Questions tagged [18th-century]

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

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113 views

To whom does Napoleon refer in this letter to Josephine?

I was going through some of the letters written by Napoleon to Josephine, and found these lines on napoleonguide.com/lovejos6.htm, "I send a kiss to your children, whom you do not mention. By God! If ...
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Was it possible for a message from Paris to reach London within 48 hours in 1782?

I used to have a paperback copy of Diplomacy of the American Revolution by Samuel Flagg Bemis, but now I can't find it. I seem to recall that American diplomats in Paris in 1782 (Franklin, Adams, Jay) ...
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Did Catherine the Great really call for the abolition of serfdom?

... like Catherine the Great S01E01 (2019) shows? This would be almost a century before serfdom was actually abolished, and makes one wonder why the Czars didn't just do it, if they were in favor of ...
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How was the linen weaving trade learnt in 18th century Scotland?

In the 18th century, the linen weaving industry began to form a significant part of Scotland's economy and workforce, with towns like Forfar employing 500 hand loom weavers at the end of the century, ...
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Why has the 18th and not the 19th century come to be called „the age of reason“?

Not withstanding the romantic counter movement, nothing communicates to me the sense of belief in rationality and associated progress more than 19th century works. If I was to cite an emblematic book, ...
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195 views

Was lobster considered a poor man's food in the Georgian era?

Many years ago I took a tour through a restored Georgian-era house in Dublin (best €2 I spent that summer). This included some pretty good explanations on the everyday life and customs in that period, ...
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Could George I (of Great Britain) speak English?

Web based sources differ wildly in stating how well King George I could speak English. Brittanica says: Since he could not speak English, he communicated with his ministers in French. Wikipedia, ...
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What could explain the myth (or truth) of drunken defenders during the battle of the plains of Abraham?

I have come across popular references towards the sodden or sozzled state of the French and Canadien defenders of Quebec City during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Mostly, these references are ...
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212 views

How long was a coach journey from Coburg to St Peterburg in 1790s?

If someone had to get from Coburg to St Petersburg in the 1790s? Would they travel overland by stagecoach or go up to the north German coast and get a boat round to the Gulf of Finland and enter ...
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Did James Madison sign all copies of the Bill of Rights?

I'm aware that James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights but then 13 copies were distributed to the 13 original colonies to review and edit. Is it James Madison's signature on the copies that were sent ...
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Did officers use cases / bags / pouches in the 18th century?

Military officers in the 18th century usually did not have any cases or boxes. Normal soldiers for example often had cartridge boxes. I usually hear, that officers had servants/etc to take care of ...
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For how many years in the eighteenth century were Russian soldiers present within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth borders?

For modern Poland, the answer is rather simple. Russian, and later Soviet soldiers, were stationed inside the Polish borders for almost the whole 19th and 20th centuries (with a notable exception for ...
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Was murdering a slave illegal in American slavery, and if so, what punishments were given for it?

Was there any punishment for killing slaves, and what punishment was given for it, and was it enforced?
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How did a student grant work in 18th/19th century Western Europe

I am making research for a book, and I need details about grants/scholarships in Western Europe around the beginning of the 19th century, ideally for a teenager living far away from the applied school....
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How was the Lanfang Republic set up if emigration from China was illegal?

The Lanfang Republic (蘭芳共和國) was founded in 1777. The Qing Dynasty banned people from leaving China, so how did the republic get its founding citizens? How did it become a tributary state of China if ...
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When did F become S in typeography, and why?

I'm sure you've all noticed documents in English from the 1700's often have 'F' where, if written now, there would be an 'S'. You can see what I'm talking about a few times in this example, like at ...
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561 views

Why did Europeans call Native Americans Indians in the 18th Century AD, After they had found out they were in the wrong continent?

Why did European people continue to call Native Americans as Indians even after they found out they were not Indians? Question was inspired by Louis Ck's stand up bit. Based on what I know: ...
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British war with France 1795?

My question concerns the television series "Poldark". The year of action in question is 1795, and Great Britain is at war with France. In spite of the state of war, a group of four Englishmen goes ...
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How was library classification done in English-speaking libraries prior to the 19th century?

I was reading about major library classification systems. The major one in English-speaking lands seems to be the Dewey Decimal Classification system, which was invented in 1876. Several other ...
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What was the average age of first marriage in 18th century Russia?

I found the following claim on Wikipedia (Women in Russia) and I wonder if it is true: Early in the eighteenth-century, the average age for peasant girls to marry was around twelve years old. In ...
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How much would it cost to bribe a prison warden in New England in the year 1800?

The value of money from one decade to another is a very confusing topic - in my opinion, anyway. For instance, something called the CPI Inflation Calculator states that $1 in 1800 was the equivalent ...
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Does somebody know anything about the original “Tour de Croy” tower?

In Chatillion one can find today this tower. Before this, there was the Biret tower, built in 1870. Before the Biret tower there was the Croy tower (tour de Croy). A short history of the towers The ...
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Where did John Adams write of the night he shared a bed and an argument with Benjamin Franklin? Did Franklin write of it as well?

The BBC News article Viewpoint: Why Trump may win his legal fight over border wall it says: American politics have not been so bitter and divided since Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were forced ...
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Ports with ships in the commercial Halifax trade, late 18th Century

Halifax, Nova Scotia, was founded by the British in 1749; I am interested in the commercial trade during the French Revolutionary Wars, 1792 thru 1798, which is the period of the First Coalition. The ...
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Do we have any authentic Native American flute music from the 18th century or earlier?

