Late 19th Century

Potato chips, hot dogs, cotton candy, basketball, Coca-Cola, and telephones were all developed during the 19th Century between the years 1851 and 1900. Basketball was developed by James Naismith and Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. There were many other people, events, and inventions which impacted society throughout the United States and the world during that century.

Unfortunately, slavery also continued through the 19th century with new states added to America that were in favor of slavery, but there were other states wanting to abolish slavery. This conflict was one of several causes of the Civil War, which began in 1861 between the Northern states (the Union) and the Southern states (the Confederacy) of America.

The issues leading to the start of the Civil War began earlier, though, when many states in the South began to secede, or break away, meaning they no longer wanted to a be a part of the United States. They were in favor of slavery. These states were called the Confederate States and included South Carolina, the first to secede in 1860, along with Virginia, Texas, Alabama and several others.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States, which was the same year the Pony Express started, a mail service that operated between Missouri and California. Lincoln was an opponent of slavery, and when he was elected it prompted more states in favor of slavery to secede from Union. The President of the Confederacy was Jefferson Davis, and the capital was in Richmond, Virginia. The Civil War lasted about five years.

During the 1860s, many other events occurred as well, including Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863. In the same year, he also named the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day. The saddest news to hit the country, though, was the assassination of Lincoln on April 14, 1865, while he was watching a play at Ford's Theatre. The gunman's name was John Wilkes Booth. That same year, however, the 13th Amendment was passed making slavery illegal in the United States, even though it took many years for all the states to outlaw its practice.

A year later, in 1866, he Civil Rights Bill is passed over Andrew Johnson's (Lincoln's successor) veto. It was meant to ensure that blacks are given their rights after the passage of Black Codes in Southern states. These codes were laws that were meant to be discriminatory against blacks.

Many states joined the United States during the Late 19th Century, but 1867 also included the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000. Nearly 100 years later Alaska became the 49th state in 1959. In 1900, the Hawaiian Islands joined the U.S. as a territory, and became the 50th state right after Alaska.

There were many other useful inventions such as the light bulb by Thomas Edison; the first zipper was developed; the first radio; the first subway system opened in Boston, Massachusetts; flashbulb photography began and the paper clip was invented.

The publication (1851) of Moby Dick by author Herman Melville, 'Uncle Sam' appeared for the first time in a comic book publication, and a law was passed by Congress to no longer have any coins valued at one-dollar or more. In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was created as a public reserve and is a National Park today hosting millions of visitors each year.

A second assassination of a President occurred in 1881, when John Garfield was shot while in office. and. In 1893, Colorado became the first state to allow women to vote in state elections. Finally, George Washington Carver, an American scientist, educator, humanitarian, and former slave developed hundreds of products from peanuts, sweet potatoes, pecans, and soybeans. His discoveries led to improvements in agriculture and the health of Southern farmers.

A: Hot dogs, cotton candy, potato chips
B: Telephone, basketball
C: Automobile, rifle
D: Zipper, radio, subway system

A: Breaking away
B: Being successful
C: Winning a contest
D: Joining together

A: Civil Rights Bill passed
B: Pony Express began
C: Civil War began
D: Alaska purchased

A: James Naismith
B: George Washington Carver
C: Herman Melville
D: Thomas Edison

A: Slavery
B: Voting
C: Alcohol
D: Guns

A: Virginia
B: Alaska
C: Texas
D: Hawaii

To link to this Late 19th Century page, copy the following code to your site: