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The expulsion of American vessels from the Mediterranean during the War of 1812 by the British navy further emboldened the pirate nations in their attacks on US flagged vessels. Umar ben Muhammad, Dey of Algiers, the "Omar Bashaw" of the 1815 treaty, expelled the US consul general Tobias Lear and declared war on the United States for failing to pay its required tribute.

The Second Barbary War (1815), also known as the Algerine or Algerian War, was the second of two wars fought between the United States and the Ottoman Empire's North African regencies of Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis, known collectively as the Barbary States. The war between the Barbary States and the US ended in 1815. The war brought an end to the American practice of paying tribute to the pirate states and helped mark the beginning of the end of piracy in that region, which had been rampant in the days of Ottoman domination (16th–18th centuries). Within decades, European powers built ever more sophisticated and expensive ships which the Barbary pirates could not match in numbers or technology.


April 10 - Austria declares war on realm of Naples

June - Congress of Vienna ends

During the Congress of Vienna of 1815 the European map was significantly redrawn to accommodate the new political balance of power. One of those borders was the one between the new United Kingdom of the Netherlands and Prussia. For the most part both parties agreed on the border as it mostly followed older lines, but in the mairie (district) of Moresnet there was a problem. Between the villages of Moresnet and Neu-Moresnet lay the valuable zinc mine called Vieille Montagne (French) or Altenberg (German). Both the Netherlands and Prussia were keen to include this resource in their territory.

September 26 - Russia, Prussia and Austria sign Holy Alliance at the behest of Czar Alexander I of Russia.


The Battle of Waterloo June 18 - Battle of Waterloo just East of modern Brussels. “Waterloo is not a battle; it is the changing face of the universe.” Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables

This battle ended the Napoleonic Wars which saw the deaths of more than 5 million people. It also changed the face of Europe leading to Britain's rise, and the beginning of German nationalism due to the participation by the Prussians. It also helped fund the rise of the United States from selling materiel to both sides of the conflict.

The Waterloo Campaign commonly refers to the period between March 20th, the date on which Napoleon Bonaparte arrived in Paris after his return from Elba, July 8th, the date of the restoration of King Louis XVIII.

On February 26th, when the British and French guardships were absent, Napoleon slipped away from Portoferraio with some 600 men and landed near Antibes on March 1st. Except in royalist Provence, he received everywhere a welcome that attested to the attractive power of his personality and the nullity of the Bourbons. Firing no shot in his defence, his little troop swelled until it became an army. On 5 March, the 5th Infantry Regiment went over to Napoleon. The next day they were joined by the 7th Infantry Regiment under its colonel Charles-Angélique-François Huchet de la Bedoyère, who would be executed by the Bourbons for treason after the campaign ended. Ney, who had said that Napoleon ought to be brought to Paris in an iron cage, joined him with 6,000 men on 14 March; five days later the emperor entered the capital, whence Louis XVIII had recently fled.

An old anecdote illustrates either Napoleon's charisma or popularity, or (if untrue) the propaganda industry that operated in his lifetime and ever since: his army was confronted by troops sent by the king to stop him; the men on each side formed into lines and prepared to fire. Before fighting began, Napoleon walked between the two forces, faced the king's men, ripped open his coat and said "If any of you will shoot your Emperor, shoot him now." The men supposedly all joined his cause.

Napoleon was not misled by the enthusiasm of the provinces and Paris. He knew that love of novelty and contempt for the gouty old king and his greedy courtiers had brought about this bloodless triumph; and he felt instinctively that he had to deal with a new France, which would not tolerate despotism. On his way to Paris, he had been profuse in promises of reform and constitutional rule. It remained to make good those promises and to disarm the fear and jealousy of the great powers.

