Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union; the official language is Hungarian, the most spoken Uralic language in the world, among the few non-Indo-European languages to be spoken in Europe. Hungary's capital and largest city is Budapest; the territory of modern Hungary was for centuries inhabited by a succession of peoples, including Celts, Germanic tribes, West Slavs and the Avars. The foundations of the Hungarian state were established in the late ninth century CE by the Hungarian grand prince Árpád following the conquest of the Carpathian Basin, his great-grandson Stephen I ascended the throne in 1000, converting his realm to a Christian kingdom. By the 12th century, Hungary became a regional power, reaching its cultural and political height in the 15th century.
Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Hungary was occupied by the Ottoman Empire. It came under Habsburg rule at the turn of the 18th century, joined Austria to form the Austro–Hungarian Empire, a major European power; the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed after World War I, the subsequent Treaty of Trianon established Hungary's current borders, resulting in the loss of 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, 32% of ethnic Hungarians. Following the tumultuous interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a socialist republic spanning four decades; the country gained widespread international attention as a result of its 1956 revolution and the seminal opening of its previously-restricted border with Austria in 1989, which accelerated the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. On 23 October 1989, Hungary became a democratic parliamentary republic.
Hungary is an OECD high-income economy and has the world's 58th largest economy by PPP. It ranks 45th on the Human Development Index, owing in large part to its social security system, universal health care, tuition-free secondary education. Hungary's rich cultural history includes significant contributions to the arts, literature, sports and technology, it is the 13th most popular tourist destination in Europe, attracting 15.8 million international tourists in 2017, owing to attractions such as the largest thermal water cave system in the world, second largest thermal lake, the largest lake in Central Europe and the largest natural grasslands in Europe. Hungary's cultural and academic prominence classify it as a middle power in global affairs. Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 and has been part of the Schengen Area since 2007, it is a member of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations, NATO, WTO, World Bank, the AIIB, the Council of Europe, the Visegrád Group.
The "H" in the name of Hungary is most due to early founded historical associations with the Huns, who had settled Hungary prior to the Avars. The rest of the word comes from the Latinized form of Byzantine Greek Oungroi. According to an explanation,the Greek name was borrowed from Old Bulgarian ągrinŭ, in turn borrowed from Oghur-Turkic Onogur. Onogur was the collective name for the tribes who joined the Bulgar tribal confederacy that ruled the eastern parts of Hungary after the Avars; the Hungarian endonym is Magyarország, composed of ország. The word magyar is taken from the name of one of the seven major semi-nomadic Hungarian tribes, magyeri; the first element magy is from Proto-Ugric *mäńć-'man, person' found in the name of the Mansi people. The second element eri,'man, lineage', survives in Hungarian férj'husband', is cognate with Mari erge'son', Finnish archaic yrkä'young man'; the Roman Empire conquered the territory west of the Danube between 35 and 9 BC. From 9 BC to the end of the 4th century, Pannonia was part of the Roman Empire, located within part of Hungary's territory.
Around AD 41–54, a 500-strong cavalry unit created the settlement of Aquincum and a Roman legion of 6,000 men was stationed here by AD 89. A civil city grew in the neighbourhood of the military settlement and in AD 106 Aquincum became the focal point of the commercial life of this area and the capital city of the province of Pannonia Inferior; this area now corresponds to the Óbuda district of Budapest, with the Roman ruins now forming part of the modern Aquincum museum. Came the Huns, a Central Asian tribe who built a powerful empire. After Hunnish rule, the Germanic Ostrogoths and Gepids, the Avar Khaganate, had a presence in the Carpathian Basin. In the 9th century, East Francia, the First Bulgarian Empire and Great Moravia ruled the territory of the Carpathian Basin; the freshly unified Hungarians led by Árpád, settled in the Carpathian Basin starting in 895. According to linguistic evidence, they originated from an ancient Uralic-speaking population that inhabited the forested area between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains.
