Questions tagged [19th-century]

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

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144 views

Travel route from UK to Boma (Congo territory) in the 1880s

I’m researching for a possible story on the Congo in the 1880s. I’m having a hard time establishing the route and time spent going from a port in England to Boma in the former unclaimed Congo ...
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514 views

How accurate was rocket artillery in the 18th and 19th centuries?

In the 1700s and 1800s, how accurate was rocket artillery in Europe (or Asia, if you prefer to speak of her)? Its accuracy is frequently made a joke, that rockets couldn't be relied on to hit their ...
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618 views

Why the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55) was “the last of the old sieges”?

During the Crimean War (1853–56), Charles George Gordon took part in the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55), calling it "the last of the old sieges". What made Sevastopol so "old fashioned" for a comment ...
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UK Tories vs Whigs in the 19th century: broad political classification? [closed]

I realise that it's hard providing a direct parallel to today, but is it roughly fair to say that the Tories were analogous to modern conservatives and the Whigs were closer to modern progressives? ...
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285 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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151 views

Were “The People's Will” referred to as “terrorist” by their contemporaries?

Narodnaya Volya (The People's Will) was the organization responsible for the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in in March 1881. Is there any evidence (preferably online sources) which point to the ...
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244 views

“Hat Hair” in History

My understanding is that wearing hats of various kinds was much more widespread historically (e.g. in the late 1800's and early 1900's) than it is today, with sometimes complicated etiquette with ...
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677 views

Two ships named “Mary Celeste” — concidence or not?

I know about the famous Mary Celeste ship which was found with no one on board in 1872. Sank in 1885. Let's nickname it "the Ghost ship". Today, while watching some National Geographic movie about ...
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335 views

What was traded on the Chicago Board of Trade in the mid 1800s?

The Chicago Board of Trade was the world's first futures and options exchange, trading various kinds of commodities (I think mostly agricultural, but I'm not sure). When it first opened in 1848, what ...
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Is there any record of the premature obituary of Alfred Nobel?

It’s widely shared that Alfred Nobel, who posthumously founded the Nobel Prizes, had read a premature obituary about himself castigating him for his role in producing and trafficking deadly products, ...
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Abraham Lincoln Quote Background

I recently ran across a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln, "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother" I was wondering what the context of this quote is. Specifically was he speaking ...
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131 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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211 views

For U.S. history 1800-1830, what was GDP by sector and industry?

The U.S. Census Bureau's Historical Statistics of the United States does not appear to break GDP down. I'm aware that the terminology is imprecise: GDP is a modern term, but is much shorter than the ...
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410 views

In what sense was marriage in 19th century Europe “expensive”?

I am reading Ibsen's play "Ghosts" (for fun), written in 1881, and in one of the scenes a conversation takes place between young Oswald, who had been living in Paris and Rome, and a conservative ...
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158 views

Was Karst (Kras) first region that was man-made reforested?

We know that for centuries trees from Karst were used as a foundations where Venice was build. So presumably, in 17th and 18th century, Karst was a stony desert. We also know that Karst or Kras (...
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Prevalence of Torture

How prevalent was torture by the regular police force and the army in 19th and early 20th century in the US and Western Europe? When it was practiced, are there documented instances of it being ...
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Did Tirol annex land (right flank of Val d'Avigna) from Switzerland between 1859 and 1869?

Map from 1859: The river in the middle of Val d'Avigna is described as the border between Switzerland and Austria. An earlier map from 1853 shows the same border: On a map from 1869 the border is ...
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670 views

How did the Filipinos lose the Philippine-American War? [closed]

The Americans were fighting a war thousands of miles away from their country, against the Filipinos who just won a war of independence against Spain. Change the Filipinos to Vietnamese and Spain to ...
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742 views

Wendell Phillips Quote that “Revolutions Never Go Backwards”

What did Wendell Phillips mean when he said, "Revolutions never go backwards."? I believe that Abraham Lincoln also used this quote as a means of promoting the Republican Party and anti-slavery ...
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261 views

Did General Morillo unwittingly allude to a cause of Spain's decline in 1816?

In ordering the execution of a famous scientist, Francisco de Caldas, during the war for South American independence, Spain's General Pablo Morillo was quoted as saying "Spain does not need wise men" (...
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110 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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197 views

How widely accepted are Tolstoy's views on history within the academic community?

Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace is a historic fiction and part essay in which Tolstoy regularly expresses his views on how events happen. More specifically, Tolstoy says that the actions of great men such ...
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What did people do about kerosene lamp fires?

