Category: 18th Century

Categories: Time Periods

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The Eighteenth Century CE, i.e. 1701 to 1800

During the 18th century, the Enlightenment culminated in the French and American revolutions. Philosophy and science increased in prominence. Philosophers dreamed of a brighter age. This dream turned into a reality with the French Revolution, although it was later compromised by excess of the terror of Maximilien Robespierre. At first, the monarchies of Europe embraced Enlightenment ideals, but with the French Revolution they feared losing their power and joined wide coalitions with the counter-revolution.

The Ottoman Empire was undergoing a protracted decline, as it failed to keep up with the technological advances in Europe. The Tulip period symbolized a period of peace and reorientation towards European society, after victory against a burgeoning Russian Empire in the Pruth River Campaign. Throughout the century various reforms were introduced with limited success.

The 18th century also marked the end of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as an independent state. The once powerful and vast kingdom, that was once able to conquer Moscow and defeat the great Ottoman armies, collapsed under numerous invasions. Its semi-democratic government system was not efficient enough to rival the neighbouring monarchies of Prussia, Russia and Austria who divided the Commonwealth territories among them, changing the landscape of Central European politics for the next hundred years.

Great Britain became a major power worldwide with the defeat of France in the Americas, in the 1760s and the conquest of large parts of India. However, Britain lost much of its North American colonies after the American Revolution, which was actively helped by the French. The industrial revolution started in Britain around 1770s with the production of the improved steam engine. Despite its modest beginnings in the 18th century, it would radically change human society and the environment. (1)

World leaders, politicians, military

  • John Adams, American statesman
  • Samuel Adams, American statesman
  • Ethan Allen, American Revolutionary Army
  • Anne, Queen of Great Britain
  • Marie Antoinette, Austrian-born Queen of France
  • Ferdinand VI, King of Spain
  • Augustus III, Elector of Saxony, King of Poland, and Grand Duke of Lithuania
  • Aaron Burr, American statesman
  • William Cavendish, Anglo-Irish politician
  • John Carteret, Anglo-Irish politician
  • Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia
  • Charles III, King of Spain, Naples, and Sicily
  • Charles VI, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, King of Bohemia and Hungary
  • Charles XII, King of Sweden, the Goths and the Wends;
  • Charlotte Corday, French revolutionary
  • Georges Danton, French revolutionary leader
  • Elizabeth of Russia, Empress of Russia
  • Ferdinand I, King of Naples, Sicily, and the Two Sicilies
  • Benjamin Franklin, American leader, scientist and statesman
  • Juan Francisco, Spanish naval officer and explorer
  • Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden, the Goths and the Wends
  • Frederick the Great, King of Prussia
  • George I, King of Great Britain and Ireland
  • George II, King of Great Britain and Ireland
  • George III, King of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Robert Gray, American revolutionary, merchant, and explorer
  • Gustav III, King of Sweden, the Goths and the Wends
  • Nathan Hale, American patriot, executed for espionage by the British
  • Alexander Hamilton, American statesman
  • Patrick Henry, American statesman
  • John Jay, American statesman
  • Thomas Jefferson, American statesman
  • John Paul Jones, American naval commander
  • Joseph I, King of Portugal
  • Joseph II, Austrian Emperor
  • Marquis de Lafayette, Continental Army officer
  • Louis XIV, King of France
  • Louis XV, King of France
  • Louis XVI, King of France
  • Louis XVII, imprisoned King of France, never ruled
  • James Madison, American statesman
  • George Mason, American statesman
  • Michikinikwa, Miami chief and warrior
  • Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, French officer
  • Horatio Nelson, British admiral
  • Peter I (Peter the Great), Emperor of Russia
  • Philip V, King of Spain
  • Pontiac, Ottawa chief and warrior
  • Francis II Rákóczi, Prince of Hungary and Transylvania, revolutionary leader
  • Paul Revere, American revolutionary leader and silversmith
  • Maximilien Robespierre, French revolutionary leader
  • Betsy Ross, American flag maker
  • John Russell, Anglo-Irish politician
  • Lionel Sackville, Anglo-Irish politician
  • Sebastião de Melo, Prime Minister of Portugal
  • Charles Edward Stuart, English Jacobite exile
  • Maria Theresa, Austrian Empress
  • George Vancouver, British Captain and explorer
  • Robert Walpole, Prime Minister of Great Britain
  • George Washington, American general and first President of the United States
  • James Wolfe, British officer

Subcategories (6)

Person Profiles (7)

23 Jul 1649 Urbino, Papal States - 19 Mar 1721 photo
25 Dec 1717 - 29 Aug 1799 photo
14 Aug 1742 Cesena, Forlì-Cesena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy - 20 Aug 1823 photo
13 May 1655 - 07 Mar 1724 photo
07 Mar 1693 Venice, Republic of Venice - 02 Feb 1769 photo
31 Oct 1705 - 22 Sep 1774 photo
31 Mar 1675 - 03 May 1758 photo

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