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The History Channel - Encyclopedia
Category: History and Culture > History
Date & country: 02/12/2007, UK
Words: 25871


Algeria
Country in North Africa, bounded east by Tunisia and Libya, southeast by Niger, southwest by Mali and Mauritania, northwest by Morocco, and north by the Mediterranean Sea. Government Algeria is a...

Algiers, Battle of
Bitter conflict in Algiers 1954-62 between the Algerian nationalist population and the French colonial army and French settlers. The conflict ended with Algerian independence in 1962. ...

Algonquin
The Algonquian-speaking hunting and fishing people who once lived around the Ottawa River in eastern Canada. Many now live on reservations in northeastern USA, eastern Ontario, and western...

Algren, Nelson Abraham
(1909-1981) US novelist. His best-known novel was The Man with the Golden Arm (1949; filmed 1956), a story about gambling and drug addiction, which won the first National Book Award. Other works include two...

alguazil
Spanish title formerly conferred upon judges. It now denotes any officer connected with the execution of justice. ...

Alhambra
Auditorium in central London 1854-1936, mainly used for music hall. The Alhambra opened in Leicester Square in 1854, but was burned down and rebuilt in Moorish style in 1882. It was a highly...

Alhambra
Fortified palace in Granada, Spain, built by Moorish kings, mainly between 1248 and 1354. It stands on a rocky hill and is a fine example of Moorish architecture. ...

Ali Aref Bourhan
(1934) Djibouti politician, president of the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas (French Somaliland prior to 1967; Djibouti from 1977) 1967-77. His political philosophy had to encompass the...

Ali Mahdi, Muhammad
(1934) Somali politician, president 1991-97. He became a member of parliament shortly before the October 1969 coup that brought Muhammad Siad Barre to power. Following the change of government he left...

Ali Pasha, Mehmed Emin
(1815-1871) Grand vizier (chief minister) of the Ottoman Empire 1855-56, 1858-59, 1861, and 1867-71, noted for his attempts to Westernize the Ottoman Empire. After a career as ambassador to the UK,...

Ali, (Ali Pasha)
(1741-1822) Turkish politician, known as Arslan (`the Lion`). An Albanian, he was appointed pasha (governor) of the Janina region 1788 (now Ioánnina, Greece). He helped the Turks during the...

Ali, (Chaudri) Muhammad
(1905-1980) Pakistani politician, prime minister 1955-56. In 1932 he was made accountant general of Bahawalpur state and re-established its finances. In 1936 he became private secretary to the Indian...

Ali, Ibn Hussein
(1879-1935) Ruler of the Hejaz 1924-25. Born in Mecca, he was the eldest son of King Hussein ibn Ali of the Hejaz, whom he succeeded in 1924 when his father was forced off the throne in the Wahabi Rebellion,...

Ali, Maulana Muhammad
(1878-1931) Muslim Indian political activist. Following a period of imprisonment 1915-19, with his brother, Maulana Shaukat Ali, he joined the Khilafat movement to protest against British policy towards the...

Ali, Maulana Shaukat
(1873-1938) Muslim Indian political activist. The brother of Maulana Muhammad Ali, he organized Anjuman-i-Khuddam-i-Kaaha in 1913 to provide support for Muslim causes in...

Ali, Mustafa
(1541-1600) Historian and writer of the Ottoman Empire. Ali was responsible for much of the myth of the preceding reign of Suleiman (1520-66) as a golden age. ...

Ali, Salim Rubayi
(1934-1978) President of South Yemen 1969-78. A leading member of the Marxist National Liberation Front, he succeeded Qahtan Muhammad al-Shaabi as president in June 1969, after a power struggle. He was...

Alia, Ramiz
(1925) Albanian communist politician, head of state 1982-92. He gradually relaxed the isolationist policies of his predecessor, Enver Hoxha, and following public unrest introduced political and economic...

Aliakmon Line
In World War II, Greek defensive line running some 96 km/60 mi from the Aegean coast near Mount Olympus to the Yugoslavian border north of Arnissa. It was in the process of being occupied by British...

alibi
In law, a provable assertion that the accused was at some other place when a crime was committed. In Britain it can usually only be used as a defence in a crown court trial if the prosecution is...

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Children's story, published in 1865, by Lewis Carroll (originally published as Alice's Adventures Under Ground). Alice dreams she follows the White Rabbit down a rabbit hole and meets fantastic...

alien
In law, a person who is not a citizen of a particular nation. In the UK, under the British Nationality Act 1981, an alien is anyone who is neither a British Overseas citizen (for example...

Alien and Sedition Acts
Four laws passed by the US Congress 1798, when war with France seemed likely. The acts lengthened the period of residency required for US citizenship, gave the president the power to expel...

alienation
Sense of isolation, powerlessness, and therefore frustration; a feeling of loss of control over one's life; a sense of estrangement from society or even from oneself. As a concept it was developed...

