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Nineteenth Century History

1800 – 1812

1800 The population of the world is about one billion. Worcestershire Sauce invented. James Ross discovers the magnetic North Pole. Pius VI becomes Pope. Thomas Jefferson elected US President. Alessandro Volta invents the voltaic cell.

1801 Kingdom of Etruria founded by Napoleon in Tuscany. Thomas Young publishes proof of the principle of interference of light, supporting the wave theory of light. Young helps to break the translations of the Rosetta Stone found in 1799.

1802 Legion of Honour created. First British Factory act. First practical steamboat, Charlotte Dundas, invented by William Symington. Plans for constructing a tunnel between France and England were proposed.

1803 Act of Mediation replaces Helvetic Republic by Swiss Confederation. US purchases Louisiana from Napoleon, who had taken it from Spain. American inventor Robert Fulton builds the first steamboat to run a passenger service. Chemist John Dalton puts forth the theory of the atom, unbeknowst to him first put forward by Leucippus and his disciple Democritus in the 5th century BC.

1804 Napoleon crowns himself Emperor of France. François Appert develops food canning. John Stevens invents the screw propeller. Richard Trevithick builds the steam locomotive.

1805 Battle of Trafalgar: Nelson destroys Franco-Spanish fleet but is killed. Oliver Evans invents the amphibious vehicle, Orukter Amphibolos. Luigi Brugnatelli invents electroplating. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck coins the word “biology.”

1806 British occupy Beunos Aires, Argentina, but is forced by citizens to surrender. Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, invents a coffee pot with a metal sieve to strain away the grounds. Noah Webster published A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, the first truly American dictionary.

1807 Thomas Young publishes A Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts, which introduces the modern concept of energy, the Young-Helmholtz theory of color vision, and describing astigmatism. Robert Fulton opens American rivers to two-way travel with his steamboat the Clermont, travelling New York and Albany.

1808 Papal states partly annexed to Italy. James Madison elected US President. Goethe completes first part of Faust. Jane Aitken’s Bible first Bible printed by a woman.

1809 Revolts in Quito and other places in Spanish South America. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck credited for orginating theory of evolution (although it was proposed centuries earlier).

1810 Napoleon divorces Josephine. Frederick Koenig invents an improved printing press. Peter Durand invents the tin can. John H. Hall invents breech-loading rifle. First Oktoberfest, held in Bavaria as celebration of Ludwig I’s wedding on 27 October.

1811 Chilean revolution. Robert Fulton granted a patent for the practical steamboat.

1812 War between Britain and US, now referred to as the 1812 War. (with no definite outcome)