The Mexican Revolution known as the Mexican Civil War, was a major armed struggle, lasting from 1910 to 1920, that radically transformed Mexican culture and government. Although recent research has focused on local and regional aspects of the Revolution, it was a genuinely national revolution, its outbreak in 1910 resulted from the failure of the 35-year-long regime of Porfirio Díaz to find a managed solution to the presidential succession. This meant there was a political crisis among competing elites and the opportunity for agrarian insurrection. Wealthy landowner Francisco I. Madero challenged Díaz in the 1910 presidential election, following the rigged results, revolted under the Plan of San Luis Potosí. Armed conflict ousted Díaz from power; the origins of the conflict were broadly based in opposition to the Díaz regime, with the 1910 election becoming the catalyst for the outbreak of political rebellion. The revolution was begun by elements of the Mexican elite hostile to Díaz, led by Madero and Pancho Villa.
In October 1911, Madero was overwhelmingly elected in a fair election. Opposition to his regime grew from both the conservatives, who saw him as too weak and too liberal, from former revolutionary fighters and the dispossessed, who saw him as too conservative. Madero and his vice president Pino Suárez were forced to resign in February 1913, were assassinated; the counter-revolutionary regime of General Victoriano Huerta came to power, backed by business interests and other supporters of the old order. Huerta remained in power from February 1913 until July 1914, when he was forced out by a coalition of different regional revolutionary forces; when the revolutionaries' attempt to reach political agreement failed, Mexico plunged into a civil war. The Constitutionalist faction under wealthy landowner Venustiano Carranza emerged as the victor in 1915, defeating the revolutionary forces of former Constitutionalist Pancho Villa and forcing revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata back to guerrilla warfare.
Zapata was assassinated in 1919 by agents of President Carranza. The armed conflict lasted for the better part of a decade, until around 1920, had several distinct phases. Over time the Revolution changed from a revolt against the established order under Díaz to a multi-sided civil war in particular regions, with shifting power struggles among factions in the Mexican Revolution. One major result of the revolution was the dissolution of the Federal Army in 1914, which Francisco Madero had kept intact when he was elected in 1911 and General Huerta used to oust Madero. Revolutionary forces unified against Huerta's reactionary regime defeated the Federal forces. Although the conflict was a civil war, foreign powers that had important economic and strategic interests in Mexico figured in the outcome of Mexico's power struggles; the United States played an significant role. Out of Mexico's population of 15 million, the losses were high, but numerical estimates vary a great deal. 1.5 million people died.
Many scholars consider the promulgation of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 as the end point of the armed conflict. "Economic and social conditions improved in accordance with revolutionary policies, so that the new society took shape within a framework of official revolutionary institutions", with the constitution providing that framework. The period 1920–1940 is considered to be a phase of the Revolution, as government power was consolidated, the Catholic clergy and institutions were attacked in the 1920s, the revolutionary constitution of 1917 was implemented; this armed conflict is characterized as the most important sociopolitical event in Mexico and one of the greatest upheavals of the 20th century. The revolution committed the resulting political regime with "social justice", until Mexico underwent a neoliberal reform process that started in the 1980s; the Porfiriato is the period in late nineteenth-century Mexican history dominated by General Porfirio Díaz, who became president of Mexico in 1876 and ruled continuously until his forced resignation in 1911.
After the presidency of his ally, General Manuel González, Díaz ran for the presidency again and served in office until 1911. Under his administration, the constitution had been amended to allow unlimited presidential re-election. Díaz had challenged Benito Juárez on the platform of "no re-election." During the Porfiriato, there were regular elections, marked by contentious irregularities. Although Díaz had publicly announced in an interview with journalist James Creelman that he would not run in the 1910 election, setting off a flurry of political activity, he changed his mind and decided to run again at age 80; the contested 1910 election was a key political event. As Díaz aged, the question of presidential succession became important. In 1906, the office of vice president was revived, with Díaz choosing his close ally Ramón Corral from among his Científico advisers to serve in the post. By the 1910 election, the Díaz regime had become authoritarian, opposition to it had increased in many sectors of Mexican society.
