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
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
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
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
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.”
conflict plunged the whole world into two devastating wars in the first half of
the 20th century. Want to know more click<a
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