Voilà le commencement de la fin1. -Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, after hearing of Napoleon's Pyrrhic victory at Borodino.

Born in 1812:

Died in 1812:

Three separate wars kill hundreds of thousands. Please see below, especially the fool's errand of Napoleon Bonaparte in Russia.


Events of 1812:

  • Joseph Lister is the first person to use disinfectant during an operation.
  • George Gordon, Lord Byron, publishes the first two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.
  • Luddites commit acts of sabotage in many Midlands cities.  Over the objection of Lord Byron, Parliament passes the Frame Breaking Act making the destruction of industrial machinery a capital offense.
  • There are also food riots throughout the Midlands, as war and Napoleon's embargo causes wheat prices to skyrocket.
  • Whole lotta shakin' goin on.
    • (January 23) A magnitude 7.8 shock, again centered in Arkansas near New Madrid, Missouri.
    • (February 7) A magnitude 8.2 shock flattens New Madrid, and makes the Mississippi River (with the steamboat New Orleans on it) flows backwards for a time.
    • (March 26) An earthquake in Venezuela kills 45,000 people, and destroys Caracas and many other rebel strongholds. See below.
    • Congress passes the first foreign aid bill to aid victims of a Venezuelan earthquake.
    • (December 21) A large earthquake strikes west-central California and causes a tsunamiMission la Purisma is destroyed.  The soldiers at Santa Barbara flee their presidio and build huts to live in for three months.
  • War breaks out between the United States and Great Britain.
    • (April 8) Louisiana is admitted to the Union as the 18th state.
    • (June 1) An American army under General William Hull leaves Dayton, Ohio
    • (June 12) Congress declares war on Great Britain. There are three principal causes:
      • The impressment of American seamen to serve on British ships.
      • The disruption of trade caused by Great Britain's blockade of Napoleon's empire.
      • Border disputes, or, more accurately, naked territorial greed for Canada.
    • (June 20) Alexander Contee Hanson writes an editorial in the Baltimore Federalist opposing the war. Two days later, a mob attacks the paper's offices.
    • (July 12) Hull's army crosses the Detroit River into Canada.
    • (July 17) The British capture Mackinac Island.
    • (July 27) A mob in Baltimore attacks the offices of the Federalist once again, leading to the death of a member of the mob and the jailing of the paper's defenders (Hanson, General James Lingan, and General Henry Lee).
    • (July 28) A mob storms the Baltimore City Jail and pulls the prisoners out.
    • (August 15) British troops and allied Pottawotami and Ottawa Indians are advancing on Fort Dearborn near present-day Chicago.  The army evacuates the fort, causing the town to flee with them.  Indians attack the fleeing townspeople and kill many of them. Chief Blackbird receives a medal for the attack.
    • (August 16) Hull surrenders Detroit to the British.
    • (August 19) USF Constitution defeats HMS Guerriere off Nova Scotia.
    • (October 8) US brig Adams defeats and captures the British brig Hunter on Lake Erie.
    • (October 13) American general Solomon Van Rensselaer attempts to take Queenstown Heights on the Niagara River but fails because of the insubordination of General Smyth. Rensselear is wounded, Winfield Scott is forced to surrender.
    • (October 25) USF United States under Stephen Decatur defeats HMS Macedonian off Africa.
    • (November) The United States also undergoes its quadrennial paroxysm.
    • (December 26) Great Britain begins a blockade of Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay.
  • The Peninsular War goes very badly for the French as Arthur Wellesley, Viscount Wellington, is now poised to drive Napoleon's brother Joseph out of Spain.
    • (January 6) The border fort of Ciudad Rodrigo is captured.
    • (March 16) Wellington begins a siege of the border fort of Bajadoz.
    • (April 19) Bajadoz is captured after a siege and an extremely bloody assault.
    • (July 22-24) Wellington destroys Marshal Marmont's army at Salamanca.
    • (August 12) Wellington, now promoted to Marquess, enters Madrid.
    • (August 12) Austria declares war on France, again.
    • (September 10) Wellington begins a siege of Burgos.
    • (October 21) Wellington breaks off the siege of Burgos.
    • (November 11) Wellington withdraws to Ciudad Rodrigo.  Joseph re-enters Madrid,
  • Napoleon embarks upon a disastrous invasion of Russia.
    • (May 28) Tsar Alexander I signs the Treaty of Bucharest, ending his war with the Ottoman Empire.
    • (June) Russia and Sweden sign treaties with Great Britain.
    • (June 24) The Grande Armée, 422,000 strong, crosses into Russia and captures Kovno.
    • (June 28) Napoleon enters Vilna with 400,000 but the Russians hve destroyed everything of value.
    • (July 16) Napoleon finally marches out of Vilna with 340,000 troops, and a detatchment of 60,000 head off towards Polotsk.
    • (July 29) Napoleon enters Vitebsk with 175,000 troops. His soldiers are exhausted, his supply lines are stretched precariously thin, and his cattle are dying.
    • (August 16-17) The Grande Armee pushes the Russians out of Smolensk, with much loss of life, and capturing another city wrecked to the point of uselessness. Napoleon has 150,000 troops now.
    • (Septermber 7) Napoleon wears down General Kutzov's army at the Battle of Borodino just west of Moscow.
    • (September 14) Napoleon enters a deserted Moscow.  The city has also been sacked.
    • (September 15) Napoleon is forced to evacuate Moscow as retreating Russian troops set fire to it.  The city burns for three days.
    • (October 19) Having marched his army across Russia and lost two-thirds of his army to gain nothing, Napoleon and 100,000 troops head back to France.
    • (October 23) Napoleon decides to march his army of 96,000 back along the same route they came after being defeated at Maloyaroslavets.  The march along this already-devastated trail causes the Grande Armee to die in earnest.
    • (November 9) Napoleon and 41,000 soldiers reach Smolensk; the temperature is -26o C.
    • Napoleon and his 20,000 troops are met by the remaining 30,000 troops of the Polotsk detetchment at Botr.
    • (November 25-28) Napoleon has to build a bridge across the River Beresina, as the Russans have destroyed the one already there.  The Russians also attack the army as they cross the bridge. By the time they are finally on the other side, Napoleon has 20,000 troops left.
    • (December 5) Napoleon leaves his 10,000 remaining troops in Poland for Paris.
    • (December 30) Prussia falls out of Napoleon's grasp, and signs a truce with Russia.
  • New Spain is stilll in turmoil.
    • (January 29) Rebel forces are defeated in Oaxaca.
    • (February 12) Royalist general Calleja believes he has Padre José María Morelos y Pavón trapped in Cuautla.
    • (February 27) The flag of Argentina is raised for the first time.
    • (March 9) Jose de San Martin arrives in Argentina after resigning his commission in the Spanish army.
    • (March 26) The Venezuela earthquake (on Holy Thursday) is interpreted by royalist clergy as a sign from God to reinstate Spanish rule.
    • (May 2) Morelos breaks through the siege of Cuautla.
    • (May 25) Francisco de Miranda signs an armistice with the Spanish. Simon Bolivar, considering this treason, allows the Spanish to arrest him. Bolivar flees to Colombia and eventually to Haiti.
    • (September 24) An Argentine army under General Manuel Belgrano defeats royalist forces at San Miguel de Tucumán.
    • (November 25) Morelos captures Oaxaca.


1"This is the beginning of the end."

1811 - 1812 - 1813

How they Were Made - 19th Century

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