Aliens Act
In the UK, an act of Parliament passed by the Conservative government in 1905 to restrict the immigration of `undesirable persons` into Britain; it was aimed...

alignment
In archaeology, a term used to denote lines of standing stones. Many of these are associated with burial chambers and cairns, while others are associated with stone circles. Megalithic alignments,...

alim
A learned person in the Islamic community. The customs and practice of an alim vary although he commonly officiates at prayers and in the mosque and is a source of guidance on spiritual and legal...

alimony
In the USA, money allowance given by court order to a former spouse after separation or divorce. The right has been extended to relationships outside marriage and is colloquially termed palimony....

Alishan, Leon
(1820-1901) Armenian poet and historian. His works include Armenian Popular Songs, translated 1852, historical monographs, and translations of English, German, and French poetry, including Byron's Childe...

Alito, Samuel A
(1950) Associate justice of the US Supreme Court from 2006. A judge on the US Court of Appeals from 1990, he replaced the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor as associate justice on the US Supreme Court in 2006,...

Aliyev, Geidar Alirza
(1923-2003) Azerbaijani politician, president 1993-2003. An Azeri Muslim veteran of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), of which he was a full Politburo member 1982-87, he returned to politics...

Alken, Henry Thomas
(1785-1851) English sporting artist. Fox-hunting and steeplechasing were the subjects that most frequently occupied him, but the whole range of field sports was covered in his volume of 50 prints entitled...

All Hallows Barking
Church near Tower Hill, London. There is no record of its foundation, which took place in Saxon times, possibly as early as the 7th century. The church has a number of brasses, the earliest dating...

All Saints' Day
Festival on 1 November for all Christian saints and martyrs who have no special day of their own. It was instituted in 835. ...

All Souls' Day
Festival in the Roman Catholic Church, held on 2 November (following All Saints' Day) in the conviction that through prayer and self-denial the faithful can hasten the deliverance of souls...

All the Talents, Ministry of
Government organized by William Grenville in 1806, on the death of William Pitt, and so named in derision by the opposition party. ...

All-Hallows
Old English name for All Saints' Day, 1 November. ...

alla prima
Method of painting in which colour is applied in one session, with no later changes or additions being made to the painting. In an oil painting, any preparatory drawing would, therefore, be...

Allah
Islamic name for God. Muslims believe that Allah is tauhid, that is `absolute` or `One`, and the supreme creator and power behind the universe. Muhammad's concept of Allah lays stress on his...

Allais, Maurice
(1911) French economist who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1988 for his contributions to the concept of efficiency in the use of resources via the price system. He also devised the `Allais...

Allan, William
(1782-1850) Scottish history painter. He spent several years in Russia and travelled widely in Europe and the Middle East, returning to Scotland 1814. Among his Russian paintings is Peter the Great Teaching his...

Allard, Jean François
(1785-1839) French general. He served first under Napoleon, then went to Lahore 1820 where he entered the service of Ranjit Singh. He organized the army according to the French model, and was made generalissimo...

Allawi, Ayad
(1945) Iraqi industrialist and politician, prime minister of the interim Iraqi government from 2004. A member of the Shia Muslim majority and a former member of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist...

allegiance
Loyalty owed by a subject to his or her sovereign or by a citizen to his or her country. In Britain allegiance is owed to the Crown and in return the subject receives the protection of the Crown....

allegory
In art, a story or message represented visually. Sometimes the literal meaning in the painting is clear, but some examples can be interpreted as having another, parallel meaning. In the second...

allegory
In literature, the description or illustration of one thing in terms of another, or the personification of abstract ideas. The term is also used for a work of poetry or prose in the form of an...

Allen, Dave
(1936-2005) Irish comedian whose sharply observed humour was especially popular on British television in the late 1960s and the 1970s. ...

Allen, Ethan
(1738-1789) US military leader who founded the Green Mountain Boys 1770. At the outbreak of the...

Allen, Florence Ellinwood
(1884-1966) US judge and women's suffrage activist. After spending 25 years as an appeal court judge, Allen became the first woman named to a federal appellate chief judgeship in 1958. Despite strong support...

Allen, Francis A
(1919) US legal educator and criminal justice consultant. Allen chaired the Committee on Poverty and the Administration of Federal Criminal Justice during the Kennedy Administration and was a member of the...

Allen, Henry Justin
(1868-1950) US newspaper publisher and governor. Best known for passing the Kansas Industrial Act to curb striking unions in 1920, Allen worked for the American Red Cross in France in 1917-18 before returning...

