Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 
 

TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK-1846 Part III NEXT-1847 Part II    
 
 
     
1840 - 1849
YEAR BY YEAR:
1840-1849
History at a Glance
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1840 Part I
Bebel August
Maximilian of Mexico
Carlota
Convention of London
British North America Act
Francia Jose Gaspar
Macdonald Jacques
William I of the Netherlands
William II of the Netherlands
Retour des cendres
Lambton John George
Vaillant Edouard-Marie
Sampson William
Smith William Sidney
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1840 Part II
Ridpath John Clark
Sankey Ira David
James Fenimore Cooper: "The Pathfinder"
Blunt Wilfrid Scawen
Broughton Rhoda
Robert Browning: "Sordello"
Daudet Alphonse
Alphonse Daudet
"Tartarin de Tarascon"
Dobson Austin
Hardy Thomas
Thomas Hardy 
"Tess of the d'Urbervilles"
Lemercier  Nepomucene
Lermontov: "A Hero of Our Times"
Modjeska Helena
Symonds John Addington
Verga Giovanni
Zola Emile
Emile Zola
"
J'accuse" (I accuse)
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1840 Part III
Delacroix: "Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople"
Makart Hans
Hans Makart
Monet Claude
Claude Monet
Nasmyth Alexander
Alexander Nasmyth
Nast Thomas
Nelson's Column
Rodin Auguste
Auguste Rodin
Redon Odilon
Odilon Redon
Blechen Carl
Karl Blechen
Debain Alexandre-Francois
Donizetti: "La Fille du Regiment"
Haberl Franz Xaver
Tchaikovsky Peter Ilich
Tchaikovsky - The Seasons
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky
Schneckenburger Max
Wilhelm Karl
"Die Wacht am Rhein"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1840 Part IV
Olbers Wilhelm
Blumenbach Johann Friedrich
Ball Robert
Kohlrausch Friedrich Wilhelm
Agassiz Louis
Basedow Carl Adolph
Graves disease
Maxim Hiram
Eyre Edward John
Brummell Beau
Father Damien
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Washington Temperance Society
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1841 Part I
Second Battle of Chuenpee
Barere Bertrand
Fisher John Arbuthnot
British Hong Kong
Luzzatti Luigi
Merriman John
Harrison William Henry
Tyler John
Espartero Baldomero
Hirobumi Ito
Clemenceau Georges
Edward VII
Creole case
Laurier Wilfrid
New Zealand
Lamb William
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1841 Part II
Cheyne Thomas Kelly
Ludwig Feuerbach: "The Essence of Christianity"
Holmes Oliver Wendell
Holst Hermann Eduard
Jebb Richard Claverhouse
Ward Lester Frank
Black William
Robert Browning: "Pippa Passes"
Buchanan Robert
Fenimore Cooper: "The Deerslayer"
Coquelin Benoit
Dickens: "The Old Curiosity Shop"
Ewing Juliana Horatia
Sill Edward Rowland
Frederick Marryat: "Masterman Ready"
Mendes Catulle
Mounet-Sully Jean
"Punch, or The London Charivari"
Sealsfield Charles
Scott Clement William
White Joseph Blanco
Ruskin: "The King of the Golden River"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1841 Part III
Chantrey Francis
Morisot Berthe
Berthe Morisot
Renoir Pierre-Auguste
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Wagner Otto
Wallot Paul
Olivier Ferdinand
Johann Heinrich Ferdinand Olivier
Bazille Frederic
Frederic Bazille
Zandomeneghi Federico
Federico Zandomeneghi
Guillaumin Armand
Armand Guillaumin
Chabrier Emmanuel
Chabrier - Espana
Emmanuel Chabrier
Dibdin Thomas John
Dvorak Anton
Antonin Dvorak: Rusalka
Antonin Dvorak
Pedrell Felipe
Felip Pedrell: Els Pirineus
Felipe Pedrell
Rossini: "Stabat Mater"
Sax Antoine-Joseph
Schumann: Symphony No. 1
Sgambati Giovanni
Sgambati - Piano Concerto in G minor
Giovanni Sgambati
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1841 Part IV
Cooper Astley
Braid James
Hypnosis
Candolle Austin
Aniline
Kocher Emil Theodor
Kolliker Rudolf Albert
Petzval Joseph
Hudson William Henry
Warming Eugenius
Whitworth Joseph
Barnum's American Museum
Bradshaw George
Cook Thomas
Hyer Tom
"The New York Tribune"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1842 Part I
Pozzo di Borgo Charles-Andre
Las Cases Emmanuel
Webster-Ashburton Treaty
Treaty of Nanking
General Strike of 1842
O’Higgins Bernardo
Giolitti Giovanni
Fiske John
Hartmann Eduard
Hyndman Henry Mayers
James William
Kropotkin Peter Alekseyevich
Anarchism
Anarchism
Lavisse Ernest
Robertson George Croom
Sorel Albert
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1842 Part II
Banim John
Sue Eugene
Eugene Sue: "The Mysteries of Paris"
Bierce Ambrose
Brandes Georg
Bulwer-Lytton: "Zanoni"
Graham Maria
Coppee Francois
Cunningham Allan
Espronceda Jose
Gogol: "Dead Souls"
Howard Bronson
Lanier Sidney
Lover Samuel
MacKaye Steele
Maginn William
Mallarme Stephane
May Karl
Рое: "The Masque of the Red Death"
Quental Antero Tarquinio
Woodworth Samuel
Macaulay: "Lays of Ancient Rome"
Tupper Martin Farquhar
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1842 Part III
Vereshchagin Vasily
Vasily Vereshchagin
Boldini Giovanni
Giovanni Boldini
Boito Arrigo
Arrigo Boito: Mefistofele Finale
Arrigo Boito
Glinka: "Russian and Ludmilla"
Hopkinson Joseph
"Hail, Columbia"
Lortzing: "Der Wildschiitz"
Massenet Jules
Massenet "Elegie"
Jules Massenet
Millocker Karl
Millocker: Gasparone
Karl Millocker
New York Philharmonic
Sullivan Arthur
Arthur Sullivan - The Mikado - Overture
Arthur Sullivan
Wagner: "Rienzi"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1842 Part IV
Dewar James
Doppler Christian Andreas
Flammarion Camille
Hansen Emile Christian
Long Crawford Williamson
Matthew Fontaine Maury
Charting the Ocean Depths
Mayer Julius Robert
Pelletier Pierre Joseph
Marshall Alfred
Strutt John William
Retzius Gustaf
Fremont John Charles
Darling Grace
Polka
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1843 Part I
McKinley William
Braga Teofilo
Wairau Affray
Dilke Charles
Avenarius Richard
Borrow George
Carlile Richard
Thomas Carlyle: "Past and Present"
Creighton Mandell
Liddell and Scott: "Greek-English Lexicon"
Liddell Henry
Scott Robert
Ward James
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1843 Part II
Bulwer-Lytton: "The Last of the Barons"
Elisabeth of Romania
Dickens: "Martin Chuzzlewit"
Doughty Charles Montagu
Dowden Edward
Emmett Daniel Decatur
Hood Thomas
Thomas Hood: "Song of the Shirt"
Horne Richard Hengist
James Henry
Rosegger Peter
Suttner Bertha
Harris George Washington
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1843 Part III
Allston Washington
Washington Allston
John Ruskin: "Modern Painters"
Trumbull John
John Trumbull
Werner Anton
Anton von Werner
Clairin Georges
Georges Clairin
Donizetti: "Don Pasquale"
Grieg Edward
Grieg - Solveig Song
Edward Grieg
Nilsson Christine
Patti Adelina
Richter Hans
Schumann: "Paradise and the Peri"
Wagner: "The Flying Dutchman"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1843 Part IV
British Archaeological Association
Chamberlin Thomas Chrowder
Ferrier David
Oliver Wendell Holmes: "The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever"
Holmes Oliver Wendell
Joule James Prescott
Koch Robert
Erbium
Brunel Marc Isambard
Thames Tunnel
Dix Dorothea Lynde
Guy's, Kings and St. Thomas' Rugby Football Club
Sequoyah
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1844 Part I
Lowe Hudson
Drouet Jean-Baptiste
Oscar I of Sweden
Dole Sanford Ballard
Laffitte Jacques
Franco-Moroccan War
Polk James Knox
Herrera Jose Joaquin
Treaty of Wanghia
Breshkovsky Catherine
Comstock Anthony
Emerson: "Essays"
Grundtvig Nikolaj Frederik Severin
Hall Granville Stanley
Nietzsche Friedrich
Friedrich Nietzsche
Rice Edmund Ignatius
Riehl Alois
Stanley Arthur Penrhyn
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1844 Part II
Bernhardt Sarah
Sarah Bernhardt
Dumas, pere: "Le Comte de Monte Cristo"
Bridges Robert
Cable George Washington
Carte Richard
Cary Henry Francis
Disraeli: "Coningsby"
France Anatole
Hopkins Gerard Manley
Lang Andrew
Liliencron Detlev
O'Reilly John Boyle
O’Shaughnessy Arthur
Sterling John
William Thackeray: "Barry Lyndon"
Verlaine Paul
Paul Verlaine
"Poems"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1844 Part III
Eakins Thomas
Thomas Eakins
Ezekiel Moses Jacob
Moses Ezekiel
Luke Fildes Luke
Luke Fildes
Leibl Wilhelm
Wilhelm Leibl
Munkacsy Mihaly
Mihaly Munkacsy
Repin Ilya
Ilya Repin
Rousseau Henri
Henri Rousseau
Cassatt Mary
Mary Cassatt
Flotow: "Alessandro Stradella"
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor
Rimsky-Korsakov Nikolay
The Best of Korsakov
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Sarasate Pablo
Pablo de Sarasate - Zigeunerweisen
Pablo de Sarasate
Verdi: "Ernani"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1844 Part IV
Grassmann Hermann Gunther
Baily Francis
Boltzmann Ludwig Eduard
DeLong George Washington
Golgi Camillo
Kielmeyer Carl Friedrich
Kinglake Alexander William
Strasburger Eduard Adolf
Huc Evariste Regis
Gabet Joseph
Sturt Charles Napier
Leichhardt Friedrich
Beckford William
Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers
"Fliegende Blatter"
Hagenbeck Carl
Keller Friedrich Gottlob
Pasch Gustaf Erik
Young Men’s Christian Association
Williams George
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1845 Part I
Root Elihu
Texas
Florida
Flagstaff War
Ludwig II of Bavaria
First Anglo-Sikh War
Sonderbund
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1845 Part II
Friedrich Engels: "The Condition of the Working Class in England"
Stirner Max
Disraeli: "Sybil, or The Two Nations"
Hertz Henrik
Prosper Merimee: "Carmen"
Рое: "The Raven"
Spitteler Carl
Wergeland Henrik
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1845 Part III
Bode Wilhelm
Hill David Octavius
Ingres: The Comtesse d'Haussonville
Oberlander Adam Adolf
Crane Walter
Walter Crane
Faure Gabriel
Faure - Pavane
Gabriel Faure
Lortzing: "Undine"
Wagner: "Tannhauser"
Widor Charles-Marie
Widor - Piano Concerto No. 1
Charles Marie Widor
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1845 Part IV
Armstrong William George
Bigelow Erastus Brigham
Cayley Arthur
Cornell Ezra
Submarine communications cable
Heilmann Joshua
Humboldt: "Cosmos"
Kolbe Hermann
Laveran Alphonse
McNaught William
Metchnikoff Elie
Charting the Northwest
Layard Austen Henry
Cartwright Alexander
United States Naval Academy
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1846 Part I
Battle of Aliwal
Battle of Sobraon
Treaty of Lahore
Greater Poland Uprising
Krakow Uprising
Mexican-American War
Battle of Monterrey
First Battle of Tabasco
Iowa
Pasic Nikola
Evangelical Alliance
Eucken Rudolf Christoph
Pius IX
Whewell William
Young Brigham
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1846 Part II
Balzac: "La Cousine Bette"
De Amicis Edmondo
Dostoevsky: "Poor Folk"
Jokai Maurus
Lear Edward
Melville Herman
Herman Melville: "Typee"
Herman Melville
"Moby Dick or The Whale"
Sienkiewicz Henryk
George Watts: "Paolo and Francesca"
De Nittis Giuseppe
Giuseppe de Nittis
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1846 Part III
Berlioz: "Damnation de Faust"
Lortzing: "Der Waffenschmied"
Mendelssohn: "Elijah"
Deere John
Deere & Company
Henle Friedrich
Howe Elias
Waitz Theodor
Mohl Hugo
Green William Thomas
Sobrero Ascanio
Heaphy Charles
Brunner Thomas
Europeans in New Zealand
"The Daily News"
Horsley John Callcott
Smithsonian Institution
Zeiss Carl
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1847 Part I
Liberia
Second Battle of Tabasco
Battle of Churubusco
BATTLE OF MEXICO CITY
Hindenburg Paul
Sonderbund War
Beecher Henry Ward
Blanc Louis
Proudhon Pierre-Joseph
roudhon: "Philosophy of Poverty"P
Karl Marx: "The Poverty of Philosophy"
Salt Lake City
Charlotte Bronte: "Jane Eyre"
Bronte Emily
Marryat: "The Children of the New Forest"
Thackeray: "Vanity Fair"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1847 Part II
Hildebrand Adolf
Liebermann Max
Max Liebermann
Friedrich von Flotow: "Martha"
Verdi: "Macbeth"
Boole George
Edison Thomas Alva
Bell Alexander Graham
Semmelweis Ignaz Philipp
Colenso William
Factory Act of 1847
Fawcett Millicent
Siemens & Halske
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1848 Part I
Frederick VII
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Revolutions of 1848
French Revolution of 1848
June Days Uprising
Cavaignac Louis-Eugene
French Constitution of 1848
French Second Republic
Revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire
Hungarian Revolution of 1848
Slovak Uprising 1848-1849
Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Europe, 1815-48 (part I)
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1848 Part II
First Italian War of Independence
Skirmish of Pastrengo
Battle of Goito
Battle of Custoza
Revolutions of 1848 in the Italian states
Revolutions of 1848 in the German states
Revolution of 1848 in Luxembourg
Greater Poland Uprising
Moldavian Revolution of 1848
Pan-Slav Congress of 1848
Pan-Slavism
Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Europe, 1815-48 (part II)
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1848 Part III
Second Anglo-Sikh War
Nasr-ed-Din
Ibrahim Pasha
Abbas I
Wisconsin
Balfour Arthur James
Seneca Falls Convention
Stanton Elizabeth Cady
Delbruck Hans
Macaulay: "History of England"
"The Communist Manifesto"
John Mill: "Principles of Political Economy"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1848 Part IV
Augier Emile
Chateaubriand: "Memoires d'Outre-Tombe"
Dumas fils: "La Dame aux Camelias"
Gaskell Elizabet
Elizabeth Gaskell: "Mary Barton"
Murger Louis-Henri
Henri Murger: "Scenes de la vie de Boheme"
Terry Ellen
Surikov Vasily
Vasily Surikov
Uhde Fritz
Fritz von Uhde
Gauguin Paul
Paul Gauguin
Caillebotte Gustave
Gustave Caillebotte
Millais: "Ophelia"
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1848 Part V
Parry Hubert Hastings
Jerusalem by Hubert Parry
Hubert Parry
Duparc Henri
Duparc Henri: "L'invitation au voyage"
Henri Duparc
Bottger Rudolf Christian
Parsons William
Frege Gottlob
"New Prussian Newspaper"
"Neue Rheinische Zeitung"
Grace William Gilbert
Kneipp Sebastian
Lilienthal Otto
Starr Belle
California Gold Rush
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1849 Part I
Battle of Chillianwala
Battle of Gujrat
Roman Republic on February 9, 1849
Battle of Novara
Victor Emmanuel II
Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione
Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione
Peace of Milan
Taylor Zachary
Dresden Rebellion of 1849
Surrender at Vilagos
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1849 Part II
Kemble John Mitchell
Key Ellen
Arnold Matthew
Dickens: "David Copperfield"
Kingsley Charles
Scribe: "Adrienne Lecouvreur"
Strindberg August
Smith Horace
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1849 Part III
Waterhouse John William
John William Waterhouse
John Ruskin: "The Seven Lamps of Architecture"
Carriere Eugene
Eugene Carriere
Liszt: "Tasso"
Meyerbeer: "Le Prophete"
Otto Nicolai: "The Merry Wives of Windsor"
Schumann: "Manfred"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1849 Part IV
Fizeau Armand
Frankland Edward
Livingstone David
Explorations of David Livingstone
Baines Thomas
"Who's Who"
Bedford College
Bloomer Amelia
Bloomers (clothing)
Stead William Thomas
 
 
 

This Carl Nebel painting depicts Winfield Scott entering the Plaza de la Constitución; the Metropolitan Cathedral is in the background.
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1847 Part I
 
 
 
1847
 
 
Liberia proclaimed independent republic
 
 
Liberia
 

Liberia, country along the coast of western Africa. Liberia’s terrain ranges from the low and sandy coastal plains to rolling hills and dissected plateau further inland. The country is home to a lush rainforest containing a rich diversity of flora and fauna.

 
Liberia is the only black state in Africa never subjected to colonial rule and is Africa’s oldest republic. It was established on land acquired for freed U.S. slaves by the American Colonization Society, which founded a colony at Cape Mesurado in 1821. In 1824 the territory was named Liberia, and its main settlement was named Monrovia, which is the present-day capital. Liberian independence was proclaimed in 1847, and its boundaries were expanded. The country enjoyed relative stability until a rebellion in 1989 escalated into a destructive civil war in the 1990s that did not fully cease until 2003. The country’s first post-conflict elections, held in 2005, were noteworthy for the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the presidency, as she was the first woman to be elected head of state in Africa.
 
 
History
Outsiders’ knowledge of the west of Africa began with a Portuguese sailor, Pedro de Sintra, who reached the Liberian coast in 1461.

Subsequent Portuguese explorers named Grand Cape Mount, Cape Mesurado (Montserrado), and Cape Palmas, all prominent coastal features. The area became known as the Grain Coast because grains of Melegueta pepper, then as valuable as gold, were the principal item of trade.

In the beginning of the 19th century the tide started to rise in favour of the abolition of slavery, and the Grain Coast was suggested as a suitable home for freed American slaves. In 1818 two U.S. government agents and two officers of the American Colonization Society (founded 1816) visited the Grain Coast.

After abortive attempts to establish settlements there, an agreement was signed in 1821 between the officers of the society and local African chiefs granting the society possession of Cape Mesurado. The first American freed slaves, led by members of the society, landed in 1822 on Providence Island at the mouth of the Mesurado River.

They were followed shortly by Jehudi Ashmun, a white American, who became the real founder of Liberia. By the time Ashmun left in 1828 the territory had a government, a digest of laws for the settlers, and the beginnings of profitable foreign commerce. Other settlements were started along the St. John River, at Greenville, and at Harper.

In 1839 Thomas Buchanan was appointed the first governor. On his death in 1841 he was succeeded by Joseph Jenkins Roberts, the colony’s first black governor, who was born free in Virginia in 1809; Roberts enlarged the boundaries of the territory and improved economic conditions.

  The early republic
When the American Colonization Society intimated that Liberia should cease its dependency on it, Roberts proclaimed it an independent republic in 1847. Independence was recognized in 1848–56 by most countries, though formal recognition by the United States did not come until 1862.

At the time independence was declared, a constitution based on that of the United States was drawn up. Roberts, who had been elected the first president of the republic, retained that office until 1856. During that period the slave trade, theretofore illicitly carried on from various nominally Liberian ports, was ended by the activity of the British and U.S. navies.

In 1871 the first foreign loan was raised, being negotiated in London nominally for £100,000. The loan was unpopular, and still more unpopular was the new president, Edward J. Roye, who was deposed and imprisoned at Monrovia. Roberts was called back to office. He served until 1876.

The early days of Liberia were marked by constant frontier troubles with the French on the Ivory Coast and the British at Sierra Leone. The Liberians tried to extend their authority inland, although they were still unable to control all the coastal area they claimed. Efforts to end the frontier disputes resulted in treaties with Great Britain in 1885 and with France in 1892. In 1904 President Arthur Barclay, who was born in Barbados, initiated a policy of direct cooperation with the tribes.

