85 19th Century Quotes to Help You Appreciate Historical Wisdom

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The Most Famous 19th Century Quotes (Best in 2024)

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By the beginning of the 20th century, the debate about monetary policy and the nation's financial system had been going on for over a century. — Jerome Powell

to "set the standard for beauty in classical and modem cookery, and attest to the distant future that the French chefs of the 19th century were the most famous in the world. — Marie-Antoine Careme

What Galileo and Newton were to the seventeenth century, Darwin was to the nineteenth. — Bertrand Russell

In the last quarter of the eighteenth century bourgeois Europe needed to emancipate itself from that combination of feudalism and commercial capitalism which we know as mercantilism. — C. L. R. James

Ragtime was a fanfare for the 20th century. — Russell Lynes

History is on every occasion the record of that which one age finds worthy of note in another. — Jacob Burckhardt

Almost everything that distinguishes the modern world from earlier centuries is attributable to science, which achieved its most spectacular triumphs in the seventeenth century. — Bertrand Russell

South Africa had a long record of studies in prehistory, going back to the end of the last century. — Louis Leakey

We cannot take one step in geology without drawing upon the fathomless stores of by-gone time. — Adam Sedgwick

Borne out of this, starting around the 17th Century was the Baroque era. It is my view that it is one of the architectural peak periods in western civilisation. — Harry Seidler

Short 19th Century Quotes

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  • The real 19th century prophet was Dostoevsky, not Karl Marx. — Albert Camus
  • In the 19th century inhumanity meant cruelty; in the 20th century it means schizoid self-alienation. — Erich Fromm
  • At the dawn of the 19th century, the country was awakening to its enormous scope and variety. — David Lavender
  • My music is all about an idealistic human personality. I have 19th-century ideals. — Gordon Getty
  • The 19th century was the age of Individualism; the 20th and 21st are the ages of Socialism. — Francis Parker Yockey
  • Writing tonal music now, you are not writing into the 19th Century. — Gavin Bryars
  • Nine English traditions out of ten date from the latter half of the nineteenth century. — C.P. Snow
  • I've always thought of science fiction as being, at some level, a 19th-century business. — Robert Reed
  • I'm a 21st-century kid trapped in a 19th-century family. — Bill Watterson
  • I'm a very old-fashioned novelist. I write 19th-century novels, where a lot of rules apply. — John Irving
19th century quote As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others
As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.

Nineteenth Century Quotes

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The nineteenth century lynching mob cuts off ears, toes, and fingers, strips off flesh, and distributes portions of the body as souvenirs among the crowd. — Ida B. Wells

I am convinced that when the history of international law comes to be written centuries hence, it will be divided into two periods: the first being from the earliest times to the end of the nineteenth century, and the second beginning with the Hague Conference. — Ludwig Quidde

One of the embarrassing problems for the early nineteenth-century champions of the Christian faith was that not one of the first six Presidents of the United States was an orthodox Christian. — Mortimer Adler

In antiquity there was only silence. In the nineteenth century, with the invention of the machine, Noise was born. Today, Noise triumphs and reigns supreme over the sensibility of men. — Luigi Russolo

The greatest measure of the nineteenth century was passed by corruption, aided and abetted by the purest man in America. — Thaddeus Stevens

Masturbation: the primary sexual activity of mankind. In the nineteenth century it was a disease; in the twentieth, it's a cure. — Thomas Szasz

I would rather be a member of this [Afrikan] race than a Greek in the time of Alexander, a Roman in the Augustan period, or Anglo-Saxon in the nineteenth century. — Edward Wilmot Blyden

Here was St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. How to build a hotel to meet the requirements of nineteenth century America and have it in keeping with the character of the place ? that was my hardest problem. — Henry Flagler

When I write an original story I write about people I know first-hand and situations I'm familiar with. I don't write stories about the nineteenth century. — Satyajit Ray

A day will come when the European god of the nineteenth century will be classed with the gods of Olympus and the Nile. — William Winwood Reade

Nineteenth Quotes

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There is no room in music for the second-rate - it might just as well be the nineteenth-rate. — Gustav Holst

Nineteenth-century grass-roots populism made twentieth-century progressivism possible. — Jill Lepore

There is no wholly masculine man, no purely feminine woman. — Margaret Fuller

The international proletariat first appeared on the scene in the early Thirties of the nineteenth century, and its first great action was the French Revolution of 1848. — C. L. R. James

Pacifist propaganda and the resolutions of the parliamentarians encouraged such treaties, and toward the end of the nineteenth century their number had increased considerably. — Ludwig Quidde

