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1800–1899 (A.D.) World History

War of 1812

The Civil War

Spanish-American War (1898–1899)


Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770–1827)
Richard Wagner
(1813–1883)
Archive Photos
Edgar Allen Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
(1809–1849)
The Library of Congress Picture Collection
Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
(1817–1895)
National Archives and Records Admin.
Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman
(c. 1820–1913)
The Library of Congress Picture Collection
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe
(1811–1896)
National Archives and Records Admin.
Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
(1819–1892)
The Library of Congress Picture Collection
Dred Scott
(1795?–1858)
The Library of Congress Picture Collection
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
(1809–1865)
National Archives and Records Admin.
Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
(1809–1882)
Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
(1807–1870)
National Archives and Records Admin.
William Tecumseh Sherman
(1820–1891)
National Archives and Records Admin.
Chief Joseph
Chief Joseph
(c. 1840–1904)
National Archives and Records Admin.
Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
Tasha Vincent
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
(1835–1910)
The Library of Congress Picture Collection
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower
Tasha Vincent
Marie Curie
Marie Curie
(1867–1934)
AIP Niels Bohr Library

1800
Napoleon conquers Italy, firmly establishes himself as First Consul in France. In the U.S., federal government moves to Washington, D.C. Robert Owen's social reforms in England. William Herschel discovers infrared rays. Alessandro Volta produces electricity.
1801
Austria makes temporary peace with France. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland established with one monarch and one parliament; Catholics excluded from voting.
1803
U.S. negotiates Louisiana Purchase from France: for $15 million, U.S. doubles its domain, increasing its territory by 827,000 sq mi (2,144,500 sq km), from Mississippi River to Rockies and from Gulf of Mexico to British North America.
1804
Haiti declares independence from France; first black nation to gain freedom from European colonial rule. Napoleon transforms the Consulate of France into an empire, proclaims himself emperor of France, systematizes French law under Code Napoleon. In the U.S., Alexander Hamilton is mortally wounded in duel with Aaron Burr. Lewis and Clark expedition begins exploration of what is now northwest U.S.
1805
Lord Nelson defeats the French-Spanish fleets in the Battle of Trafalgar. Napoleon victorious over Austrian and Russian forces at the Battle of Austerlitz.
1807
Robert Fulton makes first successful steamboat trip on Clermont between New York City and Albany.
1808
French armies occupy Rome and Spain, extending Napoleon's empire. Britain begins aiding Spanish guerrillas against Napoleon in Peninsular War. In the U.S., Congress bars importation of slaves. Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth Symphonies performed.
1812
Napoleon's Grand Army invades Russia in June. Forced to retreat in winter, most of Napoleon's 600,000 men are lost. In the U.S., war with Britain declared over freedom of the seas for U.S. vessels (War of 1812). USS Constitution (For detailed chronology, see War of 1812.) sinks British frigate.
1814
French defeated by allies (Britain, Austria, Russia, Prussia, Sweden, and Portugal) in War of Liberation. Napoleon exiled to Elba, off Italian coast. Bourbon king Louis XVIII takes French throne. George Stephenson builds first practical steam locomotive.
1815
Napoleon returns: “Hundred Days” begin. Napoleon defeated by Wellington at Waterloo, banished again to St. Helena in South Atlantic. Congress of Vienna: victorious allies change the map of Europe. War of 1812 ends with Treaty of Ghent.
1819
Simón Bolívar liberates New Granada (now Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador) as Spain loses hold on South American countries; named president of Colombia.
1820
Missouri Compromise > Missouri admitted as slave state but slavery barred in rest of Louisiana Purchase north of 36°30' N.
1821
Guatemala, Panama, and Santo Domingo proclaim independence from Spain.
1822
Greeks proclaim a republic and independence from Turkey. Turks invade Greece. Russia declares war on Turkey (1828). Greece also aided by France and Britain. War ends and Turks recognize Greek independence (1829). Brazil becomes independent of Portugal. Schubert's Eighth Symphony (“The Unfinished”).
1823
U.S. Monroe Doctrine warns European nations not to interfere in Western Hemisphere.
1824
Mexico becomes a republic, three years after declaring independence from Spain. Bolívar liberates Peru, becomes its president. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
1825
First passenger-carrying railroad in England.
1826
Joseph-Nicéphore Niepce takes the world's first photograph.
1830
French invade Algeria. Louis Philippe becomes “Citizen King” as revolution forces Charles X to abdicate. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints formed in U.S. by Joseph Smith.
1831
Polish revolt against Russia fails. Belgium separates from the Netherlands. In U.S., Nat Turner leads unsuccessful slave rebellion.
1833
Slavery abolished in British Empire.
1834
Charles Babbage invents “analytical engine,” precursor of computer. McCormick patents reaper.
1836
Boer farmers start “Great Trek”—Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State founded in South Africa. Mexican army besieges Texans in Alamo. Entire garrison, including Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, wiped out. Texans gain independence from Mexico after winning Battle of San Jacinto. Dickens's Pickwick Papers.
