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The 1700s decade ran from January 1, 1700, to December 31, 1709.
- January 1 – Protestant Western Europe, except England, starts using the Gregorian calendar.
- January 1 (Julian) – The Tsardom of Russia begins numbering its calendar from the birth of Christ (Anno Domini), instead of since the Creation (Anno Mundi).
- January 26 – At approximately 9 p.m., the Cascadia earthquake occurs, with an estimated moment magnitude of 8.7–9.2. This megathrust earthquake ruptures about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of the Cascadia Subduction Zone and causes a tsunami, that strikes the coast of Japan approximately 10 hours later.
- February 3 – The 'Lesser Great Fire' destroys a substantial part of central Edinburgh, Scotland.
- February 12 – The Great Northern War begins with a joint invasion of Swedish territory in Germany and Latvia, by Denmark and Poland/Saxony. Sweden has control of the Baltic Sea and holds territory that includes Finland, Estonia, Latvia and parts of northern Germany. To challenge its power, an alliance is formed between Tsar Peter I of Russia, King Frederick IV of Denmark and Augustus II the Strong, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony. Sweden's ruler is the militaristic Charles XII, known as the "Swedish Meteor".
- February 27 – The island of New Britain is discovered by William Dampier, in the western Pacific.
- March 1 (Gregorian) – Protestant Germany and Denmark–Norway adopt the Gregorian calendar.
- March 1 (Swedish), March 11 (Gregorian), February 29 (Julian) – The Swedish calendar is adopted.
- March 3 - Shivaji II acceded to the throne of Maratha Empire as 4th Chhatrapati after his father's Rajaram I's death.
- March – William Congreve's comedy The Way of the World is first performed in London.
- March 25 – The Treaty of London is signed between France, England and Holland.
- April – Fire destroys many buildings in Gondar, the capital of Ethiopia, including two in the palace complex.
- May – In Rhode Island (American colony), Walter Clarke, three term former Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is elected deputy governor for the second time, serving under his brother-in-law Samuel Cranston.
- May 5
- June – Massachusetts, then New York, passes similar laws that order all Roman Catholic priests to leave their colony; otherwise, after three months, their penalty will be life imprisonment or execution.
- July 11 – The Prussian Academy of Sciences is founded, with Gottfried Leibniz as president.
- Summer – Charles XII of Sweden counter-attacks his enemies by invading Zealand (Denmark), assisted by an Anglo-Dutch naval squadron under Sir George Rooke, rapidly compelling the Danes to submit to peace.
- July 30 - Eleven-year-old Prince William, Duke of Gloucester died at Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire.
- August 18 (August 7 O.S.) – The Peace of Travendal is concluded between the Swedish Empire, Denmark–Norway and Holstein-Gottorp in Traventhal. On the same day, Augustus II, King of Poland, and Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia, enter the war against Sweden.
- Late summer – A Russian army invades Swedish Estonia, and besieges the town of Narva.
- November 1 – Charles II, the last Spanish king of the House of Habsburg, dies insane at the Royal Alcazar of Madrid (aged 38), leaving no children.
- November 15 – Louis XIV accepts the Spanish crown on behalf of his grandson Philip of Anjou, who becomes Philip V of Spain (to 1746), thus triggering the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714).
- November 18 – Lithuanian Civil War – Battle of Olkieniki: The anti-Sapieha coalition is victorious.
- November 23 – Pope Clement XI succeeds Pope Innocent XII, as the 243rd pope.
- November 30 (November 19 O.S.; November 20 Swedish calendar) – Battle of Narva, Estonia: Having led his army of 8,000 on a forced march from Denmark to Estonia, Charles XII of Sweden routs the huge Russian army.
- December 28 – Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester, is appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
- Mission San Xavier del Bac is founded in New Spain near Tucson, as a Spanish Roman Catholic mission. The mission's location had first been scouted by the Spanish in 1692 according to most historians.
- An inventory made for the Medici family of Florence is the first documentary evidence for a piano, invented by their instrument keeper Bartolomeo Cristofori.