In the 19th century, he had been a national hero, opposing the French Intervention in the 1860s and distinguishing himself in the Battle of Puebla on 5 May 1862. Díaz entered politics fo
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman statesman, orator and philosopher, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, is considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists, his influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose, not only in Latin but in European languages up to the 19th century, was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary distinguishing himself as a translator and philosopher. Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement, it was during his consulship that the second Catilinarian conspiracy attempted to overthrow the government through an attack on the city by outside forces, Cicero suppressed the revolt by summarily and controversially executing five conspirators.
During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the traditional republican government. Following Julius Caesar's death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches, he was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BC after having been intercepted during an attempted flight from the Italian peninsula. His severed hands and head were as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed on The Rostra. Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs and classical Roman culture. According to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, "the Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity." The peak of Cicero's authority and prestige came during the 18th-century Enlightenment, his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers and political theorists such as John Locke, David Hume and Edmund Burke was substantial.
His works rank among the most influential in European culture, today still constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for the writing and revision of Roman history the last days of the Roman Republic. Cicero was born in 106 BC in a hill town 100 kilometers southeast of Rome, he belonged to the tribus Cornelia. His father possessed good connections in Rome. However, being a semi-invalid, he studied extensively to compensate. Although little is known about Cicero's mother, Helvia, it was common for the wives of important Roman citizens to be responsible for the management of the household. Cicero's brother Quintus wrote in a letter. Cicero's cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was given to one of Cicero's ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is more that Cicero's ancestors prospered through the cultivation and sale of chickpeas. Romans chose down-to-earth personal surnames.
The famous family names of Fabius and Piso come from the Latin names of beans and peas, respectively. Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this deprecatory name when he entered politics, but refused, saying that he would make Cicero more glorious than Scaurus and Catulus. During this period in Roman history, "cultured" meant being able to speak both Greek. Cicero was therefore educated in the teachings of the ancient Greek philosophers and historians. Cicero used his knowledge of Greek to translate many of the theoretical concepts of Greek philosophy into Latin, thus translating Greek philosophical works for a larger audience, it was his broad education that tied him to the traditional Roman elite. Cicero's interest in philosophy figured in his career and led to him providing a comprehensive account of Greek philosophy for a Roman audience, including creating a philosophical vocabulary in Latin. In 87 BC, Philo of Larissa, the head of the Academy, founded by Plato in Athens about 300 years earlier, arrived in Rome.
Cicero, "inspired by an extraordinary zeal for philosophy", sat enthusiastically at his feet and absorbed Plato's philosophy. Cicero said of Plato's Dialogues. According to Plutarch, Cicero was an talented student, whose learning attracted attention from all over Rome, affording him the opportunity to study Roman law under Quintus Mucius Scaevola. Cicero's fellow students were Gaius Marius Minor, Servius Sulpicius Rufus, Titus Pomponius; the latter two became Cicero's friends for life, Pomponius would become, in Cicero's own words, "as a second brother", with both maintaining a lifelong correspondence. In 79 BC, Cicero left for Asia Minor and Rhodes; this was to avoid the potential wrath of Sulla, as Plutarch claims, though Cicero himself says it was to hone his skills and improve his p
Enlightenment in Spain
The ideas of the Age of Enlightenment came to Spain in the eighteenth century with the new Bourbon dynasty, following the death of the last Habsburg monarch, Charles II, in 1700. This period in Spanish history is referred to as Bourbon Spain. "Like the Spanish Enlightenment, the Spanish Bourbon monarchs were imbued with Spain's Catholic identity." The period of reform and'enlightened despotism' under the Bourbons focused on centralizing and modernizing the Spanish government, improvement of infrastructure, beginning with the rule of King Charles III and the work of his minister, José Moñino, count of Floridablanca. In the political and economic sphere, the crown implemented a series of changes, collectively known as the Bourbon reforms, which were aimed at making the overseas empire more prosperous to the benefit of Spain; the Bourbon monarchs sought the expansion of scientific knowledge, urged by Benedictine monk Benito Feijóo. From 1777 to 1816, the Spanish crown funded scientific expeditions to gather information about the potential botanical wealth of the empire.
