Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



1800 - 1899
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
  BACK-CONTENTS-19th century NEXT-1800 Part I    
FitzGerald Edward
1800 - 1809
History at a Glance
1800 Part I
Battle of Heliopolis
Battle of Marengo
Siege of Malta
Battle of the Malta Convoy
United States presidential election
Plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise
Moltke Helmuth
Pius VII
Heeren Arnold Hermann Ludwig
Macaulay Thomas Babington
1800 Part II
Edgeworth Maria
Jean Paul: "Titan"
Schiller: "Maria Stuart"
David: "Mme. Recamier"
Boieldieu: "Le Calife de Bagdad"
Gall Franz Joseph
Trevithick Richard
Voltaic pile
Richmond Bill
1801 Part I
Act of Union
Treaty of Luneville
Alexander I
Battle of Copenhagen
Gauss: "Disquisitiones arithmeticae"
Newman John Henry
Chateaubriand: "Atala"
Grabbe Christian Dietrich
Nestroy Johann
Schiller: "Die Jungfrau von Orleans"
Robert Southey: "Thalaba the Destroyer"
1801 Part II
David: "Napoleon Crossing the Alps"
Paxton Joseph
Beethoven: "Die Geschopfe des Prometheus"
Beethoven: Piano Sonata 14 "Moonlight Sonata"
Bellini Vincenzo
Vincenzo Bellini - Norma : Sinfonia dell'Opera
Vincenzo Bellini
Haydn: "The Seasons"
Lanner Joseph
Joseph Lanner - Hofball-Tanze
Joseph Lanner
Lortzing Albert
Lortzing "Overture" Der Waffenschmied
Albert Lortzing
Bichat Marie François Xavier
Fulton Robert
Fulton's "Nautilus"
Lalande Jerome
Flinders Matthew
The British in Australia
Union Jack
1802 Part I
Napoleon president of Italian Republic
Legion of Honour
Napoleon as First Consul for life
Treaty of Amiens
Battle of San Domingo
Kossuth Lajos
Grotefend Georg Friedrich
Dumas Alexandre, pere
Alexandre Dumas
"The Three Musketeers"
Hauff Wilhelm
Hugo Victor
Victor Hugo
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" 
Lenau Nikolaus
De Stael Germaine
Mme de Stael
"Corinne, Or Italy"
Chateaubriand: "Rene"
1802 Part II
Canova: "Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker";
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op.36
Forkel Johann Nikolaus
Treviranus Gottfried Reinhold
Health and Morals of Apprentices Act in Britain
1803 Part I
Act of Mediation
Louisiana Purchase
Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815)
Emmet Robert
Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–1805)
Battle of Assaye
Korais Adamantios
Emerson Ralph Waldo
Lancaster Joseph
Bulwer-Lytton Edward George
Merimee Prosper
Porter Jane
Schiller: "Die Braut von Messina"
Tyutchev Fyodor Ivanovich
1803 Part II
Decamps Alexandre-Gabriel
Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps
Henry Raeburn: "The Macnab"
Semper Gottfried
Turner J.M.W.
J.M.W. Turner
Adam Adolphe
Adolphe Adam   - Giselle
Adolphe Adam
Beethoven: "Kreutzer Sonata"
Berlioz Hector
Berlioz - Harold In Italy
Hector Berlioz
Sussmayr Franz Xaver
Carnot Lazare
Shrapnel Henry
Shrapnel shells
1804 Part I
Duc d'Enghien
Yashwantrao Holkar
Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Action of 5 October 1804
Disraeli Benjamin
British and Foreign Bible Society
Code Napoleon
Brown Thomas
Feuerbach Ludwig
Sainte-Beuve Charles-Augustin
Hawthorne Nathaniel
Morike Eduard
Sand George
Schiller: "Wilhelm Tell"
1804 Part II
Morland George
George Morland
Schwind Moritz
Moritz von Schwind
Royal Watercolour Society
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica")
Glinka Mikhail
Glinka "Waltz-Fantasia"
Mikhail Glinka
Strauss Johann, the Elder
Johann Strauss Vater - Lorelei Rhein Klänge Op. 154
Johann Strauss I
Thomas Bewick "History of British Birds"
Wollaston William Hyde
Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis Meriwether
Clark William
 Surveying the West
Serturner Friedrich Wilhelm Adam
1805 Part I
Treaty of St. Petersburg
War of the Third Coalition 1805
