Principal Science and Its Times: Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery, Vol. 5: 1800-1899
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VOLUME 5 1800-1899 Science and Its Times Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery VOLUME 5 1800-1899 Science and Its Times Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery Neil Schlager, Editor J o s h L a u e r, A s s o c i a t e E d i t o r Produced by Schlager Information Group Science and Its Times VOLUME 5 1800-1899 NEIL SCHLAGER, Editor JOSH LAUER, Associate Editor GALE GROUP STAFF Robyn V. Young, Project Coordinator Christine B. Jeryan, Contributing Editor Mary K. Fyke, Editorial Technical Specialist Maria Franklin, Permissions Manager Margaret A. Chamberlain, Permissions Specialist Shalice Shah-Caldwell, Permissions Associate Mary Beth Trimper, Production Director Evi Seoud, Assistant Production Manager Wendy Blurton, Senior Buyer Cynthia D. Baldwin, Product Design Manager Tracey Rowens, Senior Art Director Barbara Yarrow, Graphic Services Manager Randy Bassett, Image Database Supervisor Mike Logusz, Imaging Specialist Pamela A. Reed, Photography Coordinator Leitha Etheridge-Sims Junior Image Cataloger While every effort has been made to ensure the reliability of the information presented in this publication, Gale Research does not guarantee the accuracy of the data contained herein. Gale accepts no payment for listing, and inclusion in the publication of any organization, agency, institution, publication, service, or individual does not imply endorsement of the editors or publisher. Errors brought to the attention of the publisher and verified to the satisfaction of the publisher will be corrected in future editions. The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984. This publication is a creative work fully protected by all applicable copyright laws, as well as by misappropriation, trade secret, unfair competition, and other applicable laws. 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ISBN: 0-7876-3937-0 Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Contents Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix Advisory Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi Contributors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii Introduction: 1800-1899 . . . . . . . . xvii Chronology: 1800-1899 . . . . . . . . . xxi Exploration and Discovery Chronology of Key Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Topical Essays Humboldt and Bonpland’s Landmark Expedition to the Spanish Colonies of South America (1799-1804) . . . . . . . . . . 4 The Discovery of Australia and Tasmania Greatly Expands the British Empire . . . . . . 7 American Far West: The Lewis and Clark Expedition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Zebulon Pike and the Conquest of the Southwestern United States . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Temples at Abu Simbel . . . . . . . . . . . 14 The Rosetta Stone: The Key to Ancient Egypt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 James Clark Ross and the Discovery of the Magnetic North Pole . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The Voyage of the HMS Beagle . . . . . . . . . . 22 Robert H. Schomburgk Explores the Interior of British Guyana, Brazil, and Venezuela and Is the First European to Visit Mount Roraima . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Edward Eyre Explores the South and Western Territories of the Australian Interior and Helps Open the Territories to the Transport of Goods and Animals . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 The Wilkes Expedition and the Discovery of Antarctica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 The Buried Cities of Assyria . . . . . . . . . . . 33 S C I E N C E A N D I T S John C. Fremont and Exploration of the American West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert McClure Discovers the Elusive Northwest Passage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Livingstone Traverses the African Continent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert O’Hara Burke Traverses the Australian Continent from North to South . . . . . . Exploration of the Nile River: A Journey of Discovery and Imperialism . . . . . . . . . The Nain Singh Expeditions Describe Tibet . The Discovery of Troy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep-Sea Exploration: The HMS Challenger Expedition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Morton Stanley Circumnavigates Africa’s Lake Victoria and Explores the Entire Length of the Congo River . . . . . Nikolay Przhevalsky and Russian Expansion: The Exploration of Central and East Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Luigi Maria D’Albertis Explores Unknown Interior Regions of New Guinea . . . . . . Nils A. E. Nordenskiöld Discovers the Northeast Passage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Race Around the World . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 . 38 . 40 . 42 . 44 . 47 . 49 . 51 . 53 . 56 . 58 . 61 . 64 Biographical Sketches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Biographical Mentions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Bibliography of Primary Sources . . . . . . . . . 100 Life Sciences Chronology of Key Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Topical Essays Johann Blumenbach and the Classification of Human Races. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Population Theory: Malthus’s Influence on the Scope of Evolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 Invertebrate Zoology, Lamarckism, and Their Influences on the Sciences and on Society . 110 T I M E S V O L U M E 5 v Contents 1800-1899 Advances in Plant Classification and Morphology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 Georges Cuvier Revolutionizes Paleontology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Watching as Life Begins: The Discovery of the Mammalian Ovum and the Process of Fertilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 John James Audubon Publishes His Illustrated Birds of America (1827-1838). . . . . . . . . 119 Energy Metabolism in Animals and Plants . . . 122 Advances in Cell Theory. . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 The Agricultural Sciences Flourish and Contribute to the Growing Size, Health, and Wealth of Western Nations . . . . . . . 126 Cell Division and Mitosis . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Evolution, Natural and Sexual Selection, and Their Influences on the Sciences . . . . . . 131 Social Darwinism Emerges and Is Used to Justify Imperialism, Racism, and Conservative Economic and Social Policies . . . . . . . . 134 Louis Pasteur’s Battle with Microbes and the Founding of Microbiology . . . . . . . . . . 136 Gregor Mendel Discovers the Basic Laws of Heredity while Breeding Pea Plants (1866) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 Ferdinand Cohn and the Development of Modern Bacteriology. . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 The Discovery of Viruses . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 Middle-Class Victorian Men and Women Collect, Identify, and Preserve Plant and Animal Species, Broadening Human Knowledge of the Natural World and Transforming Biology into a Mature Science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 Scientists in Europe and the United States Lay the Foundation for the Modern Science of Ecology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 Neanderthals and the Search for Human Ancestors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151 Biographical Sketches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154 Biographical Mentions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 Bibliography of Primary Sources . . . . . . . . . 189 Mathematics Chronology of Key Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 Topical Essays Fourier Analysis and Its Impact . . . . . . . . The Development of Number Theory during the Nineteenth Century . . . . . . . . . . Projective Geometry Leads to the Unification of All Geometries . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Shape of Space: The Beginning of Non-Euclidean Geometry . . . . . . . . . vi S C I E N C E A N D I T S . 193 . 196 . 198 . 201 Topology: The Mathematics of Form . . . . . . The Rise of Probabilistic and Statistical Thinking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Solving Quintic Equations . . . . . . . . . . . Advances in Logic during the Nineteenth Century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Set Theory and the Sizes of Infinity . . . . . . Development of Higher-Dimensional Algebraic Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . George Green Makes the First Attempt to Formulate a Mathematical Theory of Electricity and Magnetism (1828) . . . . . . Advances in Understanding Celestial Mechanics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A New Realm of Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . George Boole and the Algebra of Logic . . . . The Promotion of Mathematical Research . . . Nineteenth-Century Efforts to Promote Mathematics Education from Grade School to the University Level . . . . . . . . . . . . The Return of Rigor to Mathematics . . . . . . The Specialization of Mathematics and the Rise of Formalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Codification and Employment of the Principle of Mathematical Induction . . . . . . . . . Elliptic Functions Lay the Foundations for Modern Physics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 205 208 210 213 214 217 219 221 224 226 229 231 233 236 238 Biographical Sketches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241 Biographical Mentions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265 Bibliography of Primary Sources . . . . . . . . . 277 Medicine Chronology of Key Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280 Topical Essays René Laënnec Revolutionizes the Diagnosis of Chest Diseases with His Invention of the Stethoscope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Human Digestion Studied by William Beaumont, Theodor Schwann, Claude Bernard, and William Prout . . . . . . . . . The Establishment of Schools for the Disabled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Medical Education for Women during the Nineteenth Century . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cholera Epidemics: Five Pandemics in the Nineteenth Century . . . . . . . . . . . . . Modern Anesthesia Is Developed . . . . . . . . Antiseptic and Aseptic Techniques Are Developed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Birth of the Nursing Profession . . . . . . . . . Koch’s Postulates: Robert Koch Demonstrates That a Particular Organism Causes a Particular Disease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T I M E S V O L U M E 282 285 288 291 294 296 299 302 305 5 The Battle against Tuberculosis: Robert Koch, the Development of TB Sanitariums, and the Enactment of Public Health Measures . . . 308 Deviancy to Mental Illness: NineteenthCentury Developments in the Care of the Mentally Ill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311 The Development of New Systems of Alternative Medicine: Homeopathy, Osteopathy, Chiropractic Medicine, and Hydrotherapy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314 Tropical Disease in the Nineteenth Century . . 317 Nineteenth-Century Biological Theories on Race . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319 Western Missionaries Spread Western Medicine Around the World . . . . . . . . 322 Nineteenth-Century Views of the Female Body and Their Impact on Women in Society . . 324 Phrenology in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327 The Birth of a Profession: Dentistry in the Nineteenth Century . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330 Medicine in Warfare in the Nineteenth Century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 332 Modern Surgery Developed . . . . . . . . . . . 335 Nineteenth-Century Developments Related to Sight and the Eye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337 The Study of Human Heredity and Eugenics during the Nineteenth Century, Focusing on the Work of Francis Galton . . . . . . . 340 The Field of Public Health Emerges in Response to Epidemic Diseases . . . . . . . 342 Biographical Sketches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345 Biographical Mentions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376 Bibliography of Primary Sources . . . . . . . . . 