Classic nineteenth century European imperialists believed they were literally on a mission. I don't believe that the imperialists these days have that same sense of public service. They are simply pirates. — John Pilger

In the closing years of the nineteenth century, African-American historians began to look at their people's history from their vantage point and their point of view. — John Henrik Clarke

Every great movement in the history of Western civilization from the Carolingian age to the nineteenth century has been an international movement which owed its existence and its development to the cooperation of many different peoples. — Christopher Dawson

The novel as we knew it in the nineteenth century was killed off by Proust and Joyce. — Alberto Moravia

The world has produced about 1 trillion barrels of oil since the start of the industry in the nineteenth century. Currently, it is thought that there are at least 5 trillion barrels of petroleum resources, of which 1.4 trillion is sufficiently developed and technically and economically accessible. — Daniel Yergin

People Writing About 19th Century

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Name Quotes Likes
Read quotes by Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell
quotes on happiness, life and war

1131 8798
Read quotes by Jerome Powell

Jerome Powell
quotes on inflation, economics and finance

104 1
Read quotes by Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm
quotes on love, freedom and life

408 5339
Read quotes by Bill Watterson

Bill Watterson
quotes on life

333 2988
Read quotes by Robert Reed

Robert Reed
quotes on leadership, love and life

22 7
Read quotes by C.P. Snow

C.P. Snow
quotes on life, education and love

32 226

More 19th Century Quotes

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The Delaware Estuary has sustained a human population for thousands of years, but by the end of the 19th Century, increased population and industrialization had transformed much of the upper Estuary watershed. — Jim Gerlach

I've read short stories that are as dense as a 19th century novel and novels that really are short stories filled with a lot of helium. — Lynn Abbey

As parties began to develop around the turn of the 19th century, you had party nominees for President nominated in caucuses made up of party members in Congress. — Michael Beschloss

Ping-pong was invented on the dining tables of England in the 19th century, and it was called Wiff-waff! And there, I think, you have the difference between us and the rest of the world. Other nations, the French, looked at a dining table and saw an opportunity to have dinner; we looked at it an saw an opportunity to play Wiff-waff. — Boris Johnson

Peer reviewers go for orthodoxy ... Many of the great 19th-century discoveries were made by men who had independent wealth-Charles Darwin is the prototype. They trusted themselves. — James Black

In the same way that slavery was a moral challenge for the 19th century and totalitarianism was a challenge for the 20th century, the challenge that women and girls face around the world is the moral challenge of our time. — Sheryl WuDunn

Let's not forget what the origin of the problem is. There is no place in modern Europe for ethnically pure states. That's a 19th century idea and we are trying to transition into the 21st century, and we are going to do it with multi-ethnic states. — Wesley Clark

We've got 21st century technology and speed colliding head-on with 20th and 19th century institutions, rules and cultures. — Amory Lovins

The proper role of government is exactly what John Stuart Mill said in the middle of the 19th century in "On Liberty." The proper role of government is to prevent other people from harming an individual. Government, he said, never has any right to interfere with an individual for that individual's own good. — Milton Friedman

Also, an area that interests me - and it will probably take years to state what I mean - is the period of the rise of democracy, with Tom Paine, which is around the turn of the 18th century into the 19th. — Fiona Shaw

What came out of that was an intense obsession with status anxiety. So much of these portraits are about fashioning oneself into the image of perfection that ruled the day in the 18th and 19th centuries. It's an antiquated language, but I think we've inherited that language and have forwarded it to its most useful points in the 21st century. — Kehinde Wiley

The writer I feel the most affinity with - you said you felt my books are 19th century novels, I think they're 18th century novels - is Fielding, Henry Fielding, he's the guy who does it for me. — Jonathan Coe

I would be curious about one of those Jane Austen women - you know - long-suffering, dutiful - but all right in the end - a plump 19th century type, five foot four, ringlets, brown eyes, long fingers. — Peter Greenaway

I don't believe, in the 21st century, in the balance of power system. This is a European idea of the 19th and 20th centuries. — Joschka Fischer

Adolescence was invented in the 19th century to enable middle-class families to keep their children out of sweatshops. But it has degenerated into a process of enforced boredom and age segregation that has produced one of the most destructive social arrangements in human history: consigning 13-year-old males to learning from 15-year-old males. — Newt Gingrich

In the 19th century, we devoted our best minds to exploring nature. In the 20th century, we devoted ourselves to controlling and harnessing it. In the 21st century, we must devote ourselves to restoring it. — Stephen Ambrose

When they talk about family values, it's in a repressive way, as if our American tradition were only the Puritan tradition or the 19th century oppressive tradition. The Christian tradition. — James Hillman

