Victoria (1819 - 1901) becomes Queen of Great Britian.
Dickens publishes Martin Chuzzlewit and A Christmas Carol;
Henry James is born.
||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.
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.
||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.
||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.
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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||The American Civil War begins|
With the abolition of slavery a key dispute, war erupts between
the North and South in the United States.
Abraham Lincoln is assassinated on April 14; Andrew Johnson succeeds
him as president of the United States.
||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.
Rimsky-Korsakov's opera Ivan the Terrible premieres in St. Petersburg.
||Custer's Last Stand|
On June 25, Custer leads himself and 264 men to their death at
the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
||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.
Swan Lake, a ballet with music by Russian Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,
premieres at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre to unreceptive audiences.
||Fyodor Dostoyevsky dies|
The Russian novelist Dostoyevsky dies of a hemorrhage at age 59.
||Ivan Turgenev dies|
Russia's great novelist, author of A Month in the Country, Fathers
and Sons, and Smoke, dies.
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.
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.
||Famine strikes Russia|
Summer drought brings on a severe famine that spreads across the central
and southwestern provinces of Russia.
||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.
||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.
Following the first wave of Russian immigration to Palestine, Theodore
Herzl launches the Zionist movement, arguing for the establishment of a Jewish state.
The United States and Spain go to war after Cuba revolts against Spain's
The Interpretation of Dreams
Sigmund Freud publishes The
Interpretation of Dreams. The book is key to Freud's creation of the still-controversial psychoanalysis.
||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.