19th century Chronology:
1801 Britain is rising as an industrial power. The average life expectancy is around 40. A fictional "better-off" family will be described as drinking water that has a cow taste because it is taken from a brook from which cows drink. Meat is rare. Dental care is poor. The family eats with wooden spoons. Candles are rarely used because they cost too much. The father "visited the city once, but the travel cost him a week's wages... The children sleep two to a bed on straw mattresses on the floor." (Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, p. 13.)
1801 Britain makes Ireland part of a single British kingdom. Parliament in Dublin is abolished. The Anglican Church is now the official church in Ireland. No Catholics are to be allowed to hold public office.
1801 Napoleon of France has defeated Austria. In the treaty of Lunéville, Austria renounces claims to the Holy Roman Empire.
1802 The Ottoman Turks, trying to maintain empire, are fighting the Saud family and its Sunni Wahhabi allies. In Mesopotamia the Wahhabis capture the Shiite holy city of Karbala. In Arabia they capture Mecca.
1802 The war-weary British sign a peace-treaty with France
1803 The treaty between Britain and France breaks down. Again they are at war. Napoleon sells the Louisiana Territory to the US for $15 million.
1803 In England, seven Irish rebels are the last sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Due to public pressure the sentence is commuted to merely hanging and beheading.
1803 Irish rebels against British rule. They are crushed militarily by the British, but unrest in Ireland continues throughout the century.
1804 The Royal College of Surgeons is founded in London.
1804 The Russians visit the Hawaiian islands: Around 150,000 Hawaiians -- nearly half of the population -- die from the Great Sickness, a disease brought by Europeans. Serbs revolt against Ottoman authority and win autonomy status -- self-rule within the Ottoman Empire -- Greeks remain under Ottoman rule. Haiti proclaims itself a republic and independent. Muslims war against non-Muslim chiefdoms in Hausaland (south of the Sahara) and control the region.
1804 The French Senate votes Napoleon Bonaparte "Emperor of the French." Napoleon crowns himself emperor. Spain joins Napoleon's war as an ally against the British.
1805 Russia, Austria and Sweden ally themselves with Britain. In Milan, Napoleon is crowned King of Italy. He plans an invasion of England. The British win the Battle of Trafalgar stopping Napoleon's invasion.
1805 The House of Saud defeats an Ottoman garrison and captures Medina.
1806 The Holy Roman Empire, created in the 800s, is formally dissolved, with Napoleon reorganizing much of it into his Confederation of the Rhine.
1806 A British naval force takes control of Cape Colony in South Africa -- formerly controlled by Napoleon.
1807 Extending its power at sea, Britain outlaws slave trading across the Atlantic. Britain forms the crown colony Sierra Leone, western Africa. The U.S. Congress passes a law that bans the importation of slaves into the U.S., a law largely ignored in southern states.
1807 The Geological Society of London is created, the founders expressing their desire to avoid preconceived notions and to collect facts for discussion.
1807 With help from the French, Muhammad Ali Pasha drives the British out of Egypt (a part of the Ottoman Empire).
1807 Napoleon defeats a combined Prussian and Russian force in February. Danzig surrenders to him. He defeats the Russians in June and occupies Königsberg. In August, Napoleon demands that Portugal join the trade boycott against the British and declare war on Britain. Portugal hesitates. Napoleon's ally, Spain, allows French troops to pass through to Portugal. The French captured Lisbon as Portugal's royal family flees to Brazil.
1808 Napoleon intervenes between Spain's king, Charles IV, and the son of Charles, Ferdinand. He makes them prisoners and sets his brother Joseph on the throne in Spain. Spaniards resent Napoleon's interventions. An unusually barbarous war begins within Spain. Resistance spreads to Portugal. The British help the resistance. It is the beginning of Napoleon's decline.
1808 Armed uprisings occur from Mexico to Argentina. Without Spain in control, the British are able to do business in Latin America, rescuing Britain from Napoleon's economic boycott.
1808 John Dalton argues the existance of atoms.
1809 Russia defeats Sweden. Sweden loses Finland, which becomes an autonomous Grand Duchy within Russia's empire.
1809 Napoleon is spread thin. The Austrians defeat him at the Battle of Aspern-Essling, and he loses his reputation for invincibility. The Austrians fail to follow up on their victory. Napoleon organizes an assault and defeats the Austrians. The Austrians make peace with Napoleon. Napoleon's economic blockade is not working. Britain's exports reach an all-time high.
1810 Allied with the Portuguese against Napoleon, the British negotiate an agreement with the Portuguese calling for the gradual abolition of the slave trade across the South Atlantic.
1810 U.S. annexes Florida (formerly Spanish) -- a move not recognized internationally.
1811 Plantation slaves near New Orleans inspired by the successful slave revolt of Haiti (1791-1804). Hundreds rebel against their masters and oppressors. The slaves lose. Most are executed and their heads displayed on pikes as a lesson for other slaves.
1811 The French are driven from Portugal. Independence is declared in Caracas (Venezuela), La Paz (Bolivia) and New Grenada (Colombia). Fighting erupts in Latin America. A 60-year-old Spanish priest, Hildago, who was influenced by the Enlightment, is executed after leading an uprising in behalf of the well being of Indians and mestizos.
1811 In Egypt, Viceroy Muhammad Ali Pasha exterminates Mameluke warlords. He invites them to a banquet and has them slaughtered.
1812 The Ottoman empire drives the Wahhabi and Saudis out of Medina and Mecca.
1812 In England, a few workers called Luddites in various cities in the spinning and cloth finishing industries have been destroying new machinery. They fear technological unemployment. Some are executed.
1812 Priests in Caracas claim that an earthquake is God's anger against the sins of the new government. Spain's military is able to regain control of the city.
1812 At sea, Britain has a counter-blockade against France. Britain's new prime minister, Lord Liverpool, instructs the British navy to treat U.S. trading ships with new tact and to avoid clashes with Americans. The U.S. want war, and declare war against Britain on June 18, 1812.
1812 Napoleon's march into Russia exposes his recklessness and shallow strategic thinking. He returns to Paris without his army.
1813 Napoleon's move against Russia has delayed Russia's ability to protect their fellow Orthodox Christians, the Serbs, who have been rebelling against Ottoman rule. The Ottoman Empire moves against rebel Serb areas, and Albanian troops plunder Serb villages.
1813 Napoleon is defeated in Spain, by British and Spanish forces. Napoleon withdraws from Germany after the Russians, Prussians, Austrians and Swedes defeat him there. His Confederation of the Rhine falls into history's trash bin.
1813 Laura Secord walks 20 difficult miles to warn of a surprise attack by an invading U.S. force. She is to be a Canadian heroine.
1814 A negotiated treaty ends the War of 1812-14 and restores "peace, friendship, and good understanding" between the United States and "His Britannic Majesty."
1814 Russian and Prussian forces enter Paris. Napoleon is exiled to the island of Elba. The terms of peace between the victors and France are settled in another Treaty of Paris. The victors over Napoleon gather at Vienna -- the Congress of Vienna -- to create a stable Europe to their liking.
1814-15 At the Congress of Vienna, September 1814 to June 1815, the British, Spain, Portugal, a politically new France, and the Netherlands are meeting to discuss the world without Napoleon, and they agree to eventually abolish the slave trade.
1815 In the Indonesian Archepelgo, Mount Tamobra has been inactive for thousands of years, but on April 10 it begins a week of eruptions. Its debris in the stratosphere reduces sunlight. In the Northern Hemisphere in September there are days with no sunlight. Crops fail and livestock die in much of the Northern Hemisphere, creating the worst of 19th century famines.
1815 Napoleon returns to France in February. He inspires men to reach again for glory, and his final military defeat comes June 18th at the Battle of Waterloo.
1816 Because of the Tambora eruption, 1816 will be known with the year without a summer." Mary Shelley writes a scary story: "Frankenstein."
1816 The British return to the Dutch their empire in Indonesia.
1816 Spain's military drives Simón Bolivar from New Grenada. Bolivar flees to Jamaica and then to Haiti. In 1817, Bolivar and a small force return to Venezuela and establish a base inland in the rain forest along the Orinoco River.