Mazzini Giuseppe
Battle of Austerlitz
Peace of Pressburg
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Battle of Trafalgar
1805 Part II
Ballou Hosea
Andersen Hans Christian
Hans Christian Andersen
"The Fairy Tales"
Walter Scott: "The Lay of the Last Minstrel"
Robert Southey: "Madoc"
Stifter Adalbert
Tocqueville Alexis
Goya: "Dona Isabel Cobos de Procal"
Turner: "Shipwreck"
Gerard: "Madame Recamier"
Beethoven: "Fidelio"
Congreve William
Hamilton William Roman
1806 Part I
Battle of Blaauwberg
Fox Charles James
Bonaparte Joseph
Bonaparte Louis
War of the Fourth Coalition 1806–1807
Battle of Jena-Auerstadt
Continental System
Greater Poland Uprising of 1806
Confederation of Rhine
The End of the Holy Roman Empire
Treaty of Poznan
1806 Part II
Adelung Johann Christoph
Mill John Stuart
Jewish consistory
Browning Elizabeth Barrett
Elizabeth Barrett Browning 
"Sonnets from the Portuguese"
Kleist: "Der zerbrochene Krug"
Laube Heinrich
Thorvaldsen: "Hebe"
David Wilkie: "Village Politicians"
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4
Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Op. 61
Arriaga Juan
Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - "Agar dans le désert"
Juan Arriaga
Latreille Pierre Andre
1807 Part I
Battle of Eylau
Battle of Friedland
Treaty of Tilsit
Bonaparte Jerome
Mustafa IV
Chesapeake–Leopard Affair
Embargo Act
Garibaldi Giuseppe
Stein Karl
Gunboat War (1807-1814)
Invasion of Portugal
1807 Part II
Albright Jacob
Hegel: "Phanomenologie des Geistes"
Hufeland Gottlieb
Charles and Mary Lamb: "Tales from Shakespeare"
Longfellow Henry Wadsworth
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The Song of Hiawatha"
Vischer Friedrich Theodor
Wordsworth: "Ode on Intimations of Immortality"
1807 Part III
David: "Coronation of Napoleon"
Zeshin Shibata
Beethoven: Coriolan Overture
Beethoven: "Leonora Overture" No. 3
Beethoven: "Appassionata"
Etienne Nicolas Mehul: "Joseph"
Spontini Gaspare
Spontini - La vestale
Gaspare Spontini
Bell Charles
Bonpland Aime Jacques Alexandre
Thompson David
Ascot Gold Cup
Slave Trade Act 1807
1808 Part I
Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves
Peninsular War (1807–1814)
1808 Part II
Erfurt Congress
Napoleon III
Fries Jakob Friedrich
Goethe: "Faust"
Kleist: "Das Katchen von Heilbronn"
Walter Scott: "Marmion"
Arnim and Brentano: "Des Knaben Wunderhorn"
Achim Ludwig
1808 Part III
Daumier Honore
Honore Daumier
Caspar Friedrich: "The Cross on the Mountains"
Goya: "Execution of the Citizens of Madrid"
Ingres: "Oedipus and the Sphinx"
Spitzweg Carl
Carl Spitzweg
Philipp Otto Runge: "The Morning"
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 5
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 6 "Pastoral"
Gay-Lussac Joseph-Louis
Goethe and Napoleon meet at Erfurt
Robinson Henry Crabb
1809 Part I
Treaty of Dardanelles
Invasion of Martinique
War of the Fifth Coalition
Battle of Wagram
Peace of Schonbrunn
Gladstone William Ewart
Charles XIII
Treaty of Amritsar
Napoleon annexes Papal States
Lincoln Abraham
Abraham Lincoln
1809 Part II
Darwin Charles
Charles Darwin
On the Origin of Species by Natural selection
Ricardo David
Campbell Thomas
Thomas Campbell: "Gertrude of Wyoming"
FitzGerald Edward
Goethe: "The Elective Affinities"
Gogol Nikolai
Krylov Ivan
Рое Edgar Allan
Edgar Allan Poe
"The Raven"
"The Fall of the House of Usher"
Tennyson Alfred
Alfred Tennyson
"Idylls of the King"
"Lady of Shalott", "Sir Galahad"
1809 Part III
Caspar Friedrich: "Monk by the Sea"
Flandrin Jean-Hippolyte
Hippolyte Flandrin
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5
Mendelssohn Felix
Mendelssohn - String Symphony No. 10 in B minor
Felix Mendelssohn
Spontini: "Fernand Cortez"
Maclure William
Sommerring Samuel Thomas
Braille Louis
Seton Elizabeth

