Great Britain
Władcy Anglii i Wielkiej Brytanii w XVIII wieku
Time of
6 lutego 1665
St. James's
1 sierpnia
Jakub II Stuart (1633-1701),
King of Englad and
ScotlandAnna Hyde (16371671), c. Edwarda Hyde'a,
6 lutego 1665
St. James's
1 sierpnia
Jerzy I
28 maja 1660
11 czerwca
10 listopada
4 czerwca 1738
29 stycznia
Jerzy II
Jerzy III
Jakub II Stuart (1633-1701),
King of Englad and
ScotlandAnna Hyde (16371671), c. Edwarda Hyde'a,
Ernest August (1629-1698),
książę Hanoweru
Zofia von Simmern (1630-1714),
c.Fryderyka V Wittelsbacha
Jerzy I (1660-1727), król
Wielkiej BrytaniiZofia Dorota
von Celle (1666-1726), c.
Jerzego Wilhelma
Fryderyk Ludwik (1707-1751),
książę Walii
Augusta von Sachsen-Gotha
(1719-1772), c. Fryderyka II,
prince of Sachsen-Gotha
Premierzy Wielkiej Brytanii w XVIII w.
1721-1742 Robert Walpole
1742-1743 Spencer Compton, 1.
hrabia Wilmington
1743-1754 Henry Pelham
1754-1756 Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1.
książę Newcastle
1756-1757 William Cavendish, 4.
książę Devonshire
1757-1762 Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1.
książę Newcastle (II kadencja)
1762-1763 John Stuart, 3. hrabia
1763-1765 George Grenville
1765-1766 Charles WatsonWentworth, 2. markiz Rockingham
1766-1768 William Pitt, 1. hrabia
1768-1770 Augustus FitzRoy, 3.
książę Grafton
1770-1782 Frederick North, lord
1782 Charles Watson-Wentworth,
2. markiz Rockingham (II kadencja)
1782-1783 William Petty, 2. hrabia
1783 William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3.
książę Portland
1783-1801 William Pitt Młodszy
Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926)
is the queen regnant of sixteen independent sovereign states
known informally as the Commonwealth realms: the United
Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica,
Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the
Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and
Nevis. She holds each crown separately and equally in a
shared monarchy, as well as acting as Head of the
Commonwealth, Supreme Governor of the Church of England,
and Head of State of the Crown Dependencies. As a
constitutional monarch, she is politically neutral and by
convention her role is largely ceremonial.
When Elizabeth was born, the British Empire was a preeminent world power, but its influence declined, particularly
after World War II, and the empire evolved into the modern
Commonwealth of Nations. Her father, George VI, was the
last Emperor of India. On his death in 1952, Elizabeth
became Head of the Commonwealth, and queen of seven
independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom,
Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and
Ceylon. During her reign, which at 57 years is one of the
longest for a British monarch, she became queen of 25 other
countries within the Commonwealth as they gained
independence from Britain. She has been the sovereign of 32
individual nations, but half of them later became republics.
Elizabeth married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1947.
The couple have four children and eight grandchildren.
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564 – died 23 April 1616) was an English
poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language
and the world's preeminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and
the "Bard of Avon".His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38
plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have
been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than
those of any other playwright.
Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he
married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet
and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an
actor, writer, and part owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's
Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around
1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life
survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his
physical appearance, sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to
him were written by others.
Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early
plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of
sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. He then wrote
mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth,
considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he
wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other
Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during
his lifetime. In 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First
Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays
now recognised as Shakespeare's.
Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation
did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in
particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians worshipped
Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the
twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new
movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and
are constantly studied, performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political
contexts throughout the world.
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE (pronounced ; in General
American also)… (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was
an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor,
best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.
Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of AngloSaxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor
of English Language and Literature from 1945 to 1959. He
was a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members
of the informal literary discussion group known as the
Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order
of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March
After his death, Tolkien's son, Christopher, published a
series of works based on his father's extensive notes and
unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These,
together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a
connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented
languages, and literary essays about an imagined world called
Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955
Tolkien applied the word legendarium to the larger part of
these writings.
While many other authors had published works of fantasy
before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The
Lord of the Rings when they were published in paperback in
the United States led directly to a popular resurgence of
the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified
as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or more
precisely, high fantasy. Tolkien's writings have inspired many
other works of fantasy and have had a lasting effect on the
entire field. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list
of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November
1963), commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his
friends and family as Jack, was an Irish-born British
novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay
theologian and Christian apologist. He is also known for his
fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of
Narnia and The Space Trilogy.
