The 19th century is the period of 100 years from Jan. 1, 1801, to Dec. 31, 1900. It is marked by rapid industrial and scientific growth throughout the world. The Industrial Revolution began in Britain during the 19th century and spread to America, Europe and Japan.
The British Empire and Russian Empire, after defeating Napoleonic France in 1815, became the world powers of the 19th century. The United States lagged in development, wracked by the destructive Civil War mid-century that started in part by a disagreement about the continuation of the slave trade. Worldwide, slavery became unpopular and was largely abolished by the end of the 19th century.