The 1720s decade ran from January 1, 1720, to December 31, 1729.
- January 21 – Sweden and Prussia sign the Treaty of Stockholm (Great Northern War).
- February 17 – The Treaty of The Hague is signed between Spain, Britain, France, Austria and the Dutch Republic, ending the War of the Quadruple Alliance.
- February 24 – Battle of Nassau: Spanish forces assault the British settlement of Nassau, Bahamas during the War of the Quadruple Alliance.
- March 11 (February 29 Old Style) – Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden resigns, to let her husband Frederick I take over as king of Sweden. She had desired a joint rule, in a similar manner to William III and Mary II in Britain, but as the Swedish Riksdag of the Estates refuses this, she abdicates in her husband's favour instead.
- April 4 (March 24 Old Style) – The Riksdag of the Estates elects Frederick I new King of Sweden.
- April – "South Sea Bubble" in England: A scheme for the South Sea Company to take over most of the unconsolidated national debt of Britain massively inflates share prices.
- May 3 – The coronation of King Frederick I of Sweden takes place in Stockholm, six weeks after his rule began.
- May 20 – The Treaty of The Hague, signed between Spain and the Quadruple Alliance (Britain, France, the Netherlands and Austria) on February 17, goes into effect. Spain renounces its claims to the Italian possessions of the French throne, and Austria and the Duchy of Savoy trade Sicily for Sardinia.
- May 25 – The British privateer Speedwell, captained by George Shelvocke, is wrecked on the uninhabited island of Más a Tierra, the same island where Alexander Selkirk was marooned for five years; the island off of the coast of Chile is now called Robinson Crusoe Island. The crew is marooned for five months but is able to build a boat from timbers salvaged from the wreck, and is able to escape the island on October 6.
- June 1 – British silversmiths are once again allowed to use sterling silver after 24 years of being limited to lesser quality Britannia silver.
- June 11 – The British Parliament approves the Bubble Act (officially the Royal Exchange and London Assurance Corporation Act 1719), prohibiting the formation of joint-stock companies without prior approval by royal charter.
- June 19 – At Burhanpur (in what is now the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh), the Nizam-ul-Mulk of Hyderabad survives an attempted ambush by Mughal Empire forces dispatched by the Sayyid brothers (Syed Abdullah Khan and Syed Husain Ali Khan Barha) and goes on to establish a rival state in southern India.
- June 25 – The "South Sea Bubble", the phenomenal growth of the South Sea Company, reaches its peak as South Sea stock is priced at £1,060 a share. By the end of September, as panic sales are made, the price falls to £150.
- July 12 – Under the authority of the Bubble Act, the Lords Justice in Great Britain attempt to curb some of the excesses of the stock markets during the "South Sea Bubble". They dissolve a number of petitions for patents and charters, and abolish more than 80 joint-stock companies of dubious merit, but this has little effect on the creation of "Bubbles", ephemeral joint-stock companies created during the hysteria of the times.
- July 14 – (July 3 O.S.) The Treaty of Frederiksborg is signed between Denmark and Sweden, ending the Great Northern War.
- July 27 – The Battle of Grengam takes place in the Ledsund strait between the island communities of Föglö and Lemland. It was the last major naval battle in the Great Northern War that took place in the Åland Islands, marking the end of Russian and Swedish offensive naval operations in Baltic waters.
- August 14 – The Spanish Villasur expedition, which set out on June 16 from New Mexico, with the intention of checking French influence on the Great Plains of North America, ends in failure, as it is ambushed by a Pawnee and Otoe force.
- September 30 – "South Sea Bubble": The English stock market crashes, with dropping prices for stock in the South Sea Company. 
- October 8 – Sayyid Hussain Ali Khan Barha, one of the powerful Sayyid brothers of the Mughal Empire in India, is stabbed to death by Turkish nobleman Haider Beg Dughlat after Dughlat distracts him by giving him a petition to read. The assassination is ordered by Nizam ul-Mulk in retaliation for Sayyid Hussain's attempted ambush on June 19.
- October 15 – Muhammad Ibrahim, a grandson of the late Emperor Bahadur Shah I, is freed from prison by conspirators and declared the Mughal Emperor as a rival of his brother Muhammad Shah, beginning a 32-day reign that is described as being "like a drop of dew upon a blade of grass".
- November 13 – India's Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah defeats his brother, pretender Muhammad Ibrahim in a battle at Hasanpur (in Uttar Pradesh). Ibrahim is returned to incarceration, kept at the citadel of Shahjahanabad, now part of Delhi.
- November 16 – Pirate "Calico Jack" Rackham is brought to trial at Spanish Town in Jamaica; he is hanged at Port Royal two days later.
- December 8 – Fath-Ali Khan Daghestani is deposed from his position as Grand Vizier of Iran (at the time, part of the Safavid Empire), is tortured by Mohammadqoli Khan, the bodyguard of the Safavid Shah, Sultan Husayn.
- The Tuscarora people leave North Carolina as a result of European colonization.
- The Town on Queen Anne's Creek, North Carolina is renamed Edenton, in honor of North Carolina Governor Charles Eden; it is incorporated in 1722.
- The Guild Regulation of 1720 is introduced in Sweden.
- The Kangxi Emperor announces that all western businessmen in China can trade only in Guangzhou.
- Edmond Halley is appointed as Astronomer Royal for England.
- The Academia Real da Historia is founded in Lisbon, Portugal.
- Jonathan Swift begins major composition work on Gulliver's Travels in Ireland.
- Il teatro alla moda, a satirical pamphlet by Benedetto Marcello, is published anonymously in Venice.
- The first yacht club in the world, the Royal Cork Yacht Club, is founded in Ireland.
- January 6 – The Committee of Inquiry on the collapse of the South Sea Company in Great Britain publishes its findings.
