Questions tagged [19th-century]

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

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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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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. However, 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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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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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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How common was it for Americans to visit Europe in the late 19th century?

According to this article, in 2009, around 13 million people from the United States travelled overseas, of which 35% visited Europe. Given the United States' population of 320 million, we can estimate ...
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What were the Government Press Prosecutions of 1858 and why did they occur?

In the second chapter of On Liberty, John Stuart Mill mentions in a note the "Government Press Prosecutions of 1858". He further writes that "The offence charged was not that of criticising ...
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Is there evidence that working for the Pony Express was dangerous, or not dangerous?

So I was thinking about what it was like working for the Pony Express and I am wondering was it an extremely dangerous job? I'm thinking that given the success of the Pony Express it must not have ...
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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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Did the German authorities respell Polish names to be more German during the time of the Empire?

How were Polish names handled by Prussian and German authorities during the times of the German empire? It is well known there was intense Germanisation throughout the area, for example all location ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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Jewish Slave Owners in the United States

David Duke has a video on YouTube about Jewish participation in various slave trades in Western history. At the 7:40 mark he states: In the pre-Civil War United States 2% of white gentile ...
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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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Why did Russia give up its claims to the Oregon Country?

Originally, everyone in the area claimed the Oregon Country: the British, Americans, Spanish, and Russians. Why did Russia give up its claim to the region? What did they get in return?
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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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Why did the Protestants in Ireland in the 1800s not want Home Rule?

I know there was conflict between Protestants and Roman Catholic nationalists due to their difference of opinion on Home Rule, but why would the protestants in Ulster and conservative party want to ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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After the American Civil War, which states had the most problems with rejoining the Union?

Once the American Civil war ended, did some states encounter more difficulty than others when it came to rejoining the Union? What circumstances or conditions might have contributed to their issues?
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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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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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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 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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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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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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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 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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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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