Europe-1811 - History

Europe-1811 - History

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1810 to 1819 Important News, Key Events, Significant Technology

The first Oktoberfest , Aus München, a convivial gathering in which singing and folk dancing are performed. It had originated from the October 18th, 1810 celebration of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von Saxe-Hildburghausen's wedding. Its earlier renditions were disrupted for a number of socio-political reasons, and it did not settle into a regular annual event until the mid-Nineteenth Century. The 1810 performance was also to celebrate a horse race. The marriage had taken place on October 12th , and the race on October 17th, and its subsequent two week performances have kept to a more regular ending of the first Sunday in October.

Beethoven "Fur Elise"/"For Elise" , We don't know who Beethoven's Elise was, but it could be that one of his contemporaries may have incorrectly written its title for him. Its solo piano is a favorite for many people. Despite the date which is on the manuscript: April 27th, 1810 it was not published until about fifty years later. The suggestion that it is a personal piece to a lady is ratified by it being a close match to the name of one of his lady students. His musical masterpieces are even more remarkable when you consider by 1810, his loss of hearing forced him to stop playing in public and concentrate on composition.

The Tin Can , English inventor Peter Durand patents the Tin Can as a means to create an air-tight container for the distribution or storage of food. The strange thing about this is no one invented a can opener for another 60 years, so a hammer and chisel were used to open the cans.

The Battle of Tippecanoe , The Shawnee brothers Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa stopped their people from selling land to settlers and to resist the tempting offers that were made to them. The Shawnee had set up camp at the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash rivers in Indiana, and called on the surrounding tribes to rise up. The governor of the Indiana Territory brought soldiers into the area and the Native Americans attacked them on November 7th. The soldiers won and the Tippecanoe settlement was pulled down.

New Madrid Earthquake/Missouri , One of the worst earthquakes to strike the United States started on December 16, 1811 and followed with 3 more earthquakes ending on February 7th, 1812. The Magnitude of the earthquakes ranges in history books from 7.0 to 8.0 but modern seismologists believe the figure was closer to 7.0. Because the area was sparsely populated, there were few reports of damage and death. Some sections of the Mississippi River appeared to run backward for a short time following the earthquakes.

Louisiana Joins The Union , Louisiana joined the Union as the 18th state. Its first governor was William Claiborne. Native Americans had been in Louisiana for hundreds of years prior to becoming first a Spanish colony and then a French colony with a large number of Haitian, West African and Cajun and Creole immigrants while under French Rule (the US purchased Louisiana from the French in 1803).

Napoleon Retreats From Moscow , After Napoleon had assured his European appliances with a family marriage to the Habsburgs, he embarks on the invasion of Russia (with a half-French army). The march across Russia was badly effected by the country's snow and ice, and the city had been burnt before his arrival. The inhabitants had also assured that they had removed all foodstuffs from the area. The French were forced to withdraw, and Napoleon's 450,000 men were reduced to the 20,000 that returned to Western and Central Europe.

The Indian War of 1812 , The War of 1812 effectively took place between 1809 and 1815, from its introductory phases or movements and culmination. It was to end the events that had begun in the American Revolution, and had started (in 1812 at least) on the infringement of American and British trading rights. It had been nothing more than a stalemate before the end of 1814, but had resulted in Andrew Jackson's defeat of the British troops that had been sent to capture New Orleans. The war had resulted in about 1,600 British deaths and 2,260 American ones. The Star Spangled Banner was written by one of its prisoners (in captivity) and the Tippecanoe Indians sided with the British.

Fort Dearborn/Modern Day Chicago Attacked , British Allied Potawatomi Indians attack Fort Dearborn forcing US Forces to evacuate women and children.

USS Constitution/Old Iron Sides , The USS Constitution continues her success against Great Britain, capturing numerous merchant ships and defeating British warships including HMS Guerriere and Java. The battle with Guerriere earned her the nickname of "Old Ironsides". The USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate launched in 1797.

Pride and Prejudice , Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813 and recounts the story of the Bennett family, and the daughters' relationships. It was written and edited over about fifteen years (with a rejection on its initial submission). Originally published anonymously it is not necessarily an easy read for either the original period's readers or from a modern perspective. Its 1995 televisual rendition is a better rendition for us to understand.

British Burn Down Washington D.C. , During the War of 1812, British Troops led by General Robert Ross entered the US capital of Washington D.C. and and burned many of the public buildings down, including the White House and the US Capitol building. The event took place on August 24th , 1814.

Norway Gains Independence , Norway had been a part of the Kingdom of Denmark but due to conditions created by the Napoleonic wars the country was given to Sweden to avoid further occuption and conflict. This event sparked an independence movement within Norway that contributed to the creation of a Norwegian constitution in May of 1814. In the end, Norway did agree to a precarious union with Sweden but had created their own constitution. Norway would be in a union with Sweden until 1905 .

Napoleon Abdicates the French Throne , In 1814, Napoleon was forced to abdicate the French throne after he was surrounded by opposing forces and Paris was captured by the "Sixth Coalition" of allied forces. After his abdication in April of 1814, Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba in the Mediterranean Sea. He escaped from Elba in 1815 and was eventually exiled to the island of Saint Helena where he later died.

Battle Of Waterloo , Napoleon had returned to Paris from his imprisonment on Elba without much in the way of opposition, and had collected many of his old troops and commanders on the march. The Allies met in Vienna and decided that they would not accept the Emperor's peaceful overtures. He had decided to break up their amalgamation with an attack on them before they got to France, and battle was joined at Waterloo in Belgium on June 18th . It was here that the French were defeated by the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian Gebhard von Blücher's men. The size of the armies at Waterloo is listed as: 68,000 British, 45,000 Prussians, and France's 72,000 soldiers.

The Battle of New Orleans , The final battle of the 1812-1814 war between Britain and the United States occurred when Britain attempted to invade New Orleans and was defeated by Major General Andrew Jackson.

1920's Fashion

Ladies Dresses From The Decade

Part of our Collection of Childrens Clothes From the Decade

This pithy little piece appears in a fascinating book: James Malcolm Miscellaneous Anecdotes Illustrative of the Manners and History of Europe (1811), 39-40. Malcolm had ransacked seventeenth and eighteenth century newspapers in search of absurd stories, which he could make fun of. He then included these accounts in his book. He does not give us the date for this but he does say that it came from the Domestic Intelligence (British newspaper). It will be the seventeenth or eighteenth century, but any more information might be difficult to track down. As to what kind of illusion or invention this was, Beach happily leaves it to his readers: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com

There is a very credible account that, upon Tuesday the 26th of August last past, the Carrier of Cirencester, with five passengers, coming toward London, about two miles from Abingdon, in the morning immediately after sun-rising they observed in the south part of the heavens the perfect appearance and similitude of a tall man in a sad-coloured habit, brandishing a broad-sword in his right hand, which was stretched out toward the south, he seeming to walk that way. This continued for some time plainly visible to them all, and then disappeared and the sky seemed immediately in the same place to represent a calm sea, with fishes of several forms playing and leaping up and down therein, and a while after seemed to be tempestuous upon which there presently appeared about an hundred ships of divers shapes and sizes, from whence there seemed some small ships or tenders to be continually plying to seaward, as if they had been sent as spies or advice-boats to the navy. This fleet remained in their sight for near a quarter of an hour, to the great consternation of the spectators after which the sky cleared again, and then there arose the form of a very high mountain, and several villages, little houses, and woods appeared thereon, and some part thereof appeared plain, upon which they discovered about thirty horsemen well armed with pistols and muskets, which marched toward the villages upon a full trot, but by the rising ground they were soon out of sight, upon which the sky seemed to close again, and return to its usual form and likeness.

Cirencester is a long way from the sea so goodness knows what the fleet and fishes are doing here. As to the horsemen with pistols and muskets, memories of the civil war perhaps?

The Rise and Fall of Smallpox

Smallpox is believed to have first infected humans around the time of the earliest agricultural settlements some 12,000 years ago. No surviving evidence of it, however, predates the so-called New Kingdom of Egypt, which lasted from about 1570 B.C. to 1085 B.C. 

A few mummies from that era contain familiar-looking skin lesions. Ramses V, for example, who ruled for roughly four years in the 12th century B.C., looks to have had the raised bumps on his face and body for which smallpox is named (it’s derived from the Latin word for “spotted”). 

Moreover, an ancient Egyptian papyrus scroll briefly describes what could be smallpox, as do Hittite clay tablets. The Hittites, who lived in the Middle East, even accused the Egyptians of infecting them during a war between the two empires.

Many historians speculate that smallpox likewise brought about the devastating Plague of Athens in 430 B.C. and the Antonine Plague of A.D. 165 to 180, the later of which killed an estimated 3.5 million to 7 million people, including Emperor Marcus Aurelius, and hastened the decline of the Roman Empire. 

At any rate, it reached Europe no later than the 6th century, when a bishop in France unmistakably described its symptoms𠅊 violent fever followed by the appearance of pustules, which, if the patient survived, eventually scabbed over and broke off. By that time, the contagious disease, caused by the variola virus, had spread all across Africa and Asia as well, prompting some cultures to worship special smallpox deities.

In the Old World, the most common form of smallpox killed perhaps 30 percent of its victims while blinding and disfiguring many others. But the effects were even worse in the Americas, which had no exposure to the virus prior to the arrival of Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors. 