1817 In Britain, real wages have been declining at least since the late 1790s, as Britain has been burdened by war against France. From this year on and into the next century real wages in Britain will be rising.
1817 The British sign a Maratha kingdom, Nagpur, into its system of alliances. Those opposed sack and burn the British residence at Poona (Pune). 27,000 attack a British force of 2,800 a few miles north of Poona -- the beginning of the Third Anglo-Maratha War. In 1818, The Third Anglo-Maratha War ends with the break-up of the Maratha Empire and the British in controlling most of India.
1818 For the Ottoman Empire, Egyptians are taking control of the Arabian Peninsula. They destroy Diriyah (what today is Riyadh) which had been the home base of the Saud family and Wahhabis.
1819 In England, 60,000 gather in a field and listen to a call for universal suffrage. A magistrate sends a force to arrest the main speaker, Henry Hunt. People riot. Eleven are killed and others injured. A movement for reform gathers strength.
1820 A liberal uprising begins in Spain. It starts with soldiers and is joined by others who want a constitutional monarchy or a republic. A few who are poor and illiterate attack and set fire to churches.
1820 The U.S. has becomes the world's biggest cotton producer of raw cotton.
1820 Per capita world Gross Domestic Product (according to today's economic historian Angus Maddison) is $667, measured in 1990 dollars. This (according to Maddison) is up from $435 in the year 1000. Western Europe, which was lower than the world in general in the year 1000, at $400, is at $1,232.
1821 The stability for Europe sought at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 is coming undone. Following Serb rebellions against Ottoman rule in previous years, the Greeks in March rise simultaneously against Ottoman rule, including in Macedonia, Crete and Cyprus. The Turks respond by hanging the Patriarch of Constantinople, Gregorios V. The Greeks liberate the Peloponnesian Peninsula in September. There, in the city of Tripolitsa, a center of Turkish authority, Muslims in the thousands are massacred for three days and nights.
1821 Napoleon Bonaparte dies at the age of fifty-one under British authority on the island of St. Helena, the reported cause: stomach cancer. The English poet, John Keats, dies of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-six.
1821 A treaty is signed between the United States and the declining power of Spain. The U.S. buys Florida for 5 million dollars, money the U.S. government gives to U.S. citizens with claims against Spain. Spain receives an established line separating the U.S. from its territory in North America.
1821 Caracas falls to Bolivar's force. Venezuela is now free of Spanish rule. Peru and Mexico declare independence. In Guatemala independence is declared for its provinces: Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, San Salvador and Chiapas.
1821 Michael Faraday, son of a blacksmith, has overcome the conceit of aristocrats and, as a scientist, has been promoted in Britain's Royal Institution. His interest in a unified force in nature and work in electro-magnetism produces the foundation for electric motors and contributes to what will be "field theory" in modern physics, which includes its most basic formula: E=MC2.
1822 A member of Portugal's royal family is in power in Brazil. He has lifted duties paid on the importation of books, abolished censorship and ordered the teaching of law at the universities of São Paula and Olinda. His rule is being challenged from Portugal, and from his royal palace he declares "Independence or death!" At the age of 24 he his proclaimed Emperor of Brazil: Pedro I.
1822 Officials of the American Colonization society have purchased a strip of land they call Christopolis, at Cape Mesurado on the Atlantic Coast in western Africa. Eighty-six freed blacks have arrived.
1822 In Britain, fewer crimes are capital offenses.
1822 The Ottoman Turks respond to rebellion on the island of Chios by slaughtering five-sixths of the islands 120,000 inhabitants.
1823 Austria, Russia and Prussia authorize French troops to enter Spain to destroy the liberal revolution there and re-establish the rule of Ferdinand VII. Ferdinand begins revenge killings that will revolt those who returned him to power.
1823 Steam powered shipping begins between Switzerland and France on Lake Geneva.
1824 The Frenchman, Eugène Delacroix, paints The Massacre of Chios. Britain's romantic poet, Lord Byron, who has written "We are all Greeks," has gone to Greece and dies of "marsh fever."
1824 Britain and the U.S. negotiate a treaty establishing procedures for suppressing the slave trade, but the U.S. Senate undercuts the treaty's powers and the British refuse to sign.
1824 In Britain, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is founded, the first animal protection organization in the world.
1825 Russian military officers, exposed to the Enlightenment during Russia's occupation of France, attempt to replace authoritarian rule with a representative democracy. Their coup, called the Decembrist Rising, fails and they are crushed.
1826 In Spain the Inquisition had been ended by the Revolution in 1820 that had overthrown King Ferdinand VII, but with Ferdinand's return it is revived. A Jew is burned at the stake, also a Spanish Quaker schoolmaster who replaced "Hail Mary" with "Praise be to God" in school prayer.
1827 Britain, Russia and France support the Greek war of independence -- Austria still disapproving any revolt while the Russians want to protect their fellow Orthodox Christians. Egypt, a part of the Ottoman Empire, is helping the Turks, but a combined British, French and Russian fleet sink an Egyptian and Turkish fleet at Navarino Bay, on the west coast of the Peloponnesian Peninsula. This weakens Ottoman power in Greece and in Arabia.
1827 New York passes a state law emancipating slaves.
1829 In London, parliament extends tolerance, passing the Catholic Emancipation Bill, making it possible for Catholics to hold public office.
1829 The Treaty of Adrianople ends war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire grants Greece independence. Russian authority in Georgia is recognized. The Russians are allowed access through the narrow straits from the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea. Autonomy is extended to Serbia and to the Romanians of Moldavia and Walachia, under Russian protection.
1829 Mexico abolishes slavery in its territories, hoping to discourage migration into Texas from the United States.
1830 With China's great population growth, unemployment has risen and there has been a shortage of land, creating peasant unrest. China is still the leader in manufacturing output (real rather than per capita), but its share is slipping from 32.8 percent in 1750 to 29.8 percent. India's share since 1750 has fallen from 24.5 percent to 17.6 percent. Britain, with a fraction of the population of either China or India, has increased its share in this period from 1.9 to 4.3 percent. The U.S. share is 2.4 percent.
1830 France has reneged in paying its bill for wheat bought from Algeria. A new era of European imperialism begins with Charles X sending an invasion force of 36,000 troops to Algeria, claiming that he was responding to the insult to his ambassador. The invasion is described as a civilizing mission and a mission to abolish slavery and piracy -- a response to Algeria's reputation in France for having attacked the ships of Christian nations during past centuries and for an estimated 25,000 European slaves in Algeria, including women in the harems.
1830 Businessmen and common people loathe Charles X, who has returned to absolutism, including dissolving parliament. The barricades go up in the streets of Paris. Charles X is frightened and rather than fight goes into exile, back to Britain. Parliament returns, creates a constitutional monarchy and elects a new king, Louis-Philippe.
1830 Violence erupts across Germany. Rent, tax and military records are burned. People want bread or are annoyed by higher prices for food, military conscription and in places by feudal dues. In Brunswick, Grand Duke Karl flees and a liberal constitution is created. The king of Saxony grants his subjects a liberal constitution. In Hesse-Kassel a constitution and a unicameral legislature are created.
1830 In Britain, the first edition of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology is published and will revolutionize the age-of-earth concepts.
1830 President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act, which rips the Cherokee and other eastern tribes from their homes and banishes them to areas west of the Mississippi River.
1830 Joseph Smith Jr. of New York organizes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
1830 Simón Bolivar dies disappointed and regretting that Spain did not allow people in its American colonies to develop self-government within a framework of institutions as had Britain with its colonists.
1831 Various uprisings are taking place on the Italian peninsula, including the papal states. Pope Gregory XVI is opposed to democracy at any level and calls for help from Austria. Austria's army marches across the peninsula, crushing revolts and revolutionary movements.