- February 5 – James Stanhope, chief minister of Great Britain, dies a day after collapsing while vigorously defending his government's conduct over the "South Sea Bubble" in Parliament.
- March 24 – Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg concertos are completed, and dedicated to Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt.
- April 4 – Robert Walpole becomes the first Prime Minister of Great Britain (although this is more a term of disparagement at this time).
- April 21 – The deadliest outbreak of smallpox in the history of Boston begins when the British ship HMS Sea Horse arrives in Boston Harbor with a crew of sailors who had survived a smallpox epidemic. One of the Seahorse crew who had cleared quarantine develops symptoms the next day and infects other people in a lodging house. Over the next 10 months, 5,759 cases of smallpox are recorded in Boston and 844 people die of the disease.
- April 26 – Pirates John Taylor and Olivier Levasseur capture the 700-ton Portuguese galleon Nossa Senhora do Cabo at Réunion. The total value of treasure on board (from Goa) is estimated as between £100,000 and £875,000, one of the largest pirate hauls ever.  
- May 8 – Pope Innocent XIII succeeds Pope Clement XI, as the 244th pope.
- June 26 – Dr. Zabdiel Boylston of the Harvard University School of Medicine begins the first public inoculation campaign in order to slow the smallpox epidemic in Boston, giving a vaccine to his own son, and then to his slave and the slave's infant son. 
- July 31 – The Spanish expedition led by Coahuila Governor José de Azlor y Virto de Vera, sent to recapture Texas from the French, encounters Neches River the smaller French force of Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, who had led the French expansion westward from the Louisiana territory. Realizing that his forces are badly outnumbered, St. Denis abandons hope of colonizing the east Texas territory and Azlor retakes the area. 
- August 18 – The Sack of Shamakhi occurs, in the Persian Safavid Empire.
- September 10 (August 23 Old Style) – The Treaty of Nystad is signed, ending the Great Northern War.
- October 22 – The Kelantan Sultanate is established at Kelantan Darul Naim (modern-day Kelantan Darul Naim, Malaysia).
- November 2 – The Romanov and architect of the Great Northern War Peter I, is proclaimed the first Emperor of All the Russias. This replaces the 174-year-long Tsardom of Russia with the Russian Empire (it collapses in 1917).
- December 22 – Philip V of Spain signs a Royal Decree in Lerma, transforming the Seminary of Saint Rose of Lima in Caracas into the Universidad Real y Pontificia de Caracas.
- José de Azlor y Virto de Vera, Marquis of San Miguel de Aguayo and governor of Spanish Texas, establishes the fort of Presidio La Bahía at its original location, on the ruins of the failed French Fort Saint Louis.
- Regular mail service between London and New England is established.
- A suggestion box is developed under the eighth shōgun of Japan, Yoshimune Tokugawa.
- January 27 – Moll Flanders is published.
- February 10 – The Battle of Cape Lopez begins off of the coast of West Africa (and present-day Gabon), as the Royal Navy brings an end to the piracy of Bartholomew Roberts, nicknamed "Black Bart". Captained by Chaloner Ogle of the Royal Navy, HMS Swallow fires its cannons as Roberts sails his ship Royal Fortune toward the oncoming Swallow in order to gain time by forcing Swallow to turn around. Standing on the deck, Roberts and two of his crew are killed by the second wave of cannon fire. The remaining 272 pirate crew are captured.
- February 16 – Peter the Great, Tsar of all the Russian Empire, announces that his heir to the throne will be his 4-year old grandson, Prince Pyotr Alekseivich.
- February 21 – Nasir-ud-Din Muḥammad Shah, the Grand Mogul of north India's Mughal empire, names Nizam-ul-Mulk as his Grand Vizier. Three years later, the Nizam will rebel against the Grand Mogul and create his own independent nation as the Nizam of Hyderabad, reigning as Asaf Jah.
- March 8 – Battle of Gulnabad in Persia: The Pashtun people of Afghanistan, led by Mahmud Hotak, decisively defeat forces of the Persian Safavid dynasty, precipitating its fall.
- March 19 – Elections for the British House of Commons begin and continue until May 9.
- April 2 The first Silence Dogood letter is printed, written by Benjamin Franklin.
- April 5 (Easter Sunday) – Dutch admiral Jacob Roggeveen lands on what is now Easter Island.
- May 5 – Pennsylvania colony enacts a statute, requiring all persons importing any person previously convicted of sodomy, to pay £5 for each such incoming person.
- May 9 – Elections for the British House of Commons begin close, as Prime Minister Robert Walpole's Whig Party increases its majority in Common, capturing 48 additional seats from the Tory Party and having a 389 to 169 advantage.
- June 15 – Pirate Edward Low and his men sail the stolen ship Rebecca into Port Roseway near modern Shelburne, Nova Scotia, where 13 fishing boats from Massachusetts are anchored. Over the next few days, the pirates board the boats and lay siege to them. On June 19, Low confiscates the schooner Mary from its owner, Joseph Dolliber, outfits it with cannons and renames it the Fancy. Eight of the fishermen are taken hostage as the stolen vessel departs, including Philip Ashton. 
- July 25 – Father Rale's War (1722–25) begins along the Maine and Massachusetts border.
- July 26 &ndash (July 15 O.S.); The Russo-Persian War begins, with Peter the Great's Persian campaign.
- August 24 – Francis Atterbury, the Anglican Bishop of Rochester and Dean of Westminster Abbey, is arrested and charged with treason. The arrest of Atterbury and his accused co-conspirators foils the "Atterbury Plot" with conspiracy to overthrow the House of Hanover and King George I of Great Britain and to restore the House of Stuart and to install former Prince James Francis Edward Stuart as "King James III".
- September 6 – Wälättä Giyorgis, a 16-year-old who nursed Ethiopia's Emperor Bakaffa back to health after he fell ill, marries the Emperor and begins her rise to power as the Empress Mentewab. Upon Bakaffa's death in 1730, Mentewab becomes the regent for her son by Bakaffa, Iyasu II.
