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Europe: A.D. 1801 to 1900

Module by: Jack E. Maxfield. E-mail the author


Back to Europe: A.D. 1701 to 1800

The population of Europe increased in this century from about 190 million to over 400 million. Industrialization of continental Europe followed England's examples and appeared early in the century basically in the regions of available coal, as in northern France, Belgium and the Ruhr Valley in Germany. Many of the industries and the necessary railway transportation systems were built and operated by governments, because of a lack of private capital. McNeill (Ref. 279) says that the industrialization of war began in the 1840s when railroads and semi-automated mass production together with Prussian breech-loaders and French naval steam efforts began to transform the previous military establishments. Western scientists (including Russians) tried to find the secret of damask steel (see pages 342, 348 and 643) and in so doing really initiated the field of metallography. (Ref. 260) The technology for using this metallurgy and other rapidly developing new fields in armaments actually started in the United States, by 1870. Russia, Spain, Sweden, Denmark and even Turkey and Egypt, were all following the original English example of importing American milling machinery for gun making. (Ref. 279)

The decline in oversea transportation costs made possible by the development of the steamship allowed an era of migration from Europe to the Americas, Oceania, Africa and Siberia. Railroads and steamships alike also extended the area from which bulky crops such as grains and minerals could be marketed and refrigeration allowed food and meat to be brought in from America, China, Australia and India. After 1871, although Europe was heavily armed, there were no wars for the remainder of the century. Ireland, England and all northern Europe, including Russia, had been badly hurt in mid-century, however, by the potato crop failure caused by the establishment of a Peruvian parasitic fungus, which implanted itself in European potatoes. The resulting famine in Irish, Belgian and German populations, along with typhus fever and other diseases, produced millions of deaths. (Ref. 8, 211)



By 1829 the Cyclades had become part of Greece, rather than Turkey. The Greek Cretans revolted against the Turks in the Greek-Turkish War at the end of the century and Crete became independent. (Ref. 38) The authorities then allowed Sir Arthur Evans to start excavations at Knossus. (Ref. 127) The Italian Frederico Halbherr had done some excavation work on the south shore of the island as early as 1884. Britain occupied Cyprus in 1877


Led by Alexander Ypsilanti, the Greeks rose against the Muslim overlordship of the Turks in 1821 and in the following year declared their independence. The war was a savage one and also had elements of civil conf lict within Greek groups, themselves.

Great Britain, Russia and France finally helped Greece by def eating the Egyptian Muslim, Muhammad Ali, who had taken control of Greece, along with Crete and part of Syria. The victory came in a great naval battle of Navarino, in 1827 and an independent Greek kingdom was established in 1830 under Otto I, who had been a Bavarian prince. A constitution was forced upon the unwilling king in 1844 and by 1862 he was forced to abdicate in favor of Prince George of Denmark. After that Greece gradually gained more territory, acquiring the Ionian islands and Thessaly.

Early in the century Adamantois Korais created a new Greek literary medium, designed to emphasize connection with the classical tongue and to purify the language from heavy infiltration of Italian and Turkish words. (Ref. 139, 8)


From a material standpoint the Balkans lagged behind most of Europe. Panes of glass were not commonly seen in Serbia until this century and were still a rarity in Belgrade in 1808. (Ref. 260) In 1804 Serbian highlanders, under the rich peasant Kara-george, rose against the local Turks. The fierce fighting continued for several years and was finally put down by Turkish armies. Karageorge fled to Austria, but in 1815 Milos Obrenovic led a new revolt and that one succeeded so that Serbia proclaimed autonomy in 1830. In 1859 the areas of Moldavia and Wallachia became united as Romania, independent of Turkey. A native king was soon disposed and a Hohenzollern became Carol I, recognized in Europe as the sovereign of an independent Romania. Later in the century nationalist ideas spread rapidly throughout the entire Balkan area, but linguistic groups were so mixed up that a division on that basis became impossible. Languages included Romanian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Macedonian, Greek, Albanian, Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian and Hungarian with still some other minor ones, so that many conflicting national claims were made. Russia tried to intervene again in 1877, but the great powers again made her back down. Both Serbia and Romania became truly independent in 1878, although Romania had been united since 1859. Bosnia rebelled between 1875 and 1878, when Austria was permitted to proclaim a "protectorate" over it as Bosnia-Hercegovina. The Bulgarians rose up against Turkish rule in 1876 and after initial defeat were finally helped to independence by Russia in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 and the subsequent Congress of Berlin. The Bulgarian state, however, was reduced to but a shadow of its former self. The remainder of Europe would not accept that situation immediately, so formal independence was not acknowledged until 1908. We have mentioned that Thessaly was added to Greece in 1881.

Greek merchant shippers constituted a limited area of transmission between the Orthdox Balkan Society and western Europe. On the cultural level, Karadjich and Obradovich used the peasant dialect of Herzegovina as the basis for literary Serbian, replacing the old standard, which was based on Church Slavonic. This allowed Serbian and Croatian languages to converge and made modern Yugoslavia a possibility. (Ref. 68, 206, 8)


Napoleon transformed Italy into a kingdom, with himself as king, putting one of his family as viceroy of Italy and another as king of Naples. Pope Pius VII was kidnapped and held captive until Napoleon's downfall in 1814. Thereafter Italy became in part under Austria's control, part under the Bourbon Ferdinand and part under the House of Savoy. Minor revolts, which occurred in Naples and Piedmont in 1821 and in Parma, Modena and Romagna in 1830-31, had no national aims, but later uprisings were more forceful. In July, 1848 Charles Albert of Piedmont was decisively beaten by Austrians at Custozza in Venetia. This led to a closer union of Austria and Prussia, while Italy remained divided. Further war against Austria in 1858 and 1859, with French support, resulted in the union of Sicily, Naples, Umbria, Romagna and Marches with Piedmont-Sardinia under Camillo Benso di Cavour, prime minister of the Kingdom of Sardinia. He was one of the great European statesmen of those times. Victor Emmanuel II was king of Sardinia at the time and it was he, along with Cavour, who secured France's aid in throwing off the yoke of Austria.

Garibaldi had taken over control of Sicily and Naples, with his thousand volunteers, but these areas were annexed to Emmanuel's domain in 1860. In 1861 an Italian parliament met in Turin and declared Victor Emmanuel as King of all Italy. When Austria was defeated by Prussia in 1866, Italy acquired Venetia. Up until about that date Italians, like most Germans, were more attached to their provincial rulers and cultures (Tuscan, Emilian, etc.) than to a national idealism, although the middle class of people had objected to Austrian rule. By the last 2/3 of the century, the Italians extended the Piedmontese (Sardinian) constitution to the whole country and made Italy a centralized entity on the French model. (Ref. 68, 139, 8)

An interesting sidelight is the beginning of the control of malaria in the environs of Rome at the beginning of this century by Pope Pius Vll. Ever since the days of the late Roman Empire, when a shortage of manpower and the frequent barbarian invasions led to neglect of the drainage systems of the city and the surrounding areas, which had previously been irrigated, malaria had been a serious, endemic disease of the region. From a population of 750,000 in 70 B.C. Rome fell to 35,000 in A.D. 1050 and malaria has been indicted by some as the chief cause. But the draining of the marshes was started again by Pius VII and completed in the next century by Mussolini, when the population of Rome reached a million. (Ref. 213)


Northern Europe had one of the worst summers of all recorded time in 1816. There was frost in July and practically no harvest, so that famine resulted. (Ref. 213)


Between 1801 and 1803 Napoleon and his minister, Talleyrand, supervised the reorganization of the old Holy Roman Empire and this was done, not on German soil, but in Paris. The initial steps involved over 1/2 of the more than 300 political entities that had claimed sovereign status since the Treaty of Westphalia. Some 64 ecclesiastical principalities were secularized and 45 of the 51 free-cities were absorbed into larger units. Then the German princes confiscated all religious establishments and the lands of most of the "Knights". By October of 1806 Napoleon had delivered Prussia a telling blow at Jena and the French armies entered Berlin. In the same year Napoleon established the Confederation of the Rhine, with himself as its official protector. All states of the old empire joined this except Austria, Prussia, Brunswick and electoral Hesse. This definitely ended the Holy Roman Empire, forcing the abdication of the title of emperor by Francis II of Austria and then Germany began to draw itself together. At the same time Napoleon was rewarding Wuerttemburg, Saxony and Bavaria for their loyalties by elevating their dukes to kings and giving each a little more territory. Saxony got the Duchy of Warsaw from Prussia; Maximilian became king of Bavaria. But by 1813 Metternick got his Austria to declare war again on France and maneuvered to get Bavaria to desert Napoleon. In a 4 day battle near Leipzig, Napoleon was totally defeated and in the later Peace of Paris and the European Congress at Vienna, which lasted 10 months, Europe was divided among the 4 great powers of Prussia, Austria, Russia and England.

Prussia was re-made into a modern state by a group of enlightened legislators, chiefly Freiherr vom Stein, from a family of Rhineland Knights. The great General Staff was created between 1803 and 1809, utilizing intellectual, vigorous officers. (Ref. 279)

The serfs were freed, commerce and industry released from many restrictions and the army made more efficient and humane. On the total scene, however, Frederick William III of Prussia played a subsidiary role to both Metternich of Austria and Alexander of Russia. A German Confederation was formed of 35 sovereign principalities and 4 free-cities.

Map taken from Reference 97.

Frederick William hated that Confederation but Metternich utilized it to his advantage.

In the 1820s while many parts of Europe reverberated with liberal revolutions, Germany and Austria remained tranquil, although after 1830 some of the more liberal states of south and west Germany experienced mild disturbances. In Prussia, the widespread introduction of steam power in 1812 and an extensive net of railways produced an economic boom and eventually helped in the unification of Germany. Prussia further gained by a high tariff on goods transported across her territory and since she sat astride the most important trade routes between northern and southern Europe, this was a considerable boon. The Zollverein (Customs Union) derived out of that tariff was joined by 7 small neighboring states in 1828 and Prussian imperialism was already underway to some degree. By 1842 almost all German states except Austria, Hanover and a few free-cities had joined the Zollverein. This, along with railroads and the electric telegraph, bound the states together, acting as a unifier. By 1848 there were 3,000 miles of track in Germany. In spite of that, in some areas there were economic failures, unemployment and occasional uprisings.