This was the work he set before himself in the Hundred Days. The phrase Cent jours was first used by the prefect of Paris, the comte de Chabrol, in his speech welcoming the King. One may doubt whether his powers, physical as well as mental, could equal the task. Certainly the evidence as to his health is somewhat conflicted. Some persons (as, for instance, Carnot, Pasquier, Lavalette and Thiéhault) thought him prematurely aged and enfeebled. Others again saw no marked change in him; while Mollien, who knew the emperor well, attributed the lassitude which now and then came over him to a feeling of perplexity caused by his changed circumstances. This explanation seems to furnish a clue to the likely truth. Napoleon felt cramped and chafed on all sides by the necessity of posing as a constitutional sovereign; and, while losing something of the old rigidity, he lost very much of the old energy, both in thought and action. His was a mind that worked wonders in well-worn grooves and on facts that were well understood. The necessity of devising compromises with men who had formerly been his tools fretted him both in mind and body. But when he left parliamentary affairs behind and took the field, he showed nearly all the powers of initiative and endurance that had marked his masterpiece, the campaign of 1814.

To date his decline, as Chaptal does, from the cold of the Moscow campaign is not fully correct. The time of lethargy at Elba seems to have been more unfavourable to his powers than the cold of Russia. At Elba, as Sir Neil Campbell noted, he became inactive and proportionately corpulent. There, too, as sometimes in 1815, he began to suffer intermittently from bowel problems, but to no serious extent. On the whole it seems safe to assert that it was the change in France far more than the change in his health which brought about the manifest constraint of the emperor in the Hundred Days. His words to Benjamin Constant -"I am growing old. The repose of a constitutional king may suit me. It will more surely suit my son"- show that his mind seized the salient facts of the situation, but his instincts struggled against them. Hence the malaise both of mind and body.

The attempts of the royalists gave him little concern: the duc d'Angoulême raised a small force for Louis XVIII in the south, but at Valence it melted away in front of Grouchy's command; and the duke, on 9 April 1815, signed a convention whereby they received a free pardon from the emperor. The royalists of la Vendée moved later and caused more trouble. But the chief problem centred in the constitution. At Lyon, on 13 March 1815, Napoleon had issued an edict dissolving the existing chambers and ordering the convocation of a national mass meeting, or Champ de Mai, for the purpose of modifying the constitution of the Napoleonic empire. That work was carried out by Benjamin Constant in concert with the emperor. The resulting Acte additionel (supplementary to the constitutions of the empire) bestowed on France an hereditary chamber of peers and a chamber of representatives elected by the "electoral colleges" of the empire, which comprised scarcely one hundredth part of the citizens of France. As Châteaubriand remarked, in reference to Louis XVIII's constitutional charter, the new constitution — La Benjamine, it was dubbed — was merely a slightly improved charter. Its incompleteness displeased the liberals; it garnered only 1,532,527 votes in the plebiscite, a total less than half of those of the plebiscites of the Consulate.

Not all the gorgeous display of the Champ de Mai (held on 1 June 1815) could hide the discontent at the meagre fulfilment of the promises given at Lyon. Napoleon ended his speech with the words "My will is that of the people: My rights are its rights." The words rang hollow as was seen when, on 3 June, the deputies chose, as president of their chamber, Lanjuinais, the staunch liberal who had so often opposed the emperor. The latter was with difficulty dissuaded from quashing the election.

Other causes of offence arose, and Napoleon in his last communication to them warned them not to imitate the Greeks of the later Empire, who engaged in subtle discussions when the ram was battering at their gates. On the next day (12 June 1815) he set out for the northern frontier. His spirits rose at the prospect of rejoining the army. At Saint Helena he told Gourgaud that he intended in 1815 to dissolve the chambers as soon as he had won a great victory.

In point of fact, the sword alone could decide his fate, both in internal and international affairs. Neither France nor Europe took seriously his rather vague declaration of his contentment with the role of constitutional monarch of France. No one believed that he would be content with the "ancient limits". So often had he declared that the Rhine and the Netherlands were necessary to France that everyone looked on his present assertions as a mere device to gain time. As far back as 13 March, six days before he reached Paris, the powers at the Congress of Vienna declared him an outlaw; four days later the United Kingdom, Russia, Austria and Prussia bound themselves to put 150,000 men into the field to end his rule. Their recollection of his conduct during the congress of Châtillon was the determining fact at this crisis; his professions at Lyon or Paris had not the slightest effect; his efforts to detach Austria from the coalition, as also the feelers put forth tentatively by Fouché at Vienna, were fruitless. The coalitions, once so brittle as to break at the first strain, had now been hammered into solidity by his blows. If ever a man was condemned by his past, Napoleon was so in 1815.

