) was a common year starting on Thursday
(link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar
(or a common year starting on Monday
of the 11-day slower Julian calendar
1789 was the year of the first French Revolution, which ultimately overthrew the French monarchy and triggered a series of European wars that lasted until the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815. The French Revolution was a watershed historical event that drew the age of unlimited monarchies to a close and ushered in the tumultuous 19th century.
Events of 1789
January - June
- January 7 - 1789 United States presidential elections and House of Representatives elections are held.
- January 21 - The first American novel, The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth, is printed in Boston, Massachusetts.
- January 23 - Georgetown University is founded in Washington, D.C., becoming the first Catholic college in the United States.
- February 4 - George Washington is unanimously elected the first President of the United States by the United States Electoral College.
- March 4 - At Federal Hall in New York City, the 1st United States Congress meets and declares the new United States Constitution to be in effect.
- March 18 - The last burning at the stake takes place at Newgate when Catherine (or Christian) Murphy is executed for high treason coining.
- April 1 - At Federal Hall, the United States House of Representatives attains its first quorum and elects Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first Speaker of the House.
- April 7 - Selim III (1789-1807) succeeds Abd-ul-Hamid I (1773-1789) as Ottoman Sultan .
- April 28 - Mutiny on the Bounty: Fletcher Christian leads the mutiny on HMS Bounty against Captain William Bligh.
- April 30 - George Washington is inaugurated at Federal Hall in New York City, beginning his term as the first President of the United States.
- May 5 - In France, the Estates-General convenes for the first time in 175 years.
- June 14 - Bounty mutiny survivors, including Captain William Bligh and 18 others, reach Timor after a nearly 4,000-mile journey in an open boat.
July - December
- July 27 - The first U.S. federal government agency under the new Constitution, the Department of Foreign Affairs (later renamed the Department of State), is established.
- August 4 - In France, members of the Constituent Assembly take an oath to end feudalism and abandon their privileges.
- August 7 - The United States Department of War is established.
- August 26 - The Declaration of the Rights of Man is proclaimed in France.
- August 28 - William Herschel discovers Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons.
- September 2 - The United States Department of the Treasury is founded.
- September 22 - Russo-Turkish War, 1787-1792 - Battle of Rymnik: Alexander Suvorov roundly defeats 100,000 Turks.
- September 24 - The Judiciary Act of 1789 establishes the federal judiciary and the United States Marshals Service.
- September 25 - The United States Congress proposes a set of 12 amendments for ratification by the states. Ratification for 10 of these proposals is completed on December 5, 1791, creating the United States Bill of Rights.
- September 29 - The U.S. Department of War establishes the nation's first regular army, with a strength of several hundred men.
- October - Some 7,000 women march 12 miles from Paris to Versailles to demand action.
- November 6 - Pope Pius VI appoints John Carroll the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States.
- November 20 - New Jersey ratifies the United States Bill of Rights, the first state to do so.
- November 21 - North Carolina ratifies the United States Constitution and becomes the 12th U.S. state.
- November 26 - A national Thanksgiving Day is observed in the United States as recommended by President George Washington and approved by Congress.
- December 11 - The University of North Carolina, the oldest public university in the United States, is founded.
- December 23 - A leaflet circulated in France accuses marquis de Favras of plotting to rescue the royal family.
- January 4 - Benjamin Lundy, American abolitionist (d. 1839)
- January 12 - Ettore Perrone di San Martino, prime minister of Sardinia (d. 1849)
- January 21 - William Machin Stairs, Canadian businessman and statesman (d. 1865)
- February 22 - René Edward De Russy, Brigadier General of the United States Army, Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, and military engineer (d. 1865)
- March 16 - Georg Ohm, German physicist (d. 1854)
- July 19 - John Martin, English painter (d. 1854)
- August 21 - Augustin Louis Cauchy, French mathematician (d. 1857)
- August 28 - Stephanie de Beauharnais, Grand Duchess of Baden (d. 1860)
- September 15 - James Fenimore Cooper, American writer (d. 1851)
- October 8 - William John Swainson an English naturalist and artist (d. 1855)
- December 28 - Catharine Sedgwick, American writer (d. 1867)
- date unknown - Mohammad Ibrahim Zauq, Urdu poet (d. 1854)
- Friedrich List, German journalist (d. 1846)
- January 1 - Fletcher Norton, 1st Baron Grantley, English politician (b. 1716)
- January 8 - Jack Broughton, English boxer (b. 1703)
- January 23 - Frances Brooke, English writer (b. 1724)
- February 19 - Nicholas Van Dyke, American lawyer and President of Delaware (b. 1738)
- April 7 - Abd-ul-Hamid I, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1725)
- April 7 - Petrus Camper, Dutch anatomist (b. 1722)
- April 26 - Count Petr Ivanovich Panin, Russian soldier (b. 1721)
- May 1 - George Fife Angas, Founder of South Australia (d. 1879)
- May 9 - Jean Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval, French artillery specialist (b. 1715)
- May 25 - Anders Dahl, Swedish botanist (b. 1751)
- June 4 - Prince Louis-Joseph of France, son of Louis XVI of France (tuberculosis) (b. 1781)
- July 13 - Victor de Riqueti, marquis de Mirabeau, French economist (b. 1715)
- July 14 - Jacques de Flesselles, French provost (assassinated) (b. 1721)
- July 15 - Jacques Duphly, French composer (b. 1715)
- July 22 - Joseph-François Foulon, French politician (executed) (b. 1715)
- October 27 - John Cook, American farmer and President of Delaware (b. 1730)
- December 3 - Claude Joseph Vernet, French painter (b. 1714)
- December 12 - John Ponsonby, Irish politician (b. 1713)
- December 23 - Charles-Michel de l'Épée, French philanthropist and developer of signed French (b. 1712)