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-1858 Part IV NEXT-1859 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"

Battle of Solferino
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1859 Part I
Second Italian War of Independence

The Second Italian War of Independence, also called the Franco-Austrian War, Austro-Sardinian War or Italian War of 1859 (French: Campagne d'Italie), was fought by the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia against the Austrian Empire in 1859 and played a crucial part in the process of Italian unification.

The Piedmontese, following their defeat by Austria in the First Italian War of Independence, recognised their need for allies.

This led Camillo Benso, conte di Cavour, the prime minister of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, to attempt to establish relations with other European powers, partially through Piedmont's participation in the Crimean War.

In the peace conference at Paris following the Crimean War, Cavour attempted to bring attention to efforts for Italian unification. He found Britain and France to be sympathetic, but entirely unwilling to go against Austrian wishes, as any movement towards Italian independence would necessarily threaten Austria's territory in Lombardy and Venetia. Private talks between Napoleon III and Cavour after the conference identified Napoleon as the most likely, albeit still uncommitted, candidate for aiding Italy.

On January 14, 1858, Felice Orsini, an Italian, led an attempt on Napoleon III's life.

  This assassination attempt brought widespread sympathy for the Italian unification effort, and had a profound effect on Napoleon himself, who now was determined to help Piedmont against Austria in order to defuse the wider revolutionary activities that the governments inside Italy might allow to happen in the future. After a covert meeting at Plombières, Napoleon III and Cavour signed a secret treaty of alliance against Austria: France would help Sardinia-Piedmont to fight against Austria if attacked, and Sardinia-Piedmont would then give Nice and Savoy to France in return. This secret alliance served both countries: it helped with the Sardinian (Piedmontese) plan of unification of the Italian peninsula under the House of Savoy, and weakened Austria, a fiery adversary of Napoleon III's French Empire.

Cavour, being unable to get the French help unless the Austrians attacked first, provoked Vienna with a series of military manoeuvers close to the border. Austria issued an ultimatum on April 23, 1859, demanding the complete demobilization of the Sardinian army, and when it was not heeded, Austria started a war with Sardinia (April 29), thus drawing France into the conflict.


Major places of the Austro-Sardinian war 1859
The French army for the Italian campaign had 170,000 soldiers, 2,000 horsemen and 312 guns, half of the whole French army. The army was under the command of Napoleon III, divided into five corps: the I Corps, led by Achille Baraguey d'Hilliers, the II Corps, led by Patrice MacMahon, the III Corps, led by François Certain Canrobert, the IV Corps, led by Adolphe Niel, and the V Corps, led by prince Napoleon. The Imperial Guard was commanded by Auguste Regnaud de Saint-Jean d'Angély.

The Sardinian army had about 70,000 soldiers, 4,000 horsemen and 90 guns. It was divided into five divisions, led by Castelbrugo, Manfredo Fanti, Giovanni Durando, Enrico Cialdini, and Domenico Cucchiari. Two volunteer formations, the Cacciatori delle Alpi and the Cacciatori degli Appennini, were also present. The commander in chief was Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy, supported by Alfonso Ferrero la Marmora.

The Austrian army fielded more men: it was composed of 220,000 soldiers, 824 guns and 22,000 horsemen and was led by Field Marshal Ferenc Graf Gyulay.


Battle of Montebello
The operations
At the declaration of war, there were no French troops in Italy, so Marshal François Certain Canrobert moved into Piedmont in the first massive military use of railways. The Austrian forces counted on a swift victory over the weaker Sardinian army before French forces could arrive in Piedmont. However, Count Gyulai, the commander of the Austrian troops in Lombardy, was very cautious, marching around the Ticino River in no specific direction for a while until eventually crossing it to begin the offensive. Unfortunately for him, very heavy rains began to fall as soon as he did this, allowing the Piedmontese to flood the rice fields in front of his advance, slowing his army's march to a crawl.
  The Austrians under Gyulai eventually arrived in Vercelli, menacing Turin, but the Franco-Sardinian move to strengthen Alessandria and Po River bridges around Casale Monferrato forced them to fall back. On May 14, Napoleon III arrived in Alessandria, taking the command of the operations. The initial clash of the war was at Montebello on 20 May, a battle between an Austrian Corps under Stadion and a single division of the French I Corps under Forey. The Austrian contingent was three times as large, but the French were victorious, making Gyulai still more cautious. In early June, Gyulai had advanced to the rail center of Magenta, leaving his army spread out. Napoleon III attacked the Ticino head on with part of his force while sending another large group of troops to the north to flank the Austrians.

Battle of San Martino
The plan worked, causing Gyulai to retreat east to the quadrilateral fortresses in Lombardy, where he was relieved of his post as commander.

Replacing Gyulai was Emperor Franz Josef I himself. He planned to defend the well-fortified Austrian territory behind the Mincio River. The Piedmontese-French army had taken Milan and slowly marched further east to finish off Austria in this war before Prussia could get involved.

The Austrians found out that the French had halted at Brescia, and decided that they should counterattack along the river Chiese. The two armies met accidentally around Solferino, precipitating a confused series of battles.
  A French corps held off three Austrian corps all day at Medole, keeping them from joining the larger battle around Solferino, where, after a day-long battle, the French broke through. Ludwig von Benedek with the Austrian VIII Corps was separated from the main force, defended Pozzolengo against the Piedmontese part of the opposing army. This they did successfully, but the entire Austrian army retreated after the breakthrough at Solferino, withdrawing back into the Quadrilateral.

At the same time, in the northern part of Lombardy, the Italian volunteers of Giuseppe Garibaldi's Hunters of the Alps defeated the Austrians at Varese and Como and the Piedmontese-French navy landed 3,000 soldiers and conquered the islands of Losinj (Lussino) and Cres (Cherso) in Dalmatia.

The peace
Fear of involvement by the German states led Napoleon to seek a way out of the war, so he signed an armistice with Austria in Villafranca.

Most of Lombardy, with its capital Milan (excepting only the Austrian fortresses of Mantua and Legnago and the surrounding territory), was transferred from Austria to France, which would immediately cede these territories to Sardinia.
The rulers of Central Italy, who had been expelled by revolution shortly after the beginning of the war, were to be restored.

This deal, made by Napoleon behind the backs of his Sardinian allies, led to great outrage in Sardinia-Piedmont — Cavour himself resigned in protest.

However, the terms of Villafranca were never to come into effect: although they were reaffirmed by the final Treaty of Zürich in November, by then the agreement had become a dead letter.

