19th-Century World Affairs

Date Event
Louis Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from prison in France
The United States and New Granada (today Colombia) sign the Bidlack Treaty
In France, liberal politicians hold the first in a series of constitutional reform "banquets"
Joseph Jenkins Roberts declares the creation of the independent Republic of Liberia
Civil war erupts in Switzerland
Joseph Jenkins Roberts inaugurated as the first president of newly independent Liberia
Great Britain annexes the Sikh kingdom of northern India
Anti-British revolt breaks out in Montreal
Great Britain abolishes the Navigation Acts
The United States and Great Britain sign the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty
U.S. Commodore Matthew C. Perry anchors his ships in Edo Bay near Tokyo and delivers a letter from President Millard Fillmore
Argentina signs an international agreement opening up the Parana River to outside ships
Riot in Panama over the theft of a slice of watermelon claims the lives of fifteen foreigners
European powers agree to Declaration of Paris on foreign shipping during times of war
Sepoy Revolt triggers the Indian Mutiny against British rule
United States signs a commercial and friendship treaty with Bolivia in La Paz
United States signs a commercial treaty with Belgium in Washington, D.C.
Nicaragua adopts a new constitution
The Treaty of Yedo is signed between Japan and Britain
Napoleon III hints at coming war with Austria
U.S. Commissioner James Bowlin arrives in Paraguay to negotiate a commerce and navigation treaty
Prince Napoleon marries Princess Clohilde of Savoy in Turin
President Buchanan asks Congress for powers to intervene in Central America to protect U.S. citizens and trade routes
President Buchanan appoints Robert McLane as minister to Mexico
In London, Parliament defeats a key Conservative bill for reform and the Government resigns the next day
The United States recognizes the Liberal government of Benito Juarez in Mexico
The Austrian Empire declares war on Sardinia-Piedmont
With the Treaty of Caracas, Brazil and Venezuela agree on their Amazonian border
In London, Lord Derby's attempt to form a new government is defeated
Battlefield carnage inspires Henri Durant to found what will become the International Red Cross
Spain delivers a final ultimatum to Morocco threatening war if concessions are not made
Canadians meet in a convention at Toronto to discuss federation
Treaty negotiations successfully conclude the late war between France, Austria, and Piedmont
British sign treaty with Honduras concerning the Mosquito Coast
Napoleon III closes down France's leading Catholic newspaper
Large gathering of leading New Yorkers demonstrate their support of Italian liberty
British governor of New Zealand declares martial law in dispute with native Maori
First Japanese Diplomatic Mission to the United States arrives in Hawaii
British and French send ultimatum to the Chinese Govenment threatening war
Switzerland protest the pending French annexation of Savoy
United States signs extradition treaty with Sweden and Norway
The treaty annexing Savoy and Nice is signed in Turin
Count Cavour, prime minister of Piedmont-Sardinia, assures Switzerland over the transfer of Nice to France
Switzerland once again protests the transfer of Nice and Savoy from Piedmont-Sardinia to France
- Inhabitants of Nice voting in a plebiscite on whether their district will become part of France
In Italy, the Archbishop of Florence publicly blesses recently excommunicated King Victor Emmanuel II
Spain signs the punitive treaty imposed upon Morocco following the recent war
Coronation in Stockholm of Charles XV as King of Sweden and Norway
- At Baden in Germany, Emperor Napoleon III meets with the leaders of several German states
Carlist pretender Don Carlos, Count Montemolin retracts his renunciation of Spanish throne
Sailing under the American flag, three shiploads of reinforcements for Garibaldi's campaign reach Sicily
All remaining Neapolitan troops sail from Palermo and withdraw from Sicily
- Druse militants massacre hundreds of Maronite Christians in Lebanon
Queen Victoria accepts President Buchanan's invitation for her son to visit the United States
Near Edinburgh, a Scottish railway locomotive crashes into the sea killing four of the five aboard
- Druse militants massacre thousands of Christians in Damascus
In Japan, seven year old Prince Mutsuhito named as Crown Prince and heir to the throne
In Britain, a question requiring a person's religious affiliation is removed from the upcoming national census
In Northern Ireland, Orangemen clash with Catholics killing two and wounding fifteen
Cornerstone for the new Queen's Hospital laid in Honolulu, Hawaii
- On Sicily, Garibaldi defeats Neapolitan forces at Melazzo and takes the town
On Sicily, the citadel at Melazzo surrenders to Garibaldi and his men
Napoleon III seeks to reassure Britain that he does not threaten peace in Europe
First Japanese diplomatic mission to the United States reaches home after a nine month absence
Victor Emanuel II annexes Naples, Sicily, and Umbria and the unification of Italy is almost complete
Body of Napoleon Bonaparte reinterred under the great dome of Les Invalides in Paris
Britain becomes the first state to recognize the new united Kingdom of Italy
- Official period of Britain's seventh national census takes place overnight
In Parliament, the British foreign secretary declares the Confederacy at war with the Union
A royal proclamation from London declares Britain neutral in the American war
Mexico suspends interest payments on it foreign debts and causes consternation in Europe
Great Britain declares Lagos (Nigeria) to be a Crown colony
The King of the Hawaiian Islands announces his kingdom's neutrality in the American War
In Washington DC, two French princes join the Union Army on the staff of General McClellan
Secretary of State Seward urges Great Lakes governors to fortify their lakeside ports against foreign threats
Confederate diplomats James Mason and John Slidell slip through the Charleston blockade bound for Europe