As a federation of united tribes, Hungary was established in 895, some 50 years after the division of the Carolingian Empire at the Treaty of Verdun in 843, before the unification of the Anglo-Saxon king
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation, in the summer of 1944, by the Polish underground resistance, led by the Home Army, to liberate Warsaw from German occupation. The uprising was timed to coincide with the retreat of the German forces from Poland ahead of the Soviet advance. While approaching the eastern suburbs of the city, the Red Army temporarily halted combat operations, enabling the Germans to regroup and defeat the Polish resistance and to raze the city in reprisal; the Uprising was fought for 63 days with little outside support. It was the single largest military effort taken by any European resistance movement during World War II; the Uprising began on 1 August 1944 as part of a nationwide Operation Tempest, launched at the time of the Soviet Lublin–Brest Offensive. The main Polish objectives were to drive the Germans out of Warsaw while helping the Allies defeat Germany. An additional, political goal of the Polish Underground State was to liberate Poland's capital and assert Polish sovereignty before the Soviet-backed Polish Committee of National Liberation could assume control.
Other immediate causes included a threat of mass German round-ups of able-bodied Poles for "evacuation". The Poles established control over most of central Warsaw, but the Soviets ignored Polish attempts to make radio contact with them and did not advance beyond the city limits. Intense street fighting between the Germans and Poles continued. By 14 September, the eastern bank of the Vistula River opposite the Polish resistance positions was taken over by the Polish troops fighting under the Soviet command. This, the lack of air support from the Soviet air base five-minutes flying time away, led to allegations that Joseph Stalin tactically halted his forces to let the operation fail and allow the Polish resistance to be crushed. Arthur Koestler called the Soviet attitude "one of the major infamies of this war which will rank for the future historian on the same ethical level with Lidice."Winston Churchill pleaded with Stalin and Franklin D. Roosevelt to help Britain's Polish allies, to no avail.
Without Soviet air clearance, Churchill sent over 200 low-level supply drops by the Royal Air Force, the South African Air Force, the Polish Air Force under British High Command, in an operation known as the Warsaw Airlift. After gaining Soviet air clearance, the U. S. Army Air Force sent one high-level mass airdrop as part of Operation Frantic. Although the exact number of casualties is unknown, it is estimated that about 16,000 members of the Polish resistance were killed and about 6,000 badly wounded. In addition, between 150,000 and 200,000 Polish civilians died from mass executions. Jews being harboured by Poles were exposed by German house-to-house clearances and mass evictions of entire neighbourhoods. German casualties totalled over 2,000 soldiers killed and missing. During the urban combat 25% of Warsaw's buildings were destroyed. Following the surrender of Polish forces, German troops systematically levelled another 35% of the city block by block. Together with earlier damage suffered in the 1939 invasion of Poland and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943, over 85% of the city was destroyed by January 1945 when the course of the events in the Eastern Front forced the Germans to abandon the city.
In 1944, Poland had been occupied by Nazi Germany for five years. The Polish Home Army planned some form of rebellion against German forces. Germany was fighting a coalition of Allied powers, led by the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States; the initial plan of the Home Army was to link up with the invading forces of the Western Allies as they liberated Europe from the Nazis. However, when the Soviet Army began its offensive in 1943, it became clear that Poland would be liberated by it instead of the Western Allies. In this country, we have one point; that point is Warsaw. If we didn't have Warsaw in the General Government, we wouldn't have four-fifths of the difficulties with which we must contend. — German Governor-General Hans Frank, Kraków, 14 December 1943 The Soviets and the Poles had a common enemy—Germany—but were working towards different post-war goals: the Home Army desired a pro-Western, capitalist Poland, but the Soviet leader Stalin intended to establish a pro-Soviet, socialist Poland.
