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Great Events from History: the 18th Century

Great Events from History: The 18th Century begins with 105 core essays from Salem's acclaimed Chronology of European History (1997) and Great Events from History: North American Series (1997). The set adds 238 new essays. The century receives worldwide coverage with a priority for meeting the needs of history students at the high school and undergraduate levels. Events covered include the obligatory geopolitical events of the era - from the War of the Spanish Succession through the American and French Revolutions, from the collapse of the South Sea Bubble to the rise of Napoleon. Also, however, the essays address key social and cultural developments in daily life: the expansion of the Atlantic slave trade; the "Enlightenment" in Europe; the excavation of Pompeii; the beginnings of the abolitionist movement in North America; the seeds of the woman suffrage movement; and the opening of Japan to foreign commerce and publications.

Scientific achievements boomed in this post-Newtonian age. Hence major advancements in astronomy, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics, biology, and genetics are thoroughly covered here - as are many of their practical applications. The 18th century gave rise to a wealth of inventions that would lay the groundwork for the Industrial Revolution: from Jethro Tull's seed drill to Kay's flying shuttle, Whitney's cotton gin, and Volta's battery. The first Arab printing press emerged during the 18th century. Watt's steam engine opened the door to the cross-continental railroad transportation. The earliest piloted balloon flights carried human beings across land and sea a century before the Wright brothers' excursion at Kitty Hawk. The practice of medicine began to take modern shape, as Edward Jenner developed a reliable smallpox vaccine (replacing the risky practice of variolation) and early anesthetics made dentistry and surgery more practicable. Neoclassicism flourished in the arts, architecture, and music from Bach to Mozart; theater began to be regarded a profession worthy of permanent institutions such as Covent Garden and La Scala, both of which opened in this era.

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