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

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Why did Britain not purchase Alaska when Russia had it up for sale?

One thing that comes up often when discussing "what-ifs" with family or friends is why the British government never nabbed Alaska when Russia had placed it up for sale and made it into Canada's fourth ...
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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 ...
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853 views

What led to the first fight in the American Civil War?

After Lincoln was elected president 11 states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. What circumstances surrounding this secession led to the first battle of the war, and ...
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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 ...
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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?
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What were the reasons that the British colonies in North America rebelled but not others?

I know more about the American War of Independence than about other British colonies, but I have begun to wonder why was it just America. The British had colonies in other places but there doesn't ...
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How did people deal with ice on the roads during the horse-and-buggy era?

Before there were cars, people traveled in a horse-drawn carriage, sometimes over cobble-stone covered roads. Back in those days, was anything done to keep the traveled roads free from ice or snow? ...
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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, ...
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Who named the Democratic Party?

Which politician or organization was the first to formally use the name "Democratic Party" for the party of Andrew Jackson? When and where did this happen? Background: Thomas Jefferson's political ...
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When and why was the samurai class abolished?

I am aware the Emperor Meiji abolished the Samurai class during the reformation. Why did he do so? How was it enforced?
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Why did Meiji consider switching from Japanese to English?

During the Meiji restoration, the Emperor sought to switch Japan's national language from Japanese to English. Why was that? Why, ultimately, was it unsuccessful? The Role of English and Other ...
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Why did John Ganson vote contradictorily on the 13th Amendment?

The House of Representatives originally did not pass the 13th Amendment, and on January 1, 1865 it was reconsidered and passed. Evidently, the House first voted that day on whether to reconsider the ...
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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 ...
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How long did it take for a letter to arrive in England in the 1830s?

How efficient was the postal service in England in the 1830s? For example, is it possible to estimate how long it would have taken for a letter to arrive if sent by a standard service from London to ...
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Why did the Federalist Party collapse?

The Federalist Party in the United States was a significant political force during the early years of the United States' history. Wikipedia doesn't really cite reasons why the party declined and ...
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425 views

What was lost when the British burned the White House in 1814?

Dolley Madison saved state papers, Washington's portrait, and silver from the White House before it burned (source), but what was left behind and lost? Were there other would-be famous items taken or ...
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Why did the Monitor and Merrimac (aka Virginia) have such radically different designs?

This is something that's always baffled me. You have one ship that appears to sit just above the water with one little canon on a turret (the Monitor) and a second that sits high and is brimming with ...
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465 views

Did Noah Webster ever state why he Americanized spelling?

I am aware that Noah Webster (1758--1843 AD) is responsible for the majority of the differences between British and American spelling (IE: "color" v "colour"). Over time, it seems, in his Speller ...
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292 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 ...
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Bow shape of WW1 warships

As ship's bow is designed to break the waves, the physics (something like hydrokinetics) makes it should look like a wedge. And it really is, if we look from above. This should be also kept if look ...
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794 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 ...
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4answers
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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? ...
15
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501 views

How did the existence of the Alps impact the development of Switzerland?

Can anyone tell me what was the role of Alps and Alpine region in Swiss development of Switzerland?
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In what ways did the rise of a true middle class in Europe during the late 19th century become apparent?

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were very transformative for Europe with the rise of a real middle class. Typically before this the middle class was more of a bourgeoisie and not the middle ...
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580 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 ...
15
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1answer
178 views

Why did Thomas Hendricks win the majority of Horace Greeley's electoral votes in 1872?

In researching my answer to Can electors "flip the ticket?", I re-examined the results of the election of 1872. As stated in that answer, 1872 was an interesting election, not for the result (Grant ...
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878 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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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 ...
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538 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 ...
14
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744 views

Were the 19th century decades referred to as 40s, 50s back then?

I was just thinking what will happen to our reference of "the 50s", "the 60s" when we get to the end of this century. So I began wondering if this collision has already happened back when the 20th ...
14
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1answer
508 views

How were the borders of small European principalities maintained or secured?

With shifting boundaries, enclaves, exclaves, and alliances, how were the territorial extents of small principalities or duchies maintained, for example in the Holy Roman Empire or German ...
14
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1answer
604 views

Why did Stephen Ambrose believe that the election of Aaron Burr would have led to the end of the USA?

I'm reading Stephen E. Ambrose's "Undaunted Courage", and in pg. 50, he writes (emphasis mine): On December 5, 1800, Lewis was promoted to captain. That month the states selected their delegates ...
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When did aircraft carriers eclipse battleships as the “King of the seas”?

During the 19th century and into the early 20th century, battleships were the Kings of the Sea, and every naval power of note had at least one. When did they lose this title to the aircraft carrier, ...
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Which Confederate State provided the most troops in the American Civil War?

Of all the states that elected to secede during the American Civil War, which one had the largest number of citizens who actually fought for the Confederacy? I would also be interested if anyone could ...
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How compare the rights and conditions of the American slaves to those of Russian serfs?

How compare the rights and conditions of the 19-th century American slaves to those of the 19-th century Russian serfs?
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1answer
410 views

What were the “passports” that diplomats requested when declaring war?

From Andrew Roberts’ Napoleon: A Life, on the 1803 outbreak of war between Britain and France, after Britain demanded Malta and Napoleon then wanted to know whether this demand was an ultimatum ...
12
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1answer
340 views

Were there originally seats in the elevators in the Eiffel Tower?

There were seats drawn on the blue print for the tower. Today there are no seats. Were they fitted and then taken out or were they never installed at all?
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Context for this 1871 humorous map of Europe?

The following map is from (circa) 1871, according to this source, and it was published in Bologna, Italy. Could you please provide some context for it? Parts of the map are self evident, as for ...
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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 "...
12
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971 views

Why didn't the Arab states industrialize?

Why didn't the states of the Arabian peninsula industrialize around the time that Europe and East Asia were? Was it simply a lack of accessible natural resources? Why not import coal?
12
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1answer
371 views

Were bookshops 'common' in the late 19th century, and how did they differ from modern ones?

I've been reading a little bit about Victorian publishing bit I'm struggling to get a feel for how common and how similar Victorian bookstores in London would be. This is all I've read. It sounds ...
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0answers
246 views

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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4answers
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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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1answer
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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 ...
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Would the original readers of Lewis Carroll's books have made connections between the experiences in the books and drug use?

Modern readers of Lewis Carroll's books (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass) will undoubtedly make some connections between radical changes in perspective following the ...
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1answer
544 views

Why did the states that were born out of the Louisiana purchase adopt a common law system, and not a civil law system?

The French system of laws is a civil law system that is based upon the Napoleonic Code, and further back the Justinian Code. The legal system in Louisiana is now bijuridicial retaining some of the ...
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247 views

From what part(s) of Germany were the majority of Texas immigrants in the mid-19th century?

A large number of the immigrants into Texas in the middle of the 19th century were from what is today Germany. However, the people were "German" more by language than nationality; the German ...
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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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Painting of a French man in a red jacket around 1850, who is this man?

This is a painting from near 1850 that depicts a (famous) French man, possibly noble, in a park, maybe Paris. Is he a Minister? King? Military? Whoever he might be, I consider he is important, since ...
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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?