It became obvious that the advancing Soviet Red Army might not come to Poland as an ally but rather only as "the ally of an ally". The Soviets and the Poles distrusted each other and Soviet partisans in Poland clashed with a Polish resistance united under the Home Army's front. Stalin broke off Polish-Soviet relations on 25 April 1943 after the Germans revealed the Katyn massacre of Polish army officers, Stalin refused to admit to ordering the killings and denounced the claims as German propaganda. Afterwards, Stalin created the Rudenko Commission, whose goal was to blame the Germans for the war crime at all costs; the Western alliance accepted Stalin's words as truth in order to keep the Anti-Nazi alliance intact. On 26 October, the Polish government-in-exile issued instructions to the effect that, if diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union were not resumed before the Soviet entry into Poland, Home Army forces were to remain underground pending further decisions. However, the Home Army commander, Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, took a different approach, on 20 November, he outlined his own plan, which became known as Operation Tempest.
On the ap
Italian resistance movement
The Italian resistance movement is an umbrella term for Italian resistance groups during World War II. It was opposed to the forces of Nazi Germany as well as their puppet state local regime, the Italian Social Republic following the German military occupation of Italy between September 1943 and April 1945, though the resistance to the Fascist Italian government began prior to World War II; the movement that rose among Italians of various social classes is known as the Italian resistance and the Italian partisans, the brutal conflict they took part in is referred to as the Italian Liberation War or as the Italian Civil War. The modern Italian Republic was declared to be founded on the struggle of the Resistance. Armed resistance to the German occupation following the armistice between Italy and Allied armed forces of 3 September 1943 began with Italian regular forces: the Italian Armed Forces and the Carabinieri military police; the period's best-known battle broke out in Rome the day the armistice was announced.
Regio Esercito units such as the Sassari Division, the Granatieri di Sardegna, the Piave Division, the Ariete II Division, the Centauro Division, the Piacenza Division and the "Lupi di Toscana" Division were deployed around the city and along surrounding roads. Outnumbered German Fallschirmjäger and Panzergrenadiere were repelled and endured losses, but gained the upper hand, aided by their experience and superior Panzer component; the defenders were hampered by the escape of King Victor Emmanuel III, Marshal Pietro Badoglio and their staff to Brindisi, which left the generals in charge of the city without a coordinated defence plan. This caused Allied support to be canceled at the last minute, since the Fallschirmjäger took the U. S. 82nd Airborne Division drop zones. The Italian Centauro II Division's absence from the battle contributed to the German defeat given its German-made tanks, it was composed of ex-Blackshirts and was not trusted. By 10 September, the Germans had penetrated downtown Rome and the Granatieri made their last stand at Porta San Paolo.
At 4 pm, General Giorgio Carlo Calvi di Bergolo signed the order of surrender. Although some officers participating in the battle joined the resistance, the clash was not motivated by anti-German sentiment but by the necessity to defend the Italian capital and resist the Italian soldiers' disarmament. Generals Raffaele Cadorna, Jr. and Giuseppe Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo joined the underground. One of the most important episodes of resistance by Italian armed forces after the armistice was the battle of Piombino, Tuscany. On 10 September 1943, during Operation Achse, a small German flotilla, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Karl-Wolf Albrand, tried to enter the harbour of Piombino but was denied access by the port authorities. General Cesare Maria De Vecchi, in command of the Italian coastal forces, commanded the port authorities to allow the German flotilla to enter, against the advice of Commander Amedeo Capuano, the Naval commander of the harbour. Once they entered and landed, the German forces showed a hostile behaviour, it became clear that their intent was to occupy the town.
This however did not stop the protests. Battle broke out at 21:15 on 10 September, between the German landing forces and the Italian coastal batteries and civilian population. Italian tanks sank the German torpedo boat TA11. Sauro and Carbet were scuttled; the German attack was repelled. Italian casualties had been a dozen wounded. In the morning, however, De Vecchi ordered the prisoners to be released, had their weapons given back to them. New popular protests broke out, as the Italian units were disbanded and the senior commanders fled from the city. Many of the sailors and citizens who had fough
A ghetto is a part of a city in which members of a minority group live as a result of social, legal, or economic pressure. The term was used in Venice to describe the part of the city to which Jews were restricted and segregated. However, early societies may have formed their own versions of the same structure. Ghettos in many cities have been nicknamed "the hood", colloquial slang for neighborhood. Versions of ghettos appear across the world, each with their own names and groupings of people; the word "ghetto" comes from the Jewish area of Venice, the Venetian Ghetto in Cannaregio, traced to a special use of Venetian ghèto, or "foundry". By 1899 the term had been extended to crowded urban quarters of other minority groups; the etymology of the word is uncertain, as there is no agreement among etymologists about the origins of the Venetian language term. According to various theories it comes: from the above-mentioned Venetian ghèto. Another possibility is from the Italian Egitto in memory of the exile of the Israelites in Egypt.