388 Physical Sciences Chronology of Key Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 392 Topical Essays Revival of the Wave Theory of Light in the Early Nineteenth Century . . . . . . . . . Nineteenth-Century Development of the Concept of Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Michelson-Morley Experiment, the Luminiferous Ether, and Precision Measurement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Heinrich Hertz Produces and Detects Radio Waves in 1888 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Discovery of Radioactivity: Gateway to Twentieth-Century Physics . . . . . . . . J. J. Thomson, the Discovery of the Electron, and the Study of Atomic Structure . . . . Unification: Nineteenth-Century Advances in Electromagnetism . . . . . . . . . . . . . S C I E N C E A N D I T S The Replacement of Caloric Theory by a Mechanical Theory of Heat . . . . . . . . . 413 Nineteenth-Century Advances in the Mathematical Theory and Understanding of Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 415 1800-1899 Leverrier, Adams, and the Mathematical Discovery of Neptune . . . . . . . . . . . . 417 Heavenly Rocks: Asteroids Discovered and Meteorites Explained . . . . . . . . . . . . 420 Nineteenth-Century Developments in Measuring the Locations and Distances of Celestial Bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 422 A New View of the Universe: Photography and Spectroscopy in Nineteenth-Century Astronomy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425 Nineteenth-Century Efforts to Catalog Stars . 428 John Dalton Proposes His Atomic Theory and Lays the Foundation of Modern Chemistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 430 Development of Physical Chemistry during the Nineteenth Century . . . . . . . . . . . . . 433 Finding Order among the Elements . . . . . . 436 Nineteenth-Century Advances in Understanding Gases, Culminating in William Ramsey’s Discovery of Inert Gases in the 1890s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 439 Elaboration of the Elements: NineteenthCentury Advances in Chemistry, Electrochemistry, and Spectroscopy . . . . . 441 French Mineralogist René Just Haüy Founds the Science of Crystallography with the Publication of Treatise of Mineralogy . . . . 444 William Smith Uses Fossils to Determine the Order of the Strata in England and Helps Develop the Science of Stratigraphy. . . . . 446 Charles Lyell Publishes The Principles of Geology (1830-33), in Which He Proposes the Actual Age of Earth to be Several Hundred Million Years. . . . . . . . . . . . 449 The Discovery of Global Ice Ages by Louis Agassiz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 452 . 394 Women Scientists in the Nineteenth-Century Physical Sciences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 453 . 397 The Transformation of the Physical Sciences into Professions During the Nineteenth Century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 456 . 400 Biographical Sketches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 459 Biographical Mentions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 491 Bibliography of Primary Sources . . . . . . . . . 503 . 402 Contents . 405 Technology and Invention . 408 . 410 Chronology of Key Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 506 Topical Essays T I M E S V O L U M E 5 vii Contents 1800-1899 French Inventor Jacquard Produces a Weaving Loom Controlled by Punch Cards (1801), Facilitating the Mechanized Mass Production of Textiles; the Punch Card System Also Influences Early Computers in the 1940s and 1950s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 508 Steam-Powered Railroad Systems Make Possible the Industrial Revolution and Fundamentally Alter the Transportation of Goods and People . . . . . . . . . . . . . 511 Advances in Food Preservation Lead to New Products, New Markets, and New Sources of Food Production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 513 The Steamboat: First Instrument of Imperialism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 516 The Communication Revolution: Developments in Mass Publishing during the Nineteenth Century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 518 Advances in Photography during the Nineteenth Century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520 Cyrus McCormick Invents the Reaping Machine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 523 Samuel Morse and the Telegraph . . . . . . . . 525 Charles Goodyear Discovers the Process for Creating Vulcanized Rubber . . . . . . . . . 527 Invention of the Sewing Machine . . . . . . . . 530 Elisha Graves Otis Produces the First Passenger Elevator with Safety Locks, Facilitating the Growth of High-Rise Buildings . . . . . . . 532 English Inventor Henry Bessemer Develops Process to Produce Inexpensive Steel . . . . 535 The Advent of Mechanical Refrigeration Alters Daily Life and National Economies throughout the World . . . . . . . . . . . . 537 viii S C I E N C E A N D I T S American Edwin L. Drake Drills the First Oil Well (1859) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Internal Combustion Engine . . . . . . . . The Mass Production of Death: Richard Jordan Gatling Invents the Gatling Gun and Sir Hiram Maxim Invents the Maxim Machine Gun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Development of the Automatic Writing Machine: The Typewriter . . . . . . . . . . Alexander Graham Bell Patents the First Telephone (1876) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Artificial Gas and Electrical Lighting Systems Are Developed That Change Living and Work Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Use of Electric Power Becomes Widespread . . Elegant Spans: Suspension Bridges . . . . . . . The Invention of Automobiles . . . . . . . . . Quest for Sound: Thomas Edison’s Phonograph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Herman Hollerith’s Punched Card Tabulating Machine Automates the 1890 U.S. Census . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capturing Life Onscreen: The Invention of Motion Pictures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The First Subways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Safe Enough to Kill: Advances in the Chemistry of Explosives . . . . . . . . . . . 540 542 544 547 550 553 556 558 560 562 565 567 570 572 Biographical Sketches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 575 Biographical Mentions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600 Bibliography of Primary Sources . . . . . . . . . 611 General Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . 613 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 617 T I M E S V O L U M E 5 Preface T he interaction of science and society is increasingly a focal point of high school studies, and with good reason: by exploring the achievements of science within their historical context, students can better understand a given event, era, or culture. This cross-disciplinary approach to science is at the heart of Science and Its Times. Readers of Science and Its Times will find a comprehensive treatment of the history of science, including specific events, issues, and trends through history as well as the scientists who set in motion—or who were influenced by—those events. From the ancient world’s invention of the plowshare and development of seafaring vessels; to the Renaissance-era conflict between the Catholic Church and scientists advocating a suncentered solar system; to the development of modern surgery in the nineteenth century; and to the mass migration of European scientists to the United States as a result of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s, science’s involvement in human progress—and sometimes brutality—is indisputable. While science has had an enormous impact on society, that impact has often worked in the opposite direction, with social norms greatly influencing the course of scientific achievement through the ages. In the same way, just as history can not be viewed as an unbroken line of everexpanding progress, neither can science be seen as a string of ever-more amazing triumphs. Science and Its Times aims to present the history of science within its historical context—a context marked not only by genius and stunning invention but also by war, disease, bigotry, and persecution. Format of the Series Science and Its Times is divided into seven volumes, each covering a distinct time period: S C I E N C E A N D I T S Volume 1: 2000 B.C.-699 A.D. Volume 2: 700-1449 Volume 3: 1450-1699 Volume 4: 1700-1799 Volume 5: 1800-1899 Volume 6: 1900-1949 Volume 7: 1950-present Dividing the history of science according to such strict chronological subsets has its own drawbacks. Many scientific events—and scientists themselves—overlap two different time periods. Also, throughout history it has been common for the impact of a certain scientific advancement to fall much later than the advancement itself. Readers looking for information about a topic should begin their search by checking the index at the back of each volume. Readers perusing more than one volume may find the same scientist featured in two different volumes. Readers should also be aware that many scientists worked in more than one discipline during their lives. In such cases, scientists may be featured in two different chapters in the same volume. To facilitate searches for a specific person or subject, main entries on a given person or subject are indicated by bold-faced page numbers in the index. Within each volume, material is divided into chapters according to subject area. For volumes 5, 6, and 7, these areas are: Exploration and Discovery, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Medicine, Physical Sciences, and Technology and Invention. For volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4, readers will find that the Life Sciences and Medicine chapters have been combined into a single section, reflecting the historical union of these disciplines before 1800. T I M E S V O L U M E 5 ix Preface 1800-1899 Arrangement of Volume 5: 1800-1899 Volume 5 begins with two notable sections in the frontmatter: a general introduction to nineteenth-century science and society, and a general chronology that presents key scientific events during the period alongside key world historical events. The volume is then organized into six chapters, corresponding to the six subject areas listed above in “Format of the Series.” Within each chapter, readers will find the following entry types: Chronology of Key Events: Notable events in the subject area during the nineteenth century are featured in this section. Overview: This essay provides an overview of important trends, issues, and scientists in the subject area during the nineteenth century. Topical Essays: Ranging between 1,500 and 2,000 words, these essays discuss notable events, issues, and trends in a given subject area. Each essay includes a Further Reading section that points users to additional sources of information on the topic, including books, articles, and web sites. Biographical Sketches: Key scientists during the era are featured in entries ranging between 500 and 1,000 words in length. Biographical Mentions: Additional brief biographical entries on notable scientists during the era. x S C I E N C E A N D I T S Bibliography of Primary Source Documents: These annotated bibliographic listings feature key books and articles pertaining to the subject area. Following the final chapter are two additional sections: a general bibliography of sources related to nineteenth-century science, and a general subject index. Readers are urged to make heavy use of the index, because many scientists and topics are discussed in several different entries. A note should be made about the arrangement of individual entries within each chapter: while the long and short biographical sketches are arranged alphabetically according to the scientist’s surname, the topical essays lend themselves to no such easy arrangement. Again, readers looking for a specific topic should consult the index. Readers wanting to browse the list of essays in a given subject area can refer to the table of contents in the book’s frontmatter. Additional Features Throughout each volume readers will find sidebars whose purpose is to feature interesting events or issues that otherwise might be overlooked. These sidebars add an engaging element to the more straightforward presentation of science and its times in the rest of the entries. In addition, the volume contains photographs, illustrations, and maps scattered throughout the chapters. Comments and Suggestions Your comments on this series and suggestions for future editions are welcome. Please write: The Editor, Science and Its Times, Gale Group, 27500 Drake Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48331. T I M E S V O L U M E 5 Advisory Board Amir Alexander Research Fellow Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies UCLA Amy Sue Bix Associate Professor of History Iowa State University Elizabeth Fee Chief, History of Medicine Division National Library of Medicine Sander Gliboff