19th Century 1800-1899

The 19th Century opened the doors to industrial growth never seen before in the world.

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Britain rose as the major industrial power and following  the Act of Union confidently called itself ‘Great Britain’ incorporating Ireland. French Revolutionary Wars are over in the 19th century but the aftermath in Britain, of years of war, is costly.

The thunder of the machines could be heard across northern England as the largest factory complex in the world opened. It uses steam acquired from burning coal. The Industrial Revolution arrived with a roar. Luddites in various cities in the spinning and cloth finishing industries, feared the changes in working practices and took matters into their own hands. They set about  destroying the new machinery. They feared technological unemployment.

Napoleon’s master plan of European dominance in the 19th century started to unravel.

It culminated in his final military defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Returning soldiers and sailors flooded the streets of Britain looking for employment but there was little to be found. An already desperately poor rural community felt the pressure of these returning fighters. Poverty forced people into poor relief and in the end this brutal system cried out for Reform. The government feared revolution and put in place measures to suppress any such agitation. A group of revolutionaries chose a strategy of killing government cabinet ministers, believing it will trigger a massive uprising. It became known as the ‘Cato Street Conspiracy’.

The 19th Century is an open door for science development and invention

Dalton the chemist told us the world is made up of atoms and Michael Faraday gives us the gift of the principles of electro-magnetism. Sewing machines, bicycles, the telegraph and morse code, the telephone and the electric motor revolutionize life for ordinary people. Physicians make the drug morphine from raw opium and the Royal College of Surgeons is established. John Snow’s far reaching work on the causes of the cholera epidemics sweeping Europe brings results. Medical advances in antiseptic use, anesthetics and hospital care give people the chance to live longer.The first successful oil well is drilled.

To match the march of manufacturing in Britain, roads, bridges, tunnels, railways and steam ships were built and by the end of the 19th Century, humans had mastered the skies through powered flight. Charles Darwin and others offer a new way of explaining our world, developing a theory of evolutionary selection and specialization. A schism opens between the men of science and the men of religion.

The 19th century brings a halt to the sickening trade of slaves around the globe

Britain at last outlaws slave trading across the Atlantic, a corner has been turned. Trade deals are done between Britain and other European nations and funally, ‘The Abolition of Slavery Act’ is passed in Britain. Britain makes New Zealand a colony and war in Afghanistan makes Britain look weak in India and fuels local disturbances.

The golden age of Empire, will begin to lose it’s shine and the total dominance Britain once enjoyed, lessens.

A gold rush opens up the West in America. Millions of people migrate around the world. The Irish famine and social economic pressure all over Europe encourages people to take their chances in new worlds, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and America all see population rapidly rise.

The Boxer Rebellion is a form of state terrorism, nationalists who want to exclude foreign interference, they attack Christian missionaries.

The 19th century is a time for Reform

The need for social reform becomes critical, many organisations are formed by social reformers keen to ease the appalling conditions many poor people find themselves in.More adults in Britain demand the vote. Many Acts of Parliament are passed concerning the rights of women and children.There is a surge of anger from the working classes relating to poor provision, working conditions and the lack of a voice in political affairs. This is happening not just in Britain but across the world.

