The eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Tambora in April 1815 altered the climate so dramatically that temperatures in some areas dropped as much as three degrees Celsius – and there’s no telling if or when a similar catastrophe could occur again.
During a volcanic eruption, millions of tons of ash, dust, and sulfur dioxide are spewed into the atmosphere. A strong enough eruption, like Tambora, blasts sulfur dioxide more than 10 miles above the surface of the earth – where it begins to form sulfate aerosols, once it is exposed to water vapor in the atmosphere. Floating above the altitude of rain, these aerosols remain in the atmosphere, reflecting sunlight and cooling the surface of the planet.
The resulting climate change following Tambora’s blast led to what is now known as the year without a summer – 1816. Millions of people from North America and Europe struggled with failed crops, near-famine food shortages, outbreaks of a number of diseases, and a widespread migration of people seeking a better home.
In the year after Tambora’s eruption, spring arrived as expected – but instead of the warm days of summer, temperatures began to drop and the cold weather returned. According to some reports, the sky seemed permanently overcast, blocking sunlight from reaching the surface of the earth.
In northern New England, people faced snow drifts of up to 20 inches – in June. Crops failed across the country, and lambs and birds were dying from exposure. According to the New England Historical Society, people were resorting to killing raccoons and pigeons for meat. Europe also faced food riots and a typhus epidemic.
“We do not recollect the time when the drought has been so extensive, and general, not when there has been so cold a summer,” read a story published in New York State’s Albany Advertiser on October 6, 1816. “There have been hard frosts in every summer month, a fact that we have never known before. It has also been cold and dry in some parts of Europe, and very wet in other places in that quarter of the world.”
What happen in History at that time?
Battle Of Waterloo, Napoleon had returned to Paris from his imprisonment on Elba without much in the way of opposition, and had collected many of his old troops and commanders on the march. The Allies met in Vienna and decided that they would not accept the Emperor’s peaceful overtures. He had decided to break up their amalgamation with an attack on them before they got to France, and battle was joined at Waterloo in Belgium on June 18th . It was here that the French were defeated by the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian Gebhard von Blücher’s men. The size of the armies at Waterloo is listed as: 68,000 British, 45,000 Prussians, and France’s 72,000 soldiers.
The Battle of New Orleans, The final battle of the 1812-1814 war between Britain and the United States occurred when Britain attempted to invade New Orleans and was defeated by Major General Andrew Jackson.
On September 1814, the Congress of Vienna began. All the powers of Europe sent delegates to decide the issue of the day: the reorganization of the chaotic Europe Napoleon’s conquest had left behind.
The members of the Congress were all afraid of a strong France, so they created strong border states. The Netherlands and the Italian Kingdom of Piedmont were created to this end. Prussia got the left bank of the Rhine, while Austria took territory in northern Italy, including Tuscany and Milan. In Naples, Murat actually kept his throne for a while. The Bourbons were restored in Spain. Restoring Germany to its previous status as the chaotic, fragmented Holy Roman Empire served no one’s purposes. Instead, the relatively large kingdoms of Bavaria, Wurttemberg, and Saxony remained as Napoleon created them. However, no unified Germany would emerge. Small states remained for now.
The future of Napoleon’s Polish Grand Duchy of Warsaw remained the most problematic issue. Alexander had desired over the territory for years, but Austria and Prussia both had parts of the old Polish kingdom. The Prussians entered an agreement with Russia, under which Russia would support Prussia’s bid for Saxony and Prussia would support Russia’s bid for Poland; in addition, Prussia would hand over its share of Poland to Russian. Metternich, however, feared that Russia would become too powerful in this deal. To combat the Russian-Prussian alliance, on January 3, 1815, Metternich, Castlereagh, and Talleyrand signed a secret treaty agreeing to oppose the Prussians and Russians. In the end, the Congress of Vienna created a small Poland (“Congress Poland”) with Alexander installed as the king. With Russia satisfied, Prussia lost its ally and only was able to get a minor piece of Saxony.
As these details were being ironed out in Vienna, another problem suddenly arose. On March 1, 1815, Napoleon appeared in France, having escaped from exile in Elba. Promising to return France to glory, Napoleon swept through the country and raised an army. Louis XVIII quickly fled, and Napoleon made a last-ditch effort at conquest in a period called the Hundred Days. The Congress of Vienna was shocked, and immediately declared Napoleon an outlaw.
