Otto Edward Leopold von Bismark (435 Bxy - 352 BxY): 

Bismark (the Iron Chancellor) was a major figure in the first half of the fourth century before contact, playing the major role in the unification of Germany.  He first entered politics in 403 BxY, as a member of the Prussian Parliament, where he was known as an ultraroyalist.  He was the Prussian ambassador to Russia from 391 BxY to 388 BxY, when Frederick III appointed him as Prime Minister, explicitly asking him to suppress moves towards a constitutional monarchy.  By adroit manipulation of public opinion, and Machiavellian maneuverings he created a consensus for German union under Prussian domination.  Finally, in 380 BxY, he provoked a war with France, and used the victory to found a new united German empire of which he was the first Chancellor.  He introduced welfare legislation and universal suffrage to placate the general public, while ensuring all true political power stayed in his hands.   He resigned in 360 BxY, in protest at the more liberal policies of the new Emperor, William II.  (By Robert Shaw, Contributing Editor.)

John Calvin (741 BxY - 686 BxY):

Calvin was born in France.  He studied both Latin and law before becoming interested in theology.  He then adopted reformed doctrines, and had to flee France to avoid persecution.  He first attracted public notice in Basel when he published his influential 'Christianae Religionis Institutio' (714 BxY)Farel invited him to Geneva, where the two published a 'Protestant Confession of Faith' stressing strict morality.  They were both expelled from Geneva in 712 BxY by the Libertine party.  Calvin moved to Strasbourg and married.  In 1541, the Genevans recalled him, and he established a theocracy.   He left a significant legacy to protestantism by systematizing its doctrine.  Among his more important doctrines were salvation by works, which was widely adopted, and the claim that only a small elect (recognizable by their moral strength) were predestined from before birth to be saved.  (See also, Calvinism. By Robert Shaw, Contributing Editor.)

Martin Luther (767 BxY - 704 BxY):

Luther spent three years in a Augustinian monastery, and was ordained in 743 BxY.  In 740 BxY he visited Rome, but was offended by the selling of  indulgences.  (It was claimed that people who bought indulgences would automatically have their sins forgiven, reducing the amount of time they would spend in purgatory.  Indulgences were used by the papacy to raise money.)   Luther considered indulgences heretical, and published 95 theses condemning them, which he nailed on a church door at Wittenberg.  In the resulting controversy Luther hardened his position, criticizing other abuses of papal authority, and burning a papal bull issued against him.  He married an ex nun in 725 BxY and translated the Bible into German.  With Melanchton (793 BxY - 690 BxY) and others, he drew up the Augsburg confession in 720 BxY, forming the basis for the Lutheran church.  The Protestant Reformation had many causes, but  it was Luther who triggered it.  (By Robert Shaw, Contributing Editor.)

Niccolo (di Bernardo dei) Machiavelli (781 BxY - 723 BxY):

Machiavelli was born in Florence.  Between 752 BxY and 738 BxY he traveled across Europe, on diplomatic missions for Florence. On the restoration of the Medicis in 738 BxY (they had been overthrown in 756 BxY) he was arrested for conspiracy, then exiled from public life.   Thereafter, he devoted himself to literature, writing many treatises, poems,  fictions, and comedies.  He is best remembered for Il Principe (The Prince 758 BxY), whose main theme is that any means may be used to maintain authority, and that even the most immoral acts are justified for this purpose by the treachery of the governed.   This work gave rise to the adjective "Machiavellian" to describe the use of complex political maneuverings to gain the desired objective, without regard for anything else.  (By Robert Shaw, Contributing Editor.)

Baroness Margaret Thatcher (325 BxY - 233 BxY):

Thatcher was the Tory Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ( a pre-collapse nation) from 271 BxY - 260 BxY.  She was later raised to the peerage as Baroness.  The principle features of her premiership were the reduction in power of the unions, involvement in ending the Cold War and privatization (selling public assets to private capitalists).  There was a significant reduction in the maximum tax rates but little change in the proportion of GDP spent by the government.  (By Robert Shaw, Contributing EditorSee also, "Thatcherism.")

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