From Academic Kids
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 to take control of the entire sub-continent.
In a strictly aesthetic analysis, the 18th century is generally considered to be the beginning of Europe's artistic influence across the entire globe. In music, the era of Baroque music reached its apotheosis in the music of J.S. Bach, and the Classical music era began. In the visual arts, the Rococo style replaced the Baroque, then was succeeded by the Neoclassical movement.
- 1701-14: 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.
- 1707: After Aurangzeb's death, the Mughal Empire enters a long decline.
- 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.
- 1722: Afghans conquer Iran, ending the Safavid dynasty.
- 1722: Kangxi Emperor of China dies.
- 1733-38: War of the Polish Succession
- 1735-99: The Qianlong Emperor of China oversees a huge expansion in territory.
- 1736: Nadir Shah assumes title of Shah of Persia and founds the Afsharid dynasty. Rules until his death in 1747.
- 1739: Nadir Shah defeats the Mughals and sacks Delhi.
- 1740: Frederick the Great crowned King of Prussia.
- 1740-48: War of the Austrian Succession
- 1741: Russians begin settling the Aleutian Islands.
- 1747: Ahmad Shah founds the Durrani Empire in modern day Afghanistan.
- 1750: peak of the Little Ice Age
- 1755: The Lisbon earthquake
- 1756-63: 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.
- 1762-96: Reign of Catherine the Great of Russia.
- 1763-66: Pontiac's Rebellion in North America
- 1766-99: Anglo-Mysore Wars
- 1767: Burmese conquer the Ayutthaya kingdom.
- 1768: Gurkhas conquer Nepal.
- 1768-1774: Russo-Turkish War
- 1769: Spanish missionaries establish the first of 21 missions in California.
- 1772-95: The Partitions of Poland end the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and erase Poland from the map for 123 years.
- 1775-82: First Anglo-Maratha War
- 1775-83: American Revolution
- 1779-1879: Cape Frontier Wars between British and Boer settlers and the Xhosas in South Africa
- 1785-95: Northwest Indian War between the United States and Native Americans
- 1787: Freed slaves from London found Freetown in present-day Sierra Leone.
- 1788: First European settlement established in Australia at Sydney.
- 1789: George Washington elected President of the United States.
- 1789-99: The French Revolution
- 1791-1804: The Haitian Revolution
- 1792-1815: The Great French War starts as the French Revolutionary Wars which lead into the Napoleonic Wars.
- 1792: New York Stock & Exchange Board founded.
- 1793: Upper Canada bans slavery.
- 1795: Pinckney's Treaty between the United States and Spain grants the Mississippi Territory to the US.
- 1796: British eject Dutch from Ceylon.
- 1798: Irish Rebellion against British Rule
- 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)