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Ismail I
c.1487-1524
Shah of Persia






Founder of the Safavid dynasty which ruled Persia from 1501 - 1736.

Ismail proclaimed Shi'ism the state religion. The establishment of the Safavi Empire was disturbing to the rest of the Moslem world, because the shah's followers thought him to be the rightful head of the entire Moslem community. This brought the Safavids into conflict with the Sunni Ottoman sultans who claimed the leadership of the Islamic community for themselves.

In 1514 Ismail was defeated by his Sunni rival, the Ottoman sultan Selim I.

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James I

1566-1625
King of England


When his mother, Queen of Scotland, abdicated in 1567 James became King of Scotland and when his cousin Queen Elizabeth I of England died in 1603, he became King of England as well.

James I believed strongly in his own divine right to rule and he had several disputes with Parliament which degenerated into civil war under his successor.

His intolerance of Protestants led the Puritans to migrate to New England. During his reign a translation of the Bible was commissioned - it has become known as the King James Version.

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Mohammed Ali Jinnah
1876-1948
Founder of Pakistan



Jinnah was born in Karachi. He attended the University of Bombay and studied law in England.

Jinnah first entered politics by participating in the 1906 Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress, the party that called for dominion status and later for independence for India.

At first he was a supporter of Hindu-Moslem unity but after the rise of Gandhi he became concerned about the future position of Moslems in a close-knit structure of Hindu social organisation. Slowly Jinnah became convinced that a Moslem homeland on the Indian subcontinent was the only way of safeguarding the Moslem way of life. He joined the Moslem League and converted it into a powerful instrument for unifying the Moslems into a nation.

As President of the Moslem League he demanded a separate Moslem state in 1940, securing the partition of India in 1947. He became the first Governor-General of Pakistan, where he is still revered as the father of the nation.

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Joseph II
1741-90
Emperor of Austria





Son of Maria Theresa, succeeded to the Empire in 1765, and to Habsburg lands in 1780.

He continued his mother's attempts to reform the Habsburg dominions, but he was harassed by disaffection in Hungary and the Austrian Netherlands. He agreed to the partition of Poland.

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