Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 
 

TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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1800 - 1899
 
 
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
 
     
 
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK-1869 Part IV NEXT-1870 Part I    
 
 
     
An Unfortunate Experiment
1870 - 1879
YEAR BY YEAR:
1870-1879
History at a Glance
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1870 Part I
Alfonso XII
Leopold of Hohenzollern
"Ems Telegram"
Franco-Prussian War
BATTLE OF SEDAN
Lenin Vladimir
Vladimir Lenin
Smuts Jan
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1870 Part II
Adler Alfred
Keble College
Papal infallibility
Ludwig Anzengruber: "Der Pfarrer von Kirchfeld"
Bunin Ivan
Disraeli: "Lothair"
Kuprin Aleksandr
Ivan Goncharov: "The Precipice"
Jules Verne: "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1870 Part III
Barlach Ernst
Ernst Barlach
Corot: "La perle"
Dante Gabriel Rossetti: "Beata Beatrix"
Borisov-Musatov Victor
Victor Borisov-Musatov
Benois Alexandre
Alexandre Benois
Denis Maurice
Maurice Denis
Soldiers and Exiles
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Delibes: "Coppelia"
Tchaikovsky: "Romeo and Juliet"
Wagner: "Die Walkure"
Lehar Franz
Franz Lehar - Medley
Franz Lehar
Balfe Michael
Michael Balfe - "The Bohemian Girl"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1870 Part IV
Biogenesis
Przhevalsky Nikolai
Peaks and Plateaus
Johnson Allen
Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
Luxemburg Rosa
Standard Oil Company
Lauder Harry
Lloyd Marie
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1871 Part I
Siege of Paris
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Frankfurt
Paris Commune
Treaty of Washington
Law of Guarantees
British North America Act, 1871
"Kulturkampf"
Ebert Friedrich
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1871 Part II
Old Catholics
Charles Darwin: "The Descent of Man"
Jehovah's Witnesses
Russell Charles Taze
John Ruskin: "Fors Clavigera"
Lewis Carroll: "Through the Looking Glass"
Crane Stephen
Dreiser Theodore
George Eliot: "Middlemarch"
Mann Heinrich
Morgenstern Christian
Ostrovsky: "The Forest"
Proust Marcel
Valery Paul
Zola: "Les Rougon-Macquart"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1871 Part III
Gabriele Rossetti: "The Dream of Dante"
White Clarence
History of photography
Clarence White
Rouault Georges
Georges Rouault
Feininger Lyonel
Lyonel Feininger
Balla Giacomo
Giacomo Balla
Sloan John
John Sloan
The 'Terror'of the Commune
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Royal Albert Hall
"The Internationale"
Verdi: "Aida"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1871 Part IV
Schweinfurth Georg August
Quotations by Georg August Schweinfurth
Stanley Henry
Henry Morton Stanley
Further Exploration of the Nile
Heinrich Schliemann begins to excavate Troy
Ingersoll Simon
Rutherford Ernest
The Industrialization of War
The Industrialization of War
Bank Holiday
Great Chicago Fire
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1872 Part I
Third Carlist War
Carlist Wars
Burgers Thomas Francois
Ballot Act 1872
Amnesty Act of 1872
Blum Leon
Coolidge Calvin
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1872 Part II
Russell Bertrand
Klages Ludwig
Beerbohm Max
Samuel Butler: "Erewhon, or Over the Range"
Alphonse Daudet: "Aventures prodigieuses de Tartarin de Tarascon"
Alphonse Daudet
"Tartarin de Tarascon"
Diaghilev Sergei
Duse Eleonora
Thomas Hardy: "Under the Greenwood Tree"
Turgenev: "A Month in the Country"
Jules Verne: "Around the World in 80 Days"
Lever Charles
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1872 Part III
Bocklin: "Self-Portrait with Death"
Whistler: "The Artist's Mother"
Mondrian Piet
Piet Mondrian
Beardsley Aubrey
Aubrey Beardsley
The Rise of Durand-Ruel
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Scriabin Alexander
Scriabin - Etudes
Alexander Scriabin
Williams Vaughan
Williams - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Vaughan Williams
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1872 Part IV
Bleriot Louis
Tide-predicting machine
Westinghouse George
Elias Ney
Hague Congress
Scotland v England (1872)
Scott Charles Prestwich
Nansen Ski Club
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1873 Part I
First Spanish Republic
Mac-Mahon Patrice
Financial Panic of 1873
League of the Three Emperors
Bengal famine of 1873–1874
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1873 Part II
Moore G. E.
Barbusse Henri
Ford Madox Ford
Maurier Gerald
Reinhardt Max
Rimbaud: "Une Saison en enfer"
Tolstoi: "Anna Karenina"
Bryusov Valery
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1873 Part III
Cezanne: "A Modern Olympia"
Gulbransson Olaf
Manet: "Le bon Bock"
Gathering of the Future Impressionists
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Bruckner: Symphony No. 2
Carl Rosa Opera Company
Caruso Enrico
Enrico Caruso - Pagliacci No!
The greatest opera singers
Enrico Caruso
Chaliapin Feodor
Feodor Chaliapin - "Black Eyes"
The greatest opera singers
Feodor Chaliapin
Reger Max
Max Reger - Piano Concerto in F-minor
Max Reger
Rachmaninoff Sergei
Rachmaninoff plays Piano Concerto 2
Sergei Rachmaninov
Rimsky-Korsakov: "The Maid of Pskov"
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2
Slezak Leo
Leo Slezak "Wenn ich vergnugt bin" 
The greatest opera singers
Leo Slezak
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1873 Part IV
James Clerk Maxwell: "Electricity and Magnetism"
Euler-Chelpin Hans
Frobenius Leo
Payer Julius
Weyprecht Karl
Franz Josef Land
Cameron Verney Lovett
E. Remington and Sons
Remington Eliphalet
Hansen Gerhard Armauer
World Exposition 1873 Vienna
Wingfield Walter Clopton
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1874 Part I
Anglo-Ashanti Wars (1823-1900)
Brooks–Baxter War
Swiss constitutional referendum, 1874
Colony of Fiji
Hoover Herbert
Weizmann Chaim
Churchill Winston
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1874 Part II
Berdyaev Nikolai
Cassirer Ernst
