Russian Tsar 1855-1881; known as a reformer for his Great Reforms program that included changes in education, judicial matters, military readiness, and expression freedom; issued the Emancipation edict of 1861 to free the serfs; but his record only shows him to be a half-hearted reformer, never really interested in compromising any element of his power; assassinated in 1881 by a radical because of his lackluster performance as a reformer.
1815-1898; German chancellor and architect of German unification under the Prussian crown; ruthlessly used realpolitik in his endeavors; instigated fabricated conflicts with Denmark, Austria, and France to acquire the land he believed should be part of the German Empire.
1810-1861; Sardinian prime minister and architect of Italian unification under Sardinia's crown; skillfully used realpolitik and his understanding of international relations to enhance Sardinia's stature as a European power and use the French-Austrian conflict to his advantage.
1809-1882; scientist, biologist. Sparked by a visit to the Galapagos Islands on the HMS Beagle, Darwin published On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection in 1859. Darwin's ideas dramatically affected societal self-conception, challenging the uniqueness of man and the relation of man to God, spurring the development of the scientific field of evolution and less scientific ideas such as Social Darwinism.
1804-1881; leader of the Conservative Party, dedicated to government intervention and the maintenance of traditional institutions of privilege for tradition and stability purposes; his government passed the Factory Act of 1875, setting a maximum of a fifty-six hour work-week; the Public Health Act, establishing a sanitary code; the Artisans Dwelling Act, defining minimum housing standards; and the Trade Union Act, permitting picketing and other peaceful labor tactics.
Italian patriot, democrat, and freedom fighter; once Italian unification seemed possible, after the defeat of Austria, he led a legion of Italian fighters through the Kingdom of Naples, liberated province after province to create a unified Italian state; forced to relinquish his territory to Camillo di Cavour's Sardinian lands in the name of unification.
1809-1898; leader of the Liberal Party in Great Britain, though he began his career as a Tory; main advocate of the liberal approach to government--no tariffs, free trade, no government intervention; his government abolished tariffs, cut defense spending, lowered taxes, kept budgets balanced, reformed the civil service into a merit-based promotion system, and made elementary education available to and mandatory for everyone.
1809-1891; chief architect of the redesigned Paris under Napoleon III; known for his utter disregard for established neighborhoods when he redesigned Paris as a home for the upper and middle class bourgeoisie of France; Haussman's redesigned Paris, known for its wide boulevards, straight roads, museums, and pristine arrangement, thus served as the model for countless other cities throughout the world.
American president, elected 1860; led Union during the American Civil War and dedicated himself to the forcible reunification of the United States. See the SparkNote on Abraham Lincoln.
1818-1883; German political philosopher and founder of scientific socialism; published the Communist Manifesto in 1848 and Das Kapital in 1867.
Italian patriot and democrat committed to the unification of Italy under a liberal democratic government; leader of the Young Italy organization, a group of mostly Italian youths and democrats who pledged to work toward a united democratic Italy.
1808-1873; formerly Louis Napoleon and nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte; won in the presidential election in France in December 1848, but took dictatorial powers on December 2, 1851 and took the monarchical title; can be considered the first modern politician due to his mastery of communication and appearances to maintain the grandeur of France; known for his economic prosperity, rejuvenation of Paris, and support of Italian unification; defeated in Franco-Prussian War.