It is hard for anyone to argue that the US presidential electoral success of Franklin Delano Roosevelt was anything less than groundbreaking. In the 1932 US presidential election, he won by a landslide and attracted 22,817,883 votes, more than any previous candidate for the Presidency, before beating this record in the 1936 election through attracting 27,752,648 votes. Roosevelt was re-elected as President in 1940 and 1944 before his death in 1945, leaving him the most electorally successful US President ever by that time.
Continue reading “Public Relations Experts of History #8: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States of America” »
The British explorer Captain James Cook amassed many great achievements during his career in the Royal Navy, including making detailed maps of Newfoundland, making the first European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands and making the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand. Hence, it should hardly prove a surprise that he and his achievements have been commemorated in places spanning the globe. Such commemorations have clearly contributed towards developing the flattering international reputation attached to Cook today.
Continue reading “Public Relations Experts of History #7: Celebrators of Captain James Cook” »
Louis XIV reigned over France from 1643 until 1715, making him the longest-reigning king in European history. It was for over five decades of this time that Louis also ruled the country, during which time he carefully cultivated an attractive image for himself and his reign following the persistent threat to the French monarchy during the civil war known as the Fronde. Indeed, his commonly-used nickname, ‘the Sun King’, derives from such propaganda, and was intended to reflect the absolute nature of the power which Louis came to exercise.
Continue reading “Public Relations Experts of History #6: King Louis XIV of France” »
British caricaturists during the historical period spanning the Napoleonic Wars, much like modern British satirists, regularly shined a very revealing light on public opinion of contemporary current affairs. However, from 1803 to 1805, their caricatures also often served as pro-government propaganda, clearly intended as they were to invigorate among Britons a renewed appetite for war. This was especially crucial for the UK government following its declaration of war on Napoleonic France in 1803, which followed a brief tenure of peace between Britain and France and marked what is today commonly regarded as the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars.
Continue reading “Public Relations Experts of History #5: British Caricaturists 1803-05” »
Many of us think that we know the story about how Henry Tudor, a man with a very tenuous claim to the English throne, nonetheless successfully defeated one of the most evil kings in English history, Richard III, before establishing himself as King Henry VII and a royal Tudor dynasty which lasted until 1603. This, in the process, gave England the lengthy period of tranquility that it desperately needed following the instability of the period of the Wars of the Roses lasting several decades beforehand. But is this traditionally-believed story really so accurate after all?
Continue reading “Public Relations Experts of History #4: King Henry VII of England” »
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte has, even during his tenure as Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, not attracted as much admiration – or, for that matter, as much hatred – as his much more famous uncle, Napoleon Bonaparte, the first ever Emperor of the French. He did, however, at least during his early political career, benefit considerably from effective propaganda. Not all of it was initiated by himself; however, he skilfully exploited several favourable factors to assist himself in becoming President of the French Republic and, four years later, ushering in the the Second French Empire.
Continue reading “Public Relations Experts of History #3: Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III, Emperor of the French)” »
While it might have been the Duke of Wellington, fighting for the British, who defeated Napoleon Bonaparte for the final time at Waterloo in 1815, that hardly prevented Napoleon from subsequently becoming a worldwide cultural icon. Much of this was probably due in a significant part to Napoleon’s own efforts during his time as First Consul and then Emperor of France, and even in exile on the South Atlantic Ocean island of St Helena in the last six years of his life. Efforts to do what? Efforts to develop his image as first a military genius, then a powerful statesman, and then, while in exile, a wronged fallen hero.
Continue reading “Public Relations Experts of History #2: Napoleon Bonaparte” »
You probably think that you know Queen Elizabeth I. She was, after all, one of history’s most famous and impressive female rulers, a lifelong virgin, enduringly beautiful and the queen who oversaw England’s spectacular defeat of the supposedly indestructible Spanish Armada in 1588. But to what extent have these supposed long-established facts been influenced by propaganda orchestrated by the Virgin Queen herself?
Continue reading “Public Relations Experts of History #1: Queen Elizabeth I of England” »