Questions tagged [18th-century]

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

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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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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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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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Where and how did scientists of the 18th and 19th century learn foreign languages?

I'm always amazed by the the apparent amount of foreign languages that scientists in the 18th and 19th centuries seem to have possessed. With the end of Latin as the main scholarly language, ...
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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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How long would it take to travel from England to the colonies in the early 1700s?

I am working on a history project for school and cannot seem to find information on the length of a journey on a ship from England to the Charleston area of South Carolina in the early 1700s (1730-...
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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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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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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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242 views

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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551 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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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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What is a “Johnsonian world of clubs and coffee houses” in the context of 18th century England?

I was reading the biography of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge by Richard Holmes and came across this line: [Coleridge had his] first unforgettable taste of the great talking-shop of London, the ...
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Was 18th century Prussia really so militarily obsessed?

I'm reading A Military History of Germany by Martin Kitchen, and I was surprised at the description of 18th century Prussia. The country is described as a North-Korea like military obsessed nation, ...
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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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What were the Lines of Ne Plus Ultra in the War of the Spanish Succession?

After reading another biography of Marlborough, I am annoyed by the fact the authors mention but do not describe the Lines of Ne Plus Ultra. They make it sound (I have read Chandler and Konstam) as if ...
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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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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 newspapers?...
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555 views

Is there any documentation on the creation of Article 1 Section II of the US constitution

I'm doing some personal research on the electoral college as it has been becoming more and more relevant in modern US elections. I've seen tons of people talking about how it was designed to protect ...
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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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After America achieved independence, did George Washington continue to wear a military uniform?

After the American Revolution, the founding fathers seem to have adapted their 'costumes' from similar European ones. Like the Europeans, their uniforms often had orders, medallions and 'golden-like'-...
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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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What happened to the French royal navy during the french-revolution?

Similar to my other question about her colonies I am interested in knowing what happened to the french royal navy of the period. Some ships must have been at sea and only learned the news as they ...
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Did the increase of slavery in the US bring an end to indentured servitude?

In the development of the New World, indentured servitude was quite common for passage across the Atlantic. Did the increase in slavery in America, especially in Virginia and other similar ...
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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 ...
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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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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 (more-...
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Which parts of the Townshend Act were repealed in 1770?

The Townshend Acts were passed in 1767 and partially repealed in 1770. Which clauses were repealed at that time? I've looked around and found the original text, but I cannot find specifically what ...
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Why did Peter the Great tie particular expenditures to particular revenue sources?

Peter the Great founded the Russian Academy in 1724. In his decree, he says the Academy will be supported by an annual grant of 25,000 rubles drawn from the custom tolls of Baltic Sea ports. (source) ...
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Why did the line infantry not use shields in the 18th century?

Why did soldiers in the line infantry in the 18th century not used shield as protection against the fire from the other line infantry ? I have seen that line infantry was used this way where the one ...
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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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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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181 views

During/After the Napoleonic occupation of the Germanic Rhinelands, what happened to the currency in the area?

Did Napoleon bring the French Francs over, or did the (many) local currencies remain in use? I understood that the area's tolls on the river were unified, but have a hard time imagining how exactly ...
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199 views

What were the typical types of ships used in the Persian Navy in the 1730's and 1740's?

What were the typical types of ships used in the Persian Navy in the 1730's and 1740's? Is the make-up of the fleet known (i.e., how many ships of what class, etc)? The revival of Persia's power in ...
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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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282 views

Where did the French National Constituent Assembly meet on August 4, 1789?

Where did the National Constituent Assembly decide to abolish feudalism? I read that the National Constituent Assembly did not meet in a specific place. Therefore I want to know where they met in ...
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310 views

Reconstructing historic tide tables

I'm researching an event which occurred between mid-1794 and early 1796, but probably 1795; the even happened at a major English port with American shipping and a Royal Navy ship repair yard. I ...
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Did George 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 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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547 views

Ports Used by French Navy in 1792 and Strength of Fleet

I am currently writing series of young adult novels about the European Conflicts beginning in 1792. Where were the major and minor French Navy ports and yards, and what was the relative strength of ...
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What percentage of the population in the Thirteen Colonies in 1776 were first/second generation immigrants?

Besides British immigration, did the thirteen colonies see a lot of immigration from other European states?
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Time to travel around Europe in the 18th century

Is there a database, or something, available to find out what the average time for travelling inside Europe was in the 18th century for somebody not from nobility or diplomatic service. Was carriage ...
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281 views

How were settlers' houses in Kamchatka built?

As Imperial Russia settled Kamchatka, how did the new arrivals build their houses? Was construction identical to that of Siberia or were local adaptations made?
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Amount of ammunition typically carried by an C18th British redcoat

How many rounds of musket ammunition did the typical British redcoat carry during the C18th & Napoleonic wars?
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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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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 Peter crowned Catherine I as empress. I looked the Wikipedia article but they don't mention any reason.
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Anti-Semitism and Edmund Burke

Are there any historical references to Edmund Burkes' views on anti-Semitism? His works specifically deal with the British governance, and legal systems' that could guide the UK through the turbulent ...
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1answer
741 views

How were Warrant Officers appointed to Royal Navy ships during the Age of Sail?

As I understand it, Warrant Officers got their name from the warrant issued by the Admiralty (depending on the applicant having the correct qualifications). From the descriptions I've read, these ...