Century 18
18th Century Timeline: 1701 to 1800 AD

1701  In England, the mark of a gentleman has become restraint - a response to the passions of war and religious conflict. Good manners are valued as a barrier against more conflict. Passionate preaching is seen by many as vulgar. There is a decline in demand for religious uniformity - a step away from the belief prevalent in the Middle Ages that those with views different from one's own are evil.

1701  By now, an explosive growth in global commerce was underway, created by the advances in economic organization that had been taking place in the West. But the transport of goods is slow, slow, slow compared to what it would be in the late 1800s and the 1900s. And manufacturing remained undeveloped.

1701  In London, Captain William Kidd is hanged.

1701  The last Habsburg king of Spain dies childless and without an heir. The War of Spanish Succession follows. England, the Dutch Republic and the Holy Roman Emperor oppose the king of France also becoming the king of Spain, and they form an anti-French alliance.

1701  The Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Bohemia and Archduke of Austria, Joseph I, gives permission to the Elector of Brandenburg to be crowned Frederick I, King of Prussia. A new and powerful state under Hohenzollern kings is in the making.

1702  The recent death of Sweden's king has encouraged Denmark, Russia and Poland to challenge Sweden's hegemony in the Baltic Sea area. The Great Northern War begins. Sweden's young new king, Charles XII, demonstrates his power by leading an army into Poland, routing a combined German and Polish force and putting onto the throne in Poland a king of his choosing: Stanislaus Leszczynski, who becomes Stanislaus I.

1702  The French and English battle at St. Augustine in Florida, the War of Spanish Succession in the Americas to be called Queen Anne's War - Anne being the Queen of England. In the Americas both sides use Indians as allies. An Anglo-Dutch fleet destroys a Spanish treasure fleet off the coast of Spain, capturing a fortune in silver.

1703  Tsar Peter (to be known as Peter the Great) would like a port at Riga in order to supplant his port at Archangel in the frozen far north. Riga is still held by the Swedes, so he starts building on marshland that will eventually become the city of St. Petersburg.

1705  Hardship, increased taxation and misconception provoke rebellion by Russians in Astrakhan by the Caspian Sea.

1705  An intrusion into Tibet by China's Manchu ruler is blocked by resistance from Mongol people called Dzungars.
1706  In Boston, Benjamin Franklin is born, the tenth son of a candle and soap maker.

1706  The English drive the French out of most of the Spanish Netherlands (Belgium).

1707  Scotland and England become the United Kingdom of Great Britain on May 1, shortly after the parliaments of Scotland and England ratified the Treaty of Union of 1706.

1707  More Europeans are learning to read, especially in Scotland and England. More are becoming interested in reason and science. In Berlin a science academy is created.

1707  By now Cape Town has 1,780 colonists of European descent, predominately Dutch and pursuing farming. Many are using slaves, who number about 1,100, imported from the Spice Islands (Indonesia) Mozambique and Madagascar.

1707  Mount Fuji erupts. Ash floats down on the city of Edo sixty miles to the north.

1708  Charles of Sweden leads his army into Russia, heading for Moscow, for a showdown against Tsar Peter. Charles considers the Russians poor fighters and is optimistic. Peter orders the destruction of all in front of the advancing Swedes that can be of use to them.

1709  The Swedes winter in the warmer Ukraine. In a summer showdown at Poltava the poor quality of the gunpowder used by the Swedes causes their shots to fall short. Russia's artillery cuts the Swedes down. The Swedes flee and many surrender.

1710  Along the Zambezi River in Eastern Africa, the Rozvi emperor allows the Portuguese to maintain a trading post at Zumbo. The Rozvi want to maintain trade with the Europeans and acquire chinaware, beads, umbrellas, brass bells, brandy and other goods.

Timeline: 1711 to 1720
1711  In Britain, the joint-stock South Sea Company is founded for the purpose of trading in the South Seas and parts of America.

1711  In Britain's Carolina Province in America, tensions have existed between Quakers and those associated with the Church of England. Thomas Cary leads a rebellion against the governorship of Edward Hyde, a member of the Church of England. The rebellion fails, followed by Quakers being effectively excluded from North Carolina politics.

1711  European settlement in North Carolina has been a disaster for Tuscarora "Indians." In September they attack British, Dutch and German settlers, beginning the Tuscarora War.

1712  The English use a steam powered device to pump water out of a mine. It is the first commercially successful engine.

1712  A slave rebellion in New York results in the death of six whites and the execution of twelve slaves.

1713  Small pox brought to the Cape Town region decimates Khoikhoi people and kills many whites.

1713  The Treaties of Utrecht end the War of Spanish Succession and Queen Anne's War. France and Britain are exhausted, and Britain signs after fearing an alliance between Spain and Austria. The British receive what they rename Nova Scotia. They also receive fur trading posts in the Hudson Bay area. Philip V, grandson of France's Bourbon king, Louis XIV, is recognized as King of Spain. Spain's loses much of its empire, with Savoy getting Sicily and part of Milan, Naples, Sardinia, part of Milan and possession of what had been the Spanish Netherlands (Belgium). The latter passes to the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VI of Austria and becomes the "Austrian Netherlands." British acquire control of Gibraltar. The French are now to view Austria as their nation's primary rival on the European continent. And with the war's end a bigger effort can be made against piracy.

1713  Spain and Britain sign a 30-year contract in which Britain is to have a monopoly in supplying Spain with slaves for the Americas.

1714  Charles of Sweden and 1500 of his troops make it back to Sweden by way of Vienna, with help from the Habsburg monarchy in Vienna, which sees Sweden as a counter to the growing power of Prussia.

