1848 to 1885

1848. Emancipation of serfs (including Roma) in Transylvania.


1855. Gobineau publishes his book Essai sur l'inégalité des races humaines, which argues that human beings fall into higher and lower races, with the white "Aryan" race, and particularly the Nordic people, ranking at the top. This had particular impact upon German philosophical and political thinking.

A decree issued in the Duchy of Baden warns the citizens that "in recent times, Gypsies, especially from Alsace, have frequently been re-entering and travelling about with their families, purportedly to engage in trade but mostly for the purposes of begging or other illegal activities."

1856. The Slobuzenja. Abolition of slavery in Romania; large-scale emigrations of Roma to western Europe and America begin.

1864. Complete legal freedom for Roma in the united Balkan states is granted by Prince Ioan Alexandru Couza.

1868. In Holland, Richard Liebich's work on Roma introduces the phrase "lives unworthy of life" with specific reference to them, and later used as a racial category against Roma in Nazi Germany.

1870. Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck circulates a letter dated November 18th demanding the "complete prohibition of foreign Gypsies crossing the German border," and that "they will be transported by the closest route to their country of origin." He also states that Roma in Germany be asked to show documentary proof of citizenship, and that if this is not forthcoming, they be denied travelling passes.

1874. Muslim Roma are given equal rights with other Muslims in the Ottoman Empire

1876. Cesare Lombroso publishes his influential work L'uomo deliquente, which contains a lengthy chapter on the genetically criminal character of the Roma. This is translated into many languages, including German and English, and has a profound effect upon western legal attitudes.

A decree is issued in Bavaria which calls for the strictest examination of documentation held by Roma, both at the borders and inland, and the confiscation of their work permits wherever the slightest reason warrants. Their horses are also to be examined and confiscated if deemed unhealthy. The movements of those Gypsies who are allowed to remain are still to be carefully monitored.

1879. A national conference of Roma is convened in Kisfalu, Hungary.

Nomadism is banned in Serbia.

1880s. Agricultural depression in England brings poverty to many Gypsies, who move to squatter areas near towns.

Argentina forbids Roma entry into country.

1884. Dr. Sonya Kavalevsky, a Romni, is appointed professor of mathematics at Stockholm University becoming the first female professor in Scandinavia.

1885-95. Unsuccessful attempts in England to introduce the Moveable Dwellings Bills in Parliament to regulate Gypsy life.

1885. Roma are excluded by United States immigration policy; many are returned to Europe.