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By the beginning of the 20th century, the world had entered the period of

imperialism. Britain’s dominance was challenged by other European nations and the

United States, for they had also been industrialized and each were eager to

protect their own markets and expand their influence. The power balance in Europe

had undergone enormous changes. A conflict of interests and colonial rivalry

divided Europe into two camps: the Central Powers included Germany, Austria-

Hungary, later joined by the Ottoman Empire1 and Bulgaria; the Allied Powers were

mainly comprised of France, the Russian Empire, the British Empire, Italy and the

United States. The conflict plunged the whole world into two devastating wars in

the first half of the 20th century.

The immediate cause of World War I lay in the conflict on the Balkan Peninsula. On

June 28, 1914, the Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand was assassinated by a young

Yugoslav (^3$ fl£^cA) in Sarajevo – Austria blamed Serbia for the assassination and

was determined to seek revenge. Both sides looked for support from their

respective allies, Germany and Russia. This led to a showdown between the two

camps and World War I broke out between the Central Powers and the Allied Powers.

Ultimately, more than 32 countries were involved, 28 of which supported the Allied

Powers. The war ended with the victory for the Allies.

The cost of the war was great. Britain was drained of its manpower. Nearly one

million British men died and over two million were wounded. 70% of the merchant

ships were sunk or damaged. As a result, Britain lost the sea supremacy. Though

victorious, Britain came out of the war with a huge national debt, ten times

larger than that of the pre-war years. Business was slack (Uplift), many factories

were closed down and taxes soared.

The Great Depression2 from 1929 to 1933 brought additional problems to the British

economy and society. Britain’s position in the capitalist world was further

weakened. With the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany, a new world war was


World War II was for all intents and purposes a continuation of World War I.

According to the Treaty of Versailles1, Germany was required to relinquish all its

colonies and permanently disarm. In addition, Germany was blamed for starting the

war and was compelled to pay a vast sum in reparations. The Great Depression made

things worse and led to the rise of fascism. Adolph Hitler aroused strong

nationalism and racism in Germany, embarking (JF$ =0 on an ambitious plan to

conquer Europe.

Reluctant to fight another war, the British government, led by Neville

Chamberlain, followed a policy of appeasement. However, Hitler invaded Poland on

September 1,1939. Britain and France were forced to declare war on Germany on

September 3,1939. The next year Chamberlain resigned and Winston Churchill became

Prime Minister.

Germany invaded France and forced it to surrender in June 1940. Italy also entered

the war on the side of Germany. Britain was in a very dangerous position.

In 1941 the pressure was somewhat alleviated for England when Germany attacked the

Soviet Union, and Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor. These acts of

aggression propelled the latter two countries into an alliance with Britain. With

the unified efforts of Anti-Nazi forces, Germany surrendered unconditionally on

May 7, 1945, one week after Hitler committed suicide.

Britain won the war, but at great costs. Around 357,000 people were killed and

500,000 were wounded or missing. The navy was 30 % smaller than before the war and

Britain lost its naval supremacy forever to the United States. In addition, the

country had exhausted its reserves of gold, dollars and overseas investment, and

was deeply in debt to the United States.

Engelbreit’s the name, cute is my game
May 7th, 2010 by Stephy

Mary Engelbreit was a talented but struggling artist in her mid-twenties when she

flew to New York from her native Saint Louis, hoping to find work illustrating

children’s books her life’s goal. So she was disappointed when all the book

publishers she visited turned her down. One even suggested her drawings might be

better suited to greeting cards.

“I was crushed, ” Engelbreit admits. Greeting cards seemed a come-down from her

high expectations but the advice stayed with her, and she decided to give it a

try. The results transformed her life forever.

3 Today Mary Engelbreit sells an astonishing 14 million greeting cards a year. Her

popular designs appear on more than 2,000 products, including books, calendars,

and kitchen items. She runs a retail company with shops in nine cities (16 more

are planned), and her products are carrida by 25,000 retailers. Annual retail

sales are in the 0 million range — all as a result of that fateful,

disappointing trip to New York. It’s probably no accident that one of Engelbreit’s

bolder cards shows a young girl in overalls, her bare feet up on a desk, a farm

field in the window behind her. “We Don’t Care’How They Do It in

New York, ” the card boasts.

4 Once you know Engelbreit’s distinctive style, you can recognize her cards from

20 paces away — bright, funny, and with an eye to the past. Her cards usually

have elaborate border designs comprised of repeated images: hearts, flowers,

peaches, and teapots, for example. Most often, there’s Ann Estelle, a woman with

short, straight hair, big glasses, hat and an acid tongue. Ann Estelle (named

after her grandmother) is the imaginary representative of Mary’s outlook.