Napoleon knew that, once his attempts at dissuading one or more of the allies from invading France had failed, his only chance of remaining in power was to attack before the Allies put together an overwhelming force. If he could destroy the existing Allied forces in the Southern Netherlands before they were reinforced, he might be able to drive the British back to the sea and knock the Prussians out of the war. This was a successful strategy he had used many times before.

Napoleon moved two armies, the Army of the North (AotN) and the Reserve Army (RA), up to the French Belgium frontier without alerting the Allies. He crossed the frontier and split his AoTN in two. He took the RA and the right wing of the AotN and attacked the Prussians under the command of General Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher at the Battle of Ligny on June 16, 1815. The left wing of the army under Marshal Ney proceeded to block the Nivelles-Namur road at the crossroads of Quatre Bras so that the British-allied forces under the Duke of Wellington could not go to the aid of the Prussians. Ney's wing of the French army engaged Wellington's forces in the Battle of Quatre Bras on the same day as Napoleon engaged the Prussians. The outcome of the day of fighting was that, at Quatre Bras, Ney stopped any of Wellington's forces going to the aid of Blücher's Prussians and Napoleon, although unable to destroy the Prussian army, forced it to retreat in disarray.

On the morning of June 17 Napoleon sent the right wing of the Army of the North under the command of Marshal Grouchy to harass the Prussians to stop them reforming. He set off via Quatre Bras with the RA and combined his forces with the left wing of the AotN to pursue Wellington's forces, which were retreating towards Brussels. Just before the small village of Waterloo, Wellington deployed most of his forces on the rear side of an escarpment. He placed some of his forces in front of the main deployment in two fortified farmhouses at the base of the escarpment, which guarded the two roads to Brussels. It was here on June 18, 1815 that the decisive European battle of the 19th century took place. Within the sound of cannon fire a second battle took place at the village of Wavre. Grouchy, who was dilatory in his pursuit of the Prussians, failing to stop them regrouping after their defeat at Ligny, attacked the Prussian III Corps under the command of General Johann von Thielmann, believing that he was engaging the rearguard of a still-retreating Prussian force. However only one Corps remained — the other three Prussian Corps (I, II and the still fresh IV) were marching towards Waterloo.

The start of the Battle of Waterloo was delayed for several hours as Napoleon waited until the ground had dried from the previous night's rain. By late afternoon the French army had not succeeded in driving Wellington's Allied forces from the escarpment on which they stood. Once the Prussians arrived, attacking the French right flank in ever increasing numbers, Napoleon's key strategy of keeping the Allied armies divided had failed and his army was driven from the field in confusion, by a combined Allied general advance. The next morning the battle of Wavre ended in a hollow French victory. Grouchy's wing of the Army of the North withdrew in good order and other elements of the French army were able to reassemble around it. However, the army was not strong enough to resist the combined Allied forces, so it retreated towards Paris.

On arriving at Paris, three days after Waterloo, Napoleon still clung to the hope of concerting national resistance; but the temper of the chambers and of the public generally forbade any such attempt. Napoleon and his brother Lucien Bonaparte were almost alone in believing that, by dissolving the chambers and declaring Napoleon dictator, they could save France from the armies of the powers now converging on Paris. Even Davout, minister of war, advised Napoleon that the destinies of France rested solely with the chambers.

The career of Napoleon, which had lured France far away from the principles of 1789, now brought her back to that starting-point; just as, in the physical sphere, his campaigns from 1796–1814 had at first enormously swollen her bulk and then subjected her to a shrinkage still more portentous. Clearly, it was time to safeguard what remained; and that could best be done under Talleyrand's shield of legitimacy. Napoleon himself at last recognised the truth. When Lucien pressed him to "dare", he replied "Alas, I have dared only too much already". On 22 June 1815 he abdicated in favor of his son, Napoléon Francis Joseph Charles Bonaparte well knowing that it was a formality, as his son was in Austria. On 25 June he received from Fouché, the president of the newly appointed provisional government, an intimation that he must leave Paris. He retired to Malmaison, the former home of Josephine, where she had died shortly after his first abdication. On 29 June the near approach of the Prussians, who had orders to seize him, dead or alive, caused him to retire westwards towards Rochefort, whence he hoped to reach the United States. The full restoration of Louis XVIII followed the emperor's departure.