Napoléon at the Battle of Austerlitz, by François Gérard
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1800-1809  History at a Glance

AS A NEW CENTURY BEGAN, unrest in Europe continued. Despite previous treaties, French military action increased in aggression. Mistrust of France prompted the formation of the Second Coalition in 1798; by 1799, it comprised Austria, Britain, Russia, Portugal, Naples, and the Ottoman Empire. On 14 June, Napoleon scored a significant victory against Austria in the Battle of Marengo, the result of which was French control of northern Italy.

Louis-François Lejeune: The Battle of Marengo.
The Battle of Marengo was a victory for France over Austria.

Spain, meanwhile, had done little to develop its Louisiana territory in North America, lacking the resources to settle it. So when Napoleon put pressure on Charles IV to return Louisiana, the Spanish monarch obliged. Under the terms of the secret Treaty of San lldefonso, Napoleon agreed not to give the land to a third power.

1800 Fulton Invents Submarine

In 1800, American inventor Robert Fulton first tested his creation, the Nautilus, a submarine to be used by the French in war against the British. The submarine and mines worked in several trials and impressed the French enough to fund Fulton's efforts. But when the craft tried to attack a British ship, the enemywas much faster and able to elude it. The French were no longer interested in the Nautilus.
Fulton would later work with the British to attack the French using the same submarine, and again the mission failed, this time due to defective mines. Fulton was defeated, but the submarine would eventually reemerge as an effective warfare machine. The United States named the first nuclear-powered submarine U.S.S. Nautilus.

FOOTNOTE After Fulton's disappointment with the Nautilus, he left France for his native United States, where he developed several successful steam-powered riverboats, a warship, and an engine manufactory in New Jersey.
1800 Volta Displays Battery

Italian physicist Alessandro Giuseppe Volta demonstrated the action of the first electric battery. Volta observed the fact that when two metals that are dissimilar make contact, they produce a small electrical effect, and the fact that when metals make contact with certain fluids they also produce an electrical effect.
Taking it a step further, Volta put two dissimilar metals in contact and then joined them with water, completing the circuit and creating an electric current. He would subsequently go on to make a compact version of the battery by connecting stacks of small disks of copper, zinc, and paper soaked in salt with a wire that created a current when the circuit was closed. This set the stage for future chemists and physicists to study electromotive force and currents.

FOOTNOTE Volta's contemporary, Luigi Galvani, saw frogs' legs jerk with a spark and believed electricity to reside in their bodies. With his stacked chips of metal and brine—often called a Voltaic pile—Volta proved otherwise.

Alessandro Volta demonstrates his battery to Napoleon Bonaparte and a group of scientists.

IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE IRISH REBELLION, British prime minister William Pitt the Younger concluded that the solution to the "Irish question" was a political union. In 1800 a bill outlining these plans was presented to the Irish parliament. After much controversy, the bill was passed. The Act of Union, also approved by the British Government, came into effect on 1 January 1801. It saw the Irish parliament closed down and representation moved to London, where 32 Irish peers were put in the House of Lords and 100 MPs in the House of Commons. Pitt had hoped the move would allow the granting of concessions to Catholics, but the bill maintained a ban on their holding public office.


In Europe, Austria's defeat at Marengo in 1800 forced them to accept the Treaty of Luneville, which recognized France's frontiers to the Rhine, Alps, and Pyrenees.


An engraving depicting peace celebrations in Milan, Italy, after the Treaty of Luneville,
in which Austria was forced to recognize France's growing borders.


Russia, meanwhile, was expanding to the south, encroaching on the kingdoms of Kartalinia-Kakhetia (present-day eastern Georgia). In a 1783 treaty, the ruling Bagratid dynasty agreed to Russian protection, in return for assurances that its territorial integrity would be preserved. However, Russian emperor Paul I (1754-1801), who had succeeded Catherine the Great upon her death in 1796, decided to formally annex the territory.


In Vienna, composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) finished composing his Piano Sonata 14 in C-sharp Minor Op. 27 No 2, known as the "Moonlight Sonata", which became one of his most famous works and is thought to be dedicated to his pupil, the Countess Giulietta Gucciardi, who did not return his affections.

Miniature from Beethoven's belongings, possibly Julie Guicciardi

The United States saw the election of Thomas Jefferson as the country's third president.

Portrait of Jefferson by Robert Field (1800)

Thomas Jefferson


Virginia-born planter and slave-owner Thomas Jefferson was a leading republican and one of the primary authors of the United State's Declaration of Independence.

He remained politically powerful all through his life, serving as vice-president (1797-1801) and president (1801-1809).

Yet for all the influence of his writings on issues like liberty, he did not free his own slaves during his lifetime.
1801 Jacquard Automates Loom

In 1801, Joseph Marie Jacquard created an automated loom that used a system of hooks and needles to lift individual warp threads and perforated punch cards that could "remember" a pattern. The Jacquard loom could produce intricate woven patterns that were laborious if done by hand and the punch cards were interchangeable, so any pattern could be created on a single loom. Not only did Jacquard's invention allow interesting, complicated textiles to be produced quickly, the technology behind it would lead to one of the great inventions of the next century—the computer. A needle was allowed to go through the punch card if it lined up with a hole in a block of wood on the loom. If the holes didn't match up, the needle stopped and went on to the next hole. This is how a pattern was created. But it was also a primitive yes-and-no system that would become the basis for digital computers.

