1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar, the 1791st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 791st year of the 2nd millennium, the 91st year of the 18th century, and the 2nd year of the 1790s decade. As of the start of 1791, the Gregorian calendar was 11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
|1791 in various calendars|
|Ab urbe condita||2544|
|Balinese saka calendar||1712–1713|
|British Regnal year||31 Geo. 3 – 32 Geo. 3|
|Chinese calendar||庚戌年 (Metal Dog)|
4487 or 4427
— to —
辛亥年 (Metal Pig)
4488 or 4428
|- Vikram Samvat||1847–1848|
|- Shaka Samvat||1712–1713|
|- Kali Yuga||4891–4892|
|Japanese calendar||Kansei 3|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 11 days|
|Minguo calendar||121 before ROC|
|Thai solar calendar||2333–2334|
1917 or 1536 or 764
— to —
1918 or 1537 or 765
Elections to the United States House of Representatives for the 2nd Congress took place in 1790 and 1791, in the middle of President George Washington's first term. While formal political parties still did not exist, coalitions of pro-Washington (pro-Administration) representatives and anti-Administration representatives each gained two seats as a result of the addition of new states to the union. Speaker Frederick Muhlenberg, who had led the Pro-Administrationists in 1789, switched loyalties to the Anti-Administrationists during the tenure of the 1st Congress. He failed to win election to the Speakership as their leader as a result of these elections, and was succeeded by Jonathan Trumbull Jr., who became the 2nd Speaker of the House.1790 and 1791 United States Senate elections
The United States Senate elections of 1790 and 1791 were the second series of elections of Senators in the United States. In these elections, terms were up for the nine Senators in Class 1. As of these elections, formal organized political parties had yet to form in the United States, but two political factions were present: The coalition of Senators who supported President George Washington's administration were known as the Pro-Administration Party, and the Senators against him as the Anti-Administration Party.
As these elections were prior to the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Senators were chosen by State legislatures.1791 United States Senate election in New York
The 1791 United States Senate election in New York was held on January 19, 1791 by the New York State Legislature to elect a U.S. Senator (Class 1) to represent the State of New York in the United States Senate.1791 in Denmark
Events from the year 1791 in Denmark.1791 in France
Events from the year 1791 in France.1791 in Ireland
Events from the year 1791 in Ireland.1791 in Sweden
Events from the year 1791 in SwedenConstitution of 3 May 1791
The Constitution of 3 May 1791 (Polish: Konstytucja 3 Maja, Belarusian: Канстытуцыя 3 мая (official) / 3 траўня (Taraškievica), Lithuanian: Gegužės trečiosios konstitucija listen ) was adopted by the Great Sejm (parliament) of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, a dual monarchy comprising the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Drafted over 32 months beginning on 6 October 1788, and formally adopted as the Government Act (Ustawa rządowa), the legislation was designed to redress the Commonwealth's political defects. The system of Golden Freedoms, also known as the "Nobles' Democracy," had conferred disproportionate rights on the nobility (szlachta) and over time had corrupted politics. The adoption of the Constitution was preceded by a period of agitation for—and gradual introduction of—reforms beginning with the Convocation Sejm of 1764 and the election of Stanisław August Poniatowski as the Commonwealth's last king.
The constitution sought to supplant the prevailing anarchy fostered by some of the country's magnates with a more democratic constitutional monarchy. It introduced elements of political equality between townspeople and nobility, and placed the peasants under the protection of the government, thus mitigating the worst abuses of serfdom. It banned parliamentary institutions such as the liberum veto, which had put the Sejm at the mercy of any deputy, who could unilaterally revoke all the legislation that had been passed by that Sejm. The Commonwealth's neighbours reacted with hostility to the adoption of the constitution. Frederick William II's Kingdom of Prussia broke its alliance with the Commonwealth, which was attacked and then defeated in the War in Defence of the Constitution by an alliance between Catherine the Great's Imperial Russia and the Targowica Confederation of anti-reform Polish magnates and landless nobility. The King, a principal co-author, eventually capitulated to the Confederates.
