Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



1800 - 1899
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
  BACK-1851 Part III NEXT-1852 Part II    
1850 - 1859
History at a Glance
1850 Part I
Compromise of 1850
Constitution of Prussia
The eight Kaffir War, 1850-1853
Masaryk Tomas
Kitchener Horatio Herbert
Erfurt Union
Fillmore Millard
Taiping Rebellion
Hong Xiuquan
Feng Yunshan
Yang Xiuqing
Shi Dakai
1850 Part II
Protestant churches in Prussia
Public Libraries Act 1850
Schopenhauer: "Parerga und Paralipomena"
Herbert Spencer: "Social Statics"
E. B. Browning: "Sonnets from the Portuguese"
Emerson: "Representative Men"
Hawthorne: "The Scarlet Letter"
Herzen Aleksandr
Ibsen: "Catiline"
Loti Pierre
Maupassant Guy
Guy de Maupassant
Stevenson Robert Louis
Robert Louis Stevenson  
"Treasure Island
Turgenev: "A Month in the Country"
1850 Part III
Corot: "Une Matinee"
Courbet: "The Stone Breakers"
Menzel: "Round Table at Sansouci"
Millais: "Christ in the House of His Parents"
Millet: "The Sower"
Bristow George Frederick
George Frederick Bristow - Dream Land
George Frederick Bristow
Schumann: "Genoveva"
Wagner: "Lohengrin"
1850 Part IV
Bernard Claude
Clausius Rudolf
Stephenson Robert
Chebyshev Pafnuty Lvovich
Barth Heinrich
Galton Francis
Anderson Karl John
McClure Robert
McClure Arctic Expedition
Royal Meteorological Society
University of Sydney
1851 Part I
Victoria, state of Australia
Murdock Joseph Ballard
Machado Bernardino
Bourgeois Leon Victor Auguste
Foch Ferdinand
Bombardment of Sale
French coup d'état
Danilo II
Hawthorne: "The House of Seven Gables"
Gottfried Keller: "Der grune Heinrich"
Ward Humphry
Ruskin: "The Stones of Venice"
1851 Part II
Herman Melville: "Moby Dick"
Corot: "La Danse des Nymphes"
Walter Thomas Ustick
Ward Leslie
Crystal Palace
Falero Luis Ricardo
Luis Ricardo Falero
Kroyer Peder
Peder Kroyer
Hughes Edward Robert
Edward Robert Hughes
1851 Part III
Gounod: "Sappho"
D’Indy Vincent
Vincent D'Indy - Medee
Vincent d'Indy
Verdi: "Rigoletto"
Bogardus James
Cast-iron architecture
Kapteyn Jacobus Cornelius
Helmholtz's ophthalmoscope
Neumann Franz Ernst
Ruhmkorff Heinrich Daniel
Singer Isaac Merrit
Cubitt William
Thomson William
Royal School of Mines
Carpenter Mary
"The New York Times"
1852 Part I
Joffre Joseph
Second French Empire
Second Anglo-Burmese War
New Zealand Constitution Act
Asquith Herbert Henry
Pierce Franklin
Delisle Leopold Victor
Fischer Kuno
First Plenary Council of Baltimore
Vaihinger Hans
Gioberti Vincenzo
1852 Part II
Bourget Paul
Creasy Edward
Creasy: "The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World: from Marathon to Waterloo"
Charles Dickens: "Bleak House"
Theophile Gautier: "Emaux et Camees"
Moore George
Reade Charles
Harriet Beecher Stowe: "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
Thackeray: "History of Henry Esmond"
Turgenev: "A Sportsman's Sketches"
Zhukovsky Vasily
1852 Part III
Fopd Madox Brown: "Christ Washing Peter's Feet"
William Holman Hunt: "The Light of the World"
John Everett Millais: "Ophelia"
Bryullov Karl
Karl Bryullov
Stanford Charles
Charles Villiers Stanford - Piano Concerto No.2
Charles Stanford
Becquerel Henri
Gerhardt Charles Frederic
Van’t Hoff Jacobus Henricus
Mathijsen Antonius
Michelson Albert
Ramsay William
Sylvester James Joseph
United All-England Eleven
Wells Fargo & Company
1853 Part I
Eugenie de Montijo
Crimean War
Battle of Sinop
Rhodes Cecil
Peter V
Nagpur Province
1853 Part II
Mommsen: "History of Rome"
Matthew Arnold: "The Scholar-Gipsy"
Charlotte Bronte: "Villette"
Caine Hall
Elizabeth Gaskell: "Ruth"
Nathaniel Hawthorne: "Tanglewood Tales"
Charles Kingsley: "Hypatia"
Tree Herbert Beerbohm
Charlotte M. Yonge: "The Heir of Redclyffe"
1853 Part III
Haussmann Georges-Eugene
Larsson Carl
Carl Larsson
Hodler Ferdinand
Ferdinand Hodler
Van Gogh Vincent
Vincent van Gogh
Steinway Henry Engelhard
Verdi: "Il Trovatore"
Verdi: "La Traviata"
Wood Alexander
"Die Gartenlaube"
International Statistical Congress
1854 Part I
Bloemfontein Convention
Orange Free State
Battle of the Alma
Menshikov Alexander Sergeyevich
Siege of Sevastopol (1854-1855)
Kornilov Vladimir Alexeyevich
Battle of Balaclava
Battle of Inkerman
Perry Matthew Calbraith
Gadsden Purchase
Bleeding Kansas (1854–59)
Kansas-Nebraska Act
Elgin-Marcy Treaty
Republican Party
Said of Egypt
Ostend Manifesto
1854 Part II
Herzog Johann
Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau
Youthful Offenders Act 1854
Immaculate Conception
Patmore Coventry
Patmore: "The Angel in the House"
Sandeau Leonard
Guerrazzi Francesco Domenico
Rimbaud Arthur
Arthur Rimbaud "Poems"
Tennyson: "The Charge of the Light Brigade"
Thackeray: "The Rose and the Ring"
Thoreau: "Walden, or Life in the Woods"
1854 Part III
Courbet: "Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet"
Frith William Powell
William Frith
Millet: "The Reaper"
Angrand Charles
Charles Angrand
Gotch Thomas Cooper
Thomas Cooper Gotch
Berlioz: "The Infant Christ"
Humperdinck Engelbert
Humperdinck - Hansel und Gretel
Liszt: "Les Preludes"
1854 Part IV
Poincare Henri
Eastman George
Ehrenberg Christian Gottfried
Paul Ehrlich
Goebel Henry
George Boole: "The Laws of Thought"
Riemann Bernhard
Wallace Alfred Russel
Southeast Asia
"Le Figaro"
Litfass Ernst
Northcote–Trevelyan Report
Maurice Frederick Denison
1855 Part I
Alexander II
Istomin Vladimir Ivanovich
Somerset FitzRoy
Nakhimov Pavel Stepanovich
Treaty of Peshawar
Bain Alexander
Droysen Johann
Gratry Auguste
Milman Henry
Le Play Pierre
1855 Part II
Charles Kingsley: "Westward Ho!"
Nerval Gerard
Charles Dickens "Little Dorrit"
Ganghofer Ludwig
Longfellow: "The Song of Hiawatha"
Corelli Marie
Pinero Arthur Wing
Tennyson: "Maud"
Anthony Trollope: "The Warden"
Turgenev: "Rudin"
Walt Whitman: "Leaves of Grass"
Berlioz: "Те Deum"
Verdi: "Les Vepres Siciliennes"
Chansson Ernest
Chausson - Poeme
Ernest Chausson
1855 Part III
Hughes David Edward
Lowell Percival
Cunard Line
"The Daily Telegraph"
Niagara Falls suspension bridge
Paris World Fair
1856 Part I
Victoria Cross
Doctrine of Lapse
Oudh State
Ottoman Reform Edict of 1856
Congress of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1856)
Napoleon, Prince Imperial
Sacking of Lawrence
Pottawatomie massacre
Second Opium War (1856-1860)
Anglo–Persian War (1856-1857)
Buchanan James
1856 Part II
Froude: "History of England"
Goldstucker Theodor
Lotze Rudolf Hermann
Motley: "Rise of the Dutch Republic"
Flaubert: "Madame Bovary"
Haggard Henry Rider
Victor Hugo: "Les Contemplations"
Charles Reade: "It Is Never Too Late to Mend"
Shaw George Bernard
Wilde Oscar
1856 Part III
Berlage Hendrik Petrus
Ferstel Heinrich
Sargent John
John Singer Sargent
Vrubel Mikhail
Mikhail Vrubel
Cross Henri Edmond
Henri-Edmond Cross
Bechstein Carl
Dargomyzhsky Alexander
Alexander Dargomyzhsky: "Rusalka"
Alexander Dargomyzhsky
Maillart Aime
Aime Maillart - Les Dragons de Villars
Sinding Christian
Sinding - Suite in A minor
Christian Sinding
1856 Part IV
Bessemer Henry
Bessemer process
Freud Sigmund
Sigmund Freud
Peary Robert Edwin
Pringsheim Nathanael
Siemens Charles William
Hardie James Keir
Taylor Frederick Winslow
"Big Ben"
1857 Part I
Treaty of Paris
Indian Rebellion of 1857
Italian National Society
Manin Daniele
Taft William Howard
1857 Part II
Buckle Henry Thomas
Buckle: "History of Civilization in England"
Charles Baudelaire: "Les Fleurs du mal"
Conrad Joseph
Joseph Conrad 
"Lord Jim"
George Eliot: "Scenes from Clerical Life"
Hughes Thomas
Thomas Hughes: "Tom Brown's Schooldays"
Mulock Dinah
 Pontoppidan Henrik
Adalbert Stifter: "Nachsommer"
Sudermann Hermann
Thackeray: "The Virginians"
Anthony Trollope: "Barchester Towers"
1857 Part III
Klinger Max
Max Klinger
Millet: "The Gleaners"
Dahl Johan Christian
Johan Christian Dahl
Leoncavallo Ruggero
Ruggero Leoncavallo - Pagliacci
Ruggero Leoncavallo 
Elgar Edward
Edward Elgar - The Light of Life
Edward Elgar
Kienzl Wilhelm
Wilhelm Kienzl - Symphonic Variations
Wilhelm Kienzl
Liszt: "Eine Faust-Symphonie"
1857 Part IV
Coue Emile
Hertz Heinrich
Wagner-Jauregg Julius
Ross Ronald
Newton Charles Thomas
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Burton Richard
Speke John Hanning
The Nile Quest
McClintock Francis
Alpine Club
"The Atlantic Monthly"
Baden-Powell Robert
Matrimonial Causes Act
North German Lloyd
1858 Part I
Orsini Felice
Stanley Edward
Treaty of Tientsin
Government of India Act 1858
Law Bonar
William I
Karageorgevich Alexander
Roosevelt Theodore
1858 Part II
Bernadette Soubirous
Carey Henry Charles
Thomas Carlyle: "History of Friedrich II of Prussia"
Hecker Isaac
Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle
Rothschild Lionel Nathan
Schaff Philip
Benson Frank
Feuillet Octave
Oliver Wendell Holmes: "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table"
Kainz Joseph
Lagerlof Selma
1858 Part III
Corinth Lovis
Lovis Corinth
William Powell Frith: "The Derby Day"
Menzel: "Bon soir, Messieurs"
Segantini Giovanni
Giovanni Segantini
Khnopff Fernand
Fernand Khnopff
Toorop Jan
Cornelius Peter
Cornelius: "Der Barbier von Bagdad"
Jaques Offenbach: "Orpheus in der Unterwelt"
Puccini Giacomo
Giacomo Puccini: Donna non vidi mai
Giacomo Puccini
1858 Part IV
Diesel Rudolf
Huxley Thomas Henry
Planck Max
Mirror galvanometer
General Medical Council
Suez Canal Company
S.S. "Great Eastern"
Webb Beatrice
Webb Sidney
Transatlantic telegraph cable
1859 Part I
Second Italian War of Independence
Battle of Varese
Battle of Palestro
Battle of Magenta
Battle of Solferino
Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies
Francis II of the Two Sicilies
Charles XV of Sweden
German National Association
Jaures Jean
Roon Albrecht
William II
1859 Part II
Bergson Henri
Henri Bergson
Bergson Henri "Creative Evolution"
Charles Darwin: "On the Origin of Species"
Dewey John
Husserl Edmund
Karl Marx: "Critique of Political Economy"
John Stuart Mill: "Essay on Liberty"
Tischendorf Konstantin
Codex Sinaiticus
Villari Pasquale
1859 Part III
Dickens: "A Tale of Two Cities"
Doyle Arthur Conan
Arthur Conan Doyle  
Duse Eleonora
George Eliot: "Adam Bede"
Edward Fitzgerald: "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam"
Ivan Goncharov: "Oblomov"
Hamsun Knut
Heidenstam Verner
Housman Alfred Edward
A.E. Housman 
"A Shropshire Lad", "Last Poems"
Victor Hugo: "La Legende des siecles"
Jerome K. Jerome
Tennyson: "Idylls of the King"
1859 Part IV
Corot: "Macbeth"
Gilbert Cass
Millet: "The Angelus"
Hassam Childe
Childe Hassam 
Seurat Georges
Georges Seurat
Whistler: "At the Piano"
Daniel Decatur Emmett: "Dixie"
Gounod: "Faust"
Verdi: "Un Ballo in Maschera"
1859 Part V
Arrhenius Svante
Kirchhoff Gustav
Curie Pierre
Drake Edwin
Drake Well
Plante Gaston
Lead–acid battery
Smith Henry John Stephen
Brunel Isambard Kingdom
Blondin Charles
Lansbury George
Samuel Smiles: "Self-Help"