1831 In Warsaw, Polish soldiers revolt against Russian rule. Crowds take control of the city. Austria and Prussia want the revolt crushed. Freedom for the Poles is a popular cause in Britain and in France, but little help arrives and Nicholas I, who considers himself both the Tsar of Russia and King of Poland, sends troops that overwhelm the rebellion.
1831 In England, parliament's lower body, the House of Commons, passes a reform bill. Britain's new Prime Minister, Earl Grey, wants to end undue representation to towns that have shrunk (rotten boroughs) and to give Britain's growing industrial towns representation in the House of Commons. The bill is defeated in the House of Lords, dominated by aristocratic conservatives. Rioting erupts in various cities, most seriously in Bristol from April 15 to May 4.
1831 A severe flood and plague devastate Baghdad. Mumeluke rule ends there as Mahmud II, sultan, reasserts Ottoman control over Mesopotamia.
1831 Charles Darwin, 22, has complete his B.A. at Cambridge and sails as an unpaid naturalist on the H.M.S. Beagle to South America, New Zealand and Australia.
1831 In Boston, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrisons begins publishing an anti-slavery newspaper, The Liberator.
1831 In Jamaica, a black Baptist deacon, Sam Sharpe, has gathered from the Bible that all men are created equal. He has learned from newspapers that people in England want an end to slavery. He organizes a sit-down strike timed for the harvest. Local planters move to crush the revolt and a group of slaves become violent, set fire to buildings and to cane fields. The planters crush the rebellion and hang Sam Sharpe.
1832 Egypt takes advantage of Russia's defeat of the Ottoman Turks and declares independence.
1832 The Whigs acquire more power momentarily. They are largely aristocrats with liberal leanings. They want to make Britain's political system fairer and to placate working people without giving in to all their demands. The Great Reform Act, denied in 1831, is passed into law.
1832 In Illinois, a state since 1818, the Fox Indians, led by Black Hawk, are defeated militarily. In his surrender speech Black Hawk acknowledges defeat. He says he has done nothing shameful.
1833 Carl von Clausewitz' On War (vom Kriege) is published two years after his death. Clausewitz saw violence as the only proper defense against the violence of others, and he saw war as a political act for political goals.
1833 In Japan, too much rain produces crop failures and what is called the Tempo famine. (The previous famine in Japan was around fifty years before.) Prosperity comes to a temporary end. The famine is to last three years and an estimated 300,000 are to die.
1834 Britain's Abolition Slavery Act goes into effect, with the British government prepared to compensate financially those who lose slaves. In Canada many slaves had been freed years before. The remaining 781,000 slaves are freed, but no claims for compensation are submitted.
1834 The Queen Mother, Maria Christina, fourth wife of Ferdinand VII, who died in 1833, officially ends Spain's Inquisition.
1835 In Britain, vaccination becomes mandatory.
1835 Britain and Spain renew agreement against the slave trade. British sea captains are authorized to arrest suspected Spanish slavers and bring them before mixed commissions established at Sierra Leone and Havana. Vessels carrying specified “equipment articles” (extra mess gear, lumber, foodstuffs) are declared prima-facie to be slavers.
1835 In the southern states of the United States, abolitionists are expelled and mailing anti-slavery literature is forbidden.
1835 Steamships appear on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
1835 Samuel Colt of Connecticut receives a patent for his revolver in Europe, and a year later in the United States.
1836 Britain has been emancipating slaves in its Cape Colony. Boers in the colony dislike it. From 10,000 to 14,000 Boers begin their Great Trek away from British rule and toward new lands to occupy.
1836 Pope Gregory XVI bans railways in his Papal States, calling them "ways of the devil."
1837 The United States officially recognizes Texas as independent. Mexico does not.
1837 Britain invites the U.S. and France to participate in international patrols to interdict slave ships. The U.S. declines to participate.
1837 (May) Sam Morse patents the telegraph.
1837 A revolt by the French and some Anglos in Canada fails.
1837 In the Japanese city of Osaka in the wake of the famine, rebellion and fire destroy one-fourth of the city before the rebellion is crushed. At Edo (now Tokyo), a U.S. ship arrives to repatriate shipwrecked Japanese sailors, to establish trade and land missionaries. The ship is fired upon and driven away.
1838 Cherokee Indians are forced off their farms and out of the homes and sent on what will become known as the "Trail of Tears" to Oklahoma.
1838 In Britain this year, 58 children under the age of 13 have died in mining accidents, and 64 between the ages of 13 and 18.
1838 Building on a theory about geology by Charles Lyell, Charles Darwin develops a theory of evolutionary selection and specialization.
1839 In Britain, conservatives kill another reform package, and there are riots in Wales and such cities as Glasgow, Newcastle and Birmingham.
1839 The British fear Russian influence in Afghanistan and want "a trustworthy ally" there -- on India's western frontier. There they have sent a force of 12,000 British and Indian troops, with elephants, 38,000 camels and a horde of followers, including families, prostitutes, and sellers of opium, rum and tobacco.
1839 The British have claimed lands in the valley of the Aroostook River, an area claimed by the state of Maine. A land agent arrives from the U.S. to expel them. British lumberjacks seize him. Maine sends 10,000 troops to the area. A British militia in New Brunswick is called up. Neither side wants war and the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842 is created, establishing a recognized border dividing the area between the U.S. and Canada.
1839 U.S. authorities take custody of a slave trading ship, the Amistad, a Cuban schooner. It has 53 Africans on board who had taken control and were trying to sail the ship back to Africa.
1839 Charles Goodyear invents vulcanization, for making rubber.
1839 Egyptians defeat the Ottoman Turks at the battle of Nisibin, near the Turkish-Syrian border.
1839 After a decade of anti-opium campaigns, China's government creates tougher laws and seizes 20,000 chests of British opium. The party in power in London, the Whigs, did not want to be accused of failing to protect Britain's commercial interests. It sends a punitive expedition, starting the first Anglo-Chinese war.
1839 France becomes the first European power to recognize Texas as independent of Mexico. Great Britain, Holland and Belgium do so months later.
1840 Europe's four big powers, including Britain, force Egypt to relinquish control over Syria. Britain occupies the port of Aden (in south Yemen) to protect itself from the Egyptians.
1840 Science applied to farming is described by Justus Liebig, in his published work Chemistry in Its Application to Agriculture and Physiology. This is to transform agriculture, and agriculture is to make possible coming advances in industrialization.
1840 The population of the United States has increased 36 percent in the last ten years -- from 13 to almost 18 million. Railway track has grown from 100 to 3,500 miles. The U.S. now has 1,200 cotton factories, two-thirds of them in New England.
1841 Britain makes New Zealand a colony.
1841 The U.S. Supreme Court decides that the Africans who had been aboard the ship Amistad are free to return to Africa, that they are not legally slaves.
1841 The President of the Republic of Texas sends an army into New Mexico, hoping to annex it and other territory, including California. A Mexican force drives the invaders back to Texas.
1841 Britain's political resident at Kabul is hacked to death and an uprising in the city leaves 300 of a British detachment dead.
1841 Naval guns have been firing unexploding cannonballs. A time-delay mechanism invented by the French navy now allows exploding shells to be fired safely by high-powered, flat trajectory guns. The navies of Britain, the United States and Russia will have such guns before the decade ends.
1842 The Russians withdraw from Fort Ross in Northern California. The British are forced to withdraw from Afghanistan.
1843 Britain and France announce their recognition of the Hawaii Islands as an independent state.
1843 England outlaws gibbeting -- displaying bodies of the executed for the purpose of deterring crime -- the last of this having occurred in 1832.
1843 In the United States, Charles Thurber invents the typewriter.
1844 In New Zealand the Maori rebel. In Australia, a "Protection of Children Act" allows Church missionaries to kidnap aboriginal children in order to "civilize" them -- a policy that is to last to the 1960s.
1845 The Congress of the United States approves the annexation of Texas. Mexico breaks relations with the United States. President Polk sends troops to Texas.
1845 The faster shipment of potatoes from the Americas across the Atlantic to Europe allows the survival of mold arriving with the potatoes. The mold creates potato crop failures across Europe and starvation in Ireland.
