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18th century

Related subjects: General history

Background Information

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Millennium: 2nd millennium
Decades: 1700s 1710s 1720s 1730s 1740s
1750s 1760s 1770s 1780s 1790s
Categories: Births – Deaths
Establishments – Disestablishments
Washington crossing the Delaware, Dec. 25 1776, an iconic event of the American Revolution
Storming of the Bastille, July 14, 1789, an iconic event of the French Revolution
1700 CE world map

The 18th century lasted from January 1, 1701 to December 31, 1800 in the Gregorian calendar.

During the 18th century, the Enlightenment culminated in the French and American revolutions. Philosophy and science increased in prominence. Philosophers dreamed of a brighter age. This dream turned into a reality with the French Revolution, although it was later compromised by excess of the terror of Maximilien Robespierre. At first, the monarchies of Europe embraced Enlightenment ideals, but with the French Revolution they feared losing their power and joined wide coalitions with the counter-revolution.

The Ottoman Empire was undergoing a protracted decline, as it failed to keep up with the technological advances in Europe. The Tulip period symbolized a period of peace and reorientation towards European society, after victory against a burgeoning Russian Empire in the Pruth River Campaign. Throughout the century various reforms were introduced with limited success.

The 18th century also marked the end of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as an independent state. The once powerful and vast kingdom, that was once able to conquer Moscow and defeat the great Ottoman armies, collapsed under numerous invasions. Its semi-democratic government system was not efficient enough to rival the neighbouring monarchies of Prussia, Russia and Austria who divided the Commonwealth territories among them, changing the landscape of Central European politics for the next hundred years.

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 its North American colonies after the American Revolution, which was actively helped by the French. The industrial revolution started in Britain around 1770s with the production of the improved steam engine. Despite its modest beginnings in the 18th century, it would radically change human society and the environment.

Western historians have occasionally defined 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.



Peter the Great in the Battle of Poltava
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
  • 1700- 1721: Great Northern War between Tsarist Russia and the Swedish Empire
  • 1701: Kingdom of Prussia declared under King Frederick I
  • 1701: Ashanti Empire is formed under Osei Kofi Tutu I
  • 1701– 1714: War of the Spanish Succession was a conflict which involved most of Europe.
  • 1701– 1702: The Daily Courant and 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.
  • 1705: Handel's first opera, Almira, premieres.
  • 1706: War of the Spanish Succession: French troops defeated at the Battles of Ramilies and Turin.
  • 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.
  • 1709: 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.
Tokugawa Yoshimune, Shogun of Japan.


  • 1710: The world's first copyright legislation, Britain's Statute of Anne, becomes effective
  • 1710- 1711: Ottoman Empire fights Russia in the Russo-Turkish War
  • 1711- 1715: Tuscarora War between British, Dutch, and German settlers and the Tuscarora people of North Carolina
  • 1712: War of the Spanish Succession: The French defeat a combined Dutch-Austrian force at the Battle of Denain
  • 1713: Treaty of Utrecht end the War of the Spanish Succession
  • 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 - British halt Jacobite advance at the Battle of Sheriffmuir; Battle of Preston
  • 1715: Louis XIV dies, leaving France greatly enlarged but deep in debt - The Regency takes power under Philippe d'Orleans
  • 1715: Pope Clement XI declares Catholicism and Confucianism incompatible
  • 1716: Establishment of the Sikh Confederacy along the present-dayIndia-Pakistan border.
  • 1717: The Netherlands, Britain and France sign the Triple Alliance
  • 1718: City of New Orleans founded by the French in North America
  • 1718: Blackbeard (Edward Teach) 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


Europe at the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession, 1700
  • 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 Sultan Husayn
  • 1722: Kangxi Emperor of China dies
  • 1722: Bartholomew Roberts is killed in a sea battle off the African coast
  • 1722– 1723: 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
  • 1724: Treaty of Constantinople is signed, partitioning Persia between the Ottoman Empire and Russia.
  • 1725: The Fulani nomads took complete control of Futa 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 Methodism in England


Qianlong Emperor
  • 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.
  • 1738: Turlough O'Carolan, famous Irish harper, died.
  • 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
The extinction of the Scottish clan system came with the defeat of the clansmen at the Battle of Culloden in 1746
  • 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
  • 1742: Cotton mills were first opened in England
  • 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.
  • 17541763: The French and Indian War, Fought in the U.S. and Canada mostly between the French and their allies and the English and their allies. The North American chapter of the Seven Years' War.
  • 1755: The Lisbon earthquake
  • 17551763: The Great Upheaval, forced population transfer of the French Acadian population from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
  • 17561763: Seven Years' War fought among European powers in various theaters around the world.
  • 17561763: 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.


Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia.
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
  • 17621796: 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.
  • 17661799: Anglo-Mysore Wars
  • 1767: Burmese conquered the Ayutthaya kingdom.
  • 1768: Gurkhas conquered Nepal.
  • 17681774: Russo-Turkish War
  • 1769: Spanish missionaries established the first of 21 missions in California.
  • 17691770: James Cook explores and maps New Zealand and Australia
  • 17691773: The Bengal famine of 1770 killed one third of the Bengal population.


Rejtan and the Partitions of Poland
A Watt steam engine. The development of the steam engine started the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain.
  • 1770: James Cook claims the East Coast of Australia ( New South Wales) for Great Britain.
  • 17701771: 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
  • 17721779: Maratha Empire fights Britain and Raghunathrao's forces during the First Anglo-Maratha War
  • 17721795: The Partitions of Poland ended the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and erased Poland from the map for 123 years.
  • 17731775: 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)
  • 17751782: First Anglo-Maratha War
  • 17751783: American Revolutionary War
  • 1776: Illuminati founded by Adam Weishaupt
  • 1776: United States Declaration of Independence adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
  • 1778: Tây Sơn Dynasty established in Vietnam.
  • 1778: James Cook becomes first European on the Hawaiian Islands.
  • 17791879: Xhosa Wars between British and Boer settlers and the Xhosas in South African Republic


Napoleon at the Bridge of the Arcole
  • 1789: The Liège Revolution
  • 1789: The Brabant Revolution


Kamehameha I, King of the Hawaiian Islands
Prince Grigory Potemkin
  • 1790: United States of Belgium proclaimed following the Brabant Revolution.
  • 1790: Suppression of the United States of Belgium and re-establishment of Austrian control.
  • 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: Suppression of the Liège Revolution by Austrian forces and the re-establishment of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège.
  • 17911795: George Vancouver explores the world during the Vancouver Expedition.
  • 17911804: The Haitian Revolution
  • 17921815: 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.
  • 17931796: 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: Establishment of the French-backed Batavian Republic in present-day Netherlands.
  • 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.
  • 17961804: 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.
  • 17981800: Quasi-War between the United States and France.
  • 1799: Napoleon staged a coup d'état and became First Consul 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.
  • 1799: Tipu Sultan was killed in a battle with the British forces.

Significant people

World leaders, politicians, military

Louis XV
Ahmed III
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and Archduchess of Austria
Louis XVI
Ferdinand VI, King of Spain
Paul Revere
Yeongjo, King of the Joseon Dynasty in Korea.
  • John Adams, American statesman
  • Samuel Adams, American statesman
  • Ahmad Shah Abdali, Afghan King
  • Ahmed III, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
  • Hyder Ali, Ruler of Mysore
  • Ethan Allen, American Revolutionary Army
  • Anne, Queen of Great Britain
  • Marie Antoinette, Austrian-born Queen of France
  • Ferdinand VI, King of Spain
  • 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, Empress 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
  • Elizabeth of Russia, Empress of Russia
  • Farrukhsiyar, Emperor of Mughal
  • Ferdinand I, King of Naples, Sicily, and the Two Sicilies
  • Benjamin Franklin, American leader, scientist and statesman
  • Juan Francisco, 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 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
  • Aleksandr Menshikov, Russian statesman, generalissimo
  • 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), Emperor of Russia
  • Philip V, King of Spain
  • Pontiac, Ottawa chief and warrior
  • Grigory Potyomkin, Russian statesman and general
  • Nguyen Hue, Emperor of Tây Sơn Dynasty of Vietnam
  • 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
  • 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