In the Middle Ages people took potions for their ailments. In the 19th century they took snake oil. Citizens of today's shiny, technological age are too modern for that. They take antioxidants and extract of cactus instead. — Charles Krauthammer

This movement among the Jews is not new... This world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing... It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century. — Winston Churchill

I found myself wondering, what would it be like to have a strange woman living in your home, nursing your child? My resulting research into the private lives of women in the 18th and 19th centuries inspired me and provided the backbone for [Lady of Milkweed Manor] novel. — Julie Klassen

You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text. — John F. Kerry

I think every age has a medium that talks to it more eloquently than the others. In the 19th century it was symphonic music and the novel. For various technical and artistic reasons, film became that eloquent medium for the 20th century. — Walter Murch

To be an Irish poet after that 19th century in which there was such a struggle toward the light, I think still will always be in the hearts of the writers of my generation and the generations before and hopefully the generations after. — Eavan Boland

The demolishment of the power of organized Christianity in the Western world to finally realize the emancipation of women and give them the vote in 1920. Women couldn't even own property in their own names until the last quarter of the 19th century in America. — John Shelby Spong

Today's child is bewildered when he enters the 19th century environment that still characterizes the educational establishment where information is scarce but ordered and structured by fragmented, classified patterns subjects, and schedules. — Marshall McLuhan

With globalization and with a lot of power evaporating from the nation-states, the late-19th century established hierarchies of importance, or 'pecking orders' of cultures, presenting assimilation as an advancement or promotion, dissolved. — Zygmunt Bauman

On the left is the realist tradition of the 19th century, with its impulse to social description, radical criticism and meditation on things as they are... culminating in Courbet at his mightiest (The Studio, The Funeral at Ornans and a portrait of a trout that has more death in it than Rubens could get in a whole Crucifixion). — Gustave Courbet

There can be no place in a 21st-century parliament for people with 15th-century titles upholding 19th-century prejudices. — Paddy Ashdown

In the 19th Century people were looking for the Northwest Passage. Ships were lost and brave people were killed, but that doesn't mean we never went back to that part of the world again, and I consider it the same in space exploration. — John L. Phillips

However, I survived and started to read all chemistry books that I could get a hand on, first some 19th century books from our home library that did not provide much reliable information, and then I emptied the rather extensive city library. — Richard Ernst

Because the New Testament provides the primary historical source for information on the resurrection, many critics during the 19th century attacked the reliability of these biblical documents. — Josh Mcdowell

The democratic ideal has always been related to a moderate level of inequality. I think one big reason why electoral democracy flourished in 19th century America better than 19th century Europe is because you had more equal distribution of wealth in America. — Thomas Piketty

The United States' poetry emerged when there was a high literacy rate in the United States, even in the 19th century. People read the poetry when it was written. In Ireland, there was a poor literacy rate and people remember that poetry. That was handed on as a memorial tradition. — Eavan Boland

The 19th century was a century of empires, the 20th century was a century of nation states. The 21st century will be a century of cities. — Wellington Webb

One of the founding moments of public health in the 19th century effectively poisoned the water supply of London much more effectively than any modern day bioterrorist could have ever dreamed of doing. — Steven Johnson

I feel that I belong to the 19th century. Some composers' music is very topical. It almost says, 'This is about what I read in newspapers yesterday.' Not mine. — Gordon Getty

We're trying to run a 21st century society and economy with 19th century Darwinian, competitive, crude ideas. — Susan George

In the 19th century the anatomy of the eye was known in great detail and the sophisticated mechanisms it employs to deliver an accurate picture of the outside world astounded everyone who was familiar with them. — Michael Behe

Jews and Gypsies were well-nigh the only Diasporas in 19th century Europe. Now go to London, it is a collection of Diasporas. — Zygmunt Bauman

Literature, the study of literature in English in the 19th century, did not belong to literary studies, which had to do with Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, but instead with elocution and public speaking. So when people read literature, it was to memorize and to recite it. — Robert Hass

If the 19th [century] was the century of the individual (liberalism means individualism), you may consider that this is the "collective" century, and therefore the century of the state. — Benito Mussolini

In Conclusion

Why should we read 19th-century quotes, you ask? Reading these quotes allows us to learn from the wisdom of those who have gone before us, offering us the benefit of their experiences. These quotes are like a mirror reflecting the values, thoughts, and ideals of the 19th century, enabling us to see the world from a different perspective. They challenge our thinking, spark our curiosity, and fuel our imagination. So, let's embrace the beauty of 19th-century quotes, for they are more than just words; they are powerful tools that can transform our lives and inspire us to reach for the stars.

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