A Jewish quarter is the area of a city traditionally inhabited by Jews in the diaspora. Jewish quarters, like the Jewish ghettos in Europe, were the outgrowths of segregated ghettos instituted by the surrounding authorities. A Yiddish term for a Jewish quarter or neighborhood is Di yiddishe gas, or "The Jewish street". Many European and Middle Eastern cities once had a historical Jewish quarter. Jewish ghettos in Europe existed; as a result, Jews were placed under strict regulations throughout many European cities. The character of ghettos has varied through times. In some cases, the ghetto was a Jewish quarter with a affluent population. In other cases, ghettos were places of terrible poverty and during periods of population growth, ghettos had narrow streets and tall, crowded houses. Residents had their own justice system. During World War II, ghettos were established by the Nazis to confine Jews and Romani people into packed areas of the cities of Eastern Europe; the Nazis most referred to these areas in documents and signage at their entrances as "Jewish quarter".
These Nazi ghettos sometimes coincided with traditional Jewish ghettos and Jewish quarters, but not always. On June 21, 1943, Heinrich Himmler issued a decree ordering the dissolution of all ghettos in the East and their transformation into Nazi concentration camps. A mellah is a walled Jewish quarter of a city in an analogue of the European ghetto. Jewish populations were confined to mellahs in Morocco beginning from the 15th century and since the early 19th century. In cities, a mellah was surrounded by a wall with a fortified gateway; the Jewish quarter was situated near the royal palace or the residence of the governor in order to protect its inhabitants from recurring riots. In contrast, rural mellahs were separate villages inhabited by the Jews; the Shanghai Ghetto was an area of one square mile in the Hongkou District of Japanese-occupied Shanghai to which about 20,000 Jewish refugees were relocated by the Japanese-issued Proclamation Concerning Restriction of Residence and Business of Stateless Refugees after having fled from German-occupied Europe before and during World War II.
The development of ghettos in the United States is associated with different waves of immigration and internal urban migration. The Irish and German immigrants of the mid-19th century were the first ethnic groups to form ethnic enclaves in United States cities; this was followed by large numbers of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, including many Italians and Poles between 1880 and 1920. These European immigrants were more segregated than blacks in the early twentieth century. Most of these remained in their established immigrant communities, but by the second or third generation, many families were able to relocate to better housing in the suburbs after World War II; these ethnic ghetto areas included the Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York, which became notable as predominantly Jewish, East Harlem, which became home to a large Puerto Rican community in the 1950s. Little Italys across the country were predominantly Italian ghettos. Many Polish immigrants moved to sections like Polish Hill of Pittsburgh.
Brighton Beach in Brooklyn is the home of Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. During the Great Depression, many people would congregate in large open parking lots, they built shelters out of whatever materials they could find at the time. These congregations of shelters were called "ghettos". A used definition of a ghetto is a community distinguished by a homogeneous race or ethnicity. Additionally, a key feature that developed throughout the postindustrial era and continues to symbolize the demographics of American ghettos is the prevalence of poverty. Poverty constitutes the separation of ghettos from suburbanized or private neighborhoods; the high percentage of poverty justifies the difficulty of out-migration, which tends to reproduce constraining social opportunit
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global conflict fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa and the Philippines; the conflict split Europe into two coalitions, led by the Kingdom of Great Britain on one side and the Kingdom of France, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, the Swedish Empire on the other. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal; the war's extent has led some historians to describe it as World War Zero, similar in scale to other world wars. Although Anglo-French skirmishes over their American colonies had begun with what became the French and Indian War in 1754, the large-scale conflict that drew in most of the European powers was centered on Austria's desire to recover Silesia from the Prussians. Seeing the opportunity to curtail Britain's and Prussia's ever-growing might and Austria put aside their ancient rivalry to form a grand coalition of their own, bringing most of the other European powers to their side.