Proclamation of Philip V as King of Spain in the Palace of Versailles on November 16, 1700.
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1852 Part I
Joffre Joseph

Marshal Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre, G.C.B., O.M. (12 January 1852 – 3 January 1931), was a French general, who served as Commander-in-Chief of French forces on the Western Front from the start of World War I until the end of 1916. He is best known for regrouping the retreating allied armies to defeat the Germans at the strategically decisive First Battle of the Marne in September 1914.

His political position later waned after unsuccessful offensives in 1915, the German attack on Verdun in 1916, and the disappointing results of the Anglo-French offensive on the Somme in 1916. At the end of 1916 he was promoted to Marshal of France, the first such promotion under the Third Republic and moved to an advisory role, from which he quickly resigned. Later in the war he led important missions to Romania and the USA.

His popularity led to his nickname Papa Joffre.


Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre
  Early career
Joffre was born in Rivesaltes, Pyrénées-Orientales, the son of a family of vineyard owners. He entered the École Polytechnique in 1870 and became a career officer. He first saw active service during the Siege of Paris in the Franco-Prussian War, but spent much of his career in the colonies as a military engineer, serving with distinction in the Keelung Campaign during the Sino-French War (August 1884–April 1885).

Major Joffre led a column from Ségou to Timbuktu in Mali, where he recovered the remains of Lt-Col Bonnier who had been killed on a recent expedition. His mission killed over 100 Tuareg and captured 1500 cattle. He was promoted as a result. Joffre served under Joseph Gallieni in Madagascar. He returned to France and was made commander-in-chief of the French Army (1911), after General Gallieni declined the post. With the revival of the army and a purge of "defensive-minded" officers he adopted the strategy devised by General Ferdinand Foch, the offensive known as Plan XVII. Joffre was selected to command despite never having commanded an Army, even on paper, and "having no knowledge whatever of General Staff work." After a left-wing government came to power in 1914, he was due to be replaced by Maurice Sarrail in the autumn, but war broke out before this could take place.
World War I
Battle of the Frontiers

At the outbreak of war, the French plan clashed with the German Schlieffen Plan, much to the detriment of the French. On 15 August, after German cavalry had been spotted at Dinant on the Meuse, and after repeated warnings from Lanrezac (commander of the Fifth Army) Joffre issued his Instruction Particuliere No 10, stating that the main German effort would come through Belgium.

Although Joffre was aware (8am on 18 August) that as many as fifteen German corps were moving through Belgium (in fact it was sixteen, and twenty-eight if the German Fourth and Fifth Armies are also included), he believed that only a few of these would come west of the Meuse, where he believed they could be held by the British and Belgians. French Third and Fourth Armies were preparing to attack into the Ardennes, and he wanted Lanrezac’s Fifth Army to attack the bulk of the German right wing on its west flank as – it was assumed – it attacked the left flank of French Fourth Army.


Le général Joffre et Albert Ier, roi des Belges, automne 1914.
  French First and Second Armies attacked into Alsace-Lorraine on 19 and 20 August and were beaten back with severe loss by German forces which were preparing for a counteroffensive. Joffre believed (20 August) that Liege was still holding out (in fact the last of the Liege forts had fallen on 16 August), and hoped that Lanrezac would be able to link up with Namur, which was expected to hold out for even longer.

The Germans entered Brussels that day, but Joffre was convinced, after the defeat in Alsace-Lorraine and air and cavalry reports of strong German forces in Belgium, that the German centre in the Ardennes must be weak. On 21 August French Second Army was pressed by a German counterattack. De Castelnau asked for permission to abandon Nancy and its fortified heights, but Joffre forbade him to do so.

With French Third and Fourth Armies now attacking into the Ardennes, the infantry outpacing their horsedrawn artillery, Bulow’s German Second Army attacked Lanrezac’s French Fifth Army and forced bridgeheads across the Meuse. Fifth Army was also now attacked on its right by Hausen’s German Third Army; although these attacks were held, Lanrezac asked Joffre for permission to retreat. On 23 August Fifth Army was attacked again.

On 23 August Joffre reported to the French War Minister that his Fourth Army was pressing into the Ardennes with (he believed, wrongly) local numerical superiority, despite the fact that he had already received reports of French defeats in this sector on previous days.

German Fourth Army and Fifth Armies were in fact advancing against the French forces in front of them rather than moving westwards as Joffre believed. In his memoirs Joffre later admitted that he had been mistaken (he was also unaware of the fall of Namur and of the extent of the fighting at Mons and Charleroi on his left), but at the time he demanded that Fourth Army resume the offensive and provide lists of unsatisfactory officers for dismissal. Messimy (War Minister) fully supported Joffre in his purging of unsuccessful generals, even suggesting that, as in 1793, some of them simply ought to be shot.

« Le silencieux : Joffre Il ne dit rien mais chacun l'entend. » Dessin de Charles Léandre paru dans Le Rire Rouge du 19 décembre 1914.
On 25 August, rejecting the advice of his staff officer General Berthelot that Lanrezac’s Fifth Army be ordered to attack westwards against the inside of the German right wing, he instead had Major Gamelin draw up plans for a French concentration at Amiens, with many of the troops drawn from the French right wing in Alsace, and with regret also ordered the successful counterattacks of Third Army and the Army of Lorraine to be called off. Maunoury was put in command of the newly formed Sixth Army, which initially assembled near Amiens and then fell back nearer Paris (26 August).

Concerned at reports (which later turned out to be exaggerated) that the British had been defeated at Le Cateau and would need French protection to recover cohesion, early on 27 August Joffre gave Lanrezac a direct written order to counterattack as soon as his forces were on open ground where they could use their artillery (which Lanrezac had told him was the key factor). After Lanrezac spent the day arguing against the order, Joffre visited him at 8.30am on 28 August, and ordered him to attack to the west. After a “heated” discussion, Joffre had his aide Major Gamelin draw up a written order and signed it in Lanrezac’s presence.

De Langle de Cary’s Fourth Army, originally intended to be the spearhead of the attack into the Ardennes, was a strong force and had made several counterattacks, but Joffre now ordered it to cease counterattacking and to send a detachment under Foch to cover the gap between Fourth and Fifth Armies – this became the new Ninth Army.

Joffre turned up at Lanrezac’s headquarters to supervise his conduct of the Battle of Guise (29 August) – willing if necessary to sack him there and then. In the event he was impressed by Lanrezac’s cool demeanour and handling of the battle. As a result of the battle, von Kluck’s German First Army broke off its attacks on Maunoury’s Sixth French Army and swung south-east, inside of Paris.
The Marne
War Minister Messimy ordered Joffre to provide three active corps to defend Paris on 25 August but Joffre, regarding this as interference with strategy, ignored the order. However, on 26 August Viviani formed a new government (Union sacrée), and on 27 August the new War Minister Millerand (who had replaced Messimy largely because of the poor state of the Paris defences) visited Joffre, who promised to provide the three corps if Maunoury’s attack near Amiens failed.

On 30 August Joffre recommended that the French government evacuate Paris, and learned of the Russian disaster at Tannenberg, although he was aware that two German corps were still headed east as reinforcements for East Prussia. On 1 September Fifth Army retreated across the Aisne in some confusion, and Joffre issued his Instruction Generale No 4, placing Maunoury’s Sixth Army under the command of Joseph Gallieni (Military Governor of Paris) and forming a new cavalry corps under Conneau to fill the gap between Fifth Army and the BEF. At this stage his mind was still leaning towards Berthelot’s old suggestion that Fifth Army attack westwards against the inside of the German right wing.

On 2 September, the anniversary of the Battle of Sedan, the government left Paris for Bordeaux. That day Joffre placed Maunoury's Sixth Army under Gallieni’s direct command as the “Armies of Paris”, and had Millerand place Gallieni under his own command. Joffre planned to retreat behind the Seine before counterattacking. He envisaged “a battle”, probably to take place around 8 September, “between the horns of Paris and Verdun”. Joffre sacked Lanrezac on the afternoon of 3 September, replacing him with the more aggressive Franchet d’Esperey. Joffre helped to retrieve the situation through retreat and counterattack at the First Battle of the Marne.

On the night of 3–4 September Joffre sent a handwritten note to Gallieni, wanting Maunoury’s Sixth Army to push east along the north bank of the Marne, although not specifying a date. This was in line with his modification of Instruction General No 4 (2 September), envisaging a giant pocket from Paris to Verdun, of which he enclosed copies to Gallieni. At 9.45am on 4 September Gallieni, who had learned from Paris aviators the previous day that von Kluck’s German First Army was marching south-east across Paris, had the first of a series of telephone calls, conducted through aides, as Joffre would not come to the phone, and Gallieni refused to speak to anyone else.

  Gallieni proposed, depending on how much further the Germans were to be allowed to advance, was to attack north of the Marne on 6 September or south of the Marne on 7 September.

Joffre’s reply saying he preferred the southern option (which would take a day longer as it forced Sixth Army to cross to south of the Marne, but would allow Sixth Army and the BEF to not be separated by the river) arrived too late to reach Gallieni, who had left for a meeting with the BEF Chief of Staff Murray.

That same afternoon Wilson (BEF Sub Chief of Staff) was negotiating separate plans with Franchet d’Esperey (Fifth Army, on the British right), which envisaged Sixth Army attacking north of the Marne.

In the absence of news from Franchet d'Esperey, Joffre ordered Major Gamelin to draft orders for Maunoury to attack south of the Marne on 7 September. This intention was also passed on to Sir John French. Whilst Joffre was having dinner with the British liaison officer Major Clive and two visiting Japanese officers, neither of whom appeared to understand a word of French, a message arrived from Franchet d'Esperey saying that he would be ready to attack on 6 September.

At this point Gallieni, who returned to Paris find Joffre's message from earlier in the day and a message from Wilson, insisted on speaking to Joffre personally on the telephone, informing him that it was too late to cancel the movement of Maunoury’s Army.

Joffre agreed to bring forward the Allied offensive to 6 September and to have Sixth Army attack north of the Marne instead, later writing that he had done so reluctantly as Maunoury would probably make contact with the Germans on 5 September, but that an extra day would have left the Germans in a more "disadvantageous" position. Tuchman argues that he may simply have been swayed by the dominant personality of Gallieni, his former superior. At 10pm Joffre issued General Order No 6, ordering a General Allied Offensive.

