1800 — 1850

From Napoleon to the Industrial Revolution

Europe and Worldwide

The nineteenth century began with Napoleon Bonaparte’s armies intent on conquering Europe. After his defeat, the Congress of Vienna redesigned the various European powers’ areas of influence, leading to the so-called Restoration.

Over the following decades there were a series of revolts and uprisings demanding liberal constitutions, greater rights and the formation of national states. This continued until 1848, when Europe turned into a ticking time bomb. Post-Restoration Europe recorded considerable population growth. The increase in the available manpower also caused industrialisation to spread across the continent.

Switzerland and Ticino

The Act of Mediation signed in Paris in 1803 brought about an end to the Swiss Republic and Switzerland went back to being a confederation. The end of the first half of the nineteenth century was marked by the Sonderbund War (“separate league”). 

Frédéric-César de La Harpe. Politico svizzero attivo nel Canton Vaud e precettore dello zar Alessandro I (1754-1838)
Il generale G.H. Dufour alla guida dell’esercito federale nella Guerra del Sonderbund

In 1845, seven conservative Catholic cantons decided to secretly ally themselves with Austria and the liberal cantons sent in the army. The rebels were defeated and the federal constitution became more centralist. 

Il primo francobollo della Storia, il Penny black con il ritratto della Regina Vittoria

Technology, Science, Customs and Society

Nel 1800 Alessandro Volta rivela di aver inventato la prima pila
Nel 1825 la Stockton-Darlington è la prima linea ferroviaria al mondo
Samuel Morse nel 1844 invia il primo messaggio via telegrafo

In After Volta’s invention of the battery, Oersted, Ampère and Faraday furthered the study of electromagnetism. Electrical pulses were at the basis of the experiments carried out in the 1830s by Samuel Morse and others, making it possible to communicate along a wire over a long distance. 

Beethoven completa la sua nona e ultima sinfonia
Il pedagogista svizzero J.H. Pestalozzi fonda una scuola-convitto a Yverdon

As a result, the electric telegraph became a reality in 1844. Great Britain issued the first stamp in 1840. Steam engines began to be used in the field of transport.  In cultural terms, the first half of the nineteenth century was characterised by the romantic movement, which spread across Europe from Germany and Great Britain.

Lo scrittore C. Dickens inizia a pubblicare il romanzo Olivier Twist
L’abito nuziale bianco della regina britannica Vittoria
Ripartono i lavori per completare il duomo gotico di Colonia. Erano iniziati nel 1248