The 1860s were an extremely turbulent decade with numerous cultural, social, and political upheavals in Europe and America. Revolutions were prevalent in Germany and the Ottoman Empire. The abolition of slavery in America led to the breakdown of the Atlantic Slave Trade, which was already suffering from the abolition of slavery in most of Europe in the late 1820s and ’30s. In America, civil war between the Confederacy of the South and the Northern states led to massive deaths and the destruction of cities such as Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Richmond, Virginia and Atlanta, Georgia. Sherman's March to the Sea was one of the first times America experienced total war, and advancements in military technology, such as iron and steel warships, and the development and initial deployment of early machine guns added to the destruction. After the Civil War, turmoil continued in Reconstruction, with the rise of white supremacist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and the issue of granting Civil Rights to freed blacks.

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  • The Victorian era and its culture largely thrived from 1860 until 1901.
  • The culture of the Victorian era comes to America and remains in place until around the turn of the 20th century, where the year it ends is disputed as to whether it ended with the rise of progressivism in 1896 or with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901.

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