The central Italian states were occupied by the Piedmontese, who showed no willingness to restore the previous rulers, and the French showed no willingness to force them to abide by the terms of the treaty.

The Austrians were left to look on in frustration at the French failure to carry out the terms of the treaty. While Austria had emerged triumphant after the suppression of liberal movements in 1849, its status as a great power on the European scene was now seriously challenged, and its influence in Italy severely weakened.

Patrice de Mac-Mahon, whose participation in the war was decisive for the victory

The next year, in 1860, with French and British approval, the central Italian states — Duchy of Parma, Duchy of Modena, Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Papal States — were annexed by the Kingdom of Sardinia, and France would take its deferred reward, Savoy and Nice. This latter move was vehemently opposed by Italian national hero Garibaldi, a native of Nice, and directly led to Garibaldi's expedition to Sicily, which would complete the preliminary unification of Italy.


Timeline 1859

20 May, French infantry and Sardinian cavalry defeat the Austrian army, which retreated, near Montebello
26 May, Giuseppe Garibaldi's Hunters of the Alps confront Austrian forces led by Field Marshal-Lieutenant Carl Baron Urban at Varese (Battle of Varese)
27 May, Hunters of the Alps defeat Urban at San Fermo, entering Como
30 May, French and Sardinian forces defeat the Austrian army at the Battle of Palestro
4 June, in the Battle of Magenta, French defeat Austrians
21 June/24 June, in the Battle of Solferino, Sardinians and Napoleon III of France defeat an army commanded by Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph himself in northern Italy. The battle inspires Henri Dunant to found the Red Cross
11 July, Franz Joseph, faced with the revolution in Hungary, meets Napoleon III at Villafranca, where they signed an armistice

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Battle of Varese

The Battle of Varese was fought on 26 May 1859 at Varese (Lombardy). It was an engagement of the Second Italian War of Independence, fought between the Italian volunteers formation of the Hunters of the Alps, led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, against Austrian troops. The Austrian defeat allowed the movement of the Hunters towards Como, and obliged the Austrians to keep troops on the northern part of the front.

The prelude
Garibaldi and his Hunters had moved and occupied Varese, in the night of 23 May. The Austrian commander in chief, Ferencz Gyulai, had sent the Urban division to settle the matter.

In the meantime, on 25 May, 500 Austrian riflemen, 130 Ulans, and two guns from Gallarate attacked a company led by Carlo De Cristoforis at Sesto Calende, but were rejected to Somma.


Giuseppe Garibaldi leads the troops in the Battle of Varese
The encounter
On 26 May, at dawn, Urban arrived at Varese, where Garibaldi had already prepared the defence. The Italians were deployed as: one battalion (Enrico Cosenz) on the right, two battalions on the left (Giacomo Medici), one battalion in the middle (Nicola Ardoino); two reserve battalions, one at Varese (Nino Bixio), and one at Biumo Superiore.

The Austrians opened fire with the guns, then moved three columns against the enemy. Cosenz's battalion attacked the incoming Austrians, and routed them into the other columns, repulsing the Austrian attack with the help of the Medici battalion. Urban, overestimating the enemy forces, retreated on Malnate. Medici and Ardoino attacked the retreating Austrians, causing more losses.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Battle of Palestro

The Battle of Palestro was fought on 30/31 May 1859 between the Austrian Empire and the combined forces of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont and France. The Franco-Piedmontese forces were victorious. It was fought just south to Palestro, a town in what is now the province of Pavia in northern Italy.


Schema della battaglia di Palestro
After the battle of Montebello of 20 May 1859, the Franco-Piedmontese army moved towards Novara, aiming to reach Milan, the capital of Lombardy-Venetia, the Austrian province in northern Italy. Part of the Piedmontese forces advanced to Robbio to cover the right flank of the allied army.

On 30 May the Piedmontese crossed the Sesia river and, after a hard fight, managed to take control of Palestro, Vinzaglio, and Confienza. The following day, in order to test the enemy's strength, Austrian field-marshal Friedrich Zobel ordered two of his infantry divisions to attack Palestro.

The 4th Piedmontese Division under general Enrico Cialdini took position between Palestro and the road to Robbio, with the 10th Infantry Regiment on his left, the 9th Regiment defending Cascina San Pietro, and the 3rd Zouaves Regiment on his right flank, on an island in the river known as Sesietta.

The King of Sardinia-Piedmont, Victor Emmanuel II, was in Palestro and followed the early course of the battle from the town's bell tower.

The Austrian attacked first the Piedmontese line at Palestro, but were pushed back to Robbio. The Piedmontese at Cascina San Pietro were also under heavy attack from Austrian troops from Rosasco.

The situation was solved by the rushed attack of the 3rd Zouaves Regiment under Colonel Chabron, who attacked the left flank of the Austrian contingents. The Zouaves were able to reach the enemy's artillery, defended by the 7th Tirolese Hunters Regiment.

Then they launched a bayonet attack against the four infantry battalions of the 12th Regiment "Archduke William". The positions conquered by the French units were immediately reinforced by Italian troops, led personally by Victor Emmanuel, which arrived in time to repel an Austrian counterattack.

After the Franco-Piedmontese troops had strengthened their bridgehead over the Sesia river, Zobel, despite its numerical superiority, retired towards Robbio.

His decision was motivated by the fear that French units under general Canrobert, which had just reached the left bank of the Sesia, could cut in two his corps.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Manfredo Fanti, who led the Sardinian troops in the Battle of Palestro
Battle of Magenta

The Battle of Magenta was fought on 4 June 1859 during the Second Italian War of Independence, resulting in a French-Sardinian victory under Napoleon III against the Austrians under Marshal Ferencz Gyulai.


It took place near the town of Magenta in northern Italy on 4 June 1859. Napoleon III's army crossed the Ticino River and outflanked the Austrian right forcing the Austrian army under General Gyulay to retreat. The close nature of the country, a vast spread of orchards cut up by streams and irrigation canals, precluded elaborate maneuver. The Austrians turned every house into a miniature fortress. The brunt of the fighting was borne by 5,000 grenadiers of the French Imperial Guard, still in the First Empire style uniform. The battle of Magenta was not particularly large, but it was a decisive victory for the French-Sardinian forces. Patrice Maurice de MacMahon was created Duke of Magenta for his role in this battle, and later served as President of the French Republic.

The Franco-Piedmontese coalition consisted in overwhelming majority of French troops (1,100 Piedmontese and 58,000 French). Their victory can therefore be considered as mostly a French victory.