Chesterton Gilbert
G.K. Chesterton quotes
G.K. Chesterton 
Flaubert: "La Tentation de Saint Antoine"
Frost Robert
Robert Frost
"Poems"
Thomas Hardy: "Far from the Madding Crowd"
Hofmannsthal Hugo
Hugo von Hofmannsthal
"Poems"
Victor Hugo: "Ninety-Three"
Maugham Somerset
Stein Gertrude
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1874 Part III
Roerich Nicholas
Nicholas Roerich
Max Liebermann: "Market Scene"
Renoir: "La Loge"
The Birth of Impressionism
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Schmidt Franz
Franz Schmidt "Intermezzo" Notre Dame
Franz Schmidt
Schoenberg Arnold
Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht
Arnold Schoenberg
Holst Gustav
Gustav Holst - Venus
Gustav Holst
Ives Charles
Charles Ives - Symphony 3
Charles Ives
Moussorgsky "Boris Godunov"
Johann Strauss II: "Die Fledermaus"
Verdi: "Requiem"
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1874 Part IV
Bosch Carl
Marconi Guglielmo
Curtius Ernst
Shackleton Ernest
Stanley: Expedition to the Congo and Nile
Still Andrew Taylor
Bunker Chang and Eng
Universal Postal Union
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Gerry Elbridge Thomas
Outerbridge Mary Ewing
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1875 Part I
Guangxu Emperor
Herzegovina Uprising of 1875–77
Public Health Act 1875
Congregations Law of 1875
Theosophical Society
Jung Carl
Congregations Law of 1875
Buchan John
Deledda Grazia
Mann Thomas
Rejane Gabrielle
Rilke Rainer Maria
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1875 Part II
Bouguereau William-Adolphe
William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Monet: "Woman with a Parasol"
An Unfortunate Experiment
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Bizet: "Carmen"
Brull Ignaz
Ignaz Brull - Das goldene Kreuz
Coleridge-Taylor Samuel
Coleridge Taylor Samuel - Violin Concerto
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Karl Goldmark: "Die Konigin von Saba"
Ravel Maurice
Ravel - Rapsodie espagnole
Maurice Ravel
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1
Boisbaudran Lecoq
Gallium
Schweitzer Albert
Webb Matthew
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1876 Part I
Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876
Ethio-Egyptian War
April Uprising
Batak massacre
Murad V
Abdulhamid II
Serbian–Ottoman War (1876–78)
Montenegrin–Ottoman War (1876–78)
Colorado
Tilden Samuel Jones
Hayes Rutherford Birchard
Ottoman constitution of 1876
Groselle Hilarion Daza
Adenauer Konrad
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1876 Part II
Bradley Francis Herbert
Trevelyan George Macaulay
Pius XII
Felix Dahn: "Ein Kampf um Rom"
London Jack
Mallarme: "L'Apres-Midi d'un faune"
Mark Twain: "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"
Modersohn-Becker Paula
Paula Modersohn-Becker
Renoir: "Le Moulin de la Galette"
THE SECOND IMPRESSIONIST EXHIBITION
Impressionism Timeline
(1863-1899)
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1876 Part III
Brahms: Symphony No. 1
Casals Pablo
Leo Delibes: "Sylvia"
Falla Manuel
Manuel de Falla - Spanish dance
Manuel de Falla
Ponchielli: "La Gioconda"
Wagner: "Siegfried"
Walter Bruno
Wolf-Ferrari Ermanno
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari - "Intermezzo"
Alexander Bell invents the telephone
Johns Hopkins University
Hopkins Johns
Bacillus anthracis
Macleod John James Rickard
Brockway Zebulon Reed
Centennial International Exhibition of 1876
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1877 Part I
Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78
Siege of Plevna
Satsuma Rebellion
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1877 Part II
Granville-Barker Harley
Hesse Hermann
Hermann Hesse
"Siddhartha"
Ibsen: "The Pillars of Society"
Henry James: "The American"
Zola: "L'Assommoir"
Praxiteles: "Hermes"
Dufy Raoul
Raoul Dufy
Winslow Homer: "The Cotton Pickers"
Kubin Alfred
Alfred Kubin
Manet: "Nana"
THE THIRD IMPRESSIONIST EXHIBITION
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1877 Part III
Brahms: Symphony No. 2
Dohnanyi Ernst
Erno Dohnanyi - Piano Concerto No. 1
Camille Saint-Saens: "Samson et Delila"
Tchaikovsky: "Francesca da Rimini"
Ruffo Titta
Titta Ruffo: Di Provenza
Aston Francis William
Barkla Charles
Cailletet Louis-Paul
Pictet Raoul-Pierre
Liquid oxygen
Schiaparelli observes Mars' canals
Martian canal
German patent law
Madras famine of 1877
Maginot Andre
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1878 Part I
Umberto I
Ten Years War 1868-1878
Battle of Shipka Pass
Jingoism
Epirus Revolt of 1878
Treaty of San Stefano
Treaty of Berlin 1878
Anti-Socialist Laws
Italian irredentism
Stresemann Gustav
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1878 Part II
Buber Martin
Leo XIII
Romanes George John
Treitschke Heinrich
Stoecker Adolf
Christian Social Party
Thomas Hardy: "The Return of the Native"
Kaiser Georg
Masefield John
Sandburg Carl
Sinclair Upton
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1878 Part III
Malevich Kazimir
Kazimir Malevich
Kustodiev Boris
Boris Kustodiev
Petrov-Vodkin Kuzma
Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin
Multiple Disappointments
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Ambros August Wilhelm
Boughton Rutland
Boughton: The Queen of Cornwall
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1878 Part IV
Mannlicher Ferdinand Ritter
Pope Albert Augustus
Watson John
Blunt and Lady Anne traveled in Arabia
Blunt Anne
Benz Karl
New Scotland Yard
Deutscher Fussballverein, Hanover
Paris World Exhibition 1878
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1879 Part I
Anglo-Zulu War
Alexander of Battenberg
Second Anglo–Afghan War (1878-1880)
Treaty of Gandamak
Tewfik Pasha
Alsace-Lorraine
Stalin Joseph
Joseph Stalin
Trotsky Leon
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1879 Part II
Beveridge William
Henry George: "Progress and Poverty"
Giffen Robert
Forster Edward Morgan
Ibsen: "A Doll's House"
Henry James: "Daisy Miller"
Meredith: "The Egoist"
Stevenson: "Travels with a Donkey"
Strindberg: "The Red Room"
Valera Juan
 