The plague epidemic of 1846 was another problem and that was followed by world wide trade and financial crises, crop failures and inflation. In 1848 revolutions spread across Europe again, most of them essentially interrelated. In Germany there were three main aims: The unification of the country; the demand for basic civil rights and a measure of popular sovereignty; and freedom for serfs with better hours, wages and benefits for city workers. In the lesser states such as Wuerttembury and Hesse, there did result more liberal cabinets. In Baden there was much blood shed in many massacres.

In Bavaria things were different as King Maximilian I allowed a liberal constitution and promoted arts, science and architecture. When his successor Ludwig I gave his low-born Irish mistress, Lola Montez, a title, he was forced to abdicate and Maximilian II became king with a moderately liberal ministry. Both Ludwig II and son Otto I were brilliant but insane. The former was a friend of the composer, Wagner. In the meantime, Munich University had been transformed into an artistic and scholarly center.

By this time in Prussia there was revolution. The first disorders arose in the Rhineland, Silesia and East Prussia. Eventually crowds took over Berlin and the king placed himself at the mercy of his people and a meeting of the United Diet was called. Soon, however, royal power was re-assumed, the new liberal cabinet was dismissed and a new government formed under the conservative Count of Brandenburg.

In spite of all, many groups still worked for the unification of Germany. Some 600 delegates from various states met at Frankfurt in 1848, but the delegates got bogged down in too many problems of nationality, cross-purposes, etc. and this, as well as the revolutions, failed at that time. Because of the failure of the 1848 revolutions, Karl Marx was stimulated to write the Communist Manifesto, with the help of Engles. Actually the final unification of Germany involved three wars. The first was Prussia against Denmark. In 1861 King Wilhelm I came to the throne of Prussia and chose Count Otto von Bismarck-Schonhousen as his chief minister. In 1862 Bismarck dismissed the Prussian parliament, allied with Austria and attacked Denmark, taking Schleswig-Holstein in 1864. The "Seven Weeks War" followed in 2 years, with three theaters: (1) Italy, in which the Italians were defeated on both land and sea; (2) Germany, involving defeat of the Hanoverians; and (3) Bohemia, where the Austrians came to the Bohemians' aid. (Ref. 119) In that war Helmut von Moltke showed how the aristocratic General Staff planners could speed up and control deployment of vast numbers of men by carefully calculating everything ahead of time. In addition, the use of breech-loading rifles for the first time (after 26 years of transition) and the probable use of Alfred Krupp's breech-loading steel artillery must have played large roles. The Austrians, however, had 736 new rifled cannon and 58 smooth-bores to the Prussians' 492 rifled and 306 smooth-bores. The Austrians lost the Battle of Koenig-graetz because they had their infantry charge the foe in dense columnar formations. (Ref. 279) At the end of that conflict Prussia annexed Hanover and other German states, abolishing the Bund and forming a new North German Confederation. Bohemia, Austria, Bavaria, Wuerttemburg, Hohenzollern Baden, Palatinate and Alsace-Lorraine were not included in that confederation. Bismarck and Moltke shared the glory of that political reorganization of Germany with King Wilhelm. (Ref. 279)

The third war was the Franco-German War of 1870-71 which was easily won by Bismarck1 and resulted in the withdrawal of French forces from Italy and the acquisition of Alsace-Lorraine. Prussian planning defeated French elan as the French speed of supply and deployment fell far behind. A new German Empire grew out of that victory, along with a newly awakened German nationalism. All of the principalities mentioned above, except Bohemia and Austria, now joined this new empire, which was headed by the king of Prussia, who took the title of Deutscher Kaiser (Caesar). Perhaps unfortunately for the future of Germany, this empire contained a number of non-Germans, some Danes, many Poles and, of course, many Frenchmen in Alsace and Lorraine.

Otto von Bismarck-Schonhousen was a remarkable man, fluent in both English and French as well as German. As chancellor he placated England and Russia, obtained colonies in Africa and the Pacific and made many social reforms within Germany, itself. He promoted a good deal of social legislation which included: a health insurance law which gave financial and medical aid to workers off work with illness; an accident insurance law for workers' disability compensation; and an old age and invalidism insurance for all those disabled and/or over 70 years of age. The reader will have no trouble recognizing most of these features in present day American life. In 1890 Wilhelm II, known to the generation of the writer as simply "the Kaiser", dismissed Bismarck and turned to building up the army and navy, developing military industry and making enemies on all sides. He was not prepared for the task which he had inherited in 1888. Always immature, psychologically warped, perhaps in part because of his crippled left arm, sadly susceptible to flattery, he believed in "divine right" monarchy and at the same time loved all things modern - industry and engineering in particular. After he had deposed Bismarck he made Count Georg Leo von Caprivi his chancellor for 4 years, then followed with the once able but then aged Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingf uerst of Bavaria. In this man's senility, Wilhelm could, in truth, "railroad" through most of his own ideas, all of which resulted in extensive world involvement.

Map taken from Reference 97

By the last half of the century all of Germany west of the Elbe, but especially the area along the Rhine, had mechanized industry and eventually outstripped France and England. It had the raw materials and developed a great scientific, educational system and research facilities. After 1871 Germany set the pace for industrial supremacy with a lead in chemicals and electricity, with the latter industry dominated by Werner Siemens and Emil Rathenau. The German phase of the Industrial Revolution embraced a wider variety of materials (electrical, chemical, petroleum and light metals), but coal and iron remained primary. Coal was used for tars and derivatives as diverse as aspirin, dyes and explosives. Iron underwent potable chemical diversification after the invention of the Bessemer converter in 1856. Railroads were necessary to unlock mineral wealth previously cut off from exploration. The German contributions to industrial development included deliberate, planned invention, extensive credit through banks and cartels and human engineering, with the cultivation of an elite in both the military and industry. Even with the Industrial Revolution, Germany maintained an adequate food supply by putting an additional 2,000,000 acres under cultivation.

In the last decade of the l9th century the population of Germany increased 15% to 56,400,000. Forty percent of the people engaged in industry, twelve percent in trade and communication. Friedrich Siemens, with others, developed the open hearth method of making steel directly from ore. In one generation, 1840-1875, these north-central Europeans went from the Middle Ages to Modern Times. (Ref. 213) But there was inadequate urban housing, crowding, exorbitant rents and low wages. Germany's troubles and policies eventually resulting in World War I were not entirely the fault of Kaiser Wilhelm, but of Bismarckian government without a Bismarck. One of the important changes under the Kaiser was the rapid expansion of the German navy. New ships were launched and the Kiel Canal dug from the North Sea to the Baltic, bypassing any possible Danish blockade. In 1897 Admiral Tirpitz was put in charge and the naval program accelerated until well into the next century.

But Germany of this century was not all politics, industry, army and navy. F.W.A. Sertuerner isolated morphine as a pure alkaloid in 1806; Robert Koch established the bacterial cause of anthrax and tuberculosis; Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) was called the "Pope" of medicine in Europe. He wrote on leukemia, thrombosis, embolism and phlebitis as well as delving into multiple scientific and social fields. At the end of the century German speaking countries (and we must include Austria in this) had the leadership in medicine. In the period of 1815 to 1840 alone, there were great men in literature, music, education, scholarship, philosophy and science, as well. The University of Berlin was founded in 1811. Some of the more famous names of the era include Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Goethe and Schopenhouer. (Ref. 177, 184, 8, 211, 125)

AUSTRIA (Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire)

Austria was invaded by Napoleon while Great Britain, Russia, Austria and Sweden were forming an alliance, along with Prussia, to contain him. This alliance was the so-called "Third Coalition". The Austrians suffered a defeat at Ulm; Napoleon entered Vienna and then annihilated the Austrians and Russians together in the Battle of Austerlitz in Moravia in late 1805. In the Peace of Pressburg on December 26, 1805 Austria ceded all claims to her Italian and south German territories and dropped from her status as a world power2. Emperor Franz (Francis) had to give up his title of Holy Roman Emperor and thereafter the Habsburgs were emperors of Austria and Hungary only. Napoleon reentered Vienna, took up residence in Schoenbrunn Palace and continued to dismember Austria. It was in this desperate situation that Klemens Lothar Metternich, Austrian ambassador to Paris, returned to be imperial chancellor. To understand this complex, capable man, who has strong admirers and vicious detractors among the historians, will require some additional details.

Basically Metternich was probably the greatest diplomat of his time, the French Talleyrand not withstanding. He arranged a marriage of Princess Marie Louise to Napoleon, contributed a small Austrian contingent to Napoleon's disastrous Moscow expedition of 1812, thus gaining an armistice from the French emperor allowing some breathing room to reform his armies. He then offered to mediate peace proposals with France, Prussia and Russia. Bonaparte refused the terms, was defeated by Prussia and Russia at the Battle of Leipzig (1813) and abdicated. It was Metternich's diplomatic victory and the Treaty of Paris, which followed, called for no territorial concession or reparations, but merely arranged for the European Congress in Vienna to be held two months later. That Congress of Vienna of 1815, which included the "big four" of Russia, England, Prussia3, and Austria, promptly elected Metternich as president. Amid much pomp, entertainment and back-stage diplomacy, Metternich arranged for Austria to regain much of her old territory in return for giving up Belgium, part of the Netherlands and a few small holdings on the Rhine. Austria gained 4,500,000 people and the undisputed hegemony in Italy. After that Congress, Austria enjoyed her last great time as a prestigious power in Europe, with a period of thirty years of unbroken peace.

