All links are to Wikipedia entries.
Government, Politics, and War:
- February 4: The French Republic abolishes slavery.
- April: Joséphine de Beauharnais (future wife of Napoleon) is arrested along with her husband, the Vicomte de Beauharnais, during the Reign of Terror. The vicomte is executed. Josephine will be released in July.
- April 19: Britain signs a treaty with Prussia and the Netherlands against France.
- April 29–May 1: The French defeat Spanish and Portuguese forces at the Battle of Boulou.
- May: Habeas Corpus is suspended in England.
- May 18: French troops defeat British forces at the Battle of Tourcoing.
- June 1: A Royal Navy fleet under the command of Admiral Lord Howe defeats a French fleet in the North Atlantic, capturing six French ships and sinking a seventh in the battle known as The Glorious First of June.
- June 26: French forces defeat the Austrians and their allies at the Battle of Fleurus, 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: British forces take Corsica from the French after bombardment by Captain Horatio Nelson, who loses the sight in his right eye due to an injury in the battle.
- July 28: Robespierre is arrested and executed, ending the Reign of Terror in France.
- November: The Treason Trials exonerate three key British Radicals (Thomas Hardy, John Thelwall, John Horne Tooke) who had been charged with high treason. The trials had been orchestrated by Prime Minister William Pitt as a part of his campaign to cripple the radical movement in Britain, in hopes of avoiding a French-style revolution in England.
Literature, Journalism, and Publishing:
- William Blake publishes Songs of Experience, which includes the poem “The Tyger.”
- Mrs. Ann Radcliffe publishes The Mysteries of Udolpho.
- Thomas Paine‘s The Age of Reason is published.
- Robert Southey‘s first collection of poetry is published.
- January 16: Writer Edward Gibbon dies at age 56.
- April: The first edition of Niklaus von Heideloff’s upscale and exclusive fashion magazine, The Gallery of Fashion, is published.
- May 8: Robert Burns‘ song Scots Wha Hae published in the Morning Chronicle
Art, Architecture, and Design:
- Thomas Lawrence becomes a full member of the Royal Academy, and completes his famous portrait of Sarah Barrett Moulton, known as “Pinkie.”
- William Blake produces The Ancient of Days.
- September 16: Silversmith Hester Bateman dies at age 86.
Theater and Dramatic Arts:
- March: The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, which had been razed in 1791, re-opens in a new building designed by Henry Holland.
Science and Industry:
- March 14: Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin.