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-1877 Part III NEXT-1878 Part II    
An Unfortunate Experiment
1870 - 1879
History at a Glance
1870 Part I
Alfonso XII
Leopold of Hohenzollern
"Ems Telegram"
Franco-Prussian War
Lenin Vladimir
Vladimir Lenin
Smuts Jan
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"
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"
1870 Part IV
Przhevalsky Nikolai
Peaks and Plateaus
Johnson Allen
Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
Luxemburg Rosa
Standard Oil Company
Lauder Harry
Lloyd Marie
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
Ebert Friedrich
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"
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"
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
1872 Part I
Third Carlist War
Carlist Wars
Burgers Thomas Francois
Ballot Act 1872
Amnesty Act of 1872
Blum Leon
Coolidge Calvin
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
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
1872 Part IV
Bleriot Louis
Tide-predicting machine
Westinghouse George
Elias Ney
Hague Congress
Scotland v England (1872)
Scott Charles Prestwich
Nansen Ski Club
1873 Part I
First Spanish Republic
Mac-Mahon Patrice
Financial Panic of 1873
League of the Three Emperors
Bengal famine of 1873–1874
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
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
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
1874 Part I
Anglo-Ashanti Wars (1823-1900)
Brooks–Baxter War
Swiss constitutional referendum, 1874
Colony of Fiji
Hoover Herbert
Weizmann Chaim
Churchill Winston
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
Thomas Hardy: "Far from the Madding Crowd"
Hofmannsthal Hugo
Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Victor Hugo: "Ninety-Three"
Maugham Somerset
Stein Gertrude
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"
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
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
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
Schweitzer Albert
Webb Matthew
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)
Tilden Samuel Jones
Hayes Rutherford Birchard
Ottoman constitution of 1876
Groselle Hilarion Daza
Adenauer Konrad
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"
Impressionism Timeline
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
1877 Part I
Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78
Siege of Plevna
Satsuma Rebellion
1877 Part II
Granville-Barker Harley
Hesse Hermann
Hermann Hesse
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"
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
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
1878 Part I
Umberto I
Ten Years War 1868-1878
Battle of Shipka Pass
Epirus Revolt of 1878
Treaty of San Stefano
Treaty of Berlin 1878
Anti-Socialist Laws
Italian irredentism
Stresemann Gustav
1878 Part II
Buber Martin
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
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
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
1879 Part I
Anglo-Zulu War
Alexander of Battenberg
Second Anglo–Afghan War (1878-1880)
Treaty of Gandamak
Tewfik Pasha
Stalin Joseph
Joseph Stalin
Trotsky Leon
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
1879 Part III
Picabia Francis
Francis Picabia
Steichen Edward Jean
Edward Steichen
Cameron Julia Margaret
Cameron Julia
Klee Paul
Paul Klee
Renoir: "Mme. Charpentier"
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

Embarkation of the Catalan Volunteers from the Port of Barcelona
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1878 Part I
Victor Emmanuel II, King of Italy, d.; succeeded by his son Humbert I (—1900)

Victor Emanuel II
Umberto I

Umberto I, (born March 14, 1844, Turin, Piedmont, Kingdom of Sardinia [now in Italy]—died July 29, 1900, Monza, Italy), duke of Savoy and king of Italy who led his country out of its isolation and into the Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary and Germany. He supported nationalistic and imperialistic policies that led to disaster for Italy and helped create the atmosphere in which he was assassinated.


Umberto I
  Having received a totally military education, Umberto first fought in the war against Austria (1866). The calm and decisive leadership he showed in saving his troops at the Italian debacle at Custoza (June 1866) won him great popularity. His marriage to his cousin Margherita Teresa Giovanna, princess of Savoy (April 22, 1868), and the birth of their son, the future Victor Emmanuel III (Nov. 11, 1869), also gained him public sympathy in spite of prevailing antimonarchist sentiment. Umberto ascended the throne on Jan. 9, 1878, but his respect for the constitutional regime, as well as his attempt to reconcile various political and regional elements in Italy, allayed the suspicions of the leftists. Nevertheless, he maintained an authoritarian view of the king’s prerogative, which he used, probably under the influence of the ambitious and energetic queen, to bring Italy into the Triple Alliance (May 20, 1882) with Germany and Austria-Hungary. He also urged Italy’s entry into the armaments race despite the country’s limited resources, and he encouraged colonial adventures in Africa.
A tariff war with France led to grave economic difficulties (1888), and the defeat of the Italians by Ethiopians in the Battle of Adwa (1896) meant the failure of Italian colonialism. In the face of increasing social unrest, Umberto condoned the imposition of martial law (1898) and the harsh repression that followed, especially at Milan. This period of turmoil culminated in Umberto’s assassination by an anarchist, Gaetano Bresci.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Ten Years War 1868-1878

The Ten Years' War (Spanish: Guerra de los Diez Años) (1868–1878), also known as the Great War (Guerra Grande) and the War of '68, was part of Cuba's fight for independence from Spain. The uprising was led by Cuban-born planters and other wealthy natives. On October 10, 1868 sugar mill owner Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and his followers proclaimed independence, beginning the conflict.

This was the first of three liberation wars that Cuba fought against Spain, the other two being the Little War (1879–1880) and the Cuban War of Independence (1895–1898). The final three months of the last conflict escalated with United States involvement and has become known also as the Spanish–American War.

Throughout the 1850s and into the 1860s, Cuban planters and business owners demanded fundamental social and economic reforms from Spain, which ruled the colony. Lax enforcement of the slave trade ban had resulted in a dramatic increase in imports of Africans, estimated at 90,000 slaves from 1856 to 1860. This occurred despite a strong abolitionist movement on the island, and rising costs among the slave-holding planters in the east. New technologies and farming techniques made large numbers of slaves unnecessary and prohibitively expensive. In the economic crisis of 1857 many businesses failed, including many sugar plantations and sugar refineries. The abolitionist cause gained strength, favoring a gradual emancipation of slaves with financial compensation from Spain for slaveholders. Additionally, some planters preferred hiring Chinese immigrants as indentured workers and in anticipation of ending slavery. Before the 1870s, more than 125,000 were recruited to Cuba. In May 1865, Cuban creole elites placed four demands upon the Spanish Parliament: tariff reform, Cuban representation in Parliament, judicial equality with Spaniards, and full enforcement of the slave trade ban.

The Spanish Parliament at the time was changing; gaining much influence were reactionary, traditionalist politicians who intended to eliminate all liberal reforms. The power of military tribunals was increased; the colonial government imposed a six percent tax increase on the Cuban planters and businesses. Additionally, all political opposition and the press were silenced.

  Dissatisfaction in Cuba spread on a massive scale as the mechanisms to express it were restricted. This discontent was particularly felt by the powerful planters and hacienda owners in Eastern Cuba.

The failure of the latest efforts by the reformist movements, the demise of the "Information Board," and another economic crisis in 1866/67 heightened social tensions on the island. The colonial administration continued to make huge profits which were not re-invested in the island for the benefit of its residents. It funded military expenditures (44% of the revenue), colonial government's expenses (41%), and sent some money to the Spanish colony of Fernando Po (12%).

The Spaniards, representing 8% of the island's population, were appropriating over 90% of the island’s wealth. In addition, the Cuban-born population still had no political rights and no representation in Parliament. Objections to these conditions sparked the first serious liberation movements, especially in the eastern part of the island.

In July 1867, the "Revolutionary Committee of Bayamo" was founded under the leadership of Cuba’s wealthiest plantation owner, Francisco Vicente Aguilera. The conspiracy rapidly spread to Oriente’s larger towns, most of all Manzanillo, where Carlos Manuel de Céspedes became the main protagonist of the uprising in 1868. Originally from Bayamo, Céspedes owned an estate and sugar mill known as La Demajagua. The Spanish, aware of Céspedes’ anti-colonial intransigence, tried to force him into submission by imprisoning his son Oscar. Céspedes refused to negotiate and Oscar was executed.


Embarkation of the Catalan Volunteers from the Port of Barcelona
Cespedes and his followers had planned the uprising to begin October 14, but it had to be moved up four days earlier, because the Spaniards had discovered their plan of revolt. In the early morning of October 10, Céspedes issued the cry of independence, the "10th of October Manifesto" at La Demajagua, which signaled the start of an all-out military uprising against Spanish rule in Cuba.
Cespedes freed his slaves and asked them to join the struggle. But, many questioned Céspedes's plans for manumission, noting he had a gradual plan for freeing them; some disagreed with his promoting U.S. annexation of Cuba.

During the first few days, the uprising almost failed: Céspedes intended to occupy the nearby town of Yara on October 11, a day commemorated in Cuba as a national holiday under the name Grito de Yara ("Cry of Yara"). In spite of this initial setback, the uprising of Yara was supported in various regions of the Oriente province, and the independence movement continued to spread throughout the eastern region of Cuba. On October 13, the rebels took eight towns in the province that favored the insurgency and acquisition of arms. By October's end, the insurrection had enlisted some 12,000 volunteers.

That same month, Máximo Gómez taught the Cuban forces what would be their most lethal tactic: the machete charge. He was a former cavalry officer for the Spanish Army in the Dominican Republic. Forces were taught to combine use of firearms with machetes, for a double attack against the Spanish.
When the Spaniards (following then-standard tactics) formed a square, they were vulnerable to rifle fire from infantry under cover, and pistol and carbine fire from charging cavalry. In the event, as with the Haitian Revolution, the European forces suffered the most fatalities due to yellow fever because the Spanish-born troops had no acquired immunity to this endemic tropical disease of the island. But Cuban-born forces had acquired some immunity.