- September 23 – La Nouvelle-Orléans (New Orleans), recently established by France as the capital of the Louisiana Territory is hit by what is later called the "Great Hurricane of 1722", starting with 7 feet (2.1 m) high waves, followed by winds in excess of 100 miles per hour (160 km/h). By September 24, "Almost every public building in New Orleans, from the hospital to the cathedral" is "either unroofed or totally ruined." 
- October 23 – The six-month-long Siege of Isfahan ends, when the Safavid capital Isfahan capitulates to the Afghan rebels. Safavid Sultan Husayn abdicates, and acknowledges Mahmud Hotak as the new Shah of Persia.
- November 4 (O.S.) – (November 15 N.S.) Russia's Tsar Peter the Great issues an order establishing the Caspian Flotilla during its war against Persia, to gain complete control of the landlocked Caspian Sea.
- November 20 – The Dutch East India Company cargo ship Schoonenberg runs aground in South Africa's Struis Bay and is looted by most of its 110 crew, beginning a legend and questions of whether the wreck was part of a conspiracy or simply an accident. Almost 300 years later, the event is reconstructed in detail by investigators.
- December 20 – After the longest reign by a Chinese Emperor in history (61 years), the Kangxi Emperor dies, and is succeeded by his son Yinzhen as Yongzheng Emperor.
- Edenton is incorporated as the county seat of Chowan County, North Carolina. The governor and assembly of North Carolina move to Edenton, making it the de facto capital of North Carolina until 1746, when the government is moved to New Bern.
- Peter the Great of Russia creates the Table of Ranks.
- A small group of Bohemian Brethren (the "Hidden Seed") from northern Moravia are allowed to settle in a new village, Herrnhut, on the Berthelsdorf estate of the pietist Count Nicolaus Zinzendorf in Upper Lusatia (Saxony), forming the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine, seed of the Moravian Church's renewal.
- The first public theatre in Denmark, Lille Grønnegade Theatre, is founded in Copenhagen.
- Modern music theory finds definition, in Jean-Philippe Rameau's Traité de l'harmonie réduite à ses principes naturels ("Treatise on Harmony"), published in Paris.
- The Brown Bess Musket enters into the service of the British Army.
- Johann Sebastian Bach composes The Well-Tempered Clavier.
- January 25 – British pirate Edward Low, intercepts the Portuguese ship Nostra Signiora de Victoria. After the Portuguese captain throws his treasure of 11,000 gold coins into the sea rather than surrendering it, Low orders the captain's brutal torture and execution, then has the rest of the Victoria crew murdered.
- February 4 – The Kangxi Era ends in Qing dynasty China and the Yongzheng Era begins with the coronation of Yinzhen, the Yongzheng Emperor.
- February 15 – King Louis XV of France attains his majority on his 13th birthday, bringing an end to the regency of his cousin Philippe II, Duke of Orléans.
- March 9 – The Mapuche Uprising begins in Chile as the indigenous Mapuche people, commanded by Toqui (war chief) Vilumilla, leading an attack against the city of Tucapel. The war lasts until February 13, 1726.
- March 28 – The capture of Rasht from the Persian Empire by the Russian Empire brings Rasht and the Gilan Province under Russian control.
- April 1 – In Switzerland, the attempt by Major Abraham Davel to make the canton of Vaud independent of the Swiss government, is put down, one day after he and 500 men had taken control of the Vaudois capital, Lausanne. Davel is arrested, tortured and tried for treason; he is beheaded on April 24.
- May 27 – The Black Act 1723, intended to combat illegal hunting in Great Britain, comes into force and expands the number of crimes that are punishable by death, and remains in effect for 100 years.
- June 26 – Russo-Persian War: Baku surrenders to the Russians.
- July 12 – Christian von Wolff holds a lecture for students and the magistrates at the end of his term as a rector, as a result of which he is banned from Prussia, on a charge of atheism.
- August 10 – Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, who had served as the Regent of France to rule for King Louis XV from 1715 until the latter's attainment of majority on February 15, is appointed by the King to serve as his Prime Minister, but dies in office less than four months later.
- August 11 – The Ostend Company is chartered by merchants and shipowners to establish trade for the Austrian Netherlands in the East Indies and West Indies. Over the next two days, 54 major investors in Antwerp purchase the shares of stock in the company.
- August 15 – The Peterhof Palace is opened in a formal ceremony just outside Saint Petersburg, capital of the Russian Empire.
- September 1 – The Treaty of St. Petersburg is signed in Russia.
- September 14 – Grand Master António Manoel de Vilhena lays down the first stone of Fort Manoel in Malta.
- October 23 – Russia's Emperor Peter the Great authorizes an incentive for men of Serbia to join a new Russian Imperial Army unit, the Serbian Hussar Regiment. The Emperor sends Jovan Albanez to recruit new officers and troops with a grant of farmable land in Russia, and 1,070 take advantage of the offer over the next two years.
- October 31 – Gian Gastone de' Medici becomes the new Grand Duke of Tuscany upon the death of his father Cosimo III. During Cosimo's reign, the treasury of the nation was depleted and Tuscany became one of the poorest nations in Europe. Gian Gastone's death in 1737 brings an end to Tuscan rule by the House of Medici
- November 23 – The Province of Carolina incorporates New Bern as Newbern (the town later becomes the capital of North Carolina until Raleigh is founded).
- December 2 – Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, regent of France from 1715 to 1723, and then as Prime Minister since August 10, dies at the age of 49.
- December 26 – Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes, BWV 40, by Johann Sebastian Bach, is first performed in Leipzig.
- The Province of Carolina incorporates Beaufort, North Carolina, as the Port of Beaufort, making it the third incorporated town in the province.
- The Four Seasons, a set of violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi, is composed.
- January 15 – King Philip V of Spain abdicates the throne in favour of his 16-year-old son Louis I.
