Urban Development in 19th Century Britain

This assignment will attempt to describe and evaluate the progression of urban development during the 1880s whilst considering its effects on modern society. The research for this assignment will be taken from websites which hold credibility and provide a history which is relevant to the findings needed.

During the early 19th century, society in the United Kingdom was still rural with little urban development. However, this all changed with the industrial revolution which happened in the mid-1800s. This change saw that over 90% of the population would move on from agriculture (P. Bairoch and G Goertz, 1985).

The 19th century saw a continuing growth of cities which created a shift in the urban hierarchy, this took the focus away from cities such as Exeter, Norwich and York, and towards new major towns including Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. This meant that the biggest cities outside London were in the North and the Midlands. As well as cities being on the rise with the increase of urban development, leisure and resort towns saw inflation which meant more people were travelling (Boydell and Brewer, ND). This however created a social issue, it meant that the introduction of the working class was needed with more people working in factories and believing they had no rights. This brought the introduction of Chartism in 1838 which spread like wildfire all over the country (Encyclopaedia Britannica, ND). As more working men were getting more rights and better pay, women decided they also wanted this. Thus, the creation of the suffragettes, a organisation of radical feminists who believed that women were worth more than man. They would leave bombs in public places and smash shop windows as part of their protests (BBC Newsround, ND).

London seemed to be the place where young people migrated to every year, many of those sought apprenticeship jobs working with numerous tradesmen within the city. Other youngsters went into work with aristocratic families as domestic servants. However, as the total population of London alone increased, so did the amount of deaths and crimes. But with the numerous people dying, people were still fleeing to London away from their small villages (M White, 2009).


Scientific, technological and industrial innovations which included the mass production of railways, the steam engine and the uses of gas and electric are what made up the industrial revolution, not to mention the growing number of factories including cotton mills, wool factories and steel factories across the country. However, this led to big social costs, for example: child labour, pollution and disease and poverty grew worse in the growing cities including London (Historical Association, ND).

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The rising crime rate in Victorian Britain was causing worry to the public. With the increase of crime rising from roughly 5,000 to around 20,000 in 40 years with help from the industrial revolution, society decided that change was needed, and criminals should be punished for their crimes. Britain only had small prisons and even those were poorly ran with even worse conditions. The common punishments for some of the crimes committed often saw the criminals transported to America and Australia. However, most crimes carried the death sentence meaning the person/s would be executed as punishment. (The National Archives, ND)

The Victorians were worried that the development in new cities would influence the number of criminals and whether they could be controlled. To try and put a stop to the surge in crime, 90 prisons were built or were expanded. This cost the country millions of pounds (The National archives, ND).

The Prisons act 1835 meant that improvements in procedures were a priority. It also meant that prison inspectors had to make reports annually, this provided prisons with the financial stability and assistance needed from the treasury. In 1853 when transportation of prisoner’s was stopped, an increase in the number on criminals who would receive a long-term sentence and those who would receive the death penalty was evident. This meant more prisons were needed all over the country (Parliament UK, ND).

HMP Pentonville was one of the prisons which was built in the 19th century, more specifically 1842. It was established by Act of Parliament and cost over £84,000. The structure was built by Major Joshua Jebb, using Jeremy Bentham’s design (pictured right) which consisted of a central hall and five wings which were easily seen and accessed by those standing in the central hall. The original designs meant that 520 prisoners would have their own cell which would be 13 ft long, 7 ft wide and 9 ft high. This design was proven to work as it became the model for a further 54 prisons built in Britain over the next 6 years (A. Holt, 2019).


HMP Pentonville was the teaching school for those who were wanting to become an executioner. Albert Pierrepoint was one of the most famous executioners, he executed 42 men between 1941 and 1954 (A. Holt, 2019). He was most famous for executing Antonio Mancini, the British gangster, which launched his career making him the chief executioner (Word Press, ND).


Though HMP Pentonville isn’t situated in the centre of the capital (Pictured Left), it is in fact one of the closest that remains. It sits between Camden Town and Highbury towards the north of London city, most other prisons have turned into museums for tourism purposes. HMP Pentonville is a Category B men’s prison which holds inmates whom have previously escaped a closed prison, serving a sentence for offences including threats, robbery, sexual offences or firearms offences, or the criminal has committed terrorist offences (Prison Phone, ND). These crimes are a lot worse than those a person would have been hanged for in the 1800s as mentioned before.


The prison now remains untouched regarding its structure and is still a place of reformation and rehabilitation to some of the United Kingdoms most notorious criminals (Justice.gov, ND). However, in the early days there were no toilets or wash basins, just a hole in the corner of the room. There are now toilets and shower blocks and the facilities are much better to align with a person’s basic human rights.

Whilst HMP Pentonville originally housed those who would commit petty crimes including children, the crimes would be something as small as damaging a tree or stealing a loaf of bread. However, because prisoners had to pay for everything whilst serving their time, those who were wealthy would have better conditions and sometimes even serve shorter sentences (My Learning, ND). HMP Pentonville has now housed some of the most famous criminals in Britain, including James Whitlock and Matthew Baker (the two prisoners who escaped). Not to mention celebrities such as Pete Doherty who served time in 2005, Boy George who served a sentence in 2009 for imprisoning and assaulting a male escort and George Michael who served his time in 2010 for drug driving (J Lockett, 2016).

HMP Pentonville is owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II along with many ore across the country. Darren Huges is the current governor of HMP Pentonville and has over 25 years’ experience working in the justice and legal sectors which includes the youth justice and the public sector (Nacro.org, ND). It is unknown who first ran the prison; however, it is known that Major Joshua Jebb who built the prison was also on the administrator’s board (justice.gov.uk, ND).

From research taken there is a clear understanding that the Victorians had a huge influence into the way that the criminal justice system is formed today, and the way that Britain adapted to the change from agricultural life to urban living. With the rise of the industrial revolution, crime rates sored which meant that the introduction of more prisons was needed. Today most of those prisons are still used and most are still using the same structure as designed by Jeremy Bentham which means that HMP Pentonville, whilst being the most feared prison in Britain, created a legacy of its own. The urban development of 19th century Britain had a huge impact on modern Britain in relation to people living in cities more than rural areas.

Reference List

A Holt, 2019. Pentonville Prison, London. Capital Punishment UK. Available Online: http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/penton.html Date Accessed: 20/05/19

J Lockett, 2016. JAIL BREAKERS Where exactly is Pentonville prison and how did the prisoners escape? The Sun. Available Online: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2140200/where-exactly-is-pentonville-prison-and-how-did-the-prisoners-escape/ Date Accessed: 20/05/19

M White, 2009. The Rise of Cities in the 18th Century, Georgian Britain. Accessed Online: https://www.bl.uk/georgian-britain/articles/the-rise-of-cities-in-the-18th-century Date Accessed: 20/05/19

P Bairoch and G Goertz, 1985. Factors of Urbanisation in the Nineteenth Century Developed Countries: A Descriptive and Econometric Analysis, Urban studies. Available Online: https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/68656/10.1080_00420988620080351.pdf Date Accessed: 26/05/19.

Boydell and Brewer, ND. British urban history: an overview, Victoria County History. Available Online: https://www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/local-history/writing-urban-history/british-urban-history-overview Date Accessed: 26/05/19

NA, 2013. Who Were the Suffragettes? News Round. Available Online: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/22766676 Date Accessed: 20/05/19

NA, ND. A Victorian Britain, Why Were Victorian Prisoners So Tough? The National Archives. Available Online: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/victorian-prison/ Date Accessed: 26/05/19

NA, ND. Category B Prisons – Spotlight on Some of the UK’s Most Notorious Prisons, Prison Phone. Available Online: https://www.prisonphone.co.uk/blog/category-b-prisons-spotlight-on-some-of-the-uks-most-notorious-prisons/ Date Accessed: 20/05/19

NA, ND. Darren Huges, Nacro Since 2015. Available Online: https://www.nacro.org.uk/about-us/our-people/trustees/darren-hughes/ Date Accessed: 20/05/19

NA, ND. Execution of the Day, A Year in the Life of Death: Antonio Mancini. Available Online: https://eotd.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/17-october-1941-antonio-mancini/ Date Accessed: 20/05/19

NA, ND. Pentonville Prison Information, Justice. Available Online: http://www.justice.gov.uk/contacts/prison-finder/pentonville Date Accessed: 20/05/19

NA, ND. Towards Central Control, Parliament UK. Available Online: https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/laworder/policeprisons/overview/centralcontrol/ Date Accessed: 20/05/19

NA, ND. Victorian Britain: A Brief History, Historical Association. Available Online: https://www.history.org.uk/primary/categories/134/resource/3871 Date Accessed: 20/05/19

NA, ND. Who was Elizabeth Fry and Why is She an Important Figure? My Learning. Available Online: https://www.mylearning.org/stories/prison-and-penal-reform-in-the-1800s/379 Date Accessed: 20/05/19

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, ND. Chartism, British History. Available Online: https://www.britannica.com/event/Chartism-British-history Date Accessed: 20/05/19


A Holt, 2019. Pentonville Prison, London. Capital Punishment UK. Available Online: http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/penton.html Date Accessed: 20/05/19

Boydell and Brewer, ND. British urban history: an overview, Victoria County History. Available Online: https://www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/local-history/writing-urban-history/british-urban-history-overview Date Accessed: 26/05/19

I Nikolic, 2019. Haunting Mugshots Reveal the Faces of the Victorian Criminals Condemned to Life Behind Bars at the Terrifying Pentonville Prison, Mail Online. Available Online: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6971129/Haunting-mugshots-reveal-faces-Victorian-criminals-terrifying-Pentonville-prison.html Date Accessed: 20/05/19

P Bairoch and G Goertz, 1985. Factors of Urbanisation in the Nineteenth Century Developed Countries: A Descriptive and Econometric Analysis, Urban studies. Available Online: https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/68656/10.1080_00420988620080351.pdf Date Accessed: 26/05/19.

NA, 2014. London’s ‘Great Stink’ and Victorian Urban Planning, History Trails: Victorian Britain. Available Online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/trail/victorian_britain/social_conditions/victorian_urban_planning_01.shtml Date Accessed: 20/05/19

NA, ND. A Victorian Britain, Why Were Victorian Prisoners So Tough? The National Archives. Available Online: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/victorian-prison/ Date Accessed: 26/05/19

NA, ND. Camden Town, British History Online. Available Online: https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol24/pt4/pp134-139 Date Accessed: 20/05/19

NA, ND. Execution of the Day, A Year in the Life of Death: Antonio Mancini. Available Online: https://eotd.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/17-october-1941-antonio-mancini/ Date Accessed: 20/05/19

NA, ND. Towards Central Control, Parliament UK. Available Online: https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/laworder/policeprisons/overview/centralcontrol/ Date Accessed: 20/05/19

NA, ND. Who was Elizabeth Fry and Why is She an Important Figure? My Learning. Available Online: https://www.mylearning.org/stories/prison-and-penal-reform-in-the-1800s/379 Date Accessed: 20/05/19

S Fainstein, ND. Urban Planning, Encyclopaedia Britannica. Available Online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/trail/victorian_britain/social_conditions/victorian_urban_planning_01.shtml Date Accessed: 20/05/19


Role of Hierarchies of Race and Gender in the 19th Century British Empire

What role did hierarchies of race and gender play in the British Empire in the nineteenth century?


