Timelines of Modern Europe

    French Revolution     Napoleonic Wars     Republican France     Unification of Italy     Rise of Prussia     German Empire     Tsarist Russia     Great War

French Revolution—1715 to 1794

Reign of Louis XV to Death of Robespierre

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Pre-revolutionary Period

1759 France loses colonies in America and India during the Seven Year's War.
1762 Rousseau publishes "The Social Contract".
1774 Louis XVI ascends to the throne.
1783 French government borrows great sums to fight the English during American Revolutionary War.
1785 "Diamond Necklace Affair" tarnishes the reputation of Maria Antoinette, discredits French monarchy.

National Constituent Assembly: 1789-1791

May 1789 Estates General convened, first time since 1614. Commoners demand that three estates sit together.
Jul 1789 Paris mob storms the Bastille prison, a symbol of Royal power.
Oct 1789 7,000 women of Paris march on Versailles to demand lower bread prices.
Jul 1790 Church property confiscated, sold to pay national debt. Priests must take oath of allegience.
Apr 1791 Death of Mirabeau leaves the royals without a mediator against the radicals.
Jun 1791 Royal family flees to Varennes—caught and forced to return to Paris.

Legislative Assembly: Oct 1791-Sept 1792

Nov 1791 All emigres are ordered to return to France or forfeit all property.
Apr 1792 France declares war against Austria, invades Belgium.
Jul 1792 Austria and Prussia begin Invasion of France.
Aug 1792 Paris commune storms Tuileries palace. Lafayette abandons Republicans, flees to Austria.
Sep 1792 Fall of Verdun leads to panic. 1400 Royalists and religious slaughtered in September Massacre.
Sep 1792 French Army, under Charles Dumouriez, stops advance of Coalition troops at the Battle of Valmy.

National Convention: Sept 1792-July 1794

Jan 1793 Trial and execution of Louis XVI.
Mar 1793 National Conscription causes riots in the Vendee. Leads to Catholic-Royalist rebellion and civil war.
Mar 1793 Committee of Public Safety is formed to protect against foreign invastion and internal rebellion.
Jun 1793 Girondist party is purged from the National Convention, leaving the radicals in charge.
Jul 1793 Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat by Charlotte Corday, a Girondist sympathizer .
Jul 1793 Louis XVII, the Dauphin is imprisoned, abused and tortured to death by a vicious cobbler.
Sep 1793 National Convention is taken over by Paris mob, demanding purges. REIGN OF TERROR begins
Sep 1793 Revolutionary calendar is introduced, Sept 22, 1792 start of year 1.
Oct 1793 Maria Antoinette, Girondists, and Madame Roland guillotined. Priests and religious shot on sight.
Nov 1793 Cult of Reason becomes official religion. "Goddess of Reason" is worshipped at Notre Dame.
Dec 1793 Fall of Toulon, Royalist stronghold. Napoleon commands artillery.
Feb 1794 Mass killings & scorched earth in the Vendee. 130,000 Catholic and Royalist supporters slaughtered.
Apr 1794 Revolutionary leader Georges Danton arrested for corruption and executed.

Thermidorian Convention: July 1794-Nov 1795

Jul 1794 Thermidorian Reaction: Danton's supporters, worrying about their own hides, execute Robespierre and his allies. They then take over the National convention and end the Reign of Terror.
Oct 1795 13 Vendemiaire: Napoleon fires on protesters in Paris, who oppose Thermidorian government.
Nov 1795 Thermidorian Convention establishes The Directory, a permanent government run by themselves.

Napoleonic Wars—1795 to 1815

French Directory to Battle of Waterloo

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Revolutionary Era: 1789-1795

Dec 1793 Napoleon defeats royalists at siege of Toulon. Distinguishes himself as artillery officer.
Jan 1795 French client state Batavian Republic is established in the Netherlands.
Oct 1795 Napoleon protects Thermidorian Convention from protestors, confiscates arms from Paris mob.