The Battle of Magenta by Gerolamo Induno. Musée de l'Armée, Paris

A dye producing the colour magenta was discovered in 1859, and was named after this battle, as was the Boulevard de Magenta in Paris.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Battle of Solferino
The Battle of Solferino (referred to in Italy as the Battle of Solferino and San Martino) on 24 June 1859 resulted in the victory of the allied French Army under Napoleon III and Sardinian Army under Victor Emmanuel II (together known as the Franco-Sardinian Alliance) against the Austrian Army under Emperor Franz Joseph I. It was the last major battle in world history where all the armies were under the personal command of their monarchs. Perhaps 300,000 soldiers fought in this important battle, the largest since the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. There were about 130,000 Austrian troops and a combined total of 140,000 French and allied Piedmontese troops. After this battle, the Austrian Emperor refrained from further direct command of the army.
The battle led the Swiss Jean-Henri Dunant to write his book, A Memory of Solferino. Although he did not witness the battle (his statement is contained in an "unpublished page" included in the 1939 English edition published by the American Red Cross), he did tour the field following the battle, and was greatly moved by what he saw. Horrified by the suffering of wounded soldiers left on the battlefield, Dunant set about a process that led to the Geneva Conventions and the establishment of the International Red Cross.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino, by Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier, Oil on canvas, 1863

The Battle
The Battle of Solferino was a decisive engagement in the Second Italian War of Independence, a crucial step in the Italian Risorgimento. The war's geopolitical context was the nationalist struggle to unify Italy, long divided among France, Austria, Spain and numerous independent Italian states. The battle took place near the villages of Solferino and San Martino, Italy, south of Lake Garda between Milan and Verona.

The confrontation was between the Austrians on one side, versus the French and Piedmontese forces who opposed their advance. In the morning of 23 June, after the arrival of emperor Franz Joseph, the Austrian army changed direction to counterattack along the river Chiese. At the same time, Napoleon III ordered his troops to advance, causing the battle to occur in an unpredicted location. While the Piedmontese fought the Austrian right wing near San Martino, the French battled to the south of them near Solferino against the main Austrian corps.

Opposing forces
Among the Austrian forces were English soldiers who were personally led by their militarily inexperienced 29-year-old emperor, Franz Joseph, and were divided into two field armies: 1st Army, containing three corps (III, IX and XI), under Franz von Wimpffen and 2nd Army, containing four corps (I, V, VII and VIII) under Franz von Schlick. The French army at Solferino, personally led by Napoleon III, was divided in four Corps plus the Imperial Guard. Many of its men and generals were veterans of the French conquest of Algeria and the Crimean War, but its commander-in-chief had no military experience of note. The Sardinian army had four divisions on the field.

Battle commences
According to the allied battle plan formulated on 24 June, the Franco-Sardinian army moved east to deploy along the right river banks of the Mincio. The French were to occupy the villages of Solferino, Cavriana, Guidizzolo and Medole with, respectively, the 1st Corps (Baraguey d'Hilliers), 2nd Corps (Mac-Mahon), 3rd Corps (Canrobert), and 4th Corps (Niel). The four Sardinian divisions were to take Pozzolengo. After marching a few kilometers, the allies came into contact with the Austrian troops who had entrenched themselves in those villages. In the absence of a fixed battle plan, the fighting which took place was uncoordinated, which is why so many casualties occurred, and it fell into three separate engagements, at Medole (south), Solferino (center) and San Martino (north).

Map of the battle (printed c.1888), in Meyers Lexikon, Vol.15, p.10-11.

Battle of Medole
The battle started at Medole around 4 am. Marching towards Guidizzolo, the 4th Corps encountered an Austrian infantry regiment of the Austrian 1st Army. General Niel immediately decided to engage the enemy and deployed his forces east of Medole. This move prevented the three corps (III, IX and XI) of the Austrian 1st Army from aiding their comrades of the 2nd Army near Solferino, where the main French attacks took place.

The French forces were numerically inferior to the Austrians'. The 4th Corps contained three infantry divisions under de Luzy, Vinoy and Failly and a cavalry brigade. Niel, holding a thin line of 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) in length, was able to stop the Austrian assaults on his position by ably warding off attacks and counterattacking at opportune moments. After 15 hours of combat the Austrians retreated, both sides having lost in total nearly 15,000 men.


French infantry advances

Battle of Solferino
Around 4:30 am the advance guard of the 1st Corps (three infantry divisions under Forey, de Ladmirault, and Bazaine, and a cavalry division under Desvaux) came into contact with the Austrian V Corps under Stadion near Castiglione delle Stiviere.

Around 5 am 2nd Corps under Mac-Mahon (two infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade under La Motterouge, Decaen and Gaudin) encountered Hungarian units posted near Ca’Morino (Medole). The Austrian forces were three corps strong (I, V and VII) and positioned on the towns of Solferino, Cavriana and Volta Mantovana. The Austrians were able to hold these positions all day against repeated French attacks.

Near 3 pm the French reserves, formed by Canrobert’s 3rd Corps and the Imperial Guard under Regnaud, attacked Cavriana, which was defended by the Austrian I Corps under Clam-Gallas, finally occupying it at 6 pm and thereby breaking through the Austrian center. This breakthrough forced a general retreat of both Austrian armies.


Battle of Solferino
Battle of San Martino
On the northern side of the battlefield the Sardinians, 4 divisions strong, encountered the Austrians around 7 am. A long battle erupted over control of Pozzolengo, San Martino and Madonna della Scoperta. Although the Austrian VIII Corps under Benedek was numerically inferior, they were able to ward off all Sardinian attacks until the entire Austrian army retired from the field at the end of day.

Sardinian troops charge at San Martino
The battle was a particularly gruelling one, lasting over nine hours and resulting in over 2,386 Austrian troops killed with 10,807 wounded and 8,638 missing or captured. The Allied armies also suffered a total of 2,492 killed, 12,512 wounded and 2,922 captured or missing. Reports of wounded and dying soldiers being shot or bayonetted on both sides added to the horror. In the end, the Austrian forces were forced to yield their positions, and the Allied French-Piedmontese armies won a tactical, but costly, victory. The Austrians retreated to the four fortresses of the Quadrilateral, and the campaign essentially ended.
Napoleon III was moved by the losses, as he had argued back in 1852 "the French Empire is peace", and for reasons including the Prussian threat and domestic protests by the Roman Catholics, he decided to put an end to the war with the Armistice of Villafranca (12 July 1859). The Piedmontese won Lombardy but not Venetia. Camillo Benso, conte di Cavour, resigned. The Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed in 1861.

