The Modern Era started at the beginning of the 19th century and lasted until the end of it. This era included part of the Georgian as well as all of the Victorian Era. The Modern Era is filled with history, which has carved the way for the world to form in the manner in which it has. Considered to be the era of enlightenment thanks to the increase of educational opportunities and the transformation of society from rural farming communities to the technologically advanced society we know of today.
Starting off the Modern Era was none other than the Act of Union of 1800. This act was the unionisation and assimilation of Ireland to create what was known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland as a single autonomous entity. While this was occurring, the Industrial Revolution had already begun to take shape in the lives of people all over the world.
Prior to the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the only clear differences between the social classes were that of the poor farmers and that of the rich nobles. However, as the Industrial Revolution unfolded, society itself was in an upheaval and the working classes began to become more apparent. The poor farmers began being uprooted from the countryside and making their way into the cities. As a result, the costs of many things became too expensive for the remaining farmers and as a result a mass exodus happened.
As more and more people made their way into the urbanised areas, the areas began to become overly crowded and as a result the homes were to become smaller and cheaper built. As a result the infant mortality rate increased as well as many other incidents surrounding water-borne illnesses.
The 19th century Modern Era saw the Portuguese, Chinese and Spanish Empires crumble along with that of the Holy Roman Empire as well. By 1808, Madrid had surrendered to Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars began. Many acts of piracy began to be common place and as a result many merchants set sail with Letters of Marquis which allowed them to take possession of opposing country boats through acts that were considered to be nothing more than piracy.
While all of this was beginning to unfold, the advancements in fields like physics, mathematics, chemistry, electricity, biology as well as metallurgy made way for the technological advancements needed to expand empires. These advancements brought forth the steam engine as well as both land and sea transportation at speeds that were never before thought to be possible. For the first time in the history of the world, cities began to peak the 1 million residents milestone and more corners of the globe were explored. Slavery was considered to be a thing of the past by the end of the Modern Era with the abolishment of slavery in the New World as well as in Brazil and even Russia.
The Royal College of Surgeons of England started off the era as the first chartered medical college in Great Britain. The Barbary war which occurred between the United States and Africa took up more than 14 years of the Modern Era. France sold off its New World lands to the United States under the Louisiana Purchase to make way for the westward movements of the time which also ultimately made way for immigration from Europe into the States.
By 1810, The University of Berlin was to become the first research university in the world which only further fuelled the advancements of the Era. As the Portuguese and Spanish Empires began to unfold, most of the colonies in Latin America were able to fight there way to independence though the Mexican War of Independence as well as the South American Wars of Independence. Napoleon also invaded Russia in this decade which was considered to be one of the most important turning points in the Napoleonic Wars. To further complicate things, during this decade of the Modern Era, the United States fought with Great Britain for its freedom in the War of 1812.
Freed United States slaves founded the country of Liberia and even Peru declared it’s independence from colonisation by Spain. The second decade of the Modern Era also saw the beginning of the Anglo-Burmese Wars which would last from 1823 all the way until 1887 in which Burma would become liberated. Due to the higher number of Irish Immigrants into the United States, the Eerie Canal was not only finished but officially opened by mid-decade.
Belgium was created in 1830 due to the Belgian Revolution. This decade of the Modern Era also saw the abolishment of slavery in the British Empire as well as the end of the Spanish Inquisition. In 1837 Canada had also started a rebellion which would last a year and would also mark the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign as well as the official beginning of the Victorian Era.
The following Decade saw the independence of New Zeeland from Great Britain in the Treaty of Waitangi. With the many scientific and technological advancements that were occurring throughout the industrialised nations, by 1844 a telegraph line was ran between Washington and Baltimore leading the way for the telegraph and the concept of long distance communications within only a matter of seconds. By the middle of the 4th decade in the Modern Era, the Irish Potato Famine occurred and led to the mass exodus of the Irish to the United States. The 1840’s also saw the Revolution of 1848 and the California Gold Rush which was dubbed many as 49ers.
In 1851, London would host the first World’s Fair which was known as the Great Exhibition. Australia also saw its own gold rush by 1851 in what has become known today as the Victorian Gold Rush. The 1850’s also saw the Crimean War in Europe as well as the first oil refinery and the mass production of steel beams. To finish off the middle of the Modern Era along with the many advancements in science, technology and understanding was the publishing of Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species”.
The last half of the Modern Era though saw even more advancements in science, technology and logical thinking. It was during this time that the American Civil War was to occur as well as the very first Geneva Convention and the founding of the International Red Cross. With more than two decades of development in the telegraph, the very first successful Trans-Atlantic line was ran and tested in 1866. As the Austro-Prussian Wars took hold of Northern Europe, Finland was to see a famine. This decade also marked the purchase of Alaska from Russia and the longest stretch of railroad’s completion when the Golden Stake was pounded in at the last, completing the Transcontinental Railroad.
The 1870’s marked the Unification of both Germany as well as Italy. The new Canadian Federation by this time was already formed and the ability to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific was made possible with the completion of the Suez Canal. As the Second Industrial Revolution began to unfold, Western Europe along with the United States fell into the Long Depression. A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism was published in 1873 and only a year later the Impressionistic art became a mainstay through the first public exhibition in Paris.
By 1874, the East India Company would become no more and within only a year, more than 26 million people in India would die due to a famine that would last 25 years. The end of the 1870’s also saw the Gilded Age of the United States as well as the first nationwide strike in the world when the Great Railroad Strike occurred. This decade of the Modern Era would also see the ending of the Telegraph Age when the first commercial telephone communication occurred in New Haven, Connecticut.
As the times marched on and the advancements in technology continued, the first ever power plant and grid would be built in Godalming, Britain. Robert Louis Stevenson would publish the classic novel “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” in 1885 and within only 3 years time, London would be visited by the infamous Jack the Ripper.
The Modern Era came to an end with the Klondike Gold Rush in Canada and the Spanish-American War brought Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Cuba under the control of the United States. The ending of the Modern Era did not go without a big bang though as in 1896, the World Olympics would make its first major comeback when it was held in Athens.
Original Authors: Nick (Globel Team)
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 18/07/2008