All links are to Wikipedia entries.
Government, Politics, and War:
- January 1: The Dutch East India Company dissolves.
- May: An assassination attempt is made on George III at Drury Lane Theatre.
- May 5: Great Britain passes the Act of Union to join Great Britain and Ireland into the United Kingdom (to take effect on 1 January 1801). The act is signed by King George III in August.
- May 15: Napoleon crosses the Alps and invades Italy.
- June 14: Napoleon drives the Austrians from Italy (which they had conquered while he was busy in Egypt) in the Battle of Marengo.
- September 4: At the invitation of the Maltese, British troops liberate the Islands of Malta and Gozo from the French. The islands become the Malta Protectorate.
- November 1: U.S. President John Adams becomes the first President of the United States to live in the Executive Mansion (later renamed the White House).
- December 3: Peace negotiations between France and Austria break down, and Napoleon sends General Moreau into Austria, where he is victorious at the Battle of Hohenlinden.
Society and Social History:
- April 24: The U.S. Library of Congress is founded.
Literature, Journalism, and Publishing:
- Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent is published.
- A new edition of Lyrical Ballads is published, with a Preface by William Wordsworth (expanded in the 1802 edition) that stands as a Romantic manifesto on the nature of poetry.
- April 25: English poet William Cowper dies at age 68 .
Art, Architecture, and Design:
- Jacques Louis David paints his famous Portrait of Madame Récamier.
- Francisco Goya paints La maja desnuda (The Nude Maja)
- April 2: Beethoven premiers his Symphony No. 1 in C major in Vienna.
Science and Industry:
- London’s Royal College of Surgeons is founded.
- Yeast is discovered, as a new way to make beer ferment (beer made before 1800 was lambic).
- The first design for a cast iron twin leaf swing bridge is produced by Ralph Walker for the London Docks.
Natural History and Exploration:
- The Antipodes Islands, formerly the home of large herds of fur seals, are discovered by the crew of the British ship HMS Reliance.