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Timeline: 1741 to 1750

1741  Russia's Alexei Chirikovon on July 15 sights land in Southeast Alaska. He sends a few men out in longboat, the first Europeans to visit Alaska.

1741  In New York, fires occur in Lower Manhattan between March and April, including at the home of the governor. A sixteen year-old Irish girl accused of theft testifies that poor whites and blacks are burning the city and plan to kill the white men, take the white women for themselves and elect a new king and governor. Two slaves confess to setting a major fire and they name dozens of co-conspirators. Numerous arrests follow: 152 blacks and 20 whites. They are convicted in a show trial. John Ury, a teacher and suspected Catholic priest, is charged with instigating the plot. Most of the convicted people, including John Ury, are hanged. Some are burned to death. Seventy-two men are deported

1742  In Peru, a mestizo wanted for murder has fled to a forested area on the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains, and there he persuades local people he is descended from Inca chiefs. He takes the title Atahualpa Apu-Inca and claims he has been sent by Gods to drive the Spaniards from South America. He creates an Indian army from several tribes and in coming years is successful in repelling incursions by colonial authorities.

1743  In the War of Austrian Succession, France has joined Prussia against Austria and sends troops into Bavaria. The British side with Austria and together they defeat the French in Bavaria, at the Battle of Dittengen.

1743  Nader Shah of Iran wars against the Ottoman Turks.

1744  France invades the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium).

1744  A scholar of the Koran, Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, has been urging a rejection of Sufism and other creations that he sees as deviating from the Koran. He allies himself with a Bedouin chieftain, Muhammad Ibn Saud.

1745  A science academy is created at Copenhagen, Denmark.

1746  France and Britain are openly hostile during the War of Austrian Succession, and France has approved an attempt by British emigres to return the descendants of James II (House of Stuart) to the English throne, overturning the Glorius Revolution of 1688. This, to be known as the Jacobite risings, has been raging since 1745 and ends in defeat on April 16, at the Battle of Colloden in Scotland. The British lose 50 killed, the Jacobites lose from 1500 to 2000 killed or wounded. The Jacobite force had been poorly led by the Stuart pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie," 26. He managed to escape back to France.

1747  More War of Austrian Succession. The Sardinians and French fight each other in mountainous territory around 200 kilometers southwest of Milan – the Battle of Assietta - where the French are slaughtered trying to ascend a ridge, losing a quarter of their troops in one day – a total of 5,300 casualties and perhaps 3,700 dead.

1747  Nader Shah is a free-thinker who has wanted to unite the Shia and Sunni, both of whom serve in his military. He has been taxing heavily and crushing dissenters. Suspecting his son's involvement in an attempt on his life, he has him blinded. A group of Afshar and Qajar chiefs attack Nader Shah while he is sleeping and kill him. Iran fragments.

1748  The War of Austrian Succession ends with a treaty signed by Britain, France, Spain and the Dutch, and another signed by Austria and Sardinia. Prussia's hold on Silesia is confirmed. France agrees to the Habsburg king regaining his Netherlands (Belgium). And the British agree to return areas in the Americas and India to the French.

1748  Baron Charles Montesquieu of France, who inherited a fortune and had time to write, has another of his works, The Spirit of Laws, published. He is a liberal Catholic, admiring British institutions and John Locke. He is a critic of France's monarchical absolutism. He believes people should think for themselves. A god who directed people as if they were puppets, he says, would not have produced human intelligence. His Spirit of Laws will go into 22 editions and he will influence the creators of the US Constitution.

1749  In the colony of Virginia, George Washington, at age 17, has recurrent attacks of malaria.

1749  Emilie du Chatelet, French mathematician, physicist, aristocrat, hardworking bon vivant and companion of Voltaire dies this year at the age of 43 after giving birth to her second daughter. She superseded Isaac Newton by establishing that energy is more than mass times velocity. She described energy as velocity squared – a part of what would eventually become E (energy) = M (mass) C (speed of light) squared (the C part to be supplied by Albert Einstein in 1905).

1750  Johann Sebastian Bach's eyesight has been deteriorating. He undergoes an operation which perhaps hastens his death, at the age of 65.

1750  Workers in London and Amsterdam have twice the purchasing power of the average worker in the great Muslim city of Istanbul.

1750  Seafaring trade between Europe to the East around Africa's the Cape of Good Hope had by now ended the overland caravan spice trade. The Middle East's share in world trade had been declining.

1750  India is producing 24.5 percent of the world's manufactured goods. India's textile workers have a standard of living equal to that of British workers. China is producing 32.8 percent of the world's manufactured goods. Europe is still pre-industrial, using hands and arm muscle in manufacturing. Britainis manufacturing per capita is around 140 percent of what India is manufacturing, and 125 percent what China is manufacturing, but given the greater populations of India and China, Britain's total production of manufactured goods is much less. The British in 1750 are producing only 1.9 percent of the world's share of manufactured goods.

1750  An average of 60,000 slaves are being exported from Africa per year.

1750  Along Africa's Gold Coast, the Asante kingdom has been supplying slaves to British and Dutch traders in exchange for firearms with which to enforce territorial expansion.

1750  The Manchu Chinese capture the town of Lhasa and take power in Tibet.

1750  In France, Jean Jacques Rousseau wins an essay contest. He claims that people are good and innocent by nature and have been corrupted by the arts and sciences.

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