When Prussian scientist Alexander von Humboldt proposed a self-funded scientific expedition to Spanish America, the Spanish crown accorded him not only permission, but the instructions to crown officials to aid him. Spanish scholars sought to understand the decline of the Spanish empire from its earlier glory days, with the aim of reclaiming its former prestige. In Spanish America, the Enlightenment had an impact in the intellectual and scientific sphere, with elite American-born Spanish men involved in these projects; the Napoleonic invasion of the Iberian peninsula was enormously destabilizing for Spain and the Spanish overseas empire. The ideas of the Hispanic Enlightenment have been seen as a major contributor to the Spanish American wars of independence, although the situation is more complex; the French Bourbons had a strong claim on the Spanish throne following the 1700 death of the last Habsburg monarch, Charles II, who died without an heir. France lost the War of the Spanish Succession but the victors, due to their claimant inheriting the Holy Roman Empire, allowed the Bourbon monarchy to in turn inherit the Spanish crown, on the condition that the Spanish and French crowns were never merged.
Once it consolidated rule in Spain, the Bourbon monarchs embarked upon a series of reforms to revitalize the Spanish empire, which had declined in power in the late Habsburg era. The ideas of the Age of Enlightenment had a strong impact in Spain and a ripple effect in Spanish American Enlightenment Spain's overseas empire; when French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte invaded the Iberian peninsula and placed Napoleon's brother Joseph on the throne of Spain, there was a crisis of legitimacy in both Spain and its overseas empire. A cortes was convened in Cádiz, which ratified a liberal constitution in 1812, limiting the power of the monarchy constitutionally as well as the power of the Catholic Church. Ferdinand VII claimed he supported the liberal constitutions, but once restored to power in 1814, he renounced it and reverted to unfettered absolutist rule. In most parts of Spanish America during the Napoleonic period in Spain, wars of independence broke out, so that by the time Bourbon Ferdinand VII was restored to the throne in 1814, much of Spanish America had achieved independence and established constitutional republics.
New Spain and Peru were the exceptions, becoming independent in 1821 and 1824. Mexico had a monarchy under royalist military officer turned insurgent Agustín de Iturbide, overthrown in favor of a federated republic under the Constitution of 1824; the last few years of the rule of the mentally challenged and childless Charles II, were dominated by the politics of who would succeed the unfortunate monarch, the last Spanish king of the Habsburg dynasty. Spain was at the center of this political crisis, but it was the "object not the arbiter." Economic troubles, the decay of the Spanish bureaucracy, a series of defeats in wars against France, the erosion of imperial institutions in the seventeenth century had left Charles the king of a declining empire, his physical and mental weakness provided him with little ability to reverse the course of his country. The vastness of the Spanish Empire in the New World, along with her naval resources, had made Spain a vital part of European power politics. If the throne of Spain was to go to a relative of the king of France, or if the two countries were to be united, the balance of power in Europe might shift in France's favor.
If it remained in the hands of another member of the anti-French, Austrian Habsburg dynasty, the status quo would remain. European politics during the seventeenth century became dominated by establishing an orderly succession in Spain that would not alter the balance between Europe's great powers. Charles II, the unfortunate result of generations of Habsburg inbreeding, decreed in one of his last official acts that his crown would pass to his nephew, Philip of Anjou, the grandson of King Louis XIV of France of the House of Bourbon, the heir to the French throne. Castilian legitimists, who valued the succession of the closest heir of the king over the continuation of Habsburg rule, supported the king's plan. Spanish officials were concerned with Spain remaining an independent country, rather than another part of the French or Austrian empires. So, on hearing the news that his grandson had become King of Spain, Louis XIV proclaimed, "The Pyrenees are no more." At age 17, Philip V arrived in Madrid in early 1701 without visible opposition.
