1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (dominical letter A) of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Friday (dominical letter C) of the Julian calendar, the 1871st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 871st year of the 2nd millennium, the 71st year of the 19th century, and the 2nd year of the 1870s decade. Note that the Julian day for 1871 is 12 calendar days difference, which continued to be used from 1582 until the complete conversion of the Gregorian calendar was entirely done in 1929.






Date unknown

  • 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 nationwide police force based on the French model.
  • William M. Tweed serves his last year as the "Boss" of the Tammany Hall political machine in New York.
  • The South Improvement Company is formed by John D. Rockefeller and a group of major railroad interests in an early effort to organize and control the petroleum industry in the USA.
  • The Harvard Summer School is founded.
  • The Constitution of the German Empire abolishes all restrictions on Jewish marriage, choice of occupation, place of residence, and property ownership. Exclusion from government employment and discrimination in social relations remain in effect.
  • The American minister to China takes five warships to attempt to "open up" Korea, but his forces leave after exchanges of fire result in 250 Koreans dying and the Korean government still unwilling to make any concessions.
  • Virginia adopts a new Constitution, taking into account, among other things, all of the counties that had left Virginia in 1863 to form the new non-slave state of West Virginia. No other state has ever formed by breaking off from another without the consent of the legislature of the parent state, as in the cases of Vermont, Kentucky, and Maine.
  • In Hanover, German company Continental AG is founded.