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1754-1783: World Events: Selected Occurrences Outside North America

1754-1783: Chapter One: World Events: Selected Occurrences Outside North America





Austria Queen Maria Theresa (17401780); King Joseph II (17801790).

China Emperor Qianlong (17351796).

France King Louis XV (17151774); Louis XVI (17741793).

Great Britain King George II (17271760); George III (17601820); Prime Ministers: Henry Pelham (17461754); Thomas Pelham Holies, duke of Newcastle, (17541756; June 17571761); William Cavendish, duke of Devonshire (Nov.Dec. 1756); William Pitt, earl of Chatham after August 1766 (Dec. 1756June 1757; secretary of state, 17571761; prime minister, July 1766Dec. 1767); John Stuart, earl of Bute (May 1762April 1763); George Grenville (April 1763July 1765); Charles Watson-Wentworth, marquess of Rockingham (July 1765July 1766; MarchJuly 1782); Augustus Henry Fitzroy, duke of Grafton (Dec. 17671770); Frederick Lord North, later earl of Guilford (Jan. 1770March 1782); William Petty, earl of Shelburne (March 1782April 1783); William Henry Bentinck, duke of Portland, with Charles James Fox and Lord North (AprilDec. 1783); William Pitt the Younger (Dec. 17831801).

Japan Emperor Sakuramachi (17351747); Momozono (17471762); Go-Sakuramachi II (17621771); Go-Momozono II (17711779); Kokaku (17791817); Shoguns leshige (17451760) and leharu (17601786).

Ottoman Empire Uthman III (17541757); Mustafa III (17571774); Abd al-Hamid I (17741789).

Portugal King Joseph I (17501777); Queen Maria I (17771792).

Prussia King Frederick II, the Great (17401786).

Russia Czarina Elizabeth Petrovna (17411762); Czar Peter III (1762); Catherine II, the Great (17621796).

Spain King Ferdinand VI (17461759); Charles III (17591788).


17561763Seven Years War: England and Prussia versus Austria, France, Russia, Saxony, Spain, and Sweden

17631764Pontiacs War: Coalition of Ohio River Valley Indian tribes versus Britain

17561764East India Company wars against Bengal and Mughals

17571761Afghani war against Marathas in India

17651768Chinese war against Burma

17681774Russian war against Turkey

17701772Spanish and English war over the Falkland Islands

17751783American Revolution

17751783Spanish war against Algiers

17781783French war against England in support of Americans

17781779Prussian war against Austria

17791783Spanish war against England in support of France

17791790East India Company wars against Marathas in India

17801782British-Dutch war in West Africa and Ceylon

1781Oyo war against Dahomey in Africa



  • The Royal and Ancient Golf Club is founded at St. Andrews, Scotland.
  • France recalls its governor general from India, leaving the subcontinent to English control.
  • 6 Mar. British prime minister Henry Pelham dies and is succeeded by Thomas Pelham Holies, duke of Newcastle.


  • Burmese king Aloung PHoura, allied with the British East India Company against the French, founds the city of Rangoon.
  • Samuel Johnson begins publishing A Dictionary of the English Language.
  • Moscow University is founded, making it the first higher education institution in Russia.
  • 13 Feb. A treaty arranged by the Dutch East India Company ends the Javanese war of succession, dividing Mataram into Surakarta and Jogyakarta.
  • 7 June An earthquake in Persia kills forty thousand.
  • 19 Sept. England and Russia form a convention at St. Petersburg; in exchange for an annual subsidy of £500,000, Russia agrees to use troops against Prussia in the event of war with England.
  • Sept.Oct. Approximately eleven thousand Acadians are deported from Cape Breton Island by British authorities.
  • 1 Nov. An earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal, followed by a tidal wave flooding the Tagus River, kills between ten thousand and sixty thousand people.


  • England and France declare war on one another.
  • The Duc de Richelieu invents mayonnaise.
  • 2 Jan. The Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is born.
  • 16 Jan. The Convention of Westminster between England and Frederick II of Prussia guarantees the neutrality of George IIs German territories.
  • Apr. The nawab of Bengal, Ali Verdi Khan, dies, and is succeeded by Siraj al-Duala, who orders the British and French to stop fortifying their trading posts.
  • 17 May French and Austrian representatives sign the Treaty of Versailles.
  • 2021 June Siraj al-Duala seizes Calcutta from the British. He forces 146 British prisoners into an eighteen-foot-by-ten-foot guard room; by morning all but twenty-three are dead. The Black Hole of Calcutta enrages the British public.
  • 26 June French forces capture Minorca from the English.
  • 29 Aug. Frederick II of Prussia invades Saxony, beginning a general war in Europe.
  • 1 Oct. Frederick II defeats the Austrians at Lobositz in Saxony.
  • 31 Dec. Russia accedes to the Treaty of Versailles and agrees to support France against England.


