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21 April – In Japan, the young daimyo Asano Naganori is ordered to commit seppuku (ritual suicide). A group of 47 samurai of his service begin planning to avenge his death. It is said that he was then on bad terms with Kira Yoshinaka and tension between them increased. Grave of Asano Naganori at Sengaku-ji

On the day of his death, he drew his sword and attempted to kill Kira in the Corridor of the Pines at Edo Castle in what is now Tokyo. He wounded, but failed to kill, Kira. On the same day, the fifth Tokugawa shogun Tsunayoshi sentenced him to commit seppuku, which he did after writing his death poem:

"kaze sasofu / hana yori mo naho / ware wa mata / haru no nagori o / ika ni toyasen."
"More than the cherry blossoms, Inviting a wind to blow them away, I am wondering what to do, With the remaining springtime."

He was buried in the graveyard of Sengaku-ji. His retainers became ronin when the Shogunate confiscated his fief. Under the leadership of Oishi Kuranosuke they avenged the death of their lord by killing Kira at his mansion in Edo on December 15, 1702. These former retainers became famous as the Forty-seven Ronin, and the vendetta ranks as one of the most famous vendettas in Japan.



6 September – Death of King James VII and II of England (1633–1701) in French exile. His supporters, the Jacobites, turn to his son James Francis Edward Stuart (1688–1766), later called "The Old Pretender", whom they recognize as James VIII and III.


March 9 - France, Cologne and Bavaria sign alliance

March 8 – Mecklenburg-Strelitz is created as a north German duchy.

September 7 - Germany, England and Netherlands sign anti-French covenant

§United Kingdom

January 1 - Great Britain and Ireland union is in effect, creating United Kingdom

§Great Britain

May 23 – After being convicted of murdering William Moore and for piracy, Captain William Kidd is hanged in London.

June 24 – The Act of Settlement 1701 is passed by the Parliament of England to exclude the Catholic Stuarts from the British monarchy. Under its terms, King William III, childless, would be succeeded by Queen Mary II's sister Princess Anne and her descendants. If Anne should have no descendants, she would be succeeded by Sophia of Hanover and her descendants (hence the Hanoverian Succession in 1714).


January 12 - Frisia and Groningen begin use of Gregorian calendar


Following his victories over Denmark and Russia in 1700, Karl XII of Sweden escalates the conflict in the Great Northern War by an invasion of Poland. The Swedes defeat the army of Saxony (then a Polish territory) at the River Dvina.


January 18 – The electorate of Brandenburg-Prussia becomes the Kingdom of Prussia as Elector Frederick III is proclaimed King Frederick I. Prussia remains part of the Holy Roman Empire. It consists of Brandenburg, Pomerania and East Prussia. Berlin is the capital.


A conflict arose in March of 1701 after the death of the last Spanish Habsburg king, Charles II. It became known as the War of Spanish Succession. Charles had bequeathed all of his possessions to Philip, duc d'Anjou - a grandson of the French King Louis XIV - who thereby became Philip V of Spain. The war began slowly, as the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I fought to protect his own dynasty's claim to the Spanish inheritance. As Louis XIV began to expand his territories more aggressively, however, other European nations (chiefly England and the Dutch Republic) entered on the Holy Roman Empire's side to check French expansion (and, in the English case, to safeguard the Protestant succession). Other states joined the coalition opposing France and Spain in an attempt to acquire new territories, or to protect existing dominions. The war was fought not only in Europe, but also in North America, where the conflict became known to the English colonists as Queen Anne's War.

§North America


4 August – The Great Peace of Montreal was signed, ending 100 years of war between the Iroquois Confederacy and New France and its Huron and Algonquian allies. Formerly allied with the English, the treaty assured the Iroquois would be neutral if France and England were to ever resume hostilities.

§United States

July 24 Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founds a trading post at Ft. Pontchartrain, which later becomes the city of Detroit

October 9 – The Collegiate School of Connecticut (later renamed Yale University) is chartered in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

November 8 - William Penn presents Charter of Priviliges, Pennsylvania's first constitution.

Rev. James Piertpont and Rev. Nodiah Russell CO-founded Yale in Saybrook Colony as the Collegiate School


  • The Great Northern War


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