The 1820s (pronounced "eighteen-twenties") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1820, and ended on December 31, 1829.
It saw the rise of the First Industrial Revolution. Photography, rail transport, and the textile industry were among those that largely developed and grew prominent over the decade, as technology advanced significantly. European colonialism began gaining ground in Africa and Asia, and trade with the Qing Dynasty began to open up more towards foreign traders, particularly those from Europe. As European imperialism gained momentum, opposition from affected/exploited societies resulted, with wars such as the Java War and the Greek War of Independence. Resistance in the form of separatism and nationalism (particularly in the Spanish American wars of independence) led to the independence of many countries around the world, such as Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia.
See also: List of sovereign states in the 1820s
The Greek War of Independence and the Russo-Turkish War were two of the decade's more important conflicts. Meanwhile, colonialism in Africa had just begun to accelerate, and global trade between Asian powers (e.g. the Qing Dynasty) with European powers (mainly the British and French empires) increased substantially. In South America, states such as Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil gained independence from the Spanish Empire and Portuguese Empire.
Main article: Dutch East Indies
Main article: Java War
The Java War (also known as the "Diponegoro War") was fought in Java between 1825 and 1830. It started as a rebellion led by Prince Diponegoro after the Dutch decided to build a road across a piece of his property that contained his parents' tomb.
The troops of Prince Diponegoro were very successful in the beginning, controlling the middle of Java and besieging Yogyakarta. Furthermore, the Javanese population was supportive of Prince Diponegoro's cause, whereas the Dutch colonial authorities were initially very indecisive. As the Java war prolonged, Prince Diponegoro had difficulties in maintaining the numbers of his troops. Prince Diponegoro started a fierce guerrilla war and it was not until 1827 that the Dutch army gained the upper hand. The Dutch colonial army was able to fill its ranks with troops from Sulawesi, and later on from the Netherlands.
The rebellion finally ended in 1830, after Prince Diponegoro was tricked into entering Dutch custody near Magelang, believing he was there for negotiations for a possible cease-fire. It is estimated that 200,000 died over the course of the conflict, 8,000 being Dutch.
Main article: British Malaya
Main article: Nguyen dynasty
Main article: History of Laos to 1945
Main article: Konbaung dynasty
Main article: Rattanakosin Kingdom
At the start of the decade, most of Greece was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, as it had been since 1453, despite frequent revolts. In early 1821, a secret organization called the Filiki Eteria instigated several battles that, together with the blessing of a Greek flag and proclamation of uprising by Bishop Germanos of Patras on March 25, marked the beginning of the revolution. The uprising successfully established a foothold in the Peloponnese, seizing Tripolitsa in September 1821, and had some success in Crete, Macedonia and Central Greece.
Between 1821 and 1824, first and second national assemblies were held, and the constitutions of 1822 and of 1823 were established. However, revolutionary activity was fragmented, resulting in the civil wars of 1824–1825. The Greek side withstood the Turkish attacks because, during this period, the Ottoman military campaigns were periodic and uncoordinated.
That changed when the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II negotiated with Mehmet Ali of Egypt, who agreed to send his son Ibrahim Pasha to Greece with an army to suppress the revolt in return for territorial gain. Ibrahim landed in the Peloponnese in February 1825 and secured most of the peninsula by the end of 1825. He then helped break the siege of Missolonghi. Although Ibrahim was defeated in Mani, he had succeeded in suppressing most of the revolt in the Peloponnese and Athens had been retaken.
Following years of negotiation, three Great Powers, Russia, the United Kingdom and France had come to agree to the formation of an autonomous Greek state under Ottoman suzerainty, as stipulated in the Treaty of London. Ottoman refusal to accept these terms led to the Battle of Navarino, which effectively secured complete Greek independence. That year, the Third National Assembly at Troezen established the First Hellenic Republic. With the help of a French expeditionary force, the Greeks drove the Turks out of the Peloponnese and proceeded to the captured part of Central Greece by 1828. As a result of years of negotiation, Greece was finally recognized as an independent nation in May 1832.
In the 1820s, the British government was formally headed by King George IV, but in practice, was led by his prime ministers Lord Liverpool (1812–1827), George Canning (1827), Lord Goderich (1827–1828), and Duke of Wellington (1828–1830). This decade was largely peaceful for Britain, with some foreign intervention. The British supported the Portuguese liberals in the Liberal Wars, and supported Greek rebels in the war for independence. During this time, London became the largest city of the world, taking the lead from Beijing.
Domestic tensions ran high at the start of the decade, with the Peterloo Massacre (1819), the Cato Street Conspiracy (1820), and the Radical War (1820) in Scotland. However, by the end of the 1820s, many repressive laws were repealed. In 1822, Britain repealed the death penalty for over 100 crimes, and punishments such as drawing and quartering and flagellation fell out of use. Seditious Meetings prevention Act (barring large assemblies) and the Combination Act (banning trade unions) were repealed in 1824. The Catholic Relief Act by Parliament of the United Kingdom granted a substantial measure of Catholic Emancipation in Britain and Ireland.