  • James Lind prints second edition of Treatise, reporting that citrus fruit helps prevent scurvy.
  • Jan. Ahmad Shah of Afghanistan sacks Delhi.
  • Jan.Feb. Robert Clive and a British naval force recapture Calcutta and seize Hoogly and Chandernagore.
  • 9 Feb. Clive and Siraj al-Duala sign a peace treaty.
  • 14 Mar. A British firing squad executes Adm. John Byng, whose failure to relieve the garrison of Minorca had allowed the French to capture the island in 1756.
  • Apr. Frederick II invades Bohemia.
  • 1 May France and Austria sign the Treaty of Versailles, agreeing to a partition of Prussia.
  • 6 May Frederick II captures Prague.
  • 18 June Frederick II is defeated at Kolin and forced to evacuate Bohemia.
  • 23 June At the Battle of Plassey in India, Robert Clive defeats a Bengali force under Siraj al-Duala. Afterward Clive proclaims his ally Mir Jafar the new Nawab of Bengal.
  • 26 July The French defeat the British at the Battle of Hastenbeck in Saxony.
  • 30 July Russian forces defeat the Prussians at the Battle of Gross-Jägerndorf in East Prussia.
  • 8 Sept. In the Convention of Kloster-Zeven, a British army under the Duke of Cumberland capitulates to the French who then occupy Hanover; the treaty is later rejected by the British Parliament.
  • 5 Nov. Prussian forces defeat the French and Austrians at Rossbach, Saxony.
  • 5 Dec. Prussians defeat the Austrians in the Battle of Leuthen in southwestern Poland.


  • Robert Clive becomes governor of Bengal.
  • Swedish scientist Emmanuel Swedenborg publishes a religious treatise, The New Jerusalem.
  • 15 May The Jesuits are ordered to cease preaching in Portuguese dominions.
  • 25 Aug. The Prussians defeat an invading Russian army at the Battle of Zorndorf in western Poland.
  • 3 Sept. An unsuccessful attempt to assassinate King Joseph I of Portugal leads to the arrest and execution of influential Portuguese aristocrats.
  • 14 Oct. Austrian forces defeat the Prussians at the Battle of Hochkirch in Saxony.


  • The German composer Georg Friedrich Handel dies.
  • Franz Joseph Haydn composes Symphony No. 1 in D major.
  • The Jesuits are expelled from Portugal and Brazil.
  • Arthur Guinness establishes a brewery in Dublin.
  • 10 Aug. Ferdinand VI of Spain dies and Charles III becomes king.


  • Joseph Merlin, a Belgian musical instrument maker, plays a violin while demonstrating the first pair of roller skates.
  • Laurence Sterne publishes Sermons of Mr. Yorick and Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy.
  • 23 June The Austrians defeat a Prussian army at Landshut, Bavaria.
  • 15 Aug. The Prussians defeat the Austrians at Liegnitz, Poland.
  • 912 Oct. A Russian army loots and burns Berlin.
  • 25 Oct. George II of Great Britain dies; his grandson, George III, becomes king.


  • Spain invades Portugal.
  • London doctor John Hill publishes Cautions against the Immoderate Uses of Snuff, which for the first time links tobacco and cancer.
  • 14 Jan. An Afghan army led by Amad Shah Abdali defeats the Marathas at Panipat. Afterward the Afghanis withdraw, leaving India in the control of the British East India Company.
  • May Franz Joseph Haydn signs a contract to be vice capellmeister to Hungarian prince Miklos Joszef Esterhazy.
  • 15 Aug. In the Treaty of San Ildefonso, France, Spain, and several Italian states form an alliance against England.
  • 5 Oct. William Pitt resigns as British prime minister when Parliament refuses to declare war on Spain.


  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau publishes Emile and The Social Contract.
  • 4 Jan. England declares war on Spain.
  • 5 Jan. Czarina Elizabeth of Russia, daughter of Peter the Great, dies; she is succeeded by her son, Peter III.
  • Feb. The British capture the island of Martinique.
  • 5 May Peter III of Russia concludes a peace treaty with Frederick II of Prussia.
  • 9 July Russian czar Peter III is deposed by his wife, Catherine, who reigns as Catherine II, the Great.
  • 17 July Deposed czar Peter III is murdered.
  • 13 Aug. The British capture Havana, Cuba.
  • Oct. The British capture Manila in the Philippines.