- An English translation of the novel Don Quixote, "translated from the original by many hands and published by Peter Motteux", begins publication in London. While popular among readers, it will eventually come to be known as one of the worst translations of the novel, totally betraying the spirit of Miguel de Cervantes's masterpiece.
- The value of sales of English manufactured products to the Atlantic economy is £3.9 million.
- January 12 – Parts of the Netherlands adopt the Gregorian calendar.
- January 18 – The electorate of Brandenburg-Prussia becomes the Kingdom of Prussia, as Elector Frederick III is proclaimed King Frederick I. Prussia remains part of the Holy Roman Empire. It consists of Brandenburg, Pomerania and East Prussia. Berlin is the capital.
- January 28 – The Chinese storm Dartsedo.
- January – Robert Walpole enters the Parliament of England, and soon makes his name as a spokesman for Whig policy.
- March 8 – Mecklenburg-Strelitz is created as a north German duchy.
- March 9 – Safavid troops retreat from Basra, ending a three year occupation.
- March – The War of the Spanish Succession begins. It is an international retaliation against Louis XIV’s acceptance in 1700 of the Spanish crown on behalf of his grandson Philip of Anjou, who became Philip V, first Bourbon king of Spain. Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor forms the Grand Alliance with Great Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Savoy and Prussia. Louis XIV allies France with Spain and Bavaria.
- April 21 – In Japan, the young daimyō Asano Naganori is ordered to commit seppuku (ritual suicide). A group of 47 samurai of his service begin planning to avenge his death.
- May 23 – After being convicted of murdering William Moore, and for piracy, Captain William Kidd is hanged in London.
- June 24 – The Act of Settlement 1701 is passed by the Parliament of England, to exclude the Catholic Stuarts from the British monarchy. Under its terms, King William III, childless, will be succeeded by Queen Mary II's sister Princess Anne and her descendants. If Anne should have no descendants, she will be succeeded by Sophia of Hanover and her descendants (hence the Hanoverian Succession in 1714).
- July 9 – Crossing of the Düna: Following his victories over Denmark and Russia in 1700, Charles XII of Sweden escalates the conflict in the Great Northern War by an invasion of Poland. The Swedish defeat the army of Saxony (then in personal union with Poland) at the River Dvina.
- July 24 – A French emporium named Fort Ponchartrain is founded (later to become Detroit).
- August 4 – The Great Peace of Montreal is signed, ending 100 years of war between the Iroquois Confederacy and New France, and its Huron and Algonquian allies. Formerly allied with the English, the treaty assures the Iroquois will be neutral, if France and England ever resume hostilities.
- September 16 – Deposed King James II of England (James VII of Scotland) dies in exile, at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye in France. His supporters, the Jacobites, turn to his son James Francis Edward Stuart (later called "The Old Pretender"), whom they recognise as James VIII and III. Louis XIV of France, the Papal States and Spain also recognise him as the rightful heir.
- October 9 – The Collegiate School of Connecticut (later renamed Yale University) is chartered in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
- English agriculturalist Jethro Tull invents a drill for planting seeds in rows.
- The Philharmonic Society (Academia Philharmonicorum) is established in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
- January 2 – A total solar eclipse is visible from the southern Pacific Ocean.
- January 12 – In North America, ships from Fort Maurepas arrive at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff, to build Fort Louis de la Mobile (future Mobile, Alabama), to become the capital of French Louisiana.
- March 8 (O.S.) – William III of England dies of complications following a fall from his horse on February 20; his sister-in-law, Princess Anne Stuart, becomes Queen Anne of England, Scotland and Ireland. Anne is the mother of 17 children by her husband, Prince George of Denmark and Norway, but none will survive childhood, and she will die without an heir, to enable the Hanoverian Succession. The States General of the Netherlands do not appoint a new stadtholder, and so the Dutch Republic becomes a true republic again.
- March 11 (O.S.) – The first regular English-language national newspaper, The Daily Courant, is published for the first time on Fleet Street, in the City of London; it covers only foreign news.
- March 14 – An earthquake in the middle of the Calore valley, east of Benevento kills 400 people.
