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1. Adolf Hitler
Jesus Christ
3. Mohammed
Christopher Columbus
5. Joseph Stalin
6. Mohandas Gandhi
7. Napoleon Bonaparte
8. Martin Luther
Karl Marx
10. Alexander The Great
11. John Locke
12. Simon Bolivar
Julius Caesar
14. Confucius
15. Mikhail Gorbachev
16. Siddhartha Gautama
17. Winston Churchill
18. Otto von Bismarck
19. Adam Smith
20. Nelson Mandela
21. Constantine
22. Ghengis Khan
23. Mansa Musa
24. Voltaire
Isaac Newton
Adolf Hitler(1889-1945)

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Who was he:
  • The central figure of Christianity known as the Son of God and the Messiah
  • Was born of the Virgin Mary
Where was He from: Nazareth
Jesus's beliefs:

  • Told people that they would be saved if they follow Him
  • Believed in not committing sins
  • Told His diciples to follow His path
  • Proclaimed He was the Messiah
  • Emphasized God's personal relationship with each human being
  • Stressed to people love of God, their neighbors, their enemies and themselves
Jesus's Actions:
  • Was born of the Virgin Mary
  • Went around proclaiming the word of God
  • Conducted many miracles like healing the blind
  • Was betrayed by Judas and taken by Puntius Pilate
  • He died on the cross for the salvation of the sins of the world
  • On the third day after His death, He rose from the dead
  • He ascended into heaven, body and soul
Jesus's Legacy:
  • He died for the salvation of sins, and he rose from the dead
  • He founded the religion of Christianity that started in the Roman Empire and would become the major religion in Europe for many years to come
  • Christianity would cause religious battles like the Crusades and impact the entire world
  • There would also become differences in the beliefs of Christianity that would lead to the creation of the Protestant, Lutheran and Calvinsim religions


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  • Middle East was monotheistic, worshiped Allah
  • He was interested in religion; spent time in prayer and meditation
  • Heard the voice of angel Gabriel telling him he was the messenger of Allah
  • Recognized as a prophet
  • 613, Muhammad began to preach publicly in Mecca
  • In 622, he migrated to Medina (Hijrah- migration from Mecca to Medina), attracting followers
  • Returned to Mecca in 630 with 10,000 of his followers
    • Destroyed the idols of other gods
    • Defeated Mecca’s other leaders
  • Allah is the only God
  • Five Pillars: faith, prayer (mosque), alms, fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj)
  • Holy book of Muslims: Koran a.k.a. Qur’an
  • Islam is one of the most widely practiced religions in the world (20% of the world population)
  • Creation of the Muslim Empire in the Middle East, uniting the Arabs
  • Pilgrimages to Mecca became a constant exchange of ideas
  • Led to the Golden Age of Islam in the Middle East
    • Combination of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Chinese, and African culture
    • calligraphy (form of fancy writing)
    • medicial advancements (specialized doctors and hospitals)
    • libraries attracted European scholars
    • astrolabe (navigation)
    • algebra

Christopher Columbus

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  • 1451-1506
  • Italian sea captain, navigator, and explorer
  • Voyages funded by Queen Isabella of Spain
  • Late 1400’s was a time of growing imperialism and economic competition
  • Columbus sought to find an alternate trade route to Asia
  • In 1492, he reached an island in the Caribbean inhabited by the Taino, named it San Salvador, and claimed it for Spain
  • 2nd Voyage: September 1493. Intended to colonize the Caribbean islands
  • Explored Hispaniola, Cuba, Central America, and the northern coast of South America
  • Columbus connected the Americas to Europe and Asia
  • Began a new era of cultural diffusion known as the Columbian Exchange: Global transfer of foods, plants, and animals
  • European imperialism soared
  • Mercantilism: Mother country has the favorable balance of trade, colonies are a source of raw materials and a market for industrial goods

