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-1853 Part III NEXT-1854 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"

Siege of Sevastopol by Franz Roubaud
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1854 Part I
Bloemfontein Convention

The Orange River Convention (sometimes also called the Bloemfontein Convention) was a convention whereby the United Kingdom formally recognised the independence of the Boers in the area between the Orange and Vaal rivers, which had previously been known as the Orange River Sovereignty. This resulted in the formation of the independent Boer Republic of the Orange Free State (OFS).

The convention was signed on 23 February 1854 at the Green Lodge in Bloemfontein.

The convention did not state what the boundaries between the Basotho kingdom and the OFS were to be; this omission was the cause of much conflict in later years.

Sand River and Bloemfontein conventions, conventions of 1852 and 1854, respectively, between Great Britain and the Voortrekkers (Boers), who after 1835 had invaded the interior of Southern Africa north of the Orange River as part of the Great Trek. The conventions guaranteed their right to govern themselves without the interference of Great Britain. These conventions reversed the policy of Sir Harry Smith (governor of Cape Colony and high commissioner in South Africa) of extending formal British rule beyond the frontiers of the Cape Colony. In 1848 Smith had established the Orange River Sovereignty as a new British colony. British soldiers and diplomats sent to Bloemfontein (the colony’s capital) had difficulty persuading the Boers to accept British rule, and they had worse problems in dealing with land disputes between the Boers and the Sotho (Basuto, Basotho) under the leadership of Moshoeshoe to the east. The expense involved in military operations to maintain order, in the context of the apparently valueless grasslands of the Highveld interior, induced the British to recognize Boer independence. Boers north of the Vaal River were given independence at the Sand River Convention in 1852, after which they established the South African Republic (the Transvaal), and the Orange River Sovereignty became the independent Orange Free State after the Bloemfontein Convention in 1854. Earlier British treaties with African chiefdoms, which implied protection of their lands, were canceled, and Boers were permitted access to firearms and gunpowder while Africans were not, thus shifting the balance of power in the Highveld in favour of white settlers. In effect, the Boers were to carry out the conquest of the Southern African interior without the trouble and expense falling on the British. Both conventions contained clauses prohibiting slavery, which the Boers did not observe.

The two conventions are seen by some South African historians as a tragic turning point in South African history. The abandoning of the interior by the British in the 1850s, they imply, created the conditions that led to the South African War (1899–1902) between the British and the Boers. Likewise, the retreat of British “civilizing” influences in the 1850s and the subsequent allowance of the Afrikaners (as the Boers came to be known) to dominate Union of South Africa after 1910 created the conditions for apartheid. However, this view exaggerates the differences between the way in which the British colonies and the Boer states were governed, and it minimizes the role played by South Africans of British descent in helping to create and maintain apartheid.

Encyclopædia Britannica
see also: Transvaal
Orange Free State

Orange Free State, Afrikaans Oranje-Vrystaat, historical Boer state in Southern Africa that became a province of the Union of South Africa in 1910. One of the four traditional provinces of South Africa, it was bordered by the Transvaal to the north, Natal and the independent state of Lesotho to the east, and Cape Province to the south and west. The first postapartheid South African government renamed the province Free State in 1995.

Before the arrival of Europeans, the area was the home of seminomadic Bantu-speaking peoples such as the Tswana. Europeans first crossed the Orange River northward to enter the area in the 18th century. Early in the 19th century the Tswana were dispersed by Zulu military campaigns, and their place was taken by the Sotho (Basotho) and Griqua peoples. At the same time, seminomadic pastoral farmers of Dutch descent, called trekboers or Boers, began to settle the area. After 1836 came the Great Trek, a migratory movement in which larger numbers of Boer farmers seeking freedom from British rule moved north across the Orange River. In 1848 the British annexed the territory between the Orange and Vaal rivers, proclaiming it the Orange River Sovereignty over the resistance of the Boer general Andries Pretorius.

The British proved unable to build an orderly administration, however, and conflicts with the Sotho convinced the British to withdraw in 1854.

On February 23, 1854, under the Bloemfontein Convention, the British relinquished their sovereignty, and the local Boer settlers formed the independent Orange Free State.

The political structure of this new state combined traditional Boer institutions with Dutch and American constitutional theory. The members of the unicameral legislative assembly, the Volksraad (“People’s Council”), were elected by white adult males only.

  A directly elected president and an executive council exercised the executive power. During the first few years of the new state’s existence, it was much harassed by raids from Sotho peoples from the east.
The Sotho were at length conquered, and part of their territory was annexed under a treaty (1869) that determined the permanent boundary between Natal and Lesotho. These gains were made under the capable leadership of J.H. Brand, who was president of the Orange Free State from 1864 to 1888. The state prospered under his administration and accepted rail links with the British-ruled Cape Colony in the 1890s.

After L.S. Jameson’s abortive raid into the Transvaal in 1895, the Orange Free State was increasingly drawn into the tensions between Boers and British that resulted in the South African (Boer) War (1899–1902). In this conflict the Orange Free State fought against Britain by the side of its sister state, the South African Republic (i.e., the Transvaal), with which it had a defensive alliance. Under the leadership of Pres. M.T. Steyn and Gen. C.R. de Wet, the Orange Free State’s forces won some victories against the British army, but the two Boer republics could not ultimately prevail. In 1900, after British forces had occupied Bloemfontein, the Orange Free State was annexed by Britain as the Orange River Colony. The Boers continued to fight for two more years, but the Peace of Vereeniging (May 31, 1902) ended the independence of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic and reimposed British rule over them.


Location of Orange Free State
Self-government was restored in 1907, and in 1910 the colony became the Orange Free State Province within the Union of South Africa. The province remained unchanged when the Union of South Africa became the Republic of South Africa in 1961; but, after apartheid was abolished and the provincial governments were reorganized in 1993–94, the Orange Free State was renamed simply Free State.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Britain and France conclude alliance with Turkey and declare war on Russia;
unopposed landing of the Allies in Crimea;
siege of Sebastopol begins;
Allied victories at Balaklava and Inkerman
Battle of the Alma

The Battle of the Alma (20 September 1854), which is usually considered the first battle of the Crimean War (1853–1856), took place just south of the River Alma in the Crimea. An Anglo-French force under Jacques Leroy de Saint Arnaud and Fitzroy Somerset, 1st Lord Raglan defeated General Aleksandr Sergeyevich Menshikov's Russian army, which lost around 6,000 troops.

The Anglo-French forces landed on the western coast of the Crimean peninsula some 35 miles (56 km) north of Sevastopol, on 13 September 1854, at Calamita Bay ("Calamity Bay"). Although disorganised and weakened by disease (mostly cholera and dysentery), the lack of opposition these landings met allowed a beachhead of four miles (6 km) inland to be made. Six days later, 19 September 1854, the two armies headed south. The march involved crossing five rivers—the River Bulganak, the River Alma, the River Kacha, the River Belbek and the River Chernaya. At the River Alma, Prince Aleksandr Sergeyevich Menshikov, Commander-in Chief of the Russians forces in the Crimea, decided to make his stand on the heights above the south banks of the River Alma. Although the Russian Army was numerically inferior to the combined Anglo-French army (35,000 Russian troops as opposed to 60,000 British and French troops), the heights they occupied were a natural defensive position—indeed the last natural barrier to the allied armies on their approach to Sevastopol. Furthermore, the Russians had more than 100 artillery field guns on the heights which they could employ with devastating effect from the elevated position.

The British and French bivouacked on the northern bank, where the ground sloped gently down to the river. The precipitous cliffs running along the southern bank of the river were 350 feet (107 m) high and continued inland from the river's mouth for almost two miles (3 km) where they met a less steep, but equally high hill known as Telegraph Hill across the river from the village of Bourliouk. To its east lay Kourgane Hill, a natural strongpoint with fields of fire covering most approaches, and the key to the whole position. Two redoubts had been constructed to protect Kourgane Hill from infantry assault; the Lesser Redoubt on the eastern slope and the Greater Redoubt on the west. The road to Sevastopol ran between Telegraph and Kourgane Hill, covered by Russian batteries sited on the hills and in the narrow valley between them.

The Russians had only to hold their ground and keep the pass closed to achieve victory. The French, however, had a plan. Positioned on the allies' right (the western section of allied line, nearest the sea), they would assault the cliffs across the river. In theory, such an obvious attempt to turn the Russian flank would so concern the Russians that they would fail to notice a British attack on their centre and left.
Menshikov Alexander Sergeyevich

Prince Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Серге́евич Ме́ншиков; August 26, 1787 – May 2, 1869) was a Finnish-Russian nobleman, military commander and statesman.


Portrait of Prince Alexander Menshikov
by Franz Kruger
  He was made adjutant general in 1817 and admiral in 1833. A great-grandson of Alexander Danilovich Menshikov, Duke of Ingria, and a cognatic descendant of the Princely House of Golitsyn (another of his great-grandfathers was Prince Mikhail Golitsyn, the military governor of Åbo during the Russian occupation in the Great Northern War). Menshikov entered the Russian service as attaché to the embassy at Vienna in 1809. He became close with Tsar Alexander I and accompanied him throughout his campaigns against Napoleon.

In 1817 Menshikov was appointed acting Quartermaster general of the General Staff. In 1823, he was transferred to the ministry of foreign affairs. Menshikov retired from army service in 1824. During the initiation of the Russo-Persian War of 1826–28 and the prevail of Abbas Mirza's initiative in Tehran, Menshikov was placed under house arrest. He was appointed head of the Naval Headquarters and cabinet minister by Tsar Nicholas I. He distinguished himself at the Siege of Varna and in 1830 became a member of the State Council. In 1831 Menshikov held the post of Governor-General of Finland. He mainly devoted himself to naval matters. His bad influence on the development of the Russian Navy stalled its technical progress and combat training. In 1853, Menshikov was sent on a special mission to Constantinople, and when the Crimean War broke out he was appointed commander-in-chief on land and sea. He commanded the Russian army at Alma and Inkerman and showed incompetence and lack of military talent. On February 15, 1855, Menshikov was removed from command, and replaced by Prince Mikhail Dmitrievich Gorchakov.

Between December 1855 and April 1856, he held the post of Governor General of Kronstadt and then retired. He died in St. Petersburg.
Attack at the Greater Redoubt
On the far right, General Bousquet's division, supported by the guns of the French fleet, crossed the river, scaled the cliffs and were able to expel the Russian infantry and artillery stationed there. Bousquet could not continue the advance without reinforcements, reinforcements that would not arrive quickly. On Bousquet's left, French troops under General Canrobert crossed the river but were unable to move their guns up the steep cliffs. To Canrobert's left Prince Napoleon's division were not even able to cross the river. In the face of heavy fire from Telegraph Hill their advance stalled and the troops took shelter in the vineyards outside the village of Bourliouk.

Plan of the Battle of the Alma by George Dodd, 1856
Meanwhile, the British had moved forward. The army was arranged in two lines; the first had the Light Division on the left under Sir George Brown and the 2nd Division under Sir George de Lacy Evans on the right. Behind them on the right of the second line, Sir Richard England led his 3rd Division while on his left the Duke of Cambridge commanded the 1st Division. The 4th division under Sir George Cathcart and the cavalry under Lord Lucan were held in reserve.

Unfortunately, the Light Division had not extended its line far enough to the left and as it advanced it did so at a slight angle. Sir George Brown was extremely shortsighted and he failed to notice that this had occurred. Soon the troops on the right of the Light Division and the left of the 2nd Division were merging. The parade ground precision with which the British had set off had been lost. The Russians were now faced, not with a disciplined British formation, but by something with the outward appearance of a mob.

Unable to reorganise their men into anything like their original makeup, British officers finally ordered their men to charge as they were. The men charged, and as they struggled up the slope a densely packed mass of Russian infantry came towards them. The British troops stopped and opened fire on the Russians. The skill of the British as professional riflemen, using the newly developed Minié ball, forced the Russians back. The Crimean War was the first war in which the Minié ball was employed. Most British regiments in the Crimea had been fitted with the new type of shot, that took advantage of the rifling inside the barrel of the new British guns. Thus, a spin was placed on the Minié ball in flight on its way to the target. This produced much more accuracy, over a much greater range, than the old style smooth bore muskets the Russian Army was supplied with. Here at the Battle of the Alma, the Minié ball was to have a devastating impact on the Russians. The Russians had to be within 300 paces of the British to attain any kind of accuracy with their smooth bore muskets, while the British began firing their rifled Minié balls accurately on the Russians at a distance of 1200 paces.

As the red-coated line started back up the hill, the Russian artillery opened up. Scrambling up the slopes of Kourgane Hill in the face of determined artillery fire, the British line was no solid mass of troops, forming more of a thick skirmishing line, which with the accuracy of the Minié ball, left the Russian artillery field unable to stop the British attack and only slow it. The British continued upward until they finally tumbled over the walls of the Greater Redoubt, as the Russians were trying to move their guns. However, the Russians were set to rout and fled in all directions.

As the British celebrated in the Great Redoubt, some troops carved their initials on the carriages of captured Russian guns and marveled at their achievement, the lack of reinforcements soon made itself clear. The First Division, consisting of the Guards and Highland Brigades, was still crossing the river, and a great Russian column was moving straight for the Greater Redoubt in a counterattack. At one point during the Russian counterattack on the Great Redoubt, as the British prepared to meet the Russian counterattack, an unknown officer shouted "Do not fire! They are French." Other officers shouted the order to fire, and in the confusion the British troops began to withdraw from the Redoubt.

  Retreat and second attack
As the Russians column marched down to the Greater Redoubt, an astonishing fact became apparent. Earlier in the day, Menshikov had left Kourgane Hill and proceeded to view the action on the far left of the Russian army where the French had seemed to be initially, causing a danger. Now his second in command, watching his men push the British down the hill, looked westward for a sign of Menshikov. Instead he saw the cocked hats and white plumes of British staff officers atop a spur of Telegraph Hill calmly watching the battle. Lord Raglan had wanted a better view of the proceedings and followed by his staff had ridden past the French skirmishers on the left of Prince Napoleon's division and through the Russian skirmishers facing them.

