anaik27 asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

10 Most Influential Nineteenth Century Americans?

I am trying to compile a list of the 10 most influential AMERICANS of the 19th century (1800s). I would appreciate your top ten lists, or ever a few ideas. Thanks.

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Civil War was the single most important event or episode in U.S. history during that century, so some political and military figures from that conflict would have to make your list -- Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses Grant, Robert E. Lee, etc.

    The abolition of slavery was the century's greatest moral stride forward, so you'd have to consider listing Frederick Douglass and other leaders of the abolition movement. The woman suffrage movement didn't achieve its goal of votes for women until the 20th century, but feminist leaders such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony were important figures on the 19th century political scene.

    Thomas Jefferson, who was President for most of the century's first decade, vastly increased the size of the country with his purchase of the Louisiana Territory. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led the expedition that explored the newly acquired land and prepared the way for westward expansion. William McKinley, who was President at the end of the century, presided over the Spanish-American War and the emergence of the United States as an imperial power on the world stage.

    Chief Justice John Marshall was arguably the most important Supreme Court Justice in all of American history. Dred Scott and Homer Plessy became key figures in legal history when they came out on the losing end of two notoriously racist Supreme Court decisions.

    The century saw the development of important new communication technologies, the telegraph and telephone. And the country began to get wired for electricity. Samuel Morse, Alexander Graham Bell, and Thomas Edison were some of the inventors involved in those advances.

    Transportation underwent substantial advances during the 1800s. Robert Fulton was important early in the century for his steamboat. Cornelius Vanderbilt and other robber barons made fortunes in the railroad industry.

    Beyond the railroad magnates, other leading industrialists and financiers included Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan.

    Two of the century's greatest American writers were Mark Twain and Walt Whitman. (Emily Dickinson lived and wrote in the 19th century, but remained virtually unknown until the 20th century.) Other writers you might want to consider for your list include Herman Melville, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Henry David Thoreau.

    Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were the first two leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons), far and away the most influential of the home-grown American religions.

    And there are plenty of other people you might want to consider -- visual artists, musicians, labor leaders, famous criminals, educators, etc.

  • Sarah
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Nikola Tesla 1856–1943

    Charles Darwin 1809-1882

    Fredrick Douglas 1818-1895

    Louisa May Alcott 1832-1888

    Cornelius Vanderbuilt 1794-1877

    Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865

    John D. Rockefeller 1839-1937

    John Wilkes Booth 1838-1865

    Meriweather Lewis & Clark (the expeditioners)

  • 1 decade ago

    Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Ulyses S. Grant, the would be president of the south Something Jackson, Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Phil Tammany, Lewis and Clark and Sacejewea (thats ten)

  • 1 decade ago

    Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Helen Keller

    I came up with those names so randomly it wasn't even funny, and then my brain died.

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  • 5 years ago

    Well, a lot of them helped build the railroad. But basically true.

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