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1850-1877: World Events: Selected Occurrences Outside the United States

1850-1877: Chapter One: World Events: Selected Occurrences Outside the United States




WORLD EVENTS 1850-1877


1850-1864 Taiping Rebellion

1852 Second British-Burmese War

1853-1856 Crimean War

1859 Franco-Austrian War

1863-1864 Second Polish Revolution

1866 Austrian Seven Weeks War against Italy, Germany, and Bohemia

1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War

1873-1874 Second Ashanti War

1877 Russian-Turkish War

1877 War between Britain and Afghanistan

1877-1878 Kaffir War


1852 South African Republic (Transvaal) is declared.

1861 United Italy

1871 German Empire


Austria-Hungary Emperor Francis Joseph I (1848-1916)

China Emperors Hsüan Tsung (1821-1850), Hsien Feng (1851-1861), Tung Chih (1862-1874), and Kwang Hsü (1875-1908)

France President, Prince Louis-Napoleon (1848-1851); proclaimed himself Emperor Napoleon III (1852-1870); presidents Adolphe Thiers (1870-1873) and Marie Edmé MacMahon (1873-1879)

German Empire Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1871-1890); Emperor William I (1871-1888)

Great Britain Queen Victoria (1837-1901); prime ministers Lord Palmerston (1846-1865), Lord John Russell (1865-1868), Benjamin Disraeli (1868, 1874-1880), and William Gladstone (1868-1874)

Italy King Victor Emmanuel II (1861-1878); premiers Baron Bettino Ricasoli (1861-1862, 1866-1867), Giovanni Lanza (1869-1873), Marco Minghetti (1863-1864, 1873-1876), and Agostino Depretis (1876-1879, 1881-1887)

Japan Shoguns Ieyoshi (1838-1853), lesada (1853-1858), Iemochi (1858-1866), Keiki (1867); and Meiji (1867-1912)

The Ottoman Empire Sultans Abdul Mejid (1839-1861), Abdul Aziz (1861-1876), Murad V (1876), and Abdul Hamid II (1876-1909)

Russia Czars Nicholas I (1825-1855) and Alexander II (1855-1881)

WORLD EVENTS 1850-1877


  • 20 Mar. The Erfurt parliament meets; it has been summoned by King Frederick William IV of Prussia to form a new confederation opposing Austria.
  • 12 Apr. French troops restore Pope Pius IX, who had fled to Gaeta after a popular in surrection in 1848, to power in Rome; Pius revokes the liberal 1848 Roman constitution.
  • 19 Apr. Britain and the United States agree to the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, which provides that neither country will assert exclusive control of any canal built across the Isthmus of Panama.
  • 31 May Universal suffrage is abolished in France; henceforth, in order to vote one must show that one has lived in the same place for three years. The measure is aimed mainly at industrial workers, who tend to move frequently and to have radical political views.
  • 2 July Prussia and Denmark agree to the Treaty of Berlin, providing for Denmark to govern Schleswig and for an administrator to govern Holstein.
  • 5 Aug. The British Parliament passes the Australian Colonies Government Act, providing for self-government for the Australian states.
  • 18 Aug. The French novelist Honoré de Balzac dies.
  • 26 Aug. Louis Philippe, who had abdicated as king of France in 1848, dies; his grandson, Louis Philippe, the comte de Paris, succeeds to the Orléanist claim to the throne.
  • 30 Sept. A papal bull sets up a hierarchy of Roman Catholic bishops in England in Great Britain; the bishops are to take their titles from sees created by the bull.
  • Oct. The Taiping Rebellion breaks out in China; it is led by the mystic Hung Hsiuch üan, who takes Nanking and Shanghai, declares himself emperor, and attacks Beijing.
  • 11 Oct. Count Camillo Benso di Cavour is appointed minister of agriculture and commerce in Piedmont.
  • 29 Nov. Germany and Austria agree to the Punctuation of Olmutz, providing for Prussia to recognize the Frankfurt Diet.