On 7 September Gallieni was ordered not to communicate directly with the government. This left Joffre “all-powerful” (in Gallieni’s description), as he had sacked so many generals and Gallieni was his only serious rival.

By early December 1914 Gallieni was being mooted as a potential Commander-in-Chief in Joffre’s place, or Minister of War, or both.

Spring Offensive

On 7 January 1915, over Joffre’s opposition, President Poincare came out in favour of the proposal of Franchet d’Esperey, Gallieni and Aristide Briand (Justice Minister) for an expedition to Salonika, which he hoped would detach first Turkey then Austria-Hungary, leaving Germany “doomed”.

Joffre fought a further major offensive in Artois in spring 1915. Joffre told Wilson (23 March) that “by the end of Apr(il) he would be in a condition to attack & break (underline) the line”. On 4 May “he talked of getting to Namur & the war being over in 3 (months)”.


Le général français Joffre et les généraux britanniques Haig et French sur le front occidental 1914-1915.
  Further Promotion
With Viviani’s government in trouble following the resignation of Delcasse as Foreign Minister, the unsuccessful autumn offensive and the entry of Bulgaria into the war, he asked Joffre, who had told him that nine out of ten generals would make poor ministers of war, whether Gallieni would be a good replacement for Millerand as Minister of War. Joffre replied “perhaps”, then after a pause for thought “maybe”. In the event Briand formed a new government on 29 October 1915, with Viviani as Vice-President of the Council of Ministers (Deputy PM) and Gallieni as War Minister.

As far back at 29 July 1915 Joffre had demanded that he be appointed commander-in-chief over all French forces, including those at the Dardanelles. By November 1915 Joffre was again lobbying President Poincare that either a strong Minister of War, backed by a strong chief of staff (e.g. de Castelnau) be given strategic direction of the war – Joffre did not favour this option, believing that governments rose and fell too frequently for this to be sensible – or else that Joffre himself be appointed commander-in-chief over all fronts. Poincare was persuaded of the latter option, and persuaded Briand, who arranged for Joffre and Gallieni to meet and shake hands.
At the meeting of the Superior Council of Defence (24 November 1915) Joffre had Briand address the demarcation of his own and Gallieni’s authority, and objected to the Council discussing operational matters, threatening to resign if they attempted to interfere with his “liberty”.

Joffre met with Poincare and Briand both before and after the meeting to discuss the issue.
Gallieni, who favoured a strong War Ministry with his own operational staff, complained bitterly in his diary about the politicians’ unwillingness to stand up to Joffre. On 1 December Poincare and Briand met with Gallieni, who agreed that Joffre be commander-in-chief, with de Castelnau – who was soon sidelined – as his chief of staff, although under the War Minister’s orders. A Presidential Decree of 2 December 1915 made Joffre “Commander-in-Chief of the French Armies” (generalissimo), (in practice, both Salonika and the Western Front, but not Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia). After considerable discussion this was approved by the Chamber of Deputies by 406-67 on 9 December. There was also friction over Gallieni’s assertion of his right to appoint generals, Joffre’s practice of communicating directly with the British generals rather than going through the War Ministry, and Gallieni’s maintaining contacts with generals whom Joffre had replaced.

In autumn 1915 Colonel Driant, commander of a chasseurs brigade and a member of the Army Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, complained to Gallieni of how Joffre had been removing guns and garrisons from Verdun and even preparing some forts for demolition. Joffre was furious and disputed Gallieni’s right to comment. The Council of Ministers discussed his reports and President Poincare asked Gallieni to investigate. Gallieni wrote to Joffre (16 or 18 December 1915) expressing concern at the state of trenches at Verdun and elsewhere on the front – in fact matters were already being taken in hand at Verdun.


Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre

The British Government accepted the need to maintain the Salonika bridgehead to keep the French happy, despite being skeptical about the idea that it would bring Greece into the war on the Allied side, but British military opinion did not favor any more commitment than necessary. Argument continued with Joffre throughout the year. Late in March 1916 Joffre and Briand blocked a proposal by Kitchener and Robertson to gradually withdraw five British divisions from Salonika as the Serb troops arrived.
After months of discussion Haig and Joffre finally (14 February 1916) agreed to an Anglo-French offensive on the Somme, although the British were not pleased at Joffre’s suggestion that the British engage in “wearing out” attacks prior to the main offensive. Verdun began on 21 February, reducing the planned French commitment to the Somme.

Joffre's political position weakened after the enormous French losses of 1915, and after further losses at Verdun in 1916, where the Germans initially made good progress against fortifications which had had their guns removed for use elsewhere (the French General Staff had decided in August 1915 to partially disarm all the Verdun forts, under the erroneous assumption that they could not resist the effects of modern heavy artillery). Fort Douaumont, the keystone of the system of Verdun forts, had been given up without a fight, becoming a shelter and operational base for German forces just behind their front line.

In the words of one French divisional commander, its loss would cost the French army 100,000 lives.

Rumours circulated in Paris that Joffre had ordered the abandonment of Verdun when the Germans first attacked. Gallieni demanded to see all paperwork from the period, but Joffre had made no such order in writing, merely despatching de Castelnau to assess the situation.

The political atmosphere had become highly poisonous. Gallieni presented a highly critical report at the Council of Ministers on 7 March – read in his usual precise way – criticising Joffre's conduct of operations over the last eighteen months and demanding ministerial control, then resigned. It is unclear whether he was specifically trying to have Joffre ousted as Poincare believed. With the survival of the government at stake, General Roques was appointed Minister of War after it had been ensured that Joffre had no objections. Joffre himself had been mooted for the job.

The Somme
Early in 1916 he asked the British commander-in-chief, General Sir Douglas Haig, to put in a good word with the British Ambassador in Paris (Lord Bertie) so that it would get back to the French government. General Haig wanted to delay the Anglo-French offensive at the Somme until 15 August to allow for more training and more artillery to be available. When told of this Joffre shouted at Haig that “the French Army would cease to exist” and had to be calmed down with “liberal doses of 1840 brandy”. The British refused to agree to French demands for a joint Anglo-French offensive from the Salonika bridgehead. Eventually – perhaps influenced by reports of French troop disturbances at Verdun – Haig agreed to attack at the start of July. This was just in time, as it later turned out that Petain (commander at Verdun) was warning the French government that the “game was up” unless the British attacked.

Joffre was successfully lobbied by Robertson and at the second Chantilly Conference (15–16 November 1916) they agreed to concentrate on the Western Front in 1917 rather than sending greater resources to Salonika.


Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre, 1917
  Fall from Power
The fall of Bucharest (6 December) not only ruled out a Russo-Romanian attack on Bulgaria, but also made possible a Central Powers attack on Salonika. One of Joffre’s last official duties (11 December) was to order Sarrail to cease his offensive and establish a strong defensive position, from which further offensives might be launched in the future. To Prime Minister Briand’s and Joffre’s surprise, General Roques, Minister of War, returned from a fact-finding mission to Salonika recommending that Sarrail be reinforced and that he no longer report to Joffre. Coming on the back of the disappointing results of the Somme campaign and the fall of Romania, Roques’ report further discredited Briand and Joffre and added to the Parliamentary Deputies’ demands for a closed session.
On 27 November the Council of Ministers met to debate rescinding the decree of 2 December 1915 which had placed Sarrail under Joffre; Briand proposed that Joffre be effectively demoted to Commander-in-Chief in North-East France, reporting to the War Minister along with the Commander-in-Chief at Salonika, although he withdrew this proposal after Joffre threatened resignation. During the Closed Session (28 November - 7 December) Briand had little choice but to make concessions to preserve his government, and in a speech of 29 November he promised to repeal the decree of 2 December 1915 and in vague terms to appoint a general as technical adviser to the government. He met Joffre on 3 December (according to Joffre, promising to appoint him Marshal of France and to give him a staff of his own and “direction of the war”).

On 13 December Briand formed a new government, which that day survived a vote of confidence by only 30 votes.

Joffre was appointed “general-in-chief of the French armies, technical adviser to the government, consultative member of the War Committee”, with Nivelle as Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the North and NorthEast.

It is unclear exactly what Briand had told Joffre about his role – he commented “this is not what they promised me” when reading the newspaper on the morning of 13 December, and was put out to be described as "General-in-Chief" not "Commander-in-Chief". He departed at once for Paris, but was persuaded to accept by Briand. He told the British liaison officer Sidney Clive “I am the commander-in-chief and I intend to command effectively” (17 December). However, he soon found that he had no real power – the acting war minister forbade him even to approve units’ being granted the fourragère - and on 26 December, the day he was promoted Marshal of France, he asked to be relieved. Joffre was still popular and was the first man to be promoted Marshal under the Third Republic.

Joffre inspecting Romanian troops
Later War
Mission to Romania

Following the catastrophic defeats of France's ally Romania at the hands of Central Powers in late 1916, that forced the capital Bucharest to be evacuated, Joffre was appointed as head of the French Military Mission aimed at reforming the Romanian army. He spent the first part of 1917 there.
Mission to the USA
On 1 April 1917 Prime Minister Ribot asked him to go on former Prime Minister Viviani’s mission to the USA (there had recently been a similar British mission, led by Balfour (Foreign Secretary and former Prime Minister)). He was initially reluctant to go as the Nivelle Offensive was under way. On 6 April the US Congress declared war on Germany. The main problem for their new army would be training men and especially officers. Joffre initially considered recommending the incorporation of US companies and battalions into the French and British armies, but realized that the Americans would never accept this.

The party sailed to the USA on the “Lorraine II”, making an effort to cultivate reporters on board, who noticed how busy Joffre kept his small staff. Whilst at sea he learned of the failure of Nivelle’s offensive. He landed on 24 April at Hampton Roads, where he was welcomed by Admiral Henry Mayo (Commander-in-Chief, US Atlantic Fleet), Ambassador Jusserand and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt. He arrived in Washington the following morning, where he met Secretary of State Lansing and British Foreign Secretary Balfour. Joffre stayed in Washington for ten days, and addressed both houses individually. On 27 April he met Army Chief of Staff Hugh Scott and his deputy Tasker Bliss. Joffre recommended sending a single American unit to France at once and requested that the Americans send railroads, automobiles and trucks for the French Army.

  On 30 April the British Maj-Gen Bridges lobbied for US troops to be used to reinforce the British Army, arguing this would lessen the language and food differences. Joffre left a paper arguing for a separate American force then on 4 May began a week’s tour of the eastern USA. In full view of the press, he waited his turn in a barber’s shop in St. Louis for a haircut, visited the hometowns of Abraham Lincoln (Springfield, Illinois) and Ulysses Grant, laid wreaths at the statues of Joan of Arc and Lafayette, and visited West Point.

He returned on 10 May to find that the US authorities agreed with the recommendations in his paper. A single division (1st, mainly regulars) was to be sent at start of June. On the last day of his visit to Washington, Secretary Baker introduced him to General Pershing, just selected to command the AEF. Joffre told him that ”he can always count on me for anything in my power”.

On 13 June Pershing, who had landed at Boulogne that morning, met Joffre, Painleve (War Minister), Viviani and Foch (Chief of Staff) in Paris. Joffre recommended that an American unit be rushed to France to show the flag. 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment was sent, and was reviewed by Joffre and President Poincare as it marched up the Champs Elysees on 4 July.

Pershing rejected Painleve’s suggestion that Joffre head the liaison group of French officers who were helping to set up his supply lines (Pershing insisted on using the Atlantic Ports of Brest, St Nazaire and Rochefort).

Final Service
Joffre became leader of the Supreme War Council in 1918.

In 1918, Mount Joffre on the Continental Divide in Western Canada was named after him. Summits with the names of other French generals are nearby: Cordonnier, Foch, Nivelle, Mangin, and Pétain.

Joffre retired in 1919 and was made a member of the Académie française. Joffre was also a survivor of the 1918 flu pandemic during this time.

Later life
In 1920 Joffre presided over the Jocs Florals in Barcelona, a Catalan literary certamen. He died on 3 January 1931 in Paris and was buried on his estate in Louveciennes. His memoirs, in two volumes, were published posthumously in 1932.

Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre
  Personality and Assessments
Joffre was an agnostic in religious views and freemason since 1875, unlike many French generals who were Catholic (and of the generation educated in the Catholic teaching which had grown up after the Loi Falloux) and therefore suspected of hostility to the Third Republic. Joffre was a man of impenetrable calm, and taciturn, sometimes interspersed with furious anger. He would sometimes turn up at a unit’s headquarters, listen to reports, and then depart having said hardly a word, to the consternation of the officers whom he had just inspected. He was heavily dependent on his chief of staff General Berthelot. Sir John French, commander-in-chief of the British Expeditionary Force, thought highly of him. Georges Boillot, winner of the French Grand Prix 1912 and 1913, was Joffre's personal driver in 1914, and Joffre's car tearing along roads became a familiar sight. General Hubert Lyautey thought Joffre a better logistician than strategist.

His major positive contributions in 1914 were 1) his sustained calm under pressure and the calculated reasoning of an alumnus from École Polytechnique 2) his ruthless dismissal of unsuccessful generals (three army commanders, ten corps commanders and thirty-eight divisional commanders, replacing them with combative men like Foch, Franchet d'Esperey and - more junior at that stage - Petain and Nivelle) and 3) his outstanding logistical handling of French infantry divisional movements and artillery ammunition supplies during and after the French retreat of August 1914.

Doughty writes of the Marne: “Gallieni’s role was important, but the key concept and decisions lay with Joffre”. Joffre recovered from the initial disastrous attacks into Lorraine and the Ardennes and redeployed forces to the west. He kept his cool when the initial attempt to have Maunoury envelop the German west flank at Amiens failed, requiring a retreat on Paris. While the Battle of the Marne was going on, he handled the problems faced by Foch’s Ninth Army at the St Gond Marshes, by de Langle’s Fourth and Sarrail’s Third near Verdun and by Castelnau’s Second in the Nancy area.

John Eisenhower writes that Joffre’s “personality had a profound effect on the course of history” and he became a household name in the USA.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

South African Republic (Transvaal) established

Transvaal, former province of South Africa. It occupied the northeastern part of the country. The Limpopo River marked its border with Botswana and Zimbabwe to the north, while the Vaal River marked its boundary with Orange Free State province to the south. It was bounded by Mozambique and Swaziland to the east and by Cape Province to the west. The Transvaal’s name, which means “across the Vaal,” originated with the Afrikaners who in the 1830s migrated to the region after crossing the Vaal River.

The land between the Limpopo and Vaal rivers was originally inhabited by the Sotho, Venda, and other Bantu-speaking peoples. In the 1820s and ’30s they were unsettled by invasions of the Ndebele and other Bantu tribes fleeing from the warring Zulu. Another migration was that of seminomadic pastoral Afrikaner farmers called Voortrekkers, or Boers, who in the mid-1830s began to probe northward beyond the borders of the Cape Colony with the aim of organizing an exodus from British-controlled territory. Some 12,000 of these Boer emigrants moving northward from the Cape crossed the Vaal River and entered the area, where they settled in isolated farms. After driving the Ndebele north of the Limpopo River in November 1837, the Voortrekker leader Hendrik Potgieter was able to claim all of the land between it and the Vaal River. More Boers moved to the Transvaal when Great Britain annexed the nascent Boer republic of Natal (1843) and established the Orange River Sovereignty (1848). Rivalries between Potgieter and his fellow leaders Andries Pretorius and W.F. Joubert prevented the Boers from forming a strong government in the Transvaal. But because the area lay out of reach of the administration in the Cape Colony, the British in 1852 recognized the independence of the Afrikaners north of the Vaal River under the terms of the Sand River Convention (see Sand River and Bloemfontein Conventions).

The Boers drafted a constitution in 1855, and the communities centred at Pretoria, Potchefstroom, and Rustenburg joined in 1857 to form a Transvaal state called the South African Republic. It was governed by a Volksraad of 24 elected members and had Marthinus W. Pretorius, the son of Andries, as its first president.

Johnston, W. and A.K. - South African Republic. Orange Free State, Natal, Basuto Land, Etc.
The new republic’s authority was limited to the southwestern Transvaal, though it claimed sovereignty over the entire area between the two rivers. The government tried to expand its territory, but more important to the Transvaal’s future were discoveries of diamonds and gold deposits (1868–74) along the Vaal River and other sites, which heightened British interest in gaining control of the region but did little to help the Boers’ stagnant agricultural-pastoral economy. In 1877 Sir Theophilus Shepstone annexed the financially bankrupt republic to Britain over the halfhearted protest of its then-president, Thomas F. Burgers. The British failed to fulfill their promises of internal self-government to the Boers, however, and late in 1880 the Afrikaners revolted against the British and declared a new Transvaal republic. They regained their independence—subject to certain provisos—in 1881 after overwhelming British forces at the Battle of Majuba Hill. Paul Kruger became the new republic’s first president.
The discovery of large gold deposits in the Witwatersrand area in 1886 resulted in a tremendous influx of miners and fortune seekers, primarily English and Germans, who were called Uitlanders. These foreigners eventually came to outnumber the Afrikaners two to one in the Transvaal, but Kruger refused to grant them voting and other rights. The British immigrants speeded the building of rail links between the Transvaal and the Cape Colony, and their growing urban populations stimulated the Boers’ commercial agriculture. The Transvaal government, however, refused to undertake political reforms and was unable to mediate between the rural, agricultural, staunchly Calvinist Afrikaners and the new British financial, mining, and commercial classes.

Tensions with Britain increased greatly after an English adventurer, Leander Starr Jameson, led an abortive raid (December 1895) into the Transvaal in an attempt to provoke the Uitlanders to an internal uprising against Kruger’s rule. The Transvaal government subsequently began to arm itself and also strengthened a defensive alliance with its sister Boer republic, the Orange Free State.

War between the two Boer republics and Great Britain broke out two days after the Transvaal gave the British an ultimatum (Oct. 9, 1899) demanding the withdrawal of British troop reinforcements that had been sent to the Cape. (See South African War.) The British were able to occupy the capital, Pretoria, in June 1900, and in September they formally annexed the Transvaal. Fighting between the Boers and British continued, however, until the resources of both Boer republics had been broken by unceasing strain against superior forces.

  The Peace of Vereeniging (May 31, 1902) ended the independence of the Transvaal, which became a British crown colony under the administration of Sir Alfred Milner.

The British restored internal self-government to the Transvaal in 1906. In elections held (1907) under the colony’s new constitution, the former commander of the Transvaal’s forces in the war, Gen. Louis Botha, led his Het Volk party to a majority and became prime minister with the support of Jan Christian Smuts. Their government promoted unity between the Afrikaners and the British, and in 1910 the Transvaal became a province of the Union of South Africa, a status that was maintained when the Union became the Republic of South Africa in 1961.

The Transvaal’s history in the rest of the 20th century was primarily economic. The province was extremely rich in mineral resources, especially gold and uranium. The gold deposits were concentrated in the southern Transvaal, in a highland area known as the Witwatersrand, where Johannesburg is located. The province also contained reserves of platinum, chromite, tin, nickel, diamonds, and coal. The complex of mining, industrial, commercial, and financial activities arising from this vast mineral wealth made the southern Transvaal the economic heartland of South Africa.

In 1994 the Transvaal was split into four provinces: Northern (now Limpopo), Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging (now Gauteng), Eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga), and part of North-West.

Encyclopædia Britannica

New Fr. constitution gives president monarchical powers;
Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III) has Orleans family banished from France;
plebiscite in support of revival of empire;
two weeks later the president proclaims himself Emperor Napoleon III;
reign of the Second Empire (—Sept. 1870)
Second French Empire

The Second French Empire (French: Le Second empire français) was the Imperial Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.

Rule of Napoleon III
Although the machinery of government was almost the same under the Second Empire as it had been under the First, its founding principles were different. The function of the Empire, as Emperor Napoleon III often repeated, was to guide the people internally towards justice and externally towards perpetual peace. Holding his power by universal male suffrage, and having frequently, from his prison or in exile, reproached previous oligarchical governments with neglecting social questions, he set out to solve them by organising a system of government based on the principles of the "Napoleonic Idea", i.e. of the emperor, the elect of the people as the representative of the democracy, and as such supreme; and of himself, the representative of the great Napoleon I of France, "who had sprung armed from the French Revolution like Minerva from the head of Jove", as the guardian of the social gains of the revolutionary period.

The anti-parliamentary French Constitution of 1852 instituted by Napoleon III on January 14, 1852, was largely a repetition of that of 1848. All executive power was entrusted to the emperor, who, as head of state, was solely responsible to the people. The people of the Empire, lacking democratic rights, were to rely on the benevolence of the emperor rather than on the benevolence of politicians. He was to nominate the members of the council of state, whose duty it was to prepare the laws, and of the senate, a body permanently established as a constituent part of the empire.

 Napoleon III
One innovation was made, namely, that the Legislative Body was elected by universal suffrage, but it had no right of initiative, all laws being proposed by the executive power. This new political change was rapidly followed by the same consequence as had attended that of Brumaire. On December 2, 1852, France, still under the effect of Napoleon's legacy, and the fear of anarchy, conferred almost unanimously by a plebiscite the supreme power, with the title of emperor, upon Napoleon III.

The Legislative Body was not allowed to elect its own president or to regulate its own procedure, or to propose a law or an amendment, or to vote on the budget in detail, or to make its deliberations public. Similarly, universal suffrage was supervised and controlled by means of official candidature, by forbidding free speech and action in electoral matters to the Opposition, and by a gerrymandering in such a way as to overwhelm the Liberal vote in the mass of the rural population. The press was subjected to a system of cautionnements ("caution money", deposited as a guarantee of good behaviour) and avertissements (requests by the authorities to cease publication of certain articles), under sanction of suspension or suppression. Books were subject to censorship.

In order to counteract the opposition of individuals, a surveillance of suspects was instituted. Felice Orsini's attack on the emperor in 1858, though purely Italian in its motive, served as a pretext for increasing the severity of this régime by the law of general security (sûreté générale) which authorised the internment, exile or deportation of any suspect without trial. In the same way public instruction was strictly supervised, the teaching of philosophy was suppressed in the lycées, and the disciplinary powers of the administration were increased.

For seven years France had no democratic life. The Empire governed by a series of plebiscites. Up to 1857 the Opposition did not exist; from then till 1860 it was reduced to five members: Darimon, Emile Ollivier, Hénon, Jules Favre and Ernest Picard. The royalists waited inactive after the new and unsuccessful attempt made at Frohsdorf in 1853, by a combination of the legitimists and Orleanists, to re-create a living monarchy out of the ruin of two royal families.

Coup of 1851

On 2 December 1851 Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, who had been elected President of the Republic, staged a coup d'état by dissolving the National Assembly without having the constitutional right to do so. He thus became sole ruler of France, and re-established universal suffrage, previously abolished by the Assembly. His decisions and the extension of his mandate for 10 years were popularly endorsed by a referendum later that month that attracted an implausible 92 percent support.

A new constitution was enacted in January 1852 which made Louis-Napoléon president for 10 years and concentrated virtually all governing power in his hands. However, he was not content with merely being an authoritarian president. Almost as soon as he signed the new document into law, he set about restoring the empire. In response to officially-inspired requests for the return of the empire, the Senate scheduled a second referendum in November, which passed with 97 percent support. As with the December 1851 referendum, most of the "yes" votes were manufactured out of thin air.

The empire was formally re-established on 2 December 1852, and the Prince-President became "Napoléon III, Emperor of the French." The constitution concentrated so much power in his hands that the only substantive changes were to replace the word "president" with the word "emperor" and to make the post hereditary. The popular referendum became a distinct sign of Bonapartism, which Charles de Gaulle would later use.

  Early reign
Napoleon III's joy was at its height in 1856, as the Crimean War resulted in a peace which excluded Russia from the Black Sea, and when his son Eugène Bonaparte was born, which promised a continuation of his dynasty.