Lewis was a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien, and both authors
were leading figures in the English faculty at Oxford
University and in the informal Oxford literary group known
as the "Inklings". According to his memoir Surprised by Joy,
Lewis had been baptised in the Church of Ireland at birth,
but fell away from his faith during his adolescence. Owing to
the influence of Tolkien and other friends, at the age of 32,
Lewis returned to Christianity, becoming "a very ordinary
layman of the Church of England". His conversion had a
profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio
broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide
In 1956, he married the American writer Joy Gresham, 17
years his junior, who died four years later of cancer at the
age of 45.
Lewis died three years after his wife, as the result of a
heart attack. His death came one week before what would
have been his 65th birthday. Media coverage of his death
was minimal, as he died on 22 November 1963 – the same day
that U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and
the same day as the death of another famous author, Aldous
Lewis's works have been translated into more than 30
languages and have sold millions of copies over the years.
The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold
the most and have been popularised on stage, in TV, in radio,
and in cinema.
Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE (13 August 1899 – 29
April 1980) was a British filmmaker and producer who
pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological
thriller genres. After a successful career in his native
United Kingdom in both silent films and early talkies,
Hitchcock moved to Hollywood. In 1956 he became an
American citizen while retaining his British citizenship.
Hitchcock directed more than fifty feature films in a career
spanning six decades. He remains one of the most popular
and most recognised filmmakers, and his works are still
popular today. Often regarded as the greatest British
filmmaker of all time, in 2007 Hitchcock was ranked by film
critics in The Telegraph's list of 21 greatest British
directors, which writes: "Unquestionably the greatest
filmmaker to emerge from these islands, Hitchcock did more
than any director to shape modern cinema, which would be
utterly different without him. His flair was for narrative,
cruelly withholding crucial information (from his characters
and from us) and engaging the emotions of the audience like
no one else."
His image has endured partly due to cameo appearances in
his own films and the series of television dramas he hosted,
the eponymous Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (30
November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician known chiefly
for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He
served as Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955.
A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British
Army, historian, writer, and artist. He was the only British Prime Minister
to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature and the first person to be
recognized as an Honorary Citizen of the United States.
During his army career, Churchill saw military action in India, in the
Sudan and the Second Boer War. He gained fame and notoriety as a war
correspondent and through contemporary books he wrote describing the
campaigns. He also served briefly in the British Army on the Western
Front in World War I, commanding the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots
At the forefront of the political scene for almost fifty years, he held
many political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he
served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary and First
Lord of the Admiralty as part of the Asquith Liberal government. During
the war he continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until the disastrous
Gallipoli Campaign caused his departure from government. He returned as
Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of
State for Air. In the interwar years, he served as Chancellor of the
Exchequer in the Conservative government.
After the outbreak of the Second World War, Churchill was again
appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of
Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, he became Prime Minister of the
United Kingdom and led Britain to victory against the Axis powers.
Churchill was always noted for his speeches, which became a great
inspiration to the British people and embattled Allied forces.
After losing the 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition. In
1951, he again became Prime Minister before finally retiring in 1955.
Upon his death, the Queen granted him the honour of a state funeral,
which saw one of the largest assemblies of statesmen in the world
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, who became one of
the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular
music. In their heyday the group consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul
McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr
(drums, vocals). Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the group later worked in
many genres ranging from folk rock to psychedelic pop, often incorporating classical
and other elements in innovative ways. The nature of their enormous popularity, which
first emerged as the "Beatlemania" fad, transformed as their songwriting grew in
sophistication. The group came to be perceived as the embodiment of progressive
ideals, seeing their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the
With an early five-piece line-up of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe
(bass) and Pete Best (drums), The Beatles built their reputation in Liverpool and
Hamburg clubs over a three-year period from 1960. Sutcliffe left the group in 1961,
and Best was replaced by Starr the following year. Moulded into a professional outfit
by music store owner Brian Epstein after he offered to act as the group's manager,
and with their musical potential enhanced by the hands-on creativity of producer
George Martin, The Beatles achieved UK mainstream success in late 1962 with their
first single, "Love Me Do". Gaining international popularity over the course of the next
year, they toured extensively until 1966, then retreated to the recording studio until
their breakup in 1970. Each then found success in an independent musical career.