At the beginning of the 1820s, the United States stretched from the Atlantic Ocean through to (roughly) the western edge of the Mississippi basin, though Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and all present-day states fully west of the Mississippi had yet to be granted statehood. Two states were admitted to the union during this decade: Maine in 1820 and Missouri in 1821. The Adams–Onís Treaty, signed in 1819 and ratified by Spain in 1821, ceded Florida to the United States, and established a boundary between New Spain and the United States.
Slavery was widespread throughout the southern United States. According to the 1820 U.S. Census, the slave population at that time was 1,538,000. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30′ north except within the boundaries of the proposed state of Missouri. By the 1830 U.S. Census, the slave population had risen to 2,009,043. With the coordination of the American Colonization Society, many freed African-Americans repatriated to Africa during this decade to the newly formed colony of Liberia.
The political mood at the start of the 1820s was referred to as the Era of Good Feelings, following the collapse of the Federalist party. James Monroe, the sitting U.S president since 1817, was re-elected in 1820, virtually unopposed. In 1823, Monroe introduced the Monroe Doctrine in the State of the Union Address, declaring that any European attempts to recolonize the Americas would be considered a hostile act towards the United States.
The feeling of unity during the Monroe administration was dispelled in the presidential election of 1824, which due to an Electoral College stalemate, was decided in the United States House of Representatives. John Quincy Adams was chosen as the sixth U.S. president, despite receiving only 30.9% of the popular vote to Andrew Jackson's 41.3%. This gave rise to Jacksonian Nationalism and the rise of the modern Democratic Party, with Andrew Jackson elected in the 1828 election.
After ten years of civil war in Mexico (then called the "Viceroyalty of New Spain") and the death of two of its founders, by early 1820 the Mexican independence movement was stalemated and close to collapse. However, the Army of the Three Guarantees was formed under the command of Colonel Agustín de Iturbide with the support of patriots and loyalists to secure independence for Mexico and the protection of Roman Catholicism. Iturbide's army was joined by rebel forces from all over Mexico, and quickly gained control of Mexico. On August 24, 1821, representatives of the Spanish crown and Iturbide signed the Treaty of Córdoba, which recognized the Mexican Empire under the terms of the Plan of Iguala.
On September 27 the Army of the Three Guarantees entered Mexico City, and the following day Iturbide proclaimed the independence of the Mexican Empire. The newly formed Mexican congress eventually declared Iturbide emperor of Mexico on May 19, 1822. Later that year, Iturbide dissolved Congress and replaced it with a sympathetic junta. However, on March 19, 1823 Iturbide abdicated.
The First Federal Republic was established on October 4, 1824. In the new constitution, the republic took the name of United Mexican States, and was defined as a representative federal republic, with Catholicism as the official and unique religion. Guadalupe Victoria was the first President of Mexico from 1824 until 1829.
After Manuel Gómez Pedraza won the election to succeed Victoria, Vicente Guerrero staged a coup d'état and took the presidency on April 1, 1829. Guerrero was deposed in a rebellion under Vice-President Anastasio Bustamante in December 1829.
Main article: 1820s in fashion
During the 1820s in European and European-influenced countries, fashionable women's clothing styles transitioned away from the classically influenced "Empire"/"Regency" styles of ca. 1795–1820 (with their relatively unconfining empire silhouette) and re-adopted elements that had been characteristic of most of the 18th century (and were to be characteristic of the remainder of the 19th century), such as full skirts and clearly visible corseting of the natural waist.
The silhouette of men's fashion changed in similar ways: by the mid-1820s coats featured broad shoulders with puffed sleeves, a narrow waist, and full skirts. Trousers were worn for smart day wear, while breeches continued in use at court and in the country.
The Greek revolt was precipitated on March 25 (April 6 in Gregorian Calendar), 1821, when Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the flag of revolution over the Monastery of Agia Lavra in the Peloponnese. The cry "Freedom or Death" became the motto of the revolution. The Greeks experienced early successes on the battlefield, including the capture of Athens in June 1822, but infighting ensued.
On 25 March, Germanos gave the revolution its great symbol when he raised a banner with the cross on it at the monastery of Ayia Lavra.
The Greek uprising and the church. Bishop Germanos of old Patras blesses the Greek banner at the outset of the national revolt against the Turks on 25 March 1821. The solemnity of the scene was enhanced two decades later in this painting by T. Vryzakis….The fact that one of the Greek bishops, Germanos of Old Patras, had enthusiastically blessed the Greek uprising at the onset (25 March 1821) and had thereby helped to unleash a holy war, was not to gain the church a satisfactory, let alone a dominant, role in the new order of things.