The Harvey Years
William IV, successor to George IV as the British monarch, died in June 1837, having reigned for 7 years. Victoria, the daughter of the Duke of Kent, William's younger brother, was the next in royal succession and therefore became Queen.
A serious upheaval in Europe in 1848 toppled some governments but no international conflicts followed. Franz Josef II became the Austrian Emperor and was to reign for a record 68 years.
Samuel Morse demonstrated the first practical telegraph in 1844, which revolutionized the speed of communication. For the first time in history, information could be instantly transmitted over great distances. However, compared to present-day information transfers, the telegraph was very labour intensive.