Timeline of the Triumph of Bourgeoisie

This post reviews history, philosophy and religion, literature, art and architecture and goes from 1830 to 1871.

The “bourgeoisie” means the middle or business class standing between the old aristocracy and the working class. It was more visible in Europe early on, but grew rapidly in America.

If you’re in a hurry, use the ctrl-f search to find your key term.

This post has Bottom Line sections as it goes along and a Conclusion section at the end, asking the Western world to do some things.

Please click on corresponding post the Outline of the Triumph of the Bourgeoisie for more information.

I. Timeframe:

A. 1830: Bourgeois Monarchy

B. 1871: End of Franco-Prussian War

Political Philosophies

Please click on corresponding post the Outline of the Triumph of the Bourgeoisie for more information.

I. Introduction

A. Problem: Money from Industrial Revolution

II. Economic Advance and Social Unrest (1830-1848)

A. Industrial Revolution

1. Proletarianization

2. Confection

B. Unrest

1831-32 Cholera epidemic kills many in western and central Europe

1845-47 Great Famine in Europe

1848 Cholera epidemic kill many in western and central Europe

III. Classical economics

A. Free Enterprise

B. Government

C. Result

D. Application

1. Iron Law of Wages

IV. Utilitarianism

A. Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

1. Works

a. Fragment on Government (1776)

b. The Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)

B. Definition: Greatest happiness for greatest number.

C. Result

1. Combination of Utilitarianism and Classical Economics

2. Poor Law (1834)

See Outline of John Stuart Mill’s Ethics.

V. Evolutionary Socialism

A. Description

B. Robert Owen (1771-1858)

VI. Revolutionary Socialism

A. Karl Marx (1818-1883)

1. Works

a. Communist Manifesto (1848)

“1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax

3. Abolition of all right of inheritance

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan

8. Equal liability of all to labor.  Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country

10. Free education for all children in public schools.  Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc., etc.” (from A Communist Manifesto)

See So what’s wrong with socialism anyway?

Genealogical Tables

John Fabb, European Royalty of the Victorian and Edwardian Era (London: B. A. Seaby, 1986)


Please click on corresponding post the Outline of the Triumph of the Bourgeoisie for more information.

I. Bourgeois Monarchy in France

A. Louis-Philippe (r. 1830-1848)

1. Bourgeois Monarch and “July” Monarchy

B. Liberal Policies

1. Tricolor flag adopted, symbol of French Revolution (1789-1799):

2. “King of the French,” not “King of France”

3. Catholicism religion of majority, not official religion

a. Government was anticlerical

4. Censorship abolished

5. King had to cooperate with Lower Chamber of Deputies

6. Election law (1831) reduces tax requirement from 300 to 200 francs and thereby enfranchises 166k to 241k male voters

C. Attitude toward working class

1830 Paris workers call for protection of jobs, better wages, and preservation of traditional crafts, rather than goals of liberalism

1831 Royal troops suppress worker’s revolt in Lyons: “Live working or die fighting!” (Nov)

1832 Suppression of uprising during funeral of popular Napoleonic general; more than 800 killed or wounded

1833 Education law elementary education intends to “moralize” lower classes

1834 Suppression of large strike of silk workers in Lyons

1840s Capitalization of society increases, but workers do not benefit all that much

1840 Louis René Villermé publishes Catalogue and the Physical and Moral State of Workers that outlines unsanitary conditions

1845-46 Economic crisis produces unemployment and hunger

1846 Elections result in more support for opposition from lower middle classes

II. Revolutions of 1848

A. Preconditions

1. 1845-47 Great Famine in Europe

2. Economic crisis in France

3. 1848 Cholera epidemic kill many in western and central Europe

Revolutions of 1848

France Habsburg Empire Italy Germany
Feb 22: workers in Paris riot

Feb 24: Louis-Philippe abdicates and flees to England

Second Republic (1848-1852)

Apr 23: Election based on universal suffrage, but conservatives in country, due to their resentment of Paris, elect conservative National Assembly

May 15: Paris workers and radicals revolt, so government closes National Workshops, which had opened in Feb

May-June 26: Government troops suppress uprisings in Paris

Dec 2, 1851: Louis-Napoleon stages coup which is affirmed by elections

Dec 1852: New elections establish an Empire



Mar 3: Magyar nationalist (Louis Kossuth) stirs up students; army fails to quell uprisings

May 17: Emperor Ferdinand (r. 1835-48) flees to Innsbruck; Habsburgs declare serfs free, as did Hungarian Parliament, so uprising loses momentum;

Dec 2: Ferdinand abdicates and gives power to Francis Joseph, who retakes Vienna (Oct)


Mar 15: The same happens as in Vienna; Results:

March Laws:

1) equality of religion

2) jury trials

3) relatively free press

4) election of lower chamber

5) nobility pays taxes

Jan 5, 1849: Budapest retaken by Francis Joseph, crushing revolts and reforms

Czech Nationalism:

June 2: First pan-Slavic Congress issues manifesto calling for equality of Slavs within Habsburg Empire; but govt. divides middle class from radicals

June 17: Revolt is crushed

N. Italy (Milan and Piedmont): uprisings suppressed by Austrians in July

Papal States:

Pope Pius IX (r. 1846-78) reforms administration of his States, so revolts never ignite


Nov 15: Pelligrino Rossi, (r. 1787-1848) liberal minister of Papal States, is assassinated;

Nov 25: Pope Pius IX flees to Naples;

Jan 5: Roman Republic proclaimed

Feb 1849: Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi flock to Rome to help uprisings

Mar 23: Victor Emmanuel II

(r. 1849-1878), now king of Piedmont helps uprising

June 1849: French lay siege to Rome; they don’t want unified Rome

July 3: Rome falls, and Pope IX returns to Vatican, renounces his liberal policies, and becomes archconservative


Mar 15, 1848: Large publics disturbances, so Frederick William IV (r. 1848-61) announces limited reforms;

Mar 18: He asks Constituent Assembly to write new constitution;

Apr 1849: Assembly is too radical, so it is dissolved; monarch proclaims his own Constitution: vote according to three classes

For example, largest taxpayers (5% of pop) elects one-third of Prussian Parliament

Frankfurt Parliament:

May 18, 1848: Convene to write German Constitution

Mar 27, 1849: Completes task with moderate Constitution, which alienates conservatives and liberals (not old order, liberal free trade, no guilds)

Mar 28, 1849: Parliament offers crown of Germany, which he rejects (divine right to rule, not human right)

Troops disperse Parliament

Gain: expanded franchise

Bottom Line on Revolutions of 1848

1. Nationalism and liberalism sometimes work in conjunction, especially in Holy Roman Empire and Italy.

2. But conservatives and bourgeoisie emerge victorious without the working class.

3. They offer only a few concessions to the more liberal, such as expanded franchise and new constitutions, which, if ignored, provide precedents for later reforms.

III. Great Britain

A. Politics and Economy

1832 Great Reform Bill

1) Replaces “rotten” boroughs (districts), which had very few voters, with more representative districts, so now industrial towns like Manchester have some votes in Parliament

2) Increases voters by 50% by reducing land qualifications; House of Lord rejects bill, but mass meeting held, and riots break out in several cities; House of Lords yields

3) Voters increase to 200k, so not a true democracy, but as people prosper, they are eligible to vote, so more voters up to 1867

1836 Anti-Corn [grain] Law Association (later Anti-Corn League) is formed to remove all tariffs on grains in order to benefit poor, led by Richard Cobden and John Bright; finally repealed in 1846 under Robert Peel

1838 People’s Charter published (May): (1) Annual Parliaments; (2) Universal male suffrage; (3) Equal electoral districts; (4) Removal of property qualifications for Members of Parliament; (5) secret ballots; (6) Payment for MPs

1842 Sir Robert Peel, Prime Minister 1841-46, introduces personal income tax

1847 Communist party is founded in London as an underground organization

1860 England and France, inspired by American trade, sign a Commercial Treaty that allows free trade, elimination of duties on French silk and wine, and on various British goods (Jan)

1861 By now Whig Party is assuming name “Liberal”

1867 Second Reform Act, led by Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), allows more male voters (from c. 1.430 to 2.470 million); it is conservatively supported bill because they recognized the inevitable, so they got in on the ground floor

1871 Trade Union Act, under Disraeli (prime minister 1874-80) recognizes trade unions, but picketing is illegal under Criminal Law Amendment until 1876 Trade Union Act, when it is legalized

B. Society

1833 Act of 1833 in England institutes factory inspectors and forbids children

1) under 9 from working; 2) from 9-13 from working over forty-eight hours; 3) 13-18 from working longer than sixty-nine

1834 Poor Law Amendment Act requires unions of parishes to build a workhouse where relief is given but only in return for hard labor; houses much hated by poor, who call them “little Bastilles”

1842 Edwin Chadwick publishes a report Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Classes (see 1848 for Parliament’s response)

Dr. Southwood Smith publishes Report on the Employment of Children in Mines, which leads to various legislation in Europe to reduce work hours for all workers (usually 15-17 hours per day) (see also 1844)

The Coal Mines Act in England abolishes employment of women and boys under ten below ground; this Act responds to Smith’s report

1844 Factory Act in England limits employment of women to twelve hours and children under thirteen to six and a half hours

1847 English Parliament passes Benthamite Act, establishing General Board of Health to improve conditions for poor; Parliament was scared by Chadwick’s report (1842)

1848 Public Health Act improves sanitation; laws could stop development and condemn buildings if health is threatened

1851 Amalgamated Society of Engineers in England combines dozens of small unions to negotiate peacefully with employers and help sick or fired

Great Exhibition is held in London and indicates prosperity and advancement

1857 Divorce is permitted through Court of Matrimonial Causes; before it was allowed only through Parliament

1870 Education Act, under William Gladstone (1809-1898; prime minister 1868-74), has government take over elementary school education up to twelve

1875 Public Health Act consolidates previous sanitary legislation and reaffirms duty of state to intervene in private property on matters of health and well-being

1875 Artisans Dwelling Act gets government involved in providing housing for working class

Bottom Line on Britain (1830-1870s)

1. Reformers and liberals (sometimes in conjunction and sometimes in opposition) are inching their way to power, at least by influencing Parliament to pass legislation to enfranchise voters and then to help the poor and working class.

