Centuries: 17th century - 18th century - 19th century
- January 1 - Britain and its colonies adopt the idea that January 1st should be New Year's Day, following adoption of the Gregorian calendar in September 1752. The concept was first conceived in 1582, but suffered from slow public adoption.
- James Lind writes 'A Treatise of the Scurvy'
- Tobias Smollett writes 'Ferdinand Count Fathom'
- Robert Wallace writes 'On the Numbers of Man'
- China - Qianlong Emperor of China, Qing Dynasty (reigned from October 18, 1735 to February 9, 1796)
- France - Louis XV King of France (reigned from 1715 to 1774)
- Great Britain - George II King of Great Britain (reigned from June 11, 1727 to October 25, 1760)
- Prussia - Frederick II King of Prussia (reigned from 1740 to 1786)
- Russia - Elizabeth Empress of Russia (reigned from 1741 to January 5, 1762)
- Saxony - Frederick Augustus II Elector of Saxony (from 1733 to 1763) (also King of Poland)
- Sweden - Adolf Frederick of Sweden King of Sweden (reigned from 1751 to 1771)