Having obtained a loan from London in 1907, he made real efforts at reform. The foreign debt, however, was a burden, and the government was unable to exert effective authority over the interior for more than 20 miles (32 km) inland. In 1919 an agreement was signed transferring to France some 2,000 square miles (5,200 square km) of hinterland that Liberia had claimed but could not control.

 
 

Map of Liberia circa 1830
 
 
Outside intervention
In 1909 a commission appointed by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt investigated political and economic conditions in Liberia and recommended financial reorganization. A loan of $1.7 million (U.S.), secured by customs revenue, was raised by an international consortium of bankers in 1912, and a receivership of customs was set up, administered by appointees of the British, French, and German governments and a U.S. receiver-general. A frontier police force was organized by officers of the U.S. Army, with the result that Liberian authority was better maintained. However, this promising new regime was upset by World War I. Revenues dropped to one-fourth of their previous level, and the financial situation steadily deteriorated.

The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company obtained a concession of 1,000,000 acres (400,000 hectares) for a rubber plantation in 1926. At the same time, a loan was arranged through the Finance Corporation of America, a Firestone subsidiary. Using this private loan, the Liberian government consolidated and bonded all its external and internal debts and placed the country’s finances on a relatively stable basis.

  Administration of the customs and internal revenue was placed in the hands of a U.S. financial adviser. In 1952 the government was able to liquidate its foreign debt for the first time since accepting the English loan of 1871.

An investigation by the League of Nations of forced labour and slavery in Liberia, involving the shipment of Africans to the Spanish plantations in Fernando Po, brought about the resignations of President Charles King and Vice President Allen Yancy and the election of Edwin Barclay to the presidency in 1931.

Liberia appealed to the Council of the League of Nations for financial aid, and a commission of inquiry was established. The next three years were marked by unsuccessful attempts to work out a plan of assistance involving appointing foreign administrators, declaring a moratorium on the Firestone loan, and suspending diplomatic relations with Great Britain and the United States.

After the League Council had finally withdrawn its plan of assistance, the Liberian government reached an agreement with Firestone along lines similar to the league’s recommendations.

 
 

The Liberian cabinet in the 1880s.
 
 
World War II and after
The new significance of Liberia became apparent after the outbreak of World War II. During the war Liberia’s rubber plantation was the only source of natural latex rubber available to the Allies, apart from plantations in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). In 1942 Liberia signed a defense agreement with the United States. This resulted in a program of strategic road building and the construction of an international airport and a deepwater harbour at Monrovia. U.S. money was declared legal tender in Liberia in 1943, replacing British West African currency. In 1943 William V.S. Tubman was elected to his first term as president. Liberia declared war against Germany and Japan in January 1944 and in April signed the Declaration of the United Nations. In December 1960 Liberia became a member of the UN Security Council, and from that time it took an active part in African and international affairs. In 1963 the country became a member of the Organization of African Unity (since 2002 the African Union) at its inception.

In 1963 Tubman was elected to his fifth term as president, and the following year the United States and Liberia signed an agreement to transfer the free port of Monrovia to the government of Liberia. Tubman was again elected president in 1967, the only candidate for the office; he died in London on July 23, 1971, shortly after his election to a seventh term as president. He was immediately succeeded by Vice President William R. Tolbert.

A decline in world prices for Liberia’s chief exports, iron ore and natural rubber, brought financial hardship to the country during the 1960s and early ’70s. Foreign loans helped sustain the economy during that period.

 
 
Decades of strife
In April 1980 Tolbert was killed in a coup led by Master Sergeant (later General) Samuel K. Doe, who became head of state and chairman of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC). The PRC promised a new constitution—which became effective in 1986—and a return to civilian rule. Elections were held in 1985 with several parties participating but were widely criticized as fraudulent. Doe was inaugurated as the first president of the Second Republic in January 1986. His rule ended in 1990 after civil war—primarily between the Krahn and the Gio and Mano peoples—erupted. A multinational West African force, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Monitoring Group, attempted to restore order, but the leaders of two rebel groups, Charles Ghankay Taylor and Prince Johnson, contended for power after Doe’s downfall and execution. The war dragged on for seven years as new factions arose and neighbouring countries became enmeshed in the strife. The toll on the civilian population and the economy was devastating. After a series of abortive attempts, a truce was achieved in 1996. In elections held the following year, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia Party, led by Taylor, achieved a clear majority.

At first, Taylor’s government was able to maintain a shaky peace, buoyed by the presence of ECOWAS peacekeeping forces. However, those troops left in early 1999, and by the end of the year rebels were on the attack in northern Liberia. The country’s economy, already in shambles, was made worse in 2001 when the UN Security Council imposed sanctions for Liberia’s support of rebel forces in Sierra Leone; Taylor’s alleged role in Sierra Leone’s civil war also resulted in his June 2003 indictment by a UN-sponsored war crimes tribunal (the Special Court for Sierra Leone). Meanwhile, the rebel insurgency in Liberia had slowly spread southward, killing thousands and displacing tens of thousands in the fighting. Government troops could not stop the rebel advance, and in August 2003 Taylor stepped down as president and went into exile in Nigeria. In March 2006 the Liberian government requested Taylor’s extradition, and Nigeria announced it would comply with the order. Taylor subsequently attempted to flee Nigeria but was quickly captured. Charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, he was later sent to The Hague; his trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone began in June 2007. On April 26, 2012, Taylor was found guilty of being responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity that were committed during Sierra Leone’s civil war because he aided and abetted the rebel forces who committed the crimes.

  Return to peace
After Taylor left Liberia in 2003, the National Transitional Government (NTG), headed by Liberian businessman Gyude Bryant and supported by United Nations peacekeeping troops, was established and ruled until a new administration was democratically elected and installed. With the assistance of the UN, presidential elections were held in late 2005, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Unity Party (UP) defeated former football star George Weah of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) in the second round of polling. She became the first woman to be elected head of state in Africa.

Johnson Sirleaf focused on rebuilding the country’s economy and infrastructure, both of which had been devastated by decades of conflict and instability. Progress was made, as all of Liberia’s considerable debt was erased by the end of 2010 and Johnson Sirleaf secured millions of dollars of foreign investment in the country. She also worked to promote unity and reconciliation within the country. To that end, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established in 2006. Johnson Sirleaf also addressed the culture of corruption that had been rampant for some time: she fired the entire staff of the Ministry of Finance and promised to investigate and prosecute anyone responsible for graft.

In December 2007 Bryant, the former NTG head, was arrested for failing to appear in court to face corruption charges stemming from his time as leader of the transitional government; he was accused of embezzling more than $1 million, a charge that he vehemently denied. Bryant was found not guilty in 2009. In October 2008 Taylor’s son, Charles (Chuckie) Taylor, Jr., was convicted in a U.S. court on charges of torture and related war crimes; he was sentenced in January 2009 to 97 years in prison.

The run-up to Liberia’s next round of presidential and legislative elections, scheduled for October 11, 2011, was eventful. Four proposed changes to the constitution, three of which would have bearing on the upcoming elections, were put to a referendum in August 2011 but did not garner enough votes to pass. The failure of one of the proposals, which would have reduced the residency requirement of presidential and vice presidential candidates from 10 to 5 years, led to a small opposition group challenging in court the eligibility of several of the candidates, including Johnson Sirleaf, who because of Liberia’s civil war had not resided in the country for the requisite 10 years. The challenge led to the Supreme Court briefly suspending campaigning activities by the candidates.

 
 

Liberia
 
 
On October 5, 2011, the Supreme Court dismissed the challenge, noting that the writers of the 1986 constitution could not have anticipated that years of conflict would force many Liberians to live outside the country. Two days later another preelection controversy was generated when Johnson Sirleaf won the Nobel Peace Prize. Other candidates complained that the Nobel Committee was interfering with Liberian politics by awarding the prize so close to the election.

Sixteen candidates stood in the October 11, 2011, presidential election. Johnson Sirleaf and Winston Tubman, who was running with Weah as his vice presidential candidate on the CDC ticket, emerged as the two top candidates, winning almost 44 percent and 33 percent of the vote, respectively. As neither candidate was able to garner more than 50 percent of the votes, the two advanced to a runoff election scheduled for November 8. Despite the October poll’s being praised as free and fair by several international observation groups, some opposition parties, including the CDC, alleged that there were instances of voting irregularities. Less than a week before the runoff election, Tubman announced that he would not participate and asked his supporters to boycott the election. A further complication arose the day before the runoff election, when a CDC rally devolved into violence after police attempted to disperse the demonstrators, killing at least two people, injuring others, and alarming many that the country might be descending into a spate of election-related violence. The November 8 election proceeded as planned, though, and Johnson Sirleaf was reelected with more than 90 percent of the vote—although the voter turnout was significantly lower than that of the first round, as many Liberians had heeded Tubman’s call for a boycott or had stayed at home to avoid any chance of violence.

Donald Rahl Petterson
Svend E. Holsoe


Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
     
 



World Countries



Liberia
     
 
 
 
1847
 
 
Second Battle of Tabasco
 

The Second Battle of Tabasco, also known as the Battle of Villahermosa, was a battle fought in June 1847 during the Mexican-American War as part of the U.S. blockade of Mexican Gulf ports.

 
Background
Commodore Matthew C. Perry, commander of the U.S. Home Squadron had recently captured the port cities of Tuxpan and Carmen. He next decided to move against the city of San Juan Bautista (present day Villahermosa), the capital of the state of Tabasco.

Perry had received reports in April that the Mexican commander in Tabasco, Col. Domingo Echagaray, had strengthened the city's defenses and built obstructions in the Tabasco River (present day Grijalva River). Perry assembled the Mosquito Fleet, consisting of the steamboats Scourge, Scorpion, Spitfire, and Vixen, plus the brigs Washington, Stromboli, and Vesuvius, and the merchant schooner Spitfire, off Frontera on 14 June and began moving upstream, towing 40 ship's boats carrying 1,050 men and seven surfboats with a field piece each.

 
 
Battle
At 4:15 PM, near Santa Teresa, 12 miles (19 km) below San Juan Bautista, the fleet ran through an ambush with little difficulty. At 5:45 PM, at an "s" curve in the river known as the "Devil's Bend", Perry encountered Mexican fire from the chaparral, dispersed some cavalry with the Vesuvius, and anchored for the night intending to deal with the obstructions ahead during daylight the next day. At dusk, a lone Mexican shot one of Perry's men on the Vesuvius's forecastle.

On 16 June, while investigating the obstructions, one of Perry's lieutenants, William May, was wounded, and Perry decided to lead ashore 1,173 men and ten pieces of artillery. They quickly took Acachapan, when Col. Claro Hidalgo's 600 men fled, abandoning their uneaten breakfasts.

In the meantime Lieutenant David D. Porter, on board the Spitfire, managed to remove the piles obstructing the river and move the steamers past by 10 AM. At one point just as Perry was approaching the Mexican defenses, Porter opened fire on them mistaking the Americans for the Mexicans. The mistake was quickly remedied, and Porter kept on moving upriver, soon reaching Fort Iturbide guarding the city from the riverbank. Two ships, Scorpion and Spitfire, ran past the fort and began shelling it from the rear. Porter led 68 men ashore, seized the fort, and raised the American flag. The steamers continued on to capture the town, raising the US flag over the governor's house by 11:50 AM. Perry and the landing force arrived at 3:30 PM.

 
Map depicting events along
the path to San Juan Bautista
 
 
Aftermath
The last Mexican port on the Gulf coast had been captured. Colonel Echagaray withdrew further upstream to Tamulte with 111 soldiers and 115 civilians, but guerrilla bands lingered behind. Perry left a garrison in Tabasco, under the command of Commander Gershom J. Van Brunt, but yellow fever and the constant presence of guerrillas persuaded Perry to withdraw the garrison on 22 July, but maintained the blockade at Frontera, periodically patrolling the river.
 
 

American landing in San Juan Bautista (Villahermosa today) during the Second Battle of Tabasco.
 
 
In the aftermath of the U.S. victory, a movement in the states of Tabasco and Chiapas arose which sought to break the two states from Mexico and join with Guatemala, but Perry withheld support, and the movement eventually died off.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
1847
 
 
Battle of Churubusco
 

The Battle of Churubusco took place on August 20, 1847, while Santa Anna's army was in retreat from the Battle of Contreras (Padierna), Mexican-American War. After defeating the Mexican army at Churubusco, the U.S. Army was only 5 miles (8 km) away from Mexico City.

 
Background
Following their defeats at Contreras Santa Anna ordered Major General Nicolas Bravo to retreat from San Antonio to Churubusco. Santa Anna also ordered Major General Manuel Rincon to hold the Franciscan Convent of San Mateo in Churubusco, with earthworks and seven guns, and placed General Francisco Perez on the tete-de-pont on the south bank of the river. Two regiments were placed along the river while the convent included the Bravo Battalions of the Mexico City National Guard and the San Patricio Battalion, plus Santa Anna formed a reserve along the highway to the north.
 
 

"Battle of Churubusco" by J. Cameron, published by Nathaniel Currier.
 
 
Battle
Scott sent David Twiggs and Gideon Johnson Pillow's divisions from San Angel to Coyoacan, while he ordered William J. Worth to turn the San Antonio position. Worth sent Col. Newman S. Clarke's brigade and Lt. Col. Charles F. Smith's light battalion across the Pedregal lava field to the west of San Antonio, while Col. John Garland faced San Antonio on the south.

During retreat from San Antonio, the Mexican defenders (part of the 1st Line of Defense (or sometimes the "Army of the Center") with Col. F. Villarreal and about 2,000 men: 700 of the "Hidalgo," 500 of the "Victoria" (Lt. Col. P. Jorrin) Natl. Guards Battalions, and 800 others: under Cols. A. Zerecero & J. G. Perdigon Garay), were struck in flank by Clarke's Brigade. Garland moved forward as the Mexicans withdrew from San Antonio and a general and four guns.




Battle of Churubusco


Scott ordered an attack on the convent. In addition to the stone walls of the convent, the defenses included a series of incomplete trenches the Mexicans had begun digging prior to the attack. Some elements of the Tlapa and Lagos Battalions arrived as reinforcements. Three cannon were placed on the right; two in the center; and the remaining two on the left. Independencia was assigned to defend the upper walls, the right flank leading to the bridge, the unfortified south and north sides, and two adobe huts further forward on the battlefield.
 
 
The Bravos and the San Patricios were stationed on the left, behind barricades. In support along the Rio Churubusco was the Perez Brigade : 2,500 men (11th Line, 1st, 3d & 4th Light Infantry Regiments)

Worth's division took on the tete-de-pont, while Twiggs' the convent. Rincon's gunners were able to force Taylor's battery to withdraw, and Perez's defense on the tete-de-ponte twice repulsed Major Benjamin Bonneville's 6th Infantry charge. The attack by Franklin Pierce and James Shields, crossing the river on the Coyoacan-Mixcoac road in an attempt to cut off the Mexican retreat, was also stopped. However, Worth turned the Mexican left and crossed the river, while the 8th and 5th Infantry took the tete de pont. Capt. Duncan then set up a battery to attack the convent.

Two of the Mexican cannons had melted and a third had fallen from its mount. Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Peñúñuri of Independencia led a handful of men in a bayonet charge and was defeated. He and Captain Luis Martínez de Castro, who had accompanied him, were killed in the battle. Officers from the Bravos attempted to raise the white flag over the convent walls on three occasions. They were prevented from doing so, however, by members of the San Patricios who feared the fate that awaited them if they were taken prisoner, though seventy-two men  were ultimately captured and court-martialed for desertion, including the leader, John O'Riley. U.S. Captain James Milton Smith finally stopped the fighting by putting up a white handkerchief.
 
Map of the battle of Churubusco
 
 
Aftermath
The Americans captured 192 prisoners and 3 pieces of artillery at the tete de pont. They captured 1,259 prisoners, including 3 generals and the San Patricios leader Lt. Col. Francisco Rosenda Moreno, plus 7 pieces of artillery at the convent. They captured another 380 prisoners further up the road.

Scott did not continue the pursuit into Mexico City, "...willing to leave something to this republic...I halted our victorious corps at the gates of the city."

A brigade of volunteers from New York was billeted to the convent, remaining there until September 7.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 

Battle of Churubusco, during the Mexican-American War, painting by Carl Nebel.
 
 
 
1847
 
 
BATTLE OF MEXICO CITY
 

19 August-14 September 1847

Forces Engaged

United States: 7,200 troops. Commander: Lieutenant General Winfield Scon.

Mexican: Mexico City garrison of 16,000. Commander: General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.

Importance

American victory caused the collapse of the Mexican government and the end of the war. In the peace treaty, the United States acquired northern Mexico and the dominant political position in the Western Hemisphere.

 
Historical Setting
 
When Texans defeated the Mexican army of President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at San Jacinto on 21 April 1836, the surrender document that Santa Anna signed designated the border of the newly independent country, the Republic of Texas, to be the Rio Grande. Although the Mexican government never ratified the agreement that Santa Anna signed, the Texans continued to regard the Rio Grande from mouth to source as the southern and western borders of their country. For the following 9 years, Mexico never seriously tried to regain the lost province, launching only the occasional raid that accomplished nothing.

The country between the major settlement of San Antonio and the Mexican town of Santa Fe in modern New Mexico was a vast plain populated by the Comanche tribe of American Indians, one of the most warlike in all North America. They had kept Spanish and Mexican settlement out of their territory for a hundred years. During the time of the Republic of Texas, an expedition was dispatched through Comanche lands to capture Santa Fe and incorporate it into Texas. It failed when its members were defeated and captured just short of their goal, but the Texans could lay a slim claim to the intervening territory because they had crossed it, whereas the Mexicans had not. The Mexican government claimed that the true border between Mexico and Texas was the Nueces River, which flowed about 200 miles through south Texas into Matagorda Bay near modern Corpus Christi. This was a fairly legitimate claim, as there was virtually no Anglo Texan settlement south of that river. However, there was also virtually no Mexican settlement. It was indeed a hostile country claimed by both, but populated by neither.
 
 

Environs south of Mexico City
 
 
When the United States agreed to annex Texas into the union in 1845, the Texans made it clear that the Rio Grande was the border they claimed. Thus, that was the border accepted by the United States when the annexation was approved. This border dispute was the primary incident that set off the war between the United States and Mexico. Mexico at this point was reluctantly willing to relinquish its claim to Texas, but only if the Nueces was the recognized border. Any attempt by the Texans and Americans to acquire the land between there and the Rio Grande would be cause for war.

U.S. President James K. Polk was in the process of settling a dispute with Great Britain over the border between U.S. and British claims in the Oregon country. Although Polk had campaigned for the presidency in 1844 on the slogan "54—40 or fight," he was willing to give up that latitude as the northern border of U.S. claims and settle on the 49th parallel. Certainly, he assumed, if he could reach a diplomatic conclusion with Great Britain and avoid a war, he should be able to do the same with Mexico. Hence, Polk sent John Slidell to Mexico City with an offer to buy the disputed area of Texas and, if the Mexican government were in a selling mood, buy all the land west to California on the Pacific. Slidell was never allowed to present the $ 15 million offer; the Mexican authorities refused even to accept his credentials.
 
To reinforce U.S. claims to the land south of the Nueces, Polk dispatched Major General Zachary Taylor with some 4,000 men to the mouth of the Rio Grande. There Taylor began to construct Fort Brown during the winter of 1845—1846. This action was viewed by the Mexican government as an invasion, so they sent orders to expel Taylor's force. Meanwhile, Polk had been searching for justification to go to war to claim all of Texas, but he had little to go on. Slidell's rejection, while undiplomatic, was hardly a cause for war. Neither were the unpaid claims to Texan citizens for damages suffered by the Mexican raids during the time of the Republic. In April 1846, the Mexicans gave him his justification. On 22 April, Mexican cavalry had engaged, killed, and captured a force of sixty-four U.S. dragoons. Armed with this news, Polk sent a war message to Congress, telling them "American blood has been shed on American soil." Because of the dispute over the land, this was questionable, but Congress agreed and declared war. Zachary Taylor spent the summer of 1846 gathering men and material and in September defeated Mexican forces north of the Rio Grande in battles at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. He then crossed the river and marched on Monterrey, which he captured on 25 September. He wintered there and then in February 1847 defeated a larger Mexican army commanded by Santa Anna at Buena Vista. Santa Anna, disgraced after losing Texas, was back in power again. After his loss at Buena Vista, however, he retreated to Mexico City. Taylor was doing well, but in Polk's view he was doing too well. Knowing the U.S. propensity for elevating war heroes to the presidency, Polk did not want to make Taylor, an avowed member of the rival Whig Party, into a candidate. So he sent senior army general Winfield Scott to take command in Mexico. Scott arrived in Tampico with an army of his own and joined most of Taylors force to it. He proceeded to Vera Cruz, from whence he would march on the Mexican capital.
 