Philip confirmed the fueros of Catalunya and Aragon, to all appearances the Bourbon
Constitution of Mexico
The Constitution of Mexico, formally the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States is the current constitution of Mexico. It was drafted in Santiago de Querétaro, in the State of Querétaro, by a constitutional convention, during the Mexican Revolution, it was approved by the Constitutional Congress on 5 February 1917. It is the successor to the Constitution of 1857, earlier Mexican constitutions; the current Constitution of 1917 is the first such document in the world to set out social rights, serving as a model for the Weimar Constitution of 1919 and the Russian Constitution of 1918. Some of the most important provisions are Articles 3, 27, 123. Aimed at restricting the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico, Article 3 established the basis for a free and secular education. Articles 3, 5, 24, 27, 130 restricted the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico, attempts to enforce the articles by President Plutarco Calles in 1926 led to the violent conflict known as the Cristero War. In 1992, under the administration of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, there were significant revisions of the constitution, modifying Article 27 to strengthen private property rights, allow privatization of ejidos and end redistribution of land — and the articles restricting the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico were repealed.
Constitution Day is one of Mexico's annual Fiestas Patrias, commemorating the promulgation of the Constitution on 5 February 1917. Although the official anniversary is on 5 February, the holiday takes place on the first Monday of February regardless of the date; the constitution was founded on seven fundamental ideals: A declaration of rights Sovereignty of the nation Separation of powers Representative government A federal system Constitutional remedy Supremacy of the State over the Church The Constitution is divided into "Titles" which are series of articles related to the same overall theme. The Titles, of variable length, are: First Title: Chapter I: Of Human Rights and their Guarantees Chapter II: On Mexicans Chapter III, On Foreigners Chapter IV: On Mexican Citizens Second Title: Chapter I: On National Sovereignty and Form of Government Chapter II: On the Parts That Make Up the Federation and the National Territory Third Title: Chapter I: On the Separation of Powers Chapter II: On the Legislative Power Chapter III: On the Executive Power Chapter IV: On the Judicial Power Fourth Title: About the responsibilities of the public service and the patrimony of the State Fifth Title: About the States of the Federation and the Federal District Sixth Title: About Work and Social Welfare Seventh Title: General Provisions Eighth Title About Reforms to the Constitution Ninth Title: About the Inviolability of the Constitution The Political Constitution of the United Mexican States is one of the outcomes of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 won by the Constitutionalist faction led by Venustiano Carranza.
Carranza convoked a congress to draft the new constitution. Carranza excluded the zapatista factions from this congress, it replaced the liberal Constitution of 1857, extending that constitution's restrictions on the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico. Its innovations were in expanding the Mexican state's power into the realms of economic nationalism, political nationalism, protection of workers' rights. Unlike the congresses that produced the 1824 Mexican Constitution and the 1857 Constitution over a lengthy period, the Constituent Congress produced the final draft in a matter of a few months, between November 1916 and February 1917; the constitution was "a means to confer legitimacy on a shaky regime." One interpretation of the speed with which the document was drafted and Carranza's acceptance of some provisions that were radical "suggests that what Carranza and his colleagues chiefly wanted was a Constitution, the hypothetical contents of which could be reviewed and ignored." The Liberal Party of Mexico's 1906 political program proposed a number of reforms that were incorporated into the 1917 Constitution.
Article 123 incorporated its demands for the 8-hour day, minimum wage, hygienic working conditions, prohibitions on abuse of sharecroppers, payment of wages in cash, not scrip, banning of company stores, Sunday as an obligatory day of rest. Article 27 of the Constitution incorporated some of the PLM's d
In a modern sense, comedy refers to any discourse or work intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter in theatre, film, stand-up comedy, or any other medium of entertainment. The origins of the term are found in Ancient Greece. In the Athenian democracy, the public opinion of voters was influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the theaters; the theatrical genre of Greek comedy can be described as a dramatic performance which pits two groups or societies against each other in an amusing agon or conflict. Northrop Frye depicted these two opposing sides as a "Society of Youth" and a "Society of the Old." A revised view characterizes the essential agon of comedy as a struggle between a powerless youth and the societal conventions that pose obstacles to his hopes. In this struggle, the youth is understood to be constrained by his lack of social authority, is left with little choice but to take recourse in ruses which engender dramatic irony which provokes laughter.
