American Vaudeville Museum

All material 1998-2011 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc. Page 2

Looking at the Audience

History I

You can pick the date, but somewhere in time between 1780 and 1820, Europe and the United States opened the door to the modern era. Several wars waged during that period jump-started the Industrial Revolution, and the political revolutions in American Colonies and France preached that all men were equal, even if this concept took longer to get into practice and include more than white guys with property. Still, there is nothing like a successful revolution to demonstrate that the divine right of kings could be displaced by those playing the equality card.

A lot happened in this period that was important to the growth of the USA. England finally defeated Napoleon after a quarter of a century of conflict, and in turn the young United States finally completed its effort to throw off English claims when the War of 1812 was called a draw. Six years later, Spain lost most of its colonies in Central and South America. Not only had the young nations of the Americas proved they were here to stay, but for the first time in 50 years the Atlantic Ocean was not a battleground. By 1820 Europeans could come to America in ships made bigger, faster and safer through forty years of improvements in naval warfare.