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Benin History Timeline

Benin's Information

Flag of Benin
Land Area 110,622 km2
Water Area 2,000 km2
Total Area 112,622km2 (#100)
Population 10,741,458 (#85)
Population Density 97.10/km2
Government Type Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $24.31 Billion
GDP Per Capita $2,200
Currency Franc (XOF)
More Information Benin
Largest Cities

See Also

1500 - 1700

  • (1500s) Portuguese merchants and explorers arrived along the coast
  • (1620) King Dako of Abomey founded Kingdom of Dahomey
  • (1650) English built fort at Whydah
  • (1704) France given permission to construct port at Ouidah
  • (1752) Portuguese founded Porto-Novo (New Port), used it for slave trading
  • (1807) Britain passed Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, ended slave trade operating out of West Africa
  • (1851) France and Dahomey kings signed trade agreement
  • (1863) Porto-Novo became French Protectorate
  • (1863) French protectorates were established in Benin's main cities and ports
  • (1882) New agreement for Protectorate of France signed by ruler of the kingdom of Porto-Novo
  • (1885 - 1887) Portugal declared protectorate over Dahomey
  • (1889) King Behanzin, Abomey's last independent ruler, was defeated in war against French
  • (1892) France declared protectorate over the entire kingdom
  • (1890) French foreign legionnaires massacred army of Dahomey
  • (1892) King Behanzin of Dahomey led siege against French
  • (1894) King Behanzin surrendered to French
  • (1894) France established Colon of Dahomey and its dependencies
  • (1894) King Behanzin exiled to Martinique
  • (1904) Dahomey was incorporated into the federation of eight colonial territories in French West Africa
  • (1946) Dahomey became overseas territory of France
  • (1958) Dahomey became self-governing
  • (1960) Dahomey admitted to the United Nations
  • (1960) Parti Dahomeen de L'Unite won elections, Hubert Maga became country's first president
  • (1961) Dahomey seized Portuguese territory of Ajuda
  • (1963) President Maga deposed in coup led by Colonel Christophe Soglo, the army Chief of Staff
  • (1963) Dehomey joined IMF
  • (1964) Dahomey's government restructured, Sourou-Migan Apithy elected president
  • (1965) President Apithy forced to step down by General Soglo, provisional government formed
  • (1965) General Soglo assumed power
  • (1967) Lt. Col. Alphonse Alley replaced General Soglo following coup led by Major Maurice Kouandete
  • (1968) Dr. Emile-Derlin Zinsou nominated as president by military
  • (1969) President Zinsou deposed by Lt. Col. Kouandete
  • (1970) Presidential elections held, then abandoned
  • (1970) Presidential council formed consisting of Ahomadegbe, Apithy and Maga
1900s continued
  • (1970) Maga named to serve as president with two-year term
  • (1972) Ahomadegbe assumed presidency for two-year term
  • (1972) Presidential council members detained after Major Mathieu Kerekou seized power
  • (1973) Conseil National Revolutionnaire (CNR) created with representatives from across the country
  • (1975) Country renamed Republique Populaiare du Benin (People's Republic of Benin)
  • (1975) Parti de la Revolution Populaire du Benin (PRPB) became country's only legal political party
  • (1977) CNR established Loi Fondamentale (Basic Law) which restructured the government
  • (1979) Elections held to new Assemblee Nationale Revolutionnaire (ANR)
  • (1979) Comite Executif National (CEN) replaced CNR
  • (1980) ANR elected Kerekou as president
  • (1981) Former presidential council members released from detention
  • (1987) Mathieu Kerekou resigned from military
  • (1988) Two coups attempted against Mathieu Kerekou
  • (1989) President Kerekou reelected
  • (1989) Benin abolished Communism
  • (1989) Anti-government strikes and demonstrations were held
  • (1990) Constitution was nullified
  • (1990) President Kerekou's PRPB government was dissolved, multiparty democracy introduced
  • (1990) Implementation of reforms began
  • (1990) Benin became Republic of Benin
  • (1991) In legislative elections, no party won overall majority
  • (1991) President Kerekou lost election to Prime Minister Nicephore Dieudonne Soglo in country's first multiparty democratic general election
  • (1991) Benin became first African country to successfully convert from dictatorship to pluralistic political system
  • (1991) Former President Kerekou given immunity from prosecution over actions taken since 1972

Benin Trivia

Where is Benin?

The Republic of Benin is a small West African country. It covers an area of 44,310 sqm and is home to about 11 million people.

Fun Facts About Benin

What are the major ethnic groups of Benin?

The largest ethnic group in Benin is Fon/Dahomey which constitutes 39% of the total population. Yoruba makes up more than 18% of the population.The Adja ethnic group makes up 15% of the general country population. Other ethnic groups include Bariba, Fula (Fulani), Ottamari, and Lukpa.

Major Ethnic Groups Of Benin

What is the Biggest City in Benin?

Cotonou is the biggest city and seat of government of Benin while Porto-Novo is the second biggest city and capital of the country.

The Major Cities Of Benin

What is the Currency of Benin?

The official currency of Benin is the West African CFA franc.

What is the Currency of Benin?

What Languages are Spoken in Benin?

French is Benin's official language, and about 50 indigenous languages are also spoken in the country.

What Languages are Spoken in Benin?

What are the religious beliefs in Benin?

Culturally diverse, Benin's people follow a diverse mix of Christian, Muslim, and West African traditional beliefs. 27% of the population identify with Roman Catholic Christianity, 24% with Islam, 17% with West African Vodun, and 16% with Protestantism and Other Forms of Non-Catholic Christianity.

Religious Beliefs In Benin

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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