|Centuries:||18th century – 19th century – 20th century|
|Decades:||1820s 1830s 1840s – 1850s – 1860s 1870s 1880s|
|Years:||1850 1851 1852 – 1853 – 1854 1855 1856|
Year 1853 (MDCCCLIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar).
Events of 1853
January - June
- January 8 - Taiping Rebellion: Zeng Guofan is ordered to assist the governor of Hunan in organising a militia force to search for local bandits.
- January 12 - Taiping Rebellion: Taiping army occupies Wuchang.
- January 19 - Giuseppe Verdi's opera Il Trovatore premieres in performance at Teatro Apollo in Rome.
- February 10 - Taiping Rebellion: Taiping forces at Hanyang, Hankou and Wuchang for march of Nanjing.
- February 12 - Puerto Montt is founded in the Reloncaví Sound, Chile.
- February 22 - Washington University is founded as Eliot Seminary
- May - Beginning of an outbreak of yellow fever that kills 7,790 in New Orleans.
- March 4 - Inauguration of US president Franklin Pierce
- March 20 - Taiping Rebellion: Rebel army of around 750,000 seizes Nanjing, killing 30,000 Imperial troops.
- May 23 - The first plat for Seattle, Washington is laid out.
- June 27 - Taiping Rebellion: Northern Expeditionary Force crosses the Yellow River.
July - December
- July 8 - U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry arrives in Edo Bay with a request for a trade treaty
- July 25 Outlaw and bandit Joaquin Murietta is killed.
- August 12 – New Zealand acquires self-government
- August 23 - 1st true International Meteorological Organization Brussels, Belgium
- August 24 - Potato chips first prepared.
- September 19 - Hudson Taylor first left for China.
- October 4/ October 5 - Crimean War: The Ottoman Empire declares war on Russia.
- October 28 - Crimean War: Ottoman army crosses the Danube into Vidin / Kalafat in Wallachia.
- October 30 - Taiping Rebellion: Taiping Northern Expeditionary Force comes within three miles of Tianjin.
- November 3 - Troops of William Walker capture La Paz in Baja California and declare (short-lived) Republic of Lower California
- November 15 - Maria II of Portugal is succeeded by her son Pedro
- November 30 - Crimean War: Battle of Sinop - The Russian fleet destroys the Turkish fleet.
- December 6 - Taiping Rebellion: French minister de Bourboulon arrives at the Heavenly Capital aboard the Cassini.
- December 30 - Gadsden Purchase: The United States buys land from Mexico to facilitate railroad building in the Southwest
- Royal Norwegian Navy Museum founded.
- Alexander Wood invents the hypodermic syringe
- Donald McKay builds the Great Republic, the world's biggest sailing ship, which at 4,500 tons was too large to be successful
- Isambard Kingdom Brunel began work on the Great Eastern passenger steamer
- Independent Santa Cruz Maya of Eastern Yucatan recognized as an independent nation by British Empire
- Iesada succeeds Ieoshi as Japanese Shogun
- Beginning of the Late Tokugawa shogunate, the last part of the Edo period in Japan.
- Stephen Foster writes " My Old Kentucky Home."
- The University of Florida is established
- Swiss watch company Tissot is founded.
- Wheaton Academy founded in West Chicago, Illinois
|Ab urbe condita||2606|
|British Regnal year||16 Vict. 1 – 17 Vict. 1|
|Chinese calendar|| 壬子年十一月廿二日
— to —癸丑年十二月初二日
|- Vikram Samvat||1909–1910|
|- Shaka Samvat||1775–1776|
|- Kali Yuga||4954–4955|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||853–854|
|Japanese calendar|| Kaei 6
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 12 days|
|Minguo calendar||59 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2396|
- January 28 - José Martí, Cuban revolutionary (d. 1895)
- February 6 - Ignacij Klemenčič, Slovenian physicist (d. 1901)
- March 14 - Ferdinand Hodler, Swiss painter (d. 1918)
- March 30 - Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter (d. 1890)
- May 28 - Carl Larsson, Swedish painter (d. 1919)
- June 3 - William Flinders Petrie, English Egyptologist (d. 1942)
- June 12 - Chester Adgate Congdon, Minnesota mining magnate (d. 1916)
- July 5 - Cecil Rhodes, English businessman (d. 1902)
- July 18 - Hendrik Lorentz, Dutch physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1928)
- September 2 - Wilhelm Ostwald, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1932)
- September 16 - Albrecht Kossel, German physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1927)
- September 20 - Chulalongkorn, Rama V, king of Thailand (d. 1910)
- September 21 - Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Dutch physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1926)
- December 6 - Haraprasad Shastri, Indian academic, Sanskrit scholar, archivist and historian of Bengali literature (d. 1931)
- January 16 - Matteo Carcassi, Italian composer (b. 1792)
- February 6 - Anastasio Bustamante, Mexican President
- March 17 - Christian Doppler, Austrian mathematician (b. 1803)
- April 18 - William R. King, 13th Vice President of the United States (b.1786)
- April 28 - Ludwig Tieck, German writer (b. 1773)
- June 8 - Richard William Howard Vyse (b. 1784)
- July 27 - Tokugawa Ieyoshi, Japanese shogun (b.1793)
- August 19 - George Cockburn, British Naval commander (b.1772)
- August 23 - Alexander Calder, first mayor of Beaumont, Texas (b. 1806)
- September 3 - Augustin Saint-Hilaire, French botanist and traveller (b.1799)
- November 15 - Maria II of Portugal (b. 1819)