The Old World

Prince von Metternich ca. 1815

1815 - Congress of Vienna established a balance of power in Europe that kept the general peace for 100 years.

1819 - Queen Victoria born, ruled 1837-1901 during the Pax Britannica era of relative peace, preserved by the British Navy that guarded the pathways to Empire.

1840 - Britain defeated China in the Opium War and took Hong Kong.

1848 - Revolutions of 1848, Metternich resigned, Franz Joseph became Hapsburg Emperor.

1854 - The Crimean War did not stop Russian expansion ro the Great Game for central Asia.

1855 - King Leopold II of Belgium took the Congo, setting off a race for African colonies.

1858 - Britain took over the govenment of India after the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857.

1862 - Otto von Bismarck became minister-president of Prussia and declared "The great questions of the day will not be decided by speeches and resolutions of majorities - that was the mistake of 1848 and 1849 - but by iron and blood."

1867 - Dual Monarchy created with Emperor Franz Josef ruling over Austria and Hungary.

Otto von Bismarck ca. 1884

1871 - Bismarck became chancellor, and Wilhelm I became emperor, of the new German Empire after defeating France in the Franco-Prussian war.

1879 - Dual Alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary was Bismarck's foundation of stability in central Europe, preserving a peace and balance of power through diplomacy, and restraining Austrian ambitions in the Balkans.

1881 - France occupied Tunisia, Italy feared it was losing colonial balance of power with France.

1882 - Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy to be renewed every five years.

1883 - British took control of Egypt but lost the Sudan with the death of General Gordon at Khartoum 1885.

1884 - "The Scramble for Africa" at the Berlin Conference by 14 nations, called by Bismarck to maintain balance of power by imperialist nations, defining protectorates and spheres of influence.

Kaiser Wilhelm II ca. 1888

1888 - Wilhelm II succeeded his father as Emperor of Germany, determined to promote unity and conservatism through imperialism, replace Realpolitik with Weltpolitik (world policy), and replace the Pax Britannica with a Pax Germanica.

1890 - Bismarck resigned, unable to restrain an increasingly divided Reichstag of socialists, Catholics, farmers, industrialists.

1893 - Franco-Russian Alliance formed Jan. 4 by the France and Russia in response to the Triple Alliance and to Russia's need of French investment capital to build the Trans-Siberian Railway. The exchange of notes had started in 1891 with the vague promise to consult each other in the August Convention, and concluded 18 months later in the week starting Dec. 27, 1893, with a military defense alliance. After the Entente Cordiale in 1904 with France, Sir Edward Grey would expand the Entente system with Russia in 1907.

Horatio Kitchener ca. 1898

1894 - Britain confiscated Zululand that became part of the Natal.

1897 - Kaiser Wilhelm appointed Bernhard von Bulow as foreign minister; Germany occupied Kiaochow in China, in 1898 created the Navy League and passed the first German Navy Law, in 1899 bought the Caroline Islands from Spain, and divided western New Guinea with the British, in 1900 gained German Samoa.

1898 - Kitchener reconquered the Sudan at Omdurman.

1899 - Boer War until 1902.

1902 - Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902 ended Britain's "splendid Isolation" followed by the 1904 Entente Cordiale and the 1907 Anglo-Russian entente.




revised 9/13/06 by Schoenherr | WWI Timeline | Links | Topics | Maps | Reserve | Reference | 1900