In 1859, Napoleon led France to war with Austria over Italy. France was victorious, and gained Savoy and Nice, but the idea of Italian unification - based as it was on the exclusion of the temporal power of the popes - outraged French Catholics, who had been the leading supporters of the Empire. A keen Catholic opposition sprang up, voiced in Louis Veuillot's paper the Univers, and was not silenced even by the Syrian expedition (1860) in favour of the Catholic Maronite side of the Druze–Maronite conflict. On the other hand, the commercial treaty with the United Kingdom which was signed in January 1860, and which ratified the free trade policy of Richard Cobden and Michel Chevalier, had brought upon French industry the sudden shock of foreign competition. Thus both Catholics and protectionists discovered that authoritarian rule can be an excellent thing when it serves their ambitions or interests, but a bad one when exercised at their expense.

But Napoleon, in order to restore the prestige of the Empire before the newly awakened hostility of public opinion, tried to gain from the Left the support which he had lost from the Right. After the return from Italy the general amnesty of August 16, 1859 had marked the evolution of the absolutist or authoritarian empire towards the liberal, and later parliamentary empire, which was to last for ten years.


The official declaration of the Second Empire, at the Hôtel de Ville de Paris, on December 2, 1852.
Freedom of the press
Napoleon began by removing the gag which was keeping the country in silence. On November 24, 1860, he granted to the Chambers the right to vote an address annually in answer to the speech from the throne, and to the press the right of reporting parliamentary debates. He counted on the latter concession to hold in check the growing Catholic opposition, which was becoming more and more alarmed by the policy of laissez-faire practised by the emperor in Italy.

The government majority already showed some signs of independence. The right of voting on the budget by sections, granted by the emperor in 1861, was a new weapon given to his adversaries. Everything conspired in their favour: the anxiety of those candid friends who were calling attention to the defective budget; the commercial crisis, aggravated by the American Civil War; and above all, the restless spirit of the emperor, who had annoyed his opponents in 1860 by insisting on an alliance with the United Kingdom in order to forcibly open the Chinese ports for trade, in 1863 by his ill-fated attempt of a military intervention in Mexico to set up a Latin empire in favour of the archduke Maximilian of Austria, and from 1861 to 1863 by embarking on colonising experiments in Cochinchina (southern Vietnam) and Annam (central Vietnam). Similar inconsistencies occurred in the emperor's European policies. The support which he had given to the Italian cause had aroused the eager hopes of other nations. The proclamation of the kingdom of Italy on February 18, 1861 after the rapid annexation of Tuscany and the kingdom of Naples had proved the danger of half-measures. But when a concession, however narrow, had been made to the liberty of one nation, it could hardly be refused to the no less legitimate aspirations of the rest.

In 1863 these "new rights" again clamoured loudly for recognition: in Poland, in Schleswig and Holstein, in Italy, now indeed united, but with neither frontiers nor capital, and in the Danubian principalities. In order to extricate himself from the Polish impasse, the emperor again had recourse to his expedient — always fruitless because always inopportune — of a congress. He was again unsuccessful: Great Britain refused even to admit the principle of a congress, while Austria, Prussia and Russia gave their adhesion only on conditions which rendered it futile, i.e. they reserved the vital questions of Venetia and Poland.

The Union libérale
Thus Napoleon had to yet again disappoint the hopes of Italy, let Poland be crushed, and allow Prussia to triumph over Denmark in the Schleswig-Holstein question. These inconsistencies resulted in a combination of the opposition parties, Legitimist, Liberal and Republican, in the Union libérale. The elections of May–June 1863 gained the Opposition forty seats and a leader, Adolphe Thiers, who at once urgently gave voice to its demand for "the necessary liberties". It would have been difficult for the emperor to mistake the importance of this manifestation of French opinion, and in view of his international failures, impossible to repress it. The sacrifice of Persigny minister of the interior, who was responsible for the elections, the substitution for the ministers without portfolio of a sort of presidency of the council filled by Eugène Rouher, the "Vice-Emperor", and the nomination of Jean Victor Duruy, an anti-clerical, as minister of public instruction, in reply to those attacks of the Church which were to culminate in the Syllabus of 1864, all indicated a distinct rapprochement between the emperor and the Left.

But though the opposition represented by Thiers was rather constitutional than dynastic, there was another and irreconcilable opposition, that of the amnestied or voluntarily exiled republicans, of whom Victor Hugo was the eloquent mouthpiece. Thus those who had formerly constituted the governing classes were again showing signs of their ambition to govern. There appeared to be some risk that this movement among the bourgeoisie might spread to the people. As Antaeus recruited his strength by touching the earth, so Napoleon believed that he would consolidate his menaced power by again turning to the labouring masses, by whom that power had been established.

Allégorie du Second Empire légitimant le régime « par la grâce de Dieu et la volonté nationale » (synthèse de droit divin et de démocratie).
Assured of support, the emperor, through Rouher, a supporter of the absolutist régime, refused all fresh claims on the part of the Liberals. He was aided by the cessation of the industrial crisis as the American Civil War came to an end, by the apparent closing of the Roman question by the convention of September 15, which guaranteed to the papal states the protection of Italy, and finally by the treaty of October 30, 1864, which temporarily put an end to the crisis of the Schleswig-Holstein question.
Rise of Prussia
Things went badly, however, when Prussia defeated Austria in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and emerged as the dominant power in Germany. Confidence in the excellence of imperial régime vanished. Thiers and Jules Favre, as representatives of the Opposition, denounced the blunders of 1866[citation needed]. Emile Ollivier split the official majority by the amendment of the 45, and made it understood that a reconciliation with the Empire would be impossible until the emperor granted entire liberty. The recall of French troops from Rome, in accordance with the convention of 1864, led to further attacks by the Ultramontane party, who were alarmed for the papacy. Napoleon III felt the necessity for developing "the great act of 1860" by the decree January 19, 1867. In spite of Rouher, by a secret agreement with Ollivier, the right of interpellation was restored to the Chambers. Reforms in press supervision and the right of holding meetings were promised. In vain did Rouher try to meet the Liberal opposition by organising a party for the defence of the Empire, the Union dynastique. The rapid succession of international reverses prevented him from effecting anything.

The emperor was abandoned by men and disappointed by events. He had hoped that, though by granting the freedom of the press and authorising meetings, he had conceded the right of speech, he would retain the right of action; but he had played into the hands of his enemies. Victor Hugo's Châtiments, Rochefort's Lanterne, the subscription for the monument to Baudin, the deputy killed at the barricades in 1851, followed by Léon Gambetta's speech against the Empire on the occasion of the trial of Delescluze, soon showed that the republican party was irreconcilable.

  Mobilization of the working classes
On the other hand, the Ultramontane party were becoming discontented, while the industries formerly protected were dissatisfied with free trade reform. The working classes had abandoned their political neutrality.

Disregarding Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's impassioned attack on communism, they had gradually been won over by the collectivist theories of Karl Marx and the revolutionary theories of Mikhail Bakunin, as set forth at the congresses of the International. At these Labour congresses, the fame of which was only increased by the fact that they were forbidden, it had been affirmed that the social emancipation of the worker was inseparable from his political emancipation. The union between the internationalists and the republican bourgeois became an accomplished fact.

The Empire, taken by surprise, sought to curb both the middle classes and the labouring classes, and forced them both into revolutionary actions. There were multiple strikes.

The elections of May 1869, which took place during these disturbances, inflicted upon the Empire a serious moral defeat. In spite of the revival by the government of the cry of the "red terror", Ollivier, the advocate of conciliation, was rejected by Paris, while 40 irreconcilables and 116 members of the Third Party were elected.

Concessions had to be made to these, so by the senatus-consulte of September 8, 1869 a parliamentary monarchy was substituted for personal government. On January 2, 1870 Ollivier was placed at the head of the first homogeneous, united and responsible ministry.

Plebiscite of 1870
But the republican party, unlike the country, which hailed this reconciliation of liberty and order, refused to be content with the liberties they had won; they refused all compromise, declaring themselves more than ever decided upon the overthrow of the Empire. The killing of the journalist Victor Noir by Pierre Bonaparte, a member of the imperial family, gave the revolutionaries their long desired opportunity (January 10). But the émeute ended in a failure.

In a concession to democratic currents, the emperor put his policy to a plebiscite on May 8, 1870. The result was a substantial success for Bonaparte, with seven and a half million in favour and only one and a half million against. However, the vote also signified divisions in France. Those affirming were found mainly in rural areas, while the opposition prevailed in the big towns.

This success, which should have consolidated the Empire, determined its downfall. It was thought that a diplomatic success would make the country forget liberty in favour of glory. It was in vain that after the parliamentary revolution of January 2, 1870, Comte Daru revived, through Lord Clarendon, Count Beust's plan of disarmament after the Battle of Königgratz.

He met with a refusal from Prussia and from the imperial entourage. The Empress Eugénie was credited with the remark, "If there is no war, my son will never be emperor."

  End of the Empire
The rise of neighbouring Prussia during the 1860s caused a great deal of unease within the National Assembly of France, culminating in the July Crisis of 1870.

On July 15, the government of Emile Ollivier declared war on Prussia, nominally over the Hohenzollern candidature for the throne of Spain, the pretext for France to declare war in order to satisfy France's increasing unease and desire to halt Prussian expansion in Europe.

During July and August 1870, the Imperial French Army suffered a series of defeats which culminated in the Battle of Sedan.

At Sedan, the remnants of the French field army, and Napoleon III himself, surrendered to the Prussians on September 1. News of Sedan reached Paris on September 4.

The National Assembly was invaded by a mob and during the afternoon of September 4, Parisian deputies formed a new government. At the Hôtel de Ville, Republican deputy Léon Gambetta declared the fall of the Empire and the establishment of the Third Republic.

Empress Eugénie fled the Tuileries for Great Britain, effectively ending the Empire, which was officially declared defunct and replaced with the Government of National Defence.

Encyclopædia Britannica

see also: French coup d'état
see also: French Second Republic
Second Anglo-Burmese War

The Second Anglo-Burmese War (5 April 1852 – 20 December 1852) was the second of the three wars fought between the Burmese and British forces during the 19th century, with the outcome of the gradual extinction of Burmese sovereignty and independence.

In 1852, Commodore George Lambert was dispatched to Burma by Lord Dalhousie over a number of minor issues related to the Treaty of Yandabo between the countries. The Burmese immediately made concessions including the removal of a governor whom the Company made their casus belli. Lambert, described by Dalhousie in a private letter as the "combustible commodore", eventually provoked a naval confrontation in extremely questionable circumstances by blockading the port of Rangoon and seizing the King Pagan's royal ship and thus started the Second Anglo-Burmese War which ended in the Company annexing the province of Pegu and renaming it Lower Burma.

The nature of the dispute was mis-represented to Parliament, and Parliament played a role in further "suppressing" the facts released to the public, but most of the facts were established by comparative reading of these conflicting accounts in what was originally an anonymous pamphlet, How Wars are Got Up In India; this account by Richard Cobden remains almost the sole contemporaneous evidence as to who actually made the decision to invade and annex Burma.

Richard Cobden made a scathing attack on Dalhousie for despatching a naval commodore to negotiate (gunboat diplomacy) and for raising the initial demand for compensation of £1000 to 100 times that amount, £100,000. He also criticised Dalhousie for choosing Lambert over Colonel Archibald Bogle, the British Commissioner of Tenasserim, who was much more experienced in Burmese social and diplomatic affairs. Dalhousie denied that Lambert was the cause.

The first substantial blow of the Second Anglo-Burmese War was struck by the Company on 5 April 1852, when the port of Martaban was taken. Rangoon was occupied on the 12th and the Shwedagon Pagoda on the 14th, after heavy fighting, when the Burmese army retired northwards. Bassein was seized on 19 May, and Pegu was taken on 3 June, after some sharp fighting round the Shwemawdaw Pagoda. During the rainy season the approval of the East India Company's court of directors and of the British government was obtained as to the annexation of the lower portion of the Irrawaddy River Valley, including Prome. After the fighting, the British troops looted the pagodas for their gold, silver and precious Buddha statues.

