People Abroad, 1763—1789

Portrait by Artist to Come

OVERVIEW

The 27 years during which America awakened to its need for independence — debated it, declared it, struggled for it, and ratified and effected its Constitution — were bookended by the end of one global conflict and the beginning of another.

In Europe the 1763 Peace of Paris concluded the Seven Years War, sometimes called the first true world war. It was a conflict that involved all of the major European countries, and once again pitted Great Britain against France for global dominance. In 1789, with the storming of the Bastille, the French Revolution began — influenced by the American Revolution, but begun for lack of bread. It would lead to mass executions of its own people, the rise of Napoleon to general and emperor, millions killed elsewhere, and once more a face-off between France and Britain.

LINKS
Europeans who are contributing to their culture during the American Revolution.

Artists

Explorers and Inventors

Musicians

  • Bach, Johann Christian (1735—82)
  • Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770—1827)
  • Gluck, Christoph Willibald (1714—87)
  • Haydn, Joseph (1732—1809)
  • Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756—91)

Philosophers

Rulers

    England

    Habsburg Empire (including Austria & Hungary)

    • Maria Theresa (1717—80); Empress, 1740—80
    • Joseph II (1741—90); Emperor, 1780—90; Holy Roman Emperor, 1765—90

    Russia

Scientists & Mathematicians

Writers

Visitors to Monticello often wonder at its practical accessories. Jefferson labored a month to save a minute. His home was impractical from the start — by reason of its very site (on a mountain), by the height given the first version of the building (later disguised in a way that left useless spaces in and around its dome), by the perpetual course of its dismantling and reassembly. To make the house more convenient, he made his daughter and her children live for years in a chaos of artistic second thoughts, sometimes sheltered only by canvas as the roof rose, fell, and assumed new shapes in his mind.

Garry Wills
Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (1978)