19th Century

World History from 1779 - 1914
Introduction: The Modern Era
Continual expansion overseas led Western civilization and Western imperial powers to stand astride the globe. One out of every four human beings on Earth was once a subject of the British crown. The few non-European states left with sovereignty, such as China, Japan, or the Ottoman Empire, were either verging on collapse or in the throes of massive social and economic change as they strived to adapt to flood tide of Western ideas and technology. In the years since 1750 Western power and Western thought seemed supreme upon the world stage.

Then, in less than a hundred years, everything changed. Old empires crumbled into revolution or disappeared entirely, while new great powers hewed their way onto the international scene. Out of global empires emerged new nations. The very names of empire and conquest acquired a sinister tone, while at the same time computers, satellites, mass communications, and other new technologies made new forms of rule possible, in a world ever more interdependent.

The rise and fall of empires in the years between 1750 and the present have shaped the lives of millions, for better or for worse. They have shaped our world, in a struggle for power that is still going on. These pages are devoted to seeking a better understanding of empires, the men and women who built them or fought them, and in so doing, created the modern world.
19th Century
19th Century: Political History
19th Century: Military History
19th Century: Historical Figures