YEAR BY YEAR:
1879 Part III
Picabia Francis
Francis Picabia
Steichen Edward Jean
Edward Steichen
Cameron Julia Margaret
Cameron Julia
Klee Paul
Paul Klee
Renoir: "Mme. Charpentier"
THE FOURTH IMPRESSIONIST EXHIRITION
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Suppe: "Boccaccio"
Tchaikovsky: "Eugene Onegin"
Respighi Ottorino
Respighi - Three Botticelli Pictures
Ottorino Respighi
Bridge Frank
Frank Bridge - The Sea
Einstein Albert
Albert Einstein
Aitken Maxwell
 
 
 

Charles Dickens, 18
12 - 1870
 
 
 
 
 HISTORY, RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, ART, LITERATURE, MUSIC, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, DAILY LIFE
 
 
 
 
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
 
 
 
1870-1879  History at a Glance
 
 

 
 
1870
 
 

This 19th-century painting depicts Prussian hussars firing up at a French observation balloon during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.
 
 

"THE ARMY IS THE TRUE NOBILITY OF OUR COUNTRY"

Napoleon III, Emperor of the French

 
PRUSSIA'S VICTORY IN THE SEVEN WEEKS' WAR gave the impetus to further pursue plans for German unification, this time by bringing the southern German states into the union. Attempts had also been made to place Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1835-1905) on the Spanish throne, left vacant after Queen Isabella ll's deposition in 1868. Intense French diplomatic pressure from Napoleon III prevented this. Otto von Bismarck, the Prussian prime minister, however, wished to provoke France into war. To these ends he published the Ems telegram (as it was later known], editing it to appear as though insults had been exchanged between King Wilhelm I of Prussia and the French Ambassador.
 

France declared war on Prussia on July 19. Prussia was victorious at the battles of Gravelotte on August 18, and Sedan on September 1, where an ill Napoleon surrendered to German forces and was taken prisoner. While Napoleon was held captive, a provisional government for national defense was set up in Bordeaux where it was decided to depose him and establish the Third Republic. By mid-September, the Prussians had besieged Paris. The city was forced to surrender in early 1871 after severe food shortages. By March, an armistice had been agreed and Germany was given the regions of Alsace and Lorraine.

 

Siege of Paris


The siege resulted in the capture of the city by Prussian forces, leading to a humiliating French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War.
 
 

Meanwhile, a steady stream of immigrants escaping poverty and war in Europe flowed to the Americas. In the US, the population hit 40 million and by the end of the century it would nearly double to 76 million. Likewise, in Argentina the 1870 population of 1.8 million would reach 8 million by 1914, with many immigrants from Italy and Spain—both places that had been seriously affected by years of warfare.

 
 
1870 Italy Unified

For centuries a patchwork of separate city-states and kingdoms, Italy in the 19th century began to move toward unification. Led by politician Camillo Benso di Cavour and soldier Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian patriots began to expel Italy's Austrian and French rulers in the 1850s and 1860s—in some cases with diplomacy, and in others by force. By April 1860, a large part of central Italy had united under Italian leadership. In 1870, the last section was added to the Italian boot when King Victor Emmanuel II (previously king of Piedmont-Sardinia) took over Rome, formerly held by France. Italy was finally a single nation.
 
