1044. Pagan empire is founded on the banks of Irrawaddy.
1824. First Anglo-Burmese war leads to Burmese defeat and loss of territory.
1886. Burma is defeated in the Second Anglo-Burmese war, and Britain annexes the remainder of the country's territory.
1941-45. Japanese forces invade Burma and occupy much of the country during World War II.
1948. Burma becomes an independent, democratic country with a free market economy.
1962. The military under General Ne Win overthrows democracy, establishing the "Burmese way to socialism" and nationalizing banks and other private industries.
1974. The government establishes a new constitution and announces the formation of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma.
1988. Amid widespread protests and riots, a military junta headed by Generals Ne Win and Saw Maung replaces the civilian president with a new government called the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). The SLORC renames the nation the Union of Myanmar, dropping the name "Burma," and liberalizes the economy.
1990. Elections are held, and the opposition National League for Democracy wins a clear majority. The SLORC refuses to cede power and opposition leaders are jailed.
1997. The Asian economic crisis damages Burma's economy.
2000. The International Labor Organization concludes that Burma is in violation of rules regarding forced labor and advises member nations to review their relations with Burma.