The Ten Most Important Events in the Nineteenth Century

Discussion in 'History' started by tim840, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Algernon Registered Senior Member

    Are you referring to Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin? Antiseptics have been used for a long time, and they weren't really invented, different chemicals and substances were used for centuries to treat things for hundreds of years. For example, quinine derived from the bark of chinchona tree in South America (think it was Peru or something) had been use for centuries to treat malaria and was discovered around late 1800s. But even later than that, they discovered that some Chinese compound artiminisin derived from bark of wormwood tree would prove to be effective against quinine resistant forms of malaria (specifically Plasmodium falciparum). But the Chinese have been using the wormwood bark as Eastern medicine/herbal therapy against malaria for hundreds of years.

    But yea, I'm a little iffy on the discovery of Penicillin. We now have multi-drug resistant forms of microorganisms. Louis Pasteur probably did the most for medicine in terms of aseptic techniques, pasteurization of food products, sanitation of hospitals, extrapolate that and you have today's hospital environments and part of their diagnostic criteria.
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    1859: The Origin of Species published.

    The book was written to be read by non-specialists, and it attracted widespread interest on its publication. Evolution was highly controversial during the first half of the 19th century, as the idea of transmutation of species was at odds with the accepted notion that species were unchanging parts of a designed hierarchy. It was the subject of political and theological debates, with competing ideas of biology trying to explain new findings. Support for evolutionary ideas was already growing among a new generation of anatomists and the general public, but to a scientific establishment closely tied to the Church of England, science was part of natural theology. Some naturalists long committed to natural theology found it difficult to accept that humans were descended from other animals.

    The evidence Darwin presented in his book generated scientific, philosophical, and religious discussion, which led to widespread acceptance that evolution had occurred, and contributed significantly to the professionalisation of British science; including natural theology being replaced by methodological naturalism. The theory of evolution has continued to advance since Darwin's time, but the scientific consensus remains that natural selection is the primary explanation for the development of new species, although political and religious controversies continue.
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    American Educational syatem was developed by Horace Mann

    It was not until he was appointed secretary (1837) of the newly created board of education of Massachusetts that he began the work which was to place him in the foremost rank of American educationists. Surprisingly, at the time, he had no special interest in education. He was only encouraged to take the job because it was a paid office position established by the legislation. He started as the secretary of the board. This led him to become the most prominent national spokesman for that position. He held this position, and worked with a remarkable intensity, holding teachers' conventions, delivering numerous lectures and addresses, carrying on an extensive correspondence, and introducing numerous reforms. He planned and inaugurated the Massachusetts normal school system in Lexington and Bridgewater, founded and edited The Common School Journal (1838), and began preparing a series of Annual Reports, which had a wide circulation and are still considered as being "among the best expositions, if, indeed, they are not the very best ones, of the practical benefits of a common school education both to the individual and to the state" (Hinsdale).

    In this journal, Mann targeted the public school and its problems. The six main problems he targeted were: (1) the public should no longer remain ignorant and free, (2) that such education should be paid for, controlled, and sustained by an interested public; (3) that this education will be best provided in schools that embrace children of all diversities; (4) that this education must be non-sectarian; (5) that this education must be taught by the spirit, methods, and discipline of a free society; and (6) that education should be provided by well-trained, professional teachers. To sum it all up, Horace Mann worked effectively for more and better equipped school houses, longer school years (until 16 years old), higher pay for teachers, and a wider curriculum.

    In 1852, he supported governor Edward Everett in the decision to adopt the Prussian education system in Massachusetts. Shortly after Everett and Mann collaborated to adopt the Prussian system, the Governor of New York set up the same method in twelve different New York schools on a trial basis.

    The practical result of Mann's work was a revolution in the approach used in the common school system of Massachusetts, which in turn influenced the direction of other states. In carrying out his work, Mann met with bitter opposition by some Boston schoolmasters who strongly disapproved of his innovative pedagogical ideas , and by various religious sectarians, who contended against the exclusion of all sectarian instruction from the schools. He is often considered "the father of American public education".
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  7. Meursalt Comatose Registered Senior Member

    Aye, but which of these gives a greater incentive for the advancement of technology?

    Whichever genius it was who stumbled upon the iron refinement might have had tough cooking pots in mind - but you can bet it was some big bastard who had a bronze sword break on him too many times and recognised the possibilities of something a little more durable who ended up bankrolling him.
    Iron has been around for a few thousand years now, and some of the earliest examples are jewelry and simple tools. But it didn't "explode" onto the scene until the aforementioned big bugger found he could smite his enemies far more easily with his iron sword than his bronze one.

    World war two saw the advance from piston engined biplanes to jet technology in less than 6 years. Let's ignore the Bomb.

    "Commerce" doesn't do it that fast. "Commerce" didn't lead to the technological explosion of the last couple hundred years.
    Most consumer technology has been a trickle down effect from the overwhelming desire to gank each other more effectively. Without that, technological advancement would be somewhat behind where it is now.
    Commerce may well lead to advancement; but war will do it ten times faster.

