A Brief History of New Europa: 1869

Happy New Year! For the first day of 2018, and the final day of A Brief History of New Europa, we shall go back in time to 1869. I considered closing this little series off with 1880 but one fact gnawed at me.

1880 is the year the New York City switched to lightning its streets with electric lights. It feels like a line; a firm divide between "the age of steam" and "the age of electricity" and I'm not entirely sure that's a place Castle Falkenstein should go. At least not yet. 

In the meanwhile, here is a summary of events in 1869. I do hope this ten part series was useful and helpful to everyone. Please leave comments to let me know if I should do something similar in the future!

Political and Business Events of Consequence in 1869

  • The Cretan Revolt ends. In the aftermath, the Ottoman Empire gives Cretan Christians equal control of local administration. The revolt was supported by Captain Nemo who used the Nautilus to deliver a large shipment of gold to the rebels.
  • Ulysses S. Grant is inaugurated as the 18th President of the United States.
  • Napoleon III reintroduces a parliamentary system in France as part of reforms to appease the people.
  • Empress Eugenie of France oversees the opening of the Suez Canal.
  • British debtor prisons are formally abolished.
  • The Cincinnati Red Stockings become the world's first salaried baseball team.
  • Joshua Norton becomes Norton I, Emperor of California. The Comstock Silver Lode is given to him. It will produce tens of millions in the next year.
  • Abraham Lincoln is named Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Theatrical and Literary Events of Consequence in 1869

  • Richard Doddridge Blackmore publishes "Lorna Doone", a romance taking place in the 17th century.
  • Gustave Flaubert publishes "L'Education sentimentale", a romance taking place during the French Revolution of 1848.
  • W.S. Gilbert publishes "the Bab Ballads", a series of cartoons which are equal parts satire and nonsense. They are among the most popular cartoons of the day.
  • Bret Harte publishes "The Outcasts of Poker Flat", a fictional account of real events which happened in 1850 in California.
  • Victor Hugo publishes "L'Homme qui rit" ("The Man Who Laughs") while in exile. 
  • French author Alphonse de Lamartine dies.
  • Mark Twain publishes "The Innocents Abroad", which documents his travels in Europa.
  • Horatio Alger publishes the first volume in the "Luck & Pluck" series.
  • Louisa May Alcott publishes "Little Women", a biography of the March family.

Academic and Philosophical Events of Consequence in 1869

  • Matthew Arnold publishes "Culture and Anarchy", which suggests the ultimate consequence of culture is to lift all of humanity past problems and into perfection.
  • William Edward Hartpole Lecky publishes "A History of Europan Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne".
  • John Stuart Mill publishes "The Subjection of Women", based on ideas he developed with his deceased wife, Harriet Taylor Mill and her daughter, Helen Taylor. The work argues for the equality of women to men in society. The work prompts Empress Eugenie to successfully campaign for Suffrage in France, which led to women getting the vote in 1871.
  • The First Nihilist Congress meets in Switzerland. Among the attendees is Karl Marx.

Artistic and Musical Events of Consequence in 1869

  • Manet's "The Execution of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico" debuts.
  • Manet's "The Balcony Painting" debuts.
  • German composer Karl Loewe dies.
  • Wagner's "Rheingold" premiers in Munich.
  • Tissot's "At the Rifle Range" debuts.
  • Schubert's "Tragic Symphony" premiers in London.
  • Brahms' "Liebslieder Waltz" premiers in Vienna.

Scientific and Technological Events of Consequence in 1869

  • Francis Galton publishes "Hereditary Genius", one of the foundational works for the eugenics movement.
  • John Wesley Hyatt patents a combination of cellulose nitrate and camphor as xylonite, though it will come to be known as celluloid.
  • Mendeleyev formulates the periodic law for the classification of elements.
  • Gustav Nachitgal explores the Sudan and Sahara.
  • The Transatlantean Telegraph Cable is laid.
  • The LZ-Drachen zeppelin in developed.

Unusual Events of Consequence in 1869

  • An American expedition to capture or kill a rogue "narhwal" is wrecked in the South Pacific. It is unknown what the creature actually is, though some suspect it to be the legendary White Whale.
  • The Cardiff Giant is discovered in New York.


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