  • The English philosopher Herbert Spencer publishes Social Statics.
  • In response to the papal bull of the year before, Parliament passes the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill; it bars Catholic bishops from accepting titles from areas within Britain.
  • Gold is discovered in Australia.
  • 16 Mar. Spain enters into a concordat with the papacy, providing for Catholicism to be the only authorized faith in Spain.
  • 1 May-15 Oct. The London Great Exhibition, known as the Crystal Palace Exhibition, inaugurates the era of worlds fairs.
  • 24 July The British window tax is eliminated, leading to the construction of buildings with more windows.
  • 18 Nov. King Ernest Augustus of Hannover dies and is succeeded by George V.
  • 2 Dec. President Louis Napoleon leads a coup détat in France.


  • 17 Jan. The British government signs the Sand River Convention, recognizing the independence of the Boer territory of the Transvaal in South Africa.
  • 22 Jan. The Orléans family is banned from France.
  • 1 Apr. The second British-Burmese War begins.
  • 8 May Britain, France, Russia, Prussia, Austria, Sweden, and Denmark conclude the London Protocol, in which Denmark agrees to preserve a special status for the colonies of Schleswig and Holstein, and the other powers guarantee the territorial integrity of Denmark.
  • 30 June Britain promulgates a new constitution for New Zealand, dividing it into six provinces and granting it self-government.
  • 4 Nov. Count Cavour is named prime minister of Piedmont.
  • 2 Dec. The Second Empire is proclaimed in France; Louis Napoleon becomes emperor as Napoleon III.


  • Baron Georges Haussmann, named prefect of the Seine by Napoleon III, begins the reconstruction of Paris by laying out the Bois de Boulogne.
  • The Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi writes the operas La Traviata and II Travatore.
  • 30 Jan. Napoleon III marries the Spanish countess Eugénie de Montijo.
  • 18 Apr. British chancellor of the Exchequer William Ewart Gladstone proposes a budget that eliminates import duties on most foods and partially manufactured goods and cuts most duties on manufactured goods in half.
  • 19 Apr. The Russian emissary to Constantinople, Prince Alexander Menshikov, asserts a Russian protectorate over Christians in the Ottoman Empire.
  • 2 July The Russian army invades the Danubian principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia.
  • 4 Oct. The Ottoman Empire declares war on Russia.
  • 15 Nov. Pedro V succeeds to the Portuguese throne on the death of Maria II.
  • 30 Nov. Russian shelling destroys the wooden Ottoman fleet at Sinope, demonstrating the importance of armor plating.


  • The newspaper Le Figaro begins publication in Paris as a weekly.
  • 12 Mar. Britain and France form an alliance with the Ottoman Empire against Russia.
  • 28 Mar. France and Britain declare war on Russia.
  • 13 July Abbas I, Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, is assassinated; he is succeeded by his uncle, Mohammed Said.
  • 14 Sept. The Allied Powers land in the Crimea.
  • 20 Sept. French and British troops prevail over the Russian army at the Battle of the Alma River.
  • 17 Oct. French and British troops begin the siege of Sebastopol.
  • 25 Oct. The Allies prevail in the Battle of Balaclava after heavy losses; the disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade will be immortalized this year in the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
  • 8 Dec. Pope Pius IX proclaims that belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary is an article of faith in the Roman Catholic Church.


  • 20 Jan. Discontent over the Crimean War causes George Hamilton-Gordon, fourth earl of Aberdeen, to resign as prime minister of Britain; he will be succeeded on 5 February by Henry John Temple, third viscount of Palmerston.
  • 26 Jan. Piedmont enters the Crimean War alliance against Russia, hoping to earn goodwill for Italian unification.
  • 2 Mar. Czar Nicholas I dies; he is succeeded by Alexander II.
  • 11 Sept. The Russians abandon Sebastopol after blowing up their forts and sinking their ships to keep them from falling into Allied hands.
  • Nov. The Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone discovers Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River in Africa.


  • The skull of Neanderthal man is discovered in Germany by Johann C. Fruhott.
  • The French statesman and author Alexis de Tocqueville publishes LAncien Régime et la révolution.
  • 1 Feb. The Crimean War ends when Russia yields to an Austrian ultimatum and agrees to preliminary peace terms at Vienna.
  • 30 Mar. The Treaty of Paris is signed: the Allies recognize the integrity of the Ottoman Empire and guarantee the independence of the Danubian principalities; Russia agrees to the neutrality of the Black Sea and free navigation of the Danube.
  • 6 May The Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, is born in Freiburg, Moravia.
  • 12 July Austria grants amnesty to participants in the Hungarian rebellion of 1848-1849.
  • 26 July The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw is born in Dublin.
  • 8 Oct. War breaks out between Britain and China after Chinese sailors board the British ship Arrow at Canton and arrest its crew.
  • 1 Nov. The Persian occupation of Herat in Afghanistan prompts a war with Britain.


