Questions tagged [19th-century]

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

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What would be the modern equivalent of Jane Austen family's estate's expenses in terms of purchasing power during her childhood? [closed]

I read that the Austen family was considered to be at the lower end of the gentry of her time. What would their annual expenses look like expressed in 2020 USD, measured by purchasing power, and how ...
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What did people do about kerosene lamp fires?

In the late nineteenth century, kerosene lamps were widely used for illumination. They were effective and affordable, though had the nontrivial disadvantage of being a significant fire hazard; a lamp ...
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How did mid-19th century American legislation affect the corporate structure of railroad companies?

It is my understanding that a part of the complexity that the Standard Oil Company built up was due to the nature of US corporate legislation (while, of course, the rest was that they wanted to hide ...
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107 views

Was a drop in standards of living a significant factor in the revolutions of 1848?

A lot ink has been expended discussing the revolutions of 1848 and their causes, only a small fraction of which I have read. From my point of view, there seem to be two main schools of thought in ...
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Why was Napoleon so lenient to Austria?

Austria (unlike Prussia) "rebelled" against Napoleon during the War of the Fifth Coalition. After putting down this country (but not Spain, Portugal, and the U.K.), Napoleon allowed the ...
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Was the name 'Valerie' used during the Regency Era (1811-1836)?

I am working on a novel that takes place in England during the Regency Era (1811-1836, the era right before the Victorian Era). I was wondering if you know if the name 'Valerie' or 'Valeria' existed ...
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How was the 1849 “Proclamation to the People of California” announcing the formation of a Constitution communicated to the people?

The images below appear to be an official copy of the 1849 Proclamation to the People of California announcing the formation of a Constitution. It is signed by Secretary of State Captain H.W. Halleck (...
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What was life like for Australian convicts in the last few decades of transportation?

What was life like for Australian convicts in the last few decades of transportation? The last convict transportation arrived in 1868, what happened to convicts during this latter period? Were they ...
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Why did typesetting allegedly “make it difficult for illegal copiers”?

From the Wikipedia article Typesetting One significant effect of typesetting was that authorship of works could be spotted more easily, making it difficult for copiers who have not gained permission. ...
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What were the criteria for class ranking at West Point prior to the Civil War?

I was watching Grant on The History Channel last night, and it was mentioned that Robert E. Lee graduated second in his class, while Grant was in the middle*. They also made a point of pointing out ...
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How, where and when did Lily Pettigrew die?

Lily Pettigrew (born Lilian Pettigrew, on 25 Feb 1870, in Portsmouth in the UK) was a famous artist's model in turn-of-the-century London, alongside her equally famous sisters Hetty and Rose. She is ...
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Was it ever common practice to make “wax” seals out of bread (especially in the mid-1800s)?

In Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Purloined Letter", there is this quote in which a seal on a letter is replaced by bread: D-- rushed to a casement, threw it open, and looked out. In the ...
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Why did Frederick VI claim the Haraldskær Woman was a Norwegian queen?

Frederick VI was the last king of Denmark-Norway. During his reign a woman’s well preserved body was discovered in a peat bog, and Frederick claimed it was that of Queen Gunnhild. Frederick’s ...
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What ring is this?

I found this ring among my grandfather's things. (He would be in his late 90s, I think.) I tried to do a reverse image search on it, but could not identify it's origin. There are many eagles on the ...
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Did they really have individual telephone wires going from a central tower to each customer in Sweden in the late 1800s? [closed]

In 1887, they built this relatively high (45 meters) "telephone tower" in Stockholm. It was apparently built to hold the wires for all the telephone subscribers/customers in Stockholm. (On the photo, ...
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When did the defeated General José de la Cruz sail back to Spain?

