Ask me about the 19th Century

Discussion in 'Research' started by Corwynn, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Dark Squiggle

    Dark Squiggle Lore Master

    184
    78
    28
    I thought early computers spent most of their time dealing with trajectories, statistics and census data?

    Were the British clippers, like the Cutty Sark, Ariel and Thermopylae slower than the American ones, like Flying Cloud and Sea Witch, or is that just more of "Americans are best at everything"?
     
  2. Corwynn

    Corwynn Lore Master

    131
    64
    28
    Well, perhaps the earliest non-classified ones were, but the first computers (unless we count the difference engine) were developed by the British during WWII to aid their cryptography efforts.

    As for clippers, it depends on the exact time period. The Americans got a head start with building clippers, beginning around 1845, but the British didn't start building their own until the 1850s, so the Yankee ships were better in the early years because their shipbuilders had more experience. Once the Brits got going, their versions caught up with their American counterparts by about 1860 or so, and possibly surpassed them.

    It is difficult to compare performance because the British and American clippers largely ran different routes. Yankee clippers usually ran the route from New York or Boston to San Francisco around Cape Horn, while the British clippers usually ran the China or Australia routes from England around the Cape of Good Hope. American clippers did do the China to London route (at least for a time), and an American ship, Oriental, made the voyage in 97 days, but this was in 1850 during the early days of clippers and before there was any foreign competition. The record for a clipper passage, both British and American, is 89 days. However, these were at different times on different routes, the American Flying Cloud going from New York to San Francisco in 1854, and the British Taeping from Foochow (Fuzhou), China to London in 1866. There are too many variables, such as route length, ship design, currents that could help or hinder, to know for certain which performed better. Either way, British and American clippers were very similar in speed after about 1860.
     
    Dark Squiggle likes this.
  3. Dark Squiggle

    Dark Squiggle Lore Master

    184
    78
    28
    I remember reading how Anna Judah worked as chief engineer and surveyor of the Union Pacific after her husband Theodore died. It's a really cool story, even cooler than that of Emily Roebling, (who completed the building of the Brooklyn Bridge) because if it's true, it would mean Anna Judah worked as an engineer in the 1860's, while Roebling was just 'helping her crippled husband'. The only problem is I have never found a source for this again. Is it true?
     
  4. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Shadow Lord

    846
    191
    43
    Just a short question. What's your take on Francisco Solano López, president of Paraguy during the Paraguayan War?
     
  5. Corwynn

    Corwynn Lore Master

    131
    64
    28
    This is the first I've heard of it, but then again, this is the first I've heard about Roebling either. I could look into it if you'd like.

    I assume you mean the war where Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay basically ganged up on Paraguay? If so, then President Lopez was confronted with an impossible task. Allegedly, the damage to Paraguay from this war was so severe that the country has yet to make a full recovery to this very day (although I don't know if that's true, or how they define "full recovery"). I don't know anything about Lopez himself, but I imagine his virtues and flaws were irrelevant in the end.

    I'm going to be out of town over New Year's, but feel free to ask more questions and I'll answer them when I can.
     
  6. Dark Squiggle

    Dark Squiggle Lore Master

    184
    78
    28
    I would like you to, as I have tried and not been able to find any mention of this.
     
  7. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Shadow Lord

    846
    191
    43
    Yep, that's the war I had in mind. Its rather interesting in that the Paraguay president didn't just surrender and kept fighting until his death after the war had been settled. In a way that reminds me of certain other leaders who just won't accept death but can't stop it either.

    As for full recovery I imagine that you can calculate how much population, BNP etc. would be if the war had not happened, and the present day Paraguay still hasn't reach the calculated numbers they would have had if not for the war.
     
  8. Usurper

    Usurper Apprentice

    22
    6
    3
    What power did religion have in Europe during the 19th century? I know there was a certain amount of secularization taking place, but I'm not sure to what extent, escpecially from country to country. For example, how much power did the Pope have, compared to medieval time, and to today?
     
  9. Corwynn

    Corwynn Lore Master

    131
    64
    28
    Sorry for the wait, it's been a long time since anybody asked anything.

    To answer your question, the power of religion was continuing to wane in Europe during the 19th century. This was most concentrated in the (mostly Protestant) region of the north-west. Faith was stronger in the predominantly Catholic and Orthodox regions of southern and eastern Europe, a pattern which still holds to this day.

    All of Europe was devoutly Christian up until at least the mid-17th century. However, beginning around 1700, piousness began to wane, initially among the upper classes, who were most exposed to Enlightenment ideas. During this time, many European and American elites took up Deism or Freemasonry, which were essentially more scientific and less restrictive interpretations of Christianity. Rejection of religion outright was still taboo during this time. Things began to take off during the French Revolution, when the revolutionaries initially attacked the Catholic church, and tried to set up a Cult of Reason to replace it; however, this was undone by Napoleon. The 19th century was when atheism really started to become widespread. This was the first time that being openly atheist carried few or no social consequences (but again, this was more true in Protestant and French-speaking Catholic countries). Missionary societies of the time proselytized not only in foreign lands, but also the cities of their own homelands, because many of the urban working class were abandoning religion (although this was more due to apathy than deliberate rejection). New scientific theories and discoveries, such as Darwin's theory of evolution (published in 1859) added to religious skepticism.

