Early 19th Century 1st Period

Key Terms: Early Nineteenth Century
Modern European History

Bentham, Jeremy: Bentham was a philosopher and social reformer who is known as the founder of modern utilitarianism, advocating equal economic, social, and political rights. He believed in the separation of church and state, abolition of slavery, and decriminalization of homosexuality; however, he opposed the idea that rights were inalienable or that they needed to be affirmed through law. He was Kant-esque in his suggestion to estimate the moral status of an action. Robert Owen was one of Bentham’s students. —-TB

Carlsbad Decrees: Throughout the early 19th century, the German states were forced to deal with a mixing of liberalism and nationalism forces. However, a conservative air came about after a university incident occurred in 1819 in which a liberal student murdered his conservative professor. The Carlsbad Decrees were the result: they banned fraternities (back then used for educational purposes), implemented censorship, and constructed black lists in Austria and Prussia. (Katie Mayo)

In 1819, following the murder of a conservative professor, the German states held a conference at Carlsbad. Based off the ideas of Klemens von Metternich, these conservative thinkers wanted to find a way to prevent liberal uprisings. So, the German states agreed on press censorship and monitoring the universities very closely. Student revolutions were a top concern for the leaders. (Robert Jessell)

Chartists: Chartism is the movement—originally led by morality—during the Victorian Age in which the working class peoples of Great Britain sought political reform in the new industrialized age. Chartists called for things such as secret ballots, universal suffrage for males above a certain age, annual elections of Parliament, and getting rid of the property requirements for holding a seat in Parliament. Although initially unsuccessful, the chartists were successful in making the working class aware of political and social abuses. (Meaghan Shimota)

The Chartists were an extremely rebellious group, comprised primarily of urban workers and others from the working class, who tried to gain rights for themselves by acquiring a massive amount of signatures on a charter which they proposed to Parliament. Though they were never successful in getting Parliament to approve their Charter, much of the ideas in the Charter like universal male suffrage and lower taxes, were made formal laws later, perhaps because of the public influence this widespread, diverse, and determined group of reformers had in Britain. (Beuley)

Comte, Auguste - Auguste Comte (1798-1857) was a French philosopher and the creator of the doctrine of positivism. He developed his positive philosophy (see below) to counter the social upheaval of the French Revolution. While his views are considered somewhat outdated now, he was one of the first philosophers of science in the modern sense of the word, and his works proved influential for social thinkers such as Karl Marx, George Elliot, and John Stuart Mill. As a side note, his theories led to the creation of “The Religion of Humanity,” complete with chapels of Humanity in France and Brazil. (Connor Haines)

positivism - Positivism is a philosophy based on science. The general idea is that information derived from experience, logic, and math is the only source of true knowledge (ie. strict application of the scientific method is the only path to true knowledge). Naturally, it follows that positivism places great emphasis on empirical evidence. Positivism essentially rejects metaphysics and theism. Positivism also holds that society operates according to a set of laws like the physical world. (Connor Haines)

Positivism was a philosophy published in a series of ten volumes written by Auguste Comte. By definition it is “the construction of logical theories based on facts established through empirical research.” Basically he was arguing a very enlightenment way of looking at life. He believed that through positivism, or absolute reliance on science and scientific experiment, humans would be able to understand the world better than they ever had before, leaving religion in the dust. (Beuley)

Corn Laws While their name can be misleading, the Corn Laws were actually about tariffs being placed on wheat during the mid-nineteenth century in England. The Corn Law crisis began in 1815 when the first tariffs were placed on the wheat production in England. Again in 1828, another tariff was issued to restrict the competition on wheat production. The tariffs specifically benefited the Tories because they did not want competition from other wheat farmers on the prices. They rejected the more liberal laissez faire economics because they wanted to keep the competition for themselves. After the poor harvests in England in the early 1840’s, many farmers demanded for the repeal of the Corn Laws simply because they did not have any healthy crops to produce for money. The problem then exploded in 1845 after the Great Hunger in Ireland that left over one million dead from hunger. The liberal Whigs, the Irish, and the poor gathered along with Sir Robert Peel, a leader of the Tories, to repeal the Corn Laws. After a successful fight against his own party in Parliament, the Corn Laws were finally repealed for the sake of the poor farmers in 1846. (Lauren Burton)

-Sir Robert Peel:As mentioned in the Corn Laws above, Sir Robert Peel was the leader of the Corn Laws as well as an active member of the Tory Party. While he was very conservative, he held a liberal mindset when it came to the topic of the Corn Laws. After taking a trip to Ireland and witnessing the poverty in the country, he came back to England a changed man. He decided to go against his own party and fight to repeal the Corn Laws. When the Corn Laws were repealed in 1846, he was kicked out of office on the very same day. (Lauren Burton)

