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|( 1780s: ) 1786|
- February 2 – In a speech before The Asiatic Society in Calcutta, Sir William Jones notes the formal resemblances between Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit, laying the foundation for comparative linguistics and Indo-European studies.
- March 1 – The Ohio Company of Associates is organized by five businessman at a meeting at the Bunch-of-Grapes Tavern in Boston, to purchase land from the United States government to form settlements in what is now the U.S. state of Ohio.
- May 21 – The trial in the Affair of the Diamond Necklace ends in Paris.
- July 14 – Convention of London between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Spain: British settlements on the Mosquito Coast of Central America are to be evacuated; Spain expands the territory available to the British in Belize on the Yucatán Peninsula, for cutting mahogany.
- July 31 - The Cabinet of Great Britain approves the establishment of a penal colony, at Botany Bay in Australia.
- August 11 – Captain Francis Light acquires the island of Penang from the Sultan of Kedah on behalf of the British East India Company.
- August 17 – The paternal nephew of Frederick the Great, Frederick William, becomes King of Prussia, as Frederick William II.
- August 18 – The Kingdom of Denmark (including Norway) charters six settlements in Iceland to trade with it, thus ending the Danish–Icelandic Trade Monopoly, and founding Reykjavík.
- August 29 – Shays' Rebellion begins in Massachusetts.
- October 10 – The Confederation Congress of the United States directs backpay for seven months for Virginia officers who have been waiting since 1782.
- October 12 – King George III of the United Kingdom appoints Captain Arthur Phillip as the first Governor of New Holland, which comprises the area of modern Australia from the 135th meridian east to the east coast and all adjacent islands in the Pacific Ocean.
- October 16 – The Confederation Congress establishes the United States Mint to make common coinage and currency for the U.S., to replace individual state coins.
- October 24 – General David Cobb of the Massachusetts militia defeats a body of rebel insurgents at Taunton, Massachusetts in one of the battles of Shays' Rebellion.
- November 30 – Peter Leopold Joseph of Habsburg-Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, promulgates a penal reform, making his country the first state to abolish the death penalty. November 30 is therefore commemorated by 300 cities around the world, as Cities for Life Day.
- "Manasseh Cutler, the Man Who Purchased Ohio", by William F. Poole, in New England Historical and Genealogical Register (April 1873) p161
- The Cincinnati Directory Advertiser for the Years 1836–7 (J. H. Woodruff, 1836) p198
- Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (January 6, 1787) p145
- "Conquest", by Alan Atkinson, in Australia's Empire, ed. by Deryck M. Schreuder, Deryck Schreuder and Stuart Ward (Oxford University Press, 2008) p33
- Collections of the Old Colony Historical Society No. 6 (1899) p151