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|Centuries:||16th century – 17th century – 18th century|
|Decades:||1620s 1630s 1640s – 1650s – 1660s 1670s 1680s|
|Years:||1651 1652 1653 – 1654 – 1655 1656 1657|
- April 5 – Signing of the Treaty of Westminster, ending the First Anglo-Dutch War.
- June 3 – Louis XIV of France crowned at Rheims
- June 6 – Charles X succeeds his cousin Christina to the Swedish throne. After her abdication on June 5, Christina now the former reigning queen of a Protestant nation, secretly converts to Catholicism.
- September 3 – In the Rump Parliament, the republican party questions Cromwell's pre-eminence
- September 12 – Oliver Cromwell orders the exclusion of the members of Parliament who are hostile to him.
- October 12 – Carel Fabritius, the most promising student of Rembrandt, dies aged 32 in an explosion at the arsenal at Delft. The Delft Explosion devastates the city in the Netherlands, killing more than 100.
- October 31 – Ferdinand Maria, elector of Bavaria is crowned. His absolutistic style of leadership becomes a benchmark for the rest of Germany
- November 23 – French mathematician, scientist, and religious philosopher Blaise Pascal experiences an intense mystical vision that marks him for life.
- Death of An Calbhach mac Aodha O Conchobhair Donn, last inaugurated King of Connacht (inaugurated 1643
- Twenty-three Jewish refugees from Brazil settle in New Amsterdam, forming the nucleus of what would be the largest urban Jewish community in history, the Jewish community of New York City.
- The Ukrainian Bogdan Chmielnicki renounces Ukrainian independence and swears allegiance to Tsar Alexis of Russia
- The Russian Army seizes Smolensk, and war starts between Russia and Poland over Ukraine
- Otto von Guericke proves the existence of atmospheric pressure