29 May 1848

Wisconsin is admitted as the 30th USA state.

May 29, 1848 – Wisconsin Became the 30th State Admitted to the Union.
The state of Wisconsin, wholly formed out of the Northwest Territories, was named after the Wisconsin River. “Wisconsin” means “grassy place” in the Chippewa language.Wisconsin is known as The Badger State. This nickname originally referred to the lead miners of the 1830s, who worked at the Galena lead mines in Illinois. These mines were in northwestern Illinois close to the borders of Wisconsin and Iowa. The Wisconsin miners lived, not in houses, but in temporary caves cut into the hillsides. The caves were described as badger dens and, the miners who lived in them, as badgers. The miners brought the nickname back to Wisconsin. Eventually, the nickname was applied to all of the people of Wisconsin and, finally, to the state itself. The badger was adopted as Wisconsin’s state animal in 1957.

Wisconsin is full of natural beauty, and there is also a standout feature in the man-made wonders department:

The Quadracci Pavilion is a sculptural, postmodern addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum completed in 2001, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The hall’s chancel is shaped like the prow of a ship, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking over Lake Michigan. The signature wings, the Burke Brise Soleil, form a moveable sunscreen with a 217-foot wingspan. The entire structure weighs 90 tons. It takes 3.5 minutes for the wings to open or close, which happens Tuesday through Sunday around noon.

10 March 1848

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is ratified by the United States Senate which ends the Mexican–American War.

California and New Mexico were quickly occupied by American forces in the summer of 1846, and fighting there ended on 13 January 1847 with the signing of the “Capitulation Agreement” at “Campo de Cahuenga” and end of the Taos Revolt. By the middle of September 1847, U.S. forces had successfully invaded central Mexico and occupied Mexico City.

Peace negotiations
Some Eastern Democrats called for complete annexation of Mexico and claimed that some Mexican liberals would welcome this, but President Polk’s State of the Union address in December 1847 upheld Mexican independence and argued at length that occupation and any further military operations in Mexico were aimed at securing a treaty ceding California and New Mexico up to approximately the 32nd parallel north and possibly Baja California and transit rights across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

Despite its lengthy string of military defeats, the Mexican government was reluctant to agree to the loss of California and New Mexico. Even with its capital under enemy occupation, the Mexican government was inclined to consider factors such as the unwillingness of the U.S. administration to annex Mexico outright and what appeared to be deep divisions in domestic U.S. opinion regarding the war and its aims, which gave it reason to conclude that it was actually in a far better negotiating position than the military situation might have suggested. A further consideration was the Mexican government’s opposition to slavery and its awareness of the well-known and growing sectional divide in the U.S. over the issue of slavery. It therefore made sense for Mexico to negotiate with a goal of pandering to Northern U.S. interests at the expense of Southern U.S. interests.

The Mexicans proposed peace terms that offered only sale of Alta California north of the 37th parallel north — north of Santa Cruz, California and Madera, California and the southern boundaries of today’s Utah and Colorado. This territory was already dominated by Anglo-American settlers, but perhaps more importantly from the Mexican point of view, it represented the bulk of pre-war Mexican territory north of the Missouri Compromise line of parallel 36°30? north — lands that, if annexed by the U.S., would have been presumed by Northerners to be forever free of slavery. The Mexicans also offered to recognize the U.S. annexation of Texas, but held to its demand of the Nueces River as a boundary.

While the Mexican government could not reasonably have expected the Polk Administration to accept such terms, it would have had reason to hope that a rejection of peace terms so favorable to Northern interests might have the potential to provoke sectional conflict in the United States, or perhaps even a civil war that would fatally undermine the U.S. military position in Mexico. Instead, these terms combined with other Mexican demands only provoked widespread indignation throughout the U.S. without causing the sectional conflict the Mexicans were hoping for.

Jefferson Davis advised Polk that if Mexico appointed commissioners to come to the U.S., the government that appointed them would probably be overthrown before they completed their mission, and they would likely be shot as traitors on their return; so that the only hope of peace was to have a U.S. representative in Mexico. Nicholas Trist, chief clerk of the State Department under President Polk, finally negotiated a treaty with the Mexican delegation after ignoring his recall by President Polk in frustration with failure to secure a treaty. Notwithstanding that the treaty had been negotiated against his instructions, given its achievement of the major American aim, President Polk passed it on to the Senate.

A section of the original treaty
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed by Nicholas Trist and Luis G. Cuevas, Bernardo Couto and Miguel Atristain as plenipotentiary representatives of Mexico on 2 February 1848, at the main altar of the old Basilica of Guadalupe at Villa Hidalgo as U.S. troops under the command of Gen. Winfield Scott were occupying Mexico City.

Changes to the treaty and ratification
The version of the treaty ratified by the United States Senate eliminated Article X, which stated that the U.S. government would honor and guarantee all land grants awarded in lands ceded to the U.S. to citizens of Spain and Mexico by those respective governments. Article VIII guaranteed that Mexicans who remained more than one year in the ceded lands would automatically become full-fledged United States citizens; however, the Senate modified Article IX, changing the first paragraph and excluding the last two. Among the changes was that Mexican citizens would “be admitted at the proper time” instead of “admitted as soon as possible”, as negotiated between Trist and the Mexican delegation.

An amendment by Jefferson Davis giving the U.S. most of Tamaulipas and Nuevo León, all of Coahuila and a large part of Chihuahua was supported by both senators from Texas, Daniel S. Dickinson of New York, Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, Edward A. Hannegan of Indiana, and one each from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri and Tennessee. Most of the leaders of the Democratic party, Thomas Hart Benton, John C. Calhoun, Herschel V. Johnson, Lewis Cass, James Murray Mason of Virginia and Ambrose Hundley Sevier were opposed and the amendment was defeated 44–11.

