The Nineteenth Century American was very different than the Twentieth CenturyAmerican. They had different technology, food, laws, dress, customs, view of artand beauty, and family structure. They lived a lot differently than we do andthey acted differently, also.
They liked different things, and had differentcustoms, also. They spoke English, but used different words and words haddifferent meanings. The Nineteenth Century American ate many different things,but most of theme were simple. During the Nineteenth Century, the potato chipwas invented.
American Indian George Crum invented them in 1853. He was a chefat a fancy restaurant in Saratoga Springs, New York. Crum made French fries thatwere too thin to grab with a fork, to make a customer mad. They ate many thingsbut mostly simple things.Order now
The enjoyed eating the hamburger, but they ate it on aplate, and not on a bun. Also Dr. Pepper was invented in the Nineteenth Century. A man named Charles Alderton in Waco, Texas invented it in 1885. He was apharmacist, and he was experimenting with different flavors in soda.
AlsoNineteenth Century Americans ate oysters, oyster stew, New England clam chowder,many kinds of fruit pies, and seafood. Coffee was served with all meals. Breakfast was served around seven, dinner (now called lunch) at noon (except onSunday where it was served around two), and supper at six. Nineteenth CenturyAmericans wore completely different clothes than the Twentieth CenturyAmericans. Many young boys and men would wear suits, even as play clothes.
Manywere dark blue, with or black. There were many ruffles and cuffs. Many men andboys would wear tan colored shoes. Most women wore long hooping skirts, alsowith many cuffs and ruffles.
For work, many men wore blue jeans, after LeviStraus invented them. In the early Nineteenth Century, most people were of theProtestant religion. There were a few Catholics and a few Jews, also. Startingaround 1820, many Roman Catholics and German Lutherans immigrated to the UnitedStates from Ireland and Germany, respectively.
During the Nineteenth Century,many new religious groups were formed. Some examples are the Mormons (The Churchof Latter Day Saints), Church of Christ, Christian Scientist, Seventh DayAdventist, the Shakers, and the Jehovah Witness. Many issues, such as slaveryand marriage, caused denominations to branch apart. There have been many lawchanges in the United States since the Nineteenth Century, including many majorones, including slavery.
In 1854, Massachusetts, Oregon, Minnesota, Iowa,Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont all had prohibition laws thatlasted until the beginning of the Civil War. From when the colonies became acountry until the early Nineteenth Century, slavery was very wide spread,especially in the South. Many farmers and Plantation owners in the south hadhundred or even thousands of slaves. Around 1860, there were as many as fourmillion slaves, making up at east one-third of the population.
During the earlyNineteenth Century, many Northerners fought for abolition, while manySoutherners fought for pro slavery. Some Southerners went as far as to sayslavery was in the Bible, or that it helped the African-Americans, because theywould have had a far worse life in Africa. The Compromise of 1850 was a seriesof laws passed in 1850, by the United States Congress hoped to regain peace andend the fighting between the North and South. These laws helped delay civil warfor about 10 years.
However, from 1861 until 1865 the Civil War was fought tokeep the Southern states from leaving the Union over slavery. The Union won onApril 9, 1865, when General Lee Surrenders to General Grant at Appomatox. OnJanuary 31, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was proposed andon December 6, 1865 it was ratified. It outlawed slavery in all parts of TheUnited States. Proposed on June 13, 1866, and ratified on July 9, 1868, theFourteenth Amendment to the Constitution stated that all people born in theUnited States should have equal rights.
However, even after the Civil War, mostAfrican Americans were still not treated equally. In Mississippi, for example,all African Americans had to have proof of employment, or go to jail. In SouthCarolina, in order to work in a job that wasn’t on a farm, they needed to paya heavy bond. The case of Plessy v.
Ferguson challenged the Jim Crow laws of theSouth to the Fourteenth Amendment, but lost. The Technology of the NineteenthCentury was primitive compared to today’s standards, but was far more advancedcompared to the technology of many countries at that time. During the NineteenthCentury many things were invented, changed, or thought of in America. In theearly Nineteenth Century, many settlers began moving west of the Ohio River, andwanted their territory to grow rapidly. They demanded an easier way to move fromEast to West.
So, in 1811, work began on a road that led from Cumberland,Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois. In 1840, farmer Cyrus Hall McCormick made a verywide known reaper. Art and music were very different in the Nineteenth Century. Music was greatly influenced from Overseas. Many Minstrel Shows, parody skitswhere artists would wear black makeup to impersonate African Americans. Theskits had songs, skits, dances, and comedy routines that showed how theperformer felt about African Americans.
The music didn’t portray AfricanAmerican music, but had some elements such as the instruments. Some songsprotested slavery or the end to the use alcohol. During the Civil War, manysongs were Dixie-Style songs, especially in the South. After the Civil War, manyAfrican Americans began singing.
By the end of the Century, the most popularkind of music was the kind played in Tin Pan Alley. Musical Comedy Skits werepreformed on pianos the artists called tin pans. Also, Ragtime was also inventedin the Nineteenth Century. Most families in the Nineteenth Century were made ofa husband and a wife, and their children. Until the Civil War, most homes in theSouthern States had slaves, also.
Most children moved out after school, howevera few stayed at home. The divorce rate in the Nineteenth Century was very low,approximately two to three percent. This was because most religions did notpermit divorce, and most men wouldn’t leave a woman and her children alone. Many young girls married in the South at ages as low as thirteen.
This was notuncommon, and there were many women who were grandmothers before the age of 30. Most houses, except for ones of more affluent people, had little or nofurniture, and only two or three rooms. As you can see, the Nineteenth CenturyAmerican was very different from you and I.