In London, Britain, France, and Spain agree to a military intervention in Mexico to force payment of debts
Confederate diplomats James Mason and John Slidell sail from Havana for Europe aboard a British ship
A U.S. warship intercepts and boards a British mail ship off Cuba to arrest Confederate diplomats
In Beijing, Imperial China sets up its first office of foreign affairs
In Lisbon, King Pedro V of Portugal dies of cholera at the age of twenty-four
In Liverpool, the news of the interception and seizure of Mason and Slidell reaches England
In the Trent Affair, the British Foreign Secretary demands an apology and release of Mason and Slidell
Prince Albert, husband and consort of Queen Victoria, is buried in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle
Off Mississippi, a U.S. Navy steamer collides with a French warship sent to evacuate citizens from New Orleans
The United States releases the Confederate commissioners Mason and Slidell into British custody
- France, Britain, and Spain land troops at the Mexican port of Vera Cruz to enforce debt payments
The news of the release of Slidell and Mason reaches the British Isles
The Confederate commissioners Mason and Slidell finally arrive in England
Britain rescinds its Trent Affair restrictions on the export of saltpeter and other war materials
- In Greece, young army officers initiate a revolt against the ruling royal family
Britain and France declare by treaty that Zanzibar in East Africa is separate and independent from Oman
In British India, Lord Elgin arrives in Calcutta to take up his duties as Viceroy
Congress votes to join with Britain and France on a commission to preserve Atlantic fishing stocks
The Kingdom of Italy signs a treaty guaranteeing the independence of its tiny neighbor, San Marino
At Vera Cruz, British and Spanish troops begin to withdraw from the Allied intervention into Mexico
In London, the U.S. Ambassador meets with the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society
President Lincoln, with great ceremony, visits aboard a French frigate at the Washington Navy Yard
Secretary of State Seward tells all foreign diplomats New Orleans will soon again be open for business
In Mexico, seven thousand French troops are repulsed in their attack on the town of Puebla
In London, the new Westminster Bridge opens to full traffic, five years behind schedule
France forces the Vietnamese officially to cede three valuable provinces in the Treaty of Saigon
King Wilhelm I appoints Otto von Bismarck as Minister-President of Prussia
Nationalists inspire the Polish to launch a revolt against Russian rule
Prussia pledges to support Russia in its effort to prevent Polish independence
French troops begin a two-month siege of Puebla, Mexico
Greek succession crisis ends when Prince William of Denmark becomes King George I of Greece
British Government seizes a newly-built schooner under the Foreign Enlistment Act
Peru prohibits the importation of workers from the Pacific islands
In London, British labor leaders call on U.S. Ambassador Adams to relay their support to President Lincoln
A Maori revolt erupts in New Zealand
- In the Polish Insurrection, three days of battles with Russian forces ends in defeat for the insurgents
Decisive French action defeats a Mexican force attempting to resupply the besieged city of Puebla
The Granadina Confederation reorganizes and renames itself "The United States of Colombia"
On the African island of Madagascar, King Radamo and his political allies are murdered in a coup led by his Prime Minister
The Mexican city of Puebla surrenders to the French after a sixty-two day siege
Ferdinand Lasalle founds the first worker's party in Germany, forerunner of today's Social Democratic Party
President Benito Juarez adjourns the Mexican Congress and abandons Mexico City to the French
In northern England, textile manufacturers honor General "Stonewall" Jackson and mourn his death
French troops enter the Mexican capital after an eighteen month campaign
In England, the Marquis of Hastings is fined for organizing cock-fighting at his country seat
The Alexandra Case, over British neutrality in ship-building, opens in London
The newly-wed Prince and Princess of Wales dedicate the new building of the British Orphan's Asylum
The Alexandra Case, over British neutrality in ship-building, reaches a verdict in London
Queen Victoria's address adjourning Parliament reiterates her government's "strict neutrality" in America
The British Prime Minister orders the detention of two recently British-built vessels for the Confederacy
Mexican conservatives ask Austrian prince Maximilian to become Emperor of Mexico
The newly purchased Confederate ship "Rappahannock" slips out of its English Channel port at midnight
German and Austrian troops advance into Danish Schleswig, opening a six month war with the Danes
In the Battle of Jasmund, the Prussian Navy fails in an effort to break the Danish blockade of Prussia
In the Second Schleswig War, Prussian forces assault and capture the important Danish strong point of Dybbøl
Danish and Austrian naval units clash in the North Sea at the Battle of Heligoland
- At Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, provincial delegates meet to discuss possible Canadian unity
- In Quebec City, delegates from Canadian provinces are meeting to agree resolutions for a united Canada
At the Quebec Conference, delegates announce their seventy-two resolutions for a united Canada
A brand-new British blockade runner sinks in a storm the day she sails from Liverpool, drowning forty-seven people
Confederate warship departs Lisbon and confusion involving following U.S. ships almost sparks an international incident
Richard Cobden, famed free trade advocate and strong British supporter of the Union dies in London
The U.S. Navy's Admiral Louis Goldsborough sails to take command of the European Squadron
In the Atlantic, the latest effort to lay a transatlantic telegraph cable fails when the cable breaks and is lost
In southern England, two-time British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston dies, aged 80.
