timeline 18th c europe

  • navigation acts

    navigation acts
    Navigation Acts, which required that goods imported from Europe be carried on British-owned ships or on ships of the exporting country. These laws gave British merchants and ship owners a virtual monopoly on trade with British colonies. The Navigation Acts were a form of economic warfare that initially targeted the Dutch, who were far ahead of the English in shipping and foreign trade.
  • urban guilds

    urban guilds
    Around 1200, there was an economic boom during the Middle Ages. Something called the guild system reached its peak in most of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries as they grew dramatically in number in cities and towns. Guild masters occupied the summit of the world of work, receiving a set of privileges and being punished if these were violated. Guilds also served social and religious functions, providing a locus of sociability and group identity to the middling classes of European cities.
  • debt peonage

    debt peonage
    Spain’s influence expanded westward all the way to northern California through the efforts of Spanish missionaries and ranchers. The mercantilist goals were boosted by a recovery in silver production. To keep up needed food production for the mining camps, Spanish landowners developed a system of debt peonage, a form of serfdom, through which they kept indigenous workers on their estates in perpetual debt bondage by advancing them food, shelter, and a little money.
  • agricultural revolution

    agricultural revolution
    The Agricultural Revolution began in the 1600s and continues today. Improvements in agricultural methods such as enclosure movement, crop rotation, and using manure as fertilizer increased the yield of farms. This allowed for more people to be fed, which improved their quality of life. In addition, peasants continued to live in poor conditions, however, the agricultural revolution helped them improve their situation.
  • major population growth

    major population growth
    Rapid population growth in Europe began during the mid-18th century. This can be attributed to the scientific revolution, which invented new technology and medicinal practices. Economically, this benefited Europe as there was a larger workforce. This was also caused by the growing amount of food available, especially because of the trade. Foods such as the potato helped mass starvation and increased life expectancy.
  • Atlantic slave trade

    Atlantic slave trade
    The Atlantic Slave Trade, a key element in the Atlantic economy, intensified after 1750 and peaked in the 1780s when an average of eighty thousand slaves per year was shipped across the Atlantic. Most Europeans did not personally witness the horrors of the slave trade, but as details of the plight of slaves became known, a campaign to abolish slavery developed in Britain and in the late 1780s grew into a mass movement, until Parliament abolished the British slave trade in 1807.
  • the seven years war

    the seven years war
    The last major conflict before the French Revolution to involve all the great powers of Europe. The war arose out of the attempt of the Austrian Habsburgs to win back the rich province of Silesia. But the Seven Years’ War also involved overseas colonial struggles between Great Britain and France, the main points of contention between those two traditional rivals being the struggle for control of North America.
  • open field system

    open field system
    The greatest accomplishment of medieval agriculture was the open-field system of village agriculture developed by European peasants, which sustained fairly large numbers of people but did not produce material abundance.
    Open-field system was divided the land to be cultivated by the peasants of a given village into several large fields, which were, in turn, cut up into long, narrow strips that were open and not enclosed into small plots by fences or hedges.
  • industrial revolution

    industrial revolution
    Occurring in northwestern European households, families reduced leisure time, stepped up their pace of work, and most important, redirected the labor of women and children away from the production of goods for household consumption and toward wage work. The role of women and girls in this new economy is particularly controversial as women entered the labor market, they almost always worked at menial, tedious jobs for very low wages.
  • small pox vaccine

    small pox vaccine
    The smallpox vaccine, the first successful vaccine to be developed, was introduced by Edward Jenner in 1796. He followed up his observation that milkmaids who had previously caught cowpox did not later catch smallpox by showing that inoculated cowpox protected against inoculated smallpox.