1846 Poles in Krakow revolt against Russian rule. Austrian and Russian troops enter Krakow and Austria annexes the city.
1846 Pope Gregory XVI dies and is replaced by Pius IX, who deviates from Gregory's policies by introducing railways and gas streetlights to the Papal States. Gregory had thought them departures from God's intentions.
1846 In India the British are appearing weak after their Afghanistan debacle. A coalition of Sikhs attack the British. In three months of fighting the British forces prevail and the Sikhs sign a treaty obliging them to disband most of their military.
1846 A patient in Boston is given ether as an anesthetic, a revolution in surgical practice.
1846 In Italy, Ascanio Soberero discovers how to make nitroglycerin.
1847 Members of the Donner Party are starving in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, and they turn to cannibalism.
1847 Liberia becomes an independent republic.
1847 Three years of fighting in Tahiti ends with the French crushing Tahitian resistance to French domination.
1847 Britain's parliament passes the "Ten Hours Bill," which limits to sixty-three the hours of work per week for women and children.
1848 (Feb 2) The war between Mexico and the United States ends with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The United States wins recognition of its possession of Alto California, New Mexico and Texas to the Rio Grande. Mexico is given a guarantee of rights for the people who had been living in these areas and loyal to Mexico.
1848 (Feb 21) With Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx writes a theory of political development contrary to those who claim that everyone within a society have no fundamental conflicting interests. Marx sides with the proletariat, which he believes is exploited by capitalists. The first sentence of his little book reads: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." His little book is The Communist Manifesto.
1848 The economies of Europe have been suffering from a recent economic downturn. In France and Germany there has been a longer range decline in income as measured by what income can buy (real wages). Karl Marx is going to use figures from such decline to theorize about capitalism making working people more and more miserable and about capitalism's decline and eventual overthrow.
1848 In Milan there is taxation without representation. In January, sixty-one people are killed protesting against a rise in taxes by Austria's authorities. In January in Palermo, Sicily, people riot. In February in Paris people go to the barricades. The monarchy quits and the Second Republic is born. Revolution in Paris inspires uprisings in Germany and Austria. And Hungarians demand independence.
1848 Revolutionaries in Paris, upset by elections that did not go in their favor, stage another uprising, and they are crushed. The middle class in Germany joins the aristocracy against disorder, and revolution there is crushed. The political left in Vienna has alienated the liberal center and reaction there replaces revolution. Austria crushes Czech and Italian nationalism. With help from Russia, Austria crushes Hungarian resistance to its rule.
1848 Switzerland's civil war ends. Federalism and unity win against the separatism wanted by the Catholic Church and Austria.
1848 A gold rush begins in Central California.
1848 At a women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, a call is made for equal treatment of women and men under the law and voting rights for women.
1848 Ownership of land in the Hawaiian Islands is individualized, seen by Hawaii's leaders as advantageous for Hawaiians as well as enabling foreigners to buy land. It is called the Great Mahele (land division).
1848 An ancient human-like skull is discovered in a quarry on the island of Gibraltar that in eight years will be identified as Neanderthal.
1849 Karl Marx is ordered out of Paris and goes to London.
1849 Conservative rule in Prussia is devoted to improving education and science, seen there as contributing to the nation's power.
1849 The British have defeated a second Sikh rising. The British formally annex the Punjab and territory to Peshawar and the Khyber Pass.
1849 Poor sanitation in New York City creates a cholera epidemic, killing 5,000 people, most of them poor and Irish. Some believe the epidemic is God's punishment.
1850 A Chinese Christian in China sees himself as the son of God ordered to save the world. He has started a movement for sharing wealth, land distribution and the Ten Commandments. He favors chastity and an end to foot-binding for women and opposes opium smoking. He creates what is to be known as the Taiping Rebellion. It sweeps across central-eastern China, intending to drive away "Manchu demons" and rival faiths.
1850 In Prussia, new freedoms won by peasants are maintained, and a decree moves 640,000 peasants to free farming.
1850 In the United States, Congress passes another Fugitive Slave Act, which mandates government support for the capture of escaped slaves. Protests occur in the northern states.
1850 In Britain the Public Libraries Act has passed.
1850 Five percent of British ships are now powered by steam rather than sail.
1851 Thousands rush to gold in Australia, including Chinese prospectors and prospectors from California. There are tent cities with populations as large as 40,000.
1851 In Siam, King Mongkut ascends the throne. He invites European diplomats to his coronation. He becomes known for speaking English, French and Latin. Herman Melville's Moby-Dick has been published. He would like to see people lower their conceit and look for happiness and meaning in the small things that make a life well-lived.
1852 The novel Uncle Tom's Cabin is published. In the South complaints arise that the novel is exaggeration. In the South, owning a copy of the book is made illegal.
1852 The British arrive in lower Burma and bring opium from India for sale to the Burmese. Britain recognizes the right of Boers to administer their own affairs beyond its Cape Colony border so long as the Boers end slavery.
1852 Louis-Napoleon (Bonaparte's nephew), President of France's Second Republic, has consolidated conservative support and dissolves parliament. He crushes an uprising, establishes a dictatorship and holds a plebiscite to justify his move. Peasants and the religiously devout give him the votes he wants. In 1853 Louis-Napoleon is declared Emperor Napoleon III. He would like to create a dynasty. France is no longer a republic. It is called the Second Empire.
1853 The Frenchman Joseph Gobineau has two volumes of his work published, a work about the fall of civilizations that he believes is based on science. Degeneration he claims came with conquerors mixing with those they had conquered, polluting the purity of the conquerors' race. Jews he holds had once been biologically pure but they had become "bestialized" and a threat by having mixed with Africans.
1853 Commodore Matthew Perry arrives in Japan with 967 men on four ships, including two steam-powered vessels, which intimidates the Japanese. He demands that Japan open its ports to trade with the United States. He declares that he will return the following year to receive Japan's response.
1853 Tsar Nicholas I of Russia goes to war against the Ottoman Turks over what he sees as his right to defend Orthodox Christians in Turkey and in Jerusalem (then under the authority of the Ottoman Empire).
1854 The Japanese government signs a treaty with the United States that offers "peace and friendship," the opening to two ports (Shimoda and Hakodate), help for U.S. ships wrecked off Japan's coast, protection for shipwrecked persons, and permission for U.S. ships to buy provisions.
1854 In London, construction of the Clock Tower (Big Ben) is finished. Urbanization and the new industrial age have been producing a new era of tick, tick, tick.
1854 Imperial Britain and France are afraid of Russian expansion. At a Turkish port on the Black Sea, the Russian navy, using exploding shells for the first time, sets a Turkish fleet afire. The British respond with horror to the devastation. The British declare war, and Queen Victoria writes of "the great sinfulness" of Russia having "brought about this War" -- the Crimean War.
1854 Pope Pius IX addresses a question about differences between Jesus Christ and others. He proclaims the infallible doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (virgin birth) of Jesus Christ, that Jesus was born exempt from all stain of original sin.
1854 The scientist John Snow had been claiming that cholera was carried in water or food and could be ingested. Colleagues have dismissed his idea. A cholera epidemic has broken out in London, in an area around a water pump. Snow takes a sample of the water from the pump and through a microscope finds it contaminated. He removes the pump's handle and the cholera comes to a quick end.
1855 Much of Japan's capital, Edo (Tokyo), is destroyed by earthquake, tsunami and fire.
1855 King Mongkut of Siam signs a trade agreement with Britain. He builds roads, sets up printing presses, creates a currency and sets out to reform slavery.
1856 Tsar Nicholas I of Russia dies. His son, Alexander II, makes peace with Britain and France. The Crimean War ends. Russia's humiliation inspires Alexander's desire for reform.
1856 A ship owned by a Chinese, registered with the British in Hong Kong, and docked at Guangzhou (Canton), is searched by Manchu government agents looking for a notorious pirate. The British send an expedition of ships seeking redress and are joined by the French, who want to avenge the Manchu execution of a French missionary. There is also dissatisfaction with Chinese compliance to agreements made at the end of the first Opium War. The Second Opium War begins.