An interesting sidelight to the machinations of Metternich and his Austrian emperor has to do with the treatment of the only son of Napoleon. Born in March, 1811 to Marie Louis, daughter of Emperor Franz, Napoleon had his son christened "Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles Bonaparte, King of Rome". After his father 's banishment to Elba, the boy was tentatively to be given the title of Prince of Parma, with his mother as regent, but in the end Metternich and the emperor took him to Vienna for "protection" while his mother was given a small principality in Italy to rule. In Vienna, as a bright, handsome child, Napoleon II was raised virtually as a political prisoner until his death from tuberculosis at the age of 21 years. To the end he intermittently hoped for a throne and was actually considered at one time or another for the crowns of Greece, Poland and Belgium, as well as France. His mother took a lover by whom she had several illegitimate children and turned against her banished husband and essentially abandoned her French son. (Ref. 23)

Concerning Metternich, the other side of the coin shows that his domestic "system" led to revolution and his eventual downfall. To prevent the rise of nationalism in his multi- racial domain, he developed almost a police state, denying all freedoms. There was no free parliament, no free press, no free university, no intelligent civil service. All liberalism was suppressed. The revolution was led by the intellectuals in 1848, and the aims there were different than those in Germany, for in Austria the revolution was designed at securing autonomy for the component nationalities living under the Habsburg rule. In the turmoil, Metternich was forced to resign and he escaped to London, while Vienna was turned over to the National Guard. The Hungarians adopted their own constitution and other coalitions rose to demand self-rule. The Milanese forced the withdrawal of Austrian troops and the Venetians set up an independent republic again. The Czechs, Moravians and Galicians were all clamoring for autonomy. In the meantime (while Metternich was still there), the old emperor had died (1835) and the inadequate Ferdinand, hydrocephalic, epileptic and close to an idiot, reigned in name only. Prince Felix von Schwarzenberg assumed the post of chief minister and persuaded the weak Ferdinand to abdicate in favor of his 18 year old grandson Franz-Joseph I and between them, the Habsburg Empire was restored.

In a few years the new emperor took as his bride the beautiful Elizabeth, a Wittelsbach of Bavaria and then proceeded to complete his reign of "sixty-eight years of almost unbroken misfortune and disaster but he never swerved or flinched from his mission"4. By remaining neutral in the Crimean War he antagonized Russia and exposed Austria's weaknesses to the whole of Europe. His empire contained 50,000,000 subjects and after his able prime minister's death (Schwarzenberg), he attempted to rule alone as an autocrat. In the field as commander he soon lost Lombardy and other lesser territories and found that his Slav and Magyar troops were not very loyal. Elizabeth left him for all practical purposes, perhaps due in part to her mental health and in part because of very serious mother-in-law problems. Then Bismarck appeared on the scene from the north in Bohemia, with three separate armies. As Bohemia's ally, Austria sent Field Marshal Benedek north to attack. In the battle of Koeniggraetz (Sadowa) he eventually met def eat. (See page 1073). In the final peace of that 7 weeks war, Austria was excluded from the German League and Venetia was given up once again to Emmanuel's Italy (1864). Then there was peace for 40 years, until 1914.

Franz-Joseph had picked poor prime ministers after Schwarzenberg. There was no Bismarck, no Disraeli, no Gladstone nor Clemenceau. The one who came nearest to his liking and trust was Count Edward Taaf e, who lasted 14 years in the job and kept some peace by diplomacy only between the Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, Slovenes and the Austrians. But by 1886 there was great political strife between German and Bohemian subjects and Franz-Joseph did not well understand their feelings, but felt the only solution was continual adherence of both to Vienna. Georg von Schoenerer was an early leader of the Pan-Germanic movement, which was also anti-semitic. A program of state ownership of railroads, graduated income tax and the separation of church and school were proposals offered by Linz. Another "radical" was Viktor Adler, who founded the Social Democratic Party and organized demonstrations.

Austria's contributions to world knowledge and culture during this century were fantastic. In medicine alone the accomplishments were legion. Carl Rokitansky was the founder of pathological anatomy; Hermann Nothnagle first evaluated blood pressure in diagnosis; and Ernest Bruecke pioneered in physiology. There were multiple world famous psychiatrists - Freud, Krafft-Ebing, Joseph Brewer and others. Among the orthopedic surgeons were Adolf Lorenz and Lorenz Boehler, Jr. Bela Schick devised the diphtheria skin test, while Johannes Mueller is credited with establishing medicine as a true science. Von Helmholtz developed the ophthalmoscope; Koch worked out the bacteriology of tuberculosis and cholera; and Semmelweiss found the cause of puerperal fever, making one of the great advances in obstetrical care. Probably the greatest surgeon of the late century was Albert Theodor Billroth, born and educated in Germany, but working later in Zurich and especially Vienna, where he was the first to perform extensive operations on the pharynx, larynx and stomach. His students subsequently filled most of the prestigious surgical appointments in Europe. Incidentally, Billroth was also a musician and a great friend of Brahms.

Technological advances in Austria may be listed as follows:

  • 1815 - Founding of Vienna Polytechnic
  • 1829 - First trial of screw driven vessel, in Trieste Harbor
  • 1839 - Invention of the sewing machine by Madersperger of Vienna, and also the time of Austria's first railway
  • 1864 - First internal combustion engine invented by Siegried Marcus
  • 1866 - Typewriter invented by Mitterhofer of the Tyrol

The great musicians of Austria included Johann Strauss, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Brahms (originally from Hamburg, but settled in Vienna), Richard Wagner (from Bavaria) and Franz Schubert. In 1873 building was started on Vienna University, but in that same year a cholera epidemic broke out and a "Black Friday" occurred on the stock exchange, with a resulting financial crisis, which spread across Europe and even to the United States. By 1890 Vienna had 1,300,000 people.

The Empress Elizabeth was killed by an assassin in Geneva in 1898 and the heir to the throne, her son Rudolph, had committed suicide some 9 years previously. At the end of the century there were mass meetings of the Social Democrats in Vienna and the cry was "Young Czechs" against Germans. (Ref. 177, 184, 128, 125) Braudel (Ref. 292) quotes the historian of rural Austrian society, Otto Bruenner, as saying that the peasantry of Austria was the real foundation stone of European society and that regardless of changes in government, it had remained essentially -unchanged in structure from Neolithic times right down to the l9th century.

HUNGARY (Part of Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the previous paragraphs must also be read to get a complete picture of Hungary at this period)

After 1790 the chief demand of the Hungarian Diet, whenever the Austrian emperor allowed it to meet, was for wider use of the Magyar language in administration, courts and education. Lexicographers re-fashioned and enriched the native tongue and the cult of language was accompanied by similar dedication to national costumes, dances and the like. The Croats in the empire fought the switch to the Magyar language and began to develop their own tongue, along with a sense of Pan-Slavism. Count Istvan Szechenyi was a great Hungarian nationalist whose books Kitel and Vilag started the "Reform Era" in Hungary in 1830. He desired Magyarism and reform, but under the blessings of the emperor. His contemporary and eventual opponent, Lajos Kossuth, wanted progress and complete liberty from Austria. In 1840 the government passed a law making Magyar the official language of all institutions of Great Hungary. The Croats were given 6 years to conform. The reaction of the non-Magyars, including the immigrant Saxons and Slavs and the Romanians in Transylvania, was strong. Revolution broke out in Austria in 1848, along with that in much of Europe, and Kossuth took advantage to reform Hungary as a limited monarchy subject to the Austrian monarch, but in many internal respects, almost free. But the Serbs and Croats rebelled against Hungary under their leader, Jellacic.

At first he had Austrian help, but as further revolt occurred in Austria itself, this help soon dwindled and in the end Hungary triumphed, even temporarily breaking away from Austria. Franz-Joseph called on Russia for help and two Russian armies entered Hungary, forcing Kossuth to surrender and he personally fled to Turkey. By 1867 Hungary had re- covered her integrity under Deak, by the Ausgleich (compromise) of 1867, under which Hungarians won equal status with the German speaking population. The situation had in part been promoted by the Empress Elizabeth, who had a real and compassionate interest in Hungary. Thus began the "Age of Dualism" and one might then truly speak of "Austria-Hungary". Magyarization of all the people then followed, with changes of individual names and places to conform with the Magyar language.

By 1900 Hungary had over a million workers in mining and industry. There were two universities in Hungary proper, one in Croatia. There were a large number of colleges of law, theology, mining, etc. This was the time of the physicist Lorand Eotvds and the physician Semmelweiss, who was actually Hungarian, although part of his work was done in Vienna. Budapest was 79.8% Magyar speaking, but other ethnic frontiers remained on the east, north and west. Jews made up 4.9% of the overall population, 25% in Budapest and they had almost a monopoly in banking and finance. (Ref. 126, 8)


This area continued restlessly under the rule of the Austria-Hungarian Empire. Moravia was an important battle ground for Napoleon's rout of the Russian and Austrian forces, in the first decade of the century. After 1840 to 1850 the rapid growth of cities in the Habsburg domains, together with the ravages of cholera resulted in peasant migration into the towns of Bohemia and Hungary to such an extent that the previous pattern of those people learning to speak German and being "Germanized" was changed and a nationalistic ideal appeared. The result was that Prague became a Czech-speaking city within one-half century, just as Budapest had become a Magyar-speaking capital.

In the last of the century there was growing business prosperity, with particular emphasis on textiles, shoes, cheap china and glass, sugar refineries, breweries, coal and graphite mines and the great Skoda machine shop at Pilsen. Prague University had new vigor with Professor Thomas Masaryk becoming one of the greatest of Czech philosophers and patriots. He later became a member of the Austrian Parliament, promoting the Bohemian cause and in the next century was to become the first president of the Czechoslovakian Republic. In Moravia, there were riots in 1899 with the looting of Jewish and German houses so that troops had to be called out to restore order.


We noted in the last chapter that Napoleon had conquered Switzerland. In 1803 he allowed a satisfactory federal constitution and with Bonaparte's fall, the Confederation was restored. In 1815 the Congress of Vienna guaranteed the perpetual neutrality of that land and this had never been violated to date. After a short civil war in 1847 a new close national union developed and a new federal constitution was written. All tariff barriers between the cantons were removed between 1848 and 1874. The International Red Cross was formed at the Geneva Convention of 1864, chiefly due to the efforts of Jean Henri Dunant, a Swiss banker, who had happened to see a battlefield in northern Italy littered with tens of thousands of wounded soldiers lying unattended on the ground. The Red Cross insignia is the Swiss flag, with colors reversed. (Ref. 8, 125)



The Napoleonic Wars brought Spain to the edge of ruin. After war with France and then against England, as a French ally, Spain's sea power was destroyed and Napoleon put his brother Joseph on the Spanish throne in 1805. In 1812 Joseph, with his Cortes (Congress), abolished the Inquisition and limited the powers of the Catholic Church. Fighting continued, however, in the Peninsular War, with Great Britain entered on the side of the Spanish people and eventually driving out the French. The locals had never accepted Joseph and Napoleon's dominion was already collapsing, anyway, so after the Peninsular War, King Ferdinand VII resumed rule and revoked the new laws regarding the church. Spanish overseas colonies were revolting, however, and the people of Spain blamed the king, so he was taken prisoner and anarchy followed, with various temporary rulers, including Isabella II, who reigned from 1833 to 1868, at first with regents. The contesting of her succession by her uncle, Don Carlos led to the Carlist Wars. In these revolts most of the Basque provinces and much of Catalonia supported Carlos. Civil wars and insurrections followed one after another until 1876, over a year after Isabella's son Alfonso XII had been proclaimed king. The economy remained critical and Spain had industry in only a few small areas. Even in 1829 the trade was only 1/3 of what it had been in 1785. The last great European famine was in Andalusia in 1882. On the death of Alfonso XII, his posthumous son Alfonso XIII reigned during the remainder of the century with his mother as regent. (Ref. 213, 38)

The Spanish-American War developed in 1898, secondary to the long-standing insurrection in Cuba, with the American press sympathetic to the rebels. When a United States ship, the U.S.S. Maine, was mysteriously blown up in Havana Harbor, war was formally declared. When that war ended and the treaty signed in Paris, the last of Spanish America was lost. (Ref. 68, 8, 55) (Some additional information about Spain is to be found in the next section on PORTUGAL)


As the century opened Portugal was ruled by Pedro III, under the regency of his mother, Maria I. Trouble with the French led to a humiliating treaty in 1801 by which Portugal had to renounce treaties with England and pay heavy indemnities. Then when Spain temporarily allied with France, it was Manuel de Godoy, Spanish chief minister and lover of the Spanish Queen Maria Luisa, who invited Napoleon's aid in the dismemberment of Portugal. A French army under General Andoche Junot crossed into Spain and then a combined French and Spanish force took off for Portugal. The Portuguese royal family, including the Prince Regent Dom Joao, with 15,000 courtiers, took off for Brazil under protection of the British fleet. As Junot entered Lisbon he immediately imposed an indemnity of 100 million francs. (1807). In the meantime, however, the new Spanish King Joseph, put on the throne by Napoleon, had met with stiff local opposition and in 1808 two French divisions, mistakenly believing they were surrounded by greatly superior forces, had surrendered and 22,800 of them were interned on the island of Cabrera, where hundreds of them died of starvation or disease. The English government, now realizing that Junot's forces in Lisbon could not be reinforced from Spain, sent Sir Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington) to Portugal with a fleet and army. He was soon joined by bands of Portuguese infantry and on August 21, 1808 he completely defeated Junot's army as it came out of Lisbon. This was the Peninsular War, which we have mentioned previously. The British forces were supplied by sea, using techniques developed during the American Revolution. In a crucial battle just outside Lisbon in 1810-11 the well-fed British troops pushed back some 250,000 starved French soldiers. All of this allowed Portugal to again be in alliance with England and by 1814 Wellington had even helped the Spanish push the French out of Spain, also.

But Portugal's troubles were not over. A liberal revolution against the regency broke out in 1820 and Joao VI returned from Brazil. His forces stopped the insurrection but he accepted a liberal constitution in 1822 in the same year that Brazil declared its independence under Pedro I, who was Joao's elder son. In spite of these things, Portugal made progress, with sanitary reforms, the building of railroads, telephone lines and schools and the abolition of slavery in her colonies. In the last half of the century under Pedro V and Louis I of the House of Coburg-Braganza, there was respite from civil strife, but there were political and financial troubles resulting from long civil wars which had raged during the middle years of this period. There were two opposing factions of professional politicians, the Regenerators and the Progressives and they developed a system of rotating power, with a resulting sterile, pseudo-parliamentary system. At Louis' death in 1889 sporadic revolts, strikes and conspiracies returned. Louis' son Carlos I (Charles) even tried in 1900 to support a dictatorship under Joao Franco, head of the Regenerator party, but this caused a violent reaction, and in 1908 Carlos and the heir apparent were shot in a public square in Lisbon. (Ref. 55, 68, 119, 38)


In the last chapter we noted that at the end of the 18th century Napoleon returned to France as consul after his escape from the British in his Egyptian fiasco.

We should add that on November 12, 1799 the Provisional Consuls - Napoleon, Sieyes and Roger Ducos - met in Luxembourg Palace to make plans to rebuild France, a nation in economic, political, religious and moral disarray. Some effects of the French Revolution had been positive, such as peasant proprietorship, capitalism, replacement of feudalism by a free peasantry, encouragement of science, a world view of theology and a national system of schools. But true democracy was given only a nod as all officials from local to national levels were made by appointment by the central government. In effect the central government was soon just Napoleon.

We must pause to give at least a thumb-nail sketch of this man, Napoleon Bonaparte, who has had some 200,000 books and pamphlets written about him and who has been labeled by some as a hero struggling to give unity and law to Europe and by others as an ogre, who drained the blood of France and ravaged Europe. He was born on Corsica in 1.769, only a few months after France had purchased that mountainous island f rom Genoa and Napoleon always remained basically an Italian Corsican of noble Tuscany pedigree. His brother Joseph was initially made King of Naples, then of Spain; his brother Louis married a de Beauharnais and became King of Holland; sister Maria Anna Elisa was the Grand Duchess of Tuscany; Pauline married Prince Camillo Borghese; Maria Caroline married Joachim Mural and became Queen of Naples; while brother Jerome rose to be King of Westphalia.

In his youth Napoleon did well in mathematics, geography, history, and Plutarch. He was selected from his French military school- to receive advanced instruction at the Ecole Militaire and then went on to rapid advancement in the French army. His first wife, Josephine de Beauharnais, widow of a vicomte murdered in the revolution, was older than Napoleon by 6 years and was the mother of 2 before her marriage to Bonaparte. Although devoted to her and yet at times tormented by her occasional- infidelities, Napoleon finally divorced Josephine because she remained childless by him. He then married the Austrian Archduchess, Maria Louise, who did present him with an heir, only about 3 years before his final military defeats5.

To summarize in advance the information to follow, Bonaparte ruled France for 15 years as First Consul of the First Republic (1799-1804) and as emperor from 1804 to 1814 and during that time conquered almost the whole of Europe, finally being defeated by a coalition of Austria, Prussia and Russia at the Battle of Leipzig in Germany in October 1813 and subsequently again by the British at Waterloo, Belgium in 1814. Louis XVIII was then called to be king. Napoleon himself estimated that his campaigns resulted in the deaths of 1,700,000 Frenchmen, more than were killed in both subsequent World Wars. It is interesting, however, that more soldiers died of typhus f ever in the Napoleonic Wars than in battle. Small-pox was not a problem in his own armies as he had had all his troops vaccinated in 1805, introducing this to Europe. He also pioneered the large scale use of canned food for his troops. The road to defeat was a long one. Napoleon abandoned the idea of siege warfare early and aimed at defeating an enemy by out-maneuvering him.

Crushing defeats were given to Austria at Austerlitz (1805), to Prussia at Jena (1806) and to Russia at Friedland (1807). In 1808 in a rapid invasion of Spain a British expedition force was forced back to the sea6. Switzerland came under French protection, Spain, northeast Italy, Naples and Westphalia became satellite kingdoms under the Bonaparte family. Only reduced kingdoms of Austria and Prussia preserved some semblance of independence. Napoleon's great international frustration was England and his attempt to avenge that enemy was probably the cause of his downfall. Sitting in conquered Berlin in late 1806, as the son of Maria Louise and the grandson of Emperor Franz, he was held virtually as a prisoner of Austria from childhood until his death. More details are given on page 1077. The last thoughts of Napoleon I on his death bed were of this boy. (Ref. 23)

He decreed that all ports and coasts of the European continent were closed to the entry of British goods. The blockade worked at first and by 1810 England was in a severe economic depression while France prospered with an accelerated Industrial Revolution. Then suddenly the situation reversed. The French textile industry was unable to get raw material and capital, a banking firm in Lubeck failed and in 1811 France had a great depression, with bank failures, factory closings, strikes, poverty, riots and areas of starvation. The blockade had been particularly damaging to Russia also and after Czar Alexander had made peace with Turkey, he signed a mutual aid pact with Sweden and offered an alliance with England, while he opened his ports to ships of all nations. Then he declared war on France.

The mobilizations of both the Russians and French were massive. Napoleon had some difficulty conscripting the now somewhat satiated French, but annexations to France almost doubled the number of "Frenchmen" to about 44,000,000 by 1810 so that eventually he had an army of 680,000 fighting men, less than 1/2 of which were actually French. Only a minority even spoke French. (Ref. 279) Relentlessly he churned on to Vilna, Smolensk and Moscow, with the Russian armies retreating in an orderly f ashion ahead of him and burning and destroying all possible provisions. As he arrived in Moscow he found the city almost deserted and then mysteriously 2/3 of the city was burned, whether by the French, Russian soldiers or by order of Count Rostopchin, governor of Moscow, no one knows for certain. Finding no one to fight and with winter approaching, Napoleon decided to return to central Europe. Winter caught him and Russian troops harassed him from the flanks and the rear. The loss of men was unbelievable and only 30,000 men re-crossed the Nieman River into East Prussia in December, 1812. Dominique-Jean Larrey, Napoleon's chief surgeon is said to have performed over 200 amputations during one 24 hour period during that Russian campaign. (Ref. 125)

Czar Alexander had followed the retreating French armies as they approached East Prussia and he urged the king and people of Prussia to join him against Napoleon. In the meantime the latter was trying to recoup his financial losses, conscript still another army, defend his Italian possessions against Austria and console the French people for his defeat in Russia. He arranged a temporary truce through the help of Metternich, but all nations simply used that time for more war preparation. Napoleon received a contingent of men from Denmark and returned to the battles, but Bernadotte of Sweden brought an army to join the allles of Prussia, Russia, Bohemia and Austria and finally after Napoleon's Saxor and Bavarian troops deserted him, he was soundly defeated at Leipzig in 3 days of terrible carnage in October of 1813.

The Netherlands then overthrew French rule (with Prussian help), parts of Italy were lost again to Austria, English troops took the Scheldt and Wellington crossed from Spain into France (see page 1083). Unemployment and poverty was all over France and the stock market fell almost 50% in the year. The senate and legislature were in open revolt against the emperor and after a few more military set-backs with the allied armies driving westward and entering Paris on March 31, 1814, the senate deposed Napoleon and chose Talleyrand as President of a new republic. The Russian czar prevented the invading armies from pillaging Paris and arranged for Napoleon's exile on the island of Elba, with an annual stipend of 2,000,000 francs, which the French government failed to pay.

Louis XVIII, grandson of Louis XV, "59 years of age, genial and courteous, lazy and slow, fat and gouty"7 was called to rule France. He had the good sense to leave alone the Napoleonic Code, the judiciary and the structure of the economy, but he soon sided with the Church, which was demanding that all ecclesiastical property confiscated during the Revolution should be returned. Meanwhile the Congress of Vienna had stripped France of her recent territorial expansions, with both Prussia and Austria gaining much land and power.

On the island of Elba, Napoleon, with 400 of his old Imperial Guard and 800 volunteer grenadiers, continued to receive information about discontent in the French army, the fears of the peasantry about losing their land, the enforcement of Catholic worship and the continued Jacobin activity. On February 26, 1815 he loaded his men on 6 ships and sailed for the south shore of France. By March 20th he entered Paris again, never having fired a shot and having gained additional troops all along the long journey. Even General Michael Ney, sent by King Louis XVIII with 6,000 troops to stop Bonaparte, reversed his loyalties, turned and joined Napoleon's march and was with him as he resumed the exercise of power as Emperor of France. Ney was later to face a firing squad for this action.

But Napoleon's foreign enemies were now more firmly united against him than ever and their armies pressed in on him from all sides, even as he found that France was not truly all united behind him. The most immediate external danger was from Belgium, where Marchal Blucher had a Prussian army of 120,000 and the British Duke of Wellington had an army of British, Dutch, Belgium and German recruits totaling 93,000. In the hope of challenging these foes one at a time, Napoleon crossed into Belgium with 126,000 men. There were many battles on the flanks and the center, but the decisive defeat at Waterloo ended Napoleon's dreams, even as urinary tract stones and-gastric cancer were already beginning to end his life. One hundred days after his resumption of rule he again abdicated under force and was banished to St. Helena, 1,200 miles off the coast of Africa. There he lived, still surrounded by many of his faithful aides, reading many hours a day from some 400 books (70 by Voltaire) and eventually dictating his memoirs, until his death supposedly from cancer on May 5, 1821, at the age of 51 years. Recently one researcher has written that he believes he has positive evidence that Napoleon died of chronic arsenic poisoning8, administered by Charles Tristan de Montholon, a count of the French aristocracy. (Ref. 248) In answer, however, the editors of "Science" (Ref. 287) have denied this, with "proof" that any arsenic present in the hair of Napoleon came from the green wallpaper of that time and that non-fatal doses of antimony used in medicines could also have given false readings of arsenic in the previous tests.

Overall, the French Revolution led not to popular and republican government, but to military dictatorship, followed by monarchial restoration. It did not result in universal suffrage. Property was necessary and in 1815 only 1% to 3% of the population was qualified to vote. Even as late as 1846 the total French electorate was estimated at 241,000 or 2.8% of the total male population over 21 years of age. Yet much was accomplished in that there was wholesale cancellation of seigneurial rights and f airly extensive dispersal of land ownership through conf iscation and sale of church and noble properties, making 19th century France a nation of peasant farmers. Out of 12,000,000 families in the nation, perhaps 200 to 300 could be called opulent. (Ref. 292) But the canny peasants, unwilling to divide their land among large numbers of children according to the Napoleonic Code, restricted the size of their families. The resulting slow population increase inhibited a really rapid rate of industrialization so that even at the end of the century industry was still relatively small. A fundamental French weakness was the dependence on costly overland transport. A great effect of the war years was to choke off the Atlantic face of France and build up the Rhine-Rhone valleys' industries. (Ref. 279) The government did overcome the old church condemnation of interest with an 1807 law which fixed the interest rate at 5% on loans and 6% on commercial paper, while anything above that was considered usury. (Ref. 292) There were a few industrial advancements. Having been cut off from imported sugar by the British counter-blockade early in the century, by 1840 France had built 58 sugar-beet factories. The population control was helped in 1830 when cholera killed 1,000 people a day. After that the population of Paris did increase rapidly, however, from 1,242,000 in 1851 to 2,212,000 in 1872. Alfred Sauvy, French sociologist, calculated that between 1810 and 1900 the purchasing power of the average worker in that nation increased by 80%. Napoleon's administrative reforms in the Code Civil contained 2,281 articles and countless amendments and still constitute the basic French legal text.

Second only to Napoleon in interest and influence in Europe in this century was Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord. Born with a clubfoot, he over-compensated in his young adult days by becoming both a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church and at the same time a gambling, wenching, rogue. As one of the leaders of the Revolution, he had written a good part of its Declaration of the Rights of Man, but by 1794 even he had to escape the "Terror" by going to America. Back in Paris as foreign minister in 1796, he had soon insulted an American delegation and accumulated an enormous private fortune from the bribes of various other foreign delegations and from "percentages" of such transactions as the Louisiana Purchase, which he helped to negotiate for Napoleon. In 1808, however, when Napoleon kidnapped the Spanish royal family so that his brother Joseph could have the throne and then made Talleyrand the family's jailer, in effect, the aristocratic French- man suddenly turned from faithful servant to the emperor's foe. He started correspondence with the Russian czar, setting in motion the alliances which eventually led to Napoleon's downfall. When the little emperor was out of power in 1816, a new provisional government, headed by Talleyrand, called a Bourbon king back to power and extracted France from its damaging wars. Throughout all that time, that indefatigable man continued his elegant living - fulfilling his desires with multiple women, young and old. It is said that the painter Eugene Delacroix was his natural son. After the Revolution of 1830, Talleyrand survived and remained in favor with the victorious Duke of Orleans. He served as ambassador to England from 1830-34, helping to avert another general European War. Just before his death in 1838, he signed an agreement with Rome, repenting his multiple sins and re-entering the folds of the Catholic Church. (Ref. 232)

The end of the Napoleonic era did not terminate internal strife in France. The successor of Louis XVIII, Charles XI, an ultra-royalist, was overthrown by revolution in 1830 to be replaced by Louis Philippe, who reigned only until 1848 when he too was disposed of by revolt. Actually these "revolutions" were in reality only Paris disorders, which in some other countries could have been kept under manageable proportions by political processes, but not in France. After Louis Philippe, the Second Republic was proclaimed and Louis Napoleon, nephew of Bonaparte, was elected president. He immediately made himself dictator and emperor, so that the Second Empire was thus launched in 1852. As Napoleon III, he tried to follow in his uncle's footsteps, but had not the ability. He wanted a strong Prussia, a powerful Sardinia-Piedmont, with an Italian Federation, which he hoped would be favorable to France. As Napoleon I had sold Louisiana to the United States in 1803 when he desperately needed money, so Napoleon 111 decided on a new venture in America by sending French troops into Mexico to make the Archduke Maximilian of Austria Emperor of Mexico. But the French troops were always somewhat anxious there and when the United States emphasized the Monroe Doctrine after its Civil War, Napoleon III abandoned Maximilian to his fate at the hands of the Mexicans. The second French emperor, himself, ended his career as a prisoner of the Germans in the Franco-German War of 1870, in which France lost Alsace9, a part of Lorraine and had to pay heavy indemnities. After a period of German occupation of Paris and another civil war, a stable French government was finally established as the Third Republic in 1871. Adolphe Thiers headed the provisional Commune of Paris and by 1873 Marshal MacMahon, a royalist sympathizer, was elected president.

French imperialism in Africa and the Far East followed, perhaps as an antidote for the loss of Alsace and Lorraine. The French also had a persistent dream of overturning British naval supremacy. Before the War of 1870 they had developed a good start with the development of their mobile, high f ire-power gun and torpedo boats, but then they had to turn their money and energies to the land war with Germany. In 1887 Gustave Zede designed the first practical submarine, although the periscope, which allowed the aiming of torpedoes while submerged, was not developed until after the turn of the century.

In 1893 Schneider-Creusot introduced the famous French 75 millimeter field gun, which revolutionized artillery design. Russia, as France's ally of the moment, purchased many of those guns. (Ref. 55, 139, 74, 8, 211, 23, 279)

In this century Louis Pasteur made great discoveries in chemistry, biology and medicine and Francois Magendie and his pupil Claude Bernard made great advances in human physiology. Charles Brown-Sequard is sometimes considered the founder of endocrinology and Rene' Laennec, working early in the century is considered one of the great clinicians of all time, best remembered for his invention of the stethoscope. But still French medicine was crude in many ways. Blood letting was still a major treatment, but rather than opening veins, the French started using leeches, importing over 40,000,000 of them in a single year.

This practice was continued until late in the century. The principle of canning with heat was developed by Nicholas Appert in 1810. Francois Arago (and Humphrey Davy, independently) discovered that an electric current could be made to magnetize iron. (Ref. 140, 125, 213) Work was done in mathematics by Lagrange and Legendre and in histology by Bichat.


Napoleon's take-over of Belgium caused Britain to enter the war against him and we have seen above how the final battles and French defeat occurred on Belgian soil. At the termination of the initial Napoleonic Wars, the Congress of Vienna created the Kingdom of the Netherlands and gave William of Holland the Austrian Netherlands as compensation for some Dutch colonial losses. Since this was the first time that the northern and southern parts of the Netherlands had been united since the 1 6th century, there were now many differences in religion and in the economics of the two sections. The Belgians felt themselves conquered subjects rather than equals and as part of a July revolution in Paris in 1830, the Belgians rose up in Brussels and by October had declared their independence from King William and had separated themselves from the Dutch and the Dutch language. But there were still two peoples and two languages in the liberated Belgium.

56% of the people were Flemings in the north, while 32% were Walloons, speaking French in the south. They elected Leopold as a Belgian king. By 1850 their railroad network was virtually complete and by the last of the century there was mechanized industry in a great part of Belgium, spreading out from the Walloon district. Mechanization, however, ruined the old artisan trade of making guns by hand at Liege, so that city shrank in world importance. (Ref. 8, 24, 175, 55, 279)


All four of the countries of the British Isles were now united under the government of Great Britain. The nation went to war with Napoleon when France took Belgium and Admiral Nelson won a great victory over the French fleet at Trafalgar in 1805. As we have previously noted, when Napoleon had control of the continent he established a port and coast blockade to exclude British goods and this was so effective that England came close to starvation in the years 1810 and 1811. Within half a century, however, with the help of great British seamen, the nation overcame that to build a powerful and civilizing empire, in spite of the fact that at the same time their King George III had become completely insane. The English, although socially and economically divided into classes, were in another sense surprisingly homogenous. They were almost all Protestant, with only some 60,000 Catholics (chief Iy of Irish origin) and some 26,000 Jews, almost all of whom lived in London and who were still without civil liberties. Nevertheless, it was the Jewish banker, Nathan Rothschild who established a branch bank in London in 1810 and transmitted the subsidies from England to Austria and Prussia that enabled them to fight and def eat Napoleon. Thereafter he played a leading role in the industrial and commercial expansion of England.