Tearing through the Incas before Francisco Pizarro even got there, it made the empire unstable and ripe for conquest. It also devastated the Aztecs, killing, among others, the second-to-last of their rulers. In fact, historians believe that smallpox and other European diseases reduced the indigenous population of North and South America by up to 90 percent, a blow far greater than any defeat in battle. 

Recognizing its potency as a biological weapon, Lord Jeffrey Amherst, the commander-in-chief of British forces in North America during the French and Indian War, even advocated handing out smallpox-infected blankets to his Native American foes in 1763.

English doctor Edward Jennerꃞveloped the first smallpox vaccine in 1796.

DEA Picture Library/Getty Images

Knowing that no one can contract smallpox twice, survivors of the disease were often called upon to try and nurse victims back to health. Throughout much of the last millennium, this involved herbal remedies, bloodletting and exposing them to red objects. 

One prominent 17th-century English doctor realized that those who could afford care actually seemed to be dying at a higher rate than those who couldn’t. Yet that didn’t stop him from telling a smallpox-infected pupil to leave the windows open, to draw the bed sheets no higher than his waist and to drink profuse quantities of beer.

Far more effective was inoculation, also called variolation, which involved taking pus or powdered scabs from patients with a mild case of the disease and inserting them into the skin or nose of susceptible, healthy people. Ideally, the healthy people would suffer only a slight infection this way and, in so doing, would develop immunity to future outbreaks. 

Some people did die, but at a much lower rate than those who contracted smallpox naturally. Practiced first in Asia and Africa, variolation spread to the Ottoman Empire around 1670 and then to the rest of Europe within a few decades. Its first proponent in the present-day United States was Cotton Mather, a Puritan minister best known for vigorously supporting the Salem witch trials. Benjamin Franklin, who lost a son to smallpox, was another early American supporter.

Variolation notwithstanding, smallpox continued wreaking havoc on princes and paupers alike. In the 17th and 18th centuries, it killed several reigning European monarchs, including Habsburg Emperor Joseph I, Queen Mary II of England, Czar Peter II of Russia and King Louis XV of France, as well as an Ethiopian king, a Chinese emperor and two Japanese emperors. 

Queen Elizabeth I of England and U.S. President Abraham Lincoln also apparently contracted smallpox during their time in office, though they fortuitously lived to tell the tale. Meanwhile, in Europe alone, an estimated 400,000 commoners were succumbing to smallpox annually.

Finally, in 1796, English doctor Edward Jenner performed an experiment that would, in good time, cause the virus’ downfall. By inserting pus from a milkmaid with cowpox, a disease closely related to smallpox, into the arms of a healthy 8-year-old boy and then variolating him to no effect, Jenner was able to conclude that a person could be protected from smallpox without having to be directly exposed to it. This was the world’s first successful vaccine, a term that Jenner himself coined. He tried to get his results published by the prestigious Royal Society, only to be told not to “promulgate such a wild idea if he valued his reputation.” 

A free smallpox vaccination clinic in France, circa 1905.

Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images

Persisting anyway, his vaccine gradually started catching on. The advantages over variolation were many. Unlike a variolated person, a vaccinated person could not spread smallpox to others. Moreover, the vaccine seldom left a rash and proved fatal in only the rarest of circumstances. 

𠇏uture generations will know by history only that the loathsome smallpox existed and by you has been extirpated,” U.S. President Thomas Jefferson wrote to Jenner in 1806. The following year, Bavaria declared vaccination mandatory, and Denmark did the same in 1810.

Because the vaccine originally had to be transferred from arm to arm, its use spread slowly. It was also much less effective in tropical countries, where the heat caused it to quickly deteriorate. Nonetheless, one country after another managed to rid itself of the disease. The last reported U.S. case came in 1949. 

Spurred by two new technological advances𠅊 heat-stable, freeze-dried vaccine and the bifurcated needle—the World Health Organization then launched a global immunization campaign in 1967 with the goal of wiping out smallpox once and for all. That year, there were 10 million to 15 million cases of smallpox and 2 million deaths, according to WHO estimates. Yet just a decade later, the number was down to zero. No one has naturally contracted the virus since a Somali hospital worker in 1977 (though a laboratory accident in England did kill someone in 1978).

After searching far and wide for any remaining trace of smallpox, the WHO’s member states passed a resolution on May 8, 1980, declaring it eradicated. “The world and all its peoples have won freedom from smallpox,” the resolution stated, adding that this “unprecedented achievement in the history of public health … demonstrated how nations working together in a common cause may further human progress.” 

