Major Events of the 19th Century
By Robert McNamara, About.com Guide
American Political Events
Enormously important political events transformed America throughout the 19th century. The election of 1800 resulted in a Constitutional crisis, and other elections were hotly contested and widely considered fraudulent. Political conventions began, political parties came and went, and some great men were elected.
- The Deadlocked Election of 1800
- The Corrupt Bargain: The Election of 1824
- The Dirtiest Campaign: The Election of 1828
- The Log Cabin and Hard Cider Campaign of 1840
- Lincoln Goes to the White House: The Election of 1860
- The Great Stolen Election of 1876
- Scandals and Gaffes: The Election of 1884
- The First American Political Conventions
Timelines of the 19th Century
Familiarize yourself with major events of the 1800s by scanning timelines of each decade.
- 1800-1810: Jefferson, Burr and Hamilton, Lewis and Clark
- 1810-1820: War of 1812, Battle of Waterloo, the First Federal Highway
- 1820-1830: Controversial Elections, the Erie Canal, Daniel O'Connell
- 1830-1840: Darwin Aboard HMS Beagle, Locomotives, the Alamo
- 1840-1850: British Flee Afghanistan, the Oregon Trail, the Telegraph
- 1850-1860: Bleeding Kansas, Lincoln-Douglas Debates, the Crimean War
- 1860-1870: The Civil War, Reconstruction, Benjamin Disraeli
- 1870-1880: Chicago Fire, Franco-Prussian War, The Little Bighorn
- 1880-1890: Brooklyn Bridge, Prime Minister Gladstone, Statue of Liberty
- 1890-1900: Lizzie Borden, the Modern Olympics, the U.S.S. Maine
The 1800s weren't so quaint. There were enough murders, swindles, duels, and riots to keep people talking and writing for a very long time.
The 19th century was a time of great progress, but it was also marked by disasters that could not be predicted and were often barely understood at the time.
In 1800, people traveled as they always had, on foot or on horseback, and ships crossed the oceans powered only by the wind. By 1900 steamships circled the globe, locomotives crossed continents, and bridges spanned great rivers.
- The Erie Canal
- The National Road
- Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Steamships
- The Brooklyn Bridge
- The Menai Suspension Bridge
19th Century Holidays
Holidays as we know them developed in the 1800s. Christmas became a major celebration, Valentine cards became a bad, and the St. Patrick's Day Parade started marching up Fifth Avenue in New York City.
- Inventing the Modern Christmas
- History of Christmas Trees in America
- The First Electric Christmas Tree