Questions tagged [19th-century]

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

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2answers
2k views

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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1answer
681 views

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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3answers
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When did the last formal and recorded duel take place?

It seems that duels are no longer fought because of a combination of both changes in law and in fashions. E.g. Tom Reiss' The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte ...
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1answer
129 views

What was Richard Owen's status within the Royal Society in 1858?

I'd like to know if Sir Richard Owen was still a distinguished fellow of the Royal Society by 1858. The information I have collected is controversial. The RS website shows his being VP in 1849-1850 ...
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Was murdering a slave illegal in American slavery, and if so, what punishments were given for it?

Was there any punishment for killing slaves, and what punishment was given for it, and was it enforced?
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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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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
178 views

What was located at the site of Madison Square Garden in 1850?

What was located at the site of Madison Square Garden in New York City in the year 1850? The location is between 7th and 8th avenues and between 32nd and 33rd streets. I have found an old map with ...
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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 of how it fell ...
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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 ...
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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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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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Did the British and the French build 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.
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Why didn't America “rent” parts of China? [closed]

After the Opium War, Britain and France signed treaties with China that said they could establish "spheres of influence" over parts of China. Britain and France went this way, but why didn't America?
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1answer
842 views

Why did the British take Hong Kong instead of any other of the later treaty ports?

The aftermath of the first Opium War declared that Hong Kong and the island of Kowloon should be ceded to the UK as a port for refitting ships and storing cargo. It also meant there was easy access ...
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Why was 19th-century Japan able to modernize and not China?

At the start of the 19th century, Asian countries had militaries less effective than Western nations. In 1853, the US Navy forced Japan to enter into trade with the United States. The Japanese ...
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1answer
140 views

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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3answers
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How many hours did Andrew Carnegie's steel workers work per week?

How many hours per week did Andrew Carnegie's steel workers put in on average from 1885 until 1900 when he sold his business?
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Could the anti-Napoleonic forces have done better by uniting earlier before Waterloo?

During the Waterloo campaign, there were TWO Allied armies facing Napoleon, one under England's Wellington, and one under Prussia's Blucher. Napoleon first defeated Blucher at Ligny, then turned on ...
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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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1answer
378 views

What major Native American tribes were around Santa Fe during the late 1850s?

This question is rather basic and self-explanatory, yet I can't find answers to it when I look it up. I would appreciate if someone could give me at least 2-3 tribes which were around the Santa Fe ...
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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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Why was fellatio considered so horrible during the XIX century in Europe?

The mentioned sexual practice was extremely frowned upon during that period, basically only prostitutes were to do them and even in this case, only with huge amounts of received money, that, in the ...
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Did the US gov't pay the Cherokee for their lands in Georgia?

According to the Treaty of New Echota, ratified by the US Senate in 1836, the US government was supposed to pay the Cherokee Nation $5 million for their lands in and around Georgia. In exchange, the ...
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1answer
240 views

How was library classification done in English-speaking libraries prior to the 19th century?

I was reading about major library classification systems. The major one in English-speaking lands seems to be the Dewey Decimal Classification system, which was invented in 1876. Several other ...
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1answer
136 views

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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1answer
253 views

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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269 views

What causes the stark vertical divide in population maps of the United States? [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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1answer
110 views

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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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 ...
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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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8answers
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Who is the man in the red jacket in this painting?

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 ...
13
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1answer
308 views

What is the earliest mention of an estimate of 71% water (or 70.8%) / 29% land (or 29.2%)?

According to the U.S. Geological Survey's article How much water is there on, in, and above the Earth?, About 71 percent of the Earth's surface is water-covered Wikipedia's Earth article also ...
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Where did Bishop Heber meet Bhagwan Swaminarayan?

When Bishop Heber came to know about Bhagwan Swaminarayan, he wanted to have a meeting to discuss various matters. Where did this meeting take place?
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1answer
243 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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2answers
234 views

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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How were cattle cut out in the 19th century?

In the largest cattle raising countries - Australia and the USA, huge free ranging herds were kept. Nowadays, we use yards and crushes for husbandry activities such as drafting and calf marking (...
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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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Why did Bavaria join Prussia/Germany instead of Austria?

I am curious about why kingdom of Bavaria was assimilated by Prussia instead of Austria-Hungary If I consider following facts in 1854 Bavaria is Catholic country (same as majority of Austria-Hungary)...
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1answer
605 views

Was there self-censorship in private correspondence in the early 19th Century?

I've been reading collections of letters and journals (generally relating to the Napoleonic Wars) published in the first half of the 19th century. Often these contain words that have been partially ...
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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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1answer
235 views

Who were the earliest Californian university students?

In California's Spanish and Mexican eras there was not much formal education. The nearest university was that of Guadalajara, founded in 1792. The Híjar-Padrés colony of 1834 brought teachers who ...
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Did New Imperialism differ in nature from earlier Imperialism?

In Wikipedia, there is an article about New Imperialism, which refers to the territorial or colonial expansion during 19th-20th century. The article also says that the qualifier "New" is to contrast ...
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1answer
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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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Did the Russian Empire have a claim to Sweden? Was there ever a time where they could have pursued it?

Consider that Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp and the one that all Russian emperors after Catherine were descended from, would have been king of Sweden had his aunt not stolen the throne ...
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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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1answer
108 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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1answer
277 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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