Carlos Manuel de Céspedes

10th of October Manifesto
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes called on men of all races to join the fight for freedom, giving the following speech from the steps of his sugar mill. He raised the new flag of an independent Cuba, and rang the bell of the mill to celebrate his proclamation:

In rebelling against Spanish tyranny, we want the world know the reasons for our action.

Spain governs us with blood and iron; she imposes on us levies and taxes as she pleases; she has deprived us of political, civil, and religious freedoms; we are subjected to martial law in times of peace; without due process, and in defiance of Spanish law, we are arrested, exiled and even executed. We are prohibited free assembly, and if allowed to assemble, it is only under the watchful eyes of government agents and military officers; and if anyone clamors for a remedy to these abuses, or for any of the many other evils, Spain declares them a traitor.

Spain burdens us with rapacious bureaucrats who exploit our national treasure and consume the product of our noble labor. So that we may not know our rights, it maintains our people ignorant of those rights, and to ensure that the people are kept ignorant, she prevents the people from participating in responsible public administration.

Without impending military danger, and without any reason or justification, Spain imposes on us an unnecessary and costly military presence, whose sole purpose is to terrorize and humiliate us.

Spain’s system of customs is so perverse that we have already perished from its misery and she exploits the fertility of our land while raising the price of its fruits. She imposes every imaginable obstacle to prevent the advancement of our Creole population. Spain limits our free speech and the written word, and she prevents us from participating in the intellectual progress of other nations.

Several times Spain has promised to improve our condition and she has deceived us time and time again. We are now left no other recourse than to bear arms against her tyranny, and by doing this, to save our honor, our lives, and our property.

We appeal now to Almighty God, and to the faith and good will of civilized nations. Our aspirations are to attain our sovereignty and universal suffrage.

Our aim is to enjoy the benefits of freedom, for whose use, God created man. We sincerely profess a policy of brotherhood, tolerance, and justice, and to consider all men equal, and to not exclude anyone from these benefits, not even Spaniards, if they choose to remain and live peacefully among us.

Our aim is that the people participate in the creation of laws, and in the distribution and investment of the contributions.

Our aim is to abolish slavery and to compensate those deserving compensation. We seek freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and the freedom to bring back honest governance; and to honor and practice the inalienable rights of men, which is the foundations of the independence and the greatness of a people.

Our aim is to throw off the Spanish yoke, and to establish a free and independent nation.

If Spain recognizes our rights, it will have in Cuba an affectionate daughter; if she persists in subjugating us, we are resolved to die before remaining subject to her brutal domination.

We have chosen a commander to whom will be given the mission of fighting this war. We have authorized a provisional administrator to collect contributions and to manage the needs of a new administration.

When Cuba is free, it will have a constitutional government created in an enlightened manner.

Signed: Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, Jaime M. Santiesteban, Bartolomé Masó, Juan Hall, Francisco J. Céspedes, Pedro Céspedes, Manuel Calvar, Isaías Masó, Eduardo Suástegui, Miguel Suástegui, Rafael Tornés, Manuel Santiesteban, Manuel Socarrás, Agustín Valerino, Rafael Masó, Eligio Izaguirre.

Progress of the war
After three days of combat, the rebels seized the important city of Bayamo. In the enthusiasm of this victory, poet and musician Perucho Figueredo composed Cuba’s national anthem, "La Bayamesa”. The first government of the Republic in Arms, headed by Céspedes, was established in Bayamo. The city was retaken by the Spanish after 3 months on January 12, but the fighting had burned it to the ground.

The war spread in Oriente: on November 4, 1868, Camagüey rose up in arms and, in early February 1869, Las Villas followed. The uprising was not supported in the westernmost provinces of Pinar del Río, Havana and Matanzas. With few exceptions (Vuelta Abajo), resistance was clandestine. A staunch supporter of the rebellion was José Martí who, at the age of 16, was detained and condemned to 16 years of hard labour. He was later deported to Spain. Eventually he developed as a leading Latin American intellectual and Cuba’s foremost national hero, its primary architect of the 1895-98 Cuban War of Independence.

After some initial victories and defeats, in 1868 Céspedes replaced Gomez as head of the Cuban Army with United States General Thomas Jordan, a veteran of Confederate States Army in the American Civil War. He brought a well-equipped force, but General Jordan's reliance on regular tactics, although initially effective, left the families of Cuban rebels far too vulnerable to the "ethnic cleansing" tactics of the ruthless Blas Villate, Count of Valmaceda (also spelled Balmaceda).

Col. Federico Fernández Cavada
Valeriano Weyler, known as the "Butcher Weyler" in the 1895-1898 War, fought along the Count of Balmaceda.

After General Jordan resigned and returned to the US, Cespedes returned Máximo Gómez to his command. Gradually a new generation of skilled battle-tested Cuban commanders rose from the ranks, including Antonio Maceo Grajales, José Maceo, Calixto García, Vicente Garcia González and Federico Fernández Cavada. Raised in the United States and with an American mother, Fernández Cavada had served as a Colonel in the Union Army during the American Civil War. His brother Adolfo Fernández Cavada also joined the Cuban fighting for independence. On April 4, 1870, the senior Federico Fernández Cavada was named Commander-in-Chief of all the Cuban forces. Other war leaders of note fighting on the Cuban Mambí side included Donato Mármol, Luis Marcano-Alvarez, Carlos Roloff, Enrique Loret de Mola, Julio Sanguily, Domingo Goicuría, Guillermo Moncada, Quentin Bandera, Benjamín Ramirez, and Julio Grave de Peralta.

On April 10, 1869, a constitutional assembly took place in the town of Guáimaro (Camagüey). It was intended to provide the revolution with greater organizational and juridical unity, with representatives from the areas that had joined the uprising. The assembly discussed whether a centralized leadership should be in charge of both military and civilian affairs, or if there should be a separation between civilian government and military leadership, the latter being subordinate to the first. The overwhelming majority voted for the separation option. Céspedes was elected president of this assembly; and General Ignacio Agramonte y Loynáz and Antonio Zambrana, principal authors of the proposed Constitution, were elected secretaries. After completing its work, the Assembly reconstituted itself as the House of Representatives and the state’s supreme power. They elected Salvador Cisneros Betancourt as president, Miguel Gerónimo Gutiérrez as vice-president, and Agramonte and Zambrana as secretaries. Céspedes was elected on April 12, 1869, as the first president of the Republic in Arms and General Manuel de Quesada (who had fought in Mexico under Benito Juárez during the French invasion of that country), as Chief of the Armed Forces.

By early 1869, the Spanish colonial government had failed to reach an agreement with the insurrection forces; they opened a war of extermination. The colonial government passed several laws: arrested leaders and collaborators of the insurgency were to be executed on the spot, ships carrying weapons would be seized and all persons onboard immediately executed, males 15 and older caught outside of their plantations or places of residence without justification would be summarily executed, all towns were ordered to raise the white flag or otherwise be burnt to the ground, and any woman caught away from her farm or place of residence would be taken to camps in cities.

Apart from its own army, the government relied on the Voluntary Corps, a militia recruited a few years earlier to face the announced invasion by Narcisco López. The Corps became notorious for its harsh and bloody acts. Its forces executed eight students from the University of Havana on November 27, 1871. The Corps seized the steamship Virginius in international waters on October 31, 1873. Starting on November 4, its forces executed 53 persons, including the captain, most of the crew, and a number of Cuban insurgents on board. The serial executions were stopped only by the intervention of a British man-of-war under the command of Sir Lambton Lorraine.

In the so-called "Creciente de Valmaseda" incident, the Corps captured farmers (Guajiros) and the families of Mambises, killing them immediately or sending them en masse to concentration camps on the island. The Mambises fought using guerrilla tactics and were more effective on the eastern side of the island than in the west, where they lacked supplies.

  Ignacio Agramonte was killed by a stray bullet on May 11, 1873 and was replaced in the command of the central troops by Máximo Gómez. Because of political and personal disagreements and Agramonte's death, the Assembly deposed Céspedes as president, replacing him with Cisneros. Agramonte had realized that his dream Constitution and government were ill suited to the Cuban Republic in Arms, which was the reason he quit as Secretary and assumed command of the Camaguey region. He became a supporter of Cespedes.
Céspedes was later surprised and killed on February 27, 1874 by a swift-moving patrol of Spanish troops. The new Cuban government had left him with only one escort and denied permission to leave Cuba for the US, from where he intended to help prepare and send armed expeditions.

Activities in the Ten Years' War peaked in the years 1872 and 1873, but after the deaths of Agramonte and Céspedes, Cuban operations were limited to the regions of Camagüey and Oriente. Gómez began an invasion of Western Cuba in 1875, but the vast majority of slaves and wealthy sugar producers in the region did not join the revolt. After his most trusted general, the American Henry Reeve, was killed in 1876, Gómez ended.

Spain's efforts to fight were hindered by the civil war (Third Carlist War) that broke out in Spain in 1872. When the civil war ended in 1876, the government sent more Spanish troops to Cuba, until they numbered more than 250,000. The severe Spanish measures weakened the liberation forces. Neither side in the war was able to win a single concrete victory, let alone crush the opposing side to win the war, but in the long run Spain gained the upper hand.