Stumbling across an upward path, he finally found himself on a ridge jutting out from Telegraph Hill, overlooking Kourgane Hill and the valley between. Suggesting to his staff that it might be a good idea to have some guns in such a commanding position, the thought was taken as an order and soon two nine-pounders were firing from the ridge. The Russian batteries in the valley were forced to withdraw by fire from these guns, and a few shots fired in their direction persuaded the Russians pursuing the retreating British down the hill that this was unwise.

By now, the First Division had finally crossed the river and the Russians by the Greater Redoubt saw approaching below them the Grenadier Guards on the right of the British line, the Scots Fusilier Guards in the centre and the Coldstream Guards on the left. Out of sight on the far left was the Highland Brigade. Below the Greater Redoubt, however, a group of Royal Welch Fusiliers had held their ground when their comrades had retreated and were firing up at the redoubt. Suddenly the Russians unleashed hundreds of soldiers, who swarmed over the parapets of the retaken redoubt and poured a shattering volley of musket fire downwards. The Royal Welch Fusiliers were smashed and rushed down the hill, crashing into the advancing Scots Guards with such force that the line was broken in many places. The Scots Guards faltered, and when they were 40 yards (40 m) from the redoubt the Russians mounted a massive bayonet charge. The Scots Guards were forced to retreat and they did so stopping only when they reached the river. Almost 200 of them lay dead on the slope.

A large gap now existed between the Grenadiers and the Coldstream Guards. The Russian generals saw their chance and pushed two battalions into the gap. As the Grenadiers prepared to meet this charge, again strange orders were given, as had occurred earlier in the Greater Redoubt. An unknown officer told the Grenadiers to retire. The captain commanding the left-wing company of the Grenadiers, the Hon. Henry Percy, however, felt this order to be foolish and instead ordered his company to form a right angle with the rest of the battalion which thus now assumed an 'L' shape, with the base of the 'L' pointing back down to the river. As the Russians moved into the gap, his men were able to pour deadly accurate fire into their flank. The recently invented Minié ball bullet combined with this well executed manoeuvre caused the Russians to hesitate in their attack.
Seeing this, the British Grenadiers and the Coldstream Guards were soon able to close the gap between them and the Russians were forced to retreat. The Greater Redoubt was again in British hands and the defences on the left of the Russian centre were shattered.


Horace Vernet, Battle of the Alma
Final stage
The last act came on the far right of the Russian line where 10,000 troops were still unused and uncommitted. They were faced by the advancing Highland Brigade; a mere three battalions. Led by Sir Colin Campbell, the 93rd (Highland) Regiment, the 79th (Cameron Highlanders) Regiment and the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment were advancing in a dangerously thin line extended for almost 2,000 yards (2,000 m) although in the smoke and confusion of battle the Russians were unable to see that it was only two ranks deep. The highly disciplined Highland Brigade advanced firing, a task difficult to accomplish in those days. For the Russians it proved too much and they fell back. The Battle of the Alma was effectively over. On the right of the Allied line, Canrobert had finally got his guns up the cliffs and his Zouaves seized Telegraph Hill. The ridge Lord Raglan had so dramatically made his own was now swarming with red-coated troops. The Russian right was fleeing before the Highland Brigade, the Greater Redoubt was taken and the road to Sevastopol was now open.

The Russian retreat became a rout and Lord Raglan sought permission to pursue the Russians. Had the allies pursued the Russians at this point, they might have taken Sevastopol by surprise. However, General St. Arnaud decided this was impossible for his French troops had left their packs at their start points across the river and would have to go back for them before further advances. Furthermore, unlike the British, the French had no cavalry with which to give chase. Further, convincing certain allied commanders of the need not follow the Russians was the Russians own decision to blow up and sink their own navy across the opening of the harbor of Sevastopol. Realizing that their fleet could not match the allied fleet in speed or gunpower, the Russians made this bold decision to sink the ships across the opening of the harbor to prevent the allies from entering the harbor. The successful allied land forces on the River Alma now realized that any attack on Sevastopol would have to be made without any support from their navies. Accordingly, under all these restrictions the French commanders were reluctant to pursue the Russians at this point. Raglan was unwilling to pursue the enemy without French support and the broken Russian army was able to escape unmolested. Only on 23 September 1854, did the British and French land armies begin the march to Balaclava to begin the siege of Sevastopol.


French troops at the Battle of the Alma
During the battle, the First battalion of Zouaves lost 222 men, the Second battalion 74 men and the Third battalion 63 men. In the United Kingdom "Alma", as a girls' name, became popular as a result of the victory. Also numerous public houses and streets bear the name. In Paris, Pont de l'Alma is a bridge over the River Seine and other French streets are named after the battle. After the battle the Manx survivors made a pact that each man would name their first-born son Alma as a permanent reminder down the ages. Each son named Alma was to pass on the tradition to their own first-born son and name him Alma, and so on. A popular folk ballad of the time, The Heights of Alma, celebrates the battle.

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Siege of Sevastopol (1854-1855)

The Siege of Sevastopol lasted from September 1854 until September 1855 (25 September 1854 to 8 September 1855), during the Crimean War. The allies (French, Ottoman, and British) landed at Eupatoria on 14 September 1854, intending to make a triumphal march to Sevastopol, the capital of the Crimea, with 50,000 men. The 56-kilometre (35 mi) traverse took a year of fighting against the Russians. Major battles along the way were Alma (September 1854), Balaklava (October 1854), Inkerman (November 1854), Tchernaya (August 1855), Redan (September 1855), and, finally, Sevastopol (September 1855). During the siege, the allied navy undertook six bombardments of the capital, on 17 October 1854; and on 9 April, 6 June, 17 June, 17 August, and 5 September 1855.

Sevastopol is one of the classic sieges of all time. The city of Sevastopol was the home of the Tsar's Black Sea Fleet, which threatened the Mediterranean. The Russian field army withdrew before the allies could encircle it. The siege was the culminating struggle for the strategic Russian port in 1854–1855 and was the final episode in the Crimean War.

During the Victorian Era, these battles were repeatedly memorialized. The Siege of Sevastopol was the subject of Crimean soldier Leo Tolstoy's Sebastopol Sketches and the subject of the first Russian feature film, Defence of Sevastopol. The Battle of Balaklava was made famous by Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and Robert Gibb's painting The Thin Red Line, as well as by a panorama of the siege painted by Franz Roubaud. Treating the wounded from these battles were celebrated English nurses Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale.


Siege of Sevastopol by Franz Roubaud
The allies (French, Ottoman, and British) landed at Eupatoria on 14 September 1854. The Battle of the Alma (20 September 1854), which is usually considered the first battle of the Crimean War (1853–1856), took place just south of the River Alma in the Crimea. An Anglo-French force under Jacques Leroy de Saint Arnaud and Fitz Roy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan defeated General Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov's Russian army, which lost around 6,000 troops.

Moving from their base at Balaklava at the start of October, French and British engineers began to direct the building of siege lines along the Chersonese uplands to the south of Sevastopol. The troops prepared redoubts, gun batteries, and trenches.

With the Russian army and its commander Prince Menshikov gone, the defence of Sevastopol was led by Vice Admirals Vladimir Alexeyevich Kornilov and Pavel Nakhimov, assisted by Menshikov's chief engineer, Lieutenant Colonel Eduard Totleben. The military forces available to defend the city were 4,500 militia, 2,700 gunners, 4,400 marines, 18,500 naval seamen, and 5,000 workmen, totalling just over 35,000 men.

The Russians began by scuttling their ships to protect the harbour, then used their naval cannon as additional artillery and the ships' crews as marines. Those ships deliberately sunk by the end of 1855 included Grand Duke Constantine, City of Paris (both with 120 guns), Brave, Empress Maria, Chesme, Yagondeid (84 guns), Kavarna (60 guns), Konlephy (54 guns), steam frigate Vladimir, steamboats Thunderer, Bessarabia, Danube, Odessa, Elbrose, and Krein.

Kornilov Vladimir Alexeyevich

Vice Admiral Vladimir Alexeyevich Kornilov (Влади́мир Алексе́евич Корни́лов; 13 February 1806 – 17 October 1854) was a Russian naval officer who took part in the Crimean War.


Portrait of Vladimir Alexeyevich Kornilov by Karl Brullov on board of the brig Themistocles. 1835.
  Kornilov was born in his family state in Staritsky District, Tver Governorate in 1806. His father was governor of Irkutsk. Kornilov entered the naval service in 1823, and in 1827 he fought in the Battle of Navarino as a midshipman aboard the fleets flagship Azov.
In 1841 he became the first captain of the battleship Twelve Apostles, he disciplined the crew and participated with it in the Black Sea Fleet Review (held every seven years) before Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich. He sailed to London in 1847 to buy a new steam frigate. In 1849 he became chief of staff Black Sea Fleet. In 1853, with his flag hoisted aboard the 11-gun steam frigate Vladimir (commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Grigory I. Butakov) met an 19-gun Turkish Vessel, the Pervaz-ı Bahrî, when they were cruising close to Penderakli. Kornilov gave the order of engaging the enemy and the Vladimir joined battle against Pervaz-Bahri. The Ottoman ship had no bow and stern artillery, so every time it employed its side artillery, Butakov manoeuvred to rake its stern. Considering that the battle was taking too long, Kornilov gave the order to speed the sinking of the enemy. Cpt. Butakov ordered to speed up the ship and approaching the enemy to around 100 meters, fired canister rounds from all his side guns. The Pervaz-Bahri had suffered heavy casualties in the 3 hour long battle and hauled its flag. The ship was transported to Sevastopol where it was commissioned to the Russian Navy as Kornilov.

During the Crimean War, Kornilov was responsible for the defence of Sevastopol. He was killed early in the siege and was buried in the Admirals' Burial Vault.

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By mid-October 1854, the Allies had some 120 guns ready to fire on Sevastopol; the Russians had about three times as many.

On 17 October 1854 (old style date, 29 October new style) the artillery battle began. The Russian artillery first destroyed a French magazine, silencing their guns. British fire then set off the magazine in the Malakoff redoubt, killing Admiral Kornilov, silencing most of the Russian guns there, and leaving a gap in the city's defences. However, the British and French withheld their planned infantry attack, and a possible opportunity for an early end to the siege was missed.


Map of Sevastopol
At the same time, to support the Allied land forces, the Allied fleet pounded the Russian defences and shore batteries. Six screw-driven ships of the line and 21 wooden sail were involved in the sea bombardment (11 British, 14 French, and two Ottoman Turkish). After a bombardment that lasted over six hours, the Allied fleet inflicted little damage on the Russian defences and coastal artillery batteries while suffering 340 casualties among the fleet. Two of the British warships were so badly damaged that they were towed to the arsenal in Constantinople for repairs and remained out of action for the remainder of the siege, while most of the other warships also suffered serious damage due to many direct hits from the Russian coastal artillery. The bombardment resumed the following day, but the Russians had worked through the night and repaired the damage. This pattern would be repeated throughout the siege.

During October and November 1854, the battles of Balaclava and Inkerman took place beyond the siege lines. Balaclava gave the Russians a morale boost and convinced them that the allied lines were thinly spread out and undermanned. But after their defeat at Inkerman, the Russians saw that the siege of Sevastopol would not be lifted by a battle in the field, so instead they moved troops into the city to aid the defenders. Toward the end of November, a winter storm ruined the Allies' camps and supply lines. Men and horses sickened and starved in the poor conditions.


Map of the French (blue) and British (red) lines during the siege. The defenders' positions are in green.
While Totleben extended the fortifications around the Redan bastion and the Malakoff redoubt, British chief engineer John Fox Burgoyne sought to take the Malakoff, which he saw as the key to Sevastopol. Siege works were begun to bring the Allied troops nearer to the Malakoff; in response, Totleben dug rifle pits from which Russian troops could snipe at the besiegers. In a foretaste of the trench warfare that became the hallmark of the First World War, the trenches became the focus of Allied assaults.

The Allies were able to restore many supply routes when winter ended. The new Grand Crimean Central Railway, built by the contractors Thomas Brassey and Samuel Morton Peto, which had been completed at the end of March 1855 was now in use bringing supplies from Balaclava to the siege lines. The railroad delivered more than five hundred guns and plentiful ammunition. The Allies resumed their bombardment on 8 April 1855 (Easter Sunday). On 28 June (10 July), Admiral Nakhimov died from a head wound inflicted by an Allied sniper.

Siege of Sevastopol
On 24 August (5 September) the Allies started their sixth and the most severe bombardment of the fortress. Three hundred and seven cannon fired 150,000 rounds, with the Russians suffering 2,000 to 3,000 casualties daily. On 27 August (8 September), thirteen Allied divisions and one Allied brigade (total strength 60,000) began the last assault. The British assault on the Great Redan failed, but the French, under General Patrice de Mac-Mahon, Duke of Magenta, managed to seize the Malakoff redoubt and the Little Redan, making the Russian defensive position untenable. By the morning of 28 August (9 September), the Russian forces had abandoned the southern side of Sevastopol.

Although defended heroically and at the cost of heavy Allied casualties, the fall of Sevastopol would lead to the Russian defeat in the Crimean War. Most of the Russian casualties were buried in Brotherhood cemetery in over 400 collective graves. The three main commanders (Nakhimov, Kornilov, and Istomin) were interred in the purpose-built Admirals' Burial Vault.

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Chronology of major battles of the Crimean war

Battle of Sinop, 30 November 1853
Siege of Petropavlovsk, 30–31 August 1854, on the Pacific coast
Battle of Alma, 20 September 1854
Siege of Sevastopol, 25 September 1854 to 8 September 1855
Battle of Balaclava, 25 October 1854
Battle of Inkerman, 5 November 1854
Battle of Eupatoria, 17 February 1855
Battle of the Chernaya (aka "Traktir Bridge"), 16 August 1855
Sea of Azoff naval campaign, May to November 1855
Siege of Kars, June to 28 November 1855

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Battle of Balaclava

The Battle of Balaclava, fought on 25 October 1854 during the Crimean War, was part of Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855) to capture the port and fortress of Sevastopol, Russia's principal naval base on the Black Sea. The engagement followed the earlier Allied victory in September at the Battle of the Alma, where the Russian General Menshikov had positioned his army in an attempt to stop the Allies progressing south towards their strategic goal. Alma was the first major encounter fought in the Crimea since the Allied landings at Kalamita Bay on 14 September, and was a clear battlefield success; but a tardy pursuit by the Allies failed to gain a decisive victory, allowing the Russians to regroup, recover and prepare their defence.