  • Gustave Flaubert publishes Madame Bovary.
  • Parliament passes the Matrimonial Causes Act, creating divorce courts in England and Wales and ordering the worlds first alimony payments.
  • The National Portrait Gallery opens in London.
  • The French artist Jean FranÇois Millet paints The Gleaners.
  • The French poet Charles Baudelaire publishes Les Fleurs du mal.
  • 4 Mar. The Treaty of Paris ends the Anglo-Persian War; the shah acknowledges the independence of Afghanistan.
  • 10 May The Indian Mutiny against British rule begins with a revolt of sepoys (Indian soldiers in the Bengal army of the British East India Company) at Meerut.
  • 26 May Prussia renounces its authority over the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel, which had declared itself a republic in 1848.
  • Aug. Giuseppe Garibaldi forms the Italian National Association, seeking unification of Italy under the leadership of Piedmont.
  • 5 Sept. The French philosopher Auguste Comte, exponent of positivism, dies.
  • 29 Dec. French and British forces capture Canton, China.


  • Bernadette Soubirous reports seeing the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, which begins to attract pilgrims.
  • The Covent Garden Opera House opens in London.
  • Construction begins on the Ringstrasse in Vienna.
  • The British explorers Richard Francis Burton and John Hanning Speke, seeking the source of the Nile, discover Lake Tanganyika; Speke goes on alone and discovers Victoria Nyanza, the largest lake in Africa.
  • June The property requirement for members of the British Parliament is abolished.
  • 26-29 June The Anglo-Chinese War ends with the Treaties of Tientsin between China and Great Britain, France, the United States, and Russia, which open eleven additional Chinese ports; a further agreement in November will legalize the opium trade.
  • 8 July Britain declares that the Indian Mutiny has been suppressed.
  • 23 July Civil disabilities of Jews in Britain are removed by an act of Parliament; Baron Lionel de Rothschild becomes the first Jewish member of Parliament.
  • 2 Aug. British Columbia is removed from the jurisdiction of Hudsons Bay Company and organized as a colony.
  • 7 Oct. Prince William of Prussia is named regent for the insane King Frederick William IV.
  • 10 Dec. France and Piedmont enter into an alliance.


  • John Stuart Mill publishes On Liberty.
  • Karl Marx publishes Zur Kritik der politischen Oekonomie.
  • Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
  • Charles Dickens publishes A Tale of Two Cities.
  • 27 Apr. Tuscan rebels call on the House of Lorraine to declare allegiance to Austria or Italy; similar peaceful uprisings follow in Modena and Parma in May.
  • 29 Apr. Austria invades Piedmont.
  • 12 May France declares war on Austria.
  • 4 June The French defeat the Austrians at Magenta and liberate Milan.
  • 24 June France and Piedmont defeat Austria at Solferino.
  • 8 July Charles XV takes the Swedish throne on the death of Oscar I.
  • 11 July The Peace of Villafranca provides for Austria to transfer Parma and Lombardy to France for subsequent cession to Piedmont, but authorities in Tuscany and Modena are restored, and Venice remains under the control of Austria. Count Cavour resigns as prime minister of Piedmont in protest.
  • Sept. Rudolf von Benningsen forms the German National Association to promote German unification under the leadership of Prussia.
  • 22 Oct. Spain declares war on Moors in Morocco.
  • 10 Nov. Buenos Aires, which had seceded from the Argentine Confederation in 1853, agrees to reunion after defeat by federal troops.
  • 10 Nov. The Treaty of Zurich confirms the preliminary Peace of Villafranca.


