Part I-1878-1888

September 2 1878-William I German Emperor finally succumbs to his wounds from the assassination attempt of anarchist Karl Nobiling. He is succeeded by his liberal son Frederick III.

October 7 1879-The Dual Alliance between Austria-Hungary and the Empire of Germany is signed.

June 29 1880-France annexes Tahiti, thus giving them a Pacific Naval base.

March 13 1881-Alexander II of Russia survives an assassination attempt and continues in his attempts to reform the Russian Empire.

May 12 1881-Tunisia becomes a French protectorate thus making the Italians start searching for potential European allies.

September 13 1882-The conclusion of the Anglo-Egyptian War results in Egypt becoming a British protectorate.

November 28 1882-Triple Alliance between Austria-Hungary, the Kingdom of Italy and the German Empire is signed.

July 5 1882-Cameroon is added to the German Colonial Empire.

February 26 1885-The Berlin Conference ends having formalised the scramble for Africa.

March 26 1885-Frederick III begins to enact his Imperial Decree for Territorial Reform, so as to lessen the Prussian domination of the German state and to give the states a more equal footing, within the Empire.

29 August 1886-Tsar Alexander II dies and is succeeded by his reactionary and conservative son Alexander III.

April 21 1887-Schaebele incident on the French-German border almost leads to war between the two countries.

June 15 1888-German Emperor Frederick III, survives a risky throat operation to remove a tumour, and continues to rule.

Part II 1889-1901

January 27 1889-General Georges Boulanger unites various reactionary forces who are displeased with the French Third Republic and overthrow him in a coup d’état. Boulanger distrusting the various Monarchist claimants, established a monarchy without a monarch (something the Spanish Nationalists would attempt to do in the Civil War) and becomes Consul of the French Empire.

November 15 1889-German forces intervene in Brazil (a valuable trading partner) and defeat the Republican rebels thus keeping Emperor Peter II (Dom Pedro II) on the throne.

January 1 1890-Eritrea is established as Italy's first African colony.

March 20 1890-Otto von Bismarck retires from politics and takes up the honorary position of Otto von Bismarck, Count of the House of Hohenzollern in recognition of his services to the Imperial Family and Germany.

November 23 1890-Luxembourg becomes independent.

May 11 1891-Tsesarevich Nicholas survives an assassination attempt on his life while on tour in Japan. Tensions between the Russians and Japanese increase.

August 27 1891-France & Russia sign a defensive alliance.

September 19 1893-New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to give women the vote.

October 15 1894-Dreyfus Affair. French officer, Alfred Dreyfus is arrested for spying.

November 1 1894-Tsar Alexander III dies and is succeeded by his son Nicholas II.

January 2 1895-A referendum is passed, allowing the second stage of Frederick's territorial reform programme to go ahead.

April 6 1896-The first modern Olympic Games are held in Athens, Greece.

August 1-12 1897-Riots lead by socialists and anarchist break out in Paris in protest at the government's decision to ban trade unions. The army is sent in and violence ensues. In the aftermath the Socialist Party is banned and the anarchists are imprisoned.

February 15 1898-Spanish American war begins after the explosion of the USS Maine in Havana Harbour.

September 18 1898-Fashoda incident leads to isolated skirmishes between French and British forces. However, despite attempts at mediation by the Germans and Americans, it is to no avail and the short lived Fashoda War breaks out between the two nations.

October 12 1898-Fashoda war begins with Battle of Alexandria between British and French naval forces. Result is indecisive.

October 29 1898-Fashoda war ends after peace treaty signed (Treaty of Antwerp) in which the sides agree to return to the status quo bellum. However Anglo-French relations remain tense, and Britain now become closer to Germany.

December 10 1898-Treaty of Paris signed between Hispano-American forces marking the end of the Hispano-American War. The USA gains Guam, Puerto Rico and Cuba (protectorate over Cuba ends in 1946) while establishing favourable regimes in the Philippines and Hawaii.

October 11 1899-The Second Boer War between Britain and the Boers of the Transvaal and Orange Free State erupts. German and world public opinion is on the side of the Boers. France sends armaments to the Boers thus increasing the tense hostility in Anglo-French relations.

January 27 1900-Boxer Rebellion breaks out in China.

May 21 1900-Russia invades Manchuria. Japanese forces in Korea begin to mobilise.

July 29 1900-King Umberto I of Italy is assassinated.

August 14 1900-In response to the Boxer Rebellion a British led international contingent arrives in Peking.

January 1 1901-The Commonwealth of Australia is established.

January 22 1901-After reigning for almost 64 years, longer than any British monarch Queen Victoria I dies and is succeeded by her son Albert Edward as King Edward VII.

March 6 1901-Crown Prince William is assassinated in Bremen. His son William becomes heir to the throne.

September 6 1901-President William McKinley is shot by anarchist Leon Czogolz. McKinley dies 8 days later.

Part III 1902-1914

March 5 1903-Ottoman, German and British representatives agree to build the Constantinople-Baghdad railway.

June 11 1903-King Alexander I of Serbia and his wife Queen Draga are assassinated by a group of army officers.

December 17 1903-Orville Wright manages to develop the first successful heavier than air flight in recorded history.

January 12 1904-Herero Rebellion begins in German South West Africa.

February 8 1904-A Japanese surprise attack on Port Arthur (Lushun, China) starts the Russo-Japanese war. While France, Britain and Germany remain neutral, tensions between the the powers increase.

April 11 1904-Anglo-German Treaty is signed resulting in an alliance between the two nations. Better known as the Saxon Accords

July 21 1904-Trans-Siberian railway is completed.

October 21 1904-Russo-Japanese War-Dogger bank incident leads to huge diplomatic crisis between Russia and Britain which is unable to be resolved, despite attempted Franco-German mediation.

October 24 1904-Britain declares war on Russia and pledges support for Japan, as the Russo-Japanese war becomes known in Britain as the First Pacific War. The Royal Navy and North Seas Fleet open fire on Russian ships in the North Sea.

January 2 1905-Russo-Japanese War-Russian army surrenders at Port Arthur (Lushun).

January 22 1905-Bloody Sunday massacre leads to revolution of 1905 (or Year of Discontent)

February 19 1905-Russo-Japanese War-Battle of Mukden between Russian and Japanese forces begins in Manchuria.

March 10 1905-The Japanese capture of Mukden completes the rout of Russian forces in Manchuria.

March 31 1905-Boulanger tries to assert further dominance over Morocco after ordering the French troops stationed there to take command of the police services. Berlin and Whitehall protest leading to the First Morocco Crisis.

May 27-28 1905-Russo-Japanese War-Battle of Tsushima between Anglo-Japanese and Russian naval forces results in crushing defeat for the Russian navy as the Russian Baltic Fleet which had sailed for 18,000km to get there is sunk in 32 minutes by the Japanese fleet, while the British forces sink several other Russian vessels.

June 7 1905-Norway gains independence after parliament dissolves union with Sweden.

September 5 1905-Russo-Japanese war ended by Treaty of Portsmouth with Japan gaining several concessions from the Russians in Manchuria, as well as islands and the rights to Port Arthur.

February 10 1906-HMS Dreadnought is launched sparking the naval race between Britain and France.

October 1 1906-The Grand Duchy of Finland, an autonomous region within Russia becomes the first European nation to grant universal suffrage.

March 1907-The Romanian Peasants revolt results in as many as 11,000 deaths.

31 August 1907-Constantin Fehrenbach, Giovanni Giolitti, Alois von Aehrenthal and Henry Campbell-Bannerman sign the Treaty of Rome thus establishing the Quadruple Alliance

June 30-The Tunguska Event occurs near the Tunguska River in Siberia Russia.

August 17 1908-The North and Baltic Seas Trade Association (better known as the Hanseatic League) is established as a North European trade bloc. Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom are the founding members. The league would later expand in membership in the 1920's and 40's.

October 5 1908-Bulgaria declares independence from the Ottoman Empire with Ferdinand I as the new King.

October 6 1908-The Bosnian crisis begins after the Austrian annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

April 27 1909-Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Abdul Hamid II, is overthrown and succeeded by his brother Mehmed V.

May 6 1910-George V becomes monarch of the United Kingdom upon his father Edward VII death.

May 31 1910-Union of South Africa is created.

August 28 1910-Montenegro is proclaimed an independent kingdom under Nicholas I.

September 29 1911-Italy declares war on the Ottoman Empire.

November 5 1911-Italy annexes Libya from the Ottomans.

March 30 1912-France establishes a protectorate over Morocco, thus further adding to the tension within Europe.

October 8 1912-First Balkan War begins after Montenegro declares war on the Ottoman Empire.

November 28 1912-Albania declares independence from the Ottoman Empire.

December 2 1912-US Presidential election results in the end of duolpoly party politics with the Progressives and Socialists becoming political forces, as Theodore Rooselvelt is elected as President for an unprecedented third term (he had previously served as Republican president following McKinlay's assassination.

March 18 1913-George I of Greece survives an assassination attempt and continues to rule as King of Greece.

May 30 1913-Treaty of London ends First Balkan War. However tensions within the Balkans remain on a knife edge and the frosty relations between the Austria Hungary and Russia become more intense.

June 29 1913-Second Balkan War begins.

Part IV-The First World War 1914-19


June 28-Assassination of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austria-Hungary throne. Archduke Ferdinand and his wife had been inspecting Austro-Hungarian troops in occupied Sarajevo. A Serbian nationalist student, Gavrilo Princip, shot the couple when their open topped car stopped on its way out of town.

July 5-Emperor Frederick III, pledges support to the Austrians in the event of an Russian attack.

July 28-Blaming the Serbian government for the assassinations, Emperor Franz Josef I declares war on Serbia and their Russian allies. Through its alliance with France, Russia calls on France to mobilise its armed forces.

August 1-The official outbreak of World War I, as Germany declares war on Russia. In response France declares war on Germany.

August 3-French troops march into Belgium implementing a pre-planned offensive (the Niel Plan, originally created to deal with the Franco-Prussian war in 1868) to quickly knock out or severely hamper the Germans. The British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey demands that France withdraw from neutral Belgium.

August 4-France refuses to withdraw its forces from Belgium. In response the United Kingdom, British Empire and Dominions declare war on France. President Woodrow Wilson declares American neutrality.

August 7-The BEF (British Expiditionary Force) arrive in Germany to assist the Germans and Belgians in resisiting the French offensive.

August 14-The Battle of the Frontiers begins (territory includes Northern & Eastern Belgium, Alsace-Lorraine and the Rhineland).

Late August-Battle of Tannenberg.The Russian army invades Prussia. The Germans use their railway system to surround the Russians and inflict heavy losses. Tens of thousands aof Russians are killed and 125,000 are taken prisoner.

Late August-French forces occupy Brussels and push the Allied forces back into the Belgian border region.

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