1800 CE

World About A. D. 1800.—In Europe France holds about the same position till near the close of the century, when the Revolution breaks out, and the republic makes large accessions of territory in the Austrian Netherlands, Savoy, Piedmont, and the islands of the Mediterranean. Through the very enormity of the excesses of the revolutionary period, the form of government soon gave way to a new constitution, known as the Directory, under which Napoleon Bonaparte came to the front as the central figure in the affairs of Europe. During these last years of the century the French Republic was engaged in constant wars with the various coalitions formed against it by the other powers. In the year 1799 the Directory came to an end, and the supreme control was vested in the hands of Napoleon, who was made First Consul.

ABOUT A.D. 1800

ABOUT 1915

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Great Britain is engaged in foreign wars, and has lost a large part of her American colonies, which win their independence in 1783. The British dominion in India is greatly extended during this period. The scattered settlements of British merchants and of the East India Company, now became firmly established by the military achievements of Clive. The French and native troops were overthrown, and one after another the provinces of India were brought under English control. Spain rises very considerably in importance. The United Provinces become in the last years of the seventeenth century a dependency of France. The Turkish dominion, though with occasional successes, is on the decline. Prussia becomes an important European state under Frederick the Great. Austria is engaged in frequent wars, with somewhat diminishing power. The German Empire, though still in existence, is more a dignity than a power, its functions being wielded chiefly by the great kingdoms of Austria and Prussia. Russia, under Peter the Great, rises to a front rank among the states of Europe and makes large gains of territory.

In the latter part of the seventeenth century Poland disappears from the map of Europe, the territory being divided between Russia, Prussia, and Austria; and in 1795 Poland, as a kingdom, ceased to exist.

In America, the United States of America come into being as an independent nation in 1783.

France, at the beginning of the nineteenth century under Napoleon I., was the chief power in Europe. The battle of Waterloo finally overthrew the empire of Napoleon, and brought to an end the succession of wars which had lasted with little interruption for twenty-three years. By the terms of peace agreed upon by the Allies, the conquests of France were given up, and the boundaries of the European states re-established.

From the starting-point of this re-arrangement of the map of Europe we may now follow rapidly the subsequent changes of territory in each of the leading states of Europe which have given them the limits they occupy at the present day.

England rises to the front rank of European states, by her part in the Napoleonic wars. In the nineteenth century she made some small acquisitions of territory in Europe, and greatly extended her colonial empire.

The marked feature of the political movements in Europe in the last quarter of the nineteenth century was the tendency to consolidate the petty and weak states, into which a great part of the Continent had been broken up, into strong central governments. This tendency is shown specially in the confederation of the smaller German states under the leadership of Prussia, and the formation of the present German Empire which has become the first military power in Europe. The old German Empire came to an end in 1806. In Italy the same tendency has shown itself in the establishment of the new kingdom of Italy, with Rome for its capital.

Austria was entirely separated from Germany, and united into one state with Hungary. Russia has become one of the greatest European powers. Denmark lost considerable territory, taken from her by Prussia. The new kingdom of Belgium has been formed. Spain loses Mexico and the republics of Central America. Greece secured its independence, and became a kingdom. The power of Turkey is still declining.

In America, the United States were greatly increased by the addition of new States and Territories. The attempt at secession of the southern States in 1861 proved abortive; and the restored Union, freed from the disturbing element of slavery, advanced in wealth, power, and the arts of peace, at a rate of progress never equalled in past history.

Mexico, which had belonged to Spain, revolted and became an independent republic.

In Asia, Japan renounced its former isolation, opened her ports to foreign trade, and changes of almost startling rapidity were adopted in the country. The whole political constitution of the empire was remodeled; and Japan took rank with the great powers of the world.

The continent of South America was apportioned among the various present-day countries; Africa has been colonized and divided among the European powers; and the commonwealths of Canada, Australia and New Zealand have taken a foremost place among the colonies of Great Britain.