Biographica

BIOGRAPHICA

Shaping History

Jane Addams

Jane Addams

Jane Addams (1860-1935) WHO S/HE WAS: Jane Addams devoted her life to social and political reform and to the betterment of the economic condition of the masses. She worked for women’s rights, to help the poor and to stop the use of children as industrial laborers. She founded Hull House in Chicago, a center which helped immigrants in particular. After the outbreak of World War I, Addams tried in vain to get President Woodrow Wilson to mediate peace between the warring countries. Later, she spoke out loudly against America’s participation in the war and against the peace treaty forced on Germany following the conflict. She warned, presciently, that it’s terms were so humiliating that it would lead to a German war of revenge. WHAT S/HE SAID: In 1899, in the wake of the Spanish-American War, Addams spoke-out against American imperialism: “To ‘protect the weak’ has always been the excuse of

Emilio Aguinaldo

Emilio Aguinaldo

Emilio Aguinaldo (1860-1835) WHO S/HE WAS: Emilio Aguinaldo was a 19th century Filipino rebel who agitated for Philippine independence. He is recognized as the First President of the Philippines. WHAT S/HE SAID: God Almighty knows how unjust is the war which the Imperial arms have provoked and are maintaining against our unfortunate country! If the honest American patriots could understand the sad truth of this declaration, we are sure they would, without the least delay, stop this unspeakable horror. WHY S/HE MATTERED: In 1899, Emilio Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence from Spain. The United States did not recognize his government, and Aguinaldo declared war on the United States. By 1901, the United States had captured Aguinaldo, but sporadic resistance by Filipino rebels continued for another decade. By the end of the war, more than 4,000 American and 16,000 Filipino soldiers had lost their lives.

Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) WHO S/HE WAS: Grover Cleveland was both the twenty-second and twenty-fourth President of the United States. Cleveland is the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897) and thus is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents. WHAT S/HE SAID: The ship of democracy, which has weathered all storms, may sink through the mutiny of those on board. WHY S/HE MATTERED: Despite pressure from American business interests in Hawaii, President Cleveland rejected annexation of the island Kingdom, leaving Hawaii nominally independent until the Spanish-American War, when, with the backing of President McKinley, Congress ratified an annexation treaty. In 1959 Hawaii would become the 50th state.

Eduard de Stoeckl

Baron Eduard de Stoeckl

Eduard de Stoeckl (1804-1892) WHO S/HE WAS: Eduard de Stoeckl was a Russian diplomat best known today for having negotiated the American purchase of Alaska on behalf of the Russian government. He occasionally used the bogus title of Baron. WHY S/HE MATTERED: On March 30, 1867, the United States reached an agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for a price of $7.2 million. The Treaty with Russia was negotiated and signed by Secretary of State William Seward and Russian Minister to the United States Edouard de Stoeckl. Critics of the deal to purchase Alaska called it “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s Icebox.” Opposition to the purchase of Alaska subsided with the Klondike Gold Strike in 1896.

George Dewey

George Dewey

George Dewey (1860-1835) WHO S/HE WAS: George Dewey was Admiral of the Navy, the only person in United States history to have attained the rank. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish–American War. WHAT S/HE SAID: To Charles Vernon Gridley, igniting the Battle of Manila Bay. You may fire when you are ready, Gridley. WHY S/HE MATTERED: When news of the victory in the Battle of Manila Bay reached the United States, Dewey became a national hero. Congress awarded him a promotion to real admiral and handed out citations to members of his fleet. Although he thought about running for president, he settled for writing accounts of his famous victory and publishing his autobiography in 1913.

Sanford Dole

Sanford Dole

Sanford Dole (1844-1826) WHO S/HE WAS: Sanford B. Dole was a politician and jurist of Hawaii as a kingdom, protectorate, republic and territory. Conspired with Ambassador John L. Stevens to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy of Queen Liliuokalani. WHAT S/HE SAID: I cannot help feeling that the chief end of this meeting is plantation profits, and the prosperity of the counrty, the demands of society, the future of the Hawaiian race only comes secondarily if at all. WHY S/HE MATTERED: In 1893, Sanford B. Dole participated in a coup to depose the reigning monarch of Hawaii, Queen Lili’uokalani. Following the coup, Dole was appointed president of a provisional government. U.S. President Grover Cleveland authorized an investigation into the matter and, concluded that Dole and others conspired with U.S. ambassador John L. Stevens to land United States Marine Corps, to forcibly remove the queen from power. When Cleveland demanded that she be

Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) WHO S/HE WAS: Millard Filimore was the thirteenth President of the United States, serving from 1850 until 1853. Fillmore petitioned the Japanese to open trade with the West which led to Convention of Kanagawa in 1854. WHAT S/HE SAID: Nations, like individuals in a state of nature, are equal and independent, possessing certain rights and owing certain duties to each other. WHY S/HE MATTERED: In 1851, President Millard Fillmore authorized a formal naval expedition to Japan to return shipwrecked Japanese sailors and request that Americans stranded in Japan be returned to the United States. Additionally, the mission was intended to complete an agreement with the Japanese Government to open one or more ports for supplies and refueling. The following year, the Japanese grudgingly agreed to the U.S. demands.

John Hay

John Hay

John Hay (1838-1905) WHO S/HE WAS: John Hay began his political career as Abraham Lincoln’s private secretary. He went on to serve as the U.S. secretary of state for both William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. WHAT S/HE SAID: It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that Fortune which loves the brave. WHY S/HE MATTERED: In the context of _America Becomes a World Power_, Hay took part in the peace negotiations to end the Spanish-American War, contributed to the Boxer Rebellion, promoted an “Open Door” policy in China, and negotiated the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty with Great Britain, giving the United States the rights to build a canal across Panama’s isthmus.

William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) WHO S/HE WAS: William Randolph Hearst was an American newspaper magnate and leading newspaper publisher who played an active role in late 19th century politics. WHAT S/HE SAID: In the run-up to the Spanish-American War, Hearst sent the legendary illustrator Frederick Remington to Cuba to cover the insurrection. Finding nothing to report, Remington cabled Hearst saying there was no war to cover. Hearst allegedly replied: Please remain. You furnish the pictures. I’ll furnish the war. WHY S/HE MATTERED: Hearst’s New York City newspaper, the _New York Morning Journal_, became known for sensationalist writing and for its agitation in favor of the Spanish-American War. The term yellow journalism (a pejorative reference to scandal-mongering, sensationalism, jingoism and similar practices) was derived from a color comic strip, The Yellow Kid. The above quote, possibly apocryphal, was a response to war correspondent, Frederick Remmington, whom he had dispatched to Cuba

Victoriano Huerta

Victoriano Huerta

Victoriano Huerta (1854-1916) WHO S/HE WAS: General Victoriano Huerta was a military leader, counter-revolutionary, and dictatorial President of Mexico for seventeen months, beginning in 1913. WHY S/HE MATTERED: Although Huerta’s military government took control over civilian life, he significantly increased spending for education particularly for indigenous Mexicans, set up an agricultural ministry, favored British oil interests (they recognized his regime) over those of the U.S., and established a National Labor Office. Some of the roots of subsequent administrations can be found during the 17 months of Huerta’s tenure..

King David Kalakaua

King David Kalakaua

King David Kalakaua (1836-1891) WHO S/HE WAS: King Kalakaua was the last reigning king of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. He served in office from February 12, 1874 until his death in San Francisco, California, on January 20, 1891. WHAT S/HE SAID: In 1899, in the wake of the Spanish-American War, Addams spoke-out against American imperialism: Hula is the language of the heart, therefore the language of the Hawai’ian people. WHY S/HE MATTERED: Around 1887, Kalakaua came into conflict with a group of planters and prominent Hawaiians—the Hawaiian League—who wished to annex Hawaii to the United States. That same year, members of the league, armed with guns, assembled together and forced Kalakaua at gunpoint to sign the new constitution. This new constitution, nicknamed the Bayonet Constitution of 1887, removed much of the king’s executive power and deprived most native Hawaiians of their voting rights.

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1836) WHO S/HE WAS: Rudyard Kipling was a British writer whose works of fiction include _The Jungle Book_ and _The Man Who Would be King_. His poems include “Mandalay”, The Gods of the Copybook Headings” and “The Young British Soldier.” Kipling was one of the most popular writers in the United Kingdom during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. WHAT S/HE SAID: Take up the White Man’s burden Send forth the best ye breed; Go, bind your sons to exile To serve your captives’ need; To wait, in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild; Your new-caught sullen peoples, Half devil and half child. WHY S/HE MATTERED: Kipling’s poem, “The White Man’s Burden” (1899), created controversy when published. Regarded by some as anthems for enlightened and duty-bound empire-building (that captured the mood of the Victorian age), the poem was equally regarded by others as propaganda for brazenfaced

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