Conclusion of the war
The deep divisions among insurgents regarding their organisation of government and the military became more pronounced after the Assembly of Guáimaro, as resulting in the dismissal of Céspedes and Quesada in 1873. The Spanish exploited regional divisions, as well as fears that the slaves of Matanzas would break the weak existing balance between whites and blacks. The Spanish changed their policy towards the Mambises, offering amnesties and reforms.

The Mambises did not prevail for a variety of reasons: lack of organization and resources; lower participation by whites; internal racist sabotage (against Maceo and the goals of the Liberating Army); the inability to bring the war to the western provinces (Havana in particular); and opposition by the US government to Cuban independence. The US sold the latest weapons to Spain, but not to the Cuban rebels.

Tomás Estrada Palma succeeded Cisneros as president of the Republic in Arms. Estrada Palma was captured by Spanish troops on October 19, 1877. As a result of successive misfortunes, on February 8, 1878, the constitutional organs of the Cuban government were dissolved; the remaining leaders among the insurgents started negotiating for peace in Zanjón, Puerto Príncipe.

General Arsenio Martínez Campos, in charge of applying the new policy, arrived in Cuba. It took him nearly two years to convince most of the rebels to accept the Pact of Zanjón; it was signed on February 10, 1878, by a negotiating committee.

Embarque de los voluntarios para Cuba en el puerto de Cádiz, grabado de Severini en El Museo Universal, noviembre de 1869.
The document contained most of the promises made by Spain. The Ten Years' War came to an end, except for the resistance of a small group in Oriente led by General Garcia and Antonio Maceo Grajales, who protested in Los Mangos de Baraguá on March 15.

Under the terms of the Pact, a constitution and a provisional government was set up, but the revolutionary élan was gone. The provisional government convinced Maceo to give up, and with his surrender, the war ended on May 28, 1878. Many of the graduates of Ten Years' War became central players in Cuba's War of Independence that started in 1895. These include the Maceo brothers, Maximo Gómez, Calixto Garcia and others.

The Pact of Zanjón promised various reforms to improve the financial situation for residents of Cuba. The most significant reform was the manumission of all slaves who had fought for Spain. Abolition of slavery had been proposed by the rebels, and many persons loyal to Spain also wanted to abolish it. Finally in 1880, the Spanish legislature abolished slavery in Cuba and other colonies in a form of gradual abolition. The law required slaves to continued to work for their masters for a number of years, in a kind of indentured servitude, but masters had to pay the slaves for their work. The wages were so low, however, that the freedmen could barely support themselves.

After the war ended, tensions between Cuban residents and the Spanish government continued for 17 years. This period, called "The Rewarding Truce", included the outbreak of the Little War (La Guerra Chiquita) between 1879-1880. Separatists in that conflict became supporters of José Martí, the most passionate of the rebels who chose exile over Spanish rule. Overall, about 200,000 people lost their lives in the conflict. Together with a severe economic depression throughout the island, the war devastated the coffee industry, and American tariffs badly damaged Cuban exports.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Turks capitulate at Shipka Pass and appeal to Russia for armistice;
Russians take Adrianople;
Brit. fleet arrives at sultan's request in Constantinople ("Jingoist" war fever in Britain);
Turk.-Russ. armistice signed.

Greece declares war on Turkey; preliminary treaty of San Stefano between Russia and Turkey;
Anglo-Turk, agreement to check Russ. advance in Asia Minor;
Berlin Congress to discuss Eastern Question ends with Treaty of Berlin
see also: Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78
Battle of Shipka Pass

The Battle of Shipka Pass consisted of four battles that were fought between the Russian Empire, aided by Bulgarian volunteers known as Opalchentsi, and the Ottoman Empire for control over the vital Shipka Pass during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). The crucial moment came in August 1877, when a group of 5,000 Bulgarian and 2,500 Russian troops repulsed an attack against the peak by a nearly 40,000 strong Ottoman army.


July 17–19, 1877 (1st stage)
August 21–26, 1877 (2nd stage)
September 13–17, 1877 (3rd stage)
January 5–9, 1878 (4th stage)

First battle
In July, 1877 four Russian corps had crossed the Danube River and were moving into Bulgaria. To precede the main Russian army Joseph Vladimirovich Gourko led a detachment to capture the vital Balkan Mountain passes. Gourko approached Shipka Pass, which was held by an Ottoman garrison of 4,000–5,000 soldiers under Suleiman Pasha.

On July 17, Gourko attacked from the north with four divisions. The two flank divisions captured mountain positions but the two divisions in the center were repulsed. On the 18th Gourko attacked from the south. Again the main attack on the pass was repulsed but the Russians carried some of the trenches. Gourko planned a combined attack from the north and the south on the 19th. The next day however the Ottoman forces evacuated the pass and Russia took possession of it.

In just over two weeks Gourko had captured three important mountain passes but the main army would become held up the day after Shipka Pass fell in the Siege of Plevna. The Ottoman Army would make two major attempts to retake the pass in 1877 and then in 1878 Gourko delivered a final blow to the Ottoman forces in the Shipka Pass area.

  Second battle
The Second Battle of Shipka Pass took place in August 1877.

After taking the pass in July, 1877 the Russian forces built up a defensive position there. Russian General Stoletov placed his 7,500 defenders (5,500 Bulgarians, 2,000 Russians) on three positions at St. Nicholas (today: Peak Stoletov), Central Hill and the reserves in between these two points.

Suleiman Pasha gathered 38,000 Ottomans and was determined to retake the pass instead of simply bypassing it. On August 21, the Ottoman forces bombarded Russian positions and then made an attack against St. Nicholas. The attack was repulsed and the Ottoman forces dug in 100 yards (91 m) away. The next day the Ottoman forces moved their artillery up the mountain side and bombarded the pass while the infantry moved around the Russian flank. On August 23, the Ottoman forces attacked all Russian positions with the main effort again at St. Nicholas where most of the defenders were Bulgarian volunteers. The Ottoman forces thought that the volunteer positions would be easy to capture, but this turned out to be their greatest mistake. Instead, the first unit that began to retreat were the Russians on Central Hill.

However, they rallied when the 4th Rifle Brigade arrived and all Ottoman attacks were repulsed. On the 26th, an Ottoman attack on St. Nicholas ( a position referred to as "the Eagle's Nest") reached the Russian trenches but was repulsed again by a Bulgarian bayonet charge. More Russian reinforcements arrived and on the 26th, an attack was made against the Ottoman position but driven back to Central Hill. This ended the battle for all practical purposes.

The Russians and Bulgarians had made a gallant stand. In the final having finished their ammunition, they threw rocks and bodies of fallen comrades to repulse the Ottoman attacks. Suleiman Pasha would attempt to retake the pass one more time in 1877.


The Battle of Shipka Pass in August 1877
Third battle
Suleiman Pasha made a second attempt to retake Shipka Pass from the Russians after a failed attempt in August. The Russian defenses had continually been worked on since August but reinforcements were limited due to the siege of Plevna. On September 13, Suleiman began to shell the Russians. The bombardment continued in earnest until the 17th when Suleiman launched a frontal assault against the St. Nicholas position. Capturing the first line of trenches, the Ottoman forces moved towards the summit. General Fyodor Radetzky, now commanding the defenses, brought up reinforcements and a Russian counterattack drove the Ottoman forces from all captured ground. Secondary Ottoman assaults to the north were repulsed as well. This would be the last attempt the Ottoman forces made to retake Shipka Pass.

Fourth battle
The Fourth Battle of Shipka Pass from January 5–9 was the final battle for Shipka Pass and a crushing Ottoman defeat.

In December, 1877, the fortress of Plevna surrendered to the Russian Army, freeing a significant number of Russian troops. General Gourko now had as many as 65,000 soldiers to contend with the Ottomans. First Gourko forced the Araba Konak Pass and took Sofia. From Sofia, he moved south through the Balkan Mountains to cut off the Ottoman army fronting Shipka Pass.

The battle
General Radetzky, commanding the garrison, made preparations to attack from the pass on January 5 while Gourko brought up two columns under Generals Mikhail Skobelev and Nikolai Mirskii to cut off the Ottoman retreat. On January 8, Radezky's attack began but Skobelev was held up by unexpectedly heavy resistance and Mirskii attacked unsupported, making little progress. On January 9, Mirskii faced an Ottoman counter-attack, but Skobelev was able to move forward in support and defeat the Ottoman forces. Completely surrounded, the remaining Ottoman forces under Veissel Pasha surrendered the same day.

Russian forces under Gourko were able to crush Suleiman Pasha's army at the Battle of Philippopolis several days later and threaten Constantinople.

Today the Shipka Pass is in the Bulgarka Nature Park and is home to a monument commemorating those who died in the battle.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Jingoism is patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy. Jingoism also refers to a country's advocacy for the use of threats or actual force, as opposed to peaceful relations, in efforts to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others—an extreme type of nationalism.

The term originated in Britain, expressing a pugnacious attitude toward Russia in the 1870s, and appeared in the American press by 1893.

The chorus of a song by G. H. MacDermott (singer) and G. W. Hunt (songwriter) commonly sung in British pubs and music halls around the time of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78) gave birth to the term. The lyrics had the chorus:

We don't want to fight but by Jingo if we do
We've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money too
We've fought the Bear before, and while we're Britons true
The Russians shall not have Constantinople.

The phrase "by Jingo" was a long-established minced oath, used to avoid saying "by Jesus". Referring to the song, the specific term "jingoism" was coined as a political label by the prominent British radical George Holyoake in a letter to the Daily News on 13 March 1878.

