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Map of the territorial changes after the German-Danish War
Storming the Düppeler Schanzen Friedrich Karl Nikolaus von Prussia storms the Düppeler Schanzen
in the German-Danish War .
Abraham Lincoln 1864 Abraham Lincoln is re-elected as President of the United States . Original signatures under the Geneva ConventionThe first Geneva Convention
is signed.
1864 in other calendars
Armenian calendar 1312/13 (turn of the year July)
Ethiopian calendar 1856/57 (September 10-11)
Baha'i calendar 20/21 (March 20/21)
Bengali solar calendar 1269/70 (beginning of April 14th or 15th)
Buddhist calendar 2407/08 (southern Buddhism); 2406/07 (alternative calculation according to Buddha's Parinirvana )
Chinese calendar 75./76. (76./77.) Cycle

Year of the Wood Rat甲子 ( at the beginning of the year Water Pig 癸亥)

Chula Sakarat (Siam, Myanmar) / Dai calendar (Vietnam) 1226/27 (turn of the year April)
Dangun era (Korea) 4197/98 (2-3 October)
Iranian calendar 1242/43 (around March 21)
Islamic calendar 1280/81 (June 5-6)
Jewish calendar 5624/25 (October 1-2)
Coptic calendar 1580/81 (September 10-11)
Malayalam calendar 1039/40
Rumi Calendar (Ottoman Empire) 1279/80 (March 1)
Seleucid era Babylon: 2174/75 (turn of the year April)

Syria: 2175/76 (turn of the year October)

Vikram Sambat (Nepalese Calendar) 1920/21 (April)

The year 1864 brought the first of the later so-called German wars of unification : After Denmark failed to fulfill a short-term ultimatum to withdraw the November constitution , Prussia and Austria attacked the kingdom and defeated it within a few months, advancing to the northern tip of Jutland . In the Treaty of Vienna , Denmark loses the duchies of Schleswig , Holstein and Lauenburg , which are temporarily administered by the victorious powers in the form of a condominium . During the German-Danish War , auxiliaries and delegates took part in a war under the sign of the Red Cross for the first time , and in August the first of the Geneva Conventions drawn up by Gustave Moynier “on the alleviation of the plight of military personnel wounded in the field service” was signed in Geneva .

In the war of secession , the predominance of people and war material on the side of the Union is now prevailing , which, as General Ulysses Grant expects, can cope with a war of attrition more easily. The fighting is still fierce, but with very few exceptions the battles are shifting to Confederation territory , with Union generals increasingly pursuing a scorched earth policy. After the battle in Mobile Bay , Wilmington is the only seaport left in Confederate hands. With the tailwind of these military successes president wins Abraham Lincoln , who founded the Republicans together with parts of the Democratic National Union Party competes, the presidential election in November convincing. Its vice-president becomes the Democrat Andrew Johnson .

In the meantime, the Second Empire is proclaimed in Mexico with the support of the French intervention troops and the naive-romantic Habsburg Duke Maximilian Ferdinand accepts the crown offered to him at Miramare Castle near Trieste, while President Benito Juárez wins the support of the population with extensive land reforms.

In Poland , after a year, the January uprising against Russian rule collapses and in South America, the Spanish-South American War and the Triple Alliance War break out at the same time, two supraregional wars.


Politics and world events

January 1st

Switzerland : Jakob Dubs becomes Federal President .

January 14th

Kit Carson begins his campaign against the Navajo people .

January 16

Ultimatum from Austria and Prussia to Denmark

February 1st

The German-Danish War begins.

February 2nd

Battle of Missunde in the German-Danish War

February 6th

Battle of Oeversee in the German-Danish War

February 15th

José María Medina becomes President of Honduras .

February 17th

Civil War : The CSS Hunley submarine sinks the Housatonic .

1st March

Atanasio Cruz Aguirre becomes President of Uruguay .

March 10th

Ludwig II becomes King of Bavaria .

17. March

Storming of the Düppeler Schanzen in the German-Danish War
Konstantin Kanaris becomes Prime Minister of Greece .

9th April

Battle of Pleasant Hill in the Civil War

10th of April

Maximilian I is proclaimed Emperor of Mexico .

12. April

Battle of Fort Pillow in the Civil War

April 14th

The Spanish-South American War begins.

