The 1850s was a decade that ran from January 1, 1850, to December 31, 1859. The 1850s was a very turbulent decade, as wars such as the Crimean War, shifted and shook European politics, as well as the expansion of colonization towards the Far East, which also sparked conflicts like the Second Opium War. At the mean time, The United States saw its peak on mass migration to the American West, that particularly made the nation experience an economic boom, as well as a rapidly increasing population.


Internal conflicts

Prominent political events

Assassinations and attempts

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:

Science, technologies and Institutions




  • The word girlfriend first appears in writing in 1855.
  • The word boyfriend first appears in writing in 1856.

Popular culture



World leaders

Note: Names of country leaders shown below in bold face have remained in power continuously throughout the entirety of the decade

External links