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|Centuries:||18th century – 19th century – 20th century|
|Decades:||1820s 1830s 1840s – 1850s – 1860s 1870s 1880s|
|Years:||1851 1852 1853 – 1854 – 1855 1856 1857|
|1854 in topic:|
|Archaeology – Architecture – Art – Literature – Music|
|Australia – Canada – France – Germany – Mexico – Philippines – South Africa – US – UK|
|Rail Transport – Science – Sports|
|Lists of leaders|
|Colonial Governors – State leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Ab urbe condita||2607|
|British Regnal year||17 Vict. 1 – 18 Vict. 1|
— to —甲寅年十一月十二日
|- Vikram Samvat||1910–1911|
|- Shaka Samvat||1776–1777|
|- Kali Yuga||4955–4956|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||854–855|
|Japanese calendar||Kaei 7Ansei 1
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 12 days|
|Minguo calendar||58 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2397|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 1854|
- January 3 – Charles Dickens commences writing the novel Hard Times.
- January 9 – The Teutonia Männerchor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was founded.
- January 21 – The iron clipper RMS Tayleur runs aground off the east coast of Ireland on her maiden voyage out of Liverpool bound for Australia with the loss of at least 300 of around 650 on board.
- February 11 – Major streets are lit by coal gas for the first time.
- February 13 – Mexican troops force William Walker and his troops to retreat to Sonora.
- February 14 – Texas is linked by telegraph with the rest of the United States, when a connection between New Orleans and Marshall, Texas is completed.
- February 17 – The British recognize the independence of the Orange Free State; its official independence is declared 6 days later.
- February 27 – Britain sends Russia an ultimatum to withdraw from two Romanian provinces it had conquered, Moldavia and Wallachia.
- February 28 – The Republican Party (United States) is founded in Ripon, Wisconsin.
- March 1 – German psychologist Friedrich Eduard Beneke disappears; 2 years later his remains are found in the canal near Charlottenburg.
- March 3 – Australia's first telegraph line, linking Melbourne and Williamstown, opens.
- March 11 – A Royal Navy fleet sails from Britain under Vice Admiral Sir Charles Napier.
- March 20 – The Boston Public Library opens to the public.
- March 27 – Crimean War: The United Kingdom declares war on Russia.
- March 28 – France declares war on Russia.
- March 31 – Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy signs the Treaty/Convention of Kanagawa with the Japanese government (the Tokugawa Shogunate), opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade (see History of Japan).
- March - unknown date – India : British East India Company annexes Jhansi using the Doctrine of lapse.
- April 1 – Hard Times begins serialisation in Charles Dickens' magazine, Household Words.
- April 16 – The United States packet ship Powhattan is wrecked off the New Jersey shore with more than 200 + victims.
- May 18 – The Catholic University of Ireland (forerunner of University College Dublin) is founded.
- May 27 – Taiping Rebellion: United States diplomatic minister Robert McLane arrives at the Heavenly Capital aboard the American warship USS Susquehanna.
- May 30 – The Kansas-Nebraska Act becomes law, replacing the Missouri Compromise (of 1820), which had already been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States. Thus act creating the Kansas Territory and the Nebraska Territory, west of the State of Missouri and the State of Iowa. The Kansas-Nebraska Act also lick that these two new Territories would decide either to allow or disallow slavery depending on ballots by the residents of these two territories. These areas would have been strictly "free territory" by the Missouri Compromise, which allowed slavery in the State of Missouri but disallowed it everywhere north of the latitude 36 degrees, 30 minutes, which forms most of the southern boundary of Missouri. This prohibiition of slavery extended all the way from the western boundary of Missouri to the Pacific Ocean. This provision of the Missouri Compromise had already been declared null-and-void by the Supreme Court.
- June – The Grand Excursion takes prominent Eastern United States inhabitants from Chicago, Illinois to Rock Island, Illinois by railroad, then up the Mississippi River to St. Paul, Minnesota by steamboat.
- June 10 – The first class of the United States Naval Academy graduated at Annapolis, Maryland.
- June 21 – Battle of Bomarsund in the Åland Islands (which later became part of Finland - in 1920:) The Royal Navy seaman's mate Charles D. Lucas throws a live Russian artillery shell overboard by hand before it explodes, for which he was awarded the first Victoria Cross in 1857.
- July 4 – James Ambrose Cutting takes out the first of his three United States patents for improvements to the wet plate collodion process (Ambrotype photography).
- July 6
- July 17 – Bienio progresista: Revolutionary coup in Spain.
- August 9 – King Johann succeeds to the throne of Saxony.
- August 16 – Russian troops in the island of Bomarsund in Åland surrender to French–British troops.
- August 27 – English lawyer Alfred Wills and party set out for the first ascent of the Wetterhorn in Switzerland, regarded as the start of the "golden age of alpinism".
- August 31–September 8 – An epidemic of cholera in London kills 10,000. Dr John Snow traces the source of one outbreak (that killed 500) to a single water pump, validating his theory that cholera is water-borne, and forming the starting point for epidemiology.
- September 20 – Crimean War – Alma: The French–British alliance wins the first battle of the war.
- October 1 – The watch company founded in 1850 in Roxbury, Massachusetts by Aaron Lufkin Dennison relocates to Waltham to become the Waltham Watch Company, pioneer in the American System of Watch Manufacturing.
- October 6 – The great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead is ignited by a spectacular explosion.
- October 17 – The Age newspaper is founded in Melbourne, Australia.
- October 21 – Florence Nightingale leaves for the Crimea with 38 other nurses.
- October 25 – Crimean War – Battle of Balaclava: The allies gain an overall victory, except for the disastrous cavalry Charge of the Light Brigade, from which only 200 of 700 men survive.