 

The American assault on Chapultepec Castle.
 
 
The Battle
 
Scott's force of 10,000 landed unopposed just south of Vera Cruz on 9 March 1847 and then marched to surround the city. With U.S. warships able to bombard offshore, and little hope of relief from inland, the Mexican garrison sur-rendered on 29 March. With a harbor in his hands with which to maintain a supply source, Scott turned inland. He wanted to get away from the coastal plain as soon as possible to avoid the yellow fever and malaria season, so his force marched into the interior highlands as soon as possible. On 18 April, they met a large and well-situated Mexican force under Santa Anna at Cerro Gordo. A flanking move through rugged terrain surprised the Mexican camp, and Santa Anna withdrew, leaving behind half of his 12,000 soldiers dead, wounded, or missing. Scott lost 63 at this battle, but sickness and harassment by guerrillas began lowering his numerical strength. To make matters worse, 3,000 volunteers had ended their enlistments and marched away to Vera Cruz.
 
 

Molino del Rey is on the left. "O" depicts a Mexican battery, "P" an American
battery, and "R" is Steptoe's battery.
 
 
Scott halted at Puebla in mid-May, ordering the garrisons that he had left behind to come up and receiving more reinforcements arriving from the United States. He stayed here until early August, by which time his army had regained strength and now numbered just under 11,000; he left 3,000 sick in the care of a small garrison at Puebla.
Supplied by foodstuffs that he acquired locally, Scott abandoned his line of communications. This was widely criticized; even the duke of Wellington, following the campaign in England, thought this move spelled Scott's doom. Scott's army entered the Valley of Mexico through an undefended pass and then descended on Mexico City. When he reached Lake Chalco, Scott sent a diversionary force up the main road toward the city and then marched the bulk of his force around the southern end of the lake and past the adjoining Lake Xochimilco. This put him on 18 August about 7 miles due south of the capital city and just south of a large volcanic wasteland called the pedregal. Scott's chief engineer, Captain Robert E. Lee, discovered a track across the pedregal, which the Mexicans assumed could not be traversed. This allowed the Mexican position at Contreras (on the southwest corner of the pedregal), held by 1,500 men, to be outflanked and virtually destroyed in a dawn attack on 20 August. This opened the roads leading northward into Mexico City. Only a strong Mexican position before the Churubusco River stood in the way. Scott, however, did not hesitate. He quickly moved up the road from Contreras to Churubusco. The strongest point in the Mexican position was a convent defended by not only Mexican troops but the San Patricio force. These were Irish Americans who had deserted the U.S. army to fight for a Catholic country and receive land grants and citizenship in return. They put up a stout defense, for they well knew what their fate would be if they were captured. Captured they were, however, when overwhelmed by U.S. attackers and superior artillery. The remainder of the Mexican army stood their ground until a U.S. detachment forded the Churubusco River and began rolling up their flank, leading to a general withdrawal. Some critics say that, had the Americans followed hard on this retreat, Mexico City wound have fallen, but Scott's troops were exhausted by two battles in 2 days.
 
 
 
 
At this point, Nicholas Trist arrived. Trist, the second highest official in the U.S. State Department, was sent to negotiate a settlement. The Democratic U.S. Congress, which had declared war for Polk, had turned Whig in the elections of 1846, and they were not supportive of the war. Further, Scott was now the national hero and Polk realized that he too was a Whig. Polk sent Trist to end the fighting quickly by offering the same terms that Slidell had tried to offer 2 years earlier. Polk assumed that the continual defeats that the Mexican army had suffered had made the government more open to negotiations. Trist managed to negotiate an armistice on 23 August calling for a cessation of the fighting and for neither side to improve its position. Santa Anna signed but did not obey the agreement, so on the night of 7 September, Scott gathered his staff to plan the next action. Spies had informed Scott that a foundry at Molino del Rey was casting cannon, so this seemed a good target. It proved not only better defended than Scott had expected but also not producing cannon. In the most difficult fight of the campaign, the Americans lost more than 700 killed and wounded. Occupation of Molino del Rey, however, gave Scott a strong base from which to launch an attack eastward on Chapultapec Castle, the strength of Mexico City's defenses and site of the military academy. Early on 13 September, the U.S. forces burst from the cover of a cypress grove and rushed up the hill to the base of Chapultapec's walls. After a delay in receiving scaling ladders, the soldiers finally forced their way over the walls. The fighting inside the castle was hand to hand, with military cadets as young as 13 years old defending their school and country. Their stubborn defense has enshrined them in Mexican folklore as Los Ninos Heroicos, but they were too few to repel the assault.
 
 
 
 
U.S. flanking units kept any attempt at reinforcement at bay, and by late morning the U.S. soldiers were inside the city. By this time, Scott's force had lost more than 850 casualties compared with almost 3,000 lost by the Mexican army, but Santa Anna still commanded another 5,000 at Ciudadela fort and another 7,000 soldiers in various parts of the city. Although the Mexican forces still outnumbered Scott's two to one, Mexico City officials pleaded with Santa Anna to surrender rather than have the U.S. artillery destroy the city. Santa Anna took the rest of his army with him in the night to Guadalupe Hidalgo, a village just north of the city. Mexico City surrendered to Scott just before dawn on 14 September.
 
 

James Walker, Storming of Chapultepec (1847)
 
 
Results
 
With the capital in hand, Scott's first goal was to reopen his line of communications. Soon supplies and reinforcements were flowing inland from Vera Cruz. Scott's garrison at Puebla, now reinforced, beat back Santa Anna's last attempt at salvaging a victory. After Santa Anna's resignation, a new government was created that met with Nicholas Trist in Guadalupe Hidalgo. At this point, the face of die Western Hemisphere could have been radically altered if Trist had been able to communicate quickly with Polk. Instead, communications between Mexico City and Washington took б to 8 weeks each way. Look at the timing of the messages. Trist reported the first Mexican rebuff of his offer on 23 July 1847; this reached Polk on 15 September. Polk wrote back on 6 October, ordering Trist to return. Polk had by this time decided to demand even more territory from Mexico when they saw fit to negotiate, but he merely told Trist to return to Washington and did not mention his desire for more land. This message reached Trist on 16 November, as the new Mexican government was asking to resume talks. Trist had been operating on Polk's original orders, which were the same as those for Slidell: acquire the disputed area of Texas, get everything as far as California if possible, and do not spend more than $15 million. Should he continue these negotiations, or follow the new order to go home? After days of agonized reflection, Trist decided to ignore the recall and negotiate. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed 2 February 1848. Mexico recognized Texas's claim to the Rio Grande; they surrendered lands west of there to California (which had been occupied by other U.S. forces); and they received in return $15 million plus forgiveness for the debts thatTexans claimed from the Mexican government totaling $3.25 million, which the U.S. government would pay.
 
Polk was furious over Trist's refusal to return and his letter of sixty-one pages explaining his motivation. He was equally upset when he learned the details of the treaty. It was a treaty that, to him, was only half a loaf. The Whig Congress, however, would not allow him to continue the war, so he had no choice but to accept it. The Senate did not like the treaty either. The Whigs thought it took too much, and the Democrats thought it took too little, so it was ratified as a compromise. The Mexican government did not like it because they did not want to give up any land at any price, but had no choice.
 
 

This Carl Nebel painting depicts Winfield Scott entering the Plaza de la Constitución; the Metropolitan Cathedral is in the background.
 
 
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was one no one liked but all had to live with. Had Trist not been sent to Mexico or had he followed his president's intentions more than his own, the southern border of the United States could have been the Yucatan peninsula. If that remained the case to this day, all of Mexico's resources would be the United States'. Illegal immigration would be a moot point, as would the debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement. In the shorter term, however, what would have happened with Mexico in 1861? When the South seceded from the Union, certainly the Mexicans would have followed suit. If they joined the Confederacy, the Civil War would certainly have had a radically different outcome. Even if they had not, a friendlier Mexico unoccupied by France could gready have changed the supply situation for the Confederacy. In the final analysis, Trist negotiated from what he considered his own moral base, that Mexico should be a neighbor and not a possession. It cost him his job and much of his future; Polk fired him. Trist, a friend and disciple of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, could not bear Polk's aggressive dreams of empire.
 
As it was, the war was enough to fulfill Polk's dread of producing presidential candidates. Both Taylor and Scott ran as Whigs, with Taylor winning in 1848 and Scott losing in 1852. Scott remained in the army and was still senior commander when the Civil War broke out. His Anaconda Plan proved a successful grand strategy for the Union.
 
 
see also: Mexican-American War
 
 
 
1847
 
 
Hindenburg Paul
 

Paul von Hindenburg, in full Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg (born Oct. 2, 1847, Posen, Prussia [now Poznań, Pol.]-died Aug. 2, 1934, Neudeck, Ger. [now in Poland]), German field marshal during World War I and second president of the Weimar Republic (1925–34). His presidential terms were wracked by political instability, economic depression, and the rise to power of Adolf Hitler, whom he appointed chancellor in 1933.

 

Paul von Hindenburg
  Hindenburg was the son of a Prussian officer of old Junker (aristocratic) stock. His mother, however, was from a middle-class family—a fact he preferred to ignore. A cadet at the age of 11, he served in the Austro-Prussian (Seven Weeks’) War of 1866 and in the Franco-German War of 1870–71. He retired as a general in 1911 after an honourable but not especially distinguished career.

Hindenburg was called back into service in August 1914 to be the nominal superior of Maj. Gen. Erich Ludendorff. Acclaimed as one of the army’s best strategists, Ludendorff was to drive a Russian invasion force from East Prussia. For this achievement, the rocklike Hindenburg, rather than Ludendorff, received the nation’s applause. Soon Hindenburg’s standing overshadowed that of Emperor William II. He was promoted to the rank of field marshal, and in 1916 the Emperor was pressured into giving him command of all German land forces, with Ludendorff his co-responsible chief aide. Unable to win the war on land, the duo tried starving Britain into surrender by unrestricted submarine warfare, thus drawing the United States into the war and causing Germany’s ultimate defeat. When they conceded defeat, Hindenburg let Ludendorff take the blame.

After the overthrow of William II, Hindenburg collaborated briefly with the new republican government.

 
 
He directed the withdrawal of German forces from France and Belgium and had his staff organize the suppression of left-radical risings in Germany. With both tasks accomplished (and the old officer corps preserved in the process), he retired once more in June 1919. Living quietly in Hanover, he occasionally expressed antirepublican views but, on the whole, cultivated his image of a nonpartisan national hero.

In April 1925, after the death of Friedrich Ebert, Hindenburg was elected the republic’s second president, despite his professed monarchism. He adhered, if not to the spirit, then at least to the letter of the republican constitution. Yet his personal confidants, among them especially Maj. Gen. Kurt von Schleicher, longed for a new authoritarian regime and urged him to use his prestige and render the government more independent of parliamentary controls. Though tired of the frequent Cabinet crises, Hindenburg, fearful of any unconstitutional action and of added responsibilities, procrastinated.

 
 

President Hindenburg as portrayed by Max Liebermann
  When the Depression set in and the government again broke up, he did appoint a Cabinet resting on his, rather than on the Reichstag’s (parliament’s), confidence. He authorized Chancellor Heinrich Brüning to dissolve the Reichstag should it prove uncooperative and promised to issue emergency decrees in lieu of Reichstag-enacted laws. The Reichstag was dissolved in July 1930; new elections produced an even less cooperative successor, in which the antiparliamentarian National Socialists emerged as the second largest party. Brüning now governed almost exclusively by decree. Since the president’s signature was required on each decree, however, Hindenburg could veto any governmental decision. Increasingly feeble, moody, and influenced by his military and landowning friends, the Marshal forced the government to spend huge amounts on the army and navy and hopelessly indebted estates at the expense of unemployment relief and other imperative needs. At the same time, Brüning’s deflationist policies aggravated the economic difficulties. Unrest, sparked above all by the Nazis, kept mounting.

When Hindenburg’s presidential term expired in April 1932, he ran again for the presidency as the only candidate who could defeat Hitler. He was reelected but mainly by the support of Brüning’s Catholic Center Party and the Social Democrats, rather than the conservative nationalist circles, to whom he felt closest and who now supported Hitler. Those who did vote for him clung to him as a bulwark against Nazi lawlessness and brutality.

 
 
Yet the President’s confidants considered the Nazis a useful, if unpleasant, movement with whom they were sure they could come to terms. They saw in Brüning an obstacle to such an accommodation and persuaded the Marshal to dismiss the Chancellor, who had just helped to reelect him.

Two successive governments, one headed by Franz von Papen, a former cavalry officer, the other by Schleicher, failed to win the support of the Nazis. Hitler insisted on becoming chancellor in any government in which his party participated, but, despite a deluge of petitions and letters, Hindenburg, who distrusted Hitler’s noisy aggressiveness, would not concede him that post. In November 1932, however, when the Nazis lost 10 percent of their vote in new Reichstag elections, Papen and Hitler agreed on forming a government with Hitler as chancellor, Papen as vice chancellor, and non-Nazis in most other posts. Hindenburg was assured by Papen that Hitler could easily be controlled. When Schleicher failed in his efforts to obtain parliamentary support for his government, Hindenburg, frustrated and tired, asked for his resignation. On Jan. 30, 1933, Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor of a new Cabinet in which only two other Nazis, Wilhelm Frick and Hermann Göring, held offices.

Papen’s safeguards proved ineffective. Hitler quickly secured almost unlimited political power through terror, manipulations, and false promises. Hindenburg on his part accommodated himself to the new situation and, in effect, became a warm supporter of Hitler, although making an occasional innocuous gesture that seemed to set him apart from the Führer and the Nazi Party. At the time of his death, Hindenburg was still a revered, though remote, national figure.

Andreas Dorpalen

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
1847
 
 
Sonderbund War
 

The Sonderbund War (German: Sonderbundskrieg) of November 1847 was a civil war in Switzerland. It ensued after seven Catholic cantons formed the Sonderbund ("separate alliance") in 1845 to protect their interests against a centralization of power. The war concluded the period of political "restoration and regeneration" in Switzerland; it resulted in the emergence of Switzerland as a federal state.

 
The Sonderbund consisted of the cantons of Lucerne, Fribourg, Valais, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden and Zug, all predominantly Catholic and governed by Conservative administrations. The cantons of Ticino and Solothurn, also predominantly Catholic but governed by liberal administrations, did not join the alliance.

General Guillaume-Henri Dufour led the federal army of 100,000 and defeated the Sonderbund under Johann-Ulrich von Salis-Soglio in a campaign that lasted only a few days, from November 3 to November 29, and claimed fewer than a hundred victims. He ordered his troops to care for the injured, anticipating the formation of the Red Cross in which he participated a few years later. Major actions were fought at Fribourg, Geltwil, Lunnern, Lucerne, and finally at Gisikon, Meierskappel, and Schüpfheim, after which Lucerne capitulated on 24 November. The rest of the Sonderbund surrendered without armed resistance in the subsequent weeks.

 
 

Distribution of confessions in 1800 (orange: Protestant, green: Catholic).
 
 
Background
The Radical Party and liberals made up of urban bourgeoisie and burghers, which were strong in the largely Protestant cantons, obtained the majority in the Federal Diet (the Tagsatzung) in the early 1840s. They proposed a new Constitution for the Swiss Confederation which would draw the several cantons into a closer relationship. In 1843, the conservative city patricians and mountain or Ur-Swiss from the largely Catholic cantons were opposed to the new constitution. These cantons combined to form the Sonderbund in 1843. In addition to the centralization of the Swiss government, the new Constitution also included protections for trade and other progressive reform measures.

The Sonderbund alliance was concluded after the Radical Party, with the approval of a majority of cantons, had taken measures against the Catholic Church such as the closure of monasteries and convents in Aargau in 1841, and the seizure of their properties. When Lucerne, in retaliation, recalled the Jesuits to head its education the same year, groups of armed Radicals (Freischärler) invaded the canton. This caused a revolt, mostly because rural cantons were strongholds of ultramontanism.

The Sonderbund was in violation of the Federal Treaty of 1815, §6 of which expressly forbade such separate alliances, and the Radical majority in the Tagsatzung decided to dissolve the Sonderbund on October 21, 1847. The confederate army was raised against the members of the Sonderbund. The army was composed of soldiers of all the other cantons except Neuchâtel and Appenzell Innerrhoden (which remained neutral).

  The conflict
Preparations for war
Sonderbund forces

The question of command remained long unsettled with the Sonderbund. The coalition's strong man, Constantin Siegwart-Müller of Lucerne, first considered appointing a foreigner (Dezydery Chłapowski of Poland or Friedrich von Schwarzenberg of Austria were mentioned), but the allied council insisted on a Swiss commander. General Ludwig von Sonnenberg and Colonel Philippe de Maillardoz of Fribourg were considered, but ultimately the council elected Guillaume de Kalbermatten of Valais.

After Kalbermatten declined the appointment (he would later command the troops of Valais), Colonel Jean-Ulrich de Salis-Soglio of Grisons was elected and sworn in as commander in chief on 15 January 1847. He appointed Franz von Elgger as chief of staff. Although a Protestant himself, Salis-Soglio was a staunch Conservative and an opponent of the liberal Radicals who now controlled the "rump Confederation".

The Sonderbund cantons, except for Lucerne and Fribourg, sought and obtained the assent of their popular assemblies (Landsgemeinden) for general conscription. These votes occurred on September 26 (Schwyz), October 3 (Uri and Zug) and October 10 (Nidwalden, Obwalden and Valais). Troop mobilisation began on October 16 and was concluded on October 19.

Also in October, several fortifications were built on Sonderbund territory, notably in Valais, where Kalbermatten's forces were massed by the end of October between Saint-Maurice and Saint-Gingolph, with a view of invading the Chablais of Vaud.

 
 

The general staff of the federal army: Kurz, Minscher, Enloff, Bontemps, Gerwer, Müller, Ziegler, Bourkhardt, Dufour, Rilliet de Constant, Luvini, Donats, Ochsenbein and Gmür
 
 
Federal army
On 21 October 1847, the Federal Diet elected General Guillaume-Henri Dufour of Geneva as commander in chief of the federal army, despite his reluctance and the efforts of the Bernese government to appoint Ulrich Ochsenbein to this post. In his letter of acceptance to the Diet of October 22, Dufour emphasized that he would "do everything in order to alleviate the inevitable evils of war".

On October 24, immediately prior to taking the oath of office, Dufour requested explanations concerning his orders (which were written in German) and, after an impolitic remark by the representative of Vaud, Jules Eytel, declined the office and left the meeting of the Diet. It took two sessions behind closed doors, and a delegation of the representatives of Geneva, to convince Dufour to reconsider and to be sworn in on 25 October.

After publishing a proclamation on October 26, Dufour appointed as division commanders: Peter Ludwig von Donatz (Grisons), Johannes Burckhardt and Eduard Ziegler (Zurich) from among the Conservatives and Louis Rilliet de Constant (Vaud), Dominik Gmür, Giacomo Luvini (Ticino) and Ochsenbein (Bern) from among the Radicals. On October 30, the Diet ordered the general mobilisation of the army and, on November 4, the military execution of its decree dissolving the Sonderbund.

  Neutrals
The cantons of Neuchâtel and Appenzell Innerrhoden, which both had a strong Catholic minority population, officially declared their neutrality in the conflict and refused to provide troops for the Confederation.

Vaud, in particular, suspected the Principality of Neuchâtel of secretly supporting the Sonderbund.

Several incidents ensued, notably the capture of a lake steamship of Neuchâtel by troops from Vaud.

On 29 October, Colonel Rillet-Constant asked Dufour's permission to march on Neuchâtel.

The general refused, instead asking Rillet-Constant to levy additional troops in order to make up for the defection of Neuchâtel.
When the Federal Diet on October 30 formally requested Neuchâtel to supply its contingent of troops, the Principality refused.

King Frederick William IV of Prussia, as Prince of Neuchâtel, eventually settled the issue by declaring the Principality "neutral and inviolate" during the hostilities.