The Allies decided against an immediate assault on Sevastopol and instead prepared for a protracted siege. The British, under the command of Lord Raglan, and the French, under Canrobert, positioned their troops to the south of the port on the Chersonese Peninsula: the French Army occupied Kamiesh on the west coast whilst the British moved to the southern port of Balaclava. However, this position committed the British to the defence of the right flank of the Allied siege operations, for which Raglan had insufficient troops. Taking advantage of this exposure, the Russian General Liprandi, with some 25,000 men, prepared to attack the defences in and around Balaclava, hoping to disrupt the supply chain between the British base and their siege lines.

The battle began with a Russian artillery and infantry attack on the Ottoman redoubts that formed Balaclava's first line of defence. The Ottoman forces initially resisted the Russian assaults, but lacking support they were eventually forced to retreat. When the redoubts fell, the Russian cavalry moved to engage the second defensive line held by the Ottoman and the Scottish 93rd Highland Regiment in what came to be known as the 'Thin Red Line'. This line held and repulsed the attack; as did General James Scarlett's British Heavy Brigade who charged and defeated the greater proportion of the cavalry advance, forcing the Russians onto the defensive. However, a final Allied cavalry charge, stemming from a misinterpreted order from Raglan, led to one of the most famous and ill-fated events in British military history – the Charge of the Light Brigade.


Allied 'flank march' to the Chersonese Peninsula and Sevastopol, September 1854.
On to Sevastopol
The British and French fleets departed from the Bulgarian port of Varna on 5 September 1854, heading towards Kalamita Bay in the Crimea. By the 14th, the troops began to land; within four days the Allied force of 61,400 infantry, 1,200 cavalry and 137 guns, was ashore. Thirty-three miles (~53 km) to the south of the landing zone, beyond the Bulganak, Alma, Katcha and Belbek rivers, lay the Russian naval base and fortress of Sevastopol, the key Allied objective in the Crimea. General Menshikov, aware of the Allied presence, prepared his troops on the banks of the River Alma in an effort to halt the Franco-British advance, but on 20 September he was soundly defeated in what was the first major battle in the Crimea. News of Menshikov's defeat was met with disbelief by Tsar Nicholas I in St. Petersburg – it seemed it would only be a matter of time before Sevastopol fell. But Allied hesitation, first from the French commander-in-chief, Saint-Arnaud, then by Lord Raglan, allowed the dispirited Russians to escape the battlefield in relative order, allowing Menshikov and his army to reach Sevastopol, reorganise and rebuild their morale. "It is frightful to think what might have happened," wrote Vice-Admiral Kornilov, "had it not been for this cardinal error of the enemy's."

The Allied march south finally recommenced on the morning of 23 September 1854, but there was as yet no definite plan of action; it was not until they had passed the River Katcha in sight of Sevastopol itself, that the Allied commanders discussed their options. The original plan had envisaged a move across the River Belbek before attacking the north side (the Severnaya) of Sevastopol harbour, defended by the Star Fort; but recent naval intelligence had revealed that the position was much stronger than had first been realised. John Burgoyne, the British Army's most experienced engineer, advocated an attack on Sevastopol from the south which, from all reports, was still an imperfectly entrenched position.

  This was a view shared by Saint-Arnaud who, having received his own intelligence of Russian reinforcements, had refused to agree to an attack from the north. Burgoyne's proposed 'flank march' required the Allies to go round the city to the east in order to attack the harbour from the south where the defences were weakest.

Raglan was inclined to agree, arguing that he had always been disposed to such an operation; he knew, too, that the problem of re-supply would be eased with the seizing of the southern ports on the Chersonese Peninsula.

On 24 September, Menshikov began to move his army out of Sevastopol towards Bakchi Serai and Simferopol, leaving Admirals Kornilov and Nakhimov to organise the 18,000-strong garrison (mainly sailors and marines) and prepare the port's defences. By venturing into the interior of the Crimea, Menshikov would not only keep open his communications with Russia, but would also be in touch with reinforcements from Odessa or Kertch; moreover, he would be free to operate in the field and threaten the Allied flank. Whilst Menshikov moved east, the Anglo-French-Turkish army, with the British in the vanguard, continued its march towards the southern coast of the peninsula. The heat was oppressive, the water sparse, and cholera rife, taking a heavy toll on the men including Saint-Arnaud who was already ill with cancer. The march had been a real trial and was not without incident.

At one point, on 25 September near MacKenzie's Farm, Raglan and his staff in front of the British column stumbled across the rear of the retreating Russians; with the rest of his army strung out behind in hopeless disorder, Menshikov missed a chance to inflict a major reverse on the British. By the 26th, however, Raglan had reached the village of Kadikoi, and was able to look down on the narrow inlet of Balaclava. That same day Saint-Arnaud, now critically ill, surrendered his command to General Canrobert.


Charge of the Light Brigade by Richard Caton Woodville, Jr.
Allied deployment
The harbour at Balaclava was too small for both Allied armies to use. By rights the French, who had claimed the honour of holding the right of the line, should have occupied Balaclava whilst the British should have moved west to the ports of Kazatch and Kamiesh. Canrobert offered the British the choice, but badly advised by Admiral Lyons, Raglan chose Balaclava for his base, not realising that the two western bays offered far better facilities as supply ports. Moreover, Raglan committed the British Army to the defence of the right flank of the Allied operation, and would have to ensure the security of both Anglo-French armies against the threat posed by Menshikov's forces to the east. The decision by Raglan was a bad mistake, and one for which the British Army was to pay a terrible price.

For many, the only justification for the 'flank march' was an immediate assault upon Sevastopol. George Cathcart, commander of the British 4th Division, pleaded with Raglan for instant action. "I am sure I could walk into it, with scarcely the loss of a man," wrote Cathcart to Raglan on 28 September from the heights above the eastern approach to the city. "We could leave our packs, and run into it even in open day … We see people walking about the streets in great consternation ..." But caution prevailed, and plans by Burgoyne for a formal siege, backed by Canrobert, were prepared. When Raglan told Cathcart that nothing would happen until the Allied siege trains had been landed, Cathcart could not hide his irritation, "Land the siege trains! But my dear Lord Raglan, what the devil is there to knock down?"
  Having decided upon which port they would occupy the Allies set about deploying their forces on the Chersonese Peninsula. The peninsula is bounded to the north by Sevastopol Harbour, at the head of which the River Chernaya flows from the south-east. The eastern boundary is formed by a long escarpment, the Sapouné Heights, averaging 600 feet high, and pierced by two passes only: the metalled Woronstov road, and, at the southern end of the heights, the Col, through which ran a steeper and more difficult road leading from the west end of Sevastopol to Balaclava. Sevastopol itself was divided in two by the Dockyard Creek. Two of Canrobert's four divisions, supervised by General Forey, were allotted the western siege operations around the city, from the Black Sea to the Dockyard Creek; the other two divisions, under General Bosquet, would act as a covering force along the Sapouné Heights. To Bosquet's north lay the camp of the British 1st Division, and beyond this De Lacy Evans' 2nd Division guarding the extreme right of the Allied line with the Inkerman Heights to its front and the Chernaya Valley to its right.

The port of Balaclava lay outside the main Allied perimeter and had to be provided with a defensive system of its own. The Woronstov Road ran down from the Sapouné Heights along a ridge, running east–west, known as the Causeway Heights, dividing the plain into two sections – the North Valley and the South Valley. Redoubts upon the Causeway Heights offered Balaclava its first line of defence: five were built upon the heights – approximately 500 yards (~450 m) apart – and one upon what came to be known as Canrobert's Hill, slightly to the south and covering the extreme right of the British defences.

The redoubts housed a total of nine naval guns, all 12-pounders from HMS Diamond: three in No.1 redoubt on Canrobert's Hill; two each in redoubts 2, 3 and 4. Redoubts 5 and 6 (the two at the western end of the Causeway Heights), were still unfinished and without any guns. These defences were hastily constructed, but they were not small works: No.1 redoubt held a garrison of 600 Turks, whilst redoubts 2,3, and 4 each held 300; all were accompanied by one British artillery NCO. The inner line of defence of the British base was supplied by the 93rd Highlanders and a Royal Artillery field battery stationed at the village of Kadikoi to the north of Balaclava. These were supported by Royal Marines and artillery positioned along the heights above the port, as well as additional Ottoman troops. In addition to these defences Raglan could call upon the 1,500 men of Lord Lucan's Cavalry Division camped on the western end of the South Valley, along with a troop of Royal Horse Artillery. The total force available for the immediate defence of the British base at Balaclava numbered around 4,500 men, supported by 26 guns.

Cossack Bay, Balaclava. Photo: Roger Fenton c. 1855.
Russian plan
As the Allied siege guns bombarded Sevastopol the Russian reserves were moving to the Crimea. The Russians sought to relieve Sevastopol from bombardment by marching newly arrived reinforcements from the Danubian front. This force of Russian reinforcements would strike at the allies' main port of supply—Balaclava. At the forefront of these reinforcements was the 12 Infantry Division – part of the Russian 4th Corps – under General Pavel Liprandi. This division, consisting of the Azovsky, Dnieper, Ukraine and Odessa regiments, along with four batteries of artillery, had arrived from Bessarabia; by the time the division had reached the Crimea, Menshikov had decided on the plan to use them to attack the Allied rear from Chorgun, and march on Balaclava.

The vulnerability of Balaclava was well known to both sides. Undertaking the siege operations around Sevastopol whilst securing the Allies' eastern flank was stretching the recourses of Raglan's dwindling forces – British casualties at the Alma had been high, and many were still suffering from the cholera epidemic; others simply fell sick from exhaustion. With the arrival of further Russian reinforcements, Menshikov's total force in theatre (including 12 Division) numbered around 65,000. The remainder of 4th Corps – 10 and 11 Divisions – were also heading towards the Crimea, but Menshikov, under pressure from Nicholas I to strike back at the Allies, decided not to wait for these troops before beginning the attack.

The first move by the Russians came on the early morning of 18 October 1854, when Lieutenant Colonel Rakovitch moved against the village of Chorgun with three infantry battalions, 200 Cossacks and four guns. From here, Liprandi, Rakovitch and Major General Semyakin were able to reconnoitre the Allied redoubts along the Causeway Heights.

  To the Russian commanders, and, belatedly, to the Royal Engineers, the redoubts were recognised to be too far forward of the inner defensive line of Balaclava to be adequately defended and supported by the British. Russian reconnaissance reports had also indicated that these outer defences were occupied by a mixture of Tunisians, raw recruits and militia, and not of the same calibre of men that had defeated them on the Danube at the beginning of the war. To Liprandi and his generals it seemed a swift strike against the redoubts was certain of success.

By 23 October Liprandi had gathered 16,000 men, known as the 'Detachment of Chorgun', comprising 17 battalions, 30 squadrons and 64 guns. The left column, commanded by Major General Gribbe, was to advance across the Chernaya River and towards the village of Kamara. The centre column, under Major General Semyakin, was divided into two wings: Semyakin himself, commanding the left wing, was to lead his troops south from Chorgun before moving against Canrobert's Hill and No.1 redoubt; Major General Levutsky, commanding the right wing of the centre column, was tasked to assault No.2 redoubt farther to the west. Meanwhile the right column, under Colonel Skyuderi, was to advance across the Chernaya via the Tractir Bridge before moving south through the Fedyukhin Heights and across the North Valley to attack No.3 redoubt.
The attacks were to be supported by Lieutenant General Ryzhov's cavalry. A further force, numbering 4,500 men and 14 guns under Major General Zhabokritsky, protected Liprandi's right from Allied interference. Once the redoubts had been captured, Zhabokritsky was to occupy the Fedioukine Heights.
In total (including Zhabokritsky's force and a reserve held back at the Tractir Bridge) Liprandi had at his disposal around 25,000 men and 78 guns – not enough to threaten the siege lines, but more than enough to compromise the defences at Balaclava whose loss to the Allies would be tremendous.


French military map of 1855. The village of Kamara, where the battle began, is in the south-east corner.
Recent intelligence received by the British had indicated a major Russian attack was imminent. After a considerable number of false alarms the previous week, however, Raglan failed to act, believing that they were needlessly exhausting his men who were turned out on every report. But this latest intelligence proved accurate, and early on 25 October, just before 05:00, Liprandi’s troops of the 'Chorgun Detachment' left their camp and marched off in silence towards the Balaclava valleys.

The village of Kamara was the most easterly picket for Allied soldiers, providing a useful observation point for Lucan's vedettes. In the dark dawn, a squadron of Russian Cossacks, followed by a host of uhlans, rode slowly towards the village. These troops were the leading elements of Gribbe's force. First to discover that the Russians had moved up under cover of dark was the duty field officer of the day, Captain Alexander Low of the 4th Light Dragoons. The picket in Kamara had not seen the advancing Cossacks (there is some suggestion that they were sleeping), and it was only through Low's timely arrival and his shouts that they managed to escape and make their way to the nearest redoubt on the Causeway Heights. Behind the Cossacks and uhlans came the Dnieper Regiment along with the artillery. Immediately, Gribbe positioned his ten guns on the slopes to the west of Kamara, leaving his gunners with a clear view of No.1 redoubt on Canrobert's Hill.

In accordance with his usual practice Lucan had gone forward at daybreak to inspect the redoubts and outposts, accompanied by his staff Lord George Paget, Lord William Paulet, and Major Thomas McMahon. As they approached Canrobert's Hill, two signal flags were observed, signifying the approach of the Russians. Paget, commanding officer of the 4th Light Dragoons (and commanding officer of the Light Brigade in Cardigan's absence), later recalled the moment when they realized something was wrong:

"Hello," said Lord William, "there are two flags flying; what does it mean?" "Why, that surely is the signal that the enemy is approaching," said Major McMahon. "Are you quite sure?" we replied. Hardly were the words out of McMahon's mouth, when bang went a cannon from the redoubt in question, fired on the advancing masses of the enemy.


Battle of Balaclava. Ryzhov‘s cavalry attacks over the Causeway Heights at approximately 09:15. Both branches of the attack happened almost simultaneously.
The Ottoman guns from No.1 redoubt on Canrobert's hill fired on the Russians at around 06:00 – the Battle of Balaclava had begun. Lucan despatched Captain Charteris to inform Raglan that the redoubts were under attack. Charteris arrived at around 07:00, but those at the British headquarters had already heard the sound of the guns. Lucan himself rode quickly back towards Kadikoi to confer with Colin Campbell, commander of the Balaclava defences. The two men agreed that this was not another Russian feint, but an attack in force with the intention of taking the British base. Campbell prepared his 93rd Highlanders to meet the enemy, whilst Lucan returned to the cavalry. Leaving the Light Brigade where it stood, Lucan led the Heavy Brigade towards the redoubts, hoping his presence might discourage any further Russian advance on Balaclava.
Realizing his show of strength had little impact, however, Lucan led the Heavies back to their original position alongside the Light Brigade. The Ottoman forces were left to face the full force of the Russian assault almost alone.

Whilst Gribbe's artillery continued to shell No.1 redoubt, the Russian columns under Levutsky, Semyakin, and Skyuderi began to move into the North Valley. Although the Heavy Brigade had pulled back, the British did send forward their available artillery to assist the Ottoman forces on the Causeway Heights. Captain George Maude's troop of horse artillery, I Troop, unlimbered its four 6-pounder and two 12-pounder guns between redoubts 2 and 3, whilst Captain Barker's battery, W Battery, of the Royal Artillery, moved out of Balaclava and took its position on Maude's left. However, the artillery duel was a very one sided affair. The heavier Russian guns (some 18-pounders), particularly No.4 battery under Lieutenant Postikov, together with the riflemen of the Ukraine regiment, took their toll on both men and ordnance. Running short of ammunition and taking hits, Maude's troop was forced to retire, their place taken by two guns from Barker's battery (Maude himself was severely wounded). As the British artillery fire slackened, Semyakin prepared to storm No. 1 redoubt, personally leading the assault together with three battalions of the Azovsky Regiment under Colonel Krudener. "I waved my hat on both sides." Recalled Semyakin, "Everybody rushed after me and I was protected by the stern Azovs." The Ottoman forces on Canrobert's Hill resisted stubbornly. Although the attack had begun at 06:00, it was not until 07:30 when No.1 redoubt fell. During that time the 600 Ottoman defenders had suffered from the heavy artillery bombardment; in the ensuing fight in the redoubt and subsequent pursuit by the Cossacks, an estimated 170 Ottomans were killed. In his first report of the action for The Times, William Russell wrote that the Turks 'received a few shots and then bolted', but afterwards admitted that he had not been a witness to the start of the battle, confessing, 'Our treatment of the Turks was unfair … ignorant as we were that the Turkish in No.1 redoubt lost more than a fourth of their number ere they abandoned it to the enemy'. Later Lucan and Campbell too acknowledged the firmness with which the assault on No 1 redoubt, which was not visible from their vantage point, had been resisted; it was not until this had been overwhelmed did the defenders abandon redoubts 2, 3 and 4. Of the estimated 2,500 Russians who took part in the assault the Azovsky Regiment lost two officers and 149 men killed.

The remaining redoubts were now in danger of falling into the hands of the oncoming Russians. The battalions of the Ukraine Regiment under Colonel Dudnitsky-Lishin, attacked redoubts Nos.2 and 3, whilst the Odessa Regiment under Skyuderi, advanced on redoubt No.4. The Ottoman forces in these positions, having already watched their compatriots flee the first redoubt and realizing that the British were not coming to their aid, retreated back towards Balaclava, pursued by the Cossacks who had little trouble dispatching any stray or isolated men; the few British NCOs could do nothing but spike the guns, rendering them unusable. The Ottoman forces had gained some time for the Allies, but in the end the Turks were forced to abandon the redoubts. By 08:00 the Russians were occupying redoubts 1, 2 and 3, and, considering it too close to the enemy, had razed redoubt No.4.
  South Valley
Canrobert had been informed of the Russian attack at about 07:30, and had immediately ridden off to join Raglan. Bosquet, having been aroused by the sound of the cannon, had ordered the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division of the French Army – commanded by General Vinoy – to march towards Balaclava in support of the British. Additionally, the 1st Brigade under General Espinasse began to move, along with the divisional artillery and the Chasseurs d'Afrique. The French 3rd Division was put on alert, and the horse artillery of the reserve harnessed. Raglan had at first thought the Russian advance a feint, possibly designed to occupy him whilst the enemy stormed out of Sevastopol to attack his army overlooking the heights above the city; but now he saw that he had been wrong. With the first four redoubts on the Causeway Heights either captured or out of action, all that protected Balaclava were Lucan's Cavalry Division, together with the 550 men of the 93 Highlanders, Barker's W Battery, 100 invalids under Colonel Daveney, and some Ottomans, reinforced by their countrymen from the redoubts who had rallied and formed up alongside them. It was only now that Raglan ordered the British 1st Division under Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, and Cathcart's 4th Division, to move into the plain. The 1st Division got away promptly, but when Raglan's staff officer informed Cathcart that the Russians were marching on Balaclava, he at first refused to comply, complaining that his men had only just finished their shift in the trenches before Sevastopol. In the end he did move, but the delay brought his division down 40 minutes after the Duke's. It would take a least two hours to march an infantry division down from the heights overlooking Sevastopol into the plain of Balaclava. The Russians appeared to have the intentions and the means to capture the British base in a much shorter time.

At approximately 07:45, the commander of the Light Brigade, the Earl of Cardigan, reached his cavalry, having arrived from his yacht moored in Balaclava harbour. Raglan, meanwhile, had taken up his position on the Sapouné Heights, 650 feet (~200 m) above the plain. Unwilling at this point to risk his cavalry without infantry support (as he had done throughout the whole campaign), Raglan issued his first order to the Cavalry Division at 08:00 – "Cavalry to take ground to the left of the second line of redoubts occupied by the Turks". The order was ambiguous and misleading (there was no 'second line of redoubts' and the word 'left' is dependent on the perspective of the viewer), but on this occasion Lucan had interpreted the order correctly, and moved his cavalry to the west, placing them between No. 6 redoubt and the foot of the Sapouné Heights where they could not be seen by, or engage with, the Russians. The new position placed the Light Brigade near, but to one side, of the mouth of the North Valley; the Heavy Brigade sat on their right. However, 30 minutes after issuing his first order, Raglan now changed his mind and issued his second order at 08:30 – "Eight squadrons of heavy Dragoons to be detached towards Balaclava to support the Turks who are wavering". There was no evidence that the Turks formed up alongside the Highlanders were wavering, but Raglan thought they were, or might soon do so.[53] As each regiment comprised two squadrons, Lucan, with growing frustration, was required to move four of his five Heavy Brigade regiments back onto the open plain and the defensive line of Kadikoi. Although this order meant he had to divide his cavalry – thus reducing the effectiveness of each part – Lucan complied, and ordered General James Scarlett to lead four regiments back to where they had just come from.

The Thin Red Line by Robert Gibb. Campbell's 93rd Highlanders repel the Russian cavalry.
Ryzhov's advance
Liprandi now brought forward Ryzhov's cavalry in order to press home his advantage. Ryzhov's force consisted of eight squadrons of the 11th Kiev Hussars, six of the 12th Ingermanland Hussars, three of 53 Don Cossack Regiment, and the 1st Ural Cossacks, totalling between 2,000 and 3,000 men (sources vary), and 16 guns. The Russian cavalry crossed in a south-westerly direction across the Chernaya river and, at about 09:00, streamed into the North Valley. When level with the empty No.4 redoubt, Ryzhov wheeled to the left, crested the Causeway Heights, and came to a halt; before him, he could see the Heavy Brigade moving east across his front, whilst away to the south he could discern the Highlanders and Turks immediately to the north of Kadikoi. Ryzhov detached 400 men of the Ingermanland Hussars to turn and head straight for the Allied infantry position. Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde, commander of the Highland Brigade and thus the 93rd Highlanders, brought his men forward from behind the hillock that had sheltered them from the Russian artillery. With only Balaclava and the Black Sea to their backs, he rode quickly along the line expressing his determination to resist – "Men, remember there is no retreat from here. You must die where you stand." Campbell's aide, John Scott replied "Aye Sir Colin. Needs be we'll do that". Campbell had such a poor opinion of the Russian cavalry that he did not bother telling his men to form square; instead, he lined them up two ranks deep. Raglan on the Sapouné Heights had a grandstand view, as did William Russell who wrote furiously in his notebook:

The Russians dash at the Highlanders. The ground flies beneath their horses' feet; gathering speed at every stride, they dash on towards that thin red streak topped with a line of steel. The British delivered their first volley at long range and failed to fell a single Russian. A second volley thundered, supported by fire from guns of Barker's battery and those of the Marines. This caused the Russians to swerve to their left, which Campbell took as an attempt to turn his right. He sternly checked an inclination to charge with the bayonet, and instead threw forward the 93rd's right grenadier company under Captain Ross. This delivered a third volley which decided the issue.

  Barely five minutes after it had begun the Ingermanland Hussars were in retreat, and heading towards the Causeway Heights: the Russian commander of the brigade had reasoned that such a small, unsquared line of British infantry could not hope to hold out a cavalry charge, therefore there must be a larger force behind them. It was not until later accounts that Russell's 'thin red streak', became the famous 'Thin Red Line'.

Meanwhile, the main part of Ryzhov's cavalry remained static on the southern slopes of the Causeway Heights, some 800 yards (~730 m) from Scarlett's Heavy Brigade still moving south-east in the South Valley. The eight squadrons of the Heavy Brigade consisted of two each from the Scots Greys, the 6th Dragoons, 4th Dragoon Guards, and the 5th Dragoon Guards; the brigade's remaining two squadrons from the 1st Royal Dragoons were left in their original position to the west of No.6 redoubt. Although outnumbering the British by two or three to one and having the advantage of the high ground, the Russians seemed shaken by the unexpected presence of Scarlett's cavalry.

Scarlett, notoriously short-sighted, remained unaware that the Russians were there. However, once he had negotiated a vineyard and the sprawling tented camp of the Light Brigade, he was notified by his ADC, Lieutenant Elliot, of the proximity of the Russian cavalry on their left flank. Scarlett gave the order 'Left wheel into line' which turned the two advanced regiments into line to face the enemy; these were shortly followed by the other two regiments forming a second line. Had the Russians charged at this moment they would have caught Scarlett's men completely disorganised, yet Ryzhov let the chance slip. Lucan, who had also seen the Russians, rode across with his staff from the Light Brigade to join the Heavies. So impatient was he to attack that he ordered his duty trumpeter, Trumpet Major Joy, to sound the charge – but nothing happened. An attempt to attack before his men were in perfect alignment was contrary to every precept that the officers had learnt back in England, and it was only when the dressing had been completed to his satisfaction did Scarlett order his trumpeter, Trumpet Major Monks, to sound the charge. The Heavy Brigade began to move against the Russian cavalrymen.


The 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons and 5th Dragoon Guards engage the Russians in the Charge of the Heavy Brigade
Charge of the Heavy Brigade
The charge of the Heavy Brigade was anything but a charge – the brigade had launched uphill from a standing start, and the short distance between the two combatants had hardly allowed their horses to reach the trot. Moreover, the Russians were at last moving to meet them. Scarlett was first into Ryzhov's cavalry, closely followed by his staff, and, initially, just three squadrons – two of the Scots Greys on the left, and one of the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons on the right, totalling 300 men. The first to feel the force of the British attack were the Ingermanland Hussars, under the command of Major General Khaletsky. Staff-captain Arbuzov later described how they – " … had to fight with the regiment of Queen Victoria's Dragoon Guards in their red coats … Neither we nor the English wanted to yield." A British Dragoon later described the action from his own perspective – "They were so superior in numbers, they outflanked us, and we were in the middle of them … I hope God will forgive me, for I felt more like a devil than a man."

Shortly, the second squadron of the Inniskillings attacked the left flank of the Russians, followed by the 5th Dragoon Guards who crashed into the Russians as they folded around the rear of the Scots Greys. Beyond them the 4th Dragoons, in one unbroken line and to cries of Faugh A Ballagh, attacked the right rear of the Russian cavalry; the force of their impact was such that they were able to hack their way from one flank to the other with the loss of only one man. Finally came the Royal Dragoons who, ignoring their orders to remain behind, attacked on their own initiative, striking the right front of the Russians. Ryzhov had been caught flat-footed, allowing Scarlett's cavalry to push ahead, heaving and hacking at their opponents from all sides before gaining the ascendancy. "At length they turned and well they might," wrote Lieutenant Godman. "We pursued about 300 yards, and then called off with much difficulty, the gunners opened on them, and gave them a fine peppering." These guns were from C Troop, Royal Horse Artillery under Captain Brandling, whose 24-pounders dissuaded Ryzhov's cavalry from reforming and charging again. The Russians retreated in the direction of the Causeway Heights before halting at the east end of the North Valley.

The Charge of the Heavy Brigade had lasted no more than 10 minutes. Ryzhov's cavalry suffered 40–50 killed and over 200 wounded; the British lost 10 killed and 98 wounded. Scarlett's attack had been a remarkable success, yet it could have been a greater victory. When the Heavies attacked, the Earl of Cardigan's Light Brigade was less than 500 yards (~450 m) from Ryzhov's cavalry. The spectators on the Sapouné Heights, and the officers and men in the Light Brigade watching the Russians retreat in disorder, expected Cardigan to lead a pursuit and finish them off. Captain William Morris of the 17th Lancers urged his commander on, but Cardigan claimed he could not advance given the orders he had received from Lucan to remain in his position 'and to defend it against any attack'. Lucan later gave a different version to Cardigan's. He confirmed he had ordered Cardigan to defend his position, but maintained that his parting orders made it quite clear that he had permission to take advantage of so obvious an opportunity. Whatever the differences the Light Brigade had done nothing but look on. When Morris rode back to his regiment after confronting Cardigan, he could not hide his frustration – "My God, my God, what a chance we are losing."