Directory: 1795-1799

Nov 1795 Thermidorian Convention establishes a 5-member executive government called The Directory.
Mar 1796 Napoleon marries Josephine Beauharnais and assumes leadership of Italian campaign.
May 1796 Successful campaign in Italy at Lodi brings France spoils of war and new sources of taxation.
Jan 1797 Victory against Austria at the Battle of Rivoli gives France control of Northern Italy.
Jul 1797 French client state Cisalpine Republic is established in Northern Italy.
Sep 1797 Coup of 18 Fructidor ousts newly elected conservatives from Directory government.
Oct 1797 Treaty of Campo-Formio with Austria cedes much Austrian territory into French hands.
Feb 1798 Roman states are invaded by French army. Pope Pius VI kidnapped, exiled to France.
Apr 1798 French client state Helvetian Republic established in Switzerland.
Jul 1798 At Battle of the Pyramids, Napoleon overthrows Mamluks, gains control of Egypt.
Aug 1798 Horatio Nelson destroys the French navy in the Battle of Nile, strands Napoleon.
Mar 1799 Napoleon's siege of Acre is broken up by British sea-power. French are forced to retreat.
Jun 1799 Austrians and Russians win back much of Northern Italy in Battle of the Trebia.

Consulate: 1799-1804

Nov 1799 Napoleon returns from Egypt and in alliance with Sieyes, becomes First Consul of France.
Jun 1800 Napoleon crosses Alps, regains control of Northern Italy at the Battle of Marengo.
Jul 1801 Napoleon signs Concordat with Pope Pius VII—ends schism with the Catholic Church.
Mar 1802 Treaty of Amiens temporarily ends conflict with Britain. French Revolutionary Wars.
May 1802 Napoleon restructures French educational system
Aug 1802 New constitution is adopted, making Napoleon First Consul for life
May 1803 France sells Louisiana Territory to United States
Mar 1804 Napoleonic Code—uniform code of civil law—is enacted.

Rise of Empire: 1804-1811

Dec 1804 Napoleon invites Pope to coronation, then crowns himself Emperor in Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Mar 1805 Cisalpine Republic is renamed Kingdom of Italy. Eugene de Beauharnais appointed viceroy.
Oct 1805 Battle of Trafalgar—French fleet is destroyed, no invasion of England possible.
Dec 1805 Battle of Austerlitz—Napoleon wins crushing victory over Austria and Russia.
Mar 1806 Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte is named King of Naples.
Oct 1806 After Prussian defeat at Jena, Napoleon creates client state, Kingdom of Westphalia.
Jul 1807 After defeat at Freidland Russia signs Treaty of Tilsit, recognizing French Warsaw.
Feb 1808 Spanish monarchy allows French army to occupy Spain (supposedly to attack Portugal).
Jul 1808 Napoleon forces Spanish king to resign, Joseph Bonaparte named King of Spain.
Jul 1809 French over-run Papal states. Pope Pius VII is kidnapped and imprisoned in Savona, France.
Dec 1809 Napoleon divorces Josephine Beauharnais, dismisses cardinals who oppose divorce.
Apr 1810 Napoleon marries Marie-Louise, Archduchess of Austria. A son is born a year of marriage.
Sep 1810 Duke of Wellington begins active campaign against the French in Spain and Portugal.

Fall of Empire: 1812-1815

Jun 1812 Napoleon crosses the Neiman River and enters Russian territory with 600,000 men.
Oct 1812 Six weeks after victory at Borodino, Napoleon orders a retreat from Moscow.
Dec 1812 Last of the straggling French troops returns across the Neiman river. Only 120,000 survive.
Apr 1813 Battle of Vittoria—Beginning of major British/Spanish offense in Spain.
Mar 1813 Emboldened by Russian disaster, Prussia declares war on France.
Jan 1814 Anti-French coalition army enters France, the Pope is freed from captivity. Paris falls in March.
Apr 1814 Napoleon abdicates, exiled to the island of Elba, off the coast of Italy.
Sep 1814 Metternich hosts Congress of Vienna, convention settles national boundaries for Europe.
Mar 1815 Escaping Elba, Napoleon returns in France. His wife Marie-Louise flees to Austria with son.
Jun 1815 Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon defeated by Duke of Wellington and Marshal Blucher.