AFTER 30 YEARS OF CIVIL WAR, Vietnam was united underthe leadership of Nguyen Phuc Anh (1762-1820), a powerful general who, with the help of French mercenaries, was able to defeat the rival Trinh family, Nguyen Anh declared himself emperor, taking the name Gia Long, and reestablished the Nguyen family as the ruling dynasty.

1802 Rebellion Ends in Vietnam

The Tay Son Rebellion, considered one of the largest popular uprisings in Asian history up to that point, ended in 1802. The rebellion began in what is now south-central Vietnam under three brothers who came from a village named Tay Son. The Tay Son's mission was to seize property from the wealthy and redistribute it to the poor. With each village that came under their control, the oppressive landlords were punished and their property was reallocated. The leaders abolished taxes, freed prisoners, and gave food to the hungry. They managed to overthrow a 350-year-old imperial dynasty and successfully warded off the invading Siamese and Chinese. The rebellion helped break down the division between the Vietnamese living on either side of the Gianh River and is considered an important event in the transition of modern Vietnam.
Ongoing warfare in Europe and further afield came to an end with the Treaty of Amiens. Signatories included Britain, France, Spain, and the Netherlands (which was known as the Batavian Republic from 1795 until 1806).

France and Britain at the table

A political cartoon of Britain's William Pitt and France's Napoleon Bonaparte carving up
the globe around the Peace of Amiens.

Under the terms of the treaty, Britain kept the colonies of Trinidad, which had been taken from Spain, and Ceylon, which had been captured from the Dutch. Egypt was restored to the Ottoman Empire, and France agreed to relinquish Malta. This state of affairs was short-lived.

Inscription from Haiti's Act of Independence and on Haitian flag

IN SAINT-DOMINGUE (HAITI), THE ONGOING WAR TOOK A DECISIVE turn with the capture and exile of General Toussaint Louverture in 1803. He had joined the French Republican cause ten years earlier and drove out the remaining British forces on the island, before taking up the title of governor in 1801.


Napoleon was, however, displeased with Louverture's successes and was infuriated when he defied orders, riding into Santo Domingo - then under French control - and freeing the slaves. In 1802, Napoleon reinstated slavery and sent 25,000 troops to reclaim the island. After months of fighting, Louverture was invited to negotiate a settlement. He was then seized and exiled. The battle for abolition then fell to his deputy Jean-Jacques Dessalines.


Jean-Jacques Dessalines who fought for Haitian independence.

With most of Napoleon's troops in Saint-Domingue killed on the battlefield or ravaged by yellow fever, Dessalines' men drove out the remaining soldiers. French reinforcements were held up by a British blockade of French ports as part of the ongoing war, and France abandoned the island.


The cost of fighting in Haiti had put further strain on France's troubled finances and it occurred to Napoleon that he could raise revenue by selling the large and mostly undeveloped land controlled by France in North America. The US had become interested in the Louisiana territory, especially the port of New Orleans as more people settling further west came to depend on trade along the Mississippi River. On May 2 a deal, the Louisiana Purchase, was signed in which the United States bought the territory stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Rocky Mountains—an area of 829,000 square miles (2,147,000 square kilometres). The price agreed was $15,000,000, but, ncluding interest, the total paid was closer to $27,000,000.


Territory gained by the US

The massive Louisiana territory almost doubled the size of the US. The following year it was extended south to include New Orleans.

Napoleon faced further challenges in Europe as Britain declared war on France, beginning the Napoleonic Wars. Meanwhile, British East India Company troops were waging another war involving the internal politics of the Maratha Confederacy, the Second Maratha War (to 1805). The Company's attempt to gain control of the territory in India only laid the ground for further conflict.
1803 Beethoven Composes Eroica

Ludwig van Beethoven began composing his revolutionary third symphony, Eroica, in 1803, and completed it the year after. It would go on to be his most famous for its length and complexity, surpassing any symphony that had been composed previously. Originally called Bonaparte as a tribute to Napoleon, the title was supposedly changed when Beethoven became disgusted with the French revolutionary after he proclaimed himself emperor. Eroica redefined symphony. It was nearly twice as long as a typical symphony of the day and is considered by some to be the beginning of the Romantic era. Its first public performance occurred in Vienna in 1805.

FOOTNOTE The Eroica's second movement is often played at funerals and memorial services, including those for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and for the victims of the terrorist attack during the 1972 Munich Olympics.
1803 Dalton Develops Atomic Theory