April 18

Sea battle near Jasmund (1864) in the German-Danish War

April 25

London Conference (1864) .

1st of May

The gate lock is lifted in Lübeck .

May 5th / 6th

Battle of the Wilderness in the Civil War

8th of May

The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in the Civil War begins.

May 9

Sea battle off Heligoland in the German-Danish War

May 11th

Battle of the Yellow Tavern in the Civil War

May 11th

Battle of New Market in the Civil War

May 21

The Republic of the Ionian Islands becomes part of Greece .
The battle at Spotsylvania Court House ends.

28th of May

The Montana Territory in the USA is established.

31. May

The Battle of Cold Harbor in the Civil War begins.

at the beginning of June

Foundation of the National Union Party in the USA

2th of June

The Caucasus War ends.

June 9th

The siege of Petersburg in the Civil War begins.

June 12

The Battle of Cold Harbor ends.

June 19th

Alabama question : The Kearsarge sinks the Alabama .

June 24th

Carlsbad Agreement

25th June

Karl becomes King of Württemberg .
The conference in London fails.

July 11th

The Danish government of Monrad resigns.

July 14th

Rainilaiarivony becomes head of government in Madagascar .

July 28th

Indian Wars : Battle of Killdeer Mountain

30th July

Crater battle in the Civil War

5th of August

January uprising in Poland: Romuald Traugutt is executed.
Battle of Mobile Bay in the Civil War

20th of August

Hamaguri Gate Uprising in Japan

August 22nd

The first Geneva Convention is signed.

1. - 8. September

Charlottetown Conference in British North America

September 2nd

Civil War: William T. Sherman Captures Atlanta , Georgia.

September 15th

Florence becomes the capital of Italy .

September 22

Battle of Fishers Hill in the Civil War

10 - October 27

Québec Conference in British North America

October 19th

Battle of Cedar Creek and St. Albans Civil War Incident

30th of October

The Peace of Vienna ends the German-Danish War.

October 31

Nevada becomes the 36th US state .

November 8th

Abraham Lincoln wins the 1864 presidential election in the United States

November 11th

Civil War: William T. Sherman burns down Atlanta .

November 29th

Indian Wars: Sand Creek Massacre

30th of November

Battle of Honey Hill and Battle of Franklin in the Civil War

13th December

The Triple Alliance War begins in South America.

December 16

Battle of Nashville in the Civil War

21st December

Civil War: William T. Sherman Captures Savannah , Georgia.

24. - 27. December

First bombardment of Fort Fisher in the Civil War

Ongoing events
French intervention in Mexico (since 1861)
Civil War in North America (since 1861)
Prussian constitutional conflict (since 1860)
Rotativismo in Portugal (since 1856)
Nian uprising (since 1853) against the Qing dynasty in China (since 1644)
Bakumatsu (since 1853) of the Edo period in Japan (since 1603)
Second French Empire in France (since 1852)
Founding period in Germany and Austria (since around 1840)
Tanzimat reforms in the Ottoman Empire (since 1839)
Victorian Age in Great Britain (since 1837)

German-Danish War

Storming of the Schwartau turnpike by H. Suhling
Contemporary depiction of the Battle of Oeversee, woodcut 1864
Sea battle at Jasmund by Alexander Kircher
  • March 17 : The Prussian attempt to weaken the Danish blockade fleet fails in the naval battle near Jasmund due to material inferiority. It is the first naval battle by a Prussian Navy association since it was founded in 1848.
  • April 18th : The storming of the Düppeler Schanzen by the Prussians under Prince Friedrich Karl decides the German-Danish War in favor of the Prussians and Austrians. According to legend, the pioneer Carl Klinke helped the Prussians to victory with his explosive charge. The Danish commander Claude du Plat is killed in the battle.
  • April 25 : Representatives of the European states meet in London to find a solution to the conflict. The conference ends on June 25th with no result.
  • May 9 : Denmark defeats Prussia and Austria in a naval battle off Heligoland after the Austrian admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff , whose flagship caught fire, withdrew. The Danish victory, however, no longer has any effect on the outcome of the war.
  • May 12th : A ceasefire in the German-Danish War is negotiated at the London Conference . Negotiations about a possible national division of Schleswig between Germany / Prussia and Denmark bring no result, whereupon the war briefly flares up again.
  • June 24th : Austria and Prussia reach the Karlovy Vary Agreement after it became clear that the London conference would not bring any result. In the seven-point agreement, they agree, among other things, to occupy the island of Alsen and all of Jutland as further operational targets. In support of the attack on Alsen, a mock attack is to be carried out against the island of Funen in order to bind the Danish forces there.
  • June 25 : After two months, the London Conference - the attempt to end the German-Danish war by diplomatic means - ends without result.
The storming of the island of Alsen by the Prussians , Wilhelm Camphausen , 1866