Today, guarded laboratories in Atlanta and Moscow hold the only known stores of the virus. Some experts say these should be destroyed, whereas others believe they should be kept around for research purposes just in case smallpox somehow remerges.

Maps Timeline of LGBT history

1st millennium

1st century

  • 5 -15 CE - The Warren Cup is made - a Roman silver drinking cup decorated in relief with two images of male same-sex acts.
  • 37 - 41 - Under the reign of Roman emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, taxation on prostitution is enacted thought the Roman Empire. Caligula also either exiled or contemplated exiling spintriae from Rome. Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus reports that Caligula could only be restrained with difficulty, after lengthy pleadings, from having the spintriae thrown into the sea.
  • 54 - Nero becomes Emperor of Rome. Nero married two men, Pythagoras and Sporus, in legal ceremonies, with Sporus accorded the regalia worn by the wives of the Caesars. Juvenal and Martial note (with disapproval) that male couples are having traditional marriage ceremonies.
  • 79 - The eruption of Mount Vesuvius buries the coastal resorts of Pompeii and Herculaneum, preserving a rich collection of Roman erotic art, including representations of male-male and female-female.
  • 98 - Trajan, one of the most beloved of Roman emperors, begins his reign. Trajan was well known for his homosexuality and fondness for young males. This was used to advantage by the king of Edessa, Abgar VII, who, after incurring the anger of Trajan for some misdeed, sent his handsome young son to make his apologies, thereby obtaining pardon. Publius Cornelius Tacitus writes Germania. In Germania, Tacitus writes that the punishment for those who engage in "bodily infamy" among the Germanic peoples is to "smother in mud and bogs under an heap of hurdles." Tacitus also writes in Germania that the Germanic warrior-chieftains and their retinues would "in times of peace, beauty, and in times of war, a defense". Tacitus later wrote in Germania that priests of the Swabian sub-tribe, the Naharanvali, who "dress as women" to perform their priestly duties.

2nd century

  • c. 195 - Roman usurper Clodius Albinus prosecuted pederasty.
  • c. 200 - The Outlines of Pyrrhonism is published. In the book, Sextus Empiricus states that "amongst the Persians it is the habit to indulge in intercourse with males, but amongst the Romans it is forbidden by law to do so". He also stated in the book that "amongst us sodomy is regarded as shameful or rather illegal, but by the Germanic they say, it is not looked on as shameful but as a customary thing. It is said, too, that in Thebes long ago this practice was not held to be shameful, and they say that Meriones the Cretan was so called by way of indicating the Cretans' customed and some refer to this the burning love of Achilles for Patroclus. And what wonder, when both the adherents of the Cynic philosophy and the followers of Zeno of Citium, Cleanthes and Chrysippus, declare that this practice is indifferent?".

2nd century - 3rd century

  • 193 - 211 - Roman emperor Septimius Severus prescribed capital punishment for homosexual rape throughout the Roman Empire.

3rd century

  • 218 - 222 - Roman emperor Elagabalus marries a man named Zoticus, an athlete from Smyrna, in a lavish public ceremony at Rome amid the rejoicings of the public.
  • 222 - 235 - Roman emperor Severus Alexander deported homosexuals who were active in public life. According to Christius, Alexander increased the penalties for homosexuality throughout the Roman Empire. According to Augustan History, Alexander decreed that the taxes on pimps, prostitutes, and exoleti should not be deposited in the public purse instead, he ordered that these taxes should be used for restoring the theatre of Marcellus, the Circus Maximus, the amphitheatre, and the stadium build by Domitian in the Campus Martius. According to Ælius Lampridus, Alexander even contemplated making male prostitution illegal.
  • 244 - 249 - Roman emperor Marcus Julius Philippus either attempted to or did outlaw male prostitution throughout the Roman Empire.

4th century

  • 305 - 306 - Council of Elvira (now Granada, Spain). This council was representative of the Western European Church and among other things, it barred pederasts the right to Communion.
  • 314 - Council of Ancyra (now Ankara, Turkey). This council was representative of the Eastern European Church and it excluded the Sacraments for 15 years to unmarried men under the age of 20 who were caught in homosexual acts, and excluded the man for life if he was married and over the age of 50.
  • 306 - 337 - The Life of Constantine mentions a temple at Aphaca in Phoenicia, on a remote summit of Mount Libanus, being used by effeminate homosexual pagan priests, and says that this temple was destroyed by the command of Roman emperor Constantine I. It also states that Constantine passed a law ordering the extermination of effeminate homosexual pagan priests in Egypt.
  • 337 - Constantius II and Constans I become the 62nd Emperor of the Roman Empire. During their reigns, they both engaged in same-sex relationships.
  • 342 - The Roman emperors Constantius II and Constans I issue the following imperial decree for the Roman Empire:

"When a man marries in the manner of a woman, a woman about to renounce men, what does he wish, when sex has lost all its significance when the crime is one which it is not profitable to know when Venus is changed to another form when love is sought and not found? We order the statutes to arise, the laws to be armed with an avenging sword, that those infamous persons who are now, or who hereafter may be, guilty may be subjected to exquisite punishment."

