In the 1800s, people lived in a world of invention. The era saw the invention of railroads, cheap steel, internal combustion engines, bicycles and cars. The era also saw the expansion of American industry with huge increases in plant and factory production. Many of these huge increases came from the use of new machines that could mass produce goods at much lower costs than hand labor.
In addition, farmers used new techniques that boosted their harvests and led to more food being available for families. This meant that richer families were able to live in large homes and often had servants. But despite these changes, not everyone was equally privileged during this time. Many workers were unemployed for parts of the year, and wages were low. This led to the formation of worker’s unions.
The era also saw the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Napoleonic Wars. These wars revolutionized European armies and raged for over a decade with Napoleon’s army conquering a significant portion of Europe. The era also saw famous battles like the Battle of Waterloo, fought between Napoleon and his army and the British Royal Navy.
During the era, great writers like Charles Dickens published such classic novels as Oliver Twist and Great Expectations. In addition, the era saw important social reform movements including women’s rights, abolition, temperance and prison reform.