C & C Over Time in 18th Century Europe

  • St. Petersburg founded by Peter the Great

    St. Petersburg founded by Peter the Great
    In 1703, Russian ruler Peter the Great created a city he named for himself on the Baltic Sea. This move was characteristic of the desire of previous Russian rulers to try and associate their country with the great powers of western Europe. In forming the new capital of Russia and in supporting the use of western policies, Peter effected great change at home. This is noteworthy given that Russian society did pick up, it would continue to lag behind in the Enlightenment and in colonialism.
  • Peace of Utrecht

    Peace of Utrecht
    At the end of the grisly War of the Spanish Succession came the Peace of Utrecht. This is especially notable given that it marked the loss of Louis XIV's France and the resulting decline in French ambitions. In this war and others, Louis sought to expand French influence over the continent and cement the primacy of its culture. He failed here, and so did his larger agenda. European society would continue to embrace France, but no longer could it seek territorial dominance.
  • Defeat of the Mughal Empire

    Defeat of the Mughal Empire
    It is well known that India would become the jewel in the English empire, and this came about with victories against the Mughal Empire. A further continuation of English efforts for domination of the Atlantic and Pacific would result in the subjugation of Indians for centuries and the economic might held by England. The effect of English trading wealth on society was profound too. Most of all, with India their goal had been achieved and the economic might of the E. Indies Co. cemented.
  • The Great Plague of Marseille

    The Great Plague of Marseille
    The bubonic plague that would torment Europe for centuries saw its end at Marseille in 1720. Although taking the lives of 100,000, it marked the end of a long period of epidemics. In a slightly improved health through the 18th Century, Europe can owe the advancements it made. This was extremely beneficial to society, as the population was now set to increase towards levels cemented by industrialism and agricultural reform. It is the decline in disease and increase in innovation that is so great.
  • John Kay invents the Flying Shuttle

    John Kay invents the Flying Shuttle
    Key to the economic success of Europe in the 18th Century was the ability to take advantage of colonial natural resources. This is perhaps best exemplified by the example of the Flying Shuttle. Without this device, the efficiency attained in weaving and the subsequent rise of English textiles would be impossible. Also noteworthy, this invention would not only help the economy then but also usher in a system focused on production that brought about the industrial revolution.
  • Treaty of Paris 1763

    Treaty of Paris 1763
    This treaty ended the Seven Years' War and in doing so affirmed the English desire for primacy. This came with the French concession of North American and Indian claims. This would result in an economy in which English monopolies ran unopposed, and a European society of bleak colonial competition. This marks the end of French colonialism, as well as the beginning of revolutionary sentiments in the British American colonies.
  • Seven Years' War

    Seven Years' War
    The Seven Years' War was in many ways a world war between England and France. Also noteworthy for being a continuation of British efforts at commercial domination, it saw them exclude their chief rival around the world. I mention the broader war separate from the treaty that ended it because of the vast economic implications it had. All parties found themselves in almost insurmountable debt, and this would see a change in colonial policy for England especially.
  • Inclosure Act of 1773

    Inclosure Act of 1773
    Enclosure had been taking place in England for some time, but this Act and the many others that went into place alongside it in the 18th Century really solidified the practice. Shown here with traditional spelling, this process set the stage for the great leap forward of the European economy that was industrialization. Here we also see the end of yearslong efforts to enclose, finally ending peasant land claims. Now, increasingly commoners sought cottage industries or urban livelihoods.
  • Montgolfier Brothers' First Successful Test of Hot Air Balloon

    Montgolfier Brothers' First Successful Test of Hot Air Balloon
    In what can be viewed as a continuation of scientific principles, the Montgolfier brothers designed and built the first successful hot-air balloon. Taking flight above Versailles, their achievement was immense. France and broader Europe reveled in their creation and it is said to have had an incredible effect on the European population. In aeronautical displays around the world society would interact with science in a much more perceptible way than before.
  • Execution of Louis XVI

    Execution of Louis XVI
    The execution of Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette as part of the French Revolution was an incredible shift in European society. No longer was France a monarch, instead ruled for a time loosely based on Enlightenment principles. This was a significant change for all of Europe, and it fell in line with other revolutions too. Critically, this was the major such event in Europe and would serve to disrupt society in European colonies even further.