The 19th century began on January 1, 1801, and ended on December 31, 1900.

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In the British empire, what was the difference between a Governor General and a Viceroy?

In the many colonies of the British empire, it seems that the rulers of some were known as Governors General and others were officially titled as Viceroys. Was there a practical distinction between ...
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What devices used computer-like programs in industrial era?

As possibly some of you remember early computers had very small human-machine interface and coding programs was done by cards like this one: or a tape like these: This invention of controlling ...
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473 views

How common was it for Americans to visit Europe in the late 19th century?

According to this article, in 2009, around 13 million people from the United States travelled overseas, of which 35% visited Europe. Given the United States' population of 320 million, we can estimate ...
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What were the Government Press Prosecutions of 1858 and why did they occur?

In the second chapter of On Liberty, John Stuart Mill mentions in a note the "Government Press Prosecutions of 1858". He further writes that "The offence charged was not that of criticising ...
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When passports/border checks became widespread?

I was reading the Wikipedia on passports, and there were numerous important dates in passport history, but I didn't find any date when passports became widely used documents for travelling. I see ...
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456 views

Why was Pah-Ute County transferred to Nevada?

In 1866, the US Congress transferred the majority of Pah-Ute county from the Arizona Territory to the state of Nevada. This was done against the wishes of the territorial legislature of Arizona. Why ...
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Cost of education in Germany in 1900

I am curious how much did the German universities charge their students in late 19th early 20th century. I am specifically interested in the math/science education at University of Göttingen, one of ...
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How many firearms were owned by civilian population between 1836 and 1912 in USA?

How many firearms in total were owned by civilian population between 1836 and 1912 in USA (cumulatively, not simultaneously)? The timeframe is what I would consider "Old West" timeframe, but starting ...
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373 views

Ethnic Germans in Russian service in Poland

General Brusilov wrote in his memoirs that a few years before the war he was serving in a high military position in Russian-controlled Poland and that he was appalled by the fact that all Russian high ...
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Who turned the (originally) “anti-slavery” GOP into the “pro-business” party?

It is my understanding that the Republican Party arose from the anti-slavery movement, and, more specifically, as a reaction against the 1854 repeal of the Missouri Compromise. And yet, pretty early ...
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Why did Russia give up its claims to the Oregon Country?

Originally, everyone in the area claimed the Oregon Country: the British, Americans, Spanish, and Russians. Why did Russia give up its claim to the region? What did they get in return?
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Who were the Wright brothers' competitors?

I heard that there was a person who was sponsored by the government to make the first flying airplane. The Wright brothers beat him to it and this made him really depressed and he gave up his career. ...
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455 views

Why did Robert E. Lee stop offensive maneuvers?

According to the Wikipedia article on the Battle of Gettysburg, after that battle Robert E. Lee stopped making offensive maneuvers and rather started reacting to Union offensives. Is this 100% true, ...
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What does a “boat crimper” do?

Working with Census data and other 19th century sources, I occasionally come across the occupation of "boat crimper." I can't figure out what these boat crimpers do. Based on the definition of ...
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What does “Brown-Bread Eater” mean when used as an insult?

The American Pageant (Bailey, Kennedy, Cohen, 2006) on p. 507 remarks: ...regular Republicans denounced Greeley as an atheist, a communist, a free-lover, a vegetarian, a brown-bread eater... ...
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702 views

Why was cricket's popularity in USA a casualty of Civil War?

"Cricket was by far the biggest sport [in the USA] in this period," Tim Lockley, an expert in American history at Warwick University, told the Guardian in 1999. "Then the civil war started in 1861, ...
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428 views

Supplies for army of Napoleon

How was such a great army, like the army of Napoleon on its way to Moscow, supplied with food and other needed things? Were they transporting it from France or maybe stealing from territory on their ...
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261 views

What did the sympathies lie of the US Navy around the time of the American Civil War?

Around the time of the American Civil War the land military (that is the Army) had its sympathies on the cause of the Confederacy, in my opinion, due to the make up of the military officers of the ...
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387 views

Did Native Americans sabotage telegraph lines running through their territory?

In the 1800s in the Western US, there were a number of telegraph lines running through territory mostly inhabited by Indians. Did they ever sabotage the lines?
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How many soldiers were present at the charge down Little Round Top?

The events of July 2, 1863 have been discussed endlessly, from Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels to the film Gettysburg. Since reading the book and seeing the film many times, I can't help but wonder ...
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Did Andrew Jackson think the earth was flat?

You will occasionally see references to the possibility that Andrew Jackson believed the earth was flat. One source for this claim is a well-respected history of the period by Edward Pessen: ...
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What became of the French Revolutionary Religion and Calendar?

During the height of the French Revolution, there was a complete revamping/retooling of French culture and religion: A new calendar based on the metric system and marking the significant events and ...
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Why was old Shanghai called “Whore of the Orient”?

I've been doing research on Old Shanghai, during the 19th Century and early 20th Century. I know all about the Opium Wars and the Opium trade and their effect on the country. But I'm still not sure ...
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What was the significance of the Schleswig-Holstein question in the 19th century?

As the title states, what was the specific significance of the Schleswig-Holstein question (Denmark and Prussia arguing over contested lands bordering the two nations) as it directly relates to German ...
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Did the German authorities respell Polish names to be more German during the time of the Empire?

How were Polish names handled by Prussian and German authorities during the times of the German empire? It is well known there was intense Germanisation throughout the area, for example all location ...
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What were the most common reasons why draft-age men were not conscripted for the Union Army?