Probably the first uses of the term in the U.S. press occurred in connection with the proposed annexation of Hawaii in 1893, after a coup led by foreign residents, mostly Americans, and assisted by the U.S. Minister in Hawaii, overthrew the Hawaiian constitutional monarchy and declared a Republic.

Republican president Benjamin Harrison and Republicans in the Senate were frequently accused of jingoism in the Democratic press for supporting annexation.

British artillery major-general Thomas Bland Strange, one of the founders of the Canadian army and one of the divisional commanders during the 1885 North-West Rebellion, was an eccentric and aggressive soldier who gained the nickname "Jingo Strange" and titled his 1893 autobiography Gunner Jingo's Jubilee.

The term was also used in connection with the foreign policy of Theodore Roosevelt, who was frequently accused of jingoism.

  In a 23 October 1895 New York Times article, Roosevelt stated, "There is much talk about 'jingoism'. If by 'jingoism' they mean a policy in pursuance of which Americans will with resolution and common sense insist upon our rights being respected by foreign powers, then we are 'jingoes'."

The policy of appeasement towards Hitler led to satirical references to the loss of jingoistic attitudes in Britain. In the 28 March 1938 issue of Punch appeared an E. H. Shepard cartoon titled The Old-Fashioned Customer.

Set in a record shop, John Bull asks the record seller (Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain):
"I wonder if you've got a song I remember about not wanting to fight, but if we do … something, something, something … we've got the money too?".

On the wall is a portrait of the Victorian Prime Minister Lord Salisbury.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Epirus Revolt of 1878

The 1878 revolt in Epirus was the part of a series of Greek uprisings that occurred in the Ottoman-ruled Greece during the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878). Although Greek officials individually supported the revolt, the Greek Government, being aware of the international situation in eastern Europe at the time, decided not to do so. With the end of the Russo-Turkish War the revolt was soon suppressed.

On April 24, 1877, Russia declared war on Ottoman Empire and soon after a series of battles, the Ottoman defeat was imminent. Meanwhile unofficial circles in Greece saw the war as a great opportunity to incite revolts in a number of Greek-inhabited regions in the Ottoman Empire: Epirus, Macedonia, Thessalia and Crete.
In 1877, two patriotic organizations were formed in Greece in order to organize an upcoming revolt in Epirus: National Defence (Greek: Εθνική Άμυνα) and Fraternity (Greek: Αδελφότητα). Soon after, the organizations started to create groups of volunteers and to collect weapons and ammunition. In December, distinguished Epirotes that lived in Athens, including General Michail Spyromilios and Dimitrios Botsaris (son of Notis Botsaris), were ready to lead the uprising, but the Greek Government being aware of that situation intervened and stopped their involvement.

The uprising
First conflicts and declaration of Union with Greece

In February 1878 groups of irregulars passed the Greek-Ottoman border and entered Thessaly and Epirus. The first regions that joined the revolt were Tzoumerka, west of Arta, the region north of Preveza and Radovizio (north Thesprotia). The uprising was however, ill-prepared and the weaknesses were obvious already from the first days. When the first conflicts with Ottoman troops occurred, most of the revolutionaries retreated to Greece. At Plaka, an Ottoman outpost was overcome by an Epirot unit led by a resigned officer of the Greek Army, Hristos Mitsios. However, upon the arrival of 2,000 Ottoman troops from Ioannina, they had to retreat.

Meanwhile the Russo-Turkish War ended with the Treaty of San Stefano (March 3, 1878). The sudden end of the Russo-Turkish hostilities had a negative impact on the revolt's outcome. At March 12, representatives of the movement gathered in the village of Botsi (Thesprotia), and declared the Union of Epirus with Greece. Soon after, a significant number of Ottoman troops arrived with troopships in the region and took under control the entire region. The revolutionaries seeing that resistance was futile, retreated behind to the Greek border.

  Lappas and Stephanou revolt
Meanwhile before the revolt in Radovizi was suppressed, a group of 150 armed Epirotes landed in the Saranda region, under the leadership of the guerrilla captains Minoas Lappas and Georgios Stephanou. Soon a greater number of volunteers (700), mainly Epirote refugees from Corfu joined the uprising.

Apart from the town of Saranda, they had under control the surrounding regions of Vurgut and Delvina: including the villages of Giasta and Lykoursi, as well as the nearby monastery of St. George.

The Ottoman military commander of Yannina with a force of 6,000 regular troops marched against Saranda. The Ottomans were also supported by irregular bands of Albanians. At March 4, after fierce fighting the revolt ended.

When the revolt in Saranda was finally suppressed, reprisals started. As a result 20 villages of the region of Delvina were burned while escape routes for the unarmed population were blocked.

Because many distinguished locals (like Kyriakos Kyritsis, later MP in the Greek Parliament) financially supported the revolt, the Ottoman authorities had all their holdings in the Saranda-Butrint region confiscated.

The failure of the 1878 movement in Epirus was mainly due to the unwillingness of the Greek Government to support this initiative actively.

On the other hand, the Russo-Turkish War ended too soon, so that the Ottoman troops could quickly move and suppress any form of disturbance.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Treaty of San Stefano

The Preliminary Treaty of San Stefano (Russian: Сан-Стефанский мир; Peace of San-Stefano, Сан-Стефанский мирный договор; Peace treaty of San-Stefano, Turkish: Ayastefanos Muahedesi or Ayastefanos Antlaşması ) was a treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire signed at San Stefano, then a village west of Constantinople, on 3 March 1878, by Count Nicholas Pavlovich Ignatiev and Aleksandr Nelidov on behalf of the Russian Empire and Foreign Minister Safvet Pasha and Ambassador to Germany Sadoullah Bey on behalf of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty ended the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–78.

Аccording to the official Russian position, by signing the treaty, Russia had never intended anything more than a temporary rough draft, so to enable a final settlement with the other Great Powers.

The treaty provided for the creation of an autonomous Principality of Bulgaria following almost 500 years of Ottoman domination. The day the treaty was signed (March 3) is celebrated as Liberation Day in Bulgaria. However, the enlarged Bulgaria envisioned by the treaty alarmed neighboring states as well as France and Great Britain. As a result, it was never implemented, being superseded by the Treaty of Berlin following the Congress of the same name that took place three months later.

San Stefano Peak on Rugged Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named in commemoration of the Treaty.

On Bulgaria

The treaty juridically set up an autonomous self-governing tributary principality Bulgaria with a Christian government and the right to keep an army, though the state de facto functioned as independent nation.

Its territory included the plain between the Danube and the Balkan mountain range (Stara Planina), the region of Sofia, Pirot and Vranje in the Morava valley, Northern Thrace, parts of Eastern Thrace and nearly all of Macedonia (Article 6).

A prince elected by the people, approved by the Sublime Porte and recognized by the Great Powers was to take the helm of the country and a council of noblemen was to draft a Constitution (Article 7).

The Ottoman troops were to pull out of Bulgaria, while the Russian military presence was to continue for two more years (Article 8).

  On Serbia, Montenegro and Romania
Under the treaty, Montenegro more than doubled its territory with former Ottoman areas, including Nikšić, Podgorica and Antivari (Article 1), and the Ottoman Empire recognized its independence (Article 2).

Serbia annexed the Moravian cities of Niš and Leskovac and became independent (Article 3).

The Porte recognized the independence of Romania (Article 5). Romania gained Northern Dobruja from Russia (to which it was transferred from the Ottoman Empire) and ceded Southern Bessarabia in a forced exchange.

On Russia and the Ottoman Empire
In exchange for the war reparations, the Porte ceded Armenian and Georgian territories in the Caucasus to Russia, including Ardahan, Artvin, Batum, Kars, Olti, Beyazit, and Alashkert. Additionally, it ceded Northern Dobruja, which Russia handed to Romania in exchange for Southern Bessarabia (Article 19).


Borders of Bulgaria according to the Preliminary Treaty of San Stefano and the Treaty of Berlin.
On other regions
The Vilayet of Bosnia (Bosnia and Herzegovina) was supposed to become an autonomous province
(Article 14) like Serbia was; Crete, Epirus and Thessaly were to receive a limited form of local self-government
(Article 15), while the Ottomans vouched for their earlier-given promises to handle reforms in Armenia in order to protect the Armenians from abuse
(Article 16).

The Straits — the Bosporus and the Dardanelles — were declared open to all neutral ships in war and peacetime
(Article 24).

The Great Powers, especially British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, were unhappy with this extension of Russian power, and Serbia feared the establishment of Greater Bulgaria would harm its interests in the Ottoman heritage. These reasons prompted the Great Powers to obtain a revision of the treaty at the Congress of Berlin through the Treaty of Berlin.

Romania, which had contributed significantly to the Russian victory in the war, was extremely disappointed by the treaty, and the Romanian public perceived some of its stipulations as Russia breaking the Russo-Romanian pre-war treaties that guaranteed the integrity of Romanian territory.

Austria-Hungary was disappointed with the treaty as it failed to expand its influence in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Albanians, dwelling in provinces controlled by the Ottoman Empire, objected to what they considered a significant loss of their territory to Serbia, Bulgaria, and Montenegro and realized they would have to organize nationally to attract the assistance of foreign powers seeking to neutralize Russia's influence in the region. The implications of the treaty led to the formation of the League of Prizren.

It is important to note that in the "Salisbury Circular" of 1 April 1878, the British Foreign Secretary, the Marquess of Salisbury, made clear his and his government's objections to the Treaty of San Stefano and the favorable position in which it left Russia.