  North Valley
It was approaching 09:30, and the first part of the battle was over. So far Liprandi had enjoyed mixed fortunes: although his cavalry had been repulsed by Campbell's 'Thin Red Line' and Scarlett's Heavies, his troops under Gribbe, Semyakin, Levutsky, and Skyuderi, were still in possession of redoubts Nos.1–3, and had destroyed redoubt No.4. In all, the Russians had 11 infantry battalions and 32 guns on the Causeway Heights, while to the north, on the Fedioukine Heights, Zhabokritsky has positioned eight battalions, four squadrons, and 14 guns (some sources state 10 guns). In front of Ryzhov's cavalry—drawn up across the eastern end of the North Valley – Liprandi placed the eight guns of the 3 Don Cossack Battery, commanded by Prince Obolensky. These guns, 6- and 9-pounders, served by 200 men, stared straight down the North Valley. Liprandi now also had at his disposal six squadrons of Lancers divided into two bodies: three squadrons on the Fedioukine Heights; three others in a ravine on the side of the Causeway Heights.

Raglan was anxious to exploit Scarlett's success and drive the Russians off the Causeway Heights, but Cathcart's and Cambridge's infantry divisions had still not arrived; every minute that passed gave the Russians more time to prepare their defences for the expected British counter-attack. The British commander believed that the enemy had retreated in such disorder that a show of force by his cavalry—in advance of the infantry's arrival – would be enough to persuade the Russians to abandon the Causeway Heights. At 10:00, therefore, he gave his third order of the day to the Cavalry Division—Cavalry to advance and take advantage of any opportunity to recover the Heights. They will be supported by infantry which have been ordered. Advance on two fronts. Raglan wished his cavalry to advance immediately, but the ambiguity of the order had again resulted in a misunderstanding. Lucan had assumed he was first to wait for the infantry before moving forward. Accordingly, he ordered the Light Brigade into the North Valley, whilst the Heavy Brigade held the entrance of the South Valley, perhaps in response to the order 'Advance on two fronts'.

Lucan believed he had complied with the order as far as he could until the infantry arrived, but Raglan looked on with growing impatience at his immobile cavalry. It was at this moment when a staff officer (identity unknown) shouted out that the Russians in the redoubts on the Causeway Heights were dragging away the captured British guns. The British infantry divisions were now only minutes away, but only the cavalry could move fast enough and prevent the loss of the guns. With growing impatience Raglan dictated to General Richard Airey the fourth and final order to Lord Lucan. This order was to be understood in conjunction with the third as an instruction to do immediately what had been previously ordered:

10:45. Lord Raglan wishes the cavalry to advance rapidly to the front—follow the enemy and try to prevent the enemy carrying away the guns—Troop Horse Artillery may accompany – French cavalry is on your left. R Airey. Immediate.

Having read the order scribbled down by Airey, Raglan summoned Captain Louis Nolan of the 15th The King's Hussars—Airey's hot-tempered aide-de-camp—to deliver it to Lucan. As he turned his horse to head directly down the escarpment, Raglan called after him—"Tell Lord Lucan the cavalry is to attack immediately." These words sealed the fate of the Light Brigade.


Battle of Balaclava: The Charge of the Light Brigade.
The Charge of the Light Brigade
Lucan was puzzled by Raglan's imprecise order. There was no mention of heights—it referred instead to the front—and gone were all references to infantry. He was to try to 'prevent the enemy carrying away the guns' but from his position he could not see any guns being carried away. When Lucan questioned the order an excited Nolan told him he was to attack immediately.

"Attack, sir!"
"Attack what? What guns, sir?"
"There, my Lord, is your enemy!" said Nolan indignantly, vaguely waving his arm eastwards. "There are your guns!"

Nolan’s gesture was imprecise, and pointed not to the redoubts and the captured British guns but, it seemed—at least to Lucan and his staff officers present—to the Russian battery guarding Ryzhov's cavalry at the end of the valley. Seeing Lucan's confusion Nolan could have explained what Raglan intended, perhaps making the link—if he himself knew of the connection—between the third and fourth order; however taken aback by Nolan's insolence Lucan refused further discussion, and rode over to Cardigan standing in front of his brigade. Both cavalry commanders knew the dangers of attacking down the valley. When Cardigan learnt of what was expected of his brigade, he questioned the sanity of the order as conveyed to him by Lucan, "… allow me to point out to you that there is a battery in front, battery on each flank, and the ground is covered with Russian riflemen." "I know it." Said Lucan. "But Lord Raglan will have it. We have no choice but to obey."

The Light Brigade had formed up in two lines. The 13th Light Dragoons, the 17th Lancers, and the 11th Hussars, formed the first line (the latter regiment was soon moved behind the Lancers to reduce the width of the front). Paget commanded the second line formed by the 4th Light Dragoons and the 8th Hussars. Once the brigade had moved off Lucan would follow with the Heavy Brigade in support.

At 11:10 the Light Brigade began their advance towards the Russians guns over a mile (~ 2 km) away. When the first line was clear of the second, the order was given to 'Trot'. Initially there was nothing to indicate that Cardigan was not going to conform to Raglan's intentions, and it was only after he had travelled some 200 yards (~180 m) that the enormity of the misconstrued order became apparent to the spectators on the Sapouné Heights.

  Instead of inclining to the right towards the redoubts on the Causeway Heights and the captured British guns, the Light Brigade continued towards Obolensky's battery at the end of the valley.
But it was too late to do anything. Nolan was the first to be killed when he dashed forward ahead of Cardigan, either in an effort to force the pace, or, suddenly realizing the terrible mistake that was being made (and his part in it), in an attempt to change the direction of the brigade towards Raglan's intended objective. Whatever the reason, Nolan was hit by a splinter from a shell fired from one of the guns positioned on the Fedioukine Heights.

When the proper interval between themselves and the Lights had developed, Lucan led the Heavy Brigade forward. The Heavies were also hit—Lucan himself was slightly wounded, and his horse hit twice – but these men would have suffered more casualties had it not been for the charge of the 150 men of the Chasseurs d'Afrique. The French cavalry had formed up to the left of the British position.

When they had seen the Light Brigade cut up, Major Abdelal led an attack up the Fedioukine Heights to charge the flank of the Russian battery, forcing them to drag away their guns. Yet it was now that Lucan – concluding that the Light Brigade would be wiped out before they reached the Russians at the end of the valley—ordered the Heavy Brigade to halt their advance and retire, leaving Cardigan's men without support. Turning to Lord Paulet he justified his action and his desire to preserve at least half of his cavalry division, "They have sacrificed the Light Brigade; they shall not have the Heavy, if I can help it."

At 11:15 the eight Russian guns on the Causeway Heights opened up on the Light Brigade whose front line was now more than halfway down the valley; for the next 400 yards (~365 m) the men would also come under fire from the guns to their front. At a distance of 250 yards (~ 230 m) from Obolensky's battery, Cardigan ordered his bugler to sound the 'Gallop'. "And so we went through this scene of carnage," reported Paget, "wondering each moment which would be our last … It required a deal of closing in, by this time, to fill up the vacant gaps." Cardigan now ordered the 'Charge'.

Some amongst the gun crews now doubted they could stop the advance – they could now see the lowered poles of the 17th Lancers. Having fired their last shot of canister some of the Russians turned to run; others, knowing the consequences of turning their backs on cavalry, drew their sabres.


Chasseurs d'Afrique, led by General d'Allonville, clearing the Fedyukhin Heights
Mêlée and retreat
At 11:17, half of the original 250 men of the 17th and 13th reached Obolensky's battery. Some of the survivors fought with the Russians and tried to capture their guns; others reformed into small groups and prepared to charge the Russian cavalry standing 100 yards (~90 m) to the rear. Ryzhov had expected to mop up any Light Brigade survivors but his hussars and Cossacks, unnerved by the British horsemen, panicked and wheeled to escape. "Some of the men fired on their own comrades to clear a passage for themselves," wrote Lieutenant Kubitovich. "Our hussars were pressed as far as the Chernaya river where there was only one bridge by which they could escape."[90] The 11th Hussars now joined the mêlée. Colonel Douglass, with 80 survivors, charged and pushed other Russian cavalry back to the Chernaya. Paget's 4th Light Dragoons were next to reach the line of cannon, engaging in some 'fierce hand-to-hand encounters' with the surviving gunners, before he too led his regiment after the fleeing Russians. Last to reach the objective were Colonel Shewell and the 8th Hussars. The regiment missed the battery altogether, except for few on the extreme left who went amongst the remaining artillerymen stubbornly resisting; but the bulk of the regiment halted behind the guns and formed up in line.
All the survivors of the Light Brigade were now behind the Russian guns in the valley, yet the turning point of the action was the realization that Lucan and the Heavy Brigade was not following in support. Russian officers, noticing how vastly superior their numbers were, managed to halt their retreat near the Chernaya, and edge forward their men. The Russian lancer regiments waiting on heights were now ordered down into the valley to form a line behind the British (the 13th, 17th, and 8th on the right of the valley, the 11th and 4th on the left) and block their route of escape.

Those watching with Raglan thought the Light Brigade completely lost, but unexpectedly the two groups of survivors managed to break through the Russian trap. Still far from the British line, however, they once again came under fire from the guns and marksmen on the Causeway Heights.
Into the Valley of Death by John Charlton.
The 17th Lancers ('the Death or Glory Boys') reach the Russian guns.
"The truth must be told," recorded Lieutenant Koribut Kubitovich, "that this fire hit us just as it did the enemy," but admitted that, "The English fought with astounding bravery, and when we approached their dismounted and wounded men, even these refused to surrender and continued to fight till the ground was soaked with their blood."

Most of the survivors were back at the British lines by 12:00—the whole affair had lasted no more than 20 minutes. For those that returned there was a mixture of elation and anger, and questions as to what had happened to the Heavy Brigade. "And who I ask is answerable for all this? Wrote Troop Sergeant Major George Smith of the 11th Hussars. "… it was not unlike leaving the forlorn hope, after storming a town, to fight their own way out again instead of pushing on the supports. We cut their army completely in two, taking their principal battery, driving their cavalry far to the rear. What more could 670 men do?" But as they thought over what had occurred, the recriminations between Raglan, Lucan, and Cardigan had already begun.


The Relief of the Light Brigade by Richard Caton Woodville. The 11th Hussars reach the Russian guns.
The loss of the Light Brigade had been such a traumatic event that the allies were incapable of further action that day. Of the 666 men known to have ridden in the charge (sources vary slightly), 271 became casualties: 110 killed (less than 17%), 129 wounded, plus another 32 wounded and taken prisoner. Additionally, 375 horses were killed.

Raglan could not now risk using his infantry divisions in any attempt to move Liprandi's forces from the Causeway Heights. Even if the redoubts were retaken, they would have to be defended by men whose priority was the siege of Sevastopol, and he dared not expose his supply base at Balaclava to further Russian attacks.
The British 1st and 4th Infantry Divisions, therefore, returned to the plateau, the former without its Highland regiments who were ordered to remain in the valley under Campbell’s command.

To the Russians the Battle of Balaclava was a victory and proved a welcome boost in morale—they had captured the British redoubts (from which seven guns were removed and taken to Sevastopol as trophies), and had gained control of the Worontsov Road. The loss of the outer ring of defences severely restricted Allied movements and confined them to a narrow area between Balaclava and Sevastopol.

Nearly all officers received awards. General Semyakin received the Order of St. George of the 3rd degree. Gribbe and Levutsky became the cavaliers of the Order of St Stanislav of the 1st degree, and Colonel Krudener was promoted to Major General. General Liprandi was awarded a golden sabre encrusted with diamonds, and inscribed 'For Bravery'.

  Semyakin wrote home with news of the action at Balaclava, and what he considered a great success – "Many Turks and English were killed by our Russian bayonets, and many English were pierced with lances of our Uhlans and Cossacks, and by sabres of our Hussars … God grant that the heart of the Tsar rejoices."

All three armies would soon be reinforced: the British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, The Duke of Newcastle, promised Raglan that the 3rd, 62nd, and 90th Regiments, would be despatched to the Crimea with a third battery train; Canrobert, meanwhile, was promised an additional three divisions of infantry from France. The Russians were also receiving reinforcements with the arrival of 10 and 11 Divisions which finally arrived at the beginning of November. These troops brought the strength of Menshikov's field army to some 107,000 men, but the Russian commander was under severe pressure from St Petersburg to attack the Allied lines and break the siege of Sevastopol. The failure of the British and French to beat the Russians at Balaclava immediately set the stage for a much bloodier battle. For weeks it had been known that the Russians would soon begin a full-scale attack on the besiegers. As a preliminary Menshikov launched a reconnaissance in force on the extreme right of the Allied line (against the British 2nd Division) on the Inkerman Heights overlooking the Chernaya river. The attack on 26 October (the battle became known as ‘Little Inkerman’) proved a successful action for the British, but the Russians had gleaned all they needed to know about the position. Using this intelligence, Menshikov launched his main attack on the same position one week later on 5 November in what came to be known as the Battle of Inkerman.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Battle of Inkerman

The Battle of Inkerman was fought during the Crimean War on 5 November 1854 between the allied armies of Britain, France and Ottoman Empire against the Imperial Russian Army. The battle broke the will of the Russian Army to defeat the allies in the field, and was followed by the Siege of Sevastopol. The role of troops fighting mostly on their own initiative due to the foggy conditions during the battle has earned the engagement the name "The Soldier's Battle".