1837
Victoria becomes queen of Great Britain. Mob kills Elijah P. Lovejoy, Illinois abolitionist publisher.
1839
First Opium War (to 1842) between Britain and China, over importation of drug into China.
1840
Lower and Upper Canada united.
1841
U.S. President Harrison dies (April 4) one month after inauguration; John Tyler becomes first vice president to succeed to presidency.
1842
Crawford Long uses first anesthetic (ether).
1843
Wagner's opera The Flying Dutchman.
1844
Democratic convention calls for annexation of Texas and acquisition of Oregon (“Fifty-four-forty-or-fight”). Five Chinese ports opened to U.S. ships. Samuel F. B. Morse patents telegraph.
1845
Congress adopts joint resolution for annexation of Texas. Edgar Allan Poe publishes The Raven and Other Poems.
1846
U.S. declares war on Mexico. California and New Mexico annexed by U.S. Brigham Young leads Mormons to Great Salt Lake. W. T. Morton uses ether as anesthetic. Sewing machine patented by Elias Howe. Frederick Douglass launches abolitionist newspaper The North Star. Failure of potato crop causes famine in Ireland.
1848
Revolt in Paris: Louis Philippe abdicates; Louis Napoleon elected president of French Republic. Revolutions in Vienna, Venice, Berlin, Milan, Rome, and Warsaw. Put down by royal troops in 1848–1849. U.S.-Mexico War ends; Mexico cedes claims to Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada. U.S. treaty with Britain sets Oregon Territory boundary at 49th parallel. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels's Communist Manifesto. Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and joins the Underground Railroad. Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y.
1849
California gold rush begins.
1850
Henry Clay opens great debate on slavery, warns South against secession.
1851
Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.
1852
South African Republic established. Louis Napoleon proclaims himself Napoleon III (“Second Empire”). Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.
1853
Crimean War begins as Turkey declares war on Russia. Commodore Perry reaches Tokyo.
1854
Britain and France join Turkey in war on Russia. In U.S., Kansas-Nebraska Act permits local option on slavery; rioting and bloodshed. Japanese allow American trade. Antislavery men in Michigan form Republican Party. Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade. Thoreau's Walden.
1855
Armed clashes in Kansas between pro- and anti-slavery forces. Florence Nightingale nurses wounded in Crimea. Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.
1856
Flaubert's Madame Bovary.
1857
Supreme Court, in Dred Scott decision, rules that a slave is not a citizen. Financial crisis in Europe and U.S. Great Mutiny (Sepoy Rebellion) begins in India. India placed under crown rule as a result.
1858
Pro-slavery constitution rejected in Kansas. Abraham Lincoln makes strong antislavery speech in Springfield, Ill.: “This Government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.” Lincoln-Douglas debates. First trans-Atlantic telegraph cable completed by Cyrus W. Field.
1859
John Brown raids Harpers Ferry; is captured and hanged. Work begins on Suez Canal. Unification of Italy starts under leadership of Count Cavour, Sardinian premier. Joined by France in war against Austria. Jean-Joseph-Étienne Lenoir builds first practical internal-combustion engine. Edward Fitzgerald's translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Charles Darwin's Origin of Species. J. S. Mill's On Liberty.
1860
South Carolina secedes from the Union.
1861
U.S. Civil War begins as attempts at compromise fail. Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas secede; with South Carolina, they form the Confederate States of America, with Jefferson Davis as president. Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina secede and join Confederacy. First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas).(For detailed chronology, see The Civil War.) Congress creates Colorado, Dakota, and Nevada territories; adopts income tax; Lincoln inaugurated. Serfs emancipated in Russia. Pasteur's theory of germs. Independent Kingdom of Italy proclaimed under Sardinian king Victor Emmanuel II.
1862
Several major Civil War battles: Battle of Shiloh, Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), Battle of Antietam. Salon des Refusés introduces impressionism.
1863
French capture Mexico City; proclaim Archduke Maximilian of Austria emperor. Battle of Gettysburg.
1864
Gen. Sherman's Atlanta campaign and “march to the sea.”
1865
Gen. Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox; the Civil War is over. Lincoln fatally shot at Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth. Vice President Johnson sworn as successor. Booth caught and dies of gunshot wounds; four conspirators are hanged. Joseph Lister begins antiseptic surgery. Gregor Mendel's Law of Heredity. Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
1866
Alfred Nobel invents dynamite (patented in Britain, 1867). Seven Weeks' War: Austria defeated by Prussia and Italy.
1867
Austria-Hungary Dual Monarchy established. French leave Mexico; Maximilian executed. Dominion of Canada established. U.S. buys Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000. South African diamond field discovered. Japan ends 675–year shogun rule. Volume I of Marx's Das Kapital. Strauss's Blue Danube.
1868
Revolution in Spain; Queen Isabella deposed, flees to France. In U.S., Fourteenth Amendment giving civil rights to blacks is ratified. Georgia under military government after legislature expels blacks.
1869
