18th Century Timeline: 1701 to 1800

1711-20   1721-30   1731-40   1741-50

1751-60   1761-70   1771-80   1781-90   1791-1800

1701  In England, the mark of a gentleman has become restraint – a response to the passions of war and religious conflict. Good manners are valued as a barrier against more conflict. Passionate preaching is seen by many as vulgar. There is a decline in demand for religious uniformity – a step away from the belief prevalent in the Middle Ages that those with views different from one's own are evil.

1701  By now, an explosive growth in global commerce was underway, created by the advances in economic organization that had been taking place in the West. But the transport of goods is slow, slow, slow compared to what it would be in the late 1800s and the 1900s. And manufacturing remained undeveloped.

1701  In London, Captain William Kidd is hanged.

1701  The last Habsburg king of Spain dies childless and without an heir. The War of Spanish Succession follows. England, the Dutch Republic and the Holy Roman Emperor oppose the king of France also becoming the king of Spain, and they form an anti-French alliance.

1701  The Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Bohemia and Archduke of Austria, Joseph I, gives permission to the Elector of Brandenburg to be crowned Frederick I, King of Prussia. A new and powerful state under Hohenzollern kings is in the making.

1702  The recent death of Sweden's king has encouraged Denmark, Russia and Poland to challenge Sweden's hegemony in the Baltic Sea area. The Great Northern War begins. Sweden's young new king, Charles XII, demonstrates his power by leading an army into Poland, routing a combined German and Polish force and putting onto the throne in Poland a king of his choosing: Stanislaus Leszczynski, who becomes Stanislaus I.

1702  The French and English battle at St. Augustine in Florida, the War of Spanish Succession in the Americas to be called Queen Anne's War – Anne being the Queen of England. In the Americas both sides use Indians as allies. An Anglo-Dutch fleet destroys a Spanish treasure fleet off the coast of Spain, capturing a fortune in silver.

1703  Tsar Peter (to be known as Peter the Great) would like a port at Riga in order to supplant his port at Archangel in the frozen far north. Riga is still held by the Swedes, so he starts building on marshland that will eventually become the city of St. Petersburg.

1705  Hardship, increased taxation and misconception provoke rebellion by Russians in Astrakhan by the Caspian Sea.

1705  An intrusion into Tibet by China's Manchu ruler is blocked by resistance from Mongol people called Dzungars.

1706  In Boston, Benjamin Franklin is born, the tenth son of a candle and soap maker.

1706  The English drive the French out of most of the Spanish Netherlands (Belgium).

1707  Scotland and England become the United Kingdom of Great Britain on May 1, shortly after the parliaments of Scotland and England ratified the Treaty of Union of 1706.

1707  More Europeans are learning to read, especially in Scotland and England. More are becoming interested in reason and science. In Berlin a science academy is created.

1707  By now Cape Town has 1,780 colonists of European descent, predominately Dutch and pursuing farming. Many are using slaves, who number about 1,100, imported from the Spice Islands (Indonesia) Mozambique and Madagascar.

1707  Mount Fuji erupts. Ash floats down on the city of Edo sixty miles to the north.

1708  Charles of Sweden leads his army into Russia, heading for Moscow, for a showdown against Tsar Peter. Charles considers the Russians poor fighters and is optimistic. Peter orders the destruction of all in front of the advancing Swedes that can be of use to them.

1709  The Swedes winter in the warmer Ukraine. In a summer showdown at Poltava the poor quality of the gunpowder used by the Swedes causes their shots to fall short. Russia's artillery cuts the Swedes down. The Swedes flee and many surrender.

1710  Along the Zambezi River in Eastern Africa, the Rozvi emperor allows the Portuguese to maintain a trading post at Zumbo. The Rozvi want to maintain trade with the Europeans and acquire chinaware, beads, umbrellas, brass bells, brandy and other goods.

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