2. However, as seen in Dickens’ novels, the poor and working class were still suffering badly because the laws protecting them had not caught up with the pace of the Industrial Revolution.

3. These liberal and reformist policies and impulses will gradually converge in Labour Party (1893, 1900).

4. The enfranchisement of more voters (see 1832 and 1867 on Timeline) grows, but this does not keep pace with France (below).

IV. France under Emperor Napoleon III (r. 1851-70)

A. Election Results of Dec 21, 1851

1. 7.5 million, yes

2. 640k, no

3. 1.5 million, abstentions

B. Emperor on Dec 2, 1852

1. Plebiscite election approves

1853 He marries Eugénie de Montijo: daughter of Spanish nobleman, Scottish blood, but mother’s father had taken American nationality

1856 Eugénie gives birth to son

C. Politics and Economy

1850s Napoleon III is popular—“savior of society” for property owners—so he strengthens executive powers; general prosperity

1857 Elections for Assembly see small opposition growing from Republicans

1860 Assembly has right to agree on nominated ministers, and its debates over proceedings must be publicized in full

1861 Assembly is allowed to vote for items in budget

1863 Thirty-five opposition candidates elected

1864 French and British trade unionist found International Working Men’s Association; inaugural address given by Marx, who praised reform movements

1869 Empire is still popular, as seen in a plebiscite vote on the question: “Do you approve of the liberal reforms since 1860?” (1) 7.350 million, yes; (2) 1.538 million, no; (3) 1.9 million, abstentions

Legislative Election Results
Year Registered Voters Votes for Government Votes for Opposition Abstentions
1852 9,836,000 5,248,000 810,000 3,613,000
1857 9,490,000 5,471,000 665,000 2,714,000
1863 9,938,000 5,308,000 1,954,000 2,714,000
1869 10,417,000 4,438,000 3,255,000 2,291,000
Roger Price, A Concise History of France, 2nd ed., CUP, 1993, p. 185

D. Society and Religion

1850 Falloux Law gives religious schools freedom to operate

1851 Mélun Act improves sanitation for France; laws could stop development or condemn buildings if public health is threatened

1869 La Samaritaine department store is founded

E. Foreign Policy

1860 France and England, inspired by American trade, sign a Commercial Treaty that allows free trade, elimination of duties on French silk and wine, and on various British goods (Jan)

1861-67 Expedition and experiment in Mexico fails disastrously

1870 Franco-Prussian War turns out disastrously for France

July 19: French government declares war on Prussia

Sept 1:  Louis-Napoleon is captured and is allowed to go to England

Sept 4: Republic is proclaimed (Third one)

Late Sept: Paris is besieged by Prussians

1871 Jan 28: Paris capitulates

Feb 26: Adolphe Thiers (“Chief of the Executive Power of the French Republic”) makes peace with Prussia

May 10: Treaty of Frankfurt forces France to cede Alsace and parts of Lorraine and to pay fiver billion francs in indemnity

Mar 28-May 28: Paris commune in Paris, which is separate government from Republic, but the Republic’s army crushes the commune

Bottom Line on France (1830-1871)

1. The economy is being powered by the growing industrial revolution, and liberals and reformers are progressing slowly, but steadily.

2. Living under the shadow of the French Revolution, Napoleon, Louis XVIII and Charles X, Louis-Philippe (r. 1830-48) was, depending on one’s own ideology, a liberal conservative or a conservative liberal; he was after all a king (pro-royalist), but he was established by a Revolution fomented by upper-level liberals. Therefore he made some concessions to the upper-level liberals; however, he was no friend of the working class, suppressing them with troops when they got out of hand. Walking a tightrope, he could have stayed in power if the French economy had not declined and the Great Famine not struck, both in 1845-47.

3. On the other hand, Emperor Louis-Napoleon (r. 1852-70) was, with some qualifications, a popular emperor (see referendum of 1869 in Timeline), but opposition to his policies grew by four times from 1852-69 (see chart above). Republican and liberal pressure kept Louis-Napoleon tied to some reforms for the upper-level liberals. He failed largely due to an unwise foreign policy, culminating in the disastrous loss in the Franco-Prussian War, which will lead to the Third Republic.

4. Voting enfranchisement was large (see chart above), but we are far from a true democracy.

V. Prussia and German States: Pathway to Unification

A. Politics and Economy

1832 Patriotic Association in Support of the Free Press is formed in Bavaria, so liberals are making themselves heard; goal: a unified Germany and democratic Europe

Association holds a mass meeting in Hambach (Hambach Festival) with 20-30 k attending (May 27), calling for enactment of two main goals, but it fades out eventually because of split between moderates and radicals, and government suppression; Bundestag (upper house) passes strict laws against radicalism

1848 Revolts in Germany and Austria: see chart above; Prussian army crushes revolution in Frankfurt and Stuttgart and other places; Bismarck is in Frankfurt during Parliament’s meetings, and he opposes Austrian attempts to dominate the Federation; this time in his life seals his Prussian patriotism and anti-Austrian policies

1850 Prussian Parliament creates constitution, giving power to upper classes

1863 Ferdinand Lasalle is appointed president of the newly formed General German Worker’s Association (ADAV), thus becoming the founder of Social Democracy; goals: an independent workers’ party, universal suffrage, cooperative labor; 1866: August Behel and Wilhelm Liebknecht (disciples of Marx) form Saxon People’s Party, which combines Socialists with radical democrats; 1869: this party is renamed Socialist Democratic Workers’ Party (SDAP); 1875: Two parties combine Socialist Workers’ Part of Germany (SPD)