Actually England recovered from Napoleon's blockaded ports by establishing a naval blockade of her own and carried it to the extent of searching neutral ships, a feature which led to the War of 1812 with the United States10. At the peak of mobilization in 1814, some 500,000 men, representing 4% of the active work force of Britain, were in the armed services. Just as in France, this helped the unemployment situation. After the Congress of Vienna had restored a balance of power in Europe, however, England was left loaded with debt and an economic depression which threatened revolution at the time that William IV came to the throne in 1830. He helped to pass the Reform Bill, which gave a vote to the middle classes and enlarged the House of Commons. In the last of the century England recovered in all ways, economically and politically in particular, helped in large part by the great ministers - Sir Robert Peel, Benjamin Disraeli and William F. Gladstone. For nearly 20 years the last two alternated as prime minister and no one disputed their leadership under the great Queen Victoria. A number of far reaching social changes occurred, such as the enfranchisement of urban working men in 1867, the secret ballot in 1872 and a nearly universal male suffrage in 1884.

After 1870, European alignments began to shape up in preparation for the great World War of 1912. In England, Gladstone was pursuing a foreign policy later carried on by Disraeli, which was designed to antagonize the European continent. In the last decade of the century even the British public was made aware that the country was being flooded with German goods and by 1900 the armaments race made it obvious that the real threat lay in Berlin. Britain had occupied Egyptian soil in 1882 and the unseated French retaliated by concluding an alliance with Russia, which was already growing rapidly, with French investment capital. After Britain was firmly established in the Mediterranean (she also occupied Cyprus in 1877) the old need to prop up Turkey was gone and that country was left open for German penetration. In the Boer War of 1899-1902 Britain gained additional territory in South Africa.

In spite of the apparent political advancements in this century, the common people of Britain had many problems. Education in England was poor, overall, with an estimated 2,000,000 children in England and Wales receiving no education at all in 1806. Women were used to carry coal up from the mines as much as 100 feet. In Scotland the coal and salt miners were still legally serfs, bound to the mines for life and even wearing collars as visible signs of their slavery. (Ref. 213) Other strange things were occurring in that far northern country. With the idea of clearing the inland valleys for the raising of sheep, the inhabitants of those areas were forcibly evicted and sent to the coast where they were supposed to work in fisheries, but the latter had not yet been built. There was much brutality among the frightened and weeping people and a few died. The fisheries were never very successful and again many people left for Canada. A large number of impoverished highlanders joined the British army. There were frequent famines, with the worst following the potato blight in 1846. There were also epidemics of cholera and food riots. Eventually economic recovery and the Industrial Revolution arrived in Scotland with the establishment of new coke-fired blast furnaces in some of the desolate regions of the country. The short-barreled, extra large gun used on Nelson's ships at Trafalgar, the "carronade", was named for the Carron works in Scotland. (Ref. 170, 279)

By 1810 still some 3/4 of the agricultural laborers in Great Britain were illiterate, but then there were more people working in trade, manufacturing and handicrafts than on the farms. In 1812 there was an insurrection in Yorkshire over the cotton loom. Thomas (Ref. 213) says that if the government had taken labor's side there would have been no Industrial Revolution. It was not until 1870 that a national system of elementary schools, separate from the church, was established in England, although Scotland had initiated this earlier. In general the British commoners were still quite coarse in their daily living. Even in 1820 the sewers in London were inferior to those of Rome in the first century of the Christian era. As late as 1897 sailors in the British navy were forbidden to use knives and forks, as this was felt to be unmanly and apt to compromise discipline.

Great Britain, France and Germany all faced agricultural crises in this century. Railroads, steamships and refrigeration had made it possible for the vast new areas in Russia, North America, and Australia to sell their grain and meat in European markets at relatively low prices and the economy became displaced. In Britain, the fall of wheat and meat prices speeded the break-up of rural society and undermined the economic foundations of the landed oligarchy. A disastrous cattle epidemic between 1863 and 1867 added to the agricultural problems so that initially local meat prices soared and imports rose from 16,000 pounds in 1866 to 22,000,000 pounds by 1871. Later the manufacture of ice led to the fish and chips industry. Between 1870 and 1900 land devoted to grain diminished by 1/4 as dairy farming, fruits and vegetables became more common. But even in 1890 83% of children had no solid food except bread and all people tended to get scurvy, rickets and tuberculosis.

As we noted in the last chapter, modern industrialism began in England and involved coal and iron, with a technology which f lowered about the midpoint of this 1 9th century. 30,000,000 tons of coal were mined in 1840 and by 1850 Great Britain owned more net tons of commercial shipping than France, the United States and the German states all put together. The importance of military procurement in the promotion of the Industrial Revolution is of ten overlooked. Mass production of small-arms and a decisive stimulus to new techniques in artillery were by-products of the Crimean War, in which deficiencies of the British and French forces became the source of public scorn. A further byproduct was the discovery of the Bessemer process for making steel, as Henry Bessemer experimented with artillery design11 (Ref. 279) In 1870 Britain already produced more steel than the combined output of France and Germany and then, using the Bessemer converter and the Gilchrist-Thomas steel process, England boosted the world output from 540,000 tons in 1870 to 14,600,000 tons in 1895. The British population grew by 10 million in this century. In the 59 years up to 1815 the nation had been at war (chiefly with France) for 37 years and in the year 1814 had 1,062,000 men under arms out of a total of 12,000,000 on the islands and yet the industrial changes went on. A certain looseness in the texture of British society perhaps stimulated inventiveness and the strains of war, changes in overseas trading patterns and fluctuations in the supply of money and the price levels may all have contributed to weakening traditional resistances to economic changes. From the first Liverpool-to-Manchester Railway in 1830, a modern railroad system was completed by 1870. By that time Britain had 60% of the world's steam tonnage on the seas, but there was still more tonnage registered under sail than steam. (Ref. 213)

Late in the century British captains of industry tended to rest on their laurels and the new generation became attracted to the cultivated life of a leisure class. There was also a definite and deliberate lack of interest among the industrialists in any pure science and research. Although the aniline dye industry was started in Britain it was soon taken over by the German chemists in the 1860s. Still another liability was a law against the modern joint-stock companies, on the books until 1855, and the prohibition of limited liability until 1855. Still another British government decision had world-wide consequences. In 1864 the production of all artillery for the British services was entrusted to the Woolwich arsenal. Other firms, including the large Armstrong armament manufacturer, were forced to rely on foreign sales and this soon resulted in some danger to British security. Armstrong built a cruiser for Chile in 1882 that could outrun all existing capital ships, while still maintaining excellent firepower12. Such cruisers in foreign hands, plus the new French concentrations on relatively inexpensive gun-boats and fast torpedo boats, all tended to nullify Britain's naval preeminence and put her trans-Atlantic supply lines in jeopardy. It was about 1886 before the government realized that William Armstrong's private plants would have to be used for naval armaments and ships to keep England abreast of the rest of the European world. Under a bill passed in 1889 the Royal Navy received even greater appropriations than it had requested and new ships were built using nickel steel armor and full steam propulsion. Older ships were re-built and masts removed. Significant changes in production and technology of land armaments did not occur until the time of the Boer War in 1899. (Ref. 279)

In spite of industry's lack of interest, some pure science achievements were made in this period. John Dalton revolutionized theoretical chemistry with his Atomic Theory, as early as 1804. Humphrey Davy used electrolysis to discover and isolate sodium, potassium, barium, boron, strontium, calcium and magnesium and he demonstrated the potentials of producing both heat and light from electric current. There was public electric lighting in London in the 1880s. In other fields, there were researches on the nervous system and brain by Charles Bell and Lister first used antiseptic surgery in 1865, along with some anesthesia. Simpson of Edinburgh had used chloroform as early as 1847. As late as 1854 there were still 14,000 cholera victims with 618 deaths in London, even though the city had such great clinicians as Astley Cooper, Richard Bright, Thomas Addison and Thomas Hodgkin, all of whom have had diseases named after them and all of whom worked at the famous Guy's Hospital and Medical School. Noteworthy surgeons of the era were Benjamin Brodie and James Paget. Dental caries was rampant, apparently secondary to excess use of sugar and cheap, canned milk.

Early 19th century philosophy was little influenced by science but spawned some famous doubters such as Tom Paine, who wrote on the fallacies of the Christian legend; William Godwin, who felt that morality is nothing but a calculation of consequences and Malthus, who foretold the starvation of man resulting from his fertility. Britain led the world in literature. It was the time of the prolific novelist, Sir Walter Scott of Scotland, born in the preceding century, who wrote such favorites as The Lady of the Lake and Waverly. In England proper, women led among the novelists, with Jane Austen, Ann Radcliffe, unhappy Frances Burney and Maria Edgeworth, but the men dominated poetry. In the Lake District of northwest England, early in the century, there lived three of England's great poets - William Wadsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the worst poet but the greatest gentlemen. Robert Southey. And then there were the "rebel poets" - Byron and Shelley - friends, philanderers, travelers and geniuses. Lord George Gordon Byron of noble heritage was born with a right club-foot, but this did not prevent him from living and loving extravagantly, in and out of marriage and in and out of many European countries. He died in Greece in 1824 as the leader of a squad of 600 Suliotes (part Greek, part Albanian barbarians) in the Greek Revolution. His partner in much of his sin and fun, Percy Bysshe Shelley, also of lesser nobility parents, was expelled from Oxford for favoring atheism and then became a renegade poet and lover, joining Byron in Switzerland and later in Italy. Not yet 30 years of age, he suffered a nervous breakdown, contemplated suicide and then was drowned off the coast of Italy in a storm and shipwreck in 1822. He had just written his last poem, entitled "The Triumph of Life". Last but not least of the poets was John Keats, who died of acute tuberculosis at the early age of 26 years.

