I did some Wikipedia-ing for you, which makes this post the digest of the digest. The really lo-fi version of the 1870s, condensed. Here’s what happened in the 1870s:
-The French fought the Prussians, the British fought the Zulu Kingdom, Spain fought Carlist insurgents, and the Ottoman Empire fought basically everyone. Chill the flip out, 1870s!
-Africa’s only native bear went extinct.
-The Gilded Age began in America. The British Empire continued to grow.
-Along with the telephone prototype, the light bulb, and phonograph (big whoop, right?), the whiskey sour was devised.
So, in a few words: rough times, awesome inventions.