The Hundred Days came to climax and conclusion at the Battle of Waterloo, where the British army under Wellington was joined by a revitalized Prussian force under Blucher. Together, the British and the Prussians managed to defeat Napoleon. A second Treaty of Paris was signed, and Napoleon was exiled much farther away this time, to the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, were he lived out the last six years of his life. The four victorious powers (Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia) agreed that no Bonaparte would ever be allowed to rule France again. Even Murat, who previously had been left as king of Naples, was now deposed and the Bourbon monarchy restored.
After the end of the Hundred Days, the finishing touches were put on the Congress of Vienna. Czar Alexander I, still looking for a collective security system that would prevent anyone from ever building such a large European empire again, convinced most European nations to sign a Holy Alliance. Under the terms of this agreement, which was taken seriously by few besides Alexander himself, the nations promised to strive for the Christian virtues of charity and peace.
1815 Napoleon defeated by Wellington at Waterloo
1815: Corn Law in Great Britain
Corn Law, in English history, any of the regulations governing the import and export of grain.
Corn laws, 1794-1846, set duties on grain imports into Britain to protect British agriculture from outside competition.
From 1815, when an act attempted to fix prices, to 1822, grain prices fluctuated, and continuing protection was increasingly unpopular.
1815 June 9
Congress of Vienna: The territory of the Duchy of Warsaw was divided between Prussia, Russia, and three newly established states: the Grand Duchy of Posen, the Free City of Kraków and Congress Poland. The latter was a constitutional monarchy with Alexander as its king.
The German Confederation, 1815-1866
The Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) greatly simplified the political division of Germany. The Holy Roman Empire of 1648 contained 234 territorial units, with 51 Free Cities, and multiple ecclesiastical states, like the great Archbishoprics of Salzburg, Magdeburg, and Trier and the Bishopric of Münster. Nevertheless, the 32 entities that remained after Vienna (with only 4 Free Cities and no ecclesiastical territories) were still a mess.
The “German Confederation” established by the Congress (which makes it sound like the successor of Napoleon’s “Confederation of the Rhine”), with exactly the same boundaries as the Empire of 1648, had even less power than the state that, according to Voltaire, was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire. As an institution the Confederation collapsed when Prussia and Austria went to war in 1866. All the pieces, except for Austria itself, Liechtenstein, and Luxembourg, were then scooped up by Prussia into the new German Empire of 1871.
1815 in Russia
Alexander I Alexander was the first Russian King of Poland, reigning from 1815 to 1825, as well as the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland. He was sometimes called Alexander the Blessed.
He was born in Saint Petersburg to Grand Duke Paul Petrovich, later Emperor Paul I, and succeeded to the throne after his father was murdered. He ruled Russia during the chaotic period of the Napoleonic Wars. As prince and emperor, Alexander often used liberal rhetoric, but continued Russia’s absolutist policies in practice.
In the first years of his reign, he initiated some minor social reforms and (in 1803–04) major, liberal educational reforms, such as building more universities. He promised constitutional reforms and a desperately needed reform of serfdom in Russia but made no concrete proposals.
Alexander appointed Mikhail Speransky, the son of a village priest, as one of his closest advisors. The Collegia was abolished and replaced by the The State Council, which was created to improve legislation. Plans were also made to set up a parliament and sign a constitution.
Alexander and his younger brother Constantine were raised by their grandmother, Catherine the Great.
Between 1810 and 1825, all the Spanish territories on the American mainland gain their sovereignty from Spain. Simultaneously, the power of the Catholic Church diminishes, including its patronage of the visual arts. During these war-torn years, cultural production declines.
1815 (MDCCCXV) was a common year starting on Sunday (dominical letter A) of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Friday (dominical letter C) of the Julian calendar, the 1815th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 815th year of the 2nd millennium, the 15th year of the 19th century, and the 6th year of the 1810s decade. As of the start of 1815, the Gregorian calendar was 12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
Famines spread around the world, including in China’s Yunnan province and in Europe. In fact, the famines that occurred in Europe as a result of Mount Tambora’s explosion were the worst in the nineteenth century Europe. The New England region of the United States also faced extensive crop damage.
India faced multiple major famines during this period, as the monsoons were disrupted by the eruption’s aftermath. One of the strangest results of the explosion was the spread of cholera from India to the rest of the world. Cholera had previously been a mostly local disease in the Bengal region of the subcontinent, a swampy area in the Ganges river delta. Climatic changes and famine led to the emergence of a new strain of cholera, which was able to spread more easily. Around 1820, it moved out of Bengal and east into Myanmar and Thailand, before reaching Europe by 1831.