Questions tagged [18th-century]

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

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100
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9answers
22k views

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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Why did Canada not join the American Revolution?

America declared independence from Britain and fought a war of independence. Several states joined the fight, however, Canada remained British. Why did the American rebellion and war of independence ...
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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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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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5answers
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Did pirates really drink a lot of rum?

In every movie, cartoon, comic or any other fictional sources I have read or watched that involves sea pirates, it is always shown that their favorite beverage is rum. I want to know why sea pirates ...
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1answer
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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 were the reasons that the British colonies in North America rebelled but not others?

I know more about the American War of Independence than about other British colonies, but I have begun to wonder why was it just America. The British had colonies in other places but there doesn't ...
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1answer
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Why are the signatures on the United States Declaration of Independence structured as they are?

When looking at the United States Declaration of Independence its easy to notice that John Hancock's signature is more prominent than the others: From my readings I know John Hancock did sign one of ...
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How heavily were the British taxing their 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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8answers
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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, ...
26
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1answer
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What was the Seven Years War called at first?

When the Seven Years War broke out, obviously they had no idea how long it would last. What did Europeans call this war at first? I know that in the North American Theater, it was called the French ...
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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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What is the London Enemies List 1775?

This London Enemies List 1775 has come up in American Revolutionary War research regarding Paul Revere and other revolutionaries. I believe it is a document of some sort and find a referenced source (...
22
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1answer
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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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Why did some people need to pay a bond in the 1700s in order to get married?

This is more a genealogy question than a historical event but I couldnt think of anywhere else to ask it. (I hope it not off topic) In 1787 my Great (x6) Grandfather paid a bond of £200 the ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
705 views

Six pregnant maidens from Kamchatka

Yuri Semyonov's history "The Conquest of Siberia: An Epic of Human Passions" says: Journeys to Siberia were always measured in years. In an old book the author, in order to make clear how long a ...
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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 (emphasis mine): On December 5, 1800, Lewis was promoted to captain. That month the states selected their delegates to ...
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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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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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1answer
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Why wasn't sauerkraut used to combat scurvy?

While reading about age of sail, I've read about scurvy and how it was 'cured' by 'acidity' of citrus. It come to my mind - why didn't they try to use sauerkraut? It seems that it should be more ...
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1answer
519 views

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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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 (1778) have always been a mystery to me. From Wikipedia: The Treaty of El Pardo was signed on March 11, 1778 between Queen Maria I of Portugal and King ...
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How did Napoleon evade the British fleet and return to France?

After the defeat of the French fleet off the coast of Egypt in 1798, Napoleon's army was cut off in a far away and hostile country. One year later, after eluding the British fleet, he made it safely ...
15
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1answer
886 views

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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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 ...
14
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1answer
886 views

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 ...
14
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548 views

Curious office hours of Topographical Bureau where Napoleon served in 1795?

In his new biography Napoleon the Great Andrew Roberts reports about Napoleon's stint in the Historical and Topographical Bureau of the war ministry in Paris between mid-August and early October 1795. ...
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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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Why was slavery profitable in the Southern colonies and not New England?

Why didn't Colonists in New England import massive numbers of Slaves?
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1answer
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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 ...
13
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1answer
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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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3answers
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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 ...
13
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1answer
751 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 ...
13
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1answer
936 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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1answer
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Origin of scientific racism?

Modern scientific racism became wide spread during the age of enlightenment. Is there a single person that could be labeled as the 'father' of modern scientific racism?
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3answers
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Why did people in 18th century wear 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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2answers
954 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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3answers
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How stable was the Middle East under Ottoman rule?

Since the outbreak of WWI, the Middle East has been a strategic area; many powers have vied for control. How stable was the region under Ottoman rule? Stable is, for the purposes of this question, ...
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2answers
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Is the USA Congress explicitly patterned after the British Parliament?

I have always presumed this to be the case. They have a similar form: two chambers, the lower representing "all the people" and the upper representing, very roughly speaking, "institutional forces" (...
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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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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1answer
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How did people apply for university in the 18th century?

Universities have been around for a while. I am reading a book called Frankenstein. One of the main characters, Victor Frankenstein, attends the University of Ingolstadt in Germany. Now, it makes ...
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How did the central government of the United States finance itself under the Articles of Confederation?

The Congress of the Confederation couldn't levy taxes. State governments were the ones with the power to control commerce with other states and nations even. It also has the power to levy tax. If ...
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How did the Alien and Sedition acts pass?

The Alien and Sedition acts, passed in 1798, are said to have been an attempt by the Federalist Party to suppress opposition. In Chapter 74 Section 2, the law seems to put restrictions on freedom of ...
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Why was the Declaration of Independence handwritten, rather than printed with a printing press?

The United States' Declaration of Independence was handwritten by Thomas Jefferson. Why was this done instead of being printed with a printing press? The Dunlap broadside was the first printed copy ...
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In the 18th c., did/would China accept gold from Europe as trade payment? Why / why not?

In reading about the historical Opium situation in China, the silver trade is mentioned again and again. I get the impression that China only accepted silver, even though I have never seen gold ...