World History 1868

About the history of the world in 1868, the Meiji dynasty is restored in Japan, revolution in Spain, Andrew Johnson impeached.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1868

* The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Its phrase ". . . nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" served as the constitutional underpinning for many of the civil rights decisions handed down by the Supreme Court in the 20th century.

* The restoration of the Meiji dynasty in Japan under 16-year-old Emperor Mutsuhito began the abolition of the feudal system and restructured Japan along Western lines. The imperial capital was transferred from Kyoto to Tokyo.

* Revolution in Spain deposed Queen Isabella after 35 years of rule.

Mar.-May Pres. Andrew Johnson was acquitted by just one vote at the end of the only Senate impeachment trial of a U.S. president. The decisive vote was cast by Sen. Edmund Ross (R-Kans.), whose act of conscience cost him his career.

May 30 The first Decoration Day (also known as Memorial Day) was celebrated, according to its creator, Gen. John Alexander Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, "for the purpose of strewing flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the [Civil War] and with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year."

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