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Top 60 persons of the 18th Century

Enter an answer into the box. A somewhat arbitrary list of important persons in the 18th century. Some monarchs need to be identified by their first name and Roman numeral.
Last updated: January 01, 2016
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US Senator, Jefferson's VP, killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel
Aaron Burr
British Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer during the Napoleonic era, generally regarded as one of the best PMs
William Pitt the Younger
German princess, ruled Russia by usurping her husband, expanded and modernized Russia. Had an affair with a Polish noble who she made king of Poland.
Catherine the Great
Began as Duke of Parma, then King of Naples and Sicily and then finally as the King of Spain, unified and centralized Spanish governance, curtailed the Inquisition and the Jesuits
Charles III
Wrote the Social Contract, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Emile, etc. French Enlightenment figure. Left his children in an orphanage.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
French Enlightenment thinker and satirist. Wrote Candide.
Voltaire
The Wealth of Nations, Theory of Moral Sentiments. Those who quote the former to support capitalism should read the latter before citing this Scottish author.
Adam Smith
Writer, newspaper editor, ambassador to France, US founding father, scientist
Benjamin Franklin
Inventor of the cotton gin
Eli Whitney
English-American radical and revolutionary, author of Common Sense
Thomas Paine
Child prodigy who died at the age of 35 but managed to compose over 600 symphonies, operas, etc
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Prior to becoming the Russian Tsar, he worked in a Dutch shipyard. Modernized the Russian state and established St Petersburg as a window to the West.
Peter the Great
The father of immunology, he developed the first small pox vaccine
Edward Jenner
An important figure in the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, he was eventually executed.
Maximillen Robespierre
Swiss mathematician and physicist who spent most of career in St Petersburg and Berlin. Made several important discoveries in calculus and geometry
Leonhard Euler
First president of the United States
George Washington
His Critique of Pure Reason was an attempt to refute the skepticism of David Hume. Residents of Konigsberg set their clocks according to his daily walk.
Immanuel Kant
Wrote the US Declaration of Independence and was the third US president.
Thomas Jefferson
His invention (or more accurately improvement) of the steam engine kick off the Industrial Revolution
James Watt
HMS Endeavor and Discovery, mapped much of the Pacific Ocean before being killed in Hawaii
Captain James Cook
Perhaps the best skeptical philosopher. He wrote A Treatise of Human Nature
David Hume
Led Sweden during the Great Northern War (1700 - 1721) in which he pillaged his way through central and eastern Europe. In the end he was defeated, Sweden declined as a great power and Prussia and Russia rose to take its place
Charles XII
The first monarch of the new Kingdom of Great Britain (1707) as opposed to a joint monarch of England and Scotland.
Queen Anne
Generally considered the first prime minister of Great Britain serving from 1721 - 1742
Robert Walpole
The Methodist church is founded by these two brothers
John and Charles Wesley
Reigning over 60 years, this emperor expanded China and oversaw a general period of prosperity
Qianlong Emperor
A proponent of enlightened absolutism, he modernized the Prussian state ruling for over 40 years.
Frederick II
Founded the first Saudi state
Mohammed Ibn Saud
Quebec City is conquered by the British. Both French and British commanders die in battle.
Montcalm and Wolfe
Pacific explorer finishes charting the Pacific coastline in North America and Australia. He has several places named after him including a city and an island in Canada
George Vancouver
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Helped lead the Haitian Revolution
Tousssaint L'Ouverture
After assisting in the American Revolution, he returned home to Poland where he was defeated attempting to stop the Second Partition
Tadeusz Kosciuszko
A moderate Jacobin in the French Revolution and was the first President of the Committee of Public Safety. He was guillotined in 1794
Georges Danton
Through a palace coup he became the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and ended a period of modernizaiton and starting the long period of stagnation and decline.
Mahmud I
German composer and organist
Johan Sebastian Bach
Famed violin maker
Antonio Stradivari
Spanish painter, known as the last of the masters and the first of the moderns
Francisco Goya
Founding writer of German Romanticism, he is best know for The Sorrow of Young Werther and Faust.
JohannWolfgang von Goethe
English writer and journalist best know for Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe
English essayists, biographer, critic and poet.
Samuel Johnson
Anglo-Irish satirist, literary critic and political writer best known for Gulliver's Travels
Jonathan Swift
Anglo-Irish bishop and philosopher who argued for Idealism as opposed to the empiricism of John Locke.
George Berkely
Widely viewed as the founding political philosopher of modern conservatism, he was an Anglo-Irish statesmen who supported the American Revolution
Edmund Burke
American revivalist preacher and Puritan theologian
Jonathan Edwards
Islamic scholar and revivalist preacher who claimed to return Islam to its original state. Began a power sharing arrangement with the Saud family that continues today in Saudi Arabia where his version of Islam is supported by the monarchy.
Muhammad ibn Add al-Wahhab
Inventor of the electrical battery
Alessandro Volta
Swedish astronomer who proposed the most commonly used temperature scale that bears his name
Anders Celsius
Developed the mercury thermometer and a temperature scale now considered dated and used mostly in the US.
Daniel Fahrenheit
French scientist commonly referred to as the father of modern chemistry
Antoine Lavoisier
Swedish botanist who developed modern taxonomy
Carl Linnaeus
Published An Essay on the Principle of Population suggesting population growth would lead to poverty.
Thomas Malthus
Danish explorer working for Russia explored Alaska. Bodies of water, land, and a glacier were named after him.
Vitus Bering
Created the spinning jenny helping to start the Industrial Revolution
James Hargreaves
English chemist and theologian usually credited with the discovery of oxygen and the development of laughing gas or nitrous oxide
Joseph Priestly
Wrote The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon
English slave trader who after undergoing a Christian conversion wrote Amazing Grace
John Newton
English writer and advocate for women's rights best known for writing A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Mary Wollstonecraft
One of the great Baroque composers best known for the violin piece The Four Seasons
Antonio Vivaldi
German Baroque composer best known for the Messiah
George Frideric Handel
British scientist known for the discovery of hydrogen, a theory of heat and developed an experiment to measure the density of the earth.
Henry Cavendish
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