In the late nineteenth century, kerosene lamps were widely used for illumination. They were effective and affordable, though had the nontrivial disadvantage of being a significant fire hazard; a lamp ...
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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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Making bread at home: daily or weekly

My grandmother used to tell me about the life of field workers in her (and her grandmother's) time, going from the 1950s backwards to the 19th century (in Portugal). This often included baking bread ...
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What did Boston shoemakers do with cattle brands?

In the Mexican era, whole cattle hides were California's principal export. To prevent theft law enforcement sometimes checked the brands on hides before they were exported by sailing ship. Most went ...
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Charles Darwin's dog in 1858

What would have been the breed and name of Charles Darwin's dog at Down House in 1858? The black and white retriever (Bob) which appears in a photo dated 1863, the Pomeranian (Snow) or someone else?
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Antebellum White Collar Workplace Architecture and Design

Does anyone know what offices would have looked like in the U.S. roughly between 1830-1860? In particular, did clerks and others work in a more open plan environment, or did people tend to have their ...
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170 views

Did Queen Victoria become more flexible during later years? [closed]

I came across a English exam practice question that basically says Queen Victoria was initially very stubborn but became more flexible during her later years (on formal matters such as the state, ...
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477 views

How did Helen Keller understand English? [closed]

Helen Keller has fascinated me for quite some time. What she achieved in her life time, being both blind and deaf. One question though, how did she begin to comprehend the English language being ...
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218 views

Can someone help me ID this insignia?

Charles Miller - fought with US Army at battle at Wounded Knee - this photographer took images during and after the Battle. Anyone recognize the insignia? He later became a Mason? Could it be from ...
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193 views

Who is this particular inventor from XIX century?

I came acros with the following description about a certain inventor from XIX century: An illustrious 19th-century European character who amassed an immense fortune thanks to his more than three ...
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339 views

How much money did the participating nations spend in the Napoleonic Wars? [closed]

How much money did Great Britain, Russia and France collect per year during Napoleonic wars as total revenue, and how much money did each one spend in total on that war?
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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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306 views

Why was whale oil used instead of petroleum?

I just watched “In the Heart of the Sea” about Moby-Dick and Herman Melville. It seems a lot of labour and danger to kill whales to get oil for light and heating. Wikipedia says petroleum was known ...
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318 views

The importance of sugar plantations [closed]

Plantations in the West Indies like coffee, sugar, tobacco and cotton was important in the 16,17,18 and 19th century and the colonial powers made a lot of profit from them. In the late 19th century ...
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60 views

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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1answer
71 views

Why did Thomas Larkin write his biographical sketches?

Thomas Larkin, wealthy merchant of Monterey, California in the 1840s, was the consul of the United States. He was also a secret agent for President Buchanan who sent to Washington 78 microbiographies ...
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1answer
197 views

Where Can I Find Copies of the Richmond Enquirer? [closed]

I have been researching the background circumstances surrounding the writing of a particular poem, in addition to more information about the author. I've had a small degree of success finding ...
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352 views

What area of Los Angeles does this historical map depict?

What area of Los Angeles does this historical map depict?
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195 views

In Tolstoy's War and Peace, one character is captured after the Battle of Austerlitz and is taken as a POW. Was his experience historically accurate?

Prince Andrei Bolkonsky is captured after sustaining a wound in battle and is taken as a POW. He, along with other officers of the Russian Army, were treated with care and respect by the French, and ...
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71 views

Where in San Francisco did the Land Commission meet?

After taking California, the U.S. needed a way to sort through land claims and established a Public Land Commission. This operated from 1852 to 1856, principally in San Francisco but also briefly in ...
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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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47 views

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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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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100 views

What percentage of first births were illegitimate in 19th century England?

One peculiarity of Victorian England is the rather very high number of illegitimate births and premarital conceptions relative to the periods before it. Illegitimate births and premarital conceptions ...
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Did Jamsetji Tata write a letter to Swami Vivekananda?

Many sites 1, 2, ... claim that Jamsetji Tata wrote a letter to Swami Vivekananda on 23rd November, 1898.  Is it true that Jamshedji Tata wrote such a letter?
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What was the family relationship between British neo-Nazi politician John Tyndall and the 19th century physicist of the same name?

John Tyndall was a neo-Nazi British politician who chaired the National Front and who was the chairman of the British National Party from 1982 to 1999. According to his obituary in the Daily Telegraph,...
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221 views

Travelling to Germany in the 19th Century from London [duplicate]

The time period I'm working with is the 1890s, and try as I might I'm really struggling to find the details I need, specifically how long it would take to travel from London to Leipzig at that time. ...
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Where did United States colleges rank internationally during the 19th century?

I have read that the USA was far behind Europe until maybe the 1930s. But just what were the limitations of US colleges prior to that? EDIT: I realize there was unlikely to have been any published ...

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