1737 1738 1739 - 1740 - 1741 1742 1743
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Events of 1740
- February 20 – The North Carolina General Assembly incorporates the town of Newton as Wilmington, North Carolina, named for Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington, and patron of Royal Governor Gabriel Johnston.
- May 31 – Friedrich II comes to power in Prussia upon the death of his father, Friedrich Wilhelm I.
- August 17 – Pope Benedict XIV succeeds Pope Clement XII as the 247th pope.
- October 9 – The Dutch East India Company massacres 5,000–10,000 Chinese inhabitants of Batavia.
- October 20 – Maria Theresia of Austria inherits the Habsburg hereditary dominions (Austria, Bohemia, Hungary and present-day Belgium). However, her succession to the Holy Roman Empire is contested widely because she is a woman.
- December 16 – Friedrich II of Prussia invades the Habsburg possession of Silesia, starting the War of the Austrian Succession.