Overview: Revolution: (American Heritage Dictionary) "The overthrow of one government and its replacement with another." "A sudden or momentous change in a situation." The foundation of the former is seeded by people's need to be free, independent, with the power to make their own decisions on how best to govern themselves. The latter is founded by people's curiosity, needs and discoveries.
Technology: The beginning of the Industrial Revolution. English farmer Jethro Tull, 27, invents a seed-planting drill that will greatly increase agricultural productivity. Ironmaster Abraham Darby's discovery that coke (from coal) can be used instead of charcoal for smelting will contribute immeasurably to England's Industrial Revolution. Physicist Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit invents a thermometer that uses mercury instead of alcohol.
Inoculation is tested in two smallpox epidemics (in London and Boston) and proved successful. The foundations of photography are laid when German chemist J.H. Schulze establishes that silver salts darken when exposed to light. John Hadley invents the reflecting quadrant, which will aid sailors by allowing them to determine latitude at any time, day or night. Lord Charles Townshend, an experimenter in agricultural methods, devises the rotational system for crops. John Kay invents the fly shuttle, which will pave the way for larger and faster looms and cut labor costs in half. John Harrison's marine chronometer enables navigators to calculate longitude accurately, improving sea travel. Benjamin Franklin's new Franklin Stove is a significant improvement over heating a room by fireplace. Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius invents a new temperature scale, which sets zero degrees as water's freezing point at sea level and 100 degrees as its boiling point.
In 1751, Benjamin Franklin, while flying a kite in a thunderstorm, discovers the electrical nature of lightning. By 1752, the city of Philadelphia begins to light its streets with globe lamps.
In 1759, Irish brewer Arthur Guinness establishes a brewery in Dublin that will become the world's largest. Belgian musical instrument maker Joseph Merlin introduces the first roller skates in London while rolling into a masquerade party playing a violin. James Watt patents his steam engine in 1769. Joseph Priestley gives rubber its name when he discovers that it rubs out pencil marks. Joseph Bramah patents a water closet with a flushing system that will provide the basis for future toilet plumbing.
John Montagu, earl of Sandwich, is credited for inventing the sandwich, meat between two slices of bread. Benjamin Franklin invents bifocals in 1784. Jacob Schweppe begins the first carbonated beverages company in Geneva.
Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin, a machine that will revolutionize the economies of Great Britain and the United States. He also creates the American system of mass-producing parts by means of jigs-metal patterns that will guide machine tools to make exact replicas of any part. After James Lind proves that citrus juice can be used to combat scurvy, Britain's Royal Navy orders a lime-juice ration aboard all its vessels in 1795. The English chemist Humphry Davy creates nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. Edward Jenner creates a vaccine for smallpox, based on the lymph from cowpox.
1701 - William Penn loses control of Pennsylvania when the Quakers force him to agree to a new "Frame of Government", giving the colony the only unicameral assembly in British America.
1704 - The first newspaper in the American colonies, the News-Letter, is founded in Boston.
1707 - England and Scotland are united into the United Kingdom of Great Britain; the Scottish Parliament is abolished and Scotland receives representation in the British Empire.
1709 - A famine hits Europe after crops are killed by a bitter winter.
1710s - Christianity is outlawed in China. After years of religious strife and crop failure, thousands of Germans from the Palatinate migrate to England and then to the American colonies. The Bank of England, issues the first English bank notes, which help ensure England's continued financial and political stability. Scottish financier John Law attempts to reform the French economy and establish a central bank. His efforts will soon fail due to massive speculation, and this setback to fiscal reform will haunt the Gallic superpower throughout the century.
1713 - The English win control of Gibraltar.
1718 - New Orleans is founded by the Sieur de Bienville.
1720s - Persia is invaded by Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Britain allows Jews to take oaths without saying "On the true faith of a Christian." Coffee is introduced to the Americas after a French naval officer steals a coffee seedling from the French royal gardens and transplants it in Martinique. More than 50,000 Marseillais die in the last major outbreak of bubonic plague. Londoners can choose to sip their coffee in any of almost 2,000 coffeehouses that have sprung up in the last 75 years and serve as key public meeting places for financial, political, and literary discussion. The printing press arrives in Constantinople and will facilitate the distribution of new books and ideas throughout the Muslim world.
1729 - Methodism is conceived when Episcopal priest John Wesley establishes a Holy Club at Oxford, whose members resolve to study and live their lives by rule and method. A diamond rush begins in Tejuco, Brazil.
1730s - Benjamin Franklin founds the first circulating library in North America. He begins publishing Poor Richard's Almanac and works to improve circulation through his position as postmaster general and starts a communications revolution. He also creates the first municipal police force in Philadelphia. Botulism makes its first appearance in Europe; the deadly bacteria is traced to a batch of sausage. Parliament repeals Britain's witchcraft statutes.
1733 - Georgia, the last of the 13 colonies, is founded by James Oglethorpe, English general and philanthropist, as a debtors' asylum.
1740s - King George's War breaks out between Britain and France in North America and the Caribbean, an outgrowth of the War of the Austrian Succession in Europe. Immigrants to Pennsylvania from Moravia bring with them traditional customs never before seen in the New World, including the introduction of Saint Nicholas as a staple of Christmas festivities. George Frederick Handel composes the hymn Joy to the World and the oratorio The Messiah. John Sotheby's uncle, London bookseller Samuel Baker, holds the first auction of what will become Sotheby's auction house. France claims the Ohio River Valley and builds several forts, including Fort Duquesne, later Pittsburgh. The Ohio Company of Britain begins to settle in what is now western Pennsylvania. Education in America is advanced when a group of Presbyterian ministers founds the College of New Jersey, renamed Princeton University in 1896; two years later, the College of Philadelphia, later the University of Pennsylvania, is established. Cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale opens a factory in London; his designs will influence furniture styles for years to come.
1750s - In England, a growing leisure class rises from the proceeds from sugar, tobacco, sea-island cotton, and other commodities grown in the New World. Foundrymen John Pass and John Stow cast Philadelphia's Liberty Bell for the belfry of the Pennsylvania State House. The French and Indian Wars.
1759 - French Canada falls to the British, following General James Wolfe's victory in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, outside Quebec City. The Jesuits are expelled from Portugal.
1760s - The first savings bank opens in the German city of Brunswick. England's first Shakespeare Festival opens in Stratford-upon-Avon. Thomas Jefferson's estate, Monticello, is built in the colony of Virginia. The Great Famine of Bengal, the worst famine in world history, claims the lives of 10 million Indians.
1762 - New York's first St. Patrick's Day parade is held on March 17.
1763 - Europe's Seven Years War ends when the Treaty of Paris is signed on February 10.
1764 - On May 24, James Otis, a Boston lawyer, denounces taxation without representation and urges the colonies to unite in opposition to British tax laws.
1765 - The Stamp Act is passed, requiring revenue stamps on all newspapers, pamphlets, playing cards, dice, almanacs, and legal documents purchased by the American colonists.
1767 - English surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon complete the Mason-Dixon Line.
1770 - British troops fire on a rock throwing crowd (known as "The Boston Massacre").
1772 - The 1st naval Battle of the American Revolution off the coast of Rhode Island. Explorer James Cook dispels the myth of a large southern continent as he approaches the Antarctic Circle.
1773 - The "Boston Tea Party" takes place as residents disguised as Indians throw crates of tea into Boston Harbor.
1774 - Martial Law is declared in Massachusetts. The Minute Men are established in America. France's Louis XVI and his Austrian-born wife assume the throne of France.
1775 - The Revolutionary War officially begins with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Patrick Henry utters the famous phrase, "Give me liberty or give me death!"
1776 - The United States declares its Independence from Britain by approving the Declaration of Independence.
1776 - The first submarine, the Turtle, is used in Battle in New York Harbor.
1778 - The Continental Congress approves the Articles of Confederation.
1780s - American authorities capture Major John André, who holds documents revealing a plot by Benedict Arnold to surrender West Point to the British. Arnold flees, and André is hanged. Blue laws get their name in New Haven, Connecticut, when a town ordinance printed on blue paper prohibits work on Sunday. Benjamin Franklin encourages the French to set their clocks ahead one hour in the spring and back one hour in the fall in order to maximize daylight. In a letter to a friend, Benjamin Franklin writes the famous phrase, "Nothing is certain but death and taxes."
1781 - The American Revolution ends on October 19, with the surrender of General Cornwallis.
1783 - The United States gains what is currently Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia as a result of the Treaty of Paris 1783.
1785 - Congress declares the dollar as the official currency of the United States.
1787 - The delegates at the Philadelphia convention approve the Constitution and sends it to the Continental Congress.
1788 - Australia's Botany Bay becomes an English penal colony, receiving its first convicts. The colony is then moved to a town that will be called Sydney, after Thomas Townshend, first viscount of Sydney.
1789 - George Washington is sworn in as the 1st President of the United States.
1790s - The Louvre Palace is opened to the public as an art museum.
1791 - The Bill of Rights (containing the 1st 10 Amendments) is ratified by 3/4ths of the states and becomes a part of the U.S. Constitution.
1792 - The United States Postal Service, the United States Mint, and the United States Military Draft are established. Leaders of the French Revolution formally remove Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette from power. Denmark becomes the first country to abandon the practice of trading slaves.
1793-1794 - The Reign of Terror. Robespierre gradually dominates France. Napoleon Bonaparte is a young artillery officer closely connected with Robespierre.
1794 - The French Legislative Assembly liberates all slaves in French colonies, making France the first country to free her slaves.
1797 - Cuban cigar makers make little cigars, or cigarettes, using wrappers derived from cotton.
1798 - A French army captain discovers the Rosetta Stone. The stone is a block of polished basalt with an inscription in Greek characters, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and demotic script.
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