Timeline: 1811 to 1820


  • More than 200 slaves from different plantations near New Orleans join together with stolen arms to rebel against their masters. They are caught and executed.
  • Three South American countries declare independence: Venezuela, Bolivia, and Colombia. Fighting breaks out with the Spanish authorities there.


  • Ali Pasha drives the Wahhabi and Saudis out of Medina and Mecca.
  • In England, industrial workers called Luddites destroy new machinery, fearing technological unemployment. Some are executed.
  • Priests in Caracas claim that an earthquake is God's anger against government sins. Spain's military regains control of the city.
  • At sea, Britain counter-blockades France. Britain's prime minister instructs the British navy to avoid clashes with Americans; the US declares war against Britain.
  • Napoleon marches into Russia. 30,000 of his men are killed or captured. His terrible march back from Russia ends his campaign with none of the original army of 600,000.


  • Russia does not protect their fellow Orthodox Christians, the Serbs, who rebelled against Ottoman rule. The Ottoman Empire moves against the Serbs, and Albanian troops plunder Serb villages.
  • Spain, British and Spanish forces defeat Napoleon’s military. Napoleon withdraws from Germany.
  • Canadian Laura Secord walks 20 difficult miles to warn of a surprise attack by an invading US force, becoming a national heroine.


  • A treaty ends the war between the United States and Britain, restoring peace and friendship.
  • Russian and Prussian forces enter Paris. Napoleon is exiled to the island of Elba.
  • Vienna agrees to stop the slave trade.


  • An Indonesian volcano erupts, causing days with no sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere. Crops fail and livestock die, creating the worst of 19th century famines.
  • Napoleon is finally defeated at the Battle of Waterloo (Belgium).


  • Mary Shelley writes Frankenstein.
  • The British return their Indonesian empire to the Dutch.
  • Spain's army drives Simón Bolivar from New Grenada, but he establishes a base in the Venezuelan rainforest.


  • Egyptians take control of the Arabian Peninsula.


  • In England, 60,000 people call for the universal right to vote. When the speaker is arrested, people riot and eleven are killed. A movement for reform grows.


  • In England, revolutionaries kill government cabinet ministers, attempting to trigger a massive uprising. The conspirators are tried and five of them hang.
  • A liberal uprising begins in Spain, mainly with soldiers wanting a constitutional monarchy or a republic.

Source: Timeline: 1811 to 1820
Copyright © 1998-2018 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.

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