Kingdom of Württemberg

Opening of the state parliament by King Karl shortly after he took office, painting by Louis Braun

Further events in the German Confederation

Ludwig II in the coronation mantle , Ferdinand von Piloty , 1865

Poland / Russia

Count Muravyov-Wilensky
  • April: When leader Romuald Traugutt is arrested by the Russian army, the January uprising in Poland collapses. Traugutt will be executed on August 5th in the Warsaw Citadel . A group of partisans under the priest Stanisław Brzóska can stay in Congress Poland until December . After the suppression of the uprising, around 128 people involved were executed and around 10,000 were exiled. Governor Mikhail Muravyov-Vilensky then sets comprehensive and rigorous steps in the area of Belarus Russification order. Polish will be abolished as the official language, the dominant position of the Roman Catholic Church and the Polish nobility in social hierarchy, education and economy will be reset. The measures lead to the impoverishment of the Poles and a wave of emigration.


Konstantin Kanaris as Prime Minister

Other events in Europe

  • For the first time in the UK, a Contagious Diseases Act is being enacted, which allows prostitutes with an STD to be detained in workhouses. In the years that followed, many women from all walks of life turned against the double standard , according to which prostitutes can be criminalized and subjected to degrading investigations, but their customers remain unmolested. From this the suffragette movement eventually developed . Josephine Butler will be the figurehead for the fight against the Contagious Diseases Act .

United States / Confederate States of America

Political and strategic developments in the Civil War
Radical election poster
Election poster for the National Union Party during the 1864 election campaign
Édouard Manet : Naval Battle between the Kearsarge and the Alabama (oil on canvas, 1864)
Democratic election campaign poster
  • August 29th to 31st : At their convention in Chicago, the Democrats nominate war supporter George B. McClellan as a presidential candidate and provide him with war opponent George H. Pendleton as a running mate .
  • September 22nd : In order to avoid a split in the Republican vote and the threat of defeat for the abolitionists, John C. Frémont renounces his candidacy. John Cochrane shares this decision.
United States after the admission of Nevada
Election result of the 1864 presidential election
Eastern theater of war

Overland campaign

The path of the two armies from the Wilderness to Spotsylvania
Confederate rift system at bloody angle, Spotsylvania Court House, photo taken May 12th
Battle of Cold Harbor, Kurz & Allison, 1888

Richmond-Petersburg campaign

The Dictator siege mortar off Petersburg
  • June 9 : The siege of Petersburg , Virginia's second largest city, begins by the Union Potomac Army.
  • July 30th : In the crater battle as part of the siege of Petersburg , the southern states defeat the northern states after the latter have trapped themselves in a crater that they themselves had previously blown into the ranks of the southern army.

Shenandoah Valley

Battle of Fishers Hill
Philip Sheridan on his Winchester horse at the Battle of Cedar Creek

