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The 1470s decade ran from January 1, 1470, to December 31, 1479.
- March 12 – Wars of the Roses in England – Battle of Losecoat Field: The House of York defeats the House of Lancaster.
- March 20 (Julian calendar) – The Battle of Nibley Green is the last fought between the private armies of feudal magnates in England.
- Spring: Anglo-Hanseatic War: Hanseatic League privateers set sail.
- May 15 – Charles VIII of Sweden, who has served three terms as King of Sweden, dies. Sten Sture the Elder proclaims himself Regent of Sweden the following day.
- June 1 – Sten Sure is recognised as Swedish ruler by the estates.
- July 12 – The Ottomans capture Euboea.
- August 20 – Stephen the Great defeats the Volga Tatars of the Golden Horde led by Ahmed Khan, in the Battle of Lipnic.
- September 13 – A rebellion orchestrated by King Edward IV of England's former ally, Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, forces the King to flee England to seek support from his brother-in-law, Charles the Bold of Burgundy.
- October 3 – Warwick releases Henry VI of England from the Tower of London, and restores him to the throne.
- November 28 – Emperor Lê Thánh Tông of Vietnam launches a naval expedition against Champa, beginning the Cham–Annamese War.
- December 18 – Lê Thánh Tông leads the Đại Việt army into Champa, conquering the country in less than three months.
- The Pahang Sultanate is established at Pahang Darul Makmur (in modern-day Malaysia).
- History of Ghana: The first contact occurs between Europeans and the Fante nation of the Gold Coast, when a party of Portuguese land and meet with the King of Elmina.
- Johann Heynlin introduces the printing press into France and prints his first book this same year.
- In Tonga, in or around 1470, the Tuʻi Tonga Dynasty cedes its temporal powers to the Tuʻi Haʻatakalaua Dynasty, which will remain prominent until about 1600.
- Between this year and 1700, 8,888 witches are tried in the Swiss Confederation; 5,417 of them are executed.
- Sir George Ripley dedicates his book, The Compound of Alchemy, to the King Edward IV of England.
- January – Portuguese navigators João de Santarém and Pedro Escobar reach the gold-trading centre of Elmina on the Gold Coast of west Africa. and explore Cape St. Catherine, two degrees south of the equator, so that they begin to be guided by the Southern Cross constellation. They also visit Sassandra on the Ivory Coast.
- March 1 – Emperor Lê Thánh Tông captures the Champa capital, establishing new regions in middle Vietnam.
- March – The Yorkist King Edward IV returns to England, to reclaim his throne.
- April 14 – Battle of Barnet: Edward defeats the Lancastrian army under Warwick, who is killed.
- May 4 – Battle of Tewkesbury: King Edward defeats a Lancastrian army under Queen Margaret and her son, Edward of Westminster the Prince of Wales, who is killed.
- May 21 – King Edward IV celebrates his victories with a triumphal parade on his return to London. The captured Queen Margaret is paraded through the streets. The same day Henry VI of England is murdered in the Tower of London, eliminating all Lancastrian opposition to the House of York.
- July 14 – Battle of Shelon: The forces of Muscovy defeat the Republic of Novgorod.
- August 9 – Pope Sixtus IV succeeds Pope Paul II, to become the 212th pope.
- August 24 – King Afonso V of Portugal conquers the Moroccan town of Arzila.
- August 29 – The Portuguese occupy Tangiers, after its population flees the city.
- October 10 – Battle of Brunkeberg in Stockholm, Sweden: The forces of Regent of Sweden Sten Sture the Elder, with the help of farmers and miners, repel an attack by Christian I, King of Denmark.
- December 21 – The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe are discovered by Portuguese navigators João de Santarém and Pedro Escobar.
- Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui of the Inca Empire dies, and is succeeded by his son Topa Inca Yupanqui.
- Moorish exiles from Spain, led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami, found the city of Chefchaouen in the north of Morocco.
- Marsilio Ficino's translations of the Hermetica into Latin, De potestate et sapientia Dei, are published.
- February 20 – Orkney and Shetland are returned by Norway to Scotland, due to a defaulted dowry payment.
- December 31 – The city council of Amsterdam prohibits snowball fights: "Neymant en moet met sneecluyten werpen nocht maecht noch wijf noch manspersoon." ("No one shall throw with snowballs, neither men nor (unmarried) women.")
- The Kingdom of Fez is founded.