Charles Darwin's Origin of Species in mid-century precipitated a whole series of profound re-evaluations in philosophy and social thought as well as another crisis in religious circles. His work, however, was only the end result of many previous studies. For example, Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, published in 1830, had emphasized the theory of uniformitarianism, that geological history was one of slow, uniform orderly development brought about by accumulation of constant, small changes. This was at odds with the Biblical creation. Darwin, himself, refrained from attacking the Bible, but others, like his friend and publicist, Thomas Huxley, were not so reticent. Darwinism was even used as an endorsement of industrial capitalism and laissez-f aire and conversely on the continent, particularly, as a racist-militarist endorsement that "the strong must rule". (Ref. [for all of ENGLAND] 55, 139, 68, 211, 45, 125, 175)

Ireland deserves an additional paragraph or two in the tale of this century. After the Act of Union of 1800, which joined Ireland to England, Daniel O'Connell had won the right for Catholics to sit in Parliament and hold office, by 1829. Then he immediately began to agitate for repeal of the Union, to free Ireland again. By the 1840s Ireland's population had reached 8,500,000 (almost 3 times its 1973 level) and 4,000,000 of those people lived almost entirely on potatoes. The American potato had been introduced in the 1580s and the Irish had become very dependent on that food. When a parasitic fungus initiated the great potato blight in 1845, there were soon not only no potatoes to eat but none for seed for the next season and livestock had to be slaughtered, because they were also without food. Hunger was soon accompanied by scurvy (because no vitamin C) and then failing eyesight, acute nervous debilities and sometimes even dementia, apparently from the lack of vitamins A and B7, which had previously been obtained from milk. There was a tremendous emigration of the Irish, some to England, but most to the United States, so that by 1851 some 250,000 were arriving at Ellis Island each year. The famine only increased Irish bitterness with England and in the 1860s and 70s there was new agitation for independence, fanned by the Fenians, who acted secretly and violently. In opposition to that extremism, Charles Stewart Parnell- fought in Parliament for simple autonomy in internal matters. Some land reforms were obtained through the help of Gladstone, but to the English the idea of real separation was unthinkable.

Simultaneous with the great medical tradition that developed in Paris in the first half of the century, a clinical investigation center arose in Dublin at Meath Hospital. Three men in particular should be named and, although trained in Scotland, they became famous as the "Irish School". They were John Cheyne, William Stokes13, and perhaps the most famous of all, Robert James Graves, known for his description of toxic goiter (Graves' Disease) and his bedside teaching. Abraham Colles and Robert William Smith described the mechanics and treatment of various wrist fractures and the latter wrote about neurofibromatosis before Von Recklinghausen described it in 1882, even though the disease bears the latter's name. (Ref. 175, 211, 68, 174, 125)


Two completely unrelated facts about Scandinavia, as a whole, are mentioned here. First it should be noted that the Lapps, living across the north of all Scandinavia, are the sole European survivors of the old Arctic reindeer hunting cultures. They call themselves "Saami" and they pursue fishing, whaling and limited farming in some areas where there is a warming influence from the Gulf Stream system. They travel on skis, following the migrating reindeer herds. There are North, South and East Lappish people, each distinguished by the types of hats they wear. (Ref. 288) The second factor of note is that by mid-century there were railroad lines in all Scandinavian countries. (Ref. 19)


At the close of the Napoleonic Wars, Great Britain forced Denmark to cede Norway to Sweden, but the Norwegians ref used to accept the Treaty of Kiel, proclaimed themselves an independent nation, adopted a constitution and elected the former Danish governor, Christian Frederick, as their king. May 17, 1814 became their Independence Day. The Swedes retaliated with warfare, but in 2 weeks a settlement was made, with the king of Sweden becoming also the king of Norway, but respecting the Norwegian constitution and giving, in effect, an autonomous government. The first king of the two countries under that arrangement was Karl Johann (Charles John) Bernadotte. In 1884 true parliamentary government came into effect, although there was still much mutual irritation with Sweden. Near the end of the century, with industries and shipping growing, the desire for complete independence again became very strong and just after the turn of the century (1905) the parliament deposed the Swedish king and elected again a Danish prince to rule them as Haakon VII. Some Norwegian merchants became rich using ice for a fresh-fish industry, which replaced the old salted herring. This was the period of Henrik Ibsen, one of Norway's literary greats. (Ref. 117, 8, 213)


In the reign of Gustavus IV (1792-1809) Sweden joined the Third Coalition against France, thus giving Napoleon an excuse for seizing Pomerania and Stralsund, which were Sweden's last possessions on the mainland. (Ref. 55) Then in 1808 a Russian army crossed the Gulf of Bothnia on the ice and eventually compelled Sweden to cede Finland. The Riksdag deposed Gustavus IV and chose the king's old uncle, Karl (Charles) XIII to rule. Some radicals, feeling that new blood was needed in the royal house, then supplied the childless Karl XIII with an adopted crown prince, one Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, formerly one of Napoleon's marshals. As a concession from Napoleon, it was agreed that Norway should be associated with Sweden under the Bernadotte rule. We have seen above that Norway resisted this arrangement. In 1810 Bernadotte, whose wife was once Napoleon's fiancé and was a sister-in-law to Joseph Bonaparte, became Crown Prince, changing his name to Karl Johann (Charles John). Upon the old king's death in 1818 Bernadotte then became King Karl (Charles) XIV, Johann. In the interim he had had time to renounce his old emperor, join with Russia and Prussia, lead a Swedish army back on to the continent and help in the final battles against Napoleon. Five Bernadotte kings followed, all notably able, healthy and democratic. During the century the Riksdag became a two-chamber congress, industry developed and the middle and working classes became more important.

Education, science and literature advanced rapidly in Sweden. The universities of Uppsala, Abo and Lund were among the best in Europe. Jons Jakob Berzelius was one of the founders of modern chemistry, developing a table of atomic weights far more accurate than Dalton's and isolating many chemical e-lements for the first time. Alfred Nobel perfected nitroglycerine and dynamite. Poets abounded, with perhaps the most famous being Esaias Tegner, who wrote the "Frithjofs Saga", a series of legends taken from an old Norse cycle of lays. By 1888 there were 21 translations into English and 19 into German. (Ref. 55)


At the close of the last century in August of 1800, Denmark had joined Russia. Prussia and Sweden in the Second League of Armed Neutrality, pledged to resist British search of neutral vessels. Fearing that the combined naval power of those nations might put an end to her mastery of the seas, Britain decided that one of those fleets had to be destroyed. Denmark's, being close at hand, was chosen and attacked in a vicious sea battle off Copenhagen and most of the Danish ships were disabled or sunk. But Denmark survived and attempted to continue neutral for another 6 years, while she rebuilt her seagoing fleet. In 1807 Britain demanded the use of the entire Danish navy to use against the French and when the Danes ref used war broke out again. General Wellesley (Duke of Wellington) landed 30,000 English troops on Zealand and after bombarding Copenhagen he finally seized the naval harbor and all ships in it. This forced the angry Danish Crown Prince Frederick VII to join up with Napoleon and his country was sucked up in the European whirlpool, once again ending up on the losing side.

In the middle of the century, a number of citizens went to the king and demanded a free constitution and got it. But in both Schleswig and Holstein there were many German people who wanted German rather than Danish rule and the Danish king soon had to go to war against the Holstein rebels, with the unfortunate result that that drew Bismarck into the scene and those provinces were soon lost to Germany (1866). We have detailed above the loss of Norway early in the century, but the old Norwegian dependencies of Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe and Virgin Islands were kept by Denmark.

Between wars the Danes made significant contributions to science, literature and art. Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851) founded the science of electromagnetism through 38 years of experimentation. Bertel Thorwaldsen (1770-1844) was one of the two greatest sculptors of Europe of his time. After a Dane invented an improved cream separator, Denmark developed a large butter industry to go along with bacon production. (Ref. 117, 8, 211)


Finland proper now began to have a denser congregation of true Finns, displacing a sparse and probably related Lapp population. Russia took control of the land in 1809 with a sudden, surprise defeat of the Swedish forces. The Diet was abolished and there was severe oppression by the conquerors. Late in the century, however, when Czar Nicholas II wanted to blend the Finns into the Russian Empire, a struggle resulted and led to a revolution just after the turn of the century in 1905. Actually in essence this was a great national strike that has seldom been equaled anywhere. It did force some changes and a new one-chamber Diet was formed with some political advancements such as freedom of the press and universal suffrage. The Finns did not obtain their final independence until the Boleshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917.

The establishment of the modern Finnish language is credited to Johan Snellman (1806- 1881). Carl Ludwig Engel (1778-1840) was the architect of the great square of Helsinki. Jean Sibelius (1875-1957) began his symphony work as the century closed. (Ref. 34, 175)


Even as today, in the l9th century most of east Europe belonged politically to Russia, although there were multiple language groups such as Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Polish and some Swedish and German along the coast, while Great Russian, White Russian and Ukrainian were separate language groups farther east. Agricultural yields throughout eastern Europe remained low and, in fact, had changed little from the 16th century. There was no significant rural surplus and therefore no really prosperous towns. The dread cholera, coming out of Bengal in 1826, reached south Russia, then Poland and the Baltic by 1830, before going on to Western Europe. (Ref. 8, 260, 140)


The southern shore of the Baltic remained throughout this period basically divided between Russia and Germany. Poland remained dispersed within the three great empires of Europe, but life went on. The world's first sugar-beet factory was built in Silesia in 1801. Some quivers of hope appeared when Napoleon marched into Warsaw at the end of 1806 and the people at first felt that he was a savior and about to free their country. The Russian troops had fallen back to their own border after several battles with the French, but Poland did not survive the Vienna Congress. Once again the Poles revolted in 1830 and declared their independence in Warsaw in 1831, but Czar Nicholas' army quickly crushed them in the battle of Ostroleka, each side suffering some 6,000 casualties. Under Nicholas' orders an internal campaign attempted to eliminate all traces of dissidence. Polish universities were suppressed and the Polish army disbanded. Prussia gave Russia moral support in these activities. (Ref. 8, 211, 135)

