The 1790's decade ran from January 1, 1790, to December 31, 1799.
- 1 Events
- 1.1 1790
- 1.2 1791
- 1.3 1792
- 1.4 1793
- 1.5 1794
- 1.6 1795
- 1.7 1796
- 1.8 1797
- 1.9 1798
- 1.10 1799
- 2 Significant people
- 3 Births
- 4 Deaths
- 5 References
- January 8 – United States President George Washington gives the first State of the Union address, in New York City.
- January 11 – The 11 minor states of the Austrian Netherlands, which took part in the Brabant Revolution at the end of 1789, sign a Treaty of Union, creating the United States of Belgium. British Prime Minister William Pitt refuses to recognize the new confederation's independence.
- January 26 – Mozart's opera Così fan tutte premieres in Vienna.
- January 30 – The first boat specialized as a rescue lifeboat is tested on the River Tyne in England.
- February 1 – In New York City, the Supreme Court of the United States convenes for the first time.
- February 4 – Louis XVI of France declares to the National Assembly that he will maintain the constitutional laws.
- February 11 – Two Quaker delegates petition the United States Congress for the abolition of slavery.
- March 1 – The first United States Census is authorized; it is held later in the year.
- March 4 – France is divided into 83 départements, which cut across the former provinces, in an attempt to dislodge regional loyalties based on noble ownership of land.
- March 6 – The New York legislature consents to the admission to the Union of a new state, Vermont, formed within the boundaries of New York, contingent upon the successful conclusion of negotiations concerning disputed real-estate claims, and the boundary between the two states.
- March 21 – Thomas Jefferson reports to President George Washington in New York, as the new United States Secretary of State.
- April 10 – The United States patent system is established.
- May 13 – Battle of Reval: Gustav III of Sweden sends the battlefleet to eliminate the Russian squadron wintering at Reval (Estonia), but is defeated; 8 Russians, 51 Swedes are killed, 250 captured, and 2 ships are sunk.
- May 17–18 – Battle of Andros: An Ottoman–Algerian fleet destroys the fleet of the Greek privateer Lambros Katsonis.
- May 29 – Rhode Island ratifies the United States Constitution, and becomes the last of the 13 original states to do so.
- June 9 – Royal assent is given to establishment of the port of Milford Haven in Wales.
- June 20 – Compromise of 1790: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton come to an agreement: Madison agrees to not be "strenuous" in opposition for the assumption of state debts by the federal government; Hamilton agrees to support the capital site being above the Potomac.
- June 23 – The alleged London Monster is arrested in London; he later receives 40 years for 10 assaults.
- July – Louis XVI of France accepts a constitutional monarchy.
- July 9 – Russo-Swedish War – Second Battle of Svensksund: In a massive Baltic Sea battle of 300 ships, the Swedish Navy captures one third of the Russian galley fleet: 304 Swedes are killed, 3,500 Russians killed and 6,000 captured, 51 Russian galleys and other rowing craft are sunk and 22 are taken.
- July 12 – French Revolution: The Civil Constitution of the Clergy is passed. This completes the destruction of the monastic orders, legislating out of existence all regular and secular chapters for either sex, abbacies and priorships.
- July 14 – French Revolution: Citizens of Paris celebrate the unity of the French people and the national reconciliation, in the Fête de la Fédération.
- July 16 – The signing of the Residence Bill establishes a site along the Potomac River as the District of Columbia, the capital district of the United States.
- July 26 – Alexander Hamilton's Assumption Bill, giving effect to his First Report on the Public Credit, is passed in the United States Congress, allowing the federal government to assume the consolidated debts of the U.S. states.
- July 27 – The Convention of Reichenbach is signed between Prussia and Austria.
- July 31 – Inventor Samuel Hopkins becomes the first to be issued a U.S. patent (for an improved method of making potash).
- August 4 – A newly passed U.S. tariff act creates the system of cutters for revenue enforcement (later named the United States Revenue Cutter Service), the forerunner of the Coast Guard.
- August 14 – The Treaty of Värälä ends the Russo-Swedish War.
- September 25 – The Peking Opera is born, when the Four Great Anhui Troupes introduce Anhui opera to Beijing, in honor of the Qianlong Emperor's 80th birthday.
- September 30 – Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor starts to rule.
- October 7 – Commissioners appointed by the New York legislature announce the successful conclusion of negotiations between New York and Vermont, concerning disputed real-estate claims, and the consent of New York's legislature to the admission to the Union of the state of Vermont as the 14th State (which was formed within what New York claimed as its territory, under an Order in Council, that King George III issued on July 20, 1764).
- November – Holy Roman forces recapture the Austrian Netherlands.
- December 10 – The Hawkesbury and Nepean Wars begin in New South Wales, Australia, as a result of deterioration in relations and increasing colonization.
- December 11 – Russo-Turkish War (1787–92): During Alexander Suvorov's storm of Izmail, 26,000 Turkish soldiers lose their lives.
- January 12 – Holy Roman troops reenter Liège, heralding the end of the Liège Revolution, and the restoration of its Prince-Bishops.
- January 25 – The British Parliament passes the Constitutional Act 1791, splitting the old province of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada.
- February 21 – The United States opens diplomatic relations with Portugal.
- March 2 – French Revolution:
- March 4 – Vermont is admitted, as the 14th U.S. state.
- March 13 – Thomas Paine's chief work Rights of Man (first part) is published in London.
- March – French Revolution: In France, the National Constituent Assembly accepts the recommendation of its Commission of Weights and Measures, that the nation should adopt the metric system.
- April 21 – The first of forty boundary stones, delineating the borders of the new District of Columbia in the United States, is laid at Jones Point Light, in Alexandria, Virginia.
- May 3 – The Sejm of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth proclaims the Constitution of May 3, 1791, the first modern codified constitution in Europe.
- June 20 – French Revolution – Flight to Varennes: The French Royal Family is captured, when they try to flee in disguise.
- June 21 – The Ordnance Survey is founded in Great Britain.
