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The Eighteenth Century

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The Patriot (Extended Cut)



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 File:Prise de la Bastille.jpg

The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar.

However, Western historians may sometimes specifically define the 18th century otherwise for the purposes of their work. For example, the "short" 18th century may be defined as 1715–1789, denoting the period of time between the death of Louis XIV of France and the start of the French Revolution with an emphasis on directly interconnected events.

To historians who expand the century to include larger historical movements, the "long" 18th century may run from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the battle of Waterloo in 1815 or even later. During the 18th century, the Enlightenment culminated in the French, Haitian and American revolutions. Philosophy and science increased in prominence. Philosophers were dreaming about a better age without the Christian fundamentalism of earlier centuries. This dream turned into a nightmare during the terror of Maximilien Robespierre in the early 1790s. At first, the monarchies of Europe embraced enlightenment ideals, but with the French revolution, they were on the side of the counterrevolution.

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 her North American colonies after the American revolution. The industrial revolution started in Britain around the 1770s. Despite its modest beginnings in the 18th century, it would radically change human society and the geology of the surface of the earth.


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Peter the Great in the Battle of Poltava


  • 1700: The 1700 Cascadia earthquake (magnitude 9) occurs off the coast of the Pacific Northwest; the coast of Japan is struck by a tsunami.
  • 1700–21: Russia supplants Sweden as the dominant Baltic power after the Great Northern War.
  • 1701–1714: War of the Spanish Succession was a conflict which involved most of Europe.[6]
  • 1701–1702: The Daily Courant and the The Norwich Post becomes the first daily newspapers in England.
  • 1702: Forty-seven Ronin attack Kira Yoshinaka and then commit seppuku in Japan.
  • 1702–1715: Camisard Rebellion in France.
  • 1703: Saint Petersburg founded by Peter the Great. Russian capital until 1918.
  • 1703–1711: The Rákóczi Uprising against the Habsburg Monarchy.
  • 1704: End of Japan's Genroku period.
  • 1707: Act of Union passed merging the Scottish and the English Parliaments, thus establishing The Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • 1707: After Aurangzeb's death, the Mughal Empire enters a long decline and the Maratha Empire slowly replaces it.
  • 1707: Mount Fuji erupts in Japan.
  • 1707: War of 27 years between the Marathas and Mughals ends in India.
  • 1708: The Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies and English Company Trading to the East Indies merged to form the United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies.
  • 1708–1709: Famine kills one-third of East Prussia's population.
  • Great Frost of 1709: Coldest winter in 500 years.
  • 1709: Hotaki dynasty founded in Afghanistan.
  • 1709: Charles XII of Sweden flees to Ottoman Empire after Peter I of Russia defeats his army at the Battle of Poltava.

 John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, English general.


  • 1710-1711: Ottoman Empire fights Russia in the Russo-Turkish War
  • 1713-1714: Tarabai establishes rival Maratha Empire government in Kolhapur against Chattrapati Shahu.
  • 1714: Accession of George I, Elector of Hanover, to the throne of Great Britain.
  • 1715: First Jacobite rebellion breaks out
  • 1715: Louis XIV dies, leaving France deep in debt.
  • 1715: Pope Clement XI declares Catholicism and Confucianism incompatible.
  • 1716: Establishment of the Sikh Confederacy along the India Pakistan border.
  • 1718: City of New Orleans founded by the French in North America
  • 1718: Blackbeard is killed by Robert Maynard in a North Carolina inlet on the inner side of Ocracoke Island
  • 1718-1730: Tulip period of the Ottoman Empire
  • 1719: Spanish attempt to restart the Jacobite rebellion fails.


  • 1720: The South Sea Bubble
  • 1720: Spanish military embarks on the Villasur expedition from Mexico and travel into the Great Plains
  • 1720–1721: The Great Plague of Marseille
  • 1721: Robert Walpole became the first Prime Minister of Great Britain (de facto).
  • 1721: Treaty of Nystad signed, ending the Great Northern War.
  • 1721: Kangxi Emperor bans Christian Missionaries because of Pope Clement XI's decree.
  • 1721: Peter I reforms the Russian Orthodox Church
  • 1722: Afghans conquered Iran, overthrowing the Safavid Shah Soltan Hosein.
  • 1722: Kangxi Emperor of China died.
  • 1722: Bartholomew Roberts is killed in a sea battle off the African coast.
  • 1722–23: Russo-Persian War
  • 1722–1725: Controversy over William Wood's halfpence leads to the Drapier's Letters and begins the Irish economic independence from England movement.
  • 1723: Slavery abolished in Russia. Peter the Great converted the household slaves into house serfs.
  • 1723–1730: The "Great Disaster" – an invasion of Kazakh territories by the Dzungars.
  • 1725: The Fulani nomads took complete control of Fuuta Jallon and set up the first of many Fulani jihad states to come.
  • 1726: The enormous Chinese encyclopedia Gujin Tushu Jicheng of over 100 million written Chinese characters in over 800,000 pages is printed in 60 different copies using copper-based Chinese movable type printing.
  • 1727–1729: Anglo-Spanish War
  • 1729–1735: Charles Wesley and John Wesley begin the Methodism in England


  • 1730: Mahmud I takes over Ottoman Empire after the Patrona Halil revolt, ending the Tulip period.
  • 1730–1760: First Great Awakening takes place in Great Britain and North America.
  • 1732–1734: Crimean Tatar raids into Russia.
  • 1733–1738: War of the Polish Succession.
  • 1735–1739: Russo-Turkish War.
  • 1735–1799: The Qianlong Emperor of China oversaw a huge expansion in territory.
  • 1736: Nader Shah assumed title of Shah of Persia and founded the Afsharid dynasty. Ruled until his death in 1747.
  • 1736: Qing Dynasty Chinese court painters recreate Zhang Zeduan's classic panoramic painting, Along the River During Qingming Festival.
  • 1738–1756: Famine across the Sahel, half the population of Timbuktu died.
  • 1738: Pope Clement XII issues the Eminenti Apostolatus Specula prohibiting Catholics from becoming Freemasons.
  • 1739: Nader Shah defeated the Mughals at the Battle of Karnal and sacked Delhi.
  • 1739: Great Britain and Spain fight the War of Jenkins' Ear in the Caribbean.

 Frederick II the Great, King of Prussia.


  • 1740: Frederick the Great comes to power in Prussia.
  • 1740: British attempt to capture St. Augustine, Florida but lose to the Spanish during the Siege of St. Augustine.
  • 1740–1741: Famine in Ireland killed ten per cent of the population.
  • 1740–1748: War of the Austrian Succession
  • 1741: Russians began settling the Aleutian Islands.
  • 1741: Pope Benedict XIV issues Immensa Pastorum principis against slavery.
  • 1744: The First Saudi State is founded by Mohammed Ibn Saud.
  • 1744: French attempt to restart the Jacobite rebellion fails
  • 1744–1748: The First Carnatic War fought between the British, the French, the Marathas, and Mysore in India.
  • 1745: Second Jacobite Rebellion began by Charles Edward Stuart in Scotland.
  • 1747: Ahmed Shah Durrani founded the Durrani Empire in modern day Afghanistan.
  • 1748: Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle ends the War of the Austrian Succession and First Carnatic War.
  • 1748–1754: The Second Carnatic War fought between the British, the French, the Marathas, and Mysore in India

 The Death of General Wolfe


  • 1750: Peak of the Little Ice Age
  • 1754: Treaty of Pondicherry ends Second Carnatic War and recognizes Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah as Nawab of the Carnatic.
  • 1754–1763, The French and Indian War, Fought in the U.S. and Canada mostly between the French and French allies and the English and English allies. The North American chapter of the Seven Years' War.
  • 1755: The Lisbon earthquake
  • 1755–1763: The Great Upheaval, forced population transfer of the French Acadian population from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
  • 1756–1763: Seven Years' War fought among European powers in various theaters around the world.
  • 1756–1763: The Third Carnatic War fought between the British, the French, the Marathas, and Mysore in India.
  • 1757: Battle of Plassey signaled the beginning of formal British rule in India after years of commercial activity under the auspices of the East India Company.
  • 1758: British colonel James Wolfe issues the Wolfe's Manifesto
  • 1759: French commander Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and British commander James Wolfe die during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

 George III, King of Great Britain.


  • 1760: George III became King of Britain.
  • 1760: Zand dynasty founded in Iran
  • 1761: Maratha Empire defeated at Battle of Panipat
  • 1762–1796: Reign of Catherine the Great of Russia.
  • 1763: Treaty of Paris ends Seven Years' War and Third Carnatic War
  • 1763: Kingdom of Mysore conquers the Kingdom of Keladi
  • 1765: Stamp Act introduced into the American colonies by the UK Parliament.
  • 1766–1799: Anglo-Mysore Wars
  • 1767: Burmese conquered the Ayutthaya kingdom.
  • 1768: Gurkhas conquered Nepal.
  • 1768–1774: Russo-Turkish War
  • 1769: Spanish missionaries established the first of 21 missions in California.
  • 1769–1770: James Cook explores and maps New Zealand and Australia
  • 1769–1773: The Bengal famine of 1770 killed one third of the Bengal population.

 Rejtan and the Partitions of Poland


  • 1770: James Cook claims the East Coast of Australia (New South Wales) for Great Britain.
  • 1770–1771: Famine in Czech lands killed hundreds of thousands.
  • 1771: The Plague Riot in Moscow.
  • 1771: Richard Arkwright and his partners build the world's first water-powered mill at Cromford.
  • 1772: Reformer Johann Friedrich Struensee executed in Denmark.
  • 1772: Gustav III of Sweden stages a coup d'état, becoming almost an absolute monarch.
  • 1772: Partitions of Poland marks the end of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • 1772–1779: Maratha Empire fights England and Raghunathrao's forces during the First Anglo-Maratha War
  • 1772–1795: The Partitions of Poland ended the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and erased Poland from the map for 123 years.
  • 1773–1775: Pugachev's Rebellion was the largest peasant revolt in Russia's history.
  • 1773: East India Company starts operations in Bengal to smuggle Opium into China.
  • 1775 John Harrison H4 and Larcum Kendall K1 Marine chronometers are used to measure longitude by James Cook on his Second voyage (1772?)
  • 1775–1782: First Anglo-Maratha War
  • 1775–1783: American Revolutionary War
  • 1776: Illuminati founded by Adam Weishaupt
  • 1776: United States Declaration of Independence adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
  • 1778: Tây Sõn Dynasty established in Vietnam.
  • 1778: James Cook becomes first European on the Hawaiian Islands.
  • 1779–1879: Xhosa Wars between British and Boer settlers and the Xhosas in South African Republic

 George Washington


  • 1780: Outbreak of indigenous rebellion led by Túpac Amaru II in Peru.
  • 1781: Spanish settlers founded Los Angeles.
  • 1781–1785: Serfdom abolished in the Austrian monarchy (first step; second step in 1848)
  • 1783: Famine in Iceland caused by the eruption of the Laki volcano.
  • 1783: Russian Empire annexed the Crimean Khanate.
  • 1783 The Treaty of Paris formally ends the American War of Independence.
  • 1785–1791: Imam Sheikh Mansur, a Chechen warrior and Muslim mystic, led a coalition of Muslim Caucasian tribes from throughout the Caucasus in a holy war against the Russian invaders.
  • 1785–1795: Northwest Indian War between the United States and Native Americans
  • 1787: United States Constitution was written in Philadelphia and submitted to the states for ratification.
  • 1787: Freed slaves from London founded Freetown in present-day Sierra Leone.
  • 1787: Kansei Reforms instituted in Japan by Matsudaira Sadanobu.
  • 1787–1792: Russo-Turkish War
  • 1788 First French Quaker community established in Congénies
  • 1788: First European settlement established in Australia at Sydney.
  • 1788: New Hampshire ratifies the United States Constitution as the 9th state, and by the terms of Article VII it is in effect.
  • 1788–1789 Inconfidência Mineira, conspiracy against the colonial authorities in Brazil.
  • 1789: George Washington elected President of the United States. Served until 1797.
  • 1789: Great Britain and Spain dispute the Nootka Sound during the Nootka Crisis.
  • 1789–1799: The French Revolution