Satire and political satire use comedy to portray persons or social institutions as ridiculous or corrupt, thus alienating their audience from the object of their humor. Parody subverts popular genres and forms, critiquing those forms without condemning them. Other forms of comedy include screwball comedy, which derives its humor from bizarre, surprising situations or characters, black comedy, characterized by a form of humor that includes darker aspects of human behavior or human nature. Scatological humor, sexual humor, race humor create comedy by violating social conventions or taboos in comic ways. A comedy of manners takes as its subject a particular part of society and uses humor to parody or satirize the behavior and mannerisms of its members. Romantic comedy is a popular genre that depicts burgeoning romance in humorous terms and focuses on the foibles of those who are falling in love; the word "comedy" is derived from the Classical Greek κωμῳδία kōmōidía, a compound either of κῶμος kômos or κώμη kṓmē and ᾠδή ōidḗ.
The adjective "comic", which means that which relates to comedy is, in modern usage confined to the sense of "laughter-provoking". Of this, the word came into modern usage through the Latin comoedia and Italian commedia and has, over time, passed through various shades of meaning; the Greeks and Romans confined their use of the word "comedy" to descriptions of stage-plays with happy endings. Aristotle defined comedy as an imitation of men worse than the average. However, the characters portrayed in comedies were not worse than average in every way, only insofar as they are Ridiculous, a species of the Ugly; the Ridiculous may be defined as a deformity not productive of pain or harm to others. In the Middle Ages, the term expanded to include narrative poems with happy endings, it is in this sense that Dante used the term in the title of La Commedia. As time progressed, the word came more and more to be associated with any sort of performance intended to cause laughter. During the Middle Ages, the term "comedy" became synonymous with satire, with humour in general.
Aristotle's Poetics was translated into Arabic in the medieval Islamic world, where it was elaborated upon by Arabic writers and Islamic philosophers, such as Abu Bischr, his pupils Al-Farabi and Averroes. They disassociated comedy from Greek dramatic representation and instead identified it with Arabic poetic themes and forms, such as hija, they viewed comedy as the "art of reprehension", made no reference to light and cheerful events, or to the troubling beginnings and happy endings associated with classical Greek comedy. After the Latin translations of the 12th century, the term "comedy" gained a more general meaning in medieval literature. In the late 20th century, many scholars preferred to use the term laughter to refer to the whole gamut of the comic, in order to avoid the use of ambiguous and problematically defined genres such as the grotesque and satire. Starting from 425 BCE, Aristophanes, a comic playwright and satirical author of the Ancient Greek Theater, wrote 40 comedies, 11 of which survive.
Aristophanes developed his type of comedy from the earlier satyr plays, which were highly obscene. The only surviving examples of the satyr plays are by Euripides, which are much examples and not representative of the genre. In ancient Greece, comedy originated in bawdy and ribald songs or recitations apropos of phallic processions and fertility festivals or gatherings. Around 335 BCE, Aristotle, in his work Poetics, stated that comedy originated in phallic processions and the light treatment of the otherwise base and ugly, he adds that the origins of comedy are obscure because it was not treated from its inception. However, comedy had its own Muse: Thalia. Aristotle taught that comedy was positive for society, since it brings forth happiness, which for Aristotle was the ideal state, the final goal in any activity. For Aristotle, a comedy did not need to involve sexual humor. A comedy is about the fortunate rise of a sympathetic character. Aristotle divides comedy into three categories or subgenres: farce, romantic comedy, satire.