  • The Cornhill Magazine is founded in London, with William Makepeace Thackeray as its first editor.
  • The first British Open golf championship is won by W. Park.
  • 20 Jan. Count Cavour is recalled to office as the prime minister of Piedmont.
  • 13-15 Mar. Citizens in Tuscany, Emilia, Parma, Modena, and Romagna vote in plebiscites in favor of union with Piedmont.
  • 17 Mar. The second Maori War breaks out in New Zealand.
  • 24 Mar. Under the Treaty of Turin, Piedmont transfers Nice and Savoy to France.
  • 2 Apr. The first Italian parliament meets in Turin.
  • 3 Apr. Transvaal establishes its capital at Pretoria.
  • 26 Apr. The war between Spain and the Moors in Morocco ends, with Spain victorious.
  • 27 May Giuseppe Garibaldi and his Redshirts conquer Palermo.
  • July The city of Vladivostok is founded in Russia.
  • 7 July The Austrian composer Gustav Mahler is born.
  • 7 Sept. Francis II of Naples flees as Garibaldis troops enter the city.
  • 10 Sept. Piedmont attacks the Papal States.
  • 21-22 Oct. Naples and Sicily vote in favor of union with Piedmont.
  • 26 Oct. Garibaldi meets Victor Emmanuel II, king of Piedmont, and declares him king of Italy.


  • The French chemist Louis Pasteur refutes the idea of the spontaneous generation of microorganisms; his work will lead to the germ theory of disease and to pasteurization of milk, beer, and wine.
  • William Siemens in Britain and Pierre Émile Martin in France independently introduce the open-hearth process, which will permit increased production of steel.
  • Construction begins on the Paris Opéra; it will be completed in 1875.
  • Charles Dickens publishes Great Expectations.
  • The Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev publishes Fathers and Sons.
  • 2 Jan. Frederick William IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by William I.
  • 3 Mar. Czar Alexander II proclaims the emancipation of the serfs in Russia.
  • 17 Mar. Victor Emmanuel II is proclaimed king of a united Italy by the Italian parliament.
  • 18 Mar. At its own request, Santo Domingo is annexed by Spain.
  • 10 Apr. Russia grants a constitution to Finland.
  • 6 June Count Cavour dies.
  • 25 June Sultan Abdul Mejid of the Ottoman Empire dies and is succeeded by his brother, Abdul Aziz.
  • 11 Nov. Pedro V of Portugal dies and is succeeded by Louis I.
  • 14 Dec. Albert, prince consort of Queen Victoria, dies.
  • 23 Dec. The Ottoman sultan acquiesces in the unification of Moldavia and Walachia as Romania.


  • Verdis opera La forza del destino (The Power of Destiny) premieres.
  • The actress Sarah Bernhardt makes her debut at the Comédie FranÇaise in Paris.
  • 5 Feb. Delegations from Moldavia and Walachia meet in Bucharest for the formation of Romania.
  • 10 Mar. Britain and France acknowledge the independence of Zanzibar.
  • 5 June France and Annam agree to the Treaty of Saigon, whereby France annexes the three eastern provinces of Cochin China.
  • Sept. Otto von Bismarck becomes premier of Prussia.
  • Oct. The Prussian Diet is dismissed, beginning four years of rule by Bismarck without a legislature.


  • The French historian Ernst Renan publishes Vie de Jesus (The Life of Jesus).
  • The French artist Édouard Manet paints Dejeuner sur lherbe (Luncheon on the Grass).
  • The first running of the Grand Prix de Paris is held at Longchamp.
  • 22 Jan. The Polish insurrection begins.
  • 8 Feb. Prussia joins with Russia to suppress the Polish insurrection.
  • Mar. Russia divides Poland into provinces.
  • Mar. Denmark incorporates Schleswig.
  • 30 Mar. A seventeen-year-old Danish prince becomes king of Greece under the name George I.
  • June Civil war breaks out in Afghanistan.
  • 11 Aug. France establishes a protectorate over Cambodia.
  • 15 Nov. Frederick VII of Denmark dies and is succeeded by his cousin, Christian IX.
  • 24 Dec. The English author William Makepeace Thackeray dies.


  • The Geneva Convention calls for wartime immunity for the Red Cross, founded by Henri Dunant.
  • 1 Feb. Austrian and Prussian troops enter Schleswig.
  • Mar. The Taiping Rebellion ends in China.
  • 18 Apr. Germany invades Denmark.
  • 25 Apr. Lord John Russell calls the London Conference of Britain, Russia, France, Austria, and Prussia to address affairs in Denmark.
  • 26 June War resumes in Denmark following the end of the London Conference.
  • 15 Sept. In a treaty with France, Italy renounces its claim to Rome and agrees to make Florence its capital.
  • 30 Oct. In the Peace of Vienna, Denmark cedes Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg to Austria and Prussia.
  • 8 Dec. Pope Pius IX promulgates the Syllabus of Errors, asserting the authority of the Roman Catholic Church over science and culture.


  • Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) publishes Alices Adventures in Wonderland.
  • 27 Jan. The independence of Peru is established in a treaty with Spain.
  • 18 Mar. War breaks out, pitting Paraguay against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.
  • 1 May A revolt in Santo Domingo causes Spain to relinquish sovereignty.
  • 13 July The English mountaineer Edward Whymper is the first to scale the Matterhorn.
  • 14 Aug. The Convention of Gastein divides the fruits of the war against Denmark: Austria annexes Holstein; Prussia receives Schleswig and Kiel and buys Lauenburg from Austria.
  • 4 Oct. Bismarck and Napoleon III meet at Biarritz, France; the French emperor agrees to a united Italy and to Prussian supremacy in Germany.
  • 18 Oct. Lord Palmerston dies and is succeeded as prime minister of Great Britain by Lord John Russell.
  • Dec. New Zealand moves its capital from Auckland to Wellington.


  • The German composer Johannes Brahms writes Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem).
  • The Austrian monk and botanist Gregor Mendel publishes the results of his research into the principles of heredity; his work will be ignored until 1900.
  • The Swedish chemist Alfred Bernhard Nobel invents dynamite.
  • The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky publishes Prestupleniye i nakazaniye (Crime and Punishment).
  • 14 Jan. Peru declares war on Spain.
  • 17 Feb. Disturbances in Ireland lead Britain to suspend the writ of habeas corpus.
  • 12 May Italy forms an alliance with Prussia against Austria.
  • 7 June Prussia invades Holstein.
  • 14 June The German federal diet calls for mobilization against the Prussian invasion of Holstein; the Prussian delegates declare the German Confederation ended.
  • 20 June Italy declares war on Austria.
  • 3 July Prussia defeats Austria at Sadová (KöniggrÄtz), Bohemia.
  • 10 Aug. Bolivia cedes the territory between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean to Chile.
  • 23 Aug. The Treaty of Prague ends the war between Austria and Prussia; Prussia is to annex Hannover, Electoral Hesse, Nassau, and Frankfurt am Main.
  • 2 Sept. Crete revolts against the Ottoman Empire and declares union with Greece.
  • 12 Oct. The Treaty of Vienna ends the war between Austria and Italy.
  • Dec. Napoleon III withdraws French backing for Emperor Maximilian in Mexico.
  • 24 Dec. Prussia annexes Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg as the province of Schleswig-Holstein.


  • Karl Marx publishes the first volume of Das Kapital.
  • The British athlete John Graham Chambers formulates the rules of boxing; they are called the Marquis of Queensberry Rules after John Sholto Douglas, eighth marquis and earl of Queensberry, the sponsor of Chamberss amateur club.
  • The English surgeon Joseph Lister describes the procedure for antiseptic surgery aided by use of phenol (carbolic acid).
  • Paris Worlds Fair introduces Japanese art to the Western world.
  • 17 Feb. The Hungarian Diet opens; it will lead to the creation of the Dual Monarchy, whereby the Magyars will rule Hungary, the Germans will control the rest of Austria, and a single foreign policy will be established.
  • 29 Mar. The British North America Act establishes the Dominion of Canada, with provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
  • 16 Apr. The North German Confederation, headed by Prussia, is organized.
  • 8 June Emperor Francis Joseph I of Austria is crowned king of Hungary.
  • 19 June Emperor Maximilian is executed in Mexico.
  • 15 Aug. The British Parliamentary Reform Bill extends the franchise and redistributes seats.
  • 21 Aug. An act of Parliament establishes working hours and conditions for women and children in British factories.
  • Dec. Diamonds are discovered in the Orange Free State in South Africa.
  • 21 Dec. The Austrian constitution recognizes the Dual Monarchy.