 Napoleon at the Bridge of the Arcole


  • 1790: United States of Belgium proclaimed following the Brabant Revolution.
  • 1790: Establishment of the Polish-Prussian Pact
  • 1791 The Constitutional Act (Or Canada Act) creates the two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada in British North America.
  • 1791–1795: George Vancouver explores the world during the Vancouver Expedition.
  • 1791–1804: The Haitian Revolution
  • 1792–1815: The Great French War started as the French Revolutionary Wars which lead into the Napoleonic Wars.
  • 1792: New York Stock & Exchange Board founded.
  • 1792: King Gustav III of Sweden was assassinated by a conspiracy of noblemen.
  • 1793: Upper Canada bans slavery.
  • 1793: The largest yellow fever epidemic in American history killed as many as 5,000 people in Philadelphia—roughly 10% of the population.
  • 1793–1796: Revolt in the Vendée against the French Republic at the time of the Revolution.
  • 1794: Polish revolt
  • 1794: Jay's Treaty concluded between Great Britain and the United States, by which the Western outposts in the Great Lakes are returned to the U.S., and commerce between the two countries is regulated.
  • 1794: Qajar dynasty founded in Iran after replacing the Zand dynasty.
  • 1795: Mohammad Khan Qajar razes Tbilisi to the ground.
  • 1795: Pinckney's Treaty between the United States and Spain granted the Mississippi Territory to the US.
  • 1795: The Marseillaise officially adopted as the French national anthem.
  • 1795: Kamehameha I of the Island of Hawaii defeats the Oahuans at the Battle of Nu'uanu.
  • 1796: Edward Jenner administers the first smallpox vaccination. Smallpox killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans each year during the 18th century (including five reigning monarchs).
  • 1796: Battle of Montenotte. Engagement in the War of the First Coalition. Napoleon Bonaparte's first victory as an army commander.
  • 1796: British ejected Dutch from Ceylon.
  • 1796: Mungo Park, backed by the African Association, is the first European to set eyes on the Niger River in Africa.
  • 1796–1804: The White Lotus Rebellion against the Manchu Dynasty in China.
  • 1797: Napoleon's invasion and partition of the Republic of Venice ended over 1,000 years of independence for the Serene Republic.
  • 1798: The Irish Rebellion failed to overthrow British rule in Ireland.
  • 1798–1800: Quasi-War between the United States and France.
  • 1799: Napoleon staged a coup d'état and became dictator of France.
  • 1799: Dutch East India Company is dissolved.
  • 1799: The assassination of the 14th Tu'i Kanokupolu, Tukuʻaho, plunges Tonga into half a century of civil war.


Inventions, discoveries, introductions:

  • 1709: The first piano was built by Bartolomeo Cristofori
  • 1711: The Tuning fork invented by John Shore
  • 1712: The Steam Engine invented by Thomas Newcomen
  • 1714: The Mercury thermometer by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit
  • 1717: The diving bell was successfully tested by Edmond Halley, sustainable to a depth of 55 ft
  • c. 1730: The octant navigational tool was developed by John Hadley in England, and Thomas Godfrey in America
  • 1733: Flying shuttle invented by John Kay
  • 1736: Europeans discovered rubber – the discovery was made by Charles-Marie de la Condamine while on expedition in South America. It was named in 1770 by Joseph Priestly
  • c. 1740: Modern steel was developed by Benjamin Huntsman
  • 1741: Vitus Bering discovered Alaska
  • 1745: The Leyden jar invented by Ewald Georg von Kleist was the first electrical capacitor
  • 1752: The Lightning rod invented by Benjamin Franklin
  • 1755: The tallest wooden Bodhisattva statue in the world is erected at Puning Temple, Chengde, China.
  • 1764: The Spinning Jenny created by James Hargreaves brought on the Industrial Revolution
  • 1765: James Watt enhances Newcomen's steam engine, allowing new steel technologies
  • 1761: The problem of Longitude was finally resolved by the fourth chronometer of John Harrison
  • 1768–1779: James Cook mapped the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean and discovered many Pacific Islands
  • 1771: The enormous Putuo Zongcheng Temple complex of Chengde, China is completed
  • 1773–1782: The Qing Dynasty huge literary compilation Siku Quanshu
  • 1774: Joseph Priestley discovers "dephlogisticated air" Oxygen
  • 1775: Joseph Priestley first synthesis of "phlogisticated nitrous air" Nitrous Oxide "laughing gas"
  • 1776: The Steamboat invented by Claude de Jouffroy
  • 1777: The Circular saw invented by Samuel Miller
  • 1779: Photosynthesis was first discovered by Jan Ingenhousz
  • 1784: The Bifocals invented by Benjamin Franklin
  • 1784: The Oil lamp invented by Aimé Argand
  • 1785: The Power loom invented by Edmund Cartwright
  • 1785: The Automatic flour mill invented by Oliver Evans
  • 1786: The Threshing machine invented by Andrew Meikle
  • 1789: Antoine Lavoisier discovers the law of conservation of mass, the basis for chemistry, and begins modern chemistry
  • 1798: Edward Jenner publishes a treatise about smallpox vaccination
  • 1798: The Lithographic printing process invented by Alois Senefelder
  • 1799: Rosetta stone discovered by Napoleon's troops


Literary and philosophical achievements:

  • 1703: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki by Chikamatsu first performed
  • 1704–1717: One Thousand and One Nights translated into French by Antoine Galland. The work becomes immensely popular throughout Europe.
  • 1704: A Tale of a Tub by Jonathan Swift first published
  • 1712: The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope (publication of first version)
  • 1719: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • 1725: The New Science by Giambattista Vico
  • 1726: Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  • 1728: The Dunciad by Alexander Pope (publication of first version)
  • 1744: A Little Pretty Pocket-Book becomes one of the first books marketed for children
  • 1748: Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers), popular Japanese puppet play, composed
  • 1748: Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
  • 1749: The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding
  • 1751: Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray published
  • 1751–1785: The French Encyclopédie
  • 1755: A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson
  • 1759: Candide by Voltaire
  • 1759: The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith
  • 1759–1767: Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
  • 1762: Emile: or, On Education by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • 1762: The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • 1774: The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe first published
  • 1776: Ugetsu monogatari (Tales of Moonlight and Rain) by Ueda Akinari
  • 1776: The Wealth of Nations, foundation of the modern theory of economy, was published by Adam Smith
  • 1776–1789: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was published by Edward Gibbon
  • 1779: Amazing Grace published by John Newton
  • 1779–1782: Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets by Samuel Johnson
  • 1781: Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant (publication of first edition)
  • 1781: The Robbers by Friedrich Schiller first published
  • 1782: Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  • 1786: Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect by Robert Burns
  • 1787–1788: Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison
  • 1788: Critique of Practical Reason by Immanuel Kant
  • 1789: Songs of Innocence by William Blake
  • 1790: Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow by Alexander Radishchev
  • 1790: Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
  • 1791: Rights of Man by Thomas Paine
  • 1792: Poor Liza by Nikolai Karamzin
  • 1794: Songs of Experience by William Blake
  • 1798: Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • 1798: An Essay on the Principle of Population published by Thomas Malthus
  • (mid-18th century): The Dream of the Red Chamber (authorship attributed to Cao Xueqin), one of the most famous Chinese novels


Musical works:

  • 1711: Rinaldo, Handel's first opera for the London stage, premiered
  • 1721: Brandenburg concertos by J.S. Bach
  • 1723: The Four Seasons, violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi, composed
  • 1724: St John Passion by J.S. Bach
  • 1727: St Matthew Passion composed by J.S. Bach
  • 1733: Hippolyte et Aricie, first opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau
  • 1741: Goldberg Variations for harpsichord published by Bach
  • 1742: Messiah, oratorio by Handel premiered in Dublin
  • 1749: Mass in B Minor by J.S. Bach assembled in current form
  • 1751: The Art of Fugue by J.S. Bach
  • 1762: Orfeo ed Euridice, first "reform opera" by Gluck, performed in Vienna
  • 1786: The Marriage of Figaro, opera by Mozart
  • 1787: Don Giovanni, opera by Mozart
  • 1788: Jupiter Symphony (Symphony No.41) composed by Mozart
  • 1791: The Magic Flute, opera by Mozart
  • 1791–1795: London symphonies by Haydn
  • 1798: The Creation, oratorio by Haydn first performed


Return to the Main 18th Century Menu!



  • John Adams, American statesman
  • Samuel Adams, American statesman
  • Ahmad Shah Abdali, Afghan King
  • Ahmed III, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

 Ahmed III.

  • Hyder Ali, Ruler of Mysore
  • Ethan Allen, American Revolutionary Army
  • Anne, Queen of Great Britain

 Queen Anne

  • Marie Antoinette, Austrian-born Queen of France

 Marie Antoinette

  • Augustus III, Elector of Saxony, King of Poland, and Grand Duke of Lithuania
  • Aurangzeb, Mughal Emperor
  • Boromakot, King of Ayutthaya
  • Boromaracha V, King of Ayutthaya
  • Aaron Burr, American statesman
  • William Cavendish, Anglo-Irish politician
  • John Carteret, Anglo-Irish politician
  • Catherine the Great, Tsaritsa 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
  • Farrukhsiyar, Emperor of Mughal
  • Ferdinand I, King of Naples, Sicily, and the Two Sicilies
  • Benjamin Franklin, American leader, scientist and statesman

 Benjamin Franklin

  • Juan Franscisco, 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
  • Gyeongjong, King of Joseon Dynasty
  • Nathan Hale, American patriot, executed for espionage by the British
  • Abdul Hamid I, Sultan of Ottoman Empire
  • Alexander Hamilton, American statesman
  • Patrick Henry, American statesman
  • Emperor Higashiyama, Emperor of Japan
  • John Jay, American statesman
  • Thomas Jefferson, American statesman
  • Jeongjo, King of Joseon Dynasty
  • John Paul Jones, American naval commander
  • Joseph I, King of Portugal
  • Joseph II, Austrian Emperor
  • Kangxi Emperor, Chinese Emperor
  • Karim Khan, Shah of Iran and King of Persia
  • Marquis de Lafayette, Continental Army officer
  • Louis XIV, King of France
  • Louis XV, King of France
  • Louis XVI, King of France

 Louis XVI

  • Louis XVII, imprisoned King of France, never ruled
  • James Madison, American statesman
  • Madhavrao I, Peshwa/Prime Minister of Maratha Empire
  • Madhavrao I Scindia, Marathan leader
  • Mahmud I, Sultan of Ottoman Empire
  • Alessandro Malaspina, Spanish explorer
  • George Mason, American statesman
  • Michikinikwa, Miami chief and warrior
  • José Moñino y Redondo, Spanish statesman
  • Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, French officer
  • Mustafa III, Sultan of Ottoman Empire
  • Nadir Shah, King of Persia
  • Nakamikado, Emperor of Japan
  • Horatio Nelson, British admiral
  • Nanasaheb, Peshwa/Prime Minister of Maratha Empire
  • Shivappa Nayaka, King of Keladi Nayaka
  • Osman III, Sultan of Ottaman Empire
  • Peter I (Peter the Great), Tsar of Russian

