|Centuries:||18th century – 19th century – 20th century|
|Decades:||1820s 1830s 1840s – 1850s – 1860s 1870s 1880s|
|Years:||1849 1850 1851 – 1852 – 1853 1854 1855|
Year 1852 (MDCCCLII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar).
Events of 1852
- January 14 - President Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte proclaims a new constitution for the French Second Republic.
- January 17 - United Kingdom recognizes independence of the Transvaal
- February 3 - Battle of Caseros or Battle of Monte Caseros, Argentina. The Argentinean provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes allied with Brazil and members of Colorado Party of Uruguay, defeats Buenos Aires troops under Juan Manuel de Rosas.
- February 11 - First British public toilet for women opens in Bedford Street, London
- February 15 - Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children, London, admits first patient
- February 16 - Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established
- February 19 - The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity is founded at Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
- February 25 - HMS Birkenhead sinks near Cape Town, South Africa. Only 193 of the 643 on board survive after troops stand firm on the deck so as not to flood the lifeboats containing women and children.
- March 1 - Archibald William Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
- March 20 - Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is published.
- April 1 - Start of Second Burmese War
- April 18 - Taiping Rebellion: Taiping forces begin siege of Guilin.
- May 19 - Taiping Rebellion: Siege of Guilin lifted.
- June 12 - Taiping Rebellion: Taiping forces enter Hunan.
- July 1 - United States statesman Henry Clay is the first to receive the honour of lying in state in the United States Capitol rotunda.
- August 3 - First Boat Race between Yale and Harvard, the first American intercollegiate athletic event.
- September 24 - French engineer Henri Giffard makes the first airship trip from Paris to Trappes
- November 2 - Democrat Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire defeats Whig Winfield Scott of Virginia in the U.S. presidential election
- November 4 - Count Cavour becomes the Piedmontese prime minister
- November 11 - New Palace of Westminster opened in Britain
- November 21/ November 22 New French Empire confirmed by plebiscite: 7,824,000 for, 253,000 against
- December 2 - Napoleon III becomes Emperor of the French.
- December 23 - Taiping Rebellion: Taiping army takes Hanyang and begins siege of Wuchang.
- December 29 - Taiping Rebellion: Taiping army takes Hankou.
- French replace semaphores with Morse telegraphs
- Justin Perkins, an American Presbyterian missionary, produces the first translation of the Bible in Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, which is published with the parallel text of the Syriac Peshitta by the American Bible Society
- Devil's Island penal colony opens
|Ab urbe condita||2605|
|British Regnal year||15 Vict. 1 – 16 Vict. 1|
|Chinese calendar|| 辛亥年十一月十一日
— to —壬子年十一月廿一日
|- Vikram Samvat||1908–1909|
|- Shaka Samvat||1774–1775|
|- Kali Yuga||4953–4954|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||852–853|
|Japanese calendar|| Kaei 5
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 12 days|
|Minguo calendar||60 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2395|
- January 8 - James Milton Carroll, Baptist pastor, leader, historian, and author (d. 1931)
- January 11 - Konstantin Fehrenbach, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1926)
- March 1 - Théophile Delcassé, French statesman (d. 1923)
- April 1 - Edwin Austin Abbey, American painter (d. 1911)
- April 13 - F.W. Woolworth, American merchant and businessman (d. 1919)
- April 22 - Guillaume IV, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (d. 1912)
- May 1 - Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Spanish histologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1934)
- May 31 - Julius Richard Petri, German bacteriologist (d. 1921)
- July 12 - Hipólito Yrigoyen, President of Argentina (d. 1933)
- August 23 - Clímaco Calderón, President of Colombia (d. 1913)
- August 30 - Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff, Dutch chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1911)
- September 12 - Herbert Henry Asquith, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1928)
- September 15 - Edward Bouchet, American physicist (d. 1918)
- September 28 - Henri Moissan, French chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1907)
- October 2 - William Ramsay, Scottish chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1916)
- October 9 - Hermann Emil Fischer, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1919)
- November 1 - Eugene W. Chafin, American politician (d. 1920)
- November 3 - Prince Mutsuhito of Japan, the future Emperor Meiji (d. 1912)
- November 11 - Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf, Austro-Hungarian field marshal (d. 1925)
- November 22 - Paul-Henri-Benjamin d'Estournelles de Constant, French diplomat, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1924)
- November 26 - Yamamoto Gonnohyōe, the 16th and 22th Prime Minister of Japan, an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy
- December 15 - Henri Becquerel, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1908)
- December 19 - Albert Abraham Michelson, German-born physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1931)
- January 6 - Louis Braille, French teacher of the blind (b. 1809)
- May 3 - Sara Coleridge, English author and translator (b. 1802)
- March 4 - Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer (b. 1809)
- April 17 - Étienne Maurice Gérard, Marshal of France and Prime Minister of France (b. 1773)
- June 7 - José Joaquín Estudillo, second alcalde of Yerba Buena (b. 1800)
- June 29 - Henry Clay, American statesman (b. 1777)
- July 20 - José Antonio Estudillo, early California settler (b. 1805)
- July 22 - Auguste Marmont, French marshal (b. 1774)
- September 4 - William MacGillivray, Scottish naturalist and ornithologist (b. 1796)
- September 14
- September 20 - Philander Chase, American founder of Kenyon College (b. 1775)
- October 13 - John Lloyd Stephens, American traveler, diplomat and Mayanist archaeologist (b. 1805)
- October 24 - Daniel Webster, American statesman (b. 1782)
- October 25 - John C. Clark, American politician (b. 1793)
- October 26 - Vincenzo Gioberti, Italian philosopher (b. 1801)
- November 2 - Pyotr Kotlyarevsky, Russian military hero (b. 1782)
- November 27 - Augusta Ada King (née Byron), Countess of Lovelace, early English computer pioneer (b. 1815)
- November 29 - Nicolae Bălcescu, Wallachian revolutionary (b. 1819)
- November 30 - Junius Brutus Booth, English-born actor (b. 1796)
- December 16 - Andries Hendrik Potgieter, Voortrekker leader (b. 1792)