- Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical)
(18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries)
As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900.
The 19th century has most often been referred to by historians as the "age of isms", characterizing the many different isms that developed in this period. No other century could boast the massive social changes that took place in the 1800's. While the 20th century was the century of politics and science, the 19th was the century of society. For the first time, the rights of the workers and common man were being questioned. Rarely in previous times did such a massive movement across Europe, into the Americas, and even parts of Asia occur. 1848 alone felt the effects of the new ideas as European cities from Paris to Vienna were in uprise. The 19th century was a contrast from old to new, the old monarchies and feudal systems to the new capitalist world and democracy. The 19th century was the opening stage for the modern world.
- The Little Ice Age ended.
- Napoleon, who conquers much of Europe, is ultimately defeated in 1815; some old European regimes are restored, others not.
- The modern city of Singapore is established when Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles of the British East India Company acquires land on the island from the Sultan of Johore in 1819.
- The Libertadores lead most of Latin America to independence.
- Industrial Revolution continues and spreads, developments include the Rail Transport, telegraph, and telephone.
- Belgium becomes independent in 1830 after a massive uprising against the Dutch. Leopold becomes the first king of Belgium.
- Belgium will be the second industrial power in the world by the middle of the 19th century.
- Leopold II, son of Leopold, becomes the second king of Belgium. He buys the gigantic territory of Congo in Africa with his own fortune and will later (1908) offer it to Belgium.
- Discovery of the relationships between magnetism and electricity and light by Hans Christian Ørsted and James Clerk Maxwell. (See:electromagnetism)
- Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary is formed in 1867.
- Mass migration from Europe to the United States.
- During the reign of Queen Victoria, the United Kingdom is the leading economic power in the world giving the term Victorian Age to much of the century.
- Political revolution and constitutional reform across Europe severely limits powers of monarchs, advances democracy.
- The religious revival of the Second Great Awakening in the eastern United States and Canada gives rise to unique, American, Christian religions during the era of Restorationism
- Gold discovered in Australia and throughout the west of the United States, leading to huge increases in national wealth and encouraging mass migration of free settlers there.
- Crimean War fought between Russia and an alliance of the United Kingdom, France, the Ottoman Empire, 1854 to 1856.
- Slavery ended in British colonies and in America. See American Civil War, 1861 to 1865. End of global slave trade enforced by British navy.
- Charles Darwin revolutionizes biology with his theories of evolution, 1858.
- Europeans conquer and colonize most of Africa and parts of Asia.
- Karl Marx writes the Communist Manifesto, encouraging workers to revolt against owners.
- Meiji Restoration in 1868 opens Japan to modern influences and returns the emperor to power.
- Germany and Italy are formed as nations, uniting from groups of small kingdoms and city states.
- Railroads make fast mass transit available to many. Transcontinental railroads built, including the Panama Railway in 1855, the US Transcontinental Railroad finished in 1869 linking to west in the United States, and the Canadian National Railway in 1885.
- The Suez Canal is opened, connecting Europe and the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean and Asia in 1869.
- The British begin their so-called "forward movement" to extend control over the Malay States with the signing of the Pangkor Treaty in 1874.
- The quick defeat of Spain by the United States in 1898, the Spanish-American War, knocks Spain off the list of major world powers for good and gives rise to the United States as a major world military power.
- The electric telegraph and undersea cables make instant global communication possible for the first time.
- Postage Stamps and diamond-shaped paper sheets which folded to form envelopes for carrying letters devised and introduced in Britain, and soon thereafter in many other countries, leading to establishment of the Universal Postal Union.
- Manufactured goods become widely available by mail order
- Gregor Mendel, biologist
- Charles Darwin, biologist
- Thomas Alva Edison, inventor
- Gottlob Frege, mathematician, logician and philosopher
- Carl Friedrich Gauss, mathematician, physicist, astronomer
- James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish physicist
- Louis Pasteur, biologist
- Dr. John Snow, the founder of epidemiology
- Henri Becquerel, physicist
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet, critic, thinker
- Charles Dickens, author
- Benjamin Disraeli, novelist and politician
- Victor Hugo, poet, politician/theologian, and author
- Edgar Allan Poe, poet, short-story writer
- Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), author
- Leo Tolstoy, novelist, philosopher/theologian, social reformer
- Fyodor Dostoevsky, novelist, philosopher/theologian
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, author, thinker
- Nathaniel Hawthorne, writer
Inventions, discoveries, introductions
Decades and years