January – The Pangkor Treaty (also known as the Pangkor Engagement), by which the British extended their control over first the Sultanate of Perak, and later the other independent Malay States, is signed.
January 3 – Third Carlist War – Battle of Caspe: Campaigning on the Ebro in Aragon for the Spanish Republican Government, Colonel Eulogio Despujol surprises a Carlist force under Manuel Marco de Bello at Caspe, northeast of Alcañiz. In a brilliant action the Carlists are routed, losing 200 prisoners and 80 horses, while Despujol is promoted to Brigadier and becomes Conde de Caspe.
February 24–25 – Third Carlist War – First Battle of Somorrostro: Determined to raise the siege of Bilbao by the Pretender Don Carlos VII, Republican commander Marshal Francisco Serrano sends General Domingo Moriones with a relief force of 14,000 men. Carlists, under General Nicolás Ollo, entrenched at Somorrostro outside Bilbao, drive back a courageous assault by General Fernando Primo de Rivera and then the entire Republican army. The republicans lose 1,200 men, and Moriones loses his nerve, demanding reinforcements and a replacement for himself. Moriones, men entrench and wait.
March 14 – Third Carlist War – Battle of Castellfollit de la Roca: Appointed to command the Spanish Republican army in the north, General Ramón Nouvilas attempts to relieve the Carlist siege of Olot in Girona. But at Castellfollit de la Roca, in one of the Government's worst defeats, Nouvilas is routed by Carlist General Francesc Savalls, and captured along with about 2,000 of his men. Olot capitulates two days later.
March 25–27 – Third Carlist War – Second Battle of Somorrostro: In a renewed attempt to raise the siege of Bilbao by Don Carlos VII, Republican commander Marshal Francisco Serrano himself arrives with 27,000 men and 70 cannon. However, in three days of fierce fighting, the Carlist General Joaquín Elío, with just 17,000 men, once again drives off the attack at nearby Somorrostro, and it is another six weeks before Serrano manages to relieve Bilbao.
July 14 – The Chicago Fire of 1874 burns down 47 acres of the city, destroying 812 buildings, killing 20, and resulting in the fire insurance industry demanding municipal reforms from Chicago's city council.
Third Carlist War – Sack of Cuenca: After Carlist forces successfully defend Estella, Don Alfonso de Bourbon, brother of the Don Carlos VII, leads 14,000 Catalan Carlists south to attack Cuenca (136 km from Madrid), held by Republicans under Don Hilario Lozano. After two days the outnumbered garrison capitulates, but Don Alfonso permits a terrible slaughter. The city is sacked. Subsequently, another republican force defeats the disorderly Catalans, who flee back to the Ebro.
July 31 – Patrick Francis Healy, S.J., the first Black man to receive a PhD, is inaugurated as president of Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic University in America, and becomes the first Black to head a predominantly White university.
August 11 – Third Carlist War – Battle of Oteiza: Two months after Government forces were repulsed from Carlist-held Estella, in Navarre, Republican General Domingo Moriones makes a fresh diversionary attack a few miles to the southeast at Oteiza. In heavy fighting Moriones secures a costly tactical victory over Carlist General Torcuato Mendíri, but the war continues another 18 months, before Estella finally falls.
December 29 – General Martínez and Brigadier General Luís Daban stage a pronunciamento at Sagunto, and proclaim Isabel's son Alfonso as King of Spain. Subsequently, the Madrid garrison follows suit, and the First Spanish Republic comes to an end.