Timeline 1756 1757 1758 1759         1760           1761     1762           1763       1764           1765       1766       1767       1768       1769   1770       1771         1772     1773       1774             1775                 1776                 1777   1778     1779 1780     1781           1782                 1783               1784         1785       1786             1787                       1788                   1789               1790       1791        
Siraj-ud-daulah, the Nabob of Bengal retakes Fort William and Calcutta (Kolkata) from the East India Company. British troops take Calcutta (Kolkata). Abolition of slavery of the indigenous population in Portugal’s South American colonies. The British Museum is opened in London. The Jesuit Order is driven out of Portugal. The Bavarian Academy of Sciences is founded. The British occupy Guadaloupe (until 1763). Gerhard van Swieten becomes president of the Royal Book Censorship Commission in Vienna. Founding of Abu Dhabi, now capital of the United Arab Emirates. Lloyd’s Register of Shipping founded in London as the first association of insurance agents. Beginnings of the Industrial Revolution (Luddites) in England. The Austrian Council of State is formed to coordinate the United Court Chancellery and the State Chancellery—the highest levels of justice—and the Court Chambers, the Court Chamber of Finance and the Court War Council. Tackey leads a widespread slave revolt in Port Maria in Jamaica. As a consequence of 400 Black rebels were executed. Queen Cubah leads a revolt of enslaved Africans in Jamaica. A fire in which two people lose their lives destroys the Kärntnertor Theatre in Vienna. After rebuilding it was re-opened in 1763 as the Kaiserliches Hoftheater (Imperial Court Theatre). Founding of the Deutsche Gesellschaft (German Society) in Vienna (Sonnenfels, Riegger, Klemm). Beginning of language reform in Austria. French troops in Newfoundland capitulate to the British. Catherine the Great becomes Empress of Russia. Havana is occupied by British troops. Willibald von Gluck writes Orpheus and Eurydike, the first Italian reformed opera (simplicity, truth and natural expression). Signing of the Saramakan Peace Treaty between the Saramakan Maroons and the Dutch colonial government in Surinam. Dorothea Erxleben, the first women to complete her doctorate at a German university, dies. Pontiac leads a broad coalition of American First Nation peoples (including the Seneca, Wyandots, Delawares, Shawnee, Miami, Ottawa and others) against British colonial rule. The Treaty of Paris marks the end of the Seven Years’ War in Europe and the Franco-British War in North America. Prussia retains Silesia; Great Britain is given the largest part of Canada (Treaty of Paris), Grenada, Dominica, St. Vincent and Tobago. Rio de Janeiro replaces Bahia as the capital of Brazil. The Royal Prussian General School Regulation sets primary education at eight years. Russia accepts the so-called Volga Germans. By 1766, they will number 23,000. Catherine the Great acquires 250 paintings in Europe, the foundation of the present-day Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. In Great Britain new tax and customs duties are introduced. Prussia prohibits Bauernlegen (quasi-legal acquisition of unoccupied farms by knights). The Jesuits are driven out of France. The Bach-Abel concerts are introduced in London, giving impetus to public concert events. Joseph II becomes German Emperor. Hunger riots in London. German singspiel begins in Leipzig, influenced by the French. Birth of the future actress and feminist revolutionary Claire Lacombe who, in Paris in May 1793, will form the Club des Citoyennes Républicaines Révolutionaires (Club of Revolutionary Republican Women Citizens) together with Pauline Léon. The armed “revolutionary women republicans”, wearing trousers, the national cockade and the Jacobin cap demand voting rights for women and, in the face of threats of war, propose an army of “Amazons” as well as strict action against inner enemies of the revolution. Joseph II opens the royal hunting park, Prater, to the public. On the day it is opened, 102 gay men are arrested and sentenced. Witch trials are prohibited in Austria. Farmers agitate in Silesia. The French philosopher and writer Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, who will later take part in the French Revolution, and found and lead the Constitutional Party, is born. Charles III orders the Jesuits out of Spain and Spanish possessions in America. Pegu (today’s Myanmar) captures Ayutthaya, the capital of the kingdom of the same name after a siege lasting a year. The Burmese destroy the city almost completely. Reformation of relations between Church and State in the Habsburg monarchy: the Church is prohibited from issuing decrees without secular permission, and heresy as a crime is repealed. Beginning of regulations of rural workers and serfdom in the Habsburg monarchy. The first volume of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is published. The Turco-Russian War begins. Joseph von Sonnenfels publishes a “letter on the Viennese theatre”. A uniform regulation of criminal procedure, Nemesis Theresiana, is introduced. End of the clergy’s freedom from taxes in Austria. Napoleon Bonaparte is born (dies 1821). House numbering begins in Vienna (Seelenkonskription/census) to make tax collection and recruitment easier. The numbering was discontinued in April 1771. During this period a “local commission” of seven men went through the city, numbering the houses, questioning the inhabitants and entering the answers in a pre-printed form. James Cook claims the east coast of Australia for the British crown. Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot invents the steam-driven coach. This is regarded as the precursor of modern vehicles. Continuation of Church reform (Theresian), with the creation of the Ecclesiastical Court Chamber. Great famine in Bohemia 1771–1772. First steps towards the introduction of compulsory primary education for all. Founding of the Vienna Teacher Training School. Abolition of incarceration in convents and monasteries. Founding of the Vienna Music Society. First division of Poland between Austria, Prussia and Russia; Austria is given Galicia. The Inquisition is abolished in France. Maroon War in Surinam. In Moscow the great Russian farmer’s rebellion begins against repressive measures introduced by Jemeljan Iwanowitsch Pugatschow, a Don Cossack. It continues till 1775. The book Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by the 19-year-old, Senegal-born slave Phillis Wheatley, who is living in Boston, Massachusetts, is published in London. She is regarded as the first African woman to have published a book in Europe. Abolition of the Jesuit Order by Pope Clement XIV. The University of Vienna becomes a state-run educational institution. Oxygen is discovered by Joseph Priestley. The Turco-Russian War ends with Russian victory under Catherine the Great. The Order of Jesuits is prohibited in Austria. Founding of the Court Commission for Studies in Vienna. Abbot Ignaz Felbinger’s “school regulations” mean the possibility of general literacy in Austria. Pestalozzi founds the “Poor Institute” (a work school) in Iferten. An edict is passed prohibiting women waiters in Viennese bars. Famine riots in France. War of Independence between Britain and the North American colonies (till 1783). George Washington, a plantation owner from Virginia, becomes commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. James Watt invents the steam engine. Farmers’ revolt in Bohemia. Regulation of farmers’ work in Bohemia. Repeal of internal customs duties in the Habsburg monarchy (except for Hungary). Increasing importance of peripatetic troupes of opera singers and actors. Stono Rebellion (till 1783) is regarded as the biggest African slave uprising in one of the American colonies prior to independence. Under Maria Theresia a central police office with police stations was established in Vienna. Founding of the Order of the Illuminati in Ingolstadt. First European settlement in San Francisco. 4th of July—signing of the Declaration of Independence in the United States of America. Adam Smith publishes The Wealth of Nations. Declaration of Human Rights. De facto abolition of the death penalty in Austria that is made known to the court but not the population. Abolition of torture. First workers’ trade union in England. Repeal of the Index of Prohibited Books. Gottfried van Swieten becomes prefect of the Court Library in Vienna. Balloonist Sophie Blanchard is born. Nandi, Queen of Zululand, mother of Shaka Zulu is born. Doctoral title opened to Protestants in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. First edition of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing publishes The Education of Humankind. Biggest uprising of indigenous peoples breaks out under José María Condorcanquí, who takes the name of the last Inca ruler, Túpac Amaru. The uprising involves most of what is today Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and northern Argentina. Issue of Decree on Serfdom—abolition. Los Angeles is founded. Opening of the Leopoldstadt Theatre in Vienna. Reforms by Emperor Joseph II include: “Basic Rules” concerning new censorship laws allowing reprinting of foreign books and newspapers; the “Censorship Decree” extending freedom of the press; and the “Edict of Tolerance”, a decree against “contemplative orders”, which abolishes 400 convents and monasteries by 1782. Gottfried van Swieten is appointed president of the Court Commission on Studies in Vienna. Angelo Soliman is accepted into the Masonic lodge Zur wahren Eintracht, which has just been founded in Vienna. Elizabeth Freeman (alias “Mum Bett” or “Mumbet”) sues her slave owner and claims her freedom. She wins. The controversial trial is one of a series in which Afro-Americans claim their freedom by relying on their rights under the Constitution. This contributes to the end of slavery in Massachusetts. Beginning of the Augarten concerts in Vienna. King Rama I founds the city of Bangkok and makes it the capital of the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand). Founding of the unified court office for the entire political and financial administration of Habsburger possessions (except for Hungary). A further centralisation measure. Josephs II reforms the justice system emphasising the exemplary effects of public punishments. Beginning of the reorganisation of the police by Graf Pergen in Vienna. Jews are permitted to study at the University of Vienna. Founding of the Court Commission for Studies and Censorship under Gottfried van Swieten in Vienna. For reprints and pirate copies, a false “place of publication” is recommended. Leopoldstadt Theatre is founded in Vienna (for singspiel and comedies with regional content). Introduction of a City of Vienna civil service. End of