- March 24 – Battle of Darsūniškis: The Swedish army of about 240 men, under the command of Alexander Hummerhielm, is defeated by the Polish–Saxon army of 6,000 men, under Michał Serwacy Wiśniowiecki.
- April 3 – The ship East Indiaman (Dutch East India Company) strikes rocks and sinks in Saldanha Bay off Jutten Island, Africa with the loss of 101 of the 200 people on board.
- April 14 – Volcanic eruption of Changbaishan volcano (also known as Paektu Mountain) takes place.
- April 20 – Comet C/1702 H1 is discovered and passes within 0.0435 AU of the earth.
- April 24 – The first two missionaries from the United Society Partners in the Gospel (USPG) set sail from England to North America.
- May – Warsaw is conquered by Charles XII of Sweden.
- May 5 – Globular cluster Messier 5 (M5, NGC 5904) is discovered by Gottfried Kirch and his wife Maria Margarethe.
- May 6 – Cloudesley Shovell is promoted to full admiral in the English navy.
- May 14 (N.S.) – War of the Spanish Succession: War is declared on France by the Grand Alliance (Kingdom of England, Dutch Republic and Holy Roman Empire).
- May 16 – Much of the city of Uppsala, Sweden is destroyed by fire.
- May 19 – Over 90% of the city of Bryggen, Norway is destroyed and reduced to ashes in the Great Fire.
- June – Queen Anne's Captain-General, John Churchill, forces the surrender of Kaiserswerth on the Rhine.
- June 16 – the English East India Company founds a settlement on Pulo Condore (now called Côn Sơn Island) off the coast of southern Vietnam as an entrepôt for ships travelling between India and China.
- June 20 – In Jonathan Swift's fictional prose satire Gulliver's Travels, protagonist Lemuel Gulliver sets off on his second voyage, in which he visits Brobdingnag.
- June 25 – The premiere of the opera L'Offendere per amore overo la Telesilla by Johann Joseph Fux takes place in Vienna.
- July 19 (July 8 O.S.; July 9 Swedish calendar) – Battle of Klissow: Charles XII of Sweden decisively defeats the Polish–Lithuanian-Saxon army as part of the Great Northern War.
- July 23 – The first performance of the opera Médus, roi des Mèdes by François Bouvard takes place at the Paris Opera.
- July 24
- July 30 (July 19 O.S.; July 20 Swedish calendar) – Great Northern War: Russia defeats Sweden during the Battle of Hummelshof.
- August 11 – Częstochowa, Poland, is captured by Swedish army during the Great Northern War.
- September – John Churchill forces the surrender of Venlo on the Meuse River.
- September 19 – Jupiter occults Neptune
- Sir George Rooke fails to take Cadiz, but captures a Spanish treasure fleet and destroys French and Spanish warships. Churchill forces the surrender of Liège.
- Battle of Flint River: Spanish and Apalachee Indian forces fail in their attack against Creek Indians, supported by English traders, in what is now the state of Georgia.
- October 1 – The founding deed of the University of Wrocław is signed by the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I of the House of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia.
- October 10 – Queen Anne's War in North America: The Siege of St. Augustine opens; English forces besiege St. Augustine, Spanish Florida.
- October 14 – The Battle of Friedlingen takes place between France and the Holy Roman Empire.
- October 19 – The opera Der Sieg der fruchtbaren Pomona by Reinhard Keiser is premiered at the Hamburg Opera for the birthday of King Frederick IV of Denmark.
- October 23 – Battle of Vigo Bay: English and Dutch forces capture the defended harbor of Cádiz.
- October 27 – English troops plunder St. Augustine, Spanish Florida.
- October 28 – Sieur Juchereau, Lieutenant General of Montréal, establishes the first trading post on the Wabash River in order to trade Buffalo hides with American Indians. The site of the trading post may be the current location of Vincennes, Indiana.
- November 7 – The first performance of the opera Tancrède by André Campra takes place at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal in Paris.
- November 15 – The opera La Clemenza d'Augusto by Johann Joseph Fux is premiered in Vienna.
- November 22 – The Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) type pinnace founders en route to Basra from Bombay during a storm. All hands are lost.