Originally arguing strongly against Parliamentary reform led by men such as Earl Grey, Sir Robert Peel was a devoted conservative. He was appointed the new prime minister of England in 1834. When he took office, he did show a gradual shift toward Enlightened conservatism when he favored the Reform Act. Ultimately, Peel turned on his fellow Tories when he repealed the Corn Laws to favor the Irish who were struggling with famine. (Robert Jessell)

Communist Manifesto: Written in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the Communist Manifesto established that only two classes exist: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, money moves history forward, that in order to understand the history of any society, you must understand class relationships and most importantly, that workers are disenfranchised because they are isolated from the means of production. They identify this as the root of the tension between the classes, the result of disenfranchisement being revolution. —-TB

It should be noted that compared to Das Kapital, the Communist Manifesto provides less specifics and is more a general outline of the forces leading to communism. Instead of directly providing an outline on how to achieve Communism, the Communist Manifesto instead postulates that communism is the inevitable end of history. This deterministic mindset thus illustrates Marx's characteristics as less of a revolutionary and more of a historian. The Communist Manifesto, in many ways, was an attempt to spread Marx's name in order to encourage the further reading of his other works (mainly Das Kapital).-David Farrow

Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851 - The Crystal Palace Exhibition is also remembered as the Great Exhibition of 1851. The Exhibition was an international showcase of all raw and refined materials that was held in Britain. As Prince Albert's idea, all accomplishments of the industrial age were featured in this steel, prefabricated, palace that displayed one million square feet of glass. The palace itself was impressive, but what attracted viewers from all over the world are the gems of the industrial age that were displayed inside of it. It was a chance for the British to show off their obvious superiority during this confident Victorian Era. Despite this clear sub-text that England was better, Albert quoted that the exhibition "gives us a living picture of the point of development." Broken up into four sections (Raw Materials from mainly Russia, Machinery and Manufactured goods from Britain, and the Austrian Fine-Arts), the exhibition featured goods ranging from an advanced printing press to locomotive and colt revolvers. Nevertheless, The umbrella theme of free trade and class mixing did not completely overshadow the clearly present racism and hierarchy.(Ellie Sheild)

There was also a worry about people of different classes mixing at the Exhibition, so there was a 'poor day.' Also, it was very hot inside the palace because it was essentially a greenhouse. - Louis Stephens

Cult of Domesticity: The Cult of Domesticity, also known as the Cult of True Womanhood, was the idea that women were to be homemakers and that their primary purpose was to raise a family, keep up the house by cleaning and cooking, and being obedient to the husband. It was primarily amongst middle and upper class women, especially in Great Britain and America. (Meaghan Shimota)

The Cult of Domesticity was one step forward and two steps back for women. While it lauded women as absolutely essential to the running of a household and the proper raising of children, by placing this role as the ultimate goal for women it subsequently restricted women from holding any significant place in society beyond their domestic role within their own house. (Beuley)

Decembrist Revolt: In 1825 a liberal army coup attempted to put Constantine on the Russian throne after his brother, Tsar Alexander I, died that year. However, the Decembrist Revolt was a failure, resulting in an even more conservative successor, Nicholas I who ruled from 1825 to 1855. (KatieMayo)

Factory System - The factory system was a new way of production brought about in this time period. The main advantage of this system is the negation of different producers in the chain of production. Where before you would have to have someone spin cotton into yarn and then cart it to another place where it would be woven into fabric then to another place to be made into the finished product, the factory system accomplished all these steps under one roof. This was accomplished by machines simplifying and speeding up production so that skilled labor was no longer needed, instead replaced by unskilled laborers. Matt Borin

Hugo, Victor: Victor Hugo was the author of Les Miserables, one of the most influential French literary works of the 19th century. In this very thick book, Hugo attempts to reconcile religion and revolution through several characters who devote themselves to God, and the others who lead the revolution. (KatieMayo)

Irish Potato Famine: The famine was caused by the infection of potatoes by deadly fungi. The mass starvation that resulted lasted between 1845 and 1852 and took more than one million lives. Aside from the crop’s infection, the reliance on potatoes by one third of Ireland’s population has been slated as reason why the famine was so devastating. —-TB

In addition to the million people dead due to starvation, almost as many people immigrated away from Ireland because of this. The English traders wouldn’t ship food to Ireland because it was more expensive due to the Corn Laws. This neglect by the English people and lack of response by the English government was a rallying point for the Irish and was a large reason for the push for independence. Matt Borin

