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

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Was there continuity in the political elite between the Confederation Congress and the US Congress?

I mean the Congress under the Articles of Confederation from 1781 to 1789. Did the Constitutional system sweep aside the former class of politicians who made a poor job of government under the ...
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635 views

What was the foreign policy of 1791 France?

Having done some research on my own had yielded little to no results on pre-radical revolutionary France regarding foreign policy. I am specifically looking for arguments during the constitutional ...
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Did any European/American settlements in the Ohio Country survive the French and Indian War?

The Ohio Company was formed in 1748 to bring English settlement to the Ohio Country. At that time, the Ohio Country was largely uninhabited, as the Iroquois had driven out or exterminated the tribes ...
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Where did the French revolutionists get their weapons?

I have learned in class that the main purpose of raiding the Bastille in 14 July 1789 was to acquire the weapons in the Bastille. There was only a few political prisoners held there. There were, on ...
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Voting enfranchisement in the USA in the 18th century

It is frequently asserted that when the US constitution was ratified in 1788, it was a very progressive piece of legislation because it gave everyone the right to vote, making the US the first modern ...
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Why were troops with bayonets often effective against enemy cavalry even though the bayonet was a “secondary” weapon?

The bayonet was introduced in the late 17th century as a knife (later a short sword) attached to a musket, to enable the musketeer to protect himself when reloading their single-shot weapons. As such, ...
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Why did archery not make a comeback when armor was phased out in the 18th century?

Even if we account for the argument that it is much more tedious to train a man to use a bow than a musket, why then did the arbalest not make a comeback? Its effective range - reportedly at 300m, is ...
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In the British empire, what was the difference between a Governor General and a Viceroy?

In the many colonies of the British empire, it seems that the rulers of some were known as Governors General and others were officially titled as Viceroys. Was there a practical distinction between ...
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Were the British Over-Taxing their 13 American Colonies?

The British levied several taxes on the American Colonists (13), which were at least part of the reason for the American Revolution. Were the British taxing the 13 colonies for more money than was ...
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164 views

Were British parliamentary seats really advertised in newspapers?

I have this vague recollection of reading about actual ads in newspapers selling seats in the British parliament (18th or 19th century pocket/rotten boroughs) Did they actually have ads in ...
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43 views

Persian Letters

Assume that Montesquieu was trying to send a message to his readers about French politics under the Bourbon monarchy when he published The Persian Letters in 1721. Was it a message of reform, i.e., ...
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108 views

What was the official attitude to Cromwell after the Glorious Revolution?

Under the restored Stuarts, obviously, Cromwell was vilified. Actually, his exhumed head was publicly displayed on a pike for more than 20 years during their rule (wikipedia devotes a separate article ...
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Did King George III turn his back on John Adams and Thomas Jefferson?

After the resolution of the Revolutionary War, John Adams and (later) Thomas Jefferson were diplomatic agents in London. John Adams had been there a while and had previously met the King, apparently ...
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257 views

Was there a movement for “humane” slavery?

Many of us are familiar with the movements for "free-range" or "humane" animal products. I have heard that in the antebellum US there were similar movements for "humane" slave products. Is this true? ...
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What is the real story of the Lion of Gripsholm Castle?

In 2011, one of the popular stories over the Internet was a history of The Lion of Gripsholm Castle. The Swedish language version of the linked blog entry was the one responsible for spreading this ...
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257 views

Why are the “Three Musketeers” called musketeers?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Musketeers_%281987_TV_series%29 They fight with sabres all the time. No musket. So why?
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What mistake did abbot [Jacques?] Delille make when eating an egg at the Court of Louis XVI?

Stendhal's Scarlet and Black has a curious passage where the main character observes that even the eating of a boiled egg "reveals the progress one has made in the godly life" To support this it ...
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114 views

Were there interstate tariffs before the US Constitution (1789)?

I've heard many times that the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution was (in part) designed to end tariffs between the thirteen states. Now that I'm trying to learn about those tariffs, I'm having a ...
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115 views

Usage of “native American” in the 18th Century

I have a case of an 18th century white man referring to his nationality as native American, meaning he was born in America. This is on his census form. Was this usage common? For clarity: I'm asking ...
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41 views

Quesnay, Adam Smith, and Pitt

I am now reading the book Decadent Societies by R.M. Adams and on pp.66-7 he writes: Quesnay's ideas, which fell on stony ground in France, showed their basic vitality when picked up by Adam ...
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294 views

Why was there no concerted effort to end the Barbary pirate raids until the 1800's?

Barbary pirate raids on the Mediterranean coast led to widespread depopulation of the coasts from Venice to Malaga with the obvious exception of the larger cities. The pirate raids also seem to be the ...
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232 views

Did Ben Franklin actually make any tofu?

It is well documented that Franklin was interested in tofu, which he called a sort of cheese made from beans, and he got a recipe for making it that he sent on to others. But no source that I have ...
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174 views

Why did the Spanish take the island of Annobon in the Treaty of El Pardo in 1778?

The conditions of the treaty of El Pardo, signed in 1778, have always been a mistery to me. Quoting Wikipedia: The Treaty of El Pardo was signed on March 11, 1778 between Queen Maria I of ...
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How were the borders of small European principalities maintained or secured?

With shifting boundaries, enclaves, exclaves, and alliances, how were the territorial extents of small principalities or duchies maintained, for example in the Holy Roman Empire or German ...
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What factors led to the rise of political parties in the United States?