July 9 - King Louis XVIII leaves Ghent for France September 21 - King Willem I takes oath in Brussels


April 6 English militia shoots prisoners, 100's killed


February 26 - Napoleon and 1,200 leave Elba to start 100-day re-conquest of France

When the British and French guard ships were absent, he slipped away from Portoferraio with some 600 men and landed at Golfe-Juan near Antibes on 1 March 1815.

Except in royalist Provence, he received everywhere a welcome that attested to the attractive power of his personality and the nullity of the Bourbons. He avoided much of Provence by taking a route through the Alps, marked to this day as the Route Napoléon. Firing no shot in his defense, his little troop swelled day by day until it became an army. On 5 March, the nominally royalist 5th Infantry Regiment went over to Napoleon en masse. The next day they were joined by the 7th Infantry Regiment under its colonel Charles-Angélique-François Huchet de la Bedoyère, who would be executed by the Bourbons for treason after the campaign ended. An old anecdote illustrates Napoleon’s charisma or popularity. When royalist troops deployed to stop the march of Napoleon's force at Lyon, Napoleon stepped out in front of them, ripped open his coat and said “If any of you will shoot your Emperor, shoot him now.” The men all joined his cause.

Marshal Ney, now one of Louis' key commanders, had said that Napoleon ought to be brought to Paris in an iron cage, but on 14 March, Ney joined Napoleon with 6,000 men. Five days later, after proceeding through the countryside promising constitutional reform and direct elections to an assembly, to the acclaim of gathered crowds the Emperor triumphantly entered the capital, whence Louis XVIII had recently fled.

The royalists were of no concern: the duc d'Angoulême raised a small force in the south, but at Valence it melted away in front of Grouchy’s command; and the duke, on 9 April 1815, signed a convention whereby they received a free pardon from the Emperor. The royalists of the Vendée moved later and caused more trouble.

March 20 - Napoleon enters Paris after escape from Elba, begins 100-day rule

June 16 - Battle at Ligny: French army under Napoleon beats Prussia

June 16 - Battle at Quatre-Bras: allies strike French

July 15 - Napoleon surrendered and is later exiled on St. Helena

August 8 - Napoleon Bonaparte set sail for exile on St. Helena


June 8 - 39 German states unite under Act of Confederation

The sarcophagus of Charlemagne is returned to Aachen from Paris where it had been taken during French occupation.


May 3 - Battle at Tolentino: Austria beats king Joachim of Naples

December 15 - Rossini gets assignment for Il barbiere di Siviglia


March 1 Sunday observance in Netherlands regulated by law

March 16 - the Sovereign Prince became King of the Netherlands.

The Congress of Vienna formed the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, by expanding the Netherlands with Belgium in order to create a strong country on the northern border of France. In addition, William became hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The Congress of Vienna gave Luxembourg to William as personal property in exchange for his German possessions, Nassau-Dillenburg, Siegen, Hadamar, and Diez. Despite its new title and ruler, Luxembourg was still considered part of the German Confederation, and therefore had little political power.


November 27 - Cracow (Poland) declared a free republic


Francisco Xavier de Mier y Campillo, the Inquisitor General of the Spanish Inquisition and the Bishop of Almería, suppressed Freemasonry and denounced the lodges as “societies which lead to atheism, to sedition and to all errors and crimes.” He then instituted a purge during which Spaniards could be arrested on the charge of being “suspected of Freemasonry”


February 3 - World's 1st commercial cheese factory established, in Switzerland

§North America


December 22 - José María Teclo Morelos y Pavón, Mexican Roman Catholic priest and revolutionary rebel leader who led the Mexican War of Independence movement, was executed by the Spanish for treason.

§United States

"Although most Americans in 1815 remained farmers living in rural areas, they had become, especially in the North, one of the most highly commercialized people in the world. They were busy buying and selling not only with the rest of the world but increasingly with one another, everyone, it seemed, trying to realize what Niles' Weekly Register declared 'the almost universal ambition to get forward.' Nowhere in the Western world was business and working for profit more praised and honored."

