Questions tagged [19th-century]

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

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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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How profitable was India for the British Empire in the 1800s?

I recently read Imperial Twilight, an excellent history of the opium wars. The author claims several times that while the British trade with China was very lucrative, India was by contrast "...
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How many British navy officers were from lower classes at the end of 18th century?

Helping my daughter with a presentation about Cook, I looked for English sources about his biography and was surprised to read that he was a son of a farmer hand - practically, the bottom of the lower ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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Did Native Americans sabotage telegraph lines running through their territory?

In the 1800s in the Western US, there were a number of telegraph lines running through territory mostly inhabited by Indians. Did they ever sabotage the lines?
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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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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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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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What did the sympathies lie of the US Navy around the time of the American Civil War?

Around the time of the American Civil War the land military (that is the Army) had its sympathies on the cause of the Confederacy, in my opinion, due to the make up of the military officers of the ...
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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 didn't the Arab states industrialize?

Why didn't the states of the Arabian peninsula industrialize around the time that Europe and East Asia did? Was it simply a lack of accessible natural resources? Why not import coal?
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Was there any genuine debate in the pre-1860 United States regarding Native American sovereignty?

The United States treated Native American tribes as sovereign states. Relations with various tribes were governed by a series of (often broken) treaties. At the same time, however, general ...
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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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When did covered wagons disappear from America?

Throughout 19th century Americans migrated west to settle land and most such trips were on foot and on covered wagons. With the arrival of trains the wagons stopped, but my guess is that not everyone ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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Why did ramming reappear then disappear in 1800s shipborn warfare?

This question is twofold. First, why the resurgence of naval ramming and return of rams to naval designs in the second half of the 1800s? Second, why the end to ramming in the 1900s? Can one ...
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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 ...
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Why was there little nonwhite migration to Europe in the 19th century?

Migration This may sound like a strange question, but hear me out. The 19th century was an age of massive population migration, perhaps the most significant in history according to this economic ...
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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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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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In Canada, is it true that when Mormons first arrived (1887) they weren't allowed to settle within 50km of Lethbridge?

In 1886, a Mormon named Charles Card was directed by the then President on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, John Taylor, to go north and find a suitable settlement site in Canada. In ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Why are the ceilings so high in older houses?

The majority of multi-storey houses built before World War II have ceilings higher than nowadays. Today, the standard is about 2.4m, but in the 19th century or the first half of the 20th century it ...
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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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Who turned the (originally) “anti-slavery” GOP into the “pro-business” party?

It is my understanding that the Republican Party arose from the anti-slavery movement, and, more specifically, as a reaction against the 1854 repeal of the Missouri Compromise. And yet, pretty early ...
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Who compared giving women the vote to giving cows the vote (& in what context)?

I recall hearing (in History class) that when women were campaigning to get the vote, some (powerful?) people suggested that if women were given the right to vote, you might as well give the vote to ...
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What does a “boat crimper” do?

Working with Census data and other 19th century sources, I occasionally come across the occupation of "boat crimper." I can't figure out what these boat crimpers do. Based on the definition of "...
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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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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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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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Did Andrew Jackson think the earth was flat?

You will occasionally see references to the possibility that Andrew Jackson believed the earth was flat. One source for this claim is a well-respected history of the period by Edward Pessen: [James]...
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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, ...
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What was the basis for valuating large territorial purchases by USA?

There were at least 2 times when USA extended its territory by purchasing it outright - Louisiana+ from French and Alaska from Russians. The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United ...
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How frequent were murders by Mormon Danites in the 1850s?

During early Mormon history, there was a band of clandestine assassins known as the "Danites" or the "Sons of Dan". They committed a form ritualized murder known as Blood Atonement. The group and ...
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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 ...
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What was the significance of the Schleswig-Holstein question in the 19th century?

As the title states, what was the specific significance of the Schleswig-Holstein question (Denmark and Prussia arguing over contested lands bordering the two nations) as it directly relates to German ...
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What (else) happened July 1st 1858 in London?

I'm looking for sources of information freely available online about happenings in London the day July 1st 1858 (besides the famous Darwin-Wallace presentation, that is.) I have found copies of the ...
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Time span of a decade

Wikipedia says that The 21st century began on January 1, 2001 and will end on December 31, 2100. The first decade of 21st century is the 2000s. Here Wikipedia says that The 2000s was a decade ...
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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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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, ...
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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 ...
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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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