B. Society

1839 Prussian law forbids children under nine from working in factories and mines, but not effective since no inspectors to enforce until 1853

1840s Rudolf Virchow publishes findings on unsanitary conditions of workers

C. Diplomacy and Unification

1814-15 Congress of Vienna creates German Federation, which Austria dominates more than Prussia does: thirty-four states and four cities (Bremen, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, and Luebeck)

1834 Zollverein ([Free] Trade Union) is formed under Prussian dominance which eighteen states joined, creating a large free-trade region of 25 million Germans, which pokes at Austrian dominance (Jan 1)

1862 Prussia concludes free-trade treaty with France, which hinders Austrian protectionist policies (Mar 29)

1862 Bismarck is made Prime Minster under William I (r. 1861-1888) (Sept 22)

“The great questions of our day are not decided by speeches and majority vote, which was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849, but by blood and iron.”

From Bismarck’s speech given to the Landtag (lower house) on Sept 30. (qtd. in M. Kitchen, Cambridge Illustrated History of Germany, CUP, 1996, p. 194)

1863 Denmark proclaims a new Constitution (Dec) and Schleswig (a small region to the South) is was an integral part of Denmark, but the population is mostly German

1864 Bismarck needs to bolster army and reduce Austria once and for all, and a small region south of Denmark gives him a handle: Schleswig-Holstein; in February Austrian and Prussian troops march against Denmark and defeat it;

Denmark hands over Schleswig-Holstein in peace treaty signed in Vienna (Oct)

1865 Treaty of Gastein gives Schleswig to Prussian, and Holstein to Austria (Aug 14), but Prussia (really Bismarck) is determined to go to war with Austria, but how? Why? He provokes Austria by telling troops to be obnoxious to them in Schleswig-Holstein split

1866 Apr 8: Prussia signs peace treaty with Italy: if Prussia were to go to war with Austria in next three month, Italy would form a southern front (William I was horrified, but Bismarck ignored him)

July 3: Prussian army defeats Austrians near fortress of Koeniggraetz in Bohemia; Austria defeats Italians

Aug 23: Treaty of Prague is generous towards Austria, but excludes it from German affairs; Venetia is ceded to France (Napoleon III), which cedes it to Italy

1867 North German Confederation is proclaimed, by Bismarck’s annexing states of Hanover, Hesse, and Nassau, and city of Frankfurt, which had all supported Austria in the war; Constitution provides for democratic             elections and liberalism, but still in conservative control under king; Bismarck is appointed Prime Minister, foreign minister, and chancellor

1867-68 Zollparlament (Customs Parliament) is formed and all the member states of the Zollverein are represented through elections by universal suffrage, so Prussia dominates because it is more numerous; Prussia is resented in south

1870 Prussia goes to war with France (see France, above)

Bismarck begins negotiations with four southern German states (Wuertemberg, Palatinate, Bavaria, and Baden) (Oct)

Bismarck succeeds in his negotiations (Nov 25); parliaments ratify decision

1871 William I is proclaimed emperor of German Federation at Versailles, outside Paris; now Germany is united (Jan 18)

Bottom Line on German Unification

1. Twenty-five new federal states

2. Four kingdoms (Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, and Wuertemberg)

3. Six grand duchies

4. Five duchies

5. Seven principalities

6. Three free cities

7. Berlin is capital of Reichstag (lower house with 382 seats)

(a) National Liberals: 125; (b) Old Liberals: 30; (c) Progessives: 46 (these three could form a majority against Bismarck’s supporters); (d) Free Conservatives: 37 (supporters of Bismarck); (e) Conservatives: 57 (more critical of Bismarck); (f) Catholic Center Party: 63; (Source: M. Kitchen, Cambridge Illustrated History of Germany, CUP, 1996, p. 202)

8. The Emperor (Kaiser = Caesar) is hereditary chairman of Bundesrat (upper house); he can call or dismiss Bundesrat and Reichstag, and he appoints chancellor and secretaries of state, so he holds a lot of power.

9. Bismarck accomplished his goal of unification with quick wars and shrewd diplomacy; he was appointed chancellor and made prince in 1871.

10. German government has all the appearance of liberalism, but it is a conservative creation.


I. Civil War (1861-1865)

A. Origins

1. Slavery

1820 Missouri Compromise: Missouri comes into Union as slave state, whereas Maine comes in as a free state; 36 30’ a line south of Missouri to Rockies

1831-1860s Abolition movements and southern justification gain momentum, so thirty years of emotional preparation; 1852: Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published by Harriet Beecher Stowe

1846-48 War with Mexico and conquest of SW territories reopen question of slavery: will the new territory, which is below the 36 30’ Missouri compromise, become slave or free?