January 8 - Battle of New Orleans-War of 1812 ended 12/24/1814 but nobody knew

January 30 - Burned Library of Congress reestablished with Jefferson's 6500 vols

February 6 - New Jersey issues the first U.S. railroad charter (John Stevens)

March 3 - The U.S. declares war on Algiers for taking U.S. prisoners and demanding tribute.

§U.S. Politics

Alexander J. Dallas' proposal in 1814 to replace the First Bank of the United States was vetoed by Madison. By late 1815, however, Madison asked Congress for a new bank, which had strong support from the younger, nationalistic Republicans such as John C. Calhoun and Henry Clay, as well as Federalist Daniel Webster.

§South America


In 1815, the regency government elevated Brazil to the status of a kingdom, and Maria I was proclaimed the Queen of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves

The feijoa was first gathered in the wilds of southern Brazil in 1815 by German philologist Freidrich Sellow.

§Southeast Asia

§Lesser Sunda Island

April 5 - The Tambora volcano erupted in a colossal eruption killing 10,000 people.

§South Pacific


Returning to Hawaii in 1815, John Parker brought with him a new, state-of-the-art American musket, Parker was given the privilege of being the first man allowed to shoot some of the thousands of feral longhorn cattle that roamed Hawaii’s remote plains and valleys. These rangy animals were the decedents of five head of longhorn cattle given by British Captain George Vancouver to Kamehameha as a gift in 1793.

.On January 29, 1815 a RAC ship, Bering, dropped anchor near Waimea on Kauai. Captain James Bennett was ordered by RAC Governor Alexander Andreyevich Baranov to use its estimated 100,000 roubles worth of furs and other cargo to purchase needed food and material supplies for settlers in Russian America. On the next night the vessel ran aground in a storm. Bennett made an agreement with King Kaumualii, giving him the wrecked ship though its cargo remained Russian property. Several hundred Kauaians were involved in salvaging the furs and purchased supplies. Despite this, Bennet would later report that the ship and its cargo were both seized Kaumalii. Two months later the stranded crew was evacuated from Kauai by Albatross. Bennett and two other American captains employed by the Company pressed Baranov to wage an armed punitive expedition against Kaumualii,. The proposal stirred long discussions between Baranov and his deputies, but the governor favored a peaceful solution.

Schäffer reached the Kingdom on board the Isabella in the beginning of November. What happened between Kamehameha and Schäffer is known only through Schaffer's own unreliable narrative. Americans that had prominent influence with Kamehameha, especially John Young, believed Schäffer's "naturalist" persona was merely a cover. According to Schäffer these men made Kamehameha display outright anti-Russian sentiment. However, through medical services to the king and queen Ka'ahumanu, Schäffer was able to regain Kamehameha's good disposition by December. Queen Ka'ahumanu and her brother soon sold him parcels of land and permission to set up trading stations. Schäffer soon began an exploration of the Hawaiian islands, during which time he claimed his travels were interrupted by attempts made against his life by Americans. Afterwards, he began to reside on Oahu, where he planted maize, tobacco and watermelons among other plants


Mount Tambora, on Sumbawa Island, erupted with a rating of seven on the Volcanic Explosivity Index; the largest eruption since the Lake Taupo eruption in 181 CE. The explosion was heard on Sumatra island (more than 2,000 km or 1,200 mi away). Heavy volcanic ash falls were observed as far away as Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Maluku islands. The death toll was at least 71,000 people, of which 11,000–12,000 were killed directly by the eruption. The eruption created global climate anomalies; 1816 became known as the Year Without a Summer because of the impact on North American and European weather. In the Northern Hemisphere, agricultural crops failed and livestock died, resulting in the worst famine of the century.

"Just before sunset on April 5, 1815, a massive explosion shook the volcanic island of Sumbawa in the Indonesian archi­pelago. For two hours, a stream of lava erupted from Mount Tam­bora, the highest peak in the region, sending a plume of ash eighteen miles into the sky. More than eight hundred miles away, Thomas Stamford Raf­fles, the lieutenant-governor of Java, heard the blast at his residence and assumed it came from cannon firing in the distance. ...