Republican France—1815 to 1914

Restoration of Bourbons to Great War

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Restoration: 1814-1848

1815 Napoleon defeated at Waterloo, sent into exile. Marshal Ney shot as a traitor.
1815 Congress of Vienna, led by Metternich redraws map of Europe; restores monarchies.
1815 Restoration of Louis XVIII to the throne. Bonaparte family exiled from France.
1821 Death of Napoleon in exile at St. Helena.
1824 Death of Louis XVIII. Charles X ascends to the throne of France.
1827 Algiers conquered by France.
1830 Revolution of 1830. Louis Philippe, Duke of Orleans, made king. A constitutional monarchy replaces the Bourbon line.
1832 Death of Napolean II crushes hopes of Bonapartist party for a restoration of Empire.
1833 Public school established throughout France.
1842 Prince of Orleans dies unexpectedly, leaving Orleans succession in doubt.

Second Republic: 1849-1851 and Second Empire: 1852-1870

1848 Revolution of 1848. Chaos and Anarchy reign.
1849 Napoleon III is elected president of the Second republic. French troups sent to defend Rome.
1852 Napoleon III dissolves National Assembly and has himself "elected" as Emperor.
1853 Napoleon III marries Eugenie de Montijo, a French-Spanish commoner.
1853-56 France allies with England against Russian in the Crimean War.
1856-60 Opium War.
1859 France drives Austria out of Northern Italy. 2nd War of Italian Independence; Battles of Magenta, Solferino.
1862 French establish colony in "Cochin China" (modern-day Vietnam).
1861-67 French intervention in Mexico. Maximilian installed as Emperor, then deserted.
1869 Opening of Suez Canal.
1870-71 Franco Prussian War. Napoleon III resigns after capture at Battle of Sedan.

Third Republic: 1870-1914

1871 Paris Commune.
1871 Thiers, representing Orleanist faction, becomes first president of provisional Republic.
1873 McMahon, representing monarchist faction, becomes second president of provisional Republic.
1875 French constitution is ratified.
1879 Prince Napoleon, heir to the Bonaparte Monarchy, dies in Zululand.
1879 Grevey, representing republican faction, elected president.
1882 Jules Ferry Laws: Secular public schools.
1886 Statue of Liberty, designed in France, is presented as a gift to the United States.
1887 Carnot elected president.
1889 Eiffel Tower built for French World's Fair, on the anniversary of the French revolution.
1895 Favre elected president, representing the Liberal party.
1895 First trial of Alfred Dreyfuss.
1899 Second trial of Alfred Dreyfuss.
1904 Emile Combes anti-clerical scandal.
1905 Separation of Church and State. All Catholic buildings confiscated by the state.

Unification of Italy—1792 to 1925

Napoleonic Wars to Mussolini

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Rise of Italy

723 First Doge of Venice elected, after collapse of the Byzantine government
800 Northern Italy and Papal states included as "Kingdom of Italy" within the Holy Roman Empire.
1005 Republic of Genoa established as a self-governing city-state.
1154 Kingdom of Sicily established by Norman prince Roger II of Sicily.
1395 Duchy of Milan created in Northern Italy as part of Holy Roman Empire, between Savoy and Venice.
1416 Duchy of Savoy established in Northwest Italy as part of the Holy Roman Empire.
1569 Grand Duchy of Tuscany, formerly the Republic of Florence, established as part of Holy Roman Empire.

Napoleonic Era

1796 Napoleon assumes command of France's army in Italy, defeats Piedmont-Sardinia and the Duchy of Milan, then invades Venice.
1797 Battle of Rivoli, Mantua surrenders. Austrian army in Italy rounted. Parma and Modena surrender.
1797 Treaty of Campo-Formio cedes Belgium and most of Northern Italy to France, leaving only Venice to Austria.
1798 French client republics formed in Northern Italy and Switzerland.
1798 Papal States invaded. Republic of Rome formed. Pope Pius VI kidnapped, dies in France.
1799 French invasion of Southern Italy is frustrated by a peasant rebellion.
1799 Russian/Austrian offensive forces France out of Northern Italy.
1800 Napoleon seizes power in Paris and immediate leads an army to reconquer Italy.
1801 Napoleon signs concordat with Pope Pius VII, restoring some rights to the Church and ceding Papal states.
1805 Northern Duchies and client-Republics joined into a "Kingdom of Italy" with Napoleon crowned as king.
1806 Kingdom of Naples falls to the French. Napoleon's brother declared king. Later replaced by Murat
1806-1814 Secular "reforms" in Naples and Northern Italy involve closing monasteries, selling church property.
1815 Kingdoms of Italy restored to pre-1789 boundaries by the Congress of Vienna.

