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1790s decade ran from January 1, 1790, to December 31, 1799.
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 14 – U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton submits his proposed plan for payment of American debts, starting with $12,000,000 to pay the foreign debts of the confederation, followed by $40 million for domestic debts, and $21.5 million for the war debts of the states. The plan was narrowly approved 14-12 in the Senate and 34-28 in the House. 
January 15 – Fletcher Christian & 8 mutineers aboard the Bounty land on Pitcairn.
January 26 – Mozart's opera premieres in Così fan tutte 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.
February 25 – North Carolina cedes its western territories (modern day Tennessee) to the federal government. 
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 26 – Congress passes an act to govern the creation of states from the "Southwest Territory", from which Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi will be formed. 
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 is arrested in London; he later receives 40 years for 10 assaults. London Monster
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 10 — The U.S. House of Representatives votes, 32-29 to approve creating the District of Columbia from portions of Maryland and Virginia for the eventual seat of government and national capital. 
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 – U.S. President George Washington signs the Residence Act into law, establishing a site along the Potomac River as the District of Columbia and the future site of the capital of the United States. The move comes after the bill is narrowly approved on July 1 by the Senate, 14 to 12, and on July 9 by the House, 32 to 29. At the same time, plans are made to move the national capital from New York to Philadelphia until the Potomac River site can be completed. 
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).
October 20 – The Harmar Campaign ends in a defeat of U.S. Army General Josiah Harmar and Colonel John Hardin by the Western Confederacy of Indians, led by Chief Mihšihkinaahkwa of the Miami tribe and Weyapiersenwah of the Shawnee at Kekionga (now Fort Wayne, Indiana). 
November 24 – France's Constituent Assembly passes a law requiring all Roman Catholic priests to swear an oath of acceptance of the new French Constitution. 
November 27 – U.S. President George Washington and his wife, Martha Washington, arrive in the new temporary U.S. capital, Philadelphia, and take up residence at the President's House located at 524 Market Street. 
December 2 – Holy Roman Empire forces recapture Brussels, bringing an end to the short-lived United States of Belgium and restoring the Austrian Netherlands.  
December 6 – The United States Congress opens its first session in the new temporary U.S. capital in Philadelphia. 
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 2 – Big Bottom massacre in the Ohio Country, marking the beginning of the Northwest Indian War.
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 8 – The Bank of the United States, based in Philadelphia, is incorporated by the federal government with a 20-year charter and started with $10,000,000 capital. 
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 (first part) is published in London. Rights of Man  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.
July 8 – Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, on a visit to England, is awarded an honorary doctorate of music at the University of Oxford.
July 11 – The ashes of Voltaire are transferred to the in Paris. Panthéon
July 14– 17 – Priestley Riots against Dissenters in Birmingham, England.
July 17 – French Revolution: The Champ de Mars massacre occurs in Paris.
August 4 – The Treaty of Sistova is signed, ending the Ottoman–Habsburg wars.
August 6 – The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin (Prussia) is finished.
August 7 – George Hammond is appointed as Great Britain's first minister to the United States. 
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.
September 5 – An ordinance is written barring the game of baseball within 80 yards of the Meeting House in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the first known reference to the game of baseball in North America. 
September 6 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's , opera seria , premières at the La clemenza di Tito 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 the incumbent 1st President George Washington.
September 12 – The first serious secondary education school open to girls in Denmark, the , is founded in Copenhagen. Døtreskolen af 1791
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 Basque Franciscan 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 is published in France. Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen
November 4 – St. Clair's Defeat, the worst loss suffered by the United States Army in fighting against American Indians, takes place in what is now Mercer County, Ohio. Miami fighters led by Chief Mihsihkinaahkwa (Little Turtle) and by Shawnee warriors commanded by War Chief Weyapiersenwah (Blue Jacket) rout the forces of General Arthur St. Clair and kill 630 U.S. soldiers, along with hundreds of civilians. 
December 4 – The first issue of , the world's first Sunday newspaper, is published in London. The Observer
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. December 23 – Pale of Settlement established by ukase of Catherine the Great, specifying those areas of the Russian Empire in which Jews are permitted permanent residency.
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. 