 Peter the Great

  • Philip V, King of Spain
  • Pontiac, Ottawa chief and warrior
  • Qianlong, Emperor of China
  • Rajaram II of Satara, Monarch of the Maratha Confederacy
  • Francis II Rákóczi, Prince of Hungary and Transylvania, revolutionary leader
  • Tadeusz Rejtan, Polish politician
  • Paul Revere, American revolutionary leader and silversmith

 Paul Revere

  • Maximilien Robespierre, French revolutionary leader
  • Betsy Ross, American flag maker
  • Shah Rukh of Persia, King of Persia.
  • John Russell, Anglo-Irish politician
  • Lionel Sackville, Anglo-Irish politician
  • Sebastião de Melo, Prime Minister of Portugal
  • Chattrapati Shahu, Emperor of Maratha Empire
  • Selim III, Sultan of Ottoman Empire
  • Charles Edward Stuart, English Jacobite exile
  • Sukjong, King of Joseon Dynasty
  • Alexander Suvorov, Russian military leader
  • Maria Theresa, Austrian Empress
  • Tokugawa Ieharu, Japanese Shogun
  • Tokugawa Ienobu, Japanese Shogun
  • Tokugawa Ieshige, Japanese Shogun
  • Tokugawa Ietsugu, Japanese Shogun
  • Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Japanese Shogun
  • Tokugawa Yoshimune, Japanese Shogun
  • Toussaint L'Ouverture, Haitian revolutionary leader
  • Túpac Amaru II, Peruvian revolutionary
  • 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
  • Yeongjo, King of Joseon Dynasty



Show business, theatre, entertainers:

  • Barton Booth, actor
  • Colley Cibber, actor, poet, playwright
  • Thomas Doggett, actor
  • David Garrick, actor

 David Garrick

  • John Gay, English dramatist and poet
  • Charles Johnson, English playwright
  • Charles Macklin, actor
  • Chikamatsu Monzaemon, Japanese dramatist, playwright
  • John O'Keeffee, Irish playwright
  • Anne Oldfield, English actress
  • Hannah Pritchard, English actress
  • Hester Santlow, English actress, ballerina, dancer
  • Kong Shangren, Chinese dramatist, poet
  • Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Irish playwright
  • John Small, English cricketer
  • Edward "Lumpy" Stevens, English cricketer
  • Robert Wilks, English actor
  • Wang Yun, Chinese playwright, poet


Musicians, composers:

  • Tomaso Albinoni, Italian composer
  • Samuel Arnold, English composer and musician
  • Nidhu Babu, Indian and Bengali musician and composer
  • Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer

 Johann Sebastian Bach

  • Charles Burney, English musician and music historian
  • François Couperin, French composer
  • William Cowper, English hymnist and poet
  • Dede Efendi, Turkish/Ottoman composer
  • Christoph Willibald Gluck, German composer
  • Francesco Geminiani, Italian violinist, composer, and music theorist.
  • George Frideric Handel, German-English composer
  • Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer
  • Antoine de Lhoyer, French composer and guitarist
  • Hampartsoum Limondjian, Armenian/Ottoman composer
  • Kali Mirza, Bengali composer
  • Leopold Mozart, Austrian composer
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer

  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  • Johann Pachelbel, German composer, teacher
  • François-André Danican Philidor, French composer and chess master
  • Jean-Philippe Rameau, French composer
  • Bharatchandra Ray, Bengali composer, musician, and poet
  • Sadarang, Hindustani composer
  • Antonio Salieri, Venetian composer
  • Domenico Scarlatti, Italian composer.
  • Antonio Stradivari, Italian violin maker
  • Antonio Vivaldi, Italian composer
  • Isaac Watts, English hymnist


Visual artists, painters, sculptors, printmakers:

  • Michel Benoist, French painter, architect, missionary in China
  • William Blake, English artist and poet

 William Blake

  • Edmé Bouchardon, French sculptor
  • François Boucher, French painter
  • Giuseppe Castiglione, Italian painter, architect, missionary in China
  • Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, French painter

 Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin

  • John Singleton Copley, American painter
  • Jacques-Louis David, French painter
  • Étienne Maurice Falconet, French sculptor
  • Jean-Honoré Fragonard, French painter
  • Thomas Gainsborough, English painter
  • Francisco de Goya, Spanish painter
  • Jean-Baptiste Greuze, French painter
  • Suzuki Harunobu, Japanese woodblock printer
  • William Hogarth, English painter and engraver
  • Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, French sculptor, student of his father
  • Jean-Louis Lemoyne, French sculptor
  • Robert Le Lorrain, French sculptor
  • Yuan Mei, Chinese painter, poet, essayist
  • Antoine Ignace Melling, French-German painter, architect
  • Gai Qi, Chinese painter, poet
  • Bartolomeo Rastrelli, Italian-born Russian architect
  • Joshua Reynolds, English painter
  • Gilbert Stuart, American painter
  • Nishikawa Sukenobu, Japanese printmaker, teacher
  • Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Venetian painter
  • Jiang Tingxi, Chinese artist and scholar
  • Kitagawa Utamaro, Japanese printmaker and painter
  • Antoine Watteau, French painter


Writers, poets:

  • Jane Austen, English writer
  • Anna Laetitia Barbauld, English Poet, essayist, and children's author
  • Pierre Beaumarchais, French writer
  • Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, French poet and literary critic
  • James Boswell, Scottish biographer
  • Frances Burney, English novelist
  • Robert Burns, Scottish poet
  • Giacomo Casanova, Venetian adventurer, writer and womanizer
  • Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, French writer
  • Daniel Defoe, English novelist and journalist
  • Liang Desheng, Chinese poet and writer
  • Maria Edgeworth, Anglo-Irish novelist
  • Henry Fielding, English novelist
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer
  • Oliver Goldsmith, Anglo-Irish writer, poet, children's writer, and playwright
  • Thomas Gray, English poet, scholar, and educator
  • Eliza Haywood, English writer
  • Wu Jingzi, Chinese writer
  • Samuel Johnson, British writer, lexicographer, poet, and literary critic

 Samuel Johnson

  • John Keats, British poet/writer
  • Ferenc Kazinczy, Hungarian writer
  • Charlotte Lennox, English novelist and poet
  • Matthew Lewis, English novelist and playwright
  • Sadhak Kamalakanta, Indian poet
  • Henry Mackenzie, Scottish novelist
  • Jean-Paul Marat, French journalist
  • Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, Spanish writer
  • Yuan Mei, Chinese poet, scholar and artist
  • Honoré Mirabeau, French writer and politician
  • John Newbery, English children's literature publisher
  • Alexander Pope, English poet

 Alexander Pope

  • Ann Radcliffe, English novelist
  • Samuel Richardson, English novelist
  • Li Ruzhen, Chinese novelist
  • Marquis de Sade, French writer and philosopher
  • Ramprasad Sen, Bengali poet and singer
  • Friedrich Schiller, German writer
  • Walter Scott, Scottish novelest and poet
  • Christopher Smart, English poet and actor
  • Robert Southey, English poet and biographer
  • Hester Thrale, English memoirist
  • Charlotte Turner Smith, English writer
  • Pu Songling, Chinese short story writer
  • Laurence Sterne, Anglo-Irish writer
  • Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish satirist and Church of Ireland Dean
  • Ueda Akinari, Japanese writer
  • Voltaire, French writer and philosopher


  • Horace Walpole, English writer and politician
  • Mary Wollstonecraft, British writer and feminist

 Mary Wollstonecraft

  • Cao Xueqin, Chinese writer


Philosophers, theologians:

  • Arai Hakuseki, Japanese scholar, writer and politician
  • Jeremy Bentham, English philosopher and reformer
  • George Berkeley, Irish empiricist philosopher
  • Edmund Burke, British statesman and philosopher
  • Frederick Cornwallis, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Erasmus Darwin, English philosopher, poet and scientist
  • Denis Diderot, French writer and philosopher

 Denis Diderot

  • William Godwin, English philosopher and novelist
  • Aaron Halle-Wolfssohn, German writer, Jewish theologian, translator, and professor
  • Johann Gottfried Herder, German philosopher, writer, and critic
  • Thomas Herring, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • David Hume, Scottish philosopher
  • Matthew Hutton, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Immanuel Kant, German philosopher
  • Kamo no Mabuchi, Japanese philosopher
  • William Law, English theologian
  • Alphonsus Liguori, Italian bishop, founder of Redemptorists, Saint
  • Moses Mendelssohn, German philosopher
  • Charles de Secondat (Montesquieu), French thinker
  • John Moore, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Motoori Norinaga, Japanese philosopher and scholar
  • Thomas Paine, English philosopher
  • Elihu Palmer, American deist
  • Thomas Percy, English bishop and editor
  • Joseph Perl, German writer, Jewish theologian, and educator
  • John Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, French writer and philosopher
  • Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Sugita Genpaku, Japanese scholar and translator
  • Emanuel Swedenborg, Swedish scientist, thinker and mystic

 Emanuel Swedenborg

  • Thomas Tenison, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Christian Thomasius, German philosopher and jurist
  • Baal Shem Tov, Ukrainian rabbi
  • Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab, Arab Islamic theologian and founder of Wahhabism
  • William Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • John Wesley, English theologian, founder of Methodism
  • Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, German religious writer and bishop


Scientists, researchers:

  • Roger Joseph Boscovich, physicist, astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, diplomat, poet, and Jesuit
  • Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Italian mathematician
  • Jean le Rond d'Alembert, French mathematician, physicist and encyclopedist
  • Joseph Banks, English botanist
  • Laura Bassi, Italian scientist, the first European female college teacher
  • Daniel Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician and physicist
  • Anders Celsius, Swedish astronomer
  • Alexis Clairault, French mathematician
  • James Cook, English navigator, explorer and cartographer
  • Eugenio Espejo, Ecuadorian scientist
  • Leonhard Euler, Swiss mathematician
  • Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, German physicist and engineer
  • George Fordyce, Scottish physician and chemist
  • Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, physicist and astronomer
  • Edward Gibbon, English historian
  • Edward Jenner, English inventor of vaccination

 Edward Jenner

  • William Jones, English philologist
  • Joseph Louis Lagrange, Italian-French mathematician and physicist
  • Pierre Simon Laplace, French physicist and mathematician
  • Antoine Lavoisier, French chemist
  • John Law, Scottish economist
  • Pan Lei, Chinese scholar and mathematician
  • Adrien-Marie Legendre, French mathematician
  • Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linné), Swedish biologist
  • Mikhail Lomonosov, Russian scientist
  • Edmond Malone, Irish literary scholar
  • Thomas Malthus, English economist
  • Joseph Priestley, dissenting minister and chemist
  • John Smeaton, civil engineer and physicist
  • Adam Smith, Scottish economist and philosopher
  • Antonio de Ulloa, Spanish scientist and explorer
  • James Watt, Scottish scientist and inventor

 James Watt

  • John Whitehurst, English geologist
  • Dai Zhen, Chinese mathematician, geographer, phonologist and philosopher



  • Edward Teach (Blackbeard)


  • John Rackham (Calico Jack)

 Calico Jack  


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The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America. They first rejected the authority of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them from overseas without representation, and then expelled all royal officials. By 1774 each colony had established a Provincial Congress, or an equivalent governmental institution, to form individual self-governing states. The British responded by sending combat troops to re-impose direct rule. Through representatives sent in 1775 to the Second Continental Congress, the new states joined together at first to defend their respective self-governance and manage the armed conflict against the British known as the American Revolutionary War (1775, also American War of Independence). Ultimately, the states collectively determined that the British monarchy, by acts of tyranny, could no longer legitimately claim their allegiance. They then severed ties with the British Empire in July 1776, when the Congress issued the Declaration of Independence, rejecting the monarchy on behalf of the new nation. The war ended with effective American victory in October 1781, followed by formal British abandonment of any claims to the United States with the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

The American Revolution initiated a series of social, political, and intellectual transformations in early American society and government. Americans rejected the oligarchies common in aristocratic Europe at the time, championing instead the development of republicanism based on the Enlightenment understanding of liberalism. Among the significant results of the revolution was the creation of a representative government responsible to the will of the people. However, sharp political debates erupted over the appropriate level of democracy desirable in the new government, with a number of Founders fearing mob rule.