Ph.D. Candidate Johns Hopkins University Lois N. Magner Professor Emerita Purdue University Henry Petroski A.S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History Duke University F. Jamil Ragep Associate Professor of the History of Science University of Oklahoma David L. Roberts Post-Doctoral Fellow, National Academy of Education Morton L. Schagrin Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and History of Science SUNY College at Fredonia Hilda K. Weisburg Library Media Specialist Morristown High School, Morristown, NJ S C I E N C E A N D I T S T I M E S V O L U M E 5 xi Contributors Amy Ackerberg-Hastings Iowa State University Guillaume de Syon Assistant Professor of History, Albright College Lloyd T. Ackert, Jr. Graduate Student in the History of Science, Johns Hopkins University Thomas Drucker Graduate Student, Department of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin James A. Altena The University of Chicago Peter J. Andrews Freelance Writer H. J. Eisenman Professor of History, University of Missouri-Rolla Janet Bale Freelance Writer and Editor Lindsay Evans Freelance Writer Kenneth E. Barber Professor of Biology, Western Oklahoma State College Loren Butler Feffer Independent Scholar Keith Ferrell Freelance Writer Bob Batchelor Writer, Arter & Hadden LLP Randolph Fillmore Freelance Science Writer Charles Boewe Freelance Biographer Scott Bohanon Freelance Writer and Historian Mark R. Finlay Associate Professor of History, Armstrong Atlantic State University Kristy Wilson Bowers Lecturer in History, Kapiolani Community College, University of Hawaii Richard Fitzgerald Freelance Writer Sherri Chasin Calvo Freelance Writer Maura C. Flannery Professor of Biology, St. John’s University, New York Geri Clark Science Writer Donald R. Franceschetti Distinguished Service Professor of Physics and Chemistry, The University of Memphis Catherine M. Crisera Freelance Writer S C I E N C E A N D I T S T I M E S V O L U M E 5 xiii Contributors 1800-1899 Jean-François Gauvin Historian of Science, Musée Stewart au Fort de l’Ile Sainte-Hélène, Montréal Jim Giles Freelance Writer Josh Lauer Freelance Editor, Lauer InfoText Inc. Phillip H. Gochenour Freelance Editor and Writer Lynn M. L. Lauerman Freelance Writer Brook Ellen Hall Professor of Biology, California State University at Sacramento Garret Lemoi Freelance Writer Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner Division of History, Politics, and International Studies, Oglethorpe University Gerald F. Hall Writer and Editor Robert Hendrick Professor of History, St. John’s University, New York Brenda Wilmoth Lerner Science Correspondent Jessica Bryn Henig History of Science Student, Smith College K. Lee Lerner Prof. Fellow (r), Science Research & Policy Institute, Advanced Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, Shaw School Mary Hrovat Freelance Writer Stephen A. Leslie Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Philip Johansson Senior Editor, Earthwatch Institute Carolyn Crane Love Freelance Writer Matt Kadane Ph.D. Candidate, Brown University P. Andrew Karam Environmental Medicine Department, University of Rochester Evelyn B. Kelly Professor of Education, Saint Leo University, Florida Elaine McClarnand MacKinnon Assistant Professor of History, State University of West Georgia Marjorie C. Malley Historian of Science Israel Kleiner Professor of Mathematics, York University A N D Eric v. d. Luft Curator of Historical Collections, SUNY Upstate Medical University Lois N. Magner Professor Emerita, Purdue University Rebecca Brookfield Kinraide Freelance Writer S C I E N C E Lyndall Landauer Professor of History, Lake Tahoe Community College Mark Largent University of Minnesota Sander Gliboff Ph.D. Candidate, Johns Hopkins University xiv Judson Knight Freelance Writer Jim Marion Freelance Writer I T S T I M E S V O L U M E 5 Ann T. Marsden Writer Michelle Rose Freelance Science Writer Megan McDaniel Steve Ruskin Freelance Writer William McPeak Independent Scholar, Institute for Historical Study (San Francisco) Contributors 1800-1899 Martin Saltzman Professor of Natural Science, Providence College Lolly Merrell Freelance Writer Elizabeth D. Schafer Independent Scholar Leslie Mertz Biologist and Freelance Science Writer Morton L. Schagrin Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and History of Science, SUNY College at Fredonia Kelli Miller Freelance Writer Neil Schlager Freelance Editor, Schlager Information Group J. William Moncrief Professor of Chemistry, Lyon College John B. Seals Freelance Writer Heather Moncrief-Mullane Masters of Education, Wake Forest University Brian C. Shipley Department of History, Dalhousie University Stacey R. Murray Freelance Writer Tabitha Sparks Graduate Student, English, University of Washington Ashok Muthukrishnan Freelance Writer Brid C. Nicholson Drew University Keir B. Sterling Historian, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command, Fort Lee, Virginia Lisa Nocks Historian of Technology and Culture Stephen D. Norton Committee on the History & Philosophy of Science, University of Maryland, College Park Gary S. Stoudt Professor of Mathematics, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Zeno G. Swijtink Professor of Philosophy, Sonoma State University Shawn M. Phillips Burial Sites Archaeologist, State Historical Society of Wisconsin G. Ann Tarleton Brian Regal Historian Mary Baker Eddy Library Todd Timmons Mathematics Department, Westark College Sue Rabbitt Roff Cookson Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Medical Education, Dundee University Medical School S C I E N C E A N D David Tulloch Graduate Student, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand I T S T I M E S V O L U M E 5 xv Contributors 1800-1899 Julianne Tuttle Indiana University Giselle Weiss Freelance Writer Stephanie Watson Freelance Writer A.J. Wright Librarian, Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham Karol Kovalovich Weaver Instructor, Department of History, Bloomsburg University Richard Weikart Associate Professor of History, California State University, Stanislaus xvi S C I E N C E A N D I T S Michael T. Yancey Freelance Writer T I M E S V O L U M E 5 Introduction: 1800–1899 Overview The nineteenth century brought the world telephones, telegraphs, steamboats, electric lights, movies, sewing machines, cars, electric motors, the railroad, Ferris wheels, and aspirin. It was the age of invention, ending with the famous pronouncement in 1899 that “Everything that can be invented has been invented” (Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents). There are many candidates for the century’s greatest invention, but the winner may be the future itself. While history has seen individuals, such as Francis Bacon, who imagined a world different from that of their parents, most people throughout history did not. They have expected their professions, tools, and entertainments to be essentially the same as those of their parents and grandparents. In the nineteenth century this changed, as inventors and their inventions captured the public imagination. It is no coincidence that two important literary genres were born in the 1800s: the mystery story and science fiction. Edgar Allan Poe’s Auguste Dupin was arguably the first detective in fiction, the precursor of Sherlock Holmes. Both characters used reason and deduction to understand the world. The popular audiences for their stories accepted this; they were confident that a deliberate and systematic approach would reveal the truth. Meanwhile, the heroes of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells used inventions to fly to the moon, explore the depths of the ocean, and travel through time. The public welcomed these stories, and many saw them as more than diversions. They experienced so many changes in their lives that, often, these fictions looked like predictions. Looking Back to the Eighteenth Century Of course, many changes came in the eighteenth century, but these were chiefly political. When S C I E N C E A N D I T S Americans rebelled and created a new political philosophy, Thomas Jefferson could imagine freedom and equality. But even though he was an inventor, he believed America would remain a simple agrarian society. The French Revolution executed a king and founded a republic, but it also beheaded Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794), known as “the Newton of chemistry.” Isaac Newton (1642-1727) may have stood on the shoulders of giants to achieve a revolution in physics, but in 1800 most of his successors were still standing in his shadow. In fact, physics and mathematics stagnated, particularly in England, as Newton’s accomplishments came to be seen as the final word. In the new century, however, perhaps because revolutions had loosened conventions and shaken the social order, it became acceptable to challenge established dogmas. The emerging sciences of biology, chemistry, and archeology extended Newton’s methods into new realms. Engineers and physicians carried the resulting technologies into everyday life. And, in Newton’s own disciplines—physics and mathematics—people of courage broke free of his mechanical, clockwork universe to discover radiation, probability, imaginary numbers, and other original concepts that would shape the next century. The eighteenth century transformed our view of humans. It put the power of change into our hands, then built, and eventually shattered, a confidence in certainty and truth. The Nineteenth Century: Building Blocks Nineteenth-century scientists strove to rationalize the universe. Physics and astronomy led the way, but much of chemistry was still inured in alchemy. “Vitalism” and other mystical points of view dominated biology, and archeology had little standing in the Western world, where most T I M E S V O L U M E 5 xvii Introduction 1800-1899 educated people believed that the world was only 6,000 years old and humans were a separate creation from animals. While it liberated science, it also spawned social darwinism, which was used to justify colonialism, racism, and the abuse of workers. Chemistry provided many of the early triumphs of the rationalization process. In 1803 John Dalton (1766-1844) postulated the existence of atoms and began working on the proof. This added force to discovery of the elements, and by 1869 63 elements were known. Later in the century Dmitri Mendeleyev (1834-1907) saw a pattern to the elements when he looked at their masses and chemical characteristics. He organized them in an original way that made sense of chemicals and their reactions. This organization, the periodic table of the elements, allowed Mendeleyev and later scientists to predict the existence of such elements as gallium, neon, krypton, and radon—all of which were discovered later. By the end of the century chemistry, particularly synthetic chemistry, had become an essential and profitable part of society. Dyes made the world more colorful; patent medicines and synthetic fertilizers provided for human health; explosives moved mountains, made great engineering projects possible, and caused mass annihilation in war. Chemistry had created a vital role and a new identity for itself, with the periodic table as its icon. Archeology and paleontology took advantage of the doors opened by Darwin. Dinosaurs captured the fancy of the public, and digging fossils became a popular endeavor. Pierre Broca (18241880) determined that Neanderthal man was part of a prehuman species, setting off the search for the “missing link” connecting human and apes. What might have been a basis for understanding the common nature of humans and their shared relationship with animals was sometimes turned to demonstrate “scientifically” the inferiority of certain races. Phrenology and other pseudosciences made claims about white superiority, and the idea of eugenics was popularized. Biology took a different path, perhaps because it touched more directly on humanity’s view of itself. Classification and cell descriptions were at the leading edge of activity at the beginning of the century. These helped to provide a sense of order without making a strong challenge to accepted beliefs that viewed the world in a static way. Since the core of biology is process—e.g., growth, differentiation, competition, synergy, reproduction—its progress had to await a new insight. In 1831 22-year-old Charles Darwin (18091882) undertook a voyage as a naturalist on the HMS Beagle. His findings shattered ideas about the age of the universe, the origin of humans, and the nature of biology. The heart of his thesis, evolution, was so disturbing that he did not publish his findings for 27 years. Variation and natural selection, or “survival of the fittest,” were explained in Darwin’s landmark 1859 work On the Origin of Species. Evolution required a much older world. Species were no longer fixed, in fact they were related. Darwin’s next book went further. The Descent of Man (1871) joined humans to the rest of the biological world and challenged their special place. This upset many deeply held religious beliefs and demystified all of nature. xviii S C I E N C E A N D I T S A deeper understanding of genetics, the work of a humble Austrian monk, was unrecognized in its own time. Gregor Mendel (18221884) methodically investigated genetic inheritance by growing peas. His work provided a foundation for the twentieth century’s icon for biology, DNA. Inventing the Future At the same time that people were coming to appreciate change in the natural world, they found themselves with unprecedented power to create change. The railroad may have been the first popular example. For the first time in history, people could travel faster than a galloping horse could carry them. The railroad extended cities, connected communities, fueled the Industrial Revolution, and changed concepts of time and space. The sewing machine brought another kind of change. It freed time, since prior to its invention people spent fully one-third of their working hours creating and mending clothes (not to mention sails, curtains, and shoes). Sewing machines also increased productivity. Since tailors, who were generally men, resisted their introduction, manufacturers marketed them to women, allowing them to participate in the economy, and giving them independence that helped them secure their political and legal rights. The most famous inventions of the nineteenth century are associated with equally famous inventors. Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) invented the telephone. Robert Fulton (1765-1815) invented the steamship. Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invented the electric light, the phonograph, and the motion pic- T I M E S V O L U M E 5 ture. All of these inventions, thanks to the emerging methods of mass production and distribution, had a profound effect upon the daily lives of ordinary people. But this only partially explains their inventors’ fame. When beset by patent battles and competing technologies, inventors found that they could brand their inventions, secure their wealth, and become celebrities with self-promotion. There was an economic value to Edison providing quotable quotes like “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Edison used public demonstrations of technology to his advantage, and even ran a negative campaign against Nikola Tesla’s (1856-1943) alternating current (AC) that included the electrocution of animals. (The advantages of AC for transmitting electricity over long distances were significant enough, however, that Edison’s direct current technology lost out.) Thus, myth and reality were interwoven to create an age of invention. Unexpected Truths and Consequences Electricity was the darling of nineteenth-century physicists. It made them close collaborators with the inventors of the era and pushed the bounds of experimental science. Understanding electrical theory was essential to James Maxwell’s (18311879) work, which helped unify concepts of electricity and magnetism. Such syntheses were aimed not just at explaining and taming nature, but at revealing its absolute truth. Mathematicians were engaged in the same pursuit, developing new tools and methods, and finding underlying consistencies that made their discipline more rigorous. From the early days of the century, however, there were indications that the precise truth they sought was unattainable. Even as public confidence in science reached its height, its limits were becoming apparent. People used scientific discourse to deceive themselves and each other and to confirm prejudices. One such S C I E N C E A N D I T S “proof,” for example, showed that education was unhealthy for women. Just as importantly, probability emerged as a discipline in the 1800s. First used for error checking, it developed later into an expression of the statistical, intrinsically uncertain nature of the universe. Introduction 1800-1899 The Legacy of Nineteenth-Century Science Society has come to rely on chemistry for plastics, fuels, fertilizers, and medicines. The houses we live in, the clothes we wear, and the food we eat are often, if not usually, the product of a deep understanding of chemistry that began with the periodic table. By the beginning of the twentieth century the understanding of bacteria and, by extension, sanitation, that came from nineteenthcentury advances in biology, helped fuel tremendous population growth. Biology also increased understanding of fertility and led to artificial means of birth control. This essentially stopped the rise in population for developed countries by the end of the twentieth century. In the twentieth century the flow of new inventions continued, reinforcing popular expectations of change. Many nineteenth-century inventions evolved into improved, but stillrecognizable, forms. The car and the electric light, two of the most notable nineteenth-century inventions, created essential change in human cultures. Pathological use of science, both to facilitate and to excuse brutality, left an indelible mark on the twentieth century and reduced confidence in science as a source of truth and progress. Kurt Gödel (1906-1987) and Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) demonstrated how incomplete and uncertain scientific truths are. Even so, science remains the touchstone for rational discussion. T I M E S PETER J. ANDREWS V O L U M E 5 xix Chronology: 1800–1899 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte crowned emperor of France; launches a decade of conquests in which he subdues virtually all of Europe except Britain and Russia. 1807 French mathematician Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier announces his famous theorem concerning periodic oscillation, which will prove invaluable to the study of wave phenomena. 1814-1815 Congress of Vienna sets the boundaries of European states, boundaries that will remain virtually intact for 99 years following Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815. 1822 Jean François Champollion deciphers the Rosetta Stone, thus making possible the first translations of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. 1823-1824 United States declares the Monroe Doctrine, ordering an end to European colonization of the Western Hemisphere; a year later Spain vacates the New World after its defeat by forces under Simon de Bolívar and others at the Battle of Ayacucho. 1829 Russian mathematician Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevski discovers nonEuclidean geometry, paving the way for the mathematics of curved surfaces. 1837 French artist Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre makes the first photograph, or daguerreotype, a still life taken in his studio. 1844 Having earlier patented his telegraph machine, Samuel Morse successfully transmits the first Morse code message over a S C I E N C E A N D I T S telegraph circuit between Baltimore and Washington: “What hath God wrought?” 1848 Revolution breaks out in numerous European cities; Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto. 1854-1856 Britain, France, Turkey, and Sardinia fight Russia in the Crimean War, a conflict noted for the nursing reforms of Florence Nightingale and for the fact that it was the first war covered by photojournalists. 1859 English naturalist Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species, setting forth natural selection as the mechanism governing evolution. 1861-1865 Civil War and emancipation of slaves in the United States. 1864 French chemist Louis Pasteur invents pasteurization, a process of slow heating to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. 1865 Laying the groundwork for antiseptic surgery, English surgeon Joseph Lister uses phenol to prevent infection during an operation on a compound fracture. 1865-1876 Nain Singh, an Indian “pundit” employed by the British, leads several expeditions into the Himalayas and Tibet, including Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, forbidden to Westerners. 1866 Austrian botanist Gregor Johann Mendel discovers the laws of heredity, presenting data that would not gain wide recognition until 1900. T I M E S V O L U M E 5 xxi Chronology 1800-1899 1869 First periodic table, which arranges the elements in order of atomic weight and predicts the existence of undiscovered elements, created by Russian chemist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleyev. 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War results in defeat of France; establishment of world’s first communist state, the shortlived Paris Commune; and unification of Germany. 1873 James Clerk Maxwell publishes Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, a landmark work that brings together the three principal fields of physics: electricity, magnetism, and light. 1875 Alexander Graham Bell first transmits sound over electric cable; in the following year he demonstrates his new telephone. 1879 Thomas Edison produces the first practical incandescent lightbulb. xxii S C I E N C E A N D I T S 1884-1885 Conference of Berlin effectively divides Africa into various European colonial spheres of influence. 1894-1895 Defeat of China in SinoJapanese War marks rise of Japan as a world power. 1894-1906 Dreyfus Affair in France, involving false charges against Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus, exposes undercurrents of European anti-Semitism, creates sharp and lasting divisions between political left and right. 1898 Victory in Spanish-American War establishes United States as a colonial power, with possessions including Cuba, the Philippines, and Guam. 1899-1902 Second Anglo-Boer War; first systematic use of concentration camps. T I M E S V O L U M E 5 Exploration and Discovery Chronology 1804-1806 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark explore the American West on their way to the Pacific Ocean. 1822 Jean François Champollion deciphers the Rosetta Stone, thus making possible the first translations of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. 1831-1836 The HMS Beagle, a British vessel, explores both coasts of South America; on board is Charles Darwin, who begins forming his theory of evolution while in the Galapagos Islands. 1840 American explorer Charles Wilkes and French explorer Jules-Sébastien-César Dumont d’Urville simultaneously discover the continent of Antarctica. 1850 British naval officer Robert McClure, on board the HMS Investigator, discovers the Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. 1853-1856 British missionary David Livingstone becomes the first European to cross the entire African continent, from south to north; along the way, he discovers Victoria Falls (1855). 1862 British explorer John Hanning Speke discovers the source of the Nile River at Lake Victoria. 1873 German amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovers the ruins of Troy, long thought to be a purely legendary city. 1845-1851 British archaeologist Austen Henry Layard excavates the ruins of ancient Assyrian cities Calah and Nineveh. 1872-1876 An expedition aboard the HMS Challenger systematically explores the ocean depths, temperature, and underwater life of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. 