- January 18 – The Dutch East India Company cargo ship Fortuyn, on its maiden voyage, departs from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa after a layover of 16 days following its arrival from the Netherlands. With a crew of 225 commanded by Pieter Westrik the ship departs for Batavia in the Dutch East Indies and is never seen again.
- January 22 – Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, Spanish Captain general of the Río de la Plata, forces the Portuguese to abandon their fortified settlement at what will become the city of Montevideo in Uruguay.
- January 28 – Saint Petersburg State University is established in Russia.
- February 8 – Catherine I of Russia is officially named czarina by her husband, Peter the Great.
- February 20 – The premiere of Giulio Cesare, an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel, takes place in London.
- March 7 – Pope Innocent XIII dies at the age of 68 after less than three years as the Roman Catholic pontiff.
- March 20 – The conclave to elect a new Pope opens in Rome, 13 days after the death of Innocent XIII. Starting with 33 electors and eventually having 53, the conclave deliberates for more than two months before selecting a successor.
- April 7 – The premiere performance, of the St John Passion (BWV 245) of Johann Sebastian Bach, takes place at St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig.
- April 28 – The first of the seven "Drapier's Letters" satirical pamphlets, seeking to turn British public opinion against Ireland, is distributed by Jonathan Swift, who writes under the pseudonym "M. B., Drapier", identifying himself as a drapier or seller of cloth.
- May 13 – Cardinal Giulio Piazza, the Archbishop of Faenza, comes within four votes of being elected the new Pope
- May 29 – Cardinal Vincenzo Orsini, the Archbishop of Benevento, accepts the papacy, two days after being unanimously selected by the cardinals at the papal conclave in Rome. He becomes the 245th pontiff as Pope Benedict XIII.
- June 23 – The Treaty of Constantinople is signed, partitioning Persia between the Ottoman Empire and Russia.
- July 27 – Peter the Wild Boy is captured near Helpensen in Hanover.
- July 31 – The Hyderabad State is created in India, as the Mughal Emperor, Muhammad Shah rewards his associate Mir Qamar-ud-din Khan. Qamar-ud-din becomes the first Nizam of Hyderabad. The princely state exists for more than 220 years, coming to an end after India's independence from Britain.
- August 31 – Louis I of Spain dies of smallpox, aged 17, after a reign of seven months, and his father Philip V resumes the throne.
- September 4 – José de Grimaldo, who had been Prime Minister for Spain's King Philip V until the latter's abdication in January, resumes office with the return of King Philip.
- September 24 – The Paris Nourse, the stock exchange for France, is created by order of King Louis XV on the advice of Nicolas Ravot d'Ombreval, four years after a financial panic had shut down trading. Stock markets had already been set up in Lyon, Bourdeaux and Toulouse.
- October 2 – Muhammad bin Nasir is elected as the new Imam of Oman after the overthrow of his brother, Saif bin Sultan II
- October 15 – The historic Teatro Nuovo opera house is inaugurated in Naples with the premiere of Antonio Orefice's comic opera Lo Simmele.
- October 16 – Yeongjo becomes the new Emperor of Korea after the death of his older brother, Gyeongjong. He reigns for almost 52 years until his death on April 22, 1776.
- October 31 – George Frideric Handel's opera Tamerlano is performed for the first time, premiering in London. The opera has been revived as recently as 2009.
- November 11 – Joseph Blake (alias Blueskin), English highwayman, is hanged in London.
- November 16
- November 19 – The Dutch East India Company frigate Slot ter Hooge strikes rocks and sinks off Porto Santo Island, Madeira, with the loss of 221 of the 254 people on board.
- December 2 – The Metropolitan Mojsije Petrović, leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church within the Habsburg monarchy, issues a 57-point decree to purge the church of the Turkish influence.
- December 7 –
- In the aftermath of an attack against Jesuit Catholics led by the Lutheran Mayor of the Prussian City of Thorn (now Toruń in Poland), the execution of the 10 Lutheran officials (including Mayor Johann Gottfried Rösner) is carried out publicly in the town square. Rösner and seven others are decapitated by an axe, while two others are hanged, drawn and quartered for blasphemy.
- By order of the Nizam, Hyderabad is made the permanent capital of the Indian princely state of the same name. It is now the capital of the Indian states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
- December 14 – The Viceroyalty of Zhili (now the Heibei province) is recreated in the Chinese Empire by the Emperor Yongzheng for the first time in 55 years, with Li Weijun as the first Viceory. Zhili exists as a viceroyalty until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912.
- December 24 – Francesco Valesio resumes writing his Diario di Roma, 13 years after he ceased his recording of daily life in Rome.
- China expels foreign missionaries.
- Blenheim Palace construction is completed in England. It is presented as a gift from the nation to the Duke of Marlborough, for his involvement in the Battle of Blenheim in 1704.
- The Austrian Netherlands agree to the Pragmatic Sanction.
- Shah Mahmud Hotaki of Afghanistan goes insane.
- Longman, the oldest surviving publishing house in England, is founded.
- January 15 – James Macrae, a former captain of a freighter for the British East India Company, is hired by the Company to administer the Madras Presidency (at the time, the "Presidency of Fort St. George"), and begins major reforms. At the time, the area administered is most of southern India, including what is now the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, parts the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha and the union territory of Lakshadweep.
- January – In Japan, the policy of the Gonin-gumi organizing groups of every five households in a town into units collectively responsible for the good behavior of everyone in the unit, goes into effect as the register of units is completed by the Tokugawa shogunate. 
- February 8 – Catherine I becomes Empress of Russia, on the death of her husband, Peter the Great.
- February 20 – The first reported case of white men scalping Native Americans takes place in New Hampshire colony.
- March 2 – In London, a night watchman finds a severed head by the River Thames; it is later recognized to be that of the husband of Catherine Hayes. She and an accomplice are later executed.