Many fundamental issues of national governance were settled with the ratification of the Constitution of the United States in 1788, which replaced the relatively weaker first attempt at a national government, the Articles of Confederation adopted in 1781. In contrast to the loose confederation, the Constitution established a strong federated government. The United States Bill of Rights (1791), comprising the first 10 constitutional amendments, quickly followed. It guaranteed many natural rights that were influential in justifying the revolution, and attempted to balance a strong national government with relatively broad personal liberties. The American shift to liberal republicanism, and the gradually increasing democracy, caused an upheaval of traditional social hierarchy and gave birth to the ethic that has formed a core of political values in the United States.

Before the Revolution: The Thirteen Colonies are in pink

The American Revolution was predicated by a number of ideas and events that, combined, led to a political and social separation of colonial possessions from the home nation and a coalescing of those former individual colonies into an independent nation.

The revolutionary era began in 1763, when the French military threat to British North American colonies ended.

Adopting the policy that the colonies should pay an increased proportion of the costs associated with keeping them in the Empire, Britain imposed a series of direct taxes followed by other laws intended to demonstrate British authority, all of which proved extremely unpopular in America. Because the colonies lacked elected representation in the governing British Parliament, many colonists considered the laws to be illegitimate and a violation of their rights as Englishmen. In 1772, groups of colonists began to create committees of correspondence, which would lead to their own Provincial Congresses in most of the colonies. In the course of two years, the Provincial Congresses or their equivalents rejected the Parliament and effectively replaced the British ruling apparatus in the former colonies, culminating in 1774 with the coordinating First Continental Congress.

In response to protests in Boston over Parliament's attempts to assert authority, the British sent combat troops, dissolved local governments, and imposed direct rule by Royal officials. Consequently, the Colonies mobilized their militias, and fighting broke out in 1775. First ostensibly loyal to King George III, the repeated pleas by the First Continental Congress for royal intervention on their behalf with Parliament resulted in the declaration by the King that the states were "in rebellion", and Congress traitors. In 1776, representatives from each of the original thirteen states voted unanimously in the Second Continental Congress to adopt a Declaration of Independence, which now rejected the British monarchy in addition to its Parliament. The Declaration established the United States, which was originally governed as a loose confederation through a representative government selected by state legislatures (see Second Continental Congress and Congress of the Confederation).


Liberalism, republicanism, and religion:

John Locke's ideas on liberty greatly influenced the political thinking behind the revolution. Rousseau's theory of the "social contract" influenced Locke's belief that among humanity's natural rights was the right of the people to overthrow their leaders, should those leaders betray the historic rights of Englishmen. In terms of writing state and national constitutions, the Americans used Montesquieu's analysis of the "balanced" British Constitution.

A motivating force behind the revolution was the American embrace of a political ideology called "republicanism", which was dominant in the colonies by 1775. The republicanism was inspired by the "country party" in Britain, whose critique of British government emphasized that corruption was a terrible reality in Britain. Americans feared the corruption was crossing the Atlantic; the commitment of most Americans to republican values and to their rights, energized the revolution, as Britain was increasingly seen as hopelessly corrupt and hostile to American interests. Britain seemed to threaten the established liberties that Americans enjoyed. The greatest threat to liberty was depicted as corruption—not just in London but at home as well. The colonists associated it with luxury and, especially, inherited aristocracy, which they condemned.

The Founding Fathers were strong advocates of republican values, particularly Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, which required men to put civic duty ahead of their personal desires. Men had a civic duty to be prepared and willing to fight for the rights and liberties of their countrymen and countrywomen. John Adams, writing to Mercy Otis Warren in 1776, agreed with some classical Greek and Roman thinkers in that "Public Virtue cannot exist without private, and public Virtue is the only Foundation of Republics." He continued:

"There must be a positive Passion for the public good, the public Interest, Honour, Power, and Glory, established in the Minds of the People, or there can be no Republican Government, nor any real Liberty. And this public Passion must be Superior to all private Passions. Men must be ready, they must pride themselves, and be happy to sacrifice their private Pleasures, Passions, and Interests, nay their private Friendships and dearest connections, when they Stand in Competition with the Rights of society."

For women, "republican motherhood" became the ideal, exemplified by Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren; the first duty of the republican woman was to instil republican values in her children and to avoid luxury and ostentation.

Tom Paine's best-seller pamphlet Common Sense appeared in January 1776, after the Revolution had started. It was widely distributed and loaned, and often read aloud in taverns, contributing significantly to spreading the ideas of republicanism and liberalism, bolstering enthusiasm for separation from Britain, and encouraging recruitment for the Continental Army. Paine provided a new and widely accepted argument for independence, by advocating a complete break with history. Common Sense is oriented to the future in a way that compels the reader to make an immediate choice. It offered a solution for Americans disgusted and alarmed at the threat of tyranny.

Dissenting (i.e. Protestant, non-Church of England) churches of the day were the "school of democracy” President John Witherspoon of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) wrote widely circulated sermons linking the American Revolution to the teachings of the Hebrew Bible. Throughout the colonies dissenting Protestant congregations (Congregationalist, Baptist, and Presbyterian) preached Revolutionary themes in their sermons, while most Church of England ministers preached loyalty to the King. Religious motivation for fighting tyranny reached across socioeconomic lines to encompass rich and poor, men and women, frontiersmen and townsmen, farmers and merchants.

The classical authors read in the Enlightenment period taught an abstract ideal of republican government that included hierarchical social orders of king, aristocracy and commoners. It was widely believed that British liberties relied on the balance of power between these three social orders, maintaining the hierarchal deference to the privileged class. Historian Bernard Bailyn notes, "Puritanism … and the epidemic evangelism of the mid-eighteenth century, had created challenges to the traditional notions of social stratification” by preaching that the Bible taught all men are equal, that the true value of a man lies in his moral behavior, not his class, and that all can be saved."


Incendiary British legislation:

The Revolution was predicated by a number of pieces of legislation originating from the British Parliament that, for Americans, were illegitimate acts of a government that had no right to pass laws on Englishmen in the Americas who did not have elected representation in that government. For the British, policy makers saw these laws as necessary to rein in colonial subjects who, in the name of economic development that was designed to benefit the home nation, had been allowed near-autonomy for too long.


Navigation Acts:

The British Empire at the time operated under the mercantile system, where economic assets, or capital, are represented by bullion (gold, silver, and trade value) held by the state, which is best increased through a positive balance of trade with other nations (exports minus imports). Mercantilism suggests that the ruling government should advance these goals through playing a protectionist role in the economy, by encouraging exports and discouraging imports, especially through the use of tariffs. Great Britain regulated the economies of the colonies through the Navigation Acts according to the doctrines of mercantilism. Widespread evasion of these laws had long been tolerated. Eventually, through the use of open-ended search warrants (Writs of Assistance), strict enforcement of these Acts became the practice. In 1761, Massachusetts lawyer James Otis argued that the writs violated the constitutional rights of the colonists. He lost the case, but John Adams later wrote, "American independence was then and there born".

In 1762, Patrick Henry argued the Parson's Cause in Virginia, where the legislature had passed a law and it was vetoed by the King. Henry argued, "that a King, by disallowing Acts of this salutary nature, from being the father of his people, degenerated into a Tyrant and forfeits all right to his subjects' obedience".


Western Frontier:

Following the French and Indian War, the British government sought to minimize defence costs wherever possible and was keen to maintain peaceful relations with those Indian tribes that had allied with the French. To this end, the Proclamation of 1763 restricted colonization across the Appalachian Mountains as this was designated an Indian Reserve. Regardless, groups of settlers continued to move west and establish farms. The proclamation was soon modified and was no longer a hindrance to settlement, but its promulgation and the fact that it had been written without consulting colonists angered them. The Quebec Act of 1774 extended Quebec's boundaries to the Ohio River, shutting out the claims of the thirteen colonies. By then, however, the Americans had little regard for new laws from London; they were drilling militia and organizing for war.


Taxation without representation:

By 1763, Great Britain possessed vast holdings in North America. In addition to the thirteen colonies, twenty-two smaller colonies were ruled directly by royal governors. Victory in the Seven Years' War had given Great Britain New France (Canada), Spanish Florida, and the Native American lands east of the Mississippi River. In 1765 however, the colonists still considered themselves loyal subjects of the British Crown, with the same historic rights and obligations as subjects in Britain.

The British did not expect the colonies to contribute to the interest or the retirement of debt incurred during the French and Indian War, but they did expect a portion of the expenses for colonial defense to be paid by the Americans.

The real point for London was for the tax to demonstrate that Parliament was in full control. The main issue with the colonists was not that the taxes were high (they were low) but that the colonies had no representation in the Parliament which passed the taxes. Lord North in 1775 argued for the British position that Englishmen paid on average twenty-five shillings annually in taxes whereas Americans paid only sixpence.

The colonists never objected to the principle of contributing to the cost of their own defense (colonial legislatures spent large sums raising and outfitting militias during the French and Indian War), however they disputed the need to station regular British troops in North America when they considered colonial militias (which were funded by taxes raised by colonial legislatures) to be sufficient in the absence of a French threat. Many colonists were even in favour of maintaining regular military units for the purpose of defending the colonies from Indian attacks. One problem with that proposal was that the British were unwilling to commission colonial officers nor would they recognize colonial commissions, effectively negating the will or even the legal authority of the colonies to contribute to defense in that sort of way. The real underpinnings of British objections to colonial preferences with regards to defense were based on politics as opposed to military necessity. There were some 1,500 well-connected British officers that would have potentially become redundant in the aftermath the French and Indian War, and the only realistic options for London would have been to discharge them (which was politically unacceptable) or post them to America.

The slogan "No taxation without representation" became popular in many American circles. London argued that the colonists were "virtually represented"; but most Americans rejected this.


1764 – new taxes:

In 1764, Parliament enacted the Sugar Act and the Currency Act, further vexing the colonists. Protests led to a powerful new weapon, the systematic boycott of British goods. The British pushed the colonists even further that same year by also enacting the Quartering Act, which stated that British soldiers were to be quartered at the expense of residents in certain areas.