 
1870 Tchaikovsky Triumphs

Russian composer Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, having written three unsuccessful orchestral pieces, experienced his first musical triumph in March 1870 with the premiere of the Romeo and Juliet overture-fantasy. The one-movement, sonata-form piece showcased the singable melodies and sweeping romanticism that were his hallmark. In the years to come, Tchaikovsky would become one of the world's most popular composers.

FOOTNOTE Although he is best remembered for only a handful of them, in the course of his 53-year life Tchaikovsky composed well over 100 works, spanning numerous genres. His output included 8 symphonies (one unfinished), 3 ballets, 11 operas, 11 overtures, and more than 100 songs and piano pieces.
 
 

Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky
 
 
 
1870 Troy Uncovered

German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann began to dig into a mound called Hisarlik in northwestern Turkey. He was convinced that the site held the ruins of the legendary city of Troy, immortalized in Homers epic poem, The Iliad. The mound turned out to contain nine cities of different eras built on top of one another; a citadel stands in the middle and a wall surrounds the city. Finding a wealth of gold, silver, and jewelry in the second level from the bottom, Schliemann declared that he had found the lost city and the jewels of Helen of Troy. Archaeologists today believe that the Homeric Troy was in fact the sixth or seventh level from the bottom.
 
 
 
1871
 
 

ITALIAN TROOPS HAD ENTERED ROME the previous September and in October a plebiscite, or referendum, made Rome the capital of the united Italy—which became official by 1871. The pope, however, was not pleased with his settlement offer and excommunicated Italian king Victor Emmanue II, entrenching himself in the Vatican while Rome developed as the new capital. The tension between the Vatican and the Italian government would not be resolved until the 20th century.

 
While France and Prussia were negotiating the end of the Franco-Prussian war in 1871, angry Parisians had risen up over the surrenderand established the radical Paris Commune. A council  of citizens—including republicans, Jacobins, socialists, and anarchists—governed Paris for over two months. The retaliation of the NationaL Assembly, which had relocated to Versailles, was swift. Troops were sent to Paris and 20,000 people were killed.
 

Men at their battery during the war between the Third Republic and the Paris Commune that erupted at the end of the Franco-Prussian war.
 
Following victory against France, Wilhelm I of Prussia declared himself Emperor of Germany and named Bismarck as Chancellor.
 

German unification


This map shows the newly unified German Empire, which was organized after Prussia's victory in the Franco-Prussian War.
 
 
In South Africa, a diamond rush in the Northern Cape was followed by the discovery of gold in the Transvaal region. This sparked the arrival of thousands of prospectors to the region.
 
 
 
1872
 
 

IN THE AFRICAN KINGDOM OF ETHIOPIA. Yohannes IV [1831-89] was crowned emperor. He was considered a strong ruler, staving off the increasing incursions from Europeans as well as from African neighbors. By the end of the following decade, Ethiopia had defeated invasions by Egyptian forces, as well as Italian forces.

 

In the US, pressure was growing for women to be given the right to vote. One of the leading advocates was Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), who, during the 1872 presidential election, marched up to the polling station in Rochester, New York and cast her vote in defiance of the Law. She was arrested and fined. Although she refused to pay the fine, the court case did not continue and Anthony carried on with her crusade.

 

A portrait of the US women's suffragist leader Susan B. Anthony, who brought her campaign to public attention by illegally voting in 1872.
 
 
Meanwhile, in New York, Captain Benjamin Briggs set out to cross the Atlantic on the ship Mary Celeste on November 7. By December 4, the crew of the Dei Gratia spotted the Mary Celeste drifting around the coast of Portugal completely deserted. The life boat was missing and the ship had drifted some 700 miles [1,100km] from the last point entered in the log. Its crew was never seen again, and the maritime mystery was never solved.
 
 
In France, physicist Louis Ducos du Hauron had been working on creating a color photograph using a three-color principle. He patented his process in 1868 and went on to produce some of the earliest color photographs.
 
 
CARLIST WARS IN SPAIN

The 19th century in Spain was dominated by the Carlist Wars. These civil wars began in 1834, triggered by the death of Ferdinand VII. The conservative Carlists did not want the king's daughter, Isabella (1830-1904], to take the throne, but rather Ferdinand's brother, Don Carlos 11788-1855). After three vrars, the dispute was resolved in 1876 with the accession of Isabella's son Alfonso XII (1857-85) to the throne, who drove some 10,000 Carlists out of Spain.
 
 
 
1873
 
 
"THE MAIN THING IS TO MAKE HISTORY, NOT TO WRITE IT."

Otto von Bismarck, 19th-century German statesman
 
EAGER TO PROTECT GERMANY'S GROWING POWER. Bismarck proposed the Three Emperors' League, an alliance between Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Russia, with the purposeful exclusion of France. Formed in 1873, the league lasted for three years, was later reestablished in secret in 1881 and renewed in 1884, and finally collapsed in 1887. At issue were the continued conflicts of interest between Austria-Hungary and Russia in the Balkan territory.
 
In the Caribbean, the island of Puerto Rico finally abolished slavery. Although the slave trade had been suppressed earlier, the practice had continued on the island and in neighboring Cuba. Both were still under Spanish control. The end of slavery was announced in May 1873, although an apprenticeship system was put in place, extending slave conditions for some until 1876.
 