1714  Some Anglican conservatives have been trying to revive the union between the state and the Church of England, fearing that if people were left free to choose their religion there would be a dramatic spread of religious sectarianism and dissent. Conservatives also believe that religious disunity is an affront to God, that it threatens the salvation of individuals and national security. Some Anglican conservatives blame crime and vice on religious disunity.

1715  The Ottoman Turks take advantage of the weakness of Venice and reconquer Morea (the Peloponnesian Peninsula Peninsula) lost by the Turks with the Treaty of Karlowitz in the year 1699. People in Morea are glad to be rid of the Venetians, who taxed them more than the Ottomans.

 1716  The Austrians are alarmed by Ottoman expansion. To defend Christians they declare war and defeat the Ottomans at the Battle of Peterwardein (Petrovaradin) 70 kilometers northwest of Belgrade.

1717  To help against the Ottomans, Pope Clement XI finances a Spanish fleet, which the Spanish use instead to regain Sardinia and Sicily.

1717  For 3,000 rupees, the Mughal emperor, Farukh-siyar, grants the British East India Company duty-free trading rights. The British are given the right to mint their own silver rupee coins for use within the Mughal empire.

1718  In North Carolina, the English pirate Edward Teach, known as Blackbeard, is hunted down and killed.

1718  Sweden's Charles XII dies fighting on Sweden's frontier with what today is Norway.

1718  The French colonist Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville founds New Orleans, choosing a site seen as having strategic advantages militarily as well as having access to the gulf and trading advantages. The spot is dry, but it is the fall season.

1719  In the spring season New Orleans floods, and the building of levees begins, to continue for three centuries.

1719  The British, Dutch and Austrians have teamed up against Spain's move into Sardinia and Sicily. The British sink the Spanish navy. Austria has settled with the Ottomans, gaining northern Bosnia, Banat, Belgrade, much of Serbia and a part of Walachia. Morea is to remain under the Ottomans.

1720  In agreement with Austria, the Duke of Savoy, Victor Amadeus II, trades Sicily for Sardinia. Sicily is to be ruled by Austria.

1720  Plague arrives at the port of Marseilles, France - the last of the great bubonic plagues in Western and Central Europe.

1720  Observing constitutional government by the British and Dutch, and influenced by John Locke, opposition to absolutism has been growing among the Swedes. King Fredrik I and Queen Ulrica Leonora have agreed to become constitutional monarchs.

Timeline: 1721 to 1730

 1721  Sweden makes peace with Russia, recognizing territory lost to Russia. Russia is now the dominant power in the Baltic region. Peter the Great declares himself an emperor.

1721 Mongols invade Tibet and sack Lhasa. A military force sent by the Qing emperor, Kangxi, is hailed as liberators, It drives the Mongols out and re-establishes Qing authority. The Qing install Kesang Gyatso as the 7th Dalai Lama.

1722  Shah Sultan Hussein of Iran is religiously devout and has been indifferent to affairs of state. He is the last of the Safavid sultans. Former vassals from Afghanistan invade Iran, capture the Safavid capital, Esfahan, and kill Hussein.

1723  Ottoman Turks and Russians take advantage of the demise of the Safavids and seize former Safavid territory.

1724  A science academy is created at St. Petersburg.

1724  Japan begins successful forest management reform. Timber cutting is reduced.

1725  The "Golden Age of Piracy," centered in the Caribbean Islands, comes to an end. Peace and sailors out of work had contributed to it. Pirates had turned against the British government for interfering with their freedom to pursue their business. War between the pirates and the British government is won by the British government.

1725  Peter the Great dies at age 52 after plunging into icy waters to save drowning soldiers.

1725  The largest encyclopedia ever printed, consisting of 10,000 chapters, is commissioned by the Manchu (Qing) emperor, Yongzheng.
1726  The city of Montevideo is founded by Spaniards in order to block further intrusions by Portuguese from Brazil.

1726  François Arouet, to become known as Voltaire, is sent into exile from his home in France. In England he increases his admiration for British institutions.

1727  In Brazil, Europeans begin planting coffee.

1727  In Turkey, Ibrahim Muteferrika is the first Muslim to operate a modern printing press. He sees the Ottoman Empire's weakness against Europeans as a military matter and suggests that European methods of warfare be studied.

1728  In India the Mughal Empire has been fragmenting. A decisive battle is won by the Hindu Marathas against the Mughals. This is the Battle of Palkhed, fought on February 28 near the city of Nashik, Maharashtra.

1729  An Afshar tribesman (Turkish) and talented military leader, Nader, drives the Afghans out of Iran.

1730  King Agaja of Dahomey is in competition with the kingdom of Oyo for captives to be sold as slaves to Europeans. King Agaja has been a leading exporter of slaves and an importer of firearms. Oyo has invaded his territory and Agaja agrees to pay tribute to Oyo.

Timeline: 1731 to 1740

1731   The University of Bologna appoints Laura Bassi, 21, as professor of anatomy, Europe's first professorship for a woman. She is from a wealthy family, and while a teen her brilliance was recognized by Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, who encouraged her scientific work.

1732  Benjamin Franklin's agricultural handbook, Poor Richard's Almanac, is published.

1733  Georgia, the last of the Britain's thirteen colonies, is founded as a debtors' asylum.

1733  Empire continues to create instability among the European powers. The war of Polish Succession begins. Poles are not to have a king of their own choosing. Austria and Russia team up against France. Sardinia and Spain side with France, Spain's monarchy hoping to recover Naples and Sicily.

1734  In Montreal (New France), a black slave known as Marie-Joseph Angélique is accused on setting a fire that destroyed part of the city. He is tortured and hanged.

1734  Daniel Boone is born into a Quaker family living in Pennsylvania. He will become a frontiersman and a legend.

1735  George Hadley publishes the first explanation of trade winds.

1735  Austria makes peace with France and Spain, agreeing to France's Louis XV acquiring Lorraine and the Spain's monarchy acquiring Naples and Sicily.

1735  Calcutta has become an active commercial port. Its population has risen to 100,000.

1735  Frederick William has been King of Prussia since 1713. He has reclaimed marshes, stored grain in good times, encouraged frugality and work, given military commissions according to merit rather than to the highest bidder and has invented marching in step and formation in military training. He has left in place various traditional punishments such as branding, pinching with hot tongs, beheading, drawing and quartering, breaking on the whee, and hanging. Infanticide is punished by sewing the offending woman into a leather bag and throwing her into a river to drown. But he removes from public squares all stakes upon which accused witches have been burned.

1735  Mohammed Nader defeats the Ottoman Turks in south-central Iran.

1735  In New York a landmark legal case known as the Zenger Trial is decided on August 14 in favor of a pubisher, John Peter Zenger. It determines that truth is a defense against charges of libel and lays the foundation for freedom of the press.

1736  Nader is crowned Shah (king) of Iran.

1737  A science academy is created at Stockholm, Sweden.

1738  Nader Shah and his army move through Kabul, conquer Kandahar and cross the Indus River.

1739  At the Battle of Karnal, Nader defeats the Mughal army of Mohammad Shah. He sacks and plunders Delhi, massacring 30,000. The Mughal empire is at an end. The Hindu Marathas will begin expanding into northern India.

1739  In South Carolina, 75 slaves with liberated weapons flee toward Florida (then under Spanish rule). The revolt is crushed by the South Carolina militia.

1740  Following the failure of the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph I, and his successor Emperor Charles VI (who reigned from 1711) to produce a son and heir, the throne was given to the latter's yet unborn daughter, Maria Theresa. In 1736, when Maria Theresa was twenty, Emperor Charles arranged her marriage to Francis of Lorraine, who agreed to exchange his hereditary lands for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (as well as Duchy of Teschen from the Emperor). With Maria Theresa, whose reign began in 1740 (to be the mother of Marie-Antoinette), the House of Habsburg became the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.

1740  The King of Prussia, Frederick II, to be known as Frederick the Great, believes Austria is weak and sends troops to take possession of Silesia. Austria goes to war against Prussia. The War of Austrian Succession has begun.

1740  From Batavia, in the Spice Islands, the Dutch East India Company is preparing to deport "superfluous" Chinese. Rumors spread among the Chinese that they will be killed at sea. Some begin arming themselves. Anti-Chinese riots erupt. The Chinese district is burned to the ground and perhaps as many as 10,000 Chinese are killed. munities

Timeline: 1741 to 1750

1741  Russia's Alexei Chirikovon on July 15 sights land in Southeast Alaska. He sends a few men out in longboat, the first Europeans to visit Alaska.

1741  In New York, fires occur in Lower Manhattan between March and April, including at the home of the governor. A sixteen year-old Irish girl accused of theft testifies that poor whites and blacks are burning the city and plan to kill the white men, take the white women for themselves and elect a new king and governor. Two slaves confess to setting a major fire and they name dozens of co-conspirators. Numerous arrests follow: 152 blacks and 20 whites. They are convicted in a show trial. John Ury, a teacher and suspected Catholic priest, is charged with instigating the plot. Most of the convicted people, including John Ury, are hanged. Some are burned to death. Seventy-two men are deported

1742  In Peru, a mestizo wanted for murder has fled to a forested area on the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains, and there he persuades local people he is descended from Inca chiefs. He takes the title Atahualpa Apu-Inca and claims he has been sent by Gods to drive the Spaniards from South America. He creates an Indian army from several tribes and in coming years is successful in repelling incursions by colonial authorities.

1743  In the War of Austrian Succession, France has joined Prussia against Austria and sends troops into Bavaria. The British side with Austria and together they defeat the French in Bavaria, at the Battle of Dittengen.

1743  Nader Shah of Iran wars against the Ottoman Turks.

1744  France invades the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium).

1744  A scholar of the Koran, Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, has been urging a rejection of Sufism and other creations that he sees as deviating from the Koran. He allies himself with a Bedouin chieftain, Muhammad Ibn Saud.

1745  A science academy is created at Copenhagen, Denmark.

1746  France and Britain are openly hostile during the War of Austrian Succession, and France has approved an attempt by British emigres to return the descendants of James II (House of Stuart) to the English throne, overturning the Glorius Revolution of 1688. This, to be known as the Jacobite risings, has been raging since 1745 and ends in defeat on April 16, at the Battle of Colloden in Scotland. The British lose 50 killed, the Jacobites lose from 1500 to 2000 killed or wounded. The Jacobite force had been poorly led by the Stuart pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie," 26. He managed to escape back to France.

1747  More War of Austrian Succession. The Sardinians and French fight each other in mountainous territory around 200 kilometers southwest of Milan - the Battle of Assietta - where the French are slaughtered trying to ascend a ridge, losing a quarter of their troops in one day - a total of 5,300 casualties and perhaps 3,700 dead.

1747  Nader Shah is a free-thinker who has wanted to unite the Shia and Sunni, both of whom serve in his military. He has been taxing heavily and crushing dissenters. Suspecting his son's involvement in an attempt on his life, he has him blinded. A group of Afshar and Qajar chiefs attack Nader Shah while he is sleeping and kill him. Iran fragments.