- November 5 – Crimean War – Battle of Inkerman: The Russians are defeated.
- November 17 – In Egypt, the Suez Canal company is formed.
- December 3 – The Eureka Stockade Miner's Rebellion breaks out in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.
- December 8 – Pope Pius IX in the Papal Bull Ineffabilis Deus defines ex Cathedra the dogma of Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived without original sin.
Date unknown 
- Ignacy Lukasiewicz drills the world's first oil well in Poland, in Bóbrka near Krosno County.
- Professor Benjamin Silliman of Yale University is the first person to fractionate petroleum into its individual components by distillation.
- The Icelandic trade is opened to merchants other than Danes.
- The General Assembly charters the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad to run from Goldsboro through New Bern to the newly-created seaport of Morehead City near Beaufort.
- Manchester is granted city status.
- A Russian fort is established at the present site of Almaty.
- The French fashion label Louis Vuitton is founded.
- The Waterbury Clock Company is founded in Waterbury, Connecticut, the predecessor of Timex Group USA in timepiece manufacturing.
- Wood's despatch is sent by Charles Wood, 1st viscount Halifax to Lord Dalhousie, the then Governor General of India.
- The first Indian cotton mill, "The Bombay Spinning Mill", was opened in Bombay by Cowasji Nanabhai Davar.
- January 12 – David Macpherson, Canadian-born American civil engineer (d. 1927)
- February 17 – Friedrich Alfred Krupp, German industrialist (d. 1902)
- April 28 – Hertha Marks Ayrton, English engineer, mathematician and inventor.
- April 29 – Henri Poincaré, French mathematician and physicist (d. 1912)
- May 11 – Albion Woodbury Small, American sociologist (d. 1926)
- May 24 – John Riley Banister, American law officer and Texas Ranger (d. 1918)
- June 8 – Douglas Colin Cameron, Canadian politician (d. 1921)
- June 14 – Dave Rudabaugh, American outlaw and gunfighter (d. 1886)
- June 26 – Robert Laird Borden, the eighth Prime Minister of Canada (d. 1937)
- July 3 – Leoš Janáček, Czech composer (d. 1928)
- July 7 – Nikolai Alexandrovich Morozov, Russian poet, scientist and revolutionary (d.1946)
- July 12 – George Eastman, American inventor (Kodak) (d. 1932)
- July 27 – Takahashi Korekiyo, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1936)
- August 2 – Milan I, King of Serbia (d. 1901)
- August 23 – Moritz Moszkowski, Polish/German composer (d. 1925)
- September 1 – Engelbert Humperdinck, German composer (d. 1921)
- September 6 – Georges Picquart, French general and Minister of War (d. 1914)
- October 16
- October 26 – C. W. Post, American cereal manufacturer (d. 1914)
- October 20 – Arthur Rimbaud, French poet (d. 1891)
- November 5 – Paul Sabatier, French chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1941)
- November 6 – John Philip Sousa, American composer and conductor (Stars and Stripes Forever) (d. 1932)
- November 13 –George Whitefield Chadwick, American composer (d. 1931)
- November 17 – Hubert Lyautey, Marshal of France (d. 1934)
- December 16 – Austin M. Knight, American admiral (d. 1927)
- November 21 – Pope Benedict XV (d. 1922)
- December 22 – Takamine Jōkichi, Japanese chemist (d. 1922)
- December 23 – Victoriano Huerta, President of Mexico (d. 1916)
- December 24 – Thomas Stevens, English cyclist (d. 1935)
Date unknown 
- January 8 – William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, British general and politician (b. 1768)
- February 17 – John Martin, English painter (b. 1789)
- March 6 – Charles William Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry (b. 1778)
- March 11 – Willard Richards, American religious leader (b. 1804)
- March 13 – Thomas Noon Talfourd, English jurist (b. 1795)
- March 19 – William Pope Duval, first civilian governor of Florida Territory (b. 1784)
- March 27
- April – Domingo Eyzaguirre, Chilean philanthropist (b. 1775)
- April 11 – Karl Adolph von Basedow, German physician (b. 1799)
- April 15 – Arthur Aikin, English chemist and mineralogist (b. 1773)
- April 29 – Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, British general (b. 1768)
- July 6 – Georg Ohm, German physicist
- July 16 – Abbas I, Pasha of Egypt (b. 1813)
- July 31 – Samuel Wilson, American thought to be the real-life basis for Uncle Sam (b. 1766)
- August – Conquering Bear, Lakota chief
- August 2 – Heinrich Clauren (b. 1771)
- August 9 – Frederick Augustus II of Saxony (b. 1797)
- August 21 – Thomas Clayton, American lawyer and politician (b. 1777)
- September 8 – Angelo Mai, Italian cardinal and philologist (b. 1782)
- September 12 – Jarvis W. Pike, former Mayor of Columbus, Ohio
- October 26 – Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, queen consort of Bavaria (b. 1792)
- November 2 – George Mogridge (Old Humphrey), British writer and poet (b.1787)
- November 25 – John Gibson Lockhart, Scottish writer (b. 1794)
- December 9 – Almeida Garrett, Portuguese writer (b. 1799)
- December 15 – Kamehameha III, King of Hawaii (b. c. 1814)
- "The Teutonia Männerchor was founded in 1854."
- "Wetterhorn during the golden and the post golden age". summitpost.org. 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
- Johnson, Steven (2006). The Ghost Map: a street, an epidemic and the two men who battled to save Victorian London. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-7139-9974-7.
- CommunicationSolutions/ISI, "Railroad — Atlantic & North Carolina", North Carolina Business History, 2006, accessed 1 Feb 2010
Further reading 
- The Annual register of world events: Volume 96 (1855), highly detailed coverage of events in British Empire and worldwide full text online