- July 8 – Composer Joseph Haydn is awarded an honorary doctorate of music, at the University of Oxford.
- July 14 – The Priestley Riots against Dissenters break out in Birmingham, England.
- July 17 – French Revolution: The Champ de Mars Massacre occurs.
- August 4 – The Treaty of Sistova is signed, ending the Ottoman–Habsburg wars.
- August 6 – The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is finished.
- August 21 – Haitian Revolution: A slave rebellion breaks out in the French colony of Saint-Domingue.
- August 26 – John Fitch is granted a patent for the steamboat in the United States.
- August 27 – Third Anglo-Mysore War – Battle of Tellicherry off the south-west coast of India: A British Royal Navy patrol forces a French convoy bound for Mysore to surrender.
- September 6 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera seria, La clemenza di Tito, premières at the Estates Theatre in Prague, to mark the coronation of Leopold II as King of Bohemia.
- September 9 – The capital of the United States, Washington, D.C., is named after President George Washington.
- September 13 – French Revolution: Louis XVI of France accepts the final version of the completed constitution.
- September 14 – French Revolution: The Papal States lose Avignon to Revolutionary France.
- September 25 – Mission Santa Cruz is founded by Father Fermín Lasuén, becoming the 12th mission in the California mission chain.
- September 28 – French Revolution: The law on Jewish emancipation is promulgated in France, the first such legislation in modern Europe.
- September 30 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's singspiel opera The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) premières at the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden, in Vienna.
- October – French Revolution: The Legislative Assembly (France) convenes.
- October 9 – Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad is founded by Father Fermín Lasuén, becoming the 13th mission in the California mission chain.
- October 28 – French Revolution: The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen is published in France.
- December 4 – The first issue of The Observer, the world's first Sunday newspaper, is published in London.
- December 5 – Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dies aged 35 at his home in Vienna, perhaps of acute rheumatic fever, and is buried two days later.
- December 15 – Ratification by the states of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution is completed, creating the United States Bill of Rights. Two additional amendments remain pending, and one of these is finally ratified in 1992, becoming the Twenty-seventh Amendment.
- The first American ship reaches Japan.
- An ordinance is written barring the game of baseball within 80 yards of the Meeting House in Pittsfield, Massachusetts (first known reference to the game of baseball in North America).
- The first serious secondary education school open to girls in Denmark, the Døtreskolen af 1791, is founded in Copenhagen.
- The School for the Indigent Blind, the oldest continuously operating specialist school of its kind in the world, is founded in Liverpool, England, by blind ex-merchant seaman, writer and abolitionist Edward Rushton.
- The Casbah of Algiers Palace is completed.
- January 9 – The Treaty of Jassy ends the Russian Empire's war with the Ottoman Empire over Crimea.
- February 20 – The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, is signed by President George Washington.
- March 1 – Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, the last emperor, takes office.
- March 16 – King Gustav III of Sweden is shot in the back by Jacob Johan Anckarström, at a midnight masquerade at the Royal Opera in Stockholm; he lives until March 29, and is then succeeded by his son, Gustav IV Adolf.
- March 20 – A new capital of North Carolina, and seat of the newly formed Wake County, is established after North Carolina State Senator and surveyor William Christmas submits his design for the city. A few months later, the capital is officially named Raleigh, in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh.
- April 2 – The Coinage Act is passed, establishing the United States Mint.
- April 5 – United States President George Washington vetoes a bill designed to apportion representatives among U.S. states. This is the first time the presidential veto is used in the United States.
- April 20 – France declares war against Austria, beginning the French Revolutionary Wars.
- April 21 – Tiradentes, prime figure in the Inconfidência Mineira plot, is executed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- April 25
- May 11 – Robert Gray's Columbia River expedition: Captain Robert Gray, on the Columbia Rediviva, becomes the first white man to enter the Columbia River.
- May 17 – The Buttonwood Agreement is signed, beginning the New York Stock Exchange.
- May 18 – War in Defence of the Constitution: Russia invades Poland.
- May 21 – An old lava dome collapses in Kyūshū, Japan when Mount Unzen volcano erupts; the resulting avalanche and tsunami kills about 14,300 people.
- June 1 – Kentucky becomes the 15th state of the United States of America.
- June 4 – Captain George Vancouver claims Puget Sound for Great Britain.
- June 13
- July 18 – Polish–Russian War – Battle of Dubienka: Soldiers of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, led by Tadeusz Kościuszko, resist an attack from Imperial Russian Army forces five times their size.
- August 10 – French Revolution: The Tuileries Palace is stormed, and Louis XVI of France is arrested and taken into custody.
- September – Macartney Embassy: George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney, sails from Portsmouth in HMS Lion, as the first official envoy from Great Britain to China.
- September 2–7 – French Revolution – September Massacres: Rampaging mobs slaughter three Roman Catholic bishops and more than 200 priests, together with at least 1,000 criminals.
- September 11 – Six men steal some of the former French Crown Jewels from a warehouse, where the revolutionary government had stored them.
- September 14 – Thomas Paine flees from England to France, after being indicted for treason. He is tried in absentia during December and outlawed.
- September 20 – French Revolution – Battle of Valmy: The French revolutionary army defeats the Prussians under the Duke of Brunswick, after a 7-hour artillery duel.
- September 21 – French Revolution: A Proclamation of the abolition of the monarchy by the French Convention goes into effect, and the French First Republic is established, effective the following day.
- September 22 – French Revolution: The Era of the historical French Republican Calendar begins.
- October 12 – The first Columbus Day celebration in the United States is held in New York City, 300 years after his arrival in the New World.
- October 13 – Foundation of Washington, D.C.: The cornerstone of the United States Executive Mansion (known as the White House after 1818) is laid.
- October 29 – Mount Hood (Oregon) is named after British Admiral Lord Hood by Lt. William Broughton of the Vancouver Expedition, who spots the mountain near the mouth of the Willamette River.
- December 3 – George Washington is re-elected President of the United States.
- December 26 – The trial of Louis XVI of France begins.
