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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

23
votes
2answers
3k views

Why did the French sell Louisiana?

Why did an imperialistic country like France (at that time) sell a territory so large for so cheap? Was it an important region at the time? I heard that the port of New Orleans was particularly ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

Why did textile mill owners during the industrial revolution keep their factory windows closed?

This is an excerpt from Harbinger, published in 1846 on the working conditions of mills in Lowell, MA and Manchester, NH: The atmosphere of such a room cannot of course be pure; on the contrary it ...
6
votes
1answer
123 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

19th Century Playgrounds

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
678 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
186 views

What was the third best-selling book in the antebellum US?

I always hear that Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel in antebellum America and the second best-selling book overall. The Bible, of course, was number one. Here's an insanely detailed ...
11
votes
2answers
740 views

What were Hispanic people called in the US in the 1800s?

Today in the US, people from Spanish-speaking countries in the Americas are called by various names: Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, etc. What was the term used by Americans for such people in the 1800s? ...
7
votes
1answer
197 views

Was slavery really on the way out in the antebellum USA?

Gail Jarvis, in an encomium to the Dunning School writes: William A. Dunning fervently opposed slavery but his reading of the trends of the times led him to the conclusion that the institution ...
5
votes
2answers
160 views

Where is the Nemesis?

Where is the Nemesis today? Is it simply 'lost at sea', at a museum somewhere, or more likely (as it was an EIC vessel), was it sold for scrap? I did a brief search (of the web), but couldnt find ...
5
votes
1answer
206 views

What toilet facilities were available at large formal gatherings in 19th century America?

I have seen many woodcuts and engravings of large groups of 19th century partygoers dressed in their finery enjoying themselves at parties or balls. Sooner or later in any gathering, nature calls. ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Did Abraham Lincoln have a duel with cannons? [closed]

When you where challenged to a duel or challenged someone to a duel, it was the person that was challenged that chose the weapon. Once someone challenged Lincoln To a duel and he said " how about ...
2
votes
0answers
106 views

How did Helen Keller understand English? [closed]

Helen Keller has fascinated me for quite some time. What she achieved in her life time, being both blind and deaf. One question though, how did she begin to comprehend the English language being ...
23
votes
7answers
5k views

Why did the United Kingdom industrialize first?

What factors made the United Kingdom the first to industrialize? Was it simply the importance and benefit of its position in the global community for trade?
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Shantyboat communities on the upper Mississippi River Valley

Does anyone have links or resources beyond books they can direct me to that directly deal with shantyboat communities along the banks of the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri? I'm ...
12
votes
1answer
10k views

When did the American War of 1812 actually end?

My daughter was recently studying this in high school, and somehow I had always assumed that it had only lasted a year. Apparently it ran on for at least a couple of years, but her textbook only ...
13
votes
6answers
909 views

Why were troops with bayonets often effective against enemy cavalry even though the bayonet was a “secondary” weapon?

The bayonet was introduced in the late 17th century as a knife (later a short sword) attached to a musket, to enable the musketeer to protect himself when reloading their single-shot weapons. As such, ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
249 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
188 views

Were US exports in the early 1800s paid for with metal or with paper?

In the early 1800s, when people in the US exported goods to Europe, how were those goods paid for? What did the buyers actually send back on ships crossing the Atlantic to pay for the goods? I can ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

What book on liberty did Lord Acton not write?

Momigliano writes in his essay A Piedmontese View of the History of Ideas: Lord Acton managed to become famous for a book on liberty he did not write. What is meant by this puzzling sentence?
3
votes
0answers
102 views

How does finding a Franklin ship change what we know about the expedition?

An expedition to find the Franklin ships has found one. At this point, the searchers aren't sure if they've found HMS Erebus or HMS Terror. But sonar images from the waters of Victoria Strait, ...
4
votes
1answer
265 views

What became of the last samurai?

During the Meiji Restoration, the previously-powerful samurai class was abolished. What did all the former-samurai become? I hear often that many former samurai joined the new conscription army and ...
7
votes
1answer
127 views

The effect of the Panic of 1837 on financial/banking policy

Were there any direct or immediate financial/banking policies made because of this recession? I've read that a combination of factors helped get America out of the Panic, but it never mentioned a ...
10
votes
2answers
240 views

Why were women excluded from the succession line in the Meiji constitution?