  • Joseph Stalin was born in Gori, Georgia on December 18, 1878
  • He was the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party from 1922-1953
  • He was also one of the primary figures in making Russia a world power
Stalin’s Basic Beliefs
  • Stalin believed in a country that made him the sole source of power in order to maintain unlimited government regulation of the economy and the society (built a totalitarian state: government control over every aspect of public and private life).
Stalin’s Actions
  • Without doubt, Joseph Stalin successfully industrialized Russia’s economy and turned it into a world power within a few years
    • Command Economy: A system in which the government made all economic decisions
    • Five-Year Plans: Plans outlined by Stalin in 1928 for the development of the economy
      • Extremely high quotas/numerical goals
      • Increase the output of steel, coal, and electricity
    • Collective Farms: A large government-controlled farm formed by combining many small farms
  • Stalin launched the Great Purge, a campaign of terror directed at eliminating anyone who threatened his power
  • He and Adolf Hitler had agreed to the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact before WWII in order to prevent fighting between Germany and Russia and split Poland in half
Stalin’s Impact in History
  • Best known for his brutality in dealing with his opponents and his failed policies of collectivism that caused widespread famine across the Soviet Union
  • Also, he transformed the Soviet economy and made Russia a world power

Mohandas Gandhi

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Who was he:

  • He helped in the struggle for Indian independence against Britian
  • He was born on October 2, 1869 and died on January 30, 1948
  • He was Hindu
Basic Beliefs:
  • ahimsa: the belief of total nonviolence
  • satyagraha, or "soul force": mass resistance through nonviolence
  • civil disobedience: the refusal to obey certain laws for the purpose of influencing government policy

Gandhi's Actions:

  • Gandhi urged Indian people to practice civil disobedience nonviolently
    • refusal to pay taxes
    • the production of one's own cotton cloth
    • the boycotting of English-made goods
  • Salt March of 1930: Gandhi was angry with the numerous salt acts, so he and his followers walked 240 miles to the seacoast and made their own salt (this was one of Gandhi's peaceful protests)
How Gandhi impacted history:
  • Set an example for the future in that reform and revolution could be successfully reached without the use of violence

Napoleon Bonaparte
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  • Born in 1769 on Corsica (Mediterranean island)
  • Went to military school and became a lieutenant in the artillery
  • 1795, he defended the French National Convention from rebels and became a national hero
  • Led a French army to victories against Austria and Sardinia in Italy
  • 1799, Coup d’Etat (military overthrow): dissolved the Directory and established Napoleon as the head of three consuls
  • Held a plebiscite (vote of the people) in 1800 to approve a new constitution
  • Set up lyce`es: government-run public schools to prevent corruption
  • Signed concordat (agreement) with Pope Pius VII, recognizing the influence of the church but rejecting it in national affairs
  • Napoleonic Code: set up a uniform set of laws
    • Limited liberties and individual rights
    • Promoted order and authority
  • 1804, crowned himself emperor of France – power over the church
  • Louisiana Purchase: sold large area in the Americas to the U.S. for $15 million
  • In conquest of Europe, he signed peace treaties with Russia, Prussia, and Austria, leaving Britain as his only major opponent
  • Blockaded Britain in 1806
  • Planned on the Continental System
    • Hurt Britain’s economy
    • Make Europe more self-sufficient
  • Invaded Russia in 1812, lead to his downfall
    • Scorched-earth policy
    • Harsh Russian winter
  • Finally defeated at Waterloo in 1815
  • Millions of lives were lost in his campaigns
  • Lead to the Congress of Vienna in which Metternich would strive to restore a balance of power in Europe
  • Napoleon’s conquests would be an example for Adolf Hitler over a century later

Martin Luther

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Who He Was:
  • Martin Luther was a German monk, theologian, university professor, and priest
Actions and Beliefs:
  • In 1517, upset with the sales of indulgences(an indulgence is a pardon releasing a person from punishments due for a sin,) he wrote his 95 Theses, or formal statements, which attacked the “pardon merchants”
  • The 95 Theses then were copied using a printing press and then everyone soon became aware of the corruption by the church
  • His actions began the Protestant Reformation , a movement of religious freedom. It led to the founding of Christian churches that did not accept the Pope’s authority
  • His teachings rested on tree main ideas:
    • People could win salvation only by faith in god’s gift of forgivingness. The Church taught that faith and “good works” were needed for salvation
    • All Church teachings should be clearly based on the works of the Bible
    • Both the Church and the pope traditions were false authorities
    • All people with faith are equal. Therefore, people did not need priests to interpret the Bible for them
    • Luther, at two separate times, was banished by Pope Leo X and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, but both failed to stop his influence
Impact and Influence:
Social and Religious Effects of Reformation

