|Centuries:||18th century – 19th century – 20th century|
|Decades:||1840s 1850s 1860s – 1870s – 1880s 1890s 1900s|
|Years:||1868 1869 1870 – 1871 – 1872 1873 1874|
Year 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar).
Events of 1871
January - March
- January 2 - Amadeus I becomes King of Spain.
- January 18 - The member-states of the North German Federation and the south German states unite into a single nation-state known as the German Empire. The King of Prussia is declared the first German Emperor as Wilhelm I of Germany.
- January 21 - Giuseppe Garibaldi's troops win in Dijon
- March 21 - Marriage of Princess Louise to John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne, whose father, the 8th Duke of Argyll, is the serving Secretary of State for India.
- March 22 - In North Carolina, William Holden becomes the first governor of a U.S. state to be removed from office by impeachment.
- March 26 - The Paris Commune is formally established in Paris.
- March 27 - First Rugby Union International-Scotland 4-1 England.
- March 29 - The Royal Albert Hall is opened by Queen Victoria.
April - June
- April - Stockholms Handelsbank is founded.
- April 20 - United States President Ulysses S. Grant signs the Ku Klux Klan Act.
- May 4- First MLB baseball game is played.
- May 10 - France surrenders to end the Franco-Prussian War
- May 11 - First trial of the case of Tichborne Claimant begins in the London Court of Common Pleas.
- May 13 - The last known descendant of the composer Johann Sebastian Bach, Frau Carolina Augusta Wilhelmine Ritter, dies.
- May 21- 30 - French Third Republic. Government troops invade Paris Commune and crush the rebellion.
- June 10 - Capt McLane Tilton leads 109 Marines in naval attack on Han River forts in Korea.
- June 18 -- University Tests Act removes religious tests at Oxford, Cambridge and Durham universities.
July - September
- July 20
- August 29 - Abolition of the han system in Japan.
- August 31 - Adolphe Thiers becomes President of the French Republic.
- September - 1,219 people abandon thirty-three whaling ships caught in the ice off the north coast of Alaska in the Whaling Disaster of 1871.
October - December
- October 8 - Four major fires break out on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Peshtigo, Wisconsin, Holland, Michigan, and Manistee, Michigan. The Great Chicago Fire is the most famous of these, having left nearly 100,000 people homeless, although the Peshtigo Fire killed as many as 2,500 people making it the deadliest fire in United States history.
- October 20 - The Royal Regiment of Artillery formed the first regular Canadian army units when they created two batteries of garrison artillery which eventually became The Royal Canadian Artillery.
- October 27
- The Comte de Chambord refuses to be crowned 'King Henry V of France' until France abandons its tricolour and returns to the old Bourbon flag.
- New York mayor Boss Tweed arrested
- November 5 - Six men travelling by stagecoach are murdered by Yavapai in the Wickenburg massacre
- November 10 - Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, and greets him saying "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"
- November 17 - The National Rifle Association is granted a charter by the state of New York.
- December 10 - The German chancellor Otto von Bismarck tries to ban Catholics from the political stage by introducing harsh laws concerning the separation of church and state.
- December 19 - The city of Birmingham, Alabama (USA) was incorporated.
- December 25 - Reading Football Club formed
- December 26 - Thespis, the first of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, premières. It does modestly well, but the two will not collaborate again for four years.
- The provinces of Alsace and Lorraine are transferred from France to Germany.
- British trade unions are legalized.
- Heinrich Schliemann begins the excavation of Troy.
- Japan forms its own police force based on French model.
- George Biddell Airy discovers astronomical aberration is independent of the local medium.
- William M. Tweed serves his last year as the "Boss" of Tammany Hall.
