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Cape Verde History Timeline

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Cape Verde's Information

Flag of Cape Verde
Land Area 4,033 km2
Water Area 0 km2
Total Area 4,033 km2
Population 553,432
Population Density 137.23 / km2
Government Type Parliamentary Republic
GDP (PPP) $3.58 Billion
GDP Per Capita $6,700
Currency Escudo (CVE)
Largest Cities
  • Praia (113,364)
  • Mindelo (70,611)
  • Santa Maria (17,231)
  • Cova Figueira (15,350)
1400 - 1500
  • (1456) Alvise Cadamosto, Italian slave trader and explorer, was hired by Portuguese Prince, Harry the Navigator, to sail to West Africa; expedition discovered Cape Verde Islands
  • (1462) Portuguese returned to island of Sao Tiago, founded Ribeira Grande (Cidade Velha), first permanent European settlement city in the tropics
  • (1466) Settlers petitioned the Portuguese Crown to begin slave trade
  • (1472) Royal Warrant allowed "existing inhabitants" of Santiago to have slaves and granted authority to trade in Western Africa
  • (1474 - 1479) During War of the Spanish Succession, Spanish ships pillaged Ribeira Grande, captured white residents for ransom and blacks to be resold into slavery
  • (1483) First French ships arrived in Cape Verde
  • (1495) Cape Verde became Portuguese Crown Colony
  • (1496) King Manuel I of Portugal exiled Jews to Cape Verde
  • (1500s) Penal colony was established for Portuguese convicts
  • (1550) Exclusive concession to trading rights along African coast ceased, Ribiera Grande declined in importance and prosperity
  • (1582) English sea captain, Sir Francis Drake, sacked and burned Ribeira Grande
  • (1583) Famine ravaged Cape Verde
  • (1585) Sir Francis Drake again sacked Ribeira Grande
  • (1598) Dutch ships raided Ribeira Grande
1600 - 1700
  • (1600s) Cape Verde became shipping center for slave trade in Brazil and America
  • (1605 - 1611) Famine conditions and smallpox in Santiago devastated indigenous population
  • (1620s) English cod fishers stopped at Maio and Sal for salt on the way to fishing grounds off Newfoundland, Canada
  • (1652) Capital of Cape Verde was relocated to Praia from Ribeira Grande
  • (1680) Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in Fogo forced many people to abandon their homes and relocate on Ilha Brava
  • (1712) French destroyed Ribeira Grande
  • (1740s) American ships began stopping at Cape Verde for provisions, many Cape Verdean males began working on the ships and immigrated
  • (1747) Crop failures caused famine on most of the islands
  • (1770) Praia became capital
  • (1773) Devastating locust infestations in Fogo caused severe famine, population decreased from 5,700 to 4,200; cannibalism incidents were reported
  • (1774 - 1775) Severe famine killed 22,666; all livestock in Maio and Brava died
  • (1791) Over 800 died from famine in Santo Antao
  • (1810) All the islands suffered from drought and famine, causing high mortality
  • (1811) New taxes levied to support militia in Santiago caused protests; protest leaders deported to Brazil as prisoners
  • (1816) U.S. established consulate office in Cape Verde
  • (1822) Rent strike by sharecroppers and tenants held in Santiago, protesters demanded reform which would transfer ownership to people who worked the land
  • (1830) Drought and famine throughout the country killed 30,000
  • (1830) Village of Santa Maria established by Manuel Antonio Martins for salt production business
  • (1832) English scientist, Charles Darwin, stopped in Cape Verde in the HMS Beagle, noted deforestation and overgrazing
  • (1854 - 1855) Cholera epidemic in Fogo killed over 800
  • (1854 - 1856) 25% of Cape Verde's population died due to famine; U.S. raised money, shipped wheat
  • (1855) Coal workers protested working and wage conditions, demands were rejected
  • (1863) Famine spread throughout the archipelago
  • (1864) Large-scale immigration began
  • (1875 - 1876) Lack of rain and crop failures devastated Santiago and Santo Antao
  • (1890) Crop failures caused famine in Maio and Brava
  • (1910) Workers of Sao Vicente Port struck for better working conditions and wages
  • (1913) Nearly 1,700 Cape Verdeans legally immigrated to the U.S.
  • (1915) Fishermen from Sao Vicente struck against new taxes
1900s continued
  • (1916) Over 1,800 immigrants entered the U.S.
  • (1922 - 1966) U.S. enacted new laws to restrict immigration, Cape Verdeans began immigration to other countries
  • (1930) Tuna fishing and cannery business established by Portuguese firm in Santa Maria
  • (1934) Protesters carried black flags in march in Mindelo against government's lack of response to famine conditions; sacked and looted food warehouses and commercial establishments
  • (1941 - 1943) Drought and famine killed 31% of Fogo's and 28% of Sao Nicolau's population
  • (1941) World War II caused significant slowdown of shipping traffic into Mindelo, economic collapse followed
  • (1946 - 1948) Famine and drought caused Santiago to lose 65% of its population
  • (1946) Prison established on Santiago Island by Portuguese Secret Police for political dissidents and anti-colonialists from Portugal , Cape Verde, Guinea and other African colonies
  • (1951) Portugal changed Cape Verde's status from colony to overseas province
  • (1956) Cape Verdean, Amilcar Cabral, co-founded African Party for Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) in Guinea-Bissau
  • (1960) PAIGC initiated 13-year war against Portuguese rule
  • (1973) Amilcar Cabral assassinated by agents of colonial government
  • (1975) Cape Verde became independent, adopted constitution envisaging unity with Guinea-Bissau
  • (1975) Aristides Maria Pereira elected president, Pedro Pires elected prime minister of Cape Verde
  • (1980) Coup in Guinea-Bissau caused relations to become strained between Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau
  • (1981) PAICV (African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde) replaced PAIGC, was country's only political party
  • (1990) One-party state was abolished
  • (1991) Free elections held, Carlos Wahnon Veiga elected prime minister, Antonio Mascaarenhas Monteiro elected president
  • (1992) New constitution adopted allowing multi-party system
  • (1995) Over 10,000 cholera cases reported, 210 died
  • (1996) In election, President Monteiro reelected; his party, Movement for Democracy, won majority of parliamentary seats
  • (1996) Cape Verde competed for the first time in the Olympic Games held in Atlanta, GA (USA)
  • (1997) 80% of grain crops destroyed by drought
  • (2001) Problems with unemployment and economy helped PAICV party win majority of seats in legislative elections
  • (2001) Pedro Pires from PAICV party elected president over Carlos Veiga by 17 votes
  • (2006) PAICV party won parliamentary elections
  • (2006) President Pires reelected
  • (2006) About 7,000 Nato troops participated in war games on Sao Vicente Island
  • (2007) Cape Verde became member of World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • (2009) U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, visited Cape Verde on seven-nation African tour
  • (2009) National emergency declared due to outbreak of dengue fever
  • (2010) PAICV party won parliamentary elections
  • (2011) Jorge Carlos Fonseca elected president

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