was married to a princess, Yashodhara and had a son named Rahul.
According to legend, the sights of an old man, a sick man and a dead man made Gautama realize that there is suffering in this world. The sight of an ascetic told him that there is also a way to end suffering.
Gautam left home at the age of 30 to find the end of suffering. He wandered for six years, during which he subjected himself to all kinds of hardships. Finally, he sat under a papal tree at Bodh Gaya and resolved not to get up until he had found answers to all his questions. He remained there in deep meditation for 49 days. At the end of this period, he attained enlightenment and became known as the Buddha (the Enlightened One).
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The Buddha delivered his first sermon at Sarnath near Varanasi. He then wandered for 40 years, preaching Buddhism.
5) Roman Architecture
Roman architecture initially imitated the Greek style. Augustus employed architects to construct buildings and temples to beautify Rome. The Altar of Peace is one of the monuments of his reign.
Marble was widely used in Roman buildings. The Romans also mastered the use of concrete in cementing bricks and stones together. The wide use of semicircular arches enabled the Romans to build massive gates, bridges and buildings. Remains of such arches can be seen in the Colosseum, which was an amphitheatre, or a large outdoor stadium. The Romans also introduced the dome. One of these can be seen over the Pantheon at Rome.
Roman sculptors made lifelike statues and Roman artists excelled in painting murals. They built beautiful temples to their numerous gods and goddesses. They also made statues of gods, goddesses, rulers and respected people.
6) The Boston Tea Party
The American War of Independence was triggered off by an incident known as the Boston Tea Party.
In 1773, the British Parliament passed the Tea Act, which permitted the British East India Company to sell tea directly to the colonies. The colonists demanded that the British government should withdraw the tax on tea. In some cities, the colonists refused to permit the unloading of tea.
Under the guidance of Samuel Adams, a few Americans disguised as coolies boarded the ships of East India Company docked at Boston Port, picked up 340 boxes of tea and threw them into the sea. This action was supported by a large section of the public.