English chemist and physicist John Dalton in 1803 put forward his atomic theory stating that all elements are made up of tiny, invisible, indestructible particles called atoms and that atoms of an individual element are the same in size and weight. Dalton's groundbreaking work would become the basis of modern chemistry.
Dalton's early passion was meteorology. For nearly 60 years he kept a daily journal of the climate—the temperature, barometric pressure, rainfall, and dew point. This gave him the opportunity to ponder the composition of air, which is when he began theorizing that it was made up of minute particles. Then he began to consider that all matter, whether it was a solid, liquid or gas, was made of these particles.
Scientists have been studying atoms dating back to Democritus in 440 B.C.E., who called the particles atomos, which meant "invisible." But the Greeks, and many scientists thereafter, believed atoms varied in shape. Dalton said the atoms of one element were all alike but the atoms of a different element were distinctly different in size and weight. This idea of atomic weight meant that Dalton could give weights to the known elements, but Dalton did not have accurate values to assign them.
After Dalton presented his atomic theory he worked on devising a table of the atomic weights of the known elements. But there was not much known about molecular makeup, so his table was not accurate. Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius labored extensively to come up with a better table and produced one in 1818. His method was not perfect, but his figures were fairly accurate. Dalton's work on atomic theory made chemistry a quantitative science and made Dalton one of the founding fathers of modern physical science.
1804 Francis II Names Self Emperor

Habsburg monarch Holy Roman Emperor Francis II elevated Austria to the title of Austrian Empire in 1804 and changed his own title to Emperor Francis I to ward off the possibility that Napoleon Bonaparte or one of his followers might gain control over the land. Austria had been at war with France on and off again since 1792 and was not having success. Francis was opposed to the ongoing revolutionary movements that were occurring throughout Europe as a result of the French Revolution, and he deflected efforts at reform among his own people. In 1806, to ensure Napoleon could not be elected, Francis dissolved the Holy Roman Empire and renounced his own title.

FOOTNOTE Francis II had good reason to fear for his life during revolutionary times. His father's sister was Marie Antoinette, wife to Louis XVI, both of whom were killed by guillotine during the French Revolution in 1793.

AFTER FINALLY DRIVING THE FRENCH OUT of Saint-Domingue, Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared the independence of the new republic of Haiti on 1 January 1804. The name was based partly on the original indigenous name for the island. It was the first— and only—former slave colony to throw off colonial rule and slavery. Despite this, its birth was met with a wary reception—some in the slave-owning US did not want Haiti setting an example to the southern states, a concern shared by Britain, whose slave colony of Jamaica was also in close proximity.

1804 Haiti Freed From France

Former slave and military leader Francois Dominique Toussaint-Louverture led the Haitian independence movement in the 1790s which would result in the establishment of the Republic of Haiti in 1804. Freed from slavery in 1777, Toussaint-Louverture assembled his own army and trained them in guerilla warfare. He at first aligned with Spain but later switched to France, because it had abolished slavery and Spain had not. He also negotiated treaties with the British. In 1801 he drove the Spanish out of Santo Domingo and freed the slaves there. The French removed Toussaint-Louverture from power in 1802. He died in prison. France, under Napoleon Bonaparte, who intended to restore slavery in Haiti, was defeated by an army led by one of Toussaint-Louverture's men and the French withdrew from Haiti. It became the second country, after the United States, to be free of colonial rule.

FOOTNOTE The name "Haiti" comes from ayiti, meaning "land of high mountains" in the language of the Arawak, indigenous to the island. It once referred to the entire island but now refers to its western half, the nation of Haiti.

The defeat in the Caribbean did little to weaken Napoleon's stranglehold on power in Europe. In 1804, he made France a hereditary empire ostensibly to ward off any assassination attempts, but also to showcase his own might. The coronation ceremony on December 2 was remarkable as Napoleon was not crowned by Pope Pius VII (1742-1823) who officated, but placed the crown on his own head, crowning himself Napoleon I. In this year he also made sweeping reforms to the legal system in France and French territories, known as the Napoleonic Code.



One of Napoleon Bonaparte's most far-reaching reforms was to codify French law. Enacted in 1804, the Napoleonic Code [Code Napoleon] was a civil code created with the intention of breaking from the institutions of the past. Based on reason, it was also heavily influenced by Roman law, and declared all men equal, ending any hereditary nobility. Women fared less well, as they were put under male control. The laws also dealt with issues such as property rights, marriage, and civil rights. The Napoleonic Code was disseminated throughout French-controlled territory in Europe and beyond, making it highly influential - an adapted version is still in force in the Dominican Republic today. It was also later adopted by some of the new Latin American republics, including Bolivia and Chile.


In the US, two explorers— Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) —set off on an expedition through the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. They were under instructions from President Thomas Jefferson to find the Missouri River, establish relations with the indigenous people of the region, and find the fabled Northwest Passage. They made detailed maps and recorded the flora and fauna of the region. The two explorers finally returned to St. Louis in 1806.


A sketch of an evergreen shrub leaf from William Clark's diary.
He and Meriwether Lewis spent years exploring the vast Louisiana territory.