José de la Cruz was a Spanish military commander in Mexico's wars of independence. He was finally defeated by his ex-subordinate, Pedro Celestino Negrete in Durango, just after the Treaty of Córdoba, ...
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What are some sources on college life in the second half of the 19th century USA

Could someone please direct me towards books (diaries, memoirs...) on college life (particularly dental colleges) in the USA in the second half of the 19th century (particularly 1870s)? Thank you!
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What did executioners do when not performing executions?

Almost all countries in the world had capital punishment at some point. I understand that in the military, the executioner/hangman would also be a soldier when he is not executing people, but what ...
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What kind of canoes were used in 19th century Yucatán?

I’m specifically curious about seagoing canoes along the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the mid-1800’s. Were they still typically of the dugout variety, or had they evolved to canvas on a wood ...
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How effective was Civil War-era artillery in the rain?

How did rain effect cannon of the mid-19th century? Specifically the commonly fielded types like the 12-pounder Napoleon. Could they operate effectively and reliably in heavy rainfall? I’ve been able ...
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Why have population maps indicated a stark divide in population density of the United States on either side ot the 100th Meridian? [closed]

Every time I look at a map of the United States coloured by something proportional to population density, I see a stark vertical line going from northeast North Dakota, through SD, NE, KS, OK, and ...
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How long would it take to sail from New Orleans to Belize in late Summer 1867?

I’m writing a story where the characters need to travel by sea from New Orleans to Belize. The event takes place in late Summer 1867. I need to figure out the following: What route they would take ...
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Where can I learn about mortality rates for 19th century American sailors?

I would especially like to know the difference in survival rate for whalers versus merchant sailors in New England. It seems to me that Melville discussed this in Moby Dick (which of course need ...
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Did the “loss” of the American territories in the first third of the 19th century have any impact on Spanish intellectual discourse?

The defeat in the war against the USA in 1898 and the subsequent loss of Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines had an enormous, long-term impact on Spanish intellectuals (Generation of 98). However, ...
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Is there an example of 19th century non-believer who fluently alludes to Scripture?

I am curious whether there is an example of a 19th century historical figure who 1) did not consider himself/herself a Christian, but 2) alluded to or quoted Bible passages fluently in his/her speech ...
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Were there farms in the early 19th century in England, which only focused on agriculture?

I think back in the day most farms consisted of both agriculture and livestock, but I think, there must have been exceptions. I'm also especially interested in small-scale family-based farms. The ...
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Is there any way to link John Marshall to Andrew Johnson's impeachment?

I'm desperately attempting to find a way to link John Marshall to Andrew Johnson's impeachment. I'm looking for specific events, and not just his separation of powers either. I've already used the ...
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How did Adam Worth make sure his crooks didn't keep what they stole?

I'm currently reading through the The Life and Times of Adam Worth and as much as I'm fascinated by Adam Worth and his mastermind for 19th century crime, there is one thing that the book fails to ...
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285 views

Did people in the late 1800s and earlier really think that there would be, or already exist, “mechanical men”?

I've very often been wondering about how people used to think "back in the day" about all kinds of technical things. For example, once it was common knowledge that factories existed, and most people ...
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110 views

In which banking institute was Soren Kierkegaard a customer?

Is there any information about which bank the danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) used in Copenhagen? I might think it is 'Sparekassen for Kjøbenhavn og Omegn', literally 'The Savings ...
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What would have been the typical drinks for a US farmer in the late 18th/early 19th century?

What would have been the typical drinks for a US farmer in the late 18th/early 19th century? I have read a lot about cider being a frequent drink, but it is not a common drink now in the United ...
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461 views

Would an illegitimate child of a monarch have been recognized at the Russian court?

For purposes of a novel I am writing I would like to know if an illegitimate son or daughter of a 19th century Russian tsar would have been recognized by the court. Would it matter if the birth was ...
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258 views

Did Empress Cixi divert funds for the Beiyang Fleet to build the Summer Palace?

There is a popular story that Empress Dowager Cixi diverted funds originally intended for the Beiyang Fleet in order to upgrade the Summer Palace. This is significant because the amount - approx. 22 ...
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197 views

How widely accepted are Tolstoy's views on history within the academic community?

Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace is a historic fiction and part essay in which Tolstoy regularly expresses his views on how events happen. More specifically, Tolstoy says that the actions of great men such ...
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382 views

In the 19th century, do we know how armor changed with respect to guns of the time?

I know that the 19th century was relatively peaceful in Europe according to Wikipedia. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_warfare#Land_warfare) Interestingly, industrial technology has aided in ...
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193 views

Who is this particular inventor from XIX century?

I came acros with the following description about a certain inventor from XIX century: An illustrious 19th-century European character who amassed an immense fortune thanks to his more than three ...
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147 views

After the end of slavery at the closure of the US civil war, what percentage of former slaves stayed at their previous workplaces?

Upon the abolition of slavery in the USA, there were suddenly millions of former slaves set free. But they were left without an obvious workplace. On the other side, millions of jobs done previously ...
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Was lobster considered a poor man's food in the Georgian era?

Many years ago I took a tour through a restored Georgian-era house in Dublin (best €2 I spent that summer). This included some pretty good explanations on the everyday life and customs in that period, ...
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295 views

Would Victorian era British soldiers wear their short sword bayonets while wearing uniform when off duty?

In depictions of the Victorian era we often see lower ranks of soldiers wearing uniform when off duty in pubs or frequenting fairs, or just milling about as extras in the background etc. My question ...
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What are specific parts of this 19th century dress called?

Src: Portrait of Nadezhda Polovtseva So this a the Portrait of Nadezhda Polovtseva in which she is wearing a white and green gown. I just need a really simple explaination of what the separate ...
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461 views

Are there any examples of California gold rush prospectors becoming exceedingly wealthy due to their claim(s)?

Thousands of people tried to find their fortune in the California gold rush. Though, it's often reported that the people who became wealthy from this event were the ones that were selling supplies to ...
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414 views

How were concussions treated in late 19th-century America?

It’s 1899 America, a person has a bleeding head wound after an impact (the rest of their body being unharmed for the sake of the focus question). They have a concussion and, when they wake up, they ...
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1answer
167 views

What were the rules of the migration to the Louisiana Territory in USA?

To my best knowledge, at the point of Louisiana Purchase, the area was inhabited mostly by Native Americans. At the time there existed some legislation regarding how the settlement should look like. ...
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251 views

Where did poor London women give birth in the latter half of the 19th century?

I have a personal reason for asking this question. I'm researching my family tree and I have some ancestors who lived in Mile End Old Town, London between 1850 and 1900, but gave birth in Mile End New ...
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Who are these people in this satirical cartoon of the Congress of Verona?

Who are these people in this satirical cartoon of the Congress of Verona? Alternative images, click for details: Three men in military dress sit around a rectangular table - a fourth man has stood ...
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How long did it take to buy a house in 1870?

I'm interested in how long it took to carry out major transactions in the nineteenth century compared to today. On the one hand, I expect there was less formality; on the other hand, less information ...
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168 views

When did coal replace firewood in early America?

From the perspective of early colonists in America, it makes sense that firewood was initially easier to collect, but that as demand grew there was a transition to coal, which was more abundant. ...
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In Tolstoy's War and Peace, one character is captured after the Battle of Austerlitz and is taken as a POW. Was his experience historically accurate?

Prince Andrei Bolkonsky is captured after sustaining a wound in battle and is taken as a POW. He, along with other officers of the Russian Army, were treated with care and respect by the French, and ...
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What were the demographics of New Orleans in the 1890s?

What were the demographics of New Orleans in the 1890s? Population, race, born overseas vs born in the US, that sort of thing. And what would be the best source to do more research about New Orleans ...
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How did the educational curriculum (books) flow from grade to grade in the 1800s?

I'd like to understand how educational curriculum (book choice/material) progression worked during the 19th century within the United States and perhaps even abroad. We frequently hear of people only ...

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