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Bolivia History Timeline

1500s - 1800s

  • (1538) Spain seized Bolivia
  • (1545) Silver discovered in Cerro Rico mountains
  • (1548) La Paz founded by Alonso de Mendoza
  • (1561) Santa Cruz founded
  • (1809-1925) Bolivian War of Independence
  • (1825) Bolivia declared independence from Spain and Peru
  • (1836-1839) Peru-Bolivian Confederation; war with Chile and Argentina
  • (1839) Battle of Yungay, Chile defeated Peruvian-Bolivian army
  • (1842) Peace agreement with Peru
  • (1879-1883) War of the Pacific, lost nitrate-rich Atacama to Chile
  • (1899) La Paz became seat of government and administrative capital, Sucre the official capital
1900s
  • (1903) War of the Pacific officially ended
  • (1907) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed by soldiers after robbing a mine
  • (1928) Paraguay disputed territory of Chaco Boreal; oil discovered in foothills of Andes
  • (1932-1935) Chaco War with Paraguay; discovered there was no oil
  • (1942) Victor Paz Estensorro founded National Revolutionary Movement
  • (1952-1956) Victor Paz Estensorro served first of four terms as president; guerrilla leader Che Guevara organized National Liberation Army
  • (1967) Che Guevara attempted to incite a revolution; executed
  • (1971-1978) Colonel Hugo Banzer Suarez ruled as a military leader
  • (1982-1985) Hernan Siles Zuazo became president again, restored democracy after 18 years of military rule
  • (1990) Land reforms in favor of indigenous people
  • (1996) Dinosaur footprints discovered near Sucre; land reform agreement with landowners and Indian chiefs
  • (1999) Bush fires destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland
2000s
  • (2004) Protests erupted over gas export deal with Argentina; government won people's referendum on gas exports
  • (2006) Evo Morales elected president; nationalized gas, other energy industries, redistributed land
  • (2007) State of emergency declared after months of heavy rain and floods

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