Henry Dunant at Solferino


This battle would have a long-term effect on the future conduct of military actions. Jean-Henri Dunant (Dunant Henri ), who witnessed the aftermath of the battle in person, was motivated by the horrific suffering of wounded soldiers left on the battlefield to begin a campaign that would eventually result in the Geneva Conventions and the establishment of the International Red Cross.

The Movement organized the 150th anniversary commemoration of the battle between the 23 and 27 June 2009. The Presidency of the European Union adopted a declaration on the occasion stating that "This battle was also the grounds on which the international community of States has developed and adopted instruments of International Humanitarian Law, the international law rules relevant in times of armed conflict, in particular the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, the 60th anniversary of which will be celebrated this year."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Oregon becomes a state of the U.S.

Oregon, constituent state of the United States of America. Oregon is bounded to the north by Washington state, from which it receives the waters of the Columbia River; to the east by Idaho, more than half the border with which is formed by the winding Snake River and Hells Canyon; to the south by Nevada and California, with which Oregon shares its mountain and desert systems; and to the west by the Pacific Ocean, which produces the moderate climate of Oregon’s western lands. The capital is Salem, in the northwestern part of the state.

Admitted to the union as the 33rd state on February 14, 1859, Oregon comprises an area of startling physical diversity, from the moist rainforests, mountains, and fertile valleys of its western third to the naturally arid and climatically harsh eastern deserts. Mountains, plateaus, plains, and valleys of different geologic ages and materials are arrayed in countless combinations, including such natural wonders as the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon Caves National Monument, Crater Lake National Park, the majestic snow-covered peaks of the Cascade Range, and the central Oregon “moon country” (lava fields that served as a training site for astronauts in the U.S. space program in the 1960s). The name Oregon is thought to be Native American in origin.   The forested mountains of western and northeastern Oregon have supplied the traditional core of the state’s economy. Its many forest-product plants produce a major portion of the country’s softwood lumber, much of its soft plywood, and large quantities of hardboard, pulp, and paper. Nationally, Oregon ranks at or near the top among all states in the production of wood products. In addition, the multipurpose development of the Columbia River system provides huge quantities of electricity, water for irrigation and industry, shipping channels, and water for recreation. The heartland of Oregon, however, is the Willamette River valley, containing the major cities of Portland, Eugene, and Salem and a rich and diversified agriculture. Area 98,379 square miles (254,800 square km). Pop. (2010) 3,831,074; (2014 est.) 3,970,239.

When the first Europeans arrived in the Oregon country—a region vaguely defined at the time but roughly comparable to the present Pacific Northwest—about 125 Native American groups lived in and around the area. In what became the state of Oregon, the leading tribes were the salmon-fishing Chinook along the lower Columbia River; the Tillamook, Yamel, Molala, Clackamas, and Multnomah in the northwest; the Santiam and Coos in the southwest; the Cayuse, Northern Paiute, Umatilla, Nez Percé, and Bannock in the dry lands east of the Cascade Range and in the Blue-Wallowa mountains; and the Modoc and Klamath in the south-central area. Their mode of life sustained a relatively small population: they mainly practiced seasonal forms of agriculture, relying on hunting, fishing, and gathering.
The explorers
The first Europeans to see the Oregon coast were Spanish sailors in the mid-16th century, who produced rough maps describing the area.

In 1579 English seaman Francis Drake, in quest of Spanish loot and the Northwest Passage in his Golden Hind, anchored in an inlet north of the Golden Gate and took possession of a portion of the Pacific coast, which may have included what is now Oregon, for Queen Elizabeth I. Until the third quarter of the 18th century, when the Spanish renewed exploration along the coast, the Oregon country remained unexplored. In 1778 the English sea captain James Cook visited and traded in Oregon.

In 1787 Boston merchants sent two ships to the Oregon country under Captains Robert Gray and John Kendrick. On his second voyage Gray entered the harbour that bears his name (in Washington), and in May 1792 he sailed over the bar of the Columbia River and named it for his ship, the Columbia. This was the first U.S. claim to the Pacific Northwest by right of discovery.

Drake, Sir Francis
[Credit: Archivio I.G.D.A.]
The Northwest was also approached by land. Two British fur companies, the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company, raced across the continent to open routes to the Pacific; the Americans were not far behind. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark reached the mouth of the Columbia in 1805, strengthening the U.S. claim to the region. John Jacob Astor, as the head of the Pacific Fur Company, began European American settlement of the Oregon country with the establishment of a trading post at Astoria in 1811. In 1824 the Hudson’s Bay Company established Fort Vancouver (now Vancouver, Wash.), and John McLoughlin was appointed to head the company’s far-flung operations in its Pacific Northwest territory. For the next 22 years he was the dominating figure in the region.

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon-Washington border.
Permanent U.S. settlement
Beginning in 1830, thousands of people from New England and the Midwest migrated to the Pacific Northwest. Missionaries played a role in settlement. In 1834 the Methodists, headed by Jason Lee, established the first permanent settlement in the Willamette River valley. The migrations that carved the deep wagon wheel ruts still visible in the Oregon Trail began in the early 1840s. After 1838, U.S. claims and rights to the region were constantly before Congress. Settlers in the Willamette valley made known their desire to become part of the United States. In 1843 representatives met at Champoeg (near present-day Newberg) to organize a provisional government; a set of laws patterned after those of Iowa was accepted.

Bison grazing in Oregon.
By 1844 the British government had concluded that the Columbia River boundary line would have to be abandoned, and the Hudson’s Bay Company moved its chief Northwest depot to Fort Victoria (now Victoria, B.C.). In spite of the “Fifty-four forty or fight” slogan of James K. Polk’s 1844 presidential campaign, the 49th parallel was accepted by both the United States and Canada as the boundary, and the Oregon country became a U.S. territory in 1846. Its territorial boundaries, which extended initially between the 49th and 42nd parallels and from the Pacific Ocean to west of the crest of the Rocky Mountains, were revised to include what is now Idaho.

The Fremont Bridge over the Willamette River at Portland, Ore.
Statehood and growth
Territorial Oregon did not keep its boundaries for long. An influx of Free Staters in the years before the American Civil War (1861–65) led to political tensions, and in 1853 the portion of the territory north of the Columbia River was given independent status as Washington Territory—which, unlike Oregon, allowed African Americans to migrate freely. The question of where the territorial seat would be was another point of division; contenders included Corvallis, Oregon City (where the legislature was located for a brief period), and Salem. The question was finally settled by the U.S. Congress, which declared that Salem would be the territory’s seat of government.