Political Effects of Reformation

  • Protestant church flourished and new denominations developed
  • The Roman Catholic Church itself became more unified
  • Both Catholics and Preotestants gave more emphasis on the role of education (this lead to the founding of parish schools and colleges/universities)

  • The Pope's power decreased
  • Individual monarchs and states gained power (this led to the development of modern nation-states)
  • Laid the groundwork for the Enlightenment
  • Luther has made statements that Jews' homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed
    • These beliefs were revived and used in propaganda by the Nazis in 1933–45

  • Karl Marx was born on March 2, 1818 (died March 24, 1883)
  • He was a German political philosopher and co-writer of The Communist Manifesto(described the new philosophy of "scientific socialism", which is the basis of modern communism).
Marx’s Basic Beliefs
  • Marx believed that the capitalist system, which produced the Industrial Revolution, would eventually destroy itself
  • He believed that the only way to maintain a stable economy was to maintain a classless society (pure communism: an economic system in which all means of production-land, mines, factories, railroads and businesses-are owned by the people, private property does not exist, and all good and services are shared equally).
Marx’s Actions
  • Marx, along with co-writer/German economist Fredrich Engels, wrote The Communist Manifesto, a book that explained their ideas about “scientific socialism.” Key points included:
    • History was a class struggle between wealthy capitalists and the working class, orproletariat (working class).
    • In order to make profits, the capitalists took advantage of the proletariat.
    • The proletariat would eventually rise up and overthrow the capitalist system, creating their own society.
    • The proletariat society would take control of the means of production and establish a classless, communist society, in which wealth and power would be equally shared.
Marx’s Impact in History
  • Marx’s ideas have inspired many forms of communist governments, especially in the Soviet Union in the 1900s (Vladmir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, Mao Zedong, etc. have all influenced their governments based on Marx’s policies).
Alexander the Great
alexander-the-great.jpg Who was he:
  • Lived from 356-323 B.C.
  • From kingdom of Macedonia, which was located just north of Greece, known for its fearless and shrewd kings.
  • At the age of 20, Alexander took control of the powerful Macedonian army after father, Philip II, was killed.
  • Taught by Aristotle.
Alexander's actions:
  • 334 B.C., led 35,000 soldiers to invade and conquer Persia.
  • Even defeated Darius III’s army of 50-70,000.
  • 332 B.C., marched into Egypt, and they welcomed him as a liberator.
  • Crowned him pharaoh, founded city of Alexandria.
  • Defeated Darius’ army in Mesopotamia, at Gaugamela, ending Persia’s power.
  • 326 B.C. Alexander’s army reached the Indus Valley, but this was as far as they got.
Alexander's Legacy:
  • Died at the age of 32.
  • After his death, Macedonian generals fought for control of the empire.
  • His conquests led to new culture, mix of Greek and Eastern Customs(Greek, Egyptian, Persian, Indian)----> HELLENISTIC.
  • Egyptian city of Alexandria became foremost center of commerce and Hellenistic civilization.
  • Science and tech- preserved Greek and Egyptian learning in sciences.Geocentric theory, accurate measurements of Earth’s circumference.
  • Math and Physics- Euclid, Archimedes.
  • Art and philosophy- Stoicism, Epicureanism.
    • Example: Colussus of Rhodes.