1748  The War of Austrian Succession ends with a treaty signed by Britain, France, Spain and the Dutch, and another signed by Austria and Sardinia. Prussia's hold on Silesia is confirmed. France agrees to the Habsburg king regaining his Netherlands (Belgium). And the British agree to return areas in the Americas and India to the French.

1748  Baron Charles Montesquieu of France, who inherited a fortune and had time to write, has another of his works, The Spirit of Laws, published. He is a liberal Catholic, admiring British institutions and John Locke. He is a critic of France's monarchical absolutism. He believes people should think for themselves. A god who directed people as if they were puppets, he says, would not have produced human intelligence. His Spirit of Laws will go into 22 editions and he will influence the creators of the US Constitution.

1749  In the colony of Virginia, George Washington, at age 17, has recurrent attacks of malaria.

1749  Emilie du Chatelet, French mathematician, physicist, aristocrat, hardworking bon vivant and companion of Voltaire dies this year at the age of 43 after giving birth to her second daughter. She superseded Isaac Newton by establishing that energy is more than mass times velocity. She described energy as velocity squared - a part of what would eventually become E (energy) = M (mass) C (speed of light) squared (the C part to be supplied by Albert Einstein in 1905).

1750  Johann Sebastian Bach's eyesight has been deteriorating. He undergoes an operation which perhaps hastens his death, at the age of 65.

1750  Workers in London and Amsterdam have twice the purchasing power of the average worker in the great Muslim city of Istanbul.

1750  Seafaring trade between Europe to the East around Africa's the Cape of Good Hope had by now ended the overland caravan spice trade. The Middle East's share in world trade had been declining.

1750  India is producing 24.5 percent of the world's manufactured goods. India's textile workers have a standard of living equal to that of British workers. China is producing 32.8 percent of the world's manufactured goods. Europe is still pre-industrial, using hands and arm muscle in manufacturing. Britainis manufacturing per capita is around 140 percent of what India is manufacturing, and 125 percent what China is manufacturing, but given the greater populations of India and China, Britain's total production of manufactured goods is much less. The British in 1750 are producing only 1.9 percent of the world's share of manufactured goods.

1750  An average of 60,000 slaves are being exported from Africa per year.

1750  Along Africa's Gold Coast, the Asante kingdom has been supplying slaves to British and Dutch traders in exchange for firearms with which to enforce territorial expansion.

1750  The Manchu Chinese capture the town of Lhasa and take power in Tibet.

1750  In France, Jean Jacques Rousseau wins an essay contest. He claims that people are good and innocent by nature and have been corrupted by the arts and sciences.

Timeline: 1751 to 1760

1751  More history is being written. Montesquieu has a book on the Causes of the Greatness and Decline of the Romans, first published in 1734. Voltaire's book, The Age of Louis XIV, is published. Voltaire goes to Berlin for three years, serving as philosopher-poet to Frederick the Great.

1751  Indonesians have been rebelling against Dutch rule. The Dutch have crushed the latest rebellion, but guerilla attacks continue against the plantations of the Dutch East India Company around Batavia.

1752  Portugal appoints its first governor to its coastal and inland possessions in East Africa, called Mozambique, and Portugal declares Mozambique a colony.

1753  A work by the Scottish physician James Lind is published that describes citrus fruit as the only effective cure for scurvy.

1753  In Great Britain on July 1, Parliament passes the Jewish Naturalization Act, which ends discrimination against Jews. Widespread opposition will lead to its repeal in 1754.

1754  Jean Jacques Rousseau's Discourse on the Origins of Inequality is published. He prefers the communism and relative equality of hunter-gather societies. But he recognizes that modern societies will not return to the simple, smaller societies that had existed before civilization.

1754  Both England and France have claimed the Ohio Valley. George Washington and a force of Virginia militiamen march into Ohio to drive away the French. King George II of Britain is concerned about the security of his territory on the continent, Hanover, and signs a defensive treaty with Frederick the Great of Prussia to discourage the French from attacking Hanover.

1755  In Britain's Atlantic coast colonies, whites have increased in population from 275,000 in 1700 to 1.5 million. Slaves number roughly 470,000, nearly one for every three whites.

1755  Earthquake, tsunami and fire destroys much of Lisbon and, it is said, kills over 100,000 people. People wonder how God could have allowed so much suffering. The German mathematician-philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz defends God, claiming that with God as the author of nature everything works out for the best, that God's wisdom is supreme.

1756  Austria is shaken by Britain's alliance with Prussia. It signs an alliance with France. Russia also feels threatened by the alliance between Britain and Prussia and joins the alliance with France and Austria. Frederick the Great does not want war but feels it is important to move militarily first. War erupts to be called the Seven Years' War. Sweden joins the war against Prussia.

1756  The Manchu dynastry ruling China establishes loose control over what today is Xinjiang province.

1756  In a fragment of what was the Mughal empire, a Mughal prince, Siraj-ud-Daula, takes power. A few weeks later he demands that the British destroy their fortifications at Calcutta - a part of his domain. The British East India Company refuses. War follows including British imprisoned in what becomes known as the Black Hole of Calcutta.

1757  A force under the British East India Company recaptures Calcutta and ally themselves with Hindu bankers against Siraj-ud-Daula. The East India Company's force of 800 redcoats and 2000 Indians defeat Siraj-ud-Daula at the Battle of Plassy. The East India Company will now be the power behind the throne in Bengal and will take responsibility for collecting taxes and maintaining law and order in Calcutta and in the area from Bihar in the northwest to Orissa to the southwest.

1758  The Japanese scholar, Aoki Konyo, introduces the sweet potato to his fellow countrymen, and he completes a Dutch/Japanese dictionary.