Faced with this sudden turn of events, Britain aligned itself with Prussia, in a series of political manoeuvres known as the Diplomatic Revolution. However, French efforts ended in failure when the Anglo-Prussian coalition prevailed, Britain's rise as among the world's predominant powers destroyed France's supremacy in Europe, thus altering the European balance of power. Conflict between Great Britain and France broke out in 1754–1756 when the British attacked disputed French positions in North America. Hostilities were heightened when a British unit led by a 22 year old Lt. Colonel George Washington ambushed a small French force at the Battle of Jumonville Glen on 28 May 1754; the conflict exploded across the colonial boundaries and extended to the seizure of hundreds of French merchant ships at sea. Meanwhile, rising power Prussia was struggling with Austria for dominance within and outside the Holy Roman Empire in central Europe. In 1756, the major powers "switched partners". Realising that war was imminent, Prussia pre-emptively struck Saxony and overran it.
The result caused uproar across Europe. Because of Austria's alliance with France to recapture Silesia, lost in the War of the Austrian Succession, Prussia formed an alliance with Britain. Reluctantly, by following the imperial diet, which declared war on Prussia on 17 January 1757, most of the states of the empire joined Austria's cause; the Anglo-Prussian alliance was joined by smaller German states. Sweden, seeking to regain Pomerania joined the coalition, seeing its chance when all the major powers of Europe opposed Prussia. Spain, bound by the Pacte de Famille, intervened on behalf of France and together they launched an utterly unsuccessful invasion of Portugal in 1762; the Russian Empire was aligned with Austria, fearing Prussia's ambition on the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, but switched sides upon the succession of Tsar Peter III in 1762. Many middle and small powers in Europe, as in the previous wars, tried to steer clear away from the escalating conflict though they had interests in the conflict or with the belligerents.
Denmark–Norway, for instance, was close to being dragged into the war on France's side when Peter III became Russian emperor and switched sides. The Dutch Republic, a long-time British ally, kept its neutrality intact, fearing the odds against Britain and Prussia fighting the great powers of Europe, tried to prevent Britain's domination in India. Naples-Sicily, Savoy, although sided with the Franco-Spanish alliance, declined to join the coalition under fear of British naval power; the taxation needed for war caused the Russian people considerable hardship, being added to the taxation of salt and alcohol begun by Empress Elizabeth in 1759 to complete her addition to the Winter Palace. Like Sweden, Russia concluded a separate peace with Prussia; the war ended with the Treaty of Paris between France and Great Britain and the Treaty of Hubertusburg between Saxony and Prussia, in 1763. The war was successful for Great Britain, which gained the bulk of New France in North America, Spanish Florida, some individual Caribbean islands in the West Indies, the colony of Senegal on the West African coast, superiority over the French trading outposts on the Indian subcontinent.
The Native American tribes were excluded from the settlement. In Europe, the war began disastrously for Prussia, but with a combination of good luck and successful strategy, King Frederick the Great managed to retrieve the Prussian position and retain the status quo ante bellum. Prussia emerged as a new European great power. Although Austria failed to retrieve the territory of Silesia from Prussia, its military prowess was noted by the other powers; the involvement of Portugal and Sweden did not return them to their former status as great powers. France was deprived of many of it
The Home Army was the dominant Polish resistance movement in Poland, occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, during World War II. The Home Army was formed in February 1942 from the Związek Walki Zbrojnej; some authors stress the continuity using acronym ZWZ/AK. Over the next two years, it absorbed most other Polish underground forces, its allegiance was to the Polish government-in-exile, it constituted the armed wing of what became known as the "Polish Underground State". Estimates of the Home Army's 1944 strength range between 200,000 and 600,000, the most cited number being 400,000; this last number would make the Home Army not only the largest Polish underground resistance movement but one of the three largest in Europe during World War II. The Home Army was disbanded on 19 January 1945, after the Soviet Red Army had cleared Polish territory of German forces; the Home Army sabotaged German operations such as transports headed for the Eastern Front in the Soviet Union. It fought several full-scale battles against the Germans in 1943 and in Operation Tempest in 1944.
