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The Spirit of Revolution: World History in the Year 1795
Class set order code: 1279S
In 1795, a revolutionary spirit was sweeping much of the globe, and it infused every aspect of life, from politics to religion, from science to art to literature and beyond. This book gives readers a global view of one year in history, illustrating how quickly and dramatically the world can change through both the actions of individuals and the collective power of a worldwide revolution in thought.
What do you know about the year 1795? Can you name anything that happened then? Would you be surprised to learn that it was a pivotal year in many respects? A number of important events happened that year, and yet it is unlikely to be recognized as significant in most history books. This book offers a different view.
The world in 1795 was profoundly affected by the recent revolutions in America and France. Across the globe, monarchies were facing pressure to transfer power to their nations’ citizens—a concept that some governments embraced and others rejected harshly, forming alliances with one another against countries that adopted more moderate policies. But a revolutionary spirit was sweeping the European continent, and it infused every aspect of life, from politics to religion, from science to art to literature and beyond. Before long, in one way or another, its influence reached almost every part of the world.
It was during this time that a young general named Napoleon Bonaparte met and fell in love with a widow whom he renamed Josephine. It was also in this year that he made a name for himself by ruthlessly dispersing a mob of Royalist insurgents—but not before being struck from the list of general officers less than a month prior for refusing an assignment.
American President George Washington, King Henry III of England, Empress Catherine II of Russia, King Gustav IV of Sweden, Emperor Qianlong of China, King Kamehameha of Hawai’i, Toussaint Louverture, Túpac Amaru II—all of these leaders were making important, world-changing decisions in 1795. Mungo Park was exploring and mapping West Africa. Equiano, a freed slave, was promoting abolition with his stories of cruel treatment at the hands of white men. Warren Hastings was facing bankruptcy after being acquitted in the longest trial in British history. James Squire was opening the first distillery on the Australian continent. The Silk Road became less important as ports opened in places like China, although Japan maintained a policy of isolationism. Native American tribes like the Mandans and the Yosemites also remained relatively untouched by outside influence.
Authors like Thomas Paine, William Blake, and the Marquis de Sade were writing with a revolutionary freedom that also appeared in the art of Francisco Goya, John Trumbull, and Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun. That freedom was also evident in the music of composers like Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven, both of whom achieved critical career milestones in 1795.
Presented in a month-by-month format segmented into individual days, this book gives readers a multicultural, global view of the year 1795 that illustrates how quickly and dramatically the world can change through both the actions of individuals and the collective power of a worldwide revolution in thought.