  • Cao Xueqin, author of the novel Dream of the Red Chamber, dies.
  • Prussia establishes compulsory primary education.
  • 10 Feb. The Peace of Paris ends the Seven Years War. France loses Canada, Senegal, and the West Indian islands to England and also cedes Louisiana to Spain.
  • 23 Apr. North Briton publishes issue no. 45, containing John Wilkess criticism of King George IIIs speech.


  • At age eight, Mozart writes his first symphony.
  • Haydn composes Symphony No. 22 in E-flat (The Philosopher).
  • Parliament passes the Sugar Act to raise revenue and control smuggling in the empire.
  • James Watt invents the condenser and air pump, improvements to the steam engine.
  • French officer Louis Antoine de Bougainville lands a party of Acadian refugees on the Falkland Islands.
  • 19 Jan. John Wilkes is accused of libel and expelled from Parliament.


  • James Hargreaves invents the spinning jenny.
  • Jan. British commodore John Byron claims the Falkland Islands for England.
  • 23 Mar. Parliament passes the Stamp Act to raise revenue from printed material in the colonies.
  • May Robert Clive returns to India as governor of Bengal.


  • Rousseau publishes Confessions.
  • Jan. The British fortify Port Egmont in the Falkland Islands.
  • 11 Mar. Parliament repeals the Stamp Act while simultaneously passing the Declaratory Act which maintains the power to tax British colonists.
  • 12 Nov. Nizam Ali of Hyderabad cedes territories to the East India Company.


  • 27 Feb. Spain expels the Jesuits.
  • Mar. Spanish and French forces arrive at the Falklands.
  • 1 Apr. France cedes its Falkland colony to Spain.
  • May France expels the Jesuits.


  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts first produced opera, Bastien and Bastienne, is performed in Vienna.
  • Joshua Reynolds founds the Royal Academy of Art in London.
  • James Bruce discovers the Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile River.
  • Russia invades Poland.
  • Turkey declares war on Russia.
  • Benjamin Franklin publishes maps showing the course of the Gulf Stream.
  • 10 May Several people are killed when British troops fire on a crowd of demonstrators at St. Georges Fields, London, protesting imprisonment of political leader John Wilkes.
  • 25 May James Cook sails for the Pacific Ocean in the Endeavor to establish observatory at Tahiti.


  • British philanthropist Granville Sharpe publishes an antislavery tract, A Representation of the Injustices and Dangerous Tendencies of Tolerating Slavery.
  • Mozart receives an honorary appointment as concertmaster to the archbishop of Salzburg.
  • Famine in Bengal kills ten million people.
  • David Garrick opens the first Shakespeare Festival at Stratford-on-Avon.
  • James Watt patents the steam engine, which he had invented in 1765.
  • Ali Bey, viceroy of Egypt, declares independence from the Ottoman Empire and makes a pact with Russia against Turkey.
  • Spain occupies California, founding missions at Los Angeles and San Diego.
  • Jan. The first Letter of Junius appears in the British press, attacking the government for silencing John Wilkes.
  • 4 Feb. Parliament expels John Wilkes, who is again reelected, but he is declared incapable of serving.
  • Nov. The English warn the Spanish to evacuate the Falklands.
  • 19 Dec. Another Letter of Junius appears in three London papers arraigning King George III as the mastermind behind the attacks on John Wilkes; the British government charges the three newspaper publishers with sedition.


  • German composer Ludwig van Beethoven is born.
  • Capt. James Cook maps the east coast of Australia.
  • Ali Bey, governor of Egypt, captures Syria and Hijaz.
  • Mozarts opera Mitridate, rè di Ponto is produced in Milan.
  • 20 Feb. Spanish officials warn British colonists to leave the Falkland Islands.
  • 10 June The Spanish attack Port Egmont in the Falkland Islands, forcing the British to evacuate.
  • 13 June In a case arising from Letters of Junius, a British jury finds a publisher guilty of printing and publishing only, not of sedition.
  • 56 July The Russians defeat a Turkish fleet in the Battle of Tchesmé.


  • Encyclopedia Brittanica is published for the first time.
  • The Russians occupy the Crimea.
  • Haydn writes his Sun quartets (nos. 2530).
  • Jan. The British contemplate an assault on New Orleans and Spanish territories in North America in retaliation for the attack on the Falklands.
  • 20 Jan. King Louis XV dismisses the Parliament of Paris.
  • July Turkey and Austria form an alliance against Russia.