"Around seven o'clock on the evening of April 10, Mount Tambora erupted once again, this time far more violently. Three columns of flaming lava shot into the air, meeting briefly at their peak in what one eyewitness termed 'a troubled confused manner.' Almost im­mediately the entire mountain appeared to be consumed by liquid fire, a fountain of ash, water, and molten rock shooting in every direction. Pumice stones -- some walnut-sized but others twice the size of a man's fist -- rained down upon the village of Sanggar, nineteen miles away. After an hour, so much ash and dust had been hurled into the atmosphere that darkness hid the fiery mountaintop from view.

"As the ash clouds thickened, hot lava racing down the moun­tain slope heated the air above it to thousands of degrees. The air quickly rose, leaving behind a vacuum into which cooler air rushed from all directions. The resulting whirlwind tore up trees by the roots and swept up men, cattle, and horses. Virtually every house in Sanggar was flattened. The village of Tambora, closer to the vol­cano, vanished under a flood of pumice. Cascading lava slammed into the ocean, destroying all aquatic life in its path, and creating tsunamis nearly fifteen feet high which swept away everything within their reach. Violent explosions from the reaction of lava with cold seawater threw even greater quantities of ash into the atmo­sphere, and created vast fields of pumice stones along the shore­line. ... [Soon], Tambora's umbrella ash cloud extended for more than three hundred miles at its widest point. ... Twenty-four hours after Tambora erupted, the ash cloud had expanded to cover an area approximately the size of Australia. ...

"By the time the volcano finally subsided, Tambora had released an estimated one hundred cubic kilometers of molten rock as ash and pumice -- enough to cover a square area one hundred miles on each side to a depth of almost twelve feet -- making it the largest known volcanic eruption in the past 2,000 years. Geologists mea­sure eruptions by the Volcanic Explosivity Index, which uses whole numbers from 0 to 8 to rate the relative amount of ash, dust, and sulphur a volcano throws into the atmosphere. Like the Richter Scale for earthquakes, each step along the Explosivity Index is equal to a tenfold increase in the magnitude of the eruption. Tambora merits an Index score of 7, making the eruption approxi­mately one thousand times more powerful than the Icelandic vol­cano Eyjafjallajokull, which disrupted trans-Atlantic air travel in 2010 but rated only a 4; one hundred times stronger than Mount St. Helens (a 5); and ten times more powerful than Krakatoa (a 6). Only four other eruptions in the last hundred centuries have reached a score of 7. ...

"It was also by far the deadliest eruption in recorded history. ... Before the eruption, more than twelve thousand natives lived in the immediate vicinity of Tambora. They never had a chance to escape. Nearly all of them died within the first twenty-four hours, mostly from ash falls and pyroclastic flows -- rapidly moving streams of partially liquefied rock and superheated gas at temperatures up to 1,000 degrees, hot enough to melt glass. Carbonized remains of villagers caught unaware were buried beneath the lava; fewer than one hundred people survived. ...

"In the end, perhaps another seventy to eighty thousand people died from starvation or disease caused by the eruption, bringing the death toll to nearly ninety thousand in Indonesia alone. No other volcanic explosion in history has come close to wreaking di­saster of that magnitude.

"And yet there would be more casualties from Tambora. In addition to millions of tons of ash, the force of the eruption threw 55 million tons of sulfur-dioxide gas more than twenty miles into the air, into the stratosphere. There, the sulfur dioxide rapidly combined with readily available hydroxide gas -- which, in liquid form, is commonly known as hydrogen peroxide -- to form more than 100 million tons of sulfuric acid."


Pōmare II won a decisive battle at Fe’i Pī (Punaauia), notably against Opuhara, the chief of the powerful clan of Teva. This victory allowed Pōmare II to be styled Ari’i Rahi, in other words the king of Tahiti. It was the first time that Tahiti had been truly united under the control of a single family. It was in fact the end of Tahitian feudalism and the military aristocracy, which were replaced by an absolute monarchy. At the same time, Protestantism quickly spread, thanks to the support of Pōmare II, and replaced the traditional beliefs.


  • Robert Fulton, US inventor of the steamboat and creator of the first practical submarine. Fulton died in 1815 from consumption. He had been walking home on the frozen Hudson River when one of his friends, Addis Emmet, fell through the ice. In the attempt to rescue his friend, Fulton got soaked with icy water and on the journey home he caught pneumonia. When he got home his sickness worsened. He contracted consumption and died at 49 years old.


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