The constitutional procedures of the 1791 legislation were formally performed, consistently with its Articles I-XI (and their Preamble), for less than 19 months. The constitution's legal force was confirmed by the content of the Proclamation of Polaniec in 1794, referring to the Constitution's Articles (particularly Article IV). The Proclamation of Polaniec is attributable to Tadeusz Kościuszko. It was issued during the Kościuszko Uprising. The Grodno Sejm declared the Constitution of 3 May as annulled, but its legal power to do so was questionable on the basis of Article VI of the Constitution of 3 May, which permitted its cancellation only after 25 years from its enactment. The legal and historians' perceptions of the implications of the enactment of the Constitution in 1791, relating to its legal force, remain undemarcated. By 1795, the Second and Third Partitions of Poland ended the existence of the sovereign Polish state. Over the next 123 years, the Constitution of 3 May 1791, was seen as proof of successful internal reform and as a symbol promising the eventual restoration of Poland's sovereignty. The first draft of the Constitution was developed in secrecy, with contribution of several co-authors, including, among others, the king Stanislaw August Poniatowski, Stanisław Staszic, Scipione Piattoli and potentially Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz. In the words of two of its main co-authors, Ignacy Potocki and Hugo Kołłątaj, it was "the last will and testament of the expiring Country."British historian Norman Davies described the legislation as "the first constitution of its type in Europe". The Constitution of 3 May 1791 was the first to combine the clear division of the executive, legislative and judiciary powers with the monarchic republic legal order. It was drafted in relation to a copy of the U.S. Constitution. However, it does not mean that the Constitution of 3 May was not original. None of the content of the U.S. Constitution Articles was directly paraphrased or otherwise recalled under the Constitution of 3 May. Consistently with the U.S. Constitution, some background features, such as the order of the governmental Articles firstly distinguished the legislative power (Article VI), next the executive power (Article VII), and the judiciary power (Article VIII), with independent judges to be elected in small constituencies. Others have called it the world's second-oldest codified national governmental constitution after the 1787 U.S. Constitution; the U.S. Constitution was the first governmental constitution introducing a clear division of the executive, legislative and judiciary powers, accordingly with the legal and philosophical values influential in the Enlightenment.First Bank of the United States
The President, Directors and Company, of the Bank of the United States, commonly known as the First Bank of the United States, was a national bank, chartered for a term of twenty years, by the United States Congress on February 25, 1791. It followed the Bank of North America, the nation's first de facto central bank.
Establishment of the Bank of the United States was part of a three-part expansion of federal fiscal and monetary power, along with a federal mint and excise taxes, championed by Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton believed a national bank was necessary to stabilize and improve the nation's credit, and to improve handling of the financial business of the United States government under the newly enacted Constitution.
The First Bank building, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, within Independence National Historical Park, was completed in 1797, and is a National Historic Landmark for its historic and architectural significance.French Constitution of 1791
The short-lived French Constitution of 1791 was the first written constitution in France, created after the collapse of the absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime. One of the basic precepts of the revolution was adopting constitutionality and establishing popular sovereignty.Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France (French: Royaume de France) was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and the Hundred Years' War. It was also an early colonial power, with possessions around the world.
France originated as West Francia (Francia Occidentalis), the western half of the Carolingian Empire, with the Treaty of Verdun (843). A branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until 987, when Hugh Capet was elected king and founded the Capetian dynasty. The territory remained known as Francia and its ruler as rex Francorum ("king of the Franks") well into the High Middle Ages. The first king calling himself Roi de France ("King of France") was Philip II, in 1190. France continued to be ruled by the Capetians and their cadet lines—the Valois and Bourbon—until the monarchy was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution.
France in the Middle Ages was a de-centralised, feudal monarchy. In Brittany and Catalonia (now a part of Spain) the authority of the French king was barely felt. Lorraine and Provence were states of the Holy Roman Empire and not yet a part of France. Initially, West Frankish kings were elected by the secular and ecclesiastic magnates, but the regular coronation of the eldest son of the reigning king during his father's lifetime established the principle of male primogeniture, which became codified in the Salic law. During the Late Middle Ages, the Kings of England laid claim to the French throne, resulting in a series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453). Subsequently, France sought to extend its influence into Italy, but was defeated by Spain in the ensuing Italian Wars (1494–1559).