In Canada, the North West Mounted Rifles was formed to enforce the Law on a national and local level. The force was charged with policing the largely rural provinces of the huge Canadian territory. The initial few hundred officers had some 300,000sq miles (800,000sq km) under their jurisdiction. But the US was uncomfortable with the idea of armed troops patrolling the border, so the force's name was changed to the North West Mounted Police—though later the name would be altered again to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which is still in use, along with the famous abbreviation of "Mounties."
 

Royal Canadian Mounted Police


"Mounties," as they became known, wearing their distinctive uniforms at an annual sports event at Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
 
 
 
1874
 
 
IN MARCH, BRITISH ARMY OFFICER CHARLES GEORGE GORDON [1833-85] arrived in the province of Equatoria, in the south of Egyptian-occupied Sudan. He was to take control of the territory but under the auspices of the khedive (viceroy) of Egypt. Gordon was tasked with establishing way stations up the White Nile and to attempt to suppress the ongoing slave trade. He mapped parts of the Nile and set up outposts along the river as far as Uganda. He became governor-general of Sudan in 1877.
 


Charles George Gordon

A British general and colonial administrator,
Gordon was invited by Egypt's khedive to
govern part of Egypt's Sudan territory.

 
 

Meanwhile, in West Africa, a British expedition led by Sir Garnet Wolseley (1833-1913) defeated the Asante Empire (present-day Ghana) and asserted control over the southern part of their territory, known as the Gold Coast.

 

A depiction of Garnet Wolseley's reception among the Asante people.
 
 
1874 Impressionism Born

Rebelling against the conventional, "salon" style of French painting in the 1860s, with its emphasis on literary themes and carefully prepped studio art, a group of influential French painters held a controversial exhibition in 1874 in the studio of a photographer. Among the paintings exhibited was Claude Monet's "Impression: Sunrise," which led an unimpressed critic to dub the group the "impressionists."

The name was an apt one, accurately describing the new style of painting employed by Monet, Camille Pis-sarro, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, and Edouard Manet, among others. In their art, the Impressionists attempted to convey the immediate visual experience in terms of transient effects of light and color, Impressionists often worked outdoors, capturing the passing light with rapid brushstrokes. Its artists went on to divergent careers, but their visual style came to affect not only art but also music, as in the compositions of Claude Debussy, and literature, such as the novels of Henry James.

FOOTNOTE Impressionist painting took hold in America as well, exemplified in the light-filled canvases of such artists as Mary Cassatt, James McNeill Whistler, William Merritt Chase, and Childe Hassam.
 
 

Paul Cezanne's "Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier" fetched $60.5 million at a Sotheby's auction
in New York 1999.
 
 
1874 International Mail Regulated

By the 19th century, mail delivery among European and American countries had become a tangled web of bilateral agreements, with postal rates and weights varying from country to country. In the fall of 1874, the Swiss government convened a meeting in Bern, Switzerland, to establish a single postal territory with uniform rates and weight standards. On October 9, representatives of 22 nations signed the Treaty of Bern, creating the General Postal Union. Within three years, the Union had gained more members and changed its name to the Universal Postal Union.
 
 
 
1875
 
 

A painting entitled The Victor by Russian war artist Vasily Vereshchagin (1842-1904) depicts Turks celebrating a victory during the Russo-Turkish War. Hostilities between Russia and the Ottoman Empire were long-running and the two had gone to battle many times over the previous two centuries.
 
 
THE RIFT BETWEEN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND ITS SUBJECTS IN Bosnia and Herzegovina grew wider as Christian inhabitants of the two territories rebelled against Ottoman rule, requesting aid from neighboring Serbia, which had a much higher degree of autonomy. Buoyed by Russian promises of support and inspired by the nationalism sweeping through the region, Serbia too declared war on the Ottoman Empire on June 30, 1876; Montenegro followed suit the next day, leading the weakening empire into another destabilizing conflict. Montenegro was initially successful, with a victory in Herzegovina, but Russian support in Serbia did not materialize and the Turks won the battle of Aleksinac on August 9,1876. This forced the Serbs to appeal to other nations for help.
 
In other parts of the Ottoman world, Egypt continued to make incursions into Ethiopia, leading its king, Yohannes IV, to declare war on the Egyptians.

The conflict arose because Ismail Pasha (1830-95), the khedive [viceroy) of Egypt, wanted to put settlements on strategic points along the Red Sea coastline in Ethiopian territory (present-day Eritrea). By 1875 Egypt had succeeding in occupying many coastal towns, as well as the inland city of Harar. The fighting lasted until 1877, by which time Ethiopia had managed to defeat two Egyptian campaigns.
 
 
 
1876
 
 

ANGER AND UNREST HAD BEEN growing among American Indians in the US, many of whom had been forced off their land. This issue often resulted in armed conflict with US troops. One of the most infamous confrontations was the Battle of Little Bighorn where, on June 25, Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer (1839-76) and his men were killed by a coalition of Eastern Sioux and Northern Cheyenne Indians.

 

Around the same time, US forces were fighting the Apache people, who lived near the border with Mexico. They too were angered by attempts to move them onto a reservation, and attacked white settlements. This conflict continued for another decade until their leader, Geronimo (1829-1909), surrendered in 1886.

