World Events

1776 American colonies declare independence

1783 William Pitt becomes the British prime minister; war with colonies ends with British defeat at Yorktown

1789 French Revolution begins

1806 185 ships carry 43,755 slaves to America

1807 U.S. abolishes importation of slaves

1811 London becomes first city with more than 1 million; disease, overcrowding, and crime are rife

1815 Wellington defeats Napoleon at Waterloo; France agrees to abolish slave trade; Portugal follows suit

1819 Peterloo Massacre: 11 die in a violent breakup of a mass meeting about parliamentary reform

1820 Spain becomes last major European power to abolish its slave trade

1837 Victoria becomes queen of Great Britain (reigns until 1901)

1845-46 Potato blight leads to famine in Ireland; 1 million people die and thousands emigrate to America

1848 Marx's Communist Manifesto

1848-49 Revolutions sweep Europe; cholera epidemic kills 14,000 people (10,000 in London) and precipitates municipal sanitation.

1853-56 Britain, France, and Piedmont defeat Russia in the Crimean War

British Reform

1772 Slavery abolished in England

1780 Robert Raikes founds the first Sunday school

1788 Hannah More's Thoughts on the Manners of the Great

1821 Elizabeth Fry establishes the British Society for Promoting the Reformation of Female Prisoners

1828-29 Various parliamentary acts open political offices to non-Anglicans

1831 Lord's Day Observance Society founded

1833 Lord Althrop's Factory Act mitigates child labor

1842 The Mines Act abolishes all female labor in the mines

1844-47 Factory acts reduce daily work hours to 6 for children and 10 for adults

1860 Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing

1864 Shaftesbury introduces measures to forbid the employment of boys under 10 ...

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