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Eighteenth Century History : 1700 – 1749

1700 World population 700 million. Beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Act of Resumption in Ireland.

1701 Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius devises the centigrade temperature scale. Jethro Tull invents the seed drill, a mechanical drill pulled by a horse to plant rows of seeds. Act of Settlement in England.

1702 French Huguenot rebellion.

1703 St Petersburg founded by Peter the Great. Act of Security in Scotland.

1704 Alien Act in England. Newton publishes Optiks. In Ireland, Penal Laws enacted: Catholics are barred from voting, education and the military.

1707 Act of Union between Scotland and England, creating Great Britain.

1709 Bartolomeo Cristofori invents the piano.

1712 Thomas Newcomen patents the atmospheric steam engine.

1714 George I becomes King of Britain.

1715 Louis XV becomes King of France. Jacobite rebellion in Scotland northern England – they are defeated at Battle of Preston.

1716 John Law founds Banque Generale in France.

1717 John Law founds Louisiana Company. Handel composed his Water Music. Edmund Halley invents the diving bell.

1718 Samuel Johnson published Dictionary of the English Language. Coffee planted in Brazil (brought from Arabia). Edward Scarlett, a London optician, put arms on eyeglasses to hold them on the ears. Ketterer invents the cuckoo clock.

1719 Daniel Defoe publishes Robin Crusoe.

1720 South Sea Bubble. Great Awakening: an influential religious revival sweeping through the British colonies of North America. First yacht club established in Cork Harbour, Ireland.

1722 C. Hopffer patents the fire extinguisher.

1724 Jonathan Swift publishes Drapier’s Letters. Gabriel Fahrenheit invents the first mercury thermometer.

1727 First Indemnity Act for Nonconformists in England.

1729 Beginning of Methodist revival in England. Newton’s Principia translated from Latin into English. Johann Sebastian Bach composes St Matthew Passion.

1732 Benjamin Franklin begins publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack.

1733 Jethro Tull publishes The Horse-Hoeing Husbandry, improving agricultural techniques. John Kay invents the flying shuttle. Chester M Hall invents the achromatic lens.

1735 Carolus Linnaeus and his colleagues divide all living organisms into just two kingdoms: plants and animals. (Their system placed humans and apes in the same category, basically they were the first to suggest humans and apes sharing ancestry.) Since, biologists have realized that there are enough fundamental differences between living organisms to warrant adding four additional kingdoms, recognizing Plants, Animals, Fungi, Protists, Monera, and Archaea.

1738 Parties of Hats and Caps first appear in Sweden.

1740 Benjamin Huntsman introduces the crucible steel process. Captain Vitus Bering discovers Alaska.

1741 Handel writes Messiah. Thomas Arne publishes Rule, Brittania!

1743 King Louis XV of France have the world’s first indoor elevator installed in his palace, calling it a “flying chair,” the device being operated by weights. (For centuries, monks had been using baskets to elevate people to their clifftop monasteries.)

1745 E.G. von Kleist invents the leyden jar, the first electrical capacitor.

1748 Montesquieu publishes De l’Esprit de lois (on The Spirit of Laws), writing, “There are no other word that has more different meaning… than liberty.”

1749 Henry Fielding publishes Tom Jones. John Harrison invents the marine chronometer.

1700 – 1749 | 1750 – 1799

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