1848: Communist Manifesto, Hungarian Revolution, Gold and More

By Date

January 3 – The first President of Liberia is sworn in. His name is Joseph Jenkins Roberts.

January 12 – In Sicily, the Palermo uprising breaks out against the Bourbon kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

January 24- On the grounds of Sutter’s Mill in California, James W. Marshall finds gold, beginning the California Gold Rush.

January 31 – John C. Fremont was court-martialed on the grounds of insubordination and mutiny. The verdict was set aside by the President of the United States. Fremont retires to the California Territory.

February 2 – The Mexican-American War formally ends. The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed, ceding to the U.S. virtually all of the southwest.

February 21 – Two men, Karl Mark and Friederich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto. Also happenng in the United States, former President John Quincy Adams suffers a stroke while speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives.

March 15 – The start of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 (there’s another in the 1950s). The Hungarian Liberal leader Lajos Kossuth presents his party’s agenda to the Diet at Vienna. Both houses of the Diet will adopt the “March Laws” which creates an independent Magyar state within the Austrian Empire, and include Croatia and Transylvania to be part of the new Magyar state. Another of the March Laws was to abolish the tax exemption for nobility and the requirement that peasants provide labor to their landlords, but preserve the power of the gentry–everything was to be based on property ownership

March 24 – The First Schleswig War (aka Three Years’ War) starts. It is a military conflict in Southern Denmark and Northern German in the Schleswig-Holstein Question. The war was over who should control of the two duchies, Schleswig and Holstein.

April 10 – A Chartist rally is held in Kensington Park in London and is headed by Feargus O’Connor. He was an advocate for the Land Plan.

April 29 – Pope Pius IX published a public address announcing his refusal to support Piedmont-Sardinia in its war with Austria. Pope Pius IX seems to withdraw his moral support for the Italian unification movement.

May 1 – Phi Gamma Delta is founded

May 15 – Fundamentalists invade the French Chamber of Deputies.

May 29 – The 30th state, Wisconsin, is admitted to the union (U.S).

June 17 – The Austrian army invades Prague and crushes a working class revolt.

June 22 – The French government dissolves the national workshops in Paris. This gives the workers the choice of joining the army or going to the workshops in the provinces.

July 19 – The two-day Women’s Rights Convention is held in Seneca Falls, New York. This become known as the Seneca Falls Convention.

July 29 – The Irish Potato Famine-Tipperary Revolt. In Tipperary, there was an unsuccessful nationalist revolt against the British government and it was put down by government police.

August 17 – Yucatan officially becomes part of Mexico.

August 28 – Mathieu Luis become the first black member to join the French Parliament. He is a representative of Guadaloupe.

August 30 – Costa Rica becomes a republic.

September 12 – Influenced by the U.S. Constitution, The Swiss Federal Constitution enters into force.

October 28 – In Catalonia, Spain, The Barcelona-Mataro railroad begins service.

November 1- In Boston, Massachusetts, The Boston Female Medical School opens.

November 3 – The revised Dutch Constitution is proclaimed.

November 4 – France ratifies new Constitution.

November 7 – Zachary Taylor elected President of the United States

December 2 – Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria abdicates. His nephew Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, takes over.

December 10 – Prince Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte is elected the first President of the French Second Republic.

December 26 – Phi Delta Theta is founded.


In New York, A cholera epidemic kills 5,000

In New York, the Associated Press is founded.

In New York, the legislature passes the Married Women’s Property Act. This now allows divorced women to retain some of their property.

In London, England Queen’s College for women is founded.

John Bird Sumner becomes archbishop of Canterbury.

The British, Dutch and German governments all lay claim to New Guinea.

Admiral Nevelskoi explores the Strait of Tartary.

Elizabeth Gaskell publishes Mary Bartonanonymously.

Richard Wagner begins writing the libretto for the Ring of Nibelung(Der Ring Des Nibelungen)

Vienna abolishes serfdom.

“A Letter To the People of the United States Touching the Matter of Slavery” by Theodore Parker,a clergyman,is widely read.

In May, the German missionary and explorer, Johannes Rebmann becomes the first European to sight the snow-covered peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Opening the way for modern industrialization, Bavaria abolishes its medieval guild restrictions.

Asa Whitney invents a process for annealing car tires. This will allow the car to go faster.

An electric telegraph line opens between New York and Chicago.

Dictionary of Americanisms: A Glossary of Words and Phrases, Usually Regarded as Peculiar to the United States by John Russell Bartlett is published.

Principles of Political Economy by John Stuart Mill is published.

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray is published.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne BrÆ’¶nte is published.

The Bothie of Toberna-Vuolichby Arthur (Hugh) Clough is published.


January 21- French Composer, Henri Duarc.

January 24 – Russian Painter, Vasily Surikov.

January 27 – Japanese admiral, Togo Heihachiro.

February 5- American outlaw, Belle Star.

February 18 – Louis Comfort Tiffany.

March 19 – American lawman and famous gunfighter, Wyatt Earp.

April 7 – Archbishop of Canterbury, Randall Thomas Davidson.

April 10 – French feminist, Hubertine Auclert.

June 7 – French artist, Paul Gauguin

July 25 – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Arthur James Balfour