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When you've got a lot of people together, it makes sense to pick someone to be in charge. As exploration expanded, individuals were chosen to oversee colonies and settlements. This section highlights those men (and some women), as well as the leaders and attendant ruling class -- nobles, peerage, wannabes and hangers-on --back home.
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John Zapolya

aka: Janos, Zápolya, John Szapolyai, John I
borndied
1490/911540, Jul 22
King of Hungary (as John I) from 1526 to 1540. His rule was disputed by Archduke Ferdinand I, who also claimed the title King of Hungary. He was Voivode of Transylvania before his coronation. John began his public career in 1505 as a member of the Diet of Rákos. Due to John Zápolya's motion,[10] the new Diet at Rákos passed a bill which prohibited the el...
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John Sigismund Zapolya

aka: Janos, Zápolya, Szapolyai, John II
borndied
1540, Jul 71571, Mar 14
King of Hungary as John II from 1540 to 1551, and from 1556 to 1570, and the first Prince of Transylvania from 1570 to his death. He was the only son of John I, King of Hungary, and Isabella of Poland. John I ruled parts of the Kingdom of Hungary, with the support of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman; the remaining areas were ruled by Ferdinand I, who also claime...
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Timeline (2)Links (1)


Zhang Xianzhong

aka: Chang Hsien-chung, Yellow Tiger
bornactivedied
1606, Sep 181644-16461647, Jan 2
a leader of a peasant revolt from Yan'an, Shaanxi Province. He served in the Ming army, and while in the army he was sentenced to death for violations of military rules, but was reprieved after an intervention by a senior officer who was impressed by his appearance. He conquered Sichuan in 1644, and named himself king of the Xi (Da-Xi) dynasty. His rule in S...
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Zhu Youjian

aka: Chongzhen Emperor
borndied
1611, Feb 61644, Apr 25
the 17th and last emperor of the Ming dynasty in China, reigning from 1627–1644. "Chongzhen," the era name of his reign, means "honorable and auspicious." When the Tianqi Emperor died in October 1627, Zhu Youjian, then about 16 years old, ascended the throne as the Chongzhen Emperor. His succession was helped by Empress Zhang (widow of the Tianqi Emperor),...
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Zhu Youlang

aka: Yongli Emperor
bornactivedied
1623, Nov 11646-16621662, Jun 1
the fourth and last emperor of the Southern Ming dynasty of China. His era name means "Perpetual calendar." He was the son of Zhu Changying, the seventh son of the Wanli Emperor. He inherited the title Prince of Gui from his brother and lived an obscure life as a minor member of the extremely large imperial family until the fall of Beijing and the suicide of...
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Cross-listed in Military

Stanislaw Zolkiewski

borndied
15471620
a Polish nobleman of the Lubicz coat of arms, magnate and military commander of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, who took part in many campaigns of the Commonwealth and on its southern and eastern borders. He occupied a number of high-ranking posts in the administration of the Commonwealth, including castellan of Lwów (from 1590), voivod of the Kiev Vo...
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Cross-listed in MilitaryWriters

Miklos Zrinyi

aka: Miklós Zrínyi, Nikola Zrinski
borndied
1620, Jan 51664, Nov 18
a Croatian and Hungarian military leader, statesman and poet. He was a member of the House of Zrinski (or Zrínyi), a Croatian-Hungarian noble family. He is the author of the first epic poem in Hungarian literature.
Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Juan Domingo de Zuniga y Fonseca

aka: Zuñiga y Fonseca
borndied
1640, Nov 251716, Feb 2
a Spanish military and political figure. In 1667 Méndez de Haro went to the Spanish Netherlands, where he became Captain General of the Cavalry in 1669. In 1670 he was appointed Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands and Captain General in the absence of Don John of Austria the Younger. In 1671, when war threatened between France and the Netherlands, Spain al...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Hendrick Zwaardecroon

aka: Henricus
borndied
1667, Jan 261728, Aug 12
Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1718 until 1725. Zwaardecroon left for the East Indies as a midshipman aboard the Purmer in December 1684 and arrived in Batavia in October 1685. During the trip he had several times been employed as secretary to Commissioner-General Van Rheede, which enabled him to make quick progress in his career with...
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