1857 The Supreme Court of the United States, in the Dred Scott case, rules that African Americans, free or slave, are not citizens and have no recourse in federal courts.
1858 The Second Opium War ends. China is forced to pay Britain and France indemnities and to open more ports. The opium trade is legalized. Christians are to be allowed to proselytize and guaranteed protection, and Westerners are to be allowed to hold property in China. Russia and the United States rush in to gain benefit from the British and French victory.
1858 In Vietnam, a French and Spanish expedition seizes the port city of Tourane (today Da Nang). The French are interested in ending Vietnamese persecution of Christian missionaries and interested in trade.
1859 In Vietnam, the French take over Saigon (today Ho Chi Minh City.)
1859 John Brown wants to begin a war for the liberation of all slaves in the United States. An armed rising by him and his eighteen supporters is crushed. Brown is tried, convicted and hanged.
1859 Charles Darwin has been sitting on his Origin of the Species for 21 years. He has it published.
1859 The first successful oil well in the United States is drilled, in northern Pennsylvania.
1860 Taiping rebels fail to take Shanghai, repelled by a force led by an Englishman, Frederick Townsend Ward.
1860 J.J.E. Lenoir of France develops an internal, non-compression, combustion engine.
1860 Jews in Britain are allowed to vote.
1860 International trade has been increasing. World exports are 4.53 times what they were in 1800.
1861 Tsar Alexander II issues his proclamation emancipating Russia's serfs.
1861 Abraham Lincoln takes office as the President of the United States. He tries to reassure southern states, announcing that he does not intend to interfere, directly or indirectly, with the institution of slavery. But southern politicians have allowed themselves exaggerations and panic. Some southern states proclaim secession. Shooting erupts in the South over who will possess federal forts.
1861 Whale oil has been the primary fuel for lamps. In Pennsylvania an oil well has begun producing more than 3,000 barrels per day, and oil refining has begun, producing an alternative fuel for lamps. In the U.S. Civil War, the Union is using whaling ships for naval blockades, contributing to the decline in whaling.
1861 (Oct 24) Telegraphy connects the west coast of United States to the east coast. Telegraphy is detaching communication from its dependency on transportation. A communications revolution has been underway. It brings an end to the Pony Express.
1861 In Germany, workers making mirrors have lost all of their teeth. A professor of medicine discovers they are victims of mercury poisoning. His findings lead to government regulations requiring alternative mirror making processes.
1861 In Britain a government commission begins to investigate non-textile industries employing children. Occupational diseases among children are discovered.
1862 In Prussia, the largest of the German states, a member of the landed aristocracy, Otto von Bismarck, becomes minister-president. Representing the king, he declares that his government is to rule without parliament.
1862 Miners have begun invading the Rocky Mountains and plains and clashing with Indians. The Lakota Sioux massacre or capture almost 1,000 people on the Minnesota frontier.
1862 In the United States the first paper money is issued.
1863 Thirty-eight Lakota Sioux are hanged before a crowd of angry whites in the town of Mankato, Minnesota.
1863 President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation becomes law.
1863 Slavery ends in Dutch ruled Indonesia.
1863 Cambodia become a French protectorate, with the approval of its king, Norodom.
1863 In Britain, legislators respond to air pollution from the chemical industry by creating the Alkali Act for reducing hydrogen chloride emissions during alkali production.
1863 In London, the first underground (subway) passenger system opens.
1864 The Dutch in Java and Sumatra experiment with rubber cultivation.
1864 In China, the leader of the Taiping Rebellion, Hong Xiuchuan, proclaims that God will defend his city, Tianjin (southeast of Beijing). When government forces approach he swallows poison and dies. The monarchy re-establishes control over most areas of China. The Taiping rebellion is all but defeated.
1864 A few hand-cranked Gatling guns, designed by Richard Gatling in 1861, are in use in the U.S. Civil War.
1865 Miners have been invading Colorado Territory, dislocating and angering Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. A Cheyenne-Arapaho war against whites has erupted. An Indian chief of a band of Cheyenne and Arapaho has chosen peace. They have settled temporarily at Sand Creek. A military commander, Colonel Chivington, is intent on killing Indians and leads 700 men in a massacre at Sand Creek that includes women and children.
1865 The U.S. Civil War ends with General Robert E. Lee and his officers surrendering their swords. President Lincoln is assassinated.
1865 The Winnebago Indians have been removed from Iowa, Minnesota and that part of Dakota Territory that is to be South Dakota. They are placed a reservation in Nebraska.
1865 The Central Pacific Railroad Company hires Chinese to work on the transcontinental railroad.
1865 In what today is Uzbekistan, Russians capture the city of Tashkent, which is to become a Russian administrative center.
1865 Over-reaction in crushing a rebellion in Jamaica produces an investigation in England. The island's governor is widely condemned and called to London. Some demand that he be tried for murder. He is removed from office but a grand jury refuses to indict him.
1866 In New Zealand, British regulars, white settlers and Maori loyalists defeat another Maori rebellion.
1866 In the Hawaiian Islands the first plantation workers have arrived, eighty-five percent of them are from China (470 males and 52 females). From Japan, 148 laborers have arrived.
1866 A Russian student, acting alone, tries to assassinate Tsar Alexander II. The government becomes hostile to all students. A new minister of education takes charge of the universities and applies stricter controls.
1867 One in five adult males in England and Wales can vote. Demonstrations erupt across Britain. A demonstration in London's Hyde Park is banned by the government, but the crowd is so huge that the government does not attack. The Reform Act of 1867 is passed, extending the vote to those individuals in whose name homes are owned or rented. This doubles the number of males in Wales and England who can vote. Politicians must account themselves to the increased electorate, but the upper classes can better afford the increased campaigning, which helps conservative candidates.
1867 The government of Tsar Alexander II is seeking consolidation of its frontier. It sells Alaska to the United States.
1867 The United States Congress abolishes peonage in the territory of New Mexico.
1867 In the United States, the Republican Party has gained more seats in Congress, and Congress overrides President Andrew Johnson's veto of the "Reconstruction Act." An army, including a black militia, is sent to the South to enforce the law.
1867 In the U.S., five all-black colleges are founded: Howard University in Washington D.C., Morgan State College in Maryland, Talladega College in Alabama, St. Augustine's College and Johnson C. Smith College in North Carolina.
1867 The Jesse James gang robs a bank in Savannah, Missouri, killing one person.
1867 In Sweden, Alfred Nobel finds that when nitroglycerin is combined with an absorbent substance it becomes safer and more convenient to manipulate. His mixture is patented as dynamite.
1867 E. Remington and Sons, manufacturers of guns and sewing machines, develop and manufacture the first commercial typewriter.
1868 Feudal lords and others have been conspiring against the Tokugawa rule. A rallying cry is, "Honor the Emperor; expel the barbarian." Despite the anti-barbarian slogan, U.S., British, French and Dutch forces join against the shogunate, shelling coastal fortresses and sinking the shogun's ships. Tokugawa rule is declared over. The capital, Edo, is renamed Tokyo. The emperor rules nominally while civil war continues. Attacks on foreigners continue, but people with influence and power do not want to provoke intervention by the Western Powers and move to end such attacks.
1868 In the United States, the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified. This overturns the Dred Scott case. It entitles all persons born or naturalized in the United States to citizenship and equal protection under the law. Civil rights are not extended to Indians or anyone who has held office in the Confederacy.
1868 George Custer and his Seventh Cavalry follow tracks of a small raiding party to a Cheyenne village on the Washita River, in western Oklahoma, within the borders of the Cheyenne reservation. There they slaughter Black Kettle, his family and others of the Cheyenne tribe.
1869 Tokugawa forces that have attempted to establish rule in Hokkaido are defeated. Leaders of the military victory over the Tokugawa begin associating Emperor Meiji with Shinto ideology. Shinto shrines are common on Buddhist temple grounds, and, in an effort to free Shinto from Buddhist domination, violence and the breaking of images is committed against Buddhism. Buddhist temple lands are confiscated.