The canton of Basel-Stadt resisted the requests of the Diet for a time, but ultimately provided its contingent of troops by November 6, two days after the opening of hostilities.

 
 
Sonderbund actions in Tessin and Aargau
The first actions were taken by the Sonderbund. Troops from Uri seized the undefended St. Gotthard Pass in the early days of November. They thereby succeeded in keeping open the connection between central Switzerland and the Valais via the Furka Pass. But contrary to triumphant proclamations in the Sonderbund newspapers, the action failed to effectively separate the federal troops under Luvini in the Ticino from those in the Grisons under Eduard de Salis-Soglio (the brother of the insurgent commander), because the San Bernardino Pass remained open to the Confederates. The first deaths of the war occurred on November 4, when an officer and a soldier from Uri were killed by the Ticinesi.

On November 7, Sonderbund forces under direct command of Jean-Ulrich de Salis-Soglio and von Elgger prepared to launch a second offensive into the Freienamt region of Aargau. After destroying a bridge over the river Reuss, they entered Aargau on November 12 in order to split the federal forces into two halves and relieve Fribourg, which was surrounded by Confederate territory. But after a few advances, they were stopped by Ziegler and retreated with losses into the canton of Lucerne.

The Fribourg campaign
On 9 November, Dufour launched the first offensive against Fribourg, in accordance with his general plan. That canton was not only closest to Bern, the seat of the Federal Diet, and therefore the most immediate threat. It was also isolated from the other insurgent states and so easier to take, and its capture would allow Dufour to concentrate his forces in the center of the country. By 10 and 11 November, federal troops seized the city of Estavayer-le-Lac, the enclaves of Fribourg in the canton of Vaud, and most of the district of Murten without resistance, with the Fribourgeois troops under Colonel Philippe de Maillardoz retreating to defend the capital.

  The siege and surrender of Fribourg
The Fribourgeois commander was led to anticipate an attack from the direction of Bern by the advance of a Bernese reserve division, which had been ordered to pretend to attack with a maximum of noise. Meanwhile, Dufour brought a battery of 60 guns into position, with which he intended to bring down the fortifications of the city of Fribourg.

On the morning of 13 November, with the assault ready to begin, Dufour sent a Vaudois lieutenant to Fribourg under a flag of truce. The emissary's message revealed Dufour's forces and plan of attack to the Fribourgeois government, and called on them to surrender in order to prevent a murderous battle. The besieged Fribourgeois asked for an armistice for the day, which Dufour accepted. But because of mistaken orders, the Vaudois troops facing the redoubt of Bertigny launched an attack against the fortress after a brief artillery exchange. They were repelled with eight dead and some fifty wounded; several defenders were also killed or wounded.

Nonetheless, on the morning of 14 November, two delegates of the governing Council of State of Fribourg brought Dufour the news of the canton's surrender, decided by majority vote. While Confederate Switzerland rejoiced at the news, the surrender was a bitter disappointment to the Fribourgeouis troops. Many accusations of treason were raised, notably against the commander, Colonel de Maillardoz, who had to flee into exile to Neuchâtel. While it was eventually shown that the surrender had been a decision of the civil government about which de Maillardoz had not even been consulted, he remained disgraced.

 
 

The battle of Airolo in Ticino
 
 
Aftermath of the Fribourg campaign
On the evening of 14 November, the government of Valais decided to launch an offensive against Vaud in response to Fribourg's call for help. But news of the capitulation came soon enough for the Valaisans to recall the troops and set them into motion for a manoeuver against the Ticino.

The act of surrender signed by Fribourg would become a template for the other Sonderbund cantons. With it, Fribourg undertook to leave the Sonderbund, to disarm its soldiers and to provide for the federal occupation troops.

On 15 November, a new Fribourgeois government of a Radical bent was elected, who as its first act expelled the order of the Jesuits from the canton. The day after, the Vaudois commander, Colonel Rillet-Constant, had to declare a state of siege to prevent federal soldiers from pillaging and sacking the city, against the strict orders of their superiors.

On both sides of the war, the fall of Fribourg was commented on by the press and the political leaders. In Lucerne and Valais, proclamations were read to the troops, assuring them that this setback would have no effect on the coalition. Catholic newspapers doubted the news of the capitulation or claimed that the Valaisans had launched a victorious offensive into the Chablais. On the Federal side, public confidence and the morale of the army grew.

As soon as the new government was installed, Dufour left Fribourg for central Switzerland with his army. He left the western theatre of operations to Rillet-Constant, who was allowed to shift his headquarters to the Chablais, but was forbidden to take any unilateral action against Valais without Dufour's direct order. By 15 November, the federal forces passed through Bern and reached Aarau on the evening of the 16th.

On the morning of 17 November, the troops of Uri with some reinforcements from Nidwald advanced into the Ticino towards Airolo, which fell, then the day after towards Faido and on the 21st towards Biasca, where they stopped to await reinforcements. But the first to be reinforced were the Ticinesi, who received the support of some battalions from the Grisons, which arrived on the 22nd.

  The Lucerne campaign
Preparations and the surrender of Zug

In Aarau, Dufour prepared his forces and his battle plan until November 20. He declined to equip his forces with Congreve rockets offered to him by the local arsenal, writing that he intended to "avoid as far as possible to give this war a violent character which cannot but harm our cause.". To the surprise of both sides, the parliament of the canton of Zug voted for surrender on 21 November by a large majority. The federal troops which entered the city of Zug unopposed the day after were acclaimed by the population, and a few months later, a new government would be elected.

Dufour launched his principal offensive according to plan on November 23: The IV. (Ziegler) and the V. division (Gmür) followed the Reuss valley to the south, each on one side. They were supported by the III. division (von Donats) descending along the Suhr until Sursee, and by the II. division (Burckhardt), which left Langenthal to arrive at the Reuss north of Lucerne by way of Willisau and Ruswil.
The reserve artillery was concentrated on the bridgehead of Gislikon, which set up the main battle between the left bank of the Reuss and the lake of Zug, with the Lucernese troops caught between five columns of troops arriving from five different directions.

Battle of Gisikon
Near Gisikon, the federal army constructed several pontoon bridges to cross the Reuss. At this point, the Sonderbund commander, von Salis-Soglio, had concentrated his troops on an elevation, well-hidden behind trees and underbrush. After two federal assaults on the Sonderbund position were repulsed, Col. Ziegler personally led his division's third and victorious assault, later depicted in a lithography that would become one of the war's most well-known images. After two hours, the battle resulted in a federal victory after von Salis-Soglio, wounded in the head by a mortar detonation, ordered a retreat to Ebikon.

The battle of Gisikon was the longest and, with 37 dead and some 100 wounded, the bloodiest of the war. It is, to date, the last pitched battle in the history of the Swiss army. It was also the first battle in military history in which dedicated wagons were employed to treat the wounded on the battlefield. These horse-drawn ambulances were operated by volunteers and nurses from Zürich.

 
 

Rust's battery at the battle of Gisikon
 
 
Battle of Meierskappel
Also on November 23, while the II. and III. federal divisions proceeded without opposition to Lucerne, the V. division engaged troops from Schwyz near Meierskappel.

The Sonderbund forces resisted courageously for a while before retreating. This federal victory cut the connection between Lucerne and Zug, another of Dufour's objectives.

In his report to the Diet of November 23, Dufour wrote with satisfaction that the troops of Schwyz had withdrawn to the other side of Lake Zug and were now cut off from the rest of the Sonderbund army.

Surrender of Lucerne
The federal victories at Gislikon and Meierskappel brought federal troops within striking distance of Lucerne. On the evening of November 23, the leadership of Lucerne and the Jesuits abandoned the city and fled to Uri. On the following morning the victorious federal troops entered the city unopposed.

Surrender of the rest of Central Switzerland
On 26 November 1847, the Sonderbund council dissolved in Flüelen without a formal vote.

Between 25-29 November federal troops moved peacefully into Central Switzerland and Valais. Unterwalden surrendered on November 25, followed by Schwyz on the following day and then Uri on November 27.

  The end of the war
The last member of the Sonderbund, Valais, surrendered on November 29 bringing the war to an end. The federal army had lost 78 men killed and had 260 wounded. Sonderbund losses were even lower.

The Sonderbund governments were forced to resign and in Fribourg, Lucerne and Valais the Liberals gained power. Neuchâtel and Appenzell Innerrhoden were punished for not providing troops to the federal army. Neuchâtel paid 300,000 francs and Appenzell paid 15,000 into a fund to support war widows and orphans. By February 1848 all federal troops withdrew from the occupied cantons.

In Schwyz the conservative government was dissolved and a new provisional government and constitution established. The first attempt at a constitution, which split the district of Schwyz in two and moved the cantonal capital away from Schwyz, was narrowly defeated on 27 January 1848. The second constitution, which removed the mentioned points and merged the former districts of Wollerau and Pfäffikon in the district of March, was then approved by the electorate on 27 February 1848. The new constitution of 1848 reformed the government of the Canton. Perhaps the greatest change was that it abolished the Landsgemeinde, which had formerly been the supreme authority. It split the government into three branches, legislature, executive and judiciary and created a three-tier structure of municipalities, districts and canton. It created proportional representation and allowed the population to vote on laws and constitutional amendments.

 
 

Aftermath: The Swiss Federal Constitution of 1848
In 1848, a new Swiss Federal Constitution ended the almost-complete independence of the cantons and transformed Switzerland into a federal state. The Jesuits were banished from Switzerland. This ban was lifted on 20 May 1973, when 54.9% of the population and 16.5 cantons out of 22 accepted a referendum modifying the Constitution.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
 
1847
 
 
American preacher Henry Ward Beecher minister at Plymouth Congregational Church, Brooklyn
 
 
Beecher Henry Ward
 
Henry Ward Beecher (June 24, 1813 – March 8, 1887) was an American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker, known for his support of the abolition of slavery, his emphasis on God's love, and his 1875 adultery trial.
 

Henry Ward Beecher
  Henry Ward Beecher, (born June 24, 1813, Litchfield, Conn., U.S.—died March 8, 1887, Brooklyn, N.Y.), liberal U.S. Congregational minister whose oratorical skill and social concern made him one of the most influential Protestant spokesmen of his time.

He was the eighth of the Rev. Lyman Beecher’s 13 children and showed little promise at various schools until he went to Amherst College in 1830.

Though never distinguished as a scholar, he became a superior speaker and popular leader.

After three postgraduate years in Cincinnati, Ohio, at Lane Theological Seminary, of which his father became president in 1832, Beecher in 1837 became minister to a small Presbyterian congregation at Lawrenceburg, Ind.

He gradually cultivated his pulpit technique, there and in a pastorate at Indianapolis, Ind. (1839–47), and came to believe that a sermon succeeds by focusing on the single objective of effecting a moral change in the hearer.

A highly successful preacher and lecturer, Beecher furthered his reputation through Seven Lectures to Young Men (1844), vivid exhortations on the vices and dangers in a frontier community.

In 1847 he accepted a call to Plymouth Church (Congregational), Brooklyn, N.Y., where he drew weekly crowds of 2,500 by the early 1850s.

Though his influence upon public affairs was sometimes exaggerated, both his pronouncements and his personal life were regularly matters of national and even international interest.

 
 
He gradually became more emphatic in opposing slavery, and his lectures of 1863 in England won over audiences initially hostile to him and to the Northern point of view.

Increasingly outspoken after the Civil War, he supported a moderate Reconstruction policy for the South, favoured Grover Cleveland’s candidacy in the 1884 presidential campaign, and advocated woman suffrage, evolutionary theory, and scientific biblical criticism.

His outlets for these issues, in addition to Plymouth Church, were the Independent, a Congregational journal he edited in the early 1860s, and the nondenominational Christian Union (later Outlook), which he founded in 1870.

Beecher, always considered an emotional and sensual man, became in the 1870s the subject of rumours alleging immoral affairs, and he was sued in 1874 by his former friend and literary protégé Theodore Tilton, who charged him with adultery with his wife.

Two ecclesiastical tribunals exonerated Beecher, though the jury in the civil suit failed to reach agreement, as have later students of the evidence. Despite the scandal, however, he remained active and influential until his death.

Besides his sermons, Beecher’s many works include Evolution and Religion (1885); Life of Jesus the Christ (1871–91); Yale Lectures on Preaching (1872–74); and a novel, Norwood: A Tale of Village Life in New England (1867).

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
Beecher as Gulliver (1885)
 
 
 
1847
 
 
French political leader Louis Blanc publishes his famous essay "L'Organisation du Travail" ("to each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities")
 
Louis Blanc: "History of the Revolution" (-1862)
 
 
Blanc Louis
 

Louis Blanc, in full Jean-josephcharles-louis Blanc (born Oct. 29, 1811, Madrid, Spain—died Dec. 6, 1882, Cannes, Fr.), French utopian socialist, noted for his theory of worker-controlled “social workshops.”

 

Louis Blanc
  Early life
Louis Blanc was born while his father was serving as inspector general of finances in the Spanish regime of Joseph Bonaparte. When that regime collapsed in 1813, the Blancs returned to France. Louis studied at schools in Rodez and Paris. While working as a tutor in northern France, he came in contact with liberal political circles and found employment on a Republican newspaper.

In 1837 he became a member of a committee for electoral reform directed by leaders of the opposition to King Louis-Philippe. In 1839 he founded the Revue du Progrès. It was in this newspaper that his most important work, L’Organisation du travail (“The Organization of Labour”), appeared serially in 1839. The principles laid down in that essay, which first brought him to public attention, formed the basis of his subsequent career.

Theory of socialism.
Blanc believed that the competitive capitalism then developing in France tended to stunt the human personality, pitting one man against another and driving the weaker to the wall. The first step toward a better society would be to guarantee work for everyone by establishing “social workshops” financed by the state.

These workshops, controlled by the workers themselves, would gradually take over most production until a socialist society would come into being. Blanc did not believe in human equality.

 
 
But he did not agree with the followers of the socialist Henri de Saint-Simon, who held that workers should be paid according to their performance; he argued that justice would be satisfied only “when each one in accordance with the law written in some shape in his organization by God Himself, produces according to his faculties and consumes according to his wants.”
 
 

Louis Blanc
  Politics.
In 1843 Blanc joined the committee of La Réforme, the journal of the extreme left-wing Republicans. In 1847 he became prominent in the so-called banquets campaign for electoral reform, holding large audiences with his oratory. The culminating banquet, arranged to take place in Paris on Feb. 22, 1848, was banned, but a riot on the following day led to an insurrection and the fall of the monarchy. Blanc became a member of the provisional government of the Second Republic. On Feb. 25, 1848, following a motion by Blanc, the government undertook “to guarantee the livelihood of the workers by work” and “to guarantee work for every citizen.” But the government was divided. For the majority the revolution represented a political change in which a monarchy with a restricted franchise was to be replaced by a free democratic republic based upon universal suffrage; for the minority, including Blanc, it also heralded a social and economic transformation.

Although Blanc and his friends were a minority in the government, they had many supporters in the streets; and their colleagues made important concessions to their ideas by reducing working hours, proclaiming the right to work, appointing Blanc chairman of a permanent commission to investigate labour problems, and establishing national workshops to relieve the more acute unemployment.
The national workshops were a travesty of those envisaged by Blanc; they were established by his opponents to discredit him and became little more than a gigantic system of outdoor relief. Meanwhile, unemployment grew from 6,100 on March 7 to 118,310 on June 15.

 
 
The celebrated Luxembourg Commission, of which Blanc had been made chairman, became an arbiter in trade disputes and a centre of socialist propaganda; it was unable, however, to win acceptance of its recommendations for the reorganization of labour and industry.
 
 

Exile.
Blanc was forced to flee to England after the workers unsuccessfully revolted in June 1848. He did not return to France until the fall of the Second Empire of Napoleon III in 1870. He supported himself during his exile by teaching and lecturing; he wrote a history of the Revolution of 1848 and a history of the French Revolution as well and also a series of books on British political and social conditions.

When he returned to France after 22 years, he was still a famous man and was elected a deputy to the National Assembly. He refused to join in the revolutionary commune that seized control of Paris in the spring of 1871, but after the commune was crushed he sought to obtain a political amnesty for the communards. He remained a man of the left, although without much following. One of his last speeches in 1881 was in support of a proposal to reduce the length of the working day.

Jean Vidalenc

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
1847
 
 
Karl Marx attacks Proudhon's "Philosophy of Poverty" in "The Poverty of Philosophy"
 
 
Proudhon Pierre-Joseph
 

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, (January 15, 1809, Besançon, France—January 19, 1865, Paris), French libertarian socialist and journalist whose doctrines became the basis for later radical and anarchist theory.

 

Portrait of philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
by Gustave Courbet.
  Early life and education
Proudhon was born into poverty as the son of a feckless cooper and tavern keeper, and at the age of nine he worked as a cowherd in the Jura Mountains. Proudhon’s country childhood and peasant ancestry influenced his ideas to the end of his life, and his vision of the ideal society almost to the end remained that of a world in which peasant farmers and small craftsmen like his father could live in freedom, peace, and dignified poverty, for luxury repelled him, and he never sought it for himself or others.

Proudhon at an early age showed the signs of intellectual brilliance, and he won a scholarship to the college at Besançon. Despite the humiliation of being a child in sabots (wooden shoes) among the sons of merchants, he developed a taste for learning and retained it even when his family’s financial disasters forced him to become an apprentice printer and later a compositor. While he learned his craft, he taught himself Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and in the printing shop he not only conversed with various local liberals and Socialists but also met and fell under the influence of a fellow citizen of Besançon, the utopian Socialist Charles Fourier. With other young printers, Proudhon later attempted to establish his own press, but bad management destroyed the venture, and it may well have been compounded by his own growing interest in writing, which led him to develop a French prose difficult to translate but admired by writers as varied as Flaubert, Sainte-Beuve, and Baudelaire.

 
 
Eventually, in 1838, a scholarship awarded by the Besançon Academy enabled him to study in Paris. Now, with leisure to formulate his ideas, he wrote his first significant book, Qu’est-ce que la propriété? (1840; What Is Property?, 1876). This created a sensation, for Proudhon not only declared, “I am an anarchist”; he also stated, “Property is theft!”

This slogan, which gained much notoriety, was an example of Proudhon’s inclination to attract attention and mask the true nature of his thought by inventing striking phrases. He did not attack property in the generally accepted sense but only the kind of property by which one man exploits the labour of another. Property in another sense—in the right of the farmer to possess the land he works and the craftsman his workshop and tools—he regarded as essential for the preservation of liberty, and his principal criticism of Communism, whether of the utopian or the Marxist variety, was that it destroyed freedom by taking away from the individual control over his means of production.

In the somewhat reactionary atmosphere of the July monarchy in the 1840s, Proudhon narrowly missed prosecution for his statements in What Is Property?; and he was brought into court when, in 1842, he published a more inflammatory sequel, Avertissement aux propriétaires (Warning to Proprietors, 1876). In this first of his trials, Proudhon escaped conviction because the jury conscientiously found that they could not clearly understand his arguments and therefore could not condemn them.

 
 

Proudhon addressing the French Assembly
in July 1848.
  In 1843 he went to Lyon to work as managing clerk in a water transport firm. There he encountered a weavers’ secret society, the Mutualists, who had evolved a protoanarchist doctrine that taught that the factories of the dawning industrial age could be operated by associations of workers and that these workers, by economic action rather than by violent revolution, could transform society. Such views were at variance with the Jacobin revolutionary tradition in France, with its stress on political centralism. Nevertheless, Proudhon accepted their views and later paid tribute to his Lyonnais working-class mentors by adopting the name of Mutualism for his own form of anarchism.

As well as encountering the obscure working-class theoreticians of Lyon, Proudhon also met the feminist Socialist Flora Tristan and, on his visits to Paris, made the acquaintance of Karl Marx, Mikhail Bakunin, and the Russian Socialist and writer Aleksandr Herzen.

In 1846 he took issue with Marx over the organization of the Socialist movement, objecting to Marx’s authoritarian and centralist ideas. Shortly afterward, when Proudhon published his Système des contradictions économiques, ou Philosophie de la misère (1846; System of Economic Contradictions: or, The Philosophy of Poverty, 1888), Marx attacked him bitterly in a book-length polemic La misère de la philosophie (1847; The Poverty of Philosophy, 1910).