France in the early modern era was increasingly centralised; the French language began to displace other languages from official use, and the monarch expanded his absolute power, albeit in an administrative system (the Ancien Régime) complicated by historic and regional irregularities in taxation, legal, judicial, and ecclesiastic divisions, and local prerogatives. Religiously France became divided between the Catholic majority and a Protestant minority, the Huguenots, which led to a series of civil wars, the Wars of Religion (1562–1598). France laid claim to large stretches of North America, known collectively as New France. Wars with Great Britain led to the loss of much of this territory by 1763. French intervention in the American Revolutionary War helped secure the independence of the new United States of America but was costly and achieved little for France.
The Kingdom of France adopted a written constitution in 1791, but the Kingdom was abolished a year later and replaced with the First French Republic. The monarchy was restored by the other great powers in 1814 and lasted (except for the Hundred Days in 1815) until the French Revolution of 1848.Lower Canada
The Province of Lower Canada (French: province du Bas-Canada) was a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River and the shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence (1791–1841). It covered the southern portion of the current-day Province of Quebec, Canada, and the Labrador region of the modern-day Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (until the Labrador region was transferred to Newfoundland in 1809).Lower Canada consisted of part of the former colony of Canada of New France, conquered by Great Britain in the Seven Years' War ending in 1763 (also called the French and Indian War in the United States.) Other parts of New France conquered by Britain became the Colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.
The Province of Lower Canada was created by the "Constitutional Act of 1791" from the partition of the British colony of the Province of Quebec (1763–91) into the Province of Lower Canada and the Province of Upper Canada. The prefix "lower" in its name refers to its geographic position farther downriver from the headwaters of the St. Lawrence River than its contemporary Upper Canada, present-day southern Ontario.
The colony/province was abolished in 1841 when it and adjacent Upper Canada were united into the Province of Canada.National Legislative Assembly (France)
The Legislative Assembly (French: Assemblée législative) was the legislature of France from 1 October 1791 to 20 September 1792 during the years of the French Revolution. It provided the focus of political debate and revolutionary law-making between the periods of the National Constituent Assembly and of the National Convention.Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth – formally, the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland – was a dual state, a bi-confederation of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch, who was both King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. It was one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th– to 17th-century Europe. At its largest territorial extent, in the early 17th century, the Commonwealth covered almost 400,000 square miles (1,000,000 km2) and sustained a multi-ethnic population of 11 million.The Commonwealth was established by the Union of Lublin in July 1569, but the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania had been in a de facto personal union since 1386 with the marriage of the Polish queen Hedwig and Lithuania's Grand Duke Jogaila, who was crowned King jure uxoris Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland. The First Partition of Poland in 1772 and the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 greatly reduced the state's size and the Commonwealth collapsed as an independent state following the Third Partition of Poland in 1795.
The Union possessed many features unique among contemporary states. Its political system was characterized by strict checks upon monarchical power. These checks were enacted by a legislature (sejm) controlled by the nobility (szlachta). This idiosyncratic system was a precursor to modern concepts of democracy, constitutional monarchy, and federation. Although the two component states of the Commonwealth were formally equal, Poland was the dominant partner in the union.The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was marked by high levels of ethnic diversity and by relative religious tolerance, guaranteed by the Warsaw Confederation Act 1573; however, the degree of religious freedom varied over time. The Constitution of 1791 acknowledged Catholicism as the "dominant religion", unlike the Warsaw Confederation, but freedom of religion was still granted with it.After several decades of prosperity, it entered a period of protracted political, military and economic decline. Its growing weakness led to its partitioning among its neighbors (Austria, Prussia and the Russian Empire) during the late 18th century. Shortly before its demise, the Commonwealth adopted a massive reform effort and enacted the May 3 Constitution—the first codified constitution in modern European history and the second in modern world history (after the United States Constitution).Province of Quebec (1763–1791)
The Province of Quebec was a colony in North America created by Great Britain after the Seven Years' War. During the war, Great Britain's forces conquered French Canada. As part of terms of the Treaty of Paris peace settlement, France gave up its claim to Canada and negotiated to keep the small but rich sugar island of Guadeloupe instead. By Britain's Royal Proclamation of 1763, Canada (part of New France) was renamed the Province of Quebec. The new British province extended from the coast of Labrador on the Atlantic Ocean, southwest through the Saint Lawrence River Valley to the Great Lakes and beyond to the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Portions of its southwest (below the Great Lakes) were later ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Paris (1783) at the conclusion of the American Revolution although the British maintained a military presence there until 1796. In 1791, the territory north of the Great Lakes was divided into Lower Canada and Upper Canada.The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its sister papers The Guardian and The Guardian Weekly, whose parent company Guardian Media Group Limited acquired it in 1993, it takes a social liberal or social democratic line on most issues. First published in 1791, it is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.Upper Canada
The Province of Upper Canada (French: province du Haut-Canada) was a part of British Canada established in 1791 by the Kingdom of Great Britain, to govern the central third of the lands in British North America, formerly part of the Province of Quebec since 1763. Upper Canada included all of modern-day Southern Ontario and all those areas of Northern Ontario in the Pays d'en Haut which had formed part of New France, essentially the watersheds of the Ottawa River or Lakes Huron and Superior, excluding any lands within the watershed of Hudson Bay. The "upper" prefix in the name reflects its geographic position along the Great Lakes, mostly above the headwaters of the Saint Lawrence River, contrasted with Lower Canada (present-day Quebec) to the northeast.