1869 The transcontinental railroad is completed, ending six years of work. Track from west and east meet in Utah.
1869 The Suez Canal opens. It is largely French owned but eager for international business. Access is promised ships from all nations, for a fee. The canal is to reduce travel time between Europe and Asia. Giuseppe Verdi has written an opera for the opening celebration -- Aida.
1869 One-third of the population of Savu (in the Indonesian Archipelago) die from smallpox.
1869 The Territory of Wyoming allows women to vote.
1870 The Territory of Utah allows women to vote.
1870 Pius IX convenes the First Vatican Council at which papal infallibility is proclaimed on matters of faith and morals.
1870 Australia now has a substantial number of Germans and Catholic Irish who worshiped freely. The Irish have found Australia to be without the oppressions they had known in Ireland.
1870 Joseph Lister believes that microorganisms transmit disease. He reports success in sterilizing tools used in surgery.
1870 Bismarck believes that war will arouse nationalist fervor and serve to unite the independent German states with Prussia. France opposes such unity. Bismarck wants a showdown with France and tricks the French into starting war. The Franco-Prussian War begins in July. In September the Prussians defeat the French decisively at Sedan and capture the French emperor, Napoleon III. The emperor is deposed. France's Second Empire ends and Third Republic begins.
1870 In Britain, France, Germany, Austria and in Scandinavian countries, trade relative to population size has increased four to five times what it was in 1830. In Belgium and the Netherlands the increase is about three times.
1871 The war between Prussia and France officially ends with the Treaty of Frankfurt. Bismarck's success has enhanced respect among Germans for his authoritarianism as opposed to the liberalism of his critics. Bavaria agrees to unify with Prussia. France cedes to Germany Alsace and Lorraine, and it is not popular among the people there. French forces crush the Paris Commune, and as many as 30,000 "Communards" and innocent Parisians are summarily executed.
1871 The Meiji government sends a few men to Europe and to the U.S., hoping to secure abolition of the Unequal Treaties and to examine Western technology, banking and agricultural techniques -- the Iwakura Mission.
1871 Life expectancy at birth in England has risen from 36 years in 1700 to 41 years. (Calculated in a study in the 1980s by the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure.)
1872 In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Charles Taze Russell begins what will become the Jehovah's Witnesses.
1872 Speaking to Union Leaders in Holland, Karl Marx speaks of the possibility of victory for the working class through electoral politics.
1872 All former Confederate States have returned to the Union (the United States). An Amnesty Act restores the vote to those whites in the South who have been denied it.
1873 Japan's mission to Europe and the United States returns hopeful that Japan can catch up with the West in modernization. The Meiji government declares religious freedom and ends Confucianism as official state ideology.
1873 Russia's government orders students in Switzerland to return to Russia. The returning students launch a "To the People" movement, which they hope will revolutionize society.
1874 Germany is suffering a small pox epidemic. Vaccination becomes mandatory.
1874 Britain makes a colony of coastal territory 100 kilometers deep and 400 kilometers wide in what today is Ghana.
1875 In Canada the light bulb is invented. Thomas Edison buys the patent.
1875 Britain has bought into part ownership of the Suez Canal enterprise.
1875 Southern Africa has became the largest diamond producing area in the world.
1875 Prospectors discover gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota, an area that the U.S. government has promised the Sioux would be theirs forever.
1875 An attempt by Ottoman agents to collect taxes in Herzegovina leads to a popular uprising, and the rebellion spreads to Bosnia.
1876 Rebellion against Ottoman rule has spread to Bulgaria. A reformist group in Turkey deposes Sultan Abd al-Aziz. Murad V becomes sultan but is declared insane. Abd al-Hamid becomes sultan and he accepts the new constitution.
1876 Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.
1876 In the former Confederate states, conservatives have gained power and are running what they call "redeemed" governments. Some of these governments are inventing ways to limit voting by blacks: complicated ballot boxes, literacy tests and poll taxes.
1876 The Russians have conquered all of Uzbekistan and occupy the northern part of Kyrgyzstan.
1876 German physician Robert Koch establishes a procedure that proves the germ theory of disease and boosts microbiology and the identification of microorganisms.
1876 Colorado becomes a state. Sioux and Cheyenne warriors annihilate Lieutenant Colonel George Custer and 210 or so of his Seventh Cavalry at the Little Big Horn River. White Americans are outraged and demand retribution. The U.S. government redraws Indian reservation boundaries.
1876 A three-year-old Niño-caused drought has devastated India, China and Brazil, causing as many as 30 million deaths from starvation and disease.
1876 Japan forces the Koreans to accept a trade agreement similar to Commodore Perry's demands to the Japanese government back in 1853.
1877 A punitive expedition under Colonel Nelson Miles defeats the Sioux and Cheyenne. The Crow and Blackfoot Indians are ejected from their reservations. In Colorado, holdings of the Ute Indians are confiscated and opened to settlement. Gold is discovered on the Salmon River in Idaho, and whites begin invading territory that was promised to the peaceful Nez Perce Indians. War erupts, and the U.S. Army defeats the Nez Perce.
1877 The U.S. economy has been on a down swing, and labor unrest has spread across the country. Three million men, roughly 27 percent of the working population are unemployed. In San Francisco there is bitterness over wealthy people hiring Chinese. A popular orator, Denis Kearney, is haranguing the crowds with his slogan, "The Chinese must go."
1877 Thomas Edison develops the gramophone and phonograph.
1877 The British intend to protect the Boers (Afrikaners of Dutch, French and German descent) from the Zulus and to repair the Boer Republic financially. They suppose that a majority of Boers favor British rule and they annex the republic.
1877 Supporting their fellow Orthodox Christians in the Balkans, the Russians are marching toward Constantinople.
1878 Sultan Abd al-Hamid has dismissed the new liberal constitution and reformist politicians. The first attempt in modern times to graft western political ideas onto Islamic society has failed. All opposition is suppressed and all governmental power transferred to the Sultan's palace.
1878 The British fear Russia's expansion southward. The word jingoism is on the way, rising from a popular song in Britain that begins: "We don’t want to fight, but by jingo if we do We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men and got the money too!"
1878 European powers get together in Berlin to settle problems regarding revolts and war against the Ottoman Empire. They create problems for the future that will lead to the disastrous Great War of 1914. They settle matters to some degree in accordance with national determination, recognizing Bulgarian and Romanian independence and giving independence to Montenegro and Serbia, but they also defer to old fashioned empire: the Habsburg monarchy in Vienna is given approval of its takeover in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Vienna's army, carrying symbols of Roman Catholicism, is crushing Orthodox Serb resistance.
1878 Cyprus transfers from Ottoman to British control.
1878 Fearing Russia's advances into Turkistan and Samarqand, the British occupy Kabul. The "Second Afghan War" has begun.
1878 Vera Zasulich, a member of the youthful radical group "Land and Liberty," seeks revenge for the beating that one of her activist friends has received in prison. She shoots and wounds the military governor of St. Petersburg and is tried by a jury, which fails to convict her. The government responds by ending jury trials for people charged with politically motivated crimes. The government also steps up its arrest and exile of persons suspected of supporting terrorism.
1878 The British order the King of the Zulus, Cetshwayo, to disband his army of four to six thousand. He refuses. The Zulus defeat the British at Isandhwana, killing 800 British and capturing 1,000 rifles, with ammunition.
1879 With the help of Gatling guns, the British overpower the Zulus, at the Battle of Ulundi. Queen Victoria urges "kind and generous treatment of Cetshwayo," who is exiled to Cape Town. By now the hand-cranked Gatling gun could fire 1,200 rounds per minute -- 400 rounds per minute said to be more reasonable.
1879 A yellow-fever epidemic begins in New Orleans.
1879 A territorial dispute between Bolivia and Chile erupts into war. The prize is nitrate deposits. Chile makes war also against Peru.
1879 In Constantinople, Turkish authorities forbid Armenian performances.
1879 Interested in peace among Europe's powers, Bismarck joins his Germany with Austria-Hungary in a defensive alliance. St. Petersburg has its first significant strike by industrial workers.