According to British historian A. J. P. Taylor, writing in 1954, "If the treaty of San Stefano had been maintained, both the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary might have survived to the present day. The British, except for Beaconsfield in his wilder moments, had expected less and were therefore less disappointed. Salisbury wrote at the end of 1878, 'We shall set up a rickety sort of Turkish rule again south of the Balkans. But it is a mere respite. There is no vitality left in them.'"

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Treaty of Berlin 1878

The Treaty of Berlin was the final act of the Congress of Berlin (13 June – 13 July 1878), by which the United Kingdom, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Abdul Hamid II revised the Treaty of San Stefano signed on 3 March the same year.

The most important task of the Congress was to decide the fate of the Principality of Bulgaria established in the Treaty of San Stefano, even though Bulgaria itself was excluded from participation in the talks at Russian insistence.

At the time, being non-existent on the world map, Bulgaria was not a subject of international law, neither were the Bulgarians themselves. This exclusion was already an established fact in the Constantinople Conference of the Great Powers, held one year before without any Bulgarian participation. The most notable result of the conference is the de jure recognition of de facto independent states of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro.


Map of South-Eastern Europe after the Congress of Berlin, 1878
The treaty formally recognized the independence of the de facto sovereign principalities of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, together with the autonomy of Bulgaria - though the latter de facto functioned independently and was divided into three parts: the Principality of Bulgaria, the autonomous province of Eastern Rumelia, and Macedonia, which was given back to the Ottomans, thus undoing Russian plans for an independent—and Russophile—"Greater Bulgaria". The Treaty of San Stefano had created a Bulgarian state, which was just what Great Britain and Austria-Hungary feared most.

The Treaty of Berlin confirmed most of the Russian gains from the Ottoman Empire specified in the Treaty of San Stefano, although the valley of Alashkerd and the town of Bayazid were returned to the Ottomans.

The three newly independent states subsequently proclaimed themselves kingdoms: Romania in 1881, Serbia in 1882 and Montenegro in 1910, while Bulgaria proclaimed full independence in 1908 after uniting with Eastern Rumelia in 1885. Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia in 1908, sparking a major European crisis.

The Treaty of Berlin accorded special legal status to some religious groups; it also served as a model for the Minorities System that was subsequently established within the framework of the League of Nations. It also vaguely called for a border rectification between Greece and the Ottoman Empire, which occurred after protracted negotiations in 1881 with the transfer of Thessaly to Greece.

  In the "Salisbury Circular" of 1 April 1878, British Foreign Secretary, the Marquess of Salisbury, made clear his and his government's objections to the Treaty of San Stefano and the favorable position in which it left Russia.

Historian A. J. P. Taylor wrote: "If the treaty of San Stefano had been maintained, both the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary might have survived to the present day. The British, except for Beaconsfield in his wilder moments, had expected less and were therefore less disappointed. Salisbury wrote at the end of 1878: "We shall set up a rickety sort of Turkish rule again south of the Balkans. But it is a mere respite. There is no vitality left in them."

The Kosovo Vilayet remained part of the Ottoman Empire. Austria-Hungary was allowed to station military garrisons in the Ottoman Vilayet of Bosnia and Sanjak of Novi Pazar. The Vilayet of Bosnia was placed under Austro-Hungarian occupation, though formally remaining a part of the Ottoman Empire until being annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908.

The Austro-Hungarian garrisons in the Sanjak of Novi Pazar were withdrawn in 1908, following the annexation of the Vilayet of Bosnia and the resulting Bosnian crisis, in order to reach a compromise with the Ottoman Empire (the Ottoman government was struggling with internal strife due to the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, which also paved the way for the loss of Bosnia and loss of Bulgaria in the same year.)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

see also: Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78
Anti-Socialist Laws

The Anti-Socialist Laws or Socialist Laws (German: Sozialistengesetze; officially Gesetz gegen die gemeingefährlichen Bestrebungen der Sozialdemokratie, approximately "Law against the public danger of Social Democratic endeavours") were a series of acts, the first of which was passed on October 19, 1878 by the German Reichstag lasting till March 31, 1881, and extended 4 times (May 1880, May 1884, April 1886 and February 1888).

The legislation was passed after two failed attempts to assassinate Kaiser Wilhelm I by the radicals Max Hödel and Dr. Karl Nobiling; it was meant to curb the growing strength of the Social Democratic Party (SPD, named SAP at the time), which was blamed for influencing the assassins.

Although the law did not ban the SPD directly, it aimed to cripple the organization through various means. The banning of any group or meeting of whose aims were to spread social democratic principles, the outlawing of trade unions and the closing of 45 newspapers are examples of suppression.

The party circumvented these measures by having its candidates run as ostensible independents, by relocating publications outside of Germany and by spreading Social Democratic views as verbatim publications of Reichstag speeches, which were privileged speech with regard to censorship.

The laws' main proponent was Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who feared the outbreak of a socialist revolution similar to the one that created the Paris Commune in 1871. Despite the government's attempts to weaken the SPD, the party continued to grow in popularity. A bill introduced by Bismarck in 1888 which would have allowed for the denaturalization of Social Democrats was rejected.

After Bismarck's resignation in 1890, the Reichstag did not renew the legislation, allowing it to lapse.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Official publication of the first Anti-Socialist Law, 1878
Beginning of Irredentist agitation in Italy to obtain Trieste and South Tirol from Austria
Italian irredentism

Italian irredentism (Italian: irredentismo italiano) was a nationalist movement during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Italy with irredentist goals which promoted the unification of geographic areas in which indigenous ethnic Italians and Italian-speaking persons formed a majority, or substantial minority, of the population.

Originally, the movement promoted the annexation to Italy of territories inhabited by an Italian indigenous population but retained by the Austrian Empire after Third Italian War of Independence in 1866.

The territories of Corsica, Nice, and Savoy were claimed by irredentists. During the period of Risorgimento in 1860 to 1861, Prime Minister of Piedmont-Sardinia, Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour who was leading the Risorgimento effort, faced the view of French Emperor Napoleon III who indicated that France would support militarily the Italian unification provided that France was given Nice and Savoy that were held by Piedmont-Sardinia, as France did not want a powerful state having control of the passages of the Alps. As a result, Piedmont-Sardinia was pressured to concede Nice and Savoy to France in exchange for France accepting and sending troops to help the unification of Italy. These included Trentino and Trieste, but also multilingual and multiethnic areas within the northern Italian region encompassed by the Alps, with German, Italian, Slovene, Croatian, Ladin and Istro-Romanian population such as South Tyrol, a part of Istria, Gorizia and Gradisca, and part of Dalmatia. The claims were extended later to the city of Fiume, Corsica, the island of Malta, the County of Nice, and Italian Switzerland.

Some Italian irredentists even claimed that territories in North Africa were Italy's Fourth Shore, using the historical Roman rule in North Africa as a precedent to justify the incorporation of North African territories to Italian jurisdiction as being a "return" of Italians to North Africa.

Italian irredentism was not a formal organization; it was an opinion movement, advocated by several different groups, claiming that Italy had to reach its "natural borders" or unify territories inhabited by Italians. Similar nationalistic ideas were common in Europe in the late 19th century. The term 'irredentism' was successfully coined from the Italian word in many countries in the world (List of irredentist claims or disputes). This idea of Italia irredenta is not to be confused with the Risorgimento, the historical events that led to irredentism, nor with nationalism or Imperial Italy, the political philosophy that took the idea further under fascism.

The beginning of irredentism in Italy was originated as a consequence of the French expansion in Italy that started with the annexation of Corsica in 1768 and was followed by Napoleon's inclusion - inside the territories of France's First French Empire - of the regions of Piedmont, Liguria and Tuscany. Indeed, Pasquale Paoli, the hero of Corsica, was called "the precursor of Italian irredentism" by Niccolò Tommaseo because he was the first to promote Italian language and socio-culture (the main characteristics of Italian irredentism) in his island. Corsica is one of the biggest islands in the Italian geography, and Pasquale Paoli wanted the Italian language to be the official language of his Corsican Republic; even his Corsican Constitution of 1755 was in Italian and the short-lived university he founded in the city of Corte in 1765 used Italian.

During the 19th century the Italian irredentism fully developed the characteristic of defending the Italian language from other people's languages (like, for example, German in Switzerland and in the Austro-Hungarian Empire or French in Nice).

The liberation of Italia irredenta was perhaps the strongest motive for Italy's entry into World War I, and the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 satisfied many irredentist claims.

Indeed, Italian irredentism has even the characteristic of being originally moderate, requesting only the return to Italy of the areas with Italian majority of population, but after World War I it became aggressive - under fascist influence - and claimed to the Kingdom of Italy even areas where Italians were minority or had been present only in the past. In the first case there were the Risorgimento claims on Trento, for example, while in the second there were the fascist claims on the Ionian Islands, Savoy and Malta.

  Place names
To avoid confusion and in line with convention, this article uses modern English place names throughout. However, most places have alternative names in Italian.

After the Italian unification and Third Italian War of Independence in 1866, there were areas with Italian-speaking communities within the borders of several countries around the newly created Kingdom of Italy. The irredentists sought to annex all those areas to the newly unified Italy.
The areas targeted were Corsica, Dalmatia, Gorizia, the Ionian islands, Istria, Malta, County of Nice, Ticino, small parts of Grisons and of Valais, Trentino, Trieste and Fiume.