Wilmot Proviso said new territories should be free; Calhoun of SC said federal government should stay out of deciding (i.e., new territories should become slave)

1850 Compromise of 1850: (1) California admitted as free state, thus upsetting balance of free/slave states; (2) Territorial governments were organized in NM and UT, letting local people decide the issue; TX-NM border decided, denying TX disputed area, and the federal government gives TX 10 million dollars to pay debts to Mexico; (3) Slave trade (but not ownership) in DC is abolished; (4) Fugitive Slave Act says (a) Fugitive slaves denied trial by jury; (b) $10 dollars for returning fugitive slave, but 5$ for setting him free; (c) northerners compelled to return slaves

1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, argued for by Stephen Douglas of Illinois, says locals could vote for slavery or freedom, but this violated Missouri Compromise (see 1820), since both states were north of 36 30’ line

1856 “Bleeding Kansas”: KS voted for freedom, but proslavery Missourians slip across border to upset balance (May); during the summer, a mini-civil war was fought; John Brown and four sons under “divine” inspiration shoot and hack up proslavery settlers near Pottawatomie Creek (May 24)

1857 Dred Scott case: Dred and Harriett Scott filed suit in 1846 that their owners took them into free territory, so they should be free; finally the Supreme Court, having a southern majority, ruled as follows: (1) Blacks had no right to sue in federal court, since they were not citizens and were “beings of an inferior order”; (2) Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional to begin with; (3) Removal in and out of free states did not affect their status; President Buchanan endorses decision

1859 John Brown’s raid on federal arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, VA (now WV) ends in failure, but his death makes him a hero of abolitionists; Southerners fear other uprisings

1860 Abraham Lincoln is elected president as a Republican with less than forty percent of popular vote; he campaigned on moderation: no extension of slavery with less than 40 percent of popular vote; he was personally opposed to slavery and called it “a moral, social, and political evil” and “we propose a course of policy that shall deal with it as wrong”; but it was unclear what the policy would be

2. States’ Rights

1832 Nullification Ordinance by SC of “Northern” intrusion, which had imposed tariffs to raise prices of European goods, so New England merchants could compete

1833 Compromise Tariff of 1833, reduces tariffs gradually until 1842

Really, the state’s rights problem is so tightly interwoven into slavery that it is difficult to separate the two issues.

3. Economic and Cultural Differences between North and South

B. Fighting and Policies during the War

  1861 Fall of Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, SC, to Southerners (Apr 12-13)

Said Lincoln in Aug. 1862: “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because it helps to save this Union.”

1863 Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation (Jan 1), which frees slaves only in southern states active in rebellion; it leaves slaves along border states and in parts of the South already in northern hands; therefore, what became a war to save the Union now became also a war to free the slaves.

1864 Lincoln reelected, due to Northern victories

1865 General Lee signs surrender in Appomattox, Virginia (Apr 9)

Lincoln assassinated in Ford’s Theater (Apr 14)

C. Outcome

360,000 Union soldiers killed

260,000 Confederate soldiers killed


620,000 Total dead

375,000 Seriously wounded and maimed


995,000 Casualties nationwide in a total male population of 15 million

(Nearly 1 in 15)

Source: The American People, ed. Gary B. Nash et al., San Francisco: Longman, 2003, p. 471

D. Reconstruction (1865-1877)

1865-66 “Black codes” give some rights to blacks (e.g., marriage, to sue and be sued, testify in court, and hold property), but complications and qualifications restrict black rights (e.g., vagrancy laws, work contracts with severe punishments), perhaps to get the federal government to withdraw

1865 Thirteenth Amendment passes in Congress and ratified by states, which prohibits slavery (Dec)

1866 Fourteenth Amendment passes in Congress and ratified by states, which (1) defines national citizenship as by birth or naturalization; (2) reduces state representation in Congress proportional to number of disenfranchised voters; (3) denies former Confederates the right to hold office (July)

Southern Homestead Act makes public land available to blacks and loyal whites, but land is inferior and inaccessible, and most blacks bound by contracts that prevent them from making claims before deadline; only about 4,000 blacks apply

Freedmen’s Bureau is renewed (over Johnson’s veto), which performs many essential services: 20 million rations; reunites families; resettles 30k war refugees; treats 450k for disease or injury, builds 40 hospitals; builds hundred of schools; provides hundreds of books, tools, furnishings; however, poorly staffed (900 at its peak across South), so reforms were minimal compared to the needs

1867 Reconstruction Act passes in Congress (over Johnson’s veto), dividing South in five military districts with broad powers to military commanders to protect and maintain order; States would be readmitted back in the Union with constitutions granting black suffrage

1868 President Andrew Johnson narrowly survives impeachment for obstructing Republican policies towards the South (Nov)

Grant is elected President

1870 Fifteenth Amendment passes in Congress (1869) and is ratified by states, which prohibits denial of right to vote because of race, color, or previous servitude

1866-1877 Republicans rule state legislatures and have these goals: (1) eliminate undemocratic features from prewar constitutions; (2) provide universal male suffrage and loosen requirement to hold office; (3) relieve poverty and provide care for handicapped; (4) relax divorce laws and property restrictions for women; (5) shorten list of crimes punishable by death; (5) overhaul tax systems; (6) approve railroad bonds; (7) rebuild harbors, roads, bridges; (8) establish hospitals and asylums; (9) create South’s first public school systems

However, from 1869-77 through intimidation and reign of terror, conservative white democrats retake state houses and repeal liberties and do not enforce the recent three Amendments