First U.S. transcontinental rail route completed. James Fisk and Jay Gould's attempt to control gold market causes Black Friday panic. Suez Canal opens. Mendeleev's periodic table of elements.
1870
Franco-Prussian War (to 1871): Napoleon III capitulates at Sedan. Revolt in Paris; Third Republic proclaimed.
1871
France surrenders Alsace-Lorraine to Germany; war ends. German Empire proclaimed with Prussian King as Kaiser Wilhelm I. Fighting with Apaches begins in American West. Boss Tweed corruption exposed in New York. The Chicago Fire, with 250 deaths and $196-million damage. Stanley meets Livingstone in Africa.
1872
Congress gives amnesty to most Confederates. Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days.
1873
Economic crisis in Europe. U.S. establishes gold standard.
1875
First Kentucky Derby.
1876
Sioux kill Gen. George A. Custer and 264 troopers at Little Big Horn River. Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone.
1877
After presidential election of 1876, electoral commission gives disputed electoral college votes to Rutherford B. Hayes despite Tilden's popular majority. Russo-Turkish war (ends in 1878 with power of Turkey in Europe broken). Reconstruction ends in the American South. Thomas Edison patents phonograph. The Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph is forced to surrender. Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
1878
Congress of Berlin revises Treaty of San Stefano, ending Russo-Turkish War; makes extensive redivision of southeast Europe. First commercial telephone exchange opened in New Haven, Conn.
1879
Thomas A. Edison invents practical electric light.
1880
U.S.-China treaty allows U.S. to restrict immigration of Chinese labor.
1881
President Garfield fatally shot by assassin; Vice President Arthur succeeds him. Charles J. Guiteau convicted and executed (1882).
1882
Terrorism in Ireland after land evictions. Britain invades and conquers Egypt. Germany, Austria, and Italy form Triple Alliance. In U.S., Congress adopts Chinese Exclusion Act. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust is first industrial monopoly. In Berlin, Robert Koch announces discovery of tuberculosis germ.
1883
Congress creates Civil Service Commission. Brooklyn Bridge and Metropolitan Opera House completed.
1884
Berlin West Africa Conference held in Berlin (lasting until Feb. 1885), at which the major European nations discuss expansion in Africa.
1885
British general Charles G. “Chinese” Gordon killed at Khartoum in Egyptian Sudan. World's first skyscraper built in Chicago.
1886
Bombing at Haymarket Square, Chicago, kills seven policemen and injures many others. Eight alleged anarchists accused—three imprisoned, one commits suicide, four hanged. (In 1893, Illinois governor Altgeld, critical of trial, pardons three survivors.) Statue of Liberty dedicated. Geronimo, Apache Indian chief, surrenders.
1887
Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet.
1888
Historic March blizzard in northeast U.S.—many perish, property damage exceeds $25 million. George Eastman's box camera (the Kodak). J. B. Dunlop invents pneumatic tire. Jack the Ripper murders in London.
1889
Second (Socialist) International founded in Paris. Indian Territory in Oklahoma opened to settlement. Thousands die in Johnstown, Pa. flood. Eiffel Tower built for the Paris exposition. Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
1890
Congress votes to pass Sherman Antitrust Act. Sioux chief Sitting Bull arrested and killed by police on Pine Ridge reservation; two weeks later, U.S. troops kill over 200 Sioux at Battle of Wounded Knee.
1892
Battle between steel strikers and Pinkerton guards at Homestead, Pa.; union defeated after militia intervenes. Silver mine strikers in Idaho fight non-union workers; U.S. troops dispatched. Diesel engine patented.
1893
New Zealand becomes first country in the world to grant women the vote.
1894
Sino-Japanese War begins (ends in 1895 with China's defeat). In France, Capt. Alfred Dreyfus convicted on false treason charge (pardoned in 1906). In U.S., Jacob S. Coxey of Ohio leads “Coxey's Army” of unemployed on Washington. Eugene V. Debs calls general strike of rail workers to support Pullman Company strikers; strike broken, Debs jailed for six months. Edison's kinetoscope given first public showing in New York City.
1895
X-rays discovered by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen. Auguste and Louis Lumière premiere motion pictures at a café in Paris.
1896
Supreme Court's Plessy v. Ferguson decision—“separate but equal” doctrine. Alfred Nobel's will establishes prizes for peace, science, and literature. Marconi receives first wireless patent in Britain. William Jennings Bryan delivers “Cross of Gold” speech at Democratic Convention in Chicago. First modern Olympic games held in Athens, Greece.
1897
Theodor Herzl launches Zionist movement.
1898
Chinese “Boxers,” anti-foreign organization, established. They stage uprisings against Europeans in 1900; U.S. and other Western troops relieve Peking legations. U.S. Battleship Maine is sunk in Havana Harbor. Spanish-American War begins. U.S. destroys Spanish fleet near Santiago, Cuba. (For detailed chronology, see Spanish-American War.) Pierre and Marie Curie discover radium and polonium.
1899
Boer War (or South African War): conflict between British and Boers (descendants of Dutch settlers of South Africa). Causes rooted in longstanding territorial disputes and in friction over political rights for English and other “uitlanders” following 1886 discovery of vast gold deposits in Transvaal. (British victorious as war ends in 1902.) Casualties: 5,774 British dead, about 4,000 Boers. Union of South Africa established in 1908 as confederation of colonies; becomes British dominion in 1910.

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