The allied armies of Britain, France, Sardinia, and the Ottoman Empire had landed on the west coast of Crimea on September 14, 1854, intending to capture the Russian naval base at Sevastopol. The allied armies fought off and defeated the Russian Army at the Battle of Alma, forcing them to retreat in some confusion toward the River Kacha. While the allies could have taken this opportunity to attack Sevastopol before Sevastopol could be put into a proper state of defence, the allied commanders, British general Fitzroy Somerset, 1st Lord Raglan and the French commander François Certain Canrobert could not agree on a plan of attack. Instead, they resolved to march around the city, and put Sevastopol under siege. Toward this end the allies marched to the southern coast of the Crimean peninsula and established a supply port at the city of Balaclava.
Battle of Inkerman, by David Rowlands
However, before the siege of Sevastopol began, the Russian commander Prince Menshikov evacuated Sevastopol with the major portion of his field army, leaving only a garrison to defend the city. On 25 October 1854, a superior Russian force attacked the British base at Balaclava, and although the Russian attack was foiled before it could reach the base, the Russians were left holding a strong position north of the British line. Balaclava revealed the allied weakness; their siege lines were so thin they did not have sufficient troops to man them. Realising this, Menshikov launched an attack across the Tchernaya River on 4 November 1854.

On 5 November 1854, the Russian 10th Division, under Lt. General F. I. Soymonov, launched a heavy attack on the allied right flank atop Home Hill east from the Russian position on Shell Hill. The assault was made by two columns of 35,000 men and 134 field artillery guns[9] of the Russian 10th Division. When combined with other Russian forces in the area, the Russian attacking force would form a formidable army of some 42,000 men. The initial Russian assault was to be received by the British Second Division dug in on Home Hill with only 2,700 men and 12 guns. Both Russian columns moved in a flanking fashion east towards the British. They hoped to overwhelm this portion of the Allied army before reinforcements could arrive. The fog of the early morning hours aided the Russians by hiding their approach upon the British position. Not all the Russian troops could fit on the narrow 300-meter-wide heights of Shell Hill. Accordingly, General Soymonov had followed Prince Alexander Menshikov's directive and deployed some of his force around the Careenage Ravine. Furthermore, on the night before the attack, Soymonov was ordered by General Peter A. Dannenberg to send part of his force north and east to the Inkerman Bridge to cover the crossing of Russian troop reinforcements under Lt. General P. Ya. Pavlov. Thus, Soymonov could not effectively employ all of his troops in the attack.

When dawn broke, Soymonov attacked the British positions on Home Hill with 6,300 men from the Kolyvansky, Ekaterinburg and Tomsky regiments. Soymonov also had a further 9,000 in reserve. The British had strong pickets and had ample warning of the Russian attack despite the early morning fog. The British pickets, some of them at company strength, engaged the Russians as they moved to attack Home Hill. The firing in the valley also gave warning to the rest of the Second Division, who rushed to their defensive positions. De Lacy Evans, commander of the British Second Division, had been injured in a fall from his horse so command of the Second Division was taken up by Pennefather, a highly aggressive officer. Pennefather did not know that he was facing a superior Russian force. Thus, Pennefather abandoned Evans plan of falling back to draw the Russians within range of the British field artillery which was hidden behind Home Hill. Instead, Pennefather ordered his 2,700 strong division to attack. When they did the Second Division faced some 15,300 Russian soldiers. Russian guns bombarded Home Hill, but there were no troops on the crest at this point.

  The Second Division in action; the Russians in the valley
The Russian infantry, advancing through the fog were met by the advancing Second Division, who opened fire with their Pattern 1853 Enfield rifles, whereas the Russians were still armed with smoothbore muskets. The Russians were forced into a bottleneck owing to the shape of the valley, and came out on the Second Division's left flank. However, the rifled Minié balls of the British rifles were proving deadly accurate against the Russian attack. As the Russians emerged from the bottleneck and the fog, they were mowed down by the British rifles. Those Russian troops that survived were pushed back at bayonet point. Eventually, the Russians were pushed all the way back to the Russian artillery positions. The Russians launched a second attack, also on the Second Division's left flank, but this time in much larger numbers and led by Soymonov himself.

Captain Hugh Rowlands, in charge of the British pickets, reported that the Russians charged "with the most fiendish yells you can imagine." At this point, after the second attack, the British position was incredibly weak. If Soymonov had known the condition of the British, he would have ordered a third attack before the British reinforcements arrived. Such a third attack would have certainly succeeded, but Soymonov could not see in the fog and, thus, he did not know of the desperate situation of the British. Thus, Soymonov was persuaded to await the arrival of his own reinforcements—General Pavlov's men who were making their way toward the Inkerman battlefield in four different prong attacks from the north. However, the British reinforcements arrived in the form of the Light Division which came up and immediately launched a counterattack along the left flank of the Russian front, forcing the Russians back.

During this fighting General Soymonov was killed by a British rifleman. Russian command was immediately taken up by Colonel Pristovoitov who was shot a few minutes later by enemy fire. At this point, Colonel Uvazhnov-Aleksandrov assumed command of the Russian forces. Shortly after, Uvazhnov-Aleksandrov was also killed in the withering British fire. At this point, no officer seemed keen to take up command and Captain Andrianov was sent off on his horse to consult with various generals about the problem.

The rest of the Russian column proceeded down to the valley where they were attacked by British artillery and pickets, eventually being driven off. The resistance of the British troops here had blunted all of the initial Russian attacks.

General Paulov, leading the Russian second column of some 15,000 attacked the British positions on Sandbag Battery. As they approached, the 300 British defenders vaulted the wall and charged with the bayonet, driving off the leading Russian battalions. Five Russian battalions were assailed in the flanks by the British 41st Regiment, who drove them back to the River Chernaya.
Home Hill
General Peter A Dannenberg took command of the Russian Army, and together with the uncommitted 9,000 men from the initial attacks, launched an assault on the British positions on Home Hill, held by the Second Division.

The Guards Brigade and the Fourth Division were already marching to support the Second Division, but the British troops holding the Barrier withdrew, before it was re-taken by men from the 21st, 63rd and Rifle regiments. This position remained in British hands for the rest of the battle, despite determined attempts to take it back. The Russians launched 7,000 men against the Sandbag Battery, which was defended by 2,000 British soldiers. So began a ferocious struggle which saw the battery change hands repeatedly during the attack.

Fourth Division in action
When the British Fourth Division arrived under General George Cathcart, they were finally able to go on the offensive. They launched a renewed attack against the Russians and on their flanks. The courage of Cathcart and his men had the unexpected effect of encouraging other British units to charge the Russians.

However, the flanking troops were caught in the rear by an unexpected Russian counter-attack and Cathcart was shot from his horse and killed, leaving his troops disorganised and the attack broken up. This gave the Russian army an opportunity to gain a crest on the ridge.

However, as the Russian troops were coming up, they were attacked and driven off by newly arrived soldiers from the French camps. The French poured reinforcements into the entire line, reducing the Russians' advantage in numbers.

  Defence of Home Hill by the British and French forces
At this point in the battle the Russians launched another assault on the Second Division's positions on Home Hill, but the timely arrival of the French Army and further reinforcements from the British Army repelled the Russians attacks. The Russians had now committed all of their troops, and had no fresh reserves with which to act. Two British 18-pounder guns along with field artillery bombarded the 100-gun strong Russian positions on Shell Hill in counter-battery fire. With their batteries on Shell Hill taking withering fire from the British guns, their attacks rebuffed at all points, and lacking fresh infantry, the Russians began to withdraw. The allies made no attempt to pursue them. Following the battle, the allied regiments stood down and returned to their siege positions.

Despite being severely outnumbered, the allied troops held their ground, becoming a marvel of each regiment's tradition and tenacity. The amount of fog during the battle led to many of the troops on both sides being cut off, in battalion-sized groups or less. Thus, the battle became known as "The Soldier's Battle". The Russian attack, although unsuccessful, had denied the allies any attempt at gaining a quick victory in the Siege of Sevastopol and condemned the allied armies to two terrible winters on the heights. Following this battle, the Russians made no further large-scale attempts to defeat the allies in the field.

Alexander Kinglake obtained the official casualty returns for the battle. By his account allied casualties were: 2573 British, of whom 635 killed, and 1800 French, of whom 175 killed. Russia lost 3286 killed within a total (including men taken prisoner) of 11,959 casualties.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

see also: Crimean War
Commodore M. C. Perry negotiates first Amer.-Jap. treaty
Perry Matthew Calbraith

Matthew C. Perry, in full Matthew Calbraith Perry (born April 10, 1794, South Kingston, R.I., U.S.—died March 4, 1858, New York City), U.S. naval officer who headed an expedition that forced Japan in 1853–54 to enter into trade and diplomatic relations with the West after more than two centuries of isolation. Through his efforts the United States became an equal power with Britain, France, and Russia in the economic exploitation of East Asia.


Matthew C. Perry
  Earlier, Perry had served as commanding officer (1837–40) of the first U.S. steamship, the “Fulton”; led a naval squadron to Africa to help suppress the slave trade (1843); and successfully commanded naval forces during the Mexican War (1846–48). In March 1852 Pres. Millard Fillmore placed Perry—who was called by his honorary rank of commodore—in charge of a naval expedition to induce the Japanese government to establish diplomatic relations with the United States. After studying the situation, Perry concluded that Japan’s traditional policy of isolation would be altered only if superior naval forces were displayed and if Japanese officials were approached with a “resolute attitude.” With two frigates and two sailing vessels, he entered the fortified harbour of Uraga on July 8, 1853—an act widely publicized throughout the world. Calling himself an “admiral,” he refused to obey Japanese orders to leave and sent word that if the government did not delegate a suitable person to receive the documents in his possession, he would deliver them by force if necessary. The Japanese defenses were inadequate to resist him, and after a few days of diplomatic sparring they accepted his letter from the President of the United States requesting a treaty.

In the interim, the Japanese, who were aware of China’s recent defeat by the technologically superior Western powers in the Opium War (1839–42), decided to agree to Perry’s terms as a way of stalling for time while they improved their defenses. In February 1854 he reappeared in Edo (modern Tokyo) Bay—this time with nine ships—and on March 31 concluded the Treaty of Kanagawa, the first treaty between the two countries.

The pact assured better treatment of shipwrecked seamen, permitted U.S. ships to obtain fuel and supplies at two minor ports, arranged for a U.S. consul to reside at Shimoda, and opened the way for further U.S. trading privileges. Perry’s success demonstrated the inability of the Shogun, Japan’s hereditary military dictator, to enforce his country’s traditional isolationist policy; the Japanese were soon forced to sign similar treaties with other Western nations. These events contributed to the collapse of the shogunate and ultimately to the modernization of Japan.

Considered thereafter an authority on the Far East, Perry stressed the danger of British and Russian expansion and urged a more active U.S. role in the Orient. He specifically recommended the acquisition of island bases in the Pacific to assure U.S. military and commercial superiority in the area, but the government was not ready to act on these proposals for roughly half a century.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Japanese woodblock print of Perry (center) and other high-ranking American seamen
Francis Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, marries the Bavarian Princess Elizabeth (Elisabeth of Austria)

The young Elisabeth shortly after becoming Austrian Empress (by Amanda Bergstedt, 1855).

Portrait of Elisabeth depicting her long hair (by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1864)

Empress Elisabeth with Emperor Franz Joseph
U.S. Senate ratifies Gadsden Purchase for acquisition of parts of southern New Mexico and Arizona
Gadsden Purchase

The Gadsden Purchase (known as Venta de La Mesilla, or Sale of La Mesilla, in Mexico) is a 29,640-square-mile (76,800 km2) region of present-day southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico that was purchased by the United States in a treaty signed on December 30, 1853 by James Gadsden who was the American ambassador to Mexico at that time. It was then ratified, with changes, by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 1854, and signed by 14th President Franklin Pierce, with final approval action taken by Mexico's government and their General Congress or Congress of the Union on June 8, 1854. The purchase was the last territorial acquisition in the contiguous United States to add a large area to the country.

The purchase included lands south of the Gila River and west of the Rio Grande; it was largely so that the U.S.A. could construct a transcontinental railroad along a deep southern route. (This happened with the transcontinental railroad, constructed by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1881/1883). It also aimed to reconcile outstanding border issues between the U.S. and Mexico following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the earlier first Mexican–American War of 1846–1848.

As the railroad age evolved, business-oriented Southerners saw that a railroad linking The South with the Pacific Coast would expand trade opportunities. They thought the topography of the southern portion of the original boundary line to the Mexican Cession (future states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, western Colorado) of 1848 after the Mexican-American War was too mountainous to allow a direct route. Projected southern railroad routes tended to run to the north at their eastern ends, which would favor connections with northern railroads and ultimately favor northern seaports. Southerners saw that to avoid the mountains, a route with a southeastern terminus might need to swing south into what was still then Mexican territory.

The administration of 14th President Franklin Pierce, strongly influenced by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, (later President of the southern seceding Confederate States) saw an opportunity to acquire land for the railroad, as well as to acquire significant other territory from northern Mexico. In the end, territory for the railroad was purchased for $10 million ($260 million today), but Mexico balked at any large-scale sale of territory. In the United States, the debate over the treaty became involved in the sectional dispute over slavery, ending progress before the American Civil War in the planning or construction of a transcontinental railroad.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Territorial expansion of the United States, the Gadsden Purchase shown in red-orange

Territorial expansion of the United States, the Gadsden Purchase shown in red-orange (detail)

Territorial expansion of the United States, the Gadsden Purchase shown in red-orange (detail)

World Countries

United States of America
Bleeding Kansas (1854–59)

Bleeding Kansas, (1854–59), small civil war in the United States, fought between proslavery and antislavery advocates for control of the new territory of Kansas under the doctrine of popular sovereignty. Sponsors of the Kansas–Nebraska Act (May 30, 1854) expected its provisions for territorial self-government to arrest the “torrent of fanaticism” that had been dividing the nation regarding the slavery issue.

Instead, free-soil forces from the North formed armed emigrant associations to populate Kansas, while proslavery advocates poured over the border from Missouri. Regulating associations and guerrilla bands were formed by each side, and only the intervention of the Governor prevented violence in the Wakarusa War, launched in December 1855 over the murder of an antislavery settler. “Bleeding Kansas” became a fact with the Sack of Lawrence (May 21, 1856), in which a proslavery mob swarmed into the town of Lawrence and wrecked and burned the hotel and newspaper office in an effort to wipe out this “hotbed of abolitionism.”