 Burning of the Gaspée


Stamp Act 1765:

In 1765 the Stamp Act was the first direct tax ever levied by Parliament on the colonies. All official documents, newspapers, almanacs, and pamphlets—even decks of playing cards—were required to have the stamps. All 13 colonies protested vehemently, as popular leaders such as Patrick Henry in Virginia and James Otis in Massachusetts, rallied the people in opposition. A secret group, the "Sons of Liberty" formed in many towns and threatened violence if anyone sold the stamps, and no one did. In Boston, the Sons of Liberty burned the records of the vice-admiralty court and looted the elegant home of the chief justice, Thomas Hutchinson. Several legislatures called for united action, and nine colonies sent delegates to the Stamp Act Congress in New York City in October 1765. Moderates led by John Dickinson drew up a "Declaration of Rights and Grievances" stating that taxes passed without representation violated their Rights of Englishmen. Lending weight to the argument was an economic boycott of British merchandise, as imports into the colonies fell from ٠,250,000 in 1764 to ٟ,944,000 in 1765. In London, the Rockingham government came to power and Parliament debated whether to repeal the stamp tax or send an army to enforce it. Benjamin Franklin made the case for the boycotters, explaining the colonies had spent heavily in manpower, money, and blood in defense of the empire in a series of wars against the French and Native Americans, and that further taxes to pay for those wars were unjust and might bring about a rebellion. Parliament agreed and repealed the tax, but in a "Declaratory Act" of March 1766 insisted that parliament retained full power to make laws for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever".


Townshend Act 1767 and Boston Massacre 1770:

In 1767, the Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, which placed a tax on a number of essential goods including paper, glass, and tea. Angered at the tax increases, colonists organized a boycott of British goods. In Boston on March 5, 1770, a large mob gathered around a group of British soldiers. The mob grew more and more threatening, throwing snowballs, rocks and debris at the soldiers. One soldier was clubbed and fell. All but one of the soldiers fired into the crowd. Eleven people were hit; three civilians were killed at the scene of the shooting, and two died after the incident. The event quickly came to be called the Boston Massacre. Although the soldiers were tried and acquitted (defended by John Adams), the widespread descriptions soon became propaganda to turn colonial sentiment against the British. This in turn began a downward spiral in the relationship between Britain and the Province of Massachusetts.


Tea Act 1773:

In June 1772, in what became known as the Gaspée Affair, a British warship that had been vigorously enforcing unpopular trade regulations was burned by American patriots. Soon afterwards, Governor Thomas Hutchinson of Massachusetts reported that he and the royal judges would be paid directly from London, thus bypassing the colonial legislature.

On December 16, 1773, a group of men, led by Samuel Adams and dressed to evoke American Indians, boarded the ships of the government-favored British East India Company and dumped an estimated 㾶,000 worth of tea on board (approximately ��,000 in 2008) into the harbor. This event became known as the Boston Tea Party and remains a significant part of American patriotic lore.

 An American version of London cartoon that denounces the "rape" of Boston in 1774 by the Intolerable Acts

Intolerable Acts 1774:

The British government responded by passing several Acts which came to be known as the Intolerable Acts, which further darkened colonial opinion towards the British. They consisted of four laws enacted by the British parliament. The first was the Massachusetts Government Act, which altered the Massachusetts charter and restricted town meetings. The second Act, the Administration of Justice Act, ordered that all British soldiers to be tried were to be arraigned in Britain, not in the colonies. The third Act was the Boston Port Act, which closed the port of Boston until the British had been compensated for the tea lost in the Boston Tea Party (the British never received such a payment). The fourth Act was the Quartering Act of 1774, which allowed royal governors to house British troops in the homes of citizens without requiring permission of the owner.


American political opposition:

American political opposition was initially through the colonial assemblies such as the Stamp Act Congress, which included representatives from across the colonies. In 1765, the Sons of Liberty were formed which used public demonstrations, violence and threats of violence to ensure that the British tax laws were unenforceable. While openly hostile to what they considered an oppressive Parliament acting illegally, colonists persisted in numerous petitions and pleas for intervention from a monarch to whom they still claimed loyalty. In late 1772, after the Gaspée Affair, Samuel Adams set about creating new Committees of Correspondence, which linked Patriots in all thirteen colonies and eventually provided the framework for a rebel government. In early 1773 Virginia, the largest colony, set up its Committee of Correspondence, on which Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson served.

In response to the Massachusetts Government Act, Massachusetts and then other colonies formed local governments called "Provincial Congresses." In 1774, the First Continental Congress convened, consisting of representatives from each of the Provincial Congresses or their equivalents, to serve as a conduit for deliberation and collective action. Standing Committees of Safety were created by each Provincial Congress or equivalent for the enforcement of the resolutions by the Committee of Correspondence, Provincial Congress, and the Continental Congress. British colonies in North America that did not have government responsible to its people did not join the Continental Congress, but remained loyal to the Crown. They included: Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Bermuda, West Florida and East Florida.


Factions: Patriots, Loyalists and Neutrals:

The population of the Thirteen Colonies was far from homogeneous, particularly in their political views and attitudes. Loyalties and allegiances varied widely not only within regions and communities, but also within families and sometimes shifted during the course of the Revolution.


Patriots – The Revolutionaries:

The word "patriot" refers to a person in the colonies who sided with the American Revolution. Calling the revolutionaries "patriots" is a long-standing historical convention, which began prior to the war. For example, the term “Patriot” was in use by American colonists during the 1760s.

Generally speaking, during the enlightenment era, the word "patriot" was not used interchangeably with "nationalist", as it is today. Rather, the concept of patriotism was linked to enlightenment values concerning a common good, which transcended national and social boundaries. Patriotism, thus, did not require someone to support their leader's actions or a nation's policies in all circumstances, and there wouldn't necessarily be a contradiction between being a patriot and revolting against king and country.



One way to understand the Patriots is to compare their psychology with that of the Loyalists. Labaree (1948) has identified eight characteristics of the Loyalists that made them essentially conservative; opposite traits characterized the patriots. Psychologically, Loyalists were older, better established, and resisted innovation. They thought resistance to the Crown—the legitimate government—was morally wrong, while the Patriots thought morality was on their side. They were alienated when the Patriots resorted to violence, such as burning houses and tarring and feathering. Loyalists wanted to take a middle-of-the road position and were angry when forced by the Patriots to declare their opposition. Many Loyalists, especially merchants in the port cities, had a long-standing sentimental attachment to Britain (often with business and family links to other parts of the British Empire). Some Loyalists were procrastinators who realized that independence was bound to come some day, but wanted to postpone the moment; the Patriots wanted to seize the moment. Loyalists were cautious and afraid of anarchy or tyranny that might come from mob rule; Patriots made a systematic effort to use and control mob violence. Finally, Labaree argues that Loyalists were pessimists who lacked the confidence in the future displayed by the Patriots.


Class factors:

Historians, such as J. Franklin Jameson in the early 20th century, examined the class composition of the Patriot cause, looking for evidence that there was a class war inside the revolution. In the last 50 years, historians have largely abandoned that interpretation, emphasizing instead the high level of ideological unity. Just as there were rich and poor Loyalists, the Patriots were a 'mixed lot', with the richer and better educated more likely to become officers in the Army. Ideological demands always came first: the Patriots viewed independence as a means of freeing themselves from British oppression and taxation and, above all, reasserting what they considered to be their rights. Most yeomen farmers, craftsmen, and small merchants joined the patriot cause as well, demanding more political equality. They were especially successful in Pennsylvania and less so in New England, where John Adams attacked Thomas Paine's Common Sense for the "absurd democratical notions" it proposed.


Loyalists and neutrals:

While there is no way of knowing the actual numbers, historians have estimated that about 15��% of the population remained loyal to the British Crown; these were known at the time as "Loyalists", "Tories", or "King's men". The Loyalists never controlled territory unless the British Army occupied it. Loyalists were typically older, less willing to break with old loyalties, often connected to the Church of England, and included many established merchants with business connections across the Empire, as well as royal officials such as Thomas Hutchinson of Boston. The revolution sometimes divided families; for example, the Franklins. William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin and Governor of New Jersey remained Loyal to the Crown throughout the war and never spoke to his father again. Recent immigrants who had not been fully Americanized were also inclined to support the King, such as recent Scottish settlers in the back country; among the more striking examples of this, see Flora MacDonald.

Most Native Americans rejected pleas that they remain neutral and supported the king. The tribes that depended most heavily upon colonial trade tended to side with the revolutionaries, though political factors were important as well. The most prominent Native American leader siding with the king was Joseph Brant of the Mohawk nation, who led frontier raids on isolated settlements in Pennsylvania and New York until an American army under John Sullivan secured New York in 1779, forcing the Loyalist Indians permanently into Canada.

Some African-American slaves became politically active and supported the king, especially in Virginia where the royal governor actively recruited black men into the British forces in return for manumission, protection for their families, and the promise of land grants. Following the war, many of these "Black Loyalists" settled in Nova Scotia, Upper and Lower Canada, and other parts of the British Empire, where the descendants of some remain today.

A minority of uncertain size tried to stay neutral in the war. Most kept a low profile. However, the Quakers, especially in Pennsylvania, were the most important group that was outspoken for neutrality. As patriots declared independence, the Quakers, who continued to do business with the British, were attacked as supporters of British rule, "contrivers and authors of seditious publications" critical of the revolutionary cause.

After the war, the great majority of the 450,000?,000 Loyalists remained in America and resumed normal lives. Some, such as Samuel Seabury, became prominent American leaders. Estimates vary, but about 62,000 Loyalists relocated to Canada, and others to Britain (7,000) or to Florida or the West Indies (9,000). This made up approximately 2% of the total population of the colonies. When Loyalists left the South in 1783, they took thousands of blacks with them as slaves to the British West Indies.


 Abigail Adams


Several types of women contributed to the American Revolution in multiple ways. Like men, women participated on both sides of the war. Among women, European Americans, African Americans, and Native Americans also divided between the Patriot and Loyalist causes.

While formal Revolutionary politics did not include women, ordinary domestic behaviors became charged with political significance as patriot women confronted a war that permeated all aspects of political, civil, and domestic life. They participated by boycotting British goods, spying on the British, following armies as they marched, washing, cooking, and tending for soldiers, delivering secret messages, and in a few cases like Deborah Samson fighting disguised as men. Above all, they continued the agricultural work at home to feed the armies and their families.

The boycott of British goods required the willing participation of American women; the boycotted items were largely household items such as tea and cloth. Women had to return to spinning and weaving—skills that had fallen into disuse. In 1769, the women of Boston produced 40,000 skeins of yarn, and 180 women in Middletown, Massachusetts, wove 20,522 yards (18,765 m) of cloth.

A crisis of political loyalties could also disrupt the fabric of colonial America women’s social worlds: whether a man did or did not renounce his allegiance to the king could dissolve ties of class, family, and friendship, isolating women from former connections. A woman’s loyalty to her husband, once a private commitment, could become a political act, especially for women in America committed to men who remained loyal to the king. Legal divorce, usually rare, was granted to patriot women whose husbands supported the king.


Other participants


Spain joined in full the cause of the American Revolution by declaring war on England on June 21, 1779. Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, general of the Spanish forces in New Spain who also served as governor of Louisiana was sent to Florida at the head of an expedition of colonial troops to aid the American colonists in their rebellion against Britain. The importance of Galvez's campaign from the American perspective was that he denied the British the opportunity of encircling the American rebels from the south, and kept open a vital conduit for supplies. In recognition to his help to the American cause, George Washington took him to his right in the parade of July 4 and the American Congress cited Gálvez for his aid during the Revolution.



In early 1776, France set up a major program of aid to the Americans, and the Spanish secretly added funds. Each country spent one million "livres tournaises" to buy munitions. A dummy corporation run by Pierre Beaumarchais concealed their activities. Americans obtained some munitions through Holland as well as French and Spanish ports in the West Indies.