- December 14
- The travel diary Oku no Hosomichi (meaning "Narrow road to/of the interior"), a major work of haibun by the Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō and one of the major texts of Japanese literature of the Edo period, is published posthumously.
- Delaware is designated a separate colony.
- January 9 – The Jamaican town of Port Royal, a center of trade in the Western Hemisphere and, at the time, the largest city in the Caribbean, is destroyed by a fire. British ships in the harbor are able to rescue much of the merchandise that has been unloaded on the docks, but the inventory in marketplaces in town is destroyed.
- January 14 – The magnitude 6.7 Norcia earthquake affects Central Italy with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme). With a death toll of 6,240–9,761, it is the first in a sequence of three destructive events.
- January 16 – The magnitude 6.2 Montereale earthquake causes damage at Accumoli, Armatrice, Cittareale, and Montereale, with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe).
- January 30 (December 14 of previous year in the Chinese calendar) – In Japan, Forty-seven rōnin assassinate daimyō Kira Yoshinaka, the enemy of their former lord Asano Naganori, at his own mansion as a vengeance; 46 of the 47 samurai commit seppuku, a ritual suicide on March 20 (February 4 in the Chinese calendar).
- February – Soldiers at Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrate Mardi Gras in Mobile, starting the tradition for Mobile, Alabama.
- February 2 – The magnitude 6.7 L'Aquila earthquake affects Central Italy, with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme). In the final large event (an example of Coulomb stress transfer), damage occurs as far distant as Rome, with landslides, liquefaction, slope failures and 2,500–3,000 deaths.
- April 21 – The Company of Quenching of Fire (i.e., a fire brigade) is founded in Edinburgh, Scotland.
- May 26 – Portugal joins the Grand Alliance.
- May 27 (May 16 OS) – The city of Saint Petersburg, Russia is founded, following Peter the Great's reconquest of Ingria from Sweden, during the Great Northern War.
- June 15 – Hungarians rebel under Prince Francis II Rákóczi.
- June – The completed Icelandic census of 1703 is presented in the Althing, the first complete census of any country.
- June 19 – Bavarian troops, who during the so-called Bavarian Rummel had invaded Tyrol, besiege Kufstein. Fires break out on the outskirts that engulf the town, destroy it and reach the powder store of the supposedly impregnable fortress. The enormous gunpowder supplies explode and Kufstein has to surrender on 20 June. That same day the Tyrolese surrender in Wörgl; two days later Rattenberg is captured and Innsbruck is cleared without a fight on 25 June.
- July 26 – After their victories at the Pontlatzer Bridge and the Brenner Pass, Tyrolese farmers drive out the Bavarian Elector, Maximilian II Emanuel, from North Tyrol and thus prevent the Bavarian Army, which is allied with France, from marching on Vienna during the War of the Spanish Succession. This success, at low cost, is the signal for the rebellion of the Tyrolese against Bavaria, and Elector Maximilian II Emanuel has to flee from Innsbruck. The Bavarian Army withdraws through Seefeld in Tirol back to Bavaria.
- July 29–31 – Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory, then imprisoned for four months for the crime of seditious libel after publishing his satirical political pamphlet The Shortest Way with the Dissenters (1702) (his release is granted in mid-November).
- August 23 – Edirne event: Sultan Mustafa II of the Ottoman Empire is dethroned.
- September 7 – War of the Spanish Succession: The town of Breisach is retaken for France by Camille d'Hostun, duc de Tallard.
- September 12 – War of the Spanish Succession: Habsburg Archduke Charles is proclaimed King of Spain, but never exercises full rule.
- October – A whirlwind blows down the tower of the Gan Takal in Gondar, capital of Ethiopia, killing 30.
- November 15
- War of the Spanish Succession: Battle of Speyerbach (in modern-day Germany) – The French defeat a German relief army, allowing the French to take the besieged town of Landau two days later, for which Tallard is made a Marshal of France.
- Rákóczi's War of Independence: Battle of Zvolen (in modern-day Slovakia) – The Kurucs defeat the Austrians and their allies (Denmark, Hungary and the Serbs).
- November 19 – The Man in the Iron Mask dies in the Bastille, in France.