Allen, Paula Gunn
(1939) Laguna/Sioux scholar. A poet and novelist , Allen has incorporated feminist issues into her writing on Indian culture. Primarily associated with the Native American Studies program at the University...

Allen, Richard
(1760-1831) US Methodist minister and church founder. Allen established a separate Methodist church for African-Americans in 1794, becoming the first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816....

Allen, Steve
(1921-2000) US comedian, author, and songwriter. He was a pioneer of US television entertainment with his creation of The Tonight Show (1953-). Born into entertainment, Allen was the son of a New York...

Allen, Terry (de la Mesa)
(1888-1969) US soldier. During World War II, Allen became the only officer to lead two infantry divisions in battle. His divisions were the 1st, composed largely of regular soldiers, which he led in Sicily in...

Allen, Viola
(1869-1948) US actor. She was leading lady of Charles Frohman's stock company at the Empire Theater in New York 1893-98, and then toured with her own company. She excelled as Viola in Twelfth Night and, in...

Allen, William
(1803-1879) US representative and governor. A Democrat Representative and then Senator, Allen acted as a spokesperson for President James Polk during the deliberations at the start of the Mexican War. An...

Allen, William
(1532-1594) English cardinal. His Catholicism conflicted with Elizabeth I's ecclesiastical policy and he went into exile in Europe. He lived in Rome from 1585 and his efforts for the reconversion of England to...

Allenby, Edmund Henry Hynman
(1861-1936) British field marshal. In World War I he served in France before taking command 1917-19 of the British forces in the Middle East. After preparations in Egypt, he captured Gaza, Beersheba and, in...

Allende (Gossens), Salvador
(1908-1973) Chilean left-wing politician, president 1970-73. Elected president as the candidate of the Popular Front alliance, Allende never succeeded in keeping the electoral alliance together in...

Allende, Isabel
(1942) Peruvian-born Chilean novelist. She is one of the leading exponents of magic realism. After the assass ...

allerion
In heraldry, a device consisting of an eagle with outspread wings but without beak or feet, as in the arms of Montmorency. ...

Allestree (or Allestry), Richard
(1619-1681) English theologian. When the parliamentarian forces sacked the Oxford colleges during the English Civil War, he saved many Christ Church treasures. At the Restoration he was made canon of Christ...

Alleyn, Edward
(1566-1626) English actor. The only actor to rival Richard Burbage, he appeared in Christopher Marlowe's plays. With his father-in-law, theatre manager Philip Henslowe, he built the Fortune Theatre in 1600...

Allgood, Sarah
(1883-1950) Irish-born US actor. She appeared at the opening night of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in 1904 in Lady Gregory's Spreading the News, and played the Widow Quinn in J M Synge's The Playboy of the...

alliance
Agreement between two or more states to come to each other's assistance in the event of war. Alliances were criticized after World War I as having contributed to the outbreak of war, but the Alliance for Progress
Programme of US assistance to Latin American countries, initiated by President Kennedy in 1961 under the auspices of the
Organization of American States. It called for expenditure of $20 billion...

Alliance, the
In UK politics, a loose union (1981-87) formed by the Liberal Party and Social Democratic Party (SDP) for electoral purposes. The Alliance was set up soon after the formation of the SDP, and...

Allibone, Samuel Austin
(1816-1889) US bibliographer. His three-volume Critical Dictionary of English Literature and British and American Authors was published in 1858 and 1871. Between 1867 and 1879, as editor of the American...

Allied Coordination Committee
Secret right-wing paramilitary network in Western Europe, set up in the 1950s to arm guerrillas chosen from the civilian population in the event of Soviet invasion or communist takeover. Initiated...

Allied Mobile Force
Permanent multinational military force established 1960 to move immediately to any NATO country under threat of attack. Its headquarters are in Heidelberg, Germany. ...

Allies, the
In World War I, the 27 Allied and Associated powers aligned against the Central Powers (Germany, Austro-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria) and represented at the Treaty of Versailles (1919); they...

Allingham, Margery Louise
(1904-1966) English detective novelist. She created detective Albert Campion in The Crime at Black Dudley (1929). Her detective fiction displays wit and ingenuity and includes More Work for the Undertaker...

Allingham, William
(1824-1889) Irish poet. His work frequently has a strong regional and nostalgic quality; in Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland (1864) he displays an acute agrarian realism. Other volumes of his verse include Poems...

Allison, William B(oyd)
(1829-1908) US senator. Serving as a Republican Representative, 1963-72, before becoming a Senator in 1873, Allison went on to become a leader of the Republican delegation. In 1870, he ws involved in the...