DatesTitleCategories and Topics
1801-1804Tory Government with Henry Addington as Prime Minister
1801Act of Union 1801 Statute unites Britain and Ireland in law as 'Great Britain.' A reflection of Imperial Britain and unification. But the troubles of unrest in Ireland were far from resolved.Law Governement
1802Treaty of Amiens Signed by Britain France and Spain.Law Treaty Government International relations
1803-1815Napoleonic Wars
1804-1806Tory Government with William Pitt the Younger
18052nd Maratha War British East India Company troops were waging war concerning the politics and control of the Maratha Confederacy. The company's attempt to control central and southern India laid the ground for further subsequent conflict.India Empire British East India COmpany Business
1805 Oct 20thBattle of Trafalgar 21 Oct 1805 a great British Victory marred by the death from his wounds of Admiral Horatio Nelson. War and Conflict Military Intriguing People Heroes
Napoleonic Wars
1806-1807Tory Government with William Wyndham Grenville
1807-1809Tory Government with Duke of Portland
William Cavendish Bentinck
1809-1812Tory Government with Spencer PercivalSpencer Perceval
1812-1827Tory Government with Earl of Liverpool
Robert Banks Jenkinson
1813 1st Serbian Uprising against Ottoman Empire Balkan and Middle Eastern impact and climate for change is building and of relevance to British interests in both regions.Europe, Balkans, Middle East Turkey Ottoman Empire
1813Russian War with Persia/strong> War is triggered by Russian expansionism and annexation of Georgia and Karabakh. Territorial and imperial tensions are building i the Middle East.Middle East Russia Persia (Iran)
War and Conflict International Relations Empire
1815Battle of Waterloo British Victory led by the Duke of Wellington.War and Conflict Heroes People
18181st Blood Transfusion by British Obstetrician James Blundell, conducted using a Syringe to transfer the blood between patients.Medicine
Science Pioneers People
1827-1827Tory Government with George Canning
1827-1828Tory Government with Viscount Goderich
Frederick John Robinson
1828-1830Tory Government led by Duke of Wellington
Tory Government with Arthur Wellesley as Prime Minister
a hero of the Napoleonic Wars. Wellington was a reluctant politician but a natural leader.
1830-1834Whig Government Earl Grey
Charles Grey
1834-1834Whig Government with Viscount Melbourne 1st term nee William Lamb as Prime Minister
1834-1834Tory Government with Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley
1834-1835Conservative Government led by , a 3rd administration within a single year and this was short-lived as well.
1835-1841Whig Government 2nd term Viscount Melbourne
William Lamb as Prime Minister
1831-1846Conservative Government led by Sir Robert Peel 1834 and 1841 1st and 2nd Terms his 2nd term would last longer than his first. Notable contributions
1846-1852Whig Government with Lord John Russell
1847Anthony de Rothschild member of the dynastic Jewish family was made the the 1st Baronet de Rothschild, of Tring Park by Queen Victoria. The close involvement of the family with the financing of European and international governments highly influential. This was a landmark peerage. Queen Victoria had previously refused to bestow a peerage to a member of the dynasty previously.People Peers and House of Lords Government
1847Practical Anaesthesia Scottish Doctor Use Chloroform for the first time. A primitive contraption of a Chloroform Inhaler administers the Chloroform.People Heroes Science Medicine British Scottish
1852-1852Conservative Government Earl of Derby
Edward Smith Stanley
1852-1853Peelite Government Earl of Aberdeen
George Hamilton Gordon
1855-1858Whig Government with Viscount Palmerston
Henry John Temple
1858-1859Conservative Government Earl of Derby
Edward Smith Stanley
1859-1865 Liberal Government Viscount Palmerston Henry John TempleGovernment
1865-1867Antiseptic Surgery pioneered by Joseph Lister British surgeon used a solution of Carbolic acid to kill infectious organisms whilst performing surgery.Heroes People Science Medcine
1865-1866 Liberal Government Earl Russell John RussellGovernment
1866-1868Earl of Derby Edward Smith StanleyGovernment
1868-1868Benjamin Disraeli 1st termGovernment
1868-1874Liberal Government 1st term of William Ewart GladstoneGovernment
1874-1880Benjamin Disraeli 2nd termGovernment
1880-1885 Liberal Government 2nd term of William Gladstone as Prime MinisterGovernment
1885 Jun-1886 JanConservative Government 1st term of Marquess of Salisbury Robert Gascoyne - Cecil as Prime MinisterGovernment
1886-1886 Feb-Jul Liberal Government 3rd term of William Gladstone as Prime MinisterGovernment
1886-1892Conservative Government 2nd term of Marquess of Salisbury Robert Gascoyne - Cecil as Prime MinisterGovernment
1892-1894 Liberal Government 1st term of William Gladstone as Prime MinisterGovernment
1894-1895 Liberal Government Earl of Rosebery Archibald Primrose who was married to a member of the Rothschilds dynasty.Government
1895-1902Conservative Government 3rd term of Marquess of Salisbury Robert Gascoyne - Cecil as Prime MinisterGovernment