The Year Was 1805

Bombardment of TripoliThe year was 1805 and determined to strike back at Napoleon, Britain, Austria, Russia, Sweden, and several German states form the Third Coalition. One of the most the most famous battles of that war was fought at Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. British Naval forces under the command of Admiral Viscount Lord Nelson defeated the French and Spanish, although the battle cost the admiral his life. Napoleon’s troops were faring better on land though. They defeated Austrian forces in the Battle of Ulm in Germany and Austrian and Russian forces at Austerlitz, which is now in the Czech Republic.

In the United States, Indiana Territory was split up and the Michigan Territory was created on 30 June 1805. One of the first acts of the new government was to lay out plans to rebuild the town of Detroit, which had burned to the ground on 11 June 1805. 300 houses were lost and 500 residents were left homeless.

Thomas Jefferson had just been elected to his second term and Lewis and Clark were off on their historic expedition. In October, as they made their way through what is now Idaho, it appears that they experienced a weather phenomenon called a “thunderstorm heatburst”–a rush of very hot wind that bursts ahead of an approaching thunderstorm.  Then, in November of 1805 the explorers reached the Pacific Ocean. They had traveled 4,000 miles in nineteen months. 

The United States had been fighting a war with the Barbary States, a group of African states that supported piracy. Barbary pirates preyed on ships of countries that had not paid tributes to the states. In 1801 the Pasha of Tripoli had declared war on the newly formed (and financially burdened) United States because it didn’t have enough money to pay tributes. The war with Tripoli ended with United States Marines attacking the city of Derna in Tripoli. 

Image: Bombardment of Tripoli from the Library of Congress Photo Collection at Ancestry.

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4 thoughts on “The Year Was 1805

  1. I love this article — we need more like this. Gives a great perspective on the time frame for all the world.

  2. These kind of compact historical gems are so valuable – quick reading and informative. I hope items of historical interest such as these continue…

  3. I love these articles! I anxiously await articles on the years 1808, 1876, 1891 and 1933! Thanks…

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