  • In the Somerset case in England, Lord Chief Justice William Murray, earl of Manfield, rules that a slave who arrives in England is free.
  • The final volume of Denis Diderots Encyclopedie is published in Paris.
  • Jan. Spain returns the Falkland Islands to Britain.
  • Apr. Abu al-Dhahab supplants Ali Bey in Egypt and becomes viceroy the next year.
  • 5 Aug. Austria, Prussia, and Russia partition Poland.
  • 19 Aug. Gustavus III of Sweden abolishes the parliament and council, and institutes a series of reforms to encourage trade.


  • 2 Mar. The East India Company applies to Parliament for a loan of £1,500,000.
  • 19 Apr. The Polish Diet is forced to accept the partition of the country.
  • 10 May Parliament passes the Tea Act, giving the East India Company a monopoly on tea sold in the British colonies. The Company plans to ship six hundred thousand pounds of tea to American ports.
  • 21 July The Pope suppresses the Society of Jesus, and Josef II expels the Jesuits from Austria.


  • Morocco liberates its Christian slaves.
  • Hungary grants religious toleration to non-Catholics.
  • John Wesley publishes Thoughts on Slavery.
  • Joseph Priestley discovers oxygen.
  • 10 May Louis XV of France dies and is succeeded by his grandson, Louis XVI.
  • 21 July Russia and Turkey agree to a treaty, giving Russians the right to navigate the Black Sea and pass through the Dardenalles, and the freedom to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem.
  • 2 Nov. Robert Clive, in poor health since his return to England in 1767 and facing parliamentary inquiries into his governorship of India, commits suicide.
  • 12 Nov. Louis XVI restores the Parliament of Paris.


  • The Society of White Lotus organizes a rebellion in the Honan Province of China, beginning a twenty-seven-year uprising.
  • The first Thames Regatta is held.


  • Adam Smith publishes the Wealth of Nations.
  • Edward Gibbon publishes the first volume of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
  • John Wilkes proposes reforms in the British electoral system to make Parliament more representative of the people.
  • The Dutch in South Africa make the first European contact with the Xhosa tribe on the Zeekee River.



  • The Dutch and Xhosa agree to a boundary on the Fish River in South Africa.
  • Jan. Capt. James Cook lands on the island of Kauai; he names the present-day Hawaiian Island chain after John Montagu, fourth earl of Sandwich.
  • 6 Feb. France becomes the first European power to recognize the independence of the United States, and signs a commercial and military treaty with the new nation.
  • 11 May William Pitt, earl of Chatham, dies.
  • 17 June France declares war on England.
  • 18 June Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts Symphony 31, (Paris Symphony), premieres in Paris.


  • The first iron bridge is built in England.
  • David Humes Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion is published posthumously.
  • 14 Feb. Capt. James Cook is killed by Hawaiians at Kealakekua Bay.
  • 16 June Spain forms an alliance with France and declares war on England.


  • The Bengal Gazette, the first newspaper in India, is published by the British.
  • The screwdriver and fountain pen are invented.
  • Franz Joseph Haydn writes the Toy Symphony.
  • 10 Mar. Catherine the Great proclaims Russias armed neutrality, prohibiting the British from searching neutral ships.
  • 28 June The Gordon Riots occur in London in protest of the Catholic Relief Act.
  • Nov. Descendants of the Incas rebel against Spanish rule and gain control of southern Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina.
  • 20 Nov. Great Britain declares war on the Netherlands.


  • Immanuel Kant publishes Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason.
  • Richard Arkwright opens a water-powered cotton factory.
  • Austria liberates its serfs.
  • 31 Mar. Sir William Herschel discovers the planet Uranus.


  • Spain suppresses the rebellion in Peru.
  • Mozarts opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio) opens in Vienna.
  • 4 Mar. Despite the kings and prime ministers desire to continue the war in America, the British House of Commons rejects further military attempts against the former colonies.
  • 9 Mar. Parliament dismisses Prime Minister Lord North after a twelve-year administration.
  • Oct. The British relieve the besieged fortress at Gibraltar.
  • 30 Nov. British and American negotiators accept a preliminary peace agreement.


  • The French launch the first steam-powered vessel.
  • Mozart writes Mass in C minor.
  • 6 Feb. Spain ends its siege of Gibraltar.
  • 13 Sept. The peace treaty of Versailles goes into effect, recognizing the independence of the United States.
  • 21 Nov. Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier make the first manned ascent in a hot-air balloon over Paris.

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