It was the primary destination of Loyalist refugees and settlers from the United States after the American Revolution, who often were granted land to settle in Upper Canada. The province was characterized by its British way of life, including bicameral parliament and civil and criminal law not mixed like in Lower Canada or elsewhere in the British Empire. The division was created to ensure the exercise of the same rights and privileges enjoyed by loyal subjects elsewhere in the North American colonies. In 1812, war broke out between Great Britain and the United States, leading to several battles in Upper Canada. The US had hoped to capture Upper Canada, but the war ended with the situation unchanged.
The government of the colony came to be dominated by a small group of persons, known as the "Family Compact", who held most of the top positions in the Legislative Council and appointed officials. In 1837, an unsuccessful rebellion attempted to overthrow the undemocratic system. Representative government would be established in the 1840s. Upper Canada existed from its establishment on 26 December 1791 to 10 February 1841 when it was united with adjacent Lower Canada to form the Province of Canada.Vermont Republic
The Vermont Republic is a term used by historians to refer to the government of Vermont that existed from 1777 to 1791. In January 1777, delegates from 28 towns met and declared independence from the jurisdictions and land claims both of the British colony of Quebec and of the American states of New Hampshire and New York. They also abolished adult slavery within their boundaries. Many people in Vermont took part in the American Revolution, although the Continental Congress did not recognize the jurisdiction as independent. Because of vehement objections from New York, which had conflicting property claims, the Continental Congress declined to recognize Vermont, then known as the New Hampshire Grants. Vermont's overtures to join the Province of Quebec were accepted by the British, offering generous terms for the Republic's reunion. When the main British army surrendered in 1781, however, American independence became apparent. Vermont, now surrounded on three sides by American territory, rejected the British overtures and instead negotiated terms to enter the United States. In 1791, Vermont officially joined the United States as the 14th state.Vermont coined a currency called Vermont coppers from a mint operated by Reuben Harmon in East Rupert (1785–1788), and operated a postal system. While the Vermont coppers bore the legend Vermontis. Res. Publica (Latin for "Republic of Vermont"), the constitution and other official documents used the term "State of Vermont". It referred to its chief executive as a "governor". The 1777 constitution refers to Vermont variously: the third paragraph of the preamble, for example, mentions "the State of Vermont", and in the preamble's last paragraph, the constitution refers to itself as "the Constitution of the Commonwealth".The historian Frederic F. van de Water called the Vermont Republic the "reluctant republic" because many early citizens favored political union with the United States rather than full independence. Both popular opinion and the legal construction of the government made clear that the independent State of Vermont would eventually join the original 13 states. While the Continental Congress did not allow a seat for Vermont, Vermont engaged William Samuel Johnson, representing Connecticut, to promote its interests. In 1785 the Vermont General Assembly granted Johnson title to the former King's College Tract as a form of compensation for representing Vermont.Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the classical era.
Born in Salzburg, Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his early death at the age of 35. The circumstances of his death have been much mythologized.
He composed more than 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and his influence is profound on subsequent Western art music. Ludwig van Beethoven composed his own early works in the shadow of Mozart, and Joseph Haydn wrote: "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years".