Thursday, December 20, 2007


1871. A united German Empire inaugurates the Second Reich that will continue until November of 1918. The First Reich began in 955 by some accounts and was ended by Napoleon in 1806. Prussia's Wilhelm I is emperor and the first chancellor is Count von Bismarck, who has joined the four German kingdoms of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony and Wurttemberg.

1871. Parliament legalizes British labor unions.

1871. A race riot at Los Angeles leaves more than a dozen Chinese dead and many injured.

1871. Mormon leader Brigham Young, now 70, is arrested at Salt Lake City in Utah Territory on charges of polygamy.

1871. The Indian Appropriation Act passed by Congress makes Indians wards of the federal government.

1871. Gen. George Crook tracks down Apache chief Cochise and forces him to surrender.

1871. New York Herald correspondent Henry M. Stanley finds David Livingstone in late October at Ujiji on Lake Tanganyika. "Dr. Livingstone, I presume," says Stanley.

1871. Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex by Charles Darwin concludes that man evolved from ape-like or monkey-like ancestors, probably 26 to 54 million years ago in Africa.

1871. Barnum's Circus opens at Brooklyn, NY.

1871. The National Rifle Association is founded by some Union Army officers to encourage marksmanship and gun safety.

1871. The Chicago fire rages from October 8 to 9, destroys 3.5 square miles of the city, killing perhaps 250. The fire has allegedly been started by a cow kicking over a kerosene lantern in Dekoven Street.

1871. Sparks from the Chicago fire start forest fires that destroy more than a million acres of Michigan and Wisconsin timberland.

The Possessed. Fyodor Dostoevsky. Russian. 1871. Novel. Depicts revolutionary movement in Russia; career of Nikolay Stavrogin, nobleman. Genuine spiritual nihilism vs. affected nihilism of revolutionaries. Russian upper classes lack organic ties with Russian people; adhere to Western political ideas. Aristocracy must return to people's orthodox faith; must lead people to their destiny, a new world of universal love and brotherhood contained in orthodoxy.

"El Matadero" ("the Slaughterhouse"). Esteban Echeverria. Argentine. 1871. Story. Buenos Aires slaughterhouse; denounces the brutality of the dictatorship of Juan Manuel de Rosas.

"Democratic Vistas." Walt Whitman. American. 1871. Essay. Sees decline in vigor and moral consciousness in post-Civil War America.

Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life. George Eliot. British. 1871/72. Novel. Idealistic woman, disillusioned by marriage to a scholar, makes an effort to contribute to medical reform; gives up her inheritance to marry the man she really loves.

Les Rougon-Macquart. Emile Zola. French. 1871/93. Novels. Twenty novels. National and social history of a family during the Second Empire. Characters depicted with brutal realism. Sordid lives. Dramatizes the desperate need for social change.

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