  • 350 - Roman emperor Constans I is assassinated.
  • 350 - Roman emperor Constantius II dies.
  • c. 380s - Ammianus Marcellinus publishes Res Gestae. In Res Gestae, Marcellinus writes that the Persians "are extravagantly given to venery, and are hardly contented with a multitude of concubines they are far from immoral relations with boys." Also in Res Gestae, Marcellinus writes that "We have learned that these Taifali were a shameful folk, so sunken in a life of shame and obscenity, that in their country the boys are coupled with the men in a union of unmentionable lust, to consume the flower of their youth in the polluted intercourse of those paramours."
  • 390 - The Roman emperors Valentinian II, Theodosius I and Arcadius issue the following imperial decrees for the Roman Empire:

"We cannot tolerate the city of Rome, mother of all virtues, being stained any longer by the contamination of male effeminacy, nor can we allow that agrarian strength, which comes down from the founders, to be softly broken by the people, thus heaping shame on the centuries of our founders and the princes, Orientius, dearly and beloved and favoured. Your laudable experience will therefore punish among revenging flames, in the presence of the people, as required by the grossness of the crime, all those who have given themselves up to the infamy of condemning their manly body, transformed into a feminine one, to bear practices reserved for the other sex, which have nothing different from women, carried forth - we are ashamed to say - from male brothels, so that all may know that the house of the manly soul must be sacrosanct to all, and that he who basely abandons his own sex cannot aspire to that of another without undergoing the supreme punishment."

"All persons who have the shameful custom of condemning a man's body, acting the part of a woman's to the sufferance of alien sex (for they appear not to be different from women), shall expiate a crime of this kind in avenging flames in the sight of the people."

  • 390 - 405 - Nonnus' Dionysiaca is the last known piece of Western literature for nearly 1,000 years to celebrate homosexual passion.

6th century

  • 506 - The Visigothic Code of Alaric II decreed burning at the stake for same-sex couples in the Visigothic Kingdom. Other punishments included public ostracism, shaving of the head, whipping, and castration.
  • 529 - The Christian emperor Justinian I (527-565) made homosexuals a scapegoat for problems such as "famines, earthquakes, and pestilences."
  • 533 - The Body of Civil Law goes into effect in the Byzantine Empire, enacting the following:

"In criminal cases public prosecutions take place under various statutes, including the Lex Julia de adulteris, ". which punishes with death, not only those who violate the marriages of others, but also those who dare to commit acts of vile lust with men."


Bailey, Brian. 1998. The Luddite Rebellion. Stroud, U.K.: Sutton.

Binfield, Kevin, ed. 2004. Writings of the Luddites. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Hammond, J. L., and Barbara Hammond. 1919. The Skilled Labourer, 1760 – 1832. London and New York: Longmans, Green.

Hobsbawm, E. J. 1964. Labouring Men: Studies in the History of Labour. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Jones, Steven E. 2006. Against Technology: From the Luddites to Neo-Luddism. New York: Routledge.

Navickas, Katrina. 2005. The Search for ‘ General Ludd ’ : The Mythology of Luddism. Social History 30 (3): 281 – 295.

Randall, Adrian. 1991. Before the Luddites: Custom, Community, and Machinery in the English Woollen Industry, 1776 – 1809.

Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press.

Rule, John. 1986. The Labouring Classes in Early Industrial England, 1750 – 1850. London and New York: Longman.

Sale, Kirkpatrick. 1995. Rebels against the Future: The Luddites and Their War on the Industrial Revolution: Lessons for the Computer Age. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Thomis, Malcolm I. 1970. The Luddites: Machine-Breaking in Regency England. Newton Abbot, U.K.: David and Charles Hamden, CT: Archon Books.

Thompson, E. P. 1963. The Making of the English Working Class. London: Gollancz.

Kevin Binfield

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19 October 1739

Britain declares war on Spain and the 'War of Jenkins's Ear' begins

Britain declared war on Spain after repeated depredations on British ships by Spanish 'guarda costas'. This was mainly a colonial war in Caribbean waters. It was named after a Captain Robert Jenkins, whose ear had been severed by the Spanish. The War of Jenkins's Ear lasted until 1748, but from 1742 effectively merged into the larger War of the Austrian Succession, which took place from October 1740 until October 1748.

The Cambridge Modern History Atlas

This historical atlas is not particularly pretty, but is more reliable than most.