By the end of the nineteenth century, the British Empire comprised of nearly one-quarter of the world’s land surface and more than one-quarter of its total population.[1] Previously, a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland had been established and now Britain was looking outward, creating a continuation of Empire at home, abroad.[2] Britain began by establishing overseas colonies in the sixteenth century and by 1783, it had stretched to colonies in America and the West Indies.[3] This has been described as the first phase of the British Empire, which came to an end with the American Revolution. The second phase began in the nineteenth century, focusing on India, as well as “white colonies” in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.[4] Historians such as Edward Said argue that this was a result of nationalism and racism, an effort to dominate indigenous peoples.[5] On the other hand, the Industrial Revolution brought changes to technology which transformed the relationship between Britain and the colonies, creating a feeling of moral superiority towards indigenous peoples. This “Second Empire” was a worldwide entity, comprising of colonies, protectorates and other territories and has been described as “the empire on which the sun never sets.” As the size of the Empire increased, so did concerns about control over the newly established “Greater Britain”.[6] Therefore, hierarchies of race and gender played a pivotal role, specifically in shaping and constructing ideas of “otherness” at home and abroad.

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 Queen Victoria began her reign in 1837, the effigy of Empire, she was made Empress of India by Benjamin Disraeli in 1876.[7] The very idea of a Victorian England bred nationalist sentiment and therefore acted as an enabler for Empire, promoting British ideologies and outlining ideas of the Orient. Orientalism has been described by Edward Said as “a style of thought based upon ontological and epistemological distinction made between ‘the Orient’ and ‘the Occident’. Thus many…have accepted the basic distinction between East and West as the starting point for elaborate theories…”[8] At home, in Victorian England, the national identity soon began to merge into an imperial one, with radical racial thinking at the forefront of the minds of many British imperialists. This new British identity of a “distinction between Western superiority and Oriental inferiority” emerged at home and began to solidify throughout the empire.[9] Likewise, in the nineteenth century, theories such as Social Darwinism encouraged ideas of the Orient, being described as one of the “key ingredients in the cultural ethos that spawned expansionist sentiment.” Specifically, these thoughts and ideas were directed toward colonial races, and as a result, colonial rule was justified. The British believed that through colonisation and a process of Enlightenment there would be a “social uplift” across the world.[10]

 Coinciding with this new identity were new definitions of masculinity and femininity. Within the Victorian society, evolving gender values were underpinned into everyday life through the media and the patriarchy. The male ideal of “nobleness, bravery and an adventurous spirit” penetrated British society and expanded into the empire which has been referred to as a “playground to exhibit this new masculine identity…” This British display of dominance has been argued as a result of a “lacking sense of male purpose” in England due to a lesser number of wars than the Georgian era.[11] Similarly, the role of women in society was altered, with a new emphasis on their domestic role at home, and a responsibility to model the superiority of European life, in the Empire.[12] Women within British society were wives and mothers, and this ideal of domesticity was to be transferred across the Empire to sow the seeds of civilisation. As the caretakers of English society, the role of women within the Empire was of the same nature. This is in contrast to the role of indigenous women who were often viewed as objects of sexual desire.[13] Despite the important female role within the Empire they remained the “inferior sex within the superior race.”[14] With the thoughts of hierarchies of race ingrained into British society, radicalised opinion of racial and cognitive superiority over the non-whites was easily transported across the empire, in the same fashion as the movement of goods. Therefore, the moulding of the British imperialists mind was defined by two characteristics, race and gender, in a synchronised process which resulted into dominance over “despotic” nations.

 The role of hierarchies of race and gender played pivotal roles in constructing British perceptions of “non-white otherness” particularly in India. India epitomised the second phase of the British Empire, beginning in Bengal and stretching east of the Suez from Aden to Burma, creating a “Greater India”.[15] Often, it is coined as the “centre of a miniempire” and this is where Britain began its civilising mission.[16] In contrast to Britain, dominated by Christianity, India had a majority Hindu population which imperialists believed “had irreparably decayed.”[17] This paved the way for the English belief that the Indians were now ready to receive British culture despite their “alien race and religion.”[18] The role of hierarchies of race and gender is particularly evident in India, when demonstrating lower levels of civilisation, with T. B. Macaulay stating, the “organisation of the Bengali is feeble even to effeminacy.” The characteristics which epitomised British masculinity, “courage, independence, veracity,” were supposedly lacking in the Bengali male, confirming the racial hierarchy which the British underpinned their mission on.[19] This set about the process of “Englishing” the Indians through teaching the English language and English literature.[20]

 Furthermore, Britain enforced culturally intrusive legislation upon India in a bid for control. Perhaps the most notorious is William Bentinck’s proposal to ban the practice of Suttee in 1829. Suttee is “the practice of a wife’s self-immolation on her husband’s funeral pyre”, a Hindu practice which emphasises short-term pain rather than the long-term pain of widowhood.[21] Christians saw this as uncivilised and as Governor General of India, Bentinck began the process of outlawing it, stating, “I now have the happiness of believing that the course which I have adopted has been the means of saving many poor, infatuated, or intoxicated, females from destruction.”[22] Through this statement, it is evident that Bentinck believed he was cognitively superior than the Indians, outlawing a practice which he thought women were walking into lightly. This was an intrusion upon religious practices, signifying the superiority the British felt over the native population. Similarly, inter-racial relations between western men and native women were common in India, reinforcing the roles of hierarchies of race and gender within the British Empire. When the relationships took their natural course and children were involved, the issue of citizenship highlighted the issue of gender and racial hierarchies. The number of citizens granted British status was limited in order to “protect the whiteness” of its citizens and so the native companions were often neglected, whilst their children were Anglicised.[23] The Caste system in India was also useful in reinforcing the roles of racial and gender hierarchies in the British Empire in the nineteenth century. The Caste system is defined as “the division of Hindu society into four major hereditary classes” which shapes nearly every facet of Indian life.[24] Unlike the British class system, the Caste system does not allow for movement into other divisions, whether they be higher or lower. This was mostly evident in the Raj, in which Britain placed native Indians into administrative roles. The British, therefore, contradict themselves, as this counteracts the idea of indigenous men being ill-fit or lacking the capacity to lead, challenging the gendered racial conceptions previously outlined.

 Whilst colonising Australia, hierarchies of race and gender played a significant role in establishing a “white Australia ideal” and reinforcing ideas of superiority over the aboriginal Australian.[25] The British settlers felt the importance of highlighting the distinctions between race and gender, ingraining the idea of aboriginal “savages” into society.[26] Above all, women in British society were mothers and wives, this ideal of domesticity was often projected onto the indigenous peoples and this was also done in Australia. Aboriginal women and girls were often seen as the cause of “immortality and vice” and it was insisted upon that these “half-caste women and girls” should learn the ways of a respectable colonial woman.[27] An example of British thoughts of superiority being entrenched into aboriginal Australia is through the “breeding out the colour.”[28] This was the idea that British imperial men would impregnate native Australian women in order to produce lighter-skinned children.[29] This was often the result of sexual assault and to the people of Australia, this exploitation of women was far from the civilising mission which the British portrayed.[30] The genuine belief by the colonisers that they were racially and evolutionary superior to the indigenous populations made way for hierarchies of race and gender to impact on the empires structure. The commitment to the “purification of Australia” was a policy which included the extinction of full-blooded Aborigines and eventually, those considered “half-caste.”[31] This system was a reoccurring theme. Like in India, the offspring from these mixed-race relationships were often re-socialised into the British settler colonies, reinforcing the principle of a “white Australia” within two to three generations.[32]

 Within the nineteenth century, hierarchies of race and gender played an immense role in British society. This was evident throughout all aspects of life, including the home, school, work and the media. It is evident from the examples shown specifically in India and Australia that the role of hierarchies of race and gender underpinned every aspect of imperial life. Race and gender played equal roles within the empire, the whites over non-whites and men over women. This created a feeling of superiority between white men and non-white men, although this was not exclusive and did affect non-white women and white women, however in different ways. The women’s rights movement began in the nineteenth century, paving the way for women to be equal, rather than the inferior sex. This sparked debate surrounding the rights of those who were from colonised countries.  Although it is impossible to understand whether this was an accidental assumption of hierarchies through a process of enlightenment or if it was used as a tool in the construction of empire in order to repress those who were being colonised, it is clearly evident that their role was to aid in the expansion of the British empire.


Blunt, Alison. “Imperial Geographies of Home: British Domesticity in India, 1886 – 1925.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 24, no. 4 (1999): 421 – 440. https://www.jstor.org/stable/623233.

Collins Dictionary. “Caste System.” Accessed April 30, 2019. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/caste-system.

Encyclopaedia Britannica. “British Empire.” Accessed April 30, 2019. https://www.britannica.com/place/British-Empire.

Flundernik, Monika. “Suttee Revisited: From the Iconography of Martyrdom to the Burkean Sublime.” New Literary History 30, no. 2 (Spring, 1999): 411 – 437. https://www.jstor.org/stable/20057544.

Kumar, Krishan. “The British Empire,” in Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World, 310 – 386. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2017.

Paisley, Fiona. “Citizens of Their World: Australian Feminism and Indigenous Rights in the International Context, 1920s and 1930s.” Feminist Review, no. 58 (Spring, 1998): 66 – 84. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1395680.

Rosselli, John. “The Self-Image of Effeteness: Physical Education and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Bengal.” Past & Present, no. 86 (1980): 121 – 148. https://www.jstor.org/stable/650742.

Said, Edward. “Introduction.” In Orientalism, 9-38. London: Routledge, 1978.

Said, Edward. “Knowing the Oriental.” In Orientalism, 39 – 57. London: Routledge, 1978.

Sen, Indrani. Women and Empire: Representations in the Writings of British India, 1858 – 1900. Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2002.

Smithers, Gregory D. “The Evolution of White Australia, 1860 – 1890,” in Science, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780 – 1940, Revised Edition, 245 – 272. University of Nebraska Press, 2017.

Stein, Dorothy K. “Women to Burn: Suttee as a Normative Institution.” Signs 4, no. 2 (Winter, 1978): 253 – 268. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3173024.

[1] “British Empire,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, accessed April 30, 2019, https://www.britannica.com/place/British-Empire.

[2] Krishan Kumar, “The British Empire,” in Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2017), 315.