February 20 – The Parliament House in Dublin catches fire during a legislative session. "Although in imminent danger of the roof falling in," it is noted later, "the House did not adjourn until a proper motion had been put and carried in the affirmative. 
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 14 year old 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 War of the First Coalition.
April 21 – Tiradentes, a leading figure in the Inconfidência Mineira conspiracy, is executed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
May 11 – Robert Gray's Columbia River expedition: Captain Robert Gray, on the , becomes the first white man to discover the mouth of the Columbia Rediviva 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, due to activity of Mount Unzen volcano; 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 , as the first official envoy from Great Britain to China. Lion
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 during December and in absentia outlawed. 
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 is published. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman 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 13 – Nicolas Jean Hugon de Bassville, a representative of Revolutionary France, is lynched by a mob in Rome.
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: The French First Republic declares war on Great Britain, the Dutch Republic and (on March 7) Spain. During the year, the  War of the First Coalition is joined by Portugal, the Holy Roman Empire, Naples and Tuscany in opposition to France.
February 11 – French expedition to Sardinia (Expédition de Sardaigne): A French fleet under admiral Laurent Truguet debarks troops near Cagliari in Sardinia.
February 22 – French expedition to Sardinia: A small French and Corsican force briefly occupies the small Sardinian island of La Maddalena, then withdraws to Corsica. Young lieutenant Napoleon Buonaparte is second-in-command.
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.
April 6 – French Revolutionary Wars: The Committee of Public Safety is established in France, with Georges Danton as its head.
April 9 – Edmond-Charles Genêt, France's new Minister to the United States, arrives at Charleston, South Carolina. 
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 25 – French expedition to Sardinia: The last French troops occupying the small Sardinian island of San Pietro surrender to a Spanish fleet.
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.
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 dechristianization 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.
November 12 – French Revolution: Jean Sylvain Bailly, the first Mayor of Paris, is guillotined.
December 8 – French Revolution: Madame du Barry is guillotined.
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 , becomes a famous treasure ship. Lutine 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.
January 13 – The U.S. Congress enacts a law providing for, effective May 1, 1795, a United States flag of 15 stars and 15 stripes, in recognition of the recent admission of Vermont and Kentucky as the 14th and 15th states. A subsequent act restores the number of stripes to 13, but provides for additional stars upon the admission of each additional state. 
January 21 – King George III delivers the speech opening Parliament and recommends a continuation of Britain's war with France.
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 4 – The Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution is passed by Congress for submission to the states for ratification. 
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 22 – Congress prohibits American ships from supplying slaves to any nation other than the United States, setting a penalty of forfeiture of the ship and a $2,000 fine. 
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 26 – The U.S. lays a 60-day embargo on all shipping to and from Great Britain.  March 27 –
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.
March 13– 14 – Battle of Genoa: The British and Neapolitan fleets are victorious over the French.
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.
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 31 – French Revolution: Revolutionary Tribunal suppressed.
May–June – The is fought in the colony of Battle of Richmond Hill 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 24 – The United States Senate ratifies the Jay Treaty with Great Britain.
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 14 – President Washington signs the Jay Treaty with Britain on behalf of the United States. 
August 17 – A large slave rebellion occurs in Curaçao, suppressed following month.
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 5 – The United States signs a treaty with the Dey of Algiers, ruled by Baba Hassan, pledging the payment of $23,000 a year tribute to prevent piracy against American ships. 
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 20 – The United States signs a treaty with Spain, opening commerce along the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, and establishing boundaries between U.S. territory and Spanish Florida. 
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 Cottage 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. December 28 – Construction of Yonge Street, formerly recognized as the longest street in the world, begins in York, Upper Canada (present-day Toronto).
April 2 – The only night of the supposed Shakespearean play (actually written by Vortigern and Rowena 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.
April 28 – In an impassioned speech, U.S. Representative Fisher Ames of Massachusetts persuades his fellow members of the House to support the Jay Treaty. 
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 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 6– 7 – Ragunda lake in Sweden bursts and drains completely leaving the Döda fallet dry.
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 , after Cleveland 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 (236 ft) 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 , which warns against partisan politics and foreign entanglements. In addition, he sets a precedent by declining to run for a third term. Farewell Address  September 28 – Empress Catherine the Great signs an agreement with Great Britain, formally joining Russia to the coalition.