- Neath RFC founded
- Cary, North Carolina named in honour of Samuel Fenton Cary
- Harvard Summer School founded
|Ab urbe condita||2624|
|British Regnal year||34 Vict. 1 – 35 Vict. 1|
|Chinese calendar|| 庚午年十一月十一日
— to —辛未年十一月二十日
|- Vikram Samvat||1927–1928|
|- Shaka Samvat||1793–1794|
|- Kali Yuga||4972–4973|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||871–872|
|Japanese calendar|| Meiji 4
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 12 days|
|Minguo calendar||41 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2414|
January - June
- January 7 - Félix Édouard Justin Émile Borel, French mathematician and politician (d. 1956)
- January 30 - Wilfred Lucas, Canadian-born actor (d. 1940)
- February 4 - Friedrich Ebert, President of Germany (d. 1925)
- February 18 - Harry Brearley, English inventor (d. 1948)
- March 1 - Ben Harney, American composer and pianist (d. 1938)
- March 4 - Boris Galerkin, Russian mathematician (d. 1945)
- March 5 - Rosa Luxemburg, German politician (d. 1919)
- March 19 - Schofield Haigh, English cricketer (d. 1921)
- March 27 - Heinrich Mann, German writer (d. 1950)
- March 31 - Arthur Griffith, President of Ireland (d. 1922)
- April 8 - Clarence Hudson White American photographer (d. 1925)
- May 3 - Walter Robinson Parr, English-born pastor (d. 1922)
- May 6
- May 27 - Georges Rouault, French painter and graphic artist (d. 1958)
- June 14 - Jacob Ellehammer, Danish inventor (d. 1946)
July - December
- July 10 - Marcel Proust, French writer (d. 1922)
- July 17 - Lyonel Feininger, German painter (d. 1956)
- July 18 - Sada Yacco, Japanese stage actress (d. 1946)
- July 25 - Richard Ernest Turner, Canadian soldier (d. 1961)
- August 1 - John Lester, American cricketer (d. 1969)
- August 14 - Guangxu Emperor of China (d. 1908)
- August 19 - Orville Wright, American aviation pioneer (d. 1948)
- August 25 - Ross Winn, American anarchist writer and publisher (d. 1912)
- August 27 - Theodore Dreiser, American writer (d. 1945)
- August 29 - Albert Lebrun, French politician (d. 1950)
- August 30 - Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson, New Zealand physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (d. 1937)
- September 1 - J. Reuben Clark, Under Secretary of State (d. 1961)
- September 10 - Charles Collett, Great Western Railway Chief mechanical engineer (d. 1952)
- September 24 - Lottie Dod, English athlete (d. 1960)
- September 26 - Winsor McCay, American cartoonist and animator (d. 1934)
- September 27 - Grazia Deledda, Italian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1936)
- October 2 - Cordell Hull, United States Secretary of State, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1955)
- October 19 - Walter Bradford Cannon, Physiologist (d. 1945)
- October 30
- November 1 - Stephen Crane, American writer (d. 1900)
- December 9 - Joe Kelley, Baseball Hall of Famer (d. 1943)
- December 13 - Emily Carr, Canadian artist (d. 1945)
January - June
- January 15 - Edward C. Delevan, American temperance movement leader (b. 1793)
- January 19 - Sir William Denison, Governor of New South Wales (b. 1804)
- February 12 - Alice Cary, poet (b. 1820)
- February 20 - Paul Kane, Irish-born painter (b. 1810)
- March 18 - Augustus De Morgan, Professor of mathematics and mathematician (b. 1806)
- April 7 - Prince Alexander John of Wales (b. April 6, prematurely)
- May 11 - John Herschel, English astronomer (b. 1792)
- May 12 - Elzéar-Henri Juchereau Duchesnay, Canadian politician (b. 1809)
- May 23 - Jarosław Dąbrowski, Polish general (b. 1836)
July - December
- July 31 - Phoebe Cary, poet (b. 1824)
- September 20 - John Coleridge Patteson, Anglican bishop and missionary (martyred) (b. 1827)
- September 23 - Louis-Joseph Papineau, Canadian politician (b. 1786)
- October 18 - Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor (b. 1791)
- November 22 - Oscar James Dunn, Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana 1868-1871 African-American / non-creole (b. 1825)
- December 28 - John Henry Pratt, English clergyman and mathematician (b. 1809)