Wednesday, August 29, 2007

1793 to 1794

1793. Samuel Slater introduces child labor at the first U.S. cotton mill.

1793. An epidemic of yellow fever kills 4,044 at Philadelphia in the worst health disaster ever to befall an American city.

1793. France abolishes worship of God November 10. A cult of reason is founded by Commune of Paris leaders.

1793. The semaphore developed by French engineer Claude Chappe and his brother is a visual telegraph system.

An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. William Godwin. British. 1793. Nonfiction. All government is an obstacle to the development of mankind. Abolish all social, political institutions. Abolish government, law, wealth, marriage. Total confidence in the perfectability of man. Influenced the romantics.

1794. Robespierre crushes his rivals at Paris, has Danton guillotined and ends the cult of reason. He establishes himself as high priest of a new Reign of Terror that reaches its height in June and July.

1794. The Law of 22 Prairial allows juries to convict without hearing evidence or argument. As many as 354 per month go to the guillotine, and opposition to Robespierre mounts.

1794. The conspiracy of July 27 topples Robespierre from power. He is sent to the guillotine with 18 others. More than 80 of Robespierre's sympathizers go to the guillotine July 29, but public opinion forces Robespierre's successors to end the Reign of Terror.

1794. The Whiskey Rebellion by U.S. frontier farmers brings the first show of force by the new U.S. government. Federal militiamen put down the rebellion without bloodshed.

1794. The Battle of Fallen Timbers ends the Indian menace to American settlers in the Ohio-Kentucky region.

1794. Insurance Company of North America, chartered at Philadelphia, is the first U.S. commercial firm to offer life insurance policies.

1794. The Lancaster Road opens to link the Pennsylvania Dutch country and Lancaster with Philadelphia and the Delaware River. Financial success to the stockholders will inspire similar toll projects.

1794. The founder of nutritional science and of modern chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier, goes to the guillotine.

The Adventures of Caleb Williams, or Things as They Are. William Godwin. British. 1794. Novel. Aristocrat for whom Caleb works is guilty of murder. Tries to keep Caleb from revealing his secret. When Caleb tells, he feels guilt at causing his master's ruin. Suspense. Anticipated the detective novel. Comment on the positions of privileged and lower classes.

Reineke Fuchs. Goethe. German. 1794. Epic Poem. Retells the story of Reynard the Fox. The value of the amoral man to society. Superior resourcefulness is a balance to the stultification of unchallenged morality.

Wha Hae Scots. Robert Burns. British. 1794. Poetry. Celebrates the victory of Robert Bruce over Edward II at Bannockburn.

The Mysteries of Udolpho. Ann Radcliffe. British. 1794. Gothic Novel. Heroine, raised by foolish aunt, becomes involved with an evil adventurer; escapes.

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