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Throughout history, there have been men and women who have taken a stand for what they have believed in. From Joan of Arc to Nelson Mandela, these people have taken risks to better their lives and the lives of others in their countries and the world. These people are heroes to some, a dangerous enemy of the state to others.

The 18th century is no exception. There were individuals who took a stand for what was right and proper. They fought for Freedom or Reformation of society around them. All of them where men who saw a need for change and attempted to do something about it. They had their foibles and eccentricity but they helped change the world around them. They made mistakes along the way but learned from them. By reading their writing, their biographies and other material about them, you will gain an understanding as to why they did what they did and how.

You will be able to learn more about them by looking at sites on the Internet that cover their lives and their contributions to history. Each of these men contributed their own unique view and ideas to the fabric of history and each have affected history in such a way that it still affects us today.

The top ten heroes of the 18th century are:

  1. Voltaire

    Voltaire
    This is a short biography of Voltaire with links to other sites about Voltaire.

    Voltaire and Frederick the Great
    Learn about the correspondence between Voltaire and Frederick the Great of Germany at this page.

    Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary
    This is the HTML Version of Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary at the Hanover Web site. This particular page is the table of contents. (English translation)

  2. George Washington
    Washington, George
    From Archiving Early America, read this biography of Washington by David Ramsay, a contemporary of Washington.

    Weems' History of Washington
    Read the biography of Washington according to Mason Locke Weems. Published in Philadelphia by J.B. Lippincott Co. in 1918. It should be noted that you must take this biography with a considerable grain of salt.

  3. John Wesley
    John Wesley: Online Exhibition
    Take a look at this interesting exhibition about John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church from the John Rylands University Library of Manchester's Methodist archives.

    Revival Edwards and Wesley
    This article by Jay Rogers, examines the two men who helped to bring about Christian revival in America and England.

    Sermons by John Wesley
    From the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Web site, take a look at this collection of sermons by John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church and a principle leader of the Great Awakening.

    Methodist Archives and Research Center
    This archive, located in Manchester England, contains resources on the Methodist Church. It includes guides and catalogues to the collection and more information.

  4. Peter the Great
    This is an interesting biography of the Russian Ruler who made Russia a power in European politics. Found on the @{Romanov Genealogy}@ site by Timo Haapanen.

    Peter's Russia
    In this lecture by Dr. Rempel, you learn how the Russian Empire became a major player when Peter took over as Czar. This is a good general survey leading up to Peter's reign.

    Great Northern War
    Read about Peter the Greats involvement in this war of empire.

    Russia's Rulers of the 18th Century
    Read more about Peter the Great and his accomplishments.

  5. Lord Nelson
    Nelson, Lord Horatio
    The England Expects: The Lord Horatio Nelson Site is one of the best sites I have seen that covers one man. It contains articles and new resources on this man. Very comprehensive and informative. This site is a part of the Eastern Counties Network

    Nelson, Horatio
    From the Inter Knowledge site read this biography of Nelson and his adventures in Nevis West Indies.

  6. Jonathon Swift
    Modest Proposal
    This satirical essay by Swift discusses what parents of Ireland could do to make their children less of a burdon on society.

    Jonathan Swift - Gulliver's Travels
    Resources for those interested in Jonathan Swift's book can be found here.

    Jonathan Swift Read this short biography of Swift by Laura MacLeod.

  7. Robert MacGregor
    MacGregor, Robert
    This is a short biography and information page about Rob Roy, The Scottish Highlander who played an important part in the Jacobite Rebellion.         
  8. Adam Smith
    Smith, Adam
    Learn about the founder of modern economics and his ideas from this biography found on the Adam Smith Institute International Divisions Web site.

    Wealth Among Nations
    Adam Smith's book is considered the blueprints of 18th century economic thought.

  9. Blue Jacket
    Bluejacket
    From the Fallen Timbers Archaeological project site, read this biography of the man who led the Indian Nations during the famous battle in 1794.

    Battle Of Fallen Timbers
    Read about the battle and view some artifacts on this site.

    Fallen Timbers Battlefield
    Learn about Fallen Timbers, from the Heidelberg College Archaeological Project.

    The Greenville Treaty
    This is the treaty after the Fallen Timbers battle, in American history. This was one of many battles with the American Indians.

    Indian Wars
    This page contains general information about the Indian wars in America from 1540 to 1890. This page is found on the Skyhawk's Dedication Native American Web site.

  10. James Cook
    Captain Cook Studies Unit
    Learn about Captain Cook and his exploits from this informative site.

    Cook, James
    From the Mariners' Museum Web site, take a look at the life and voyages of James Cook. This site also includes information about his second and final voyages.

    Cook's Final Voyage
    From the Mariners' Museum Web site, take a look at this page about Cook's final voyage to the Pacific. On this voyage he proved that the fabled Northwest Passage did not exist.