Plate no.Plate title
t.p.[title page]
1Europe 1490 A.D.
2The Age of Discovery
3The Ottoman Advance in Europe & Asia Minor
4Italy c. 1490 with inset, Valley of the Po
5The Empire, showing the division into Circles
6The Burgundian Lands
7The Iberian Peninsula in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella
8France under Louis XI
9Universities of Europe
10Dominions of the House of Habsburg in Europe at the abdication of Charles V
11Eastern frontier of France. Wars of France and the Empire 1521-1559
12Germany at the accession of Charles V
13Southern Germany and England. The peasant movements of the XVIth and early XVIIth centuries
14Germany: Schmalkaldic War
15The Swiss Confederation
16England & Wales under the Tudors
17Scandinavia in the time of Gustavus Vasa
18Western and Central Europe. The progress of the Reformation to 1560
19France: the religious wars
20Poland and Lithuania. The Union of Lublin 1569
21Hungary at the end of the sixteenth century
22The Netherlands. The wars of independence
23Scotland in the XBIth and XVIIth centuries
24North-eastern Atlantic: Elizabethan naval war
25Savoy in 1601
26Italy at the end on the sixteenth century
27Ireland at the beginning of the XVIth century
28Religious Divisions of Germany c. 1610
29Germany: the Thirty Years War, 1619-1629
30The Grisons (Graubünden) and the Valtelline
31Germany: the Edict of restitution, 1629
32Eastern Baltic & Northern Poland. Wars of Sweden with Poland & Russia 1560-1661
33Germany: the Thirty Years War, 1630-1648. The Swedish campaigns.
34England & Wales at the outbreak of the Civil War
35England & Wales after the Campaigns of 1644
36England & Wales: the Civil War
37Ireland 1558-1652
38Ireland according to the Act of Settlement 26th Sept. 1653 and subsequent orders
39The Thirty Years War. The French War 1635-48 and the Dutch War with Spain 1620-48
40Germany: the Peace of Westphalia
41Europe in 1648
42North Sea and English Channel. The Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century
43Portuguese, Dutch and English in the East c. 1650
44Eastern Spain and western Italy. The Franco-Spanish War 1635-59
45The Netherlands and western Germany. The wars of 1648-1715
46Eastern France: territorial acquisitions during the reign of Louis XIV
47Ireland 1660-1800
48South-eastern Europe. Wars of Turkey with the Empire, Venice and Poland 1648-1739
49Northern Italy. Wars of the eighteenth century 1701-1763
50West European waters. Anglo-French naval wars 1689-1763
51Europe in 1721 after the treaties of Utrecht & Nystad
52Russia in 1725
53The Baltic lands, 1661
54Scandinavia, Russia and Poland. The northern war, 1700-21
55Brandenburg Prussia, expansion 1525-1648
56Scotland and northern England, campaigns of the Pretenders
57Central Europe: wars of Frederick the Great
58Poland, the partitions
59Prussia: territorial expansion 1648-1795
60Austrian Empire .. territorial changes 1648-1795
61Russia, territorial expansion 1725-1795
62The Empire and the Netherlands c 1792
63Europe in 1792
64India: the beginnings of British Dominion
65Africa in the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries with inset the Gold and Slave coasts
66European colonisation in North America to 1700
67French expansion and British conquests in North America to 1763 with inset Quebec
68The Thirteen Colonies at the end of the colonial period
69West Indies in 1763
70Eastern North America in 1812. The War of Independence and the War of 1812. With inset Boston
71Mexico and Texas, 1845-1848
72Expansion of the United States
73The United States: the secession
74The Civil War in the United States
75The West Indies and the Philippine Islands. The Spanish American War
76United States: distribution of population & railways in 1850
77United States: distribution of population & railways in 1900
78United States: economoic regions
79France before the Revolution
80Paris during the Revolution
81Eastern frontier of France: revolutionary campaigns 1792-95
82Britanny and Vendée
83Northern Italy: Bonaparte's campaign, 1796-97
84Central Europe after the Peace of Basel and of Campo Formio
85Egypt & Syria
86Italy in 1799. The war with Naples 1798-99
87European waters, naval wars 1792-1815 with inset, part of the French & Flemish coast
88South-west Germany and North Italy: the War of the Second Coalition, 1798-1801
89Central Europe 1803 after the Peace of Lunéville 1801 and the secularisations 1803
90Switzerland under the Act of Mediation, 1803
91North Atlantic, naval war, 1803-05
92Central Europe: Wars of the Third Coalition 1805-07 with inset, the neighbourhood of Austerlitz
93Central Europe: the Austrian War 1809 with inset, neighbourhood of Vienna
94French Empire and Central Europe 1811: political divisions
95Spain & Portugal: the Peninsular War and other wars of the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries
96Central Russia: the war of 1812
97Germany & Eastern France: the War of Liberation 1813-14 withy insets, the neighbourhood of Paris, and the neighbourhood of Leipzig
98North-eastern frontier of France: the Waterloo campaign, 1815
99India in 1804: the Mysore & Maratha wars, 1792-1804
100The Eastern World: European colonies and dependencies, 1815
101The Western World: European colonies and dependencies, 1815
102Europe after the Congress of Vienna
103France since 1814
104Italy since 1815: the struggle for unity with inset, satges in the union of Italy 1859-70
105Ottoman Empire in Europe, 1792-1870
106Spanish & Portuguese settlements in America with inset, Latin America after the War of Independence 1825
107The Germanic Confederation, 1815
108Russia in Europe in the nineteenth century with inset, the neighbourhood of Warsaw
109The Kingdom of The Netherlands 1815-39, Holland & Belgium since 1839
110Ottoman Empire in Asia since 1792
111The Austrian dominions since 1815
112Switzerland in the nineteenth century: the Sonderbund War
113England & Wales: parliamentary representation in 1832 before the Reform Bill
114England & Wales: parliamentary representation in 1832 after the Reform Bill
115The Black Sea: the Crimean War
116Denmark and the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein: the war of 1864
117Central Europe: the war of 1866 with inset, N.E. Bohemia
118Eastern France: the Franco-Prussian War 1870-71 with inset neighbourhood of Metz
119Ottoman Empire in Europe 1870-78
120The Balkan Peninsula 1878-1910
121England and Wales 1649-1910
122India in the 19th century: British Expansion 1805-1910
123Northern India: the Mutiny 1857-59
124The Western Frontier of India, and neighbouring countries with inset, valley of the Kabul river
125The eastern frontier of India, and neighbouring countries: French and English expansion, 1805-1907
126The Dominion of Canada, and Newfoundland
127British North America, 1840-67. Political divisions in 1867 before confederation. The Alaska boundary. The Maine boundary
128The Australian colonies in the 19th century with inset, Australia in 1851: the early settlements
129The Dominion of New Zealand
130Africa in 1910 with inset, Africa in 1870
131North-western Africa: French colonialisation
132Egypt under British protection, and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
133South Africa since 1815: Kaffir and Boer Wars
134West Indies and Central America, 1910
135South America 1910
136Northern Asia: Russian expansion in the XIXth century
137The Japanese Empire: the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05
138The Chinese Empire, 1910 with inset, the neighbourhood of Peking
139The Pacific Ocean, 1910
140The World: colonial posessions and commercial highways, 1910
141Europe in 1910

