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Ferdinand of Aragon
1452-1516
King of Spain





He was king of Aragon and Sicily, and king of Naples. By his marriage to Isabella of Castile in 1469 he united Spain into a single power.

He established the Inquistion, conquered Granada from the Moslems in 1492, and backed the voyages of Columbus. In 1492 he orderd the expulsion of Jews and Moors from Spain.

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Francis II
1768-1835
Holy Roman Emperor





He was the last Holy Roman Emperor.

He succeeded to the imperial title in 1792, and held it until dissolution of the empire by Napoleon in 1805. He continued to reign as the first Emperor of Austria, under the title Francis I.

With the help of his chancellor Metternich he made Austria a leading European power.

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Benjamin Franklin
1706-90

American Statesman



Newspaper editor from Boston who became famous for his scientific work on electricity. In 1754 he planned the federation of American colonies, and he represented Pennsylvania in London for 11 years, returning to America to assist in drawing up the Declaration of Independence.

Benjamin Franklin was Ambassador to France 1777-85, and President of Pennsylvania 1785-88.

He was the only man to sign the three most important documents in U.S. history, namely the Declaration of Independence, the Peace Treaty of Paris in 1783, ending the American Revolutionary War, and the Constitution of the United States of America in 1787.

All his life, Franklin used his curiosity in the development of creative and at the same time practical inventions and in the pursuit of scientific knowledge.

He was a pioneer in the study of electricity, which he understood to be a type of fluid flowing from a positive to a negativ body. Bifocals, the Odometer, the Franklin Stove, and the Lightening Rod are some of his many inventions. (Note: 340 bell ringers died in the 18th century from lightening)

Note: Franklin corrected the sentence in the Declaration of Independence from: "We hold this truth to be sacred" to the more secular "We hold this truth to be self-evident"

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Frederick Wilhelm
1688-1740
King of Prussia





The father of Frederick the Great Frederick Wilhelm became king in 1713.

He reorganized the administration and economy of Prussia to sustain a powerful army. The king made special efforts to hire the tallest men he could find for a special regiment called the Potsdam Giants. He was popularly known as the 'Soldier King'. With his force he won most of Pomerania from Sweden in 1720.

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