In the early 1840s, Switzerland was still more a confederation of cantons than a nation state. The leading Radical Party ...
Year of Revolution Begins
By 1848, Europe was already experiencing considerable social tension, in good part due to the rise of industrialization but also ...
Truce of Malmö
In Northern Europe, international pressure persuaded Prussia and Denmark to bring an end to the First Schleswig War and sign ...
Having imposed peace on the Sardinians, Austria now turned to crush the revolution in Hungary - even though that country was ...
North America 1849
California Gold Rush
Just days before the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in California ...
North America 1850
Compromise of 1850
With its population booming, California wanted to join the Union as a free state - naturally antagonizing the slave states. After ...
the Arctic 1850
Search for Franklin
In 1845 the renowned British explorer Sir John Franklin had set off to find the Northwest Passage, but by winter ...
Second French Empire
While the King of Prussia was backing down in Germany, the ambitious French President Louis-Napoleon was consolidating power in France ...
Outbreak of the Crimean War
In 1853, Russia occupied the Ottoman vassal states of Moldavia and Wallachia. After the Russians refused an ultimatum to withdraw ...
the Arctic 1854
Opening of Japan
Across the Pacific, Japan had kept itself closed off from the world since the 17th century, restricting its contact with ...
Siege of Sevastopol
The Allies decided to destroy Russian power in the Black Sea by capturing the key naval base of Sevastopol, on ...
the Arctic 1855
Crimean War in the Arctic
Other nations were soon to follow the United States in signing treaties with Japan, in particular Great Britain, which was ...
End of the Crimean War
The siege of Sevastopol was poorly managed by both sides, but eventually the Allies prevailed. In 1856, under the additional ...
The Great Game
The Crimean War halted Russian expansion against Turkey for two decades, but Russian consolidation in the Caucasus and expansion into ...
North America 1858
Mexican Reform War
In Mexico, the antagonism between the reform-minded Liberal Party and the Conservatives, backed by landowners and the Catholic Church, erupted ...
the Arctic 1859
Russian expeditions and settlers had been infiltrating China's Amur region since the late 1840s. After the Crimean War exposed ...
North America 1859
Raid on Harpers Ferry
The 1850s conflict in the US over slavery was not limited to Kansas. In 1859, the abolitionist John Brown and ...
North America 1860
Secession of South Carolina
By 1860, the rift between the slave states of the southern United States and the free states of the north ...
North America 1861
Fight for Kentucky
When the Civil War broke out, Kentucky had declared neutrality. This situation lasted for over three months, until a Confederate ...
North America 1862
Battle of Shiloh
Moving through Kentucky down the Tennessee River, the US took the fight in the west to the Confederacy. In an ...