[3] Kumar, “The British Empire,” 322.

[4] Kumar, “The British Empire,” 322.

[5] Edward Said, “Introduction,” in Orientalism (London: Routledge, 1978), 16.

[6] Kumar, “The British Empire,” 319.

[7] Kumar, “The British Empire,” 328.

[8] Said, “Introduction,” 10.

[9] Edward Said, “Knowing the Oriental,” in Orientalism (London: Routledge, 1978), 50.

[10] Dorothy K. Stein, “Women to Burn: Suttee as a Normative Institution,” Signs 4, no. 2 (Winter 1978): 258.


[12] Alison Blunt, “Imperial Geographies of Home: British Domesticity in India, 1886-1925,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 24, no. 4 (1999): 422.

[13] Indrani Sen, Woman and Empire: Representations in the Writings of British India, 1858-1900. (Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2002): 8.

[14] Fiona Paisley, “Citizens of Their World: Australian Feminism and Indigenous Rights in the International Context, 1920s and 1930s,” Feminist Review, no. 58 (Spring 1998): 68.

[15] Kumar, “The British Empire,” 328.

[16] Kumar, “The British Empire,” 328.

[17] Kumar, “The British Empire,” 330.

[18] Kumar, “The British Empire,” 334.

[19] John Rosselli, “The Self-Image of Effeteness: Physical Education and Nationalism in Nineteenth Century-Bengal,” Past & Present 86 (February 1980): 122.

[20] Kumar, “The British Empire,” 330.

[21] Monika Flundernik, “Suttee Revisited: From the Iconography of Martyrdom to the Burkean Sublime,” New Literary History 30, no. 2 (Spring 1999): 411.

[22] Stein, “Women to Burn,” 259.


[24] “Caste System,” Collins Dictionary, accessed April 30, 2019, https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/caste-system.

[25] Gregory D. Smithers, “The Evolution of White Australia, 1860 – 1890,” in Science, Sexuality, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780 – 1940, Revised Edition, (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), 246.

[26] Smithers, “The Evolution of White Australia,” 245.

[27] Smithers, “The Evolution of White Australia,” 255.

[28] Smithers, “The Evolution of White Australia,” 259.

[29] Smithers, “The Evolution of White Australia,” 259.

[30] Smithers, “The Evolution of White Australia,” 262.

[31] Smithers, “The Evolution of White Australia,” 250-251.

[32] Smithers, “The Evolution of White Australia,” 246.

Imperialism in the Late 19th Century

Imperialism is the intentional expansion of a country’s nation through subjugation of another. Ultimately driven by the economic, political and social incentives of an empire as it develops. The concept of perpetual imperialism is impossible as it’s founded exceedingly on capitalist based desires, this did not impair the endeavours of European countries throughout the 19th century. It was through the imperialism of modern empires that today’s world was forged. The repercussions are still rampant across many countries, exceedingly so in Africa through it’s economic, political, and social impressions.

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Often it was the demand for profit, or commodities that prompted imperialism. Having domain over an area that offered unique resources was a powerful and lucrative position. Trade within new markets offered greatly prosperous opportunities. The wealth created through imperialism ensured greater economic security and created more respect for the nation. The 19th century saw the emergence of Great Britain’s empire, many longstanding empires like that of Napoleon had faded, allowing the first economic, political, and military “superpower” to preponderate. Indications of a capitalist inspired economic drive directly corresponds to a Marxist view of economy: a capitalist system needs to consistently seek new opportunities for profit, new markets and resources would need to be found and exploited. This insinuates that imperial action is necessary to maintain wealth, power, and influence, once resources are exhausted capitalism will adapt a socialist agenda. Fellow economist John Hobson agreed with Marx’s approach to capitalist driven imperialism. He worked in South Africa and concluded that the diamond mines there were the motive for the Boer Wars. In Imperialism: A Study (1902) he condemns imperialism alluding to its chauvinistic agenda. Hobson was convinced that imperialism denounced common morals and sought out vulnerability in foreign countries. Allowing Empire nations to profit off of resources with lessened labour expenses as they dictated the distribution of wealth.

Ultimately empires expanded conquering new territories and creating new colonies with the intention of utilising the resources (both labour and raw materials) that country had in abundance. The colonies in turn acted as new markets that dilated the empire’s span of control. For example, Britain occupied India until the mid 20th century, during that time the cotton plantations and the affordable labour that farmed them were exploited for the British empire’s profit. The raw cotton was exported back to Britain to be manufactured for cloth and sold back throughout the markets. The British empire also insured their monopoly by forbidding production in unauthorised territories.

Imperialism in summary was entirely profit for the empire and resulted in financial security, power, and influence for the Imperialist nation.

The political disposition of Europe engaged ambition and encouraged an imperialistic nature. An individual country could never have the same power or influence as an Empire, consequently a sense of patriotic obligation was deemed necessary to gain political ground. This, in a sense, was nationalism or influenced by it. After the French Revolution in 1789 the pride and place of one’s country was a valued concept that spread throughout Europe. This sense of nationalism contributed to the imperialistic desire of emerging democratic systems. The goal of these imperialistic ventures was not incentivised by wealth but rather the power and governmental control of ruling the conquered nations. More specifically theories of political imperialism can be grouped into three categories; Metrocentric, Pericentric, and Systemic. Metrocentric refers to the tendencies of the imperial nations, the subjective motivations of the Empire i.e. capitalist nations distributing capital.

Pericentric theories are regarding the political incentives of a colony and as a result how involved the domineering Empire will be in governing it. A colonised country may have elite societal members that wish to conserve the integrity of the nation and so will be unwilling to compromise, deeming direct governing necessary to maintain possession. Systemic theories of imperialism are characterised by the competition between sovereignties for continuity and influence. Sustenance of capitalist nations are reliant on the conquest of territories for the particular resources they retain. Regardless of current demand by disallowing competing Empires to hold them supremacy is maintained. This is exemplified by what’s referred to as the “Scramble for Africa”. In the late 19th century and into the early 20th century several European countries (including Britain) were in contest for the occupation of Africa, interest in the land was not limited to its natural reserves, it was clear that it acted valuably as a link to oceanic trade. Each country’s involvement was strategic and intended to limit the trade of the others.

However, it was not solely political and economic incentives that enlivened imperialism, social motives were used to condone the immoral actions of empires. The rising popularity of Darwinism’s social perceptions of “survival of the fittest” played a significant role in the justification of 19th century imperialistic tendencies. This theory suggested that the elite of any society would be the “best-adapted” thus the elite deemed themselves superior and justified the domination and exploitation of less-developed countries that they labelled as inferior. Herbert Spencer supported Darwinist theories of natural selection and proposed his own ideas of the world’s natural order. His proposals encouraged imperial actions even more barbaric than Darwinism. Suggesting the retraction of funds for international development and aid for the poor, he theorised that by doing so the truly strong, despite difficult acclimation, would still persevere. Thus imperialism was excused as an evolutionary step, that would serve as a method of preservation of the western elite while weeding out the weak of alternate societies. Another significant social drive for 19th century imperialism was religion. Religion was influential in many endeavours during the 1800s, there was an incentive to spread religion with the desire to convert on a large scale and ultimately to decimate other conflicting religions. Missionaries provided education and health care in conjunction with Empirical religion aiming to inspire a wilful spiritual transition.

In the late 19th century there was little regulation of validity of publicised scientific inference, so the hypothesis of geographers regarding the effects of climate on societal development was taken as fact. They had concluded that individuals are a product of their physical environment, i.e. the physical landscape and the climate. False statements were made insinuating that it was equatorial locality that determined the level of a society’s civilisation. This lead to prejudicial stereotyping from highly regarded sources. President Thomas Jefferson contributed by stating tropical climates “encouraged laziness, relaxed attitudes, promiscuity, and generally degenerative societies.” Due to the mass of writers in agreement over the matter a racial bias was created that tilted in favour of a Eurocentric pattern of thought, naming them civilised and hardworking whilst demonising and stigmatising the people of the lands the empires intended to conquer. It was the environmental determinism that moralised the imperialist acts of the 19th century and bore many of the racial stereotypes that unjustly demeaned and belittled masses of people, much of which remains prevalent even today.

From an economic standpoint Africa offered the perfect combination of cheap labour and valuable raw materials, resulting in a lot of attraction from European imperialists. The native African’s nomadic tendencies with minor implementation of trade was seen as insufficient by the European invaders. They capitalised on the modest culture by enslaving the people, using them as a source of labour within the country and as a commodity to trade in Europe. No goods were manufactured in Africa so dependence on European trade increased and due to this position as a forced working class there was a lack of demand for initiative from the people of Africa so the development of industrialising technology was stunted.

It was the use of Africa as a slave supplier that disintegrated the local economy. The slave trade ensured that even after its abolishment in the early 19th century the repercussions would remain. The population had declined significantly, and the supply of material goods was dependant on European markets. Much of the most fertile land, and lucrative areas had been claimed and colonised for the imperialist powers benefit. The economic system did not facilitate profit for the localities and producers, only imperialists. Retraction of the empirical states resulted in economic instability and disability, as little initiative was applied to assist in adapting to an industry that wasn’t comprised of a monoculture of cash crops.

Today Africa has still not recovered economically from the repercussions of imperialism, many countries are in irrefutable debt, much of which has been acquired with the intention of providing education, health care and food to their people. However efforts have been in vain as the corruption that emerged in the mid 20th century has not been overcome, leaving the innocent without basic human rights.

The politics of imperialist Africa were brutish and imperious with the enslavement of indigenous people, along with the unjust degradation of those same people to substandard working class members of a society of Eurocentrism. European colonies destroyed all of the existing tribal governments completely altering the perennial systems that stood before, replacing them with intolerant authoritarianisms that excluded indigenous representation.

After African decolonisation no assistance was provided to enable competent government systems to develop. Instead the rapacious contended for leadership and the basis of the new government was self-serving and reliant on the colonial regimes remanence, the political position of many African countries are still detrimentally influenced neo-colonialism. The division of Africa under the Berlin Conference provoked political turbulence, independence meant people were living under governments that had been actualised by their oppressors. Before colonisation the concept of hard borders was entirely incomparable to their boundary system. To expect that these confinements that were a staple of serfdom and entrapment would be respected was senseless. It’s because of this that rulers like Idi Amin Dada (Uganda, 1971-1979) and Omar Al-Bashir (Sudan, 1989-Present) came into power and remain there. Imperialism was a direct impetus for the precarious infrastructure and the hundreds of politically directed wars that have occurred. To question the corrupt, negative political status of these countries less than 60 years after their chaotic dive into independence is naive.