John Locke

Who he was:
  • Locke was an English political thinker of the Enlightenment
    • The Enlightenment was an 18th century European movement in which thinkers attempted to apply the principles of reason and the scientific method to all aspects of society
    • The Enlightenment started from some key points put forth by two Englishmen of the 1600s, John Locke and Thomas Hobbes
  • People could learn from past experiences and improve themselves. As reasonable beings, they had the natural ability to govern their own affairs and to look after the welfare of society
  • Criticized absolute monarchies and favored the idea of self-government
  • All people are born free and equal and with three natural rights, life, liberty, and property
  • The purpose of government was to protect these rights. If a government was to fail to do so, citizens have the right to overthrow it
Impact and Influence:
  • His belief that a government’s power comes from the consent of the people is the foundation of modern democracy
  • His belief of the right to rebel against unjust rulers helped inspire struggles for liberty in Europe and the Americas
  • His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries - reflected in the American Declaration of Independence
  • His arguments concerning liberty and the social contract later influenced the written works of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and other Founding Fathers of the United States
Simón Bolívar (1783-1830)

“The Liberator”

Julius Caesar(100-44 B.C.)external image 78884d3c-826c-4eff-af30-05ab92b1285f.jpgActions:
  • Caesar was a Roman military and political leader
  • Caesar was elected consul in 59 B.C. For the next 10 years, he ruled as part of atriumvirate- a group of three rulers
  • His conquest of Gaul (present day France) extended the Roman Empire to the North Sea, and he also conducted the first Roman invasion of Britain in 55 B.C.
  • Leading his legions across the Rubicon, Caesar began a civil war in 49 B.C. from which he became the master of the Roman world
  • Governed as an absolute ruler
  • Granted Roman citizenship to many people in the provinces
  • He expanded the Senate, adding friends and supporters from Italy and other regions
  • He helped the poor by creating jobs, especially through the construction of new public buildings
  • Started colonies where people without land could own property
  • Increased pay for soldiers
  • He heavily centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic
  • A group of senators, led by Marcus Junius Brutus, assassinated the dictator on the Ides of March (March 15) in 44 B.C., hoping to restore the normal running of the Republic
  • German word “Kaiser” and Russian word “czar” which both mean ruler come from Caesar
  • The Roman Empire remained protected by Caesar's conquests for more than 500 years. His accomplishments dwarf those of all others of his era. His victories created the world’s largest empire of its age

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Who was he:
  • was born in 551 BC and died in 479 BC
  • was a Chinese thinker and philosopher
  • Influenced Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Vietnamese ways of life
Where was he from: China
Confucius' beliefs:

  • Put a great emphasis on study
  • Five relationships: ruler to subject, father to son, husband to wife, elder brother to younger brother and friend to friend
  • His teachings also make all people to strive for "junzi", or a "perfect man"
  • Filial piety- respect for ones parents and ancestors
  • Laid groundwork for a bureaucracy
  • Taught history, music and moral character
  • Believed social order, harmony and good government would be restored in China by using five relationships
Confucius' Actions:
  • Taught the people of China about history, music and moral character
  • Was appointed minister of justice by the duke of Lu
  • His teachings are collected in the book, The Analects
  • Created Confucianism
Confucius' Legacy:
  • He influenced many people like Mencius who spread his teachings
  • He created a philosophy
  • His teachings became the foundation for Chinese government and social order


  • Born March 2, 1931 in Stavropol, Russia
  • He and his family were peasants and worked on collective farms, which allowed him to learn much about the Soviet system and its problems
  • Joined and became very active in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union while in college
  • Elected General Secretary of the USSR in 1985
  • Won Noble Peace Prize in 1990
Gorbachev's Basic Beliefs
  • Gorbachev believed in allowing more freedom to the common man and planned to link socialism with democracy to improve Soviet relations with the rest of the world
Gorbachev's Actions
  • Gorbachev introduced remarkable reforms to the Soviet Union that indirectly triggered its downfall
    • Glasnost: Soviet policy of openness to the free flow of ideas and information (1985)
    • Perestroika: A restructuring of the Soviet economy to permit more local decision making (1985)
Gorbachev's Impact in History
  • Mikhail Gorbachev contributed to the end of the Cold War and the political power of the Communist Party of the USSR


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  • Siddhartha Guatama: 563-483 B.C.
  • Lived during a time of religious questioning
  • Saw suffering and sought refuge with religion
  • Reached Enlightenment after 49 days of meditation under a fig tree
  • Delivered his first sermon to five disciples who would be the first monks of the sangha (Buddhist religious order)
Four Noble Truths