the American War of Independence; Britain recognises the USA. France cedes the island of Dominica to Great Britain. Opening of the General Hospital in Vienna. Punishment of rebels in Bohemia. Joseph II’s “Pastoral letter”: an admonition to civil servants to be faithful. Joseph II introduces a codified civil law and new code of court procedure. Completion of a new Index of Prohibited Books—reduced from 5,000 to 900. First Viennese Greek newspaper appears. Friedrich Schiller’s Love and Intrigue is premiered in Frankfurt am Main. Joseph II issues decrees prohibiting emigration, importing foreign goods, regulating burial and making German the official language for the whole monarchy. The latter fails because of resistance in Hungary and Belgium. The official censors reject a plan to limit printing activity. Indignation in German-speaking areas about Trattner’s book piracy (theft of intellectual property). Händel celebrations in London (beginning of the music festival tradition). Frederick the Great and George Washington sign a Treaty of Peace and Friendship in which Prussia recognises the independence of the newly formed 13 states of the USA. In addition, there is one innovation in the treaty—as the highest executive power in their respective countries, they sign an agreement that guarantees humane treatment for prisoners of war. Repeal of Hungarian Constitution based on estates. First public setbacks for Joseph’s reforms—partial repeal of the burial regulations which had ordered frugality. Freemason Decree in Austria calls for the registration of events and a list of members. As a consequence the lodge Zur wahren Eintracht, of which Angelo Soliman was a member, is disbanded. The Irish feminist philosopher Anna Wheeler is born. Hunger riots in Madrid. Hunger riots in London. The first part of the Joseph II’s codification of the law appears. As a deterrent and in a conscious transgression of the rule of law, Joseph II orders an emphatically horrible execution for Zahlheim, a robber and murderer, with 30,000 spectators. Attempts are made to extend Joseph’s reforms to Belgium. Austria introduces secret police under Graf Pergen (opinion snooping, unrest). Writings appear about the Freemasonry Decree. Founding of pension, widows and orphans funds in many places; steps taken for self-organised social help for musicians. USA founded. Signing of the American Constitution. First patent laws enacted in France. Opening of the Theatre an der Wieden in Vienna. Quobna Ottobah Cugoano’s book, His Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Commerce of the Human Species, is published. Born in Ghana, captured at the age of 13 and sold into slavery, his book is regarded as an eloquent pamphlet in favour of the immediate abolition of slavery. Duke Karl Eugen von Württemberg hires out a regiment of his subjects to the Dutch East India Company. Enactment of the Joseph II’s Criminal Code. Beginnings of unrest in Belgium. Inflation in Vienna. A land survey ordered by the Habsburg monarch runs into increasing resistance in Hungary. Preparations for the so-called Turkish War. Illuminati writings published in Bavaria. Sierra Leone is established, and freed slaves from England and America settle in the newly founded Freetown. Hunger riots in Vienna caused by enormous price increases and the economic disturbances caused by the Turkish War. Craftsmen and day labourers are affected in particular. Bakeries are stormed and looted. The first edition of The Times of London appears. The first British convicts land in Australia. Adolph Freiherr Knigge’s On Human Relations is published. Agrarian reform in Denmark and serfdom is abolished. Founding of the Societé des amis des noirs in Paris. The Josefstadt Theatre is opened in Vienna. From1788 to 1802, Pemulwuy, regarded as the most famous Aboriginal warrior against British oppression, leads a guerrilla war against British “settlers”. Catastrophic failure of Joseph II’s so-called Turkish War. Political pamphlets in France demand freedom and equality. 14th of July, Paris, the storming of the Bastille. 26th of August, Paris, Declaration of Human Rights and the Rights of Citizens. 5th of October, Paris, Parisian women march to Versailles. Olaudah Equiano (or Gustavus Vassa) publishes the autobiography of his childhood in Eastern Nigeria till his enslavement. It becomes a bestseller and is still in print. Washington becomes the first president of the USA. General Laudon takes Belgrade for Austria. Reintroduction of preventative censorship. Slaves revolting in San Domingo (today’s Haiti) justify their actions by reference to the French Revolution. Abolition of the aristocracy in France. Revolt of Jacques Vincent Oge in San Domingo. Permanent parliaments in all Austrian crown lands. In France operas, cantatas, choral works and marches are composed for a celebration of the revolution—some of them open air. In San Domingo a slave revolt under the leadership of Toussaint L'Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines is the beginning of revolution and the struggle for independence in what is now Haiti. The Polish Constitution of the 3rd of May is the first written, democratic one in Europe. Declaration of the Rights of Women and Women Citizens (Déclaration des Droits de la Femme et de la Citoyenne) authored by Olympe de Gouges. Peace is signed between Turkey and Austria. Andreas Riedel, the head of the Vienna Jacobins presents his constitutional proposals to Emperor Leopold II.