19th century

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Millennium: 2nd millennium
Centuries: 18th century · 19th century · 20th century
Decades: 1800s 1810s 1820s 1830s 1840s
1850s 1860s 1870s 1880s 1890s
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The 19th century began on January 1, 1801 and ended on December 31, 1900, according to the Gregorian calendar. During the 19th century, the Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Ottoman empires began to crumble, the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved, and the Mughal empire collapsed. This helped pave the way for The British Empire, The German Empire, and additionally The United States of America spread its influence internationally, this lead to each power engaging in conflicts and new advancements in exploration and various sciences.

Antoine-Jean Gros, Surrender of Madrid, 1808. Napoleon enters Spain's capital during the Peninsular War, 1810

After the Napoleonic Wars, the British Empire became the world's leading power, controlling one quarter of the world's population and one third of the land area. It enforced a Pax Britannica, encouraged trade, and battled rampant piracy. During this time the 19th century was an era of widespread invention and discovery, with significant developments in the understanding or manipulation of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, electricity, and metallurgy largely setting the groundworks for the comparably overwhelming and very rapid technological innovations which would take place the following century.

Modest advances in medicine and the understanding of human anatomy and disease prevention were also applicable to the 1800s, and were partly responsible for rapidly accelerating population growth in the western world. The introduction of railroads provided the first major advancement in land transportation for centuries, and their placement and application radically altered the ways people could live and rapidly and reliably obtain necessary commodities, fueling major urbanization movements in countries across the globe. Numerous cities worldwide surpassed populations of 1,000,000 or more during this century. The last remaining undiscovered landmasses of Earth, largely pacific island chains and atolls, were discovered during this century, and with the exception of the extreme zones of the Arctic and Antarctic, accurate and detailed maps of the globe were available by the 1890s.

Jean-Léon Gérôme, The Slave Market c.1884

Slavery was greatly reduced around the world. Following a successful slave revolt in Haiti, Britain forced the Barbary pirates to halt their practice of kidnapping and enslaving Europeans, banned slavery throughout its domain, and charged its navy with ending the global slave trade. Britain abolished slavery in 1834, America's 13th Amendment following their Civil War abolished slavery there in 1865, and in Brazil slavery was abolished in 1888 (see Abolitionism). Similarly, serfdom was abolished in Russia.

The 19th century was remarkable in the widespread formation of new settlement foundations which were particularly prevalent across North America and Australasia, with a significant proportion of the two continents' largest cities being founded at some point in the century.


[edit] Eras

[edit] Events

Map of the world from 1897. The British Empire (marked in pink) was the superpower of the 19th century.

[edit] 1800–1809

[edit] 1810s

1816: Shaka rises to power over the Zulu kingdom

[edit] 1820s

[edit] 1830s

[edit] 1840s

[edit] 1850s

[edit] 1860s

The first vessels sail through the Suez Canal

[edit] 1870s

Alexander Graham Bell speaking into prototype model of the telephone

[edit] 1880s

[edit] 1890s

[edit] Significant people

Abraham Lincoln in 1863, 16th President of The United States, presided during the American Civil War, assassinated in April 1865
Franz Boas one of the pioneers of modern anthropology

[edit] Show business and theatre

Ellen Terry, c.1880

[edit] Athletics

John L Sullivan in his prime, c.1882.

[edit] Business

[edit] Famous and infamous personalities

Jesse and Frank James, 1872
Deputies Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp in Dodge City, 1876
Geronimo, 1887, prominent leader of the Chiricahua Apache
Baptiste Deburau c. 1830s, as Pierrot.

[edit] Anthropology, archaeology, scholars

[edit] Journalists, missionaries, explorers

Thomas Nast, c. 1860-1875, photo by Mathew Brady or Levin Handy

[edit] Photography

[edit] Visual artists, painters, sculptors

The Realism and Romanticism of the early 19th century gave way to Impressionism and Post-Impressionism in the later half of the century, with Paris being the dominant art capital of the world. In the United States the Hudson River School was prominent. 19th century painters included:

[edit] Music

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Niccolo Paganini, (c.1819), charcoal drawing

Sonata form matured during the Classical era to become the primary form of instrumental compositions throughout the 19th century. Much of the music from the nineteenth century was referred to as being in the Romantic style. Many great composers lived through this era such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Frédéric Chopin, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Richard Wagner. The list includes:

[edit] Literature

Mark Twain, 1894
Henry David Thoreau, August 1861.
Emile Zola, c.1900

On the literary front the new century opens with Romanticism, a movement that spread throughout Europe in reaction to 18th-century rationalism, and it develops more or less along the lines of the Industrial Revolution, with a design to react against the dramatic changes wrought on nature by the steam engine and the railway. William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge are considered the initiators of the new school in England, while in the continent the German Sturm und Drang spreads its influence as far as Italy and Spain.

French arts had been hampered by the Napoleonic Wars but subsequently developed rapidly. Modernism began.

The Goncourts and Emile Zola in France and Giovanni Verga in Italy produce some of the finest naturalist novels. Italian naturalist novels are especially important in that they give a social map of the new unified Italy to a people that until then had been scarcely aware of its ethnic and cultural diversity. On February 21, 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto.

There was a huge literary output during the 19th century. Some of the most famous writers included the Russians Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekov and Fyodor Dostoevsky; the English Charles Dickens, John Keats, and Jane Austen; the Scottish Sir Walter Scott; the Irish Oscar Wilde; the Americans Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Mark Twain; and the French Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Jules Verne and Charles Baudelaire. Some other important writers of note included:

[edit] Science

Mme. Marie Curie, c.1898

The 19th century saw the birth of science as a profession; the term scientist was coined in 1833 by William Whewell[1]. Among the most influential ideas of the 19th century were those of Charles Darwin, who in 1859 published the book The Origin of Species, which introduced the idea of evolution by natural selection. Louis Pasteur made the first vaccine against rabies, and also made many discoveries in the field of chemistry, including the asymmetry of crystals. Thomas Alva Edison gave the world a practical everyday lightbulb. Karl Weierstrass and other mathematicians also carried out the arithmetization of analysis. But the most important step in science at this time was the ideas formulated by Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell. Their work changed the face of physics and made possible for new technology to come about. Other important 19th century scientists included:

[edit] Philosophy and religion

Otto Von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor
The last shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu in French military uniform
One of the first photographs, produced in 1826 by Nicéphore Niépce

The 19th century was host to a variety of religious and philosophical thinkers, including:

[edit] Politics and the Military

A 1954 U.S. stamp featuring George Eastman.

[edit] Worst Person

In the BBC's history poll of worst people in history, the 19th century's worst in Britain was the infamous Serial killer Jack The Ripper, an unidentified killer who murdered many Prostitutes, five, in the autumn of 1888.

[edit] See also

[edit] Eras, Epochs, Decades and years

[edit] References

  1. ^ "William Whewell". Stanford University. http://www.science.uva.nl/~seop/entries/whewell/. Retrieved on 2008-03-03. 
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