5 Engelbreit is cheerful, down-to-earth, humorous, and always cute. “I think the

world ould use more cuteness,” she explains. Indeed, it’s her trademark. Her

business card once featured a drawing of Ann Estellexagar in her mouth and drink

in hand, with the message Engelbreit’s the Name, Cute Is My Game.” She adds, “As

the world gets more complicated, it’s nice to have old-fashioned stuff around to

help people cope with the demands of modern life. It’s like comfort food. This is

comfort art.”

6 Old-fashioned art — and values — have always been at the core of Engelbreit’s


Born June 5, 1952, in St. Louis, the oldest of three daughters, she started

drawing almost as oon as she could hold a pencil.

7 One of her earliest memories, from age four, is of sketching her parents all

dressed up o go out for the evening. “I was so impressed I had to record it,” she

says. But what mpressed her most were illustrations from the children’s books that

her mother read to her.

Artists such as Jessie Willcox Smith, illustrator of children’s literary classics,

and Johnny ruelle, creator of Raggedy Ann, were very influential in the

development of her early rawings.

8 While attending secondary school, Engelbreit sold dozens of hand-drawn cards to

a local shop for 25 cents a piece — her first venture into art and commerce. She

ignored her teachers’ advice to become an English teacher and didn’t bother with

going on to a university because “I was ready to plunge into my life as an

artist.” Working in an art-supply shop,

“I met working artists and realized you can make a living doing this.” A later job

as a designer

at an advertising agency “taught me about the business of art”.

9 In 1975 Engelbreit met social worker Phil Delano, and the couple married two

years later. Delano became his wife’s biggest supporter. “Even when we had no

money, he never said, ‘Go get a job,’” she says. “I can’t express my gratitude for

his support.”

10 After that ill-fated trip to New York, Engelbreit sent a sample of her drawings

to two greeting-card companies. One bought three of her original drawings, and she

did occasional work for the other, sketching a lot of whales, dragons, castles and

mythical animals. Then in 1980 the birth of her son added a new element to her

work. “Suddenly everyday life seemed more interesting to me,” she says. Children,

pets, even “good old Mom” started showing up on her cards. Her work became

“pictures of daily life, things everyone’s been through”.

11 While eight months pregnant, in 1983, Engelbreit decided to start her own


Within two years, her company was producing nearly 100 different cards and selling

a million of them a year. In 1986 she licensed the copyrights to the cards to


Publications, who now manages their production and distribution, allowing her to

focireon other projects. Among these is her home-decorating magazine which is sent

to 550,000 people.

Despite her success, Engelbreit’ s feet are planted firmly on the ground. She

still lives 1 6 kilometres from where she grew up, has many friends dating back to

school years, and moved from a large house to a smaller one because, she explains,

her family didn’t use all the space in the old place. She does most of her drawing

in her home studio at night.

1 3 With her work taking off in so many directions, it was perhaps inevitable that

Engelbreit would eventually realize her dream of illustrating a children’s book.

In 1993 she created drawings for a children’s book and saw it become a best-

seller. At the same time she made a surprising discovery: “It was fun, but oddly

enough, I like doing cards best.”

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The idea of a World War was something that couldn’t be imagined prior to the 20th century. Then we had two in a matter of 35 years. The number of people killed in the wars was staggering. The fact that people continued to die for forty or fifty years after the end of World War II was all the more shocking until the cause was discovered.

Asbestos has long been considered a miracle material of sort. It is highly resistant to heat, which makes it a great insulator and fire wall wherever heat and electricity are found. This was a known fact for hundreds of years, but never really led to its use in a major way. Then World War II rolled around. Despite being the second of the two huge wars, it was the first that involved a really massive production of military materials. This led to the widespread use of asbestos and a resulting Mesothelioma nightmare.

Hawaii notwithstanding, the World War II battle arena was in other countries ranging from Europe to much of Asia. This necessitated the movement of resources across vast stretches of the ocean. This in turn called for the construction of a huge number of transport ships to move the resources as well as naval ships to protect them and dominate the seas. To achieve this, ships were put on the fast track in construction.

The war effort saw hundreds of thousands flow into factories and docks to help. In the case of ship building, this meant a hoard of people willing to do just about anything to speed up production. A Liberty cargo ship took only two weeks to build at Kaiser Shipyards at one point. The problem was many shortcuts were taken to make this happen, many that exposed the workers to massive health risks.

Asbestos is a cause of Mesothelioma. In the construction of the various types of ships being created, the workers used everything from rope to gloves to caulking to insulation and so on that incorporated asbestos as their key material component. The war is long over, but it is now believed as many as 100,000 died from Mesothelioma and lung cancer caused by this exposure to asbestos. As a mater of comparison, there were roughly 10,000 casualties of which 2,500 died for the Allies on D-Day.

Mesothelioma is a horrible disease and it is a bit shocking that our government would so hastily expose hundreds of thousands to its ravages. The story of asbestos use without notice is a ghastly one that has been repeated throughout history.

Thomas Ajava writes for MesotheliomaLawsTexas.com – where you can learn more about Mesothelioma laws in Texas and find lawyers to help you handle any legal issues.
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