1876 Rutherford B. Hayes wins election (185 v. 184 electoral votes) over Samuel Tilden of NY

1877 President Hayes tours the South and tells blacks: “[Y]our rights and interests would be safer if this great mass of intelligent white men were let alone by the general government” (qtd. in The American People, p. 494); thus Reconstruction ends

E. Two Examples of African American Church Growth and Education:

Negro Baptist Church:

1850: 150,000

1870: 500,000

African Methodist Episcopal Church:

1865:  100,000

1875:  400,000

School attendance:

Before Reconstruction:  5%

1880s: 40%

Source: Gary Nash et al., The American People, pp. 485, 488

Bottom Line on Civil War

1. Almost a million casualties occurred in order to preserve the Union and then to free the slaves.

2. The principal cause that underlies all the other causes is slavery; Americans realized this even at the time (“a house divided [over slavery] cannot stand”), but first must come the preservation of the Union; afterwards, Lincoln would deal with the problem of slavery, if not for his assassination.

3. Reconstruction begins well enough, but with too little enforcement to preserve some changes.

4. By 1877, President Hayes does not enforce Reconstruction and three Amendments (13, 14, 15), and northern whites tire of hearing of southern Reconstruction, due to new immigrants in the North, westward expansion, factories and prosperity, and government corruption.

5. Good news: Black churches and school attendance grow.


I. Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

A. Publications

1. Journal of Researches (1836)

2. The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859, 1872)

3. The Descent of Man (1874)

“Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created.  To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining birth and death of the individual.  When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before . . . they seem to me to become ennobled.” (from Origin of Species, 6th ed. in 1872)

“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” (from ibid.)

“The belief in God has often been advanced as not only the greatest, but the most complete of all distinctions between man and the lower animals.  It is however impossible, as we have seen, to maintain that this belief is innate or instinctive to man . . . .  I am aware that the assumed instinctive belief in God has been used by many persons as an argument for His existence.  But this is a rash argument . . . .  The idea of a universal and beneficent Creator does not seem to arise in the mind of man, until he has been elevated by long-continued culture.” (from The Descent of Man, 2nd ed. 1874)

B. Influence on Society and Economy

“A struggle is inevitable and it is a question of the survival of the fittest.” (Andrew Carnegie, 1900)

“The fortunes of railroad companies are determined by the law of the survival of the fittest.” (James J. Hill, 1910)

“The growth of a large business is merely the survival of the fittest.” (John D. Rockefeller c. 1900)

II. Some Advances and Developments in the Sciences

1836 Samuel Colt patents percussion revolver

1839 American Louis Agassiz describes the motion and laying down of glaciers, thus confirming ice ages

1840s Austen Layard excavates the Assyrian capital of Nineveh

1842 English paleontologist Richard Owen coins term “dinosaur”

1846 Neptune is identified by Johann Galle, following predictions by John Adams and Urbain Leverrier

Irish physicist William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) estimates, using the temperature of the Earth, that it is 100 million years old

1849 Measurement of speed of light is put forward by French physicist Armand Fizeau

1850 U.S. naval officer Matthew Fontaine Maury maps Atlantic Ocean, noting it iis deeper near its edges than at the center

1851 Rotation of Earth is demonstrated by Jean Foucault

1852 Edward Sabine in Ireland shows a link between sunspot activity and changes in Earth’s magnetic field

Henri Giffard flies the first steam-powered airship over Paris

1853 Robert Bunsen invents Bunsen burner

James Coffin describes three major wind bands that girdle hemisphere

George Cayley flies first true airplane, a model glider 1.5m/5ft long

1857 Louis Pasteur establishes that microorganisms are responsible for fermentation, creating the discipline of microbiology

Smith and Wesson patent first metallic rim-fire cartridge revolver

1858 Stanislao Cannizzaro differentiates atomic and molecular weights (masses)

Mirror galvanometer, an instrument for measuring small electrical currents, is invented by William Thomson (Lord Kelvin)

French introduce ironclad warships

1859 Gustav Kirchoff explains dark lines in the solar spectrum

Edwin Drake drills world’s first oil well at Titusville, Penn

Spectographic analysis was made by Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchoff

1860 Jean-Etienne Lenoir builds first gas-fueled engine

1861 Organic chemistry is defined by German chemist Friedrich Kekulé as the chemistry of carbon compounds

Osmosis is discovered

Gatling gun, first successful mechanical machine gun

1862 First steam plow is used in the Netherlands

Hemoglobins are first crystallized

First battle between ironclad warships Monitor and Merrimac in American Civil War

1863 Gregor Mendel pioneers his study of inheritance with his experiments on peas

Robert Fairlie, (Scot) patents a locomotive with pivoting bogies, allowing tight curves

London builds first underground railway, powered by steam

TNT is discovered by German chemist J. Wilbrand

1864 John Newlands devises the first periodic table of elements

1866 Alfred Nobel invents dynamite

1869 The genetic material DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is discovered by Friedrich Mieschler

Dmitri Mendeleyev expounds his first periodic table of elements (based on atomic mass), leaving gaps for elements yet to be discovered

First US transcontinental railway is completed at Promontory, Utah, where the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads meet

