The 1270s is the decade starting January 1, 1270, and ending December 31, 1279.
In Europe, power struggles within the Holy Roman Empire escalated into civil war as the 23-year interregnum without an emperor came to an end. The election of Rudolph I of Germany as King of Germany over Otakar II of Bohemia in 1273 led to open war in 1276 and Otakar's death in 1278 at the climactic Battle of Marchfeld. The resultant power structure in Central Europe firmly established the House of Habsburg's rule, one that would continue in Austria and other regional territories until the end of World War I in 1918. King Edward I of England returned from the Eighth Crusade to take the throne and was able to subjugate Wales by the end of the decade; Scotland quelled an uprising on the Isle of Man, in doing so confirming the concession of that territory made in 1266 by Norway in the Treaty of Perth. The Statute of Westminster established a series of individuals' rights in England. Both the Eighth Crusade and Ninth Crusade were brief efforts that quickly ended in failure, with King Louis IX of France dying during the former.
In Asia, the Mongols continued expanding their territories. Kublai Khan moved his capital to present-day Beijing and renamed his empire the Yuan Dynasty, reflecting the new eastward focus of the empire. The Yuan Dynasty conquered the Southern Song Dynasty of China by the end of the decade. By this time the Mongols had subjugated most of continental Asia. The conquest of Southern Song witnessed the first use of firearms in war. The western Ilkhanate established a capital at Tabriz, in present-day Iran. The Mongols were able to quell the Sambyeolcho Rebellion in Korea and defeat the Nakhi and Pagan Empires, but failed an attempted invasion of Japan in 1274. Marco Polo reached Kublai Khan's summer court Shangdu by 1275, and stayed with the court for over 20 years.
The Mamluk sultanate of Egypt continued to expand its territory and dodge two crusades—the Eighth Crusade never reached its intended target, and the Ninth rapidly became a failure. The sultan Baibars was successful in expanding his territory as far north as the Sultanate of Rum in Anatolia, east into Syria, and south into Makurian Nubia. After Baibars died in 1277, his successor Qalawun continued expansionist policies.
European culture witnessed the arrival of several important scientific works in translation from centuries-old Arabic sources, including Alhazen's work on optics and Al-Razi's medical works. The two major surveys of the English census known as the Hundred Rolls were conducted. Thomas Aquinas completed his seminal work Summa Theologica late in 1273, and died in 1274. Leadership of the Catholic Church attempted to address the East-West Schism of the church through the Second Council of Lyons, but despite apparent success the effort was ultimately doomed to fail. In Japan, Nichiren continued to lead a life that would come to be revered in Nichiren Buddhism.
In North America, a severe 23-year drought began in the Grand Canyon area, which would eventually force the local Anasazi people to emigrate from the region.
War and politics
War and peace
- 1271 – July 2 – Kings Otakar II of Bohemia and Stephen V of Hungary sign the first Peace of Pressburg, settling territorial claims following the failed invasion of Hungary by Otakar II.
- 1272 – Charles I of Anjou, King of Naples, occupies Durrës in Albania and establishes an Albanian kingdom.
- 1272 – King Alphonso III of Portugal eliminates the last Moorish community in Portugal at Faro.
- 1273 – September 29 – Rudolph I of Germany is elected King of Germany over rival candidate King Otakar II of Bohemia, ending the Interregnum; Otakar refuses to acknowledge Rudolph as the new king, leading to the outbreak of war in 1276. Rudolph is the first of many Habsburgs to hold the throne.
- 1273 – King Otakar II of Bohemia captures Bratislava from Hungary.
- 1274 – November – The diet at Nuremberg orders that all crown estates seized since the death of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor be restored to Rudolph I of Germany; almost all European rulers agree, with the notable exception of King Otakar II of Bohemia, who had benefited greatly by conquering or otherwise coming into possession of many of those lands.
- 1275 – Eleanor de Montfort is captured by pirates in the employ of Edward I of England to prevent her marriage to Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, prince of Wales; she is used as a bargaining chip over the coming years in Edward's attempts to subjugate Llywelyn and Wales.