Socially, imperialism had an extremely negative effect on Africa. Years spent ruled by self-serving foreign administration cost many regions their rich, unique cultures. Longstanding tribal-nation’s land had been divided by European intervention in the 1884 Berlin Conference, subsequently the new borders chaotically separated religious and ethnic groups causing unnecessary conflict. Western ideals, including religion, were enforced without any constraint or encumbrance for the principles that had existed before them. 

Imperialist treatment of the African people was often inhumane, blinded by the prejudicial beliefs of Darwinism few saw the immorality in it. The irreversible social discrimination developed by imperialism is devastating and incomparable to any inequity that had taken place before colonisation, prejudiced beliefs continue to hinder many nations.

Even after agrarian European intervention had receded hostility and crime increased taking advantage of the uncertain political and economic condition of the continent. The innovative took positions of power where they could manipulate and abuse the innocent to benefit themselves. Wide class divides became even more prevalent than they had been and many people were living in inhumane conditions in slums, and the plight of starvation began.

The imperialist initiative of the 19th century was preeminent in the extent of the success of European empires, it broadened the available goods and supply of them.

Specifically in Africa the expansion of the reaches of trade and extent of transport and communication elevated but it’s undeniable that it was imperialism that spurred Africa toward the corruption, political turmoil, and economic belligerence that befalls it.

The effects ricochetted throughout the continent, from the racism that brazenly plagues to the starvation and death of an innumerable amount, the imperialism of the 19th century is at fault. Going forward we can only hope that the morality of modern society will be embedded throughout Africa so the economic, political, and social state of the nations will recover and imperialism, despite its benefits, will never resurface.



1   K. Marx and F. Engels, 1848

     The Communist Manifesto

2   J. A. Hobson, 1902

     Imperialism: A Study

3   T. Jefferson, 1785

     Notes on the State of Virginia




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Effect of the Industrial Revolution on Women in the 19th Century

How did the Industrial Revolution change the position of women in the nineteenth century?

The Industrial Revolution, that took place in Britain in the 18th century, was the ‘process of change from an agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing’. [1] This meant a significant change from basic machinery to ‘powered, special-purpose’ equipment, which resulted in mass production. [2]  The Industrial Revolution also marked the start of an ‘improved system of transport and communication… and manufactured good ’, which improved the lives of some upper class families. Traces of the Industrial Revolution are still evident in the 21st century, to the different models of cars and trains, to factories producing goods. Although men benefitted greatly from the industrial changes, women also gained some benefits and the position and status of women during the Industrial Revolution changed for the better. There were more rights given to women, more women were working and supported the family and it paved the way for women in politics. In terms of women’s freedom, traces of female liberation can still be seen in the 21st century, through the Equality Act in 2010 to the longest reigning female monarch Queen Elizabeth II and two female Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom. It could then be said that the Industrial Revolution acted like a stepping stone for female emancipation in Britain.  

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The Industrial Revolution changed the position of women in the nineteenth century as it paved the way for women in politics. Founded in 1897, the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), who were better known as the Suffragists, fought on behalf of women to be in politics and positions of influence. In addition, middle class women like ‘Emily Davies, Jessie Boucherett and Adelaide Proctor founded societies’ to promote women’s employment’ in positions of power. [3] This indicates how the Industrial Revolution changed the position of women as it allowed them to set up organisations, which further enabled them to help emancipate other women. An example of this was a woman named Nancy Langhorne Astor who became the first woman to sit and be elected to the House of Common. This reinforces how the position of women changed as it showed that men started to recognise women’s right.  Another prime example of how the Industrial Revolution changed the position of women was through Elizabeth Garret Anderson. She was the ‘first women to qualify as a doctor in England’ and she became ‘the first female mayor in England in 1908’. [4] This shows how the Industrial Revolution gave a new found freedom for women as they were allowed to hold high and ministerial office. Despite the fact that Anderson became the first female mayor in 1908(after Industrialisation), it is symbolic in understanding the legacy and the impact that the Industrial Revolution had on the position of women as it helped facilitate women in high position. In addition, the fact that Elizabeth Garret Anderson was also a suffragist shows how the Industrialisation furthered political organisations by helped put women in power and in jobs. In conclusion, the Industrial Revolution helped change women’s position in the nineteenth century for the better as it allowed women to set up political organisations that enabled other women to be emancipated. It also helped women be in high and ministerial positions, as seen by Anderson and Astor, which then permitted men to appreciate women’s rights and liberties.      

As well as the formation of women in politics, the Industrial Revolution changed the position of women in the nineteenth century as more women were working and provided for the family. ‘Female employment in the 1850s, 60s and 70s appeared to be higher than any recorded again after World War II’ and it showed that ‘30-40% of women contributed to the household’ during the Industrial Revolution.[5]   It was indeed the ‘female, and not the male’ that counted for the ‘most important high productivity industry of the period-textiles’. [6] This could also be evident in the 1851 consensus, which showed that ‘49% of women were in the textile industry’ in comparison to the ‘661 thousand men’ who worked in textiles, whereas in the 1860’s and 70’s, women dominated the textile field. This exuberates how the Industrial Revolution changed women’s position for the good as it allowed women to be independent enough as ‘women entered the workforce in order to help support the family’.[7] Furthermore, the ‘industrial manufactures had female workforces exceeding male by four, and even eight, to one’, points out how more women were entering the field of work. [8] In addition, the fact that ‘both sexes were employed as powerloom operators’ also highlights how there was equality, to a small extent, in the work force as powerloom was seen as a man’s job because of the ‘strength’ and the ‘stamina’.[9] This demonstrates how the Industrial Revolution changed women’s position for the good as it showed that labour that were usually done by men could have easily been done by women. To conclude, the Industrial Revolution changed the position of women in the nineteenth century by giving the same jobs as men, which showed that women were capable of doing the same jobs as men. It helped slowly change societies mindset that show women are not just for the home, but for work life as well. 

As well as the new found freedom that women experienced, he Industrial Revolution changed the position of women in the nineteenth century for the better by giving more rights and control to women. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, women had no separate legal identity from the husband. Whereas, after the Industrial Revolution, legislations like the Divorce Act, the Child Custody Act and the Married Women’s Protection Act gave women much more freedom. At the same time as the Industrial Revolution, ‘women entered the workplace’ which also meant that the women ‘began to organise and protest and fight for equal rights in society’.[10] This could be viewed in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857, which allowed a woman to obtain a separation from her husband as well as still have control of her own rights. This shows how men started to recognise women’s right and it gave women more freedom. This was also apparent in the Married Women’s Property Act in 1870, where the women were ‘allowed to keep earnings or property after marriage’.[11] The fact that women had started to get more freedom during the height of the Industrial Revolution shows how the women were slowly getting recognition and it shows how the Revolution really helped women’s position. Another example of how position of women changed for the better during the Industrial Revolution was through the creation of the ‘English Woman’s journal’, which was a ‘newspaper’ that raised social ‘issues regarding the inequalities that women faced’. [12] This received attention from women ‘of the entire nation’ and that allowed women to communicate with each other and ‘demand for reforms of marriage and divorce laws’. [13] This was successful as it shed light to the inequalities that women faced with the restrictions of legislations, so the Industrial Revolution was used as a platform to better the standard of life for women. An example of the success of the English Woman’s journal was shown in ‘1871, where three major organisations’ were created to give more rights and control to women. [14]  The ‘Society for Promoting the Employment of Women, the Committee for obtaining the admission of Women to University Examinations and the National Union for the Education of Girls of All classes above the Elementary’ were set up to protect and help women from ‘unskilled and cheap factory occupations’ as well as help women keep their autonomy.[15] To conclude, the Industrial Revolution helped change the position of women for the better as it allowed women to gain more rights and liberties through the creation of different social platforms, like newspapers, which brought awareness to the inequalities that women were suffering, which then sanctioned women to communicate with each other and press for reforms. This empowered women during the Industrial Revolution to fight for change, protection and to get more rights and freedom.          

In conclusion, the Industrial Revolution changed the position of women in the nineteenth century for the better. This is because it allowed women to have more rights, the event paved the way for women in politics and it increased women employment, which also lead to the women supporting the family. The Industrialisation allowed women to have recognition and new found freedom which also led to men recognising and appreciating women’s rights and liberties. In my opinion, the most important way in which the Industrial Revolution changed the position of women was through the creation of political and social organisations like the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). The organisations fought for women’s right and it brought awareness to the injustice faced by women. Without the organisational help, rights for women and the imbalance of women in the work place would have not been fought as it would have not been brought to light. The organisations not only helped with jobs and governmental positions, but they also helped with education. All the constant protest and work that the organisations had accomplished, then led to men recognising women’s rights and liberties.     1729



Pugh, Martin. State and Society: a social and political history of Britain since 1870.

The role of women in social politics. Chapter 3, pg 54.  First edition published in Great Britain 2012. 



[1] Industrial Revolution. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/event/Industrial-Revolution (Last accessed 15th December 2018)

[2] Industrial Revolution. History.com Editors. Publisher: A&E Television Networks. 29th October 2009.  https://www.history.com/topics/industrial-revolution/industrial-revolution (Last accessed 15th December 2018)  

[3]  Martin Pugh. State and Society: a social and political history of Britain since 1870. The role of women in social politics. Chapter 3, pg 54.  First edition published in Great Britain 2012. 

[4] Jamie Wallenstein. 19th December 2012. Women’s role in society during the Industrial Revolution. https://prezi.com/sllsrh9yxdjk/womens-role-in-society-during-the-industrial-revolution/ (Last accessed 16th December 2018)

[5] Pat Hudson. Women’s work. The varieties of women’s work.29th March 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/victorians/womens_work_01.shtml (Last accessed 17th December 2018)

[6] Recent Findings of Research in Economic and social history. Women’s work and the Industrial Revolution. Women and Industrialisation. http://www.ehs.org.uk/dotAsset/03e09441-1fde-4aac-812a-79f18507fcc4.pdf (Last accessed 17th December 2018)

[7] Role of women in the Industrial Revolution. https://www.historycrunch.com/role-of-women-in-the-industrial-revolution.html#/ (Last accessed 17th December 2018)

[8] Women workers in the British Industrial Revolution. Factories. http://eh.net/encyclopedia/women-workers-in-the-british-industrial-revolution/ (Last accessed 17th December 2018)

[9] Ibid

[10] Role of women in the Industrial Revolution. https://www.historycrunch.com/role-of-women-in-the-industrial-revolution.html#/ (Last accessed 17th December 2018)

[11] Married Women’s Property Act 1870. http://www.intriguing-history.com/married-womens-property-act/ (Last accessed 16th December 2018)

[12] The effect on women during the Industrial Revolution- history essay. November 2013. https://www.ukessays.com/essays/history/the-effects-on-women-during-the-industrial-revolution-history-essay.php (Last accessed 17th December 2018) 

[13] Ibid

[14] Ibid

[15] Ibid

Russian Religious Thought in the 19th Century

The 19th Century was a defining moment in Russia which saw views on the Russian Orthodox Church, due partly, if not mainly, to its ties to the tsar-run government, sour tremendously among the Russian people. The Russian Orthodox Church became to be seen as nothing more than a government institution overseen by the tsar, and the 19th Century saw tsardom become less and less revered, to say the least, among the Russian populous. Despite many different heads of the Russian Orthodox Church, such as Nicholas Protasov, Dmitry Andreyevich Tolstoy, and Konstantin Pobedonostsev, attempting to grow the church’s influence on society throughout this period, their undeniable support and ties to the tsar-run government led to an ultimate distaste for and abandonment of religion among the Russian people during the 19th Century.