Revolution of 1848

1820 Revolts in Naples and Piedmont-Sardinia organized by secret societies, easily put down by conservative governments.
1831 Revolt in Rome, organized by the "Carbonari", put down by an Austrian army. The pope, Gregory XVI, flees Rome.
1845 Newly elected Pius IX implements many reforms, allows a free press and restores citizenship to many radicals and revolutionaries.
1848 Simultaneous revolts, organized by Mazzini and "Young Italy" in Naples, Piedmont-Sardinia, Milan.
1848 Tuscan and Piedmont forces invade Lombardy to expel Austria. Pope Pius IX fails to join anti-Austrian coalition, forced to flee Rome.
1849 Austria crushes rebellion in Northern Italy. France puts down rebellion in the Papal States and leaves a French guard in Rome.

Unification of Italy

1850 Victor Emmanuel II becomes king of Piedmont-Sardinia; Cavour becomes prime minster with a liberal cabinet, implements anti-clerical measures.
1852 Napoleon III becomes Emperor of France. Pledges to protect Rome from revolutionaries in order to win favor with French Catholics.
1854 Cavour sends Piedmont forces to the Crimean War in order to gain favor with France and England—lays groundwork for successful takeover of Northern Italy.
1858 Secret meeting between Cavour and Napoleon III. France gets Nice and Savoy if it helps Piedmont drive Austria out of Northern Italy.
1859 France allies itself with Piedmont against Austria. France drives Austria out of Lombardy, but drops out of coalition, leaving Austria in possession of Venice.
1860 Tuscany and northern Papal States declare for union with Piedmont-Sardinia.
1860 Garibaldi invades Sicily and Naples and brings entire kingdom under his control. He voluntarily passes control to Piedmont-Sardinia.
1861 Kingdom of Italy is declared with Victor Emmanuel II as the head. Cavour dies at the very moment of his triumph.

Consolidation of Papal States

1862 Garibaldi makes an unsuccessful attack on Rome.
1866 Italy joins Prussia in war against Austria, wins Venice as its reward.
1870 French troops abandon Rome when France is attacked by Prussia. The Pope is surrounded and forced into out of Rome, into the Papal compound in Vatican City.
1871 Rome becomes capital of Italy. Victor Emmanuel II is the first King of United Italy.

Kingdom of Italy

1929 Vatican City created as a separate state with Rome. () ?>

Rise of Prussia—1740 to 1848

Frederick the Great to Revolutions of 1848

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Rise of Prussia 1700 to 1815

1685 Edict of Potsdam establishes freedom of worship; encourages migration of Huguenots to Prussia.
1688 Death of the Great Elector, Duke of Prussia who liberalized trade and religion in the region.
1700 Holy Roman Emperor permits Frederick III of Brandenburg to crown himself king in Prussia.
1701-14 Austria gains territory in the Netherlands and Italy during the War of the Spanish Succession.
1713 Frederick William I reforms finances of Prussia and builds a large standing army.
1733-38 Prussia supports Augustus III's claim to the Polish throne in War of the Polish Succession.
1740 Frederick the Great ascends to Prussian throne. Inherits full treasury, well-drilled army.
1740-48 Prussia annexes Selesia during the War of the Austrian Succession.
1750 Voltaire resides at San Souci until he argues with his patron, Frederick the Great.
1756-63 Prussia fends off attacks from Austria, France and Russia during the Seven Year's War.
1772 First Partition of Poland enlarges Prussian territory and joins Prussia and Brandenburg.
1783 Frederick William II, a weak and indulgent prince, ascends to the throne after death of Frederick II.
1792 Prussia bows out of the French Revolutionary Wars after a loss at the Battle of Valmy.
1793 Second Partition of Poland gives Prussia control of Gdansk, and territory as far east as Krackow.
1794 Primary schooling made compulsory for all children, and role of the religious orders strictly regulated.
1797 Frederick William III ascends to the throne of Prussia and begins reform of government.
1806 Napoleon overruns Prussia after the battle of Jena-Auerstadt, partitions Polish territories.
1813 Prussia rises against France, led by Marshal Blucher.
1815 Congress of Vienna restores Prussian territory and creates the German Confederation.
1818 Prussia establishes a tarriff-free "Zollverein" customs union among German states.

