World History 1798

About the history of the world in 1798, Napleon continues to wage war on England, Horatio Nelson wins the Battle of the Nile.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1798

Thomas Robert Malthus, English economist, anonymously published his Essay on the Principle of Population, which noted that population tends to increase geometrically while food supply increases arithmetically; hence, population will always expand to the subsistence limit, and poverty and misery will be the lot of man-kind. Malthus urged people to use self-restraint or celibacy to limit the number of their children. He advocated bleak and harsh welfare policies to discourage fecundity among the poor.

May 19 With 400 ships, 16,000 sailors, and 34,000 land troops, a French expedition departed for Egypt, from which Napoleon hoped to attack England through its Indian possessions. The English sent a squadron commanded by Horatio Nelson to find and destroy the French fleet, although they did not know its destination.

July 21 On the Nile at Embaba, Napoleon had an impressive victory, called the Battle of the Pyramids, over 78,000 Mamelukes, a cruel warrior caste who had controlled Egypt since the 13th century. The Mamelukes fled, drowned, or were cut down by the French. Napoleon's prestige rose to new heights in France, as did interest in all things Egyptian.

Aug. 1 Adm. Horatio Nelson, in the Battle of the Nile, destroyed the entire French fleet, with the exception of four vessels. The fleet, in a line 2 mi. long, anchored close to shore at Aboukir Bay, east of Alexandria. With shoals on their landward side, all the ships' guns were pointed out to sea; French Admiral Brueys little imagined that the English ships could slip between the fleet and the dangerous shoals. But that is what Nelson's squadron did, picking off one French ship after another on the undefended landward side. Nelson's victory ended Napoleon's hopes of vast Eastern conquest.

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