McCartney and Starr remain active; Lennon was shot and killed in 1980, and Harrison
died of cancer in 2001.
During their studio years, The Beatles produced what critics consider some of their
finest material including the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967),
widely regarded as a masterpiece. Nearly four decades after their breakup, The
Beatles' music continues to be popular. The Beatles have had more number one albums
on the UK charts, and held down the top spot longer, than any other musical act.
According to RIAA certifications, they have sold more albums in the US than any
other artist. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the all-time top-selling Hot
100 artists to celebrate the US singles chart's fiftieth anniversary, with The Beatles
at number one. They have been honoured with 7 Grammy Awards, and they have
received 15 Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers
and Authors. The Beatles were collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of
the 20th century's 100 most important and influential people.
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in 1962
in London when multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones and pianist
Ian Stewart were joined by vocalist Mick Jagger and
guitarist Keith Richards. Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer
Charlie Watts completed the early lineup. Stewart, deemed
unsuitable as a teen idol, was removed from the official
lineup in 1963 but continued to work with the band as road
manager and keyboardist until his death in 1985.
Early in the band's history Jagger and Richards formed a
songwriting partnership and gradually took over leadership
of the band from the increasingly troubled and erratic
Jones. At first the group recorded mainly covers of
American blues and R&B songs, but since the 1966 album
Aftermath, their releases have mainly featured
Jagger/Richards songs. Mick Taylor replaced an
incapacitated Jones shortly before Jones's death in 1969.
Taylor quit in 1974, and was replaced in 1975 by Faces
guitarist Ronnie Wood, who has remained with the band ever
since. Wyman left the Rolling Stones in 1992; bassist Darryl
Jones, who is not an official band member, has worked with
the group since 1994.
First popular in the UK and Europe, The Rolling Stones came
to the US during the early 1960s "British Invasion". The
Rolling Stones have released 22 studio albums in the UK (24
in the US), eight concert albums (nine in the US) and
numerous compilations; and have album sales estimated at
more than 200 million worldwide. Sticky Fingers (1971) began
a string of eight consecutive studio albums that charted at
number one in the United States. Their latest album, A
Bigger Bang, was released in 2005. In 1989 The Rolling
Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,
and in 2004 they were ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone
magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
United States of America
George Washington
George Washington (February 22, 1732 [O.S. February 11, 1731]– December 14, 1799)
was the commander of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–
1783) and the first President of the United States of America (1789–1797). For his
central role in the formation of the United States, he is often referred to as the
father of his country.
The Continental Congress appointed Washington commander-in-chief of the American
revolutionary forces in 1775. The following year, he forced the British out of Boston,
lost New York City, and crossed the Delaware River in New Jersey, defeating the
surprised enemy units later that year. As a result of his strategy, Revolutionary forces
captured the two main British combat armies at Saratoga and Yorktown. Negotiating
with Congress, the colonial states, and French allies, he held together a tenuous army
and a fragile nation amid the threats of disintegration and failure. Following the end of
the war in 1783, King George III asked what Washington would do next and was told of
rumors that he'd return to his farm; this prompted the king to state, "If he does that,
he will be the greatest man in the world." Washington did return to private life and
retired to his plantation at Mount Vernon.
He presided over the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the United States
Constitution in 1787 because of general dissatisfaction with the Articles of
Confederation. Washington became President of the United States in 1789 and
established many of the customs and usages of the new government's executive
department. He sought to create a nation capable of surviving in a world torn asunder by
war between Britain and France. His unilateral Proclamation of Neutrality of 1793
provided a basis for avoiding any involvement in foreign conflicts. He supported plans to
build a strong central government by funding the national debt, implementing an
effective tax system, and creating a national bank. Washington avoided the temptation
of war and a decade of peace with Britain began with the Jay Treaty in 1795; he used
his prestige to get it ratified over intense opposition from the Jeffersonians. Although
never officially joining the Federalist Party, he supported its programs and was its
inspirational leader. Washington's farewell address was a primer on republican virtue
and a stern warning against partisanship, sectionalism, and involvement in foreign wars.
Washington was awarded the very first Congressional Gold Medal with the Thanks of
Washington died in 1799, and the funeral oration delivered by Henry Lee stated that of
all Americans, he was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his
countrymen".Washington has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the
greatest U.S. Presidents.
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was the third
President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal
author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of
the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the
ideals of republicanism in the United States. Major events
during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and
the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806).
As a political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the
Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and
France. He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as
exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers,
and favored states' rights and a strictly limited federal
government. Jefferson supported the separation of church and
state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious
Freedom (1779, 1786). He was the eponym of Jeffersonian
democracy and the cofounder and leader of the DemocraticRepublican Party, which dominated American politics for 25
years. Jefferson served as the wartime Governor of Virginia
(1779–1781), first United States Secretary of State (1789–
1793), and second Vice President (1797–1801).
A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other
things, a horticulturist, political leader, architect,
archaeologist, paleontologist, inventor, and founder of the
University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy
welcomed 49 Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962
he said, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of
talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered
together at the White House – with the possible exception of
when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." To date, Jefferson is the
only president to serve two full terms in office without vetoing
a single bill of Congress. Jefferson has been consistently
ranked by scholars as one of the greatest of U.S. presidents.
Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was one of the
Founding Fathers of the United States of America. A noted polymath, Franklin was a
leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic
activist, statesman, soldier, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the
Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding
electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer,
and the glass 'armonica'. He formed both the first public lending library in America and the
first fire department in Pennsylvania. He was an early proponent of colonial unity, and as a
political writer and activist, he supported the idea of an American nation. As a diplomat
during the American Revolution, he secured the French alliance that helped to make
independence of the United States possible.
Franklin is credited as being foundational to the roots of American values and character, a
marriage of the practical and democratic Puritan values of thrift, hard work, education,
community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both
political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. In the
words of Henry Steele Commager, "In Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism
without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat." To Walter
Isaacson, this makes Franklin, "the most accomplished American of his age and the most
influential in inventing the type of society America would become."
Franklin became a newspaper editor, printer, and merchant in Philadelphia, becoming very
wealthy writing and publishing Poor Richard's Almanack and The Pennsylvania Gazette.
Franklin was interested in science and technology, and gained international renown for his
famous experiments. He played a major role in establishing the University of Pennsylvania
and Franklin & Marshall College and was elected the first president of the American
Philosophical Society. Franklin became a national hero in America when he spearheaded the
effort to have Parliament repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he
was widely admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure
in the development of positive Franco-American relations. From 1775 to 1776, Franklin was
the Postmaster General under the Continental Congress and from 1785 to 1788, the
President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. Toward the end of his life, he
became one of the most prominent abolitionists.
His colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and status as one of
America's most influential Founding Fathers, have seen Franklin honored on coinage and
money; warships; the names of many towns, counties, educational institutions, namesakes,
and companies; and more than two centuries after his death, countless cultural references.
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt (October 28, 1858 – January 6, 1919] was the 26th
President of the United States. He is well remembered for his energetic
persona, his range of interests and achievements, his leadership of the
Progressive Movement, his model of masculinity, and his "cowboy" image.
He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the short-lived Bull
Moose Party of 1912. Before becoming the 26th President (1901–1909) he
held offices at the municipal, state, and federal level of government.
Roosevelt's achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and
soldier are as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician.
Born to a wealthy family, Roosevelt was an unhealthy child suffering from
asthma who stayed at home studying natural history. In response to his
physical weakness, he embraced a strenuous life. He attended Harvard,
where he boxed and developed an interest in naval affairs. A year out of
Harvard, in 1881 he ran for a seat in the state legislature. His first
historical book, The Naval War of 1812, published in 1882, established his
reputation as a serious historian. After a few years of living in the
Badlands, Roosevelt returned to New York City, where he gained fame for
fighting police corruption. He was effectively running the US Department
of the Navy when the Spanish American War broke out; he resigned and
led a small regiment in Cuba known as the Rough Riders, earning himself
the Medal of Honor. After the war, he returned to New York and was
elected Governor; two years later he was nominated for and elected Vice
President of the United States.
