10 Responses

  1. Mikel13 at |

    If we’re talking about the Napoleonic Wars, why is Trafalgar mentionned but Austerlitz or Jena-Auerstadt, battles which made Napoleonic France the master of Europe for a decade, changing it forever, not mentionned instead?

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    1. Tom at |

      I think because the results of those battles were undone within a decade. If you look at these choices the repercussions were either felt well into the following century or like the sinking of the Maine now infamous because of the result of sensationalist journalism.

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      1. Gracie at |

        Agree. The US was a naval world power by the end of the 19th century. The Maine was just an excuse to use the fleet. If not that, something else. Essentially, war games with live ammo.

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  2. Gracie at |

    No telegraph, typewriter, sewing machine, cotton gin? Pasteur’s discoveries? Tsar Alexander’s II liberation of the serfs? Perry’s opening of Japan? X-rays?

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    1. Tom at |

      Those are all important technological achievements and historical events, but if you are going by top ten, then they don’t compare to what is on this list, IMO. The telegraph compared to the telephone? Phone wins, hands down, and he explained why. No one cared how their cotton got made so it wasn’t a headline. Same goes for the sewing machine. The true impact of Pasteur’s discoveries weren’t felt really until much later. The liberation of the serfs? Important, yes, but that only impacted the serfs, not the world as a whole, where a lost of these events had world wide repercussions. Same goes for Perry opening Japan. To most people Japan was a curious backwater at he back of beyond full of barbarians that murdered sailors that washed up on their shores. X-rays? To most they were a curiosity.

      Reply
  3. redstick at |

    It’s difficult to comprehend how the Nineteenth Century changed things. Someone (dunno who) has said, “The century opened with the steam engine, and closed with the bicycle”.

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    1. Gracie at |

      Actually, the 19th century closed with the internal combustion engine. A fairly complete history of the 20th century could be written using the ic engine as a starting point. Environment, economy, warfare, social mobility and sexual habits, just to name a few.

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  4. ParusMajor at |

    Oh, wait. Napoleon was defeated in 1815? I always thought it was in 1974: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FsVeMz1F5c

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  5. Tizzy at |

    Congrats on the writing on #6. Well spoken. Well, written.

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  6. Pittbull at |

    The author couldn’t have been more wrong about number one. While Waterloo may be history’s most famous battle, it did NOT make a “top ten” level of historical impact. Even if Napoleon had won, it would have only postponed his final defeat by a couple of months as Russia and Austria were also preparing to join the conflict if needed. France was totally exhausted and all Bonaparte was hoping for at that point, was to retain power in France, get custody of his son back and establish his line.

    There was absolutely no chance that France would have been the dominant nation in Europe had Napoleon won at Waterloo.

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