1848 Gold is discovered at Sutter’s Mill in California, beginning the California Gold Rush. 1874-1877 British explorer Henry Morton Stanley conducts extensive exploration of the African continent. S C I E N C E A N D I T S T I M E S V O L U M E 5 1 Overview: Exploration and Discovery 1800-1899 Exploration 1800-1899 Overview Exploration for Scientific Purposes One of the greatest thrills man can experience is the discovery of something that no one has ever seen. The exhilaration of traveling a wild unexplored locale, facing hazards natural and native while discovering the hitherto unknown, has attracted explorers of the world for thousands of years. By the eighteenth century man’s quest for the unknown led explorers such as Captain James Cook (1728-1779) on scientific voyages around the globe. Some attempted, unsuccessfully, to reach the farthest corners of the globe— such as a 1773 British Admiralty expedition to the North Pole. Others, such as surveyor and explorer Alexander Mackenzie (1763-1820), who traveled across land to the Pacific Ocean, explored a single continent—North America. Organizations developed such as the African Association founded in June 1788, whose main objective was the exploration of Africa. By the end of the eighteenth century, man’s hunger for knowledge of the world had become insatiable, leading to the most active period of Earth exploration: the 1800s. The first class of nineteenth-century exploration, for scientific purposes, could accurately describe nearly every expedition undertaken in the period. The information brought back by explorers stimulated a new perspective on man and his environment. New, more accurate maps and geographical reports resulted from the journeys and voyages of topographical engineers and surveyors. New discoveries were made in the fields of botany, zoology, ornithology, marine biology, geology, and cultural anthropology. Especially significant were expeditions to South America. From 1799-1802 Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and Aimé Bonpland (1773-1858) explored the Orinoco River and most of the Amazon River system in northwest South America, identifying plant and animal life and studying climatology, meteorology, and volcanoes. Humboldt used his discoveries to create an encyclopedic work entitled Kosmos, which cataloged his own extensive scientific knowledge and much of the accumulated knowledge of geography and geology of his time. In northeast South America Robert Schomburgk (1804-1865) explored the interior of Guyana from 1835 to 1839 as one of the first funded expeditions of Britain’s Royal Geographical Society, which was founded in 1830. In addition to extensive mapping of rivers and geographical features, Schomburgk collected hundreds of botanical, zoological, and geological specimens for study. Along the coast of South America, the voyage of the British ship HMS Beagle (1831-6), with Charles Darwin (1809-1882) aboard, made scientific discoveries that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution, one of the titanic achievements in modern science. The expeditions of the 1700s were limited in scope and significance when compared to the amazing accomplishments of explorers in the 1800s. Never before or since has so much of Earth been discovered in such a brief period of its history. In all, man’s compulsion to discover, describe, and catalog his world—as well as conquer it—resulted in a flood of exploration in the 1800s. There were expeditions to solve unanswered geographical questions, such as the existence of a Northwest Passage and the source of the Nile. There were expeditions to expand scientific knowledge, such as the first deep-sea exploration of the HMS Challenger (1872-6) and voyages to South America that led to new discoveries in the fields of zoology, botany, and geology. Meanwhile, other explorations, especially those sponsored for political purposes, were expanding national boundaries—in America and Australia, for example—as well as imperial domains, as was the case in Africa. Adventure in the nineteenth century was not only for explorers, however, as archaeological discoveries in the Middle East and Mediterranean were also significant. 2 S C I E N C E A N D I T S While explorations were penetrating the hot jungles and rivers of South America, other scientific expeditions were braving the frosty regions of the North Pole, Antarctica, and Tibet and discovering, at last, both the Northwest and Northeast Passages. In 1831 James Clark Ross (18001862) was the first to discover the Magnetic North Pole. The first major voyage of exploration undertaken by the young United States was the U.S. Exploring Expedition led by Charles Wilkes (1798-1877), which sighted the Antarctic mainland early in 1840. Several Amer- T I M E S V O L U M E 5 ican scientists accompanied Wilkes on the voyage and returned with thousands of scientific specimens from the lands visited, as well as important information on weather, sea conditions, and safe sea passages, bringing distinction to the expedition. Two more firsts were accomplished by the discoverers of the Northwest and Northeast Passages, sought by 300 years of explorers. In 1854 Irishman Robert McClure (1807-1873) completed a four-year journey of the Northwest Passage to Asia—by ship, by foot, then by ship again. Likewise, in 1879 Nils Nordenskiöld (1832-1901), a Finnish scientist, completed the first transit of the Northeast Passage, a sea route from Europe across the northern coast of Asia to the Pacific. Pacific Ocean. One of the most significant feats of American exploration was that of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery. From 1804-6 Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) explored the uncharted American Far West on their way to the Pacific Ocean, helping cement the United States’ claim to parts of the Pacific Northwest. Another American expedition that spurred interest in western expansion was that of Zebulon Pike (17791813), whose discoveries led to the conquest and settlement of lands in the Southwest. American expansion was further aided by the expeditions of John Frémont (1813-1890), whose dramatic account of western adventures excited the American public to a greater level of enthusiasm for the West. Exploration to Expand National Boundaries and Imperial Terrain National boundaries weren’t the only lines expanding due to nineteenth-century exploration. Explorers were both the forerunners and forefathers of European imperialism, especially on the African continent. The “Dark Continent” was traversed in 1855-6 by David Livingstone (1813-1873), the first known European to do so, covering much uncharted African territory. Another important African discovery, made in 1858, was the source of the Nile found at Lake Victoria by John Speke (1827-1864). From 1874-7 Henry Stanley (1841-1904) explored the entire length of the Congo. The southern and central African expeditions of Livingstone, Speke, and Stanley resulted in a frenetic race between European nations to colonize Africa and introduce so-called “civilized” European ways into the continent’s peoples. This included an infusion of Christian missionaries and enterprise-oriented merchants and traders, many of whom exploited the African natives. The second class of nineteenth century exploration, for political purposes, includes expeditions sent out for the express political goal of expanding national boundaries as well as those intended to expand imperial terrain. Continental/national boundaries were addressed by expeditions in Australia, Siberia, and North America. In 1802 Matthew Flinders (1774-1814) was the first to circumnavigate Australia and to chart its southern coast. The Australian interior was explored by numerous teams of scientists, surveyors, and discoverers. These included Edward Eyre (1815-1901), the first to explore central Australia and the first to traverse the continent, and the illfated transcontinental explorers Robert O’Hara Burke (1820-1861) and surveyor William John Wills (1834-1861), who, after traversing the continent from Melbourne to present-day Normanton near the Gulf of Carpenteria, both died of starvation on their return journey. While Australia was eagerly exploring its continental boundaries, Russia was rapidly expanding its borders, annexing Siberia and other central Asian provinces. Thanks to the extensive explorations of men such as Nikolay Przhevalsky (1839-1888), who traveled throughout central and eastern Asia, mapping, collecting biological specimens, and surveying future travel routes, Russia was able to lay claim to considerable natural resources and valuable winter ports and to consolidate its territories in the Far East. Like their counterparts in Australia and Russia, nineteenth-century American explorers played no small part in the rise of its Manifest Destiny—the expansion of its boundaries to the S C I E N C E A N D I T S Exploration 1800-1899 Archaeological Exploration The final class of nineteenth-century exploration, while not technically of that classification, hinges closely on the spirit of romanticism tied to the exploration of the time. Nineteenthcentury romanticism stressed not only an interest in the remote and an appreciation of external nature; it also emphasized an exhaltation of the primitive and an idealization of the past. The subsequent rising interest in antiquities produced several significant archaeological discoveries such as the uncovering of the Egyptian temple of King Ramses II in 1813 by Jean-Louis Burckhardt (1784-1817), the deciphering of the Rosetta Stone in 1822 by Jean-François Champollion (1790-1832), and the locating of the T I M E S V O L U M E 5 3 Exploration 1800-1899 ancient Greek city of Troy in 1873 by Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1900). Conclusion Fundamental developments in technology changed the character of exploration after the 1800s. Most significant were the evolution of the aviation and aeronautics industries and the revolution of photography and film. Computers, telephones, and global positioning satellites have also “technified” the business of exploring. With the assistance of such technology, twentieth-century explorers have been able to make more detailed surveys of Earth’s surface, explore the depths of the ocean and Earth’s interior, and voyage to the moon and stars, as the quest for the unknown has extended beyond Earth. ANN T. MARSDEN Humboldt and Bonpland’s Landmark Expedition to the Spanish Colonies of South America (1799-1804) Overview Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), a German geologist and naturalist, and Aimé Bonpland (1773-1858), a French botanist, engaged in a new sort of scientific travel involving systematic measurement and observation of a remarkable range of organic and physical phenomena with dozens of sophisticated scientific instruments. Humboldt’s ultimate goal for these researches was to understand nature as an interconnected whole. Humboldt and Bonpland inspired a generation of scientific explorers and established new methodologies and new instrumentation standards. Background The eighteenth-century expeditions of Charles Marie de La Condamine (1701-1774), Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811), and Captain James Cook (1728-1779) provided the model of scientific exploration followed by Humboldt and Bonpland. In all of these earlier instances scientific travelers bravely explored mysterious lands and oceans while continuously collecting specimens and measuring astronomical and geological phenomena. Upon returning home these explorers published popular and scientific accounts describing heroic adventures and exotic sights and, especially in the case of Cook, presenting a wide range of botanical, geological, oceanographical, and anthropological findings. While mostly adhering to this model, Humboldt’s efforts in particular were inspired by a range of scientific interests and a commitment to comprehensive empirical observation surpassing 4 S C I E N C E A N D I T S those of any scientific explorer before or after. Natural objects, Humboldt insisted, can be understood only within the full range of their environment: rainfall, humidity, temperature, barometric pressure, electrical charge of the air, chemical composition of the atmosphere and soil, geomagnetism, longitude, latitude, elevation, surrounding geological formations, surrounding plants and animals, and nearby human activity and culture must all be measured or observed. Humboldt called his scientific enterprise a physique du monde, or terrestrial physics. Inspired by the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), Humboldt was seeking to discover amid the geographical distribution and variation of phenomena nature’s constant and most simple laws and forces. Towards this end Humboldt and Bonpland carried with them an unprecedented array of instruments, all financed by Humboldt himself. Telescopes, sextants, theodolites, compasses, a magnetometer, chronometers, a pendulum, barometers, thermometers, hygrometers, a cyanometer, eudometers, a rain gauge, leyden jars, galvanic batteries, and chemical reagents were carried and used across the continent. Scientific instruments had been greatly improved in recent years both in accuracy and in portability. Humboldt had gained expertise in using these instruments through years of scientific study and travel in Europe. The expedition of Humboldt and Bonpland to the Spanish colonies, then, was truly at the frontiers of science. For almost five years, from July 1799 to April 1804, as the Napoleonic Wars raged in Europe, Humboldt and Bonpland traveled throughout T I M E S V O L U M E 5 what is now Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico mapping, collecting, measuring, sketching, describing, and observing all the way. It was a tremendously arduous journey accomplished on foot, canoe, and horse with equipment carried by a caravan of as many as 20 mules or by numerous canoes assisted by Indian guides. Not surprisingly, glass jars and instruments broke. Despite the hardships Humboldt, in particular, thrived in the tropical climate, displaying tremendous energy and strength and, unlike Bonpland, rarely falling ill. ico Humboldt and Bonpland sailed to Cuba and then to Philadelphia. They met with President