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All About Leo Tolstoy

Timeline of World Events

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Personal Timeline of Leo Tolstoy

World Events
1812: Napoléon invades Russia
After reaching Moscow, France's Grand Armée is all but destroyed in a disastrous winter retreat.

1815: The Battle of Waterloo
Outfought by the Duke of Wellington's army, Napoléon's forces meet final defeat at Waterloo.

1825: The Decembrist Revolution
Upon the death of Tsar Alexander I, reform-minded soldiers demand a constitution and support the ascension of Alexander's son Constantine to the throne. Constantine's brother Nicholas crushes the revolution.


Tsar Nicholas I
Tsar Nicholas I becomes Emperor of All Russia.

1837: Queen Victoria
Victoria (1819 - 1901) becomes Queen of Great Britian.

1843: Literary landmarks
Dickens publishes Martin Chuzzlewit and A Christmas Carol; Henry James is born.

1848: A year of revolution in Europe
As food shortages and economic depression spread throughout Europe, democratic revolution breaks out in France. Uprisings follow in Hungary, Germany, Austria, and Italy.

1848: Communist Manifesto
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the "Manifesto of the Communist Party." In their manifesto, they lay out the platform that will be embraced by the European socialist and communist parties of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

1853: The Crimean War
In October, Tsar Nicholas I declares war on Turkey's Ottoman Empire, sending troops to occupy the Danube Principalities (modern-day Romania). Fearing Russian territorial ambitions, France and England soon come to the Sultan's aid.

1855: The fall of Sevastopol
After months under siege, ill-supplied and -equipped Russian forces are defeated at the Black Sea fortress city of Sevastopol by French, British, and Turkish troops.

Tsar Nicholas I dies
In February, the despotic tyrant who initiated the Crimean War and expanded Russia's secret police is succeeded by Alexander II, a sovereign the Russian people hope will be more humane.

1856: War ends; reform begins
The Treaty of Paris ends Russia's control of the Black Sea and the mouth of the Danube. Convinced by the defeat that Russia must modernize, Tsar Alexander II promises greater legal rights for citizens and opens debate on freeing the serfs.

1859: The Origin of Species
British naturalist Charles Darwin publishes his theory of evolutionary selection in On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection.

1861: Emancipation for Russia's serfs
In March, Tsar Alexander II issues a complex proclamation laying out the process by which serfs can gain freedom. A great transformation of the Russian economy begins.

1861: The American Civil War begins
With the abolition of slavery a key dispute, war erupts between the North and South in the United States.

1865: Lincoln assassinated
Abraham Lincoln is assassinated on April 14; Andrew Johnson succeeds him as president of the United States.

1870: The Franco-Prussian War
To regain diplomatic and military prestige, France declares war on Prussia but is defeated. The following year, Prussia's King William I will be proclaimed German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm I at Versailles.

Siege of Paris
Revolting against France and Germany's peace agreement, Parisians seize their city and create the Commune of Paris. Adolphe Thiers defeats the uprising and becomes president of the Third French Republic.

1873: Russian opera
Rimsky-Korsakov's opera Ivan the Terrible premieres in St. Petersburg.

1876: Custer's Last Stand
On June 25, Custer leads himself and 264 men to their death at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

1877: Russia declares war on Turkey
In April, Russia declares war on Turkey once again, siding with Serbia against the Islamic population in the Balkans. Turkey will be defeated the following year.

1877: Swan Lake
Swan Lake, a ballet with music by Russian Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, premieres at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre to unreceptive audiences. 

1881: Fyodor Dostoyevsky dies
The Russian novelist Dostoyevsky dies of a hemorrhage at age 59.

1883: Ivan Turgenev dies
Russia's great novelist, author of A Month in the Country, Fathers and Sons, and Smoke, dies.

1884: Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The controversial, often-censored story of a runaway white boy and an escaped black slave becomes a classic of American literature.

1886: Haymarket Square
A bomb kills seven officers in Chicago's Haymarket Square at an anarchist rally protesting the police shooting deaths of four striking workers. Eight anarchists are convicted of conspiracy. The incident heightens fears of unions, immigrants, and radicals.

1892: Famine strikes Russia
Summer drought brings on a severe famine that spreads across the central and southwestern provinces of Russia.

1894: The Dreyfus Affair
 Jewish Captain Alfred Dreyfus receives a life sentence after being falsely accused of spying for Germany. Though the evidence against him is proven a forgery, a second trial upholds his conviction. 

1894: Tsar Alexander III dies
Alexander III falls victim to nephritis and is succeeded by Nicholas II, a weak ruler who resorts to increasingly autocratic measures to appear strong.

1897: Zionist movement
Following the first wave of Russian immigration to Palestine, Theodore Herzl launches the Zionist movement, arguing for the establishment of a Jewish state. 

1898: Spanish-American War
The United States and Spain go to war after Cuba revolts against Spain's colonial policy. 

The Interpretation of Dreams
Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams. The book is key to Freud's creation of the still-controversial psychoanalysis.

1901: Queen Victoria dies
On January 22, Queen Victoria dies, marking the longest reign (64 years) in the history of the British monarchy. Her reign is marked by the vast expansion of the British Empire.