Was it possible that Napoleon should win the battle of Waterloo? We answer, No! Why? Because of Wellington? Because of Blucher? No! Because of God! For Bonaparte to conquer at Waterloo was not the law of the nineteenth century. It was time that this vast man should fall. He had been impeached before the Infinite! He had vexed God! Waterloo was not a battle. It was the change of front of the universe!
Just as the French of the nineteenth century invested their surplus capital in a railway-system in the belief that they would makemoney by it in this life, in the thirteenth they trusted their money to the Queen of Heaven because of their belief in her power to repay it with interest in the life to come.
We must face the fact that we are on the brink of times when man may be able to magnify his intellectual and inventive capability, just as in the nineteenth century he used machines to magnify his physical capacity. Again, as then, our innocence is lost. And again, of course, the innocence, once lost, cannot be regained. The loss demands attention, not denial.
Decades from now, people will look back and wonder how societies could have acquiesced in a sex slave trade in the twenty-first century that is... bigger than the transatlantic slave trade was in the nineteenth. They will be perplexed that we shrugged as a lack of investment in maternal health caused half a million women to perish in childbirth each year.
Ordered that of the Indians and Half-breeds sentenced to be hanged by the military commission, composed of Colonel Crooks, Lt. Colonel Marshall, Captain Grant, Captain Bailey, and Lieutenant Olin, and lately sitting in Minnesota, you cause to be executed on Friday the nineteenth day of December, instant, the following names, to wit...
Perhaps the best testimony to the effectiveness of the reforms of 1852 is the fact, that men of a slightly later generation, familiar with the working of the courts half a century after, find it difficult to believe that such abuses as are plainly described by the legislation of that year, should really have existed in the middle of the nineteenth century.
Seek out some retired and old-world spot, far from the madding crowd, and dream away a sunny week among its drowsy lanes - some half-forgotten nook, hidden away by the fairies, out of reach of the noisy world - some quaint-perched eyrie on the cliffs of Time, from whence the surging waves of the nineteenth century would sound far-off and faint.
Jerome K. Jerome
This whole theory [of John Law and Jean Terrasson], as dear to French financial schemers in the eighteenth century as to American " Greenbackers " in the nineteenth, had resulted, under the Orleans Regency and Louis XV, in ruin to France financially and morally, had culminated in the utter destruction of all prosperity, the rooting out of great numbers of the most important industries, and the grinding down of the working people even to starvation.
Andrew Dickson White
Of all the men who attacked the flying problem in the 19th century, Otto Lilienthal was easily the most important. ... It is true that attempts at gliding had been made hundreds of years before him, and that in the nineteenth century, Cayley, Spencer, Wenham, Mouillard, and many others were reported to have made feeble attempts to glide, but their failures were so complete that nothing of value resulted.
The nineteenth century is a turning point in history, simply on account of the work of two men, Darwin and Renan, the one the critic of the Book of Nature, the other the critic of the books of God. Not to recognise this is to miss the meaning of one of the most important eras in the progress of the world.
The most critical of these new religious developments for twentieth-century religious liberalism were a renewed and transformed emphasis on mystical practice and experience, the healing ministry known as mind cure, and the rise of modern psychology. These three interrelated spiritual innovations spread as significant components of popular religion in large part through the mass print media. Rather than religious movements dependent on revivalism or church life, these were first and foremost discourses, creatures of the printed word. Initially explored only by an avant-garde of liberal intellectuals late in the nineteenth century, the new books and ideas emerging at the margins of liberal Protestantism eventually reached a nation-wide middle-class audience. The mass media unleashed by nineteenth-century evangelicalism enabled the alternative spiritualities of the twentieth century to flourish, especially with the rise of religious middlebrow culture in the decades after World War I.
Just imagine! In the early nineteenth century, this cathedral was in such a state of disrepair that the city considered tearing it down. Luckily for us, Victor Hugo heard about the plans to destroy it and wrote The Hunchback of Notre-Dame to raise awareness of its glorious history. And, by golly, did it work! Parisians campaigned to save it, and the building was repaired and polished to the pristine state you find today.
The main vehicle for nineteenth-century socialization was the leading textbook used in elementary school. They were so widely used that sections in them became part of the national language. Theodore Roosevelt, scion of an elite New York family, schooled by private tutors, had been raised on the same textbooks as the children of Ohio farmers, Chicago tradesman, and New England fishermen. If you want to know what constituted being a good American from the mid-nineteenth century to World War I, spend a few hours browsing through the sections in the McGuffey Readers.
These self-styled liberals and progressives are honestly convinced that they are true democrats. But their notion of democracy is just the opposite of that of the nineteenth century. They confuse democracy with socialism. They not only do not see that socialism and democracy are incompatible but they believe that socialism alone means real democracy. Entangled in this error, they consider the Soviet system a variety of popular government.
Ludwig von Mises
Nevertheless, what was made in the hope of transforming the world need not be rejected because it failed to do so - otherwise, one would also have to throw out a good deal of the greatest painting and poetry of the nineteenth century. An objective political failure can still work as a model of intellectual affirmation or dissent.
Kepler's discovery would not have been possible without the doctrine of conics. Now contemporaries of Kepler-such penetrating minds as Descartes and Pascal-were abandoning the study of geometry... because they said it was so UTTERLY USELESS. There was the future of the human race almost trembling in the balance; for had not the geometry of conic sections already been worked out in large measure, and had their opinion that only sciences apparently useful ought to be pursued, the nineteenth century would have had none of those characters which distinguish it from the ancien regime.
Charles Sanders Peirce
In many ways, the steamships of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries had become the secular equivalent of medieval cathedrals. They were the source of endless pride to the communities and nations that built them, and were just as much an expression of men's hopes and dreams of technical perfection as the great churches had once been of hopes for spiritual purity.
Daniel Allen Butler
I cannot sufficiently celebrate the glorious liberty that reigns in the public libraries of the twentieth century as compared with the intolerable management of those of the nineteenth century, in which the books were jealously railed away from the people, and obtainable only at an expenditure of time and red tape calculated to discourage any ordinary taste for literature.
Love between women could take on a new shape in the late nineteenth century because the feminist movement succeeded both in opening new jobs for women, which would allow them independence, and in creating a support group so that they would not feel isolated and outcast when they claimed their independence... The wistful desire of Clarissa Harlowe's friend, Miss Howe, 'How charmingly might you and I live together, ' in the eighteenth century could be realised in the last decades of the nineteenth century. If Clarissa Harlowe had lived about a hundred and fifty years later, she could have gotten a job that would have been appropriate for a woman of her class. With the power given to her by independence and the consciousness of a support group, Clarissa as a New Woman might have turned her back on both her family and Lovelace, and gone to live 'charmingly' with Miss Howe. Many women did.
Reading a novel after reading semiotic theory was like jogging empty-handed after jogging with hand weights. What exquisite guilt she felt, wickedly enjoying narrative! Madeleine felt safe with a nineteenth century novel. There were going to be people in it. Something was going to happen to them in a place resembling the world. Then too there were lots of weddings in Wharton and Austen. There were all kinds of irresistible gloomy men.