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Russian religious thought in the 19th Century is important to know about because, put simply, it shows what can happen when you have a state-run church that’s run by a state that the citizens despise. From 1721-1917, the Russian Orthodox Church was run by the Ober-Procurator, or Attorney General, appointed by the tsar rather than by patriarch’s (as seen before and after this almost 200-year long period). The three Ober-Procurator’s during this period that will be focused on in this paper all used their position as a means to try to suppress the voices of those wanting to change or critique both the Russian Orthodox Church and the government, and this suppression led to civil unrest and distrust in the church. The events of 19th Century Russia are ultimately what gave way to the Russian Revolution and the rise of communism in the 20th Century, which saw a Marxist-Leninist government, implemented by the Bolsheviks, attempt to topple the “corrupt” Russian Orthodox Church and attempt to eradicate the religion which had been forced on the people by the tsars for centuries via murdering the leaders and members of the church in Russia.

Nicholas I, also known as “The Iron Tsar,” was a dutiful, determined ruler who flexed Russia’s military might and believed strongly that each and every citizen should love and trust the Russian government as well as the Russian Orthodox Church. In fact, Nicholas I had the government he ran formulate an “Official Nationality,” which was run based off of its three key principles: Orthodoxy, autocracy, and nationality. It must be noted that Orthodoxy, referring to the official church of Russia and its doctrine, is the first and foremost principle of the “Official Nationality.” Nicholas I couldn’t even fathom where one would even get the idea to question the government or the validity of the church, and he sought to punish any and all who stepped out of line (such as The Decembrists as well as potential revolutionaries). While the government of the Soviet Union a century after the reign of Nicholas I thought those who believed in God were enemies of the state, Nicholas I thought the exact opposite: those who didn’t believe in God were enemies of the state.

During the thirty year reign of Nicholas I, Nicholas Protasov was Ober-Procurator for the entire final nineteen year period (1836-1855). Nicholas Protasov, like almost all of the other heads of government agencies and institutions during the reign of Nicholas I, was formerly in the military. His background, combined with his lack of theological training and biblical knowledge, led many Russians to dislike and distrust the Russian Orthodox Church even more than they already did, due to the fact that this cemented their view that the Russian Orthodox Church was just run by pawns of the tsar.

Nicholas Protasov’s “battle” against native Russian dissenters was one event in particular which led Russians to believe that he wasn’t a God-fearing theologian at all, but rather a government head focused on punishing non-believers because they were a threat to the state. Protasov categorized these dissenters as “less pernicious,” “pernicious,” and “most pernicious” depending on whether they accepted or rejected the state and the church, which was primarily based off of whether they prayed for the tsar and their views of the sacraments and marriage . Those labeled “most pernicious,” meaning they didn’t pray for the tsar and rejected the sacraments and the church, were taken to Transcaucasia or Siberia. It was actions such as these which led the Russian populous to view the Russian Orthodox Church as more of a policing mechanism than a holy institution. Protasov, it seemed, was more focused on finding dissenters against the church for the tsar so he could expel them to Siberia than on trying to strengthen the faith of the Russian populous in the Lord and His church.

While Nicholas I, with the help of Nicholas Protasov, might have tried to expand the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church on society, in actuality, thanks to their harsh and authoritarian measures, they ended up pushing more people away from the church. Its this anti-government, anti-church sentiment which spread throughout Russia and led to writers such as Nikolay Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, and Mikhail Lermontov publishing works opposing the way the country was being run, and these works gaining massive popularity. While Alexander Pushkin, one of the greatest Russian writers of all time, inspired The Decembrists with his political writings to try to take over the Russian government before Nicholas I came into power, its novels such as The Government Inspector by Nikolay Gogol which really turned the spark lit by Pushkin into a wildfire. Gogol, the proverbial “the head of Russian literature” after Pushkin’s death, absolutely panned Nicholas I and his regime throughout the entirety of The Government Inspector, and he followed this novel up with his all-time bestseller Dead Souls. In Dead Souls, which was read widely throughout Russia, depicted serfs as being bought and sold like animals, even after death, by repugnant landowners. Both of these works attack everything from the social structure, to the government, to the church in Russia, and they were novels loved and adored by the Russian populous.

After the death of Nicholas I in 1855, Alexander II took over as Emperor of Russia. Unlike Nicholas I, Alexander II was less of an authoritarian and more of a populist leader. He installed a number of reforms to domestic programs which were popular among the people, and he was also the one who finally emancipated the serfs.  While these actions could have led to the Russian populous once again having faith in their government and their Russian Orthodox Church, Alexander II prevented this by appointing Dmitry Andreyevich Tolstoy as Ober-Procurator for fifteen years, fourteen of which he also served as Minister of Education, which was followed by a seven year stint as the Minister of Interior. While serving in these positions, Tolstoy, like Protasov, acted more like a corrupt government official than a man of faith. While he was leading the Russian Orthodox Church, he used his additional title as Minister of Education to crackdown on “politically and morally criminal propaganda” among teachers and students in Russian schools. Furthermore, he censored what teachers could say in schools as well as the textbooks which they taught from. After his time as Ober-Procurator/Minister of Education, he successfully cracked down on the press and made it so that all newspapers and periodicals had to submit their articles to the government to be approved/censored before being published. It goes without saying that Tolstoy’s work both as the leader of, as well as the former leader of, the Russian Orthodox Church didn’t exactly instill in Russians a yearning to develop a personal relationship with God.

After the assassination of Alexander II in 1881, Alexander III began his reign over Russia. To say that Alexander III and his Ober-Procurator Konstantin Petrovich Pobedonostsev left the Russian Orthodox Church in a state of disrepair due to the path they took it down wouldn’t be too much of an overstatement. The relationship between Alexander III and Pobedonostsev, however, begins far before either of them take office. When Alexander II took office in 1865, Alexander III became the heir apparent and started studying the laws of Russia and the ins and outs of the government administration. His studies carried on from 1865-1881 under none other than political philosopher, and later his Ober-Procurator, Konstantin Petrovich Pobedonostsev. Throughout these years of study, Pobedonostsev instilled in Alexander his detestation of representative government and the idea that every Russian, whether they like it or not, be a member of the Russian Orthodox Church in the name of religious unity. Pobedonostsev also believed not only that liberal and democratic movements to be evil and against the state, but that anyone outside of the Russian Orthodox Church, such as Baptists, Lutherans, Jews, Catholics, and the Old Believers were enemies of the state as well due to being enemies of the state’s church. These were also beliefs Pobedonostsev successfully instilled in future Emperor Alexander III.

After Alexander III came into power and made Konstantin Petrovich Pobedonostsev Ober-Procurator, Alexander III made it his goal for his nation to have one language, one nationality, and one religion. Alexander III and his goal of one religion, which Pobedonostsev spearheaded, was undoubtedly the most controversial of the three, and the way in which it was attempted to be achieved was appalling. Pobedonostsev saw to it that the “May Laws” be implemented, which barred Jews shtetls and rural areas. Shortly afterwards, Jews were deported from large cities and kicked out of public schools. It should also be noted that Pobedonostsev was quoted saying, while leading the Russian Orthodox Church, mind you, “A third of Jews will be converted, a third will emigrate, and the rest will die of hunger.” Put simply, if someone couldn’t be converted to believe in and become a part of the Russian Orthodox Church, Pobedonostsev wanted them either to die or be expelled from Russia.

Ultimately, however, Pobedonostsev’s policies unsurprisingly incited violence and dissension in Russia, and these policies can also be attributed to the ultimate fall of the Russian Empire and the resulting Russian Revolution of the 20th Century which saw the communist Bolsheviks come into power and completely and utterly dismantle the church. Although Pobedonostsev wanted to unify the church in Russia, he ended up doing just the opposite. By the year 1900, twenty years into Pobedonostsev’s twenty-five years as head of the Russian Orthodox Church, the church was divided and completely embroiled in bureaucracy. Virtually all faith had been lost in the church among the Russian populous, the only reason there was still membership was due to the fear of being punished for not being a member. The Russian Orthodox Church, by the end of Pobedonostsev’s twenty-five year reign over the institution, had become as distrusted and reviled as the Russian government had been, and there seemed to be a general consensus across the country by the end of the 19th Century that everything the government touched was corrupt, and the only way to root out said corruption was to topple the government. A revolution would occur, the only question was when.

If one thing is to be learned from 19th Century Russia its that people need to have the freedom to choose what they believe in. Once a belief system is forcefully imposed on citizens it restricts their right to think for themselves, and inevitably leads to a retaliation by the populous. When the corrupt Russian government forced its citizens to become members of the Orthodox church or otherwise be labeled enemies of the state, they weren’t doing Christianity any favors. This only led people to hate the government even more and to a revolution a few decades later, which would see its atheist leaders take over the Russian government and do away with religion entirely in the country. The corrupt Russian state’s brash handling of the state-run church in the 19th Century ended in millions upon millions of people disavowing Christianity, and eventually to a Bolshevik-run government which stamped out religion altogether. Had Russian citizens been given the freedom to choose what to believe in, less people would’ve loathed the church and atheism would’ve never taken a hold of the country.

Another thing to be learned, which goes hand-in-hand with citizens needing the right to choose what to believe in, is that the marriage of church and state doesn’t always work out well for the church. While the combination of church and state can be fantastic for the church in certain scenarios (the Catholic Church and Vatican City, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Athonite States, Islam and Iran, etc.), it can also work out terribly for the church and lead to its dissolution. If the state that’s running the church, as in 19th Century Russia, is corrupt, the church will inevitably be viewed as corrupt right along with it. Right now in the United States, for example, Evangelical church leaders have welcomed Trump and have loved the publicity the Trump administration has given to them and their churches. They’ve been welcomed into his government and have been able to push their agenda further than they otherwise would’ve been able to. The Evangelical Church now, however, has gone on the record as supporting, loving, and endorsing a man who has committed sexual assault, adultery, tax evasion, fraud, arguably treason, and who’s on his third marriage. Furthermore, he’s called all Mexicans rapists, he’s denied refugees seeking shelter, he’s gone on the record saying all immigrants from Haiti have AIDs, and he’s defended and embraced white nationalism (ex. his endorsing and campaigning for Senate candidate Roy Moore who once called slavery a positive occurrence, his hiring of Steve Bannon who wrote in support of white nationalism extensively while head of Breitbart, and his pardoning and praising of Joe Arpaio in Arizona who was sanctioned due to his outright racial profiling of Latinos). The credibility and morality of the Evangelical Church, and of all Protestant denominations, have rightly been called into question by many due to this, and its alignment with Donald Trump will be remembered for generations to come. Just as the Orthodox Church was aligned with the corrupt Russian tsars who controlled the government, the Evangelical Church has become aligned with the Trump administration.