Lord Dalhousie visited Rangoon in July and August, and discussed the whole situation with the civil, military and naval authorities. He decided that to dictate terms to the Court of Ava by marching to the capital was not how the war should be conducted unless complete annexation of the kingdom was contemplated and this was deemed unachievable in both military and economic terms for the time being. As a consequence Major-General Godwin, who bitterly resented having to deal with the Royal Navy under the command of Lambert, a mere commodore, after the death earlier of Rear Admiral Charles Austen, the brother of the writer Jane Austen, occupied Prome on 9 October encountering only slight resistance from the Burmese forces under the command of Lord Dabayin, son of Gen. Maha Bandula who was killed in the First Anglo-Burmese War. Early in December Lord Dalhousie informed King Pagan that the province of Pegu would henceforth form part of the Company dominions.

The proclamation of annexation was issued on 20 January 1853, and thus the Second Anglo-Burmese War was brought to an end without any treaty being signed. The war resulted in a revolution in Amarapura although it was then still called the Court of Ava, with Pagan Min (1846–1852) being overthrown by his half brother Mindon Min (1853–1878). Mindon immediately sued for peace but the two Italian priests he sent to negotiate found the British 50 miles farther north at Myedè with a rich belt of the Ningyan teak forests already staked out within their territory and presented as a fait accompli. No treaty was ever signed although trade resumed between Company Burma and the Kingdom of Ava until fresh hostilities broke out in 1885-86.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

see also: First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826)
New Zealand Constitution Act

The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 (15 & 16 Vict. c. 72) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that granted self-government to the Colony of New Zealand. It was the second such Act, the previous 1846 Act not having been fully implemented.

The Act remained in force as part of New Zealand's constitution until it was repealed by the Constitution Act 1986.

The long title of the Act was "An Act to Grant a Representative Constitution to the Colony of New Zealand". The Act received the Royal Assent on 30 June 1852.

The New Zealand Company, which was established in 1839, proposed that New Zealand should have representative institutions, and this was consistent with the findings of the Durham Report, which was commissioned during 1838 following minor rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada. The first settlement of the company, Wellington, briefly had its own elected council during 1840, which dissolved itself on the instruction of Lieutenant Governor William Hobson. The first New Zealand Constitution Act was passed in 1846, though Governor George Grey was opposed to its proposed division of the country into European and Māori districts. As a result, almost all of the Act was suspended for six years pending the new Act of 1852, the only operative part of the 1846 Act being the creation of New Zealand's first provinces, New Ulster Province and New Munster Province. In the meantime, Grey drafted his own Act which established both provincial and central representative assemblies, allowed for Māori districts and an elected Governor. Only the latter proposal was rejected by the Parliament of the United Kingdom when it adopted Grey's constitution.

The Act established:

-The bicameral General Assembly (often referred to as Parliament, but not officially so called until 1986), consisting of the Governor, a Legislative Council and a House of Representatives;
-The Executive Council, nominally appointed by the Governor. This issue was to dominate the first session of Parliament in 1854;
-The Provinces of New Zealand, which divided New Zealand into six provinces.

By the Act, the provinces had the authority to pass provincial legislation, although the Governor had a reserve power of veto such legislation, and the right of the Crown to disallow provincial Acts within two years of their passage was preserved. Parliament was granted the power to make laws for the "peace order and good government of New Zealand" provided such legislation was not inconsistent with the laws of England.

The first provincial elections were held during 1853. The first Parliament under the Act met in Auckland in May 1854. This session was concerned primarily with the issue of responsible government, or the ability of the Colonial parliament instead of the Governor to appoint its own ministers. Prior to the Act, the Executive Council consisted of Crown servants who were responsible to the Governor. A motion was passed almost unanimously affirming the ability of Parliament to appoint its own Executive Council members. Three members of the Assembly (and later one from the Legislative Council) were added to the Executive Council as ministers without portfolio. The unofficial members soon resigned.

After fresh elections the 2nd Parliament met, and the new Governor, Sir Thomas Gore-Browne, asked Henry Sewell to form the first responsible ministry.

However, the General Assembly did not have total control of the executive. The Governor retained reserve powers to disallow legislation and there was the authority of the Crown to disallow legislation even after the Governor had given his assent. These powers of reservation and disallowance were prerogative powers included in the Act. This power was limited by the Balfour Declaration of 1926, in that they were to be exercised only on the advice of New Zealand ministers. The powers were not continued by the 1986 Constitution Act.

The powers of the Assembly were given in the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865, which stated that colonial legislatures had full powers to make laws respecting their own constitution, powers, and procedure.

The 1852 Constitution Act established the Provinces of New Zealand.
Maori districts
Section 71 of the Act allowed for "Māori districts" where Māori law and custom were to be preserved, but this section was never implemented by the Crown. It was, however, used by the Kingitanga to justify claims of Māori self-governance during the 1870s and 1880s.

The first amendment to the Act was made by the British Parliament during 1857. This amendment granted the New Zealand General Assembly the ability to amend or repeal all of the provisions of the Constitution Act except provisions such as the establishment of the General Assembly itself and the extent of its legislative powers.

The New Zealand Parliament did not gain total ability to amend the Act until 1947, when New Zealand adopted the Statute of Westminster 1931 with the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947. The only remaining provision relating to the Parliament of the United Kingdom was the ability of the former imperial legislature to legislate for New Zealand at the New Zealand Parliament's consent. This occurred only once, for the New Zealand Constitution Amendment Act 1947 which adopted the New Zealand Parliament's New Zealand Constitution Amendment (Request and Consent) Act 1947.

A number of important amendments were made to the Act by the New Zealand Parliament:

-Abolition of the Provinces Act 1876: abolished the Provinces of New Zealand;
-Legislative Council Abolition Act 1950: repealed the sections relating to the Legislative Council so that New Zealand became a unicameral (one-house) legislature
-New Zealand Constitution Amendment Act 1973: gave the New Zealand Parliament the power to pass laws of extraterritorial effect.

The Act was repealed by section 28 of the Constitution Act 1986 in New Zealand. By the time of its repeal, only 18 of the Act's original 82 sections remained, of which a number were regarded as no longer effective. In the UK it was repealed by the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1989.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Asquith Herbert Henry

Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st earl of Oxford and Asquith, in full Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st earl of Oxford and Asquith, Viscount Asquith of Morley (born September 12, 1852, Morley, Yorkshire, England—died February 15, 1928, Sutton Courtenay, Berkshire), Liberal prime minister of Great Britain (1908–16), who was responsible for the Parliament Act of 1911, limiting the power of the House of Lords, and who led Britain during the first two years of World War I.


Herbert Henry Asquith
  Asquith was the second son of Joseph Asquith, a small businessman in the wool trade and an ardent Congregationalist, who died in 1860. Asquith was educated at the City of London School from 1863 to 1870, when he won a classical scholarship at Balliol College, Oxford. At Balliol he obtained the highest academic honours, and he became a fellow of his college in 1874. Deciding upon a legal career, he entered Lincoln’s Inn and was called to the bar in 1876. The following year he married Helen Melland, daughter of a Manchester doctor. His early days at the bar were difficult, but from about 1883 onward he became highly successful.

A keen Liberal, Asquith entered the House of Commons for East Fife in 1886 and remained its member for 32 years. He commanded the attention of the House from the first, concentrating particularly upon the Irish question. In 1888 he achieved celebrity as junior counsel for the Irish leader Charles Stewart Parnell, when Parnell was accused, before a parliamentary commission, of condoning political murder. In 1892 Prime Minister William Gladstone made Asquith home secretary. Before that, in 1891, his wife had died of typhoid fever, leaving him with a family of young children. Less than three years later he astounded the social and political world by marrying Margot Tennant, who was 12 years younger and the centre of social and intellectual circles far removed from those in which Asquith and his first wife had moved.

His three years as home secretary, though in general an unhappy period for the Liberals, established Asquith’s reputation as an administrator and a debater. By 1895 he had become one of the leading figures of his party. Defeated at the polls, the party spent the next 11 years in opposition. Asquith earned during this time a large income at the bar, but the lack of any private means obliged him to refuse the party leadership when it was offered to him in 1898, and Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman succeeded instead. Asquith did not see eye to eye with the new leader on all questions of foreign and imperial policy. Their divergence became open and public during the South African War (1899–1902), when Asquith, along with Lord Rosebery, Sir Edward Grey, and R.B. Haldane, formed the Liberal League to advocate an imperial policy in support of the government’s expansionism.

Herbert Henry Asquith
  The conflict was temporarily healed after the end of the war, and, following the Liberals’ victory at the polls in 1906, Asquith served as chancellor of the Exchequer under Campbell-Bannerman.

Early in April 1908 Campbell-Bannerman resigned and died some days later. Asquith, generally regarded as his inevitable successor, became prime minister and was to hold the office for nearly nine years. He appointed David Lloyd George to the Exchequer and made Winston Churchill president of the Board of Trade.

The chief problem confronting him at home was the opposition of the House of Lords to Liberal reforms, and the consequent danger of a rebellion from the frustrated radicals in his own party; abroad there was a growing naval competition with Germany. When Lloyd George endeavoured to raise money for naval increases and social services in his “radical budget” of 1909, the budget was vetoed by the House of Lords.

At this stage Asquith took over the conduct of a constitutional struggle. In 1910 he announced a plan to limit the powers of the House of Lords and, after two general elections, persuaded King George V to threaten to create enough new pro-reform peers to swamp the opposition in that chamber. The resulting Parliament Act, passed in August 1911, ended the Lords’ veto power over financial legislation passed by the House of Commons.

The three years between this episode and the outbreak of World War I were extremely harassing for Asquith. Abroad, the international situation deteriorated rapidly; at home, controversy was caused by charges of corruption in his government, the disestablishment of the Anglican church in Wales (1914), and the conflict between Home Rulers and Unionists in Ireland, which nearly led to civil war in 1914. Asquith’s policies did little to improve the situation in Ireland.

Though convinced that a German victory over France would be disastrous to the British Empire, Asquith delayed Britain’s entry into World War I until public opinion had been aroused by the German attack on Belgium. In war, he trusted his military experts and in general favoured the view that victory could be won only on the Western Front.

Asquith caricatured by XIT for Vanity Fair, 1910
  In May 1915 Asquith had to reconstruct his cabinet on a coalition basis, admitting Unionists as well as Liberals, and appointing Lloyd George minister of munitions. The coalition was not successful under his leadership. The Dardanelles expedition failed, and there was no sign of a breakthrough on the Western Front. At the end of 1915 Asquith substituted Sir Douglas Haig for Sir John French as British commander in chief in France and appointed Sir William Robertson as the new chief of the imperial general staff.
But 1916 was an even unhappier year: the Easter Rising in Dublin caused a grave domestic crisis, and the Battle of the Somme resulted in terrible British losses on the Western Front. After a protracted struggle, conscription was belatedly introduced. But there was a general aura of dissatisfaction by the autumn, and Asquith was assailed by a strident press campaign. In December he resigned and was replaced by Lloyd George. He never held office again, though he remained leader of the Liberal Party until 1926. In this capacity he often opposed the policies of his successor.

Asquith accepted a peerage as earl of Oxford and Asquith in 1925 and was created a knight of the garter shortly afterward. In the last years of his life he was relatively impoverished and wrote a number of books to make money, the best known being The Genesis of the War (1923), Fifty Years of Parliament (1926), and Memories and Reflections (1928).

Asquith was a competent statesman, but not a great one. He had no original or innovating genius and lacked the sense of the dramatic needed to convince Britain that it was in good hands in a time of national crisis.

Robert Norman William Blake, Baron Blake

Encyclopædia Britannica

The Duke of Wellington (Wellesley Arthur) d. (b. 1769)

Portrait of the Duke of Wellington
by John Jackson, 1830–31
Pierce Franklin

Franklin Pierce, byname Young Hickory (born November 23, 1804, Hillsboro, New Hampshire, U.S.—died October 8, 1869, Concord, New Hampshire), 14th president of the United States (1853–57). He failed to deal effectively with the corroding sectional controversy over slavery in the decade preceding the American Civil War (1861–65).


Franklin Pierce
  Early life and career
The son of a governor of New Hampshire, Benjamin Pierce, and the former Anna Kendrick, Franklin Pierce attended Bowdoin College in Maine, studied law in Northampton, Massachusetts, and was admitted to the bar in 1827.

He married Jane Means Appleton, whose father was president of Bowdoin, in 1834.

Pierce entered political life in New Hampshire as a Democrat, serving in the state legislature (1829–33), the U.S. House of Representatives (1833–37), and the Senate (1837–42).

Handsome, affable, charming, and possessed of a certain superficial brilliance, Pierce made many friends in Congress, but his career there was otherwise undistinguished. He was a devoted supporter of President Andrew Jackson but was continually overshadowed by older and more prominent men on the national scene.

Resigning from the Senate for personal reasons, he returned to Concord, where he resumed his law practice and also served as federal district attorney. Except for a brief stint as an officer in the Mexican War (1846–48), Pierce remained out of the public eye until the nominating convention of the Democratic Party in 1852.

After a deadlock developed among supporters of the leading presidential contenders—Lewis Cass, Stephen A. Douglas, and James Buchanan—a coalition of New England and Southern delegates proposed “Young Hickory” (a reference to Andrew Jackson, who had been known as “Old Hickory”), and Pierce was nominated on the 49th ballot. The ensuing presidential campaign was dominated by the controversy over slavery and the finality of the Compromise of 1850. Although both the Democrats and the Whigs declared themselves in favour of the compromise, the Democrats were more thoroughly united in their support. As a result, Pierce, who was almost unknown nationally, unexpectedly won the November election, defeating the Whig candidate Winfield Scott by 254 votes to 42 in the electoral college. Pierce’s triumph was quickly marred by tragedy, however, when, a few weeks before his inauguration, he and his wife witnessed the death of their only surviving child, 11-year-old Bennie, in a railroad accident. Jane Pierce, who had always opposed her husband’s candidacy, never fully recovered from the shock.

Franklin Pierce, 1853, by G. P. Alexander Healy
At the time of his election, Pierce, age 47, was the youngest man to have been elected to the presidency. Representing the Eastern element of the Democratic Party, which was inclined for the sake of harmony and business prosperity to oppose antislavery agitation and generally to placate Southern opinion, Pierce tried to promote sectional unity by filling his cabinet with extremists from both sides of the slavery debate.

He also attempted to sidestep the fierce sectional antagonisms of the domestic scene by ambitiously and aggressively promoting the extension of U.S. territorial and commercial interests abroad. In an effort to buy the island of Cuba from Spain, he ordered the U.S. minister to Spain, Pierre Soulé, to try to secure the influence of European financiers on the Spanish government.

The resulting diplomatic statement, the Ostend Manifesto (October 1854), was interpreted by the American public as a call to wrest Cuba from Spain by force if necessary. The ensuing controversy forced the administration to disclaim responsibility for the document and to recall Soulé.
In 1855 an American adventurer, William Walker, conducted a notorious expedition into Central America with the hope of establishing a proslavery government under the control of the United States.
In Nicaragua he established himself as military dictator and then as president, and his dubious regime was recognized by the Pierce administration.

A more lasting diplomatic achievement came from the expedition that President Millard Fillmore had sent to Japan in 1853 under Commodore Matthew C. Perry. In 1854 Pierce received Perry’s report that his expedition had been successful and that U.S. ships would have limited access to Japanese ports.

Pierce, seen here in 1858, remained a vocal political figure after his presidency.
  The Pierce administration also reorganized the diplomatic and consular service and created the United States Court of Claims.

Among Pierce’s domestic policies were preparations for a transcontinental railroad and the opening of the Northwest for settlement. In 1853, in order to create a southerly route to California, the U.S. minister to Mexico, James Gadsden, negotiated the purchase of almost 30,000 square miles of Mexican territory (the Gadsden Purchase), for $10 million. Mainly to stimulate migration to the Northwest and to facilitate the construction of a central route to the Pacific, Pierce signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. This measure, which opened two new territories for settlement, included repeal of the Missouri Compromise of 1820 (by which slavery in the territories was prohibited north of latitude 36° 30′) and provided that the status of the territories as “free” or “slave” would be decided by popular sovereignty. The indignation aroused by the act and the resulting period of violent conflict in the Kansas Territory were the main causes of the rise of the Republican Party in the mid-1850s. Owing to his ineptness in handling the situation in Kansas, Pierce was denied renomination by the Democrats, and he remains the only president to be so repudiated by his party. After an extended tour of Europe he retired to Concord. Always a heavy drinker, Pierce descended further into apparent alcoholism, and he died in obscurity.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Leopold Delisle begins at the Bibliotheque Imperiale, Paris, the study of modern paleography
Delisle Leopold Victor

Léopold Victor Delisle (24 October 1826 – 21 July 1910), French bibliophile and historian, was born at Valognes (Manche).

Early life

He was taken on as a young man by the antiquarian and historian of architecture, Charles-Alexis-Adrien Duhérissier de Gerville, who engaged him to copy manuscripts in his collection, and taught him enough of the basics of paleography that he was able to gain entrance to the École des Chartes in 1846. At the École des Chartes, where his career was remarkably brilliant, his valedictory thesis was an Essai sur les revenus publics en Normandie au XIIe siècle (1849), drawn in part from manuscripts of Duhérissier de Gerville, and it was to the history of his native Normandy that he devoted his early works. Of these the Études sur la condition de la classe agricole et l'état de l'agriculture en Normandie au Moyen Âge (1851), condensing an enormous mass of facts drawn from the local archives, was reprinted in 1905 without change, and remains authoritative.

Léopold Victor Delisle
  Bibliothèque nationale
In November 1852 he entered the manuscript department of the Bibliothèque imperiale (nationale), of which in 1874 he became the official head in succession to Jules Taschereau. He was already known as the compiler of several invaluable inventories of its manuscripts. When the French government decided on printing a general catalogue of the printed books in the Bibliothèque, Delisle became responsible for this undertaking and took an active part in the work; in the preface to the first volume (1897) he gave a detailed history of the library and its management. Under his administration the library was enriched with numerous gifts, legacies and acquisitions, notably by the purchase of a part of the Ashburnham manuscripts. Delisle proved that the bulk of the manuscripts of French origin which Lord Ashburnham had bought in France, particularly those bought from the book-seller Jean-Baptiste Barrois, had been purloined by Count Libri, inspector-general of libraries under King Louis-Philippe, and he procured the repurchase of the manuscripts for the library, afterwards preparing a catalogue of them entitled Catalogue des manuscrits des fonds Libri et Barrois (1888), the preface of which gives the history of the whole transaction. He was elected member of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres in 1859, and became a member of the staff of the Recueil des historiens de la France, collaborating in vols xxii. (1865) and xxiii. (1876) and editing vol. xxiv. (1904), which is valuable for the social history of France in the 13th century. The jubilee of his fifty years' association with the Bibliothèque nationale was celebrated on 8 March 1903.
After his retirement (21 February 1905) he brought out in two volumes a catalogue and description of the printed books and manuscripts in the Musée Condé at Chantilly, left by the duc d'Aumale to the French Institute. He produced many valuable official reports and catalogues and a great number of memoirs and monographs on points connected with palaeography and the study of history and archaeology (see his Mélanges de paleographie et de bibliographie (1880) with atlas; and his articles in the Album paléographique (1887).
  Scholarly work
Of his purely historical works special mention must be made of his Mémoire sur les actes d'Innocent III (1857), and his Mémoire sur les operations financières des Templiers (1889), a collection of documents of the highest value for economic history. The thirty-second volume of the Histoire littéraire de la France, which was partly his work, is of great importance for the study of 13th and 14th century Latin chronicles. Delisle was undoubtedly the most learned man in Europe with regard to the Middle Ages; and his knowledge of diplomatics, palaeography and printing was profound.
His output of work, in catalogues, etc., was enormous, and his services to the Bibliothèque nationale in this respect cannot be overestimated. His wife, a daughter of Eugène Burnouf, was for many years his collaborator. The Bibliographie des travaux de L. Delisle (1902), by Paul Lacombe, may be consulted for a full list of his numerous works.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kuno Fischer: "History of Modern Philosophy" (-1893, 10 vols.)
Fischer Kuno

Kuno Fischer, born Ernst Kuno Berthold Fischer (23 July 1824 – 5 July 1907), was a German philosopher, a historian of philosophy and a critic.


Kuno Fischer
After studying philosophy at Leipzig and Halle, became a privatdocent at Heidelberg in 1850. The Baden government in 1853 laid an embargo on his teaching owing to his liberal ideas, but the effect of this was to rouse considerable sympathy for his views, and in 1856 he obtained a professorship at Jena, where he soon acquired great influence by the dignity of his personal character.
In 1872, on Eduard Zeller's move to Berlin, Fischer succeeded him as professor of philosophy and the history of modern German literature at Heidelberg.

He was a brilliant lecturer and possessed a remarkable gift for clear exposition. His fame rests primarily on his work as a historian and commentator of philosophy. As far as his philosophical views were concerned, he was, generally speaking, a follower of the Hegelian school. His writings in this direction, especially his interpretation of Kant, involved him in a quarrel with F. A. Trendelenburg, professor of philosophy at the University of Berlin, and his followers.

In 1860, Fischer's Kants Leben und die Grundlagen seiner Lehre (Kant's life and the foundations of his doctrine) lent the first real impulse to the so-called “return to Kant.”

In honor of his 80th birthday, celebrated in 1904, O. Liebmann, W. Wundt, T. Lipps and others published Die Philosophie im Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts. Festschrift für Kuno Fischer (Heidelberg, 1907).
One of Fischer's most significant and lasting contributions to philosophy was the use of the empiricism/rationalism distinction in categorising philosophers, particularly those of the 17th and 18th century. These include John Locke, George Berkeley and David Hume in the empiricist category and René Descartes, Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz in the rationalist category. Empiricism, it is said, claims that human knowledge is derived from sensation, i.e. experience, while rationalism claims that certain knowledge can be acquired before experience through pure principles. Although influential, in more recent times this distinction has been questioned as anachronistic in its failure to represent precisely the exact claims and methodologies of the philosophers it categorises.

Kuno Fischer's History of Modern Philosophy had a strong impact on Friedrich Nietzsche and his view on modern philosophy, particularly on Spinoza.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

First Plenary Council of Baltimore

The Plenary Councils of Baltimore were three national meetings of Catholic bishops in the United States in 1852, 1866 and 1884 in Baltimore, Maryland.

During the early history of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States all of the dioceses were part of one ecclesiastical province under the Archbishop of Baltimore. This being the case, governance of the American church was carried out by provincial councils held in Baltimore. As the church grew and was divided into multiple provinces, it became necessary for a national (or plenary) council of the bishops of the United States to meet to foster common discipline.

The fathers of the Seventh Provincial Council of Baltimore requested the Holy See to sanction the holding of a plenary council. The petition was granted and the pope appointed Archbishop Francis Kenrick of Baltimore as Apostolic Delegate to convene and preside over the council.

  First Plenary Council of Baltimore (1852)
The First Plenary Council of Baltimore was solemnly opened on May 9, 1852. Its sessions were attended by six archbishops and thirty-five suffragan bishops. The Bishop of Monterey, California, Joseph Sadoc Alemany, was also present, although his diocese, lately separated from Mexico, had not yet been incorporated with any American province. Another prelate in attendance was Armand de Charbonnel, the Bishop of Toronto, Canada.

