Modern History/World in 1783

Wikibooks Modern History
Population, Governance, Philosophy, Invention, Weapons, Combat, Trade, Exploration

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This book knows 1784 as the year in which Great Britain recognised the independence and sovereignty of the United States of America. By the end of this book, the United States will be the dominant superpower of the world.


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Events edit

  • February 3 - American Revolutionary War: Spain recognizes United States independence.
  • February 4 - American Revolutionary War: Great Britain formally declares that it will cease hostilities with the United States of America.
  • February 4 - Earthquake in Calabria, Italy - 50.000 dead
  • March 5 - Last celebration of Massacre Day.
  • May 18 - Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada- First United Empire Loyalists reach Parrtown.
  • June 5 - The Montgolfier brothers publicly demonstrate their montgolfière (hot air balloon) in Annonay, France.
  • June 8 - The volcano Laki, in Iceland, begins an eight-month eruption which kills 9350 people and starts a seven-year famine. Eruption causes deaths of livestock when they eat contaminated grass and also widespread crop failure.
  • July 16 - Grants of land in Canada to American loyalists announced.
  • July 24 - Treaty of Georgievsk between the Imperial Russia and the Kingdom of Kartli and Kakheti (Georgia)
  • August 5 - Mount Asama erupts, causing turmoil in Edo period Japan.
  • September 3 - American Revolutionary War ends: Treaty of Paris - A treaty between the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain is signed in Paris, ending the war.
  • November 2 - In Rocky Hill, New Jersey, US General George Washington gives his "Farewell Address to the Army".
  • November 21 - In Paris, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, marquis d'Arlandes, make the first untethered hot air balloon flight (flight time: 25 minutes, Maximum height: 5* miles).
  • November 25 - American Revolutionary War: The last British troops leave New York City three months after the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
  • December 4 - At Fraunces Tavern in New York City, US General George Washington formally bids his officers farewell.
  • City of Sevastopol founded on the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine;
  • United Empire Loyalists flee to Canada from the new United States; Treaty of Versailles signed, ending hostilities between the Franco-Spanish Alliance and England.
  • Loyalists from New York settle Great Abaco in the Bahamas..

Independence for the United States edit

  • [P] In comparison to the British, who are the settlers that established the United States?
  • [G] What was the form of government of Great Britain?
  • [G] What was different in the form of the government of the US from that of Britain?

Great Britain was the combination Scotland, Wales, and especially England on a large island near the continent of Europe. Settlers mostly from England had traveled west across the Atlantic ocean and had settled on a part of the east coast of the continent of North America, occupying areas where some indigenous peoples of the Americas had lived. These settlers had established colonies of under the jurisdiction of Britain. Beginning in 1775, some of the colonies them revolted against the British government. Thirteen of the colonies declared independence in 1776. The British military and the "loyalists" fought against the "American" or "Continental" rebels in the American Revolutionary War. The two European states of Spain and especially France intervened against Britain to support the rebels; Continental forces backed by the French navy forced the withdrawal of the main British forces in 1781. The "Americans" and the British met in Paris in 1783 for the treaty to end to war.

On the British side was King George III, whose nominal description in the treaty is "Prince George the Third, by the grace of God, king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, duke of Brunswick and Lunebourg, arch-treasurer and prince elector of the Holy Roman Empire etc.". This is a traditional expression of monarchy, in which God grants rule of a realm of Christians to an inherited position called a monarch. In actuality, King George III was leader of Great Britain, Ireland, and part of the Holy Roman Empire, but not any part of France. For the purposes of this treaty, he is the King of Great Britain. Despite being King, much actual power is found at the Parliament, which is not (FIXME what was role of Parliament at this time?)

The American side has no monarch. Article 1 of the treaty gives that this side consists of twelve "sovereign and independent" states. However, these are represented by a Congress as the "United States of America". The lack of a monarch makes the treaty seem unequal, but is necessary because the states are formed from state constitutions. The United States is a supranational entity under the Articles of Confederation with borders (article 2 of the treaty) extending beyond the borders of the member states. These borders exclude other territory retained by Britain.

Births edit

  • January 23 - Stendhal, French writer (d. 1842)
  • March 8 - Hannah Van Buren, First Lady of the United States (d. 1819)
  • April 3 - Washington Irving, American author (d. 1859)
  • April 10 - Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland and mother of Napoleon III of France (d. 1837)
  • July 24 - Simón Bolívar, Venezuelan patriot, revolutionary leader and statesman (d. 1830).
  • September 17 - Samuel Prout, English painter (d. 1852)
  • Karl Wilhelm Gottlob Kastner, German chemist

The Pacific in 1783 edit

  • TODO write questions

On the Pacific coast of South America, the major political entity was the Viceroyalty of Peru. As part of a series of conquests of territory, the forces of Spain had overrun the Inca Empire. This a series of actions by Spain, justified by the Pope, to spread the rule of Roman Christianity.

The Spanish placed the capital city of Lima and the regional capital of Santiago, Chile on the coast. The old Inca capital was Cusco farther inland. The economy consisted mostly of forcing the native population to labor for the Spaniards and exporting to Spain. (TODO: what was exported?) Lima was remote from Spain because the route by ship involved passing around the tip of South America and also crossing the Atlantic ocean. (The Viceroyalty of the River Plate had split in 1776 because of the inconvenience of routing trade through Lima on the Pacific coast, instead of using Buenos Aires on the Atlantic coast.)

Farther north, there was more Spanish colonies. The northernmost regions of the Viceroyalty of Peru were, since 1734, separated from that viceroyalty as the Viceroyalty of New Granada, with a capital at Bogota, which was not a port city. Wikipedia claims that travel and communications inside the Viceroyalty (were) difficult.

The northernmost possession of the Viceroyalty of New Granada was Panama. North of that existed the Viceroyalty of New Spain. This administered the territory in the Americas north of Panama. Its capital was Mexico City. Across the Pacific ocean, in the west, this viceroyalty possessed the Philippines.

In China, the Qing Dynasty ruled. Qianlong Emperor ruled while Heshen took much power.


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