Wars of 1899


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Wars and conflicts fought in the year 1899 are featured on this page in rough chronological order. This page came about due to an email sent by a visitor to the History Guy Website asking about wars waged in 1899. I thought this was an interesting question, and found the answer to be rather surprising. After conducting a bit of research, I found the number of conflicts fought in that year were greater than expected.

The criteria for inclusion in this list is simple: Part of a conflict or war was fought in the year 1899.

The majority of these conflicts involve European nations and the United States attempting to expand and consolidate their empires. The people of Africa and Asia fought to halt this imperial expansion and consolidation.

Achinese War (1873-1907)--Part of the Dutch colonial conquest of what is now Indonesia. The Dutch slowly reduced the Muslim kingdom of Aceh (site of anti-government violence 100 years later), on the northern section of the island of Sumatra.

De Tham Guerrilla Resistance--(1883-1913) --De Tham, a Vietnamese resistance leader, led a thirty-year guerrilla campaign against the colonial French occupiers in the mountains near Yen The in northeastern Tonkin. In 1909 the French launched a major offensive against his forces. De Tham was involved in the 1908 Hanoi Uprising. This guerrilla resistance ended with De Tham's assassination in 1913.

French Conquest of Chad (1897-1914) French forces continued their conquest of the Sahara by moving into the area of Lake Chad, razing villages and forcing compliance with Paris' rule. In 1900, French troops defeated Rabah Zobeir, a follower of the Sudanese Mahdi. Other native leaders and tribes continued resistance to the French invasion.

Mozambican Revolts (1895-1899)--Native uprisings against Portuguese colonial rule in Mozambique.

Batetelan Uprisings (1895 and 1897-1900)--The Batetela tribe in the Congo revolted against the harsh rule of Belgian King Leopold II. The first revolt in 1895 was put down, but lingering discontent with colonial rule and exploitation led to a second revolt in 1897. Despite the Dhani Mutiny by native troops commanded by Belgian Baron Francois Dhani in 1898 or 1899, the colonial forces suppressed the Batetelan rebels.

Second Sudanese War (1896-1899)--Britain and Egypt vs. the Mahdist "dervish" Army of Khalifa Abdullah. Britain decided to re-conquer the Sudan from the Mahdist cult that had defeated Britain's General "Chinese" Gordon in the First Sudanese War of 1881-1885. One of the driving forces in the timing of this offensive was the interest of Italy, Belgium and, most of all, France in the Sudan region. The Anglo-Egyptian army commanded by Lord Kitchener defeated the Mahdists at the Battle of Omdurman on September 2, 1898. On November 24, 1899, Khalifa Abdullah and the remainder of his army were wiped out and the Sudan fell under Anglo-Egyptian rule.

Ugandan Uprisings (1898?-1899?)--Native Ugandan troops mutinied against their colonial British officers, causing difficulty for British forces fighting Mahdist forces in the Sudan.

Boxer Rebellion (1899-1900)--The secret religious and nationalistic Society of the Righteous Harmonious Fists (Boxers), initiated a rebellion against the both foreign colonizers, missionaries and their own government in 1899. By 1900, the Chinese government had co-opted the rebels and directed their violent fury entirely upon the foreign presence in China. The Boxers, aided by Chinese Imperial troops, besieged the diplomatic legations (embassies) of the Western powers and Japan, sparking a truly international response. A retaliatory relief expedition composed of troops from: the United State, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Russia and Japan invaded China and captured the capital of Peking (now called Beijing).

The Second Boer War (1899-1902)--Britain vs. The Boer Republics (Orange Free State and Transvaal) in what is now South Africa.

Somali "Mad Mullah" Jihad (1899-1905)--Somali tribesmen led by religious leader Muhammad ibn Abd Allah Hasan waged a desert guerrilla war against Britain, Italy and Ethiopia. Following repeated defeats by the Somalis, the colonial powers offered him territory in Italian Somaliland in exchange for peace. He resumed his war in 1908 and harassed the occupiers of his country until 1920.

Philippine-American War (1899-1902)--Originally called the "Philippine Uprising", this was a war of independence fought by the Filipinos against the occupying American military. Filipino resistance was ruthlessly crushed.

Samoan Civil War (1898-1899) with U.S. and British Naval Bombardment of Samoa --A resumption of past civil wars in which Samoan chief Mataafa seized power following the death of his rival, King Malietoa Laupepa, who had defeated him in the last Samoan Civil War (1893-1894). Fighting ensued, which was complicated by the long-standing rivalry between the U.S., Britain and Germany for de facto control over the Samoan Islands. On March 15, 1899, warships of the American and British Navies bombarded the Samoan city of Apia to intimidate the reigning Samoan king, who was allied with the Germans. An Anglo-American landing force took control of Apia, but were not able to pacify the interior. All sides agreed to cease fighting on May 13, 1899. Later that year, the three Western nations signed a treaty dividing Samoa between them. This whole conflict was part of a wider Samoan civil war.

The War of the Thousand Days (1899-1902)--Civil war in Colombia between the Liberal Party and the ruling Conservative Party. Begins October 18, 1899 with an uprising in the north-eastern Santander region in response to government imposition of martial law throughout the nation.

Yaqui Indian War (1899-1904?)--One of the last of the long series of Mexican-Indian Wars, this conflict began when chiefs of the eight principal Yaqui Indian tribes demand Mexican withdrawal from the Sinaloa region.

Venezuelan Civil War (1899-1902)--Civil war between Venezuela's Liberal and Conservative factions. Won by Conservative "Blue" leader Cipriano Castro.

La Paz Rebellion (1898-1899)--This uprising in Bolivia brought down President Severo Fernandez Alonso. The conflict was a battle between the Conservative Party of Alonso, which wanted to make the city of Sucre the permanent national capitol, and the Liberals, who wanted a more decentralized government in which the city of La Paz would share the duties and honor as Bolivia's capital.

Arce Secession (1899-1903)--Brazilian workers who had moved into the Bolivian border district of Arce, declared independence in 1899. The Treaty of Petropolis between Bolivia and Brazil in 1903 formally gave the region to Brazil.

*At this time, it is unclear what, if any, fighting took place in the Arce Secession. Further research by the History Guy is needed.


1. Kohn, George C. Dictionary of Wars. New York: Facts On File Publications. 1986.

2. Marley, David F. Wars of the Americas: A Chronology of Armed Conflict in the New World, 1492 to the Present. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 1998.

3. Fagg, John E. Latin America: A General History, Second Edition. New York,New York: The MacMillan Co., 1971.

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