Prussian Education Reforms

1763 Primary schooling made compulsory for all children, and role of religious orders is strictly regulated.
1788 National examination required for all civil service positions.
1794 All schools and Universities became state institutions.
1810 University of Berlin, founded by Baron Humboldt, became a model for modern secular Universities.
1834 Horace Mann travels to Prussia to observe educational system, then implements Prussian system in Massachusetts.

Hapsburg-Austria 1700 to 1815

1701-14 War of the Spanish Succession weakens France, gives Austria control of Northern Italy and Netherlands.
1713 Charles VI issues the "Pragmatic Sanction" to assure succession of his daughter Maria Theresa.
1740 Maria Theresa ascends to the Hapsburg throne.
1772 Maria Theresa agress, reluctantly, to the First Partition of Poland, with Russia and Prussia.
1774 Maria Antoinette marries the Dauphin of France.
1780 Joseph II, an anti-clerical "enlightened" monarch, ascends to the throne of Austria.
1782 Joseph II attempts reorganization of Austrian government; closes monasteries, secularizes schools, limits Papal influence.
1787-91 Austria unites with Russia in its war against the Ottoman Empire. Russia annexes Crimea.
1792 Francis II ascends to the throne of Austria; drawn into French Revolutionary Wars.
1791 Death of Mozart, Austrian musical genius.
1795 Austria gains more territory north of Bohemia by way of the Third Partition of Poland.
1797 France gains control of the Austrian Netherlands and Northern Italy by the Treaty of Campo Formio.
1805 Devastating loss to Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz ends the Holy Roman Empire .
1806 Hundreds of German states integrated into the French-controlled "Confederation of the Rhine" .
1814-15 The Congress of Vienna, led by Metternich, restores most of Northern Italy to Austrian control.

German Empire—1848 to 1912

Bismarck Prime Minister to Balkan Wars

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Unification of Germany

1815 Congress of Vienna restores Prussian territory and creates the German Confederation.
1817 Reformed and Lutheran congregations are united in the "Prussian Union of Churches".
1833-66 Prussia establishes the "Zollverein"; a free-tarriff customs union among German states.
1848 Revolutions of 1848 spread to Berlin and German capitals, demanding freedom of press, more liberties.
1849 Frederick William IV rejects the crown of Germany offered to him by the Frankfurt Parliament.
1861 Kaiser William I ascends to the throne of Prussia, appoints Otto von Bismarck as Prime Minister.
1864 Schleswig-Holstein War: Prussia gains provinces in southern Denmark.
1866 Austro Prussian War settles power struggle in favor of Prussia over Austria.
1870 Franco Prussian War: Germany humiliates France, annexes Alsace and Lorrane.
1871 German Confederation is united into an Empire.

Prewar Germany

1871-78 KulturKamph: Bismarck institutes a program of persecution and repression of Catholics in Germany.
1882 Bismarck negotiates a "Triple Alliance" military league between Germany, Austria, and Italy.
1884 Germany takes leading role in "Scramble for Africa"; gains colonies in Namibia and East Africa.
1888 Kaiser William II becomes German Emperor, King of Prussia, Kaiser II.
1889 Bismarck sponsors wide-ranging social insurance programs in order to subvert Socialism in Germany.
1890 Kaiser William II dismisses Bismarck from his circle of advisors, promotes young ambitious ministers.
1900 Germany begins massive build up of navy, intended to threaten British supremacy.
1904 Morrocan crisis worsens Germany's relationship with Britain and France.

19th century Austria

1815 Congress of Vienna restores Austrian territory in Italy.
1835 Ferdinand I ascends to the throne, but leaves government in hands of conservative Metternich.
1848 Rebellions in Milan and Italians states put down by Austrian general Radetzky.
1848 As a result of rebellion in Vienna, Metternich goes into exile and Franz Joseph I ascends to the throne.
1849 The Hungarian Revolution, led by Louis Kossuth, is put down by Austria.
1860 Austria loses control of Italian territories during Italian Unification.
1866 Austria loses position of influence in German Confederation after disastrous Austro Prussian War.
1889 Murder-suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf leaves Franz Joseph without an heir.