- March 30 – The second performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's St John Passion, BWV 245 (including 5 movements from his Weimarer Passion), takes place at St. Thomas Church, Leipzig.
- April 30 – Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor and King Philip V of Spain sign the Treaty of Vienna.
- May 12 – The Black Watch is raised as a military company, as part of the pacification of the Scottish Highlands under General George Wade.
- May 21 – On the day of the grand wedding of her daughter Anna to the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, Empress Catherine I of Russia creates the Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky
- May 24 – Jonathan Wild, fraudulent Thief-Taker General, is hanged at Tyburn in London, for actually aiding criminals.
- June 23 – The Malt tax riots begin in Scotland in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, after the price of beer and scotch whiskey increases. Earlier in the year, the British government extended the taxes in England on malted grain to brewers and distilleries in Scotland. The rioting then spreads throughout Scot counties.
- June 24 – The Grand Lodge of Ireland in Dublin holds its first recorded meeting, making it the second most senior Grand Lodge in world Freemasonry, and the oldest in continuous existence.
- July 8 – Mattheus de Haan becomes the new Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), governing until his death on June 1, 1729 in Batavia (now Jakarta).
- July 15 – Sir Richard Everard becomes the 4th Governor of North Carolina.
- August 15 – The civil marriage of King Louis XV of France and Princess Maria Leszczyńska of Poland is held at Strasbourg. The King is not present, and his cousin, the Duke of Orléans, serves as his proxy.
- August 27 – At least 216 people die in the sinking of the Chameau, a ship of the French Navy, after the vessel is driven by a storm into rocks off of the coast of Nova Scotia. Reportedly, 180 bodies wash ashore near Louisbourg. The ship's cargo, which included fortune in gold and silver coins, is discovered 240 years later in 1965.
- September 5 – The day after they meet for the first time, the wedding ceremony of King Louis and Marie takes place in Fontainebleau, making her the Queen Consort of France. Their marriage lasts for almost 43 years until her death in 1768.
- September 16 – The Treaty of Hanover is signed between Great Britain, France and Prussia.
- October 19 – Johan Paul Schagen in appointed by the Dutch East India Company to serve as the Governor of Ceylon after the death of Johannes Hertenberg.
- October 23 – Russia's Emperor, Peter the Great, dispatches 1,500 troops and 120 civilians to Russia's border with China, on a mission to survey the boundaries in order to make a treaty with the Chinese Empire. Serbian adventurer Sava Vladislavich leads a group of cartographers to prepare maps in advance of traveling on to Beijing.
- November 5 – The fourth and final treaty of the 1725 Peace of Vienna is signed to create an alliance between Austria and Spain.
- November 8 – The first newspaper in the Province of New York, the New-York Gazette, is introduced by William Bradford as a weekly publication.
- November 22 – Chief Chicagou of the Mitchigamea tribe, and chiefs of five other tribes of the Illini Confederation, are received as guests of King Louis XV in Paris. Chicagou pledges the Illini's support of the French presence in North America.
- November 26 – British astronomers James Bradley and Samuel Molyneux set up a telescope in Molyneux's private observatory at to begin their observations of stellar parallax of the star Gamma Draconis.  The observations, which start on December 3, lead to Bradley's pioneering discovery of the aberration of light.
- December 12 – Johan Willem Ripperda of the Netherlands, the former Dutch Ambassador to Spain, arrives in Madrid and claims that King Philip V has appointed him as the new Prime Minister. The bluff is successful and he is granted authority by the King's advisers, but after four months, he is forced to resign.
- December 15 – A treaty is signed by chiefs of four member tribes of the Wabanaki Confederacy (the Abenaki, Pequawket, Mi'kmaq, Maliseet) and representatives of three British provinces in North America (Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire and Nova Scotia) and their allies, the Mohawk nation, bringing an end to Dummer's War, named for acting Massachusetts Bay Governor William Dummer.
- The Terengganu Sultanate is established at Terengganu Darul Iman (now known as Terengganu Darul Iman, Malaysia).
- A fire in Wapping, London, destroys 70 houses.
- In Qing dynasty China, 66 copies of a 5,020 volume-long encyclopedia, the Gujin Tushu Jicheng (Complete Collection of Illustrations and Writings from the Earliest to Current Times) are printed, necessitating the crafting of 250,000 movable type characters cast in bronze.
- Freemasonry is established in France, as an English import.
- January 12 – (N.S.) The Conventicle Act (Konventikelplakatet) is adopted in Sweden, outlawing all non-Lutheran religious meetings outside of church services.
- January 26 – The First Treaty of Vienna is signed between Austria, the Holy Roman Empire and Spain, creating the Austro-Spanish Alliance in advance of a war against Great Britain.
- January 27 – On its maiden voyage, the Dutch East India Company frigate Aagtekerke departs from the Dutch Cape Colony on the second leg of its journey to the Dutch East Indies and is never seen again. Aagtekerke had carried with it a crew of 200 men and was lost somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
- February 8 – The Supreme Privy Council is established in Russia.
- February 13 – The Parliament of Negrete (between Mapuche and Spanish authorities in Chile) brings an end to the Mapuche uprising of 1723–26.
- March 10 – China's Emperor Yongzheng issues a special edict instructing his "Vice Minister of Punishments" Huang Bing to interrogate Qin Daoran, who provides the evidence that Yongzheng's brothers Yintang, Yin-ssu and Yin-ti, had conspired to overthrow the Emperor.
- March 29 – The first large shipment of slaves arrives in New Orleans as the slave ship L'Aurore arrives with 290 black people captured in Gambia. During the 90-day voyage from Gorée in Senegal, 60 of the slaves had died.