1880 After many failed attempts to assassinate Alexander II, radicals fail again, blowing up the dining room at the tsar's palace, killing eleven and wounding fifty-six. The tsar was late for dinner. Police arrest many members of the radical group "Will of the People," almost destroying the organization.
1880 The conservative British politician Benjamin Disraeli for the last six years has been in his second run as Britain's Prime Minister. Many are unhappy with his having raised taxes and unhappy about the cost of military operations. Election results are not in his favor and he steps down.
1881 A member of the radical group, "Will of the People" assassinates Tsar Alexander II. His son and successor, Alexander III, makes no distinction between terrorists and political activists of the non-violent variety. Censorship is tightened. Publishers and writers with liberal ideas are harassed.
1881 Austria-Hungary joins Germany's alliance with Russia, a move encouraged by Bismarck, who hopes that Russia and Austria-Hungary will manage their rivalry in the Balkans.
1881 In the Transvaal, Boers (Afrikaners) rebel against British rule and defeat the British at Majuba Hill. Britain's prime minister, Gladstone, returns self-rule to the Boer Republic except for control of foreign affairs.
1881 France declares Tunisia a protectorate.
1881 Tennessee's legislature mandates racial segregation on railroads.
1881 Muhammad Ahmad leads a pan-Islamic rebellion amid cries for war against infidels. He proclaims himself the Mahdi (Messiah) who is to rid the world of evil.
1882 In response to a nationalist revolt in Egypt against Ottoman rule, Britain and France support the Ottoman sultan. A British army defeats an Egyptian force at the Battle of Tell al-Kabir. Britain is concerned about the Suez Canal, and Queen Victoria wants to protect Christians in Egypt. Exercising her power to consult with and advise her government, she favors keeping troops in Egypt.
1882 Massachusetts passes a pure food law.
1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act passed by the U.S. Congress goes into effect.
1882 In Appleton, Wisconsin, a hydroelectric power plant begins operation.
1882 Alexander III believes that Jews are the killers of Christ. Pogroms against Jews have been spreading across Russia's empire. They are being expelled from Moscow and are fleeing the empire.
1882 German physician Robert Koch discovers the rod-shaped bacterium that causes tuberculosis. In 1883 Robert Koch discovers the rod-shaped bacterium that causes cholera.
1883 The Ottoman sultan, Abd al-Hamid II, has his former prime minister, Midhat Pasha, strangled.
1883 The Orient Express railway opens between Constantinople and Baghdad.
1884 After five years of war -- the "War of the Pacific" with Chile against Peru and Bolivia -- a peace treaty leaves Bolivia landlocked.
1884 France incorporates Vietnam into its empire. In Africa, France occupies Guinea.
1884 In Uganda, Christians object to the King Mwanga's homosexual relations with young boys and men who serve him as pages and attendants. Mwanga has numerous Christians put to death, some by burning. Christians arm themselves and ally with local Muslims in a civil war against Mwanga.
1884 Britain proclaims a protectorate over the southern coast of New Guinea and adjacent islands. The Germans turn northeastern New Guinea into a colony. The Germans are trading in copra and coconut oil.
1884 In Africa, Germany declares Togoland, Cameroon and Southwest Africa as protectorates. The British feel their interests threatened.
1884 In the United States an insurance salesman, Lewis E. Waterman, creates a fountain pen that is not supposed to leak.
1884 Britain sends a force to the Sudan to supervise an Egyptian withdrawal from Khartoum, and the force takes charge of 2,500 women, children, sick and wounded. Muhammad Ahmad's force surrounds them. The British government's rejects a request for military help from a Sudanese slave trader and warlord.
1885 After ten months, Muhammad Ahmad overruns the British force in Khartoum. Its leader, Charles Gordon, is killed.
1885 With help from the British, who are involved in neighboring Sudan, Italy takes from the Egyptians control over what today is Eritrea.
1885 European powers meet in Berlin and make agreements concerning Africa. They give King Leopold of Belgium control of the Congo. Germany acquires what is today Tanzania as a protectorate. Britain annexes what today is Botswana and approves Germany's position in Southwest Africa and the interior of Cameroon. France is colonizing Central Africa and establishes a little colony on the northern tip of Madagascar.
1885 Germany buys some of the Marshall Islands from Spain, a transaction mediated by Pope Leo XIII.
1885 In Germany, Karl Benz develops an internal combustion engine. It can run at 250 revolutions per minute. A bicycle with a diamond-shaped frame and a chain drive to the rear wheel is exhibited in London.
1886 Britain and Germany agree on a boundary between German East Africa and Rhodesia. Germany recognizes Britain's claim to Zanzibar.
1886 In Germany, Heinrich Hertz uses sparks to send a radio signal.
1887 The Interstate Commerce Act is made law. Financier-industrialist J.P. Morgan believes that some order is needed in commerce and he helps enforce the act.
1887 Ethiopians are fighting Italy's attempt at colonization. The Italians remain in Eritrea.
1887 The Yellow River bursts its banks, and the flooding kills 900,000 Chinese.
1888 George Eastman invents the Kodak camera, making it easy to take photographs.
1888 In London, five prostitutes who ate poisoned grapes have been disemboweled. The murders are attributed to Jack the Ripper.
1888 The German Emperor dies. His son, Friederich III, dies of throat cancer after reigning 99 days. Friederich's son, Wilhelm II, son of Queen Victoria's politically liberal daughter, Vicki, becomes emperor.
1888 Slavery officially ends in Brazil. Compensation is paid to the slave owners.
Brazil overthrows its monarchy and becomes a republic
1889 The Ivory Coast becomes a French protectorate, and the English and French agree on spheres of influence on the Gold Coast and on the Senegal and Gambia rivers.
1890 In Constantinople, Armenians in the district of Gum-Gapu protest, and authorities crush the demonstration with bloodshed.
1890 An Indian named Wovoka foresees a messiah rescuing Indians and killing all whites. Acceptance of the vision spreads and is associated with a "ghost dance." Without foundation, whites fear that Sitting Bull, now an old man, will lead a rebellion, and Sitting Bull is shot and killed. About 500 U.S. soldiers massacre 300 or so men, women and children at Wounded Knee.
1890 Forty-five percent of the work force in the United States lives in cities. The South is abandoning its dependence on cotton growing.
1890 For the sake of popularity, Wilhelm II does not renew Bismarck's anti-socialist legislation. As Wilhelm desired, Bismarck resigns.
1890 Economies in Europe have been in a down turn. British investors sell their U.S. stocks for needed money.
1891 In West Africa, the French invade the Mandinka Empire, employing artillery and machine guns. The Mandinka ruler, Samoie Touré, resorts to a scorched earth policy and shifts his empire to the east.
1891 Germany's Social Democratic Party advocates a variety of reforms: the 8-hour day; prohibition of child labor under the age of 14; government regulation of working conditions; the abolition of laws that restrict the right of people to assemble; direct suffrage by secret ballot; the election of judges; an end to laws that put women at a disadvantage as compared with men; a graduated income and property tax; free medical attention; a people's militia for defense; secularized public education; and no public money supporting religious institutions.
1891 Various Turkish intellectuals, including persons in the military, are drawing inspiration from the West. In institutions of higher learning secret societies have formed. Exiles called Young Turks meet in Geneva to organize a nationalist movement against Sultan Hamid's rule. His repressions are failing.
1892 Journalist Ida B. Wells begins to investigate lynching of blacks after three of her friends are lynched in Tennessee.
1892 In Russian ruled Poland, unrest among workers brings an attack sent by authorities that kills 46.
1893 Laos becomes a French protectorate.
1893 A mounted British column crosses the Umniati River into Matabeleland (today Zimbabwe). They have rifles, two 7-pounder field guns and a number of Maxim machine guns. Six thousand Ndebele warriors attack the British encampment. Hundreds of Ndebele die. Less than 10 members of the British column are killed or wounded.