Just wondering if any actual music from Native Americans was recorded (written record, transcribed to some kind of sheet music) by Europeans, in the 18th century or earlier. I'm especially interested ...
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Do we know who graduated from the University of Mexico in the 1700s?

The Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico was the country's first and foremost university in the colonial period. According to George I. Sánchez, by 1776 it had awarded 29,882 bachelor's and 1,162 ...
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Did Indigenous Australians burn land to get Europeans to move on, and did Europeans follow suit?

I was told by a guide that when European settlers originally arrived in Australia, Indigenous populations burnt their land to get the Europeans to move on. I am aware that the Indigenous did burn ...
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Hiring professionals to transcribe historical documents

I'm sorry if this question sounds strange but I'm not sure where else in the world to post it. I have an eighteenth-century will that I'd like to be able to read, but I have very little practice in ...
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361 views

What is the earliest mention of use of spyglass by seafarers?

I am somewhat familiar with history of telescope in the scientific context however didn't find much info about history of its use for practical purposes beyond general statements. I'm more interested ...
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Why didn't line infantry tactics try to keep up a constant volley of fire?

Often in movies on the American revolution and back when muskets were common place the opposing armies would line up facing each other and take turns firing. One side, then the other. Kind of like a ...
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Are the any primary sources from during the Conciergerie's time as a prison?

Are there any letters detailing Conciergerie prisoners' experiences during French Revolution? If so where can I find them? Thank you in advance for your help!
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Why were eighteenth century financial inventions only patentable under French law for 21 months?

This Tontine wikipedia article says, Financial inventions were patentable under French law from January 1791 until September 1792 Why did that practice stop after less than 2 years?
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When did the British gentry stop wearing wigs?

I'm researching dress in 18th century Britain. This article claims the following: "Brits stopped wearing wigs after William Pitt levied a tax on hair powder in 1795." The date seems odd to me, ...
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During the French Revolution, how did the French address non-citizens?

I've read in multiple books and articles that during the French Revolution the address of monsieur / madame (my lord / my lady) was suspended in favor of the more égalité-friendly citoyen / citoyenne (...
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In what contexts did male friends kiss in Europe in the 1700s?

In Stanley Kubrick's film Barry Lyndon, there's an scene where the title character's mentor, Captain Grogan, is gunned down by French troops. As he lies dying he asks Barry to "kiss me, my boy, for we ...
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What were late eighteenth century British models of heroism?

The late eighteenth century (1780s, 90s) is sometimes characterized as a period of high idealism. Although it would be another few decades before Napoleon arrived in full force, and about half a ...
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957 views

To what extent does the dictionary of Samuel Johnson represent English as it was spoken in his day?

My understanding is that Johnson embarked upon his dictionary precisely because he found others useless or archaic, and that his work was very well received within his own time. But I wanted to ask if ...
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257 views

How did steppe-nomad military tactics change in response to widespread firearms in the 18th/19th centuries?

Please forgive my ignorance of the cultures extant in the Eurasian steppe at this time, but I was wondering how the military tactics of steppe-cultures changed in response to the massed musket tactics ...
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How many British navy officers were from lower classes at the end of 18th century?

Helping my daughter with a presentation about Cook, I looked for English sources about his biography and was surprised to read that he was a son of a farmer hand - practically, the bottom of the lower ...
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Was Robespierre in the pay of the British?

I was looking for interesting books on French Revolution, when I stumbled across this history of British espionage in the late 1700s. The book is several hundred dollars, so I won't be able to procure ...
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784 views

In Georgian England, what was a water-party?

In the early 20th century novel The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, there are several references made to something called a water-party, with no elaboration other than that it's happening on a ...
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What are the dates of these panoramas of Paris?

As part of a personal project I've been looking for period etchings, engravings, and black and white illustrations of Paris as it might have looked during the French Revolution of 1789. Those who are ...
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285 views

Compare skeleton crew to normal crew on a galleon

Consider a typical galleon used for cargo around the 18th century. How would the number and roles of the crew differ between a normal, full crew, and a "skeleton" crew, on a voyage of a few weeks?
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When did Europeans make their first well-attested visit to mainland Alaska?

To my surprise, I could not find a straightforward answer to this question. When did Europeans first set foot in mainland Alaska? I could easily find that: Vitus Bering, a Dane of Russian allegiance, ...
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Identify the caricatured countries in an illustration about the XYZ affair

I've been reading about the XYZ affair and I've found this cartoon, in which a woman representing America is stripped by a group of Frenchmen in the presence of John Bull and other anthropomorphic ...
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Was there a military practice of reloading while marching/running, in Europe or America during the 18th and 19th centuries?

This reenactor does a fine job of reloading a flintlock rifle while running. He is attempting to recreate something from the Indian Wars in America, in the 1770s. My question is about the historical ...
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Why did many Hungarians support Maria Theresa?

In the first decade of the 18th century, Hungarians fought a very exhausting and, in the end, unsuccessful war to secede from the Habsburg Empire and re-establish their old kingdom. That time, the ...
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414 views

High wages as root cause that triggered the industrial revolution

I was listening to a (German-language) podcast where this argument was made (tranlation into English courtesy of Google translate): The decisive change came in [...] 1760 in England. And that is ...
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Was it widespread during the 17th and 18th Century for British country people to be evicted and replaced with more profitable agriculture?

We can read about the Scottish Highland clearances. It does appear that the driving motivation was that sheep pastures were more profitable. This was the time of the Industrial Revolution, when many ...
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Did armored cavalry have an advantage over unarmored cavalry in 18th/19th century?

Armor was being phased out during the 1500's as muskets capable of penetrating armor proliferated. By the 18th century, hardly any units on the European battlefields wore armor. Except for one - the ...