Timeline: 1891 to 1900

1891  Hawaii's King Kalakaua dies of kidney disease and is succeeded by his brilliant sister, Liliuokalani.

1891  In West Africa, the French invade the Mandinka Empire, employing artillery and machine guns. The Mandinka ruler, Samoie Touré, resorts to a scorched earth policy and shifts his empire to the east.

1891  In the United States, W. L. Judson develops a zipper.

1891  Germany's Social Democratic Party advocates a variety of reforms: the 8-hour day; prohibition of child labor under the age of 14; government regulation of working conditions; the abolition of laws that restrict the right of people to assemble; direct suffrage by secret ballot; the election of judges; an end to laws that put women at a disadvantage as compared with men; a graduated income and property tax; free medical attention; a people's militia for defense; secularized public education; and no public money supporting religious institutions.

1891  The German government initiates the first public old-age pension system.

1891  Various Turkish intellectuals, including persons in the military, are drawing inspiration from the West. In institutions of higher learning secret societies have formed. Exiles called Young Turks meet in Geneva to organize a nationalist movement against Sultan Hamid's rule. His repressions are failing.

1892  Journalist Ida B. Wells begins to investigate lynching of blacks after three of her friends are lynched in Tennessee.

1892  In Pennsylvania a bloody five-month strike fails at one of Andrew Carnegie's steel mills.

1892  In Russian ruled Poland, unrest among workers brings an attack sent by authorities that kills 46.

1892  The Sierra Club is founded, with 182 charter members. John Muir is elected president. The club defeats an effort to reduce the boundaries of Yosemite National Park.

1893  Hawaii's Queen Liliuokalane is planning a constitution that will deprive white businessmen and professionals of their power in government, despite their not being Hawaiian citizens. She plans to spread power to Hawaiian citizens. The US president, Benjamin Harrison, moves for annexation of Hawaii. Liluokalane is overthrown by an armed militia of whites. In March, Grover Cleveland becomes US President and opposes annexation because the people of Hawaii do not favor it. But the whites who overthrew Liliuokalane remain in power.

1893  Laos becomes a French protectorate.

1893  A mounted British column crosses the Umniati River into Matabeleland (today Zimbabwe). They have rifles, two 7-pounder field guns and a number of Maxim machine guns. Six thousand Ndebele warriors attack the British encampment. Hundreds of Ndebele die. Less than 10 members of the British column are killed or wounded.

1893  New Zealand is the first country to give women the vote in national elections.

1893  Colorado becomes the first state in US to allow women to vote in state elections.

1893  The US economy has benefited from the rising sale of agricultural products to Europe, but Europe is in an economic contraction. In the United States, what has been a booming economy plunges. The Reading Railroad has collapsed financially. Hundreds of banks and businesses dependent upon the Reading and other railroads have failed. Gold is being exported to Europe. Money in circulation declines. Agricultural depression spreads in the West and South of the United States. Unemployment jumps from three percent in 1892 to between 8 and 12 percent.

1894  In the United States, unemployment jumps to between 12 and 18.4 percent.

1894  Alexander III dies of kidney disease. His eldest son, at 26, is crowned Tsar Nicholas II. His main interest is devotion to God and an undisturbed family life. A few days after his coronation, trinkets and such are presented to the masses as presents from the tsar. Surging forward to the gifts in an open field, more than a thousand people are trampled to death. Nicholas visits churches, venerating saints, and where he appears, devout Russians follow the custom of falling to their knees at the sight of him and his entourage – a moment of silence usually followed by roaring cheers.

1894  Dahomey becomes a French colony.

1894  Korea's king calls for help from China to suppress riots. Opposed to China's influence in Korea, Japan sends troops and takes control of Korea. Japan's military moves north from Korea into Manchuria, and they move eastward to Port Arthur.

1894  Captain Alfred Dreyfus is falsely accused of passing military information to German agents and is sent to Devil's Island. Rightwing haters of the Republic and its secularism associate the treason of Dreyfus, a Jew, with government malfeasance. 