Nicholas' successor, Alexander II, at first tried some reconciliation, allowing exiles to return, the Catholic Church to function and created a new Warsaw University. But those attempts at reform did not placate the Polish people and religious ceremonies were used as political demonstrations. When an attempt was made to conscript dissident Polish youths into the Russian army, hundreds of young men fled to to the forests and in January, 1863 a revolutionary committee called for an insurrection. It began with an attack on a Russian soldiers' barracks and the Poles were actually joined by White Russians and some Ukrainians who wanted agrarian reform. But the political and social diversity involved allowed General Muraviev and Field Marshal Paskenvich to put peasant against landlord and in spite of two years of guerilla warfare against the Russian army, then the largest in Europe, the Poles lost again. There followed wholesale executions, confiscations and deportations. Subsequently Poland became the most industrialized province of the Russian Empire, producing large amounts of textiles, coal and iron. In the last third of the century, the Russian imprint on Poland became ever more evident. (Ref. 56)


Czar Alexander I (1801-1825), although implicated in the murder of his father Paul, started rule with a true humanitarian ideology and a desire to liberate his serfs and establish a constitutional government, but the mechanics of that were difficult and blocked by his ministers and senate. Before anything could be initiated, he became entangled in European politics and diplomacy, first as an all y of France and then as an enemy. As Napoleon invaded Poland, Russia retreated but then hostilities ceased temporarily with the Treaty of Tilsit, where there was much exchange of territory and Russia gained Finland from Sweden. Of course, the Russian army in Finland had helped to promote that. Napoleon sought to keep Russia happy and thus free his hand in the west against England. But apparently changing his mind by June, 1812, Napoleon again started for Russia with 600,000 men. As we have noted in an earlier section, Bonaparte's army reached an evacuated Moscow, started to freeze and starve and finally retreated. The Russians cut them down until only 1/5 of the French army remained alive. McNeill (279) surmises that the Russian troops were supplied by barge and river boats in summer and sleighs in winter, allowing great weights to be moved easily and relatively rapidly, in contrast to the French land carts. It has been estimated that there were about 400,000 burlake, or hauliers, who pulled or propelled boats along the Volga in about 1815. (Ref. 292) Czar Alexander I followed his troops into central Europe and then Paris, as Napoleon abdicated. The czar was then influential in the final peace at Vienna and the subsequent formation of the Holy Alliance of European monarchs.

Under Czar Nicholas I (1825-55) Russia aggressively added Persian Armenia to its empire and tried to take over the Balkans, but was thwarted there by the British. The great Russian army was used during Nicholas' reign on many diverse fronts; in central Asia (1839-43 and 1847-53); in the Caucasus (1829-64); against Persia and Turkey (1826-29); against Polish rebels 1830-311 and 1863); and against Magyar revolts in 1849. It is of interest that as early as the 1830s the astute Alexis de Tocqueville (Ref. 217) recognized that even then the two greatest nations in the world were Russia and the United States, although the former centered all the authority of society in a single arm while the latter relied on the strength and common sense of the people. The population of Russia increased proportionately more rapidly in the early century than any other country in the world.

Britain felt that Turkey must be kept independent of Russia and in 1841 an International Straits Convention closed the Bosphorus to Russian warships. In spite of that, in 1851 Russians invaded Turkey's Danubian provinces and in 1853 sank the Turkish fleet, gaining control of the Black Sea. In reprisal, France and Britain declared war on Russia in 1854 and invaded the Crimea. In this Crimean War the greatest battle took place at Sevastopol, where Russia sank her antiquated navy to block the bay, putting the ships' guns on the shore. But the western powers finally took the great naval base, anyway, humiliating Russia. Long supply lines14, poor administration, and obsolete ammunition, along with typhus fever and other diseases contributed to the eventual f all of the Russians, although the strategy of the British had also been appalling. This war ended the dominant role of Russia in southeast Europe. The scandalous condition of the troops and the dead, sick and wounded of both sides, as depicted by the first war correspondents, led to the work of Florence Nightingale and this was perhaps the most positive result of the war. (Ref. 38) The Peace of Paris of 1856 let Sevastopol stay in Russian hands, but the mouth of the Danube became international and Russia was barred from having a Black Sea navy. The treaty was a futile effort to settle the "Near Eastern Question". During the same period, Russia attempted periodically to take the Caucasus and was opposed with great fanaticism by the Islamic leader Shamil. Nevertheless, that area was under complete Russian control by 1864.

Some of the reforms which had been attempted by Czar Alexander I were actually accomplished by Alexander II as he emancipated the serfs and established councils for local self-government in the years after 1855. He refused a national constitution, however, and retained absolute rule, so that while the serfs were freed from the authority of the gentry, that authority was simply transferred to the local commune or "mir", which in turn distributed the land and levied taxes. The Act of Emancipation also divided the nation into two great classes: (1) gentry and urban classes, and (2) peasantry. In 1864 there was decreed a Local Government Law or "Zemstvo" under which each province and each country was authorized to elect its own assembly. This promoted better education and public health and through other provisions there was established trial by jury with an ordinary system of defense and prosecution. Still, many revolutionary ideas developed in many groups and many sectors in the 1860s and between then and the end of the century over 500,000 people emigrated to Siberia. The Nenets, living along the tree-line and north of the Arctic circle were under the czar's jurisdiction and in 1870 he moved many of them to Novaya Zemlya to end Norway's claim to that island. (Ref. 288) Anti-semitism was stronger in Russia than in Germany. Baltic Germans were responsible for much of this in the Nazi party of the 20th century. (Ref. 213)

Chernyshevsky preached materialism and intellectualism, stating that man's creative thinking was superior to any spiritual power from above. He was also a socialist. Pisarev wrote about nihilism, with an intellectual attitude of extreme individualism. Karakozov promoted the philosophy of terror and prophesised that all of Europe, including Russia, would soon be in the flames of revolution. He was executed in 1866. Nechaev formed a society called "The Peoples' Justice" and sowed the seeds of anarchism. In P. Tkachev one finds the forerunner of Bolshevism with such statements as: "The Russian Revolution, like any other revolution cannot escape hanging and shooting gendarmes, public prosecutors, ministers, merchants and priests."15 He said that the goal was a new social order and that in the original state the revolution might assume the form of a dictatorship of a minority, but representing in essence the will of the people. Plekhanov founded the Land Freedom Party, later split into the Populists and the Terrorists.

In 1877 Russia again tried to intervene in the Balkan revolutions, but once more backed down as the great powers of Western Europe complained and in the resulting Congress of Berlin of 1878 all non-independent areas in the Balkans were given either to Austria or back to Turkey. After an attempt on the life of Czar Alexander II in 1880, Loris Melikov was appointed virtual dictator to combat revolution and develop means of stopping revolts. A type of constitution was devised, but before it became effective Alexander was killed by a terrorist bomb.

Alexander III began his reign as czar in 1881 and died in 1894, but lived long enough to resume some diplomatic relations with Europe, while economic and social problems increased at home. Matters were not helped by a famine in 1891. Nevertheless, there was continued relentless expansion into central Asia, with the British becoming alarmed regarding their claims in India. A great industrial region developed where the Don River empties into the Sea of Azov around the Donets coalfield. A railroad connecting that area to the iron-ore fields of Drivoy Rog to the west helped industrialization. As in the United States, the railroads were fundamental in creating a modern nation. (Ref. 135)

After 1870 the steel industry grew 500 times faster than in any other country. Swedish entrepreneurs found oil near the Caspian Sea about 1860 and by 1900 some 10 million tons of oil a year were produced, about half of that of the world. Although carried out by foreigners, such industrialization was inspired by the state. Marx, who knew little about Russia, did not realize that the chief political problem was one of nationalities. Russia, in 1900, had 120,000,000 people dominated by 56,000,000 Greater Russians, with 22,000,000 Ukrainians and then varying numbers of White Russians, Poles, Jews, Tartars, Lithuanians, Letts, Germans, Armenians, Estonians, Finns, Bashkins, Georgians and Circassians. (Ref. 213)

Russian literature was dominated by Alexander Pushkin and Fedor Dostoevsky, who anticipated much of the 20th century. Russian scientists excelled in many fields. In mathematics Lobachevsky developed a non-Euclidean geometry and Sophia Kovalevskava did much work with calculus, although she was foreign educated and did much of her work in Sweden. In biology I.I. Mechnikov was a co-worker of Pasteur and Kovalevsky founded comparative embryology and experimental histology. In chemistry D.I. Mendeleyev became world famous for his Periodic Table of the Elements. Physiologists included the well known Ivan Pavlov, who worked with digestive glands and conditioned reflexes and Timiryazev, who found the role and significance of chlorophyll. A.S. Popov was a pioneer in electromagnetic waves and predicted the development of radio. Tsiolkovsky, who was the father of jet-propulsion and cosmic rocketry did his work at the end of this century, although it was not published until early in the 20th. After 1864 local governmental organizations, the "Zemstrovs" were responsible for medical service to the poor and mentally ill, acting through the "feldshav", a combined male nurse and pharmacist. Regular physicians were trained in the large universities. (Ref. 135, 8, 125, 55)


  1. The French stopped compulsory military small-pox vaccination after the Napoleonic Wars, but the Prussians continued. Thus, small-pox put 20,000 French soldiers out of action in the Franco-Prussian War, while the Germans went unscathed. (Ref. 140)
  2. This comment was taken from the German historian, Reinhart (Ref. 177, but according to the Austrian historian, Rickett (Ref. 181), the true glory of Austria was yet to unfold, as we shall see
  3. The Prussians, who are genetically about half Slavic, registered as a Slav Monarchy. (Ref. 213)
  4. Quotation from Rickett (Ref. 181), page 93
  5. At the time of his birth this baby, Napoleon II, was declared King of Rome, but he never ruled anyplace
  6. See page 1083 for the British resurgence
  7. Quotation from Durant (Ref. 55), page 730
  8. The evidence is basically that arsenic has been identified from hair which was allegedly that of Napoleon (Ref. 248)
  9. This ended the cotton industry for France. (Ref. 213)
  10. This War of 1812 will be discussed in a little more detail in the section on THE UNITED STATES
  11. A Patent Office in Great Britain issued 600 patents between 1850 and 1860 pertaining to firearms. (Ref. 279), page 237n
  12. Altogether Armstrong built 84 warships for 12 different foreign governments 1884-1914. (Ref. 279)
  13. Cheyne-Stokes syndrome is a well known respiratory arrythmia
  14. About 125,000 peasant carts were requisitioned but forage was almost non-existent for the draft animals and the ulimate payloads for the army were far from adequate. (Ref. 279)
  15. As quoted by Mazour (Ref. 135), page 285

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