19th century

From Wikiquote
(Redirected from Nineteenth century)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Antoine-Jean Gros, Surrender of Madrid, 1808. Napoleon enters Spain's capital during the Peninsular War, 1810
Campo del Moro Gardens, Royal Palace of Madrid. Spain.
Nude Old Man in the Sun, 1871, Mariano Fortuny y Marsal.

The 19th century (1 January 1801 – 31 December 1900) was the century marked by the collapse of the Spanish, Napoleonic, 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, the French colonial empire and Meiji Japan, with the British boasting unchallenged dominance after 1815. After the defeat of the French Empire and its allies in the Napoleonic Wars, the British and Russian empires expanded greatly, becoming the world's leading powers.


  • En el Siglo XIX, con el impacto de la revolución industrial y con la aparición de la democracia, se estancó el pensamiento político. Surgieron filosofías que siguen vigentes, que en muchos casos están plagadas de falacias, de estructuras lógicas engañosas que llevan a conclusiones erradas.
    • In the 19th century, with the impact of the industrial revolution and with the emergence of democracy, political thought stalled. Philosophies have emerged that are still in force, which in many cases are plagued by fallacies, of misleading logical structures leading to wrong conclusions.
    • Jaime Durán Barba, La política en el siglo XXI: Arte, mito o ciencia. Editor Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial Argentina, 2017. ISBN 9873752730.
  • Europe changed more rapidly and more radically during the nineteenth century than during any prior period. Perhaps most fundamentally, its population more than doubled, from 205 million in 1800 to 414 million in 1900, not counting the 38 million who emigrated to others parts of the world in the course of the century. The economy grew even faster, as the per capita Gross National Product (GNP - i.e. the total economic output for every European) increased by 120 per cent between 1830 and 1913. More visible to the contemporaries than the apparently modest rates of annual growth that underlay this secular figure was the communications revolutions. In 1800 the wealthy travelled by horse-drawn carriage and the poor walked; in 1900 the wealthly travelled first class on the railway or were driven in their own automobiles, while the poor travelled third class on the railway and by omnibus, train or underground railway.
  • Messages had long been travelling above ground thanks to the invention of the tellegraph in the 1830s and the telephone in the 1870s. The more earth-bound written world was also spread further and faster than even before, as the mechanized printing presses and paper-making machines brought the unit cost of newspaper within reach of working-class pockets.
    • Oxford University, in The Nineteenth Century: Europe 1789-1914, edited by T. C. W. Blanning, pp. 1-2.
  • The wisdom of the wise and the experience of ages may be preserved by quotation.
    • Benjamin Disraeli. as quoted in The Secret of Wealth: A Common Sense Guide to Prosperity, by Franklyn Hobbs, p. 228. Editor Cosimo, Inc., 2007. ISBN 1602069654.
  • The notion of writers like Proust and Joyce 'destroying' the nineteenth century, as surely as Einstein and Freud were doing with their ideas, is not so fanciful as it might seem. The nineteenth century saw the climax of the philosophy of personal responsibility - the notion that each of us is individually accountable for our actions - which was the joint heritage of Judeo-Christianity and the classical world. As Lionel Trilling, analyzing Eliot's verdict on Ulysses, was to point out, during the nineteenth century a leading aesthete like Walter Pater, in The Renaissance, to categorize the ability 'to burn with a hard, gem-like flame' as 'success in life.' 'In the nineteenth century,' Trilling wrote, even 'a mind as exquisite and detached as Pater's could take it for granted that upon the life of an individual person a judgment of success or failure might be passed.' The nineteenth-century novel had been essentially concerned with the moral or spiritual success of the individual. A la Recheche and Ulysses marked not merely the entrance of the anti-hero but the destruction of individual heroism as a central element in imaginative creation, and a contemptuous lack of concern for moral balance-striking and verdicts. The exercise of individual free will ceased to be the supremely interesting feature of human behavior.
  • For an entire century after 1815, by contrast, there was a remarkable absence of lengthy coalition wars. A strategic equilibrium existed, supported by all of the leading Powers in the Concert of Europe, so that no single nation was either able or willing to make a bid for dominance. The prime concerns of government in these post-1815 decades were with domestic instability and (in the case of Russia and the United States) with further expansion across their continental landmasses. This relatively stable international scene allowed the British Empire to rise to its zenith as a global power, in naval and colonial and commercial terms, and also interacted favorably with its virtual monopoly of steam-driven industrial production. By the second half of the nineteenth century, however, industrialization was spreading to certain other regions, and was beginning to tilt the international power balances away from the older leading nations and toward those countries with both the resources and organization to exploit the newer means of production and technology. Already, the few major conflicts of this era—the Crimean War to some degree but more especially the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War—were bringing defeat upon those societies which failed to modernize their military systems, and which lacked the broad-based industrial infrastructure to support the vast armies and much more expensive and complicated weaponry now transforming the nature of war.
  • Baudelaire's words about the albatross aptly apply to the nineteenth century: "He is affixed to the earth by his tent of giant wings.""
    • Osip Mandelstam THE NINETEENTH CENTURY translated into English in The complete critical prose (1997)
  • The essence of nineteenth century cognitive activity is projection.
    • Osip Mandelstam THE NINETEENTH CENTURY translated into English in The complete critical prose (1997)
  • When industrial capitalism first started to emerge in the early nineteenth century, its machinations were relatively visible. Take, for instance, the enclosures. Pasturelands that had been used in common for centuries to provide villages with their very sustenance were systematically fenced off—enclosed—in order to graze sheep, whose wool was needed for the burgeoning textile industry. Communal life was briskly thrust aside in favor of privatization, forcing people into harsh factories and crowded cities. Advanced capitalism, as it pushes past the fetters of even nation-states in its insatiable quest for growth, encloses life in a much more expansive yet generally invisible way: fences are replaced by consumer culture. We are raised in an almost totally commodified world where nothing comes for free, even futile attempts to remove oneself from the market economy. This commodification seeps into not only what we eat, wear, or do for fun but also into our language, relationships, and even our very biology and minds. We have lost not only our communities and public spaces but control over our own lives; we have lost the ability to define ourselves outside capitalism’s grip, and thus genuine meaning itself begins to dissolve.
  • Nineteenth-century civilization rested on four institutions. The first was the balance-of-power system which for a century prevented the occurrence of any long and devastating war between the Great Powers. The second was the international gold standard which symbolized a unique organization of world economy. The third was the self-regulating market which produced an unheard-of material welfare. The fourth was the liberal state. Classified in one way, two of these institutions were economic, two political. Classified in another way, two of them were national, two international. Between them they determined the characteristic outlines of the history of our civilization.
    Of these institutions the gold standard proved crucial; its fall was the proximate cause of the catastrophe. By the time it failed, most of the other institutions had been sacrificed in a vain effort to save it. But the fount and matrix of the system was the self-regulating market. It was this innovation which gave rise to a specific civilization.
    • Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (1944), Chap. 1 : The Hundred Year's Peace
Wikipedia has an article about: