19th Century - Good?

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade April 2001

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"The 19th Century was a Wonderful Century" ~ was it? There are two responses to this statement; one being "yes, I agree with that" and the other is "that's preposterous!" I, myself, am torn between the two. On the one hand there were great inventions and independence for women, and yet on the other hand there was poverty and the set up of slave trades.

Along with the 19th century came scientific discoveries. One of the first inventions was a new type of high-pressure engine. The inventor, Richard Trevithick, used his engine to drive the first ever steam locomotive! The wealthy, including business and professional people became wealthier; they lived in large mansions, ate a wider variety of foods as it became available to buy, due to imports from other countries brought together as parts of the British Empire. Rich Victorian children were well educated. Women were finally begun to be thought of as equals, although it is nothing like equality among the genders today "“ the 21st century "“ it was a large step up for women, and helped to bring us to where we are today.

As it was just the beginning of the Women's Right's movement, not everyone was entirely happy about it, including some women: "We do not want to turn women into men, nor to see them doing men's work" ~ Emily Faithfull (1863) As not all people were against Women's Rights, some of the laws were suspended, and new ones were passed. The law previously stating that "˜once a woman was married all her rights to her own property and money were lost' was eventually changed so that "˜married women were allowed to save/spend money they earned (passed in 1878) and keep control over any property in their name (passed in 1882)' due...