1804 Lewis and Clark Go West

In 1804 U.S. President Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on a two-year expedition of the West to find a northwest passage, map rivers, identify new plants and animals, build relationships with the native people, and open trade. The Louisiana Purchase had recently doubled the size of the U.S., and Jefferson was eager to find out more about this land. The expedition began in St. Louis, Missouri, and would cover 8,000 miles in 28 months. Some four dozen men originally made up the crew and along the way Lewis and Clark used a Shoshone Indian, Sacagawea, and her French-Canadian husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, as interpreters. Sacagawea carried her infant son on her back during the journey. While a coast-to-coast water route wasn't discovered, the expedition proved worthy for its scientific and geographic discoveries. It expanded the fur trade and since the explorers made it to Oregon and wintered on the coast, strengthened the U.S. claim to the Pacific.
In West Africa, Usman dan Fodio (1754-1817), a Muslim scholar and teacher, began a four-year jihad (holy war) that resulted in the creation of the Sokoto Caliphate in 1808 and the Fulani empire in Hausaland (in present-day northern Nigeria).
1804 Fulani Empire Begins

Fulani philosopher and reformer Usman dan Fodio engaged in a holy war from 1804 to 1808, which resulted in the formation of a new state, the Fulani empire, in present-day northern Nigeria.
Usman was a respected cleric living is the northern Hausa state of Gobir who had formed a community over which he presided according to the strict Muslim principles of law preached by the Qadiriyah. The kings in Gobir disapproved of Usman's independent community, leading Usman, who attracted both Fulani and Hausa as followers, to engage in a revolt against the Hausaland rulers in the name of Muslim revival and government reform. He hoped the new empire would be ruled by the principles and teachings of the Islamic tradition. Usman left much of the military decisions to his brother and son, who would become viceroys of the Fulani empire. The revolt was a success, and the empire that was created as a result of the jihad was the largest in Africa since the end of the 16th century. It inspired other related holy wars that would lead to the founding of the Islamic states of the Central African Republic, Chad, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, and Sudan.

FRANCES DEFEAT IN THE CARIBBEAN at Saint-Domingue was soon overshadowed by victory against Russia and Austria, which had been pulled back into war. Napoleon had also declared himself the king of Italy, then comprising Venice and northern Italian kingdoms. This act provoked the formation of a Third Coalition against France, with Britain, Austria, Russia, and Sweden as members. Deciding against an invasion of Britain, Bonaparte sent forces to Ulm, Bavaria (September 25-October 20), where he was victorious.


Napoléon at the Battle of Austerlitz, by François Gérard

However, the day after the Battle of Ulm ended, France suffered a humiliating naval defeat at the hands of the British in the Battle of Trafalgar, under the command of Napoleon's old enemy, Horatio Nelson. The battle, fought near Cape Trafalgar, between Cadiz, Spain, and the Strait of Gibraltar, saw the meeting of 18 French and 15 Spanish ships against 27 British vessels. Britain was victorious, capturing or destroying 18 ships, but Nelson, fatally wounded in action, died before the end of the battle. Napoleon decided to change tactics and turned to Europe, occupying Vienna and defeating Russia and Austria at the Battle of Austerliz on December 2.


Battle of Trafalgar, in which France and Spain suffered heavy losses at the hands of Britain's Royal Navy.

In Egypt, the Macedonian-born soldier Muhammad Ali (1769-1849) was named viceroy, or pasha, to the Ottoman sultan. Ali had arrived in Egypt in 1801 as part of a regiment sent to drive out the French.

1805 Muhammad Ali Еgуpt's Viceroy

In 1805, Muhammad Ali, who has been called the father of modern Egypt, was named the Ottoman sultan's viceroy in Egypt. He went on to found the dynasty that ruled Egypt until 1953. France had occupied Egypt from 1798 to 1801, and the ambitious Muhammad Ali continued what the French had started by ending the region's traditional society and developing a strong economy and military. He eliminated the former ruling Mamluks, limited native merchant and artisan groups, and neutralized any peasant rebellions. He focused on agriculture, over which he believed the state should have a monopoly, and began exporting crops such as cotton, rice, and sugarcane. Muhammad Ali was also determined to expand. He invaded and occupied Syria until Britain, France, Russia, and Prussia allied with the Ottoman government and drove his armies out. Under an 1841 treaty, Muhammad Ali was forced to return all of his conquered territory except Sudan but was allowed to govern Egypt for life.

FOOTNOTE Muhammad Ali is buried in the grand Alabaster Mosque of Cairo, which he had built. It was not his first resting place, however; one of his successors had his remains brought to the mosque eight years after his death.
1805 Serturner Isolates Morphine

In 1805, German chemist F. W. A. Serturner isolated a chemical from laudanum, an alcoholic extract of immature opium blooms, creating what would later become known as morphine—one of the most commonly used pain medications. Raw poppy juice could lead to overdose, since potency varied between batches, but the drug morphine could be prescribed in reliably regular dosages. The drug is still widely used as a painkiller for cancer patients but is extremely addictive. Serttirner's work was the start of alkaloid chemistry and the forerunner of the modern pharmaceutical industry.