 

In Mexico, former soldier Porfirio Diaz tried to launch a revolt against president Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada. His attempt in early 1876 failed and he fled to the US. He returned in November and defeated the government's troops. In May 1877 he was elected president and controlled Mexico for decades.

 
  Porfirio Diaz

Mexican general, politician, and president, Porfirio Diaz was of mixed European and indigenous descent.

From a humble background, he made a name for himself in the military.

After he was elected president, he shored up his support and created a political machine that kept him in power and the opposition divided and suppressed, leaving him to control politics in Mexico for more than 30 years.
 
 
 
Explorer Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904), meanwhile, was trying to follow the uncharted Lualaba River in the Congo to establish which river it joined. Stanley's African exploits were already famous; he had been previously sent by a US newspaper to find fellow explorer David Livingstone and in1871,on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, he had supposedly uttered the celebrated words, "Doctor Livingstone, I presume?"
 
 
1876 Ottoman Constitution

The Ottoman Empire, once a great power, was embattled from without and within in the middle of the 19th century. Factions within the government argued about whether the empire could strengthen itself by establishing Western-style reforms and institutions, with advocates of reform usually winning out. By the 1870s, railroads, newspapers, and university education had been established within the empire. On December 23, 1876, the reforms came to a head with the first Ottoman constitution—indeed, the first formal constitution in any Islamic country. Although the document safeguarded many of the sultan's powers, it nevertheless provided for a national assembly and guaranteed the rights of its citizens without regard to ethnicity or religion.
 
 
 

Elsewhere in the US, a Scottish-born inventor named Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) patented his device for "transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically"—the first telephone. This development would change forever the way the world communicated.

 


Early telephone

This early example of a telephone—known as a box telephone—had a trumpetlike mouthpiece and it transmitted sound through the use of an electromagnet.

 

"THE NATION THAT SECURES CONTROL OF THE AIR WILL ULTIMATELY CONTROL THE WORLD."

Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish inventor

 
1876 Telephone Invented

The inventor of the telephone was a Scottish-born elocution teacher who knew little of engineering. Alexander Graham Bell was the son of a famed speech expert who had devised a system for teaching the deaf to speak. The younger Bell followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a teacher of the deaf at Boston University in the 1870s. As part of his research into sound, Bell began to toy with the idea of transmitting sound via electricity, realizing that the electrical signal would have to reproduce the undulating form of sound waves. Teaching by day and working in his spare hours with a young American mechanic, Thomas Watson, on March 7, 1876, Bell finally filed a patent for "the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically, as herein described, by causing electrical undulations." On March 10,1876, he set up his latest design, containing a liquid transmitter, and spoke through it to his assistant down the hall: "Mr. Watson, come here, I want you."

Within a year, the first private telephone lines had been strung; by 1881, private telephone exchanges were in place in most major cities and towns in the United States.
 
 
 
Telephonic Communication

Triilions of words spoken on hundreds of millions of telephones, make the world seem a smaller place


On March 10, 1876, Boston inventor Alexander Graham Bell spoke the words "Mr. Watson, come here, I want you" to his assistant after spilling battery acid on himself. Watson rushed into the adjacent room, and the two of them realized the invention they'd been tinkering with—the transmission of the human voice through an electrical current—worked.

Bell was not the first person with the idea for a telephone (from the Greek for "far" and "sound"). Since the 1830s, scientists had understood that vibrations in iron or steel could be turned into electrical impulses and hence that sound itself coutd travel over a wire. Yet it took an inventor who saw the commercial possibilities of telephony to carry out the work. In 1875 Bell noticed that when Watson was trying to fix a metal reed in their experimental harmonic telegraph, he could distinctly hear the sound—the electrical current had mimicked the variations Watson was making. Excited by the prospects, he went on to patent the telephone in less than a year.

Bell then had to sell his idea. It took more than a year of demonstrations before he could interest the public in his newfangled apparatus. He used a telegraph line to show how the device could work over several miles. It was not long before separate telephone lines were being strung. Those earliest lines connected individual phones—each connected to every single one. To cut down on the tangle of wires, centralized switchboards were set up. Until the early 1900s, switchboard operators manually connected all telephone calls.

By 1880, the United States had 138 telephone exchanges, connecting 30,000 subscribers. Seven years later there were nearly 1,200 exchanges and 150,000 subscribers, linked by some 146,000 miles of wire.Transcontinental telephone lines connected New York with San Francisco by 1915, and in 1927 people in New York could talk with people in London via radiotelephone (transmitted by radio waves). An actual undersea telephone cable from Europe to North America commenced operation in 1956.

In 1980 fiber-optic lines began carrying local calls in Atlanta, Georgia. Made of hair-thin filaments of light-transmitting glass, fiber-optic lines can carry more information than copper wires and require less amplification; they are also less subject to electrical interference. By the end of the 1980s, fiber-optic lines crossed both the Atlantic and Pacific. At the same time wireless cellular telephone service, transmitted via satellite, was available in most cities in the United States. Today a vast telecommunications network links people instantaneously in all but the most remote places on Earth.



Bell at the opening of the long-distance line from New York to Chicago in 1892.
 