    Yet despite all this, the great majority of Europeans remained at least nominally Christian, because Christianity had become such an essential component of European culture in past eras. Religion and science were not necessarily seen as diametrically opposed. Some people were still quite devout, and did work to convert others to Christianity, but there was much less open conflict between religion and science, or each other. Religion alone was not seen as a fighting matter in the 19th century. Some have dubbed the era as "the golden age of atheism", because, while atheism was less widespread then, atheists and secularists were not locked in a culture war with the more religious elements of society.

    As for the Papacy, due to the rise of secularism, and weakening by the Reformation, its political power was pretty much nil by the beginning of the 19th century. No longer could the Pope bring the princes of Europe to heel. The Papacy's political control extended only to the Papal States in central Italy, and even that was taken away in 1870 when the Papal States were annexed by the newly-formed Kingdom of Italy. Between 1870 and 1929 when the Papacy was granted Vatican City, the Papacy controlled no territory at all. The Pope still had control over the Roman Catholic Church, but just as today, his authority no longer extends beyond purely religious matters.
     
  10. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

    4,712
    2,883
    263
    Which religion? And what do you mean by power? To speak very broadly, most people greatly overestimate papal secular powers during the Middle Ages, and they tend to underestimate the influence of the Catholic Church (which is not the same thing as the papacy) in more modern times.

    I ask which religion because Methodism, for example, had a significant impact in England during the first half of the 19th century. That century was the beginning of Sunday schools, for one thing.

    But are you asking about influence in daily life, economic importance, legal privilege? "Power" is a wide-ranging word.
     
  11. Usurper

    Usurper Apprentice

    22
    6
    3
    Great, thanks c:
     
  12. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Shadow Lord

    846
    191
    43
    Time to shake some new life into this thread. :)

    I was wondering about how hard the stigmata of children born out of wedlock affected women from the lower classes? The period I have in mind is roughly for the period around the 1880s or so. The country I am most interested in is Protestant Northern Europe but given the Anglo-dominance on this forum ( :p ) I would suppose that generally a Protestant, urbanized and industrialized area like the American North-East Coast, England or something like it could work as well as regards to pointers.
     
  13. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    5,026
    2,082
    313
    One thing you can look into is the Magdalene Laundries: Magdalene asylum - Wikipedia
    In Ireland, there are plenty of horror stories about women ending up looked away there for a number of reasons - having children out of wedlock being far from the least of them.
     
  14. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

    4,712
    2,883
    263
    Look also to the Netherlands, Denmark, or northern Germany (Brandeburg, Mecklenburg, Westphalia). Countryside will be different from the cities. And there was still a fair amount variation. Conditions in England were especially harsh in mid-century; not sure if that was mitigated in later decades. You might find this article useful
    Bastardy and Baby Farming in Victorian England

    This one is 18thc but might be useful
    Background - Researching Bastardy - London Lives
    It's important to keep in mind what a social earthquake industrialization was. Just about everything changed, including issues surrounding illegitimacy.

    The literature is huge, though mostly scholarly so you mostly need access to a university library. If you do, you're in tall grass. Here's a dissertation, though:
    https://etd.ohiolink.edu/rws_etd/document/get/akron1384781123/inline

    If you want a summary and an overgeneralization, women were treated more harshly in the 19thc than in earlier centuries. The moral censure was more severe and the legal penalties were harsher. Maybe that had moderated by the 1880s. I'd guess not, but better to do some research on that.
     
  15. Corwynn

    Corwynn Lore Master

    131
    64
    28
    Sorry for not responding earlier, I find it hard to make time to sit down and read and write on Mythic Scribes.

    Unfortunately, it's not a subject I know a great deal about. There was definitely more of a stigma to birth out of wedlock in the 19th century than there is now, but I don't know how that compares to earlier eras.

    It likely varied depending on social class. As a general rule, during this period, the middle class was the most morally uptight, while the upper and lower classes tended to be more relaxed, at least in private. The middle classes sought to differentiate themselves from the lower orders by acting more proper and refined. The wealthy did this too to some extent, but they didn't need to try so hard, since they were so clearly wealthy and powerful that they didn't need to prove anything. Even so, the wealthier classes would likely do their best to keep any bastard children a secret (or at least discreet) for fear of a scandal. The poor would have cared least, simply because they couldn't afford to. It is likely that many of the couples "living in sin" in Victorian London did so because they couldn't afford a wedding. Urban missionaries tried to encourage marriage among the poor, so evidently it was a common problem. Birth out of wedlock certainly increased if only because of the growing population. Greater ease of travel and the anonymity of city living likely contributed as well.
     
Loading...

Share This Page