George Westinghouse (US) invents the compressed air brake

1871 Heinrich Schliemann begins excavations at Troy


I. Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

What is the absurd? The absurd is that the eternal truth has entered time, that God has entered existence, has been born, has grown, and so on, has become precisely like any other being, quite indistinguishable from other humans. The absurd is precisely by its objective repulsion the measure of the inwardness of faith. Suppose there is a man who desires to have faith. Let the comedy begin. He desires to obtain faith with the help of objective investigation and what the approximation process of evidential enquiry yields. What happens? With the help of the increment of evidence the absurd is transformed to something else; it becomes probable, it becomes more probable still, it becomes perhaps highly and overwhelmingly probable. Now that there is respectable evidence for the content of his faith, he is ready to believe it, and he prides himself that his faith is not like that of the shoemaker, the tailor, and the simple folk, but comes after a long investigation. Now he prepares himself to believe it. Any proposition that is almost probable, reasonably probable, highly and overwhelmingly probable, is something that is known and as good as known, highly and overwhelmingly known—but it is not believed, not through faith; for the absurd is precisely faith’s object and the only positive attitude possible in relation to it is faith and not knowledge.

Christianity has declared itself to be the eternal that has entered into time, that has declared itself the paradox and demands faith’s inwardness in relation to that which is a scandal to the Jews and folly to the Greeks—and as absurd to the understanding. It is impossible to say this more strongly than by saying: subjectivity is truth, and objectivity is repelled by it—by virtue of the absurd.

Subjectivity culminates in passion. Christianity is the paradox; paradox and passion belong together as a perfect match, and paradox is perfectly suited to one whose situation is to be in the extremity of existence. Indeed, there has never been found in all the world two lovers more suited to each other than passion and paradox . . . The existing individual by means of the paradox has come to the extremity of existence. (from Concluding Unscientific Postscript)

Romanticism and Realism in Literature

Please click on corresponding post the Outline of the Triumph of the Bourgeoisie for more information.

I. Romanticism in England

A. Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)

1. Works

a. Jane Eyre (1847)

II. Romanticism in America (1770s to 1870s+)

A. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

1. Works

a. Walden (1854)

B. Frederick Douglass (?1818-1895)

1. Works

a. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845, rev. 1892)

C. Walter Whitman (1819-1892)

1. Works

a. Leaves of Grass (1855, 1856, 1860, 1867, 1871, 1889)

Song of Myself


I celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

. . . .

I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

. . . .

Creeds and schools in abeyance,

Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are but never forgotten,

I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,

Nature without check with original energy


Smile O voluptuous cool-breathed earth!

Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees!

Earth of the departed sunset—earth of the mountain misty-tops!

Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue!

Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river!

Earth of the limpid gray clouds brighter and clearer for my sake!

Far-swooping elbowed earth—rich-apple blossomed earth!

Smile, for your lover come.

Prodigal, you have given me love—therefore I give to you love!

O unspeakable passionate love.

D. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (1830-1886)

I died for Beauty—but was scarce

Adjusted in the Tomb

When One who died for Truth, was lain

In an adjoining Room—

He questioned softly ‘Why I failed’?

‘For Beauty,’ I replied—

‘And I—for Truth—Themselves are One—

We brethren, are,’ He said—

And so, as Kinsmen, met a Night—

We talked between the Rooms—

Until the Moss had reached our lips—

And covered up—our names—

III. Realism in England

A. Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

1. Works

a. Hard Times (1854)

IV. Realism in France

A. Gustave Flaubert (1821-188)

1. Works

a. Madame Bovary (1857)

After Emma takes poison:

“At eight o’clock the vomiting resumed . . .

Very gently, almost caressingly, he [Charles, her husband] passed his hand over her stomach. She gave a sharp scream. He drew back in fright.

She began to moan, softly at first. Her shoulders heaved in a great shudder, and she grew whiter than the sheet her clenched fingers were digging into. Her irregular pulse was almost imperceptible now.

Beads of sweat stood out on her face, which had turned blue and rigid, as though from the breath of some metallic vapor. Her teeth chattered, her dilated eyes stared about vaguely, and her sole answer to questions was a shake of her head; two or three times she even smiles. Gradually her groans grew louder. A muffled scream escaped her; she pretended that she was feeling better and that she’d soon be getting up. But she was seized with convulsions.

‘God!’ She cried. ‘It’s horrible!’

Compare the above description with Shakespeare’s idealized description of suicide in Romeo and Juliet. No heroic death in Emma’s fate.

V. Realism in America

A. Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910) (a.k.a. Mark Twain)

1. Works

a. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)

VI. Realism in Russia

A. Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)

1. Works

a. Notes From Underground (1864)

“I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man. I am a most unpleasant man. I think my liver is diseased. Then again, I don’t know a thing about my illness; I’m not even sure what hurts. I’m not being treated and have never been, though I respect both medicine and doctors. Besides, I’m extremely superstitious—well at least enough to respect medicine. (I’m sufficiently educated not to be superstitious, but I am, anyway.) No, gentlemen, it’s out of spite that I don’t wish to be treated. Now then, that’s something you probably won’t understand. Well, I do. Of course, I won’t really be able to explain to you precisely who will be hurt by my spite in this case; I know perfectly that I can’t ‘get even’ with doctors by refusing their treatment; I know better than anyone that all this is going to hurt me alone, and no one else. Even so, if I refuse to be treated, it’s out of pure spite. My liver hurts? Good, let it hurt even more!”

