World History 1847

About the history of the world in 1847, nitroglycerin is discovered, Mormons enter the Salt Lake Valley, Mexico City falls to U.S. forces.



* Ascanio Sobrero, professor of chemistry at the University of Turin in Italy, added glycerin to nitric and sulfuric acids and produced nitroglycerin. He tested its explosive capacity and was horrified. He never attempted to exploit his discovery, and it took Alfred Nobel two decades to duplicate the process.

Feb. 11 Sen. Thomas Corwin, finding no allies to help him oppose a bill for military appropriations for the Mexican War, launched a verbal attack which his biographer Josiah Morrow called the "bravest [speech] ever heard in Congress." Corwin said in part, "Your army, by order of the President, without the consent or advice of Congress, made war on Mexico, by invading her territory....If I were a Mexican I would tell you, 'Have you not room enough in your own country to bury your dead?'"

The bill passed despite Corwin's plea. Later, however, President Lincoln-who had also opposed this war-made Corwin minister to Mexico.

June 8 Fielden's Factory Act was passed by Parliament, reducing working hours for women and children to 10 1/2 hours a day or 58 hours a week.

June 23 At 12:00 A.M., Jacob Prout, secretary to the Constitutional Convention, proclaimed Liberia the first independent African republic, and then read the preamble to the Constitution: "The end of the institution, maintenance and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it, with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquility, their natural rights, and the blessings of life...."

Former American slaves who had gathered in the main square of Monrovia cheered as cannon were fired. However, these American ex-slaves, whom the American government had resettled in West Africa, comprised a scant 2% of the population. The native inhabitants were reduced to second-class citizenship as the Americans formed a governing elite and decreed that English was to be the national language.

July 24 The first Mormons, or Latter-Day Saints, entered the Great Salt Lake Valley. Having decided that Mormonism would never be tolerated in the U.S., Brigham Young had led his followers out of Illinois in the winter of 1846. The small band had taken the Oregon Trail at first, and then had turned south into Mexican territory. Unfortunately, because of the Mexican American War, the U.S. had unofficially annexed the area by the time they arrived at Salt Lake. The Mormons created a theocratic government and a cooperative economy and named the new land Desert. Congress later changed the name to Utah after the Ute Indians living in the territory.

Sept. 13-14 Mexico City fell to Gen. Winfield Scott's invading army. Three American divisions stormed Chapultepec Castle on the morning of the 13th. Even though they had misplaced their scaling ladders and met desperate resistance, the palace was captured at 9:30 A.M. The event was patriotically immortalized in the Marine Corps hymn with the line "From the Halls of Montezuma." On the same day, Americans captured the city's Belen and San Cosme gates.

That night, Gen. Santa Anna decided the capital could not be defended and retreated with his army to Guadalupe Hidalgo. On the 14th, a delegation surrendered the city to Scott. The American flag was raised over the Mexican capital at 7:00 A.M., but less than an hour later rioting and sniper fire began. Scott declared martial law and ordered the use of artillery on houses and the execution of suspected snipers to quell civilian resistance.

Nov. 10-29 In Switzerland, the liberal federal army led by Gen. G. H. Dufour defeated the forces of the Sonderbund, a Roman Catholic league formed in 1845. The Swiss government then dissolved the Sonderbund, expelled Jesuit priests, and weakened the powers of the individual cantons (provinces).

You Are Here: Trivia-Library Home » World History: 1847 » World History 1847
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ - By printing, downloading, or using you agree to our full terms. Review the full terms at the following URL: /disclaimer.htm