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's version of the Scots poem is first published, in this year's volume of Auld Lang Syne 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 War of the First Coalition: Two British Royal Navy frigates, HMS and Indefatigable HMS , drive the French Amazon 74-gun ship of the line aground on the coast of Droits de l'Homme Brittany, with over 900 deaths.
January 14 – Battle of Rivoli during the War of the First Coalition: 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, later Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit).
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 – Bank Restriction Act removes the requirement for the Bank of England (the national bank of Great Britain) to convert banknotes into gold - Restriction period lasts until 1821. The Bank of England 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, with an uneventful transition of power from the administration of George Washington. 
March 5 – Protestant missionaries from the London Missionary Society land in Tahiti, from the (celebrated as Duff Missionary Day in French Polynesia).
March 13 – , an opera by Médée 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. March 21 – Battle of Parramatta: Resistance leader Pemulwuy led a group of aboriginal warriors, estimated to be at least 100, in an attack on a government farm at Toongabbie in Sydney, Australia.    
April 16 – The Spithead and Nore mutinies break out in the British Royal Navy.
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. Veronese Easter: Citizens of Verona, Italy, began an unsuccessful eight-day rebellion against the French occupying forces.
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 , is commissioned. United States
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 – English abolitionist William Wilberforce marries Barbara Ann Spooner about six weeks after their first meeting.
June 28 – French troops disembark in Corfu, beginning the First period of French rule in the Ionian Islands. June 29 – Napoleon Bonaparte decrees the birth of the Cisalpine Republic; he appoints ministers and establishes the first constitution.
July 9 – U.S. Senator William Blount becomes the first federal legislator to be expelled from office, as his fellow Senators vote 25 to 1 to block him from his seat during an investigation against him on charges of criminal conspiracy. 
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.
September 4 – The Coup of 18 Fructidor is carried out in France as three of the five members of The Directory, France's executive council, arrested royalist members of the Council of Five Hundred, the national legislature, and discard the results of the spring elections. 
September 5 – France's new government decrees that citizens who left the country without authorization are subject to the death penalty if they return.  September 30 – Dominique-Vincent Ramel-Nogaret, French finance minister, repudiates two thirds of France's debt.
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 18 – The XYZ Affair inflames tensions between France and the United States when American negotiators Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry meet with French government representatives Jean-Conrad Hottinguer, Pierre Bellamy and Lucien Hauteval and are told that a treaty between France and the U.S. will require payment of a bribe to France's Foreign Minister Charles Talleyrand and a large loan of American cash to France. Pinckney tells people later that his response was "No, no, not a sixpence!"; Hottinguer, Bellamy and Hauteval are referred to, respectively, as "X", "Y" and "Z" in U.S. government reports on the failed negotiations. 
October 21 – In Boston Harbor, the 44-gun United States Navy frigate USS is launched to fight Constitution 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 (910 m) 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.
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 Pope is taken captive, and the Papacy is removed from power, by French General Louis-Alexandre Berthier.
February 15 – U.S. Representative Roger Griswold (Fed-CT) beats Congressman Matthew Lyon (Dem-Rep-VT) with a cane after the House declines to censure Lyon earlier spitting in Griswold's face; the House declines to discipline either man.  March –
Irish Rebellion of 1798 against British rule begins when Great Britain's Irish militia arrest the leadership of the Society of United Irishmen, a group unique amongst  Irish republican and nationalist movements in that it unifies Catholics and Protestants (Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist and others) around republican ideals. This month, Lord Castlereagh is appointed Acting Chief Secretary for Ireland and on March 30 martial law is proclaimed here. The first battles in the rebellion are fought on May 24 and it continues through September, but the rebels receive much less than the expectated support from France, which sends only 1,100 men.
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; Aarau becomes the republic's temporary capital.
April 26 – France annexes Geneva.
April 30 – The United States Department of the Navy is established as a cabinet-level department. Benjamin Stoddert, a civilian businessman, is appointed as the first Navy Secretary by President Adams.  
