|1799 in the year
||Napoleon, returning from Egypt, captured Jaffa and laid siege to Akka.
The French in Egypt were being threatened by the British Fleet. Napoleon's objective was to compare the Ottoman government to come to terms with the French. He defeated the Turks on the Plain of Jereel and advanced as far as Nazareth and Safed but failed to capture Akka. He withdrew his forces in June of 1799. [Handbook of Palestine edited by H C Luke and E Keith Roach, McMillan, London, 1922 pp22-23, Handbook of Palestine]
||Napoleon; History (general); War (general)
|1804 - 1813
||Russo-Persian War resulted in a Russian victory. The Battle of Aslan Duz on 31 October 1812 was the turning point in the war, which led to the complete destruction of the Persian army, thus leaving Fath Ali Shah with no other option but to sign the Treaty of Gulistan on 24 October 1813. Numerically, Persian forces had a considerable advantage during the war, a ratio of 5 to 1 over their Russian adversaries, however, the Persian forces were technologically backwards and poorly trained - a problem that the Persian government failed to recognize.
With the Treaty of Gulistan Persia ceded what is now Georgia, Dagestan, parts of northern Armenia, and most of what now comprises modern Azerbaijan to Russia.
||Gulistan; Aslan Duz; Iran; Russia
||Russo-Persian War; Treaty of Gulistan; War (general); History (general); Iran, General history
||Defeat of Persia at the hands of the British. [BBRSM55]
||War (general); Britain; History (general); Iran, General history
||The sacking of the holy city of Karbalá at the hands of the Turks. Thousands of its citizens were killed even those taking refuge in the Shrines of Imám Husayn or 'Abbás. [BBRSM55, HotD10, DB36]
||Ottoman Empire; War (general); History (general)
|1870 19 Jul – 1871 10 May
||Franco-Prussian War was a conflict between the Second French Empire of Napoleon III and the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. The conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded.
- See KA90 for Bahá'u'lláh's reference to this and KAN121 for `Abdu'l-Bahá's interpretation.
||Franco-Prussian War; War (general); History (general); Napoleon III
|1870 1 - 2 Sep
||Battle of Sedan. Napoleon III suffers defeat at the hands of Kaiser Wilhelm I. It resulted in the capture of Emperor Napoleon III and large numbers of his troops and for all intents and purposes decided the war in favour of Prussia and its allies, though fighting continued under a new French government. Napoleon goes into exile in England, where he dies in 1873.
- Bahá'u'lláh refers to this in KA86.
|Sedan; France; Germany
||Franco-Prussian War; War (general); History (general); Napoleon III; Kaiser Wilhelm I; Kitab-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book)
|1911 21 Oct
||News of the Battle of Benghazi (17 October) was headline news. It was one of the opening salvos of the Turko-Italian War and began on the 17th of October when Italian invasion forces began their bombardment of the Turkish garrison. The Turks were forced to abandon the city and there were many lives lost, Italians, Turks and civilians.
His talk, "The Pitiful Causes of War, and the Duty of Everyone to Strive for Peace". [ABF96-100 PT28-30]
|Paris; France; Benghazi; Lybia; Turkey; Italy
||Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; War (general); History (general); Peace
|1913 13 Apr
||`Abdu'l-Bahá is sick and the weather is bitterly cold. He goes to the studio of Professor Robert A. Nadler of the Royal Academy of Art to sit for a portrait. He gives him a total of three sittings during His visit to Budapest. [AB387, MRHK368-9]
- "The portrait is remarkable not only because of its art, but also because of its later miraculous fate. Reportedly, after heavy bombing in 1945, only that part of the building in which the painting was hung remained unharmed." [Renée Szanto-Felbermann Two Portraits p3, Rebirth: Memoirs of Renée Szanto-Felbermann p159]
- The painting is purchased and taken to the Bahá'í World Centre in 1972. [SBBR14p118]
||Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Robert A. Nadler; Abdul-Baha, Pictures and portraits; Portraits; World War II; War (general)
|1914 28 Jun
||The heir to the Austrian throne is assassinated in Sarajevo.
||Sarajevo; Serbia; Austria
||World War I; War (general); History (General)
|1914 28 Jul
||The Great War (1914–18) breaks out in Europe. (28 July, 1914 to 11 November, 1918)
Austria declares war on Serbia.
|Europe; Austria; Serbia
||World War I; War (general); History (general)
|1914 4 Aug
||England declares war on Germany.
||United Kingdom; Germany; Europe
||World War I; War (general); History (general)
|1914 1 Nov
||Turkey enters the war on the side of the Central Powers.