The last thing to be learned from 19th Century Russia is that the marriage of church and state inevitably leads to discrimination. Countries and states are no longer, and haven’t been for awhile now, homogenous. The United States doesn’t consist solely of white protestants anymore. Japan doesn’t consist solely of shintoists and buddhists anymore. Every country on earth has diversity in some way, shape, or form due to immigration and people seeking refuge, and by combining church and state you automatically discriminate against those living in the country who aren’t members of the state-run church. It leads to an “us versus them” mentality, which was seen in Pobedonostsev’s twenty-five year stint as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. His actions and statements against the Jewish people of Russia were caused due to this combination of church and state and the “us versus them” mentality it brought forth. This was seen in the United States as well, not even sixty years ago, in the 1960 presidential election. Many Americans saw Protestantism as the unofficial religion of the country, and the attacks against Kennedy throughout his campaign due to his Catholic faith were appalling to say the least. Had Protestantism actually been the official religion of the country he very well could’ve been barred from running for office altogether. The entire reason the Catholic school system is as prolific and widespread as it is today is due to the fact that Protestantism was being taught in public schools as part of the curriculum and was being forced on the nation’s youth. If Protestantism were the official religion of the country today and it was being taught in our public schools, there would not only be Catholic schools but Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Bahai, Mormon, Hindu, Orthodox, and many more school systems in order for parents to keep their children from being forced to become Protestants in the classroom. This would inevitably lead to our country becoming even more hostile and combative than it already is.

In conclusion, the 19th Century was a time in Russia which saw the Russian Orthodox Church become a reviled, corrupt institution due to its ties to the tsar-run government. It was used as a weapon by the tsar-appointed Ober-Procurators against their own people, and led to incredible tension in the country between the government and anyone who lived in Russia and didn’t belong to the Russian Orthodox Church. Although Nicholas Protasov, Dmitry Andreyevich Tolstoy, and Konstantin Pobedonostsev each tried to grow the Russian Orthodox Church and enhance its influence on society, their close relationships to the corrupt tsars who appointed each of them Ober-Procurator and the harsh measures they took while serving in their position led to many Russians despising, loathing, and leaving the church.


Byrnes, Robert F. “Konstantin Petrovich Pobedonostsev: Russian Statesman.” Encyclopedia Britannica, (July 1998), https://www.britannica.com/biography/Konstantin-Petrovich-Pobedonostsev (accessed September 21, 2018)

Florinsky, Michael T. “Alexander III: Emperor of Russia.” Encyclopedia Britannica, (July 1998), https://www.britannica.com/biography/Alexander-III-emperor-of-Russia (accessed September 21, 2018).

Gabel, Paul. And God Created Lenin: Marxism vs. Religion in Russia, 1917-1929. Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2005.

Goldberg, Maren. “Holy Synod.” Encyclopedia Britannica (March 2009). https://www.britannica.com/topic/Holy-Synod-Russian-Orthodox-Church (accessed September 21, 2018).

Lavrin, Janko. “Nikolay Gogol: Ukrainian Born Writer.” Encyclopedia Britannica, (July 1998). https://www.britannica.com/biography/Nikolay-Gogol (accessed September 21, 2018).

Moss, W.E. “Alexander II: Emperor of Russia.” Encyclopedia Britannica, (July 1998), https://www.britannica.com/biography/Alexander-II-emperor-of-Russia (accessed September 21, 2018).

Riasanovsky, Nicholas Valentine. Nicholas I and Official Nationality in Russia, 1825-1855 Berkeley: University of California Press, 1959.

Riasanovsky, Nicholas Valentine. “Nicholas I: Tsar of Russia,” Encyclopedia Britannica (July 1998). https://www.britannica.com/biography/Nicholas-I-tsar-of-Russia (accessed September 21, 2018).


Why Were so Many Women Diagnosed with Mental Illnesses in the 19th Century?

Why were so many women diagnosed with mental illnesses in the 19th century?

Women have always been seen as the less superior sex in society. Men have always had more opportunities to chase their dreams and do what they love. Meanwhile, women had to conform to being stay-at-home wives and care for their husbands. Since women were considered to be weak and fragile, it made it easier for doctors to diagnose many women with mental illnesses. For instance, in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman the narrator is diagnosed with a nervous condition. When in reality she is, in fact, dealing with postpartum depression. In the nineteenth century, doctors did not know anything about postpartum depression. Therefore, they would connect the condition with other conditions that have similar symptoms. More women were diagnosed with mental illnesses in the era of “The Yellow Wallpaper” in America based on the ideology that women were oppressed.

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In the nineteenth century, the expectations that society held for women was very high and demanding. Women were meant to keep the house in perfect conditions, take care of the children and also raise them. But most importantly females had to tend to their husbands’ needs and wants. All of this pressure and stress could make anyone mad. Anytime a woman would act out and not follow her societal role people would refer to it as “madness.” Since women were considered to be weak and submissive it was easier to diagnose them with a mental illness. In the article “The Race of Hysteria: “Overcivilization” and the “Savage” Woman in Late Nineteenth-Century Obstetrics and Gynecology” it states “the diagnostic category of hysteria was simply a way of keeping women in the home” (246). Diagnosing women with a disorder helps society come into terms as to why they are not following their role and are instead deviant. Not only that but it was a way of oppressing women and forcing them to follow their roles and duties. These illnesses kept women in their houses and left them no choice but to tend to it. Therefore, women were driven to these illnesses by society. Not only were the societal expectations extensive because society wanted women to be the perfect wives but they oppressed women.

Furthermore, being oppressed and not being able to do as one pleases can drive one insane. In the nineteenth century, women were controlled by their husbands and other male figures in their families. Many husbands restrained their wives from experiencing life. For example, in the play The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice Othello says “My wayward husband hath a hundred times Wooed me to steal it” (Act 3 Scene 3). This demonstrates that men used to manipulate and control women into doing as they pleased. And women were too naive to realize what their husband’s true intentions were and just did what they were told just like Emilia in this play. The character, Iago, uses his power to manipulate everyone around him in order to destroy Othello’s life and marriage. If women decided to fight for their freedom and push for more rights, doctors would diagnose them with a mental or nervous condition. It was rare for women to actually defy societal norms. So, medically, doctors thought there was something mentally wrong. In addition, doctors did not need much proof to detect a mental illness, to begin with, so it was very easy to do. These nervous conditions restrained women from living life to the fullest.

Moreover, the majority of women in the nineteenth century were aspiring to give their husband children. Pregnancy was considered to be a duty for women; something they were supposed to experience and in the future raise their own children. But in the nineteenth century, it was dangerous to give birth to a baby because it was usually done at home. As a result, there were complications in the labor and barely any experts around to help. Not only that but there were no drugs available like morphine to reduce the pain in child labor. In the article “Women’s Voices in Nineteenth-Century Medical Discourse: A Step toward Deconstructing Science” it says “the local causes of women’s insanity were injured or dysfunctional reproductive organs” (5). Which means that women who could not bear a child would go mentally ill. The thought of not being able to fulfill their duty as a wife makes them turn to depression. The societal norm of wives needing to have children made those who could not bear children weak and vulnerable. And as a whole, these particular women felt useless which causes them to go mad and eventually be diagnosed with a mental illness.

Also, there are women who are able to have children and follow their role but then suffer from depression. This condition is called postpartum depression and any woman can get this condition after having a baby. This type of depression is not caused because the mother does not love the child but because of the hormonal changes that are occurring. According to the article “A Cry for Help: Postpartum Depression,” it says “A nineties woman often feels the stress of trying to live up to a “super mother” image. This increases her depression and decreases her self-esteem” (42). The reason why so many women were diagnosed with mental illnesses was that they were so worried about their reputation and role being tarnished that they let it take over their entire lives. Trying to be perfect in return for society’s approval became overbearing which soon led these women in society to insanity. Women in the nineteenth century sacrificed their freedom and mental state for society’s view on them as individuals.

Another factor that contributes to many women being diagnosed with mental illnesses is their sexuality. Women that were diagnosed with an illness or condition were seen as sexual beings by society. The people around these women thought they were insane and therefore sexual libertines. Stated in “The Female Animal: Medical and Biological Views of Woman and Her Role in Nineteenth-Century America,” it says “Charles D. Meigs, a prominent Philadelphia gynecologist, stated with assurance in 1847 that a woman is a moral, a sexual, a germiferous, gestative and parturient creature” (335). Women were not only going insane because of all the pressure society puts on them to follow their roles but they were seen as these procreative animals. Throughout the nineteenth century, women were conveyed to be the perfect wives that tended to all the needs of everyone in the household. But as soon as particular women were dealing with a nervous condition or anything that resembled them not being in the right state of mind society would convey them differently.

Ultimately, the oppression of women in the nineteenth century caused them to be mentally ill. Feeling lesser than others and feeling trapped can drive anyone insane. More women than men were diagnosed with mental illnesses in the nineteenth century due to the fact that they had different roles. Men were given the free will to chase any career they wanted and were given authority and power. While women were stuck at home all the time doing chores and being overlooked by everyone living around them. The potential women had of thriving and working just as hard as men was neglected all throughout history. Society had the ideology that women were just meant to care for the house, kids, and their husbands. And this ideology ended up hurting and causing harm to a lot of women in the nineteenth century. Women should rise above these societal norms and aspire to be better than just a housewife. They should strive to accomplish great things and empower one another to reach their goals. Not only that but people should not let an illness or condition define the type of person they are. And much less let societal roles get in the way of one’s well being.

Works Cited

Briggs, Laura. “The Race of Hysteria: ‘Overcivilization’ and the ‘Savage’ Woman in Late Nineteenth-Century Obstetrics and Gynecology.” American Quarterly, vol. 52, no. 2, 2000, pp. 246–273. Print.

Cicchinelli, Brenda. “A Cry for Help: Postpartum Depression.” International Journal of Childbirth Education, vol. 10, no. 1, 1995, pp. 42–43-43. Print.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Literature: A Portable Anthology, edited by Janet E. Gardner, et.al., fourth edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s, New York, 2017.64-77. Print.

Rosenberg, Carroll Smith, and Charles Rosenberg. “The Female Animal: Medical and Biological Views of Woman and Her Role in Nineteenth-Century America.” The Journal of American History, Vol. 60, No. 2, 1973, pp. 332-356. Print.