  • Pierre Beaumarchais, French playwright
  • Barton Booth, English actor
  • Colley Cibber, English actor, poet, playwright
  • Thomas Doggett, Irish actor
  • Denis Fonvizin, Russian playwright
  • David Garrick, English actor
  • John Gay, English dramatist and poet
  • Charles Johnson, English playwright
  • Antiochus Kantemir, Russian playwright
  • Charles Macklin, Irish 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
  • Alexander Sumarokov, Russian playwright
  • Vasily Trediakovsky, Russian playwright, poet
  • Fyodor Volkov, Russian actor
  • Robert Wilks, English actor
  • Wang Yun, Chinese playwright, poet

Musicians, composers

Joseph Lange, portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Thomas Hudson George Frideric Händel, (1749)
  • Tomaso Albinoni, Italian composer
  • Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer
  • Dmitry Bortniansky, Russian composer
  • 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
  • Hampartsoum Limondjian, Armenian/Ottoman composer
  • Kali Mirza, Bengali composer
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer
  • 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
  • Antonio Salieri, Venetian composer
  • Domenico Scarlatti, Italian composer.
  • Antonio Stradivari, Italian violin maker
  • Georg Philipp Telemann, German composer
  • Antonio Vivaldi, Italian composer
  • Isaac Watts, English hymnist

Visual artists, painters, sculptors, printmakers, architects

Rosalba Carriera, Antoine Watteau
Thomas Phillips, William Blake
Self-portrait, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin
Gilbert Stuart, Joshua Reynolds
  • John Baskerville, British printer and typographer (founder of Baskerville font, Birmingham).
  • Bernardo Bellotto, Italian painter
  • Michel Benoist, French painter, architect, missionary in China
  • William Blake, English artist and poet
  • Edmé Bouchardon, French sculptor
  • François Boucher, French painter
  • Canaletto, Italian painter
  • Giuseppe Castiglione, Italian painter, architect, missionary in China
  • Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, French painter
  • Vasili Bazhenov, Russian architect
  • Karl Blank, Russian architect
  • Vladimir Borovikovsky, Russian painter
  • Leonardo Coccorante, Italian painter
  • John Singleton Copley, American painter
  • Jacques-Louis David, French painter
  • Yury Felten, Russian architect
  • Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Austrian architect
  • Étienne Maurice Falconet, French sculptor
  • Jean-Honouré Fragonard, French painter
  • Thomas Gainsborough, English painter
  • Francisco de Goya, Spanish painter
  • Jean-Baptiste Greuze, French painter
  • Giuseppe Grisoni, Italian painter
  • Francesco Guardi, Italian painter
  • Jacob Philipp Hackert, German painter
  • Suzuki Harunobu, Japanese woodblock printer
  • Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, Austrian-Italian architect
  • William Hogarth, English painter and engraver
  • Matvey Kazakov, Russian architect
  • Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, German painter and architect
  • Alexander Kokorinov, Russian architect
  • Mikhail Ivanovich Kozlovsky, Russian sculptor
  • Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, French sculptor, student of his father
  • Jean-Louis Lemoyne, French sculptor
  • Dmitry Levitzky, Russian painter
  • Jean-Étienne Liotard, Swiss painter
  • Robert Le Lorrain, French sculptor
  • Ivan Martos, Russian sculptor
  • Yuan Mei, Chinese painter, poet, essayist
  • Luis Egidio Meléndez, Spanish painter
  • Antoine Ignace Melling, French-German painter, architect
  • Louis Montoyer, Belgian architect
  • Giovanni Paolo Panini, Italian painter
  • Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Italian painter
  • Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann, German architect (Saxony)
  • Gai Qi, Chinese painter, poet
  • Bartolomeo Rastrelli, Italian-born Russian architect
  • Joshua Reynolds, English painter
  • Giacomo Quarenghi, Italian-born Russian architect
  • Francisco Salzillo, Spanish sculptor
  • Gilbert Stuart, American painter
  • Nishikawa Sukenobu, Japanese printmaker, teacher
  • Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Venetian painter
  • Jiang Tingxi, Chinese artist and scholar
  • Domenico Trezzini, Italian-born Russian architect
  • Kitagawa Utamaro, Japanese printmaker and painter
  • Luigi Vanvitelli, Italian architect
  • Juan de Villanueva, Spanish architect
  • Antoine Watteau, French painter
  • Mikhail Zemtsov, Russian architect