On the contrary, Plato taught. He believed that it produces an emotion that overrides ra
Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are determined by competition in goods and services markets. Economists, political economists and historians have adopted different perspectives in their analyses of capitalism and have recognized various forms of it in practice; these include welfare capitalism and state capitalism. Different forms of capitalism feature varying degrees of free markets, public ownership, obstacles to free competition and state-sanctioned social policies; the degree of competition in markets, the role of intervention and regulation, the scope of state ownership vary across different models of capitalism.
The extent to which different markets are free as well as the rules defining private property are matters of politics and policy. Most existing capitalist economies are mixed economies, which combine elements of free markets with state intervention and in some cases economic planning. Market economies have existed under many forms of government and in many different times and cultures. Modern capitalist societies—marked by a universalization of money-based social relations, a large and system-wide class of workers who must work for wages, a capitalist class which owns the means of production—developed in Western Europe in a process that led to the Industrial Revolution. Capitalist systems with varying degrees of direct government intervention have since become dominant in the Western world and continue to spread. Over time, capitalist countries have experienced consistent economic growth and an increase in the standard of living. Critics of capitalism argue that it establishes power in the hands of a minority capitalist class that exists through the exploitation of the majority working class and their labor.
Supporters argue that it provides better products and innovation through competition, disperses wealth to all productive people, promotes pluralism and decentralization of power, creates strong economic growth, yields productivity and prosperity that benefit society. The term "capitalist", meaning an owner of capital, appears earlier than the term "capitalism" and it dates back to the mid-17th century. "Capitalism" is derived from capital, which evolved from capitale, a late Latin word based on caput, meaning "head"—also the origin of "chattel" and "cattle" in the sense of movable property. Capitale emerged in the 12th to 13th centuries in the sense of referring to funds, stock of merchandise, sum of money or money carrying interest. By 1283, it was used in the sense of the capital assets of a trading firm and it was interchanged with a number of other words—wealth, funds, assets, property and so on; the Hollandische Mercurius uses "capitalists" in 1654 to refer to owners of capital. In French, Étienne Clavier referred to capitalistes in 1788, six years before its first recorded English usage by Arthur Young in his work Travels in France.
In his Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, David Ricardo referred to "the capitalist" many times. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an English poet, used "capitalist" in his work Table Talk. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon used the term "capitalist" in his first work, What is Property?, to refer to the owners of capital. Benjamin Disraeli used the term "capitalist" in his 1845 work Sybil; the initial usage of the term "capitalism" in its modern sense has been attributed to Louis Blanc in 1850 and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1861. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels referred to the "capitalistic system" and to the "capitalist mode of production" in Capital; the use of the word "capitalism" in reference to an economic system appears twice in Volume I of Capital, p. 124 and in Theories of Surplus Value, tome II, p. 493. Marx did not extensively use the form capitalism, but instead those of capitalist and capitalist mode of production, which appear more than 2,600 times in the trilogy The Capital. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term "capitalism" first appeared in English in 1854 in the novel The Newcomes by novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, where he meant "having ownership of capital".
According to the OED, Carl Adolph Douai, a German American socialist and abolitionist, used the phrase "private capitalism" in 1863. Capitalism in its modern form can be traced to the emergence of agrarian capitalism and mercantilism in the early Renaissance, in city states like Florence. Capital has existed incipiently on a small scale for centuries in the form of merchant and lending activities and as small-scale industry with some wage labour. Simple commodity exchange and simple commodity production, which are the initial basis for the growth of capital from trade, have a long history. Classical Islam promulgated capitalist economic policies such as free banking, their use of Indo-Arabic
Alexander von Humboldt
Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt was a Prussian polymath, naturalist and influential proponent of Romantic philosophy and science. He was the younger brother of the Prussian minister and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt. Humboldt's quantitative work on botanical geography laid the foundation for the field of biogeography. Humboldt's advocacy of long-term systematic geophysical measurement laid the foundation for modern geomagnetic and meteorological monitoring. Between 1799 and 1804, Humboldt travelled extensively in the Americas and describing them for the first time from a modern scientific point of view, his description of the journey was written up and published in an enormous set of volumes over 21 years. Humboldt was one of the first people to propose that the lands bordering the Atlantic Ocean were once joined. Humboldt resurrected the use of the word cosmos from the ancient Greek and assigned it to his multivolume treatise, Kosmos, in which he sought to unify diverse branches of scientific knowledge and culture.