Kossuth, Louis (Lajos) 1802-1894, he was considered the father of Hungarian Democracy. He was a liberal nationalist leader of the 1848 revolution but the Russians shut him down. He fled to Turkey. Louis Stephens

In addition to what Louis wrote: Austria was a polyglot empire formed of many ethnicities. The Hungarian revolt, catching the Austrian government off-guard, is at first largely successful. Fueled by nationalism, as well as liberal values, Kossuth led the charge for a representative government for Hungary. Hungary began to create a number of liberal policies, and Austria reluctantly gave Hungary semi-independence, allowing it collect its own taxes and create its own army. However, Kossuth’s calls inspired students in Vienna, as well, as liberal Austrians demanded representative government, following the Hungarian example. Other ethnic groups seize the opportunity as well. However, the promises made by the king during this uncertain time are not kept by Franz Joseph, the new emperor, who crushes Hungary, still lead by Kossuth (with the Russians, as Louis said). Kossuth was defeated, as was his republic. -DavisHeniford

In addition to what Louis wrote: Austria was a polyglot empire formed of many ethnicities. The Hungarian revolt, catching the Austrian government off-guard, is at first largely successful. Fueled by nationalism, as well as liberal values, Kossuth led the charge for a representative government for Hungary. Hungary began to create a number of liberal policies, and Austria reluctantly gave Hungary semi-independence, allowing it collect its own taxes and create its own army. However, Kossuth’s calls inspired students in Vienna, as well, as liberal Austrians demanded representative government, following the Hungarian example. Other ethnic groups seize the opportunity as well. However, the promises made by the king during this uncertain time are not kept by Franz Joseph, the new emperor, who crushes Hungary, still lead by Kossuth (with the Russians, as Louis said). Kossuth was defeated, as was his republic. -DavisHeniford

Lord Byron:Lord Byron was a Romantic poet in England during the Romantic period. He was known for his powerful Romantic poetry centered on melancholy and defiance. The term a “Byronic Hero” was adapted through his poetry and is specifically found in his works, “Manfred” and “Don Juan”. (Lauren Burton)

Louis Blanc:During the Second Republic in France, Louis Blanc was a socialist and a leader of the National Workshops. The National Workshops were formed as public works programs and were quite popular as many workers flooded to these programs. Louis Blanc initiated the National Workshops because he believed that the government was ignoring the rights of the working class. While the working class did elect the moderate leaders, they took the rejection of the socialist flag as a step in the wrong direction. (Lauren Burton)

The birth of Louis Blanc occurred during a time when his father was serving under the rule of Joseph Bonaparte in Spain. Eventually, Louis Blanc would grow to oppose King Louis Philippe after he shifted too far away from a liberalist mindset and became a member of a committee for electoral reform. Louis Blanc would become a socialist who felt that capitalism was morally wrong, as it pins one man against another, and the weakest one will always lose in the end of it all. (Robert Jessell)

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte - In 1848, with the Second Republic having barely survived the June Days Rebellion, France elected its first president, Louis Napoleon, nephew of the more famous (and more successful) Napoleon. Louis Napoleon, riding the fear of a return to the chaos of the June Days, won the vast majority of the votes. Not only did he seem to be the choice of stability (and thus the favorite of monarchists and the Catholic Church), he had name recognition. He also somehow convinced everyone that he did not want to become emperor (he became emperor within four years) despite the fact that he had been responsible for two failed coups previously with the intent to establish an empire. -DavisHeniford

Louis Philippe - After the July Revolution of 1830, revolutionaries offered the French throne to Louis Philippe, who came from a different branch of the Bourbon family than Charles X. LP was known to be a liberal, and he dressed like a middle-class man in suit, top hat, and umbrella. He was known as the "Citizen King" - at first, he seemed to be the best of both worlds, combining liberal ideas with the monarchy. He embraced the tricolor flag and allowed the Chamber of Deputies to revise the Charter so that it really came from the people this time, not as a "gift from the King." The new Charter doubled the number of voters to 170,000, eliminated hereditary privilege in the Chamber of Peers, and reduced censorship. However, after these initial reforms, LP moved no farther, and indeed came to be seen as not a liberal hero, but an impediment to liberal ideas. When workers took to the streets in 1848, LP was forced to flee to England and the French created the 2nd Republic. (Jane Wester)

Luddites - The Luddites were a group of workers who produced textiles during this time period. They staged a protest against the introduction of machinery into the textile industry by smashing machinery. It started off as a fairly small movement but picked up a lot of support due to the resentment harbored by the unemployed skilled laborers kicked out of a job by the low skilled, machinery operating unskilled workers. This movement was harshly put down by the British government, but not before they did a lot of damage. Matt Borin

