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January 17 – The United Kingdom recognizes the independence of the Transvaal.



Taiping Rebellion

April 18 – Taiping forces begin the siege of Guilin.

May 19 – The siege of Guilin is lifted.

June 12 – Taiping forces enter Hunan.

December 23 – The Taiping army takes Hanyang and begins the siege of Wuchang.

December 29 – The Taiping army takes Hankou.



January 14 – President Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte proclaims a new constitution for the French Second Republic.

September 24 – French engineer Henri Giffard makes the first airship trip from Paris to Trappes.

November 21/November 22 The New French Empire is confirmed by plebiscite: 7,824,000 for, 253,000 against.

December 2 – Napoleon III becomes Emperor of the French.

§Great Britain

February 5 - The 1852 flood occurred when the embankment of the Bilberry reservoir collapsed, releasing 86 million gallons of water down the River Holme. It caused 81 deaths and a large amount of damage to property in the valley leaving many homeless and without work. The buildings and structures destroyed included four mills, ten dye houses, three drying stoves, 27 cottages, seven tradesmen’s houses, seven shops, seven bridges crossing the River Holme, ten warehouses, eight barns and stables.

The collapse occurred at about 1.00am following a period of heavy rain. The story of the flood made the front page of the London Standard newspaper.

An inquest after the disaster concluded that the reservoir was "defective in its original construction" and that "the Commissioners, in permitting the Bilberry reservoir to remain in a dangerous state with the full knowledge thereof, and not lowering the waste pit, have been guilty of great and culpable negligence".

November 11 – The new Palace of Westminster opens in Britain.

Great Ormond Street Hospital is founded as a hospital for sick children.


March 1 – Archibald William Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton is appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.


November 4 – Count Cavour becomes the Piedmontese prime minister.


Haarlem The 'Haarlemmermeer' was drained by Leegwater. Due to the lack of fresh water, the canals started to smell.

§North America

§United States

March 20 – Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is published. It is believed that this book helped fuel the fire that became the US civil war. Without this book, Abraham Lincoln may not have been elected president.

April 23 - The Bridge Gulch Massacre or Hayfork Massacre occurred when more than 150 Wintu people were killed by about 70 American men led by William H. Dixon, the Trinity County sheriff. The massacre was in response to the killing of Colonel John Anderson by the Wintu.

The Americans tracked the Wintu to a part of the Hayfork Valley known as Bridge Gulch, where they had made camp. They waited until early morning before attacking, to ensure that nobody could escape. When daylight broke they attacked the Wintu, who were just beginning to awaken. More than 150 Wintu people were killed, with only two or three infants surviving the attack.[1] Those Wintu killed in the massacre were not responsible for the death of John Anderson, who was killed by Wintu from a different band.

July 1 – United States statesman Henry Clay is the first to receive the honor of lying in state in the United States Capitol rotunda.

July 4 – Frederick Douglas delivers his famous speech "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" in Rochester, New York.

An 1852 census of native Americans in the California Redwood forests determined that the Yurok were the most numerous, with 55 villages and an estimated population of 2,500. They used the abundant redwood, which with its linear grain was easily split into planks, as a building material for boats, houses, and small villages. For buildings, the planks would be erected side by side in a narrow trench, with the upper portions bound with leather strapping and held by notches cut into the supporting roof beams. Redwood boards were used to form a shallow sloping roof.

§U.S. Economy

California's annual gold production reach a then all-time high of $81 million.

§U.S. Industry

February 16 – The Studebaker Brothers Wagon Company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established.

Gadsden and 1,200 potential settlers from South Carolina and Florida submitted a petition to the California legislature for permanent citizenship and permission to establish a rural district that would be farmed by "not less than Two Thousand of their African Domestics". The petition stimulated some debate, but it finally died in committee.

§U.S. Politics

November 2 – U.S. presidential election, 1852: Democrat Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire defeats Whig Winfield Scott of Virginia.

§South America


February 3 – Battle of Caseros or Battle of Monte Caseros, Argentina: The Argentine provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes allied with Brazil and members of Colorado Party of Uruguay, defeat Buenos Aires troops under Juan Manuel de Rosas. This defeat marked a sharp division in the history of Argentina.

§Southeast Asia


The British arrive in lower Burma, importing large quantities of opium from India and selling it through a government-controlled opium monopoly.

§South Pacific


April 1 – The Second Burmese War begins.

§Hawaii (Sandwich Islands)

In Hawaii sugar planters bring over the first Chinese laborers on 3 or 5 year contracts, giving them 3 dollars per month plus room and board for working a 12-hour day, 6 days a week.


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