This important work motivated a holistic perception of the universe as one interacting entity. He was the first person to describe the phenomenon and cause of human-induced climate change, in 1800 and again in 1831, based on observations generated during his travels. Alexander von Humboldt was born in Berlin in Prussia on 14 September 1769, he was baptized with the Duke of Brunswick serving as godfather. Humboldt's father, Alexander Georg von Humboldt, belonged to a prominent Pomeranian family, although not one of the titled gentry, a major in the Prussian Army, who had served with the Duke of Brunswick. At age 42, Alexander Georg was rewarded for his services in the Seven Years' War with the post of royal chamberlain, he profited from the contract to lease state lotteries and tobacco sales. He first married the daughter of Prussian General Adjutant Schweder. In 1766, Alexander Georg married Maria Elisabeth Colomb, a well-educated woman and widow of Baron Hollwede, with whom she had a son. Alexander Georg and Maria Elisabeth had three children, a daughter, who died young, two sons and Alexander.
Her first-born son and Alexander's half-brother, was something of a ne'er do well, not mentioned in the family history. Alexander Georg died in 1779, leaving the brothers Humboldt in the care of their distant mother, she did have high ambitions for Alexander and his older brother Wilhelm, hiring excellent tutors, who were Enlightenment thinkers, including Kantian physician Marcus Herz and botanist Karl Ludwig Willdenow, who became one of the most important botanists in Germany. Humboldt's mother expected them to become civil servants of the Prussian state; the money Baron Holwede left to Alexander's mother became, after her death, instrumental in funding Alexander's explorations, contributing more than 70% of his private income. Due to his youthful penchant for collecting and labeling plants and insects, Alexander received the playful title of "the little apothecary". Marked for a political career, Alexander studied finance for six months in 1787 at the University of Frankfurt, which his mother might have chosen less for its academic excellence than its closeness to their home in Berlin.
On 25 April 1789, he matriculated at Göttingen known for the lectures of C. G. Heyne and anatomist J. F. Blumenbach, his brother Wilhelm was a student at Göttingen, but they did not interact much, since their intellectual interests were quite different. His vast and varied interests were by this time developed. At Gottingen, he met Georg Forster, a naturalist, with Captain James Cook on his second voyage. Humboldt traveled with Forster in Europe; the two traveled to England, Humboldt's first sea voyage, the Netherlands, France. In England, he met Sir Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society, who had traveled with Captain Cook; the scientific friendship between Banks and Humboldt lasted until Banks's death in 1820, the two shared botanical specimens for study. Banks mobilized his scientific contacts in years to aid Humboldt's work. Humboldt's scientific excursion up the Rhine resulted in his 1790 treatise Mineralogische Beobachtungen über einige Basalte am Rhein. Humboldt's passion for travel was of long standing.
Humboldt's talents were devoted to the purpose of preparing himself as a scientific explorer. With this emphasis, he studied commerce and foreign languages at Hamburg, geology at Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg in 1791 under A. G. Werner, leader of the Neptunist school of geology. C. Loder. X. von Zach and J. G. Köhler. At Freiberg, he met a number of men who were to prove important to him in his career, including Spaniard Manuel del Rio, who became director of the School of Mines the crown established in Mexico. During this period, his brother Wilhelm married. Humboldt graduated from the Freiberg School of Mines in 1792 and was appointed to a Prussian government position in the Department of Mines as an inspector in Bayreuth and the Fichtel mountains. Humboldt was excellent at his job, with production of gold ore in his first year outstripping the previous eight years. During his period as a mine inspector, Humbo