- The Baptist Missionary Society is founded in Kettering, England.
- Tipu Sultan invades Kerala, India, but is repulsed.
- Hungarian astronomer Franz Xaver von Zach publishes The Tables of the Sun, an essential early work for navigation.
- Claude Chappe successfully demonstrates the first semaphore line, between Paris and Lille.
- Scottish engineer William Murdoch begins experimenting with gas lighting.
- George Anschutz constructs the first blast furnace, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- Thomas Holcroft produces the play Road to Ruin in London.
- Barthélemy Catherine Joubert, future French general, becomes sub-lieutenant.
- Johann Georg Albrechtsberger becomes Kapellmeister in Vienna.
- The State Street Corporation is founded, in Boston, Massachusetts.
- Shiloh Meeting House, predecessor of Shiloh United Methodist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, is founded.
- Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is published.
- The Insurance Company of North America (later Chubb) is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- The first written examinations in Europe are held at Cambridge University, England.
- Denmark-Norway is the first country in the world to outlaw slavery.
- January 7 – The Ebel riot occurs in Sweden.
- January 9 – Jean-Pierre Blanchard becomes the first to fly in a gas balloon in the United States.
- January 21 – French Revolution: After being found guilty of treason by the French National Convention, Citizen Capet, Louis XVI of France, is guillotined in Paris.
- January 23 – Second Partition of Poland: The Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia partition the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
- February 1 – French Revolutionary Wars: France declares war on Great Britain and the Netherlands.
- February 25 – George Washington holds the first Cabinet meeting, as President of the United States.
- February 27 – The Giles Resolutions are introduced to the United States House of Representatives, asking the House to condemn Alexander Hamilton's handling of loans.
- March 1–3 – John Langdon serves as President pro tempore of the United States Senate.
- March 4 – George Washington is sworn in as President of the United States in Philadelphia, for his second term.
- March 5 – French troops are defeated by Austrian forces, and Liège is recaptured.
- March 7 – France declares war on Spain.
- March 18
- April 6 – The Committee of Public Safety is established in France, with Georges Danton as its head.
- April 22 – George Washington signs the Neutrality Proclamation.
- April 25 – The pioneer parishes of New Orleans and Louisiana are erected, as well as incorporated into the Diocese of Louisiana and the Two Floridas.
- May 31 – French Revolution: Regular troops under François Hanriot demand that the Girondins be expelled from the National Convention.
- June – The Macartney Embassy, a British diplomatic mission to China led by George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney, reaches Canton, but will be rebuffed by the Qianlong Emperor.
- June 2 – French Revolution: The Girondins are overthrown in France.
- June 10 – French Revolution: The Jardin des Plantes and the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle are created by the National Convention. The museum opens in Paris the following year, and the garden houses one of the first public zoos.
- July 9 – The Act Against Slavery is passed in Upper Canada.
- July 13 – French Revolution: Charlotte Corday kills Jean-Paul Marat in his bath.
- July 17 – French Revolution: Charlotte Corday is executed.
- July 20 – Scottish explorer Alexander Mackenzie's 1792–1793 Peace River expedition to the Pacific Ocean reaches its goal at Bella Coola, British Columbia, making him the first known person to complete a transcontinental crossing of northern North America.
- July 29 – John Graves Simcoe decides to build a fort and settlement at Toronto, having sailed into the bay there.
- August 1–November 9 – The yellow fever epidemic of 1793 hits Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 5,000 die.
- August 10 – French Revolution – Feast of Unity: Crowds in Paris burn monarchist emblems.
- The Louvre is officially opened in Paris, France.
- August 23 – French Revolution: The following universal conscription decree is enacted in France: "The young men shall go to battle and the married men shall forge arms. The women shall make tents and clothes and shall serve in the hospitals; children shall tear rags into lint. The old men will be guided to the public places of the cities to kindle the courage of the young warriors and to preach the unity of the Republic and the hatred of kings."
- September 5 – French Revolution: The National Convention begins the 10-month Reign of Terror.
- September 8 – The first Círio de Nazaré is celebrated in Belém.
- September 17 - The Army of the Eastern Pyrenees, one of the French Revoluntionary armies, defeats a Spanish force at the Battle of Peyrestortes.
- October 5 – French Revolutionary Wars: Raid on Genoa – The British Royal Navy boards and captures French warships, sheltering in the neutral port of Genoa.
- October 15–16 – French Revolution – Battle of Wattignies: A French Republican force commanded by Jean-Baptiste Jourdan compels a Habsburg Austrian Coalition army to retire.
- October 16 – French Revolution: Marie Antoinette, the widowed queen consort of Louis XVI of France, is guillotined in the Place de la Révolution in Paris, at the conclusion of a 2-day trial before the Revolutionary Tribunal.
- October 24 – French Revolution:The French Republican Calendar is adopted by the National Convention.
- November 10 – The dechristianisation of France during the French Revolution reaches a climax, with the celebration of the Goddess of Reason, in the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.
- December 8 – French Revolution: Madame du Barry is executed.
- December 9 – New York City's first daily newspaper, the American Minerva, is established by Noah Webster.
- December 18 – French forces under Dugommier capture Toulon from royalists and British forces under Vice Admiral Lord Hood. The British fire the dockyards and take 16 ships, one of which, the Lutine, becomes a famous treasure ship.
- December 23 – French Revolution – War in the Vendée – Battle of Savenay: A Republican force decisively defeats the counterrevolutionary Catholic and Royal Army, ending the Virée de Galerne.
- The First Coalition against France is formed during the year by Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, Spain, Portugal, the Holy Roman Empire, Naples and Tuscany.
- Dominique Jean Larrey, chief surgeon of the French Revolutionary Army, creates the first battlefield "flying ambulance" service.
- British troops invade the island of Saint-Domingue (modern-day Haiti) to suppress a slave rebellion, but are forced to withdraw by disease and the army of Toussaint Louverture.
- The Al Bu Falah move to Abu Dhabi.
