Thursday, May 25, 2006

Rulers

Rulers. This site features a list of rulers and heads of states for most countries dating back to 1700. There is also a list which includes popes, patriarchs, archbishops, and other religious leaders.

There is also a month-by-month list of events relevant to the world's leaders since 1996 broken down by date. For example, here is the list for May 2, 2006: Afghanistan: The new cabinet approved on April 20 is sworn in. Italy: Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi tenders his resignation. Kyrgyzstan: Prime Minister Feliks Kulov submits the resignation of his cabinet but it is immediately refused by President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Nepal: Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala announces his cabinet, in which he keeps the defense portfolio to himself, while Khadga Prasad Oli becomes foreign minister, Ram Sharan Mahat finance minister, and Krishna Prasad Sitaula home (interior) minister.

The site does miss political entities that currently exist or existed at one time during the covered time spans. For example, the rulers pf the Cocos Islands are covered but the monarchs of the 19th century Hawaiian Kingdom are not. Despite this, the site is a good reference source and would be of interest to most doing historical research.

From the site:

This site contains lists of heads of state and heads of government (and, in certain cases, de facto leaders not occupying either of those formal positions) of all countries and territories, going back to about 1700 in most cases. Also included are the subdivisions of various countries (the links are at the bottom of the respective country entries), as well as a selection of international organizations. Recent foreign ministers of all countries are listed separately.

In cases where not even the exact year of the beginning or end of a ruler's term is known, the asterisk (*) is used to indicate dates at which the person is known to have been in office, e.g., *1924 - 1925* means the term began in 1924 or earlier and ended in 1925 or later. All dates are New Style (Gregorian). (f) indicates female rulers. Birth and death years are also provided (b. = born, d. = died, s.a. = see above), but note that the given birth years may be questionable, as different sources often give contradictory information. In cases where it is particularly unclear, the birth year is followed by a question mark (e.g., 1923?) but that does not mean that the year is guaranteed to be correct when there is no question mark. Also, when no death year is given, it should not be taken for granted that the person is indeed still alive.

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