Lord Palmerston, late British prime minister, is buried in Westminster Abbey after a state funeral in London
A mix of regular and irregular American forces occupy Bagdad, Mexico
As Chile and Peru face Spain, a large public meeting is held in New York in support of the Monroe Doctrine
U.S. General Weitzel arrives in Bagdad, Mexico to restore order and declares martial law.
Mexican Imperial troops re-occupy Bagdad, Mexico after American forces withdraw.
Mexican Ambassador Matias Romero meets with President Johnson seeking assistance for Mexico
On the Mexican border, U.S. Army troops make a brief incursion into Matamoras
On the Mexican border, the U.S. Army forces the surrender of Matamoros to Juarez-backed troops.
In Brownsville, Texas, General Philip Sheridan removes General John Sedgwick from his command.
The embalmed body of former Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico arrives home at the Austrian port of Trieste.
Emperor Komei dies in Japan
On southern Taiwan, aboriginals massacre the survivors of an American shipwreck
A Royal Navy attempt to search on southern Taiwan for American survivors of a massacre is driven off.
At Querétaro, the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico surrenders to insurgent Liberal forces.
Querétaro, the last bastion of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, falls to insurgent Liberal forces.
- At Querétaro, the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico goes on trial before a Liberal military tribunal..
Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico is executed by the victorious Liberal Government of Benito Juarez.
A strong U.S. naval landing on southern Taiwan to punish Paiwan aboriginals is driven off.
Canada becomes a Dominion, its provinces united in a federal parliamentary structure under the British Crown.
Canada's new Governor-General invites Sir John A. MacDonald to form a federal coalition government.
The first Parliament of the new Dominion of Canada is opened in Ottawa.
In Querétaro, the embalmed body of former Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico is released to Austrian official for repatriation to Vienna.
Date Title
New York Times, “England and America,” April 29, 1857
New Orleans (LA) Picayune, “Great Britain in Honduras,” May 24, 1857
New York Times, “The Indian War,” August 18, 1857
New York Times, “The Indian Mutiny,” August 25, 1857
Boston (MA) Advertiser, “The Coming Men,” April 17, 1860
New York Times, “Spain as an American Power,” September 24, 1860
New York Herald, “The World Does Move,” October 30, 1860
New York Herald, “Views on Secession in England,” December 19, 1860
Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Help From England,” May 16, 1861
Boston (MA) Herald, “England and the Southern Blockade,” May 18, 1861
New York Herald, “Political Sentimentalism,” May 26, 1861
New York Times, “One of their Errors,” June 3, 1861
New York Herald, “The Foreign Press Discussing American Affairs,” June 9, 1861
Newark (OH) Advocate, “The English People and the American War,” June 14, 1861
New York Times, “Closing the Southern Ports,” June 30, 1861
Newark (OH) Advocate, “The Impending Danger,” July 5, 1861
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “The Feeling in Canada,” August 2, 1861
John Slidell, James Murray Mason, George Eustis, J. E. McFarland to Charles Wilkes, USN, Protest at Seizure, November 9, 1861
Charles Wilkes, USN to Gideon Welles, Final Report on the seizure of Mason and Slidell, November 16, 1861
New York Herald, “Mason and Slidell,” November 17, 1861
President Jefferson Davis, Message to the Confederate Congress, November 18, 1861
Alexander Galt to Amy Galt, Washington DC, December 5, 1861
Memorandum by Alexander T. Galt, Canadian diplomat, describing interview with Abraham Lincoln, December 5, 1861
Chillicothe (OH) Scioto Gazette, “The World Begins to Know Us,” December 17, 1861
New York Herald, "Settlement of the Trent Difficulty," December 29, 1861
Proclamation of the Allied Commissioners to the People of Mexico, Vera Cruz, January 10, 1862
Abraham Lincoln to the King of Siam, February 3, 1862
Petition from the Shipowners of Liverpool, England to Earl Russell, Foreign Secretary
William Seward to Judson Kilpatrick, Washington, DC, June 2, 1866
"Moncure Daniel Conway," Harper's Magazine, September 25, 1875.
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