Different movements or groups born in this period: in 1877 the Italian politician Matteo Renato Imbriani invented the new term "terre irredente" ("unredeemed lands"); in the same year the movement Associazione in pro dell'Italia Irredenta ("Association for the Unredeemed Italy") was founded; in the 1885 was founded the Pro Patria movement ("For Fatherland") and in 1891 the "Lega Nazionale Italiana" ("Italian National League") was founded in Trento and Trieste (in the Austrian Empire).

Initially, the movement can be described as part of the more general nation-building process in Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries when the multi-national Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and Ottoman Empires were being replaced by Nation States.

The Italian nation-building process can be compared to similar movements in Germany (Großdeutschland), Hungary, Serbia, and in pre-1914 Poland.

Simultaneously, however, in many parts of 19th-century Europe, liberalism and nationalism were ideologies which were coming to the forefront of political culture. In Eastern Europe, where the Habsburg Empire had long asserted control over a variety of ethnic and cultural groups, nationalism appeared in a standard format.

The beginning of the 19th century "was the period when the smaller, mostly indigenous nationalities of the empire - Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, Ukrainians, Romanians - remembered their historical traditions, revived their native tongues as literary languages, reappropriated their traditions and folklore, in short reasserted their existence as nations."

The notion of a single united Italy was related to the aspirations of the "majority populations".


Italian unification process (Risorgimento)
19th century
A precursor of the 'irredentists' was perhaps the unification leader Giuseppe Garibaldi who, in 1859 as deputy for his native Nice in the Piedmontese parliament at Turin, attacked Cavour for ceding Nice to Napoleon III in order to get French help and approval for Italian Unification. Irredentism grew in importance in Italy in the next years.

On July 21, 1878, a noisy public meeting was held at Rome with Menotti Garibaldi, the son of Giuseppe Garibaldi, as chairman of the forum, and a clamour was raised for the formation of volunteer battalions to conquer the Trentino.

Benedetto Cairoli, then Prime Minister of Italy, treated the agitation with tolerance.

It was, however, mainly superficial, as most Italians did not wish a dangerous policy against Austria, and even less against France for the sake of Nice and Corsica, or against Britain for Malta.

One consequence of irredentist ideas outside of Italy was an assassination plot organized against the Emperor Francis Joseph in Trieste in 1882, which was detected and foiled.

Guglielmo Oberdan, a Triestine and thus Austrian citizen, was executed.
When the irredentist movement became troublesome to Italy through the activity of Republicans and Socialists, it was subject to effective police control by Agostino Depretis.

Irredentism faced a setback when the French occupation of Tunisia in 1881 started a crisis in French–Italian relations.

The government entered into relations with Austria and Germany, which took shape with the formation of the Triple Alliance in 1882.

The irredentists' dream of absorbing the targeted areas into Italy made no further progress in the 19th century, as the borders of the Kingdom of Italy remained unchanged and the Rome government began to set up colonies in Eritrea and Somalia in Africa.

  World War I
Italy signed the London Pact and entered World War I with the intention of gaining those territories perceived by irredentists as being Italian under foreign rule. According to the pact, Italy was to leave the Triple Alliance and join the Entente Powers. Furthermore, Italy was to declare war on Germany and Austria-Hungary within a month. The declaration of war was duly published on 23 May 1915. In exchange, Italy was to obtain various territorial gains at the end of the war. In April 1918, in what he described as an open letter "to the American Nation" Paolo Thaon di Revel, Commander in Chief of the Italian navy, appealed to the people of the United States to support Italian territorial claims over Trento, Trieste, Istria, Dalmatia and the Adriatic, writing that "we are fighting to expel an intruder from our home."

The outcome of the First World War and the consequent settlement of the Treaty of Saint-Germain met some Italian claims, including many (but not all) of the aims of the Italia irredenta party. Italy gained Trieste, Gorizia, Istria and the city of Zara . In Dalmatia, despite the Treaty of London, only territories with Italian majority as Zadar with some Dalmatian islands, such as Cres (Cherso), Lošinj (Lussino) and Lastovo (Lagosta) were annexed by Italy, because Woodrow Wilson, supporting Yugoslav claims and not recognizing the treaty, rejected Italian requests on other Dalmatian territories.

The city of Fiume in the Kvarner was the subject of claim and counter-claim because it had an Italian majority, but Fiume had not been promised to Italy in the London Pact, though it was to become Italian by 1924 (see Italian Regency of Carnaro, Treaty of Rapallo, 1920 and Treaty of Rome, 1924).

The stand taken by the irredentist Gabriele D'Annunzio, which briefly led him to become an enemy of the Italian state, was meant to provoke a nationalist revival through Corporatism (first instituted during his rule over Fiume), in front of what was widely perceived as state corruption engineered by governments such as Giovanni Giolitti's.

D'Annunzio briefly annexed to this "Regency of Carnaro" even the Dalmatian islands of Krk and Rab, where there was a numerous Italian community.


Map of the territories claimed as "irredenti" in the 1930s.
In green: Nice, Ticino and Dalmatia; in red: Malta; in violet: Corsica.
Savoy and Corfù were also later claimed.
Fascism and World War II
Fascist Italy strove to be seen as the natural result of war heroism, against a "betrayed Italy" that had not been awarded all it "deserved", as well as appropriating the image of Arditi soldiers. In this vein, irredentist claims were expanded and often used in Fascist Italy's desire to control the Mediterranean basin. To the east of Italy, the Fascists claimed that Dalmatia was a land of Italian culture whose Italians, including those of Italianized South Slavic descent, had been driven out of Dalmatia and into exile in Italy, and supported the return of Italians of Dalmatian heritage. Mussolini identified Dalmatia as having strong Italian cultural roots for centuries via the Roman Empire and the Republic of Venice. The Fascists especially focused their claims based on the Venetian cultural heritage of Dalmatia, claiming that Venetian rule had been beneficial for all Dalmatians and had been accepted by the Dalmatian population. The Fascists were outraged after World War I, when the agreement between Italy and the Entente Allies in the Treaty of London of 1915 to have Dalmatia join Italy, was revoked in 1919.

To the west of Italy, the Fascists claimed that the territories of Corsica, Nice, and Savoy held by France, were Italian lands. Even thought Savoy was a French speaking area and this region led to the unification of Italy through the policy of its kings. Savoy was not part of the Italian territory but the kingdom that started its unification. During the period of Italian unification in 1860 to 1861, Prime Minister of Piedmont-Sardinia, Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour who was leading the unification effort, faced opposition from French Emperor Napoleon III who indicated that France would oppose Italian unification unless France was given Nice and Savoy that were held by Piedmont Sardinia, as France did not want a powerful state having control of all the passages of the Alps. As a result, Piedmont-Sardinia was pressured to concede Nice and Savoy to France in exchange for France accepting the unification of Italy. The Fascist regime produced literature on Corsica was that presented evidence of the Italianità of the island. The Fascist regime produced literature on Nice that justified that Nice was an Italian land based on historic, ethnic, and linguistic grounds. The Fascists quoted Medieval Italian scholar Petrarch who said "The border of Italy is the Var; consequently Nice is a part of Italy". The Fascists quoted Italian national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi who said: "Corsica and Nice must not belong to France; there will come the day when an Italy mindful of its true worth will reclaim its provinces now so shamefully languishing under foreign domination". Mussolini initially pursued promoting annexation of Corsica through political and diplomatic means, believing that Corsica could be annexed to Italy through Italy first encouraging the existing autonomist tendencies in Corsica and then independence of Corsica from France, that would be followed by annexation of Corsica into Italy.

In 1923, Mussolini temporarily occupied Corfu, using irredentist claims based on minorities of Italians in the Ionian islands of Greece. Similar tactics may have been used towards the islands around the Kingdom of Italy - through the Pro-Italian Maltese, Corfiot Italians and Corsican Italians - in order to control the Mediterranean sea (his Mare Nostrum, from the Latin, "Our Sea").

During World War II, large parts of Dalmatia were annexed by Italy into the Governorship of Dalmatia from 1941 to 1943. Corsica and Nice were also administratively annexed by the Kingdom of Italy in November 1942. Malta was heavily bombed but was not occupied, due to Erwin Rommel's request of diverting to North Africa the forces that had been prepared for the invasion of the island.

The Italian linguist Matteo Bartoli calculated that Italian was the primary spoken language by almost 30% of the Dalmatian population at the beginning of the Napoleonic wars. Bartoli's evaluation was followed by other claims: Auguste de Marmont, the French Governor General of the Napoleonic Illyrian Provinces commissioned a census in 1814–1815 which found that Dalmatian Italians comprised 25% of the total population of Dalmatia. Accordingly, three years later, an Austrian census found around 70,000 Italians in a total of 301,000 people living in Austrian Dalmatia.

With the development of Croatian nationalism, critics such as Croatian historian Duško Večerina, asserted that these evaluations were not conducted by modern scientific standards and that they took spoken language as the criterion, rather than blood, origin and ethnicity. They pointed out that, according to a report by Imperial court councillor Joseph Fölch in 1827, the Italian language was spoken by noblemen and some citizens of middle and lower classes exclusively in the coastal cities of Zadar, Šibenik, and Split. Since only around 20,000 people populated these towns and not all were Italian speakers, their real number was rather smaller, probably around 7% of the total population, as is asserted by the Department of Historical Studies of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU).

