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1848 January 12-The Paleromo rising erupts in Sicily, against the Bourbon Kingdom of Two Sicilies.
January 24-California Gold Rush begins after John Marshall discovers gold at Sutter's Hill California.
February 21-Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto.
February 24-Louis Philippe, King of the French abdicates after days of revolution in France. This revolution was the spark that lit the fuse of the other nationalist revolutions in Europe throughout this year.
March 15-The Hungarian Revolution begins.
March 22 – Republic of San Marco comes into existence in Venice.
March 24 – The First Schleswig War begins (German: Schleswig-Holsteinischer Krieg) or Three Years' War (Danish: Treårskrigen) a military conflict in southern Denmark and northern Germany rooted in the Schleswig-Holstein Question, contesting the issue of who should control the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein.
April 29-Pope Pius IX publishes a allocution stating his opposition to the Piedmontese in it's war against Austria. While this would prevent the Papal States and the Kingdom of Two Sicilies from joining the war, Sardinia and a coerced Tuscany defeated the Austrian's at the Battle of Custoza which was a major turning point in the Wars of Italian Unification (1848-49, 1859 and 1866.)
May 18-The first German National Assembly (Nationalversammlung) is opened in Frankfurt.
June 17-The Austrian army bombard Prague and crush a working class revolt. December 2-Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria abdicates and is succeded by his nephew Francis Joseph of Austria, Bohemia and Hungary.
March-The Frankfurt parliament finish drawing up the constitution, which after several days of negotiations is accepted by the new Emperor. Heinrich von Gagern, who had been acting Chancellor since 1848 is appointed Interim Chancellor as head of a coalition government (of Conservatives, Democrats and the Liberals) until elections can be held in 1850. They offer the imperial crown to Frederick William IV of Prussia who accepts after much deliberation.
April 2-The newly created Empire of Germany is granted diplomatic recognition by all European nations, except Austria and Russia.
April 14-Hungary declares independence from Austria.
July 3-French troops occupy Rome, the Roman Republic surrenders. The Kingdom of Italy refused to intervene so as to avoid a war with France.
September 12-Following the Treaty of Milan which ends the First War of Unification (or Austro-Italian War), the UKingdom of Italy are created out of the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the former Austrian territory of Lombardy. Veneto remains in Austrian hands, while the Papal States and the Two Sicilies remain independent. Charles Albert of Sardinia is crowned the first King of Italy.
November 1849-The Hungarian revolution ends after Gorgey's surrender to the Russians. Francis Joseph enacts a period of repression in all the states that had rebelled against Austrian rule.
March 3-First elections of the newly created Empire of Germany take place, with von Gagern's Liberal Party coming second behind Maximilian Duncker's Conservative Party. The ruling coalition is replaced by Duncker's first cabinet which includes Prussian prime minister Otto Theodor von Manteuffel as Foreign Minister.
November 29-Treaty of Olmutz (Olomouc) is signed, upon which Austria recognises, the Empire of Germany as a sovereign state and renounces the German Confederation.
May 1-The Great Exhibition is officially opened by Queen Victoria at Crystal Palace, where it runs until October.
December 2-In what is essentially a coup, the French President Louis Napoleon officially dissolves the National Assembly and grants himself a new term. A year later he declares himself Emperor Napoleon III.
August 19-Treaty of London ends the First Schleswig War, with Denmark retaining control of the duchies.
December 2-Napoleon III is declared as Emperor of the French.
February 18-Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria is assassinated by Hungarian nationalist János Libényi. He is succeeded by his liberal brother Maximilian who enacts a period of reform in the Empire so as to avoid the violence that had broken out in 1848-49.
October-Start of the Crimean War. Ottoman and Russian forces clash with the Ottomans capturing Kalafat. Austria, under new emperor Maximilian I remain neutral as does Germany.