19th century

Antoine-Jean Gros, Surrender of Madrid, 1808. Napoleon enters Spain's capital during the Peninsular War, 1810.
Millennium:2nd millennium
State leaders:

The 19th (nineteenth) century was a century that began on January 1, 1801, and ended on December 31, 1900. It is often used interchangeably with the 1800s, though the start and end dates differ by a year.

The 19th century saw large amounts of social change; slavery was abolished, and the First and Second Industrial Revolutions (which also overlap with the 18th and 20th centuries, respectively) led to massive urbanization and much higher levels of productivity, profit and prosperity. The Islamic Gunpowder Empires were formally dissolved and European imperialism brought much of South Asia and almost all of Africa under colonial rule.

It was marked by the collapse of the Spanish, Zulu Kingdom, First French Empire, Holy Roman and Mughal empires. This paved the way for the growing influence of the British Empire, the Russian Empire, the United States, the German Empire (essentially replacing the Holy Roman Empire), the French colonial empire, the Kingdom of Italy and Meiji Japan, with the British boasting unchallenged dominance after 1815. After the defeat of the French Empire and its Indian allies in the Napoleonic Wars, the British and Russian empires expanded greatly, becoming the world's leading powers. The Russian Empire expanded in central and far eastern Asia.

The remaining powers in the Indian subcontinent such as the Kingdom of Mysore and its French allies, Nawabs of Bengal, Maratha Empire, Sikh Empire and the princely states of the Nizam of Hyderabad, suffered a massive decline, and their dissatisfaction with British East India Company's rule led to the Indian Rebellion of 1857, marking its dissolution, however it was later ruled directly by the British Crown through the establishment of the British Raj.

The British Empire grew rapidly in the first half of the century, especially with the expansion of vast territories in Canada, Australia, South Africa and heavily populated India, and in the last two decades of the century in Africa. By the end of the century, the British Empire controlled a fifth of the world's land and one quarter of the world's population. During the post-Napoleonic era, it enforced what became known as the Pax Britannica, which had ushered in unprecedented globalization and economic integration on a massive scale.


The first electronics appeared in the 19th century, with the introduction of the electric relay in 1835, the telegraph and its Morse code protocol in 1837, the first telephone call in 1876,[1] and the first functional light bulb in 1878.[2]

The 19th century was an era of rapidly accelerating scientific discovery and invention, with significant developments in the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, electricity, and metallurgy that laid the groundwork for the technological advances of the 20th century.[3] The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain and spread to continental Europe, North America and Japan.[4] The Victorian era was notorious for the employment of young children in factories and mines, as well as strict social norms regarding modesty and gender roles.[5] Japan embarked on a program of rapid modernization following the Meiji Restoration, before defeating China, under the Qing Dynasty, in the First Sino-Japanese War. Advances in medicine and the understanding of human anatomy and disease prevention took place in the 19th century, and were partly responsible for rapidly accelerating population growth in the western world. Europe's population doubled during the 19th century, from approximately 200 million to more than 400 million.[6] The introduction of railroads provided the first major advancement in land transportation for centuries, changing the way people lived and obtained goods, and fuelling major urbanization movements in countries across the globe. Numerous cities worldwide surpassed populations of a million or more during this century. London became the world's largest city and capital of the British Empire. Its population increased from 1 million in 1800 to 6.7 million a century later. The last remaining undiscovered landmasses of Earth, including vast expanses of interior Africa and Asia, were explored during this century, and with the exception of the extreme zones of the Arctic and Antarctic, accurate and detailed maps of the globe were available by the 1890s. Liberalism became the pre-eminent reform movement in Europe.[7]

Arab slave traders and their captives along the Ruvuma river (in today's Tanzania and Mozambique), 19th century

Slavery was greatly reduced around the world. Following a successful slave revolt in Haiti, Britain and France stepped up the battle against the Barbary pirates and succeeded in stopping their enslavement of Europeans. The UK's Slavery Abolition Act charged the British Royal Navy with ending the global slave trade.[8] The first colonial empire in the century to abolish slavery was the British, who did so in 1834. America's 13th Amendment following their Civil War abolished slavery there in 1865, and in Brazil slavery was abolished in 1888 (see Abolitionism). Similarly, serfdom was abolished in Russia in 1861.

The 19th century was remarkable in the widespread formation of new settlement foundations which were particularly prevalent across North America and Australia, with a significant proportion of the two continents' largest cities being founded at some point in the century. Chicago in the United States and Melbourne in Australia were non-existent in the earliest decades but grew to become the 2nd largest cities in the United States and British Empire respectively by the end of the century. In the 19th century approximately 70 million people left Europe, with most migrating to the United States.[9]

The 19th century also saw the rapid creation, development and codification of many sports, particularly in Britain and the United States. Association football, rugby union, baseball and many other sports were developed during the 19th century, while the British Empire facilitated the rapid spread of sports such as cricket to many different parts of the world. Also, ladywear was a very sensitive topic during this time, where women showing their ankles was viewed to be scandalous.