- November 30 – Isaac Newton is elected president of the Royal Society in London, a position he will hold until his death in 1727.
- December 7–10 (November 26–29 O.S.) – The Great Storm of 1703, an Atlantic hurricane, ravages southern England and the English Channel, killing at least 8,000, mostly at sea. The Eddystone Lighthouse off Plymouth is destroyed in the storm together with its designer Henry Winstanley.
- December 27 – Portugal and England sign the Methuen Treaty, which gives preference to Portuguese wines imported into England.
- December 28 – Ahmed III succeeds the deposed Mustafa II, as Ottoman Emperor.
- French-born imposter George Psalmanazar arrives in London.
- Between 1702 and 1703, an epidemic of smallpox breaks out in Quebec, in which 2,000-3,000 people die (300-400 in Quebec City).
- January 25–26 – Apalachee massacre: English colonists from the Province of Carolina, and their native allies, stage a series of brutal raids against a largely pacific population of Apalachee, in Spanish Florida.
- February 29 – Raid on Deerfield (Queen Anne's War): French Canadians and Native Americans sack Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing over 50 English colonists.
- February – In America, Mardi Gras is celebrated with the Masque de la Mobile in the capital of Louisiana (New France), Mobile, Alabama.
- April 21 – The Hungarians (Kurucs) win a costly victory over the Danes in the Battle of Biskupice.
- April 24 – The first regular newspaper in the Thirteen Colonies of British North America, The Boston News-Letter, is published.
- May 28 – Kuruc rebels defeat the Austrian army and its allies in the Battle of Smolenice.
- June 13 – Austrians and their allies from Denmark, Prussia, Croatia, Germany and Vojvodina defeat the Kurucs in the Battle of Koroncó.
- July – Daniel Defoe documents the Great Storm of 1703 in England, with eyewitness testimonies, in The Storm.
- July 12 – Great Northern War – King Charles XII of Sweden forces the election of his ally Stanisław Leszczyński as King of Poland, in place of Augustus II the Strong.
- August 3 (July 23 Old Style) – War of the Spanish Succession – Gibraltar is captured from Spain, by English and Dutch forces under Sir George Rooke.
- August 7 – Battle of Orford Ness.
- August 13 (August 2 OS) – War of the Spanish Succession – Battle of Blenheim: Allied troops under John Churchill, Earl of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy defeat the Franco-Bavarian army.
- August 24 (August 13 OS) – War of the Spanish Succession – French and English fleets clash off Málaga, causing heavy casualties on both sides, but without sinking any ships.
- September – War of the Spanish Succession – The Twelfth Siege of Gibraltar by French and Spanish troops begins.
- December 6 - Battle of Chamkaur: During the Mughal-Sikh Wars, an outnumbered Sikh Khalsa defeats a Mughal army.
- Great Northern War: Russian troops under Tsar Peter the Great capture Tartu and Narva.
- The Sultanate of Brunei cedes its north-east territories to the Sultanate of Sulu.
- The lower three counties of the Province of Pennsylvania become the colony of Delaware.
- An earthquake strikes Gondar, Ethiopia.
- A Tale of a Tub, the first major satire by Jonathan Swift (written 1694–1697), is published in London, running through three editions this year.
- Isaac Newton publishes his Opticks.
- The Students' Monument is built in Aiud, Romania.
- Chinese Rites controversy: Rome decrees that Roman ceremonial practice in Latin (not in Chinese) is to be the law for Chinese missions.
- Thomas Darley purchases the bay Arabian horse Darley Arabian in Aleppo, Syria, and ships him to stud in England, where he becomes the most important foundation sire of all modern thoroughbred racing bloodstock.
- March 8 – The Province of Carolina incorporates the town of Bath, making it the first incorporated town in present-day North Carolina. The town becomes the political center and de facto capital of the northern portion of the Province of Carolina, until Edenton is incorporated in 1722.
- April 16 – Anne, Queen of Great Britain honours Isaac Newton with a Knight Bachelor.
- May – The Twelfth Siege of Gibraltar ends, with the defending Confederate forces retaining control of the town.