1759  Voltaire's response to Leibniz and the Lisbon earthquake is published - his novel, Candide. The fictional character Dr. Pangloss is Leibniz.

1759  In an internationally recognized move, rule over Naples and Sicily falls to Ferdinand, third son of Spain's king Charles III.

1760  British arms have succeeded against the French in North America. French resistance there ends.

1760  The slow-moving Maratha (Hindu) army reaches Delhi on 1 August and takes control of the city the next day. The fighting continues against an Afghan force that includes Pashtun tribesmen.

Timeline: 1761 to 1770
1761  At the Third Battle of Panipat, in January, armies of more than 100,000, face off: the Hindu Maratha Empire against a coalition force that includes the King of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Durrani, to be considered the founder of modern Afghanistan. It will be described as the biggest battle in the 1700s and killing perhaps 40,000 on each side. The battle halts the advance of the Marathas. The Marathas were using French supplied artillery. This is in the far north of the sub-continent, about 90 kilometers north of Delhi. Two days later on the eastern side of the southern tip of the sub-continent a British force takes Pondichéry from the French.

1762  During the Seven Years' War, Empress Elizabeth of Russia dies. The new ruler, Tsar Peter III takes Russia out of the war against Prussia. Having lost hope of gain, Sweden also withdraws from the war. France talks Spain into joining the war on its side against Britain.

1763  The Seven Years' War ends. Britain, Spain and France sign the Treaty of Paris and Austria and Prussia sign the Peace of Hubertusburg in February. Austria gains nothing. France loses possessions in the Americas and cedes to Spain the huge territory of Louisiana, including New Orleans. France agrees to pull out of India, and it cedes its colony by the Senegal River to the British. Spain acquires Cuba and the Philippines and gives up Florida, which goes to Britain.

1763  With the Seven Years' War, Britain has acquired territory from the French in North America's Great Lakes region. By April many tribes in the area are fed up with the policies of Britain's General Jeffrey Amherst begin to attack British forts and the settlements of colonists, to be called Pontiac's War. (Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa tribe is but one player.) At Fort Pitt, British officers attempt to infect the Indians with smallpox using blankets that had been exposed to the virus. In October, a royal proclamation by King George III attempts to stabilize the region by it forbidding settlers from moving beyond the Appalachian Mountains. This will anger colonial land speculators.

1764  The Indian raids against colonizers has expanded. The Pennsylvania Assembly, with the approval of Governor Penn, reintroduces the scalp bounties, money paid for every Indian killed above the age of ten, including females. It was the first extensive multi-tribal resistance to European colonization in North America. The British fought back with military actions and separate treaties, aided by conflicts between tribes.

1764  A French trading company establishes a trading post on the Mississippi River, to be known as St. Louis.

Edward Gibbon decides to write The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

1765  A Scottish instrument maker, James Watt, creates a condenser for steam engines. It will be eleven years before it will be put to use.

1765  In France a twenty-eight volume encyclopedia is completed, with hundreds of thousands of articles by leading scientists and famous writers. It includes an article against slavery and the slave trade. The government has banned the book, and the Catholic Church has placed it on its index of forbidden books.

1766  The Seven Years' War left Britain in debt and its military still in the Americas, to protect the colonists from Indian uprisings. Britain expects the colonists to help with taxes to pay for its commitments in the Americas. Parliament's Stamp Act, aimed at acquiring more revenue from the colonies, is resisted and rioting occurs. Parliament repeals the Stamp Act but passes the Declaratory Act, asserting its authority in the colonies "in all cases whatsoever." Colonists remain disturbed by their lack of political power and taxation without representation.

1767  In Spain, political activism by Jesuits has angered the monarchy. Spain confiscates Jesuit properties in its American colonies and expels the Jesuits. In Spain's American colonies rioting occurs.

1767  The crew of a British ship commanded by Samuel Wallis visits the island of Tahiti. The Europeans are to stay around forty days and defend their ship from attack by aggressive males with spears. Eventually peace is made. Wallis finds the Tahitians with a hierarchical, tribal and communal society, with devotion to a god, 'Oro, that includes human sacrifice. Perhaps 2,000 years have passed since humans arrived at Tahiti and surrounding islands, and by now peoples there have been involved in quarrels and war.

1768  Sugar consumption, which began among the Arabs and has been limited to Europe's wealthy, is growing in popularity, common Europeans becoming more familiar with sweet taste. Islands in the Caribbean are the great producers of sugar, the labor supplied by slaves. Demand for sugar has elevated its price, and planters are trying to increase production. Sugar refining uses the first modern factory-like production system. A sugar mill in Jamaica becomes the first to use a steam engine.

1768  The French explorer Louis Bougainville "discovers" Tahiti and claims it for King Louis XV of France.
1769  Spain has asked the Franciscan Order to replace Jesuits in Lower (Baja) California. Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan, has become head of missions in Lower California. He is sent north by Spain's governor there, to Upper California, to Christianize natives and to block Russian claims to coastal areas.

1770  Greeks are not allowed to acquire land from Ottoman landowners. Greece is ruled by the Ottoman Turks. Greek peasants want land and are encouraged by the Russians to rise in revolt. A small Russian force lands on the Peloponnesian Peninsula to support the rising. The Ottoman Empire crushes the rising using Albanian soldiers.

1770  Captain Cook sails to New Zealand, arriving unaware of the presence of French explorer, Jean-François-Marie de Surville, who is anchored there. Cook claims the area for King George III and sails to Australia.

1770  Monsoon rains have not arrived, leaving grain crops in Bengal diminished. Famine appears, killing perhaps a third of Bengal's population.