It was the beginning of a historic rift between libertarian and authoritarian Socialists and between anarchists and Marxists which, after Proudhon’s death, was to rend Socialism’s First International apart in the feud between Marx and Proudhon’s disciple Bakunin and which has lasted to this day.

 
 
Early in 1848 Proudhon abandoned his post in Lyon and went to Paris, where in February he started the paper Le Représentant du peuple. During the revolutionary year of 1848 and the first months of 1849 he edited a total of four papers; the earliest were more or less regular anarchist periodicals and all of them were destroyed in turn by government censorship. Proudhon himself took a minor part in the Revolution of 1848, which he regarded as devoid of any sound theoretical basis. Though he was elected to the Constituent Assembly of the Second Republic in June 1848, he confined himself mainly to criticizing the authoritarian tendencies that were emerging in the revolution and that led up to the dictatorship of Napoleon III. Proudhon also attempted unsuccessfully to establish a People’s Bank based on mutual credit and labour checks, which paid the worker according to the time expended on his product. He was eventually imprisoned in 1849 for criticizing Louis-Napoleon, who had become president of the republic prior to declaring himself Emperor Napoleon III, and Proudhon was not released until 1852.

His conditions of imprisonment were—by 20th-century standards—light. His friends could visit him, and he was allowed to go out occasionally in Paris. He married and begat his first child while he was imprisoned. From his cell he also edited the last issues of his last paper (with the financial assistance of Herzen) and wrote two of his most important books, the never translated Confessions d’un révolutionnaire (1849) and Idée générale de la révolution au XIXe siècle (1851; The General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, 1923). The latter—in its portrait of a federal world society with frontiers abolished, national states eliminated, and authority decentralized among communes or locality associations, and with free contracts replacing laws—presents perhaps more completely than any other of Proudhon’s works the vision of his ideal society.
 
 

Proudhon and his children, by Gustave Courbet, 1865
 
 
After Proudhon’s release from prison in 1852 he was constantly harassed by the imperial police; he found it impossible to publish his writings and supported himself by preparing anonymous guides for investors and other similar hack works. When, in 1858, he persuaded a publisher to bring out his three-volume masterpiece De la justice dans la Révolution et dans l’église, in which he opposed a humanist theory of justice to the church’s transcendental assumptions, his book was seized.

Having fled to Belgium, he was sentenced in absentia to further imprisonment. He remained in exile until 1862, developing his criticisms of nationalism and his ideas of world federation (embodied in Du Principe fédératif, 1863).

On his return to Paris, Proudhon began to gain influence among the workers; Paris craftsmen who had adopted his Mutualist ideas were among the founders of the First International just before his death in 1865. His last work, completed on his death bed, De la capacité politique des classes ouvrières (1865), developed the theory that the liberation of the workers must be their own task, through economic action.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
Proudhon: "Philosophy of Poverty"
 

The System of Economic Contradictions, or Philosophy of Poverty (French: Système des contradictions économiques ou Philosophie de la misère often erroneously referred to as The Philosophy of Misery) is a work by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon published in 1846 by Guillaumin et Cie, Paris. It inspired Marx Karl to write his rejoinder The Poverty of Philosophy.

 
According to George Litcheim, the "doctrine that emerged went something like this: what people really needed were use values, whereas they were actually being offered exchanges values by the market. These represented thesis and antithesis; Proudhon looked for a synthesis which he termed 'constituted value.' This amounted to saying that goods should be exchanged in proportion to the amount of labour embodied in them - an arrangement that would do away with market fluctuations and at the same time satisfy the requirement of justice." (Litcheim, A Short History of Socialism, 1975, p.76). At Chapter VII, Proudhon introduces the idea of consumption tax.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
Karl Marx: "The Poverty of Philosophy"
 

The Poverty of Philosophy (French: Misère de la philosophie) is a book by Marx Karl  published in Paris and Brussels in 1847, where he lived in exile from 1843 until 1849. It was originally written in French as an answer to the economic and philosophical arguments of French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon set forth in his 1846 book The System of Economic Contradictions, or The Philosophy of Poverty.

 
History
The ideas of Proudhon

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865) was a French anarchist theoretician who wrote extensively on the relationship between the individual and the state. Proudhon believed in an orderly society but argued that the state represented an illegitimate concentration of official violence which effectively undercut any effort to build a just society. Proudhon rejected all political action as a form of class collaboration but argued instead that the working class could achieve its salvation through economic action alone; abstention from politics was advocated with a view to the ultimate eradication of the existing state and its political apparatus.

Proudhon believed that the stateless future was not preordained by iron laws of history, but was rather to be the conscious creation of a population which had been morally awakened. This necessary morality, based upon honesty, decency, self-respect, and individual responsibility, was believed to be an inherent part of the working class—something to be developed and emphasized.

By way of contrast, industrialists, businessmen, and their servitors were held to be incapable of developing this morality due to the nature of their day-to-day economic and political activity. The act of labor itself was believed to be socially ennobling while the act of economic exploitation backed by political force was held to be inherently corrupting. Therefore, Proudhon emphatically declared for a strict separatism between the working class and all others.

  Karl Marx in exile
Karl Marx left Germany following the repression of the newspaper he edited, the Rheinische Zeitung government of Prussia early in 1843. He landed in Paris, in which he lived from October 1843 until December 1845. It was there that he first met Proudhon, who was already a well known radical writer, with four books to his credit. Despite an appeal being made as a prospective French collaborator, Proudhon declined to participate in the ill-fated Deutsch-französische Jahrbücher (German-French Yearbook) project with which Marx was intimately associated.

Although the personal contact between the two was limited, Marx read Proudhon's writings at this time, discussions of which may be found in his work of the period, including the book written against Bruno Bauer, The Holy Family (1845), and the unpublished Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. In the published book Marx lent critical support to some of the ideas of Proudhon against competing ideas of Bauer.

Marx was particularly attracted to the comprehensive nature of Proudhon's writings up to 1845 and the latter's willingness to make larger connections from smaller observations. In his book What Is Property? Proudhon emphasized the social relationships emerging from private property, and the tendency of economic development to produce a propertyless proletariat in ever increasing numbers—ideas which Marx found compelling. Marx's praise of Proudhon was not limitless, however, as he felt Proudhon did not full grasp the way in which wages and money, for example, were themselves forms of private property.

 
 
Marx was forced to exit Paris by the French government in 1845, with Brussels, Belgium his next destination. Despite his departure from France, he continued to see Proudhon as a potential political collaborator, asking him in 1846 to participate in a new international correspondence committee patterned after the London-based Workers' Educational Association, designed to propagate socialist ideas among the working class of continental Europe. Proudhon responded cautiously to Marx's appeal. Perhaps partially in consequence, Marx and his friend and political associate turned their organizing efforts to an established political body, the League of the Just.
 
 
Proudhon's The Philosophy of Poverty
Marx's The Poverty of Philosophy

Marx read Proudhon's book late in 1846 and responded strongly and negatively, authoring a lengthy letter to his Russian correspondent P.V. Annenkov on December 28, 1846 with a detailed exposition of his views that became the core of his 1847 book. He began working on a book-length formal reply the following January, completing the work in the spring and going to press in April 1847.

The book, formally titled The Poverty of Philosophy: Answer to the Philosophy of Poverty by M. Proudhon, saw print in Brussels and Belgium early in July 1847. The book was written in the French language to strike its target most closely and for the cutting pun of a title to be rendered most unmistakably. The book was regarded by the political circle around Marx organized as the Communist League as a key part of their contemporary program, delineating the views of the League from those espoused by Proudhon and his followers.

Somewhat surprisingly, following its initial release in 1847, The Poverty of Philosophy was never republished in full prior to Marx's death in 1883. The first German edition of the book was first published in 1885; a Russian language translation by the Emancipation of Labor group (Russian: Освобождение труда) was released in 1886. A corrected Second French Edition materialized in 1896, initiated by Frederick Engels and completed after his death by Marx's daughter, Laura Lafargue.

The first English language edition of The Poverty of Philosophy was unveiled in London in 1900 by the pioneer Marxist publisher Twentieth Century Press. The translation for this edition was made by British socialist Harry Quelch. Quelch's version was reprised in the United States for the first time in 1910 by Charles H. Kerr & Co., a socialist publishing house based in Chicago.

 
Title page of the 1910 Charles H. Kerr & Co. edition of Marx's The Poverty of Philosophy. The book was translated by British socialist Harry Quelch.
 
 
Content
The tone of Marx's polemic against Proudhon is set from the outset, with a witty cut in lieu of a foreword:

"M. Proudhon has the misfortune of being particularly misunderstood in Europe. In France, he has the right to be a bad economist, because he is reputed to be a good German philosopher. In Germany, he has the right to be a bad philosopher, because he is reputed to be one of the ablest of French economists. Being both a German and an economist at the same time, we desire to protest against this double error....

—Karl Marx, Brussels, June 15, 1847."

Although prominently featuring the word "philosophy" in its title, The Poverty of Philosophy is essentially a book dealing with the subject of economics—first English-language translator Harry Quelch noted that the work contained "the groundwork of the theories so fully elaborated in Capital, apart from its exhaustive analysis of the capitalist system of production and distribution" as well as law of value To argue the method to apply the dialectics to political economy, he cites the Science of Logic of Hegel.

And Marx rejects idea of Proudhon on consumption tax and denial of strike action. And the end of the book, he cites the words of George Sand that "Combat or Death: bloody struggle or extinction. It is thus that the question is inexorably put." Further he cites the theory of John Gray. Indeed, the book has been called by one Soviet scholar, "one of the first works of mature Marxism."

  Legacy
In 1956 economist Joan Robinson proclaimed in a review of a new British edition of The Poverty of Philosophy that from the standpoint of modern economics Marx's polemic with Proudhon was "a dead horse" of only "highly specialised interest." She wrote:

"The entertainment value...is not great. There is no wit in The Poverty of Philosophy apart from its title; Proudhon's ideas were confused enough to begin with, and Marx's presentation of them makes them totally unseizable, so that there is little sport to be got out of following the argument. All the same for anyone interested in 'What Marx Really Meant' some passages in this book are very valuable. In some ways they bear the same relation to Capital that Marshall's Pure Theory does to his Principles. Ideas that are clear in the early and short version were later elaborated into obscurity."

Although a widely-recognized and periodically reissued title, The Poverty of Philosophy is not regarded as one of the fundamental works of Marxist doctrine, exemplified by its omission from the two volume Karl Marx: Selected Works published simultaneously in several countries in the 1930s under the auspices of the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute of Moscow.

A new translation of the work appeared in conjunction with the publication of Volume 6 of the joint Soviet-British-American publication of Marx-Engels Collected Works in 1975.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
     
  IDEAS that Changed the World
Karl Marx
"Manifesto of the Communist Party"
- Marxism

Friedrich Engels
First International
     
 
 
     
  IDEAS that Changed the World

Anarchism
     
 
 
 
1847
 
 
The Mormons found Salt Lake City
 
 
Salt Lake City
 

Salt Lake City, state capital and seat (1849) of Salt Lake county, north-central Utah, U.S., on the Jordan River at the southeastern end of Great Salt Lake.

 
The world capital of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), it influences the social, economic, political, and cultural life of the people in a wide area of Utah and bordering regions of Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming. Built on benches of ancient Lake Bonneville, the city (approximate elevation 4,300 feet [1,300 metres]) lies at the foot of the Wasatch Range, which rises more than 1 mile (1.6 km) above the Salt Lake valley floor. Salt Lake City is at the centre of an urbanized band along the mountains that includes Ogden to the north and Provo to the south. Inc. 1851. Area city, 111 square miles (287 square km). Pop. (2000) 181,743; Salt Lake City Metro Area, 968,858; (2010) 186,440; Salt Lake City Metro Area, 1,124,197.
 
 
History
Ute and Shoshone Indians were early inhabitants of the area. The city was founded in 1847 by
Young Brigham and a band of 148 Mormons as a refuge from religious persecution and was known as Great Salt Lake City until 1868. Laid out by Young according to Joseph Smith’s plan for the city of Zion, the city was divided into 10-acre (4-hectare) blocks bounded by wide streets grouped around the Temple Block (now known as Temple Square). Mormon immigrants from the East and Europe flocked to the “New Jerusalem,” the “City of the Saints,” in the Provisional State of Deseret (a Book of Mormon word interpreted as “honeybee”). The California Gold Rush of 1849 contributed to the city’s growth.

After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), Utah passed to U.S. sovereignty and became a territory in 1850. Salt Lake City was the territorial capital from 1856 to 1896, when it became the capital of the new state. Conflicts between Mormons and U.S. officials led to the so-called Utah War of 1857–58, when General Albert Sidney Johnston’s troops marched through the city to establish Camp Floyd west of Utah Lake. Social and religious conflict between Mormons and non-Mormons continued to influence the life of the city for a century.

The opening of the mining industry in the early 1860s and completion (1870) of the Utah Central Railroad, connecting Salt Lake City with the Union Pacific at Ogden, along with other rail connections, made the city a thriving hub of Western commerce.

 
Map showing Salt Lake as Mexican territory in 1838.
 
 
The city’s population grew steadily in the first half of the 20th century, reaching a high in 1960 before declining. The number of residents began rising again in the 1970s and achieved the 1960 level in the early 21st century. Salt Lake City was the host of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
 
 

Panorama of Temple Square taken in 1912
 
 
The contemporary city
Mining operations near Salt Lake City produce copper, gold, molybdenum, platinum, selenium, silver, lead, and zinc, and various salts are produced from the lake. The city is a regional trade and transportation centre and has an international airport. Services such as government, education, health care, and financial and business services are a major part of the economy. High-technology industries and telecommunications are also primary factors. Printing and publishing are important, and manufactures include medical products, computer equipment, software, and aerospace products. Tourism contributes greatly to the economy, with more than a dozen ski areas located near the city. It is also a trade, processing, and transportation centre for agricultural products from nearby irrigated farmlands.

Educational institutions include the University of Utah (1850), Westminster College (1875), and Salt Lake Community College (1948). Salt Lake City is a world centre of genealogy research; the Family Search Center and Family History Library contain records of some two billion names. Monuments and buildings include the Mormon Tabernacle (1863–75; famous for its choir), Salt Lake Temple (1853–93), and the Seagull Monument (1913), all within Temple Square. Near the square are Beehive and Lion houses (residences for Brigham Young’s families) and Young’s grave. The State Capitol (1916), built of Utah granite and marble in Corinthian style, has an exhibition hall.

The city is the home of the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association. Cultural institutions include the state opera and symphony orchestra, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, a children’s museum, and the Utah Museum of Natural History (on the university campus). Tracy Aviary in Liberty Park houses 135 species of birds. The Utah Shakespearean Festival is held annually from June through October. Wasatch National Forest adjoins the city on the east and north, and several state parks are in the vicinity. Fort Douglas, on the outskirts, was founded in 1862.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
1847
 
 
Leopold von Ranke (Ranke Leopold): "Neun Bucher preussischer Geschichte"
 
 

Leopold von Ranke: "Neun Bucher preussischer Geschichte"
 
 
 
1847
 
 
Charlotte Bronte: "Jane Eyre"
 

Jane Eyre (originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) is a novel by English writer Bronte Charlotte . It was published on 16 October 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, England, under the pen name "Currer Bell." The first American edition was published the following year by Harper & Brothers of New York.

 
Primarily of the bildungsroman genre, Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of its title character, including her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of fictitious Thornfield Hall. In its internalisation of the action—the focus is on the gradual unfolding of Jane's moral and spiritual sensibility, and all the events are coloured by a heightened intensity that was previously the domain of poetry—Jane Eyre revolutionised the art of fiction. Charlotte Brontë has been called the 'first historian of the private consciousness' and the literary ancestor of writers like Joyce and Proust. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel's exploration of classism, sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.
 
 
Plot
Introduction

The novel Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character. The novel is set somewhere in the north of England, during the reign of George III (1760–1820), and goes through five distinct stages: Jane's childhood at Gateshead Hall, where she is emotionally and physically abused by her aunt and cousins; her education at Lowood School, where she acquires friends and role models but also suffers privations and oppression; her time as governess at Thornfield Hall, where she falls in love with her Byronic employer, Edward Rochester; her time with the Rivers family, during which her earnest but cold clergyman cousin, St. John Rivers, proposes to her; and the finale with her reunion with, and marriage to, her beloved Rochester. During these sections the novel provides perspectives on a number of important social issues and ideas, many of which are critical of the status quo (see the Themes section below).
Literary critic Jerome Beaty opines that the close first person perspective leaves the reader "too uncritically accepting of her worldview", and often leads reading and conversation about the novel towards supporting Jane, regardless of how irregular her ideas or perspectives.

Jane Eyre is divided into 38 chapters, and most editions are at least 400 pages long. The original publication was in three volumes, comprising chapters 1 to 15, 16 to 26, and 27 to 38; this was a common publishing format during the 19th century.

Brontë dedicated the novel's second edition to William Makepeace Thackeray.

 
Title page of the first Jane Eyre edition
 
 
Jane's childhood
The novel begins with the titular character Jane Eyre living with her maternal uncle's family, the Reeds, as a result of her uncle's dying wish. The novel starts when Jane is ten years old and several years after her parents died of typhus. Mr. Reed, Jane's uncle, was the only one in the Reed family to be kind to Jane. Jane's aunt, Sarah Reed, does not like her, treats her as a burden and discourages her children from associating with Jane. Mrs. Reed and her three children are abusive to Jane, physically, emotionally, and, as the reader is quick to realize, spiritually. The nursemaid Bessie proves to be Jane's only ally in the household, even though Bessie sometimes harshly scolds Jane. Excluded from the family activities, Jane is incredibly unhappy, with only a doll and books in which to find solace. One day, after her cousin John knocks her down and she attempts to defend herself, Jane is locked in the red room where her uncle died; there, she faints from panic after she thinks she has seen his ghost. She is subsequently attended to by the kindly apothecary, Mr. Lloyd, to whom Jane reveals how unhappy she is living at Gateshead Hall. He recommends to Mrs. Reed that Jane should be sent to school, an idea Mrs. Reed happily supports. Mrs. Reed then enlists the aid of the harsh Mr. Brocklehurst, director of Lowood Institution, a charity school for girls. Mrs. Reed cautions Mr. Brocklehurst that Jane has a "tendency for deceit", which he interprets as "liar". Before Jane leaves, however, she confronts Mrs. Reed and declares that she'll never call her "aunt" again, that she and her daughter, Georgiana, are the ones who are deceitful, and that she'll tell everyone at Lowood how cruelly Mrs. Reed treated her.
 
 
Lowood
At Lowood Institution, a school for poor or orphaned girls, Jane soon finds that life is harsh, but she attempts to fit in, and befriends an older girl, Helen Burns, who is able to accept her punishment philosophically. During a school inspection by Mr. Brocklehurst, Jane accidentally breaks her slate, thereby drawing attention to herself. He then stands her on a stool, brands her a liar and shames her before the entire assembly. Jane is later comforted by her friend, Helen. Miss Temple, the caring superintendent, facilitates Jane's self-defence and writes to Mr. Lloyd, whose reply agrees with Jane's. Jane is then publicly cleared of Mr. Brocklehurst's accusations.

The eighty pupils at Lowood are subjected to cold rooms, poor meals, and thin clothing. Many students fall ill when a typhus epidemic strikes. Jane's friend Helen dies of consumption in her arms. When Mr. Brocklehurst's maltreatment of the students is discovered, several benefactors erect a new building and install a sympathetic management committee to moderate the harsh rule of Mr. Brocklehurst. Conditions at the school then improve dramatically.

 
 
Thornfield Hall
After six years as a student and two as a teacher, Jane decides to leave Lowood, like her friend and confidante Miss Temple who recently married. She advertises her services as a governess and receives one reply, from Alice Fairfax, housekeeper at Thornfield Hall. She takes the position, teaching Adele Varens, a young French girl. While Jane is walking one night to a nearby town, a horseman passes her. The horse slips on ice and throws the rider. Despite his surliness, she helps him to get back onto his horse. Later, back at Thornfield, she learns that this man is Edward Rochester, master of the house. Adele is his ward, left in his care when her mother abandoned her. At Jane's first meeting with him within Thornfield, he teases her, accusing her of bewitching his horse to make him fall, as well as talking strangely in other ways, but Jane is able to give as good as she gets. Mr. Rochester and Jane soon come to enjoy each other's company and spend many evenings together.

