• Cambodia becomes a protectorate of France.
  • Cambodia is granted complete independence from France.
  • General Lon Nol, leader of the country, is overthrown by the Khmer Rouge, a communist regime. This country is renamed Kampuchea.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A new constitution is drafted which establishes a multiparty, liberal democracy in the framework of a constitutional monarchy.
  • Most of the remaining Khmer Rouge fighters accept a government amnesty and lay down their arms, ending nearly 30 years of war.
  • Cambodia enters the World Trade Organization. King Sihanouk abdicates the throne and his son, Norodom Sihamoni, becomes the next king.
  • In an attempt to curb evictions and illegal logging, the government stops allowing private companies to develop more land.


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