  • 3 Jan. The Meiji dynasty is restored in Japan on the abolition of the shogunate.
  • 29 Feb. Benjamin Disraeli becomes prime minister of Great Britain.
  • 30 Sept. Queen Isabella flees Spain after revolution breaks out.
  • Nov. Liberals defeat Conservatives in British elections; William Gladstone will replace Disraeli as prime minister.


  • John Stuart Mill publishes The Subjection of Women.
  • The Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleyev publishes the periodic table of the elements.
  • Richard Wagner composes The Rhinegold.
  • 6 Feb. Greece defers to a Turkish ultimatum to leave Crete.
  • 6 June A new constitution is announced for Spain.
  • 12 July Napoleon III adopts a parliamentary system of government in France.
  • 2 Oct. The Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas Gandhi is born in Porbandar.
  • 17 Nov. The Suez Canal opens.
  • 8 Dec. The Vatican Council begins.
  • 31 Dec. The French painter Henri Matisse is born.


  • The German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann begins excavations in Asia Minor at what he believes to be the site of Troy.
  • 1 Mar. The war between Paraguay and the alliance of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay ends.
  • 9 Apr. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, the future Russian Communist leader Vladimir Lenin, is born.
  • 4 June The British Civil Service is reformed to open most domestic offices to competitive examinations.
  • 9 June Charles Dickens dies.
  • 19 June Prince Leopold von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen of Prussia accepts the offer of the Spanish throne.
  • 25 June Queen Isabella of Spain, in exile in Paris, abdicates the throne in favor of Alfonso XII.
  • 12 July Leopolds claim to the Spanish throne is withdrawn on his behalf by his father, Prince Charles Anthony.
  • 13 July King William, at Ems, rejects a French demand that Prussia apologize for trying to claim the Spanish throne and promise not to renew the claim; Bismarck publishes the telegram in which the rejection was reported to him.
  • 15 July Manitoba becomes a province of Canada.
  • 18 July The Vatican Council proclaims the dogma of papal infallibility in matters of faith and morals.
  • 19 July France declares war on Prussia.
  • 4-6 Aug. Defeats at Worth and Weissenburg begin a string of reverses for France.
  • 1 Sept. The French are defeated at the Battle of Sedan; Napoleon III surrenders the following day.
  • 4 Sept. Revolt breaks out in Paris; France is proclaimed a republic.
  • 19 Sept. Two German armies besiege Paris.
  • 20 Sept. Italy attacks Rome, which had previously been protected by France.
  • 2 Oct. Rome is incorporated into Italy and declared the capital.
  • 30 Dec. The duke of Aosta becomes king of Spain as Amadeus I.


  • Charles Darwin publishes The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, applying his theory of evolution through natural selection to the human species.
  • The English novelist George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) begins serial publication of Middlemarch.
  • 18 Jan. William I of Prussia is crowned German emperor at Versailles.
  • 28 Jan. Paris surrenders to Germany.
  • 26 Mar. The Paris Commune is established.
  • 14 Apr. A constitution is issued for the German Empire, modeled on the constitution of the North German Confederation.
  • 10 May The Peace of Frankfurt transfers Alsace and part of Lorraine from France to Germany and provides for German military occupation of France until a large indemnity is paid.
  • 13 May Italy passes the Law of Guarantees, promising protection for the Pope and leaving him in control of the Vatican.
  • 28 May The Paris Commune falls after a week of bloodshed.
  • 25 June The Jesuits are expelled from Germany; Bismarck, chancellor of the German Empire, launches the Kulturkampf (Cultural Struggle) to suppress the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany.
  • 29 June The Trade Union Act grants legal recognition to unions in Britain.
  • 1 July British Columbia is added to the Dominion of Canada.
  • 10 July The French novelist Marcel Proust is born.
  • 18 July Britain adopts voting by secret ballot.
  • 31 Aug. Adolphe Thiers becomes president of the French republic.
  • 10 Nov. The Anglo-British explorer and journalist Henry Morton Stanley meets David Livingstone at Ujiji on Lake Tanganyika, greeting him with the words Dr. Livingstone, I presume?


  • France and Japan establish compulsory military service.
  • Rebellion against Spanish authority takes place in the Philippines.
  • 26 Apr. Coronation of Charles VII in Spain leads to civil war.
  • 4 May Charles VII flees to Spain upon defeat of supporters.
  • 25 June Germany expels Jesuit order.
  • 18 July Britian adopts the Ballot Act, providing for voting by secret ballot.


