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 European 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

Charles Willson Peale, despite his devotion to the taxonomic and contemplative majesty of the natural world, nevertheless loved novelties and used all sorts of amusements to attract customers to his museum. He eventually resorted to hiring a popular musical performer who played five different instruments simultaneously, using all parts of his body. Following Peale’s death the museum passed into the enterprising hands of P. T. Barnum, becoming part of his traveling circus — a romantic ending for an Enlightenment institution.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)