- March 30 – After King Haffon of the West African Kingdom of Whydah (now in Benin) allows Portuguese traders to build Fort São João Batista in the capital at Savi, mercenaries of the Dutch West India Company make a failed attempt to destroy the fort by "throwing two flaming spears over the walls". By 1726, traders from Britain, France, the Netherlands and Portugal are all competing to establish trade with Whydah, which supplies other West Africans to be used as slaves.
- March 31 – France's first ambassador to Russia, Jacques de Campredon, leaves after four years of trying to negotiate a Franco-Russian alliance with Catherine the Great and a failed attempt to arrange a marriage between King Louis XV and Catherine's daughter Elizabeth.
- April 15 – Isaac Newton tells William Stukeley the story of how he developed his theory of gravity.
- May 1 – Voltaire begins his exile in England.
- June 11 – Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon, is dismissed from being the Prime Minister of France and Jean Pâris de Monmartel is removed from his position as Guard of the Royal Treasury by King Louis XV. The King selects his former tutor, André-Hercule de Fleury to replace the Duke of Bourbon as his Chief Minister. Fleury and the Duke of Bourbon had clashed with each other in their services as adviser to the King, and Fleury's departure from the court in protest and led to his recall and the firing of the Duke.
- July 11 – André-Hercule Cardinal de Fleury, recalled from exile by King Louis XV of France, banishes Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon, and Madame de Prie from court.
- August 7 – Pirate Nicholas Brown is captured near Xtabi, Jamaica.
- September 6 – An explosion kills all but seven of the 700 passengers and crew on the Portuguese Navy galleon HMFMS Santa Rosa as its cargo of gunpowder blows up. Historians speculate that of the 693 people on the ship, those who weren't killed by the explosion drowned or were killed by sharks as the ship went down off of the coast of Recife.
- September 16 – An earthquake strikes Sicily and kills 226 people in Palermo.
- September 11 – French bishop André-Hercule de Fleury, later Prime Minister for King Louis XV of France, is made a Roman Catholic Cardinal by Pope Benedict XIII.
- September 23 – Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, issues an order limiting the number of Jews who can be legally recognized as legitimate householders.
- September 14 – The Nanfan Treaty of July 19, 1701 between the Iroquois Confederacy and the British Province of New York, is amended by both parties.
- September 24 – Permission to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, celebrated on July 17, is extended by Pope Benedict XIII to the entire Roman Catholic Church.
- October 26 – Jonathan Swift's satirical novel Gulliver's Travels is first published (anonymously) in London; it sells out within a week.
- November 20 – Callinicus, Metropolitan of Heraclea dies suddenly only one day after being elected the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the highest office in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Callinicus is said to have paid a record fee to the Ottoman Sultan to guarantee his appointment.
- November – Mary Toft allegedly gives birth to 16 rabbits in England; the story is later revealed to be a hoax.
- December 24 – The settlement of Montevideo is founded by the Spaniards in the Viceroyalty of Peru.
- The Gujin Tushu Jicheng, an immense Chinese encyclopedia, is printed using copper-based movable type printing.
- Muhammad bin Saud becomes head of the House of Saud.
- The remaining ruins of Liverpool Castle in England are finally demolished.
- January 1 – (December 21, 1726 O.S.) Spain's ambassador to Great Britain demands that the British return Gibraltar after accusing Britain of violating the terms of the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht. Britain refuses and the Thirteenth Siege of Gibraltar begins on February 22.
- January 6 – Martin Spangberg and two other members of the First Kamchatka expedition arrived in Okhotsk after a journey from Saint Petersburg of almost two years. After the end of winter, the 63-member group, commanded by Vitus Bering proceeded to the Kamchatka River to prepare for exploration of the Arctic.
- January 9 – The world-famous Charité hospital was established in Berlin to be used for research and to help the poor. Prussia's King Frederick William I had ordered the conversion of a 16-year old institution originally built in anticipation of an epidemic of the bubonic plague.
- January 12 – Abd el-Sayed of Egypt was enthroned as Pope John XVII of Alexandria became the leader of the Coptic Christian Church as the 105th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Holy See of St. Mark. He would serve until his death on April 20, 1745.
- February 2 – Johann Sebastian Bach's solo cantata, Ich habe genug, BWV 82, premieres in Leipzig.
- February 20 – German composer George Frideric Handel becomes a British subject.
- February 22 (February 11, 1726 O.S.) – Spain besieges the British-held territory of Gibraltar, in order to recapture it.  Britain's Royal Navy begins a blockade of Spanish ports and the unsuccessful siege ends with the signing of a truce on June 24.
- March 4 – In the Battle of Halidzor in Armenia, a small group of defenders overcomes a much larger Ottoman Empire army.
- March 9 – The west African Kingdom of Dahomey, ruled by King Trudo Agaja, conquers and annexes the Kingdom of Xwéda after King Haffon is killed in battle. Three years earlier, Agaja conquered the neighboring state of Allada.
- March 22 – After 55 years as Sultan of Morocco, Ismail Ibn Sharif dies at the age of 81, prompting a 30 year battle between seven of his sons for succession to the throne.
- April 11 – Johann Sebastian Bach's St Matthew Passion (BWV 244b) premieres at St. Thomas Church, Leipzig.
- May 12 – History of the Moravian Church: The 18th century renewal: The Brotherly Agreement is adopted by the Moravian Church community at Herrnhut, under the influence of Count Nicolaus Zinzendorf, beginning the Church's renewal.
- May 31 – The Royal Bank of Scotland is founded by Royal Charter in Edinburgh.
- June 11 – George, Prince of Wales, becomes King George II of Great Britain, on the death of his father.
- June 23– Spain ceases hostilities after its attempt to recapture Gibraltar from Britain fails. A truce is signed the next day. 
- June 27 – Uxbridge, Massachusetts, is incorporated as a town.
- July 1 – In India, Shuja-ud-Din Muhammad Khan becomes the new Nawab of Bengal after the death of his father-in-law, Murshid Quli Khan. At the time, Bengal consists of what is now the nation of Bangladesh and the southeast Indian state of West Bengal and is subservient to the Mughal Empire.
