From top left, clockwise: Scottish physicist
James Clerk Maxwell
, bringing together for the first time
as different manifestations of the same phenomenon; the
leads to enormous changes in Japan's political and social structure; the
International Workingmen's Association
is formed in 1864, aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing
Battle of Avay
, fought in 1868 during the
, the bloodiest inter-state war in Latin America's history; execution in 1867 of
Maximilian I of Mexico
, ruler of the
Second Mexican Empire
, established during the
Second French intervention in Mexico
Battle of Gettysburg
, the turning point of the
American Civil War
, fought in the
from 1861 to 1865, between the
) and the
) as a result of the long-standing
the enslavement of black people
is inaugurated in 1869;
meets Garibaldi near
in 1860, at the end of the
Expedition of the Thousand
1860s (pronounced "eighteen-sixties") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1860, and ended on December 31, 1869.
The decade was noted for featuring numerous major societal shifts in the
Americas. In the United States, the election of abolitionist Abraham Lincoln to the presidency in 1860 led to the secession of the southern states in the form of the Confederate States of America (CSA). The resulting American Civil War (1861-1865) would be among the first industrial wars, featuring advanced technology such as steel warships and machine guns. The victory of the Union and subsequent abolition of slavery would contribute to the decline of the global slave trade.
Latin America, conflict in Mexico ensued after the French Empire installed Maximilian I as Emperor of Mexico; former President Benito Juárez would regain his position in 1867 after a power struggle. The Triple Alliance of Empire of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in the Paraguayan War (1864-1870) would be among the bloodiest conflicts in South American history, leading to the death of almost 60% of the Paraguayan population.
The formation of the union of
Austria-Hungary in 1867 and the ongoing campaign to unify Italy by Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia-Piedmont would effect the European balance of power. The United Kingdom would continue engaging in a series of conflicts known as the New Zealand Wars with the indigenous M?ori, with the New Zealand land confiscations beginning in 1863.
In Asia, the
Meiji Restoration of 1868 would begin the process of transforming Japan into a global imperial power. The Qing Dynasty of China would experience decline following its defeat to the British in 1860 in the Second Opium War. In 1864, the Russian Empire would embark upon the Circassian genocide in the Caucasus, leading to the deaths or expulsion of at least 75% of the Circassian people.
Politics and wars
French occupation of Mexico (1863-1867). Replacement of President of Mexico Benito Juárez (1861-1863) at first with Juan Nepomuceno Almonte (1863-1864) and then by Emperor Maximilian of Mexico (1864-1867) with the establishment of the Second Mexican Empire. Juárez eventually manages to recover his position (1867-1872). On 18 October 1860, the first
Convention of Peking formally ended the Second Opium War. The
American Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865.  The
Paraguayan War (1864-1870) starts in South America, with the invasion of Paraguay by the Triple Alliance ( Empire of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay). It will kill almost 60% of the country's population. The main phase of the
New Zealand Wars between British colonials and the M?ori population begins with the First Taranaki War in 1860. The most significant campaign is the Invasion of the Waikato in 1863, which sees some 14,000 British and colonial troops engaged. The
Kingdom of Prussia under Bismarck invaded Denmark in 1864, which ended in the division of Schleswig, the location of a pro-German revolt, between Prussia and the Austrian Empire. Though Prussia and Austria had both fought side by side in this war, Prussia later attacked Austria in the Austro-Prussian war of 1866. The technological and logistical superiority of Prussia's armed forces obliterated Austria and its allies, the former also having to deal with Prussia's ally Italy in Venice. By the end of these conflicts, Prussia was seen as the most powerful state in Germany, and had total hegemony over the other German states. The NGF was formed after the Austro-Prussian war, uniting the states of north Germany, and Prussia soon led it into another conflict with France. The
Bhutan War between the British Empire and Bhutan lasted from 1864 to 1865. It ended in a British victory and the loss of some Bhutanese territory to British India. The
British Expedition to Abyssinia was a rescue mission and punitive expedition carried out in 1868 by the armed forces of the British Empire against the Ethiopian Empire. Conclusion of the Russo-Circassian War (1763-1864) resulting in Russian victory and subsequent Circassian genocide and diaspora.
Prominent political events
Assassinations and attempts
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Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:
Science and technology
Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground railway, opens in London in 1863.  The
First Transcontinental Railroad in the USA is completed in 1869. The
Suez Canal in Egypt is opened in 1869. The
, the first mechanically powered Plongeur submarine in the world, is launched in 1863 after three years of construction.
Carl Wilhelm Borchardt discovers and proves Cayley's formula in graph theory in 1860. The first
transatlantic telegraph cable is successfully laid in 1866, enabling almost instant communication between America and Europe.
Alfred Nobel invents dynamite in Sweden, patenting it in 1867.
James Clerk Maxwell publishes his equations that quantify the relationship between electricity and magnetism, and shows that light is a form of electromagnetic radiation
Joseph Lister develops antiseptic methods for use in surgery in 1867, introducing carbolic acid as an antiseptic, turning it into the first widely used surgical antiseptic in surgery, and publishing . As a result, deaths from infections due to surgery greatly decrease. Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery 
Gregor Mendel formulates Mendel's laws of inheritance, the basis for genetics, in a two-part paper written in 1865 and published in 1866, although it is largely ignored until 1900.
Dmitri Mendeleev develops the modern periodic table
Helium was first detected during the total solar eclipse of August 18, 1868, in parts of India. It was the first eclipse expedition in which a spectroscope was used.
J. Norman Lockyer and Pierre Janssen are honored for their discovery of the nature of the Sun's prominences. They were the first to notice bright spectral emission lines when viewing the limb of the Sun without the aid of a total solar eclipse. 1862 International Exhibition in London, England and 1867 International Exposition in Paris.
Literature and arts
Victorian era and its culture largely thrived from 1860 until 1901. The culture of the Victorian era comes to America and remains in place until around the turn of the 20th century, where the year it ends is disputed as to whether it ended with the rise of progressivism in 1896 or with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901.
Famous and infamous personalities
Appleton's Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events: 1861 (1864) online
. New York: D. Appleton & Company. 1863. p. i. Appletons' annual cyclopaedia and register of important events of the year: 1862
, thorough coverage of the events of 1863 Appletons' annual cyclopedia and register of important events: Embracing political, military, and ecclesiastical affairs; public documents; biography, statistics, commerce, finance, literature, science, agriculture, and mechanical industry, Volume 3 1863 (1864)
The American Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1867
American Annual Cyclopedia ... 1868 (1869), online American Annual Cyclopedia ... for 1869 (1870) online edition