In 1660, Parliament restored King Charles II to the throne.
In 1665 the Great Plague killed about 70,000 people in England.
In 1666, The Great Fire of London destroyed 13,000 houses, and 89 parish churches.
In 1688, King James II lost the throne to King William III, and Queen Mary II.
England became known as Great Britain after the Act of Union, in 1707, joined Scotland to England and Wales.

Clothing of 18th Century

Clothing- Men wore ornate coats made of velvet, silk, or satin. They often carried a sword at their side and a cane under their arm. Women wore high-wigs with curls above their forehead. They also wore frilled skirts, stretched with hoops around the waist.
Over time, fashionable clothing changed from skirts to tight-fitting coats for women. Men began to wear pantaloons, or striped silks for dressy occasions. Men also started to wear their hair longer, and dressed more carelessly than before. They also stopped carrying swords, and took umbrellas in their place.

Daily Life
The wealthy elite hunted on their private land, while the lower classes often poached. They hunted rabbits, otters, foxes and birds. Muskets were their weapon of choice to murder those innocent, adorable little animals.

Written newspapers had replaced the news letter by mid century. This acted as a major form of advertisement which promoted poetry, comedy, and the newest gossip. Newspapers became popular very quickly so circulation was limited.

Industrial Revolution/Inventions

Music and Art

Eighteenth-century British painters used the word
“conversation” to describe informal group portraits
as well as imaginary views of daily life now
called genre scenes. Conversation pieces
referred to pictures commissioned by families or friends
to portray them sharing common activities such as hunts,
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach

meals, or musical parties.

During the 1600-1750 time period, Boroque was the Musical Epoch
used in the first half of the Enlightenment and Restoration Period.
Boroque, first used in French, derives from a Portuguese word
meaning a pearl of irregular shape. Initially it was used to imply strangeness,
irregularity and extravagance. This style of music emphasizes on contrast.

Classical music flourished in the late 18th century in the hands of
Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Among its musical characteristics
are the use of dynamics and orchestral color in a thematic way.
The use of rhythm, including periodic structure and harmonic rhythm,
to give definition to large-scale forms, along with the use of
modulation to build longer spans of tension and release
(most of the music is cast in sonata form or closely related forms);
and the witty, typically Austrian mixture of comic (light and cheerful)
and serious (dark and intense) strains. It is no coincidence
that this period was one of keen interest in classical antiquity.

Charity Schools were founded all over England. The purpose of these schools was to educate poor children in reading, writing, moral discipline, and principles of the Church of England. These schools were much needed because the state did not do anything to educate the poor population. For the lower class, education was not as bad for the women as it was for the men. Young girls had the least amount of education above everybody else because they had to stay home and learn from their mothers how to read, write, and sew, while simultaneously helping around the household.

Science & Philosophy
The Age of Enlightenment received the nickname "Age of Reason" because it was a time period where reason and natural law were emphasized by revealing truth and tradition. This new concept caused a lot of scientists and thinkers to challenge the basic ideas of the church to a point where they replaced divine intervention with truth and reason. Sir Isaac Newton was one of the first people to do so by studying the Universe and discovering how it operates. He published his findings in 1687 in his book, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.

Philosophers Francis Bacon and Rene Descarte expanded on the scientific method by realizing that truth must be discovered through observations and experimentation combined with human reason. Bacon and Descarte believed that knowledge of truth would lead to a better world.

The Enlightenment era also gave way to one of the most famous philosophes of all time - John Locke. Locke had many beliefs and views on people and government. In his "Essay Concerning Human Understanding" Locke stated that all men were created equal from birth and that man was affected by education and his environment. In 1690, Locke's "Two Treaties of Government" mentioned how all men are naturally free, equal, and independent; that each individual is entitled to his or her God-given rights which are life, liberty, and property. Along with John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, another great philosopher of the time period, shared similar and different views regarding the nature of man and the function of government. While Locke believed that everyone was equal from birth and should automatically be given freedom, Hobbes believed that people were better off living under a monarchy than being free. Locke believed in a constitutional monarchy where all people should have a say in their government. On the other hand, Hobbes believed that people should not have a say in their government, but only one person is granted sovereign power. As far as similarities go, both believed that the main function of government should be to protect the people and to preserve peace, safety, and the public good. Both also agreed that government originated from the people.

Other famous philosophes such as Voltaire shared his views on religion and how it kept masses of people in check and safe from their own stupidity and greed. Baron de Montesquieu's views on government share some similarities with our modern government. For example, he believed in a three-branch government made up of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. He also strongly believed in checks and balances - which gave each branch power over the others to prevent one from gaining all the power - separation of powers, and judicial review. Montesquieu unknowingly contributed to the framework for the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

Jean-Jacque Rousseau expressed his ideas on government through his Social Contract where he states that rulers have to protect the rights and happiness of the people. Rousseau also stressed the importance of education along with patience and understanding. He thought that humans were born completely self sufficient and self governing.

Adam Smith expressed his views on economics through "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" in 1776. He explains how if the economy was free of regulation then it would be able to function according to the laws of economics.

Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the great female philosophers, pushed for women's rights and encouraged women to stand up for themselves. She strongly believed that men AND women should have equal rights.

The ideas of the Enlightenment were spread and preserved by Denis Diderot's Encyclopedia which contained 28 volumes of textual and illustrative material. Diderot was the chief editor of the encyclopedia and he wanted to secularize learning. He believed that human improvement was understanding the natural world through science and technology. Diderot even influenced Charles Darwin's future theories regarding the means of evolution.