1770  Along the Zambezi River, those called Prazeros, originally Portuguese adventurer-traders, are now more African racially than they are European. Some have been warlords with slave armies, but they have been facing revolts. Some they have tried to subjugate have been moving away. The power of the Prazeros and their opulent lifestyles are in decline.

1770  The Dutch claim the Gamtoos River, 700 kilometers east of Cape Town, as their eastern border in South Africa.

Timeline: 1771 to 1780
1771  By the Gamtoos River, clashes occur between Xhosa people and Dutch trekkers (pastoral wagon pullers).

1772  Oxygen is discovered by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. Europeans have been investigating the properties of gasses.

1773  A Baptist Church for black slaves is founded is South Carolina Colony.

1773  Tea selling businessmen in Boston are upset because the British East India Company has been given the right to sell tea directly to the colonists and at a cheaper price. The business men have begun a boycott of the East India Company's tea along the Atlantic coast. They disguise themselves as Indians and throw 342 chests of tea into Boston harbor - to be known as the Boston Tea Party.

1774  An English chemist, Joseph Priestly, independently discovers oxygen.

1774  King George III of Britain decides to punish lawbreakers in the colonies. He closes Boston Harbor and expands the powers of his governor in Massachusetts. Local elections in Massachusetts are curtailed. Town meetings are forbidden and colonists are obliged to pay for the tea dumped into the bay. Many throughout the colonies feel threatened. Delegates from the colonies meet at the "First Continental Congress" to discuss grievances. The Congress drafts a letter that is sent to the king.

1774  An expedition led by Britain's Captain James Cook returns to Tahiti.

1774  Granted permission to observe the dissection of an executed woman, a small group of Edoscholars realize their understanding of human anatomy (based on Chinese theory) is wrong. What they witness corresponds to a Dutch book on anatomy owned by one of the scholars, Dr. Sugita Genpaku.

1775  Concerned about colonist violence, a contingent of 2,000 "redcoat" soldiers is sent to the town of Concord to confiscate munitions. They are shot at and shoot back. The soldiers suffer 72 dead and the colonists 49. Emotions among the colonists flare. Fighting erupts in New York colony and in Massachusetts at Breeds Hill, to be known as the Battle of Bunker Hill.

1776 (Feb)  The first volume of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, is published. Part of the Enlightenment, it describes the rise of Christianity (within the Roman Empire) in terms of behavior of people rather than godly miracles.

1776  Britain's Adam Smith proposes a broader way of looking at wealth. His book, Wealth of Nations is published. He sees wealth as more than precious metals and stones. He proposes that more wealth to common people would benefit Britain's economy and society. He sees consumers choosing to buy the products of competing businessmen as favorable regulation.  

1776  George Washington stops his routine toasting of George III at the army officer dinners. A second Continental Congress meets and on July 4 declares independence. The declaration is recognized in Britain as an act of rebellion. Ranking members of the Anglican Church in the colonies remain loyal, as do many wealthy businessmen and humble farmers and shopkeepers.

1777  Vermont establishes itself as a colony with a constitution that abolishes slavery, institutes universal manhood suffrage and requires support for public education.

1777  The French have remained neutral regarding the rebellion in Britain's colonies, but they have been supplying the rebels with guns and gunpowder. French volunteers begin joining the ranks of the revolutionaries, including a 20-year-old, the Marquis de Lafayette, who is seeking revenge for the death of his father and for France's loss of territory from the Seven Years' War.

1778  South Carolina becomes the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation (Feb 5).
1778  France signs an alliance with the American rebel force and recognizes the United States of America as a sovereign nation on February 5. On July 5, France's king, Louis XVI, declares war on Britain.

1778  British ships land at Savannah (Decembr 29). A force of between 2500 and 3600 troops, which includes Britain's 71st Highland regiment, New York Loyalists, and Hessian mercenaries, begins a campaign in the South.

1778  Two ships under the command of Captain James Cook, sailing from Tahiti, arrive in the Hawaiian Islands, perhaps the first Europeans to visit these islands. Cook finds a tribal and religious people. He was already experienced with Polynesians and thought of them as generally intelligent. Cook and company find the Hawaiians with a different sense of property than Europeans, what Europeans would describe as thievery.

1779  A rebel force defeats a combined Indian and Loyalist force at what today is Elmira, New York (Aug 29). Following their victory, the rebels head northwest in retaliation against a campaign of terror against settlers. They destroy nearly 40 Cayuga and Seneca Indian villages.

1779  On Africa's Atlantic coast, Luanda has become the leading point of departure for slaves. Power there is measured by the number of slaves one owns. A businessman might own fifty slaves while the owner of a great spread of land might own more than a thousand. Slave labor in the city constructs buildings and paved roads.

1779  The Dutch have claimed their eastern boundary in South Africa 200 miles beyond their previous boundary, the Gamtoos River. Another war has begun with the Xhosa.

1779  On his second visit to the Hawaiian Islands, Captain Cook is killed during a conflict over one of his small boats taken by islanders.

1779  In Japan, forest inventory and production planning begin.

1780  The state of Pennsylvania passes a law freeing children born of slaves. Those born prior to the Act are to remain enslaved for life.

1780  George Washington's most trusted general, General Gates, is chasing the British through the woods of South Carolina, into Virginia and back again into North Carolina. The British are low on supplies, stealing from the Americans and enraging them.

Timeline: 1781 to 1790

1781  In Peru, Jose Gabriel Condocanqui, a mestizo, identifies himself with Inca royalty by calling himself Tapuc Amaru II. He is rebelling against economic abuses and gains broad support, including among some Criollo Spanish. He holds power at Cuzco and La Paz, but within a year he is captured and executed. In coming years colonial authorities will continue to respond to the uprising by destroying what is left of the wealth and status of Indian nobility and they will end local autonomy in Peru's highland communities.