1893 New Zealand is the first country to give women the vote in national elections.
1893 The U.S. economy has benefited from the rising sale of agricultural products to Europe, but Europe is in an economic contraction. In the United States, what has been a booming economy plunges. The Reading Railroad has collapsed financially. Hundreds of banks and businesses dependent upon the Reading and other railroads have failed. Gold is being exported to Europe. Money in circulation declines. Agricultural depression spreads in the West and South of the United States. Unemployment jumps from three percent in 1892 to between 8 and 12 percent.
1894 In the United States, unemployment jumps to between 12 and 18.4 percent.
1894 Alexander III dies of kidney disease. His eldest son, at 26, is crowned Tsar Nicholas II. His main interest is devotion to God and an undisturbed family life. A few days after his coronation, trinkets and such are presented to the masses as presents from the tsar. Surging forward to the gifts in an open field, more than a thousand people are trampled to death. Nicholas visits churches, venerating saints, and where he appears, devout Russians follow the custom of falling to their knees at the sight of him and his entourage -- a moment of silence usually followed by roaring cheers.
1894 Dahomey becomes a French colony.
1894 Korea's king calls for help from China to suppress riots. Opposed to China's influence in Korea, Japan sends troops and takes control of Korea. Japan's military moves north from Korea into Manchuria, and they move eastward to Port Arthur.
1894 An antiquated military force from Manchu China is overwhelmed by Japan's more modern force.
1895 China signs the Treaty of Shimonoseki, ceding to Japan control over the Liaodong peninsula to Port Arthur, ceding to Japan Taiwan, and permitting Japanese to live in and trade with Chinese.
1895 In Germany, Wilhelm Roentgen develops X-rays.
1895 Studies in Hysteria by Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud launch an Age of Analysis.
1895 In Russia the average male dies at 31.4 years-of-age and the average woman at 33.3.
1896 The United States Supreme Court rules that "separate but equal" public facilities for whites and blacks are legal.
1896 In Constantinople, Armenian nationalists attack the Ottoman Bank. Authorities retaliate and 3,000 Armenians die. The British are alarmed by the spread of French influence in southern Sudan. Britain's military leader, Horatio Kitchener, leads an army into the Sudan. Britain declares Ashanti (today Ghana) a protectorat. At Adwa, in the far north of Ethiopia, Ethiopians defeat an Italian army, saving themselves from colonial rule. In Matabeleland, rebels kill more than 120 white settlers. A force of 500 whites assemble and end the rebellion.
1896 In France the real spy in the Dreyfus Affair has been found, but the French Army prefers to keep its mistake hidden and to maintain Dreyfus, still on Devil's Island, as guilty. The novelist Émile Zola denounces the French General Staff regarding the Dreyfus Affair. Zola is prosecuted for libel and flees to England. Theodor Herzl, a Jewish journalist from Hungary, has been disturbed by the anti-Semitism connected with the Dreyfus Affair. He organizes and holds the first Zionist Congress.
1897 German forces occupy and start to build a naval base at TsingDao (QingDao) following the murder of two German missionaries. This provokes a European and American rush for concessions in China.
1897 In Cuba, Spain has a "Reconstruction Policy," trying to separate the rural population and the guerrillas. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans have been herded into camps, which are disease-ridden and where malnourishment spreads. A total of 321,934 people will be counted as having perished under the Reconstruction Policy. Hostility by newspapers and the public in the United States against Spain rises sharply.
1898 Spain fails militarily and grants limited autonomy to Cuba. The battleship U.S.S. Maine is sent on a "courtesy" visit to Havana with words of friendship to Spain, which sends a naval ship to New York in exchange. The Maine blows up in Cuba's Havana harbor, killing 266. Spain's government is blamed. Spain denies the charge. President McKinley gives into passions, goes before Congress, asks and receives authority to send troops to Cuba. Spain refuses an ultimatum and the U.S. declares war. On May 1, the U.S. Navy, at the Battle of Manila Bay, defeats a Spanish squadron. On June 10, U.S. Marines land at Guantanamo. On July 1 the Battle of San Juan Hill takes place, with 1,200 U.S. and 593 Spanish casualties.
1898 In June, Congress passes a resolution that annexes Hawaii. In July, President McKinley signs it into law.
1898 Spain sues for peace. A formal peace treaty is signed in Paris in December. The United States acquires all of Spain's colonies, including the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico. Cuba is recognized as independent.
1898 Britain obtains a 99-year lease of Hong Kong from the Chinese.
1898 In China and India the bubonic plague begins to kill what will eventually be three million people.
1898 A force of 8,200 British and 17,600 Sudanese troops under British command win against more numerous Dervish warriors at the Battle of Omdurman in the Sudan, near Khartoum. The British lose 48 dead. An estimated 5,000 Dervish are taken prisoner and 10,000 are killed.
1898 Flashbulb photography begins.
1898 A gold rush is on in Canada's Yukon Territory.
1898 A book by a Polish financier, Ivan Bloch, is widely distributed in Europe that predicts the kind of warfare to be fought in World War I. Bloch describes warfare as no longer a solution to diplomatic problems.
1899 The United States refuses to recognize the new republic in the Philippines. Wanting Wake Island for a cable link to the Philippines, the U.S. claims the island. War erupts as two U.S. privates fire upon and kill three Filiopino soldiers on the outskirts of Manila.
1899 Rudyard Kipling writes the poem "Take up the White Man's Burden," which speaks of "new caught sullen peoples, half-devil and half-child."
1899 British settlers have streamed into Boer country with the discovery of gold there. The gold mines become British owned. Various British colonial leaders want to annex the two Boer republics. War erupts, with the Boers striking first.
1899 Alfred Dreyfus is pardoned.
1899 Valdermar Poulsen of Denmark develops the first tape recorder.
1899 Germany acquires islands in the northern Mariana and Caroline Islands. A treaty is signed in Berlin recognizing Western Samoa as a German colony, U.S. control of American Samoa, and Britain as having power over the Island of Tonga.
1899 Tsar Nicholas II moves to tighten control over autonomous Finland, and Finnish resistance to the Russian tsar's rule begins.
1899 The McKinley administration hopes to build prosperity at home through trade with China. It calls for equal trading rights among all powers in all parts of China and for China's territorial integrity -- a so-called Open Door policy. It is ignored except that Russia and Japan voice displeasure.
1899 In China angry men take up terrorism. They are known as Boxers. More than terrorists, they are nationalists. In the streets that display slogans such as "protect the country and destroy the foreigner." At least half of them are youths, and they have religious fervor. They fear magic created by the Christians. They attack and kill Christian missionaries and Chinese converts to Christianity. Rather than being viewed as rebels, they have government approval.
1900 The U.S., Japan and European nations send military forces to China to rescue people and to put down what the West calls the Boxer Rebellion. Filled with vengeful wrath, troops move through Beijing, attacking those they believe are Boxers. They injure and pillage the property of innocent Chinese.
1900 Unemployment in the United States is back down around 5 percent, close to what it was in 1891.
1900 Another Anglo-Asante war erupts in what today is Ghana. Asanti warriors abandon skirmishing for frontal attacks against British machine guns.
1900 In the United States, the Hawaiian Islands are deemed U.S. Territory.
1900 In the United States the paper clip is invented.
1900 1.5 million telephones are in use in the United States, in a population of 75.8 million.
1900 In Britain the average male is dead at 51.5 years of age and the average woman at 55.4. In France these figures are 45.4 and 50. In Spain they are 41 and 42.5.
1900 Germany leads the world in literacy. Germany is well supplied with engineers, chemists, opticians, skilled workers for its factories, skilled managers, knowledgeable farmers and skilled military personnel. Literacy is said to be above 90 percent in Britain, France, Norway, Sweden, and Australia; between 70 and 90 percent in the United States, Canada and Japan; 78 percent in Italy; 50 to 70 in the Balkans; 30 to 50 percent range in Russia; and below 30 percent in China, India, Africa and the Islamic countries.
1900 World population is roughly 1.7 billion, up from about 1 billion in 1800.