Luddites: The Luddites were English skilled textile workers who opposed the industrialization of England, opposing factories and mechanized production that replaced the need for artisans and the putting out system and caused lower wages and longer workdays. Acting not unlike labor unions, the Luddites vandalized factories and machinery and demanded better working conditions for factory workers. (Meaghan Shimota)

Malthus, Thomas - The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) was an influential and controversial British scholar, best remembered for his theories about population increase and decrease. His // Essay on the Principle of Population // (1798-1826) proposes that sooner or later population growth is checked by disease and famine. Malthus also disagreed with the principle that human society is perfectible, arguing that the dangers of population growth prevent progress towards a utopian society. (Connor Haines)

Manchester, England -Basically was a city that seems to have popped up overnight due to the Industrial Revolution. Factories allowed all stages of production to be centralized in one location. In early 19th century, goods were finally able to be efficiently made and sold more cheap. But, there were incredible social, political, environmental, and cultural implications to this. These changes caused the rise of Manchester. What sealed Manchester as a popular and growing city was that in 1830 the first passenger train ran from Manchester to Liverpool(Ellie Sheild)

The growth of Manchester illustrates some of the underlying tensions that, at least within England, are solved before they build into revolution fervor. Manchester, having grown out of industry as opposed to tradition, wasn't allocated seats in Parliament as, when the allocation of seats was drafted, Manchester did not exist. This angered the growing population as they saw themselves as lacking representation. In a similar way, these people became aware of the fact that other towns whose population had declined extremely (in some cases to zero) still maintained their parliamentary seats. The tension generates actual progress as new seating arrangements are eventually drawn up to encompass the growth of cities like Manchester.-David Farrow

Metternich, Klemens von:Metternich was arguably the most influential proponent of European conservatism after the fall of Napoleon. In an attempt to reassemble “humpty dumpty”, or a Europe broken by the spread of liberalism, he led the delegation at the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815). During his Concert of Europe, states were less susceptible to conflict as their support of conservatism united them; however, they realized that the survival of conservatism relied on the existence of liberalism as Greece and N. Belgium gained independence. —-TB
It is said that Metternich's Conservative Europe was ended by the 1848 Revolutions. - Louis Stephens

Often known as the age of Metternich, the early 19th century was dominated on the conservative principles of Klemens von Metternich. The Austrian wisely kept Austria neutral in a war between France and Russia until the fighting was over, and he subsequently allied with Prussia and Russia. Balance of power was the key point that Metternich was tryping to promote, and his comments in the Congress of Vienna show his beliefs. (Robert Jessell)

Mill, John Stuart - John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) was an English philosopher and economist best remembered for his support of Utilitarianism. Many people on the Internet who seem to know about such things consider him the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the 19th century. He was a liberal thinker and supported individual freedom over unlimited state control. He was also a Member of Parliament. (Connor Haines)
He was also very well educated at a young age and wrote "On Liberty" - Louis Stephens

Utilitarianism underlying purpose is to provide a rational means to make decision. For Mill and early Utilitarians, the most rational decision comes from one that provides the greatest good (utility in their words) to the society. Problematically, early Utilitarians like Mill and Bentham, failed to draw a distinction between absolute good and good for the greatest number of people. As such, early Utilitarians open up the possibility for abuse in that it can be argued if absolute good is maximized (ie, good could only be maximized for a few, but if said maximization improves overall quantity of good) then said action is justified. Future Utilitarians account for this drawback by specifying we should work towards good for the greatest number of people.
-David Farrow

July Revolution - Charles X came on the French throne in 1824 as a die-hard conservative, so liberal opposition was already high when he issued the July Ordinances of 1830. With this Ordinance he disenfranchised ¾ths of those who were already eligible to vote, dissolved the Chamber of Deputies (the one of the two Chambers that was elected by narrow electorate, not a hereditary title), and added even more censorship. As the people of France should be very used to by now, the Parisians took to the streets. 700 people total were killed in these three days of fighting. The Revolt was largely successful because Charles X fled to London. The Liberal Revolutionaries now chose to offer the throne to a seemingly more open-minded Louis Phillip. Delacroix’s famous painting depicts this Revolution, which was important in that for the first time Metternich and the Conservative forces had failed! (Ellie Sheild)

July Ordinances - The 1830 July Ordinances, proposed by Charles X of France, would have introduced three significant changes had they ever passed. First, 3/4 of the already small voting population would have been disenfranchised. Second, the Chamber of Deputies, the elected lower house that had tended liberal in the past, would have been dissolved and new elections would have taken place with this smaller voting population. Third, they planned to introduce more censorship of the press. Parisians took to the streets in the July Revolution and so the ordinances never took effect. (Jane Wester)

