What Events Took Place During the Classical Period?

The Classical, or Baroque, period in Europe, which lasted from 1775 to 1825, was a time of musical, artistic and literary innovation, seeing Wolfgang Mozart’s rise to fame and sudden death, Ludvig van Beethoven’s arrival in Vienna and declarations from thinkers, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire upon the sovereignty of the individual. It was also a time for radical political uprisings in France and the United States.

The events of the French Revolution took place between 1789 and 1799. It was, in part, a public response to King Louis XVI’s system of taxation, which exempted the nobility and clergy from paying anything at all. The public were also dissatisfied with their disproportionate representation in governing the country. Although the general public were only the third of three “estates,” alongside the clergy and nobility, they were nevertheless the largest estate and demanded more power.

As a result, the “Third Estate” took to arms under the new name of the National Assembly, and eventually orchestrated the trial and execution of King Louis XVI.

The American Revolution was greatly influenced by the political changes in France. While some politicians were suspicious, seeking to maintain trading ties with Britain, others were in favor of the developments in France, seeing the country as a potential ally against the British monarchy.