- 1275 – Scottish forces defeat the Manx of the Isle of Man in a decisive battle, firmly establishing Scottish rule of the island.
- 1276 – June – King Rudolph I of Germany declares war on King Otakar II of Bohemia, a political rival; by November, Otakar II is forced to cede four important territories as demanded by the diet of Nuremberg in 1274.
- 1276 – Four different men are pope over the course of the year, as Popes Gregory X, Innocent V, and Adrian V all die in quick succession.
- 1277 – Llywelyn ap Gruffudd is subdued by King Edward I of England in the First Welsh War.
- 1278 – August 26 – Kings Rudolph I of Germany and Ladislaus IV of Hungary defeat King Otakar II of Bohemia in the Battle of Marchfield, a match of over 80,000 men and the largest battle of knights in the Middle Ages. The battle ends a power struggle between Rudolph and Otakar over the fate of central Europe, and Rudolph's Habsburg family will continue to rule Austria and other captured territories until the end of World War I in 1918.
Asia and Africa
Mongolian sphere of influence
- 1270 – In Korea, the Sambyeolcho Rebellion begins against the Goryeo Dynasty, a puppet government of Kublai Khan.
- 1270 – The city of Tabriz, in present-day Iran, is made capital of the Mongol Ilkhanate empire (approximate date).
- 1271 – Mongol Golden Horde raid against Bulgaria.
- 1271 – December 18 – Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan" (元, yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China.
- 1271 – The Nakhi kingdom of the northern Himalayan foothills is annexed by the Mongol Yuan Dynasty.
- 1273 – January 31 – The six-year-long battle of Xiangyang ends as commander of the Song Dynasty's forces surrender to Kublai Khan. The battle is the first in which firearms are used in combat.
- 1273 – In Korea, the Sambyeolcho Rebellion against the Goryeo Dynasty (a puppet government of the Yuan Dynasty) ends as rebel forces are defeated by combined Yuan and Goryeo forces.
- 1274 – Mongol Golden Horde raid against Bulgaria.
- 1274 – November 20 – The Yuan Dynasty under Kublai Khan attempts the first of several invasions of Japan; after capturing outlying islands, the Yuan forces are repulsed on the main island at the Battle of Bun'ei by amassed Japanese warriors and a strong storm which batters their forces and fleet. Credit for the storm — called a kamikaze, or divine wind — is given by the Japanese to the god Raiden.
- 1275 – Invading forces of the Yuan Dynasty capture the Song city of Suzhou.
- 1275 – Marco Polo purportedly visits Shangdu, Kublai Khan's summer capital of the Yuan Dynasty.
- 1275 – The city of Kunming is made capital of the Yunnan province of the Yuan Dynasty.
- 1275 – Mongol Golden Horde raid against Lithuania.
- 1276 – February – The court of the Song Dynasty of China and hundreds of thousands of its citizens flee from Hangzhou to Fujian and then Guangdong in an effort to escape an invasion by the Yuan Dynasty.
- 1277 – Burma's Pagan empire begins to disintegrate after being defeated by Kublai Khan at the Battle of Ngasaunggyan, at Yunnan near the Chinese border.
- 1277 – Leaders and some 50,000 citizens of the Southern Song Dynasty of China become the first recorded inhabitants of Macau, as they seek refuge from the invading forces of the Yuan Dynasty.
- 1277 – In Japan, a 20 kilometer stone wall defending the coast of Hakata Bay in Fukuoka is completed; it is built in response to the attempted invasion by the Yuan Dynasty in 1274.
- 1279 – March 19 – Kublai Khan's Mongol Yuan Dynasty defeats the Song Dynasty in the Battle of Yamen. This completes the Mongol conquest of China and exterminates the Song Dynasty.
- 1279 – A diplomatic party of the Yuan Dynasty sent by Kublai Khan to Japan is killed by Japan's regent Hōjō Tokimune, leading to a second invasion attempt by the Mongols in 1281.
Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt sphere of influence
- 1276 – A severe 23-year drought begins to affect the Grand Canyon area, eventually forcing the agriculture-dependent Anasazi culture to migrate out of the region.