  • The Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell publishes A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism.
  • The Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy begins serial publication of Anna Karenina.
  • The French science-fiction writer Jules Verne publishes Le Tour du monde enquatre-vingts jours (Around the World in 80 Days).
  • 9 Jan. Napoleon III dies in England.
  • 12 Feb. The radical majority in the Cortes proclaims Spain a republic; Amadeus I abdicates.
  • May A financial crisis begins in Vienna; it will spread throughout Europe and, by September, will reach the United States.
  • 5 June Under pressure from the British government, Sultan Barghash Sayyid of Zanzibar abolishes slave markets.
  • 6-12 Sept. The emperors of Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary meet in Berlin, leading to formation of an entente.
  • 16 Sept. The last German troops are withdrawn from France.
  • Nov. The cities of Buda and Pesth are combined to create the capital city of Hungary.
  • 20 Nov. Marshal Marie Edmé MacMahon is named president of France for a term of seven years.


  • A group of painters rejected by the Salon holds an independent exhibition in Paris; Claude Monets Impression: Sunrise inspires the critic Louis Leroy to ridicule the entire group as Impressionists.
  • Richard Wagner completes the opera GötterdÄmmerung (The Twilight of the Gods).
  • The Russian composer Modest Mussorgskys opera Boris Godunov is produced in Saint Petersburg.
  • The British sportsman Walter Clopton Wingfield patents the rules of lawn tennis.
  • 15 Mar. France asserts a protectorate over Annam.
  • July Denmark permits limited self-government for Iceland.
  • 30 Nov. The British statesman Winston Churchill is born.


  • 25 Feb. Kuang Hsü becomes emperor of China.
  • May The Socialist Workingmens Party is formed at an international congress held in Gotha, Germany.
  • 8 May Prussia abolishes religious orders.
  • July Bosnia and Herzegovina rebel against the Ottoman Empire.
  • 16 July France adopts a republican constitution.
  • 24 Aug. The Englishman Capt. Matthew Webb becomes the first person to swim across the English Channel.
  • 12 Dec. The Ottoman sultan offers reforms in response to the rebellion.


  • The anarchist Michael Bakunin is among the organizers of a Russian secret society, Land and Liberty, that becomes the basis for the Populist movement.
  • 26 Feb. Japan recognizes the independence of Korea from China by signing a treaty opening Korean ports to Japanese trade and allowing Japan to have a resident at Seoul; China does not protest.
  • 30 May Sultan Abdul Aziz of the Ottoman Empire is deposed; his nephew is proclaimed Murad V.
  • 30 June Serbia declares war on the Ottoman Empire.
  • July The Spanish Cortes adopts a new constitution, providing for the election of members of a bicameral legislature.
  • 2 July Montenegro declares war on the Ottoman Empire.
  • 13-16 Aug. The Bayreuth Festpielhaus holds the first complete performance of Wagners Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelungs), which consists of Das Rheingold, Die Walküre {The Valkyrie), Siegfried, and GötterdÄmmerung.
  • 31 Aug. Murad V is deposed as sultan of the Ottoman Empire on grounds of insanity; he is succeeded by Abdul Hamid II.
  • 12 Dec. The Constantinople Conference meets to address rebellions in the Ottoman Empire.
  • 23 Dec. A new constitution is issued for the Ottoman Empire, providing for parliamentary government and freedom of expression.


  • The Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen writes the play Pillars of Society.
  • Spencer Gore wins the first All-England Lawn Tennis championships, played at Wimbledon.
  • 1 Jan. Queen Victoria of Great Britain is proclaimed empress of India in a ceremony at Delhi.
  • 20 Jan. The Constantinople Conference dissolves without resolving disputes in the Ottoman Empire.
  • 28 Feb. A peace treaty is signed between the Ottoman Empire and Serbia.
  • 19 Mar. The first Ottoman Empire parliament opens.
  • 24 Apr. Russia declares war on the Ottoman Empire and invades Romania.
  • May Romania joins the war against the Ottoman Empire.
  • Oct. In a commercial treaty with Britain, Madagascar agrees to emancipate its slaves.
  • 14 Dec. Serbia joins Russia in the war against the Ottoman Empire.

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  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.