 
 
 
1876 Germ Theory Confirmed

Throughout the 1800s, the work of scientists such as Ignaz Semmelweis, Joseph Lister, Casimir-Joseph Davaine, and Louis Pasteur had been leading to the conclusion that disease was transmitted by "germs"—tiny living entities invisible to the naked eye. This theory was finally confirmed in the 1870s through the solid scientific detective work of German physician Robert Koch.

Koch was living in a town in Germany when local farmers asked for his help in fighting an outbreak of anthrax that was killing their cattle. Working in a small laboratory in his home, the young doctor was able to identify the rod-shaped bacillus that appeared to cause the disease. Pasteur, viewing the microbes through a microscope, confirmed his findings. Koch then injected many generations of mice with the bacilli, which indeed infected them with the disease. He was also able to cultivate the microbe and observe that it formed spores, which could remain dormant in the earth and infect animals for years. Pasteur, in turn, created a vaccine for the disease.

Koch's work on anthrax, published in 1876, made him famous. He went on to develop methods for cultivating a variety of microbes in the lab, later discovering the cholera bacillus and the tubercle bacillus (which causes tuberculosis). His systematic approach to proving the germ-borne transmission of disease is summarized in the four rules known as Koch's postulates:
- A specific microorganism is always associated with a given disease.
- The microorganism can be isolated from the diseased animal and grown in pure culture in the laboratory.
- The cultured microbe will cause disease when transferred to a healthy animal.
- The same type of microorganism can be isolated from the newly infected animal.

Koch won the Nobel Prize in 1905. His work, with that of Pasteur and many other 19th-century physicians, transformed the study of disease and contributed to the huge advances in sanitation and medicine that boosted life spans around the world in the next hundred years.
 
 
1876 Internal Combustion Engine

Steam engines powered the early industrial revolution, but they had their drawbacks. Heavy and inefficient, they required a separate furnace and a water source. In the 1800s, several inventors proposed variations on an internal combustion engine; they included French engineer Alphonse Beau de Rochas, who outlined the basic principles
of the four-stroke engine cycle. It was German engineer Nikolaus Otto, however, who built the first practical internal combustion engine in 1876. Running on coal gas, a flammable distillate of coal, it used the four-stroke cylinder-and-piston cycle that is still in use today. Though heavy and unwieldy by today's standards, the engine was an instant success, and Otto's company sold about 50,000 of them at one to ten horsepower each before being overtaken by more modern, gasoline-powered engines.

FOOTNOTE Coal gas and petroleum were not the only fuels proposed by early tinkerers with internal combustion engines; other designs involved gunpowder, a hydrogen/oxygen mix similar to rocket fuel, and kerosene.
 
 
 
1877
 
 
IN CHINA, FAMINE SPREAD through the northern provinces.
 

Famine in China

An illustration in a French magazine shows
the state of poverty during the famine years
in China, when millions died in the northern region.
 
A drought the previous year affecting the Yellow River —a vital source of water—was compounded by a lack of rain in 1877 and the arrival of locusts. When the rains returned toward the end of the following year, some 9 to 13 million people had died in a region of 108 million.
 
In South Africa, the discovery of gold had exacerbated tensions between the Boer settlers and the British, who by this point governed much of the country. By 1877 the British managed to annex the Transvaal. However, the Afrikaners rebelled against this move and regained their independence a few years later.
 
 
1877 Phonograph Invented

The invention of the phonograph followed closely on the heels of the invention of the telephone. Working in his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Alva Edison was attempting to create a device that would graphically transcribe messages sent over a telegraph or telephone. He found that a diaphragm and stylus vibrating with the transmitted sounds could emboss a pattern on rotating cylinder covered with paraffin paper. Surprisingly, when the indented paper was pulled back beneath the stylus, it produced a reproduction of the original sounds.

In December 1877, Edison filed for a patent on his phonograph machine, now employing tinfoil instead of paraffin paper. That month, the editors of Scientific American wrote, "Mr. Thomas A. Edison recently came into this office, placed a little machine on our desk, turned a crank, and the machine inquired as to our health, asked how we liked the phonograph, informed us that it was very well, and bid us a cordial good night." Both Edison and Alexander Graham Bell separately worked to improve the phonograph over the next decade, arriving at the wax-cylinder model that took the device into the 20th century

FOOTNOTE Among the first recordings in the early decades of phonography were scores of cylinders containing surprisingly bawdy songs, recitations, and limericks. Agents of anti-vice crusader Anthony Comstock, who obtained passage of the legislation bearing his name, which bans "obscene, lewd, and/or lascivious" material from the mails, destroyed most of them.



Inventor Thomas Alva Edison poses in his laboratory.
 
 
 
1878
 
 

RUSSIA DECIDED TO ONCE AGAIN DECLARE WAR on the Ottoman Empire on April 24, 1877, in an attempt to aid the Serbians in their fight against the Ottomans. Russia was aided by Romania (the united Moldavia and Wallachia). The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 included a five-month siege of the Ottoman Bulgarian town of Plevna, which eventually fell to Russian forces. Russia also managed to take some key fortresses and a truce was called. A settlement was reached on March 3, 1878, known as the Treaty of San Stefano, which gave Serbia, Romania, and Montenegro their independence, while Bulgaria was granted some autonomy and put under Russian authority.

 

Vasily Vereshchagin's Mass for the Dead (The Defeated) shows the aftermath of a Russian defeat during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78.
 
