Great Social Thinkers
1752 1755 1757 1758 1761 1769 1774 1775 1784 1785 1791 1792 1794 1796 1799 * Benjamin Franklin invents the lightening rod. * Samuel Johnson publishes the first English language dictionary * John Campbell invents the sextant. * Dolland invents a chromatic lens. * John Harrison invents the navigational clock or marine chronometer for measuring longitude. * James Watt invents an improved steam engine. * Georges Louis Lesage patents the electric telegraph. * Alexander Cummings invents the flush toilet. * Jacques Perrier invents a steamship. * Andrew Meikle invents the threshing machine. * Joseph Bramah invents the safety lock. * Edmund Cartwright invents the power loom. * Claude Berthollet invents chemical bleaching. * John Barber invents the gas turbine. * Early bicycles invented in Scotland. * William Murdoch invents gas lighting. * Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin. * Philip Vaughan invents ball bearings. * Edward Jenner creates a smallpox vaccination. * Alessandro Volta invents the battery. http://inventors.about.com/
British history in India
• In 1757, on account of the British victory at Plassey, where a military force led by Robert Clive defeated the forces of the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-daulah, the East India Company found itself transformed from an association of traders to rulers exercising political sovereignty over a largely unknown land and people. Less than ten years later, in 1765, the Company acquired the Diwani of Bengal, or the right to collect revenues on behalf of the Mughal Emperor, in Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. The consolidation of British rule after the initial military victories fell to Warren Hastings, who did much to dispense with the fiction that the Mughal Emperor was still the sovereign to whom the Company was responsible. Hastings also set about to make the British more acquainted with Indian history, culture, and social customs; but upon his return to England, he would be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. In the 1840s and 1850s, under the governer-generalship of Dalhousie and then Canning, more territories were absorbed into British India, either on the grounds that the native rulers were corrupt, inept, and notoriously indifferent about the welfare of their subjects, or that since the native ruler had failed to produce a biological male heir to the throne, the territory was bound to "lapse" into British India upon the death of the ruler. Such was the fate of Sambalpur (1849), Baghat (1850), Jhansi (1853), Nagpur (1854), and -most tragically -- Awadh (1856) h/p://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/History/Bri:sh/BrIndia.html
Significant events 1750-1789
1754 Anglo-French war begins in North America. 1756-63 Seven Years' War. 1757 Clive captures India from the French. 1758 first threshing machine. 1763 Treaty of Paris ends the Seven Years' War. France cedes Canada and the Mississippi Valley to Britain. 1773 Boston Tea Party. 1774 Priestly isolates oxygen. Accession of Louis XVI of France. Watt's first efficient steam engine. American colonies declare their independence.
1775 American Revolution begins. 1776 Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations. 1778 1781 1783 1787 1789
Rousseau and Voltaire die. Cornwallis surrenders to Washington at Yorktown, Va. Peace treaty signed in Paris between Great Britain and the United States. Warren Hastings impeached. Bastille falls; French Revolution begins. Bentham, Introduction to the Principles of Morals (see utilitarianism). http://www.victorianweb.org/
French Revolution and Reign of Terror
The French Revolution began in 1789 with the meeting of the States General in May. On July 14 of that same year, the Bastille was stormed: in October, Louis XVI and the Royal Family were removed from Versailles to Paris The Reign of Terror, during which the ruling faction ruthlessly exterminated all potential enemies, of whatever sex, age, or condition, began in September of 1793 and lasted until the fall of Robespierre on July 27, 1794: during the last six weeks of the Terror alone (the period known as the "Red Terror") nearly fourteen hundred people were guillotined in Paris alone. The Convention was replaced in October of 1795 with the Directory, which was replaced in turn, in 1799, by the Consulate. Napoleon Bonaparte became Emperor in May of 1804. The French Revolution was not only a crucial event considered in the context of Western history, but was also, perhaps the single most crucial influence on British intellectual, philosophical, and political life in the nineteenth century. In its early stages it portrayed itself as a triumph of the forces of reason over those of superstition and privilege, and as such it was welcomed not only by English radicals like Thomas Paine and William Godwin and William Blake, who, characteristically, saw it as a symbolic act which presaged the return of humanity to the state of perfection from which it had fallen away — but by many liberals as well, and by some who saw it, with its declared emphasis on "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity," as being analgous to the Glorious Revolution of 1688: as it descended into the madness of the Reign of Terror, however, many who had initially greeted it with enthusiasm — Wordsworth and Coleridge, for example, who came to regard their early support as, in Coleridge's words, a "squeaking baby trumpet of sedition" — had second thoughts. http://www.victorianweb.org/
Significant events 1791-1814
1791-2Paine, The Rights of Man. 1792 Reign of Terror in France. 1793 Louis XVI executed in France. England and France at war. 1794 Execution of Robespierre ends the Reign of Terror. 1798 Battle of the Nile. Malthus, Essay on . . . Population.
1799 Napoleon named First Consul of France. 1801 Union of Great Britain and Ireland. 1804 Napoleon declared Emperor. 1805 Battle of Trafalgar. 1809 Napoleon captures Vienna. 1811-12 Luddite riots in the North and the Midlands. Laborers attack factories and break up the machines which they fear will replace them. 1812 Napoleon invades Russia. 1812-14 War of 1812 between England and the United States. 1814 Treaty of Ghent ends Anglo-U.S. War. England and allies invade France. Napoleon exiled to Elba.
Significant events 1815-1848
1815 Napoleon escapes Elba; begins the "Hundred Days." Battle of Waterloo; Napoleon exiled to St. Helena in the South Atlantic. Corn Laws passed.
1817 David Ricardo, Principles of Political Economy. 1819 Peterloo Massacre of Corn Law protestors. 1832 First Reform Bill: adds £10/year householders to the voting rolls and reapportions Parliamentary representation much more fairly, doing away with most "rotten" and "pocket" boroughs. Adds 217,000 voters to an electorate of 435,000. 1833 Slavery abolished throughout the British Empire. Factory Act.
1834 1838 1839 1840
New Poor Law. Regular Atlantic steamship service begins. Anti-Corn-Law League founded. Queen Victoria marries her cousin Albert, who becomes Prince Consort. Penny post started. S.F.B. Morse invents the telegraph. Grammar Schools Act.
1842 Chartist Riots. Copyright Act. 1845-6 Potato Failure in Europe; starvation in Ireland. Corn Laws (which had kept up the price of grain) repealed. http://www.victorianweb.org/ 1848 Revolutions in Europe.
• • • • • • • • The "People's Charter," drafted in 1838 by William Lovett, was at the heart of a radical campaign for parliamentary reform of the inequities remaining after the Reform Act of 1832. The Chartists' six main demands were: 1. votes for all men; 2. equal electoral districts; 3. abolition of the requirement that Members of Parliament be property owners; 4. payment for M.P.s; 5. annual general elections; and 6. the secret ballot. The Chartists obtained one and a quarter million signatures and presented the Charter to the House of Commons in 1839, where it was rejected by a vote of 235 to 46. Many of the leaders of the movement, having threatened to call a general strike, were arrested. When demonstrators marched on the prison at Newport, Monmouthshire, demanding the release of their leaders, troops opened fire, killing 24 and wounding 40 more. A second petition with 3 million signatures was rejected in 1842; the rejection of the third petition in 1848 brought an end to the movement. The Chartists' demands, at the time, seemed radical; those outside the movement saw the unrest and thought of the French Revolution and The Reign of Terror. http://www.victorianweb.org/