Art and Architecture

Please click on corresponding post the Outline of the Triumph of the Bourgeoisie for more information.

I. Neoclassicism and Romanticism after 1830

A. Painting

1. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)

2. Eugène de la Croix (1798-1863)

B. Architecture

1. Charles Barry (1795-1860)

2. A. W. N. Pugin (1812-1852)

a. House of Parliament (Gothic style)

II. Realism

A. France

1. Gustave Courbet (1819-1877)

2. Honoré Daumier (1808-1879)

3. Jean-François Millet (1814-1875)

4. Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899)

5. Edouard Manet (1832-1883)

a. See Impressionism

Bottom Line on Romanticism and Realism in Literature and Painting

1. Realism reacts against Neo-classicism, which is cold and academic, and it reacts against Romanticism, which is exaggerated. Whereas Romantics search for the ideal, Realists plumb the actual and here-and-now and scientific and social laws that can trap characters (which leads to later Naturalism in literature). In painting, Rosa Bonheur’s The Horse Fair is painted in minute detail, and the subject is down-to-earth, with no national or mythological significance.

2. Romanticism exalts nature, whereas Realism uses it merely as background. For example, in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, an example of Romanticism, Jane and Rochester declare their love for each other under cloudy moonlight with a Nightingale singing in the background, when a storm starts up (a symbol of passions). In contrast, in Gustave Flaubert’s Realist novel Madame Bovary, the aristocrat M. Boulanger and Emma undergo their confused beginnings of illicit love during an award ceremony for best cow and best manure and so on. Laced between Boulanger’s earthbound discourse on love is the announcer calling out the blue ribbons. “Best manure!”

3. Realism eliminates supernatural elements, being concerned for verisimilitude (truth-likeness). Gustave Courbet, the painter, said, “I don’t paint angels because I’ve never seen one” (a paraphrase).

4. Realism sees the average person—from the middle and lower classes—as worthy subjects. Honoré Daumier’s Third-Class Carriage and Jean-François’s The Sower are examples.

5. In literature, the language is not often exalted or lofty, but earthy and accented, as, for example, in Mark Twain’s characters. Twain was reacting against the stilted, inaccurate dialects in James Fennimore Cooper’s novels.

6. In Realist literature the characters are flawed in a way that offers little hope of redemption, as we would see in Romanticism. Emma Bovary is an example, and the unnamed character in Notes from Underground is an extreme example.

7. All art has a political angle; likewise Realism is influenced by the Revolutions throughout Europe in 1848-50 and the ideas circulating around Europe before and after the Revolutions. Realism takes the concern for the “little people” seen in Romanticism and carries it farther. This is especially seen in Dickens’ novels and his description of their suffering. Realists advocate democracy, and some, socialism. Courbet was a friend of Pierre-Joseph Proudon, an anarchist.

8. Realists are reacting to the Industrial Revolution that has been growing since the 1830s. More and more painters escape from the city to find rural scenes (see #4), and Dickens attacks the injustices that workers suffer in mines and factories, and students in schools.

9. Realists tend to avoid national and cataclysmic themes (as in epics), and depict their subjects in the details of everyday, common life. Courbet’s The Meeting, or Bonjour Monsieur Courbet and The Burial at Ornans are examples in painting, and the unnamed character in Notes from Underground is an example in literature.

10. However, it is difficult to escape the social and national implications of an individual struggling to survive, as seen in Frederick Douglass’ autobiography or in a Dickens’ novel. This is the political message in Realist works. In effect, Realists, through their detailed descriptions of suffering and use of nationally insignificant characters, are telling a nation—its political leaders, really—to improve the conditions of the poor and oppressed.


Get up, Western world! Reclaim your good heritage, like your true biblical Christian faith, rather than empty religion, and forget the bad past. You fought for liberty; now live as free people.

Don’t allow communism or Islamism to erode your liberty.


Outline of Ancient Egypt (3100-525 BCE)

Outline of Mesopotamian Civilizations (2900-1750 BCE)

Outline of Minoan Civilization (3000-1380 BCE)

Outline of Archaic Greece (1900-500 BCE)

Outline of Classical Athens (500-323 BCE)

Outline of Hellenistic World (336 BCE-14 CE)

Outline of Roman Civilization (800 BCE-476 CE)

Outline of Medieval Age (476-1500)

Outline of Renaissance and Reformation (1400-1610)

Timeline of Renaissance and Reformation (1492-1610)

Outline of the Early Modern World (1603-1715)

Timeline of the Early Modern World (1603-1715)

Outline of the Age of Reason (1715-1789)

Timeline of the Age of Reason (1715-1789)

Outline of Revolutions and Reactions (1789-1830)

Timeline of Revolutions and Reactions (1789-1830)

Outline of the Triumph of the Bourgeoisie (1830-1871)

Timeline of the Triumph of the Bourgeoisie (1830-1871)

Outline of the Gilded Age (1871-1914)

Timeline of the Gilded Age (1871-1914)

Outline of the Age of Populism (1914-1945)

Timeline of the Age of Populism (1914-1945)

Outline of the Age of Affluence (1945-1990s)

Timeline of the Age of Affluence (1945-1989)


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