As Diderot spread Enlightenment ideas thru paper, Salons helped spread the ideas of the Enlightenment through word of mouth. Salons were basically just large social gatherings hosted by upper-middle class women. Philosophes were often invited to this big dinner parties where they would talk and converse with one another thereby spreading their ideas orally. The secondary role of salons was to advertise and promote the Arts such as plays and poetry.


The Test Act, passed in 1673, was aimed to keep English Roman Catholics and Nonconformists from public offices.
The Popish Plot was a finctional conspiracy created by a man named Titus Oates in 1678. Oates spread the rumor that there was a Jesuit plot to replace King Charles II with his brother James, who was a Roman Catholic. The rumor caused a huge uproar, and many Roman Catholics were arrested falsely. Eventually Oates was discredited, and the Plot was shown to be a lie, but still, this period of instability led to the creation of two new political parties in England, the Whigs and the Tories. Also, it was during the Popish Plot the Jonathan Swift did some of his best work.
In 1687, James II issued the "Declaration of Liberty of Conscience", which extended religious tolerance to all religions.

A majority of the nation were actively and passively Christian. Religious Socities inside the Church of England were comprised of groups of young men who came together to strengthen each other in religious life and faith. Their main objectives were to promote Christian life in people and families by encouraging church attendance, family prayers, and Bible study. Cheap Bible and prayer books were also manufactured so that the poor could afford them.

The architecture of the Restoration period is considered by many to be the most beautiful of all. It was characterized by the transformation of buildings from a gloomy, Tudor Gothic style, to the lighter, more spacious, and more comfortable "Queen Anne" mansion, which originated in Italy.
One of the most famous architects in England during the restoration period was Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723). After the Great Fire of London in 1666, in which 89 churches were destroyed, Wren redesigned all or part of 55 of the churches. The most famous church he redesigned was Saint Paul's Cathedral, completed in 1710. Sir Christopher Wren was also one of the founding members of the Royal Society in 1660.
Sir Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren
Saint Paul's Cathedral
Saint Paul's Cathedral

Printing and publishing books became very popular during this time period due to the Censorship and Liscensing Acts. These acts removed restrictions on the number of printing presses a town could have. Once these acts were passed, printing and publishing increased significantly as well as the quantity of printing presses in major areas. Printing during this era was described as a beautiful art, less fanciful than the Elizabethan era and less mechanically correct than the Victorian era, but in a sense superior to both.

One of the most famous authors of the Restoration and Enlightenment period was Samuel Pepys (1633-1703). Pepys wrote vivid, and detailed accounts of the Restoration time period in his diary. He wrote about his daily life as he was a young clerk in the navy. Pepys wrote also of important events such as the restoration of the king, the Great Fire, the Great Plague, and the naval war between Britain and the netherlands. Samuel Pepys wrote the "Diary", until his vision started to fail. The unabriged version of his "Diary" was published in in nine volumes from 1970 to 1976.

John Dryden (1631-1700) was considered the premier English author during the Restoration. He was famous for his plays, poems, and literary criticisms. Considered perhaps his most famous play was "All for Love", (1677), which was his adaptation of Shakespeare's play "Antony and Cleopatra". In 1668, Dryden was given the position of poet laureate, and was made royal historiographer in 1670. After King James II lost the throne to King William III and Queen Mary II, Dryden refused to swear his allegiance to the new rulers. As a result he was stripped of his government positions. Although he still wrote a few plays, much of his time was spent translating other famous works such as "Virgil" (1697). His most famous poem of the period was "Alexander's Feast" (1697). On May 1, 1700, John Dryden passed away.

Jonathan Swift was born in Ireland in 1667, of English parents. Swift was one of the most important, and well-known writers of the Restoration, and has often been compared with Daniel Defoe. After Swift graduated from college, he moved to England, where he wrote his first books, "A Tale of a Tub,"and "The Battle of the Books". Soon Swift became involved with the new political party, the Whig party. Queen Anne recognized his political work, and so she made him head clergyman of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. It was here thatSwift wrote his masterpiece, and best known work, "Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World", or commonly known as, "Gulliver's Travels". "Gulliver's Travels", is a book that is loved by all ages. Children loved it for the humor, and strange lands and people that Gulliver runs into, such as the Lilliputians, and land of people who are only one-half the hieght of regular people. Adults, found the book eery, and upsetting, because of how it reflected there own world. As Jonathan Swift began to grow older he started to lose his mind. He became angry, hostile, was losing his memory, and was becomeing deaf. Swift also suffered from labyrinthine vertigo. In his final days Swift couldn't even move, or speak. It has been said that once his mind was completely gone, his servants would take money for allowing people to come in and just stare at him. Jonathan swift finally died in 1745.


Charles II Ruler of England
It was this time in English history that you see the return of the Royal family to the throne. Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protectorate, took over the throne of England, from Charles I. But his son, Richard, failed to be a good leader. The country was threatened with civil war, and General George Monck led parliament to restore Charles II to his rightful spot on the English throne.

The Revolution of 1688, also known as the Glorious Revolution was the point at which the main control of England's government was transferred from King James II to William III and Mary II. During this process Parliament's right to control the succession of the throne was established, and the power of the monarchy decreased.

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