Writers, poets

Samuel Johnson
Alexander Pope
  • 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
  • Gavrila Derzhavin, Russian poet
  • Liang Desheng, Chinese poet and writer
  • Maria Edgeworth, Anglo-Irish novelist
  • Henry Fielding, English novelist
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer
  • Carlo Goldoni, Italian playwright
  • Oliver Goldsmith, Anglo-Irish writer, poet, children's writer, and playwright
  • Carlo Gozzi, Italian dramatist
  • Thomas Gray, English poet, scholar, and educator
  • Eliza Haywood, English writer
  • Wu Jingzi, Chinese writer
  • Samuel Johnson, British writer, lexicographer, poet, and literary critic
  • Ferenc Kazinczy, Hungarian writer
  • Ivan Krylov, Russian fabulist
  • 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
  • Honouré Mirabeau, French writer and politician
  • John Newbery, English children's literature publisher
  • Alexander Pope, English poet
  • Ann Radcliffe, English novelist
  • Alexander Radishchev, Russian writer
  • 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 novelist 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
  • Cao Xueqin, Chinese writer

Philosophers, theologians

Denis Diderot
Emanuel Swedenborg
  • Arai Hakuseki, Japanese scholar, writer and politician
  • Cesare Beccaria, Italian philosopher 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
  • 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
  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, German philosopher and writer
  • Alphonsus Liguori, Italian bishop, founder of Redemptorists, Saint
  • Joseph de Maistre, Italian philosopher and diplomat
  • 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
  • Seraphim of Sarov, Russian monk
  • Sugita Genpaku, Japanese scholar and translator
  • Emanuel Swedenborg, Swedish scientist, thinker and mystic
  • Thomas Tenison, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Christian Thomasius, German philosopher and jurist
  • Baal Shem Tov, Ukrainian rabbi
  • Giambattista Vico, Italian philosopher
  • 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

Mikhail Lomonosov
  • 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
  • Anders Chydenius, Finnish philosopher and economist
  • Alexis Clairaut, 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
  • William Jones, English philologist
  • Nikolai Karamzin, Russian historian
  • Ivan Kulibin, Russian enventor
  • Joseph Louis Lagrange, Italian-French mathematician and physicist
  • Pierre Simon Laplace, French physicist and mathematician
  • Antoine Lavoisier, French chemist, considered father of modern chemistry
  • 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
  • Vasily Tatishchev, Russian historian and ethnographer
  • Antonio de Ulloa, Spanish scientist and explorer
  • James Watt, Scottish scientist and inventor
  • John Whitehurst, English geologist
  • Dai Zhen, Chinese mathematician, geographer, phonologist and philosopher
  • Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Swedish chemist (discovered oxygen)
  • Henry Cavendish, chemist (recognized Hydrogen as its own elemental substance)
  • Joseph Black, Scottish chemist (discovered carbon dioxide)


Calico Jack
Anne Bonny
  • Edward Teach (Blackbeard), English pirate
  • Anne Bonny, Irish female pirate
  • Olivier Levasseur, French pirate
  • Samuel Mason, American Revolutionary War soldier and river pirate/ highwayman
  • Yemelyan Pugachev, Russian cossack
  • John Rackham (Calico Jack)
  • Mary Read, English female pirate
  • Bartholomew Roberts, Welsh pirate
  • Princess Tarakanoff, Russian adventurer

Inventions, discoveries, introductions

The Spinning Jenny
The Chinese Putuo Zongcheng Temple of Chengde, completed in 1771, during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor.
  • 1709: The first piano was built by Bartolomeo Cristofori
  • 1711: The Tuning fork was 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 encountered rubber – the discovery was made by Charles-Marie de la Condamine while on expedition in South America. It was named in 1770 by Joseph Priestley
  • c. 1740: Modern steel was developed by Benjamin Huntsman
  • 1741: Vitus Bering discovers 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
  • 17681779: 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
  • 17731782: 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: First improved steam engines installed by James Watt
  • 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 Argand 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
  • 17511785: 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
  • 17591767: 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
  • 17761789: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was published by Edward Gibbon
  • 1779: Amazing Grace published by John Newton
  • 17791782: 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
  • 17871788: 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
  • 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

Decades and years

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