Preston Brooks attacking Charles Sumner in the U.S. Senate in 1856.
Three days later, an antislavery band led by John Brown retaliated in the Pottawatomie Massacre. Periodic bloodshed along the border followed as the two factions fought battles, captured towns, and set prisoners free. A political struggle to determine the future state’s position on slavery ensued, centred on the Lecompton Constitution proposed in 1857. The question was finally settled when Kansas was admitted as a free state in January 1861, but, meanwhile, “Bleeding Kansas” had furnished the newly formed Republican Party with a much needed antislavery issue in the national election of 1860. Claims for $400,000 in damages sustained in the border war were later approved by territorial commissioners.

Encyclopædia Britannica
Kansas-Nebraska Act

Kansas-Nebraska Act, (May 30, 1854), in the antebellum period of U.S. history, critical national policy change concerning the expansion of slavery into the territories, affirming the concept of popular sovereignty over congressional edict.

In 1820 the Missouri Compromise had excluded slavery from that part of the Louisiana Purchase (except Missouri) north of the 36°30′ parallel. The Kansas-Nebraska Act, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Stephen A. Douglas, provided for the territorial organization of Kansas and Nebraska under the principle of popular sovereignty, which had been applied to New Mexico and Utah in the Compromise of 1850.

Forcing Slavery Down the Throat of a Freesoiler

An 1854 cartoon depicts a giant free soiler being held down by James Buchanan and Lewis Cass standing on the Democratic platform marked "Kansas", "Cuba" and "Central America" (referring to accusations that southerners wanted to annex areas in Latin America to expand slavery). Franklin Pierce also holds down the giant's beard as Stephen A. Douglas shoves a black man down his throat.
Written in an effort to arrest the escalating sectional controversy over the extension of slavery, the Kansas-Nebraska Act ironically fanned the flame of national division. It was attacked by free-soil and antislavery factions as a capitulation to the proponents of slavery. Passage of the act was followed by the establishment of the Republican Party as a viable political organization opposed to the expansion of slavery into the territories. In the Kansas Territory a migration of proslavery and antislavery factions, seeking to win control for their respective institutions, resulted in a period of political chaos and bloodshed.

Encyclopædia Britannica


1855 first edition of Colton's map of Nebraska and Kansas Territories
Elgin-Marcy Treaty

The Canadian–American Reciprocity Treaty of 1854, also known as the Elgin-Marcy Treaty, was a trade treaty between Great Britain and the United States, applying to British possessions in North America including the United Province of Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland Colony.

It covered raw materials and was in effect from 1854 to 1865. It represented a move toward free trade, and was opposed by protectionist elements in the United States. After the conclusion of the American Civil War, these protectionist elements were joined by Americans angry at apparent British support for the Confederate States of America during the war, and the alliance was successful in terminating the treaty in 1866. The response in British North America was to confederate into the Dominion of Canada (1867), which was expected to open up many new economic opportunities inside Canada, and also unify the colonies against growing expansionist sentiments in the United States associated with the Alaska Purchase. Attempts by the Liberal Party of Canada to revive free trade in 1911 led to a political victory for Conservatives who warned that Canada would be swallowed up by its giant neighbor. Talk of reciprocity was put on hold for decades.
Faced with the ending of British imperial preference when the British Corn Laws (tariffs on food imported into Britain) were repealed in 1846, the Canadian business community, based in Montreal, looked south. Merchants threatened to push for annexation to the U.S. unless London negotiated a free trade deal with Washington. In 1854, they achieved what they wanted in the Elgin-Marcy Treaty.
It listed most Canadian raw materials and agricultural produce—especially timber and wheat—as goods admitted duty-free to the U.S. market. The treaty ended the American 21% tariff on natural resource imports. In exchange, the Americans were given fishing rights off the east coast. The treaty also granted a few navigation rights to each other's lakes and rivers.

The treaty represented an attempt by American manufacturers, on the one hand, to enlarge their export market and to obtain cheaper raw materials, and an attempt by free traders, tariff reformers, and their Democratic Party allies, on the other, to lower the tariff. The protected interests, mobilized in the Republican Party, fought back.

Historians have agreed the impact was small for the U.S. but have debated its effects on Canada. After the treaty took effect there was a large increase in Canada's exports to the United States, and a rapid growth of the Canadian economy, especially in southern Ontario. Canadian exports to the United States grew by 33% after the treaty, while Americans exports only grew by 7%. Within ten years trade had doubled between the two countries. For nearly a century Canadian economists saw the reciprocity era as a halcyon period for the Canadian economy.

In 1968 this optimistic view was challenged by economic historians. (Officer and Smith, 1968). They argued that the growth of trade was caused by the introduction of railways to Canada and by the American Civil War leading to huge demand in the United States. They also argue the statistics are questionable. Before the tariffs, much smuggling took place. Free trade brought this trade into the open, but this increase in recorded trade did not actually reflect growth in the economy. In 1855, there were poor wheat harvests in the United States and Britain. It also saw Russian wheat supplies cut off by the Crimean War.

This led to a great year for Canadian wheat, independent of the introduction of the tariff. It was also argued that the trade hurt Canadian manufacturing. For instance, the export of milk and barley hurt the Canadian cheese and beer trades. Some scholars generally, and Officer and Smith particularly, hold that the economic prosperity that followed the treaty was largely the result of these other factors.

The treaty did stimulate the coal mining industry in Nova Scotia. That colony was already moving toward free trade before the 1854 treaty took effect, but that the treaty still resulted in modest direct gains. The structure of the economy changed because markets for some commodities, such as coal increased greatly; the demand for other goods was unchanged. The Reciprocity Treaty complemented the earlier movement toward free trade and stimulated the export of commodities sold primarily to the United States.

End of treaty
The treaty was abrogated by the Americans in 1866 for several reasons. Many felt that Canada was the only nation benefiting from it, and because they objected to the protective Cayley-Galt Tariff imposed by the Province of Canada on manufactured goods. Also the US was angry at the British for having unofficially supported the South in the Civil War.

The state of Maine, given its location, was a key player. The treaty benefited Portland's trading position with respect to Montreal and the Canadian hinterland, but many Maine politicians and businessmen nevertheless worked successfully to terminate the treaty. Many voters were angry with Canadian behavior during the Civil War. There was complacency on the part of Portland railroad interests, and the Bangor lumber interests oppose the continental economic integration envisaged by the treaty.

While Canada attempted to negotiate a new reciprocity treaty, the Americans were committed to high tariffs and would not agree. Eventually, John A. Macdonald set up a Canadian system of tariffs known as the National Policy. In 1911, a free trade agreement between Wilfrid Laurier's Liberals and the Americans was rejected by the electorate in the 1911 election.

After 1945 both nations joined the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and tariffs began to steadily decline. Free trade between the two nations was finalized by the 1988 Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement.

  Political effects
From 1867 to 1911, The Liberal party of Canada generally favoured reciprocity.

After winning the 1896 election, however, Laurier did not renew free trade because the United States refused to discuss the issue.
Instead, he implemented a Liberal version of the National Policy in which he maintained high tariffs on goods from other countries that restricted Canadian goods, while lowering tariffs to the same level as those countries that did admit Canadian goods.

Political rhetoric made it a party issue: the Conservative party, which stood publicly for nationalism and protectionism ("the National Policy"), succeeded in associating the Liberals with free trade, commercial union with the U.S., and continentalism, which smacked of absorption by the U.S.

In 1911 the Liberal government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier succeeded in signing a reciprocity treaty with American president William Howard Taft.

The Conservatives made it the central issue of the 1911 election, igniting anti-American sentiment by dire warnings the treaty would turn the economy over to American control.

The Liberals were decisively defeated in the 1911 election and the treaty was rejected by the new Conservative government under Robert Borden.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Turkey agrees to Austrian occupation of Danubian principalities till end of the war
see also: Crimean War
Republican Party

Republican Party, byname Grand Old Party (GOP), in the United States, one of the two major political parties, the other being the Democratic Party. During the 19th century the Republican Party stood against the extension of slavery to the country’s new territories and, ultimately, for slavery’s complete abolition. During the 20th and 21st centuries the party came to be associated with laissez-faire capitalism, low taxes, and conservative social policies. The party acquired the acronym GOP, widely understood as “Grand Old Party,” in the 1870s. The party’s official logo, the elephant, is derived from a cartoon by Thomas Nast and also dates from the 1870s.

The term Republican was adopted in 1792 by supporters of Thomas Jefferson, who favoured a decentralized government with limited powers. Although Jefferson’s political philosophy is consistent with the outlook of the modern Republican Party, his faction, which soon became known as the Democratic-Republican Party, ironically evolved by the 1830s into the Democratic Party, the modern Republican Party’s chief rival.

The Republican Party traces its roots to the 1850s, when antislavery leaders (including former members of the Democratic, Whig, and Free-Soil parties) joined forces to oppose the extension of slavery into the Kansas and Nebraska territories by the proposed Kansas-Nebraska Act. At meetings in Ripon, Wisconsin (May 1854), and Jackson, Michigan (July 1854), they recommended forming a new party, which was duly established at the political convention in Jackson.

At their first presidential nominating convention in 1856, the Republicans nominated John C. Frémont on a platform that called on Congress to abolish slavery in the territories, reflecting a widely held view in the North. Although ultimately unsuccessful in his presidential bid, Frémont carried 11 Northern states and received nearly two-fifths of the electoral vote. During the first four years of its existence, the party rapidly displaced the Whigs as the main opposition to the dominant Democratic Party.

Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican U.S. President (1861–1865).
In 1860 the Democrats split over the slavery issue, as the Northern and Southern wings of the party nominated different candidates (Stephen A. Douglas and John C. Breckinridge, respectively); the election that year also included John Bell, the nominee of the Constitutional Union Party. Thus, the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln, was able to capture the presidency, winning 18 Northern states and receiving 60 percent of the electoral vote but only 40 percent of the popular vote. By the time of Lincoln’s inauguration as president, however, seven Southern states had seceded from the Union, and the country soon descended into the American Civil War (1861–65).

In 1863 Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared slaves in rebelling states to be “forever free” and welcomed them to join the Union’s armed forces. The abolition of slavery would, in 1865, be formally entrenched in the Constitution of the United States with the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment. Because the historical role played by Lincoln and the Republican Party in the abolition of slavery came to be regarded as their greatest legacy, the Republican Party is sometimes referred to as the party of Lincoln.

The prolonged agony of the Civil War weakened Lincoln’s prospects for reelection in 1864. To broaden his support, he chose as his vice presidential candidate Andrew Johnson, a pro-Union Democratic senator from Tennessee, and the Lincoln-Johnson ticket subsequently won a landslide victory over Democrat George B. McClellan and his running mate George Pendleton. Following Lincoln’s assassination at the end of the war, Johnson favoured Lincoln’s moderate program for the Reconstruction of the South over the more punitive plan backed by the Radical Republican members of Congress. Stymied for a time by Johnson’s vetoes, the Radical Republicans won overwhelming control of Congress in the 1866 elections and engineered Johnson’s impeachment in the House of Representatives. Although the Senate fell one vote short of convicting and removing Johnson, the Radical Republicans managed to implement their Reconstruction program, which made the party anathema across the former Confederacy. In the North the party’s close identification with the Union victory secured it the allegiance of most farmers, and its support of protective tariffs and of the interests of big business eventually gained it the backing of powerful industrial and financial circles.

The 1860 election is today regarded by most political observers as the first of three “critical” elections in the United States—contests that produced sharp and enduring changes in party loyalties across the country (although some analysts consider the election of 1824 to be the first critical election). After 1860 the Democratic and Republican parties became the major parties in a largely two-party system. In federal elections from the 1870s to the 1890s, the parties were in rough balance—except in the South, which became solidly Democratic. The two parties controlled Congress for almost equal periods, though the Democrats held the presidency only during the two terms of Grover Cleveland (1885–89 and 1893–97).

In the country’s second critical election, in 1896, the Republicans won the presidency and control of both houses of Congress, and the Republican Party became the majority party in most states outside the South. The Republican presidential nominee that year was William McKinley, a conservative who favoured high tariffs on foreign goods and “sound” money tied to the value of gold. The Democrats, already burdened by the economic depression that began under President Cleveland, nominated William Jennings Bryan, who advocated cheap money (money available at low interest rates) based on both gold and silver.

The assassination of President McKinley in 1901 elevated to the presidency Theodore Roosevelt, leader of the party’s progressive wing. Roosevelt opposed monopolistic and exploitative business practices, adopted a more conciliatory attitude toward labour, and urged the conservation of natural resources.

  He was reelected in 1904 but declined to run in 1908, deferring to his secretary of war and friend, William Howard Taft, who won handily. Subsequently disenchanted with Taft’s conservative policies, Roosevelt unsuccessfully challenged him for the Republican nomination in 1912. Roosevelt then bolted the Republican Party to form the Progressive Party (Bull Moose Party) and ran for president against Taft and the Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson. With the Republican vote divided, Wilson won the presidency, and he was reelected in 1916. During the spectacular prosperity of the 1920s, the Republicans’ conservative and probusiness policies proved more attractive to voters than Wilson’s brand of idealism and internationalism. The Republicans easily won the presidential elections of 1920, 1924, and 1928.

The stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed had severe consequences for the Republicans, largely because of their unwillingness to combat the effects of the depression through direct government intervention in the economy. In the election of 1932, considered the country’s third critical election, Republican incumbent President Herbert Hoover was overwhelmingly defeated by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the Republicans were relegated to the status of a minority party. Roosevelt’s three reelections (he was the only president to serve more than two terms), the succession of Harry S. Truman to the presidency on Roosevelt’s death in 1945, and Truman’s narrow election over New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey in 1948 kept the Republicans out of the White House for two decades. Although most Republicans in the 1930s vehemently opposed Roosevelt’s New Deal social programs, by the 1950s the party had largely accepted the federal government’s expanded role and regulatory powers.