 

However, European powers were not satisfied with this settlement as there were many competing interests. Prussia backed Great Britain's desire to curb Russian expansion into Bulgaria—which at this point reached the Aegean Sea—by refusing to let Russia extend naval power in the Mediterranean. Austria-Hungary wanted to continue occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to keep its regional influence intact and stem growing Slav nationalism.

 
Meanwhile, Britain had signed the Cyprus Convention with Turkey. This deal would allow British administration of the island while it remained under Ottoman sovereignty. This allowed Britain to establish a presence and a naval base in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, with the aim of blocking further Russian incursions into the region.
 
Away from the European diplomatic bargaining table, the British were once again caught up in warfare with Afghans. The Second Afghan War (to was ignited when British agents learned of negotiations between Afghan leader Sher Ali Khan [1825-79] and Russia. This was compounded by Sher Ali's refusal to receive a British delegation. In November 1878, British forces invaded the region. Sher Ali turned to Russia for support, but was told to make peace with Britain. Sher Ali died the next year and his son, Mohammad Yaqub Khan [1849-1923], signed a treaty ceding the Khyber Pass to the British. Soon after, a British envoy was murdered and British troops returned to take Kabul. Yaqub was forced to flee. He was succeeded by Abdur Rahman Khan [c. 1844-1901], who ended the conflict and supported British interests.
 

Afghan fighters


A photograph of Afghan soldiers holding hand-crafted rifles, at Jalalabad, Afghanistan, during the second Anglo-Afghan conflict.
 
 
 
1879
 
 
IN SOUTH AMERICA, PERU, BOLIVIA, AND CHILE began a dispute over who had control over the Atacama Desert region, running along the Peru-Chile border. In the previous decade the valuable mineral sodium nitrate had been discovered there. Initially Chilean companies went into the desert to extract the mineral and issues over territorial control soon arose. Chile and Bolivia at first agreed that the 24th parallel was their boundary. But Bolivia, dissatisfied with the deal, entered into a secret agreement with Peru to defend its interests in the desert. Bolivia later seized the property of Chilean companies, prompting Chile's president to send in troops. Chile formally declared war on Bolivia and Peru on April 5. The war of the Pacific took place on Land and sea, and was not resolved until 1883, with Chile keeping control of the mineralrich Antofagasta region.
 
 

This oil painting shows the defense of Rorke's Drift on January 22, where a handful of British
soldiers faced an attack by of 4,000 Zulu soldiers.
 
In South Africa, British forces came up against the Zulu nation in the Anglo-Zulu War. The British wanted to expand into Zulu territory, but this was met with resistance by King Cetshwayo (1826—84) who organized some 60,000 warriors. The British established a depot at Rorke's Drift, which was later attacked by Zulus after their victory in Isandlwana.

The Zulus were successfully repelled after 550 warriors were shot by the handful of British troops stationed at the depot. After seven months of conflict, the British managed a final victory over the Zulus in the Battle of Ulundion July 4, and took control of their territory.
 

Sunken ship in War of the Pacific

This scene from the Battle of Iquique, during the War of the Pacific, shows Chilean and Peruvian ships. The dispute also included Bolivia.
 
1879 Chile, Bolivia, Peru at Odds

Many Latin American countries in the late 19th century were dependent on exports, a fact that made both natural resources and access to ports especially valuable. In 1879, war broke out among Chile, Bolivia, and Peru over the rights to valuable nitrate deposits (used in fertilizers and explosives) in the desolate Atacama Desert. Chile invaded

Bolivia's port city of Antofagasta on February 14; Bolivia, in return, called on Peru for assistance. By 1881, Chilean naval forces had taken control of the coast and entered the Peruvian capital of Lima.

Peruvian forces resisted for two more years, but the War of the Pacific finally ended in 1883 with the Treaty of Ancon,
which granted Chile the rights to the nitrate deposits as well as the Peruvian province of Tarapaca and the Bolivian province of Antofagasta. The loss was a particularly severe blow to Bolivia, permanently separating it from the sea. Chile's size grew by one-third, while governments were toppled in Peru and Bolivia.
 
 
1879 Lightbulb Perfected

Thomas Alva Edison was not the first person to conceive of the idea of an incandescent electric light, but he was the first to make it practical. A number of inventors, notably the English physicist Joseph Swan, had produced simple electric lights in the 19th century. Swan's used a filament of carbonized paper in an airless bulb; when electricity passed through the filament, it glowed, producing light. Swan could not find a reliable electric source, though, and had difficulty maintaining a vacuum in the bulb. (In the presence of air, the filament burned away.)

Edison took up these challenges in 1878. He and his assistants spent months testing materials for the filament before arriving at a carbon filament made from burned sewing thread. With that, a lower electrical current, and a better globe for the vacuum, Edison had a light that would burn for hours.

Edison developed not just a practical lightbulb but also many elements necessary to installing electric lighting in multiple households. They included the parallel circuit, safety fuses, and light sockets with on-off switches. In December 1879 he demonstrated his success by lighting up his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. He soon went on to develop an entire distribution system for electric lighting and built the first commercial power station on Pearl Street in Manhattan in 1882, serving 59 customers.
 
The first lightbulb was madeе by Joseph Swan, but Edison made it practical.
 
 
 

 
 
CONTENTS
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