PRUSSIA SUFFERED A DEVASTATING defeat against France at the Battle of Jena on October 14. Fought in Jena and Auserstadt in Saxony (southeast Germany), 122,000 French troops and 114,000 Prussians met in combat. As a result, Frederick William III (1770-1840) decided that internal reform in Prussia was necessary in order to bolster the country's flagging fortunes. Among the numerous measures taken, serfdom was abolished. Although the transition later proved profitable for agriculture, it took years to implement the changes.


Napoleon reviewing the Imperial Guard, by Horace Vernet.

In addition to his other conquests, Napoleon wanted control of the Holy Roman Empire, which would expand his territory in Germany. Emperor Francis II (1768-1835) was in no position to challenge France and abdicated, officially ending the empire, of which France took possession.


In the Middle East, the Islamic holy pilgrimage site of Mecca was invaded by members of the Arabian Saudi dynasty who practiced a strict version of the religion known as Wahhabi. In 1805, they had captured Medina, which, like Mecca, was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. They also made incursions into the Arabian Peninsula, sacking the city of Karbala, in Iraq (also under Ottoman rule), and extending their influence south to Yemen, a cause for concern among Ottoman officials.



William Wilberforce, to the English parliament prior to the vote on the Abolition Bill, 1789


THE LONG BATTLE LED BY English abolitionist and politician William Wilberforce (1759-1833)—and the thousands of members of the British public who supported his campaign—finally came to fruition in 1807 as the bill to abolish the slave trade was passed with an overwhelming majority. The legislation, however, only ended the trade in Britain. It did not end the practice of slavery.

1807 Slave Trade Abolished

Under the Slave Trade Act, Great Britain's Parliament abolished the slave trade in the British Empire in 1807. The same year President Thomas Jefferson signed a bill prohibiting slaves from being imported into the U.S., which would take effect in 1808. Britain's slave trade dates back to the mid-16th century, but at the turn of the 19th century there was growing opposition by groups who found the practice immoral and inhuman. A large-scale organized boycott in the 1790s of sugar grown by Caribbean slaves sent a clear message that the people were willing to take a stand on the issue. Britain's Parliament would eventually sway, and the bill to abolish the slave trade passed, making it illegal for any of the British colonies to conduct in the trade of slaves. Britain knew the move would have an effect on its economy, so it put pressure on other nations to abolish their slave trade as well. In 1833, slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire. Although the United States put an end to the trade of slaves, slavery was still practiced until the 13th Amendment was passed in 1865. In Latin America the Spanish colonies were winning wars of independence in the early 1800s. Slavery was abolished when they were granted independence. Many other countries ended slavery by the late 1800s. Up until 1807 many parts of the world had some sort of system of slavery or serfdom. Slavery has not vanished, but the Slave Trade Act was the beginning of the system breaking down on a large scale and bringing awareness to the inhumanity of it.

British illustration of the cruelty of Capt. John Kimber calls for "abolition of the slave trade."

Russia, alongside Prussia, had reentered the hostilities against France with the Battle of Eylau (February 7-8) in eastern Prussia. The battle was inconclusive and resulted in a stalemate, with both sides losing more than 20,000 troops. After a decisive Russian defeat at the later Battle of Friedland, Russia signed one of the Treaties of Tilsit on July 7, while Prussia signed the other on July 9. Under the terms of the treaties, France and Russia formed an alliance, while the territories of Austria and Prussia were significantly reduced.


In the Ottoman Empire, auxiliary troops called Yamaks erupted into a revolt over attempts to introduce European-style reforms to the military. They were soon joined by the elite Janissary soldiers. The unrest culminated in the assassination of Selim (1761-1808).


Elite force

A Janissary in Cairo. Initially the bodyguards of the sultan, the Jannissaries became the elite troops of the Ottoman Empire army.

1807 Fulton Builds Steamboat

In 1807, American inventor Robert Fulton demonstrated the first commercially successful steamboat, which ran from New York City to Albany on the Hudson River at almost five miles an hour, propelled by paddle wheels driven by a Watt steam engine. The North River Steamboat, also known as the Clermont, made its first upriver 150-mile trip in 32 hours compared with the four days it took on sailing vessels. Fulton immediately began commercial service between the two cities and was given exclusive right to steamboat operations on the river. He patented the boat's design and would soon begin the commercial operation of steamboats on other major U.S. rivers. Fulton's steamboats reduced shipping costs and revolutionized transportation in the U.S. and in Europe.

ALREADY IN CONTROL OF MOST of western and central Europe, Napoleon now turned toward the Iberian Peninsula. Enraged by the Portuguese refusal to back a French boycott against Britain, he sent troops into Portugal via northern Spain. The presence of French troops, as well as previous unpopular concessions to France, provoked the Spanish people to rise up, calling for the abdication of their monarch, Charles IV, in favor of his son, Ferdinand VII (1784-1833). Ferdinand took the throne, but it was to be very short-lived.