    Warped, definately. But far from repulsive.

    So, when looking back at the Greek or Roman empires, what have you, do we know who invented Aqueducts? Bronze? Iron? Probably not.

    Compare that to the detailed knowledge we have of any major battle fought in the last few thousand years. We love war. We know who the leaders were, we know the outcomes, historians study the long term effects at length.
    We know Edison invented the light bulb. Well, we think we do.

    Ask most schoolchildren who invented the electric light bulb, though, and most wouldn't be able to tell you. But I'd wager a few grand that you'd get more hits on Achilles, Hannibal, Alexander, Ghengis Khan... and Napoleon.

    If I was to ask from what event two terms originated - "Achilles Heel" and "Pasteurisation", which one do you think more people would be able to answer?

    Or, let's go out on a limb. How about "Not tonight, Josephine"?
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Indeed. The Industrial Revolution began in the eighteenth century.
    Same goes for you. That's a twentieth-century invention. Research into the possibility of hormonal contraceptives began in the late 1920s and the clinical trials of Enovid took place in the 1950s.

    Culture is as important as science and politics. I nominate the creation of "ragged time" music, eventually shortened to "ragtime." This was not only the first American genre of music, but also the first genre created by African-Americans, in the 1890s or possibly the late 1880s. It had a heavy influence on the composers who came after, including such luminaries of chamber and symphonic works as Debussy and Stravinsky.

    With no improvisation and no dramatically flattened third and seventh notes, ragtime is not quite jazz, but with its intricate syncopation it was the forerunner of jazz and, therefore, the forerunner of rock and roll. A key step in the evolution of The Official Music Of Planet Earth.
  9. Drphail Banned Banned

    think of life's occurrences as a continuum, or an infinite chain-reaction. what is perceived as important is no more important than something that is considered negligible. we cannot disprove or prove any, merely theoretical. without a destination, how can life be a journey? is death our destination? how can the human race 'advance' when there's no goal to advance toward?

    i eat small portions of liver every morning.
  10. sniffy Banned Banned

  11. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    I suspect most historians would agree that the invention of aqueducts, bronze, and iron were probably much more historically important than any given battle, even if we don't know who came up with them.
    You are conflating "important" with "popular" and "interesting."
  12. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Nikola Tesla

    Nikola Tesla (Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Тесла) (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was an inventor and a mechanical and electrical engineer. Tesla was born in the village of Smiljan near the town of Gospić, Austrian Empire, Croatian Krajina. He was an ethnic Serb subject of the Austrian Empire and later became an American citizen. Tesla is often described as the most important scientist and inventor of the modern age, a man who "shed light over the face of Earth". He is best known for many revolutionary contributions in the field of electricity and magnetism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tesla's patents and theoretical work formed the basis of modern alternating current electric power (AC) systems, including the polyphase power distribution systems and the AC motor, with which he helped usher in the Second Industrial Revolution. Contemporary biographers of Tesla have regarded him as "The Father of Physics", "The man who invented the twentieth century" and "the patron saint of modern electricity."

    After his demonstration of wireless communication (radio) in 1894 and after being the victor in the "War of Currents", he was widely respected as one of the greatest electrical engineers who worked in America. Much of his early work pioneered modern electrical engineering and many of his discoveries were of groundbreaking importance. During this period, in the United States, Tesla's fame rivaled that of any other inventor or scientist in history or popular culture, but due to his eccentric personality and his seemingly unbelievable and sometimes bizarre claims about possible scientific and technological developments, Tesla was ultimately ostracized and regarded as a mad scientist.Never having put much focus on his finances, Tesla died impoverished at the age of 86.

    The SI unit measuring magnetic flux density or magnetic induction (commonly known as the magnetic field B), the tesla, was named in his honor (at the Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures, Paris, 1960), as well as the Tesla effect of wireless energy transfer to wirelessly power electronic devices which Tesla demonstrated on a low scale (lightbulbs) as early as 1893 and aspired to use for the intercontinental transmission of industrial energy levels in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project.
  13. John T. Galt marxism is legalized hatred!! Registered Senior Member

    There is probably no manner of giving such a list its due, as I have always believed that that 19th Century set the stage for the 20th. I do tend to favor American history over world not that it is more important, but it does seem that American history has a greater impact on the world.

    That said, I reduce my list to three (I also tend to lean towards ideas, either direct or indirect);

    1. Communist Manifesto (World)
    2. American Civil War (American)
    3. Sherman Antitrust Act (American)

    All three are roots of troubles in the 20th Century and the future. The tentacles of these three events are still alive and well, not to mention far reaching.
  14. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

    The defeat of Napoleon and the conservative reaction against the reovlutionary politics he had espoused. That kind of set the stage for the reaction against said politics and the movement towards liberalism etc.
    Not to mention other little things like Norway being taken away from Denmark and given to Sweden instead, because Denmark sided with Napoleon.

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