- Fueled by steam, the Industrial Revolution begins in Britain and spreads throughout Western Europe and North America.
- Jane Austen is born on December 16 in the village of Steventon, Hampshire, England.
- The U.S. declares independence from Great Britain.
- James Watt patents the double-acting steam engine.
- The first issue of the Daily Universal Register, later renamed The Times, is published in London.
- Jane Austen writes her Juvenilia.
- The first ship of convicts leaves Britain to establish a penal colony in Botany Bay, Australia.
- The French Revolution begins.
- Mary Wollstonecraft publishes A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
- William Murdock invents gas lighting.
- Marie Antoinette is guillotined.
- Edward Jenner introduces the smallpox vaccine.
- The Bank of England issues the first one pound note.
- Napoleon Bonaparte seizes power in France.
- Britain and Ireland are joined as the United Kingdom.
- Joseph Marie Jacquard develops an automatic loom capable of weaving intricate patterns by means of punched cards.
- Britain enters the Napoleonic Wars.
- The world population reaches 1 billion.
- Richard Trevithick builds the first steam powered locomotive to run on rails.
- Napoleon crowns himself Emperor of France.
- Napoleon’s planned invasion of England is defeated when Lord Nelson defeats the combined French and Spanish fleet at Trafalgar.
- Britain remains the world’s leading naval power until the 20th century.
- The slave trade is abolished within the British Empire.
- Robert Fulton builds the first commercially successful steamboat.
- Sense and Sensibility is published.
- The British Parliament appoints George, Prince of Wales, Regent when his father, King George III, is declared insane.
- English workers riot, destroying machinery which they hold responsible for their unemployment and low wages.
- Pride and Prejudice is published.
- Mansfield Park is published.
- Emma is published.
- Napoleon is defeated at the Battle of Waterloo.
- Jane Austen dies in Winchester, Hampshire, England, leaving Sanditon unfinished.
- Northanger Abbey and Persuasion are published posthumously.
- Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Edited with an introduction and notes by Vivien Jones, with the original Penguin Classic Introduction by Tony Tanner. Penguin Books, 2003.
Content last updated: October 31, 2005