Confucius was a philosopher who devoted his life to relieving the suffering he saw. His philosophy stressed the natural order of a moral, just, society. After his death, his followers shared his teachings, influencing future generations.
Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher who helped shape Greek beliefs. Socrates believed his purpose in life was to gain wisdom and find the truth by asking questions. Socrates made many people over his methods of teaching. He was arrested and sentenced to death. But, many of Socrates's ideas and beliefs can still be found today.
Siddhartha Gautama was born to the king of a tribe in Northern India. An astrologer told his father that Gautama would either become a king or he would leave his riches behind to save humanity. His father sheltered him from all of the poverty in the streets. When Gautama finally left his palace he saw the suffering of people and wanted to change the world. He started the religion called Buddhism.
Hatshepsut was a young woman who became the first female pharaoh of Egypt. When her father, Thutmose I, died, Hatshepsut was the only heir. Since she was female, leaders were afraid to make her Pharaoh. She declared herself Pharaoh in 1501 B.C. and ruled Egypt for about 20 years.
Abigail lived during times which were much more difficult for women than today. Despite this fact, Abigail Adams traveled, believed in women's rights, and experienced the American Revolution. A devoted wife, mother, and American patriot, Abigail influenced history by helping her husband, John, make important decisions.
Christopher Columbus set out on August 3, 1492, to find the East by sailing west. Over the course of a few years, he convinced the king and queen of Spain to pay for his trip, promising them fame and riches in return. Columbus discovered more than he bargained forâ€”he had found a new continent.
Phillis Wheatley was the first black person in America to have a book published, opening the door for other black writers and female authors. She was kidnapped and brought to the colonies as a child and served as a slave to a family in Boston. Phillis learned to read and write at a young age.
Pocahontas was the daughter of the great Chief Powhatan. Pocahontas was instrumental in helping Jamestown settlers survive a difficult winter and literally keeping peace between two diverse cultures.
Thomas Jefferson was a gifted writer whose words helped form the country. Although at one time he wanted to be a great speaker, he found comfort and ease in writing. Not only was he a great writer, but also an architect, inventor, surveyor, scientist, and a brilliant politician. He wanted to make life better for all people.
George Washington helped form the United States into what it is today by making wise decisions. After becoming a war hero in the French and Indian War, he went on to lead a fight against the British in the American Revolution. He continued his legacy by becoming the first president of the United States.
John Jay served in all three branches of the government. Once the Constitution was written, he was a staunch supporter of the document, joining some other men in anonymously writing â€œThe Federalist Papers,â€ which explained to the public why the Constitution should be ratified. Soon after, he was made chief justice of the Supreme Court, and he was given the position of declaring laws unconstitutional for the very first time.
James Madison made great contributions to the United States. During his presidency, he declared war on Great Britain. Not all of his decisions met public approval, but he was well respected throughout his lifetime and one of the most influential founding fathers.
Sitting Bull was a powerful Hunkpapa Lakota Indian Chief whoâ€”along with the Lakota Indians and other nearby tribesâ€”was involved in brutal battles with the United States over land issues. All tribes that were fighting to avoid the reservation eventually surrendered, and the Lakota people were no exception.
Abraham Lincoln was president during one of the most unique times in history. With a country on the brink of war, his ultimate goal was to keep the Union together. When Lincoln freed the slaves, he angered many Southerners, including his assassin, John Wilkes Booth.
Robert E. Lee was considered by many to be an amazing man of character, determination, and talent. Confederate President Jefferson Davis hired him as his assistant for the war. Soon he was commanding the Army of Northern Virginia, and he commanded until his men could fight no more. In the end, he resigned with dignity and asked his men to do the same.
Ulysses S. Grant was a warrior, hero, and a compassionate soldier. Grant led the Union army to victory during the Civil War. The North thought of him as a hero for ending the Civil War and elected him president of the United States.