Thomas Jefferson, an ardent scientist himself, in Washington and Monticello. In June 1804 Humboldt and Bonpland departed Philadelphia for home carrying 30 large crates of collected materials. For all their tremendous successes they were disappointed in one thing. Originally they had planned to travel to the Philippines and other Spanish possessions throughout the globe. War and bad luck had frustrated those plans. In Venezuela their primary goal was to explore the Orinoco River and discover its connection to the Amazon watershed. After trekking through Venezuelan mountains and plains they canoed the Orinico’s vast system for 75 days. Humboldt performed calculations upon observations of Jupiter’s moons and other celestial objects in order to map the Orinico’s course. Humboldt and Bonpland also systematically collected plants while carefully measuring every possible environmental factor. Through global studies in “plant geography” Humboldt hoped to eventually be able to infer the diversity and density of vegetation at any point on Earth. Vegetation for Humboldt represented an organic force as measurable as heat or magnetism. Impact Upon reaching the southern border of the Spanish colonies, the explorers traveled back through Venezuela. After visiting Cuba they explored Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru for 21 months. Humboldt, an expert in geology and minerals, was particularly interested in studying volcanoes of the Andes and sites of major seismic activity for clues as to Earth’s formation. Crossing the Andes four times (and setting a mountaineering record of 19,289 feet) Humboldt and Bonpland carefully measured the magnetic axes of mountains and the inclination of strata in order to understand the forces that had generated the volcanic range. By carefully attending to all the data, especially data deviating from the general north-south orientation, Humboldt hoped to develop a comprehensive dynamical theory of mountain ranges to replace what he considered simplistic explanations of his predecessors. In January 1803 the explorers sailed to Mexico. During the voyage Humboldt charted the course of the cold coastal current that now bears his name. Humboldt and Bonpland paid special attention to Mexico’s mining districts in relationship to the geology, economy, and anthropology of the country. After a year in MexS C I E N C E A N D I T S Exploration 1800-1899 Upon return to Europe Humboldt and Bonpland were celebrated as heroes. Humboldt went on to write numerous books recounting the rigors of the trip and the beauty and strangeness of the mysterious continent. These books, which were widely translated and widely read, portrayed the scientist as a fearless, virile adventurer who was willing to endure any hardship for the pursuit of knowledge. Through his voluminous popular and scientific writings on the South American expedition, Humboldt became the most famous naturalist of his day and inspired a generation of scientific explorers. He and Bonpland had proven the possibility of a sophisticated inland scientific expedition employing a vast range of the best instruments. Humboldt’s quantitative, technical methodology was quickly taken up by many American explorers of the western United States and by British, German, French, and Scandinavian explorers. His model of plant geography greatly inspired, for one, Charles Darwin (18091882) in his studies of the geographical distribution of species. Humboldt’s style of scientific travelogue, in which he vividly recounted sights, sensations, and scientific observations from a personal viewpoint, was adopted by Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), Louis Agassiz (1807-1873), and other scientific explorers. The extent of Humboldt’s influence on later explorers is indicated by the number of towns, counties, rivers, and mountains bearing his name in the western United States. Humboldt’s influence extended well beyond scientific exploration. His work on plant geography became a basis of the field of plant ecology at the end of the century. His “political geography” of Mexico, which incorporated social, economic, and manifold environmental factors, was quickly emulated by other geographers. His technique of “iso-maps,” which connected with lines geographical points of equal mean temper- T I M E S V O L U M E 5 5 Exploration 1800-1899 ature, magnetic intensity, rainfall, and so on, was adopted by researchers in many sciences and, notably, is retained in the isobars and isotherms of our weather maps. Even painters such as the American F. E. Church responded to Humboldt’s writings by journeying to the tropics to faithfully portray exotic plants amid their sublime, tangled environment. More generally, Humboldt’s scientific writings contributed to a new vision of science and nature. Under Humboldt’s influence, any science centered around the isolated specimen in the laboratory had come to be branded as out-moded or even false. Nature was complex and science must attend to the myriad of interconnected factors contributing to this complexity. Humboldt was not the first to conceive of nature or science this way. Nor did all natural scientists embrace Humboldt’s goal of discovering nature’s unity through measurement. But through his and Bonpland’s exploits in a difficult terrain with dozens of sophisticated instruments and through his extensive writings presenting data and explaining their significance, Humboldt demonstrated how such a science could be pursued. Inspired by Humboldt’s vision, many scientists turned their attention to complex phenomena such as the tides, the weather, and geomagnetism, which required heterogeneous empirical investigations across the globe. In order to study these phenomena researchers invented better, more accurate instruments and carried their instruments to diverse locations. They also adopted Humboldtian tables, graphs, and isomaps as tools for organizing and understanding data. Perhaps the most successful developments in Humboldtian science came in the field of geomagnetism. Humboldt himself had urged governments to establish global stations for observing magnetic and other phenomena. This idea gained impetus after famed German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) successfully analyzed Humboldt’s measurements in terms of spherical harmonics in 1833. Observational stations were established around the globe in the 1830s and 40s by several European nations. Especially in Britain this enterprise was motivated as much by colonial and navigational concerns as by a commitment to knowledge or international cooperation in science. In 1852 British astronomer Edward Sabine (1788-1883), comparing data tabulated at the stations in 6 S C I E N C E A N D I T S Toronto and Tasmania, determined that statistical variations in geomagnetic disturbances corresponded to the recently discovered sunspot cycle. With this discovery the science of solarterrestrial physics was born. The success of the magnetic stations encouraged the establishment of similar observational networks, most notably in meteorology. That network is, of course, still with us today on a much larger scale. By the middle of the nineteenth century Humboldt’s mode of universal science, in which an individual single-handedly seeks to integrate understanding of a vast range of organic and physical phenomena, had become untenable. In an era of scientific specialization Humboldt was indeed the last scientific polymath. In the meantime Humboldt and Bonpland’s scientific accomplishments in South America, which had so astonished their contemporaries, had been overshadowed by the work of new generations of investigators using better instruments and pursuing geographically broader investigations. JULIANNE TUTTLE Further Reading Books Botting, Douglas. Humboldt and the Cosmos. London: Joseph, 1973. Cannon, Susan Faye. “Humboldtian Science.” In Science and Culture: The Early Victorian Period. New York: Dawson, 1978. Dettelbach, Michael. “Global Physics and Aesthetic Empire: Humboldt’s Physical Portrait of the Tropics.” In Visions of Empire: Voyages, Botany, and Representations of Nature, edited by David Philip Miller and Peter Hanns Reill. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Humboldt, Alexander von. Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent. Abridged and translated by Jason Wilson. London: Penguin Books, 1995. Nicolson, Malcolm. “Alexander von Humboldt and the Geography of Vegetation.” In Romanticism and the Sciences, edited by A. Cunningham and N. Jardine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Periodicals Cawood, John. “Terrestrial Magnetism and the Development of International Scientific Cooperation in the Early 19th Century.” Annals of Science 34 (1977): 55187. Nicolson, Malcolm. “Humboldtian Plant Geography after Humboldt: The Link to Ecology.” British Journal for the History of Science 29 (1996): 289-310. T I M E S V O L U M E 5 The Discovery of Australia and Tasmania Greatly Expands the British Empire Exploration Overview Long after the northern regions of the world were known and occupied, the Southern Hemisphere was still unexplored and obscure. When the Europeans finally were able to build ships that could safely make long voyages, men were sent on arduous and difficult expeditions to explore the area and gain a foothold there. In the East Indies and Southeast Asia, riches, resources, and raw materials abounded that European nations not only needed but wanted. As nations expanded their power and extent, they found a new continent, new islands, and opened new trade routes. The new continent, settled by the British and named for an ancient, non-existent land called Terra australis, became a far flung extension of the British Empire called Australia. Background When Europeans began to realize the extent of their own continent, they presumed that a land mass of similar size and weight must lie in the Southern Hemisphere to balance the globe. It was called Terra australis incognita, or the unknown southern land. The idea lay dormant for centuries, for Europeans had no means to reach it. When ship building improved, they ventured out into the seas. The Chinese, Arabs, or other Asians may have seen Australia, but references are unclear. The Portuguese may have discovered the West Coast in the sixteenth century. The Spanish found land in the same area but did not follow up on it. In 1615 a Dutch explorer reached Cape York, the northernmost point on the Australian continent, but didn’t connect it with Spanish or Portuguese discoveries. Another Dutch explorer landed on a barren coast in the West and called it New Holland, but he found no gold, rich civilizations, spices, or other resources. Another Dutch captain discovered another wild and barren place he called Van Diemen’s Land; today it is Tasmania. Explorers were sent to find the elusive southern continent with the hope of riches and civilizations worth the time and effort. Hopes were fading when nothing concrete was found. In the 1770s Captain James Cook (1728-1779) sailed past 40 degrees south latitude and found S C I E N C E A N D I T S 1800-1899 only ocean and the tip of a frozen land called Antarctica. There was no Terra australis. This achievement answered a centuries-old question and put the idea of a large continent to rest. Ships and sailors could now travel these latitudes without the fear of encountering a large land mass. By the end of the eighteenth century, New Holland was still unsettled, uninviting, and unexplored. The maps of some explorers showed New Zealand, Tasmania, and New Guinea as part of this unknown land. The Europeans knew something was there but were not exactly sure what or where it was. Several motives led European governments to underwrite the expense of these expeditions. They needed new lands and resources to keep their governments strong. Overseas colonies brought prestige and power, as well as resources. More and more raw materials like cotton, wheat, wool, gold, spices, and new foods were needed to satisfy the growing population in Europe. By 1800 Europeans, especially the British, were at war with French dictator Napoleon Bonaparte and were alarmed at renewed French interest in the southern continent. Hoping for another land of infinite resources like North America, the British mounted an expedition to claim the whole southern land, however large it was. Matthew Flinders (1774-1814), in the ship Investigator, was chosen to survey the coast. He began in the Southwest, sailed eastward past the Great Australian Bight and Spencer Gulf to Port Philip (Melbourne). Every few miles, he landed, noted the people and animals, recorded the topography of the land, made maps, and charted the bays, rivers, and reefs. After resting in Sydney, he resumed his exploration sailing along the coast of Queensland. He noted the presence