More locations in the east

Western Theater of War and Trans-Mississippi
Western theater of war 1864

Red River Campaign

Atlanta Campaign and March to the Sea

Combat operations in Tennessee

Battle of Nashville

Sea warfare and fighting along the Mississippi

The CSS Hunley in dry dock
Battle of Mobile Bay , painting by Louis Prang


Other events in the western territories
  • January 14 : Kit Carson begins his campaign against the Navajo (Diné) people, with which he was commissioned by the US government the previous year. After a brief siege in the Canyon de Chelly , into which they have withdrawn, the last of the Navajo give up.
Route of the Long March (yellow)
  • March: The Diné's “Long March” begins. By 1868, more than 8,500 people were forcibly relocated from their home in what is now Arizona on a 480 kilometer route to Bosque Redondo in what is now New Mexico. Numerous Navajos do not survive the march.
The borders of the three territories 1864
Depiction of the massacre by Howling Wolf
  • November 29 : Around 600 members of the 3rd and 1st Colorado Cavalry Regiments under Colonel John M. Chivington perpetrate the Sand Creek massacre on Cheyenne and some Arapaho people who are in winter camp in Colorado Territory . Most of the 133 victims are women and children; most of the warriors were on the hunt at the time of the massacre. George Bent and Howling Wolf are among the few survivors who can report on the massacre. When the American public heard of the events, they were shocked and investigations were opened. However, Chivington will never be held responsible for the crime. The incident led to a campaign of revenge known as the Julesburg Raids by Sioux- backed Cheyenne and Arapaho early the following year .


Following the election victory of the Conservatives on 30 May form Étienne-Paschal Taché and John Macdonald in from French-speaking Lower Canada and English-speaking Upper Canada existing Province of Canada a government. In June, the Liberals under George Brown and George-Étienne Cartier join the government. The resulting grand coalition is increasingly dedicated to the project of a federal state .

The Charlottetown Conference delegates on the stairs of Government House

From September 1st to 8th the Charlottetown Conference will take place in Charlottetown , the capital of Prince Edward Island , an international conference at which representatives of various colonies in British North America will discuss the possible merger of a Canadian Confederation for the first time .

The delegates to the Québec Conference

In Quebec is from 10 to 27 October , the Quebec Conference held a follow-up conference of the Charlottetown Conference , the delegates of the Province of Canada and the British colonies of New Brunswick , Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Iceland on future Canadian Confederation advice. Newfoundland is not directly involved in the conference, but it sends two observers. The main point of contention at the conference is the clash between the delegates, who are calling for a strong central government, and those who stand up for extensive provincial rights, especially the French-speaking provinces, as they fear the loss of their cultural identity under a central government. The delegates finally agree on a compromise in which power is to be shared between federal and provincial governments. They also resolve the establishment of an elected House of Commons and a Senate composed of appointed MPs . The “Seventy-Two Resolutions” ultimately determine the structure of the future Canadian constitution .


Emperor Maximilian of Mexico

The conservative junta in Mexico , supported by the French intervention troops, proclaims the Second Empire in the country and offers the crown to the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian , the younger brother of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I.

Cesare Dell'Acqua : Maximilian receives the Mexican delegation.

Against the will of his family and renouncing his inheritance claims in the Austrian Empire , Maximilian accepted the crown on April 10 at Miramare Castle near Trieste on the condition that his rule was wanted by the Mexican people. The delegation then presented him with a fake referendum and assured him that the Mexican people wanted nothing more than him as emperor. At this point in time, Benito Juárez has already been proclaimed President of Mexico again and his successful land reform is growing in popularity in the country.

When Maximilian and his wife Charlotte arrived in Mexico on May 29, the country was politically divided. The conservatives loyal to the emperor rule in Mexico City and the center of the country, while the liberals under President Juárez have their stronghold in Veracruz . The imperial couple had to fight their way to the capital under adverse circumstances. There he had Chapultepec Castle converted into an imperial residence and the Paseo de la Emperatriz built as a direct connection road and his official residence on the Zócalo .

The French general François-Achille Bazaine won numerous victories against the republican troops and was promoted to Marshal of France on September 5th .

With liberal ideas such as the ban on child labor, maximum working hours and the introduction of a constitutional monarchy, Maximilian loses the support of a large part of the conservatives in the course of the year and can ultimately only rely on the European intervention troops.

Other events in Central America

South America

Atanasio Cruz Aguirre


Empire of China


About 150 samurai, priests and farmers from the Daimyat Mito gather on March 27 on Mount Tsukuba and declare their intention to propagate sonnō jōi . On their way through several feudal, during which increased their number to 1,500 to 2,000, they provide in the following months, several battles with the troops of the Tokugawa - shogunate , are deposited until in December of the same year. These riots, known as Tengu uprisings (天狗 党 の 乱, Tengutō no ran ), are the first early forerunners of the later Meiji Restoration .

Color woodcut by Mori Yūzan

On August 20, there is an uprising at the Hamaguri Gate in Kyoto , triggered by political dissatisfaction among population groups under the slogan Sonnō jōi . The uprising was brutally suppressed relatively quickly.