  1. Life is filled with suffering
  2. Desires are the cause of suffering
  3. The way to end suffering is to end all desires.
  4. Follow the Eightfold Path to reach Enlightenment.
Eightfold Path
  • Middle Way between desires and self-denial.
  • Right views, resolve, speech, conduct, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration
  • Release from reincarnation, selfishness, pain, and suffering.
  • Missionaries spread Buddhism across Asia
  • 6% of the modern world population practices Buddhism

  • Winston Churchill was born on Novemeber 20, 1874 in Blenheim, England
  • He was a British politician and Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1940-1945 and 1951-1955
Churchill's Basic Beliefs
  • Churchill believed that the world should no longer tolerate and/or negotiate with Adolf Hitler (appeasement: the making of concessions to an aggressor in order to avoid war)
    • He was encouraged to take all necessary means in defeating Hitler and the Nazis, and determined not to surrender
  • The "Iron Curtain" separated the eastern communists from the western democracies
Churchill's Actions
  • Churchill had a huge role in taking down Hitler and encouraging the rest of the world to get involved and fight
  • He was a key figure at the Yalta Conference in the Soviet Union, where he, Roosevelt, and Stalin had decided how to temporarily divide Germany and other precautions that needed to be solved before the war could finally end
Churchill's Impact in History
  • Winston Churchill is regarded as the finest British leader of the 20th century and was instrumental in leading Britain to victory during World War II



  • Otto von Bismarck was born on April 1, 1815 in Schönhausen, Prussia
  • He was appointed Prussian chancellor in 1862 and began a series of war to unify all the German states under the control of Prussia.
Bismarck’s Basic Belief
  • Bismarck believed that the only way to unite Germany was by “blood and iron,” which basically means war.
Bismarck’s Actions
  • Not surprisingly, Bismarck used violent methods in order to expand and unify the Prussian Empire
  • He achieved land from Denmak, Austria-Hungary, and France, which all contributed to the enlargement of the German Empire
    • Prussia and Austria formed an alliance and went to war with Denmark to win 2 border provinces, Schleswig and Holstein (after victory: Prussians governed Schleswig while Austrians governed Holstein)
    • Seven Weeks’ War: Border tensions between Schleswig and Holstein forced Austria to declare war on Prussia (easy victory for Prussia; gain region of Venetia)
    • Franco-Prussian War: Prussians captured northern France (led to the end to the Second Empire in France and completed the process of German unification)
Bismarck’s Impact in History
  • Best known as the Iron Chancellor; was the most powerful statesman in Europe as chancellor of the new German Empire from 1871 to 1890

Nelson Mandela

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Who is he:
  • Born July 18th, 1918 in Transkei, South Africa
  • He was an anti-apartheid activist and was a leader of the African National Congress
  • South Africa's first democratically elected president
Where is he from: He is from South Africa
Mandela's basic beliefs:

  • Equal rights between all different racial groups
  • Apartheid was unjust
  • The black majority should resist the white minority government
Mandela's Actions:
  • Joined the African National Congress in 1942
  • Participated in various protests against the white minority government
  • Was arrested in 1962 for his actions against the government and was later sentenced to life in prision
  • Was released in 1990 after 27 years by President F.W. DeKlerk
  • Was elected the first black South African President

Mandela's Legacy:

  • Ended Apartheid
  • He helped in the struggle for black South African rights in South Africa
  • The fact that he eventually became president gave hope to other black South Africans that things for them would change for the better

