Timeline – 19th Century

Early 1800sLiteral reading of the Bible, which had started in the 1600s, develops further, influenced by John Nelson Darby, Edward Irvine and Prophetic Conferences such as those in Albury.
1840Lord Shaftesbury, best remembered for legislation on child labour and mental health issues but  less for his form of evangelical Christianity, takes an advert in the Times: RESTORATION OF THE JEWS. A memorandum has been addressed to the Protestant monarchs of Europe on the subject of the restoration of the Jewish people to the land of Palestine. Also see.
1843The Scottish clergyman, Rev Alexander Keith, probably the first  to coin the phrase ‘A land without a people, for a people without a land.’
1861The French establish Lebanon as an autonomous district within Syria, under Christian leadership.
1865This country of Palestine belongs to you and to me, it is essentially yours. It was given to the Father of Israel in the words: ‘ Walk through the land in the length of it, and in the breadth of it, for I will give it unto thee.….  In the Archbishop of York’s introduction to the first meeting of the Palestine Exploration Fund. Click here to read Part 1 of the minutes of their first meeting, and click here to read Part 2.
1865At the South end of the Pale of Settlement, Russia ethnically cleansed 200,000 Circassian Muslims
1881Assassination of Tsar Alexander II followed by persecution of Russian Jews and other minorities.
1882British forces occupy Egypt and remain there until 1955.
1882William Hechler visited Leon Pinsker to persuade him that Palestine should be his goal for a Jewish homeland.
1884Hechler, Chaplain to the English embassy in Vienna, publishes ‘The Restoration of the Jews to Palestine’, as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
1894 : The Dreyfus Affair, in which Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, is convicted for treason (falsely) and imprisoned on Devils Island. Freed in 1899 but not exonerated until 1906, Anti- semitism played an important role in the public and political dynamics of the case.
1896Publication of The Jewish State by Theodor Herzl. Hechler introduces Herzl to the Kaiser,  other German leaders and the British political establishment.
1897First International Zionist Congress in Basel. There is an apocryphal story that two Rabbis were sent to Palestine and reported “The bride is beautiful but she is married to another man”
1903Lloyd George’s law firm acted for Herzl in negotiations on a Jewish community in Uganda. Lloyd George drafted a charter for the ‘Jewish settlement’
1905/6Pogroms against Jews. Hundreds of thousands of Jews join 2.25 million non Jews fleeing to the West for a better life. Balfour as Prime Minister of the UK sponsored legislation limiting Alien immigration into Britain in 1905.
1906Balfour writes to his niece after meeting Weizmann. “…he could see no political problems in obtaining Palestine, only economic ones.”
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