Chris Harman

A people’s history of the world

Part six
The world turned upside down

Chapter 1. American prologue

Chapter 2. The French Revolution

Chapter 3. Jacobinism outside France

Chapter 4. The retreat of reason

Chapter 5. The industrial revolution

Chapter 6. The birth of Marxism

Chapter 7. 1848

Chapter 8. The American Civil War

Chapter 9. The conquest of the East

Chapter 10. The Japanese exception

Chapter 11. Storming heaven: The Paris Commune


1773: ‘Boston Tea Party’.
1775: Fighting at Lexington and Bunker Hill.
1776: American Declaration of Independence.
1781: British defeat at Yorktown.
1780s to 1830s: Spread of factory system and mining in Britain.
1789: Storming of Bastille, beginning of French Revolution.
1791: Slave revolt in St Domingue.
1792: French revolutionary war, Battle of Valmy, execution of king.
1793-94: Jacobins rule France, end of feudal dues, ‘terror’.
1794: Fall of Jacobins, ‘Thermidor’.
1793-98: British take over Saint Domingue, defeated by ex-slave army.
1797: British naval mutinies.
1798: Rising against British rule in Ireland, formation of Orange Order to combat it.
1799: Combination laws ban trade unions in Britain. Napoleon takes all power in France.
1801-03: Napoleon tries to reimpose slavery in Haiti, imprisonment and death of Toussaint, Dessalines leads ex-slave army to victory.
1804: Beethoven’s Eroica symphony.
1805: Napoleon becomes emperor.
1807: Hegel’s Phenomenology of Mind.
1807: Britain bans slave trade.
1810: First risings against Spanish rule in Mexico and Venezuela.
1810-16: ‘Luddites’ attack machines in north of England.
1814-15: Naroleon defeated. Restoration of old monarchs. Waterloo.
1811-18: Publication of novels by Jane Austen and Walter Scott.
1819: ‘Peterloo’ massacre of working class demonstrators.
1830: Revolution in Paris replaces one monarch by another.
1830s: Novels by Stendhal and Balzac.
1830: World’s first passenger railway.
1831: Faraday discovers electric induction.
1832: British middle class gets vote.

1834: Poor Law Amendment Act establishes workhouses in Britain.
Chartist movement demands vote for workers.
Opium War against China.
General strike in Lancashire.
1840s to 1860s:
Novels of Dickens, George Eliot, Brontes.
Mid-1840s: T’ai-p’ing rebels take control of nearly half of China.
1846-49: Great Irish Famine.
1847: The Communist Manifesto.
Spring 1848: Revolutions across Europe, unsuccessful rising in Ireland, last great Chartist demonstration in London.
June 1848: Crushing of workers’ movement by French bourgeoisie.
1848-49: Restoration of old monarchies across Europe.
1850s and 1860s: Spread of industry to Germany and France.
1843-56: British complete conquest of northern India.
1857: Indian Mutiny.
1857-60: Second Opium War, colonial ‘concessions’ in Chinese cities.
1859: Darwin’s The Origin of Species.
1859-71: Italy unified under king.
1861: American Civil War begins. Tsar ends serfdom in Russia.
1863: Lincoln declares end of slavery.
1865: Defeat of American South.
1864: T’ai-p’ing rebels finally crushed by British-led troops.
1866: Nobel discovers dynamite.
1867: Meiji revolution from above ends feudal rule of Tokugawa in Japan.
1867: Marx publishes Capital.
1870: Franco-Prussian War. Fall of Louis Bonaparte.
1871: Paris Commune, workers control city, then Republican government attacks city, killing thousands.
1871: Bismarck establishes German Empire under Prussian monarchy.
1873: First electrical machine.
Mid-1870s: Troops withdraw from Southern states of US, rise of ‘Jim Crow’ segregation.


Last updated on 26 January 2010