Timeline: 1761 to 1770

1761  At the Third Battle of Panipat, in January, armies of more than 100,000, face off: the Hindu Maratha Empire against a coalition force that includes the King of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Durrani, to be considered the founder of modern Afghanistan. It will be described as the biggest battle in the 1700s and killing perhaps 40,000 on each side. The battle halts the advance of the Marathas. The Marathas were using French supplied artillery. This is in the far north of the sub-continent, about 90 kilometers north of Delhi. Two days later on the eastern side of the southern tip of the sub-continent a British force takes Pondichéry from the French.

1762  During the Seven Years' War, Empress Elizabeth of Russia dies. The new ruler, Tsar Peter III takes Russia out of the war against Prussia. Having lost hope of gain, Sweden also withdraws from the war. France talks Spain into joining the war on its side against Britain.

1763  The Seven Years' War ends. Britain, Spain and France sign the Treaty of Paris and Austria and Prussia sign the Peace of Hubertusburg in February. Austria gains nothing. France loses possessions in the Americas and cedes to Spain the huge territory of Louisiana, including New Orleans. France agrees to pull out of India, and it cedes its colony by the Senegal River to the British. Spain acquires Cuba and the Philippines and gives up Florida, which goes to Britain.

1763  With the Seven Years' War, Britain has acquired territory from the French in North America's Great Lakes region. By April many tribes in the area are fed up with the policies of Britain's General Jeffrey Amherst begin to attack British forts and the settlements of colonists, to be called Pontiac's War. (Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa tribe is but one player.) At Fort Pitt, British officers attempt to infect the Indians with smallpox using blankets that had been exposed to the virus. In October, a royal proclamation by King George III attempts to stabilize the region by it forbidding settlers from moving beyond the Appalachian Mountains. This will anger colonial land speculators.

1764  The Indian raids against colonizers has expanded. The Pennsylvania Assembly, with the approval of Governor Penn, reintroduces the scalp bounties, money paid for every Indian killed above the age of ten, including females. It was the first extensive multi-tribal resistance to European colonization in North America. The British fought back with military actions and separate treaties, aided by conflicts between tribes.

1764  A French trading company establishes a trading post on the Mississippi River, to be known as St. Louis.

Edward Gibbon decides to write The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

1765  A Scottish instrument maker, James Watt, creates a condenser for steam engines. It will be eleven years before it will be put to use.

1765  In France a twenty-eight volume encyclopedia is completed, with hundreds of thousands of articles by leading scientists and famous writers. It includes an article against slavery and the slave trade. The government has banned the book, and the Catholic Church has placed it on its index of forbidden books.

1766  The Seven Years' War left Britain in debt and its military still in the Americas, to protect the colonists from Indian uprisings. Britain expects the colonists to help with taxes to pay for its commitments in the Americas. Parliament's Stamp Act, aimed at acquiring more revenue from the colonies, is resisted and rioting occurs. Parliament repeals the Stamp Act but passes the Declaratory Act, asserting its authority in the colonies "in all cases whatsoever." Colonists remain disturbed by their lack of political power and taxation without representation.

1767  In Spain, political activism by Jesuits has angered the monarchy. Spain confiscates Jesuit properties in its American colonies and expels the Jesuits. In Spain's American colonies rioting occurs.

1767  The crew of a British ship commanded by Samuel Wallis visits the island of Tahiti. The Europeans are to stay around forty days and defend their ship from attack by aggressive males with spears. Eventually peace is made. Wallis finds the Tahitians with a hierarchical, tribal and communal society, with devotion to a god, 'Oro, that includes human sacrifice. Perhaps 2,000 years have passed since humans arrived at Tahiti and surrounding islands, and by now peoples there have been involved in quarrels and war.

1768  Sugar consumption, which began among the Arabs and has been limited to Europe's wealthy, is growing in popularity, common Europeans becoming more familiar with sweet taste. Islands in the Caribbean are the great producers of sugar, the labor supplied by slaves. Demand for sugar has elevated its price, and planters are trying to increase production. Sugar refining uses the first modern factory-like production system. A sugar mill in Jamaica becomes the first to use a steam engine.

1768  The French explorer Louis Bougainville "discovers" Tahiti and claims it for King Louis XV of France.

1769  Spain has asked the Franciscan Order to replace Jesuits in Lower (Baja) California. Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan, has become head of missions in Lower California. He is sent north by Spain's governor there, to Upper California, to Christianize natives and to block Russian claims to coastal areas.

1770  Greeks are not allowed to acquire land from Ottoman landowners. Greece is ruled by the Ottoman Turks. Greek peasants want land and are encouraged by the Russians to rise in revolt. A small Russian force lands on the Peloponnesian Peninsula to support the rising. The Ottoman Empire crushes the rising using Albanian soldiers.

1770  Captain Cook sails to New Zealand, arriving unaware of the presence of French explorer, Jean-François-Marie de Surville, who is anchored there. Cook claims the area for King George III and sails to Australia.

1770  Monsoon rains have not arrived, leaving grain crops in Bengal diminished. Famine appears, killing perhaps a third of Bengal's population.

1770  Along the Zambezi River, those called Prazeros, originally Portuguese adventurer-traders, are now more African racially than they are European. Some have been warlords with slave armies, but they have been facing revolts. Some they have tried to subjugate have been moving away. The power of the Prazeros and their opulent lifestyles are in decline.

1770  The Dutch claim the Gamtoos River, 700 kilometers east of Cape Town, as their eastern border in South Africa.

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