Friday, April 23, 2010

Jane Austen's World - 1786 - 1795

In 1788, New York is declared to be the capital of the United States. However, a decision will be made to move the capital south to a district carved out of Maryland and Virginia (Virginia later takes their part back because of a slavery issue) and to separate the financial and government centers of the U.S. The following year, George Washington is inaugurated as President. In England, George III has his first attack of mental illness causing a regency crisis. In 1791, Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution is ratified.

In 1789, in France, a Paris mob storms the Bastille. The French Revolution is on. Along with the Napoleonic Wars, these events will color the background of Jane Austen’s life. 1793: Louis XVI and his queen are executed. 1794: Danton, Robespierre, and St. Just are executed. Habeas Corpus Act is suspected in Britain. 1795: Bread riots and White Terror in Paris.

Between 1785 and 1795, the following artists flourished: William Cowper: John Gilpin; Robert Burns: Tam O’ Shanter; Schiller: Don Carlos; William Blake: Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience; Robert Southey: Poems;  Mozart: Don Giovanni and Magic Flute. Byron is born; Keats dies. Robert Adam and Joshua Reynolds die.

Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin, making cotton “King” in the South and insuring the continuation of slavery. First horse-drawn railroad in England. Daily Universal Register becomes The Times. The Observer is founded in London.

Marylebone Cricket Club is founded and moves to Lord’s cricket ground, and in Charleston, South Carolina, the Golf Club is founded.

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