Allobroge
Member of a Gallic people who inhabited the land between the Rhône and Iser, now Savoy and Dauphine. Their chief cities were Vienna (Vienne), Genava (Geneva), and Cularo (Grenoble). They were...

allocation of resources
In economics, the way in which scarce resources are used in one way rather than another in the production and distribution of goods and services. When resources are allocated, there is an...

allocution
Historically, a formal address given by the pope to the college of cardinals on any matter of ecclesiastical or political importance. In modern usage, a formal speech, especially one...

allodium
English legal term denoting land that is the absolute property of its owner, free from any feudal tenure or obligation to a superior. Since the Norman Conquest there has been no allodial land in...

Allori, Cristofani
(1577-1621) Italian painter. The son of Alessandro Allori, he rejected his father's Mannerism and followed the emerging baroque style in Florentine art. His best-known painting is Judith and the Head of...

allotment
Small plot of rented land used for growing vegetables and flowers. Allotments originated in the UK during the 18th and 19th centuries, when much of the common land was enclosed (see enclosure) and...

Alma-Tadema, Lawrence
(1836-1912) Dutch artist who worked in England from 1870. He painted romantic, idealized scenes from ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian life, which combined Victorian sentiment...

Alma, Battle of the
In the Crimean War, joint British, French, and Turkish assault on Russian forces outside Sevastapol 20 September 1854 with a loss of about 9,000 troops, 6,000 of whom were Russian. Although the...

Almagest
Book compiled by the Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy during the 2nd century, which included the idea of an Earth-centred universe; it was translated into Arabic in the 9th century. Some medieval books...

Almagro, Diego de
(1475-1538) Spanish soldier who partnered Francisco Pizarro in the conquest of Peru. Almagro arrived in Panama 1514 with the expedition of Pedro Arias de Ã?vila. Almagro recruited followers and arranged...

Almansa, Battle of
In the War of the Spanish Succession, battle on 25 April 1707 in which British, Portuguese, and Spanish forces were defeated by the French under the Duke of Berwick at a Spanish town in Albacete,...

alme
Name given by modern Egyptians and Arabs to the Egyptian singing girls who attend festivals, marriages, funerals, and other ceremonies. They are also found in Syria and other parts of the former...

Almeida, Francisco de
(c. 1450-1510) First viceroy of Portuguese India 1505-08. He consolidated rule there and sent expeditions out into the Indian Ocean and as far as Madagascar. He was killed in a skirmish with the Hottentots...

Almohad
Berber dynasty 1130-1269 founded by the Berber prophet Muhammad ibn Tumart (c. 1080-1130). The Almohads ruled much of Morocco and Spain, which they...

Almond, Edward Mallory
(1892-1979) US soldier. A veteran of World War I and World War II, he commanded the amphibious invasion of Inchon, Korea, and captured the South Korean capital, Seoul (1950). ...

Almoravid
Berber dynasty 1056-1147 founded by the prophet Abdullah ibn Tashfin, ruling much of Morocco and Spain in the 11th-12th centuries. The Almoravids came from the Sahara and in the 11th century...

Almqvist, Carl Jonas Love
(1793-1866) Swedish author. His literary career began 1832 with the first of his series of romances; this and much of his subsequent works were collected in two series of Törnrosensbok/The Book of the Thorn...

almshouse
House built and endowed for the support of those disabled from work by age or poverty. Almshouses were founded by private charities and privately funded. Formerly (in the Middle Ages), an almshouse...

Alnwick Castle
11th-century castle, near England's border with Scotland; historic seat of the Percy family, dukes of Northumberland. It was the site of battles in 1092 and 1174 following Scottish invasions of...

Aloidae
In Greek mythology, Otus and Ephialtes, the sons of Iphimede who was seduced by her father-in-law, Poseidon. The boys were known as the Aloidae after her husband, Aloeus. At the age of nine,...

Alonso, Dámaso
(1898-1990) Spanish poet and critic. His best-known poetry is the volume Hijos de la ira/Children of Wrath (1944; translated 1970), but his main achievement was his reappraisal of the poetry of Góngora and...

Aloysius, St
(1568-1591) Italian Jesuit. In 1585 he joined the Society of Jesus, despite parental opposition, and died while nursing plague victims. Canonized in 1726, he is the patron saint of youth. Feast day 21 June. ...

Alp-Arslan, (Muhammad ibn Daud)
(c. 1029-1072) Second sultan of the Seljuk dynasty. He came to the Persian throne 1063 and pursued a career of conquest. He reduced Armenia and Georgia, and later won a great victory over the Greek emperor,...

alpaca
Domesticated South American hoofed mammal Lama pacos of the camel family, found in Chile, Peru, and Bolivia, and herded at high elevations in the Andes. It is bred mainly for its long, fine, silky...

alpha share
On the stock market, a share in any of the companies most commonly traded - that is, the larger companies. ...