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No Reprieve

Minor eruptions continued to shake the earth for weeks, and on January 23, a fourth major quake hit the New Madrid area. Traveling south from St. Louis, Arkansas engineer and surveyor Louis Bringier witnessed it, recording a description a few months later. “The roaring and whistling of the air escaping (from the earth) seemed to increase the horrible disorder of the trees blown up, cracking and splitting and falling by thousands at a time,” he wrote. “In the mean time, the surface was sinking and a black liquid was rising up to the belly of my horse, who stood motionless, struck with a panic of terror.”

Many thought they had seen the worst of the quakes. Two weeks later, at 4 in the morning of February 7, a fifth quake struck, the largest yet. Those who had dared return to their damaged homes watched the earth split in seemingly endless lines of fissures, each running southwest to northeast, hundreds of feet or more in length, and deep enough to swallow livestock. One crack split the earth for a distance of five miles. And through it all, the ground continued to pitch and roll, a stomach-churning motion that threw people about like rag dolls.

With this fifth quake, the Mississippi River outdid itself. The water rose 20 feet above its normal level in some places, overflowing and collapsing its banks. As the schoolteacher Eliza Bryan watched, it “seemed to recede from its banks, and its water gathered up like a mountain, leaving … boats stranded on the sand.” Beached crews ran for their lives as the river crashed upon them and their vessels. The riverbed split and cracked into the same fissures as were occurring on land, causing the water to boil and form whirlpools and geysers.

Two waterfalls appeared on the river, a mile from New Madrid. Although they existed for only a brief interval, they were lethal 30 boats went over the New Madrid falls, and 28 of them sank. Most of the crew members of the doomed vessels drowned. Another 19 boats tied to the New Madrid docks were ripped from their moorings and swept to destruction. The wreckage of vessels was everywhere.