I know that at the time the Constitution was drafted partisan political parties did not exist, not in the way that we conceive of them today, and George Washington did not have a political party. ...
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How were small swords worn in the 18th century?

Quick summary: How was the small sword (or dress sword) fastened to the body? What are the different ways of wearing it? Looking at many drawings from this period, a good bunch of them depicts men ...
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114 views

Was the 18th century Russian peasant braver; or simply more afraid of Cossacks?

Frederick the Great famously noted after the Battle of Zorndorf that "It's easier to kill the Russians than to win over them." For that same battle the Russian commander (William Fermor) is noted as ...
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How long did it take for a diplomat to travel between Berlin and Vienna in the 1770's?

I was reading the Wikipedia entry for the War of the Bavarian Succession, and it said (my emphasis): For some historians, the War of the Bavarian Succession was the last of the old-style Cabinet ...
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184 views

Did Washington ride sidesaddle?

A friend of a friend has just written that Washington, Lafayette and Jefferson all rode side saddle to ease the pain of their war injuries. Before I proceed to dismantle this person with extreme ...
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What impact did the Seven Years War have on the American Revolution?

What impact did the Seven Years War have on the American Revolution?
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147 views

How did France balance the budget by 1738?

I recently read (Citizens by Simon Schama) that France had a per capita debt of two-thirds of the annual income of a carpenter or tailor in 1714. By 1738 France had managed to balance the budget ...
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101 views

Sect in England in the 18th century

As far as I know, the church at the time strictly forbade all heretical manifestations and was very strong. So I could not think sects existed at that time. But reading the book by Victor Hugo, "The ...
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Gibbon Edward biography in czech or slovak language

I searched something about Edward Gibbon in czech or slovak language, but I wasn´t successful, because everything that I found was in english and also it was in UK. Nothing in Slovak or Czech ...
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How did sugar go from a luxury to a necessity in 18th century?

The only thing I came up with is slavery. This would be due to the wage differences between slave and free man. If plantations were manned by indentured labor, then wages would have been higher. ...
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116 views

What did “opening day” mean in the 18th century?

I was singing the hymn Oh God Our Hope in Ages Past today in Church, and noticed something interesting. The fifth verse reads as follows: Time, like an ever rolling stream, bears all who breathe ...
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122 views

A Rake's Progress: What is that weird hat-like thing?

In the second pane of A Rake's Progress, Tom Rakewell is wearing something that is not a wig on his head. But what is it?? (source) It's bugged me on and off for years that he seems to wearing a - ...
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506 views

Founding Fathers and the American Civil War

I was reading an article and was wondering if there is anything out there to indicate that the Founding Fathers saw the potential for conflict regarding these specific points: Economic and ...
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231 views

Horace Walpole on Richard III

Thus reads Wikipedia: In Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard III (1768), Walpole defended Richard III against the common belief that he murdered the Princes in the Tower. In ...
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176 views

Why did Peter the Great crown Catherine I as Empress?

Watching a russian tv-series about the life of Peter the Great, I didn't quite follow why did he crown Catherine I as Empress ? I looked the Wikipedia article but they don't mention any reason.
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Typical fortifications around major cities in the 18th century

I came across this map of Vienna in 1769 (the city was then capital of the Hapsburg empire), i.e. almost a century after the major siege and battle of 1683 and almost a century before final removal of ...
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123 views

What role did Fourcroy play in Lavoisier's execution?

Wikipedia is very sketchy and hazy on this subject: By his conduct as a member of the Convention, Fourcroy has been accused of contributing to Lavoisier's death. Baron Cuvier, in his Eloge ...
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774 views

What did the founding fathers of America think about immigration?

Once time ago Benjamin Franklin asked "Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us, instead of our Anglifying them?" ...
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What can be said about conditions of slaves owned by George Washington?

I remember hearing a PBS documentary make a claim that the babies of slaves on George Washington's Mount Vernon went naked in winter. I have been trying to verify, or even get a good citation, for ...
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600 views

Why did people in classicism use wigs?

In many movies (and also drawings) that take place in the 18th century people use wigs. Why? Was it necessary?
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During 1790-1800, was it legal to pay workers using whiskey?

As is well known, in frontier regions whiskey was regarded as an indispensable necessity to life, health and happiness, at the point that it usually had to substute for specie as a medium of exchange: ...
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522 views

Did Marie Leszczyńska, queen of France, have any lovers?

"Always going to bed, always pregnant, always giving birth" said Marie Leszczyńska, queen of France. Marie was chosen to be wife of Louis XV for two reasons. First of all, she was ready to get ...
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582 views

How tall was George Washington?

I am currently reading George Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow, which says George Washington was an even 6 feet (183cm) tall: It is commonly said that Washington stood six foot two or three, an ...
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Did the American Founders Debate on the Relative Size of the Government?

It seems to me that the concern with the size of government, specifically that it's too large and therefore complex, is a relatively modern concern in American politics. I would assume that given the ...
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Why did Stephen Ambrose believe that the election of Aaron Burr would have led to the end of the USA?

I'm reading Stephen E. Ambrose's "Undaunted Courage", and in pg. 50, he writes: On December 5, 1800, Lewis was promoted to captain. That month the states selected their delegates to the Electoral ...
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Why did the Russians lose to the Turks in 1711 after defeating them in 1700 and the Swedes in 1709?

The Russians captured Azov and Taganrog in a war with Turkey that ended in 1700. Then they decimated the Swedish army at Poltava in 1709, thereby crippling their main enemy, and freeing the bulk of ...