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1890 1891 1892 1893 1894
| Decades: |
1870s 1880s - 1890s - 1900s 1910s
| 19th century|
The 1890s were sometimes referred to as the "Gay Nineties" which referred to the merriment and frivolity of the decade. The phrase, "The Gay Nineties," was not coined until 1926. This decade was also part of the Gilded Age, a phrase coined by Mark Twain, alluding to an era of prosperity also riddled with crime. However in America, the 1890s were marked by a severe economic depression sparked by the Panic of 1893, as well as several strikes in the industrial workforce.
Events and trends
- The Panic of 1893 set off a widespread economic depression in the United States that lasts until 1896. This led to a realigning election in 1896 where the Republican Party took control of the White House. It interrupted the prosperity of the previous decade, and prosperity would not return until 1899.
- 1896: Gold was discovered in the Klondike; this caused a massive movement of people, goods and money to the new town of Dawson City, in the far northwestern corner of Canada; ultimately, cities such as Fairbanks, Alaska and Anchorage, Alaska, along with the Alaska Railroad, would be founded in later years as people continued to enter the interiors of Alaska and the Yukon Territory.
- Commercial production of automobiles began and was at an early stage.
- Lawrence Hargrave makes first stable wing design for heavier-than-air craft.
- Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity.
- X-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Röntgen.
- 1894: Argon was discovered by Lord Rayleigh and William Ramsay.
- 1895: Helium was discovered to exist on the Earth by William Ramsay, 27 years after first being detected spectrographically on the Sun in 1868.
- 1896: One year after helium's terrestrial discovery, neon, krypton, and xenon were discovered by William Ramsay and Morris Travers.
- 1897: Social scientist Émile Durkheim published his research in a book, Suicide.
War, peace and politics
- 1896 Republican Realignment
- Second Boer War
- First Franco-Dahomean War
- Second Franco-Dahomean War
- First Sino-Japanese War
- Spanish-American War
- The New Imperialism
- Motion pictures
- Ragtime music
- Settlement movement based on Jane Addams' Hull House in Chicago.
- For the first time in history, a coronation is filmed. The coronation is of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
- Hale Johnson was a major leader of the temperance movement.
- Department of Scientific Temperance Instruction, under Mary Hunt, achieved de facto control over all alcohol education in the USA.
- Appearance of Art Nouveau style
- Dreyfus Affair in France.
Literature and arts
- Kate Chopin published The Awakening
- Oscar Wilde published The Picture of Dorian Gray.
- Thomas Hardy published Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman published The Yellow Wallpaper
- Anton Chekhov published Uncle Vanya.
- A. E. Housman published A Shropshire Lad.
- Rudyard Kipling published Barrack-Room Ballads.
- H. G. Wells published The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and The War of the Worlds.
- Bram Stoker published Dracula.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published the first Sherlock Holmes in Strand Magazine.
- Joseph Conrad published Heart of Darkness.
- Frank Wedekind releases Spring Awakening in 1891.
- Prime Minister John Sparrow David Thompson (Canada)
- Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier (Canada)
- Emperor Franz Josef (Austria-Hungary)
- Kaiser Wilhelm II (German Empire)
- Chancellor Leo von Caprivi (German Empire)
- King Umberto I (Italy)
- Pope Leo XIII
- President Porfirio Díaz (Mexico)
- Czar Alexander III (Russia)
- Czar Nicholas II (Russia)
- Queen Victoria (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland)
- Prime Minister Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland)
- Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland)
- Prime Minister Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland)
- President Benjamin Harrison (United States)
- President Grover Cleveland (United States)
- President William McKinley (United States)
- Shahs of Persia (Qajar dynasty)