Transport and Communications in the 19th Century

After the civil war, the country faced dramatic change as a landscape of farms and villages yielded to factories and sprawling cities. An abundance of labor and plentiful raw materials brought prosperity to many, and the image of the United States as a beacon of freedom and opportunity encouraged immigration from all parts of the world. Many workers, including immigrants, racial minorities, and children, however, often toiled long hours in dangerous conditions for little pay. By the turn of the century, reformers in Congress were pressing for new ways to make government more responsive to the needs of poor farmers, laborers, and urban dwellers.

Health and Medicine in the 19th century

During the 19th century life in Britain was transformed by the Industrial Revolution. At first it caused many problems but in the late 19th century life became more comfortable for ordinary people. Meanwhile Britain became the world's first urban society. By 1851 more than half the population lived in towns. The population of Britain boomed during the 1800s. In 1801 it was about 9 million. By 1901 it had risen to about 41 million. This was despite the fact that many people emigrated to North America and Australia to escape poverty. About 15 million people left Britain between 1815 and 1914. However many people migrated to Britain in the 19th century. In the 1840s many people came from Ireland, fleeing a terrible potato famine. In the 1880s the Tsar began persecuting Russian Jews. Some fled to Britain and settled in the East End of London.


It was the War that utimately ended slavery in America.

American slavery was decling in importance.

The new Fugitive Slave Act, also passed in 1850, made the federal government responsible for apprehending fugitive slaves in the North, and sending them back to the South. This extended slavery and its enforcement beyond the South. The South, however, felt that even this law was not strong enough, and the demand for more effective legislation resulted in enactment of a second Fugitive Slave Act that same year. However, the law was so severe that its implementation was open to abuses that defeated its purpose. Even during the Civil War, the Fugitive Slave Acts were used to prosecute blacks fleeing their masters in border states that were loyal to the Union. The acts were eventually repealed, but not until June of 1864.


Was slavery practiced in the 19th century in Europe

By the 1880s most working class people lived in houses with two rooms downstairs and two or even three bedrooms. Most had a small garden. At the end of the 19th century some houses for skilled workers were built with the latest luxury - an indoor toilet. However even at the end of the 19th century there were still many families living in one room. Old houses were sometimes divided up into separate dwellings. Sometimes if windows were broken slum landlords could not or would not replace them. So they were 'repaired' with paper. Or rags were stuffed into holes in the glass.

19th Century Links: TeacherServe Home Page

In the late 19th century most homes also had a scullery. In it was a 'copper', a metal container for washing clothes. The copper was filled with water and soap powder was added. To wash the clothes they were turned with a wooden tool called a dolly. Or you used a metal plunger with holes in it to push clothes up and down. Wet clothes were wrung through a device called a wringer of mangle to dry them. The clothes wringer or mangle was invented by Robert Tasker in 1850. In 1875 a man named John B. Porter invented a portable ironing board. Sarah Boone patented an improved device in 1892. At the beginning of the 19th century people cooked over an open fire. This was very wasteful as most of the heat went up the chimney. In the 1820s an iron cooker called a range was introduced. It was a much more efficient way of cooking because most of the heat was contained within. By the mid-19th century ranges were common. Most of them had a boiler behind the coal fire where water was heated.

RACE - History - Expansion of Slavery in the U.S.

Gaslight first became common in well off people's homes in the 1840s. By the late 1870s most working class homes had gaslight, at least downstairs. Bedrooms might have oil lamps. Gas fires first became common in the 1880s. Gas cookers first became common in the 1890s. In the last 2 decades of the 19th century many British towns and cities installed electric street lights. However electric light was expensive and it took a long time to replace gas in people's homes.