Cambodia: History

  1. 1863

    Cambodia becomes a protectorate of France.

  2. 1953

    Cambodia is granted complete independence from France.

  3. 1975

    General Lon Nol, leader of the country, is overthrown by the Khmer Rouge, a communist regime. This country is renamed Kampuchea.

  4. 1975

    The Khmer Rouge forces all people living in the cities to move to villages and become agricultural workers. An estimated 1.7 to 3 million people perish from the regime's harsh rule between 1975-1979.

  5. 1979

    The Vietnamese, who invaded in 1978, capture Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge leaders flee, and Vietnamese forces establish the People's Republic of Kampuchea.

  6. 1989

    Vietnamese troops withdraw and the country is renamed the State of Cambodia. The Prime Minister, Hun Sen, reduces socialist measures as an attempt to attract foreign business and investment.

  7. 1993

    A new constitution is drafted which establishes a multiparty, liberal democracy in the framework of a constitutional monarchy.

  8. 1997

    Most of the remaining Khmer Rouge fighters accept a government amnesty and lay down their arms, ending nearly 30 years of war.

  9. 2004

    Cambodia enters the World Trade Organization. King Sihanouk abdicates the throne and his son, Norodom Sihamoni, becomes the next king.

  10. 2012

    In an attempt to curb evictions and illegal logging, the government stops allowing private companies to develop more land.


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