of the Great Barrier Reef, the Coral Sea, and various features of the tropical peninsula of Cape York. He sailed west to Arnhem Land until his ship was in such bad shape that he could not go on. In his papers Flinders championed the name Australia for this new continent soon to be claimed and occupied by the British. The British Empire had not reached its full extent, though it controlled Canada and was making inroads in South Africa and India. Australia would be the first British colony in the Pacific Ocean. T I M E S V O L U M E 5 7 Exploration 1800-1899 Impact In the early 1800s, European nations were competing all over the world for trade, markets, and resources. The European population was growing, people were living longer and better lives, and they were expanding their industrial development and beginning to need more space and resources. Europeans had used up their raw materials and had to find new ones in the far corners of the world. They roamed the seas searching for resources and new markets for their products. A strong sailing fleet was the most vital part of this business. A country had to build seaworthy ships and have the skill to sail them anywhere in the world. The British were masters of these activities. The basis of this enterprise was called “mercantilism,” a philosophy born in France in the seventeenth century. The national government controlled all economic activity in its own nation. It made sure more goods were sold than bought to keep a favorable balance of trade—that is, more money should come in than go out. It owned colonies in far corners of the world, each of which existed to produce goods for the mother country. The system ensured the nation power, security, and self-sufficiency. Most European nations followed this philosophy in one form or another. Spain and Portugal had colonies in South America and Asia, the British were in Canada, and the Dutch were in Southeast Asia. The Dutch and French had landed in eastern Australia, but neither had settled there. It was so barren they doubted crops would grow, and the natives did not seem willing to work. The British and Dutch engaged in several armed conflicts over trade as the Dutch had a monopoly on the commodities in the East Indies or spice islands (Indonesia). A shooting war erupted between Britain and the Dutch in the Indies in 1780. The Dutch were strong in trade but militarily weak, and the British had little difficulty subduing them. William Pitt the younger was Prime Minister of England from 1783-1800. With the French Revolution and the subsequent war against Napoleon, Pitt had to make sure France would not gain access to Britain’s eastern trade routes. Because the U.S. was no longer available as a place to send undesirable people from England, he championed the idea of using Australia as a penal colony. He had considered Africa and discarded it. Joseph Banks had reported the area around Sydney to have rich soil and lots of vegetation. Native inhabitants posed no problem, as they did not challenge the newcomers but hid in 8 S C I E N C E A N D I T S the vast deserts of the interior. So in 1788 the English government sent 1,000 convicts to Botany Bay, south of Sydney. These men and women were convicted criminals, many transported for minor crimes like stealing a loaf of bread, plus some Irish political prisoners. They ranged in age from children of twelve or thirteen to men and women of seventy years or more. In Australia they served a seven-year sentence. After that they could become free settlers, and many did. This export of prisoners lasted from 1788 to 1840 in New South Wales and continued elsewhere until 1868. Free immigration, passage, and settlement was encouraged after the Napoleonic Wars were over in 1815. Australia was a strategic outpost. Having a base here helped the British keep the seas open around India, New Guinea, the East Indies, and the Pacific Ocean for their ships and commerce. A governor was appointed to administer each area in Australia, and he was the employer of the convicts. Many governors were autocratic and harsh, but they generally maintained strict British codes of ethics and law. Later, civil liberties were gradually introduced to Australian settlers. By 1800 the population of New South Wales and Norfolk Island numbered 5,000 people, 3,000 sheep, and 500 cattle and other animals. The settlement of Australia effectively expanded the national boundaries of England and set it on a path to the creation of a huge empire. Great Britain took over India beginning in 1757, Australia in 1788, South Africa in 1814, and New Zealand in 1840. Australia was a colony with no pretensions to independence, peopled by citizens whose origins were in the lower classes of England. Many early settlers had been convicted of minor crimes and taken to the continent without their consent. They were ruled by the aristocratic elite and the British government in the first years. In the twentieth century Australia became an independent nation and part of the British Commonwealth. The culture that developed in this remote frontier was as far from European tradition or class distinctions as the United States had been. The circumstances of its beginning have colored its national character ever since. The settlement of Australia gave the British a base in the Pacific Ocean, relief from overcrowding at home, and a place from which to gather resources like gold, wool, and food staples and to sell manufactured goods. While the continent did not contain the resources that North America had, Australia was strategically more important, and it became a part of the T I M E S V O L U M E 5 largest empire in the world. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the English people and the crown boasted that the sun never set on the British Empire. Australia was one of the reasons that boast could be made. LYNDALL B. LANDAUER Hughes. Robert. The Fatal Shore. New York: Vintage Books, 1988. Ingleton, Geoffrey C. Matthew Flinders, Navigator and Chartmaker. Victoria, Australia: Genesis Publications, 1986. Exploration 1800-1899 Martin, Ged., ed. The Founding of Australia. Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1978. Terrill, Ross. The Australians. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987. Further Reading Flinders, Matthew. A Voyage to Terra Australis. Adelaide: Libraries Board of South Australia, 1966. American Far West: The Lewis and Clark Expedition Overview One of the greatest feats of exploration in North America was that undertaken by Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery from 1804-1806. During their travels, the Corps of Discovery explored the Mississippi and Missouri river basins, made scientific discoveries about many plant and animal species new to science, contacted Native American tribes, and helped cement the United States’ claim to parts of the Pacific Northwest, formerly claimed by Great Britain and Russia. Background In a move of questionable legality and constitutionality, President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) purchased the Louisiana Territory from the French in 1803. The territory, stretching from New Orleans to Canada and encompassing the majority of the drainage basins of the Missouri River and west of the Mississippi River, increased the size of the United States dramatically. Although the Louisiana Territory proved a boon economically and provided a windfall of scientific knowledge, the primary reasons for the purchase were political and commercial. Jefferson found it intolerable that a foreign power (first Spain, then France) should control New Orleans, through which the commerce of the western boundary states passed. Jefferson was also interested in learning more about the Native American tribes that he planned to add to the United States, hoped to find an easy, mostly water route to the Pacific Ocean, and wanted to take much of the lucrative fur trade from the British of Canada and the Pacific Northwest. S C I E N C E A N D I T S In 1802, shortly after the Spanish transferred the Louisiana Territory to the French, Jefferson sent an ambassador to Paris to meet with Napoleon. Conveying the message that the United States was interested in purchasing Louisiana from the French and would take it by force otherwise, Napoleon agreed to sell the territory for nearly $10 million, earning much needed funds for his government. The deal was approved by Congress amid a great deal of controversy, closely followed by approval of $2500 to fund a Corps of Exploration. Jefferson had already been in discussion with his friend and personal secretary Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) about leading an expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory; with the approval of Congress, Jefferson gave Lewis permission to make preparations for a journey of exploration, mapping, and diplomacy with Native American tribes. Lewis recruited former military officer and friend William Clark (1770-1838) to serve as the expedition’s co-leader. At the time the Corps of Discovery left there was a tremendous amount of erroneous information about the lands west of the Mississippi. About all that was known with any degree of certainty was the latitude and longitude of the mouth of the Columbia River and other landmarks on the west coast, based on measurements taken by Captain James Cook (17281779) and other oceanic explorers. Jefferson, one of the leading intellectuals of the day, firmly believed that in the American interior would be found wooly mammoths, giant ground sloths, active volcanoes in the Badlands of the upper Missouri, and other misconceptions. Most T I M E S V O L U M E 5 9 Fort Clatsop Or e g o n (Co BRITISH POSSESSION Y C K R O PACIFIC OCEAN l u m b ia ) R. OREGON COUNTRY w ll o Ye The returning expedition splits into two groups, with Lewis returning north and the rest returning south along the Yellowstone River. Lewis and Clark build a fort near a small group of Mandan villages. Sacagawea joins their expedition when her husband, a FrenchCanadian fur trader, is hired as an interpreter. sto e Lak ne Hidatsa and Mandan Villages Superior Fort Mandan Mi ss Sacagawea’s skills as a guide and interpreter are invaluable as she arranges horse trades and leads them through the land of her childhood. ip p iR . sou Mis r i R iv e r N M T LOUISIANA PURCHASE is s Lake Michigan 1800-1899 Lewis and Clark build Fort Clatsop. On March 23, 1806 the expedition begins the journey home. R. Exploration S . St. Louis Lewis and Clark set out from St. Louis on May 14, 1804. Mississippi R. SPANISH POSSESSION N 0 150 300 mi 0 241 482 km Expedition route, out and return Expedition route, westward only Lewis’ return route Sacagawea’s return route Modern-day political border Gulf of Mexico Map of the Lewis and Clark expedition that crossed the American West. importantly, Jefferson was convinced that the highest mountains in North America were the Blue Ridge Mountains and that an easy route to the Pacific would be found with, at most, a low and short portage. This last was among the most important of Jefferson’s mistaken ideas; easy access to the Pacific figured importantly into Jefferson’s commercial plans for the United States. Finally, Jefferson was concerned about the possibility of an imperialist, expansionist France with territories in North America. If France sought to settle the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson anticipated the need to seek an alliance with the British, a politically unpalatable prospect given the recently ended Revolutionary War. Jefferson wanted North America for the United States, not for European powers. 10 S C I E N C E A N D I T S The typical American at this time had little interest in Louisiana, except for those few who trapped for a living. The existing United States was sparsely settled at that time, so there was little population pressure to move westward, and the economy was largely agrarian, so the need for raw materials was similarly low. At that time, too, the typical American was concerned about survival; farming, avoiding attacks by Native Americans, and staying healthy. They had little time to ponder the political implications or the scientific curiosities of Louisiana. Impact The Lewis and Clark expedition had both immediate and long-term impacts on most Americans. These can be summarized as follows: T I M E S V O L U M E 5 1. This expedition was the first major organized survey of the interior of a major continent. The Spanish had similarly explored much of South America, but with an eye towards exploitation of resources and little regard for scientific or geographic knowledge. The interiors of Africa, Asia, and Australia were still largely unknown to Western civilization. 