Article 2 of the Meiji consitution (full text here) says: The Imperial Throne shall be succeeded to by Imperial male descendants, according to the provisions of the Imperial House Law. A ...
1
vote
2answers
173 views

What was the social and cultural role of a “country squire” in Victorian/Edwardian England?

In Agatha Christie's "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", the following passage appears: Ackroyd has always interested me by being a man more impossibly like a country squire than any country squire ...
8
votes
2answers
422 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
201 views

Les Misérables historical setting

What is the period in French history portrayed in Les Misérables in the early 1800s? Also, who was the French King at that time - the restored King? I thought the French Revolution was in the late ...
6
votes
4answers
190 views

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?
7
votes
4answers
632 views

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... ...
8
votes
3answers
276 views

Was there a movement for “humane” slavery?

Many of us are familiar with the movements for "free-range" or "humane" animal products. I have heard that in the antebellum US there were similar movements for "humane" slave products. Is this true? ...
13
votes
4answers
11k views

Why did so many Italians emigrate to Argentina?

On 13th of March, 2013, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, became new pope of Catholic Church. He was born and raised in Argentina with Italian origins. There are more than 24 ...
3
votes
2answers
697 views

How did militia barracks look in the 19th century?

I’m seeking some information (preferably photos or art, but description would also help a bit) on how the exterior of militia barracks looked in ~1790 - 1870 in Europe. It would be helpful to mention ...
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Mexicans in the US from the Mexican period

What was the population of the areas annexed by the US from Mexico in the 1840s? Basically, "Texas," "California" and the area in between?
0
votes
1answer
758 views

The British and the French built the Suez Canal?

How is it that British officials and French engineers were responsible for the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869? This was before Egypt became a protectorate of the British Empire in 1914.
6
votes
2answers
377 views

How much of a role did Sakamoto Ryoma play in overthrowing the Shogunate?

Sakamoto Ryoma is often portrayed in the Japanese media for his role in attempting to overthrow the shogunate during the Bakumatsu period. Since he was assassinated when he was still very young, the ...
5
votes
2answers
256 views

Why wasn't Federal Republic of Central America a stable country?

I read the Wiki page and an another good source of information of the Federal Republic of Central America (sometimes referred as United States of Central America). I see the process how it fell apart, ...
8
votes
3answers
387 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, ...
8
votes
2answers
311 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Moving day in Paris, France in the 19th century

Is it true that rental agreements or leases in Paris France all used to start/end on the same day? I think this would have been in the mid/late 19th century or earlier. I know Quebec, Canada had a ...
3
votes
6answers
424 views

Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?

The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a major conflict with a long string of battles. Has it led to any innovations in 19th-century warfare? It has been pointed out that it may have been the first ...
3
votes
2answers
602 views

Did any major European country stay neutral during the Napoleonic Wars?

During World Wars I and II, many countries managed to stay neutral, like Spain and Switzerland. Was there any major country (e.g. not a city-state or a micronation) that did the same during the ...
3
votes
0answers
136 views

Was the Taiping Rebellion the deadliest war of the 19th Century?

According to Wikipedia: With no reliable census at the time, estimates are necessarily based on projections, but the most widely cited sources put the total number of deaths during the 15 ...
5
votes
2answers
172 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
175 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
787 views

What is the equivalent in France of the “Victorian era”?

By Victorian era I mean the moral rigidity and the dominance of the bourgeoisie. We had the same culture in France but I can't find the proper term to phrase it. For example how would you translate ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

Who did the middle class in ca. 1850- ca. 1900 France constitute of? [closed]

I am learning about nationalism in Europe in the latter half of the 19th century, and my history book uses the terms "urban working class", "middle class", and "land-owning peasants". What were some ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Where Can I Find Copies of the Richmond Enquirer? [closed]

I have been researching the background circumstances surrounding the writing of a particular poem, in addition to more information about the author. I've had a small degree of success finding ...
15
votes
1answer
274 views

In 19th century India, pre and post Raj, did any private British citizens actually own land in India?

I've never been able to clarify this question. From what I can tell, the land that the British occupied in India was either "owned" (if this is the right term) by the Company during the time of its ...
14
votes
2answers
205 views

Why was Iceland not a part of the Danish-Swedish deal in Kiel in 1814?

In the Treaty of Kiel of 1814, Norway was essentially given from Denmark to Sweden as a "sorry we were on the other side", but Iceland was not a part of this deal at all. This is in spite of the fact ...