Why Sam Houston was considered one of the most colourful figures in Texas history?

         Sam Houston was one of the most colourful and controversial figures in Texas history. He spent much of his youth, in the mountains of Tennessee where he became acquainted with the Cherokee Indians, with whom he spent a lot of his time.

          With the outbreak of the second war with England, Houston enlisted as a private soldier, and was made sergeant of a company. He excelled in the military, and quickly won the admiration of his men and his superiors.

          Houston dabbled in law and politics, and was elected delegate from Nacogdoches to the Convention of 1833 which met at San Felipe. From that time onwards, Houston emerged as a prominent player in the affairs of Texas. Later, Houston was elected commander-in-chief of the armies of Texas, and immediately took control of the Texas forces. On April 21st, 1836, his forces managed to secure long sought independence for Texas.

          In the fall of that year, Houston was elected the first President of the Republic of Texas. After Texas became a state in 1845, Houston was elected Senator from Texas to the Congress of the United States- and then, in 1859, Houston was elected to serve as Governor of the State of Texas. Houston died at his home in Huntsville on July 26th, 1863. The city of Houston, Texas, was named after him. 


Why was Winfield Scott known as ‘Old Fuss and Feathers’?

                Winfield Scott is generally considered the greatest American general in the time between George Washington and Robert E. Lee. He was the Mexican War supreme commander of the U.S. army, and led the southern expedition in a successful military campaign from Vera Cruz to Mexico City. Though he was wounded several times, the 6-foot 5-inch, 230-pound officer showed such judgment and courage that he was promoted to brigadier general, and won several other honours too.

                    Winfield Scott became a soldier at a time when the U.S. Army was very ineffective. By   hard work, he made himself the best military man in the country. Moreover, he was a negotiator who avoided war on several occasions.

                      In 1852, the Whig presidential nomination went to Scott, but he was defeated easily. Three years later, the US Congress recognized his accomplishments by naming him a lieutenant general. He was known as Old Fuss and Feathers because of his attention to detail, and love for gaudy uniforms.


Why is Carl von Clausewitz known as a philosopher of war?

           Carl Von Clausewitz was a Prussian soldier and German military theorist who stressed the moral and political aspects of war. He entered the Prussian army in 1792. Clausewitz became one of the leaders of Prussian army reform, but later resigned from the Prussian army and entered Russian service.

            Clausewitz distinguished himself as a Russian staff officer. After several successful campaigns, he returned to Prussian service, and served as chief of staff of an army corps during the Waterloo campaign. In 1818, he became a general and was appointed administrative head of the War College.

             During the next 12 years, Clausewitz used much of the leisure that this position provided in writing his historical studies and his major work on strategy, ‘On War’. It is on this that his fame rests. He left his imprint on German military thought, and became known as a ‘philosopher of war’.  

Why were Napoleon Bonaparte’s military achievements remarkable?

             Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the world’s greatest military leaders, and Emperor of France. He was a complex man, who at the start of his career was constructive, and took France to new heights of power, but by the end, had brought her years of war and destruction.

             In 1796, Napoleon was made commander of the French army in Italy, where he forced Austria and its allies to come to the negotiating table. Two years later, he conquered Ottoman-ruled Egypt. In1799, Napoleon became first Consul when the existing government in France was overthrown. In 1803, Britain resumed war with France, later joined by Russia and Austria. Britain inflicted a naval defeat on the French, so Napoleon abandoned plans to invade England. However, he continued his conquests that gave him control of Europe.


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Why is Horatio Nelson a national hero in Britain?

               Horatio Nelson was a British naval commander and national hero, famous for his naval victories against the French during the Napoleonic Wars. When Britain entered the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793, Nelson was given command of the Agamemnon. He served in the Mediterranean, helped capture Corsica, and saw battle at Calvi, where he lost the sight in his right eye. He would later lose his right arm at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1797.

               Nelson led his fleet to many victories against the Spanish off Cape Vincent in 1797. At the Battle of Copenhagen, four years later, he ignored orders to cease action by putting his telescope to his blind eye and claiming he couldn’t see the signal to withdraw! Nelson’s most famous engagement was at Cape Trafalgar, where he saved Britain from the threat of invasion by Napoleon. He was killed by a French sniper a few hours later, while leading the attack. Is it any wonder that he is considered one of the world’s greatest naval leaders?