History of the World in Objects and Art

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350BC 1205 1530 1868
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History of the World in Objects and Art Timeline

The Independence of Greece

The Independence of Greece

The First Railroad

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Rain, Steam and Speed The Great Western Railway

The July Revolution

The Revolution of 1830

With Brush and Palette on the Barricades

Victor Hugo stayed at home. Busy researching for his novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, he did not wish to leave his wife alone, who had given birth to a daughter just four days before. The young Alexandre Dumas, on the other hand — later to achieve world renown for his swashbuckling The Count of Monte Cristo — bravely shouldered a double-barrelled musket, ready to risk his life for freedomwith thousands of students, merchants, workers and actors.

Paris was once again on the brink of a revolution. The streets were full of agitated citizens confronting the royal guards with pistols and wooden cudgels, rifles and knives. The cause of the uproar was the citizens' fear that the old system of royal oppression, which had been abolished, was on the rise again. As early as 1814 the royal house of Bourbon had regained its former power. Lotus XVIII, younger brother to Louis XVI, who had been executed during the Revolution, had been summoned from exile to rule France after the fall of Napoleon. Moderate and cautious, he had pursued liberal policies, combining the modern feeling for liberty with the principles of the ancien regime. When Louis XVIII died in 1824, Charles X, the youngest of the three brothers, had himself crowned at Reims with medieval pomp and circumstance. Forward-looking contemporaries found him both reactionary and foolish. Desirous of reviving pre-Revolutionary France, he intended to restore the ancient titles and privileges to the aristocracy as well as one billion francs in reparations for the property lost by the nobility during the Revolution. After Charles X issued a series of repressive decrees on 25 July 1830, abolishing freedom of the press, dissolving the legislature and depriving the majority of citizens of suffrage, things came to a head. On 28 July 1830 revolt broke out not far from Eugene Delacroix's studio. While mercenaries deployed by Charles X fought their way through the narrow streets, supporters of the revolutionaries hurled furniture, wash-tubs, rooting tiles and tool chests down on them from windows, finally dumping entire cartloads of melons on the heads of the advancing royal troops to stop their progress. The street battles raged for three days. Painter and caricaturist Honore Daumier suffered a sabre-slash across his face during the fighting. On 3 August 1830 the citizens were victorious, forcing Charles X to abdicate and flee into exile.
 Delacroix, who had observed the revolt at a safe distance, took up his brushes and palette. In aletter to his brother written in October 1830, he confessed: "Although I didn't fight, I'll at least paint for our country!" And the result was Liberty Leading the People, the archetype of the Revolution.

Eugene Delacroix
Liberty leading the People (28 July 1830)

The Revolution in Belgium

At the start of the 19th century, Africa was a continent with a wide variety of peoples living in a range of societies, from large-scale kingdoms and empires to small-scale villages and bands of hunter-gatherers. By the end of the century, almost the entire continent had been brought under direct or indirect European rule.
Before the colonial era, one of the major European influences on West Africa and the western coastal areas of central Africa, including Angola, was exerted through the Atlantic slave trade. By the late 18th century, around 100,000 Africans were being forcibly transported to the Americas every year to be bought by traders in Britain, France, Spain Portugal, the, Dutch Empire, and the United States. In 1807, Britain banned the slave trade, but it continued on a large scale into the second half of the 19th century. The trade generated conflict, since kingdoms such as the Asante fought wars to obtain prisoners for sale to the Europeans. However, wars also resulted from shifts in a turbulent continent. For example, in southern Africa, from the 1820s the Zulu created a large empire by conquering neighboring peoples, and in West Africa Muslim rulers launched wars to extend the reach of Islam.


In the early 19th century, European explorers and missionaries began to penetrate deep into Africa. A mixture
of motives, from humanitarianism to a desire for new markets for their goods and a search for raw materials drew the European powers into a race to carve up the continent.

By the end of the century, Britain, France, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, and Italy had claimed large territories. With the exception of Ethiopia, which fought off the Italians, no African state was strong enough to keep its independence. A slow transformation of African life began, in some places brutally imposed, in others negotiated by compromise with existing rulers.

The first explorers in the Pacific were ocean voyagers in outrigger canoes, who lived on the islands of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia between 1300 все and 1200ce. The arrival of European sailors much later, especially from the later 18th century, posed a grave challenge to the islanders' traditional way of life.
Probably originating from Asia, the Oceanic peoples developed a diversity of societies and cultures on their far-flung island homes. Political organization was generally on a small scale, although some chiefs, such as the kings of Tonga and the Samoan Tui Manu'a, established control over substantial confederacies or empires.
The Polynesians first came into contact with European sailors in the 17th century. But it was not until the voyages of exploration by British Captain James Cook and French Admiral Louis-Antoine de
Bougainville in the 1760s and 1770s, that links with the wider world began to affect the Polynesian way of life in a serious way.


The Europeans undermined the health and stability of Polynesian societies by trading firearms and alcohol, and by inadvertently introducing diseases that decimated the local populations. Missionaries arrived, dedicated to replacing traditional beliefs with Christianity. They were set on reforming established codes of dress and behavior. Competition between imperialist powers led to the sharing out of islands through the 19th century. Tahiti became a French protectorate in 1842, Fiji was declared a British colony in 1874, and Hawaii was annexed as a US territory in 1898. But traditional rulers sometimes retained considerable authority over internal affairs—in Tonga, the same royal line ruled from before a British protectorate was established in 1900 through to full independence in the post-imperial era.

The Abolition of Slavery in the British Dominions

The first Aboriginals arrived in Australia 40,000-60,000 years ago. The peopling of New Zealand was more recent, the first Polynesian Maori probably arriving by sea around 1300ce. In the 19th century, both Australia and New Zealand became flourishing British colonies, opening the door to extensive European settlement.
European sailors had come across Australia and New Zealand in the 17th century, but it was not until 1770 that British explorer Captain James Cook, sailing along Australia's east coast, claimed it for Britain. The first European settlers were British convicts, deported to Botany Bay in New South Wales in 1788.

Free settlement began in the 19th century, especially after the discovery of gold in the 1850s, which brought with it a large influx of immigrants. No major European settlement occurred in New Zealand until 1839, but colonization gained momentum in the mid-19th century. The vast majority of early colonists, both in Australia and New Zealand, were from the British Isles.


The Aboriginal population of Australia was unable to resist the British takeover and the distribution of land among settlers for sheep farming. By the end of the 19th century, newly introduced diseases, loss of vital resources, and localized violence had decimated the natives. Small numbers survived, living mostly on the margins of white Australian society. The Maori of New Zealand, on the other hand, adopted firearms and fought against colonization. Although ravaged by disease—as were the Aborigines—a series of conflicts and compromises eventually left the Maori in possession of some land and rights.

The Australian colonies and New Zealand grew into liberal democracies, forming self-governing states within the British Empire, but the treatment of their native populations remains a stigma on their histories.