1781  During the American Revolutionary War, a French fleet drives a British naval force from Chesapeake Bay. The British general, Lord Cornwallis, is surrounded on land and sea by Americans and French and surrenders at Yorktown, Virginia.

1781  A militant Islamic order, Tijaniyya, is set up in Algeria. It is Sufi spirituality and requires "complete submission to God and adherence to the Sharia." It includes three principles: Asking God for forgiveness; chanting La Ilaha Illallah everyday; and offering prayers upon the Prophet.

1782  In Japan unusually bad weather damages crops. In many areas high taxes have left farmers without reserves of rice. There is famine. People forage for roots, eat cats and dogs and cannibalism occurs.

1782  In Thailand, Rama I reigns. He begins the Chakri dynasty, to last into the twenty-first century.

1782  England has its last "hanged, drawn and quartered" execution for treason. For treasonable correspondence with the French, a Scotsman, David Tyrie, is hanged until almost dead, disemboweled, emasculated, his entrails and genetalia burned in front of him, then he is beheaded and his body cut into four pieces.

1782  Britain's parliament advises King George III to make peace with the rebels in America. In Paris informal talks begin. The Dutch recognize the independence of the former colonies. Formal negotiations begin. 

1783  King George has declared the thirteen colonies "free and independent." France and Spain sign articles of peace with Britain. In Paris, delegates from the colonies sign the Treaty of Peace.

1783  The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts rules slavery illegal based on the state's 1780 constitution. All slaves are immediately freed.

1784  The Continental Congress, with nine states represented, ratifies the Treaty of Paris.

1785  Napoleon Bonaparte becomes a lieutenant in the French artillery.
1785  The United States signs the Treaty of Hopewellwith the Cherokees (November 28). It lays out boundaries of land that is supposed to belong to the Cherokees.

1786  Mozart's comic opera about oppression, The Marriage of Figaro, appears.

1787  New York is the eleventh state to ratify the US Constitution. Congress elects George Washington as President. Congress adds ten amendments to the constitution - the Bill of Rights.

1787  France has gone deep in debt through wartime borrowing. Much of the government's annual budget goes to pay an ever increasing interest on the debt. The government is spending little for maintaining public welfare. The government would like to start taxing those privileged who have been exempt from taxation, and they do not like it. Clergy, nobles and commoners want political change. 

1788  Louis XVI creates more dissatisfaction by abolishing the power of parliament to review royal edicts. There has been insufficient government planning and storage of grain for emergency shortages. A hailstorm destroys crops. France has its worst harvests in forty years. Winter food riots occur.

1788  Britain's prisons have been overcrowded, and having lost its thirteen colonies in the Americas it can no longer send convicts there. Instead it sends eleven ships with 1,372 people, including 732 of its more unruly convicts, to a place in Australia named after Lord Sydney, secretary of state for Britain's colonies.

1789  Frustrated commoners have created a new National Assembly and are joined by some clergy and nobles. Parisians storm the Bastille. The National Assembly declares an end to feudal rights and proclaims The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen. A constitution is in the making, and an intimidated Louis XVI agrees to become a constitutional monarch.

1789  In Paris, a delegation of distinguished mulattos (gens de couleur) from France's wealthiest colony, St. Domingue (Haiti), asks whether the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen applies to them, and they are told that it does.

1789  On November 21, North Carolina becomes the twelfth state to ratify the US Constitution.

1790  On May 29, Rhode Island becomes the last and thirteenth state to ratify the US Constitution.

1790  In England, executing women for treason by burning them at the stake is abolished.

1790  The National Assembly abolishes tariff barriers within France - which had been the moneymaking devices for local nobility. It abolishes all aristocratic and hereditary titles. Harvests have improved and many believe that God is siding with the revolution. Deputies to the National Assembly are mostly Christians, and they see the message of Jesus as supporting liberty, tolerance and against despotism. In their opinion the revolution should conform to Christian principles. They want less opulence in the Catholic Church. They decide that the government should oversee the elections of pastors and bishops, and they want clergymen to swear loyalty to this plan. Violence erupts between supporters of the revolution and defenders of the Church. About half of the clergy are to refuse to swear loyalty to the government plan.

1790  George Washington's dentist creates a dental drill powered by a foot peddle.

Timeline: 1791 to 1800

1791 An American brigantine, Lady Washington, is the first American ship to dock in Japan. Britain's North American possession divides into Upper and Lower Canada.

1791  Louis has been troubled by government intrusions into church matters. People become suspicious about his loyalty to the revolution. Louis XVI attempts to flee from France. He, his queen, Marie Antoinette, and their children are arrested at Varennes and brought back to Paris. The Constituent National Assembly suspends the king's authority until further notice. The new constitution takes effect, with the National Assembly replaced by a newly elected parliament - the Legislative Assembly - mostly youthful lawyers of moderate wealth.

1791  In Domingue, white vigilantes defeat a small army of gens de couleur. Twenty-two of the gens de couleur are hanged, as is a priest who had joined them. Slaves revolt. Plantations are burned and around a thousand whites slaughtered. Paris sends soldiers to the colony to restore order.

1791  Nepalese Gurhkas invade Tibet again. They seize the city of Shigatse (about 390 kilometers northeast of Kathmandu), and they destroy the Tashilhunpo Monastery.

1792  A Russian ship lands at Japan's northern Island - today Hokkaido. The Japanese allow the Russians to spend the winter but not to establish trade.

