Bhutan: History

  1. 1616

    Ngawana Namgyal, from Tibet, consolidates Bhutan and becomes ruler of the country.

  2. 1910

    The Treaty of Punakha is signed with the British. The treaty allows Bhutan to keep control of its internal affairs if Britain is given control of Bhutan’s foreign affairs.

  3. 1949

    The Treaty of Peace and Friendship is signed with newly independent India, which gives Bhutan control of its internal affairs but allows India to guide Bhutan in its foreign policy.

  4. 1958

    Several social reforms are implemented, including the abolition of slavery.

  5. 1971

    Bhutan becomes a member of the United Nations.

  6. 1972

    Jigme Singye Wangchuck ascends to the throne at age 16. He emphasizes modern education, decentralization of the government, and the development of tourism.

  7. 2005

    A new constitution is unveiled that will replace the monarchy with a parliamentary democracy by 2008.

  8. 2006

    King Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicates the throne amid the transition to a parliamentary democracy. His son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck becomes King.

  9. 2007

    Bhutan signs an agreement with India that gives Bhutan more say in its foreign affairs.


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