Odd things start to happen at the house, such as a strange laugh, a mysterious fire in Mr. Rochester's room, in which Jane saves Rochester by rousing him and throwing water on him and the fire, and an attack on Rochester's house guest, Mr. Mason. Jane receives word that her aunt is calling for her, after suffering a stroke because her unruly son John had died in sad circumstances. She returns to Gateshead and remains there for a month attending to her dying aunt and helping her cousins after the funeral. Mrs. Reed, as she lies dying, confesses to Jane that she had wronged her, and gives Jane a letter from Jane's paternal uncle, Mr. John Eyre, in which he asks for her to live with him and be his heir.

 
Young Jane argues with her guardian Mrs. Reed of Gateshead, illustrated by F. H. Townsend
 
 
Mrs. Reed admits to telling her uncle that Jane had died of fever at Lowood. Soon after, Jane's aunt dies, and she returns to Thornfield.

After returning to Thornfield, Jane broods over Mr. Rochester's rumoured impending marriage to the beautiful and talented, but snobbish and heartless, Blanche Ingram. However, one midsummer evening, Rochester baits Jane by saying how much he will miss her after getting married, but that she would soon forget him. Then follows one of the most stirring speeches in the whole book, when the normally self-controlled Jane opens her heart to him. Rochester is then sure that Jane is sincerely in love with him, and he proposes marriage. Jane is at first sceptical of his sincerity, but eventually believes him and gladly agrees to marry him. She then writes to her Uncle John, telling him of her happy news. As she prepares for her wedding, Jane's forebodings arise when a strange, savage-looking woman sneaks into her room one night and rips her wedding veil in two. As with the previous mysterious events, Mr. Rochester attributes the incident to that strange woman, Grace Poole, one of his servants. During the wedding ceremony, Mr. Mason and a lawyer declare that Mr. Rochester cannot marry because he is still married to Mr. Mason's sister, Bertha. Mr. Rochester admits this is true, but explains that his father tricked him into the marriage for her money. Once they were united, he discovered that she was rapidly descending into madness and so he eventually locked her away in Thornfield, hiring Grace Poole as a nurse to look after her. When Grace gets drunk, his wife escapes, and causes the strange happenings at Thornfield. It turns out that Jane's uncle, Mr. John Eyre, is a friend of Mr. Mason, and was visited by him soon after Mr. Eyre received Jane's letter about her impending marriage. After the marriage ceremony is broken off, Mr. Rochester asks Jane to go with him to the south of France, and live with him as husband and wife, even though they cannot be married. Refusing to go against her principles, and despite her love for him, Jane leaves Thornfield in the middle of the night.
 
 
Other employment
Jane travels as far from Thornfield as she can using the little money she had previously saved. She accidentally leaves her bundle of possessions on the coach and has to sleep on the moor, and unsuccessfully attempts to trade her handkerchief and gloves for food.

Exhausted and hungry, she eventually makes her way to the home of Diana and Mary Rivers, but is turned away by the housekeeper.

She collapses on the doorstep, preparing for her death. St. John Rivers, Diana and Mary's brother and a clergyman, saves her. After she regains her health, St. John finds her a teaching position at a nearby village school. Jane becomes good friends with the sisters, but St. John remains aloof.

The sisters leave for governess jobs and St. John becomes somewhat closer to Jane. St. John learns Jane's true identity, and astounds her by telling her that her uncle, John Eyre, has died and left her his entire fortune of 20,000 pounds (equivalent to over £1.3 million in 2011, calculated using the UK Retail Price Index).

When Jane questions him further, St. John reveals that John Eyre is also his and his sisters' uncle. They had once hoped for a share of the inheritance, but were left virtually nothing. Jane, overjoyed by finding that she has living and friendly family members, insists on sharing the money equally with her cousins, and Diana and Mary come back to Moor House to live.

 
St. John Rivers admits Jane to Moor House
 
 
Proposals
Thinking she will make a suitable missionary's wife, St. John asks Jane to marry him and to go with him to India, not out of love, but out of duty. Jane initially accepts going to India, but rejects the marriage proposal, suggesting they travel as brother and sister. As soon as Jane's resolve against marriage to St. John begins to weaken, she mysteriously hears Mr. Rochester's voice calling her name. Jane then returns to Thornfield to find only blackened ruins. She learns that Mr. Rochester's wife set the house on fire and committed suicide by jumping from the roof. In his rescue attempts, Mr. Rochester lost a hand and his eyesight. Jane reunites with him, but he fears that she will be repulsed by his condition. "Am I hideous, Jane?", he asks. “Very, sir: you always were, you know” she replies. When Jane assures him of her love and tells him that she will never leave him, Mr. Rochester again proposes and they are married. He eventually recovers enough sight to see their first-born son.
 
 

Characters
Jane Eyre: The protagonist of the novel and the title character. Orphaned as a baby, she struggles through her nearly loveless childhood and becomes governess at Thornfield Hall. Jane is passionate and strongly principled, and values freedom and independence. She also has a strong conscience and is a determined Christian.
Mr. Reed: Jane's maternal uncle, who adopts Jane when her parents die. According to Mrs. Reed, he pitied Jane and often cared for her more than for his own children. Before his own death, he makes his wife promise to care for Jane.
Mrs. Sarah Reed: Jane's aunt by marriage, who adopts Jane on her husband's wishes, but abuses and neglects her. She eventually casts her off and sends her to Lowood School.
John Reed: Jane's cousin, who as a child bullies Jane constantly, sometimes in his mother's presence. He ruins himself as an adult by drinking and gambling and is thought to have committed suicide.
Eliza Reed: Jane's cousin. Jealous of her more attractive sister, and a slave to rigid routine, she self-righteously devotes herself to religion. She leaves for a nunnery near Lisle after her mother's death, determined to estrange herself from her sister.
Georgiana Reed: Jane's cousin. Although beautiful and indulged, she is insolent and spiteful. Her sister Eliza foils her marriage to the wealthy Lord Edwin Vere, when they were about to elope. She eventually marries a "wealthy worn-out man of fashion".
Bessie Lee: The nursemaid at Gateshead. She often treats Jane kindly, telling her stories and singing her songs, but she has a quick temper. Later she marries Robert Leaven.
Robert Leaven: The coachman at Gateshead, who brings Jane the news of John Reed's death, which brought on Mrs. Reed's stroke, and Mrs. Reed's wish to see her before she died.
Mr. Lloyd: A compassionate apothecary who recommends that Jane be sent to school. Later, he writes a letter to Miss Temple confirming Jane's account of her childhood and thereby clearing Jane of Mrs. Reed's charge of lying.
Mr. Brocklehurst: The clergyman, director and treasurer of Lowood School, whose maltreatment of the students is eventually exposed. A religious traditionalist, he advocates for his charges the most harsh, plain, and disciplined possible lifestyle, but not, hypocritically, for himself and his own family. His second daughter Augusta exclaimed, "Oh, dear papa, how quiet and plain all the girls at Lowood look... they looked at my dress and mama's, as if they had never seen a silk gown before."
Miss Maria Temple: The kind superintendent of Lowood School, who treats the students with respect and compassion. She helps clear Jane of Mr. Brocklehurst's false accusation of deceit, and cares for Helen in her last days. Eventually she marries Reverend Naysmith.
Miss Scatcherd: A sour and strict teacher at Lowood, she constantly punishes Helen Burns for her untidiness, but fails to see Helen's substantial good points.
Helen Burns: Jane's best friend at Lowood School. She refuses to hate those who abuse her, trusting in God and praying for peace one day in heaven. She teaches Jane to trust Christianity, and dies of consumption in Jane's arms. Elizabeth Gaskell, in her biography of the Brontë sisters, wrote that Helen Burns was 'an exact transcript' of Maria Brontë, who died of consumption at age 11.
Edward Fairfax Rochester: The master of Thornfield Hall. A Byronic hero, he is tricked into making an unfortunate first marriage to Bertha Mason many years before he meets Jane, with whom he falls madly in love.
Bertha Antoinetta Mason: The violently insane first wife of Edward Rochester; moved to Thornfield and locked in the attic and eventually commits suicide after setting fire to Thornfield Hall.
Adèle Varens: An excitable French child to whom Jane is governess at Thornfield. She has been Mr. Rochester's ward since her mother, Mr. Rochester's mistress, abandoned her and "ran away to Italy with a musician or singer" (ch. 15).
Mrs. Alice Fairfax: An elderly, kind widow and the housekeeper of Thornfield Hall.
Leah: The housemaid at Thornfield Hall.
John: An old and normally the only man servant at Thornfield.
Mary: Normally referred to as 'John's wife' and sometimes 'the cook'.
Blanche Ingram: A socialite whom Mr. Rochester temporarily courts to make Jane jealous. She is described as having great beauty and talent, but displays callous behaviour and avaricious intent.
Richard Mason: An Englishman from the West Indies, whose sister is Mr. Rochester's first wife. He took part in tricking Mr. Rochester into marrying Bertha. He still, however, cares for his sister's well-being.
Grace Poole: Bertha Mason's caretaker. Mr. Rochester pays her a very high salary to keep Bertha hidden and quiet, and she is often used as an explanation for odd happenings. She has a weakness for drink that occasionally allows Bertha to escape.
St. John Eyre Rivers: A clergyman who befriends Jane and turns out to be her cousin. He is thoroughly practical and suppresses all his human passions and emotions in favour of good works. He is determined to go to India as a missionary, despite being in love with Rosamond Oliver.
Diana and Mary Rivers: St. John's sisters and (as it turns out) Jane's cousins. They are poor, intelligent, and kind-hearted, and want St. John to stay in England.
Rosamond Oliver: A beautiful, kindly but not deep thinking, wealthy young woman, the patron of the village school where Jane teaches. She falls in love with St. John, only to be rejected because she would not make a good missionary's wife.
Mr. Oliver: Rosamond Oliver's wealthy father, who owns a foundry and needle factory in the district. He is a kind and charitable man and is fond of St. John.
Alice Wood: Jane's maid when she is mistress of the girls' village school in Morton.
John Eyre: Jane's paternal uncle, who leaves her his vast fortune and wished to adopt her when she was 15. Mrs. Reed prevents the adoption out of spite towards Jane.

 
Themes
Morality

Jane refuses to become Mr. Rochester's paramour because of her "impassioned self-respect and moral conviction." She rejects St. John Rivers' religious fervour as much as the libertine aspects of Mr. Rochester's character. Instead, she works out a morality expressed in love, independence, and forgiveness.
 
 
God and religion
Throughout the novel, Jane endeavours to attain an equilibrium between moral duty and earthly happiness. She despises the hypocrisy of Mr. Brocklehurst, and sees the deficiencies in St. John Rivers' indulgent yet detached devotion to his Christian duty. As a child, Jane admires Helen Burns' life's philosophy of 'turning the other cheek', which in turn helps her in adult life to forgive Aunt Reed and the Reed cousins for their cruelty.

Although she does not seem to subscribe to any of the standard forms of popular Christianity, she honours traditional morality – particularly seen when she refuses to marry Mr. Rochester until he is widowed. The last sentence of the novel is a prayer of St. John Rivers on his own behalf: "Religion serves to moderate Jane's behavior, but she never represses her true self."

In her preface to the second edition of Jane Eyre, Brontë makes her beliefs clear; "conventionality is not morality" and "self-righteousness is not religion," declaring that narrow human doctrines, which serve only to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ. Throughout the novel, Brontë presents contrasts between characters who believe in and practice what she considers a true Christianity, and those who pervert religion to further their own ends. Here are further examples:

Mr. Brocklehurst, who oversees Lowood Institution, is a hypocritical Christian. He professes aid and charity but does the opposite by using religion as a justification for punishment. For instance, he cites the Biblical passage "man shall not live by bread alone", to rebuke Miss Temple for having fed the girls an extra meal to compensate for their inedible breakfast of burnt porridge. He tells Miss Temple that she "may indeed feed their vile bodies, but you little think how you starve their immortal souls!".

Helen Burns is a complete contrast to Brocklehurst; she follows the Christian creed of 'turning the other cheek' and by loving those who hate her. On her deathbed, Helen tells Jane "I'm going home to God, who loves me."

Jane herself cannot quite profess Helen's absolute, selfless faith. Jane does not seem to follow a particular doctrine, but she is sincerely religious in a non-doctrinaire, general way; it is Jane, presumably, who places the stone with the word "Resurgam" (Latin for 'I will rise again') on Helen's grave, some fifteen years after her friend's death. Jane is seen frequently praying and calling on God to assist her, especially with her struggles concerning Mr. Rochester; praying for his wellness and safety.

After Hannah, the Rivers' housekeeper, tried to turn the begging Jane away at the door, Jane later tells her that "if you are a Christian, you ought not consider poverty a crime."

The young evangelical clergyman St. John Rivers is a more conventionally religious figure. However, Brontë portrays his religious aspect ambiguously. Jane calls him "a very good man," yet she finds him cold and forbidding. In his determination to do good deeds (in the form of missionary work in India), St. John courts martyrdom. Moreover, he is unable to see Jane as a whole person, but views her only as a helpmate in his impending missionary work.

Mr. Rochester is a less than perfect Christian. He is, indeed, a sinner: he attempts to enter into a bigamous marriage with Jane and, when that fails, tries to persuade her to become his mistress. He also confesses that he has had three previous mistresses.

However, at the end of the book Mr. Rochester repents his sinfulness, thanks God for returning Jane, and asks Him for the strength to lead a purer life.

It is implied that Rochester's maiming and blindness were God's judgment for his sins, and that the partial recovery of his sight was due to his repentance. "God had tempered judgment with mercy."

  Social class
Jane's ambiguous social position—a penniless yet decently educated orphan from a good family–leads her to criticise some discrimination based on class, though she makes class discriminations herself. Although she is educated, well-mannered, and relatively sophisticated, she is still a governess, a paid employee (middle class), and therefore relatively powerless. She respectfully defers to Rochester and his guests from the upper class, but she asks Leah, the housemaid (lower class), to get her a candle rather than get it herself, and has a servant girl when she is school mistress at the small village school in Morton. While Jane is always conscious of her social position (Rochester is master and she is employee) in everyday matters, at heart she sees herself as his equal, as evidenced in her passionate speech prior to Rochester's first proposal. "... it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal,—as we are!"

Gender relations
A particularly important theme in the novel is the depiction of a patriarchal society. Jane attempts to assert her own identity within male-dominated society. Three of the main male characters, Mr. Brocklehurst, Mr. Rochester and St. John Rivers, try to keep Jane in a subordinate position and prevent her from expressing her own thoughts and feelings. Jane escapes Mr. Brocklehurst and rejects St. John, and she only marries Mr. Rochester once she is sure that their marriage is one between equals. Through Jane, Brontë opposes Victorian stereotypes about women, articulating her own feminist philosophy:

Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex. (Chapter XII)

It is also interesting to note that while most readings of Jane Eyre dwell on the fact that Bertha is insane, it is not because she is insane that Rochester hates her (chap. 27). The two specific claims that he makes against her, before she became insane, are that she was 'intemperate and unchaste' and that he therefore felt degraded. Some feminist readings of the novel have taken this to mean that the strictures imposed on women contemporary to the book were such that stepping outside of them could have been construed as insane.

Other interpretations have seen this as evidence that Bertha was syphilitic, and that the romanticism of the book neglects the truth that Edward Rochester would have been as well. The book may use the syphilitic condition as a metaphor for the sexual predation and narcissistic projection of Edward Rochester; Edward says Bertha is "unchaste" in an attempt to relieve himself of the psychic pain of his having the disease himself and his own likely role in Bertha acquiring that condition as well as the fact he likely has the disease and risks infecting Jane. His psychological projection combined with his position of power distorts reality such that it gives Bertha no choice but to be "insane" (which may be combined with actual physical brain deterioration from the syphilis) if any challenge to his veracity would cause her greater problems, such as abandonment, starvation, etc.

Love and passion
A central theme in Jane Eyre is that of the clash between conscience and passion—which one is to adhere to, and how to find a middle ground between the two. Jane, extremely passionate yet also dedicated to a close personal relationship with God, struggles between either extreme for much of the novel. An instance of her leaning towards conscience over passion can be seen after it has been revealed that Mr. Rochester already has a wife, when Jane is begged to run away with Mr. Rochester and become his mistress.

 
 
Up until that moment, Jane had been riding on a wave of emotion, forgetting all thoughts of reason and logic, replacing God with Mr. Rochester in her eyes, and allowing herself to be swept away in the moment. However, once the harsh reality of the situation sets in, Jane does everything in her power to refuse Mr. Rochester, despite almost every part of her rejecting the idea and urging her to just give into Mr. Rochester's appeal. In the moment, Jane experiences an epiphany in regards to conscience, realising that “laws and principles are not for times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this.” Jane finally comes to understand that all passion, as she had been living her life up until then, and all conscience, as she had leaned towards during her time at Lowood, is neither good nor preferable. In this case, Jane had allowed herself to lean too far in the direction of passion, and she is in danger of giving up all logic and reason in favour of temptation. However, Jane finally asserts that in times of true moral trial, such as the one she is in with Mr. Rochester at the moment, to forgo one's principles, to violate the “law given by God,” would be too easy—and not something she is willing to do. Jane's struggles to find a middle ground between her passionate and conscience-driven sides frequently go back and forth throughout the novel, but in this case she has drawn the line as to where passion is taking too great a role in her life, and where she will not allow herself to forgo her moral and religious principles.
 
 
Feminism
The role and standing of women in the Victorian era is considered by Brontë in Jane Eyre, specifically in regard to Jane's independence and ability to make decisions for herself. As a young woman, small and of relatively low social standing, Jane encounters men during her journey, of good, bad, and morally debatable character. However, many of them, no matter their ultimate intentions, attempt to establish some form of power and control over Jane. One example can be seen in Mr. Rochester, a man who ardently loves Jane, but who frequently commands and orders Jane about. As a self-assured and established man, and her employer, Mr. Rochester naturally assumes the position of the master in their relationship. He sometimes demands rather than questioning Jane, tries to manipulate and assess her feelings towards him, and enjoys propping up Jane through excessive gifts and luxuries that only he would have been able to provide. Jane, however, believes in the importance of women's independence, and strives to maintain a position in life devoid of any debts to others. Her initial lack of money and social status unnerves her, as she realises that without the means to be an independent woman, she is bound to either struggle through life trying to make a living or marry and become dependent on a man. Even after Jane agrees to marry Mr. Rochester, and is swept up in the passion of the moment, the feminist elements of her personality still show through. She is uncomfortable with the showering of lavish gifts, as she resents that they will make her further reliant on and in debt to Mr. Rochester, and thus tries to resist them. Furthermore, Jane asserts that until she is married to Mr. Rochester, she will continue to be Adèle's governess and earn her keep. This plan, which was entirely radical and unheard of for the time, further illustrates Jane's drive to remain a somewhat independent woman. It was for this reason she suddenly remembered and wrote to her uncle who until now thought her dead. "... if I had but a prospect of one day bringing Mr. Rochester an accession of fortune, I could better endure to be kept by him now." This feminist undercurrent also presents itself in Jane's interaction with her long-lost cousin, St. John Rivers. St. John repressed Jane's feeling and controlled her excessively. She often felt that he "took away [her] liberty of mind". During her stay with her cousin, St. John proposes to Jane, by claiming her "as a soldier would a new weapon". Jane realises that she cannot marry a man who constantly forces her into submission and treats her like an object, and she refuses to marry him. Once again, her need for independence shines through.

The only time Jane truly feels ready to marry a man is when she is equal to him. In the end of Jane Eyre, Jane inherits a fortune from her uncle. This allows her to be economically independent from Mr. Rochester. Also, Mr. Rochester becomes lame and blind after the fire that ripped through his home. He now depends on Jane, rather than Jane depending on him. This change in the power dynamic of their relationship unites the two of them once again.

While the significant men present in Jane's life throughout the novel all try to, in some form or another, establish themselves as dominant over Jane, she in most cases remains resistant at least to a certain degree, refusing to submit fully or lose all of her independence. The only time Jane feels comfortable attaching herself to a man is when she knows that she is his financial, intellectual, and emotional equal. This final adherence to her strong convictions on the independence of women point out Brontë's similar views on the patriarchal Victorian society of the time.