- Palestine is blockaded and Haifa is bombarded. [GPB304]
- `Abdu'l-Bahá sends the Bahá'ís to the Druze village of Abú-Sinán for asylum. [AB411; DH124; GPB304]
- For `Abdu'l-Bahá in war time see CH188–228.
- `Abdu'l-Bahá had grown and stored corn in the years leading up to the war and was now able to feed not only local people but the British army. [AB415, 418; CH210; GPB304, 306]
- See CH209–10 for other villages inhabited by Bahá'ís.
|Palestine; Israel; Abu-Sinan; Haifa
||World War I; War (general); Druze; Abdul-Baha, Life of; British; Charity and relief work; History (General); - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline
||Foreign troops occupy nearly all of neutral Iran. [AB416; BBRSM:87]
||War (general); History (General); Iran, General history
|1917 6 Apr
||The United States enters World War I.
- See CF36 for Shoghi Effendi's opinion of its participation in the war.
|Europe; United States
||World War I; War (general); History (general); Shoghi Effendi, Life of
|1918 8 Jan
||President Woodrow Wilson in a speech on war aims and peace terms to the United States Congress outlined his Fourteen Points. It was a statement of principles for peace that was to be used for peace negotiations in order to end World War I.
President Wilson was influenced by the Bahá’í Teachings in formulating his Fourteen Points, at least three Bahá’í volumes were known to be in the White House. The Hidden Words appears on a 1921 listing of Wilson’s private library. Also, a compilation on peace given the President by a delegation of Washington Bahá’ís ‘turned up in general reference at the Library of Congress marked “transfer from the White House”‘. And Abdul-Baha on Divine Philosophy (Boston, 1918) is said to have much influenced his thinking. [AY155]
Commenting on the Fourteen Points laid down by the President for the world community, the
Master says that twelve of them derive from principles advocated by Bahá’u’lláh fifty years before, and that these Teachings had been
spread worldwide through various publications, thus becoming known to leaders in Europe and America (Persian Tablets, vol. III, p. 312). [AY156-157]
|United States; Washinton DC
||Woodrow Wilson; Fourteen Points; History (general); Principles; Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of; Abdul-Baha on Divine Philosophy; Peace; World War I; War (general); United States, Presidents
|1918 23 Sep
||"During the early years of World War I, though no longer imprisoned, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá faced repeated threats against His life by authorities who were antagonistic towards Him and the Baha’is. The Commander of the Ottoman fourth army corps had even threatened to crucify ‘Abdu’l-Bahá if the Turkish army were ever to be displaced out of Haifa." Lady Blomfield in London had learned of these threats and through her contacts in Cabinet, the British Army was instructed to protect Him and His family. [BWNS69, BWNS1202]
The British army took the city in the 1st Battle of Haifa: The battle was won due to a courageous uphill assault by the Jodhpur Lancers of the Indian Army who took the German and Turkish artillery and machine gun emplacements on top of Mount Carmel by surprise. This attack is believed to have been one of the last cavalry charge in modern military history. Each year, on this date, the Indian Army commemorates this victory as Haifa Day. [AY104; BBR335; DH148, Scroll In 68095]
- For details of the battle see BBR335-6.