In 1952 the Republican Party nominated as its presidential candidate World War II supreme Allied commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, who easily defeated Democrat Adlai E. Stevenson in the general election. Despite Eisenhower’s centrist views, the Republican platform was essentially conservative, calling for a strong anticommunist stance in foreign affairs, reductions in government regulation of the economy, lower taxes for the wealthy, and resistance to federal civil rights legislation (though Eisenhower did dispatch federal troops to Arkansas in 1957 to enforce the court-ordered racial integration of a high school in Little Rock; he also signed the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960). The party retained the traditional support of both big and small business and gained new support from growing numbers of middle-class suburbanites and—perhaps most significantly—white Southerners, who were upset by the prointegration policies of leading Democrats, including President Truman, who had ordered the integration of the military. Eisenhower was reelected in 1956, but in 1960 Richard M. Nixon, Eisenhower’s vice president, lost narrowly to Democrat John F. Kennedy.

The Republicans were in severe turmoil at their 1964 convention, where moderates and conservatives battled for control of the party. Ultimately, the conservatives secured the nomination of Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who lost by a landslide to President Lyndon B. Johnson, Kennedy’s vice president and successor. By 1968 the party’s moderate faction regained control and again nominated Nixon, who narrowly won the popular vote over Hubert H. Humphrey, Johnson’s vice president. Many Southern Democrats abandoned the party to vote for the anti-integration candidate George C. Wallace. Importantly, the 1964 and 1968 elections signaled the death of the Democratic “Solid South,” as both Goldwater and Nixon made significant inroads there. In 1964, 5 of the 6 states won by Goldwater were in the South; in 1968, 11 Southern states voted for Nixon and only 1 voted for Humphrey.

Although Nixon was reelected by a landslide in 1972, Republicans made few gains in congressional, state, and local elections and failed to win control of Congress. In the wake of the Watergate scandal, Nixon resigned the presidency in August 1974 and was succeeded in office by Gerald R. Ford, the first appointed vice president to become president. Ford lost narrowly to Southern Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976. In 1980 Ronald W. Reagan, the charismatic leader of the Republican Party’s conservative wing, defeated Carter and helped the Republicans to regain control of the Senate, which they held until 1987.


1874 Nast cartoon featuring the first notable appearance of the Republican elephant
Reagan introduced deep tax cuts and launched a massive buildup of U.S. military forces. His personal popularity and an economic recovery contributed to his 49-state victory over Democrat Walter F. Mondale in 1984. His vice president, George Bush, continued the Republicans’ presidential success by handily defeating Democrat Michael S. Dukakis in 1988.

During Bush’s term, the Cold War came to an end after communism collapsed in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. In 1991 Bush led an international coalition that drove Iraqi armies out of Kuwait in the Persian Gulf War. Congress continued to be controlled by the Democrats, however, and Bush lost his bid for reelection in 1992 to another Southern Democrat, Bill Clinton. Partly because of Clinton’s declining popularity in 1993–94, the Republicans won victories in the 1994 midterm elections that gave them control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1954.

They promptly undertook efforts to overhaul the country’s welfare system and to reduce the budget deficit, but their uncompromising and confrontational style led many voters to blame them for a budget impasse in 1995–96 that resulted in two partial government shutdowns. Clinton was reelected in 1996, though the Republicans retained control of Congress.

In 2000 Texas Governor George W. Bush, son of the former president, recaptured the presidency for the Republicans, receiving 500,000 fewer popular votes than Democrat Al Gore but narrowly winning a majority of the electoral vote (271–266) after the Supreme Court of the United States ordered a halt to the manual recounting of disputed ballots in Florida. Bush was only the second son of a president to assume the nation’s highest office. The Republicans also won a majority in both chambers of Congress (though the Democrats gained effective control of the Senate in 2001 following the decision of Republican Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont to became an independent).

A surge in Bush’s popularity following the September 11 attacks of 2001 enabled the Republicans to recapture the Senate and to make gains in the House of Representatives in 2002. In 2004 Bush was narrowly reelected, winning both the popular and electoral vote, and the Republicans kept control of both houses of Congress. In the 2006 midterm elections, however, the Republicans fared poorly, hindered largely by the growing opposition to the Iraq War, and the Democrats regained control of both the House and the Senate. In the general election of 2008 the Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, was defeated by Democrat Barack Obama, and the Democrats increased their majority in both houses of Congress. The following year the Republican National Committee elected Michael Steele as its first African American chairman.

With a gain of some 60 seats, a swing not registered since 1948, Republicans recaptured control of the House and dramatically reduced the Democrats’ majority in the Senate in the 2010 midterm election.

The election, which was widely seen as a referendum on the Obama administration’s policy agenda, was marked by anxiety over the struggling economy (especially the high unemployment rate) and by the upsurge of the Tea Party—a populist movement whose adherents generally opposed excessive taxation and “big” government. Tea Party candidates, some of whom had displaced candidates favoured by the Republican establishment during the primaries, had mixed success in the general election.

In the 2012 general election, the Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was unable to unseat Obama. The situation in Congress remained relatively unchanged, with Republicans retaining their hold on the House of Representatives and Democrats successfully defending their majority in the Senate.

  Policy and structure
Although its founders refused to recognize the right of states and territories to practice slavery, the modern Republican Party supports states’ rights against the power of the federal government in most cases, and it opposes the federal regulation of traditionally state and local matters, such as policing and education. Because the party is highly decentralized (as is the Democratic Party), it encompasses a wide variety of opinion on certain issues, though it is ideologically more unified at the national level than the Democratic Party is. The Republicans advocate reduced taxes as a means of stimulating the economy and advancing individual economic freedom. They tend to oppose extensive government regulation of the economy, government-funded social programs, affirmative action, and policies aimed at strengthening the rights of workers. Many Republicans, though not all, favour increased government regulation of the private, noneconomic lives of citizens in some areas, such as abortion, though most Republicans also strongly oppose gun-control legislation. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to support organized prayer in public schools and to oppose the legal recognition of equal rights for gays and lesbians (see gay rights movement). Regarding foreign policy, the Republican Party traditionally has supported a strong national defense and the aggressive pursuit of U.S. national security interests, even when it entails acting unilaterally or in opposition to the views of the international community.

Both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party formulate their platforms quadrennially at national political conventions, which are held to nominate the parties’ presidential candidates. The conventions take place in the summer of each presidential election year; by tradition, the incumbent party holds its convention second. The Republican National Convention typically gathers some 2,000 delegates who are selected during the winter and spring.

Until the 1970s, few nationwide rules governed the selection of delegates to the Republican National Convention. After the Democratic Party adopted a system based on state primaries and caucuses, the Republicans followed suit. More than 40 states now select delegates to the Republican convention through primary elections, while several other states choose delegates through caucuses. Virtually all Republican primaries allocate delegates on a “winner-take-all” basis, so that the candidate who wins the most votes in a state is awarded all the delegates of that state. In contrast, almost all Democratic primaries allocate delegates based on the proportion of the vote each candidate receives. As a result, the Republicans tend to choose their presidential nominees more quickly than the Democrats do, often long before the summer nominating convention, leaving the convention simply to ratify the winner of the primaries.

In addition to confirming the party’s presidential nominee and adopting the party platform, the national convention formally chooses a national committee to organize the next convention and to govern the party until the next convention is held. The Republican National Committee (RNC) consists of about 150 party leaders representing all U.S. states and territories. Its chairman is typically named by the party’s presidential nominee and then formally elected by the committee. Republican members of the House and the Senate organize themselves into party conferences that elect the party leaders of each chamber. In keeping with the decentralized nature of the party, each chamber also creates separate committees to raise and disburse funds for House and Senate election campaigns. Although Republican congressional party organizations maintain close informal relationships with the RNC, they are formally separate from it and not subject to its control. Similarly, state party organizations are not subject to direct control by the national committee.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Abbas I, Viceroy of Egypt assassinated; succeeded by Mohammed Said (—1863)
Said of Egypt

Muhammad Said Pasha (March 17, 1822 - January 18, 1863) was the Wāli of Egypt and Sudan from 1854 until 1863, officially owing fealty to the Ottoman Sultan but in practice exercising virtual independence. He was the fourth son of Muhammad Ali Pasha. Sa'id was a Francophone, educated in Paris.


Muhammad Said Pasha
  Under Sa'id's rule there were several law, land and tax reforms. Some modernization of Egyptian and Sudanese infrastructure also occurred using western loans. In 1854 the first act of concession of land for the Suez Canal was granted, to a French businessman Ferdinand de Lesseps. The British opposed a Frenchman building the canal and persuaded the Ottoman Empire to deny its permission for two years.

Sudan had been conquered by his father in 1821 and incorporated into his Egyptian realm, mainly in order to seize slaves for his army.

Slave raids (the annual 'razzia') also ventured beyond Sudan into Kordofan and Ethiopia. Facing European pressure to abolish official Egyptian slave raids in the Sudan, Sa'id issued a decree banning raids. Freelance slave traders ignored his decree.

When the American Civil War brought a cotton famine, the export of Egyptian cotton surged during Sa'id's rule to become the main source for European mills. At the behest of Napoleon III in 1863, Sa'id dispatched part of a Sudanese battalion to help put down a rebellion against the Second Mexican Empire.

Under Sa'id's rule the influence of sheikhs was curbed and many Bedouin reverted to nomadic raiding.

In 1854 he established the Bank of Egypt. In the same year Egypt's first standard gauge railway was opened, between Kafr el-Zayyat on the Rosetta branch of the Nile and Alexandria.

Sa'id's heir presumptive, Ahmad Rifaat, drowned in 1858 at Kafr el-Zayyat when a railway train on which he was travelling fell off a car float into the Nile. Therefore when Sa'id died in January 1863 he was succeeded by his nephew Ismail.

The Mediterranean port of Port Said is named after him.

He married twice, to a first wife Inji Hanimefendi without issue, and to a second wife Melekber Hanimefendi with two sons, Muhammad Toussoun Pasha and Mahmoud Pasha.

There is now a member of his family lineage is Prince Mohammed Farouk Sharif is the eldest grandson of Ahmed Sherif Basha son of Mohamed Said Pasha and is now living in Alexandria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ostend Manifesto advises U.S. to annex Cuba
Ostend Manifesto
Ostend Manifesto, (Oct. 18, 1854), communication from three U.S. diplomats to Secretary of State William L. Marcy, advocating U.S. seizure of Cuba from Spain; the incident marked the high point of the U.S. expansionist drive in the Caribbean in the 1850s.

After Pierre Soulé, U.S. minister to Spain, had failed in his mission to secure the purchase of Cuba (1853), Marcy directed James Buchanan, minister to Great Britain, and John Y. Mason, minister to France, to confer with Soulé at Ostend, Belg. Their dispatch urged U.S. seizure of Cuba if the U.S. possessed the power and if Spain refused the sale. This action stemmed both from fear of a slave revolt in Cuba similar to that in Haiti and from a desire to expand U.S. slave territory.

Their proposals, couched in intemperate language, were rejected, and when contents of the dispatch leaked out, the Republican press branded it as a “manifesto” appealing to Southern opinion.
The Ostend Manifesto was a document written in 1854 that described the rationale for the United States to purchase Cuba from Spain while implying that the U.S. should declare war if Spain refused. Cuba's annexation had long been a goal of U.S. slaveholding expansionists, particularly as the U.S. set its sights southward following the admission of California to the Union as a free state. At the national level, American leaders had been satisfied to have the island remain in weak Spanish hands so long as it did not pass to a stronger power such as Britain or France. The Ostend Manifesto proposed a shift in foreign policy, justifying the use of force to seize Cuba in the name of national security. It resulted from debates over slavery in the United States, Manifest Destiny, and the Monroe Doctrine, as slaveholders sought new territory for slavery's expansion. During the administration of President Franklin Pierce, a pro-Southern Democrat, Southern expansionists called for acquiring Cuba as a slave state, but the breakout of violence following the Kansas–Nebraska Act left the administration unsure of how to proceed. At the suggestion of Secretary of State William L. Marcy, American ministers in Europe — Pierre Soulé for Spain, James Buchanan for Great Britain, and John Y. Mason for France — met to discuss strategy related to an acquisition of Cuba.  
Pierre Soulé, the driving force behind the Ostend Manifesto
They met secretly at Ostend, Belgium, and drafted a dispatch at Aix-la-Chapelle. The document was sent to Washington in October 1854, outlining why a purchase of Cuba would be beneficial to each of the nations and declaring that the U.S. would be "justified in wresting" the island from Spanish hands if Spain refused to sell. To Marcy's chagrin, Soulé made no secret of the meetings, causing unwanted publicity in both Europe and the U.S. The administration was finally forced to publish the contents of the dispatch, which caused it irreparable damage.

The dispatch was published as demanded by the House of Representatives. Dubbed the "Ostend Manifesto", it was immediately denounced in both the Northern states and Europe. It became a rallying cry for Northerners seeking to control the vote on slavery and conflict in what was later termed Bleeding Kansas. The Pierce Administration suffered a significant setback. The question of Cuba's annexation was effectively set aside until the late 19th century. United States interest in the region rose again in the 1870s and the nation supported Cuba's gaining independence from Spain.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oldenburg and Hanover join Zollverein (customs union)
Zollverein, ( German: “Customs Union”) German customs union established in 1834 under Prussian leadership. It created a free-trade area throughout much of Germany and is often seen as an important step in German reunification.

The movement to create a free-trade zone in Germany received great impetus from economists such as Friedrich List, its most active advocate in early 19th-century Germany. In 1818 Prussia enacted a tariff law abolishing all internal customs dues and announced its willingness to establish free trade with neighbouring states. A decade later Prussia signed the first such pact with Hesse-Darmstadt. In 1828 a customs union was set up in southern Germany by Bavaria and Württemberg, joined in 1829 by the Palatinate; also in 1828 the central German states established a similar union, which included Saxony, the Thuringian states, electoral Hesse, and Nassau. In 1834 these were among the 18 states that joined in the Zollverein. Hanover and Oldenburg joined in 1854; the two Mecklenburgs, Schleswig-Holstein, Lauenburg, and Lübeck joined in 1867; and thereby all Germany outside Austria was included except Hamburg and Bremen, which adhered in 1888, 17 years after the establishment of the German Empire.

Encyclopædia Britannica

The growth of the German Zollverein

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