What happened in the 19th century characteristics and events

19TH century

Period from January 1, 1801 to December 31, 1900 d. C. What happened in the 19th century?

The 19th century is the period from January 1, 1801 to December 31, 1900 AD. C. , according to the Gregorian calendar. Thus, according to the classical periodization of history, it belongs to the Contemporary Age .

The 19th century was a dynamic century, characterized by accelerated changes in the economic, political and social structures of the countries. The independence of the European colonies in America added to the reorientation of colonialism on Africa and Asia reorganized the geopolitical map of the world.

Throughout the century the republican and democratic system was consolidated as the predominant form of government in the West, while the declines of the absolutist monarchies began .

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19th century characteristics

The main characteristics of the 19th century were the following:

  • From the revolutions of the last years of the 18th century , a new type of liberal and secular state emerged and was consolidated, with a centralized administration organized around the idea of ​​the nation, and not of the reigning dynasty. What happened in the 19th century?
  • The most powerful countries began a colonialist policy , of territorial expansion , on Africa and Asia .
  • The fragile system of international relations favored defensive-offensive alliances between countries, such as the Triple Alliance (1882) signed between Italy, Austria-Hungary and Germany.
  • Liberalism was consolidated as a political conception opposed to monarchical absolutism. Liberalism upholds equality before the law and the idea that people are born with natural rights that the state must protect.
  • The electoral base in various European states was broadened by incorporating the universal vote, which, in any case, continued to be male with few exceptions. Towards the middle of the century, the first female struggles began to have the right to vote for women to be recognized.
  • There was a new wave of innovations in industry and technology , known as the Second Industrial Revolution . This process had a special impact on transport with the development of the railroad, ocean liners and the automobile.
  • Positivism was consolidated , a current of thought that maintains that the only true knowledge is scientific, based on experience. As a consequence, scientism was affirmed as a way of explaining reality.
  • From positivist thought, new disciplines arose with the pretense of explaining every aspect of reality by applying the scientific method. Among them, sociology oriented to the investigation of social phenomena. In economics, the scientistic socialism of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels gave a new approach to social and labor relations in the new capitalist production system .
  • The world’s population doubled. This increase in population, together with changes in economic processes and improvements in transportation, favored large migratory movements . Hundreds of thousands of people migrated from rural to urban areas, between different regions and between continents.
  • The urban population increased. In the cities, from the growth of the petty bourgeoisie , also called the middle class , the mass society arose, a social group with similar consumer habits, habits linked to work and the enjoyment of leisure such as vacations, shows, consumption of printed matter. , etc.
  • A new social sector was consolidated: that of industrial workers . At the same time, movements for their rights emerged, such as the trade unions .
  • The spread of industrialization generated a new type of labor relations. Political groups such as the socialists and anarchists appeared, which raised criticism of the prevailing social order.
  • The new modes of production of goods imposed industrialization on the manual forms. Machines and utensils were invented that made people’s daily life easier, for example the sewing machine, the popular bicycle, various household appliances, the family photo camera, etc. What happened in the 19th century?
  • In art, artists began to reflect on their practice as art movements became more dynamic. During the 19th century , neoclassicism , romanticism , realism, impressionism and numerous derivative currents, known as post-impressionists, emerged in Europe . The photograph also had a great development and emerged cinema .
  • Numerous advances in medicine occurred with the invention of anesthesia, blood transfusions, and X-rays.

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Most important events

The most important events that occurred during the 19th century were the following:

  • Between 1799 and 1815 there was a series of warlike conflicts between France, led by Napoleon Bonaparte , and various nations of Europe, known as the Napoleonic wars .
  • Between 1821 and 1829 the Greek War of Independence took place, through which the Greeks became independent from the Ottoman Empire , under whose rule they had been since the 15th century .
  • In 1825 the first railway was inaugurated . In the following decades, this mode of transport spread throughout the world. What happened in the 19th century?
  • In 1848, the publication of the Manifesto of the Communist Party by Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx proposed a new understanding of capitalist social and economic relations.
  • In 1853, after more than 2 centuries of closed borders, Japan was forced to sign a series of trade agreements with the United States. In 1868, from the accession to the throne of the Meiji dynasty, it was opened to cultural, economic and political westernization.
  • In 1859 Charles Darwin raised the theory of the evolution of species and natural selection, in his book On the Origin of Species .
  • In 1861 there was the unification of the Italian States  into a monarchical State headed by Victor Emmanuel II. Venice was incorporated in 1866 and Rome in 1870.
  • In 1863 the International Red Cross was founded .
  • In 1864, the First International Labor Association, an organization fighting for workers’ rights, was founded in London. This association was dissolved by internal disputes in 1876 and in 1889 the Second International was founded.
  • Between 1870 and 1871, the Franco-Prussian War , with the victory of Prussia, resulted in the unification of Germany and the fall of the Second French Empire.
  • In 1871 Prussia managed to unify the Germanic states and the German Empire was formed, headed by King William I and Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.
  • After the withdrawal of the German forces from Paris and before the withdrawal of the city authorities, the inhabitants led a rebellion known as “The Paris Commune”, which established a popular, socialist and self-managed government between March and May of 1871. What happened in the 19th century?

19th century in America

The most important events that occurred during the 19th century in America were the following:

  • In 1806 and 1807, with much of Europe dominated by Napoleon, England tried to conquer the city of Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata.
  • Faced with the lack of power in Spain caused by the Napoleonic invasion, around 1810 some regions of its American colonies began to rebel against the viceregal authorities and form local governments. This process would culminate with the independence of the American territories .
  • Between 1810 and 1824 the wars of Independence took place in the Spanish colonies of America. In them the patriotic supporters of American independence fought against the royalists loyal to the Spanish monarchy.
  • With the declarations of independence of the different regions of Latin America, the old Spanish viceroyalties fell apart and after numerous conflicts the new American states took shape.
  • On September 7, 1822, Don Pedro, Prince Regent of Portugal in Brazil, declared the independence of the Portuguese possessions and on December 1, he was crowned Emperor of Brazil.
  • In 1861 the Civil War began in the United States of America between the Confederation of the South, slavery and conservative, which had separated from the Union and the States of the North, liberal and antislavery. It ended with the triumph of the north and the abolition of slavery .
  • Between 1865 and 1870, the War of the Triple Alliance pitted Paraguay against an alliance made up of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.
  • The War of the Pacific pitted Chile against an alliance made up of Peru and Bolivia, between 1879 and 1884.
  • On November 15, 1888, a military coup overthrew the Brazilian monarchy and established a republic.
  • Towards the end of the century, once the internal conflicts had been overcome, the new American states were consolidated with conservative republican governments that favored, in general, economic policies based on agro-export models . What happened in the 19th century?
  • Slavery was abolished on American soil.

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