Not only Italian irredentists (like Gabriele D'Annunzio) but also Italian prominent scholars (like Angelo Vivante) alleged that Joseph Fölch did not include the Dalmatian islands of Cres, Lošinj (Lussino), Krk (Veglia), Vis (Lissa), Hvar (Lesina), Korcula (Curzola) and many others islands with significant Italian communities. And so -in their opinion- Folch did only a partial and mistaken estimate of the real number of the Dalmatian Italians. They reasserted that the only official evidence about the Dalmatian population comes from the 1857 Austro-Hungarian census, which showed that in this year there were 369,310 indigenous Croatians and 45,000 Italians in Dalmatia, making Dalmatian Italians 17% of the total population of Dalmatia in the mid-19th century.

Dalmatia was a strategic region during World War I that both Italy and Serbia intended to seize from Austria-Hungary. Italy joined the Triple Entente Allies in 1915 upon agreeing to the London Pact that guaranteed Italy the right to annex a large portion of Dalmatia in exchange for Italy's participation on the Allied side. From 5–6 November 1918, Italian forces were reported to have reached Vis, Lastovo, Šibenik, and other localities on the Dalmatian coast. By the end of hostilities in November 1918, the Italian military had seized control of the entire portion of Dalmatia that had been guaranteed to Italy by the London Pact and by 17 November had seized Fiume as well. In 1918, Admiral Enrico Millo declared himself Italy's Governor of Dalmatia. Famous Italian nationalist Gabriele d'Annunzio supported the seizure of Dalmatia, and proceeded to Zadar in an Italian warship in December 1918.

The last city with a significant Italian presence in Dalmatia was the city of Zadar. In the Habsburg empire census of 1910 the city of Zadar had an Italian population of 9,318 (or 69.3% out of the total of 13,438 inhabitants). Zadar population grew to 24,100 inhabitants, of which 20,300 Italians, when was in 1942 the capital of the Governatorate of Dalmatia (the "Governatorate" fulfilled the aspirations of the Italian irredentism in the Adriatic).

In 1943, Josip Broz Tito informed the Allies that Zadar was a chief logistic centre for German forces in Yugoslavia. By overstating its importance, he persuaded them of its military significance. Italy surrendered in September 1943 and over the following year, specifically between 2 November 1943 and 31 October 1944, Allied Forces bombarded the town fifty-four times.

Nearly 2,000 people were buried beneath rubble; 10–12,000 people escaped and took refuge in Trieste and slightly over 1,000 reached Apulia.

Tito's partisans entered in Zadar on 31 October 1944, and 138 people were killed.[24] With the Peace Treaty of 1947, Italians still living in Zadar followed the Italian exodus from Dalmatia and only about 100 Dalmatian Italians now remain in the city.

Modern day
After World War II, Italian Irredentism faded along with the defeated Fascists and the Monarchy of the House of Savoy. After the Treaty of Paris (1947) and the Treaty of Osimo (1975), all territorial claims were abandoned by the Italian State (see Foreign relations of Italy). Today, Italy, France, Malta, Greece, Croatia and Slovenia are all members of the European Union, while Montenegro and Albania are candidates for accession.

However, some Croatian and Slovenian politicians and organizations asserted, until recent years, that some Italian politicians still propagated some irredentist ideas even in the 21st century, with sharp reactions from Croatian or Slovenian officials.

They often cited the then-Italian Deputy Gianfranco Fini, who in Senigallia in 2004 gave an interview to the Slobodna Dalmacija daily newspaper at the 51st gathering of the Italians who left Yugoslavia after World War II, in which he was reported to have said that "From the son of an Italian from Fiume I learned that those areas were and are Italian, but not because at any particular historical moment our army planted Italians there. This country was Venetian, and before that Roman". Rather than issuing an official rebuttal of those words, Carlo Giovanardi, then Parliamentary Affairs Minister in Berlusconi's government, affirmed Fini's words, saying "...that he told the truth".

These sources pointed out that on the 52nd gathering of the same association, in 2005, Carlo Giovanardi was quoted by the Večernji list daily newspaper as saying that Italy would launch a cultural, economic and touristic invasion in order to restore "the Italianness of Dalmatia" while participating in a roundtable discussion on the topic "Italy and Dalmatia today and tomorrow". Giovanardi later declared that he had been misunderstood, and sent a letter to the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which he condemned nationalism and ethnic strife.

  They underlined that Alleanza Nazionale (a former Italian conservative party) derived directly from the Italian Social Movement (MSI), a neo-fascist party.

In 1994, Mirko Tremaglia, a member of the MSI and later of Alleanza Nazionale, described Rijeka, Istria and Dalmatia as "historically Italian" and referred to them as "occupied territories", saying that Italy should "tear up" the 1975 Treaty of Osimo with the former Yugoslavia and block Slovenia and Croatia's accession to EU membership until the rights of their Italian minorities were respected.

In 2001, Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi gave the golden medal (for the aerial bombings endured during World War II) to the last Italian administration of Zadar, represented by its Gonfalone, owned by the association "Free municipality of Zadar in exile".

Croatian authorities complained that he was awarding a fascist institution, even if the motivations for the golden medal explicitly recalled the contribution of the city to the Resistance against Fascism. The motivations were contested by several Italian right-wing associations, such as the same "Free municipality of Zadar in exile" and the Lega Nazionale.

On December 12, 2007, the Italian post office issued a stamp with a photo of the Croatian city of Rijeka and with the text "Fiume - eastern land once part of Italy" ("Fiume-terra orientale già italiana").

Some Croatian sources affirmed that "già italiana" could also mean "already Italian", even if according to Italian syntaxis the correct meaning in this case is only "previously Italian". 3.5 million copies of the stamp were printed, but it was not delivered by the Italian Post Office in order to forestall a possible diplomatic crisis with Croatian and Slovenian authorities. Nevertheless, some of the stamps leaked out and came in official use, and it became widely available.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stresemann Gustav
Gustav Stresemann, (born May 10, 1878, Berlin, Germany—died October 3, 1929, Berlin), chancellor (1923) and foreign minister (1923, 1924–29) of the Weimar Republic, largely responsible for restoring Germany’s international status after World War I. With French foreign minister Aristide Briand, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1926 for his policy of reconciliation and negotiation.

Gustav Stresemann
  Youth and education
Stresemann was the son of Ernst Stresemann, a Berlin innkeeper and beer distributor. He was the only one of five children able to attend high school and university. From early childhood he displayed a strong “inclination toward solitude,” as he put it as a student, as well as a tendency to be melancholy and to daydream. At school he displayed an unusual gift for history, especially modern history. He was especially interested in the lives of great personalities, particularly Napoleon and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, both of whom fascinated him throughout his life and inspired several of his literary studies.

Stresemann, attending the Universities of Berlin and Leipzig from 1897 to 1900, first studied literature and history but changed to economics, probably to improve his professional prospects rather than in recognition of his practical gifts. While a student he belonged to a relatively progressive fraternity and retained a lifelong attachment to the sentimental glories of student life.

In 1900 he received his doctorate with a dissertation entitled “The Growth of the Berlin Bottled-Beer Industry.” The subject of his study, based on his knowledge of his father’s business and dealing with the decline of a sector of small business as a result of competition from giant industry, was characteristic of his origins as well as of his point of view. It was used against him in future political struggles by right-wing opposition.

As a liberal Prussian Protestant, Stresemann became a typical representative of the chauvinistic spirit prevailing in imperial Germany. He believed in the spiritual, military, and economic superiority of the German Empire, and his political idealism manifested itself in a sentimental enthusiasm for the heroic liberalism of the revolutions of 1848, as well as in a romantic style of speech.
Political rise
After completing his studies, Stresemann began his professional career in a trade association. Unusually rapid success in commerce gave him a springboard into politics. As an administrative assistant in the German Chocolate Makers’ Association from 1901 to 1904, he gained a reputation as an accomplished organizer and negotiator. By 1902 he had founded the Saxon Manufacturers’ Association, and as its legal representative until 1911, he occupied an important position in economic life at the age of 25.

His wife, whom he married in 1903, was the sister of a fraternity brother and the daughter of the Berlin industrialist Adolf Kleefeld. Of Jewish extraction, Stresemann’s charming and elegant wife played a leading role in Berlin society of the 1920s. They had two sons.

After initially sympathizing with the ideas of the Protestant social reformer Friedrich Naumann and collaborating with his National Social Union, Stresemann joined the National Liberal Party in 1903. Strongly represented in Saxony at the time, the party became Stresemann’s political home. Often involved in conflicts over his support of social-welfare measures with the right wing of his party (which was dominated by representatives of heavy industry), he attracted general notice at his first appearance at a party congress in 1906.

As a Dresden city councillor from 1906 to 1912 and editor of the Dresden magazine Sächsische Industrie (“Saxon Industry”), Stresemann became a well-known writer on economics and an expert on municipal affairs. Recognizing the importance of the press in influencing public opinion, he took advantage of it to support his aims.

  He was elected in 1907 to the Reichstag (parliament) as a National Liberal from the Annaberg district in the Saxon metal-mining country, thus gaining a foothold in national politics. At 28 he was the youngest deputy in the Reichstag. The party chairman, Ernst Bassermann, helped to advance his political career, and Stresemann was soon considered Bassermann’s “crown prince.” Stresemann was primarily interested in economic policy both as a journalist and a deputy.

He energetically defended the interests of the commercial middle class, but his advocacy of extended social-welfare legislation embroiled him in a conflict with the representatives of his party’s right wing, which in 1912 prevented his reelection to the National Liberal Party executive committee. After losing his seat in the new Reichstag elections in the same year, he traveled with other business leaders to the United States to study economic conditions.

