Thursday, August 16, 2007

1779 to 1783

Iphigenia in Tauris. Goethe. German. 1779. Play. From Euripides' play. In place of "deus ex machina," resolution results from "pure humanity."

The Lives of the Poets. Samuel Johnson. British. 1779/81. Essays. Interested in establishing causal relationship between the artist's life and art. 52 English poets.

1780. American forces suffer disastrous defeat Aug. 16 at Camden, South Carolina.

1780. British spy Major John Andre caught with papers revealing a plot by Benedict Arnold.

1780. Washington defeated at Germantown. Retires to winter quarters at Valley Forge.

1780. Gordon anti-Catholic riots disrupt London.

1781. The Battle of the Cowpens in North Carolina ends in victory for the Continental army.

1781. Benedict Arnold helps British forces plunder and burn New London, Connecticut, Sept. 6.

1781. The American Revolution ends October 19. General Cornwallis surrenders with 7,000 troops at Yorktown.

1781. "Blue Laws" get their name at New Haven, Connecticut, where a new town ordinance printed on blue paper prohibits work on Sunday and requires all shops to be closed on "the Lord's day."

Critique of Pure Reason. Immanuel Kant. German. 1781. Nonfiction. Although reason can understand a thing as object, reason cannot understand the "thing itself."

1782. English prison reformer John Howard visits London's Newgate Prison and finds inmates who have been locked up for 7 years awaiting trial.

1782. Austria abolishes serfdom throughout her dominions.

1782. The Virginia legislature authorizes freedom of slaves as the "peculiar institution" begins to die out in some parts of the South.

1782. James Watt patents a double-acting rotary steam engine.

Letters from an American Farmer. Michel Crevecoeur. American. 1782. Nonfiction. Farm life on the American frontier. Idealized, yet unpleasant facts of the social life and customs in the Colonies. He saw America as a refuge for persecuted and oppressed peoples of the world.

Cecilia, or Memoirs of an Heiress. Fanny Burney. British. 1782. Novel. In order to keep her fortune, Cecilia, an heiress, must marry a man who is willing to adopt her name.

"John Gilpin." William Cowper. British. 1782. Poetry/Ballad. Preferring to ride on a horse rather than in a chaise, John is taken for a long ride by the horse.

1783. The Treaty of Paris, September 3, recognizes the independence of the 13 colonies.

1783. Congress meets, November 26, at Annapolis, Maryland, the first U.S. peacetime capital.

1783. George Washington resigns as Commander-in-chief of the Continental army, December 23.

1783. Maryland forbids further importation of slaves.

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