- The first year of regular production begins for the United States Mint, and the half cent is minted for the first time.
- Niccolò Paganini debuts as a violin virtuoso, at age 11 in Genoa.
- February 4 – French Revolution: The French First Republic abolishes slavery.
- February 11 – The first session of the United States Senate is open to the public.
- March 11 – Canonsburg Academy (now Washington & Jefferson College) is chartered by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
- March 12 – General Antoni Madaliński, a commander of the National Cavalry in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, disobeys an order from the ruling Russian Empire and Kingdom of Prussia imposing demobilization, advancing his troops from Ostrołęka to Kraków.
- March 14 – Eli Whitney is granted a patent for the cotton gin.
- March 24 – Tadeusz Kościuszko makes his proclamation, starting the Kościuszko Uprising against the Russian Empire and Kingdom of Prussia, in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Prussian Partition.
- March 27 – The United States Government authorizes the building of the first six United States Navy vessels (in 1797 the first three frigates, United States, Constellation (1797) and Constitution go into service), not to be confused with October 13, 1775, which is observed as the Navy's Birthday.
- April 4 – Battle of Racławice: Polish supporters of the Kościuszko Uprising defeat forces of the Russian Empire.
- April 5 – French Revolution: Reign of Terror – Georges Danton is executed.
- April 17–19 – Kościuszko Uprising – Warsaw Uprising: The Polish people overthrow the Russian garrison in Warsaw.
- April 29–May 1 – Battle of Boulou: The French defeat the Spanish and Portuguese forces.
- May 7 – French Revolution: Robespierre establishes the Cult of the Supreme Being as the new state religion of the French First Republic.
- May 8 – French Revolution: Reign of Terror – Chemist Antoine Lavoisier is tried, convicted and executed by guillotine in Paris, on the same day as with 27 co-defendants also associated with the former ferme générale.
- May 18 – Battle of Tourcoing: French troops defeat British forces.
- May 28–June 1 – The Glorious First of June (Battle of Ushant): British and French ships battle to a draw.
- June 4 – British troops capture Port-au-Prince in Haiti.
- June 17
- June 24 – Bowdoin College is founded in Brunswick, Maine.
- June 26 – Battle of Fleurus: French forces defeat the Austrians and their allies, leading to permanent loss of the Austrian Netherlands and destruction of the Dutch Republic. French use of an observation balloon marks the first participation of an aircraft in battle.
- July 12 – Horatio Nelson loses the sight in his right eye, in a British military operation at Calvi in Corsica.
- July 13–September 6 – Kościuszko Uprising – Siege of Warsaw: The Polish people resist a siege by armies of the Russian Empire and Kingdom of Prussia.
- July 27 (9 Thermidor) – French Revolution – Thermidorian Reaction: Robespierre and Saint-Just are arrested on the orders of the French National Convention; they are executed the next day, ending the French Revolution's Reign of Terror.
- August 20 – Battle of Fallen Timbers in Northwestern Ohio: American troops defeat Native American tribes of the Western Confederacy.
- August 29 – Stonyhurst College is finally established as a Roman Catholic school in Lancashire, England, having had several European locations.
- September 10 – The University of Tennessee is established at Knoxville.
- October – A Federal army quells the Whiskey Rebellion in the United States.
- October 10 – Battle of Maciejowice: Forces of the Russian Empire defeat Polish supporters of the Kościuszko Uprising; Tadeusz Kościuszko is wounded and captured.
- November 4 – Battle of Praga: Russian General Alexander Suvorov storms Warsaw, in the war against the Polish Kościuszko Uprising, and captures Praga, one of its suburbs, killing many civilians.
- November 14 – The first recorded meeting of the Franklin Literary Society is held at Canonsburg Academy (modern-day Washington & Jefferson College).
- November 19 – The United States and Great Britain conclude the Jay Treaty, the basis for ten years of peaceful trade between the two nations.
- Coffee is forbidden by royal decree in Sweden.
- France occupies Aachen.
- The Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick's Own) Yeomanry, a British Yeomanry Cavalry Regiment, is formed by the Earl of Cassillis at Culzean Castle, Ayrshire.
- Colombian Antonio Nariño translates and publishes the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
- Britain agrees to evacuate border forts in the Northwest Territory (roughly the area north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi), and thereby end British support for the Indians.
- The Oban distillery is built in Scotland.
- January – England records its coldest ever month, in the CET records dating back to 1659.
- January 14 – The University of North Carolina opens to students at Chapel Hill, becoming the first state university in the United States.
- January 16 – The French occupy Utrecht, Netherlands.
- January 18 – Batavian Revolution in Amsterdam: William V, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, flees the country.
- January 19 – The Batavian Republic is proclaimed in Amsterdam.
- January 20 – French troops enter Amsterdam.
- January 21 – Capture of the Dutch fleet at Den Helder: The Dutch fleet, frozen in Zuiderzee, is captured by the French 8th Hussars.
- February 7 – The Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution is passed.
- March – English Benedictine monks expelled from Douai are permitted to proceed to England.
- April 5 – The Peace of Basel is signed, between France and Prussia.
- April 7 – The metric system is adopted in France.
- April 8 – George, Prince of Wales, marries Caroline of Brunswick.
- April 23 – Former Governor-General of India Warren Hastings is acquitted by the British House of Lords of misconduct.
- May 1 – Battle of Nuʻuanu: Kamehameha I of the Island of Hawaii defeats the Oahuans, solidifying his control of the major islands of the archipelago and officially founding the Kingdom of Hawaii.
- May–June – The Battle of Richmond Hill is fought in the colony of New South Wales, between the Darug people and British colonial forces.
- June 5–7 – The Copenhagen Fire of 1795, starting in a naval warehouse, destroys 941 houses.
- June 8 – The Dauphin of France, would-be-Louis XVII, dies. Louis XVIII becomes titular King of France (he becomes the actual king on April 6, 1814).
- June 16–17 – French Revolutionary Wars – Cornwallis's Retreat: A British Royal Navy battle squadron commanded by William Cornwallis fends off a numerically superior French Navy fleet, off the coast of Brittany.