The Home Army, destroyed much-needed German supplies. The most known Home Army operation was the 1944 Warsaw Uprising; the partisans defended Polish civilians against atrocities perpetrated by other military formations. Because the Home Army was loyal to the Polish Government-in-Exile, the Soviet Union saw it as an obstacle to Communism in Poland. Over the course of the war, conflict grew between the Home Army and Soviet forces. During the Soviet occupation of Poland thousands of former Home Army soldiers were arrested and deported to Soviet Gulags and prisons, while some were executed, including notable military leaders Leopold Okulicki and Emil August Fieldorf; the Home Army originated in the Service for Poland's Victory, which General Michał Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski set up on 27 September 1939, just as the coordinated German and Soviet invasions of Poland neared completion. Seven weeks on 17 November 1939, on the orders of General Władysław Sikorski, the Service for Poland's Victory was superseded by the Armed Resistance, which in turn, a little over two years on 14 February 1942, became the "Home Army".
All the while, many other resistance organizations remained active in Poland. Most of them merged with the Armed Resistance or with its successor, the Home Army, between 1939 and 1944 augmenting the Home Army's numbers; the Polish government-in-exile envisioned the Home Army as an apolitical, nationwide resistance organization. The supreme command defined the Home Army's chief tasks as partisan warfare against the German occupiers, re-creation of armed forces underground and, near the end of the German occupation, a general armed rising to be prosecuted until victory. Home Army plans envisioned, at war's end, the seizure of power in Poland by the Government Delegation for Poland and by the Government in Exile itself, which expected to return to Poland. In addition to the Polish government in London, a political organization operated in Poland itself - a deliberative body of the resistance and of the Polish Underground State; the Political Consultative Committee formed in 1940 pursuant to an agreement between several major political parties: the Socialist Party, People's Party, National Party and Labor Party.
In 1943 it was renamed to Home Political Representation and in 1944 to Council of National Unity.:235-236The Home Army, though in theory subordinate to the civil authorities and to the Government in Exile acted somewhat independently, with neither the Home Army's commanders in Poland nor the "London government" aware of the others' situation.:235-236After Germany started its invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, the Soviet Union joined the Allies and signed an Anglo-Soviet Agreement on 12 July 1941. This put the Polish Government in a difficult position, since it had pursued a policy of "two enemies". Though a Polish-Soviet agreement was signed in August 1941, cooperation continued to be difficult and deteriorated further after 1943 when Nazi Germany publicized the Katyn massacre of 1940; until the major rising in 1944, the Home Army concentrated on self-defense and on attacks against German forces. Home Army units carried out thousands of armed raids and intelligence operations, sabotaged hundreds of railway shipments, participated in many partisan clashes and battles with German police and Wehrmacht units.
The Home Army assassinated prominent Nazi collaborators and Gestapo officials in retaliation against Nazi terror inflicted on Poland's civilian population. The Home Army supplied valuable intelligence to the Allies; until 1942 most British intelligence on Germany came from Home Army reports. Until the end of the war, the Home Army remained Britain's main source of news from Central and Eastern Europe. Home Army intelligence provided the Allies with information on German concentration camps and on the V-1 flying bomb and V-2 rocket. In one Project Big Ben mission, a stripped-for-lightness RAF twin-engine Dakota flew from Brindisi in Italy to an aband
Jesse Woodson James was an American outlaw and train robber and leader of the James–Younger Gang. Raised in the "Little Dixie" area of western Missouri and his family maintained strong Southern sympathies, he and his brother Frank James joined pro-Confederate guerrillas known as "bushwhackers" operating in Missouri and Kansas during the American Civil War. As followers of William Quantrill and "Bloody Bill" Anderson, they were accused of participating in atrocities against Union soldiers and civilian abolitionists, including the Centralia Massacre in 1864. After the war, as members of various gangs of outlaws and Frank robbed banks and trains across the Midwest, gaining national fame and popular sympathy despite the brutality of their crimes; the James brothers were most active as members of their own gang from about 1866 until 1876, when as a result of their attempted robbery of a bank in Northfield, several members of the gang were captured or killed. They continued in crime for several years afterward, recruiting new members, but came under increasing pressure from law enforcement seeking to bring them to justice.
