Maldives: History

  1. 12th Century

    Originally Buddhist, the Maldivians are introduced to and converted to Islam.

  2. 1558-1573

    Portugal occupies the islands before being driven away by the locals.

  3. 1887

    The islands officially combine to become a self-governing British protectorate.

  4. 1932

    The first democratic constitution is implemented, making the sultanate an elected position.

  5. 1965

    The Maldives become completely independent from Britain.

  6. 1968

    The sultanate is abolished in a referendum and replaced by a republic with Ibrahim Nasir as president.

  7. 1982

    The Maldives rejoin the British Commonwealth.

  8. 1980s

    A tourist industry is developed, bringing the islands great economic growth.

  9. 2004

    Government officials say that development in the Maldives has been set back by 20 years after a devastating tsunami hits the islands, leaving hundreds dead.

  10. 2008

    A new constitution is approved and ratified that sets up a presidential system of government with multi-party elections.

  11. 2009

    New president Mohamed Nasheed announces his plan for the Maldives to become carbon neutral in ten years by moving to renewable energy sources.


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