Oregon became the 33rd state in 1859. During the Civil War Southerners who had settled in the timber-producing areas along the southwestern coast of the state threatened secession. To placate these potential rebels, free blacks were constitutionally forbidden from entering Oregon, and only a handful of them migrated there before the late 19th century, when the exclusion law was relaxed—although it was not formally repealed until 1926.

By 1883, following several conflicts with the U.S. settlers, most of the Native Americans of Oregon had been moved to reservations. That same year a railroad was begun, linking Oregon with the rest of the country and vastly improving the opportunity for economic growth. Agriculture and forestry were especially stimulated, and, by the turn of the 20th century, two-thirds of the people of Oregon lived in rural areas. Soon, however, the cities began to grow rapidly as Oregon’s industrial and manufacturing bases expanded, and by the early 21st century more than three-fourths of the people were living in urban areas.


Oregon State Capitol, Salem, Ore.
Despite some measures to discourage immigration, the state experienced explosive growth. Newcomers frequently cited the state’s clean air and water, small cities, and scenic natural environment as reasons for migrating to Oregon. By the early 21st century, however, Oregon’s urban areas faced severe traffic congestion, pollution, and an infrastructure in need of expansion. The state’s leadership sought solutions to such problems in land-use and environmental planning and in promoting new, less resource-intensive forms of production and consumption. These measures resulted in diversification of the economy, with Oregon assuming a leading role in bio- and high-technology manufacture and aquaculture. Portland is now considered one of the most attractive cities in the country in terms of quality of life, while Eugene, Corvallis, and other urban areas have seen steady but not overwhelming growth of a kind that the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and other West Coast urban centres have experienced. The rural portions of the state remain strongly conservative, while the urban areas are liberal in the political and cultural senses, yielding new political tensions in the first years of the 21st century.

Richard M. Highsmith, Jr.
Gregory Lewis McNamee

Encyclopædia Britannica


World Countries

United States of America
King Ferdinand of the Two Sicilies d.; succeeded by Francis II
Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies

Ferdinand II, (born January 12, 1810, Palermo [Italy]—died May 22, 1859, Caserta), king of the Two Sicilies from 1830. He was the son of the future king Francis I and the Spanish infanta María Isabel, a member of the branch of the house of Bourbon that had ruled Naples and Sicily from 1734.


Ferdinand II
  Ferdinand II’s initial actions on ascending the throne on November 8, 1830, raised the hopes of the liberals in the kingdom. He granted amnesty to political prisoners, reinstated army officers suspected of republicanism, and showed himself eager to provide good government and to institute reforms. But he gradually came to adopt an authoritarian policy.

He severely repressed a number of liberal and national revolts (including that of the Bandiera brothers in 1844). Even his marriage to an Austrian, the Archduchess Theresa, in 1837 (after the death of his first wife, the Piedmontese Maria Cristina), was taken as a sign of his growing conservatism.

A successful revolution at Palermo on January 12, 1848, and subsequent agitation among Neapolitan liberals forced Ferdinand to grant a constitution on January 29. After his army defeated a group of Neapolitan rebels on May 15, 1848, Ferdinand regained his confidence.

He ignored the constitution, recalled troops sent by his liberal ministers to help expel the Austrians from northern Italy, and regained control of Sicily.

The heavy bombardment of Sicilian cities in this campaign gained him the name of “King Bomba,” while his harsh treatment of the participants in the revolts earned him the dislike of many Europeans, notably of the future British prime minister William Ewart Gladstone, who denounced Ferdinand’s regime as “the negation of God erected into a system of government.”

During the final years of his life, Ferdinand became more and more isolated from his people and fearful of conspiracies against his life. The increasingly absolute character of his government denied the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies a role in the Risorgimento (movement for Italian unification) and contributed directly to the easy collapse of the kingdom and its incorporation into Italy in 1860, only shortly after Ferdinand’s death.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Francis II of the Two Sicilies

Francis II (Italian: Francesco II, christened Francesco d'Assisi Maria Leopoldo, 16 January 1836 – 27 December 1894) was King of the Two Sicilies from 1859 to 1861. He was the last King of the Two Sicilies, as successive invasions by Giuseppe Garibaldi and Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia ultimately brought an end to his rule, and marked the first major event of Italian unification. After he was deposed, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Kingdom of Sardinia were merged into the newly formed Kingdom of Italy.

  Francis II, (born Jan. 16, 1836, Naples—died Dec. 27, 1894, Arco, Italy), king of the Two Sicilies from 1859 until his deposition in 1860, the last of the Bourbons of Naples.

He was the only son of Ferdinand II by his first consort, Maria Cristina of Savoy.

Timid and suspicious, he was easily overruled in state and family councils.

Upon his accession he rejected proposals made by Count Cavour that he should join Piedmont–Sardinia in the war against Austria and grant liberal reforms on its conclusion.

Thoroughly alarmed by the invasion (May 1860) of Sicily by Giuseppe Garibaldi and the Thousand, Francis, acting on the advice of the French emperor Napoleon III, capitulated to the liberals in his kingdom
(June 25, 1860); he restored the constitution of 1848, granted freedom of the press, and promised fresh elections.

It was too late to save the monarchy, however, and on October 1–2 the Bourbon forces were defeated by Garibaldi on the Volturno River.

Francis was deposed by the plebiscite of October 21–22, and on the fall of Gaeta (Feb. 13, 1861) to the Piedmontese he retired to Rome as the guest of Pope Pius IX. When Rome also fell (1870), he settled in Paris.

Encyclopædia Britannica
Lord Derby (Stanley Edward) resigns; Lord Palmerston (Palmerston) becomes Britain Prime Minister

Stanley Edward Prime Minister of the United Kingdom:

23 February 1852 – 19 December 1852
20 February 1858 – 11 June 1859
28 June 1866 – 27 February 1868

Palmerston Prime Minister of the United Kingdom:

6 February 1855 – 19 February 1858
12 June 1859 – 18 October 1865
Prince Metternich (Metternich Klemens) d. (b. 1773)

Prince Metternich in old age
King Oscar I of Sweden d.; succeeded by Charles XV (-1872)
Charles XV of Sweden
Charles XV & IV also Carl (Carl Ludvig Eugen); Swedish and Norwegian: Karl (3 May 1826 – 18 September 1872) was King of Sweden (Charles XV) and Norway (Charles IV) from 1859 until his death.