- Possible discovery of Bacalao (possibly Newfoundland, North America) by João Vaz Corte-Real.
- An extensive slave trade begins in modern Cameroon, as the Portuguese sail up the Wouri River.
- Fernão do Po claims the central-African islands Bioko and Annobón, for Portugal.
- Banca Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena, the world's oldest surviving bank, is founded.
- Leonardo da Vinci is listed as a master, in Florence's Company of Artists.
- Johannes de Sacrobosco's De sphaera mundi (written c. 1230) is first published in Ferrara, the first printed astronomical book.
- Pietro d'Abano's Conciliator differentiarum quae inter philosophos et medicos versantur and De venenis eorumque remediis are published.
- February 12 – The first complete printed edition of Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine (Latin translation) is published in Milan.
- August 11 – Battle of Otlukbeli: Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II defeats the White Sheep Turkmens, led by Uzun Hasan.
- Axayacatl, Aztec ruler of Tenochtitlan, invades the territory of the neighboring Aztec city of Tlatelolco. The ruler of Tlatelolco is killed, and replaced by a military governor; Tlatelolco loses its independence.
- Possible discovery of Bacalao (possibly Newfoundland, North America) by Didrik Pining and João Vaz Corte-Real.
- The Almanach cracoviense ad annum 1474 is published in Poland.
- The city walls and defensive moat are built in Celje, Slovenia.
- Marsilio Ficino becomes a Catholic priest.
- Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye is the first book to be printed in English, by William Caxton.
- Stephen the Great of Moldavia refuses to pay tribute to the Ottomans. This will attract an Ottoman invasion resulting in 1475 in the greatest defeat of the Ottomans so far.
- February – The Treaty of Utrecht puts an end to the Anglo-Hanseatic War.
- March 19 – The Senate of the Republic of Venice enacts the Venetian Patent Statute, one of the earliest patent systems in the world. New and inventive devices, once put into practice, have to be communicated to the Republic to obtain the right to prevent others from using them. This is considered the first modern patent system.
- July 25 – By signing the Treaty of London, Charles the Bold of Burgundy agrees to support Edward IV of England's planned invasion of France.
- December 12 – Upon the death of Henry IV of Castile, a civil war ensues between his designated successor Isabella I of Castile, and her niece Juana, who is supported by her husband, Afonso V of Portugal. Isabella wins the civil war after a lengthy struggle, when her husband, the newly crowned Ferdinand II of Aragon, comes to her aid.
- Marsilio Ficino completes his book Theologia Platonica (Platonic Theology).
- Axayacatl defeats the Matlatzinca of the Toluca Valley.
- January 10 – Battle of Vaslui (Moldavian–Ottoman Wars): Stephen III of Moldavia defeats the Ottoman Empire, which is led at this time by Mehmed the Conqueror of Constantinople.
- July 4 – Burgundian Wars: Edward IV of England lands in Calais, in support of the Duchy of Burgundy against France.
- August 29 – The Treaty of Picquigny ends the brief war between France and England.
- November 13 – Burgundian Wars – Battle on the Planta: Forces of the Old Swiss Confederacy are victorious against those of the Duchy of Savoy, near Sion, Switzerland.
- November 14 – The original Landshut Wedding takes place, between George, Duke of Bavaria, and Hedwig Jagiellon.
- Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye is the first book to be printed in English, by William Caxton in Bruges.
- Rashi's commentary on the Torah is the first dated book to be printed in Hebrew, in Reggio di Calabria.
- The oldest recorded game of chess is played, between Francesco di Castellvi and Narciso Vinyoles.
- Conrad of Megenberg's book, Buch der Natur, is published in Augsburg.
- In Wallachia, Radu cel Frumos loses the throne (for the last time) and is again replaced by Basarab Laiotă.
- March 1 – Battle of Toro (War of the Castilian Succession): Although militarily inconclusive, this assures the Catholic Monarchs the Crown of Castile, forming the basis for modern-day Spain.
- March 2 – Battle of Grandson (Burgundian Wars): Swiss forces defeat Burgundy.
- June 22 – Battle of Morat (Burgundian Wars): Crushing defeat for the Burgundians at the hands of the Swiss.
- July 26 – Battle of Valea Albă (Moldavian–Ottoman Wars): The Otoman Sultan Mehmed II defeats Stephen III of Moldavia.