May 9 – Napoleon sets off for Toulon, sailing aboard Vice-Admiral Brueys's flagship ; his L'Orient squadron is part of a larger fleet of over 300 vessels, carrying almost 37,000 troops. 
June 13 – Mission San Luis Rey de Francia is founded in California. June 18 – The first of the four Alien and Sedition Acts, the Naturalization Act of 1798, is signed into law by U.S. President Adams, requiring immigrants to wait 14 years rather than five years to become naturalized citizens of the United States. On June 25, another law is signed authorizing the imprisonment and deportation of any non-citizens deemed to be dangerous. 
July 1 – Egyptian Campaign: Napoleon disembarks his French army in Marabout Bay.
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 fourth of the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Sedition Act of 1798 is signed into 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. 11 of the 13 French battleships are captured or destroyed, including the flagship whose Orient magazine explodes; 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 18 – is published anonymously by Lyrical Ballads Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, inaugurating the English Romantic movement in literature.
September 23 – Battle of Killala: in the last land battle of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, British troops defeat the remaining rebel Irish and French forces at Killala. 
October 2 – The Cherokee nation signs a treaty with the United States allowing free passage through Cherokee lands in Tennessee through the Cumberland Gap through the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia into Kentucky. 
October 7 – U.S. Representative Matthew Lyon of Vermont becomes the first member of Congress to be put on trial for violating the new Sedition Act of 1798. 
October 22 – Capitulation of the French garrison at Hyderabad to East India Company troops under James Kirkpatrick, British Resident.
November 4 – The Russo-Ottoman siege of Corfu begins.
November 8 – British whaler John Fearn becomes the first European to land on Nauru.
November 28 – Trade between the United States and modern-day Uruguay begins when John Leamy's frigate John arrives in Montevideo. 
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.
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.
January 17 – Maltese patriot Dun Mikiel Xerri, along with a number of other patriots, is executed.
January 21 – The Parthenopean Republic is established in Naples by French General Jean Étienne Championnet; King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies flees.
February 9 – Quasi-War: In the single-ship action of USS in the Caribbean, the American ship is the victor. Constellation vs L'Insurgente
February 28 – French Revolutionary Wars: Action of 28 February 1799 – British Royal Navy frigate HMS defeats the Sybille French frigate , off the mouth of the Forte 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 4 – The Russo-Ottoman siege of Corfu ends with the surrender of the French garrison, bringing an end to the  first period of French rule in the Ionian Islands.
March 7 – Siege of Jaffa: 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.
April 27 – French Revolutionary Wars: The Battle of Cassano takes place outside of Milan, as Russian and Austrian troops commanded by General Alexander Suvorov rout the French Army under the command of General Jean Moreau.
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 13 – Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies is restored to his kingdom following collapse of the Parthenopean Republic. 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 29 – Pope Pius VI, at the time the longest reigning Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, dies as a prisoner of war in the citadel of the French city of Valence, after 24½ years of rule.
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.
September 23 – Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford, the Governor of British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka, issues a proclamation declaring that the laws of the Netherlands for the conquered Dutch Ceylon shall be enforced until superseded by new laws. 
September 29 – the Second Roman Republic, a puppet state formed by the French Army after their dissolution of the Papal States and the occupation of Rome, is dissolved 19 months after its creation on February 15, 1798. 
October 6 – Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland – Battle of Castricum: Franco-Dutch forces defeat the Russo-British expedition force.
October 9 – HMS (a famous treasure wreck) is sunk in the Lutine 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 metres (3,000 ft).
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.
November 30 – 1799–1800 Papal conclave opens in Venice at San Giorgio Monastery.
December 3 – War of the Second Coalition: Battle of Wiesloch: Austrian Lieutenant Field Marshal Anton Sztáray defeats the French at Wiesloch.
December 10 – France adopts the metre as its official unit of length.
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
, when the Department of Vosges becomes the first to pay new Revolutionary taxes. Place des Vosges
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 , an official history of the reign of Padshah Nama Shah Jahan.
William Cockerill begins building cotton-spinning equipment in Belgium. The small town of Tignish, Prince Edward Island, Canada is founded.
Notable world leaders
Note: Names of
country leaders shown below in bold face have remained in power continuously throughout the entirety of the decade
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