7 September 1856

The Saimaa Canal is inaugurated

The Saimaa Canal is a significant waterway located in Finland, connecting Lake Saimaa to the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea. It is one of the most important artificial canals in Finland and plays a crucial role in the country’s transportation network.

Location: The Saimaa Canal is situated in southeastern Finland. It starts at Lake Saimaa in the city of Lappeenranta and extends to the town of Vyborg (Viipuri) on the Gulf of Finland, near the Russian border. The canal traverses the Karelian Isthmus.

Construction: The idea of building a canal to connect Lake Saimaa to the Gulf of Finland dates back to the 19th century when Finland was still part of the Russian Empire. Construction of the canal began in the late 19th century and was completed in several phases. The canal officially opened for traffic in 1856, and it has undergone multiple expansions and improvements since then.

Length and Dimensions: The Saimaa Canal is approximately 42.9 kilometers (26.7 miles) long. It consists of a system of locks and artificial channels that allow vessels to navigate from Lake Saimaa, which is situated significantly above sea level, to the lower-lying Gulf of Finland. The canal includes several locks, including the largest one at Mälkiä, which has a significant elevation difference of about 12 meters (39 feet).

Economic Significance: The Saimaa Canal has great economic importance for Finland and the surrounding region. It provides a navigable waterway for cargo transport, especially for goods transported from the Finnish lakeland region to international markets via the Baltic Sea. It also facilitates tourism and recreational boating in the scenic Lake Saimaa area.

International Access: The canal has been an important route for international trade, allowing Finnish vessels to access the Baltic Sea and other global markets. It is open to vessels from various countries, although there are certain regulations and fees associated with its use.

Historical Significance: The Saimaa Canal has historical significance as it has played a role in the region’s history, particularly during periods of political change and conflict. During World War II, control of the canal was a point of contention between Finland and the Soviet Union. It was eventually returned to Finnish control in 1944.

Modern Developments: Over the years, the Saimaa Canal has undergone modernization and upgrades to accommodate larger vessels and improve its efficiency. Investments in infrastructure have been made to ensure its continued importance for both domestic and international shipping.

21 April 1856

Australian labour movement: Stonemasons and building workers on building sites around Melbourne march from the University of Melbourne to Parliament House to achieve an eight-hour day.

The 8-hour workday is a work schedule that has become the standard for many countries around the world. The idea of the 8-hour workday emerged during the Industrial Revolution, where workers were often required to work 12-16 hour days. Labor movements began advocating for shorter workdays, with the aim of improving workers’ health, productivity, and overall quality of life.

Here are some important aspects of the 8-hour workday:

Health: Long workdays can lead to physical and mental fatigue, stress, and burnout. The 8-hour workday aims to provide workers with enough time to rest, recuperate, and engage in leisure activities that promote good health.

Productivity: Studies have shown that long workdays can actually reduce productivity due to fatigue, stress, and lack of concentration. Shorter workdays with adequate breaks and time off can increase productivity and efficiency.

Work-life balance: The 8-hour workday allows workers to have more time for their personal lives, such as spending time with family, pursuing hobbies, and engaging in leisure activities.

Fairness: The 8-hour workday ensures that all workers are treated equally and are not overworked, regardless of their job or social status.

30 March 1856

The Treaty of Paris is signed, ending the Crimean War.

The Treaty of Paris of 1856 ended the Crimean War, a conflict fought primarily between Russia and an alliance of Great Britain, France, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia.

The treaty was signed on March 30, 1856, in Paris, France, and it included several provisions that helped to end the war. Some of the key terms of the treaty included:

The recognition of the integrity and independence of the Ottoman Empire.
The demilitarization of the Black Sea, which prohibited Russia from maintaining a naval presence in the area.
The neutralization of the Danube River, which ensured the free navigation of the river and the independence of the Danubian Principalities.
The return of several territories to their pre-war owners, including the return of the Kars region to the Ottoman Empire and the return of the southern part of Bessarabia to Moldavia.

The Treaty of Paris of 1856 helped to establish a balance of power in Europe and prevent further conflict between Russia and the other great powers. The demilitarization of the Black Sea was a significant victory for the allies, as it greatly reduced Russia’s naval power and influence in the region. Overall, the treaty brought an end to a devastating war and helped to establish a framework for peace in Europe.

25 February 1856

A peace conference in Paris opens after the end of the Crimean War.

The Congress of Paris took place in 1856 to make peace after the almost three-year-long Crimean War. The Congress of Paris was a peace conference held between representatives of the great powers in Europe, which at the time were: France, Great Britain, the Ottoman Empire, Sardinia, Russia, Austria, and Prussia.They assembled soon after 1 February 1856, when Russia accepted the first set of peace terms after Austria threatened to enter the war on the side of the Allies. It is also notable that the meeting took place in Paris, just at the conclusion of the 1855 Universal Expo

The Congress of Paris worked out the final terms from 25 February to 30 March 1856. The Treaty of Paris was then signed on 30 March 1856 with Russia on one side and France, Great Britain, Ottoman Turkey, and Sardinia-Piedmont on the other. The group of men negotiated at the Quai d’Orsay.One of the representatives who attended the Congress of Paris on behalf of the Ottoman Empire was Ali Pasha, who was the grand vizier of the Empire.[4] Russia was represented by Prince Orlov and Baron Brunnov. Britain sent their Ambassador to France, who at the time was the Lord Cowley. While other congresses, such as the Congress of Vienna, spread questions and issues for different committees to resolve, the Congress of Paris resolved everything in one group.