19th century

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Millennium: 1st millennium - 2nd millennium - 3rd millennium
Centuries: 18th century - 19th century - 20th century
Decades: 1800s 1810s 1820s 1830s 1840s 1850s 1860s 1870s 1880s 1890s
For the periodical, see Nineteenth Century (periodical).

The 19th century lasted from 1801 through 1900 in the Gregorian calendar.

Historians sometimes define a "Nineteenth Century" historical era stretching from 1815 (The Congress of Vienna) to 1914 (The outbreak of the First World War); alternatively, Eric Hobsbawm defined the "Long Nineteenth Century" as spanning the years 1789 to 1914.

During this century, the Spanish, Portuguese, and Ottoman empires began to crumble and the Holy Roman and Mughal empires ceased.

Following the Napoleonic Wars, the British Empire became the world's leading power, controlling one quarter of the World's population and one third of the land area. It enforced a Pax Britannica, encouraged trade, and battled rampant piracy.

Slavery was greatly reduced around the world. Following a successful slave revolt in Haiti, Britain forced the Barbary pirates to halt their practice of kidnapping and enslaving Europeans, banned slavery throughout its domain, and charged its navy with ending the global slave trade. Slavery was then abolished in Russia, America, and Brazil (see Abolitionism).

Electricity, steel, and petroleum fueled a Second Industrial Revolution which enabled Germany, Japan, and the United States to become Great Powers that raced to create empires of their own. However, Russia and Qing Dynasty China failed to keep pace with the other world powers which led to massive social unrest in both empires.


[edit] Events

Image:British Empire 1897.jpg
Map of the world from 1897. The British Empire (marked in pink) was the superpower of the 19th century.

[edit] 1800s

[edit] 1810s

1816: Shaka rises to power over the Zulu kingdom

[edit] 1820s

[edit] 1830s

[edit] 1840s

[edit] 1850s

[edit] 1860s

The first vessels sail through the Suez Canal

[edit] 1870s

[edit] 1880s

[edit] 1890s

[edit] Significant people

[edit] Anthropology

Franz Boas one of the pioneers of modern anthropology

[edit] Painters

The Realism and Romanticism of the early 19th century gave way to Impressionism and Post-Impressionism in the later half of the century, with Paris being the dominant art capital of the world. 19th century painters included:

[edit] Music

Sonata form matured during the Classical era to become the primary form of instrumental compositions throughout the 19th century. Much of the music from the nineteenth century was referred to as being in the Romantic style. Many great composers lived through this era such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Frédéric Chopin, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Richard Wagner. Others included:

[edit] Literature

On the literary front the new century opens with Romanticism, a movement that spread throughout Europe in reaction to 18th-century rationalism, and it develops more or less along the lines of the Industrial Revolution, with a design to react against the dramatic changes wrought on nature by the steam engine and the railway. William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge are considered the initiators of the new school in England, while in the continent the German Sturm und Drang spreads its influence as far as Italy and Spain.

French arts had been hampered by the Napoleonic Wars but subsequently developed rapidly. Modernism began.

The Goncourts and Emile Zola in France and Giovanni Verga in Italy produce some of the finest naturalist novels. Italian naturalist novels are especially important in that they give a social map of the new unified Italy to a people that until then had been scarcely aware of its ethnic and cultural diversity. On February 21, 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto.

There was a huge literary output during the 19th century. Some of the most famous writers included the Russians Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekov and Fyodor Dostoevsky; the English Charles Dickens, John Keats, and Jane Austen; the Irish Oscar Wilde; the Americans Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain; and the French Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Jules Verne and Charles Baudelaire. Some others of note included:

[edit] Science

The 19th century saw the birth of science as a profession; the term scientist was coined in 1833 by William Whewell. Among the most influential ideas of the 19th century were those of Charles Darwin, who in 1859 published the book The Origin of Species, which introduced the idea of evolution by natural selection. Louis Pasteur made the first vaccine against rabies, and also made many discoveries in the field of chemistry, including the asymmetry of crystals. Thomas Alva Edison gave the world light with his invention of the lightbulb. Karl Weierstrass and other mathematicians also carried out the arithmetization of analysis. Other important 19th century scientists included:

[edit] Philosophy and religion

Friedrich Nietzsche

The Latter-day Saint religious movement was founded during the 19th century by Joseph Smith, Jr. and Brigham Young, which led to the set of doctrines, practices, and cultures called Mormonism. In 1844 a young merchant from Persia proclaimed that he was the Báb ("the Gate" in Arabic), founding the Bábí Faith and proclaimed to be the forerunner of "He whom God shall make manifest." In 1863, Bahá'u'lláh (a title meaning "In the Glory of God"), himself a follower of the Báb, proclaimed His mission as the Promised One of all religions. He is the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. Nikolai of Japan was a religious leader who introduced Eastern Orthodoxy into Japan. Other prominent religious figures and philosophers of the 19th century include:

[edit] Politics

Otto Von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor
The last shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu in French military uniform

[edit] Inventions, discoveries, introductions

Research became institutionalized at research universities such as the University of Berlin and at corporate laboratories such as Edison's Menlo Park which accelerated the rate at which discoveries and innovations were made.

[edit] See also

[edit] Decades and years

1790s 1790 1791 1792 1793 1794 1795 1796 1797 1798 1799
1800s 1800 1801 1802 1803 1804 1805 1806 1807 1808 1809
1810s 1810 1811 1812 1813 1814 1815 1816 1817 1818 1819
1820s 1820 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1829
1830s 1830 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1838 1839
1840s 1840 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849
1850s 1850 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859
1860s 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869
1870s 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879
1880s 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889
1890s 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
1900s 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
Millennium Century
4th BC: 40th BC 39th BC 38th BC 37th BC 36th BC 35th BC 34th BC 33rd BC 32nd BC 31st BC
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2nd BC: 20th BC 19th BC 18th BC 17th BC 16th BC 15th BC 14th BC 13th BC 12th BC 11th BC
1st BC: 10th BC 9th BC 8th BC 7th BC 6th BC 5th BC 4th BC 3rd BC 2nd BC 1st BC
1st:   1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th   9th 10th
2nd: 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th
3rd: 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th 26th 27th 28th 29th 30th
4th: 31st 32nd 33rd 34th 35th 36th 37th 38th 39th 40th
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19th century

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