- July 23 – Seventeen Ursuline Sisters from France land in New Orleans, in the Louisiana territory of New France, after a journey that began on February 22. They later create the orphanage which is the predecessor of Catholic Charities and the Ursuline Academy, oldest Catholic school in the United States.
- August 13 – History of the Moravian Church: The 18th century renewal: The Moravian Church community at Herrnhut undergoes a Pentecostalist experience.
- August 14 – Elections for the House of Commons begin in Great Britain and continue until October 17.
- August 30 – Anne, eldest daughter of King George II of Great Britain, is given the title Princess Royal.
- September 8 – A barn fire during a puppet show in the village of Burwell, Cambridgeshire, England, kills 78 people, many of them children. Another report says that all but six of the 160 persons assembled were killed in the accidental fire.
- October 11 – George II of Great Britain is crowned. Handel's Coronation Anthems are composed for the event, including Zadok the Priest, which has been played at every subsequent Coronation of the British monarch.
- October 17 – With voting for the British House of Commons concluding, the Whigs, led by Sir Robert Walpole, increase their supermajority, winning 415 of the 558 seats. The Tories share of Commons decreases from 169 to 128.
- November 18 – An earthquake in Tazriz, Persia kills 77,000.
- November 21 – The Netherlands signs the Treaty of Seville.
- November 27 – The foundation stone of the Jerusalem's Church in Berlin is laid.
- December 8 – For the first time since the union of England and Scotland into Great Britain, the Royal Bank of Scotland, which still retains the right to print currency, issues its first pound note, printing paper currency for twenty shillings. The Scottish pound note continues to be printed until 2001 and the smallest denomination now is a five pound note.
- December 17 – The London Evening Post, a conservative newspaper, publishes its first issue. It continues in regular publication for 70 years.
- An old woman known as Janet (Jenny) Horne of Loth, Sutherland becomes the last alleged witch in the British Isles to be executed, when she is burned at the stake in Dornoch, Scotland. (Some sources give the date as June 1722.)
- The first Amish move to North America.
- 1727–1800 – Lt. Col. Francisco de Mello Palheta smuggles coffee seeds to Brazil in a bouquet, starting a coffee empire.
- January 5 – The Real y Pontificia Universidad de San Gerónimo de la Habana, the oldest university in Cuba, is founded in Havana.
- January 9 – The coronation of Peter II as the Tsar of the Russian Empire takes place in Moscow.
- January 29 – The Beggar's Opera, the most popular theatrical production of the 18th century, is performed for the first time. The premiere takes place at the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre in London. Written by John Gay with music arranged by Johann Christoph Pepusch, the ballad opera is a satire of Italian opera.
- February 28 – In the Battle of Palkhed, Maratha Peshwa Bajirao I defeats the first Nizam of Hyderabad, Nizam-ul-Mulk.
- March 14 – Jean-Jacques Rousseau leaves Geneva for the first time.
- April 14 – Saint Serapion of Algiers, the first Mercedarian (of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy is canonized by Pope Benedict XIII.
- April 29 – John Essington, a member of the British House of Commons, is expelled from Commons after a successful petition to have him unseated. Essington, deep in debt, dies in Newgate Prison less than year later.
- April 30 – The 82 survivors of the wreckage of the Dutch East India Company frigate Zeewijk arrive in the new ship that they had built, Sloepie, at their original destination of Batavia in the Dutch East Indies (now Jakarta in Indonesia.
- May 16 – Saint Margaret of Cortona, the patron saint of the falsely accused, homeless people and mental illness sufferers, is canonized.
- May 25 – Pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand of Sovana), who served as pontiff from 1073 to 1085, is canonized as a Roman Catholic saint.
- May 31 – The Royal Bank of Scotland extends the first overdraft (to Edinburgh merchant William Hogg for £1,000).
- June 14 – The Congress of Soissons opens at the French town of Soissons to negotiate a treaty between Great Britain and Spain.  The treaty, which is concluded on November 9, 1729, recognizes the Spanish royal family's rule of parts of Italy, and Britain's possession of Gibraltar and Menorca.
- June 25 – The Treaty of Kyakhta was signed at the border city of Kyakhta between Russia and China by representatives of the Tsar Peter II and the Emperor Yongzheng.
- July 14– The First Kamchatka Expedition, led by Vitus Bering and his crew sail northward on the ship Archangel Gabriel from the Kamchatka Peninsula, through the Bering Strait, and round Cape Dezhnev.
- July 17– At the age of 8, Prince Teruhito, son of Emperor Nakamikado, is named as the Crown Prince of Japan. Teruhito becomes the Emperor Sakuramachi at age 15 upon his father's death.
- July 18– After a reign of only four months, Abdalmalik is deposed as Sultan of Morocco by his half-brother Ahmad ad Dahabi, whom he had deposed on March 13. Abdalmalik is later captured and executed on March 2, 1729.
- July 23– At the conclusion of the Szeged witch trials in the city of the same name in Hungary, six men and six women are burned at the stake on the island of Boszorkány Sziget (Hungarian for "Witch Island").
- August 16 – Because of advancing Arctic ice, the First Kamchatka Expedition turns around after Vitus Bering concludes (inaccurately) that it had reached the easternmost point of Russia and Asia, and fails to spot the coast of Alaska because of the weather.
- August 29 – The City of Nuuk is founded in Greenland, as Fort Godt-Haab, by royal governor Claus Paarss.
- Late Summer – Voltaire ends his exile in England.
- October 20–23 – The Copenhagen Fire of 1728 (the largest in the Danish city's history) burns.
- November 25– In India, the Maratha Empire's army invades the Mughal Empire's Malwa province, crossing the Narmada River. On November 29, the two armies clash at the Battle of Amjhira; the Maratha troops, commanded by General Chimaji Appa, overcome the defenders of Malwa (now part of India's Andhra Pradesh) state) and Malwa's Governor Girdhar Bahadur is killed.