Constantine (A.D. 274-337)
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  • Before Constantine was Diocletian. Diocletian had previously spilt the Roman Empire into the Greek-speaking East, which he ruled, and the Latin-speaking West
  • The East was much wealthier than the West and included the empire’s greatest cities and trade centers
  • Diocletian retired in A.D. 305 and by 311, four rivals were competing for power, among them was an ambitious young commander, Constantine
  • Constantine made his mark on history as emperor of the Roman Empire from A.D. 324-337
  • Constantine gained control of the western part of the empire in A.D. 312 and at that time continued the social and economic policies of Diocletian
  • This included limited personal freedoms and controlled inflation by setting fixed prices on goods
  • In 324, he also secured control of the East, which restored the concept of a single ruler of the entire Roman Empire
  • In 330, he moved the capital from Rome to the Greek city in the West of Byzantium, in present day Turkey
  • Byzantium was located on the Bosporus Strait, which is strategically located for trade and defense purposes on a crossroads between the East and West
  • Byzantium was later renamed Constantinople (city of Constantine) and is now called Istanbul
  • Before Constantine’s rule, the Christians were prosecuted because they were seen as a threat to the Roman rulers mainly because they refused to worship the Roman gods- seen as an opposition to Roman rule
    • Some rulers used Christians as scapegoats for political and economic troubles.
    • Pax Romana (Roman Peace- Roman Empire’s golden age)
    • Constantine became the first Christian Roman emperor.
  • In 313, Constantine announced the end to the persecution of Christians
    • In the Edict of Milan, he declared Christianity to be one of the religions approved by the emperor
  • Christianity continued to gain strength following that
  • Constantine is known for becoming the first Chrisitian Roman Emperor
  • After his death the empire would divide again- the east would survive and the west would later fall
Genghis Khan
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  • The Asian Steppe
    • Dry climate with dramatic temperature changes
    • Home to nomads who traveled together in clans - mostly not united
  • In 1206, Temujin accepted the title, Genghis Khan, or “universal ruler” of the Mongol clans
  • Characteristics of Genghis Khan
    • Brilliant organizer
    • Gifted military strategist
    • Used cruelty and fear to intimidate and conque
    • Did not impose Mongol culture on conquered areas
  • 1206-1227: Conquered most of Asia
    • Invaded the northern Jin Empire in 1211
    • Launched a campaign of terror in the Islamic region of Central Asia
      • Destroyed cities (Utrar, Samarkand, Bukhara)
      • Slaughtered inhabitants
      • Under Mongol control by 1225
  • Died in 1227 by illness
Successors Expand the Mongol Empire:
  • Completed conquest of northern China and invaded Korea
  • Empire reached the Adriatic Sea to the West
  • Expanded to Persia in the 1250’s
  • 1260, divided into four khanates (regions)
  • Kublai Khan conquered China and became emperor in 1279
  • Marco Polo aided cultural diffusion throughout the empire
  • Pax Mongolica: mid 1200’s to mid 1300’s, Golden Age of the Mongol Empire
    • Peace, stability, and law
    • Encouraged trading and missionaries
    • Chinese innovations reached Europe (gunpowder)
  • Mongols spread the bubonic plague to Europe
  • Mongol Empire became the largest unified empire in history

Mansa Musa

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Who was he:
  • Mansa Musa was the 10th Emperor or "Mansa" of the Mali Empire during the 14th century
  • He was a very skilled military leader
  • Practiced Islam
Where he was from: He was from West Africa.
Mansa Musa's beliefs:
  • Was a very devoted muslim
  • made muslim the national religion in Mali
  • made mosques and prayer centers in Timbuktu
Mansa Musa's actions:
  • Ruled Mali from 1312-1332
  • Increased the size of Mali to the size of Ghana doubled
  • Divided it up into provinces and appointed governors
  • Went on his famous hajj in 1324
  • Made Timbuktu a prosperous city and one of the most important cities in the empire
  • Erected mosques and Islamic learning centers
Mansa Musa's Legacy:
  • Made Mali a prosperous civilization
  • Showed the world that African civilizations were prosperous before the arrival of the Europeans


Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
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Background: Newton was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian during the Scientific Revolution

  • Newton studied mathematics and physics at the Cambridge University. By the time he was 26 he was certain that all physical objects were affected equally by the same force
  • He wrote The Mathematical Principals of Natural Philosophy, in 1687
    • It laid the groundwork for most of classical mechanics
    • It described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion which greatly influenced the scientific view of the physical universe for the next 300 years
    • This removed the last doubts about heliocentrism and it advanced the Scientific Revolution
  • Newton and Robert Boyle’s mechanical philosophy was spread through newspapers
    • It was portrayed as a viable alternative to the pantheists and enthusiasts and was accepted by orthodox preachers
Impact in History: The clarity and simplicity of science was seen as a way to combat the threat of atheism, which was gaining popularity at the time