Charles XV of Sweden
  Charles XV, Swedish Karl or Carl, Swedish in full Carl Ludvig Eugen (born May 3, 1826, Stockholm—died Sept. 18, 1872, Malmö, Swed.), king of Sweden and Norway from 1859 to 1872 (called Karl IV in Norway).

Succeeding his father, Oscar I, on July 8, 1859, Charles was an intelligent and artistically inclined ruler much liked in both kingdoms.
The royal power, however, was considerably reduced during his reign as the Riksdag (parliament) and executive assumed increasing power.

Among important new liberal measures that enjoyed his support was the introduction of a bicameral legislature.

A champion of Pan-Scandinavianism and political solidarity among the three northern kingdoms, Charles unwisely gave a half promise of help—which his ministers were unable to back—to Denmark during the Schleswig-Holstein crisis of 1864.

He strived to strengthen the bond between Sweden and Norway as well, but his efforts were undermined by the Norwegian parliament.

Charles left one child, Louisa Josephina Eugenia, by his marriage to Louisa, daughter of Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, and was succeeded by his brother, Oscar II.

Encyclopædia Britannica
German National Association

The German National Association, or German National Union (German: Deutscher Nationalverein) was a liberal political organisation, precursor of a party, in the German Confederation that existed from 1859 to 1867. It was formed by liberals and moderate democrats and aimed at forming a liberal, parliamentary Lesser German ("kleindeutsch"), Prussia-led national state.

The league's representatives came from the educated middle and upper classes. The establishment has to be seen against the background of the Prussian "New Era" politics under prince regent William with slight liberalisations and concessions to the bourgeoisie that started in 1858.

Liberals and democrats, who met separately until 1859, united on 14 August 1859 in Eisenach and drafted the 2nd Eisenach Declaration calling for nationwide elections, creation of a central authority and end of the confederation.

If necessary, the diplomatic and military powers of the German Confederation should be transferred to the Prussian government.

Prominent members included Rudolf von Bennigsen, Schulze-Delitzsch, and Ludwig von Rochau. Fedor Streit, an outspoken democrat, was the society's executive secretary until 1865.

The official foundation took place in Frankfurt on 15/16 October 1859. While the organisational structure was established, the association fund-raised to buy up the German fleet (Reichsflotte) of 1848 to forward the unification.

After successful raising, the funds were given to Prussian minister of War Albrecht von Roon.

  End of "New Era"
When the moderate liberal "New Era" in Prussia ended in 1862, and the Prussian government refrained from any steps to German unification, the German National Assembly had to change its strategy. The new minister-president Otto von Bismarck aggravated the Prussian constitutional conflict concerning the army reform by ignoring the rights of the parliament, and the liberal organisation could not longer sympathise with the Prussian government. In 1862 the National union raised the democratic constitution of 1849 (Paulskirchenverfassung) to its political programme, illustrating the organisation's swing to the left.

Parallel, in 1861 the National association established the German Progress Party (Deutsche Fortschritsspartei, or DFP) as a registered party in Prussia, constituting the society's "executive branch". In many South and Central German small and middle states Progress Parties were founded in the following years. The DFP was immediately successful in the Prussian parliamentary election. The strategy was to exert pressure to the German states' governments on a parliamentary way to promote German unification.

The union got into a crisis during the Schleswig crisis. The "Committee of 36", close to the National union, strived for a reconquest of Schleswig and Holstein by nationalist volunteer forces. But Bismarck decided to ally with Austria, and their regular armies conquered the territories. So, the liberals' agitation was duped.

During the Austro-Prussian War and the foundation of the North German Confederation, the conflict between the left liberals and National liberals inside the union grew more and more heavy on the question whether or not to seek a compromise with Bismarck. Ultimately the right wing decided to accept the Indemnity bill (Indemnitätsvorlage) in 1866, leading to the final split of the left liberal, staunchly oppositional German Progress Party and the pro-government National Liberal Party, that was established in 1867. Thus, the German National Association ceased to exist.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jaures Jean

Jean Jaurès, (born Sept. 3, 1859, Castres, Fr.—died July 31, 1914, Paris), French socialist leader, cofounder of the newspaper L’Humanité, and member of the French Chamber of Deputies (1885–89, 1893–98, 1902–14); he achieved the unification of several factions into a single socialist party, the Section Française de l’Internationale Ouvrière. During the war fever of July 1914, he was assassinated by a young fanatic who believed that Jaurès’s pacifism was playing into the hands of imperial Germany.


Jean Jaurès
  Jaurès was born into a lower middle-class family that had been impoverished by business failures. He excelled in secondary school and was given a scholarship to attend the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. After passing his qualifying examination, Jaurès taught at the lycée of Albi from 1881 to 1883, and from 1883 to 1885 he was a lecturer at the University of Toulouse.

A convinced republican and a brilliant orator, Jaurès was more attracted to politics than to teaching and in 1885 was elected deputy from the Tarn. As he did not yet belong to any party, he took his seat in the centre of the Chamber. His election prompted the parents of the girl he loved, Louise Bois, to consent to their marriage. Madame Jaurès received as her dowry a handsome rural estate of 91 acres (37 hectares). Because his own political creed disclaimed the ownership of private property, Jaurès was often reproached for his possession of this estate.

Jaurès’s untidy personal appearance provided his enemies with much material for ridicule. Short and obese, he was described as having the appearance of “a teacher who does not exercise or a fat merchant who overeats.” Yet no one ever accused him of vulgarity.

Defeated in the 1889 elections, Jaurès returned to teaching at the University of Toulouse, and in 1891 he received his doctorate of philosophy. In 1892 he supported the striking miners of Carmaux, and that constituency elected him deputy to the Chamber in 1893.

By this time he had become a socialist, though without accepting all of Karl Marx’s ideas. Rather, of the five schools of French socialism, he chose the least revolutionary, the Independent Socialists, led by Alexandre Millerand.

During the campaign on behalf of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who had been convicted of treason and given a life sentence at hard labour on the basis of what later turned out to be forged evidence, Jaurès joined those demanding a revision of the trial. His position was not approved by the Marxist socialists, who did not believe that a socialist should defend a man who was both an officer and a member of the middle class. His book Les Preuves, asking for Dreyfus’ retrial and rehabilitation, caused his defeat in the elections of 1898. Temporarily retired from national politics, Jaurès began to compile his monumental Histoire socialiste de la Révolution française (1901–07; “Socialist History of the French Revolution”). This work, written “under the triple inspiration of Marx, Plutarch and Michelet,” gave new impetus to studies on France’s revolutionary period.

