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Timeline of the Nineteenth Century 1800 - 1899

YearEventNarrative
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
1801Formation of the United Kingdom. Great Britain is formerly united with Ireland to form the United Kingdom.
1801-1804Tory Government with Henry Addington as Prime MinisterSee Prime Ministers Table.
1802Treaty of Amiens Signed by Britain France and Spain.Law Treaty Government International relations
1803-1815Napoleonic Wars
1804-1806Tory Government with William Pitt the YoungerSee Prime Ministers Table.
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 GrenvilleSee Prime Ministers Table.
1807Slave Trade abolished in British EmpireThe slave trade but not slavery is abolished in the British Empire.
1807-1809Tory Government with Duke of Portland
William Cavendish Bentinck
See Prime Ministers Table.
1809-1812Tory Government with Spencer PercivalSpencer Perceval See Prime Ministers Table.
1812-1827Tory Government with Earl of Liverpool
Robert Banks Jenkinson
See Prime Ministers Table.
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.What happened to Britain after tBritain After Waterloo the British Disillusion Post 1815he battle?
18181st Blood Transfusion by British Obstetrician James Blundell, conducted using a Syringe to transfer the blood between patients.Medicine
Science Pioneers People
1818Border between US and CanadaThe border between the US and Canada west of the Great Lakes is fixed at the 49th parallel.
1819Singapore foundedFounded by Sir Stamford Raffles as Britain expands its Empire into Malaya.
1824Stockton to Darlington railwayThe Stockton to Darlington railway opens the first public railway service.
1825 Trade UnionsThe trade unions are partly legalized.
1827-1827Tory Government with George CanningSee Prime Ministers Table.
1827-1828Tory Government with Viscount Goderich
Frederick John Robinson
See Prime Ministers Table.
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.
See Prime Ministers Table.
1830Indian Removal ActAllowed for the permanent removal of American Indians from their land.
1830-1834Whig Government Earl Grey
Charles Grey
See Prime Ministers Table.
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 contributionsSee Prime Ministers Table.
1832Great Reform ActGreat Reform Act 1832 and the riots that preceeded.The act is passed conferring voting rights on middle class men and redistributing seats on a fairer basis.
1833Slavery abolishedSlavery is finally abolished throughout the British Empire.
1834Poor Law ActCreating workhouses for the poor.
1834-1834Whig Government with Viscount Melbourne 1st term nee William Lamb as Prime Minister
See Prime Ministers Table.
1834-1834Tory Government with Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley
See Prime Ministers Table.
1834-1835Conservative Government led by , a 3rd administration within a single year and this was short-lived as well.See Prime Ministers Table.
1835-1841Whig Government 2nd term Viscount Melbourne
William Lamb as Prime Minister
See Prime Ministers Table.
1840Penny PostThe first flat rate postal service in the world.
1844Birth of Sarah BernhardtProbably the most famous actress of the century
1846-1852Whig Government with Lord John RussellSee Prime Ministers Table.
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
1847Institution of Mechanical Engineers foundedThe institution was founded in Birmingham with George Stephenson as its first president.
1848American gold rushGold is discovered in California prompting a massive gold rush.
1848Chartist demonstrationMassive Chartist demonstration in London fails to achieve further reform.
1852Funeral of the Duke of WellingtonThe 'Iron Duke' was 83 years old when he died. His funeral was attended by tens of thousands of people.
1852The new Houses of Parliament.The old Palace of Westminster was burned down in 1834. The new was designed by Sir Charles Barry.
1852-1852Conservative Government Earl of Derby
Edward Smith Stanley
See Prime Ministers Table.
1852-1853Peelite Government Earl of Aberdeen
George Hamilton Gordon
See Prime Ministers Table.
1853New towns being built in Australia and New Zealand.Britain was developing important settlements with the view to trading with these countries.
1854Opening of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham.The modified building was moved to Sydenham where it became a centre for the popularization of classical music.
1855Steam carriages on the roads.Based on the Trevithick engine.
1855War in the CrimeaHostilities with Russia broke out in 1854, Britain and France aiding Turkey against the encroachment of Russia in the Near East.
