Famous Men and Great Events of the Nineteenth Century by Charles Morris
It is the story of a hundred years that we propose to give; the record of the noblest and most marvelous century in the annals of mankind. Standing here, at the dawn of the Twentieth Century, as at the summit of a lofty peak of time, we may gaze far backward over the road we have traversed, losing sight of its minor incidents, but seeing its great events loom up in startling prominence before our eyes; heedless of its thronging millions, but proud of those mighty men who have made the history of the age and rise like giants above the common throng. History is made up of the deeds of great men and the movements of grand events, and there is no better or clearer way to tell the marvelous story of the Nineteenth Century than to put upon record the deeds of its heroes and to describe the events and achievements in which reside the true history of the age. First of all, in this review, it is important to show in what the greatness of the century consists, to contrast its beginning and its ending, and point out the stages of the magnificent progress it has made. It is one thing to declare that the Nineteenth has been the greatest and most glorious of the centuries; it is another and more arduous task to trace the development of this greatness and the culmination of this career of glory. This it is that we shall endeavor to do in the pages of this work. All of us have lived in the century here described, many of us through a great part of it, some of us, possibly, through the whole of it. It is in the fullest sense our own century, one of which we have a just right to feel proud, and in whose career all of us must take a deep and vital interest.