Francisco Goya's painting The Third of May depicts the French troops executing Spanish insurgents involved in the Madrid uprising.

Lured to Bayonne, France, by Napoleon's offer to mediate, Ferdinand VII was forced to abdicate. As Charles VII had already abdicated, Napoleon was now able to declare his brother, Joseph Bonaparte (1768-1844), the new king of Spain, triggering the Peninsular War. When news of these events reached Spain's colonies, there were furious outbursts. In Santo Domingo, loyalists mounted the War of Reconquest (to 1809), driving out the occupying French troops and declaring the island once more under Spanish control.

1808 Chemistry Advanced

In 1808, French chemist and physicist Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac published his law of combining volumes of gases, which would give scientists a much deeper understanding of organic chemistry. Gay-Lussac's law, as it became known, showed that when gases form compounds they combine in simple proportions: hydrogen and oxygen must be combined by volume in the ratio of two to one to make water. Carbon monoxide and oxygen must be combined by volume two to one to make carbon dioxide. Gay-Lussac was also keenly interested in Earth's magnetic intensity. He took to the air in a hydrogen-filled balloon to conduct studies and in 1804 ascended four miles above sea level to collect samples of the atmosphere. He determined that the air and magnetic force at high altitude were the same as they were on land. It was during this study of air analysis that he began forming his law of combining volumes of gases.

LONG-STANDING ENEMIES, Spain and Britain now fought alongside each other as they united against France. British troops met early defeat at the Battle of La Corufia, northwest Spain, fighting French troops under Napoleon's direct command. Britain was subsequently victorious at the Battle of Talavera (July 27-28), southwest of Madrid, under the leadership of Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), later known as the Duke of Wellington.


The Spaniards, while fighting the French, had also been establishing provincial bodies, called juntas, in order to organize their resistance.


The central junta in Spain had also issued a decree declaring the American territories to be more than just colonies, but still a part of the monarchy. Across the Atlantic it was obvious that there was a crisis of legitimacy in Spanish rule—without a king, to whom did allegiance lie? While debates about this were underway, similar American juntas were set up, and it soon it became clear that not all the colonies would stay on the path of loyalty to the Crown.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln Listeni (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th president of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy.


Abraham Lincoln
  Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, Lincoln was a self-educated lawyer in Illinois, a Whig Party leader, state legislator during the 1830s, and a one-term member of the Congress during the 1840s. He promoted rapid modernization of the economy through banks, canals, railroads and tariffs to encourage the building of factories; he opposed the war with Mexico in 1846. After a series of highly publicized debates in 1858, during which Lincoln spoke out against the expansion of slavery, he lost the U.S. Senate race to his archrival, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas.

Lincoln, a moderate from a swing state, secured the Republican Party presidential nomination in 1860. With very little support in the slave states, Lincoln swept the North and was elected president in 1860. His election prompted seven southern slave states to form the Confederacy before he took the office. No compromise or reconciliation was found regarding slavery.

When the North enthusiastically rallied behind the Union after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, Lincoln concentrated on the military and political dimensions of the war effort. His primary goal was always to reunite the nation. He suspended habeas corpus, arresting and temporarily detaining thousands of suspected secessionists in the border states without trial. Lincoln averted potential British intervention by defusing the Trent Affair in late 1861.

His complex moves toward ending slavery centered on the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, using the Army to protect escaped slaves, encouraging the border states to outlaw slavery, and helping push through Congress the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which permanently outlawed slavery. Lincoln closely supervised the war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including his most successful general Ulysses S. Grant. He made the major decisions on Union war strategy. Lincoln's Navy set up a naval blockade that shut down the South's normal trade, helped take control of Kentucky and Tennessee, and gained control of the Southern river system using gunboats. Lincoln tried repeatedly to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond; each time a general failed, Lincoln substituted another, until finally Grant succeeded in 1865.
An exceptionally astute politician deeply involved with power issues in each state, Lincoln reached out to "War Democrats" (who supported the North against the South), and managed his own re-election in the 1864 presidential election. As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican party, Lincoln confronted Radical Republicans who demanded harsher treatment of the South, War Democrats who called for more compromise, antiwar Democrats called Copperheads who despised him, and irreconcilable secessionists who plotted his death. Politically, Lincoln fought back by pitting his opponents against each other, by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory, and by carefully planned political patronage. His Gettysburg Address of 1863 became an iconic statement of America's dedication to the principles of nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy. Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to reunite the nation speedily through a policy of generous reconciliation in the face of lingering and bitter divisiveness. Six days after the surrender of Confederate commanding general Robert E. Lee, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a noted actor and Confederate sympathizer.

Lincoln has been consistently ranked both by scholars and the public as one of the greatest U.S. presidents.


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