The religious orders and congregations were represented by the Mitred Abbot of St. Mary of La Trappe and by the superiors of the Augustinians, Dominicans, Benedictines, Franciscans, Jesuits, Redemptorists, Vincentians, and Sulpicians. The last solemn session was held on the 20th of May.
Final decrees

The Fathers profess their allegiance to the pope as the divinely constituted head of the Church, whose office it is to confirm his brethren in the Faith. They also declare their belief in the entire Catholic Faith as explained by the ecumenical councils and the constitutions of the Roman pontiffs.
The enactments of the seven provincial councils of Baltimore are obligatory for all the dioceses of the United States.
The Roman Ritual, adopted by the First Council of Baltimore, is to be observed in all dioceses, and all are forbidden to introduce customs or rites foreign to the Roman usage. Sacred ceremonies are not to be employed in the burial of Catholics whose bodies are deposited in sectarian cemeteries; or even in public cemeteries, if there be Catholic cemeteries at hand.
The Baltimore "Ceremonial" is to be used all through the country.
Bishops are to observe the canons concerning ecclesiastical residence.
Bishops are exhorted to choose consultors [sic] from among their clergy and to ask their advice in the government of the diocese. A monthly meeting of these consultors to discuss diocesan affairs is praiseworthy.
A chancellor should be constituted in every diocese, for the easier and more orderly transaction of business.
Bishops should appoint censors for books relating to religion.
European priests desiring to be received into an American diocese must have written testimonials from their former bishops and the consent of the ordinary here.
The existing "quasi-parishes should have well-defined limits, and the jurisdiction and privileges of pastors should be indicated by the bishops. The ordinary can change these limits and it is his right to appoint the incumbents.
After next Easter, matrimonial banns must be published, and bishops should dispense with this only for grave reasons.
Pastors themselves should teach Christian doctrine to the young and ignorant.
Bishops are exhorted to have a Catholic school in every parish and the teachers should be paid from the parochial funds.
An ecclesiastical seminary should be erected in each province.
The bishops or their delegates should demand every year an account of the administration of church funds from those who administer them, whether laymen or clerics.
Laymen are not to take any part in the administration of church affairs without the free consent of the bishop. If they usurp any such authority and divert church goods to their own use or in any way frustrate the will of the donors; or if they, even under cover of the civil law, endeavour to wrest from the bishop's hands what has been confided to his care, then such laymen by that very fact fall under the censures constituted by the Council of Trent against usurpers of ecclesiastical goods.
When the title to a church is in the bishop's name, pastors are warned not to appoint trustees or permit them to be elected without the bishop's authority.
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament must be performed in all dioceses in the manner prescribed by the Baltimore "Ceremonial".
Bishops should use their influence with the civil authorities to prevent anyone in the army or navy from being obliged to attend a religious service repugnant to his conscience.
A Society for the Propagation of the Faith, similar to that in France, should be fostered and extended.
The faithful are exhorted to enter into a society of prayer for the conversion of non-Catholics.
A petition should be addressed to the Holy See asking for extraordinary faculties concerning matrimonial cases and the power, also, of delegating such faculties.
Permission to use the short formula in the baptism of adults is to be requested of the Holy See, either for perpetuity or for twenty years.
The sixth decree of the Seventh Provincial Council of Baltimore is to be understood as applying to those who rashly (temere) marry before a Protestant minister. Priests should give no benediction to those whom they know to intend to remarry before a preacher, or who, having done so, show no signs of penitence.
These decrees are binding as soon as they are published by the Archbishop of Baltimore after their revision and approval by the Holy See.

In sending the pope's approval of these decrees, the prefect of the Propaganda congregation exhorted the bishops to add the feasts of the Circumcision of Our Lord and the Immaculate Conception B.V.M. to the festivals already observed.

He added that although some diversity as to fasts and feasts is found in the American dioceses, still it is not desirable to lessen the number in those places where they are in accord with the discipline of the universal Church, because fewer feasts are observed in other American dioceses.

The bishops are not to labour for conformity among the dioceses in customs that are foreign to the discipline of the universal Church, for thus the appearance of a national Church would be introduced.

The cardinal-prefect added that the Holy See tolerated relaxations of the common law of the Church for grave reasons, but such derogations were not to be confirmed and extended, but rather every effort was to be made to bring about the observance of the universal discipline.

As to the method of adult baptism, the Holy See extended the dispensations to use the short formula for another five years.

  A letter from Cardinal-Prefect [James] Franzoni, added to the acts of the council, treats of the question of how the bishops are to be supported by their dioceses. It likewise insists that priests ordained titulo missionis are not to enter religious orders without the consent of their ordinaries, as they are required to make oaths that they will serve perpetually in the diocese for which they were ordained.

In the acts of this council is found a statement of the Bishop of Monterey concerning the California Missions. He informed the Fathers that a large sum of money had formerly been placed in the hands of the Mexican Government to be used under the sanction of Spanish law for the support of the Californian missionaries. For years they had received none of this money and the late revolutions made any hope of reparation unlikely.

However, as it is reported that the civil power in California intends to demand this money from the Mexican treasury for public purposes, he desired to know what effort the American bishops thought it desirable to make in the premises. The outcome of the whole discussion was the sending of a letter on the subject to the Archbishop of Mexico. The money was later recovered and employed for the Church in California.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ranke: "History of France" (principally in the 16th and 17th centuries) (-1861, 5 vols.)
In 1852-61 Ranke Leopold published French History Mainly in the 16th and 17th Centuries (5 vols.), covering Francis I to Louis XIV, gaining him more praise for his impartiality despite being German.
Vaihinger Hans

Hans Vaihinger (September 25, 1852 – December 18, 1933) was a German philosopher, best known as a Kant scholar and for his Die Philosophie des Als Ob (The Philosophy of 'As if'), published in 1911 but written more than thirty years earlier.

Vaihinger was born in Nehren, Württemberg, Germany, near Tübingen, and raised in what he himself described as a "very religious milieu". He was educated at Tübingen, Leipzig, and Berlin, became a tutor and later a philosophy professor at Strasbourg before moving to the university at Halle in 1884. From 1892, he was a full professor.


Hans Vaihinger
  Philosophy of 'As if'
In Die Philosophie des Als Ob, Vaihinger argued that human beings can never really know the underlying reality of the world, and that as a result we construct systems of thought and then assume that these match reality: we behave "as if" the world matches our models. In particular, he used examples from the physical sciences, such as protons, electrons, and electromagnetic waves. None of these phenomena has been observed directly, but science pretends that they exist, and uses observations made on these assumptions to create new and better constructs.

Vaihinger admitted that he had several precursors, especially Jeremy Bentham's Theory of Fictions although he was largely unaware of Bentham's work until the very end of his life. In the preface to the English edition of his work, Vaihinger expressed his Principle of Fictionalism. This is that "an idea whose theoretical untruth or incorrectness, and therewith its falsity, is admitted is not for that reason practically valueless and useless; for such an idea, in spite of its theoretical nullity, may have great practical importance."

Moreover, Vaihinger denied that his philosophy was a form of skepticism because skepticism implies a doubting, whereas in his 'as if' philosophy the acceptance of patently false fictions is justified as a pragmatic non-rational solution to problems that have no rational answers.

This philosophy, though, is wider than just science. One can never be sure that the world will still exist tomorrow, but we usually assume that it does. Alfred Adler, the founder of Individual Psychology, was profoundly influenced by Vaihinger's theory of useful fictions, incorporating the idea of psychological fictions into his personality construct of a fictional final goal.

Vaihinger’s philosophy of 'as if' can be viewed as one of the central premises upon which George Kelly's personal construct psychology is based.

Kelly credited Vaihinger with influencing his theory, especially the idea that our constructions are better viewed as useful hypotheses rather than representations of objective reality. Kelly wrote: "Vaihinger's 'as if' philosophy has value for psychology (...) Vaihinger began to develop a system of philosophy he called the "philosophy of 'as if' ". In it he offered a system of thought in which God and reality might best be represented as paradigms. This was not to say that either God or reality was any less certain than anything else in the realm of man’s awareness, but only that all matters confronting man might best be regarded in hypothetical ways".

Frank Kermode's The Sense of an Ending (1967) was an early mention of Vaihinger as a useful methodologist of narrativity. He says that "literary fictions belong to Vaihinger’s category of 'the consciously false.' They are not subject, like hypotheses, to proof or disconfirmation, only, if they come to lose their operational effectiveness, to neglect."

Later, James Hillman developed both Vaihinger and Adler's work with psychological fictions into a core theme of his work Healing Fiction in which he makes one of his more accessible cases for identifying the tendency to literalize, rather than "see through our meanings," (HF 110) with neurosis and madness.

  Critical reception and legacy
During his own lifetime Vaihinger's works were generally well received both in Germany and abroad, especially in America. When, in 1924, his Philosophy of As If was published in English, the original 1911 book was already in its sixth edition. However, the American journalist Mencken was scathing in his criticism of the book, which he dismissed as an unimportant "foot-note to all existing systems". Vaihinger was also criticised by the Logical positivists who made "curt and disparaging references" to his work.

After his death, and the intellectual sea change that followed the Second World War, Vaihinger's work received little attention from philosophers. It was left to psychologists such as Kelly and writers such as Kermode to draw upon his central ideas. However, the interest of literary scholars has continued modestly with the publication of some recent "Vaihinger-inflected critical literature". A reappraisal of Vaihinger by the American philosopher Arthur Fine concluded that Vaihinger was actually the "preeminent twentieth-century philosopher of modeling".
Vaihinger's influence has since markedly increased, and the currently booming fictionalism movement in the philosophy of science takes his contributions as its main historical lead and inspiration.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gioberti Vincenzo
Vincenzo Gioberti, (born April 5, 1801, Turin, Piedmont [Italy]—died Nov. 26, 1852, Paris, France), Italian philosopher, politician, and premier of Sardinia-Piedmont (1848–49), whose writings helped bring about the unification of the Italian states.

Vincenzo Gioberti
  Gioberti was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1825 and soon became famous as a professor of theology at the University of Turin, though his ideas began to take on appearances of unorthodoxy. He was appointed a court chaplain on the succession of the Sardinian king Charles Albert in 1831. Gioberti’s career was cut short, however, by disgrace and exile following a charge that he was involved in a republican political plot.

Having already expressed radical views openly, he was arrested and briefly imprisoned in 1833. He then exiled himself to Paris and Brussels, remaining abroad as a teacher while writing his first major works, including Introduzione allo studio della filosofia (1839–40; “Introduction to the Study of Philosophy”), a polemic against the philosophical system propounded from 1830 by Antonio Rosmini-Serbati.

Whereas Cartesian rationalism had been well known in Italy, Gioberti introduced Kantian and post-Kantian metaphysics. His own theology, philosophy, and political views revolved around his concept of being, and his system is usually termed “ontologism.” He coined the term “palingenesis” to indicate the return of human concepts to the essential centre of being from which they become divorced. This reunion of the ideal and the real provided Gioberti a means of describing the actualization in human life of the life of the spirit, and thus palingenesis became an ethical, social, and political concept.

Despite his republican views, Gioberti never joined the revolutionary organization of Giuseppe Mazzini, and by 1840 he was firmly condemning violence as a means to Italian unity. He advocated a constitutional monarchy “as far removed from demagogy as it is from despotism.”

In his most celebrated work, Del primato morale e civile degli italiani (1843; “On the Moral and Civil Primacy of the Italian Race”), he sought to present practical methods of realizing his political ideals. Asserting the value of the unique contribution that federated Italians might make to world civilization, he recommended the creation of an Italian federation headed by the pope. Gioberti’s proposal was widely praised, and when Pius IX was elected in 1846, he was referred to as “Gioberti’s pope” for his alleged sympathy with the plan.

An ensuing amnesty permitted Gioberti to return to Turin in 1847. Serving as president of the newly constituted Chamber of Deputies, he was also premier briefly from 1848 to 1849, when he became ambassador to France after his cabinet dissolved. He resigned soon afterward but remained in Paris until his death, living once again in self-imposed exile, while his views came into increasing disfavour in Rome. His second important political work, Del rinnovamento civile d’Italia (1851; “On the Civil Renewal of Italy”), showed greater approval of total democracy, inspired by popular risings in 1848 in Venice and Milan. Gioberti’s fortunes were then reversed: the papacy turned against him, and his works were placed on its Index of Forbidden Books.

Encyclopædia Britannica

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