2. The findings of this expedition encouraged the rapid settlement of the Louisiana Territory by farmers and trappers. This, in turn, was a step on the path towards the American concept of a “Manifest Destiny” to fill and rule most of the North American continent. 3. Lewis and Clark’s positive and negative contacts with Native American tribes helped set the stage for conflicts to come. They alienated some powerful tribes, befriended others, made arbitrary decisions regarding official dealings with others, and encouraged settlers to move into tribal lands. 4. They ruled out the possibility of rapid and easy travel to the Pacific, confirming that cross-continental travel would be, for some time, long and risky. This, in turn, meant that communication and trade across the expanding United States would become increasingly cumbersome until improved travel and communications (unforeseen in Lewis and Clark’s day) were invented. The Lewis and Clark expedition was launched for political, strategic, scientific, and commercial aims. This made it unlike most other major exploration efforts. The Spanish in South America sought riches and converts to Christianity. The British around the world sought commerce, raw materials, and strategic advantage, as did the Dutch. Some voyages had been previously launched for scientific gain, but these tended to ignore nonscientific aims. The Corps of Discovery was virtually unique in attempting so much and succeeding so well in virtually all areas. This success also helped to vindicate Jefferson’s purchase of the Louisiana Territory as well as his insistence on launching the expedition. In addition, the knowledge returned by the expedition helped to bring the continental interior into better focus, replacing many myths with hard-earned fact. Upon their return, the members of the Corps of Discovery lost little time in publishing memoirs, giving public lectures, and talking about the rich lands and plentiful herds they had seen. Lewis presented his specimens, jourS C I E N C E A N D I T S nals, and scientific discoveries to the government and to the leading intellectuals of the day, winning great acclaim. All of this encouraged settlers to continue pushing westward, even though lands in the existing states could support far greater populations than they then had. Less than 20 years after their return, sailing ships were making regular voyages around South America to trade with the West Coast. Forty years after their return, gold was discovered in California, launching the California Gold Rush. These events would have occurred with or without Lewis and Clark, but their reports likely accelerated the settling of the American West with all of the good and bad that accompanied the process. Exploration 1800-1899 Another long lasting impact made by the Corps of Discovery was in the area of relations with the Native American tribes west of the Mississippi. Jefferson was deeply interested in establishing political and trade relations with these tribes for strategic advantage over the French and British, as well as for economic gain for the United States. Unfortunately, Lewis (who took the lead in most of the interactions with Native Americans) was condescending, treating many of the people with whom he dealt as children. This engendered resentment and animosity among some tribes, a few of which attacked the expedition at various times. At other times, the behavior of the men towards the natives they encountered was less than exemplary, causing further problems. Finally, Lewis was instructed to encourage tribal leaders to visit Jefferson in Washington and succeeded in persuading several to do so. Unfortunately, some of these men died during their travels and others were treated poorly when they arrived. These negative experiences, along with the American government’s tendency to make and break treaties, caused many problems over the next century. The final major impact made by the Corps of Discovery was to lay to rest the hope of an easy passage between oceans. Jefferson was certain that an easy path existed for travel across the North American continent. He had no idea that the Rocky Mountains were as high or as rugged as they turned out to be, just as he was sure that a short and easy canoe portage would suffice to take one from the headwaters of the Missouri River across the Continental Divide to the headwaters of the Columbia River. In this, he was mistaken, as were many of the day’s top thinkers. Lewis and Clark showed that any travel across North America was going to be long, T I M E S V O L U M E 5 11 Exploration 1800-1899 difficult, and risky for many years to come. In effect, their explorations helped to make North America a larger place. Although the expedition was ostensibly sent to explore the Louisiana Purchase and to try to find an easy route to the Pacific, Lewis and Clark were also instructed to explore as far north as possible while remaining within the Missouri River drainage basin. The Louisiana Territory extended throughout this drainage basin and Jefferson, as well as many in Congress, hoped that a major tributary would be found that ran primarily to the north, giving the United States a valid claim to much of Canada. Needless to say, such a river was not found and the national boundary was eventually fixed at its current location. However, the Corps’ explorations beyond the Missouri River basin and into the Columbia River basin were clearly beyond the boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase and, therefore, outside the borders of the United States. Although they could not justify a northward extension of U.S. territory, they did help to extend the country’s borders west to the Pacific. P. ANDREW KARAM Further Reading Ambrose, Stephen E. Lewis & Clark: Voyage of Discovery. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 1998. Ambrose, Stephen E. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. Moulton, Gary, ed. The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1988. Zebulon Pike and the Conquest of the Southwestern United States Overview In late October 1806, Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779-1813) led an expedition that professed its main goal as mapping the Arkansas and Red Rivers. In reality Pike’s explorations may have been designed to gauge the military strength of a potential enemy, Spain, and possibly even provoke an international incident which would lead to war. Nonetheless his journey, although fraught with error and controversy, proved to be influential on the development and conquest of the region and had an impact on settlement patterns throughout the western United States in the eighteenth century. 12 wasted little time in selling the land to the United States to raise money to finance his campaigns in Europe. Background The rest of what is now the southwestern United States remained in Spanish hands. This includes present-day Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and California. The Spanish prohibited American traders from operating in the areas under their control, as they were extremely wary of the United States Government’s designs on the region. Even after the large acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase territories, many in the United States government coveted the rest of the Spanish lands. Not the least of these was the United States Army’s ranking officer at the time, and Governor of Upper Louisiana, General James Wilkinson. The United States in 1806 was a growing country. Just three years previous in 1803 the country had secured the Louisiana Purchase, one of the largest land deals in western history, from France. That same year President Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) to make a survey of the newly acquired land. Before this time, most of what is currently the western United States belonged to Spain. After Spain ceded large parts of the territory to Napoleon, the French leader Pike may have been the commander of the 1806-1807 expedition, but General Wilkinson was the mastermind. Wilkinson was a complex character at best and a traitor at worst. Wilkinson had been in the pay of the Spanish government for years, referred to as Number 13 in Spanish diplomatic correspondence, not for political or ideological reasons, but simply as a means to supplement his lifestyle. At one time he received $12,000 by supplying fake invasion plans of the southwest to the Spanish. Pike’s S C I E N C E A N D I T S T I M E S V O L U M E 5 expedition probably was a key element in one of Wilkinson’s biggest plots. One of Wilkinson’s partners in this scheme was then Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr. Burr and Wilkinson hoped, using Pike as a willing or unwilling dupe, to instigate a war with Spain. Then he and Burr would lead an army of their own against the Spanish with the goal of securing a piece of the area for a private empire. It is not conclusively known if Pike was aware of Wilkinson and Burr’s scheme before he began his expedition. Pike was an ambitious man and he felt that a peacetime army left him little room for advancement and fame. Upon seeing the accolades given to Lewis and Clark upon their return from their great explorations, Pike was able to secure a position as the leader of an expedition to locate the source of the Mississippi River. He failed, in that he missed the true headwaters by 25 miles (40 km), but returned to St. Louis in the spring of 1806 and by the fall had left on his trip to map the Arkansas and Red Rivers. Yet Pike admitted to Wilkinson that he had a plan for reconnoitering Spanish territory and reaching Sante Fe. He would move into Spanishcontrolled lands and when confronted by Spanish authorities claim to be lost and then offer to visit the government in Sante Fe to offer explanations and apologize. Pike could not have been considered the most experienced or the best man for the job at hand. The journal of his expedition was confiscated by the Spanish, and the notes he was able to hide from them are described as “patchy.” Many of the facts he reported were reviewed as “for the greater part very inaccurate,” and he is reputed to have stolen and copied the map he made of the area from a German mapmaker named Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859). In addition, Pike and his men suffered through an ill-advised and poorly planned winter crossing of the Rocky Mountains. Besides this they really did get lost several times. At one point Pike realized that they had been traveling in a circle for over a month. After venturing into Spanish territory, he and his party were arrested just as he had “planned” at the trip’s outset. The Spanish confiscated nearly all of Pike’s journals and notes written until that time, and what reports Pike was able to bring out after that had to be smuggled. Taken to see Spanish officials in Sante Fe, and eventually deep into present-day S C I E N C E A N D I T S Mexico, Pike returned nine months after he left, on what he had foreseen as a four-month’s travel, to a nationwide scandal. Burr and Wilkinson’s scandal broke and the results of this severely tainted Pike’s expedition. It turned out that Wilkinson had no authority to even order such a mission and Burr was brought to trial over the plot. Burr was eventually acquitted. Pike, for his part, refused to say anything bad about Wilkinson and even wrote passionate pleas in the General’s defense. Wilkinson was able to save his own career by trying to pin everything on Burr and in the end it is Pike, and what positive work his expedition accomplished, that suffered the most as the result of Wilkinson’s machinations. Exploration 1800-1899 Pike died, in the Battle of York, (now Toronto) Canada, during the war of 1812. Impact Pike’s expedition directly led to the conquest and settlement of the Spanish, and later Mexican, lands of the Southwest by the United States. By 1846 war did finally come to the area but it was not between the United States and Spain, as Mexico had won independence from the Spanish in 1821. This was the war Wilkinson, Burr, and possibly Pike had wished to start in 1806. The end result was a treaty in which the United States was “sold” New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and California. In addition Texas seceded from Mexico and joined the United States. This annexation of the lands, of which Pike was the first American to explore, served to ultimately drive any European influence from what is now the continental United States. If Spain and/or Mexico had kept possession of this region, the balance of power in the western hemisphere would have evolved down a much different path. While it is highly likely that this “purchase” of the Southwest would have occurred even if Pike had never set foot on his travels through the area, his journey also served to publicize this part of the country and brought it to the forefront of the national scene. Later expeditions, notably those of S