1500. Portuguese Admiral Pedro Álvares Cabral discovers Brazil.
1549. Governor-general Tomé de Souza establishes the first government in Brazil.
1773. Pedro I proclaims Brazil's independence from Portugal on 7 September and is crowned emperor.
1883. Revolution establishes the Federal Republic of the United States of Brazil.
1888. Slavery is abolished in Brazil.
1891. First constitution under the Republic.
1930. Getúlio Vargas is named president, brought to power by the military with some civilian support.
1946. Eurico Dutra is elected president.
1950. Vargas returns, creating the National Development Bank and the state petroleum company.
1964. Military dictatorship. Congress appoints Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco to the presidency.
1967. Arthur da Costa e Silva becomes president under a new constitution.
1973. Oil crisis results in a significant setback for Brazil's economy.
1979. General João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo becomes president and allows democratic elections.
1982. First democratic elections since 1964.
1985. Tancredo Neves, a senator from Minas Gerais from the opposition party, becomes president.
1988. The constitution is ratified, reestablishing direct elections for the presidency.
1989. Fernando Collor de Mello is elected president, and implements a liberalization plan.
1992. Itamar Franco takes over the presidency and tries to control inflation, which he does in 1994 with his "Real Plan."
1994. Fernando Henrique Cardoso is elected president on the strength of his economic plan.
1998. Fernando Henrique Cardoso is reelected.