Europe 1789 CE

The foundations for worldwide scientific and military dominance are being laid in the struggles between European nations.

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What is happening in Europe in 1789CE

The past century and a half have seen cultural and technological advance, and overseas expansion.

The Enlightenment

A movement known as the Enlightenment has gathered pace. The Enlightenment’s emphasis on reason has acted as a powerful stimulus to science, as well as to new thinking on political and social matters. It has had a deep influence on events across the Atlantic, where the founders of the new USA have designed an entire political system around Enlightenment principles.

European rivalry and overseas expansion

The countries of Europe have continued to wage major wars amongst themselves. France, Holland and Briain compete with each other for overseas empires, while those of Spain and Portugal are in decline. Prussia and Austria jostle for influence in Germany, and Russia‘s presence is increasingly being felt in central and northern Europe. Italy remains weak and divided, while the Ottoman empire still rules the Balkans.

Much of this warfare has been conducted at sea, and European navies – above all Britain’s – have become by far the largest and most powerful naval forces the world has ever seen. Much of their purpose is to defend their countries’ expanding overseas trade.

European global trade networks have greatly increased the continent’s wealth. Innovations in banking, stock exchanges and intellectual property have contributed towards this. So too has increasing productivity in European farming, mining, transport and manufacturing. By this time, indeed, the Industrial Revolution has started in Britain. This year, though, the French Revolution breaks out, which will shake the nations of Europe to their very core.

Next map, Europe 1837


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Modern Europe

The Russian Empire

The Ottoman Empire

European Colonization and Empire

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Early Modern Europe 1450 to 1750

Modern Europe 1750-1900


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