Native Americans:

The great majority of the 200,000 Native Americans east of the Mississippi distrusted the colonists and supported the British cause. The British provided funding and guns to attack American outposts. Some Indians tried to remain neutral, seeing little value in participating yet again in a European conflict. A few supported the American cause.

The British provided arms for the Indians, under Loyalist leadership, to raid frontier settlements from the Carolinas to New York, threatening to massacre the settlers, especially in Pennsylvania. The most prominent was Mohawk chief Joseph Brant, who led a band of 300 Indian warriors and 100 white loyalists in 1778 and 1780 multiple attacks on small settlements in New York and Pennsylvania. In 1776 Cherokee war parties attacked all along the southern frontier.

While the Indians could launch raids with up to 100 warriors, they could not mobilize enough forces to fight a major invasion of thousands of soldiers, so the Americans sent invasion armies against the Cherokees in 1776 and 1780. In 1779 Washington sent General John Sullivan with four brigades of Continental soldiers to drive the Iroquois out of upstate western New York. There was little combat but Sullivan systematically burned 40 (empty) Indian villages and, most important, destroyed about 160,000 bushels of corn that comprised the winter food supply. Facing starvation the Iroquois permanently fled to the Niagara Falls area and to Canada, where the British fed them.

At the peace conference the British abandoned their Indian allies, and the Americans took possession of all the land west of the Mississippi and north of Florida. Calloway concludes:

Burned villages and crops, murdered chiefs, divided councils and civil wars, migrations, towns and forts choked with refugees, economic disruption, breaking of ancient traditions, losses in battle and to disease and hunger, betrayal to their enemies, all made the American Revolution one of the darkest periods in American Indian history.

The British, however, did not give up their forts in the west until 1796 and kept alive the dream of one day forming a satellite Indian nation in what is now the Ohio to Wisconsin part of the Midwest. That goal was one of the causes of the War of 1812.



Some slaves understood Revolutionary rhetoric as promising freedom and equality. Both British and American governments made promises of freedom for service and some slaves fought in one or the other armies. Starting in 1777 abolition occurred in the North, usually on a gradual schedule with no payments to the owners, but slavery persisted in the South and took on new life after 1790.

During the Revolution, efforts were made by the British to turn slavery against the Americans, but historian David Brion Davis explains the difficulties with a policy of wholesale arming of the slaves:

But England greatly feared the effects of any such move on its own West Indies, where Americans had already aroused alarm over a possible threat to incite slave insurrections. The British elites also understood that an all-out attack on one form of property could easily lead to an assault on all boundaries of privilege and social order, as envisioned by radical religious sects in Britain’s seventeenth-century civil wars.

Davis underscored the British dilemma: "Britain, when confronted by the rebellious American colonists, hoped to exploit their fear of slave revolts while also reassuring the large number of slave-holding Loyalists and wealthy Caribbean planters and merchants that their slave property would be secure". The colonists accused the British of encouraging slave revolts.

American advocates of independence were commonly lampooned in Britain for their hypocritical calls for freedom, while many of their leaders were slave-holders. Samuel Johnson snapped, "how is it we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the [slave] drivers of the Negroes?" Benjamin Franklin countered by criticizing the British self-congratulation about "the freeing of one Negro" (Somersett) while they continued to permit the Slave Trade.

Phyllis Wheatley, a black poet who popularized the image of Columbia to represent America, came to public attention when her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral appeared in 1773.


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The Battle of Lexington and Concord took place April 19, 1775, when the British sent a force of roughly 1000 troops to confiscate arms and arrest revolutionaries in Concord. They clashed with the local militia, marking the first fighting of the American Revolutionary War. The news aroused the 13 colonies to call out their militias and send troops to besiege Boston. The Battle of Bunker Hill followed on June 17, 1775. While a British victory, it was at a great cost; about 1,000 British casualties from a garrison of about 6,000, as compared to 500 American casualties from a much larger force.

The Second Continental Congress convened in 1775, after the war had started. The Congress created the Continental Army and extended the Olive Branch Petition to the crown as an attempt at reconciliation. King George III refused to receive it, issuing instead the Proclamation of Rebellion, requiring action against the "traitors".

In the winter of 1775, the Americans invaded Canada. General Richard Montgomery captured Montreal but a joint attack on Quebec with the help of Benedict Arnold failed.

In March 1776, with George Washington as the commander of the new army, the Continental Army forced the British to evacuate Boston. The revolutionaries were now in full control of all 13 colonies and were ready to declare independence. While there still were many Loyalists, they were no longer in control anywhere by July 1776, and all of the Royal officials had fled.



In August 1775, the King declared Americans in arms against royal authority to be traitors to the Crown. The British government at first started treating captured rebel combatants as common criminals and preparations were made to bring them to trial for treason. American Secretary Lord Germain and First Lord of the Admiralty Lord Sandwich were especially eager to do so, with a particular emphasis on those who had previously served in British units (and thereby sworn an oath of allegiance to the crown).

Many of the prisoners taken by the British at Bunker Hill apparently expected to be hanged, but British authorities declined to take the next step: treason trials and executions. There were tens of thousands of Loyalists under American control who would have been at risk for treason trials of their own (by the Americans), and the British built much of their strategy around using these Loyalists. After the surrender at Saratoga in 1777, there were thousands of British prisoners in American hands.

Therefore no American prisoners were put on trial for treason, although most were badly treated and many died nonetheless, resulting in more deaths than every American battlefield and naval action fatality, combined. Eventually they were technically accorded the rights of belligerents in 1782, by act of Parliament, when they were officially recognized as prisoners of war rather than traitors. At the end of the war, both sides released their surviving prisoners.


Creating new state constitutions:

Following the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775, the Patriots had control of most of the territory and population; the Loyalists were powerless. In all thirteen colonies, Patriots had overthrown their existing governments, closing courts and driving British governors, agents and supporters from their homes. They had elected conventions and "legislatures" that existed outside of any legal framework; new constitutions were used in each state to supersede royal charters. They declared they were states now, not colonies.

On January 5, 1776, New Hampshire ratified the first state constitution, six months before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Then, in May 1776, Congress voted to suppress all forms of crown authority, to be replaced by locally created authority. Virginia, South Carolina, and New Jersey created their constitutions before July 4. Rhode Island and Connecticut simply took their existing royal charters and deleted all references to the crown.

The new states had to decide not only what form of government to create, they first had to decide how to select those who would craft the constitutions and how the resulting document would be ratified. In states where the wealthy exerted firm control over the process, such as Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New York and Massachusetts, the results were constitutions that featured:

  • Substantial property qualifications for voting and even more substantial requirements for elected positions (though New York and Maryland lowered property qualifications);
  • Bicameral legislatures, with the upper house as a check on the lower;
  • Strong governors, with veto power over the legislature and substantial appointment authority;
  • Few or no restraints on individuals holding multiple positions in government;
  • The continuation of state-established religion.
 Dr. Benjamin Rush, 1783

In states where the less affluent had organized sufficiently to have significant power—especially Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New Hampshire—the resulting constitutions embodied

  • universal white manhood suffrage, or minimal property requirements for voting or holding office (New Jersey enfranchised some property owning widows, a step that it retracted 25 years later);
  • strong, unicameral legislatures;
  • relatively weak governors, without veto powers, and little appointing authority;
  • prohibition against individuals holding multiple government posts;

Whether conservatives or radicals held sway in a state did not mean that the side with less power accepted the result quietly. The radical provisions of Pennsylvania's constitution lasted only fourteen years. In 1790, conservatives gained power in the state legislature, called a new constitutional convention, and rewrote the constitution. The new constitution substantially reduced universal white-male suffrage, gave the governor veto power and patronage appointment authority, and added an upper house with substantial wealth qualifications to the unicameral legislature. Thomas Paine called it a constitution unworthy of America.


Independence and Union:


On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published a political pamphlet entitled Common Sense arguing that the only solution to the problems with Britain was republicanism and independence. In the ensuing months, before the allied states declared independence in unison in the name of the United States, the colonies had begun the process of creating their own constitutions to form sovereign states and some of them individually took the step to declare independence. Virginia, for instance, declared its independence from Great Britain on May 15, 1776. The war had been underway since April 1775, and until this point, the states had sought favorable peace terms; compromise was no longer a possibility, despite belated British efforts to come to a political resolution.

On June 11, 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed a committee to prepare a draft declaration of independence. Thomas Jefferson, with John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, brought the draft before Congress on June 28. On July 2, 1776, Congress voted the independence of the United States; two days later, on July 4, it adopted the Declaration of Independence, which date is now celebrated as Independence Day in the United States.

 Johannes Adam Simon Oertel. Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C., ca. 1859. The painting is a romanticised version of the Sons of Liberty destroying the symbol of monarchy following the reading by George Washington of the United States Declaration of Independence to the Continental Army and residents on the New York City commons, July 9th, 1776.

On June 12, 1776, the Second Continental Congress resolved to appoint a committee of thirteen to prepare a draft agreement on a governing constitution and a perpetual union of the states. The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, commonly known as the Articles of Confederation or simply the Articles, formed the first governing document of the United States of America, based on a confederation type government. Of equal importance is the fact that the Articles combined the sovereign states into a perpetual Union. The Second Continental Congress approved the Articles for ratification by the States on November 15, 1777, and began operating under their terms. The Articles were formally ratified when the representatives of Maryland became the last to apply their signatures to the document on March 1, 1781. At that point, the Continental Congress was dissolved and on the following day a new government of the United States in Congress Assembled took its place, with Samuel Huntington as President.


Defending the Revolution



British return: 1776:

After Washington forced the British out of Boston in spring 1776, neither the British nor the Loyalists controlled any significant areas. The British, however, were massing forces at their great naval base at Halifax, Nova Scotia. They returned in force in July 1776, landing in New York and defeating Washington's Continental Army in August at the Battle of Brooklyn in one of the largest engagements of the war. The British requested a meeting with representatives from Congress to negotiate an end to hostilities, and a delegation including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin met Howe on Staten Island in New York Harbor on September 11. Howe demanded a retraction of the Declaration of Independence, which was refused, and negotiations ended until 1781. The British then quickly seized New York City and nearly captured General Washington. They made the city their main political and military base of operations in North America, holding it until November 1783. New York City consequently became the destination for Loyalist refugees, and a focal point of Washington's intelligence network. The British also took New Jersey, pushing the Continental Army into Pennsylvania, but in a surprise attack in late December 1776 Washington crossed the Delaware River back into New Jersey and defeated Hessian and British armies at Trenton and Princeton, thereby regaining New Jersey. The victories gave an important boost to pro-independence supporters at a time when morale was flagging, and have become iconic events of the war.

In 1777, as part of a grand strategy to end the war, the British sent an invasion force from Canada to seal off New England, which the British perceived as the primary source of agitators. In a major case of mis-coordination, the British army in New York City went to Philadelphia which it captured from Washington. The invasion army under Burgoyne waited in vain for reinforcements from New York, and became trapped upstate. It surrendered after the Battle of Saratoga, New York, in October 1777. From early October 1777 until November 15 a pivotal siege at Fort Mifflin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania distracted British troops and allowed Washington time to preserve the Continental Army by safely leading his troops to harsh winter quarters at Valley Forge.


American alliances after 1778:

The capture of a British army at Saratoga encouraged the French to formally enter the war in support of Congress, as Benjamin Franklin negotiated a permanent military alliance in early 1778, significantly becoming the first country to officially recognize the Declaration of Independence. William Pitt spoke out in parliament urging Britain to make peace in America, and unite with America against France, while other British politicians who had previously sympathised with colonial grievances now turned against the American rebels for allying with British international rival and enemy.