Balkan States

1804-17 Serbian Uprisings: Serbia gains de facto independence from Ottoman Empire.
1821-32 Greco-Turkish Wars: Russian, England, and France help Greece win independence from Ottomans.
1863 Greece adopts a constitution, and George I, of the house of Schleswig-Holstein, becomes king.
1866 Romania gains de facto independence, and elects Carol I, of the house of Hohenzollern, as king.
1876 Uprising in Ottoman-controlled Bulgaria leads to massacre of over 30,000 rebels and civilians.
1877-78 Russo Turkish Wars: Bulgaria gains autonomy from Ottomans; Romania, Serbia, recognized.
1887 Ferdinand I, of the house of Saxe-Coburg, becomes king of Bulgaria.
1908 Austria annexes Bosnia and Sarajevo.
1908 Young Turk revolution in Turkey compels the Sultan to resign, establish a constitution .
1912-13 Balkan Wars: Serbia, Greece, and Bulgaria drive the Ottomans out of Thrace and Albania.

Tsarist Russia—1682 to 1917

Peter the Great to Bolshevik Revolution

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18th Century Russia

1682 Peter the Great assumes the throne of Russia
1689 Peter stages a rebellion to take power from his regent older sister.
1695-96 Russo Turkish Wars: Azov Campaign, Russia captures Azov, gains access to Black Sea.
1697 Peter's expedition to Western Europe cut short by a rebellion against him in Russia.
1700-1709 Great Northern War: Peter the Great vs. Charles XII
1704 Second Battle of Narva: Russians acquire a Baltic port, four years after disastrous first attempt.
1709 Battle of Poltava: Russians win decisive victory in Ukraine, Charles XII flees to the Ottoman Empire.
1703 City of St. Petersburg is established on the marshy banks of the Neva River.
1710-11 Russo Turkish Wars: Pruth River Campain, Ottoman victory over Russia, loss of Azov
1714 Peter I issues decree requiring modern compulsory education for all children of nobility.
1718 Alexei, son of Peter and heir to the throne, tried for treason and executed.
1722 Peter overhauls Russian civil service administration, implements many modernizing reforms.
1733 Vitus Bering leads the "Great Northern Expedition" to map Russian territory in Siberia.
1741-62 Reign of Elizabeth of Russia, daughter of Peter the Great.
1753 Elizabeth orders expansion and remodel of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.
1759 Russian forces inflict devasting defeat on Frederick the Great at the Battle of Kunersdorf.
1762 Peter III ascends throne but is overthrown by a palace coup, lead by his wife Catherine the Great.
1768-74 Russo Turkish Wars: Russians win control of Ukraine, Crimea, northern Caucuses.
1764 Catherine confiscates church property, closes monasteries, exiles 20,000 "Old Believers" who object to reforms to Siberia.
1772 First Partion of Poland, Russia annexes White Russia (Belarus), and Livonia (Latvia).
1795 Thaddeus Kosciusko's rebellion leads to Third Partion of Poland. Russia absorbs Lithuania and makes Poland a client-state.
1796 Paul I ascends to the throne on the death of Catherine the Great.
1798 French Revolution: Russian general Alexander Suvorov drives the French out of Northern Italy.

19th Century

1801 Alexander I ascends to the throne after the assassination of his father Paul I.
1809 Duchy of Finland is annexed to Russia after Finnish War with Sweden .
1807 Alexander I signs Treaty of Tilsit, making peace with France, after costly Friedland campaign.
1811 Russo Turkish Wars: Russia annexes Moldavia from Ottoman Empire.
1812 Napoleon's retreat from Moscow: Russia's scorched earth campaign devastates French army.
1815 Alexander I plays a key role in the defeat of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna.
1821-32 Greco-Turkish Wars: Russian, England, and France help Greece win independence from Ottomans.
1825 Decembrist revolt, seeking to overthrow the Tsar, alienates Nicholas I from modernist reforms.
1829 Treaty with the Ottomans gives Russia access to the Black Sea and the Danube, and makes Russia the protector of Balkan Slavs.
1853-56 Crimean War: France and England help Ottoman Empire resist further expansion of Russia.
1855-1881 Reign of Alexander II, reformer and liberator.
1859 Chechnya and Dagestan surrender to Russia, after long war in the Caucases led by Imam Shamil.
1861 Alexander II abolishes serfdom, reducing the power of the landed gentry.
1862 Nihilist movement, advocating anarchy, communism, and radical remaking of society gains popularity among Russian intellectuals.
1863 Uprisings in Poland put down with great brutality. Poland becomes a province of Russia.
1863 Separatist movements crushed in Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland. Native languages banned.
1869 Leo Tolstoy publishes "War and Peace"; begins pacifist political movement.
1878 Russo Turkish Wars: Bulgaria is freed from Ottoman control. the independence of Serbia and Romania are recognized.
1866-80 Alexander III survives 5 assassination attempts between 1866 and 1880.
1881 Assassination of Alexander III by anarchist group set back reforms in Russia for a generation.
1892 Russia makes military alliance with France in order to oppose Germany.