- November 26 – Vlad the Impaler declares himself reigning Prince of Wallachia for the third and last time. He is killed on the march to Bucharest, probably before the end of December. His head is sent to his old enemy, Sultan Mehmed of the Ottomans.
- Leonardo da Vinci is acquitted on charges of sodomy, after which he disappears from the historical record for two years.
- Axayacatl, sixth Tlatoani of Tenochtitlán, is defeated by the Tarascans of Michoacán.
- Goyghor Mosque is built by Musa ibn Haji Amir and his son, Majlis Alam.
- January 5 – Battle of Nancy: Charles the Bold of Burgundy is again defeated, and this time is killed; this marks the end of the Burgundian Wars.
- February? – Volcano Bardarbunga erupts, with a VEI of 6.
- February 11 – Mary of Burgundy, the daughter of Charles the Bold, is forced by her disgruntled subjects to sign the Great Privilege, by which the Flemish cities recover all the local and communal rights which have been abolished by the decrees of the dukes of Burgundy, in their efforts to create in the Low Countries a centralized state.
- February 27 – Uppsala University is founded, becoming the first university in Sweden and all of Scandinavia.
- August 19 – Mary of Burgundy marries Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, in Ghent, bringing her Flemish and Burgundian lands into the Holy Roman Empire, and detaching them from France.
- November 18 – William Caxton produces Earl Rivers' translation into English of Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres, at his press in Westminster, the first book printed in England on a printing press.
- January 14 – Novgorod surrenders to Ivan III, Grand Prince of Moscow.
- January 15 – Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York is married to Anne de Mowbray, 8th Countess of Norfolk.
- February 18 – George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of England, is privately executed in the Tower of London.
- April 26 – The Pazzi Family attack Lorenzo de' Medici, and kill his brother Giuliano, during High Mass in Florence Cathedral.
- May 14 – The Siege of Shkodra begins.
- November – Eskender succeeds his father Baeda Maryam, as Emperor of Ethiopia, at the age of six.
- November 1 – The Spanish Inquisition begins.
- December 28 – Battle of Giornico: Swiss troops defeat the Milanese.
- Lorenzo de' Medici becomes sole ruler of Florence.
- The Demak Sultanate gains independence from Majapahit, after a civil war.
- The Fourth Siege of Krujë, Albania by the Ottoman Empire, concludes and results in the town's capture, after the failure of three prior sieges.
- Vladislav II of Bohemia makes peace with Hungary.
- Possibly the first reference to cricket, in "criquet", as discovered in France by Rowland Bowen in the 20th century. It has been dismissed by some (most notably John Major) and presaged with Edward II's "Creag" (1300) by others.
- Mondino de Liuzzi's Anathomia corporis humani, the first complete published anatomical text, is first printed (in Padua).
- January 20 – Ferdinand II ascends the throne of Aragon, and rules together with his wife Isabella I, Queen of Castile, over most of the Iberian peninsula.
- January 25 – The Treaty of Constantinople is signed between the Ottoman Empire and Republic of Venice; Venice will cede Argo, Negroponte, Lemnos and Shkodër, and pay an annual tribute of 10,000 golden ducati.
- April 25 – Ratification of the Treaty of Constantinople in Venice ends the Siege of Shkodra after fifteen months, and brings all of Albania under the Ottoman Empire.
- May 13 – Christopher Columbus, an experienced mariner and successful trader in the thriving Genoese expatriate community in Portugal, marries Felipa Perestrelo Moniz (Italian on her father's side), and receives as dowry her late father's maps and papers, charting the seas and winds around the Madeira Islands, and other Portuguese possessions in the Ocean Sea.
- August 7 – Battle of Guinegate: A French army sent to invade the Netherlands is defeated by Maximilian of Austria.
- September 4 – The Treaty of Alcáçovas (also known as the Treaty or Peace of Alcáçovas-Toledo) is signed between the Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon on one side, and the King of Portugal and his son on the other side, ending the four-year War of the Castilian Succession.
- October 13 – Battle of Breadfield (Hungarian: Kenyérmezei csata, Turkish: Ekmek Otlak Savaşı): The army of the Kingdom of Hungary, led by Pál Kinizsi and István Báthory, defeats that of the Ottoman Empire in Transylvania, Hungary, leaving at least 10,000 Turkish dead.
- The plague breaks out in Florence.
- Johann Neumeister prints a new edition of Juan de Torquemada's Meditations, or the Contemplations of the Most Devout.
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