Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
European history scholars will sometimes specifically refer to the 18th century as 1715-1789, denoting the period of time between the death of Louis XIV of France and the start of the French Revolution. In Europe, the principal nations of this period (in terms of industrial capacity) were: Austria, Britain, France, Prussia, and Russia.
The 18th Century was the period of the so-called "enlightened absolutism" and was the time when political changes began that would lead to the modern nation state. France's absolutism would generate the peasant revolts that, for the first time, would begin to shake the old ways and feudal life. The Enlightenment was in full bloom and threatened the power of theology. The rise of nations like Austria, Russia, and Prussia began to shift the balance of power away from the west and create new competition in Europe other than France, England, and Spain.
Other important aspects of the 18th century were the rise of cultural centers such as Paris and Vienna where nations could boast their power, enlightenment, and impression to the rest of Europe. Across the globe, European colonies were both being established, and, in the case of America, breaking away from their parents. In Asia, exploration and influences from Europe were beginning to shake the structures of old empires, especially India, where civil war enabled the British an to take control of the entire peninsula.
In a strictly aesthetic analysis, the 18th century is generally considered to be the beginning of Europe's artistic influence across the entire globe.
- The Classical music era
- 1701-1714: War of the Spanish Succession
- 1703: Saint Petersburg founded by Peter the Great. Russian capital until 1918.
- 1707: Act of Union passed merging the Scottish and the English Parliaments, thus establishing The Kingdom of Great Britain.
- 1715: Louis XIV dies
- 1718: City of New Orleans founded by the French in North America
- 1720: The South Sea Bubble
- 1721: Robert Walpole becomes the first Prime Minister of Great Britain (de facto).
- 1721: Treaty of Nystad signed, ending the Great Northern War.
- 1733-1738: War of the Polish Succession
- 1739: Nadir Shah defeats the Mughals and sacks Delhi.
- 1740: Frederick the Great crowned King of Prussia.
- 1740-1748: War of the Austrian Succession
- 1747: Ahmad Shah founds the Durrani Empire in modern day Afghanistan.
- 1750: peak of the Little Ice Age
- 1755: The Lisbon earthquake
- 1756-1763: Seven Years' War fought among European powers in various theaters around the world.
- 1757: Battle of Plassey signals the beginning of British rule in India.
- 1760: George III becomes King of Britain.
- 1763-1766: Pontiac's Rebellion in North America
- 1767: Burmese conquer the Ayutthaya kingdom.
- 1768-1774: Russo-Turkish War
- 1769: Spanish missionaries establish the first of 21 missions in California.
- 1772: First Partition of Poland
- 1775-1782: First Anglo-Maratha War
- 1775-1783: American Revolution
- 1779-1879: Cape Frontier Wars between British and Boer settlers and the Xhosas in South Africa
- 1785-1795: Northwest Indian War between the United States and Native Americans
- 1788: First European settlement established in Australia at Sydney.
- 1789: George Washington elected President of the United States.
- 1789-1799: The French Revolution
- 1791-1804: The Haitian Revolution
- 1792-1802: French Revolutionary Wars
- 1793: Second Partition of Poland
- 1793: Upper Canada bans slavery.
- 1795: Pinckney's Treaty between the United States and Spain grants the Mississippi Territory to the US.
- 1795: Third Partition of Poland
- 1796: Catherine the Great dies.
- 1798-1800: Quasi-War between the United States and France.
- 1799: Napoleon stages a coup d'état and becomes dictator of France.
- 1799: Dutch East India Company is dissolved.
- Benedict Arnold, considered a traitor by many people on both sides (United States and Britain) of the American Revolutionary War.
- Johann Sebastian Bach (composer)
- Catherine the Great (Russian Tsaritsa)
- James Cook (British navigator)
- Denis Diderot (French writer and philosopher)
- Leonhard Euler (mathematician)
- Benjamin Franklin (inventor and diplomat)
- Thomas Gainsborough (painter)
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German writer)
- Thomas Gray (British writer)
- Alexander Hamilton (American statesman)
- William Hogarth (painter and engraver)
- David Hume (philosopher)
- Thomas Jefferson (American politician)
- Samuel Johnson (British writer)
- Immanuel Kant (philosopher)
- Louis XIV of France (monarch)
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (composer)
- Sir Joshua Reynolds (painter)
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau (French writer and philosopher)
- Friedrich Schiller (German writer)
- Adam Smith (Scottish economist)
- Jonathan Swift (British writer)
- George Washington (General, 1st American President)
- Voltaire (French writer and philosopher)
Inventions, discoveries, introductions
- Piano by Bartolomeo Cristofori
- Cotton gin by Eli Whitney
- The sextant by John Hadley and Thomas Godfrey supersedes the astrolabe.
- The chronometer of John Harrison solves the longitude problem for navigation.
- Improved steam engines by Thomas Newcomen and James Watt
- first steam-powered automobile by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot
- Semaphores by Claude Chappe
- Vaccination by Edward Jenner
- Gas lighting
- textile manufacturing:
- The Encyclopédie by the Encyclopedists
- Rosetta stone discovered by Napoleon's troops.
- Voltaic pile by Alessandro Volta
- James Cook mapped the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean.
Decades and years
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