Shakespeare, William/ Mowat, Barbara A. (EDT)/ Werstine, Paul (EDT). The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice. N.p.: Pocket, 2017. Print.

Theriot, Nancy M. “Women’s Voices in Nineteenth-Century Medical Discourse: A Step toward Deconstructing Science.” Signs, vol. 19, no. 1, 1993, pp. 1–31. Print.


19th Century American Imperialism

“Proceeding along a path to which no limit can be perceived.”
Alexis de​ Tocqueville (lumen)
This quote refers to U.S wanting to be unique and it coincides with the idea of exceptionalism. During the 19th century the U.S considered them exceptionalist, they felt that they were doing very well economically, Unfortunately they accumulated a lot of surplus material which came the desire for a new trade market and the idea of expansion known as Imperialism. Alfred T Mahan’s who was an advocate for expansion had a book called ​”The Influence of Sea Power upon History”​ and included in this book was the idea that acquiring more land would bring more jobs for the working class and more stability for the economy.

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The U.S wanted to sustain their successful economy by bringing the idea of expansion to light, they brought on imperialism. Imperialism was a policy that incorporated the expansion of power and military force. Their biggest competitor was Britain whose military force was far greater than that of the U.S. Throughout the 19th century, Imperialism also led to the creation of unions such as the AFL and they Knights of Labor. Integrated into Imperialism was Manifest Destiny, which was a belief that it was our God given right to settle in a new land. Manifest Destiny existed globally and was involved in the Spanish-American war when Spain surrendered their islands. The ultimate idea of Manifest Destiny was to rule as much of the nation and advise the ones that were less fortunate.
The side that influenced support for Imperialism, were motivated by economics. They wanted to be able to maintain a successful economy and also gain natural resources such as land. The fact that the U.S was doing very well economically, it did not stop them for wanting to seek a much bigger profit, that would come with expansion, also known as Imperialism. It was thought that Imperialism was economically beneficial because it had cheap labor cost and would allow for more control in the trade market, which would also lead to more control over their profit.
The U.S struggled with the fact that Europe was gaining more natural resources from individual colonies, they were given more resources then U.S which gave them the ability to produce more,which led to competing for the best of the best. Alfred T Mahan believed that they were “Like land birds, unable to fly far from their own shores.” Alfred T Mahan ​”The Influence of Sea Power upon History”​ (Document 1).
He believed that the U.S was lacking foreign relationships and also lacking the military power. They need roots in places where they wanted to expand which did not come easily to the U.S.Even though the U.S was very successful in manufacturing raw material, they had a problem that existed in supply and demand, they were making more than they were selling. The expansion would fulfil their need for a new trade market and would allow them to sell their surplus.
The argument that influenced opposition was for humanitarian reasons. One of the reasons for being against was the possibility of slavery. Because of the more land came the need for more workers. This opposition brought on the Anti-Imperialist League. It was a league that was formed to maintain ownership of the Philippines. They believed that no man should ever be able to govern another man without having permission to do so. Some members of this league fell under the racist category, while others felt that it was unnecessary to send their military to an area deemed unsafe. The time following the Spanish-American only some people such as congress to vote against the acquiring of new land. Meanwhile a large amount of democrats were against being able to annex colonies to be able to gain control. When determining whether it is civilized or uncivilized to take the right to control themselves away from the people and force them to be controlled by someone else. It appears to be uncivilized because it brings up unnecessary conflict. Some also felt that the U.S had enough means in the U.S that would stop them from searching in foreign areas. This brought about the Anti-Imperialist League which members included Grover Cleveland and Samuel Gompers In (document 9) “​Platform of the American Anti-imperialist League”​ they believed that Imperialism focused on the military side of things, but all this league wanted was to be free of control.
This League believed that nothing good could come from growing their militia and the fact that the Europeans enjoyed going to war and with the desire to acquire more land in Europe, could lead to an unnecessary war. Along with their beliefs came the idea that the Spanish-American War only used imperialism as a cover-up for liberation. In reality this expansion of land would only take away the right of “consent to govern.” -Lumen
Is Imperialism a proper and legitimate policy?
This policy started of as a good idea. It was a way for the U.S to be able to sell their surplus. It allowed for more job opportunities for the working class. When digging deeper into it this policy had its ups and downs. Imperialism was economically beneficial, but was not something that everyone agreed was a good idea. When I think of the benefits that came with Imperialism; Yes the acquiring of more land brought on more jobs, but it also took away control for the people. Yes Imperialism allowed the U.S more area to trade, but taking land from others to do so led to more unnecessary wars. This policy appeared to stem from the need for more. The U.S wanting more land and natural resources to produce more and sell more within a new trade market. They wanted to beat out their biggest competitor by having more economic and military power. The idea of expansion was a good idea economically, but socially it caused turmoil. These places were not willing to just give up their land, they were willing to sacrifice everything for their land in hopes of remaining in control of their own territory. The relationships changed between Cuba and the U.S as well as the relationship between Puerto Rico and Cuba. U.S eventually cut all things involving Cuba which entailed Puerto Rico to do the same. The outcome of this policy was a negative one because it led to political turmoil and lead to a stronger opposition of imperialism itself.
In conclusion, imperialism was a good support for the economy. The way that the United States wanted to be able to expand their trade market was a reasonable aspiration. It was something that would prevent the panic of 1893 of recessing. While Imperialism was beneficial to the economy it seems to cause more harm than good. It required them to acquire land from foreign areas. It also took away the rights of the people being able to govern themselves. It brought on strict labor unions and the ideas that this expansion would bring on unnecessary wars. Even today a lot of our materials come from overseas. Capitalism plays a key role in imperialism today in such places as banks and oil factories. The use imperialism to expand their business worldwide so that they can turn more of a profit.
1. Background Lecture: ​Lecture: 19th Century American Imperialism
2. Document 9 “​Platform of the American Anti-imperialist League”
3. Reference.com “​Does Imperialism exist today​”
4. Lumen.com “Boundless US History” ​American Imperialism
5. Document 1- Alfred T Mahan ​”The Influence of Sea Power upon History” 6. Encyclopedia Britannica – ​Imperialism

Female Composers in 19th Century Europe


Music is a universal language right now, it transformed as time went by. By looking at the development of the music history, one of the aspects we find is the number of female composers was smaller than right now, they were not educated so well at the time. After that, the female composers started to appear in the stage of music history in the late nineteenth century and twentieth century, they gradually played an important role in the stage of music history as a lot of famous female musicians flooded during Romanticism, such as Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann. They earned their reputations, then their music started to be premiered in concerts. For example, Fanny Mendelssohn was a famous pianist and composer of over 460 pieces of music. However, the majority of her pieces were originally published under her brother‘s name. In this paper, I will discuss how  society’s influence on female composer’s career and how did female composers shape themselves at the time.

Unequal Education Status

         In the early period of European society, music was widely spread out to each family whatever is poor or rich. However, there was an educational tendency that men got the priorities to learn music when women always had the challenges to access their education. While women have long been acknowledged as great interpreters of music, the field of composition has been traditionally dominated by men [1].

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       A lot of female musicians are from musical families, some of them were so lucky to get their chance to learn instruments and then composition, and premier their piece on the stage, such as Clara Schumann. Others just learned how to play and compose, and could not get the opportunities to perform in public. These are because of different family backgrounds. Clara’s father was very of her to learn music and develop it as her career in the future, sometimes he regarded her daughter as a male composer, and shaped her as serious as possible. On the contrary, despite her extensive musical training and acknowledged talent in both piano and composition, she was not given such opportunities as her brothers. In large part this is due to the attitudes of her family, particularly her father Abraham[2]

        Meanwhile, there were also many conservatories had closed their doors to women for a long time, after many years, the conservatories started to let women get into starting to learn music. However, women were only allowed to learn instruments, they could not get the opportunities to compose and perform on the stages. A more terrible thing was if they went to the same class with men, some units would be not shown up to women, that means they were still treated unequally in the conservatories. An example of this would be at the Leipzig Conservatory, where “boys took a three-year course in theory, girls a two-year course, especially organized for their requirements.”[3] Basically, boys did not want girls who were in the same level with them, and they did not believe girls could ever be.

Gender Discrimination

       Not only in Europe, there were many countries in the world had the perception that men could do better than women and handle the cases better than women. They were mostly thought as a role of housewife rather than professional musicians.  Fanny’s father pointed out with it in a letter to the fifteen-year-old Fanny of 16 July 1820:

           What you wrote to me about your musical occupations with reference to and in comparison with Felix was both rightly thought and expressed, Music will perhaps become his profession, while for you it can and must only be an ornament, never the root of your being and doing.[4]

At the time, women only got several ways to be a musician, they could have their own studios at home, could perform as a singer, but they could not be concert masters, professors, conductors.

          So under the social situations, women still worked so hard to develop their careers. Clara Schumann started to perform her own pieces in public after she got married with Robert Schumann. After her husband got ill, she had to make them living so that she started to compose and premier her pieces in public, finally she got a great population at the time in female composers. The example I would like to talk about is Fanny Mendelssohn and one of her famous piece piano trio op. 11.

Fanny’s talents on music

          Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel was born in 1805, she was a famous German pianist and composer at the time. She was four years older than Felix Mendelssohn, and they were both highly educated in composition and piano. She could play all of the 24 preludes from Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. In 1820, she had her composition studies with Friedrich Zelter, who at one point favored Fanny over Felix. Then Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote to Felix Mendelssohn about “ Give my regards to your equality talented sister”. She also received a high description from Zelter in skill as a pianist “She plays like a man”. [5]

Challenges for her composition career

          However, she was so gifted at the time, she was still facing some challenges from her family because the social background, such as her compositional activities discouraged from her family. Her father and brother both thought of the only calling for a young woman was that of a housewife. Such a huge impact on her made from her family, Fanny still did not give up her belief to compose. She did, then be active in her compositional career, finally she wrote more than 400 pieces. Some of the pieces are under Felix’s name and published, and she didn’t attain her status as a professional composer. There was one person who played a very important role in her life, her husband–Wilhelm Hensel. He encouraged her to compose and play her own piece in public, then she played a public performance of Felix’s Piano Concerto in G minor without consulting with her brother. That was a bravo performance at the time.   

Fanny’s  Musical Style

        She had a literary interest in poetry, so she composed in more self-expressive way, also because of her gifted talent, she was writing music very naturally as Schubert did, the melodies are singable. Then she invented an important compositional genre called Instrumental songs without words, which her brother also composed the set of music. She also had some character pieces that one for each month, meanwhile, she got models from Haydn, Mozart. Most of her pieces are in classical forms. 

         By looking at her repertoires, we could feel her talents on music, one of her famous pieces is piano trio op. 11 in D minor was a delicate chamber music work, she endowed the music different characteristics in different instruments, I will analyze the piece then in its shape and characters.