Later Spain (in 1779) and the Dutch (1780) became allies of the French, leaving the British Empire to fight a global war alone without major allies, and requiring it to slip through a combined blockade of the Atlantic. The American theater thus became only one front in Britain's war. The British were forced to withdraw troops from continental America to reinforce the valuable sugar-producing Caribbean colonies, which were considered more valuable.

Because of the alliance with France and the deteriorating military situation, Sir Henry Clinton, the British commander, evacuated Philadelphia to reinforce New York City. General Washington attempted to intercept the retreating column, resulting in the Battle of Monmouth Court House, the last major battle fought in the north. After an inconclusive engagement, the British successfully retreated to New York City. The northern war subsequently became a stalemate, as the focus of attention shifted to the smaller southern theater.


The British move South, 1778:

The British strategy in America now concentrated on a campaign in the southern colonies. With fewer regular troops at their disposal, the British commanders saw the Southern Strategy as a more viable plan, as the south was perceived as being more strongly Loyalist, with a large population of recent immigrants as well as large numbers of slaves who might be captured or run away to join the British.

Beginning in late December 1778, the British captured Savannah and controlled the Georgia coastline. In 1780 they launched a fresh invasion and took Charleston as well. A significant victory at the Battle of Camden meant that royal forces soon controlled most of Georgia and South Carolina. The British set up a network of forts inland, hoping the Loyalists would rally to the flag. Not enough Loyalists turned out, however, and the British had to fight their way north into North Carolina and Virginia, with a severely weakened army. Behind them much of the territory they had already captured dissolved into a chaotic guerrilla war, fought predominantly between bands of Loyalist and American militia, which negated many of the gains the British had previously made. The excesses brought on by the guerilla warfare (though famously exaggerated in the 2000 film The Patriot) were enough to erode support for the British in the region where it had been strongest.


 The siege of Yorktown ended with the surrender of a second British army, paving the way for the end of the American Revolutionary War

Yorktown 1781:

The southern British army marched to Yorktown, Virginia where they expected to be rescued by a British fleet which would take them back to New York. When that fleet was defeated by a French fleet, however, they became trapped in Yorktown. In October 1781 under a combined siege by the French and Continental armies, the British, under the command of General Cornwallis, surrendered. However, Cornwallis was so embarrassed at his defeat that he had to send his second in command to surrender for him.

News of the defeat effectively ended major offensive operations in America. Support for the conflict had never been strong in Britain, where many sympathised with the rebels, but now it reached a new low.

Although King George III personally wanted to fight on, his supporters lost control of Parliament, and no further major land offensives were launched in the American Theatre. A final naval battle was fought on March 10, 1783 off the coast of Cape Canaveral by Captain John Barry and his crew of the USS Alliance who defeated three British warships led by HMS Sybil, who were trying to take the payroll of the Continental Army.


Peace treaty:

The peace treaty with Britain, known as the Treaty of Paris, gave the U.S. all land east of the Mississippi River and south of the Great Lakes, though not including Florida (On September 3, 1783, Britain entered into a separate agreement with Spain under which Britain ceded Florida back to Spain.). The Native American nations actually living in this region were not a party to this treaty and did not recognize it until they were defeated militarily by the United States. Issues regarding boundaries and debts were not resolved until the Jay Treaty of 1795.


Impact on Britain:

Losing the war and the 13 colonies was a shock to the British system. The war revealed the limitations of Britain's fiscal-military state when it had powerful enemies, no allies, depended on extended and vulnerable transatlantic lines of communication, and was faced for the first time since the 17th century by both Protestant and Catholic foes. The defeat heightened dissension and escalated political antagonism to the King's ministers. Inside parliament, the primary concern changed from fears of an over-mighty monarch to the issues of representation, parliamentary reform , and government retrenchment. Reformers sought to destroy what they saw as widespread institutional corruption. The result was a powerful crisis, 1776-1783. The peace in 1783 left France financially prostrate, while the British economy boomed thanks to the return of American business. The crisis ended after 1784 thanks to the king's shrewdness in outwitting Charles James Fox (the leader of the Fox-North Coalition), and renewed confidence in the system engendered by the leadership of the new Prime Minister, William Pitt. Historians conclude that loss of the American colonies enabled Britain to deal with the French Revolution with more unity and better organization than would otherwise have been the case.


Immediate aftermath


Interpretations about the effect of the Revolution vary. Though contemporary participants referred to the events as "the revolution", at one end of the spectrum is the view that the American Revolution was not "revolutionary" at all, contending that it did not radically transform colonial society but simply replaced a distant government with a local one. More recent scholarship pioneered by historians such as Bernard Bailyn, Gordon Wood, and Edmund Morgan accepts the contemporary view of the participants that the American Revolution was a unique and radical event that produced deep changes and had a profound impact on world affairs, based on an increasing belief in the principles of the Enlightenment as reflected in how liberalism was understood during the period, and republicanism. These were demonstrated by a leadership and government that espoused protection of natural rights, and a system of laws chosen by the people.

Some historians, such as Daniel Boorstin, see the motivation for the revolution as primarily legal. The adherence of the colonists to the British constitution and what they viewed to be the tyrannical deprivation of English rights by the British Parliament, in concert with the failure of King George III to protect his subjects from such abuses, are what he sees as compelling the colonists to sever political ties with Great Britain.


Loyalist expatriation:

For roughly five percent of the inhabitants of the United States, defeat was followed by self-exile. Of those, approximately 62,000 United Empire Loyalists left the newly founded republic, most settling in the remaining British colonies in North America, such as the Province of Quebec (concentrating in the Eastern Townships), Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. The new colonies of Upper Canada (now Ontario) and New Brunswick were created by Britain for their benefit.


As an example or inspiration:

After the Revolution, genuinely democratic politics became possible. The rights of the people were incorporated into state constitutions. Thus came the widespread assertion of liberty, individual rights, equality and hostility toward corruption which would prove core values of republicanism to Americans. The greatest challenge to the old order in Europe was the challenge to inherited political power and the democratic idea that government rests on the consent of the governed. The example of the first successful revolution against a European empire, and the first successful establishment of a republican form of democratically elected government, provided a model for many other colonial peoples who realized that they too could break away and become self-governing nations with directly elected representative government.

In 1777, Morocco was the first state to recognize the independence of the United States of America. The two countries signed the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship ten years later. Friesland, one of the seven United Provinces of the Dutch Republic, was the next to recognize American independence (February 26, 1782), followed by the Staten-Generaal of the Dutch Republic on April 19, 1782). John Adams became the first US Ambassador in The Hague.

Since the Dutch Republic was at war with the United Kingdom at the signing of the treaty in 1782, it is often considered that Sweden was the first neutral sovereign power that recognized the United States of America. On April 3, 1783, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Count Gustaf Philip Creutz, representing the King of Sweden, and Benjamin Franklin, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, signed a Treaty of Amity and Commerce in Paris, France. In the Treaty, they pledged, firm, inviolable and universal peace and a true and sincere friendship between the King, his heirs and successors, and the United States of America..

The American Revolution was the first wave of the Atlantic Revolutions that took hold in the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, and the Latin American wars of independence. Aftershocks reached Ireland in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and in the Netherlands.

The Revolution had a strong, immediate impact in Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, and France. Many British and Irish Whigs spoke in favor of the American cause. The Revolution, along with the Dutch Revolt (end of the 16th century) and the English Civil War (in the 17th century), was one of the first lessons in overthrowing an old regime for many Europeans who later were active during the era of the French Revolution, such as Marquis de Lafayette. The American Declaration of Independence had some impact on the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of 1789. The spirit of the Declaration of Independence led to laws ending slavery in all the Northern states and the Northwest Territory, with New Jersey the last in 1804—long before the British Parliament acted in 1833 to abolish slavery in its colonies.


National debt:

The national debt after the American Revolution fell into three categories. The first was the $11 million owed to foreigners—mostly debts to France during the American Revolution. The second and third—roughly $24 million each—were debts owed by the national and state governments to Americans who had sold food, horses, and supplies to the revolutionary forces. Congress agreed that the power and the authority of the new government would pay for the foreign debts. There were also other debts that consisted of promissory notes issued during the Revolutionary War to soldiers, merchants, and farmers who accepted these payments on the premise that the new Constitution would create a government that would pay these debts eventually. The war expenses of the individual states added up to $114,000,000, compared to $37 million by the central government. In 1790, at the recommendation of first Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Congress combined the state debts with the foreign and domestic debts into one national debt totaling $80 million. Everyone received face value for wartime certificates, so that the national honor would be sustained and the national credit established. 


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The Patriot (Extended Cut)

The Patriot is a 2000 epic war film directed by Roland Emmerich, written by Robert Rodat, and starring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger. It was produced by the Mutual Film Company and was distributed by Columbia Pictures. The film mainly takes place in South Carolina (and was entirely filmed there) and depicts the story of an American swept into the American Revolutionary War when his family is threatened. The protagonist, Benjamin Martin is loosely based on real Continental Army officer Francis Marion and other Revolutionary War figures. The Patriot was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Sound, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Music Score.



At the beginning of the American Revolution, Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) is a South Carolina veteran of the French and Indian War and a widower raising his seven children. Gabriel Gabriel returns home some time later, stumbling, wounded into the family home and carrying military dispatches. The next day, a military skirmish has the Martins caring for the wounded from both sides. British soldiers - the ruthless Green Dragoons cavalry - arrive and kill the wounded Colonials; take the wounded British soldiers back to headquarters; burn down the Martin house; destroy the livestock, except for horses, which they take for the dragoons; and arrest Gabriel as a spy, intending to hang him. When Benjamin's next eldest son Thomas attempts to free Gabriel, he is shot and killed by the leader of the Green Dragoons, Colonel William Tavington (Jason Isaacs).

Making use of his knowledge of fighting in the wilds, Benjamin and his two younger sons, Nathan and Samuel set out and ambush the British column in the woods. They kill 20 of the soldiers in an ambush and free Gabriel. One private of the attacked British soldiers survives and some Cherokee scouts bring him to the main camp. Colonel Tavington hears from the wounded private that it was only one man — a "ghost" — who killed his fellows. Captain James Wilkins (Adam Baldwin), a member of the Loyalist militia is recruited into the Green Dragoons.

Gabriel rejoins the cause against his father's will again, stating it is his duty as a soldier. Benjamin decides to join as well, leaving the rest of the children in the care of his wife's sister, Charlotte (Joely Richardson). After the defeat of the Continental Army at the Battle of Camden, Colonel Harry Burwell (Chris Cooper), having fought alongside Benjamin in the French and Indian War, asks him to organize a militia designed to keep British General Cornwallis in the south until the French Navy arrives to assist. French officer Jean Villeneuve (Tchéky Karyo), is present to help train the militia.

Benjamin's militia uses guerrilla warfare, attacking the British supply lines. One day, they steal the personal baggage of Lord Cornwallis (Tom Wilkinson), including his journal and two Great Danes, Jupiter and Mars. Later that night, Benjamin reads into Cornwallis' notes and finds out a possible major weakness inside the General: pride.

At Middleton Place, where Lord Cornwallis and his staff are attending a ball, the General blames Tavington for creating this "ghost" with his brutal tactics, thus preventing him from moving towards North Carolina or Virginia by now. As the ball continues on, Benjamin and his men disguise themselves as British soldiers to smuggle arms and ammunition from one of the supply ships before setting it to explode.