- May 5 – Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor succeeds his father Leopold I.
- November – In Williamsburg, capital of the Colony of Virginia in America, construction of the Capitol Building is completed.
- November 5 – The Dublin Gazette of Ireland publishes its first edition.
- November 15 – Battle of Zsibó: The Austrian-Danish forces defeat the Kurucs (Hungarians).
- December – The Sophia Naturalization Act is passed by the English Parliament, which naturalizes Sophia of Hanover and the "issue of her body" as English subjects.
- December 25 – In Munich, capital of Bavaria, 1,100 militiamen from the Oberland are killed during the Sendlinger Mordweihnacht, after a failed attempt to break through several gates and capture a depot to seize better weaponry; many men were slaughtered by German federal infantry and Hungarian Hussars, despite their capitulation to Austrian officers.
- Construction begins on Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, England; it is completed in 1724.
- Taichung City, Taiwan is founded as the village of Dadun.
- With the interest paid from daimyō loans, the Konoike buy a tract of ponds and swampland, turn the land into rice paddies, and settle 480 households numbering perhaps 2,880 peasants on the land.
- The Shogunate confiscates the property of a merchant in Osaka "for conduct unbecoming a member of the commercial class". The government seizes 50 pairs of gold screens, 360 carpets, several mansions, 48 granaries and warehouses scattered around the country, and hundreds of thousands of gold pieces.
- March 27 – Concluding that Emperor Iyasus I of Ethiopia has abdicated by retiring to a monastery, a council of high officials appoint Tekle Haymanot I Emperor of Ethiopia.
- March 31 – The last Courts (parliament) of the Principality of Catalonia are finished; their dissolution is presided over by King Charles III of Spain.
- May 23 – War of the Spanish Succession – Battle of Ramillies: English, Dutch, German, Swiss and Scottish troops led by John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeat Franco-Bavarian forces in the Low Countries.
- July 22 – The Treaty of Union between Scotland and England is agreed upon in London, for ratification by the national legislatures.
- September 7 – War of the Spanish Succession – Battle of Turin: Forces of Austria and Savoy defeat the French.
- October – Twinings founder, Thomas Twining, opens the first known tea room at 216 Strand, London, still open as of 2020[update].
- The English Parliament establishes the first turnpike trusts, which place a length of road under the control of trustees, drawn from local landowners and traders. The turnpike trusts borrow capital for road maintenance against the security of tolls, and this arrangement becomes the common method of road maintenance for the next 150 years.
- January 1 – John V is crowned King of Portugal and the Algarves in Lisbon.
- January 16 – The Treaty (or Act) of Union, of the two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, is ratified by the Parliament of Scotland.
- March 3 – Emperor Aurangzeb dies in Delhi.
- March 19 – The Act of Union with Scotland is ratified by the Parliament of England.
- April 25 (April 14 Old Style) – War of the Spanish Succession – Battle of Almansa: The Bourbon army of Spain and France (with Irish mercenaries) under the French-born Englishman James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick, soundly defeats the allied forces of Portugal, England, and the Dutch Republic led by the French-born Huguenot (in English service) Henri de Massue, Earl of Galway. Following this, Philip V of Spain promulgates the first Nueva Planta decrees, bringing the Kingdoms of Valencia and Aragon under the laws of the Crown of Castile.
- May 12 (May 1 Old Style) – The new sovereign state of Great Britain comes into being, as a result of the Acts of Union, which combine the Kingdoms of Scotland and England into a single united Kingdom of Great Britain, and merge the Parliaments of England and Scotland, to form the Parliament of Great Britain.
- May 23 – Volcanic eruption in the Santorini caldera begins.
- July 29–August 21 – War of the Spanish Succession – Battle of Toulon: The Allies are obliged to withdraw, but the French fleet is effectively put out of action.
- October 22 – Scilly naval disaster: Four British Royal Navy ships run aground in the Isles of Scilly, because of faulty navigation. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell and at least 1,450 sailors all drown.
- October 23 – The Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain first meets in London.
- October 28 – The Hōei earthquake (the most powerful in Japan until 2011) strikes, with an estimated local magnitude of 8.6.