1855-1858Whig Government with Viscount Palmerston
Henry John Temple
See Prime Ministers Table.
1856Victoria Cross institutedAwards for Crimean heroes. Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross as the highest British award for valour.
1857 - 1858Indian MutinyThe outbreak of the Indian Mutiny came as a great shock to the British
1858-1859Conservative Government Earl of Derby
Edward Smith Stanley
See Prime Ministers Table.
1859-1865 Liberal Government Viscount Palmerston Henry John TempleSee Prime Ministers Table.
1860The 'Victoria' the last British three decker ship was built.The ship was obsolete before completion and only served one commission.
1861 Death of Prince Albert
1861 - 1865American Civil WarThe conflict begins when 7 secessionists states form the Confederate States of America.
1862First London tramsTrams never really caught on in London. The first Metropolitan horse trams greatly obscured other forms of transport at the time.
1863US Emancipation ProclamationIssued by Abraham Lincoln freeing slaves in the Confederation. At the end of the Civil War slavery is abolished by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
1863Metropolitan Railway opened.Gladstone opened London's first underground railway from Baker St to the City.
1865Carriers ActRestricted the speed of steam carriages to 4m.p.h on country roads and 2m.p.h in towns.
1865Assassination of Abraham LincolnHe was shot dead by John Wilkes Booth, an actor.
1865-1866 Liberal Government Earl Russell John RussellGovernment
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
1866Ku Klux Klan foundedFounded to oppose freedom for former slaves.
1866The 'Great Eastern' completes the Atlantic cable.Brunel's gigantic ship finally laid the Atlantic submarine cable.
1866Rioting in Hyde ParHyde Park Riot 1866kA demonstration in favour of Lord Russell's defeated Reform Bill.
1866-1868Earl of Derby Edward Smith StanleyGovernment
1867Canada becomes independentCanada becomes first dominion or independent state in the British Empire
1867Federation of Canada
1868-1868Benjamin Disraeli 1st termGovernment
1868-1874Liberal Government 1st term of William Ewart GladstoneThe Gladstone Government established the national elementary education system and introduced the ballot.
1869Opening of the Suez CanalThe canal was engineered by a Frenchman, Ferdinand de Lesseps using derelict waterways from canals that had operated over a thousand years previously.
1874-1880Benjamin Disraeli 2nd termGovernment
1878CyprusBritain gains control of Cyprus from the Ottoman Empire.
1878 - 1879Zulu WarThis war was undertaken without Government sanction by the British High Commisioner Sir Bartle Frere who thought that the Zulus were a menace to the Transvaal and Natal.
1879Second Afghan WarSee Wars and Battles Timeline.
1880-1885 Liberal Government 2nd term of William Gladstone as Prime MinisterGovernment
1882Protectorate over EgyptBritain establishes a protectorate over Egypt to protect its interest in the Suez Canal.
1882Bombardment of AlexandriaSee Wars and Battles Timeline.
1885Internal combustion engine patentedThe engine was patented by Gottlieb Daimler. He built the car first car in the same year.
1885 Jun-1886 JanConservative Government 1st term of Marquess of Salisbury Robert Gascoyne - Cecil as Prime MinisterGovernment
1886Irish Home Rule Bill defeatedThe Home Rule Bill granted Ireland its own parliament is defeated as is the second bill in 1893
1886Canadian Pacific RailwayThe Atlantic and Pacific Oceans were linked by railway for the first time.
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
1887Queen Victoria's Jubilee.On the 21st June Queen Victoria celebrated the longest reign in British history.
1892Ellis IslandEllis Island immigration reception centre opened in New York.
1892-1894 Liberal Government 1st term of William Gladstone as Prime MinisterGovernment
1894Opening of the Manchester Ship CanalBegun in 1887 this canal enables ocean going ships to travel 34 miles from the Mersey estuary to Manchester.
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
1896Klondike Gold Rush
1896Revival of the Olympic Games
1898Kitchener's Sudan Campaign.See Wars and Battles Timeline.
1899 1902Boer WarThe Boer War was fought in South Africa as Britain gains control of the two Boer republics of Orange Free State and Transvaal, uniting South Africa.

19th Century 1800-1899

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

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.

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