An amendment by Whig Sen. George Edmund Badger of North Carolina to exclude New Mexico and California lost 35–15, with three Southern Whigs voting with the Democrats. Daniel Webster was bitter that four New England senators made deciding votes for acquiring the new territories.

A motion to insert into the treaty the Wilmot Proviso failed 15–38 on sectional lines.

The treaty was subsequently ratified by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 38 to 14 on 10 March 1848 and by Mexico through a legislative vote of 51 to 34 and a Senate vote of 33 to 4, on 19 May 1848. News that New Mexico’s legislative assembly had just passed an act for organization of a U.S. territorial government helped ease Mexican concern about abandoning the people of New Mexico. The treaty was formally proclaimed on 4 July 1848.

21 February 1848

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto.

On February 21, 1848, The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx with the assistance of Friedrich Engels, is published in London by a group of German-born revolutionary socialists known as the Communist League. The political pamphlet–arguably the most influential in history–proclaimed that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” and that the inevitable victory of the proletariat, or working class, would put an end to class society forever. Originally published in German as Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei, the work had little immediate impact. Its ideas, however, reverberated with increasing force into the 20th century, and by 1950 nearly half the world’s population lived under Marxist governments.

Karl Marx was born in Trier, Prussia, in 1818–the son of a Jewish lawyer who converted to Lutheranism. He studied law and philosophy at the universities of Berlin and Jena and initially was a follower of G.W.F. Hegel, the 19th-century German philosopher who sought a dialectical and all-embracing system of philosophy. In 1842, Marx became editor of the Rheinische Zeitung, a liberal democratic newspaper in Cologne. The newspaper grew considerably under his guidance, but in 1843 the Prussian authorities shut it down for being too outspoken. That year, Marx moved to Paris to co-edit a new political review.

Paris was at the time a center for socialist thought, and Marx adopted the more extreme form of socialism known as communism, which called for a revolution by the working class that would tear down the capitalist world. In Paris, Marx befriended Friedrich Engels, a fellow Prussian who shared his views and was to become a lifelong collaborator. In 1845, Marx was expelled from France and settled in Brussels, where he renounced his Prussian nationality and was joined by Engels.

During the next two years, Marx and Engels developed their philosophy of communism and became the intellectual leaders of the working-class movement. In 1847, the League of the Just, a secret society made up of revolutionary German workers living in London, asked Marx to join their organization. Marx obliged and with Engels renamed the group the Communist League and planned to unite it with other German worker committees across Europe. The pair were commissioned to draw up a manifesto summarizing the doctrines of the League.

Back in Brussels, Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto in January 1848, using as a model a tract Engels wrote for the League in 1847. In early February, Marx sent the work to London, and the League immediately adopted it as their manifesto. Many of the ideas in The Communist Manifesto were not new, but Marx had achieved a powerful synthesis of disparate ideas through his materialistic conception of history. The Manifesto opens with the dramatic words, “A spectre is haunting Europe–the spectre of communism,” and ends by declaring: “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite!”

In The Communist Manifesto, Marx predicted imminent revolution in Europe. The pamphlet had hardly cooled after coming off the presses in London when revolution broke out in France on February 22 over the banning of political meetings held by socialists and other opposition groups. Isolated riots led to popular revolt, and on February 24 King Louis-Philippe was forced to abdicate. The revolution spread like brushfire across continental Europe. Marx was in Paris on the invitation of the provincial government when the Belgian government, fearful that the revolutionary tide would soon engulf Belgium, banished him. Later that year, he went to the Rhineland, where he agitated for armed revolt.

The bourgeoisie of Europe soon crushed the Revolution of 1848, and Marx would have to wait longer for his revolution. He went to London to live and continued to write with Engels as they further organized the international communist movement. In 1864, Marx helped found the International Workingmen’s Association–known as the First International–and in 1867 published the first volume of his monumental Das Kapital–the foundation work of communist theory. By his death in 1884, communism had become a movement to be reckoned with in Europe. Twenty-three years later, in 1917, Vladimir Lenin, a Marxist, led the world’s first successful communist revolution in Russia.

2 December 1848

Franz Joseph I becomes Emperor of Austria.

Franz_Joseph,_circa_1915

The third longest reigning European monarch 67 years after King Louis XIV of France and Johann II, Prince of Liechtenstein, Franz Joseph Karl was born on August 18, 1830 at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. He was the eldest of the four children of Archduke Franz Karl of Austria and Princess Sophia of Bavaria.

Franz Joseph was educated with his brother Maximilian, and they were first taught by their governess Baroness Louise von Sturmfeder. In 1836, Count Heinrich Bombelles became responsible for the education of the young archdukes. Bombelles created a rigorous course of study for Franz Joseph. He was expected to study 18 hours a week when he was six years old. The hours of study per week increased to 36 hours at age eight and 46 hours at age 11. Franz Joseph became seriously ill at the age of 13 due to the stress of his studies. However, his rigorous education continued and he was studying 56 hours a week at the 15. It was important for Franz Joseph to learn the languages of the Austrian empire, and so he studied not only French, Latin and Greek , but also Hungarian, Czech, Italian, and Polish. His studies mathematics, physics, history, geography, jurisprudence and political science, and physical education. On his 13th birthday, Franz Joseph was appointed Colonel of the Dragoons Regiment, and the focus of his education shifted to military strategies and tactics.

The biggest ambition of Franz Joseph’s mother Sophie was to place her oldest son on the Austrian throne. During the Revolution of 1848, she persuaded her husband to give up his rights to the throne in favor of their son Franz Joseph, and on December 2, 1848, Emperor Ferdinand abdicated the throne in favor of his 18-year-old nephew. Franz Joseph was now Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Croatia and King of Bohemia.