On April 3, 1882, Jesse James was shot and killed by Robert Ford, a new recruit to the gang who hoped to collect a reward on James' head and a promised amnesty for his previous crimes. A celebrity in life, James became a legendary figure of the Wild West after his death. Despite popular portrayals of James as an embodiment of Robin Hood, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, there is no evidence that he and his gang shared any loot from their robberies with anyone outside their close kinship network. Scholars and historians have characterized James as one of many criminals inspired by the regional insurgencies of ex-Confederates following the Civil War, rather than as a manifestation of alleged economic justice or of frontier lawlessness. James continues to be one of the most iconic figures from the era, his life has been dramatized and memorialized numerous times. Jesse Woodson James was born on September 5, 1847 in Clay County, near the site of present-day Kearney; this area of Missouri was settled by people from the Upper South Kentucky and Tennessee, became known as Little Dixie for this reason.
James had two full siblings: his elder brother, Alexander Franklin "Frank" James, a younger sister, Susan Lavenia James. His father, Robert S. James, farmed commercial hemp in Kentucky and was a Baptist minister before coming to Missouri. After he married, he migrated to Bradford and helped found William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, he held more than 100 acres of farmland. Robert traveled to California during the Gold Rush to minister to those searching for gold. After Robert's death, his widow Zerelda remarried twice, first to Benjamin Simms in 1852 and in 1855 to Dr. Reuben Samuel, who moved into the James family home. Jesse's mother and Samuel had four children together: Sarah Louisa, John Thomas, Fannie Quantrell, Archie Peyton Samuel. Zerelda and Samuel acquired a total of seven slaves, who served as farmhands in tobacco cultivation; the approach of the American Civil War loomed large in the James–Samuel household. Missouri was a border state, sharing characteristics of both North and South, but 75% of the population was from the South or other border states.
Clay County in particular was influenced by the Southern culture of its rural pioneer families. Farmers raised the same crops and livestock as in the areas, they purchased more according to their needs. The county counted more slaves than most other regions of the state. Aside from slavery, the culture of Little Dixie was Southern in other ways as well; this influenced how the population acted for a period of time after the war. After the passage of the Kansas–Nebraska Act in 1854, Clay County became the scene of great turmoil, as the question of whether slavery would be expanded into the neighboring Kansas Territory bred tension and hostility. Many people from Missouri migrated to Kansas to try to influence its future. Much of the dramatic build-up to the Civil War centered on the violence that erupted on the Kansas–Missouri border between pro- and anti-slavery militias. After a series of campaigns and battles between conventional armies in 1861, guerrilla warfare gripped Missouri, waged between secessionist "bushwhackers" and Union forces which consisted of local militias known as "jayhawkers".
A bitter conflict ensued. Confederate guerrillas murdered civilian Unionists, executed prisoners, scalped the dead; the Union presence enforced martial law with raids on homes, arrests of civilians, summary executions, banishment of Confederate sympathizers from the state. The James–Samuel family sided with the Confederates at the outbreak of war. Frank James joined a local company recruited for the secessionist Drew Lobbs Army, fought at the Battle of Wilson's Creek in August 1861, he returned home soon afterward. In 1863, he was identified as a member of a guerrilla squad. In May of that year, a Union militia company raided the James–Samuel farm looking for Frank's group, they tortured Reuben Samuel by hanging him from a tree. According to legend, they lashed young Jesse. Frank James eluded capture and was believed to have joined the guerrilla organization led by William C. Quantrill known as Quantrill's