Consumed battery at Shimonoseki
British naval brigade and marines storm the stockade at Shimonoseki ( Illustrated London News , December 1864)

In retaliation for attacks by the Mōri clan and irregular troops in the previous year on foreign ships passing the Kammon Strait between Honshū and Kyūshū , naval forces from Great Britain , the Netherlands , France and the United States seized fortifications as part of a punitive expedition in August and September of the fiefdom of Chōshū in Nagato Province . The aim of the Shimonoseki bombing is to ensure free passage for foreign ships through the road, as it is the fastest sea route from Nagasaki to Osaka and Edo . The Allies then land marines to complete the demolition of the fortifications. Chōshū then quickly seeks peace. After the end of the hostilities, the foreign powers demand compensation for their expenses.

A group of Kiheitai , around 1864/65

The military conflicts make the inferiority of the Sonnō jōi rebels clear to the Western powers and the Bakufu . Therefore, the rebelling Han are beginning to move away from their xenophobic position and to cooperate with the foreign powers. Sonnō jōi becomes the sole catchphrase for the replacement of the shogunate. Satsuma , Chōshū and Tosa establish extensive trade contacts with Great Britain. The newly established relationships are used to build powerful militias based on the Western model. Their organization differs fundamentally from the traditional Japanese military hierarchy, since for the first time non-aristocratic Japanese are also allowed to carry weapons. The best-known militia is the Kiheitai that originated in Chōshū and was built up by Takasugi Shinsaku .

Other events in Asia

Australia, New Zealand and Oceania

Frederick Weld
  • Blackbirding , the forcible recruitment of workers from Melanesia , which emerged in Australia last year , is now also being used for plantations in Fiji . By 1911 , 27,027 people had been brought to Fiji by deception or kidnapping.

International organizations

The Red Cross, a symbol of protection since 1864
Original document of the first Geneva Convention, 1864


State regulations

Business start-ups

  • Johann Karl Fix, whose father, who was born in Bavaria, followed King Otto from Wittelsbach to Greece, founds the Fix brewery in Athens , the first and until the middle of the 20th century the only large brewery in Greece.


The bridge before completion
Clifton Suspension Bridge (illustration 1879)
Bridge from 1864

Other economic events

science and technology

Africa research

Alvin J. Johnson: Africa 1864

More voyages of discovery


Science and medicine

Magnetic field lines

Teaching and Research


  • The first edition of the Hansa magazine appears, a monthly, technically oriented specialist magazine on all areas of the maritime industry, shipbuilding, ship technology and ports.


Visual arts

Oedipus and the Sphinx (Moreau)


Music and theater

The new Wallner Theater





  • February 12 : The paddle steamer Jura sinks on Lake Constance after a collision in thick fog with the steamship Stadt Zürich . The Jura traveled from Constance to Romanshorn , the city ​​of Zurich in the opposite direction. Except for the machinist and a waitress, all crew members and passengers can escape to the city ​​of Zurich . The Jura is still on the bottom of Lake Constance, between Bottighofen and Münsterlingen. When the city ​​of Zurich collided with the city ​​of Lindau a few months later , a Bavarian correspondent sarcastically suggested selling the ship to Denmark, as it had sunk more German ships than the entire Danish navy.
The dam shortly after the break
The crashed train
  • October 5 : The Indian city of Calcutta is almost completely destroyed by a cyclone that kills around 60,000 people.



January February

Wilhelm Vienna

March April

Max Weber, 1894

May June

Richard Strauss
Alois Alzheimer
Walther Nernst

July August

Frank Wedekind
Christiaan Cornelissen


Roger Casement


November December

Alfred Hermann Fried
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Camille Claudel

Exact date of birth unknown


January to March

Tomb of Maximilian II in Munich

April to June

Giacomo Meyerbeer's grave
Nathaniel Hawthorne's grave in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord
Transfer of the corpse of Wilhelm I in the early morning hours of June 30, 1864 to the burial chapel on the Württemberg

July to September

Ferdinand Lassalle, 1860

October to December

Rose Greenhow, ca.1863

Exact date of death unknown

Web links

Commons : 1864  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files