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Decade of the Gregorian calendar / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The 1840s (pronounced "eighteen-forties") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1840, and ended on December 31, 1849.

From top left, clockwise: Mexican–American War was a conflict that ushered the American expansion in its western frontier, paving way for new territories (and eventually states) such as Texas and California; Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 resulted with the establishment of New Zealand as a British colony, symbolizing Britain's rising power and expansion to new reaches, particularly in the New World, where demand for imperial power and trade control increases; The great auk goes extinct, as it falls victim to overhunting; First Opium War catalyzed Europe's imperial encroachment and control over Chinese ports, as the war resulted with Hong Kong's succession to Britain via the Treaty of Nanking; The Oregon Trail opens up to the world, prompting a wave of migration to the American west and later on, a gold rush in California that persisted through the 1850s; The saxophone was patented, later used in jazz, swing, and blues; First edition of the Communist Manifesto was published by Karl Marx in February 1848. This publication would go on to create a revolutionary shift in political ideologies and thought in the 20th century, influencing entire states such as Soviet Union, China, and Cuba; the Revolutions of 1848 ravages European politics, and causes multiple socio-cultural changes, particularly in classical music, arts, and politics.

The decade was noted in Europe for featuring the largely unsuccessful Revolutions of 1848, also known as the Springtime of Nations. Throughout the continent, bourgeois liberals and working-class radicals engaged in a series of revolts in favor of social reform. In the United Kingdom, this notably manifested itself through the Chartist movement, which sought universal suffrage and parliamentary reform. In France, the February Revolution led to the overthrow of the Orléans dynasty by Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1848, the publication of the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx would help lay the groundwork for the global socialist movement.

The Mexican–American War led to the redrawing of national boundaries in North America. In the United States, mass migration to the new West Coast occurred following the annexation of California from Mexico, with a Gold Rush beginning at the end of the decade. On its northern border, the United States settled the Oregon boundary dispute with the United Kingdom in 1846, thereby solving a domestic political crisis in the former nation.

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