- January - articles of Warsaw Confederation signed, sanctioning religious freedom in Poland.
- July - Spanish forces under the Duke of Alva capture Haarlem after a seven month siege.
- August-October - Unsuccessful siege of Alkmaar by Alva
- November - Alva resigns as Spanish Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief in the Netherlands, and is succeeded by Luis de Requesens, who attempts to pursue a more conciliatory policy.
- End of the Fourth War of Religion in France.
- Oda Nobunaga drives the 14th Ashikaga shogun Ashikaga Yoshiaki out of Kyoto effectively destroying the Ashikaga shogunate and historically ending the Muromachi period. The Azuchi-Momoyama period of Japan begins.