The Year Was 1901

Queen Victoria.jpgThe year was 1901 and it marked the end of the Victorian Era. On 22 January, Queen Victoria died at the age of eighty-one after ruling the United Kingdom for sixty-four years–the longest reign in British history. Her reign is largely remembered as a period of economic and imperial expansion, although her popularity wavered at times.

The 1901 Census for England was taken on the night of 31 March 1901. Enumeration forms were distributed to all households a couple of days before census night and were to reflect the individual’s status as of 31 March 1901 for all individuals who had spent the night in the house. The following information was requested: name of street, avenue road, etc.; house number or name; whether or not the house was inhabited; number of rooms occupied if less than five; name of each person that had spent the night; relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family; each person’s marital status; age at last birthday (sex is indicated by which column the age is recorded in); each person’s occupation; whether they are employer or employee or neither; person’s place of birth; whether deaf, dumb, blind, or lunatic. (This census is available to Ancestry members with a UK or World Deluxe membership.)

The year had begun with the birth of the Commonwealth of Australia as the British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia were united. The occasion was celebrated widely throughout the continent with parades and pageantry.

In the U.S., William McKinley began his second term as president of the United States. His term ended tragically and abruptly when he was shot in September 1901 by anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, at the Pan-American Exposition.

He was succeeded by his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt, who became the youngest president in U.S. history. During his terms as president, Roosevelt earned a reputation as a “trust buster,” who used the Sherman Antitrust Act to dissolve a large railroad monopoly. He also began work on the Panama Canal, fought for conservation of our natural resources, and won a Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War.

Roosevelt’s invitation to Booker T. Washington, president of the Tuskegee Institute, to dine at the White House angered many in 1901. The Atlanta Constitution reported on 18 October 1901 that, “There is a feeling of indignation among Southern men, generally, that the president should, in the face of his declaration of friendliness toward the people of the south, take this early opportunity to show such a marked courtesy and distinction to a negro.” 

One thought on “The Year Was 1901

  1. The item concerning Theodore Roosevelt inviting Booker T. Washington to dinner gives emphasis to how far we have moved in race relations, even though we have a ways to go yet.

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