The boundaries set by the Congress of Vienna, 1815.

It also marks the fall of the Ottoman rule of the Balkans which led to the creation of Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Romania as a result of the second Russo-Turkish War, which in itself followed the great Crimean War.


Map of the world from 1897. The British Empire (marked in pink) was the superpower of the 19th century.
Other Languages
Afrikaans: 19de eeu
Alemannisch: 19. Jahrhundert
العربية: القرن 19
aragonés: Sieglo XIX
asturianu: Sieglu XIX
azərbaycanca: XIX əsr
تۆرکجه: ۱۹. یوز ایل
Bân-lâm-gú: 19 sè-kí
Basa Banyumasan: Abad kaping-19
башҡортса: XIX быуат
беларуская: XIX стагоддзе
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: XIX стагодзьдзе
български: 19 век
bosanski: 19. vijek
brezhoneg: XIXvet kantved
català: Segle XIX
Чӑвашла: XIX ĕмĕр
Cebuano: Siglo 19
čeština: 19. století
Cymraeg: 19eg ganrif
davvisámegiella: 1800-lohku (jahkečuohti)
eesti: 19. sajand
Ελληνικά: 19ος αιώνας
emiliàn e rumagnòl: XIX sécol
эрзянь: XIX пинге
español: Siglo XIX
Esperanto: 19-a jarcento
estremeñu: Sigru XIX
euskara: XIX. mendea
Fiji Hindi: 19th century
føroyskt: 19. øld
français: XIXe siècle
Frysk: 19e iuw
Gaeilge: 19ú haois
Gaelg: 19oo eash
Gàidhlig: 19mh Linn
galego: Século XIX
ГӀалгӀай: XIX бIаьшу
贛語: 19世紀
한국어: 19세기
հայերեն: 19-րդ դար
hrvatski: 19. stoljeće
Bahasa Indonesia: Abad ke-19
interlingua: Seculo 19
Ирон: XIX æнус
íslenska: 19. öldin
italiano: XIX secolo
עברית: המאה ה-19
ქართული: XIX საუკუნე
қазақша: XIX ғасыр
Kiswahili: Karne ya 19
коми: XIX нэм
Кыргызча: XIX кылым
latgaļu: 19 godu symts
Latina: Saeculum 19
latviešu: 19. gadsimts
Lëtzebuergesch: 19. Joerhonnert
лезги: XIX виш йис
lietuvių: XIX amžius
Ligure: XIX secolo
Limburgs: Negentiende iew
Lingua Franca Nova: Sentenio 19
la .lojban.: 18xyxymoi
lumbaart: Sécul XIX
magyar: 19. század
македонски: 19 век
Māori: Rautau 19
მარგალური: XIX ოშწანურა
Bahasa Melayu: Abad ke-19
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: 19 sié-gī
монгол: 19-р зуун
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ၁၉ ရာစုနှစ်
Nederlands: 19e eeuw
Nedersaksies: 19e eeuw
日本語: 19世紀
Napulitano: XIX seculo
нохчийн: XIX бӀешо
Nordfriisk: 19. juarhunert
norsk nynorsk: 1800-talet
Nouormand: XIXe s.
Novial: 19esmi sekle
occitan: Sègle XIX
олык марий: XIX курым
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: XIX asr
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: 19ਵੀਂ ਸਦੀ
Plattdüütsch: 19. Johrhunnert
polski: XIX wiek
português: Século XIX
русиньскый: XIX. стороча
русский: XIX век
саха тыла: XIX үйэ
Seeltersk: 19. Jierhunnert
Sesotho sa Leboa: Ngwagakgolo 19
sicilianu: Sèculu XIX
සිංහල: 19 වන සියවස
Simple English: 19th century
slovenčina: 19. storočie
slovenščina: 19. stoletje
ślůnski: XIX stoleće
српски / srpski: 19. век
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: 19. vijek
ၽႃႇသႃႇတႆး : 19 ႁူဝ်ပၢၵ်ႇပီ
Basa Sunda: Abad ka-19
suomi: 1800-luku
svenska: 1800-talet
Taqbaylit: Lqern wis XIX
татарча/tatarça: XIX гасыр
తెలుగు: 19 వ శతాబ్దం
Türkçe: 19. yüzyıl
Türkmençe: 19-njy asyr
українська: XIX століття
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: 19- ئەسر
vèneto: XIX secoło
Tiếng Việt: Thế kỷ 19
吴语: 19世纪
ייִדיש: 19טער י"ה
粵語: 19世紀
žemaitėška: XIX omžios
中文: 19世纪