People Abroad | 1763—89

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

George Washington ordered his overseers to begin the 1767 wheat harvest on June 24, a hot, cloudy Saturday at the end of a dry week. Thus began twenty days of unrelenting exertion for Mount Vernon’s slaves and no little anxiety for their master, who for the first time had given over his holding almost entirely to the cultivation of grain. Much depended on the success of this experiment, which was a crucial element in Washington’s scheme to free himself of the debts he had accumulated over the years of failing to produce tobacco that would sell on London’s finicky market. Rich as he was in land, he feared that, like so many of his fellow planters, he too would become permanently dependent on his English merchant creditors. It was a fate he dreaded above all, for to suffer it meant that he would lose the essence of a gentleman’s character, independence, and with it the capacity to behave in a truly virtuous way.

Fred Anderson
Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754 - 1766 (2000)