  Atonement and forgiveness
Much of the religious concern in Jane Eyre has to do with atonement and forgiveness. Mr. Rochester is tormented by his awareness of his past sins and misdeeds. He frequently confesses that he has led a life of vice, and many of his actions in the course of the novel are less than commendable. Readers may accuse him of behaving sadistically in deceiving Jane about the nature of his relationship (or rather, non-relationship) with Blanche Ingram to provoke Jane's jealousy. His confinement of Bertha may bespeak mixed motives. He is certainly aware that in the eyes of both religious and civil authorities, his marriage to Jane before Bertha's death would be bigamous. Yet, at the same time, Mr. Rochester makes genuine efforts to atone for his behaviour. For example, although he does not believe that he is Adele's natural father, he adopts her as his ward and sees that she is well cared for. This adoption may well be an act of atonement for the sins he has committed. He expresses his self-disgust at having tried to console himself by having three different mistresses during his travels in Europe and begs Jane to forgive him for these past transgressions. However, Mr. Rochester can only atone completely – and be forgiven completely – after Jane has refused to be his mistress and left him. The destruction of Thornfield by fire finally removes the stain of his past sins; the loss of his left hand and of his eyesight is the price he must pay to atone completely for his sins. Only after this purgation can he be redeemed by Jane's love.

Search for home and family
Without any living family that she is aware of (until well into the story), throughout the course of the novel Jane searches for a place that she can call home. Significantly, houses play a prominent part in the story. (In keeping with a long English tradition, all the houses in the book have names). The novel's opening finds Jane living at Gateshead Hall, but this is hardly a home. Mrs. Reed and her children refuse to acknowledge her as a relation, treating her instead as an unwanted intruder and an inferior.

Shunted off to Lowood Institution, a boarding school for orphans and destitute children, Jane finds a home of sorts, although her place here is ambiguous and temporary. The school's manager, Mr. Brocklehurst, treats it more as a business and a place of correction than as school in loco parentis (in place of the parent). His emphasis on discipline and on spartan conditions at the expense of the girls' health make it the antithesis of the ideal home.

Jane subsequently believes she has found a home at Thornfield Hall. Anticipating the worst when she arrives, she is relieved when she is made to feel welcome by Mrs. Fairfax. She feels genuine affection for Adèle (who in a way is also an orphan) and is happy to serve as her governess. As her love for Mr. Rochester grows, she believes that she has found her ideal husband in spite of his eccentric manner and that they will make a home together at Thornfield. The revelation – as they are on the verge of marriage – that he is already legally married – brings her dream of home crashing down. Fleeing Thornfield, she literally becomes homeless and is reduced to begging for food and shelter.

The opportunity of having a home presents itself when she enters Moor House, where the Rivers sisters and their brother, the Reverend St. John Rivers, are mourning the death of their father. She soon speaks of Diana and Mary Rivers as her own sisters, and is overjoyed when she learns that they are indeed her cousins. She tells St. John Rivers that learning that she has living relations is far more important than inheriting twenty thousand pounds.

 
 
(She mourns the uncle she never knew. Earlier she was disheartened on learning that Mrs. Reed told her uncle that Jane had died and sent him away.) However, St. John Rivers' offer of marriage cannot sever her emotional attachment to Rochester. In an almost visionary episode, she hears Mr. Rochester's voice calling her to return to him. The last chapter begins with the famous simple declarative sentence, "Reader, I married him," and after a long series of travails Jane's search for home and family ends in a union with her ideal mate.
 
 
Context
The early sequences, in which Jane is sent to Lowood, a harsh boarding school, are derived from the author's own experiences. Helen Burns's death from tuberculosis (referred to as consumption) recalls the deaths of Charlotte Brontë's sisters Elizabeth and Maria, who died of the disease in childhood as a result of the conditions at their school, the Clergy Daughters School at Cowan Bridge, near Tunstall, Lancashire. Mr. Brocklehurst is based on Rev. William Carus Wilson (1791–1859), the Evangelical minister who ran the school. Additionally, John Reed's decline into alcoholism and dissolution recalls the life of Charlotte's brother Branwell, who became an opium and alcohol addict in the years preceding his death. Finally, like Jane, Charlotte became a governess. These facts were revealed to the public in The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857) by Charlotte's friend and fellow novelist Elizabeth Gaskell.

The Gothic manor of Thornfield Hall was probably inspired by North Lees Hall, near Hathersage in the Peak District. This was visited by Charlotte Brontë and her friend Ellen Nussey in the summer of 1845 and is described by the latter in a letter dated 22 July 1845. It was the residence of the Eyre family, and its first owner, Agnes Ashurst, was reputedly confined as a lunatic in a padded second floor room.

It has been suggested that the Wycoller Hall in Lancashire, close to Haworth, provided the setting for Ferndean Manor to which Mr. Rochester retreats after the fire at Thornfield: there are similarities between the owner of Ferndean, Mr. Rochester's father, and Henry Cunliffe who inherited Wycoller in the 1770s and lived there until his death in 1818; one of Cunliffe's relatives was named Elizabeth Eyre (née Cunliffe).

The sequence in which Mr. Rochester's wife sets fire to the bed curtains was prepared in an August 1830 homemade publication of Brontë's The Young Men's Magazine, Number 2.

  Literary motifs and allusions
Jane Eyre uses many motifs from Gothic fiction, such as the Gothic manor (Thornfield Hall), the Byronic hero (Mr. Rochester) and The Madwoman in the Attic (Bertha), whom Jane perceives as resembling "the foul German spectre—the Vampyre" (Chapter XXV) and who attacks her own brother in a distinctly vampiric way: "She sucked the blood: she said she'd drain my heart" (Chapter XX).

The mystery of Thornfield Hall with its dark secrets creates a typically Gothic atmosphere of suspense. When resolved, we then get the theme of madness, also common in Gothic fiction, as is the motif of two characters, John Reed and Bertha Mason, who commit suicide. Apparently supernatural happenings are frequently mentioned, such as Jane's prophetic dreams, her sense of the ghost of her uncle, the lightning striking the chestnut tree on the night she agrees to marry Mr. Rochester, and Jane and Mr. Rochester being able to hear each other's call over miles of separation when St. John forces Jane into a decision to marry him.

Jane Eyre also combines Gothicism with romanticism to create a distinctive Victorian novel. Jane and Rochester are attracted to each other, but there are impediments to their love.

The conflicting personalities of the two lead characters and the norms of society are an obstacle to their love, as often occurs in romance novels, but so also is Rochester's secret marriage to Bertha, the main Gothic element of the story.

Literary allusions from the Bible, fairy tales, The Pilgrim's Progress, Paradise Lost, and the novels and poetry of Sir Walter Scott are also much in evidence. John Reed is compared to Caligula. Jane is compared to Guy Fawkes. Both Biblical figures like Samson and figures from Greek myths such as Apollo are referred to at various times.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
     
  Charlotte Bronte

"Jane Eyre"

Illustrations by F. H. Townsend
     
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1847
 
 
Emily Bronte: "Wuthering Heights"
 
 
Bronte Emily
 

Emily Bronte, in full Emily Jane Brontë, pseudonym Ellis Bell (born July 30, 1818, Thornton, Yorkshire, England—died December 19, 1848, Haworth, Yorkshire), English novelist and poet who produced but one novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), a highly imaginative novel of passion and hate set on the Yorkshire moors. Emily was perhaps the greatest of the three Brontë sisters, but the record of her life is extremely meagre, for she was silent and reserved and left no correspondence of interest, and her single novel darkens rather than solves the mystery of her spiritual existence.

 

A portrait of Brontë made by her brother,
Branwell Brontë
  Life
Her father, Patrick Brontë (1777–1861), an Irishman, held a number of curacies: Hartshead-cum-Clifton, Yorkshire, was the birthplace of his elder daughters, Maria and Elizabeth (who died young), and nearby Thornton that of Emily and her siblings Charlotte, Patrick Branwell, and Anne. In 1820 their father became rector of Haworth, remaining there for the rest of his life.

After the death of their mother in 1821, the children were left very much to themselves in the bleak moorland rectory. The children were educated, during their early life, at home, except for a single year that Charlotte and Emily spent at the Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire. In 1835, when Charlotte secured a teaching position at Miss Wooler’s school at Roe Head, Emily accompanied her as a pupil but suffered from homesickness and remained only three months. In 1838 Emily spent six exhausting months as a teacher in Miss Patchett’s school at Law Hill, near Halifax, and then resigned.

To keep the family together at home, Charlotte planned to keep a school for girls at Haworth. In February 1842 she and Emily went to Brussels to learn foreign languages and school management at the Pension Héger. Although Emily pined for home and for the wild moorlands, it seems that in Brussels she was better appreciated than Charlotte. Her passionate nature was more easily understood than Charlotte’s decorous temperament. In October, however, when her aunt died, Emily returned permanently to Haworth.

In 1845 Charlotte came across some poems by Emily, and this led to the discovery that all three sisters—Charlotte, Emily, and Anne—had written verse. 

 
 
A year later they published jointly a volume of verse, Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, the initials of these pseudonyms being those of the sisters; it contained 21 of Emily’s poems, and a consensus of later criticism has accepted the fact that Emily’s verse alone reveals true poetic genius. The venture cost the sisters about £50 in all, and only two copies were sold.

By midsummer of 1847 Emily’s Wuthering Heights and Anne’s Agnes Grey had been accepted for joint publication by J. Cautley Newby of London, but publication of the three volumes was delayed until the appearance of their sister Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, which was immediately and hugely successful. Wuthering Heights, when published in December 1847, did not fare well; critics were hostile, calling it too savage, too animal-like, and clumsy in construction. Only later did it come to be considered one of the finest novels in the English language.

Soon after the publication of her novel, Emily’s health began to fail rapidly. She had been ill for some time, but now her breathing became difficult, and she suffered great pain. She died of tuberculosis in December 1848.

 
 
Wuthering Heights
Emily Brontë’s work on Wuthering Heights cannot be dated, and she may well have spent a long time on this intense, solidly imagined novel. It is distinguished from other novels of the period by its dramatic and poetic presentation, its abstention from all comment by the author, and its unusual structure. It recounts in the retrospective narrative of an onlooker, which in turn includes shorter narratives, the impact of the waif Heathcliff on the two families of Earnshaw and Linton in a remote Yorkshire district at the end of the 18th century. Embittered by abuse and by the marriage of Cathy Earnshaw—who shares his stormy nature and whom he loves—to the gentle and prosperous Edgar Linton, Heathcliff plans a revenge on both families, extending into the second generation. Cathy’s death in childbirth fails to set him free from his love-hate relationship with her, and the obsessive haunting persists until his death; the marriage of the surviving heirs of Earnshaw and Linton restores peace.

Sharing her sisters’ dry humour and Charlotte’s violent imagination, Emily diverges from them in making no use of the events of her own life and showing no preoccupation with a spinster’s state or a governess’s position. Working, like them, within a confined scene and with a small group of characters, she constructs an action, based on profound and primitive energies of love and hate, which proceeds logically and economically, making no use of such coincidences as Charlotte relies on, requiring no rich romantic similes or rhetorical patterns, and confining the superb dialogue to what is immediately relevant to the subject.

 
Title page of the first edition
 
 
The sombre power of the book and the elements of brutality in the characters affronted some 19th-century opinion. Its supposed masculine quality was adduced to support the claim, based on the memories of her brother Branwell’s friends long after his death, that he was author or part author of it. While it is not possible to clear up all the minor puzzles, neither the external nor the internal evidence offered is substantial enough to weigh against Charlotte’s plain statement that Emily was the author.

Joyce M.S. Tompkins

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
see also: Emily Bronte
 
 
     
  Western Literature

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1847
 
 
Marryat: "The Children of the New Forest"
 

The Children of the New Forest is a children's novel published in 1847 by Marryat Frederick. It is set in the time of the English Civil War and the Commonwealth. The story follows the fortunes of the four Beverley children who are orphaned during the war, and hide from their Roundhead oppressors in the shelter of the New Forest where they learn to live off the land.

 
Plot summary
The story begins in 1647 when King Charles I has been defeated in the civil war and has fled from London towards the New Forest. Parliamentary soldiers have been sent to search the forest and decide to burn Arnwood, the house of Colonel Beverley, a Cavalier officer killed at the Battle of Naseby. The four orphan children of the house, Edward, Humphrey, Alice and Edith, are believed to have died in the flames. However, they are saved by Jacob Armitage, a local gamekeeper, who hides them in his isolated cottage acting as his grandchildren.

Under Armitage's guidance, the children adapt from an aristocratic lifestyle to that of simple foresters. After Armitage's death, Edward takes charge and the children develop and expand the farmstead, aided by the entrepreneurial spirit of the younger brother Humphrey. They are assisted by a gypsy boy, Pablo, who they rescue from a pitfall trap.

A sub-plot involves a hostile Puritan gamekeeper named Corbould who seeks to harm Edward and his family. Edward also encounters the sympathetic Puritan, Heatherstone, placed in charge of the Royal land in the New Forest, and rescues his daughter, Patience, in a house-fire. Edward leaves the cottage and works as a secretary for Heatherstone, but Edward maintains the pretence that he is the grandson of Jacob Armitage.

Edward eventually joins the army of the future King Charles II, but after the Royalist defeat at the Battle of Worcester, he returns to the New Forest where he learns that Heatherstone has been awarded the old Arnwood estate.

 
Marryat: "The Children of the New Forest"
1911 illustrated edition
 
 
Disillusioned by this, and by Patience's apparent rejection of his declarations of love, Edward flees to France. His sisters are sent away to be brought up as aristocratic ladies and his brother continues to live in the New Forest. Edward learns that Patience does, in fact, love him, and that Heatherstone had acquired the Arnwood estate for Edward, but he works as a mercenary soldier in exile until the Restoration when they are reunited.
 
 
Setting
The Children of the New Forest was written during Marryat's years of retirement in Norfolk, and it was his last novel published during his lifetime.
Marryat would sometimes travel to Hampshire to stay at his brother George's country house, Chewton Glen (now a five star hotel), on the edge of the New Forest.

It was here that he gathered material for his novel, which is set in and around the real-life manor of Arnewood (spelled without the "e" in Marryat's novel) just south of the village of Sway. Three miles east of Arnewood is the coastal town of Lymington which also features in Marryat's novel.

Themes
The story is centred on the four Beverley children who learn to survive on their own in the forest, and is particularly focused on the maturing of Edward Beverley as the rather rash, eldest teenager.

It celebrates the ideals of chivalry and bravery, tempered by modesty. The four children in the novel eventually become ideal models of manhood and womanhood, and even the gypsy boy Pablo is tamed into their civilising ways.

Marryat had rather conservative political opinions, and his story favours the Royalist cause, following as it does the fortunes of the children of a Royalist officer.

 
Marryat: "The Children of the New Forest"
 
 
However, the story includes as one of its major characters a sympathetically portrayed Roundhead, Heatherstone, as the Intendant given the task of managing the Forest lands.

Marryat suggests that good governance lies somewhere between King Charles's insistence on the divine right of kings and Parliament's unjustifiable execution of the anointed monarch. The homecoming and reconciliation at the end of the story are deliberately associated with the restoration of the monarchy.
 
 
Legacy
The Children of the New Forest was one of the first historical novels written for a young audience, and the first such novel which has endured.

It was particularly successful in fixing the image of the English Civil War as a quarrel of opposites, with dour Roundheads versus swashbuckling Cavaliers.

Adaptations
The BBC has adapted the novel four times for television. These series were first shown in: 1955 (5 episodes), 1964 (6 episodes), 1977 (5 episodes), and 1998 (6 episodes).

The 1998 series had a major departure from the original plot, Craig Kelly starred as the villainous preacher Reverend Abel Corbould, who was obsessed with capturing and executing the Beverley family.

He also pursued a romantic relationship with Heatherstone's daughter Patience, but to no avail. Edward Beverley and Corbould had a final confrontation at a watermill in the forest, which ended with Edward pushing Corbould over the side of the wooden railings and onto the water wheel, dragging the evil preacher down and under the water, drowning him.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Marryat: "The Children of the New Forest"
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
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1847
 
 
Prescott William: "History of the Conquest of Peru"
 
 

Prescott: "History of the Conquest of Peru"
 
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
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1847
 
 
Sand George : "Le Peche de M. Antoine"
 
 

George Sand: "Le Peche de M. Antoine"
 
 
see also: George Sand
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
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1847
 
 
Thackeray: "Vanity Fair"
 

Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero is a novel by English author Thackeray William Makepeace, first published in 1847–48, satirizing society in early 19th-century Britain. It follows the lives of two very different women, Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley, amid their friends and family. The novel is now considered a classic, and has inspired several film adaptations. In 2003, Vanity Fair was listed on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's "best-loved novel".

 
Title
The book's title comes from John Bunyan's allegorical story The Pilgrim's Progress, first published in 1678 and still widely read at the time of Thackeray's novel. In that work, "Vanity Fair" refers to a stop along the pilgrim's route: a never-ending fair held in a town called Vanity, which is meant to represent man's sinful attachment to worldly things.
 
 
Plot summary
The story opens at Miss Pinkerton's Academy for Young Ladies, where Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley have just completed their studies and are preparing to depart for Amelia's house in Russell Square. Becky is portrayed as a strong-willed and cunning young woman determined to make her way in society, and Amelia Sedley as a good-natured, lovable though simple-minded young girl.

At Russell Square, Miss Sharp is introduced to the dashing and self-obsessed Captain George Osborne (to whom Amelia has been betrothed from a very young age) and to Amelia's brother Joseph ("Jos") Sedley, a clumsy and vainglorious but rich civil servant fresh from the East India Company. Hoping to marry Sedley (the richest young man she has met), Becky entices him, but she fails because of warnings from Captain Osborne, Sedley's own native shyness, and his embarrassment over some foolish drunken behaviour of his that Becky had seen.

Becky Sharp says farewell to Sedley's family and enters the service of the crude and profligate baronet Sir Pitt Crawley, who has engaged her as a governess to his daughters. Her behaviour at Sir Pitt's house gains his favour, and after the premature death of his second wife, he proposes marriage to her. Then he finds she is already secretly married to his second son, Rawdon Crawley.

Sir Pitt's elder half sister, the spinster Miss Crawley, is very rich, having inherited her mother's fortune of £70,000. How she will bequeath her great wealth is a source of constant conflict between the branches of the Crawley family who vie shamelessly for her affections; initially her favourite is Sir Pitt's younger son, Captain Rawdon Crawley. For some time, Becky acts as Miss Crawley's companion, supplanting the loyal Miss Briggs in an attempt to establish herself in favour before breaking the news of her elopement with Miss Crawley's nephew.

 
Title page to the first edition in book form of Vanity Fair, drawn by Thackeray, who furnished the illustrations for many of his earlier editions
 
 
However, the misalliance so enrages Miss Crawley that she disinherits her nephew in favour of his pompous and pedantic elder brother, who also bears the name Pitt Crawley. The married couple constantly attempts to reconcile with Miss Crawley, and she relents a little, but she will only see her nephew and refuses to change her will.

While Becky Sharp is rising in the world, Amelia's father, John Sedley, is bankrupted. The Sedleys and Osbornes were once close allies, but the relationship between the two families disintegrates after the Sedleys are financially ruined, and the marriage of Amelia and George is forbidden. George ultimately decides to marry Amelia against his father's will, pressured by his friend Dobbin, and George is consequently disinherited. While these personal events take place, the Napoleonic Wars have been ramping up. George Osborne and William Dobbin are suddenly deployed to Brussels, but not before an encounter with Becky and Captain Crawley at Brighton. The holiday is interrupted by orders to march to Brussels. Already, the newly wedded Osborne is growing tired of Amelia, and he becomes increasingly attracted to Becky who encourages his advances.

At a ball in Brussels (based on the Duchess of Richmond's famous ball on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo) George gives Becky a note inviting her to run away with him. He regrets this shortly afterwards and reconciles with Amelia, who has been deeply hurt by his attentions towards her former friend. The morning after their reconciliation, he is sent to Waterloo with Captain Crawley and Dobbin, leaving Amelia distraught. Becky, on the other hand, is virtually indifferent to her husband's departure. She tries to console Amelia, but Amelia responds angrily, disgusted by Becky's flirtatious behaviour with George and her lack of concern about Captain Crawley. Becky resents this snub and a rift develops between the two women that lasts for years. Becky is not very concerned for the outcome of the war, either; should Napoleon win, she plans to become the mistress of one of his marshals.

 
 
Meanwhile she makes a profit selling her carriage and horses at inflated prices to the panicked Joseph Sedly, seeking to flee the city, where the Belgian population is openly pro-Napoleonic.