- For letters from the British authorities stating that `Abdu'l-Bahá is safe see BBR336-7.
|Mount Carmel; Haifa; Israel
||World War I; War (general); History (general); Jodhpur Lancers; Indian Army; Germany; Turkey; Haifa Day; Abdul-Baha, Death threats to; BWNS; Lady Blomfield
|1919 28 Jun
||The Treaty of Versailles was concluded. The United States never signed the Treaty of Versailles, never joined the League of Nations which President Wilson's foes derisively referred to as ‘Wilson’s League’. The USA made separate treaties with Germany and the other Central Powers. Wilson died on the 3rd of February, 1924. [AY160-169] Shoghi Effendi's tribute is as follows:
"To ....President...Woodrow Wilson, must be ascribed the unique honour, among the statesmen of any nation, whether of the East or of the West, of having voiced sentiments so akin to the principles animating the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, and of having more than any other world leader, contributed to the creation of the League of Nations—achievements which the pen of the Centre of God’s Covenant acclaimed as signalizing the dawn of the Most Great Peace, whose sun, according to that same pen, must needs arise as the direct consequence of the enforcement of the laws of the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh." [CoF36]
||Treaty of Versailles; Woodrow Wilson; League of Nations; History (general); World War I; War (general)
||The first Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Budapest is elected. There are about 14 believers in the community, mostly of Jewish ancestry. This will cause difficulty for the community in the Nazi persecutions that are to follow. [Rebirth: Memoirs of Renée Szanto-Felbermann p108]
According to the description of Renée Szántó-Felbermann, they could not even meet in Budapest: „It was at their (the Sugárs) house in Alag (today part of Budakeszi) that we elected the first Spiritual Assembly in the history of Hungary, Ridvan 1939. When we boarded the train for Alag, in order to avoid suspicion, we Bahá’ís did not remain together, but went by twos and threes. The same procedure was repeated on our arrival to Alag. It was a memorable, unforgettable evening, that Feast of Ridván in the small house at Alag fragrant with spring flowers. We were all deeply moved. And our dear Bertha Matthiesen was radiant. … Jenő Sugár was elected chairman, Mária Kleinberger became treasurer and I continued as secretary.” [www.bahai.hu]
- Ms Bertha Matthiesen spends a lot of time in Hungary between 1937 and 1939 when most declarations take place and the first spiritual assembly is formed.
- Mr Emeric Sala (Imre Szalavetz) a Canadian Bahá'í who was born in Hungary visits Budapest in 1933 and in 1937.
- Canadian travel teacher Ms Lorol Schopflocher visits Budapest in March-April 1937.
||First Local Spiritual Assemblies; World War II; War (general); Persecution, Hungary; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Jews
|1939 3 Sep
||World War II begins with Britain and France declaring war on Germany after Germany invades Poland.
||Europe; Germany; United Kingdom; France; Poland
||World War II; History (general); War (general)
|1945 8 May
||The war in Europe ends.
- For Shoghi Effendi’s response see MA80–1, PP185 and UD175.
- For the war’s effect on the Bahá’í community worldwide see BW17:80.
- See CF36 for Shoghi Effendi’s opinion of the significance of the role of the United States in the war.
||World War II; War (general); History (general)
|1945 2 Sep
||The war in Japan ends.
||World War II; War (general); History (general)
|1945 24 Oct
||The United Nations is formally established.
- For the relationship of the Bahá’í Faith to the United Nations see BW16:327–52.
See SDC64-65 for 'Abdu'l-Bahá's prophetic statement, written in 1875, "True civilization will unfurl its banner...".
|San Francisco; California; United States
||United Nations; Secret of Divine Civilization (book); Collective security; Prophecies; World War II; War (general); Peace; History (general)
||War breaks out in Palestine.
- See DH118 for the effect on the Bahá’ís.
||War (general); History (general)
|1948 21 - 22 Apr
||The 2nd Battle of Haifa: A Jewish offensive to gain control of the strategic port of Haifa. Prior to the 30-hour battle the Arab population of Haifa was estimated to be 65,000 compared to 70,000 Palestinian Jews. At the end of the operation the Arab population was reduced to about 4,000 people. [Battle of Haifa]
||War (general); History (general)
|1949. 9 Dec
||The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Resolution entitled Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
- It was largely through the one-man campaign of a Polish jurist, Raphael Lemkin, someone who had lost family members in the Nazi holocaust, and who had invented the term "genocide", that the Resolution was adopted. [In Search of a Better World by Payam Akhavan p91-92]
- The attitude at the time could be summed up in the words "Never again!" however the world would have to wait another 50 years before the International Criminal Court would be established to provide any real meaning to this Resolution.
||Genocide; United Nations; Justice; Law, International; World War II; War (general); History (general)