The Revolutionary Age

revolutionary age
The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis
Yorktown, Virginia
revolutionary age 1
Sir Arthur Wellesley
1st Duke of Wellington
revolutionary age 2
The Death of Nelson
revolutionary age 3
The Battle of the Nile
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Great Britain loses the American empire and becomes involved in a long struggle with revolutionary France and the succeeding Bonapartist Empire. Britain is protected by her naval superiority, which enables Sir Arthur Wellesley to win his military campaign in the Iberian peninsular. Bonaparte is finally defeated by Wellesley (now Duke of Wellington) at Waterloo.  During this period, the long campaign to abolish the slave trade in the British empire is ultimately successful.

In 1732, the MP and philanthropist James Oglethorpe established by royal charter the new colony of Georgia to the south of the Carolinas. Georgia was intended to be an opportunity for the ‘worthy’ poor and deprived of London and other cities to live a new life based on family farms. Catholics were barred due to the proximity of the Spanish culture in Florida. Slavery was banned and servants, upon completion of their indentured service, would receive their own grant of land. No one was to be permitted to acquire additional land through purchase or inheritance. The colonists planted cotton seeds provided by the Chelsea Medicinal Garden and cotton became the mainstay of the Georgia economy. Oglethorpe also maintained a friendly relationship with the local tribe of Native Americans.

Charles Wesley, the Methodist hymn-writer briefly became Oglethorpe’s secretary in 1736 and his brother John was rector of the church in Savannah, where he preached against the evils of drink and supported Oglethorpe’s antislavery dictat, but after an unhappy love affair which resulted in problems with the local community, John and his brother returned home to England, where John Wesley denounced slavery as "the sum of all villainies."

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1773 The East India Company, which is enduring a financial crisis, is reformed by the Regulating Act. It is awarded a monopoly on the Tea trade with America. Warren Hastings (1732-1818) becomes the first Governor General.

~ The Boston Tea Party. American colonists protest at taxation without representation by throwing a cargo of tea overboard in Boston harbour.

~ The first iron bridge is constructed over the river Severn at Coalbrookdale.

~ She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) is performed at Covent Garden.

~ The first Racing Calendar is produced by James Weatherby (dates unknown) for the Jockey Club.

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