- June 28 – The French government announces that the heir to the French throne has died of illness (many doubt the statement).
- June 27
- July 22 – The Second Treaty of Basel is signed between the French First Republic and Spain, ending the War of the Pyrenees. Spain cedes its half of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola to France.
- July 25 – Construction of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales begins.
- August 3 – The signing of the Treaty of Greenville puts an end to the Northwest Indian War.
- August 22 – French Revolution: The Constitution of the Year III is ratified by the National Convention.
- August 25 – British forces capture Trincomalee, Ceylon.
- August 28 – The Third Treaty of Basel is signed, between the French First Republic and the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel.
- September 11 – Battle of Krtsanisi: The Persian emperor Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar defeats the forces of Heraclius II of Georgia.
- September 15 – French Revolutionary Wars – Invasion of the Cape Colony: British forces capture Cape Town in the Dutch Cape Colony, to use its strategic facilities against the French Navy.
- September 21 – Battle of the Diamond: Protestant forces defeat Catholic troops in Loughgall, Ireland, leading to the foundation of the Orange Order.
- September 28 – The Alliance of St Petersburg is formed between Britain, Russia and Austria against France.
- October 1 – The Austrian Netherlands is annexed to the French Republic, as the Belgian departments.
- October 2 – British forces capture the Île d'Yeu off the coast of Brittany.
- October 5 – 13 Vendémiaire: Royalist riots in Paris are crushed by troops under Paul Barras, and newly reinstalled artillery officer Napoleon Bonaparte.
- October 24 – The Third Partition of Poland is made, dividing the territory of the Commonwealth of Poland between the Habsburg Monarchy, Prussia and the Russian Empire. On November 25, Stanisław August Poniatowski formally abdicates as last King of Poland.
- October 27 – The United States and Spain sign the Treaty of Madrid, which establishes the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.
- November 2 – French Revolution: The French Directory takes power; the influence of the Sans-culottes declines.
- December 13 – Wold Newton meteorite: A meteorite falls at Wold Newton, a hamlet in Yorkshire in England. This meteorite fall is subsequently used as a literary premise by science fiction writer Philip José Farmer, as the basis for the Wold Newton family.
- The United States enters into the Jay Treaty with Great Britain.
- Sweden becomes the first monarchy to recognize the French Republic.
- The Hudson's Bay Company trading post Fort Edmonton is constructed; the city of Edmonton, Alberta, eventually grows from it.
- A large slave rebellion occurs in Curaçao.
- The British Royal Navy makes the use of lemon juice mandatory, to prevent scurvy.
- The harvest fails in Munich.
- Daniel McGinnis discovers the supposed Money Pit on Oak Island, Nova Scotia.
- January 16 – The first Dutch (and general) elections are held for the National Assembly of the Batavian Republic (the next Dutch general elections are held in 1888).
- February 1 – The capital of Upper Canada is moved from Newark to York.
- February 9 – The Qianlong Emperor of China abdicates at age 84 to make way for his son, the Jiaqing Emperor.
- February 16 – The Kingdom of Great Britain is granted control of Ceylon by the Dutch.
- March 9 – Widow Joséphine de Beauharnais marries General Napoléon Bonaparte.
- March 26 – Napoleon Bonaparte arrives at Nice to take command of the Army of Italy (37,000 men and 60 guns), which is scattered in detachments as far as Genoa.
- March 30 – Carl Gauss obtains conditions for the constructibility by ruler and compass of regular polygons, and is able to announce that the regular 17-gon is constructible by ruler and compasses.
- April 2 – The only night of the supposed Shakespearean play Vortigern and Rowena (actually written by William Henry Ireland) ends in the audience's laughter.
- April 12 – War of the First Coalition – Battle of Montenotte: Napoleon Bonaparte gains his first victory as an army commander.
- April 26 – The French proclaim the Republic of Alba on the occupied territories. Two days later, King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia signs the Armistice of Cherasco, in the headquarters of Napoleon. The fortresses of Coni, Tortoni and Alessandria, with all their guns, are given up.
- April 27 – Case of the Lyons Mail: During the night, five highwaymen attack the mail between Paris and Lyon, kill the postmen and steal the funds sent to the armies in Italy.
- May 6 – Napoleon Bonaparte forms an advanced guard (3,500 infantry and 1,500 cavalry) under General Claude Dallemagne. He sends this force along the south bank of the Po River, to cross it with boats at Piacenza.
- May 10 – War of the First Coalition – Battle of Lodi: General Napoleon Bonaparte defeats the Austrian rearguard, in forcing a crossing of the bridge over the Adda River in Italy. The Austrians lose some 2,000 men, 14 guns, and 30 ammunition wagons.
- May 14 – Edward Jenner administers the first smallpox vaccination, in England.
- May 15 – Napoleon's troops take Milan.
- May 20 – The last mock Garrat Elections are held in Surrey, England.
- June 1 – The French-Republican army divisions of the Army of Italy invade the territories of the Serenissima Repubblica di San Marco.
- June 21 – British explorer Mungo Park becomes the first European to reach the Niger River.
- June 23 – Napoleon Bonaparte seizes the Papal States, which become part of the revolutionary Cisalpine Republic. Pope Pius VI signs the Armistice of Bologna, and is forced to pay a contribution (34 million francs).
- July 10 – Carl Friedrich Gauss discovers that every positive integer is representable as a sum of at most 3 triangular numbers.
- July 11 – The United States takes possession of Detroit from Great Britain, under the terms of the Jay Treaty.
- July 21 – Mungo Park reaches Ségou, the capital of the Bamana Empire.
- July 22 – Surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company name an area in Ohio Cleveland, after Gen. Moses Cleaveland, the superintendent of the surveying party.
- July 29 – The Habsburg army under Marshal Wurmser advances from the Alps, and captures Rivoli and Verona. The French abandon the east bank of the Mincio River, the outnumbered division (15,000 men) of Masséna retreats towards Lake Garda.
