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Global territorial situation in 1859
Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species
Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species .
Image of the frigate Novara
The Austrian Novara expedition comes to an end.
Battle of Solferino
The Battle of Solferino decides the Sardinian War
and leads to the creation of the Red Cross.
1859 in other calendars
Armenian calendar 1307/08 (turn of the year July)
Ethiopian calendar 1851/52 (September 11-12)
Baha'i calendar 15/16 (March 20/21)
Bengali solar calendar 1264/65 (beginning of April 14th or 15th)
Buddhist calendar 2402/03 (southern Buddhism); 2401/02 (alternative calculation according to Buddha's Parinirvana )
Chinese calendar 75th (76th) cycle

Year of the Earth- Sheep 己未 ( at the beginning of the year Earth-Horse 戊午)

Chula Sakarat (Siam, Myanmar) / Dai calendar (Vietnam) 1221/22 (turn of the year April)
Dangun era (Korea) 4192/93 (October 2/3)
Iranian calendar 1237/38 (around March 21)
Islamic calendar 1275/76 (July 30/31)
Jewish calendar 5619/20 (September 28/29)
Coptic calendar 1575/76 (September 11-12)
Malayalam calendar 1034/35
Rumi Calendar (Ottoman Empire) 1274/75 (March 1)
Seleucid era Babylon: 2169/70 (turn of the year April)

Syria: 2170/71 (turn of the year October)

Vikram Sambat (Nepalese Calendar) 1915/16 (April)


Politics and world events

Sardinian war

Battles of the Sardinian War
Battle of Varese
Battle of Magenta, Adolphe Yvon
Ferdinand IV.
Agenor Gołuchowski 1859, lithograph by Josef Kriehuber


Jakob Stämpfli

Other events in Europe

Charles XV
Imam Shamil surrenders (painting by Franz Roubaud , 1886)

Spain / Morocco

Colonies in Asia



North America

United States 1859-60
John Brown

Latin America

Battle of Maiquetía


The Suez Canal

Ferdinand de Lesseps

Gold rush, silver rush and oil boom


Business start-ups



The trade exhibition in 1859

science and technology

The Novara expedition

Africa research

Natural sciences

Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species

Philosophy / Political Science / Economics


The launch of La Gloire ,
print from 1860

Theology and history

Culture and society


Visual arts

Manet: The absinthe drinker
Negro Life at the South

Music and theater


Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities
Single scene from The Little Honey Thieves



  • August 29 : Giuseppe Verdi marries his longtime partner, the former singer Giuseppina Strepponi .
  • September 17 : Joshua Norton , a businessman from San Francisco who went bankrupt the previous year, declares himself "Emperor of this United States" in letters to the local media . On October 12, he issued a decree ordering the dissolution of Congress in Washington.
  • October 10 : The Schlaraffia Men's Association , a worldwide German-speaking association for the cultivation of friendship, art and humor, is founded in Prague.


nature and environment

Sunspots and lightning bolts on September 1, 1859 drawn by Richard Carrington

In the night from September 1st to September 2nd, the solar storm of 1859 took place as the most powerful solar storm to date . The telegraph network , which was still in its infancy at this point in time, is being massively damaged, and northern lights are seen far to the south, for example in Rome, Havana and Hawaii . The English astronomer Richard Christopher Carrington observed solar flares for the first time on this occasion .


The Royal Charter by storm
  • October 26th : The British clipper Royal Charter gets caught in a severe storm off Anglesey . The ship is thrown against the rocks, breaks apart and sinks. 449 people die, including all women and children on board. The sinking of the Royal Charter is the worst shipping disaster on the coast of Wales to this day . The storm, later known as the Royal Charter storm, reached the coasts of Wales, England and Scotland a little later and wreaked havoc. 133 ships and boats are sunk, and the storm kills around 800 people.
  • November 5th : During the great fire in Rodenberg , the Rodenberg Castle burns down, among other things .
  • December 17th : In Frederiksborg Castle , the Danish royal residence, a major fire raged the day before and destroyed the furnishings in the entire main building.

Minor accidents are listed in the sub-articles of Catastrophe .


Entry ticket to the first Olympics

Historical maps and views

Bremen market square 1859



Wilhelm II.


Hugo Junkers, 1920



Edmund Husserl, 1900


Arthur Conan Doyle






Alfred Dreyfus



Exact date of birth unknown


January to April

May to August

Alexander von Humboldt, 1843
Klemens Wenzel von Metternich
Stephanie von Hohenzollern and Portugal

September to December

Wilhelm Grimm (left) and Jacob Grimm

Web links

Commons : 1859  - Collection of Images, Videos, and Audio Files