1894  An antiquated military force from Manchu China is overwhelmed by Japan's more modern force.

1895  China signs the Treaty of Shimonoseki, ceding to Japan control over the Liaodong peninsula to Port Arthur, ceding to Japan Taiwan, and permitting Japanese to live in and trade with Chinese.

1895  In Germany, Wilhelm Roentgen develops X-rays.

1895  Friedrich Engels writes an introduction to Marx's The Class Struggles in France. Engels says: "The time of surprise attacks, of revolutions carried through by small conscious minorities at the head of unconscious masses, is past."

1895  Studies in Hysteria by Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud launch an Age of Analysis.

1895  In Russia the average male dies at 31.4 years-of-age and the average woman at 33.3.

1895  From Florida, Jose Marti and other exiles arrive in Cuba and start another war for independence from Spain. Marti is killed but a guerrilla war continues, the guerrillas outnumbered five to one by Spain's forces.

1896  The United States Supreme Court rules that "separate but equal" public facilities for whites and blacks are legal.

1896  The National Association of Colored Women is formed, bringing together more than 100 black women's clubs.

1896  Utah becomes the 45th state, and Idaho allows women to vote. 

1896  In Constantinople, Armenian nationalists attack the Ottoman Bank. Authorities retaliate and 3,000 Armenians die.

1896  The British are alarmed by the spread of French influence in southern Sudan. Britain's military leader, Horatio Kitchener, leads an army into the Sudan.

1896  Britain declares Ashanti (today Ghana) a protectorate.

1896  At Adwa, in the far north of Ethiopia, Ethiopians defeat an Italian army, saving themselves from colonial rule. 

1896  In Matabeleland, rebels kill more than 120 white settlers. A force of 500 whites assemble and end the rebellion. 

1896  In France the real spy in the Dreyfus Affair has been found, but the French Army prefers to keep its mistake hidden and to maintain Dreyfus, still on Devil's Island, as guilty.

1897  The novelist Émile Zola denounces the French General Staff regarding the Dreyfus Affair. Zola is prosecuted for libel and flees to England.

1897  Theodor Herzl, a Jewish journalist from Hungary, has been disturbed by the anti-Semitism connected with the Dreyfus Affair. He organizes and holds the first Zionist Congress.

1897 German forces occupy and start to build a naval base at TsingDao (QingDao) following the murder of two German missionaries. This provokes a European and American rush for concessions in China.

1897  In Cuba, Spain has a "Reconstruction Policy," trying to separate the rural population and the guerrillas.  Hundreds of thousands of Cubans have been herded into camps, which are disease-ridden and where malnourishment spreads. A total of 321,934 people will be counted as having perished under the Reconstruction Policy. Hostility by newspapers and the public in the United States against Spain rises sharply.

1897  The first subway (underground) passenger system in the United States opens in Boston Massachusetts.

1898  Spain fails militarily and grants limited autonomy to Cuba. The battleship USS. Maine is sent on a "courtesy" visit to Havana with words of friendship to Spain, which sends a naval ship to New York in exchange. The Maine blows up in Cuba's Havana harbor, killing 266. Spain's government is blamed. Spain denies the charge. President McKinley gives into passions, goes before Congress, asks and receives authority to send troops to Cuba. Spain refuses an ultimatum and the US declares war. On May 1, the US Navy, at the Battle of Manila Bay, defeats a Spanish squadron. On June 10, US Marines land at Guantanamo. On July 1 the Battle of San Juan Hill takes place, with 1,200 US and 593 Spanish casualties.

1898  In June, Congress passes a resolution that annexes Hawaii. In July, President McKinley signs it into law. 

1898  Spain sues for peace. A formal peace treaty is signed in Paris in December. The United States acquires all of Spain's colonies, including the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico. Cuba is recognized as independent.

