Ancestry: History: Modern: People:


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There are a number of great people from the Modern Era. You have to keep in mind that the Modern Era started in 1800 and ended in 1900 which is not to be confused with the concept of Modern Architecture which runs from 1900 till 2000.

The first Modern Era person on our list of recognition is that of William Gilbert Grace who was an English cricket player who was born in 1848 and passed on in 1915. While the United States’ baseball was growing in popularity, it was W.G. Grace who was giving cricket a name among sports to watch.

Many people consider W.G. Grace as the man who transformed cricket into an English institution. With a cricket career that lasted 44 years and although his lifetime batting average was only 39.45, those who keep track of the game know this is attributed to the fact that he continued to play cricket well into his fifties. In 1870 when he was considered at his peak, William Gilbert Grace pulled averages that ranged between 60 and 70.

An important figure of the Modern Era in her own right who was known as "The Lady with the Lamp”; was none other than Florence Nightingale. Born to an upper-class family, Florence Nightingale was named after the city from which she was born, Florence, Italy.

Florence Nightingale was known for her work in caring for the poor as well as indigent people of her times. She was also known for her work in increasing medical care in various infirmaries after she had heard about the death of a pauper in an infirmary at his work. After this she became an advocate for the Poor Law Board and assisted in not only the treatment of the poor, but also in improving the conditions and laws of the time for medical treatment of the poor.

Her most famous acts were what she did during the Crimean War. Hearing horror stories of the medical treatment of the British soldiers stationed in Turkey, Florence Nightingale along with 38 nurses that she had personally trained were sent to the Turkey base camp just 545 kilometres from the war to help treat the wounded and ill-treated soldiers.

Along the same lines as Florence Nightingale, John Snow was the British physician who led the world in the adopted usage of an anaesthetic during a procedure as well as the proper hygiene needed to be maintained during a procedure as a means of preventing complications. Mr. Snow was also considered to be one of the first epidemiologists due to his work in the tracing of the cholera outbreak’s origin to a Soho hand pump.

His work in anaesthetics was in the studies and calculations associated with the use of both ether as well as chloroform as a proper anaesthetic. His most famous work with anaesthesia was when he had personally administered the anaesthetic chloroform to the Queen herself during both of her last two pregnancies and by 1858 he had basically written the book on anaesthetics which was entitled, “On Chloroform and Other Anaesthetics, and Their Action and Administration”.

Queen Victoria, who was born as Alexandrina Victoria in 1819, was the Queen of  England the later half of the Modern Era during the time which was dubbed as the Victorian Era. She has also been noted as having the longest reign which lasted more than 63 years. By the time that Queen Victoria took the throne, England was already considered to be a constitutional monarchy which basically meant that she held only a few political powers and was considered to be more or less an iconic figure representing a rich history of monarchy powers that led the English to become a world power.

Although she was the Queen, she also led the many legal reforms that would turn the government into a modern constitutional monarchy which would basically relieve the monarchy of all rights other than that of, “the right to be consulted, the right to advise, and the right to warn” which left the future monarchs as more of a symbolic position over anything else. She also further led to emphasise on moral and family values over that of which the previous monarchs were known for.

About the time that Queen Victoria took the throne in England, William Wilberforce was close to ending his long political career. William Wilberforce was a politician in Great Britain as well as both a philanthropist as one of the leaders in the abolishment of the slave trade throughout the English colonies. He was also known for his work as a member of the Parliament in which he represented his home of Yorkshire.

His biggest goals in politics were the championing of moral, religious and educational causes. During his term he successfully led causes like the introduction of Christianity in India as well as the founding of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). By the time he left Parliament due to his failing health he had also led the way to the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 which had abolished the use of slaves throughout all of the British Empire and playing special emphasis on the various colonies of which slaves were used more commonly than others.

From Scotland to America, the industrialist known as Andrew Carnegie immigrated as a child along with his parents to the new world. By the time he was old enough to start his own business he was already working on the Carnegie Steel Company located in Pittsburgh which he would later merge with the Federal Steel Company as well as many others to create what is now known as U.S. Steel.

As his money continued to increase he began to turn to other ideals like philanthropy which in turn led him to found the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Mellon University as well as Carnegie Endowment. Starting off in the telegraph business, Andrew Carnegie would later give away much of his fortune in creating a fund which was used for the establishment of various schools, libraries, universities as well as museums not only in America but also in the United Kingdom as well as many other countries.

Everyone of course has heard the coined phrase, “Dr Livingstone, I presume?", well that phrase comes from none other than that of David Livingstone who was a Scottish Congregationalist who was known for his pioneering work in running medical missionaries through the London Missionary Society to areas all over the African jungles. He was also the first person from Europe to see what was known at the time as Mosi-oa-Tunya in which he named Victoria Falls in recognition of Queen Victoria.

He was not only known for his missionary work but also for his obsession with finding the sources of the Nile River which eventually led to his disappearance as well as death but not before he made a number of important contributions to the Central African Christian Missionaries.

There were many other well known people of the Modern Era due to its important role in the advancements of science, medicine, technology and more. People of the Modern Era were considered to be well educated thanks to many of the reforms in education and healthier thanks to the advancement in science and medicine. All of these advancements are what have led to the way we live today and the many things that are commonplace to us which we would “not be able to live without.”

Original Authors: Nick (Globel Team)
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 22/07/2008

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