Based on this question and an answer, it appears that although almost all southern white men of draft age were in the military during the Civil War, only about half of northerners were. For those in ...
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227 views

Did most pants in the late 1800s have plackets at the ankle?

Recently, while at the New York Public Library, I spotted this painting: In it, Charles Astor Bristed is, in his youth, sporting pantaloons that appear to have a placket from ankle to knee. Did ...
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Jewish Slave Owners in the United States

David Duke has a video on YouTube about Jewish participation in various slave trades in Western history. At the 7:40 mark he states: In the pre-Civil War United States 2% of white gentile ...
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Why did the Protestants in Ireland in the 1800s not want Home Rule?

I know there was conflict between Protestants and Roman Catholic nationalists due to their difference of opinion on Home Rule, but why would the protestants in Ulster and conservative party want to ...
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257 views

Were labor shortages ever a problem for the railroads in the Old West?

Many different rail lines were built in the western United States from the 1850s onwards. Was construction ever delayed/canceled due to difficulty in finding workers, or due to workers leaving the ...
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211 views

Were British parliamentary seats really advertised in newspapers?

I have this vague recollection of reading about actual ads in newspapers selling seats in the British parliament (18th or 19th century pocket/rotten boroughs) Did they actually have ads in ...
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What were contemporary Japanese views on the Taiping Rebellion and Heavenly Kingdom?

In the 1850's and 60's, the Taiping Rebellion broke out in China, observed by both the Tokugawa Bakufu and subsequently the Meiji Imperial government. Some 200 years earlier, Japan had suffered its ...
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492 views

Did Perry's Black Ships attack Edo harbour during his expedition to Japan?

Matthew C. Perry commanded the U.S. Navy expedition that forced Japan to abandon its policy of isolation, triggering the eventual overthrow of the Shogunate's and the Meiji Restoration. Perry arrived ...
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Georgia's Ruling by O. Henry

O. Henry's 1900 story, "Georgia's Ruling", http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/ohenry/bl-ohenry-georgia.htm describes a dire social problem related to the USA land laws and the "land ...
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During the American Civil War, could you send mail to someone across the border?

Before the Civil War, there was mail service between all the different states. During the war, could you still send a letter from, say New York to Georgia, or did the post office shut down services ...
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259 views

Why did Austria cede Venetia at the end of the Third Italian War of Independence?

Looking at the wikipedia articles, they seemed to be winning (the Battle of Custoza and the naval battle of Lissa), and the war against Prussia was already finished. So why did it still cede Venetia ...
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263 views

Why was Germany unified in Versailles not Berlin?

Why did Wilhelm I (or Bismarck) decide to perform official Germany unification in France? In my opinion, if the ceremonial was to honour the Prussian king and be a tribute or allegiance to him, it ...
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352 views

Upper-class male cohabitation in mid-19th century USA

James Buchanan is often considered to be the first (and only so far?) gay American president. The major piece of evidence for this (at least according to wikipedia and some popular articles on this ...
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365 views

Who won the wrestling match between Lincoln and Jack Armstrong?

According to a site whose name is "Muscles of Iron", the above picture shows Lincoln after taking down “champion” Jack Armstrong at the general store in New Salem, 1831. On the page where the ...
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387 views

Did the Ottoman Empire lose some control over Egypt during the Crimean War?

What were the effects of the Crimean War on the relationship between the British and Ottoman empires? Did they lose partial control over Egypt?
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How were 19th century American diplomats paid?

I just came across this line in H.W. Brands' Andrew Jackson biography, explaining why Jackson was initially uninterested in the presidency: "The pay was good, but the expenses of the office ate up the ...
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Did Engels and Welles ever call for the extermination of Basques and Serbs?

Someone in some scribble in a matter-of-fact way made this assertion. Is it based on fact? Here's the original quote (in Russian) and its googletrans + my light fixing: Фридрих Энгельс упоминал о ...
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What did 19th century playgrounds look like?

In the beginning of the novel Cold Mountain, a character recollect his childhood at a school house (maybe in the 1840s or 1850s in rural North Carolina) and describes flinging his hat out onto the ...
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192 views

What allowed the British to be able to burn Washington D.C. in the war of 1812?

The reason I'm asking is because of Washington D.C.'s location. It wasn't easily accessible by land and it wasn't easily traveled to by waterways. In what battles were the British able to get to ...
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Did non-Indians go into Indian Territory (now Oklahoma)?

From 1854 to 1907 there was a territory reserved for American Indians (aptly named "Indian Territory") in what is now the state of Oklahoma. How exclusive was this territory? Did non-Indians go ...
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Why did France make an alliance with the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in the 1850's?

It is clear why Cavour wanted the alliance, but what benefits would France have from allying itself to a relatively weak (as far as I know) kingdom?
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What was the typical range of travel of a Pennsylvanian resident for everyday life in the late 18th early 19th Century Pennsylvania?

How much traveling did a typical Pennsylvanian resident do for everyday life in the late 18th early 19th Century (1775-1825) Pennsylvania, and what was the 'typical' range (in miles) from their home ...
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What was the League of Sublime and Perfect Masters?

What was the League of the Sublime and Perfect Masters, created when the Congress of Viena was finished? What role did it play in Italian Reunification?
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Did American Indians disrupt railroads in their regions?

In the Old West, many railroads went through Indian-occupied areas. Are there any documented instances of the Indians ever sabotaging the railroads? Please provide dates and circumstances where ...
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Psychology in the 19th century

I have read about the Imperial Lyceum in Tsarskoye Selo, and noticed that starting from 1829 they taught psychology and ethics. I wonder what the 19th century psychology would be like given that even ...