Piano Trio Op. 11 in D minor

                  Piano Trio Op.11 was conceived between 1846 and 1847 as a birthday present for her sister, and posthumously published in 1850, three years after the composer’s death.  There are four movements of the trio, the first movement plays with a flowing, restless accompanied piano part, the strings plays the broad, beautiful melodies. Then the piano part gives a short solo part, which strings start to transform to a new subject. Then the strings and piano give a call-response genre in the middle of the passage. It also modulated several times for elaborating the minor keys. After piano plays the arpeggios, strings restates the theme. In a stormy arpeggios of piano part, the theme seems to play to us in a different sound quality that warmer than before. Then coming to a repetition of the development part, the musical character is getting quieter with the chords of piano part. Then it strikes me at the end of the first movement, it suddenly plays a quick stormy accompaniment that push me back to the sad environment

                Then the second movement is so gorgeous that in a Andante espressivo, it is so romantic though it is also energetic in its inner mood, the theme started to vary when the strings start to play continuous sixteenth notes and then repeats in piano part back and forth. The third movement was subtitled by Fanny with Lied, the lovely Allegretto movement is from Song Without Words of sort Mendelssohn composed. The finale coming to an Allegro moderato, that piano plays a lengthy solo at the beginning of the part, then strings join in. The rhythmic pattern sounds like a folk dance which dominated with dotted notes. Cross rhythms and themes develop to a climax finally ended the whole piece with a D major chord.


                Whatever the difficulties the female composers faced in the past, they still have overcome many setbacks, barriers to get what they really wanted, they also tried to make a big progress to equal with men in the music field and some of them such as Clara Schumann and Fanny even did better than men at the time. They are the models of female composers today, even there were composers who devoted herself to music career. The blueprint of female composers are still painting.


Gates, Eugene. “Why Have There Been No Great Women Composers? Psychological Theories, past and Present.” Journal of Aesthetic Education 28, no. 2 (1994): 27-34. doi:10.2307/3333265.

Citron, Marcia J. Current Musicology. “ Felix Mendelssohn’s Influence on Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel as a Professional Composer”, New York Vol. 0, Iss. 37, (Jan 1, 1984): 9.

 Pendle, Karin. “Musical Women in Early Modern Europe.” In Women and Music: A History (Second Edition), edited by Karin Pendle, 57-96. Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 2001.

 Sebastian Hensel, “ The Mendelssohn Family (1729-1847), Karl Klingemann, transl., 2nd ed., 2 vols.; reprint of 1882 edition (New York: Haskell House, 1969), vol. I, p.82  

“Mendelssohn’s Musical Education”. www. Cambridge.org. Cambridge University Press.  Retrieved 2017-01-24

[1] Gates Eugene, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Composers? Psychological Theories: past and Present”


[2] Citron, Marcia J. “ Felix Mendelssohn’s Influence on Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel as a Professional Composer

[3] Pendle, Karin. “ Musical Women in Early Modern Europe” In Women and Music: A History

[4] Sebastian Hensel, “ The Mendelssohn Family (1729-1847)

[5] “Mendelssohn’s Musical Education”. www.cambridge.org. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 2017-01-24.

History Of Singapore Before And After 19th Century History Essay

When it refers to strategic position, it is not only determined by natural location, but also closely related with political, economic, social and military factors. The history of Singapore before and after 19th century is a perfect example to justify this theory. In 1969, then-Raffles Professors of History K.G. Tregonning held that “modern Singapore began in 1819. Nothing that occurred on the island prior to this date has particular relevance to an understanding of the contemporary scene; it is of antiquarian interest only.” [1]This is to say, although Singapore is naturally endowed with the qualities to be a very important strategic place, in fact, it is when Raffles landed on these islands and made them a trading country in 1819.

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Firstly, the textual records on Singapore’s history before the year of 1819 are fragmentary and incomplete. Based on Sejarah Melayu, a Malay seventeenth-century chronicle, it recorded a story that a ruler from Palembang, who was named Sri Tri Buana, built a trading city and called it as Singapura (“Lion City”). It was told that because he caught a sight of a strange creature, which looked like a lion. The tale from Sejarah Melayu is not credible in many aspects. Firstly, the Annal has twenty nine different versions. Secondly, it’s said that Sri Tri Buana is a divine person coming from the sky and landed on a sacred hill in Palembang. [2] Lastly, lions were not seen in Singapore ever before. [3] Sir Richard Winstedt concluded that Sejarah Melayu account of how Temasek was founded by Sri Tri Buana accidentally landing on the island and sighting the fictional lion is a “hotchpotch of Chola and Palembang
[1] K.G. Tregonning (1969). Modern Singapore. The Historical Background. Singapore: University of Singapore Press.
[2] Kwa, C. G. (2009, January 29). How to think about Singapore history.
Presented at a SSA 2211 lecture at National University of Singapore.
[3] Lepoer, B. L. (1989). ed. Singapore: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress. Retrieved February, 14, 2009 from http://countrystudies.us/singapore/3.htm
folklore out of which little can be made. And most historians have been in favor of the 16th century Portuguese accounts. Both these two versions about the history of Singapore are based on the social memories. Therefore, it is not valid to determine which version is more reliable. But one thing is sure and obvious is that Singapore is not so important strategically. Supposing it has a significant strategic position, it should at least have a very clear history. The truth is that the records and notices on Singapore are implicit and incredible.
Secondly, there is no denying that these archaeological excavations by Associate Professor John Miksic and his partners included local earthenware, Chinese coin, and India glass beads. And it at most suggests that Singapore was one of the trading ports in the southeast east and tells us that there was a settlement on Singapore and it was established at the end of the thirteenth or beginning of the fourteenth-century. [4] However, at that time, Singapore is just one state of Srivijayan. Equally importantly, before the invention of steam power, the trade is connected with the sailing season and sailing junks play a minor role in world trade and coast cities like Singapore were rarely at that time. What is more, before the industrial revolution, China is the biggest economic power and most of its trade was made with East Asia and Europe by the so called “Silk Road”. Therefore, at that time, a port like Singapore which depends on transshipment trade means a little in the strategic sense, and its prosperity and fate is closely related with the world powers.
Thirdly, some scholars, such as G. P. Rouffaer, Ronald Braddell and Brain Colless, have been searching for evidence to prove that Singapore’s strategic significance archaeological evidences suggest that there were any settlement during this long period. According to C. A. Gibson-Hill, the passage through Singapore, either via the Keppel Harbour or the Philips Channel and Main Streets or the Terbau Straits dates back only to the middle 14th century, or at least 50 or 100 years earlier, but definitely
[4] Fort Canning Site 1984 – Present. (n.d.). Retrieved February, 14, 2009 from http://www.seaarchaeology.com/v1/html/sg/fort_canning.html
not beyond that time. [5]This is because the most favourable place to provide services for the traders and shippers who pass through the strait is what is today’s Palembang, which locates up the river of Musi. What’s more, it is not until at the end of 17th century that in the European and Chinese travelogues and navigational charts, the Keppel Harbour Straits was mentioned. And from then on, the Keppel Straits was seldom mentioned and the time when it was discovered as a new channel once again was the year of 1819. This suggests that the Keppel Harbour was not as strategic as some scholars had argued.
Lastly, in terms of politics, world powers like China are mostly mainland country and, equally importantly, have no ambition to control over the Southeast Asia. Although this is no denying the fact that in the period of the Dutch-Portuguese’s rivalry relation, it was very important for Singapore to have control over the waters. [6] Besides this, historian also found out that the European powers, like the Portuguese and Dutch, realized the commercial and strategic significance of the Straits of Singapore and intend to construct a fort or citadel in the region. [7] However, it is also not deniable that both Portuguese and Dutch were not world powers yet and neither of them had the capability to control the world. To put it far, Singapore played certain significance to these two countries and had little impact on other countries in a global sense. What is more, from the year of 1676, Dutch had diverted
it attention from Melaka Straits to Java because of its abundant natural resources, and correspondently loosened its control over Singapore. Therefore, the Singapore before
[5] C. A. Gibson-Hill (1954). Singapore: Old Strait and New Harbour, 1300-1870. Singapore: University of Singapore Press.
[6] Kwa, C. G. (2009, February 12). Sailing Past Singapore: Contests for control of waters around Singapore. Presented at a SSA 2211 lecture at National University of Singapore.
[7] Borschberg, P. (2003). “Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch Plans to Construct a Fort in the Straits of Singapore, ca. 1584-1625,” Archipel, 65.
18th century had never become a strategic position.
Based on the previous analysis, in one word, Singapore is part of the Johor Sultanate. This is justified in the following respect.
Firstly, from the perspective of history, Johor Sultanate was built by Sultan Mahmud’s son and successor, who, in 1530, left Pahang and established a new negara up the Johor River. The reason why he chose the Johor River as his new negera instead of moving to a backwater region is that he needed to get involved with the trade activities of the Melaka Straits. The archaeological evidence-primarily the range and volume of earthen-ware and blue-and-white Ming and Qing export ware sherds-points to the Johor River as a node in the trade of the Melaka Straits from the beginning of 15th century. Since the founding of this new country, Singapore had been under the control with Tengmengong as it real governor. From that time, Singapore is waiting quietly for a dramatic change by a British explorer.
Secondly, Singapore is a small island with few population and scarce resources. The small island is surrounded by other countries. Gibson-Hill argued: “the Singapore channel became of value when it was possible to cut out jungle-girt ports of western Borneo and Palembang, affluent and powerful, but tediously placed. It became of potential value as soon as trading ports were developed in north Sumatra, and in the region of Junk Seylon. Then an altered rhythm was possible with the break in the voyage no longer at its southern angle, but at the end of the run across the eastern India Ocean.” This shows us Singapore is just integral part of the Johor Sultanate even this region. Singapore’ future was closely connected with the whole region and would have no future if it is separated from whole region. This is supported by Dutch’s diversion its attention from Melaka Straits to Java because of its abundant natural resources, and correspondently loosened its control over Singapore in the year of 1676.
Thirdly, Singapore is part of the Johor Sultanate in terms of politics. According to the Portuguese accounts, the Melaka was founded by a renegade prince who fled to Temasek. And the he found a prosperous settlement and assassinated its ruler to be king. Because of this, he was avenged by Thai. Therefore, he fled to the northwards and founded a fresh trading port on the banks of the Bertam River, which was called Melaka. This accounts exhibits us Singapore was always politically connected with the Johor Sultanate.
Singapore’s modern development has benefited from its natural location on the main trading route which connects the ports in Indian Ocean and those of South China Sea. However, it is not endowed the natural strategic significance. This advantage is offered by human-related factors and this is proved by archaeological evidence, history and some fresh reports and studies. Meanwhile, they also support the argument that Singapore is part of the Johor Sultanate.
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