- November 30 – War of the Spanish Succession: The Siege of Pensacola ends, with the Spanish successfully defending their fort.
- December 16 – The last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji begins in Japan.
- December 24 – The first British Governor of Gibraltar, directly appointed by Queen Anne, Roger Elliott, takes up his residence in the Convent of the Franciscan Friars.
- December – Charles XII of Sweden launches his campaign to conquer Russia, marching to the east from Leipzig with 60,000 coalition troops. Another 16,000 soldiers are waiting on the outskirts of Riga, guarding the Swedish supply lines.
- A fortress is founded on the future site of Ust-Abakanskoye (modern Abakan).
- The Lao empire of Lan Xang officially ends, and splits into the kingdoms of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Champasak.
- Hacienda Juriquilla is built in Querétaro, Mexico.
- January 1 – Charles XII of Sweden invades Russia by crossing the frozen Vistula river with 40,000 men.
- January 12 – Shahu I becomes the fifth Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire in the Indian subcontinent.
- February 26 – HMS Falmouth, a 50-gun fourth-rate ship of the line built at Woolwich Dockyard for the Royal Navy, is launched.
- March 11 – Queen Anne withholds Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoes legislation.
- March 23 – James Francis Edward Stuart, Jacobite pretender to the throne of Great Britain, unsuccessfully tries to land from a French fleet in the Firth of Forth in Scotland.
- April 8 – Easter Sunday: first performance of George Frideric Handel's oratorio La resurrezione takes place in Rome.
- April 9 – Ottoman princess Emine Sultan, daughter of Sultan Mustafa II, marries Grand Vizier Çorlulu Ali Pasha.
- April 28 – The Great Hoei fire breaks out in Kyoto, Japan, destroying the Imperial Palace and a large portion of the old capital.
- June 8 – Wager's Action, a naval confrontation, takes place between a British squadron under Charles Wager and the Spanish treasure fleet, as part of the War of Spanish Succession.
- July 1 – Tewoflos becomes Emperor of Ethiopia.
- July 11 – War of the Spanish Succession – Battle of Oudenarde: Allied forces under the command of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeat the French.
- August – The future Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor weds Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.
- August 3 – In the Battle of Trenčín, 8,000 soldiers of the Imperial Army of the Habsburgs are victorious over the 15,000 Hungarian Kuruc forces of Francis II Rákóczi.
- August 18 – War of the Spanish Succession: Menorca is captured by British forces.
- August 23 – Meidingu Pamheiba is crowned King of Manipur.
- August 29 – A native American attack in Haverhill, Massachusetts kills 16 settlers.
- September 28 (O.S.); September 29 (Swedish calendar); October 9 (N.S.) – Great Northern War – Battle of Lesnaya: Peter the Great of Russia defeats the forces of the Swedish Empire.
- October 12 – War of the Spanish Succession: British forces capture Lille after a two-month siege, although the citadel continues to hold out for another six weeks.
- October 26 – Topping out of new St Paul's Cathedral in London.
- December 14 – The première of Electre by Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon takes place in Paris.
- December 17 – Deborah Churchill, British pickpocket and prostitute, is executed before a large crowd for being an accomplice to murder.
- Fearful of a Swedish attack, the Russians blow up the city of Tartu, Estonia.
- One third of the population of Masuria dies of the plague.
- Johann Sebastian Bach is appointed as chamber musician and organist, at the court in Weimar.
- Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico delivers his inaugural lecture to the University of Naples, which will be published in 1709 as his first book, De Nostri Temporis Studiorum Ratione (On the Order of the Scholarly Disciplines of Our Times).
- Calcareous hard-paste porcelain is produced for the first time in Europe, at Dresden, Saxony, by Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, and developed after his death (October) by Johann Friedrich Böttger.
- The Company of Merchants of London Trading (with consent of the Parliament of Great Britain) merges with the East Indies, and the more recently established English Company Trading to the East Indies, to form the United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies, known as the Honourable East India Company.
- January 1 – The Battle of St. John's in which the French capture St. John's, the capital of the British colony of Newfoundland.
