Accession of Queen Victoria

Congress Europe

Europe 1837.062

Accession of Queen Victoria

Congress Europe (20 June 1837)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

In 1837, King William IV of Great Britain died and was succeeded by his 18-year-old niece, Victoria. As Hanover - until then in personal union with the British - did not by tradition recognize female succession, it split off under a new king of its own. Queen Victoria's long reign would become known as the Victorian era - a period of great transformation, in which British power reached its zenith.

Main Events

Ottoman return to Tripolitania

The Ottoman Empire intervened in the civil war in Tripolitania, deposing and exiling Ali II Karamanli and restoring direct rule to the province. An independent Fezzan would continue to hold out in the south until 1843, when it was reincorporated as an Ottoman sanjak.

Gómez’s march

The Carlist officer Miguel Gómez led a small force from Amurrio across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostella and then south through Leon and Castile, in an unauthorized expedition deep into the Liberal heartland, capturing and abandoning many cities along the way. In October, he took Córdoba, making it as far as Algeciras on the south coast near Gibraltar before returning to Bilbao by way of Aragon. Over his 4,500 km march, Gómez successfully recruited, disarmed, or diverted over a 100,000 Liberal troops.

Egyptian conquest of Nejd

Egyptian troops led by Ismail Bey invaded central Arabia, occupying Riyadh in May 1837 and forcing the ruler of Nejd, Faisal ibn Turki, to flee to Hofuf. The Egyptians replaced Faisal with his rival, Khalid ibn Saud, but were defeated near al-Hilwa in July when they attempted to conquer southern Nejd. Despite this setback, the arrival of reinforcements in early 1838 allowed the Egyptians to resume their campaign, capturing Faisal and ending his resistance by the end of that year.

Separation of Hanover

As the Salic Law prevailing in the Kingdom of Hanover barred succession to or through a woman, the personal union between Hanover and the United Kingdom ended when Victoria succeeded to the British throne. Instead, 66-year-old Ernest Augustus - Duke of Cumberland and younger brother of King William IV - became King of Hanover, which he ruled until his death in 1851.

Accession of Queen Victoria

Upon the death of King William IV, his niece and heir - Alexandrina Victoria - became Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom at the age of 18. She would reign for over 63 years - until 1901 - in a period of major British modernization and imperial expansion that would become known as the Victorian era.

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