Questions tagged [19th-century]

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

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Why did nationalism in all of Europe surge in the 19th century?

Nationalism in all parts of Europe surged in the 19th century, the centuries old multinational states of the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary broke apart and by the end of the century this jingoism ...
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How were 19th century American diplomats paid?

I just came across this line in H.W. Brands' Andrew Jackson biography, explaining why Jackson was initially uninterested in the presidency: "The pay was good, but the expenses of the office ate up the ...
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What epithet would John Quincy Adams use?

In his journal for 1824, John Quincy Adams records an incident where he was informed that a William King was telling people that he [Adams] should be nominated for vice-president under Crawford, one ...
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Does O Henry's story “Georgia's Ruling” describe history?

O. Henry's 1900 story, "Georgia's Ruling", http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/ohenry/bl-ohenry-georgia.htm describes a dire social problem related to the USA land laws and the "land sharks":...
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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?
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What devices used computer-like programs in industrial era?

As possibly some of you remember early computers had very small human-machine interface and coding programs was done by cards like this one: or a tape like these: This invention of controlling ...
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Where is the Nemesis?

Where is the Nemesis today? Is it simply 'lost at sea', at a museum somewhere, or more likely (as it was an EIC vessel), was it sold for scrap? I did a brief search (of the web), but couldnt find it. ...
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Who was a “gentleman” in USA in the times of Tom Sawyer?

Reading american books about that time, (mostly Mark Twain), I often met the term "gentleman". But what did it require to be "gentleman" these times in America? Were there some official definitions of ...
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What was the effect of the Panic of 1837 on financial/banking policy?

Were there any direct or immediate financial/banking policies made because of this recession? I've read that a combination of factors helped get America out of the Panic, but it never mentioned a ...
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What were contemporary Japanese views on the Taiping Rebellion and Heavenly Kingdom?

In the 1850's and 60's, the Taiping Rebellion broke out in China, observed by both the Tokugawa Bakufu and subsequently the Meiji Imperial government. Some 200 years earlier, Japan had suffered its ...
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Why was Pah-Ute County transferred to Nevada?

In 1866, the US Congress transferred the majority of Pah-Ute county from the Arizona Territory to the state of Nevada. This was done against the wishes of the territorial legislature of Arizona. Why ...
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Was the Empire style of fashion adopted in Russia?

I just started re-reading War and peace, having completely forgotten it since the first time I read it. And I'm noticing that Tolstoy is referring to clothing every now and then. I wonder what it ...
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What were the most common reasons why draft-age men were not conscripted for the Union Army?

Based on this question and an answer, it appears that although almost all southern white men of draft age were in the military during the Civil War, only about half of northerners were. For those in ...
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Could Thomas Jefferson have ever heard Mozart's Symphony No. 40, KV. 550?

The third president of the United States was a lifelong admirer of W. A. Mozart. Or rather, of Mozart's music; he arranged to meet Mozart in Paris when he was Minister to France (August 1784–September ...
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What was the third best-selling book in the antebellum US?

Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel in antebellum America and the second best-selling book overall. The Bible, of course, was number one. Here's an insanely detailed rundown of UTC's sales ...
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Was the London Times available in 1861 in villages?

How much access to national news would a person living in an English village in 1861 have? When did The Times and The Telegraph start distributing nationally, not just to major towns?
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Ethnic Germans in Russian service in Poland

General Brusilov wrote in his memoirs that a few years before the war he was serving in a high military position in Russian-controlled Poland and that he was appalled by the fact that all Russian high ...
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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 (...
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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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Why did Abraham Lincoln choose Andrew Johnson as a vice presidential running mate?

Given the two were from different parties, I was curious as to why Lincoln would choose a man like Johnson from the opposing party when running for reelection. In addition, I'm curious as to why ...
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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 ...
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What allowed the British to be able to burn Washington D.C. in the war of 1812?

The reason I'm asking is because of Washington D.C.'s location. It wasn't easily accessible by land and it wasn't easily traveled to by waterways. In what battles were the British able to get to ...
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Why would some nations want to force Japan to end their isolation?

The Perry expedition succeeded in opening Japan to trade with the USA. From Wikipedia we learn that around the same time the Russians also attempted the same thing (the Dutch already had some weak ...
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What does “Brown-Bread Eater” mean when used as an insult?

The American Pageant (Bailey, Kennedy, Cohen, 2006) on p. 507 remarks: ...regular Republicans denounced Greeley as an atheist, a communist, a free-lover, a vegetarian, a brown-bread eater... What ...
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Why was cricket's popularity in USA a casualty of Civil War?

"Cricket was by far the biggest sport [in the USA] in this period," Tim Lockley, an expert in American history at Warwick University, told the Guardian in 1999. "Then the civil war started in 1861, ...
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How did lecturers magnify their voice in the days before amplification?

I am going to be portraying Mark Twain on the lecture circuit circa 1896. I want to make the performance as realistic as possible, so that the sufferers (audience) can adopt a "willing suspension of ...
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What did 19th century playgrounds look like?

In the beginning of the novel Cold Mountain, a character recollect his childhood at a school house (maybe in the 1840s or 1850s in rural North Carolina) and describes flinging his hat out onto the ...
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Were British parliamentary seats really advertised in newspapers?

I have this vague recollection of reading about actual ads in newspapers selling seats in the British parliament (18th or 19th century pocket/rotten boroughs) Did they actually have ads in newspapers?...
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Why was Italy unified under the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia and not under a stronger state?

On paper the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies appears much stronger with about twice the land and population. So how come it was Victor Emmanuel II who became King of Italy and not Francis II Bourbon? Was ...
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When were marching bands last used in warfare?

In the era of muskets and closed troop formations, musicians marched together with the solders and played marching music even during the battle. When was the last time such practices were used in ...
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Did Perry's Black Ships attack Edo harbour during his expedition to Japan?

Matthew C. Perry commanded the U.S. Navy expedition that forced Japan to abandon its policy of isolation, triggering the eventual overthrow of the Shogunate's and the Meiji Restoration. Perry arrived ...
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Was Sofia really demolished by Bulgarians after 1878 and why?

I've heard many times that when Bulgaria became independent country in 1878, all the town was rebuilded from scratch. After the Russo-Turkish War, architects from Austria–Hungary were invited to shape ...
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How widespread was dueling in the United States from its formation to 1860?

I saw a different question that sparked my interest in this subject. Several important people in American history have died dueling, so my question is how widespread was duelling in the U.S until 1860?...
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Status of “Grazier” and “Farmer” in Victorian England

I'm looking at census returns for the village of Eversholt, Bedfordshire, in the Victorian period. Farming was the biggest employer. This is post-enclosure, 1851 to 1901. Enclosure happened in 1806. ...
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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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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 ...
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When did the last (non-tourist) commercial stagecoach line run in the USA?

Stagecoach at Holladay Express Office, Boise City, Idaho, circa mid-1860s. Source: A Stamp a Day- National Stamp Collecting Month: The Mail Coach Background Across from my office is a small Wells ...
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Did Palmerston contribute to Louis Philippe's downfall?

I am reading this book and have come across a slightly puzzling passage on p. 154: [Palmerston] kept on good terms with Louis Philippe of France until he felt, in 1846, that Louis was taking an ...
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Did the Ottoman Empire lose some control over Egypt during the Crimean War?

What were the effects of the Crimean War on the relationship between the British and Ottoman empires? Did they lose partial control over Egypt?
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What is this old dual-disc metal object with a spindle? [more pictures added]

[Updated: There are now pictures of both top and side views. Scroll to bottom of post to see the side views.] While sorting through family artifacts, I found a black metal two-layer disc with a long ...
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How deadly was the Wild West?

I was passing through a few old "Wild West" towns in Wyoming and Montana and learning about the deadly history of the towns. Surprisingly, I learned the Wild West period was only 30 years from 1865-...
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Why did textile mill owners during the industrial revolution keep their factory windows closed?

This is an excerpt from Harbinger, published in 1846 on the working conditions of mills in Lowell, MA and Manchester, NH: The atmosphere of such a room cannot of course be pure; on the contrary it ...
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Did c.1900 France have a law against foreign government resisting its conquest?

I found this picture in Wikipedia (its copyright expired so it can be reproduced here): The caption says: Execution of Prince Ratsimamanga and the Minister of the Interior under order of ...
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Where was the first European electric tramway operated?

Many sources agree that the tramway Vevey-Montreux-Chillon, built in 1888 was Switzerland's first and Europe's second electric tramway. However, sources are contradictory on which was the first ...
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What was the typical range of travel of a Pennsylvanian resident for everyday life in the late 18th early 19th Century Pennsylvania?

How much traveling did a typical Pennsylvanian resident do for everyday life in the late 18th early 19th Century (1775-1825) Pennsylvania, and what was the 'typical' range (in miles) from their home ...
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How did the “Forty Niners” get to California in 1849?

How did the "Forty Niners" get to California in 1849? In 1849, the Panama Canal would not have been built for over 50 years, meaning that ships from the U.S. east coast would have had to sail all the ...
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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 ...
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Where and how did scientists of the 18th and 19th century learn foreign languages?

I'm always amazed by the the apparent amount of foreign languages that scientists in the 18th and 19th centuries seem to have possessed. With the end of Latin as the main scholarly language, ...
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Did Andrew Jackson kill Dickinson fairly according to the customs of duels at the time?

Recently I read about Charles Dickinson, and his death on a duel with Andrew Jackson (then a general, later a US President). According to this link, Jackson killed him in a breach of dueling etiquette ...
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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 ...