- December 25– William Burnet, the British Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay since July 19, is appointed by King George II to be the Governor of the Province of New Hampshire as well, governing both future U.S. states simultaneously until September 7. Up until July, Burnet had been Governor of both New York and New Jersey since 1720.
- English astronomer James Bradley uses stellar aberration (first observed in 1725) to calculate the speed of light, and observes nutation of the Earth's axis.
- January 8 – Frederick, the eldest son of King George II of Great Britain is made Prince of Wales at the age of 21, a few months after he comes to Britain for the first time after growing up in Hanover. For 23 years, Frederick is heir apparent to the British throne but dies of a lung injury in 1751.
- January 19 – At the age of 14, José, Prince of Brazil, son of King João V of Portugal, is married to the 10-year-old Princess Mariana Victoria of Spain, eldest daughter of King Felipe V of Spain. In 1750, the couple become King Joseph I and Queen Consort Mariana Victoria of Spain.
- February 14 – King Felipe V issues a royal cedula, directing an effort to offer incentives to families from the Canary Islands for settlements in New Spain north of the Rio Grande in what is now the U.S. state of Texas 
- February 24 – (February 13 O.S.) In the city of Resht in Persia, Russian and Afghani leaders sign a peace treaty, with General Vasily Levashev for Russia and Muhammad Saidal Khan for Afghanistan. 
- February 25 – James Oglethorpe, a member of the British House of Commons, begins service as the Chairman of the Gaols Committee to investigate the conditions of Britain's jails and prisons after the death in Fleet Prison of his friend, Robert Castell. The Oglethorpe Committee's report propels Oglethorpe to fame and leads to the beginning of British penal reforms. 
- March 5 – 'Abdu'llah bin Ismail as-Samin becomes the new Sultan of Morocco upon the death of his half-brother, Ahmad ud-Dhahabi bin Ismail as-Samin. Sultan 'Abdu'llah reigns for five years before being deposed for the first time, then returns to the throne five more times between 1736 and 1757.
- March 19 – John of Nepomuk (Jan Nepomucký) of Bohemia is canonized by Pope Benedict XIII more than 300 years after St. John Nepomuk, who was tortured and drowned in 1393 by order of King Wenceslaus IV is now the patron saint of Roman Catholics in the Czech Republic.
- March 23 – Johann Sebastian Bach's First Köthen Funeral music premieres at St. Jakob, Köthen, in honor of the funeral of his former employer Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen. The next morning, Bach's funeral cantata Klagt, Kinder, klagt es aller Welt, BWV 244a premieres at St. Jakob, for the same event as the previous day.
- April 3 – Benjamin Franklin, then 23, writes the essay "The Nature and Necessity of a Paper-Currency" and later applies the economic principles to backing of paper money used in the United States. 
- April 15 – Johann Sebastian Bach's St Matthew Passion, BWV 244b is performed again, at St. Thomas Church, Leipzig. 
- April 26 – For the first time in its history, the British House of Commons is adjourned for lack of a quorum. On January 5, 1640, Commons had first fixed the number of members necessary— 40 — for parliamentary business to be transacted. 
- May 8 – A fire breaks out inside the fully walled town of Haiger within the Holy Roman Empire (now in the Hesse state of Germany) and destroys all the buildings.
- May 12 – Six English pirates, including Mary Critchett, seize control of the sloop John and Elizabeth while being transported to America to complete their criminal sentences. They overpower their captors but are later captured in Chesapeake Bay by HMS Shoreham and hanged in August.
- May 17 – Caroline, Queen Consort becomes the first person to rule Great Britain as regent under the Regency Acts, beginning service as the acting monarch when her husband King George II departs Britain for Germany, where he is the Elector of Hanover. Caroline rules until George's return in October. 
- June 1 – Diederik Durven becomes the new Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) upon the death of Mattheus de Haan.
- June 8 – The Botanic Gardens of Pamplemousses, one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island republic of Mauritius are started by Pierre Barmond, who sets aside thousands of acres for the purpose of preservation of the islands flora. The gardens now occupy 97 square miles or 251 square kilometers.
- July 25 – Seven of the original eight Lords Proprietor of the Province of Carolina sell their shares back to the British crown. The 1710 division of the Province is made permanent and the area is reorganized into the Royal Colonies of North Carolina and South Carolina.
- July 30 – Baltimore, Maryland is founded.
- August 1 – The Comet of 1729, possibly the largest comet based on the absolute magnitude, on record, is discovered by Fr. Nicolas Sarrabat, a professor of mathematics at Marseille.
- September 29 – The Battle of Damghan begins as the Persian Safavid Army, commanded by General Nader Khan Afshar confronts a larger force of rebel Afghan troops commanded by the Emir Ashraf Hotak.
- October 5 – After seven days of battle, the Persians under Nader Khan Afshar make a daring attack through the center of the Emir Ashraf's battalions, killing 12,000 of the Afghans and forcing the remainder to flee, bringing an end to the Battle of Damghan.
- November 9 – The Treaty of Seville is signed between Great Britain, France, Spain and the Dutch Republic.
- November 29 –
- The Natchez revolt, the worst Native American massacre to take place on Mississippi soil, occurs when Natchez people kill 138 Frenchmen, 35 French women, and 56 children at Fort Rosalie (near modern-day Natchez, Mississippi).
- The first (wooden) Putney Bridge is completed, as the only fixed crossing of the River Thames between London Bridge and Kingston, England.
- December 2 – George Frideric Handel's famous opera Lotario is given its first performance, premiering at the King's Theatre in London.
- December 12 – Under the pretense of a peace offering, the Yazoo and Koroa warriors enter the French settlement at Fort St. Pierre (near modern-day Vicksburg, Mississippi, then kill most of the inhabitants. 
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