In 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated, and Roosevelt
became president at the age of 42, taking office at the youngest age of
any U.S. President in history. Roosevelt attempted to move the Republican
Party in the direction of Progressivism, including trust busting and
increased regulation of businesses. Roosevelt coined the phrase "Square
Deal" to describe his domestic agenda, emphasizing that the average
citizen would get a fair shake under his policies. As an outdoorsman, he
promoted the conservation movement. On the world stage, Roosevelt's
policies were characterized by his comment, "Speak softly and carry a big
stick". Roosevelt was the force behind the completion of the Panama Canal;
he sent out the Great White Fleet to display American power, and he
negotiated an end to the Russo-Japanese War, for which he won the Nobel
Peace Prize.
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush ( born July 6, 1946) was the 43rd President of
the United States from 2001 to 2009 and the 46th Governor of
Texas from 1995 to 2000.
Bush is the eldest son of George H. W. Bush (the 41st President) and
Barbara Bush, making him one of only two American presidents to be
the son of a preceding president. After graduating from Yale
University in 1968, and Harvard Business School in 1975, Bush worked
in his family's oil businesses. He married Laura Welch in 1977 and
unsuccessfully ran for the United States House of Representatives
shortly thereafter. He later co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball
team before defeating Ann Richards in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial
election. In a close and controversial election, Bush was elected
President in 2000 as the Republican candidate, receiving a majority of
the electoral votes while losing the popular vote to then-Vice
President Al Gore.
Eight months into Bush's first term as president, the September 11,
2001, terrorist attacks occurred. In response, Bush announced a
global War on Terrorism, ordered an invasion of Afghanistan that
same year and an invasion of Iraq in 2003. In addition to national
security issues, Bush promoted policies on the economy, health care,
education, and social security reform. He signed into law broad tax
cuts, the No Child Left Behind Act and Medicare prescription drug
benefits for seniors. His tenure saw a national debate on immigration
and Social Security.
Bush successfully ran for re-election against Democratic Senator
John Kerry in 2004, garnering 50.7% of the popular vote to his
opponent's 48.3%. After his re-election, Bush received increasingly
heated criticism from conservatives. In 2005, the Bush
Administration dealt with widespread criticism over its handling of
Hurricane Katrina. In December 2007, the United States entered the
longest post-World War II recession. That prompted the Bush
Administration to take more direct control of the economy, enacting
multiple economic programs intended to preserve the country's
financial structure. Though Bush was a popular president for much of
his first term, his popularity declined sharply during his second term.
After leaving office, Bush returned to Texas. He is currently a public
speaker and is writing a book about his presidency.
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II ( listen); born August 4, 1961) is the
44th and current President of the United States. He is the first
African American to hold the office, as well as the first president
born in Hawaii. Obama previously served as the junior United
States Senator from Illinois from January 2005 until he resigned
after his election to the presidency in November 2008.
Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law
School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review.
He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law
degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught
constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from
1992 to 2004.
Obama served three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to
2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of
Representatives in 2000, he ran for United States Senate in
2004. During the campaign, several events brought him to national
attention, such as his victory in the March 2004 Democratic
primary election for the United States Senator from Illinois as
well as his prime-time televised keynote address at the
Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He won election to
the U.S. Senate in November 2004.
Obama began his run for the presidency in February 2007. After a
close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential
primaries against Hillary Clinton, he won his party's nomination. In
the 2008 general election, he defeated Republican nominee John
McCain and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. On
October 9, 2009, he was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American musician,
dancer, and entertainer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is the most commercially
successful and one of the most influential entertainers of all time. His unique
contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with a highly publicized personal life,
made him a prominent figure in popular culture for over four decades.
Alongside his brothers, he made his debut in 1964 as lead singer and youngest member of
The Jackson 5, and later began a successful solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller
remains the best-selling album of all time, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987),
Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995) also among the world's best selling albums. He is
widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an
art form. Videos for his songs "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" made him the first
African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. With stage
performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated
dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound,
vocal style and choreography inspired numerous pop, rock, R&B and hip hop artists
breaking down cultural, racial, and generational barriers.
One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice,
his other achievements feature multiple Guinness World Records—including the "Most
Successful Entertainer of All Time"—13 Grammy Awards, 26 American Music Awards (24
only as a solo artist, including one for "Artist of the Century")—more than any artist—,
17 number one singles in the US (including the four as a member of the Jackson 5), and
estimated sales between 350 million and 750 million records worldwide making him one of
the best selling artists in history. He was also a notable philanthropist and humanitarian
who donated and raised over 300 million dollars through support of 39 charities and his
own Heal the World Foundation.
Jackson's personal relationships and life generated controversy for years. His changing
appearance was noticed from the late 1970s onwards, with changes to his nose and to the
color of his skin drawing media publicity. He was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993
though no charges were brought, and in 2005 he was tried and acquitted of further
allegations. He married twice, first in 1994 and again in 1996, and brought up three
children, one born to a surrogate mother. While preparing for the This Is It concert tour
in 2009, Jackson died at the age of 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest. He
reportedly had been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam, and his death
was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner. His death triggered an
outpouring of grief from around the world with his globally live broadcast memorial
service attracting an audience of up to one billion people.
American literature begins with the orally transmitted myths, legends, tales, and lyrics (always songs) of Indian cultures. There was no
written literature among the Indian cultures. The earliest American writings were concerned directly with the dream of a new world, and
mostly accounts of pioneering motives and settlements were published.
Regional literature has always been important in the United States. Until the end of the 19th century, American literature was dominated by
the works of New Englanders, such as Cotton Mather. Sermons and religious tracts provided the greatest part of the writing. The Puritan
definition of good writing was that which brought home a full awareness of the importance of worshipping God and of the spiritual dangers
that the soul faced. Puritan style varied enormously -- from complex metaphysical poetry to homely journals and religious history.
The 18th-century American Enlightenment was a movement marked by an emphasis on rationality rather than tradition, scientific inquiry
instead of unquestioning religious dogma, and representative government in place of monarchy. Enlightenment thinkers and writers were
devoted to the ideals of justice, liberty, and equality as the natural rights of man. Benjamin Franklin, whom the Scottish philosopher David
Hume called America's "first great man of letters," embodied the Enlightenment ideal of humane rationality.
The Romantic movement reached America around the year 1820. In America as in Europe, fresh new vision electrified artistic and intellectual
circles. Yet there was an important difference: Romanticism in America coincided with the period of national expansion and the discovery of a
distinctive American voice. The solidification of a national identity and the surging idealism and passion of Romanticism nurtured masterpieces
by authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
In the second half of the 19th century, the United States was transformed into a modern, industrial nation. As industrialization grew, so did
alienation. Characteristic American novels of the period, for example by Stephen Crane and Jack London, depict the damage of economic
forces and alienation on the weak or vulnerable individual. Survivors, like Mark Twain's Huck Finn, endure through inner strength involving
kindness, flexibility, and, above all, individuality.
Although American prose between the two World Wars experimented with viewpoint and form, Americans such as Ernest Hemingway, wrote
more realistically, on the whole, than did Europeans. William Faulkner set his powerful southern novels firmly in Mississippi heat and dust. The
importance of facing reality became a dominant theme in the 1920s and 1930s: Writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald repeatedly portrayed the
tragedy awaiting those who live in flimsy dreams.
Narrative since World War II resists generalization: It is extremely various and multifaceted. It has been vitalized by international currents
such as European existentialism and Latin American magical realism.
The Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to nine Americans: Sinclair Lewis, Eugene O'Neill, Pearl Buck, William Faulkner, Ernest
Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Saul Bellow, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Toni Morrison.
The 20th century has been one in which
artists in the United States have broken
free from Old World antecedents, taking
the various cultural disciplines in new
directions with impressive, innovative
Music, film, theater, dance, architecture
and other artistic expressions have been
enhanced and transformed. A rejuvenation
in music, new directions in modern dance,
drama drawn from the U.S. heartland,
independent filmmaking across the
landscape, the globalization of the visual
arts -- all of these are part of the
contemporary scene in the United States.
While the arts and culture in the United
States continue to engage substantial
attention, energy and resources of this
society, this happens largely outside the
direction of government. The United
States has no "ministry of culture," thus
reflecting the conviction that there are
important areas of national life where
government should have little or no role.
New Year's Day - January 1
Martin Luther King Day - third Monday in January
Presidents' Day - third Monday in February
Memorial Day - last Monday in May
Independence Day - July 4
Labor Day - first Monday in September
Columbus Day - second Monday in October
Veterans' Day - second Monday in November
Thanksgiving Day - fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day - December 25
Thank you for watching
Madetko Rafał
Mastrzykowski Michał
Szwaczka Teresa
Widełka Aneta