Captain Crawley survives, but George dies in the battle. Amelia bears him a posthumous son, who is also named George. She returns to live in genteel poverty with her parents. Meanwhile, since the death of George, Dobbin, who is young George's godfather, gradually begins to express his love for the widowed Amelia by small kindnesses toward her and her son. She is too much in love with George's memory to return Dobbin's affections. Saddened, he goes to India for many years. Dobbin's infatuation with Amelia is a theme which unifies the novel and one which many have compared to Thackeray's unrequited love for a friend's wife (Jane Brookfield).

Meanwhile, Becky also has a son, also named after his father, but unlike Amelia, who dotes on and even spoils her child, Becky is a cold, distant mother. She continues her ascent first in post-war Paris and then in London where she is patronised by the great Marquis of Steyne, who covertly subsidises her and introduces her to London society. Her success is unstoppable despite her humble origins, and she is eventually presented at court to the Prince Regent himself.

Becky and Rawdon appear to be financially successful, but their wealth and high standard of living are mostly smoke and mirrors. Rawdon gambles heavily and earns money as a billiards shark. The book also suggests he cheats at cards. Becky accepts trinkets and money from her many admirers and sells some for cash. She also borrows heavily from the people around her and seldom pays bills.

 
Illustration depicting Captain George Osborne, 1848
 
 
The couple lives mostly on credit, and while Rawdon seems to be too dim-witted to be aware of the effect of his borrowing on the people around him, Becky is fully aware that her heavy borrowing and her failure to pay bills bankrupts at least two innocent people: her servant, Briggs, whose life savings Becky borrows and fritters away, and her landlord Raggles, who was formerly a butler to the Crawley family and who invested his life savings in the townhouse that Becky and Rawdon rent (and fail to pay for). She also cheats innkeepers, milliners, dressmakers, grocers, and others who do business on credit. She and Rawdon obtain credit by tricking everyone around them into believing they are receiving money from others. Sometimes, Becky and Rawdon buy time from their creditors by suggesting Rawdon received money in Miss Crawley's will or are being paid a stipend by Sir Pitt. Ultimately Becky is suspected of carrying on an extramarital affair with the Marquis of Steyne, apparently encouraged by Rawdon to prostitute herself in exchange for money and promotion.

At the summit of her success, Becky's pecuniary relationship with the rich and powerful Marquis of Steyne is discovered after Rawdon is arrested for debt. Rawdon's brother's wife, Lady Jane, bails him out and Rawdon surprises Becky and Steyne in a compromising moment.
 
 
Rawdon leaves his wife and through the offices of the Marquis of Steyne is made Governor of Coventry Island to get him out of the way, but Rawdon challenges the elderly marquis to a duel. Becky, having lost both husband and credibility, is warned by Steyne to leave the United Kingdom and she wanders the continent. Rawdon and Becky's son is left in the care of Pitt Crawley and Lady Jane. However, wherever Becky goes, she is followed by the shadow of the Marquis of Steyne. No sooner does she establish herself in polite society than someone turns up who knows her disreputable history and spreads rumours; Steyne himself hounds her out of Rome.

As Amelia's adored son George grows up, his grandfather relents and takes him from the impoverished Amelia, who knows the rich and bitter old man will give him a much better start in life than she or her family could ever manage. After twelve years abroad, both Joseph Sedley and Dobbin return to the UK. Dobbin professes his unchanged love to Amelia, but although Amelia is affectionate she tells him she cannot forget the memory of her dead husband. Dobbin also becomes close to young George, and his kind, firm manner is a good influence on the spoiled child.

 
Illustration by William Makepeace Thackeray for his novel Vanity Fair
 
 
While in England, Dobbin mediates a reconciliation between Amelia and her father-in-law. The death of Amelia's father prevents their meeting, but following Osborne's death soon after, it is revealed that he had amended his will and bequeathed young George half his large fortune and Amelia a generous annuity. The rest is divided between his daughters, Miss Osborne, and Mrs. Bullock, who begrudges Amelia and her son the decrease in her annuity.

After the death of old Mr. Osborne, Amelia, Joseph, George and Dobbin go on a trip to Germany, where they encounter the destitute Becky. She meets the young George at a card table and then enchants Joseph Sedley all over again. Becky has unfortunately deteriorated as a character. She is drinking heavily, has lost her singing voice and much of her looks and spends time with card sharps and con artists. The book suggests that Becky has been involved in activities even more shady than her usual con games, but does not go into details.

Following Joseph's entreaties, Amelia agrees to a reconciliation when she hears that Becky's ties with her son have been severed, much to Dobbin's disapproval. Dobbin quarrels with Amelia and finally realizes that he is wasting his love on a woman too shallow to return it. However, Becky, in a moment of conscience, shows Amelia the note that Amelia's dead husband, George, had given her, asking her to run away with him. This destroys Amelia's idealized image of George, but not before Amelia has sent a note to Dobbin professing her love.

Becky resumes her seduction of Joseph Sedley and gains control over him. He eventually dies of a suspicious ailment after signing a portion of his money to Becky as life insurance. In the original illustrations, which were done by Thackeray, Becky is shown behind a curtain with a vial in her hand; the picture is labelled "Becky's second appearance in the character of Clytemnestra" (she had played Clytemnestra during charades at a party earlier in the book). Joseph's death appears to have made her fortune.

By a twist of fate Rawdon dies weeks before his older brother, whose son has already died; the baronetcy descends to Rawdon's son. Had he outlived his brother by even a day he would have become Sir Rawdon Crawley and Becky would have become Lady Crawley, a title she uses anyway in later life. The reader is informed at the end of the novel that although Dobbin married Amelia, and although he always treated her with great kindness, he never fully regained the love that he once had for her. There is also a final appearance for Becky, as cocky as ever, selling trinkets at a fair in aid of various charitable causes. She is now living well again, as her son, the new baronet, has agreed to support her financially (in spite of her past neglect and indifference towards him); however, he declines any further relationship or communication.

 
 
Characters

Amelia Sedley

Amelia is far from a conventional heroine; though good natured she is passive and naïve and does very little to help herself. Although she is not outstandingly beautiful (she has a round, rosy snub-nosed face and brown hair), and frequently ignored by men and women, she is well liked by most men who get to know her because of her sweet personality, a popularity which is often resented by other women. She marries George Osborne against the wishes of George's father, and is devoted to him despite his neglect of her and flirtation with Becky. When George dies at the battle of Waterloo, she brings up little George alone while living with her parents. She is completely dominated by her spendthrift father (who, it is revealed, sells the annuity Jos had provided in order "to prosecute his bootless schemes") and her increasingly peevish mother.

After George Osborne's death, Amelia is obsessed with her son and with the memory of her husband. She ignores William Dobbin, who courts her for years, and treats him shabbily until eventually he leaves. It is only when Becky shows her George's letter to her that Amelia is able to move on; though she informs Becky that she has already written to Dobbin to ask him to come back. She eventually marries Dobbin.

 
Illustration by William Makepeace Thackeray for his novel Vanity Fair
 
 
Becky Sharp (Rebecca))
The anti-heroine, and Amelia's opposite, is an intelligent young woman with a gift for satire. She is described as a short sandy haired girl who has green eyes and a great deal of wit. Fluent in both French and English, Becky has a beautiful singing voice, plays the piano, and shows great talent as an actress. She is also completely amoral and without conscience. She does not seem to have the ability to get attached to other people, and lies easily and intelligently to get her way. She is extremely manipulative and, after the first few chapters and her failure to attract Jos Sedley, is not shown as being particularly sincere.

Never having known financial or social security even as a child, Becky desires it above all things. Nearly everything she does is with the intention of securing a stable position for herself, or herself and her husband after she and Rawdon are married. She advances Rawdon's interests tirelessly, flirting with men such as General Tufto and the Marquis of Steyne in order to get him promoted. She also uses her feminine wiles to distract men at card parties while Rawdon cheats them blind.

Marrying Rawdon Crawley in secret was a mistake, as was running off instead of begging Miss Crawley's forgiveness. She also fails to manipulate Miss Crawley through Rawdon so as to obtain an inheritance. Although Becky manipulates men very easily, she does not even try to cultivate the friendship of most women. Lady Jane, the Dobbin sisters, and Lady Steyne see right through her. Amelia and (initially) Miss Crawley are exceptions to the rule.

 
 
Rawdon Crawley
Rawdon, the younger of the two Crawley sons, is an empty-headed cavalry officer who is his wealthy aunt's favourite until he marries Becky Sharp, who is of a far lower class. He permanently alienates his aunt, who leaves her estate to Rawdon's elder brother Sir Pitt instead. Sir Pitt has by this time inherited their father's estate, leaving Rawdon destitute.
The well-meaning Rawdon does have a few talents in life, most of them having to do with gambling and duelling. He is very good at cards and billiards, and although he does not always win he is able to earn cash by betting against less talented gamblers. He is heavily indebted throughout most of the book, not so much for his own expenses as for Becky's. Not particularly talented as a military officer, he is content to let Becky manage his career.

Although Rawdon knows Becky is attractive to men, he believes her reputation is spotless even though she is widely suspected of romantic intrigue with General Tufto and other powerful men. Nobody dares to suggest otherwise to Rawdon because of his temper and his reputation for duelling. Yet other people, particularly the Marquis of Steyne, find it impossible to believe that Crawley is unaware of Becky's tricks. Steyne in particular believes Rawdon is fully aware Becky is prostituting herself, and believes Rawdon is going along with the charade in the hope of financial gain. After Rawdon finds out the truth and leaves Becky for an assignment overseas, he leaves his son to be brought up by his brother Sir Pitt and his wife Lady Jane.

 
Illustration by William Makepeace Thackeray for his novel Vanity Fair
 
 
Sir Pitt Crawley, Baronet
Rawdon Crawley's elder brother inherits the Crawley estate from his elderly father, and he also inherits from his wealthy aunt, Miss Crawley. Sir Pitt is very religious and has political aspirations, although not many people appreciate his intelligence or wisdom because there's not much there to appreciate. Somewhat pedantic and conservative, Sir Pitt does nothing to help Rawdon or Becky even when they fall on hard times. This is chiefly due to the influence of his wife Lady Jane who dislikes Becky because of her callous treatment of her son, and also because Becky repaid Lady Jane's earlier kindness by patronizing her and flirting with Sir Pitt.
 

Miss Matilda Crawley
The elderly Miss Crawley is everyone's favourite wealthy aunt. Sir Pitt and Rawdon both dote on her, although Rawdon is her favourite nephew and sole heir until he marries Becky. While Miss Crawley likes Becky and keeps her around to entertain her with sarcasm and wit, and while she loves scandal and particularly stories of unwise marriage, she does not want scandal or unwise marriage in her family.

A substantial part of the early section of the book deals with the efforts the Crawleys make to kowtow to Miss Crawley in the hope of receiving a big inheritance.

 
 
George Osborne
George Osborne, his father, and his two sisters are close to the Sedley family until Mr. Sedley (the father of Jos and Amelia) goes bankrupt following some ill-advised speculation. Since George and Amelia were raised in close company and were childhood sweethearts, George defies his father in order to marry Amelia. Before father and son can be reconciled, George is killed at the battle of Waterloo, leaving the pregnant Amelia to carry on as well as she can.

Raised to be a selfish, vain, profligate spender, handsome and self-obsessed, George squanders the last of the money he receives from his father and sets nothing aside to help support Amelia. After marrying Amelia, he finds after a couple of weeks that he is bored. He flirts with Becky quite seriously and is reconciled to Amelia only a short time before he is killed in battle.

 
 
William Dobbin
The best friend of George Osborne, William Dobbin is tall, ungainly, and not particularly handsome. He is a few years older than George but has been friends with him since his school days even though Dobbin's father is a fig-merchant and the Osbornes belong to the genteel class and have become independently wealthy. He defends George and is blind to his faults in many ways although he tries to force George to do the right thing. He pushes George to keep his promise to marry Amelia even though Dobbin is in love with Amelia himself. After George is killed, Dobbin puts together an annuity to help support Amelia, ostensibly with the help of George's fellow officers.

Later, Dobbin discreetly does what he can to help support Amelia and also her son George. He allows Amelia to continue with her obsession over George and does not correct her erroneous beliefs about him. He hangs about for years, either pining away over her while serving in India or waiting on her in person, allowing her to take advantage of his good nature.

After Amelia finally chooses Becky's friendship over his during their stay in Germany, Dobbin leaves in disgust. He returns when Amelia writes to him and admits her feelings for him, marries her (despite having lost much of his passion for her), and has a daughter whom he loves deeply.

 
Illustration by William Makepeace Thackeray
for his novel Vanity Fair
 
 
Joseph Sedley
Amelia's older brother, Joseph "Jos" Sedley, is a "nabob", who made a respectable fortune as a collector in India. Obese and self-important but very shy and insecure, he is attracted to Becky Sharp but circumstances prevent him from proposing. He never marries, but when he meets Becky again he is easily manipulated into falling in love with her. Jos is not a courageous or intelligent man, displaying his cowardice at the Battle of Waterloo by trying to flee and purchasing both of Becky's overpriced horses. Becky ensnares him again near the end of the book and, it is hinted, murders him for his life insurance.
 
 

Publishing history
Like many novels of the time, Vanity Fair was published as a serial before being sold in book form; it was printed in 20 monthly parts between January 1847 and July 1848. (As was standard practice, the last part was a "double number" containing parts 19 and 20.)

No. 1 (January 1847) Ch. 1–4
No. 2 (February 1847) Ch. 5–7
No. 3 (March 1847) Ch. 8–11
No. 4 (April 1847) Ch. 12–14
No. 5 (May 1847) Ch. 15–18
No. 6 (June 1847) Ch. 19–22
No. 7 (July 1847) Ch. 23–25
No. 8 (August 1847) Ch. 26–29
No. 9 (September 1847) Ch. 30–32
No. 10 (October 1847) Ch. 33–35
No. 11 (November 1847) Ch. 36–38
No. 12 (December 1847) Ch. 39–42
No. 13 (January 1848) Ch. 43–46
No. 14 (February 1848) Ch. 47–50
No. 15 (March 1848) Ch. 51–53
No. 16 (April 1848) Ch. 54–56
No. 17 (May 1848) Ch. 57–60
No. 18 (June 1848) Ch. 61–63
No. 19/20 (July 1848) Ch. 64–67

 
The parts resembled pamphlets, and contained the text of several chapters between outer pages of steel-plate engravings and advertising. Woodcut engravings, which could be set along with normal moveable type, appeared within the text. The same engraved illustration appeared on the canary-yellow cover of each monthly part; this colour became Thackeray's signature (as a light blue-green was Dickens'), allowing passers-by to notice a new Thackeray number in a bookstall from a distance. Vanity Fair was the first work that Thackeray published under his own name, and was extremely well received at the time. The original monthly numbers and later bound version featured Thackeray's own illustrations, which at times provided plot hints or symbolically freighted images (a major character shown as a man-eating mermaid, for instance) to which the text does not explicitly refer. Most modern editions either do not reproduce all the illustrations, or reproduce them so badly that much detail is lost.

Thackeray meant the book to be not only entertaining but also instructive, an intention demonstrated through the book's narration and through Thackeray's private correspondence. The novel is considered a classic of English literature, though some critics claim that it has structural problems; Thackeray sometimes lost track of the huge scope of his work, mixing up characters' names and minor plot details. The number of allusions and references it contains can make it difficult for modern readers to follow.

 
 
Literary significance and criticism
Contemporary critics

Even before the last part of the serial was published, critics hailed the work as a literary treasure. Although the critics were superlative in their praise, some expressed disappointment at the unremittingly dark portrayal of human nature, fearing Thackeray had taken his dismal metaphor too far. In response to these critics, Thackeray explained that he saw people for the most part "abominably foolish and selfish". The unhappy ending was intended to inspire readers to look inward at their own shortcomings.
 
 
Theorists
The subtitle, A Novel without a Hero, is apt because the characters are all flawed to a greater or lesser degree; even the most sympathetic have weaknesses, for example Captain Dobbin, who is prone to vanity and melancholy. The human weaknesses Thackeray illustrates are mostly to do with greed, idleness, and snobbery, and the scheming, deceit and hypocrisy which mask them. None of the characters are wholly evil, although Becky's psychopathic tendencies make her come pretty close. However, even Becky, who is amoral and cunning, is thrown on her own resources by poverty and its stigma. (She is the orphaned daughter of a poor artist and an opera dancer.)

Thackeray's tendency to highlight faults in all of his characters displays his desire for a greater level of realism in his fiction compared to the rather unlikely or idealised people in many contemporary novels.

The novel is a satire of society as a whole, characterised by hypocrisy and opportunism, but it is not a reforming novel; there is no suggestion that social or political changes, or greater piety and moral reformism could improve the nature of society. It thus paints a fairly bleak view of the human condition. This bleak portrait is continued with Thackeray's own role as an omniscient narrator, one of the writers best known for using the technique. He continually offers asides about his characters and compares them to actors and puppets, but his scorn goes even as far as his readers; accusing all who may be interested in such "Vanity Fairs" as being either "of a lazy, or a benevolent, or a sarcastic mood". As Lord David Cecil remarked, "Thackeray liked people, and for the most part he thought them well-intentioned. But he also saw very clearly that they were all in some degree weak and vain, self-absorbed and self-deceived."

The work is often compared — for instance by John Carey — to the other great historical novel of the Napoleonic wars, Tolstoy's War and Peace. While Tolstoy's work has a greater emphasis on the historical detail and the effect the war has upon his protagonists, Thackeray instead uses the conflict as more of a backdrop to the lives of his characters. The momentous events on the continent do not always have an equally important influence on the behaviors of Thackeray's characters. Rather their faults tend to compound over time. This is in contrast to the redemptive power conflict has on the characters in War and Peace. For Thackeray, the Napoleonic wars as a whole can be thought of as one more of the vanities expressed in the title.

The suggestion, near the end of the work that Becky may have killed Jos is argued against by John Sutherland.

  Although Becky is portrayed as having a highly dubious moral sense, the idea that she would commit premeditated murder is quite a step forward for the character. Thackeray was a fierce critic of the crime fiction popular at the time, particularly that of Edward Bulwer-Lytton. These lurid and sensationalist accounts—known as "Newgate novels"—took their inspiration, and sometimes entire stories, from the pages of The Newgate Calendar. What Thackeray principally objected to was the glorification of a criminal's deeds; it therefore seems strange that he would have depicted Becky as such a villainess. His intent may have been to entrap the Victorian reader with their own prejudices and make them think the worst of Becky Sharp even when they have no proof of her actions. The trio of lawyers she gets to defend her from the claims, Burke, Thurtell, and Hayes, are named after prominent murderers of the time, although this may have been a tease or further commentary aimed at the legal profession.

Though Thackeray does not settle definitively whether Becky murders Jos, such a development could be seen as in keeping with the overall trend of character development in the novel. The tone of Vanity Fair seems to darken as the book goes on. At the novel's beginning, Becky Sharp is a bright girl with an eye to improving her lot through marrying up the social scale; though she is thoroughly unsentimental, she is nonetheless portrayed as being a good friend to Amelia. By the novel's end she has become an adulteress and is suspected of being a murderess. Amelia begins as a warm-hearted and friendly girl, though sentimental and naive, but by the story's end she is portrayed as vacuous and shallow. Dobbin appears first as loyal and magnanimous, if unaware of his own worth; by the end of the story he is presented as a tragic fool, a prisoner of his own sense of duty who knows he is wasting his gifts on Amelia but is unable to live without her. Whether Thackeray intended this shift in tone when he began writing, or whether it developed over the course of the work's composition, is a question that cannot be settled. Regardless of its provenance, the novel's increasingly grim outlook can take readers aback, as characters whom Thackeray—and the reader—at first hold in sympathy are shown to be unworthy of such regard.

It has been claimed the character of Becky Sharp is based in part on Thackeray's maternal grandmother Harriet Becher, but according to Peter Shillingsburg she is said to have been the model for Miss Crawley. She abandoned her husband and children when she eloped with Captain Charles Christie. In 1806 shortly after the death of Christie and her husband she married Edward Butler, another army officer. Thackeray lived with his grandmother in Paris in the 1830s and again in the 1840s.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
see also: William Makepeace Thackeray
 
 
     
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
     
 
 
 

 
 
CONTENTS
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