- August 4 – French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Lonato – The French Army of Italy under Napoleon crushes an Austrian brigade.
- August 5 – French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Castiglione – The French Army of Italy under Napoleon defeats the Habsburg army (25,000 men) under Marshal Wurmser, who thus fails to break the Siege of Mantua (1796–97), and is forced to retreat north up the Adige Valley.
- August 9 – The Wearmouth Bridge in England, designed by Thomas Paine in cast iron, opens to traffic. Its span of 72 m (237 feet) makes it the world's longest single-span vehicular bridge extant at this date.
- August 10 – A mob of peasants overtakes the Convent of St. Peter (Bludenz, Austria) and murders Ignaz Anton von Indermauer.
- August 19 – Second Treaty of San Ildefonso: Spain and France form an alliance against Great Britain.
- September 2 – Jewish emancipation in the Batavian Republic (Netherlands).
- September 8 – French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Bassano – French forces (20,000 men) under André Masséna defeat the Austrians in Veneto. Wurmser retreats towards Vicenza with just 3,500 men of his originally 11,000 left to him.
- September 15 – Siege of Mantua: Napoleon Bonaparte fights a pitched battle at La Favorita on the east side of the Mincio River. The Austrians withdraw into the fortress of Mantua, which is crowded nearly with 30,000 men. Within six weeks, 4,000 die from wounds or sickness.
- September 17 – U.S. President George Washington issues his Farewell Address, which warns against partisan politics and foreign entanglements.
- September 28 – Empress Catherine the Great signs a agreement with Great Britain, formally joining Russia to the coalition.
- October 19 – French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Emmendingen – Austrian forces force the French to retreat, but commanding generals on both sides are killed.
- October – Jane Austen begins writing her first draft of Pride and Prejudice, under the title First Impressions (the book will not be published until 1813).
- November 3 – John Adams defeats Thomas Jefferson, in the U.S. presidential election.
- November 4 – The Treaty of Tripoli (between the United States and Tripoli) is signed at Tripoli (see also 1797).
- November 6
- November 12
- November 17 – Battle of Arcole: French forces under General Napoleon defeat the Austrians at Arcole. After a bold maneuver, he outflanks the Austrian army (24,000 men) under Freiherr József Alvinczi, and cuts off its line of retreat. Alvinczi is forced to take up a defensive position behind the Brenta River.
- December – The British government begins work on a 40-acre (162,000 m²) site at Norman Cross, for the world's first purpose-built prisoner-of-war camp.
- December 7 – The U.S. Electoral College meets to elect John Adams president of the United States.
- The Spanish government lifts the restrictions against neutrals trading with the colonies, thus acknowledging Spain's inability to supply the colonies with needed goods and markets.
- Robert Burns' version of the Scots poem "Auld Lang Syne" is first published, in this year's volume of The Scots Musical Museum.
- Annual British iron production reaches 125,000 tons.
- January 3 – The Treaty of Tripoli, a peace treaty between the United States and Ottoman Tripolitania, is signed at Algiers (see also 1796).
- January 7 – The parliament of the Cisalpine Republic adopts the Italian green-white-red tricolour as the official flag (this is considered the birth of the flag of Italy).
- January 13 – Action of 13 January 1797, part of the French Revolutionary Wars: Two British Royal Navy frigates, HMS Indefatigable and HMS Amazon, drive the French 74-gun ship of the line Droits de l'Homme aground on the coast of Brittany, with over 900 deaths.
- January 14 – Battle of Rivoli: French forces under General Napoleon Bonaparte defeat an Austrian army of 28,000 men, under Feldzeugmeister József Alvinczi, near Rivoli (modern-day Italy), ending Austria's fourth and final attempt to relieve the fortress city of Mantua.
- January 15 – John Hetherington causes a riot in London, by wearing his newly invented top hat in public for the first time.
- January 26 – The Treaty of the Third Partition of Poland is signed in St. Petersburg by the Russian Empire, Austria and the Kingdom of Prussia.
- February 2 – Siege of Mantua: Field marshal Dagobert von Wurmser surrenders the fortress city to the French; only 16,000 men of the garrison are capable of marching out as prisoners of war.
- February 3 – Battle of Faenza: A French corps (9,000 men) under General Claude Victor-Perrin defeats the forces from the Papal States, at Castel Bolognese near Faenza, Italy.
- February 4 – The Riobamba earthquake in Ecuador, estimated magnitude 8.3, causes up to 40,000 casualties.
- February 12 – "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" is first performed, with the music composed in January by Joseph Haydn, which also becomes the tune to the Deutschlandlied, the German national anthem (Deutschland, Deutschland über alles).
- February 14 – French Revolutionary Wars – Battle of Cape St Vincent: The British Royal Navy under Admiral Sir John Jervis defeats a larger Spanish fleet off Cape St. Vincent, Portugal.
- February 18 – Invasion of Trinidad: Spanish Governor José María Chacón peacefully surrenders the colony of Trinidad to a British naval force, commanded by Sir Ralph Abercromby.
- February 19 – Treaty of Tolentino: Pope Pius VI signs a peace treaty with Revolutionary France. He is forced to deliver works of art, treasures, territory, the Comtat Venaissin and 30 million francs.
- February 22 – The last invasion of Britain begins: French forces, under the command of American Colonel William Tate, land near Fishguard, Wales.
- February 25 – William Tate surrenders to the British at Fishguard.
- February 26 – The Bank of England (the national bank of Great Britain) issues the first one-pound and two-pound notes (pound notes discontinued March 11, 1988).
- March 4 – John Adams is sworn in as the second President of the United States.
- March 5 – Protestant missionaries from the London Missionary Society land in Tahiti, from the Duff (celebrated as Missionary Day in French Polynesia).
- March 13 – Médée, an opera by Luigi Cherubini, is premiered in Paris.
- March 16 – Battle of Valvasone: The Austrian army, led by Archduke Charles, fights a rearguard action at the crossing of the Tagliamento River, but is defeated by Napoleon Bonaparte at Valvasone.