Eventually, Tavington manages to capture eighteen of Martin's men. Benjamin rides to the British garrison to parlay the release of his men for Cornwallis' dogs and eighteen captured British officers. As he is leaving, Tavington recognizes him and General Charles O'Hara (Peter Woodward) suggests that this man is the "Ghost." In an attempt to aggravate him into a fight, because O'Hara states that it would only condemn the captured officers if he harms Benjamin, Tavington mocks him about the death of Thomas. Benjamin responds by saying, "Before this war is over, I'm going to kill you." As he leaves, Benjamin calls Cornwallis' dogs back, much to the General's surprise, and releases the "officers," which were actually a row of scarecrows in British uniforms.

To combat the militia, a reluctant Cornwallis lets Tavington track the Ghost using any means, free from the chain-of-command. Tavington eventually learns the Ghost's actual name and the location of Charlotte's plantation, which the Dragoons burn down while searching for Benjamin's family. However, Charlotte and the family escape, and are led to a safe haven by Gabriel, where he marries his childhood friend Anne Howard (Lisa Brenner). Benjamin's militia, later on, return from a week's furlough, still believing in the cause.

Soon after, when the Howards return to their hometown of Pembroke, Tavington calls up a meeting in the church to demands that those who give him the whereabouts of Benjamin and his militia "may be forgiven their treason" for aiding the Continentals. When he finally acquires the information, he orders the church to be locked and, with all the people trapped inside, be burned down. A grief-stricken Gabriel rides out with the rest of the town's militiamen to avenge the deaths of their families and friends. During the ensuing fight, all of Tavington's Dragoon unit and Gabriel's militia are killed, leaving the two men to resort to hand-to-hand combat. An injured Tavington mortally wounds Gabriel with his concealed sabre and escapes. Benjamin is devastated and his zeal for combat extinguished, until he finds among his dead son's possessions a tattered, but mended, revolutionary flag. He rides after the Continental Army flying the flag and rejoins his militia.

The Continental-American Army faces off against the British in the Battle of Cowpens. During the skirmish, Benjamin and the militia to lure the British into a trap, where Continentals are waiting to charge the British. Even though Benjamin spots Tavington several times on the battlefield, he sticks to his primary duty to the Continentals, who are slowly losing their morale and are retreating, by raising a revolutionary flag up high and rallying them. The American forces push forward, gradually overwhelming the British. Benjamin meets Tavington in a vicious duel. Tavington manages to bring Ben to his knees while mockingly noting that his foe is not the better man. However, Benjamin evades Tavington's killing blow, and with a bayonet, impales him fatally in the stomach, saying, "You were right. My sons were better men." Benjamin then stabs Tavington in the throat, killing him.

The tide of battle quickly turns and Cornwallis is forced to retreat and eventually surrender when the French Navy arrives and attacks the British during the Siege of Yorktown. Martin and his remaining family return to their home and find the militia helping rebuild it. Occam (Jay Arlen Jones), a black soldier in the militia who gained his freedom after servitude in the Continental Army, tells Ben, "Gabriel said that if we won the war, we could build a whole new world. Just figured we get started right here, with your home." Ben smiles and comments, "Sounds good."



  • Mel Gibson as Benjamin Martin: A veteran of the French and Indian War and widowed father of seven children, Benjamin does what he can to avoid fighting in the Revolutionary War knowing the implications surrounding it. When his oldest son, Gabriel joins up, and his second born son, Thomas is killed, he takes it upon himself to join and fight with the colonial militia. He is based on a composite of historical characters including Thomas Sumter, Daniel Morgan, Andrew Pickens, and Francis Marion.
  • Heath Ledger as Gabriel Martin: Benjamin's oldest child, he decides to join up with the Continental Army against his father's wishes.
  • Joely Richardson as Charlotte Selton: Benjamin's sister-in-law and owner of a plantation. She looks after Benjamin's children while he is fighting.
  • Jason Isaacs as Colonel William Tavington: Colonel of the Green Dragoons, he is portrayed as a ruthless and cold blooded commander who kills without mercy. He is nicknamed "The Butcher" by General O'Hara. The character is loosely based on Banastre Tarleton.
  • Chris Cooper as Colonel Harry Burwell: One of Benjamin's commanding officers in the French and Indian War and a colonel of the Continental Army, he puts Benjamin in charge of training the militia. His character is loosely based on, Lieutenant Colonel ("Lighthorse Harry Lee") Henry Lee II.
  • Tchéky Karyo as Jean Villeneuve: A French soldier who trains the militia, he holds a grudge against Martin for his part in the French and Indian War, but soon comes to respect him. He also serves as Martin's second-in-command.
  • René Auberjonois as Reverend Oliver: A minister who volunteers to fight with the militia. He also tries to give spiritual advice to his fellow soldiers.
  • Lisa Brenner as Anne Howard-Martin: Gabriel's childhood friend and love interest, whom he marries later in the film.
  • Tom Wilkinson as Lieutenant General Charles, Lord Cornwallis: A general of the British arm. While pompous and arrogant, he is disgusted by Tavington's savage tactics.
  • Peter Woodward as Brigadier General Charles O'Hara: Cornwallis' second-in-command. Like Cornwallis he also does not share Tavington's views on war.
  • Donal Logue as Dan Scott : One of Benjamin's men. He is racist and bullies the former slave Occam, but grows to respect him.
  • Leon Rippy as John Billings: One of Benjamin's neighbors who joins the militia. He commits suicide after Tavington's men kill his wife and son.
  • Adam Baldwin as Captain James Wilkins: A Loyalist in the British army recruited into the Green Dragoons by Captain Bordon. He fights alongside Tavington, and also shares these brutal views on how to handle "traitors". When he is forced to burn a church with town residents inside, only then does he feel guilty.
  • Jamieson K. Price as Captain Bordon: Tavington's second-in-command of the Green Dragoons and chief intelligence officer. Can be as ruthless as his commander, "strong-arming" prisoners during interrogations.
  • Jay Arlen Jones as Occam: An African Slave. He is sent to fight in his master's place. He is taunted and bullied by the other members of the militia, but is treated as an equal by Benjamin and Gabriel.
  • Joey D. Vieira as Peter Howard: Anne Howard's father.
  • Gregory Smith as Thomas Martin: Benjamin's second born son, he, like Gabriel, is anxious to fight in the war, but Benjamin says he has to wait because of his age. He is shot and killed by Tavington when he protests against Gabriel's arrest.
  • Mika Boorem as Margaret Martin: Benjamin's oldest daughter, she is often seen taking care of her younger siblings.
  • Skye McCole Bartusiak as Susan Martin: The youngest child among Benjamin's seven children, she has a problem with speaking, only later on does she finally open up.
  • Trevor Morgan as Nathan Martin: Third-born child, he and Samuel help around the farm. When Gabriel is taken prisoner and Thomas is killed, he and Samuel help his father on a rescue mission. Unlike Samuel, he is glad to kill British soldiers.
  • Bryan Chafin as Samuel Martin: Fourth-born child, he is usually seen helping Nathan around the farm. When Gabriel is taken prisoner and Thomas is killed, he helps his father, Benjamin, rescue Gabriel by killing several British solders, even though he doesn't want to kill. For a short while, he becomes scared of his father after he witnesses him brutally killing a British soldier with a tomahawk.
  • Logan Lerman as William Martin: Benjamin's youngest son, he is often being taken care of by his sister, Margaret.
  • Terry Layman as General George Washington
  • Andy Stahl as General Nathanael Greene
  • Grahame Wood as a British Lieutenant at Martin's farm who interacts with both Martin and Colonel Tavington
  • Dara Coleman as a British Sergeant at King's Highway skirmish




Screenwriter Robert Rodat wrote 17 drafts of the script before there was an acceptable one. In an earlier version of the script, Anne is pregnant with Gabriel's child when she dies in the burning church. Rodat wrote the script with Mel Gibson in mind for Benjamin Martin, and gave the Martin character six children to signal this preference to studio executives. After the birth of Gibson’s seventh child, the script was changed so that Martin had seven children.



Joshua Jackson, Elijah Wood, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Brad Renfro were considered to play Gabriel Martin. The producers and director narrowed their choices for this role to Ryan Phillippe and Heath Ledger, with the latter chosen because, in their opinion, he possessed "exuberant youth."



The film's director, Roland Emmerich, said " ... these were characters I could relate to, and they were engaged in a conflict that had a significant outcome – the creation of the first modern democratic government".

The movie was filmed entirely on location in South Carolina, including Charleston, Rock Hill - for many of the battle scenes, and Lowrys - for the farm of Benjamin Martin, as well as nearby Fort Lawn. Other scenes were filmed at Mansfield Plantation, an antebellum rice plantation in Georgetown, Middleton Place in Charleston, South Carolina, and Hightower Hall and Homestead House at Brattonsville, South Carolina, along with the grounds of the Brattonsville Plantation in McConnells, South Carolina. Producer Mark Gordon said the production team "...tried their best to be as authentic as possible", because "the backdrop was serious history", giving attention to details in period dress. Producer Dean Devlin and the film's costume designers examined actual Revolutionary War uniforms at the Smithsonian Institution prior to shooting. 


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CLICK HERE for Plot Details, and to Read the Introduction and First Three Chapters!




Product Details (From

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (November 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449913172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449913175
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds



"Nicely done. I really enjoyed the history in the introduction and the duel is well written. Best of luck with the novel!" ~ Author David Lee Summers, author of five books: Vampires of the Scarlet Order, The Solar Sea, and the "Old Star" science fiction series: The Pirates of Sufiro, Children of the Old Stars, and Heirs of the New Earth.

"Very exciting read! Felt like I was there witnessing the action!" ~ Candle Artist Jfay,

"I really enjoyed the humour and really laughed, not at Monsieur de la Donaree but with Monsieur de la Donaree! I dont know if you wrote it in this spirit but if you had a bit of Molière in you, I would not be surprised! He knew how to study people and would turn situations into a comic play! I laughed out loud, this is a gem! Not only de la Donaree is a fine sword, he has also a fine nose when it comes to pinpoint personalities, I'm talking about the Inkeeper and his situation with the wife here!! The second part is indeed in pure swashbuckling spirit, in rhythm and enthusiasm! And the end is a cliff-hanger! The beginning is "cocasse" (funny) as they might have said then in Gascony, and witty! Indeed Alexandre Dumas had a sense of humour too and satirically created at least one of his character ( in another book) to a character made up by Molière in one of his comic play. And Molière also took his inspiration from Dumas' s Musketeers and "The Man in the Iron Mask." I liked it! I had fun while reading this chapter about Monsieur de la Donaree, as while following the spirit of the Musketeers you gave a contemporary touch to the text!" ~ Artist Nicole Marques,

"Hurrah, Ted! I gleefully await the next installment! LOVE the romantic stuff! Bring it on! There are few things in this world I like better than a hot Viscount. Keep going, Ted! Bravo! Keep writing! I can't wait to read more! But it is par for the course as I am also a writer. Keep in touch!" ~ Author Genella de Grey, author of "Remember Me."

"Wow - What a wonderful beginning. As a whole, you have a unique way of writing & you captivated me by a few sentences peaking my interest to continue. For instance: ...hazed by the early morning mist...I love it! I look forward to reading the next chapter. You've gained my interest. That was impresive & informative. You've still got the hook in & I'm dangling to hear more. Thanks for the sneak peak." ~ Aspiring Author R.F.Taylor: Rianna

"Well done. Chapter One entices the reader craving more. I will look for The Adventures of Monsieur de La Donaree the Musketeer on the web. Keep up the excellent writing..." ~