In spite of their dispute over the Dreyfus affair, the different socialist factions became reconciled and held their first joint congress in 1899. But, after Millerand agreed to join the leftist government dedicated to securing the republic headed by René Waldeck-Rousseau, the socialists divided into two groups: those who refused to cooperate with the government and advocated class war founded the Socialist Party of France (Parti Socialiste de France), and those who preached reconciliation with the state, headed by Jaurès, formed the French Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste Français). At this time Jaurès wrote many articles supporting Waldeck-Rousseau’s policy of reform. After his reelection in 1902, he continued to support the leftist bloc within the Chamber of Deputies.


Jean Jaurès
  In 1904 Jaurès was cofounder of the newspaper L’Humanité, in which he continued to espouse the principles of democratic socialism. That same year, the congress of the Second International, held in Amsterdam, condemned socialist participation in bourgeois governments, thus rejecting Jaurès’s position. He acquiesced in the decision, and in 1905 the two French socialist parties joined together to form the Section Française de l’Internationale Ouvrière (SFIO). This party remained in opposition to the government, with the result that the reform policies originally advocated by Waldeck-Rousseau were not carried out. Jaurès’s authority continued to grow within the party, though, and, on the eve of World War I, the majority of the SFIO were won over to his reformist ideas.

He fought the supremacy of the German Social Democratic Party in the Second International and, in order to deprive it of its revolutionary reputation, confronted it at the Congress of Stuttgart in 1907 with his formula “insurrection rather than war.” This statement, though, did not completely summarize the whole of his political thought; he strove for the adoption of a system that would ensure “peace through arbitration” and recommended a prudent policy of “limitation of conflicts.” He therefore opposed colonial expansion, such as the French invasion of Morocco, because it provided a source of international conflicts.

Hostile to the Franco-Russian alliance and suspicious of the Franco-British alliance because it seemed to be directed solely against Germany, Jaurès became the champion of Franco-German rapprochement; as Germany was France’s traditional enemy, his position earned him the hatred of French nationalists. His passion for reconciliation ultimately led to his tragic death.

Up to the last moment, however, he was actively exhorting the European governments to avert a world war and to settle peacefully the conflict that followed the archduke Ferdinand’s assassination at Sarajevo in June 1914. On the very day of his own assassination, Jaurès was considering an appeal to President Woodrow Wilson of the United States for help in solving this crisis.

Jaurès was a man of enormous literary, philosophical, and historical erudition, as well as of great eloquence. His capacity for self-sacrifice enabled him to put aside his own political beliefs in order to achieve the unification of factions into a single socialist party.

Aside from his gifts as a political organizer, Jaurès was well known for his personal generosity, intelligence, and tenacity of purpose. An excellent scholar and polemicist, he wrote throughout his entire career. Apart from La Guerre franco-allemande 1870–1871 (1908; “The Franco-German War”), L’Armée nouvelle (1910; “The New Army”), which set forth an effective plan for organizing an armed nation and contained a famous study of the concept of the fatherland, and his two doctoral theses, the remainder of Jaurès’s works are collections of articles and speeches.

Claude Harmel

Encyclopædia Britannica

Albrecht von Roon, new Prussian War Minister, reforms Prussian army
Roon Albrecht

Albrecht Theodor Emil, count von Roon, (born April 30, 1803, Pleushagen, near Kolberg, Pomerania [now Kołobrzeg, Pol.]—died Feb. 23, 1879, Berlin), Prussian army officer who, with Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and General Helmuth von Moltke, brought the German Empire into being and made Germany the leading power on the continent of Europe.


Albrecht Theodor Emil, count von Roon
  After his father, a Prussian army officer, died during the French occupation following Prussia’s disastrous war with France in 1806, Roon was reared mainly by his maternal grandmother. He received a commission in 1821 and served at the Berlin War Academy from 1824 to 1827. In 1832, after joining the headquarters of the army corps at Krefeld, Roon became aware of the inefficiency of the Prussian army and of the need for reorganization. He published his three-volume Grundzüge der Erd-, Völker- und Staatenkunde (1832; 3rd ed., 1847–55; “Principles of Physical, National and Political Geography”), which was widely read in Prussia and abroad.

Roon’s rise to power in the Prussian army began after his aid to Crown Prince William (later Emperor William I) in suppressing the insurrection in Baden during the revolutions of 1848. He became a major general in 1850, a lieutenant general and member of the commission to reorganize the army, minister of war in 1859, and minister of the navy in 1861.

As war minister, Roon reorganized the Prussian army, thus contributing to its victories of 1866 and 1870–71. As part of the army reorganization commission, Roon succeeded, with the support of Gen. Edwin von Manteuffel, chief of the royal military cabinet, and of Moltke, chief of the general staff, in getting his plan accepted. Roon’s aim was an extension of General Gerhard von Scharnhorst’s system: a “nation-in-arms” maintained through universal three-year service and a permanent reserve (Landwehr) to defend the country when the army was actively engaged.

Roon’s system made him the most hated man in Prussia until the quick victory over Austria in the Seven Weeks’ War (1866) proved the worth of the remodeled army.

Roon rectified the remaining weaknesses exposed during the war with Austria, and by 1871, with the defeat of France, Germany became the leading power in Europe.

Roon, made a count in 1871, resigned as war minister in 1872 because of poor health. A practical military administrator rather than a fighting soldier, he liked to be known by his nickname of “the king’s sergeant”; his political opponents called him “ruffian Roon.”

Encyclopædia Britannica
Bismarck Otto becomes Prussian ambassador to St. Petersburg

Bismarck at 48, 1863
William II

William II, German Wilhelm II, in full Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert (born January 27, 1859, Potsdam, near Berlin [Germany]—died June 4, 1941, Doorn, Netherlands), German emperor (kaiser) and king of Prussia from 1888 to the end of World War I in 1918, known for his frequently militaristic manner as well as for his vacillating policies.


William II
  Youth and early influences
William was the eldest child of Crown Prince Frederick (later Emperor Frederick III) and of Victoria, the eldest child of Britain’s Queen Victoria. He was born with a damaged left arm. The limb never grew to full size and some historians have claimed this disability as a clue to understanding his behaviour. More influential, however, in influencing his behaviour was his parentage. His father was honourable, intelligent, and considerate but had neither the will nor the stamina needed to dominate. His father’s lack of stamina was not shared by his mother, who had acquired from her father, Albert, seriousness of purpose and from her mother emotion and obstinacy. Her intellect was hopelessly at the mercy of her feelings, and she took rapid likes and dislikes. She tried to force on her son the outlook of a 19th-century British Liberal and bring him up as an English gentleman. The result, however, was to make him sympathetic to those who were urging him to fulfill the ideal that the Prussian people had formed of a ruler—firm, brave, frugal, just and manly, self-sacrificing but also self-reliant.