- April 16 – The Spithead and Nore mutinies break out in the British Royal Navy.
- April 17 – Battle of San Juan: Sir Ralph Abercromby unsuccessfully invades San Juan, Puerto Rico in what will be one of the largest British attacks on Spanish territories in the western hemisphere, and one of the worst defeats of the British Royal Navy for years to come.
- April 18 – Armistice of Leoben: On behalf of the French Republic, a delegation under Napoleon Bonaparte signs a peace treaty with the Holy Roman Empire at Leoben.
- May 10 – The first ship of the United States Navy, the frigate USS United States, is commissioned.
- May 12 – War of the First Coalition: Napoleon Bonaparte conquers Venice, ending the city and Republic of Venice's 1,100 years of independence. The last doge of Venice, Ludovico Manin, steps down. The Venetian Ghetto is thrown open.
- May 30 – William Wilberforce marries Barbara Ann Spooner.
- June 29 – Napoleon Bonaparte decrees the birth of the Cisalpine Republic; he appoints ministers and establishes the first constitution.
- July 24 – Horatio Nelson is wounded at the Battle of Santa Cruz, losing an arm.
- August 29 – Massacre of Tranent: British troops attack protestors against enforced recruitment into the militia at Tranent, Scotland, killing 12.
- October – The XYZ Affair inflames tensions between France and the United States.
- October 11 – Battle of Camperdown: the British Royal Navy defeats the fleet of the Batavian Republic off the coast of Holland.
- October 17 – The Treaty of Campo Formio ends the War of the First Coalition.
- October 21 – In Boston Harbor, the 44-gun United States Navy frigate USS Constitution is launched to fight Barbary pirates off the coast of Tripoli; the ship will remain in commission in the 21st century.
- October 22 – André-Jacques Garnerin makes the first parachute descent, at Parc Monceau, Paris; he uses a silk parachute to descend approximately 3,000 feet from a hot air balloon.
- November – The students at Rugby School rebel against the headmaster, Henry Ingles, after he decrees that the damage to a tradesman's windows should be paid for by the students.
- November 16 – The Prussian heir apparent, Frederick William, becomes King of Prussia as Fredrick William III.
- December 17 – Napoleon leads a successful French charge against Fort l'Aiguilette, to secure Toulon.
- The secret Lautaro Lodge as the Logia de los Caballeros Racionales ("Lodge of Rational Knights") is founded, perhaps in Cádiz; membership will include many leaders of the Spanish American wars of independence such as Francisco de Miranda, Bernardo O'Higgins and José de San Martín.
- Joseph-Louis Lagrange publishes his treatise on differential calculus, entitled Théorie des fonctions analytiques.
- January 4 – Constantine Hangerli enters Bucharest, as Prince of Wallachia.
- January 22 – A coup d'état is staged in the Netherlands (Batavian Republic). Unitarian Democrat Pieter Vreede ends the power of the parliament (with a conservative-moderate majority).
- February 10 – The papacy is removed from power, by French General Louis-Alexandre Berthier.
- March 5 – French troops enter Bern. 
- March 7 – French forces invade the Papal States, and establish the Roman Republic.
- April 7 – The Mississippi Territory is organized by the United States, from territory ceded by Georgia and South Carolina; later it is twice expanded, to include disputed territory claimed by both the U.S. and Spain (which acquired territory in trade with Great Britain).
- April 12 – The Helvetic Republic, a French client republic, is proclaimed following the collapse of the Old Swiss Confederacy, after the French invasion.
- April 26 – France annexes Geneva.
- May 9 – Napoleon sets off for Toulon, and sails aboard Vice-Admiral Brueys's flagship L'Orient; his squadron is part of a larger fleet of over 300 vessels, carrying almost 37,000 troops.
- May 23 – Irish republicans and nationalists, known as the Society of United Irishmen, launch a rebellion against British rule, in expectation of greater support from France, which only sends 1,100 men. The United Irishmen are unique amongst Irish nationalist movements, in that they unify Catholics and Protestants around republican ideals. The rebellion rages sporadically, but is defeated by the British by October.
- June 12
- June 13 – Mission San Luis Rey de Francia is founded in California.
- July 1 – Egyptian Campaign: Napoleon disembarks his French army in Marabout Bay.
- July 7
- July 11 – The United States Marine Corps is re-established under its present name.
- July 12 – Battle of Shubra Khit: French troops defeat the Mamelukes, during Napoleon's march from Alexandria to take Cairo.
- July 14 – The Alien and Sedition Acts become United States law, making it a federal crime to write, publish, or utter false or malicious statements about the United States government.
- July 16 – The Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen Act is signed into law, creating the Marine Hospital Service, the forerunner to the current United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
- July 21 – Battle of the Pyramids: Napoleon defeats Ottoman forces near the Pyramids.
- July 24 – Napoleon occupies Cairo.
- July 31 – A second round of elections are held in the Netherlands (Batavian Republic); no general elections this time.
- August 1 – Battle of the Nile (near Abu Qir): Lord Nelson defeats the French navy under Admiral Brueys; Nelson himself is wounded in the head.
- August 22 – French troops land at Kilcummin in County Mayo, to assist the Irish rebellion.
- September – Charles Brockden Brown publishes the first significant American novel, the Gothic fiction Wieland: or, The Transformation; an American Tale.
- September 5 – Conscription is made mandatory in France, by the Jourdan Law.
- September 10 – The Piedmontese Republic is declared in the territory of Piedmont.
- September 10 – Battle of St. George's Caye: Off the coast of British Honduras (now Belize), a group of British nationals and African slaves defeat a force sent from Mexico to drive them out.
- September 18 – Lyrical Ballads is published anonymously by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, inaugurating the English Romantic movement in literature.
- October 12
- Battle of Tory Island: A British Royal Navy squadron, under Sir John Borlase Warren, prevents French Republican ships, commanded by Jean-Baptiste-François Bompart, from landing reinforcements for the Society of United Irishmen on the Donegal coast; Irish leader Wolfe Tone is captured, and later dies of his wounds.