20th century

1894 Nicholas II ascends to the throne of Russia
1902 Vladimer Lenin publishes "What is To Be Done", the manifesto of the Bolshevik party.
1904 Russian navy is humiliated and anhililated in the Russo Japanese War.
1905 Political and social unrest throughout Russia organized by political activists.
1906 Russian constitution enacted and legislative body convened as a response to revolutions of 1905.
1906 Worker's councils, called "Soviets" are organized throughout Russia by political activists.
1912-13 Servo-Bulgarian Wars: Serbia, Greece, and Bulgaria drive the Ottomans out of Thrace and Albania.
1914 Russia declares war on Austria on behalf of its ally Serbia. Poor organization of war effort leads to domestic crises throughout Russia.
1917 February Revolution: Nicholas II abdicates the throne after a rebellion breaks out in St. Petersburg.
1917 October Revolution: Bolsheviks seize control of the government and exile moderate political opponents.
1918 Lenin makes peace with Germany. Treaty of Brest-Litovsk cedes control of much eastern territory.
1917-22 Russian Civil War: Bolsheviks prevail over pro-imperial and anti-communist "white" Russian forces.

Great War—1914 to 1918

Assassination of Archduke to Armistice

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Events leading up to the Great War

1911 Second Moroccan crisis leads to increased tension between Germany and allied Britain and France.
1912 Balkan Wars: Bulgaria and Serbia drive Turkey out of the Balkan Peninsula.
1913 Coup d'etat in Turkey puts goverment in hands of Turkish nationalists.


Jun 28 Murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand.
July 28 Austria declares war on Serbia, drawing Russia into war to defend its interests in the Balkans.
Aug 3 Germany declares War on France.
Aug 20 Germany breaks treaties, enters Brussels, causing England to declare war on Germany.
Sep 6 First Battle of Marne—French Victory.
Dec 24 First German Air-raid on Britain.


Apr 17 Battle of Ypres—First use of Poison Gas.
Apr 25 Allied troops land on Gallipoli
May 7 British Passenger Liner Lusitania sunk by the Germans.
May 23 Italy breaks alliance with Central Powers, enters war on the side of the Allies.
Oct 13 German execute Edith Cavell, an British nurse
Oct 14 Bulgaria enters the war in alliance with the Central Powers.
Dec 19 Britain withdraws from Gallipoli.


Feb-Dec Battle of Verdun kills over 250,000 soldiers; over a million French and German wounded.
May 31 Naval battle of Jutland.
Jul-Nov Battle of Somme kills or wounds over a million British and German soldiers.
Aug 29 Hindenberg takes supreme command of German armies.


Jan 22 Woodrow Wilson gives "Peace without Victory" speech, proposing armistice.
Feb 27 February Revolution in Russia overthrows the Tsar, establishes provisional government.
Mar 11 Bagdhad captured by British.
Apr 6 America declares War on Germany .
Nov 7 Overthrow of Kerensky's government by the Bolsheviks—Russia withdraws from the war.


Apr 9 German offensive between Ypres and Arras.
May 27 German offensive near Chateau-Thierry and Marne River.
Jun 11 American offensive in Belleau Wood.
Jul 18 Second Battle of Marne—Allied Victory.
Sep 22 British victory over the Turks in Palestine.
Oct 1 Hindenberg Line, taken by the French.
Oct German Losses at Laon, Ostend, Lille, Aleppo.
Nov 11 Armistice signed between Allies and German powers.