Would you like to have lived in the 19th century?

NBF fan

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I know most of us wonder what it would have been like if we were to have lived in the 19th century, especially during the Civil War era. Due to continued medical advancement, some might say it is a more desirable time to live now, but I think there are pros and cons to both time periods. Would you like to have lived in the 19th century? What would you like to have witnessed, or who is a person you would like to have met?
 
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GwilymT

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Pittsburgh
Call me crazy, but I would definitely choose the 19th century over any other to live in. While medicine and stuff wasn't as advanced as it is today, I don't have to worry about nuclear bombs, viruses, or anything like we do now. To mention there weren't any conspiracy theorists back then.
Oh there were viruses, you’d just have to face them without the modern miracles of treatments and vaccines.
 

GwilymT

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There is a phenomenon called ¨museum effect.¨ We tour museums, historic houses and recreated villages which are tidy and well-ordered and the illusion is passed along that the past was tidy and well-ordered. Until very recently, village museums like Colonial Williamsburg also highlighted the lives of fairly wealthy people, which passed on the illusion that the way they lived then was somewhat comparable to modern middle-class life. I think the past was a lot dirtier, and especially smellier than we can imagine. I think the past smelled bad. Thomas Hobbes´ famous words to describe it were ¨poor, nasty, brutish and short.¨
I think this happens to our perception of the war as well through re-enactments & film. Not knocking either but when you go to a re-enactment or see a CW film you are treated to well fed and medically cared for adults. Certainly MUCH different than the fit, lean, hardscrabble teens and twenty somethings who had likely only seen a doctor or dentist a handful of times in their life if at all and had spent the past year or so (not long weekend) walking ten plus miles a day on poor nutrition and sleeping outside. It’s impossible to replicate to get a true sense of what it was really like.
 
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Grant's Tomb

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Oh there were viruses, you’d just have to face them without the modern miracles of treatments and vaccines.
They must have exhibits showing how the surgeons did amputations without anesthetics and not washing their hands, cleaning their instruments or even changing the bandages so that the wounds would not get infected at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, MD
 

Grant's Tomb

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There's a book called the Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck who wrote about his experience traveling on the 2,000 mile length of the trail in a covered wagon with a team of mules. He's coming out with a similar book next year Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American voyage in which he built an authentic wooden flatboat from the early 1800s and pilots it down the river, illuminating the forgotten past of the river and its grand "flatboat era".
 

LondonLincoln

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I know most of us wonder what it would have been like if we were to have lived in the 19th century, especially during the Civil War era. Due to continued medical advancement, some might say it is a more desirable time to live now, but I think there are pros and cons to both time periods. Would you like to have lived in the 19th century? What would you like to have witnessed, or who is a person you would like to have met?
The sensible answer is no BUT part of me would love to of been alive back than the reality obviously is completely different to the romanticised version in my head but still I'd like to of witnessed life in 1860s America first hand
As for who I'd of loved to if net Lincoln of course
 

FedericoFCavada

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San Antonio, Texas
One of those things... Life had some extraordinarily rough and sharp edges in the 19th century, but that's no less true today for a very great many people... So am I a potato farmer someplace, or a slave, or a denizen of Hell's Kitchen, or a lame cripple reduced to begging, or am I a merchant sailor on a swift sailer or a steam packet? Or some potentate or tycoon? Risk of injury and diseases and lack of adequate treatment, all true, granted, but then again none of us is going to make it out of this technological and medical miracle-era alive either...
 

Lubliner

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One of those things... Life had some extraordinarily rough and sharp edges in the 19th century, but that's no less true today for a very great many people... So am I a potato farmer someplace, or a slave, or a denizen of Hell's Kitchen, or a lame cripple reduced to begging, or am I a merchant sailor on a swift sailer or a steam packet? Or some potentate or tycoon? Risk of injury and diseases and lack of adequate treatment, all true, granted, but then again none of us is going to make it out of this technological and medical miracle-era alive either...
For men it is an easier answer, but returning to the idea of suffrage, and the rights to vote, many of our peers may not be so enlightened by it.
Lubliner.
 
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More tolerable if you have previously consumed C-Rats and MREs in the field. Food takes on the role as subsistence vs delicacy.
I mentioned MREs to a former Col who sings in my choir and he gave me several different ones to try. They are indeed quite palatable. They would be a million times better than rotten meat commonly eaten prior to refrigeration. I again say no.
 

Lost Cause

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Sep 19, 2014
I mentioned MREs to a former Col who sings in my choir and he gave me several different ones to try. They are indeed quite palatable. They would be a million times better than rotten meat commonly eaten prior to refrigeration. I again say no.
You likely had modern ones which are indeed a delicacy compared to the originals from years ago.
 

7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
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Nov 21, 2014
I mentioned MREs to a former Col who sings in my choir and he gave me several different ones to try. They are indeed quite palatable. They would be a million times better than rotten meat commonly eaten prior to refrigeration. I again say no.
C Rats ere terrible, but those first generation MREs... :sick: All I need to say is ¨dehydrated beef patty.¨ Or¨beef stew.¨:sick:
 

GwilymT

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Pittsburgh
Let me see now, 19th century life, no political correctness or identity politics, no Twitter, Facebook or idiots on TikTok, no health and safety just good old fashioned common sense…yep suits me fine, where do I sign up.
What if you weren’t white? It’d be mighty harder to be an African American in the 19th century, without any political correctness and all. Those “good old days” weren’t good for everyone.
 

FedericoFCavada

First Sergeant
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San Antonio, Texas
What if you weren’t white? It’d be mighty harder to be an African American in the 19th century, without any political correctness and all. Those “good old days” weren’t good for everyone.
Perhaps it is needlessly provocative to add that there really was rather a lot of "political correctness" in the "good ol' days" and after...
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
just good old fashioned common sense
I suspect that "good old fashioned common sense" wasn't very common. Wasn't it in Through the Looking Glass that the White Queen said that she could believe six impossible things before breakfast? And that was 1871. Look at all the silly things that people have believed through the ages--like that doomsday group (can't think of name) who believed that the world was coming to an end on some specific 19th Century date (they disposed of their possessions and climbed onto rooftops to await The End; and didn't they feel foolish when morning came and they were still here?).
 

GwilymT

Sergeant Major
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Location
Pittsburgh
Perhaps it is needlessly provocative to add that there really was rather a lot of "political correctness" in the "good ol' days" and after...
Not really as “no political correctness or identity politics” was given as a reason for wanting to go back to the 19th century. I read that as a preference for a time when folks could be openly racist or sexist without consequences and minorities had no voice in politics. Pointing out that those preferred days weren’t good for everyone isn’t provocative, it’s true.

I’d add it!
 
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