- Peasants War against the French occupiers of the Southern Netherlands begins in Overmere.
- November 4 – The Russo-Ottoman siege of Corfu begins.
- November 8 – British whaler John Fearn becomes the first European to land on Nauru.
- December 5 – Peasants War in the Southern Netherlands: The revolt is crushed in Hasselt; during the uprising it is estimated that 5,000 to 10,000 people have been killed.
- December 6 – General Joubert of the Piedmontese Republic occupies the Sardinian capital of Turin.
- An Essay on the Principle of Population is first published (anonymously), by Thomas Malthus.
- Aarau becomes the temporary capital of the Helvetic Republic.
- Alois Senefelder invents lithography.
- Eli Whitney contracts with the U.S. federal government for 10,000 muskets, which he produces with interchangeable parts.
- The first census in Brazil counts 2 million blacks, in a total population of 3.25 million.
- The Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick's Own) Yeomanry, a British Army Yeomanry Cavalry Regiment, formed by The Earl of Cassillis at Culzean Castle, Ayrshire in 1794, is adopted onto the British Army List.
- Jenner publishes his work on smallpox vaccination.
- January 9 – British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger introduces an income tax of two shillings to the pound, to raise funds for Great Britain's war effort in the Napoleonic Wars.
- February 28 – French Revolutionary Wars – Action of 28 February 1799: British Royal Navy frigate HMS Sybille defeats the French frigate Forte, off the mouth of the Hooghly River in the Bay of Bengal, but both captains are killed.
- March 1 – Federalist James Ross becomes President pro tempore of the United States Senate.
- March 3 – The Russo-Ottoman siege of Corfu ends, with the surrender of the French garrison.
- March 7 – Napoleon captures Jaffa, Palestine, and his troops proceed to kill more than 2,000 Albanian captives.
- March 29 – New York passes a law aimed at gradually abolishing slavery in the state.
- May 4 – Battle of Seringapatam: Tipu Sultan is defeated and killed by the British; the captivity of Mangalorean Catholics at Seringapatam ends.
- May 21 – The Siege of Acre ends after two months; Napoleon's attempt to widen his Middle Eastern campaign into Syria is frustrated by Ottoman forces, and he withdraws to Egypt.
- May 27 – Battle of Winterthur: Habsburg forces secure control of north-east Switzerland, from the French Army of the Danube.
- June 18 – French Revolutionary Wars – Action of 18 June 1799: A French frigate squadron, under Rear-admiral Perrée, is captured by the British fleet under Lord Keith, off Toulon.
- July 7 – Ranjit Singh's men take their positions outside Lahore.
- July 12 – Ranjit Singh captures Lahore from the Bhangi Misl, a key step in establishing the Sikh Empire, and becoming Maharaja of the Punjab.
- July 15 – In the Egyptian port city of Rosetta, French Captain Pierre Bouchard finds the Rosetta Stone.
- July 25 – At Aboukir, Egypt, Napoleon defeats 10,000 Ottoman Mamluk troops under Mustafa Pasha.
- August 27 – War of the Second Coalition – Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland: Britain and Russia send an expedition to the Batavian Republic.
- August 30 – Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland – Vlieter Incident: A squadron of the Batavian Republic's navy, commanded by Rear-Admiral Samuel Story, surrenders to the British Royal Navy, under Sir Ralph Abercromby and Admiral Sir Charles Mitchell, near Wieringen, without joining action.
- October 6 – Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland – Battle of Castricum: Franco-Dutch forces defeat the Russo-British expedition force.
- October 9 – HMS Lutine (a famous treasure wreck) is sunk in the West Frisian Islands.
- October 12 – Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse becomes the first woman to jump from a balloon with a parachute, from an altitude of 900 meters.
- October 16 – Action of 16 October 1799: A Spanish treasure convoy worth more than £54,000,000 is captured by the British Royal Navy off Vigo.
- October 18 – Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland: Anglo-Russian expedition forces surrender in North Holland.
- November 9 (Coup of 18 Brumaire) – Napoleon overthrows the French Directory in a coup d'état, which ends the French Revolution.
- November 10 (19 Brumaire) – A remnant of the Council of Ancients in France abolishes the Constitution of the Year III, and ordains the French Consulate with Napoleon as First Consul, with the Constitution of the Year VIII.
- December 14 – George Washington, first President of the United States, dies at Mount Vernon, Virginia.
- December 31 – The Dutch East India Company's charter is allowed to expire by the Batavian Republic.
- The Place Royale in Paris is renamed Place des Vosges, when the Department of Vosges becomes the first to pay new Revolutionary taxes.
- Eli Whitney, holding a 1798 United States government contract for the manufacture of muskets, is introduced by Oliver Wolcott, Jr. to the concept of interchangeable parts, an origin of the American system of manufacturing.
- Conrad John Reed, 12, finds what he describes as a "heavy yellow rock" along Little Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, and makes it a doorstop in his home. Conrad's father John Reed learns that the rock is actually gold in 1802, initiating the first gold rush in the United States.
- The assassination of the 14th Tu'i Kanokupolu, Tukuʻaho, plunges Tonga into half a century of civil war.
- The Nawab (provincial governor) of Oudh in northern India sends to George III of England the Padshah Nama, an official history of the reign of Shah Jahan.
- William Cockerill begins building cotton-spinning equipment in Belgium.
- The small town of Tignish, Prince Edward Island, Canada is founded.
- President George Washington (United States)
- President John Adams (United States)
- Catherine the Great (Russia)
- Paul I of Russia
- Frederick William II of Prussia
- Frederick William III of Prussia
- Louis XVI of France
- Maximilien Robespierre (France)
- Napoleon (France)
- George III of the United Kingdom
- Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger (United Kingdom)
- Charles IV of Spain
- Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
- Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
- Qianlong Emperor
- Jiaqing Emperor
- Pope Pius VI
This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (February 2016)
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