Difficult as William’s relations with his mother were, she left a deep and lasting mark on him. He was never able to shake off the respect instilled into him for liberal values and habits of life. To be the tough warrior-king did not come naturally to him, yet this was the role to which he felt he must live up, and the result was that he overdid it. Inclination and a sense of duty—inculcated by a Calvinist tutor—were alternating in him continually, each managing to frustrate the other. The tension between the two, superimposed on his physical disability, ultimately explains his taut, restless, and irresolute character.

In 1881 William married Princess Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, a plain, unimaginative woman with few intellectual interests and no talents, who bored him and encouraged his reactionary tendencies but all the same represented a point of stability in his life. During their marriage, Augusta gave birth to six sons and a daughter.

William II: with first wife Augusta and son William
  Emperor of Germany
In 1888 William’s grandfather William I died at the age of 90. Liberals had long hoped, and conservatives feared, that when Frederick came to the throne, he would alter the constitution by making the chancellor responsible to the Reichstag. But by the time Frederick became emperor, he was dying of cancer. Thus, William, who showed little sympathy for his parents in their bitter crisis, found himself kaiser at the age of 29.

Removal of Bismarck
In March 1890 William drove Otto von Bismarck into resigning as chancellor. Bismarck had found brilliant answers to the problems facing him when he first took office but in doing so had given the Prussian upper classes a veto on political change and had made France Germany’s implacable enemy. At 75 years of age, he was unable to solve the social and political problems confronting Germany at the end of the century. William’s action would have been justifiable if he himself had been in possession of a solution. As it was, however, he dropped vague plans for helping the working classes as soon as he ran into court opposition, and he allowed Bismarck’s successors to decide against renewing his 1887 Reinsurance Treaty with Russia. Superficially, this decision again could be justified, but it opened the way for Russia in 1891 to make an alliance with France.

For four years after Bismarck’s departure, Leo, Graf (count) von Caprivi, as chancellor, tried unsuccessfully to find a policy that would be acceptable both to the Reichstag (lower house of the parliament) and to the ruling classes. He was followed as chancellor by the aged Prince Chlodwig von Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, who fared no better.

In 1897 William appointed the debonair Bernhard von Bülow as foreign secretary and in 1900 made him chancellor, intending that Bülow would persuade the Reichstag to accept the policies that the kaiser and the upper classes chose to adopt. This did little or nothing to bring about the political changes that Germany’s very rapid industrialization called for. Instead, Bülow was allowed to divert attention by an exciting foreign policy.

William II: coronation, 1888
Foreign policies
British anger had already been aroused by a telegram that, on the advice of his foreign secretary, William had sent in 1896 to President Paul Kruger of the South African Republic, congratulating him on defeating the British-led Jameson raid; and alarm followed anger as the implications of the German Naval Bills of 1897 and 1900 sank in. The kaiser often indignantly denied that Germany was challenging Britain’s domination of the seas, but there is clear evidence that this was in fact the aim of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, whom he made secretary of the navy in 1897. When in 1904 Britain settled its outstanding disputes with France, the kaiser, at Bülow’s suggestion, went to Tangier the following year to challenge France’s position in Morocco by announcing German support for Moroccan independence. His hopes of thereby showing that Britain was of no value as an ally to France were disappointed at the 1906 Algeciras Conference, at which the Germans were forced to accept French predominance in Morocco.

In 1908 William caused great excitement in Germany by giving, after a visit to England, a tactless interview to The Daily Telegraph, telling his interviewer that large sections of the German people were anti-English. He had sent the text beforehand to Bülow, who had probably neglected to read it and who defended his master very lamely in the Reichstag. This led William to play a less prominent role in public affairs, and, feeling that he had been betrayed by Bülow, he replaced him with Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg. Bethmann’s attempts to reach agreement with Britain failed because Britain would not promise neutrality in a war between Germany and France unless Germany would limit its fleet—a policy that the kaiser and Tirpitz refused to allow. The Moroccan crisis of 1911, in which Germany again tried to intervene in Morocco against French encroachment, might have led to war if Germany (with the encouragement of the kaiser) had not given way.


William II: William II and Hermine Reuss of Greiz on their wedding day, November 9, 1922
  Role in World War I
What began as an attempt to save Austria-Hungary from collapse, World War I was transformed into a world conflict by Germany. William, having encouraged the Austrians to adopt an uncompromising line, took fright when he found war impending but was not able to halt the implementation of the mobilization measures that he had allowed his generals to prepare.

During the war, although nominally supreme commander, William did not attempt to resist his generals when they kept its conduct in their own hands. He encouraged, instead of challenging, the grandiose war aims of the generals and of many politicians that ruled out all chance of a compromise peace. By the autumn of 1918 he realized that Germany had lost the war but not that this had made the loss of his throne inevitable.

Refusing to abdicate, his hand was finally forced on November 9, when he was persuaded to seek asylum in the Netherlands. He avoided captivity and perhaps death, but asylum also made it impossible for William to retain his position of emperor of Germany. Subsequently he lived quietly as a country gentleman in the Netherlands until his death in 1941.

William often bombastically claimed to be the man who made the decisions. It is true that the German constitution of 1871 put two important powers in his hands. First, he was responsible for appointing and dismissing the chancellor, the head of the civil government. The chancellor needed the support of the Reichstag to pass legislation but not to remain in office.

Secondly, the German army and navy were not responsible to the civil government, so that the kaiser was the only person in Germany who was in a position to see that the policy followed by the soldiers and sailors was in line with that pursued by the civil servants and diplomats. Thus, British journalists and publicists had some justification when during and immediately after the war they portrayed William as Supreme War Lord, and therefore the man who, more than anyone else, decided to make war.

As time passed, historians increasingly viewed William more as an accomplice rather than an instigator. In the years after 1890 the German upper and middle classes would have wanted a larger say in the world’s councils no matter who had been on the throne, and this “urge to world power” was almost bound to bring them into collision with some of the existing great powers. The chief real criticism to be made of the kaiser is that, instead of seeing this danger and using his influence to restrain German appetites, he shared those appetites and indeed increased them, particularly by his determination to give Germany a navy of which it could be proud and by his frequently tactless and aggressive public statements.

Michael Graham Balfour

Encyclopædia Britannica


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