The months-long New Madrid earthquakes left their mark upon the land and the water. By the time the quakes had subsided, the landscape had undergone a radical makeover. Islands had vanished from the Mississippi River five entire towns in three states had simply disappeared lakes had suddenly appeared overnight, in some cases swamping forests. The quakes had affected more than one million square miles—more than 16 times the area stricken by the famous San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

Many lost their lives during the months in which the quakes deviled the region, yet there are no accurate records to help estimate the number of fatalities. According to New Madrid historian Norma Hayes Bagnall, “It is assumed that most deaths resulting from the New Madrid earthquakes were caused by drowning.” By March 1812, few people remained in the area. A quarter century later, just 450 people lived in New Madrid. Only gradually did it reclaim its place as a viable river port town. “It was a long time,” writes Bagnall, “before the people and the land in southeastern Missouri healed.”

Photographer and artist David Anton of Santa Fe, New Mexico, interprets the New Madrid quakes of
1811-12, for an original look at the devastating earthquakes in the book, New Madrid: A Mississippi River Town in History and Legend, published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in 2009).

Under Their Own Steam: A History of Steamships

If your immigrant ancestors arrived in the second half of the 19th century, chances are their trans-Atlantic voyage was powered by steam&mdasha technology first practically applied to ships by Robert Fulton.

Steam power, which the Scotsman James Watt had first effectively harnessed to an engine in 1769, would drive the Industrial Revolution and make humanity mobile as never before&mdashpulled by belching locomotives and spanning the seas in ships the size of small cities. “Unlike muscle power, it never tired or slept or refused to obey,” enthused The Quarterly Review of London in 1830. “Unlike waterpower, its immediate predecessor, it ran in all seasons and weathers, always the same. Unlike wind, it responded tractably to human will and imagination: turning on and off, modulating smoothly from the finest delicacy to the greatest force, ever under responsive control. It is impossible to contemplate, without feeling exultation, this wonder of the modern art.”

Previous inventors had attempted to use the “wonder” of steam to propel a ship, and Fulton’s famous claim is riddled by controversy. As early as 1783 in France, the Marquis de Jouffray d’Abbans steamed a small boat, the Pyroscaphe, across the Seine. When Scottish engineer William Symington successfully employed steam to power another small riverboat, the Charlotte Dundas, Fulton was on board the 1801 maiden voyage.

Robert Fulton’s riverboats

When neither nation wanted his submarine, Fulton turned his tinkering to powering ships atop the water, aided by a new partner&mdashRobert Livingston, US minister to France. In 1802, Fulton successfully propelled a small paddlewheeler up the River Seine at three miles an hour. He took his designs back to America, where Livingston had obtained a monopoly on steamship operation on the Hudson River&mdashcontingent on the invention of a vessel that could travel four miles an hour.

That vessel would be the Clermont, which in August 1807 steamed from New York City to Albany&mdasha distance of 150 miles&mdashin 32 hours, an average speed of 4.7 miles an hour. The Clermont‘s history-making journey was the first of any distance powered by steam, and Fulton soon received a patent for his invention.

Although Fulton threw himself into building steamboats, which sailed the Raritan, Potomac and Mississippi rivers, and the first steam-powered warship, he didn’t live to see much of the steamship age he’d launched. He caught a cold crossing the Hudson after testifying in one of the many court battles sparked by his patent, and died Feb. 24, 1815.

Trans-Atlantic passenger travel

The compound steam engine, which used steam twice in each engine cycle, made possible the building of ships of greater tonnage than ever before. In the half-century after 1850, the size of passenger ships grew more than tenfold. Cunard led the way, launching the Parthia and the Bactavia in 1868. As steel replaced iron, ships grew still larger. A new generation of superliners began with the Lusitania in 1907, the centennial of Fulton’s invention of the steamboat. Eight years later, the Lusitania and its 1,198 passengers sank into the sea in just 18 minutes, victims of a German submarine using another technology pioneered by Robert Fulton&mdashthe torpedo.


1811 New Orleans is the first steamboat to descend the Mississippi
1812 Scottish hotelier Henry Bell begins regular passenger service on the River Clyde
1818 Ferdinando Primo initiates steamer service on the Mediterranean, from Genoa to Naples, Italy
1819 Savannah, partly powered by steam, crosses the Atlantic
1826 First steamboat on Lake Michigan
1838 Trans-Atlantic passenger service begins
1851 Scottish engineer John Elder patents the compound steam engine
1853 Great Britain carries 630 passengers from London to Australia
1868 Cunard launches the Parthia and Bactavia, fitted with compound engines
1912 Titanic sinks on its maiden voyage, killing 1,522 passengers
1915 German U-boat sinks the Lusitania
1936 Queen Mary, powered by 27 boilers generating 160,000 horsepower, can cruise at 28.5 knots and carry 1,957 passengers and 1,174 crew

Watch the video: History of Europe - 1900 - 2021