By this time Stresemann, who had moved to Berlin, was one of the best-known leaders of German economic life. He occupied leading positions in a number of trade associations, including the German-American Economic Association, established at his suggestion. Stresemann’s many offices brought him financial independence. He was known for his organizational gifts, knew how to handle people, and was aware of the power he wielded.

As a member of the pan-German Deutscher Kolonialverein (German Colonial League) and an advocate of a strong naval construction program, he supported the imperialist goals of German policy carried out under the aegis of Alfred von Tirpitz and Bernhard, Fürst (prince) von Bülow. Tirpitz had served as state secretary of the Imperial Naval Office, in which post he created the German battle fleet, and Bülow was chancellor of Germany (1900–1909).

Policies during World War I
Stresemann was a part of the great majority of Germans who, in the firm belief that Germany was conducting a purely defensive war, greeted the outbreak of World War I with enthusiasm. Because of his poor health he was exempted from military service. His political hour struck, however, in December 1914, when he was returned to the Reichstag in a special election.

Stresemann emerged during the war as one of the most vociferous exponents of pan-Germanism and as a champion of Germany’s extensive claims on Polish and Russian territory in the east and on French and Belgian territory in the west. He virtually took over leadership of his party’s Reichstag faction from Bassermann, whom military service and illness kept away from Berlin much of the time. During these years Stresemann moved increasingly to the right. From 1916 he worked closely with the German Army Supreme Command under Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg and General Erich Ludendorff and became their parliamentary mouthpiece. He advocated unrestricted U-boat warfare and opposed the policy of Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, who held to a moderate course and did not allow himself to be committed to expansionist war aims.

Stresemann played a leading role in Bethmann Hollweg’s overthrow in July 1917 but failed to bring back to power the former chancellor Bülow, whom he admired. After Bassermann’s death in the same month, Stresemann succeeded him as leader of the party’s Reichstag faction, becoming chairman of the entire party later in the same year. Despite radical differences within the National Liberal ranks, Stresemann was able to prevent a party split between the Reichstag faction and its more conservative counterpart in the Prussian House of Deputies over the Prussian three-class suffrage system, in which a citizen’s vote was weighted according to the value of his property. Hoping to strengthen the monarchy, Stresemann advocated abolition of the voting system. On the other hand, he allowed himself to be deceived about the seriousness of the military situation of the Reich and its allies until the Supreme Command admitted defeat at the end of September 1918.


Gustav Stresemann
  Conversion into a “realistic republican”
The defeat, the collapse of the monarchy on November 9, 1918, and the flight of Emperor William (Wilhelm) II to Holland were cruel blows to Stresemann. Nonetheless, he quickly accommodated himself to the realities of a republican Germany. However, when the newly formed left-liberal German Democratic Party, led by Naumann and the renowned sociologist Max Weber, refused to admit him to its higher councils, Stresemann founded his own party, the German People’s Party. A right-liberal grouping of educated and propertied elements, it sought to rally the right-wing supporters of the former National Liberal Party. Stresemann, fundamentally a monarchist and an opponent of the Weimar Republic, assumed an ambiguous “wait-and-see” attitude during the rightist Kapp Putsch of March 1920. When the putsch was suppressed, however, he prepared to cooperate politically with the republic. He tried to persuade the democratic parties that the German People’s Party was qualified to participate in a coalition and pressed for a position in the government. For the time being, however, he was still counted among the “national opposition” to the Weimar coalition—the Social Democratic Party, the German Democratic Party, and the Centre Party.

Stresemann, a member of the German National Constituent Assembly in Weimar in 1919–20, was an opponent of the new German constitution. He also opposed the Treaty of Versailles and was to devote his political life to its revision. From 1920 until his death Stresemann was a Reichstag deputy and chairman of the German People’s Party, and in August 1923 he became chancellor of the Reich at the head of a “Great Coalition,” composed of representatives of the Social Democrats, the Centre, and the German Democrats, as well as of his People’s Party.

As chancellor from August 13 to November 23, 1923, during the crisis over the Allied occupation of the Ruhr, and as foreign minister from August 1923 to his death, Stresemann exercised decisive influence over the fate of the Weimar Republic, and he became a statesman of European stature. His first decision as chancellor was to abandon the policy of passive resistance in the Ruhr, which in January 1923 had been occupied by French and Belgian troops to enforce payment of German war reparations. This policy had accelerated inflation and was precipitating a financial collapse.

On the domestic scene, he sought to steer his way among opposing domestic forces. While proceeding harshly against communist-influenced state governments in Thuringia and Saxony, he displayed a lenient attitude toward revolutionary attempts of the radical right, such as the Beer Hall Putsch of Adolf Hitler on November 8–9, 1923, in Munich. At the height of the internal political crisis of November 1923 there was danger that the occupied territory west of the Rhine (occupied by the Allies) might withdraw from the Reich. Only the stabilization of the currency in the middle of November—the last significant achievement of Stresemann’s government—restored domestic order and created the basis for economic recovery.

Years as foreign minister
Overthrown by a vote of no confidence, the cabinet resigned in November 1923. Stresemann took over the post of foreign minister in the new government and held it, unchallenged until his death, in coalition governments of varying composition under three chancellors ranging from the left to centre. His policy was aimed at securing a reconciliation with the victorious Western powers, especially France, for Germany had already renewed ties with Russia through the Treaty of Rapallo in 1922. By meeting the reparation payments, for the reduction of which he fought as stubbornly as he did for removal of French troops from west of the Rhine, he hoped to gain a favourable position for his negotiations with the victorious Allies. His enduring aim was to obtain equal rights for Germany and to restore it to its former position among the countries of Europe.

Principally, however, this meant a revision of Germany’s eastern border of 1919, which would require Poland to return Danzig, the Polish Corridor, and Upper Silesia, as well as the annexation of Austria. Realistically appraising Germany’s central position in Europe and exploiting Anglo-French and Anglo-Soviet tensions, Stresemann tried to achieve his goals through negotiation, but his seesaw policy between East and West was strongly criticized by many contemporary critics. Yet Stresemann retained his optimism, often carrying it to extremes, and this outlook frequently led him to underestimate opposition both at home and abroad.

Stresemann’s successes in dealing with the Allied powers during those years can be marked out in stages. In 1924 the U.S.-proposed Dawes Plan was signed, providing for reduction in payment of reparations and stabilization of German finances.

  It was followed in 1925 by the Pact of Locarno, which included acceptance of the new Franco-German border, agreements to arbitrate disputes with other nations, and immunity from new sanctions by the victors of World War I.

In 1926 the first Rhineland zone was evacuated by the Allies, Germany was admitted to the League of Nations, and the Berlin Treaty with the Soviet Union (an agreement providing for mutual neutrality) was signed. In 1928 the Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war was signed by Germany. Stresemann did not live to see the complete evacuation of French troops from the Rhineland and the completion of the new settlement reducing German reparations through the Young Plan (also a U.S. proposal) in 1929, although he had conducted the negotiations when already marked by death.

Any summary of Stresemann’s diplomatic successes should not obscure the fact that he devoted an extraordinary amount of effort to combating strong domestic opposition that arose, above all, from his own party. Stresemann, who took the importance of the press into consideration, used publicity to promote his policy but, by making premature statements, often aroused political hopes that could not be realized. After his spectacular secret meeting in 1926 with Briand—which gave rise to exaggerated hopes—Franco-German rapprochement came to a standstill. In the last two years of his life, which were marked by illness, Stresemann became increasingly dissatisfied at his failure to further his foreign policy, especially after his party dwindled and large sections of it went over to the extreme right. He himself contemplated formation of a new party of the liberal centre. The domestic struggle in particular weakened his already precarious health, and he died after suffering two strokes, at the age of 51.

By virtue of his six years of service as foreign minister and the esteem he enjoyed, particularly abroad, Stresemann made an essential contribution to securing the Weimar Republic’s stability and survival for a few years. Because of domestic undercurrents and opposition, he succeeded at the cost of extraordinary personal effort.

On his death, the republic, which honoured him with a state funeral, lost one of its few statesmen. In his personal as well as his political development he embodied the uncertainty of the period of transition from monarchy to republic. Yet he was unable to integrate his own party, over which he jealously maintained leadership, into the Weimar state and thus failed, as he wrote in 1929, to form the bridge “between the old and the new Germany.”

As an advocate of a “policy of national realism,” as opposed to a “pacifist policy of resignation,” he was by no means a champion of European unification. He supported its objectives, however, since he could thus more easily obtain the urgently sought revision of the Treaty of Versailles.

Stresemann’s image is still controversial. He was first pronounced a hero after 1945, when he was viewed as a champion of a united Europe. This view was succeeded in the 1950s by an increasingly critical evaluation, especially during the disclosure of his voluminous literary estate, which was at first exclusively at the disposal of U.S. historians. He was then portrayed as a flexible and opportunistic politician of nationalistic sympathies who shrewdly adjusted his aims to meet the needs of the time, and it was said that Stresemann had not become a democrat out of conviction but rather that he had raised “finessing” to the level of a principle. His volatile character and sentimental attachment to uniforms and tradition were also emphasized. The communists, meanwhile, regarded him as a representative of monopoly capitalism and a forerunner of Hitler.

More recently, he has been characterized as a “pragmatic conservative” who remained flexible in his choice of political means while pursuing his national aims of restoration of German wealth and power and the continuation of German traditional social and economic order. Others have emphasized the European aspect of the German “patriot” Stresemann, a viewpoint from which German historical research has departed. Yet, his political changeability notwithstanding, Stresemann is counted among the few statesmen of his time.

Rudolf Morsey

Encyclopædia Britannica

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