- January 6 – Western Europe's Great Frost of 1709, the coldest period in 500 years, begins during the night, lasting three months, with its effects felt for the entire year. In France, the Atlantic coast and Seine River freeze, crops fail, and 24,000 Parisians die. Floating ice enters the North Sea.
- January 10 – Abraham Darby I successfully produces cast iron using coke fuel at his Coalbrookdale blast furnace in Shropshire, England.
- February – In America, Mardi Gras is celebrated one more time with Masque de la Mobile in the capital of French Louisiana, Mobile, Alabama, before Mobile is moved 27 miles (43 km) down the Mobile River to Mobile Bay in 1711.
- February 1 or 2 – During his first voyage, Captain Woodes Rogers encounters marooned privateer Alexander Selkirk, and rescues him after four years living on one of the Juan Fernández Islands, inspiring Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe. After sacking Guayaquil, he and Selkirk will visit the Galápagos Islands.
- February 19 – Tokugawa Ienobu becomes the sixth shōgun of the Tokugawa dynasty of Japan.
- March 28 – Johann Friedrich Böttger reports the first production of hard-paste porcelain in Europe, at Dresden.
- April – Mirwais Hotak took control of Kandahar from Persian governor.
- April 13 – The Raudot Ordinance of 1709 becomes law in the French colony of New France, legalizing slavery.
- May – The first influx into Britain of poor refugee families of German Palatines from the Rhenish Palatinate arrives, mostly Protestants en route to the New World colonies.
- July 8 (June 27 Old Style; June 28 in the Swedish calendar) – Great Northern War: Battle of Poltava in the Cossack Hetmanate (Ukraine) – Peter the Great leads forces of the Tsardom of Russia to a decisive victory over Swedish forces under Charles XII, ending the Swedish invasion of Russia and effectively ending Sweden's role as a major power in Europe.
- July 9 – Christopher Slaughterford of London is executed in Guildford for the murder of Jane Young, his fiancée. He is the first person in modern England executed for murder based exclusively on circumstantial evidence, and he maintains his innocence to the last.
- July 13 – Production of Eau de Cologne is begun by perfumier Johann Maria Farina in Germany, founding Johann Maria Farina gegenüber dem Jülichs-Platz.
- July 26 – Reinhard Keiser's opera Desiderius, König der Langobarden is premiered in Hamburg.
- July 27 – Emperor Nakamikado accedes to the throne of Japan.
- July 30 – War of the Spanish Succession: Tournai is captured by John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy.
- August 8 – The hot air balloon of Bartolomeu de Gusmão flies in Portugal.
- August 28 – Pamheiba is crowned King of Manipur.
- September 11 (August 31 Old Style) – War of the Spanish Succession: Battle of Malplaquet – Troops of the Dutch Republic, Habsburg Monarchy, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Prussia, led by the Duke of Marlborough, drive the French from the field, but suffer twice as many casualties.
- October 9 – War of the Spanish Succession: The British army captures Mons.
- October 12 – Chihuahua City in Mexico is founded.
- December 25 – From London, ten ships leave for the New York Colony carrying over 4,000 people.
- December 26 – The first performance of the opera Agrippina by George Frideric Handel takes place at the Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo in Venice.
- Trinity School is founded as the charity school of Trinity Church, in New York City.
- The second Eddystone Lighthouse, erected off the south west coast of England by John Rudyerd, is completed.
- Herculaneum, an ancient town in Ercolano, Campania, Italy and buried under volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, is discovered by accident when attempts to drill a well for a monastery encountered marble and other materials.
- The first modern edition of William Shakespeare's plays is published in London, edited by Nicholas Rowe.
- De Nostri Temporis Studiorum Ratione (On the Study Methods of Our Times) is published by Neapolitan philosopher Giambattista Vico.
- Priceless medieval altarpieces, created by Tyrolese sculptor Michael Pacher, are destroyed.
- The first piano is exhibited in Florence by its inventor Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori (1655-1731), who named it "gravicembalo col piano e forte", a name which was subsequently shortened to "pianoforte" and then "piano".
- A collapsible umbrella is introduced in Paris.
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