We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

Questions tagged [19th-century]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
38
votes
10answers
13k 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?
15
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
29
votes
3answers
14k views

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 ...
21
votes
6answers
5k views

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?
39
votes
9answers
8k views

Why were helmets and other body armour not commonplace in the 1800s?

Before the widespread use of firearms, various kinds of plate armour were in widespread use. As muskets (and later, rifles) became widespread, full plate became less effective and fell out of use. ...
36
votes
3answers
4k views

Who is this young 'Prince'?

The photo below was found in an envelope among a bundle of family photos which were recently handed down on the English side of my family. Aside from the photo itself, the only clues are as follows: ...
12
votes
3answers
9k views

What portion of Northerners were against slavery for humanitarian reasons in 1860 America?

In a Civil war History class, I heard that the percentage of people who favored the abolition of slavery was quite low in the North. Furthermore I understand that, at the time, some of the main ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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?
26
votes
8answers
6k 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, ...
6
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
56
votes
9answers
21k views

Why are so many metros underground? Isn't that more expensive than an elevated system?

Starting with the London Underground in 1863, why are so many metros/subways built underground (as opposed to en elevated metro)? This requires a lot of digging and excavation, which to me seems a lot ...
33
votes
2answers
5k views

Why did Meiji government consider switching from Japanese to English?

During the Meiji restoration, the Meiji govenment sought to switch Japan's national language from Japanese to English. Who and why advocated that? Ultimately, why was it unsuccessful? Source: ...
53
votes
3answers
11k views

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 ...
34
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
10k views

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?
22
votes
2answers
3k views

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 ...
17
votes
2answers
10k 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 "...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What percentage of men, ages 18 to 35, from the northern states served in the Union Army?

In my genealogy research, I can assume with some certainty that if a white southern family had sons born between 1835 and 1846 there is a pretty good chance that all of them will have served in the ...
24
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
21
votes
2answers
546 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
5k 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? ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

How stable was the Middle East under Ottoman rule?

Since the outbreak of WWI, the Middle East has been a strategic area; many powers have vied for control. How stable was the region under Ottoman rule? Stable is, for the purposes of this question, ...
12
votes
4answers
12k views

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. ...
11
votes
1answer
845 views

Who is this, probably royal, teenager?

This photo was found in the same envelope as a photo of the Prince Imperial, Louis Napoleon, (recently identified on this site by Evargalo). The photos (seven in all) were recently handed down on the ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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 have heard often that many former samurai joined the new conscription army ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What were the major imports and exports of Germany and France from 1850-1915?

Background: I've been doing some digging on nineteenth century trade, and so far have found this list of Britain's major imports to be an extremely helpful big picture guide. Sadly, I've yet to google ...
5
votes
2answers
279 views

Did the Taaffe family maintain an actual connection with Ireland during the 19th century?

The Taaffe family is rather remarkable for having held both an Irish/UK and Austrian peerage. However, it is not clear from the wiki pages whether they (for example, Count Eduard, who was Austrian ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

How have European microstates survived?

How did European tiny states, like San Marino, Monaco, Andorra and Liechtenstein (excluding the Vatican, whose survival is clearly connected to religious reasons) manage to not be absorbed by bigger ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Who is in this c.1866 photo?

This photo was found with (but not in) an envelope containing seven photos of European royals, all but two of which have been positively identified (one of them here by Evargalo). Below is a photo of ...
16
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

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 ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

Was Cossack cavalry ineffective relative to other troops?

I know that some people in Europe very much admire Russian Cossack cavalry and think it is very effective. But in Russia there was a proverb that one hussar is equal to two cossacks, one dragoon is ...
9
votes
1answer
582 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
6answers
3k views

Greek Revolution: Where did the Greeks look for descendants of the Byzantine dynasties?

I recall reading in a few books that during the early to mid 19th century, the Greeks where trying to find European nobles who had genealogies linked to the dynasties of the old Byzantine Empire (...
8
votes
1answer
608 views

How many hours a week did the Tolpuddle Martyrs work?

I can find lots of references to the pay rate of the Tolpuddle Martyrs (originally 10 shillings a week, then reduced to seven shillings and were due to be further reduced to six) but how many hours a ...
7
votes
1answer
247 views

Historiography and the uses of history in the Second French Empire?

The Pre(r)amble: Over the past few months I've gotten interested in the development of history and historiography in Victorian England, and how the Victorians saw themselves reflected in and ...
7
votes
2answers
845 views

What were the ranks in the Army of Imperial Spain?

At the time of the Latin American wars of independence, the Imperial Spanish army employed men in ranks like Capitán (captain), Sargento (sergeant) and so on, between the King and the lowliest ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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
2answers
1k views

When (and where) did public polling start taking place on topics other than elections?

Image Source: The Roper Center on Cornell.edu Question When did public opinion polling on topics other than elections begin? Are there examples prior to the 1930's when Gallup and Roper began ...
5
votes
1answer
210 views

What was the rate of premarital conceptions in England from 1850 to 1890?

Much research has been done on the topic of prenuptially conceived births within England from the 1540s to 1830s, but I have yet to come across anything resembling a statistic for the period from ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What nullified the Missouri Compromise?

I always thought it was the Dred Scott decision in 1857, when Chief Justice Roger Taney declared the compromise unconstitutional. But I've also heard it was nullified by the Kansas Nebraska act in ...
4
votes
1answer
247 views

Which trade ship did not return to California from China?

The Baltic German captain Otto von Kotzebue wrote (from "California Through Russian Eyes", Gibson, ed.): An attempt was even made to launch, at the Californios' own risk, trade with China, but it ...
4
votes
1answer
373 views

Who conducted the first “straw poll” in U.S. election politics, and when was it conducted?

Prior to Gallup and Roper et al in the 1930's and The Literary Digest in 1916, what was the first election straw poll in US elections? Three sources that I found cite three different answers (though ...
2
votes
1answer
717 views

The speed of sea travel in the beginning of 19th century

Can we somehow estimate the average speed of a ground+sea travel between Frankfurt and London in the beginning of 19th century? I was more than surprised (if not shocked) to find in the beginning of ...