1792  In France, amnesty has been offered those who fled the country and the revolution. Few return and parliament votes in favor of declaring all émigres as plotting against the revolution - a capital offense. An ultimatum is sent to Austria, demanding the expulsion of those Frenchmen hostile to the revolution. The brother of Marie-Antoinette, Leopold II of Austria, does not cooperate. France declares war. Prussia joins Austria against France and captures Verdun just inside France. In France is war fever and people are afraid of the German invasion. Parisians go on a five-day rampage, to monasteries and from prison to prison, killing political prisoners, priests and nobles. The dead are counted at around 1,500.

1792-3  The Qing emperor, Qianlong, issues a 29-point decree to tighten his control over Tibet. A Qing (Manchu) army assisted by Tibetan troops drive the Gurkha Nepalese troops back into Nepal, to within 20 kilometers of Kathmandu. The Gurkhas return the treasure they plundered.

1793  The Guatemalan poet Rafael Landivar (born in 1731) dies at the age of sixty-two. He was one of the Jesuits expelled from the Americas by Spain. He had been part of the Enlightenment that had spread to Spain's American colonies. He had written:

Now, those of you whom subtle genius has raised above the common herd, put off the custom of yesterday, and clothe yourselves with the new.

1793  Louis XVI, accused of conspiring against the nation, is executed. France is proclaimed a republic. The British, Dutch and Spanish go to war against the French Revolution. In the United States, Thomas Jefferson supports France, Alexander Hamilton supports England and President Washington chooses neutrality. Jean Paul Marat, who believed in the redistribution of wealth, a dictatorship representing the poor, and a passionate supporter of terror against enemies of the revolution, is assassinated by Charlotte Corday. She believes that in killing Marat she is saving the revolution. Instead, the assassination intensifies passions and fears.

1793  Catherine the Great of Russia, Joseph of Austria, and Frederick William II of Prussia take advantage of the turmoil in France to confiscate more Polish lands, in what was called the Second Partition of Poland.

1793  At France's colonial possession St. Domingue (Haiti), the black leader Toussaint L'Ouverture decrees all slaves emancipated, and many slaves join his rebel army. The British, at war with France, land a force in the south of the colony.

1794  On a charge of treason, ultra-leftists in Paris behead a famous scientist, the founder of modern chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier - just one of many being executed in what will be known as a reign of terror The ultra-leftists consider revolutionaries less fervent and more tolerant than they, disloyal. Fear swings  with legislators against those leading the "terror." The executioners - Robespierre and associates - are themselves executed.

1794  The Russians crush a nationalist uprising by Poles.

1795  Russia, Austria and Prussia participate in the Third Partition of Poland.

1795  The first graphite pencils are introduced.

1795  In France, moderate revolutionaries want order and stability. Hunger and rioting reoccur. The rioters are crushed. A new constitution supports property rights, but properties confiscated from the Church and from émigres are not to be returned.

1796  The war between France and other European powers continues. In Italy with his French army, Napoleon occupies Venice. City-states are no longer world powers. Some Europeans have been expecting liberation by the French, but Napoleon has been turning conquests into empire.  

1796   Inoculation is tested by Edward Jenner during a smallpox epidemic in London. Jenner does not understand how the immunity system works, but he has taken scientists a step in that direction.

1797   The Treaty of Tripoli is signed by US President John Adams. It establishes friendship between the US and Tripolitania (on North Africa's Mediterranean coast). It includes the following clause:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion ... has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion , or tranquility , of Mussulmen [Muslims] ... it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

1798  Napoleon invades Egypt with a plan to cut Britain's trade route to India (although the Suez Canal has yet to be been built). A British naval force, led by Admiral Horatio Nelson, smashes the French navy at anchor at Abu Qir bay, near Alexandria, Egypt - the French losing 6,200 men as casualties and prisoners.

1799  George Washington is an old man at 67. He has little more than five months to live. In his will and testament he gives directions for freeing his more than 100 slaves after his wife Martha's death. She has more than 100 slaves of her own. She will free George's slaves on January 1, 1801 and die in May 1802.

1799  George Washington wakes up while having difficulty breathing. He orders an employee to bleed him. A doctor arrives and bleeds him again. The theory is that bleeding releases the bad blood that causes whatever ails - a theory from ancient times that William Harvey (who discovered blood circulation in 1628) disliked. Washington orders no further bleeding but is bled again. He dies. The bad blood theory and bloodletting would still be used by a few (who loved their analogies rather than good science) into the 20th century.

1799  The Dutch join the war against France. The French are losing everywhere but in Egypt. Monarchists in France rise in revolt, expecting the arrival of foreign armies. Napoleon abandons his army in Egypt and returns to France. A military hero, much of the country rallies around him, as do politicians seeking to protect the revolution. In the guise of an emergency to save France from a leftist coup a three-man provisional government is created, one of whom is Napoleon as First Consul. The new order is approved by plebiscite. .

1800  In a secret treaty with Spain, the Treaty of San Ildefonso, France regains Louisiana.

1800  England's population, around 5.25 million in 1720, has increased to around 9 million. World population has risen from between 600 and 680 million in 1700 to one billion, roughly calculated. The most populous cities in 1800 are:

Guangzhou, China: 1.5 million. Hangchow, China: 1,000,000 Kingtehchen, China: 1,000,000 NanJing, China: 1,000,000 Edo (Tokyo), Japan 1,000,000 London, England: 865,000 Beijing, China: 700,000 Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey: 598,000 Paris, France: 548,000 Kyoto, Japan:530,000

1800  Mexico City has a population of 250,000. New York City: 60,000. Population remains sparse in areas occupied by hunter-gatherers - in Africa and the plains of North America. Areas occupied by pastoral nomads are also sparse.

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