1898  Britain obtains a 99-year lease of Hong Kong from the Chinese.

1898  In China and India the bubonic plague begins to kill what will eventually be three million people.

1898  A force of  8,200 British and 17,600 Sudanese troops under British command win against more numerous Dervish warriors at the Battle of Omdurman in the Sudan, near Khartoum. The British lose 48 dead. An estimated 5,000 Dervish are taken prisoner and 10,000 are killed. 

1898  Flashbulb photography begins. 

1898  A gold rush is on in Canada's Yukon Territory.

1898  A book by a Polish financier, Ivan Bloch, is widely distributed in Europe that predicts the kind of warfare to be fought in World War I. Bloch describes warfare as no longer a solution to diplomatic problems. 

1899  The United States refuses to recognize the new republic in the Philippines. Wanting Wake Island for a cable link to the Philippines, the US claims the island. War erupts as two US privates fire upon and kill three Filiopino soldiers on the outskirts of Manila.

1899  Rudyard Kipling writes the poem "Take up the White Man's Burden," which speaks of "new caught sullen peoples, half-devil and half-child."

1899  British settlers have streamed into Boer country with the discovery of gold there. The gold mines become British owned. Various British colonial leaders want to annex the two Boer republics. War erupts, with the Boers striking first. 

1899  Alfred Dreyfus is pardoned.

1899  Valdermar Poulsen of Denmark develops the first tape recorder.

1899  The boll weevil crosses the Rio Grande and begins to spread through US cotton fields, damaging Southern cotton production and stimulating a migration of blacks to the North.

1899  Germany acquires islands in the northern Mariana and Caroline Islands. A treaty is signed in Berlin recognizing Western Samoa as a German colony, US control of American Samoa, and Britain as having power over the Island of Tonga.

1899  Tsar Nicholas II moves to tighten control over autonomous Finland, and  Finnish resistance to the Russian tsar's rule begins.

1899  The McKinley administration hopes to build prosperity at home through trade with China. It calls for equal trading rights among all powers in all parts of China and for China's territorial integrity – a so-called Open Door policy. It is ignored except that Russia and Japan voice displeasure.

1899  In China angry men take up terrorism. They are known as Boxers. More than terrorists, they are nationalists. In the streets that display slogans such as "protect the country and destroy the foreigner." At least half of them are youths, and they have religious fervor. They fear magic created by the Christians. They attack and kill Christian missionaries and Chinese converts to Christianity. Rather than being viewed as rebels, they have government approval. 

1900  The US, Japan and European nations send military forces to China to rescue people and to put down what the West calls the Boxer Rebellion. Filled with vengeful wrath, troops move through Beijing, attacking those they believe are Boxers. They injure and pillage the property of innocent Chinese.

1900  Unemployment in the United States is back down around 5 percent, close to what it was in 1891.

1900  Carry Nation and friends, with hatchets, cross Kansas, smashing glass in saloons.

1900  Another Anglo-Asante war erupts in what today is Ghana. Asanti warriors abandon skirmishing for  frontal attacks against British machine guns.

1900  In the United States, the Hawaiian Islands are deemed US Territory.

1900  In the United States the paper clip is invented. 

1900  1.5 million telephones are in use in the United States, in a population of 75.8 million.

1900   In Britain the average male is dead at 51.5 years of age and the average woman at 55.4. In France these figures are 45.4 and 50. In Spain they are 41 and 42.5.

1900   Germany leads the world in literacy. Germany is well supplied with engineers, chemists, opticians, skilled workers for its factories, skilled managers, knowledgeable farmers and skilled military personnel. Literacy is said to be above 90 percent in Britain, France, Norway, Sweden, and Australia; between 70 and 90 percent in the United States, Canada and Japan; 78 percent in Italy; 50 to 70 in the Balkans; 30 to 50 percent range in Russia; and below 30 percent in China, India, Africa and the Islamic countries.

1900  World population is roughly 1.7 billion, up from about 1 billion in 1800.

to 1881-1890 | to 1901

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