June Days - When the popular public works programs known as National Workshops were banned in June 1848, a few months into the 2nd Republic, angry workers took to the streets in the June Days Rebellion. This revolt was different from earlier revolts because the working class radicals were fighting against, instead of alongside, the middle class government moderates. This new class warfare in Paris killed over 1,000 people; in the end, the government moderates won. (Jane Wester)

Peterloo Massacre - In 1819, 50,000 discontented workers demonstrated at St. Peter's Field near Manchester. Soldiers came in to break up the crowd and ended up killing 11 protesters and wounding hundreds more. Richard Carlile's painting of the event shows brutal mounted soldiers cutting down workers; much like the Boston Massacre a few decades before, propagandistic portrayals like Carlile's exaggerated the violence and one-sidedness of the event. Parliament responded to Peterloo by passing the Six Acts of 1819, which limited public gatherings and increased censorship. (Jane Wester)

Proletariat: According to Karl Marx in his Communist Manifesto of 1848, Marx describes the proletariats as the “have nots,” or those isolated from the means of production. Without the ability to make capitol, the proletariats were paid in standard wages that, according to Marx and Ricardo’s Iron Law of Wages, would always be as low as it could be. Marx believed that there were two classes—the proletariats and the bourgeoisie—which are in constant conflict. (Meaghan Shimota)

This also plays into Marx’s adaptation of Hegel’s idea of a thesis and an antithesis. The bourgeoisie were the thesis of an age, and the proletariat were the antithesis. Through a violent revolution that he considered inevitable a new bourgeoisie class would be created for the next age. Matt Borin

Reform Bill of 1832 - This English Bill was the ultimate liberal showdown! It was the Tories (conservative, rich, landowning elite) against the liberal reformer Whigs. Earl Grey, the Whig Prime Minister, proposed the bill which would double the number of voters to 1 of every 32 Britain’s, eliminate the rotten boroughs, and then redraw the Parliamentary lines. The latter two would give proper representation to the new, growing cities, like Manchester. Earl was trying to communicate that if you do not reform yourself and reform the government, a revolution is inevitable. He tried to convince the Tories that this step for reform would eliminate the possibility of class warfare. Fortunately for Grey, and unfortunately for the Duke of Wellington (The leader to for Tories), the King told all the nobles that if they did not pass the bill, he would bring in new representatives that would. Because of the Kings support, Grey's bill passed. (Ellie Sheild).

Utopian Socialists - This was the derogatory term that Karl Marx applied to the socialists that preceded him, alluding to the "pie in the sky" nature of many of their ideas. These socialists, such as Saint Simon (who vied to create a committee of experts to control the economy and solve the "social questions"), Charles Fourier (who researched personalities and wanted to create phalansteries), and Robert Owen (a successful businessman/manufacturer who believed that his model in New Lanark of treating workers well/improving their well-being paternalistically was economically beneficial) all agreed that the social problems of the age (poverty, crime, inhumanity) needed to be solved. They all rejected laissez-faire economics (and conservatism) for models more beneficial to the workers. None of them have large-scale impacts, but they leave the door open for Marx… -DavisHeniford

Watt, James: In 1782, James Watt took the previously inefficient model of the steam engine and vastly improved it, making it economically viable, and patented his improvements. Watt's design also developed a system of gears that allowed him to harness the power of steam in rotary motion, which made the steam engine useful in a host of other machines. Power-driven machinery increased outputs everywhere, and in England was first and most prominently used for textile manufacturing (Arkwright). However, Watt needed to sell his invention, and Matthew Bolton became his partner, directing the sales and marketing of the revolutionary device. -DavisHeniford

Similar to Edison, Watt's ability to sell his product factors greatly into his legacy. For his steam engine, Watt offered the engine to prospective mines/factories where the engine would find use for free; however, the owner would have to commit to paying an extremely small fraction of their profits to Watt in exchange for the use of the engine. To the business owners, it seemed as if technology was being given away for free. They, however, failed to realize that the increases in efficiency would lead to the fraction of the profits going to Watt to grow also, leading to Watt making more money than if he would have sold the steam engine wholesale.-David Farrow

Zollervein:This economic policy implemented a free-trade zone between 17 of the loosely connected German states in 1834. It was an obvious step towards unity, however it included Prussia but not Austria. This combination of liberalism and nationalism would only assist the eventual political unity to come of the German states. (KatieMayo)