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Ethiopia History Timeline

Ethiopia's Information

Flag of Ethiopia
Land Area 1,000,000 km2
Water Area 104,300 km2
Total Area 1,104,300km2 (#26)
Population 102,374,044 (#13)
Population Density 102.37/km2
Government Type Federal Parliamentary Republic
GDP (PPP) $175.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $1,900
Currency Birr (ETB)
Largest Cities
  • (200,000 years ago) Homo sapiens emerged out of Ethiopia
  • (6000 BC) Agriculture is developed leading to an age of settlement in the region
  • (600 BC) The Kingdom of D'mt is established in northern Ethiopia, and becomes a mecca of trade in ivory, gold, silver, and slaves to Arab merchants
  • (500 BC) The Kingdom of Aksum is formed
  • (300 BC) Trade route courses are turned east rather than west to gain easier access to coastal ports; the Kingdom of D'mt is absorbed into small city-states due to the decline in trade, and eventually overtaken by the Kingdom of Aksum
  • (2nd century BC) Sabaean peoples arrived from Yemen and joined the Kingdom of Aksum
100 AD - 900 AD
  • (2nd century AD) Aksum flourished as a regional trading power
  • (341 AD) Coptic Christianity is introduced to the Aksum Empire by Frumentius, from Egypt
  • (500) The Aksum Empire boundaries are extended across the Red Sea to Yemen
  • (900) The Aksum Empire is overthrown by the Zagwe Dynasty
  • (1508) Portuguese traders made contact with Ethiopian Emperor Lebna Dengei, and assisted with aid during the Ethiopian-Adal War
  • (1531) Ethiopia is invaded by Muslim leader Ahmad Gran
  • (1543) Ahmad Gran is killed at the Battle of Wayna Daga; the Ethiopian Emperor struggled to regain control, however under Gran's ten year occupation thousands of citizens had converted to Islam
  • (1557) Neighboring regions are conquered by the Ottoman Empire limiting Ethiopia's access to the rest of the world
1600s - 1700s
  • (1624) Years of revolt and unrest followed Emperor Susenyos' conversion to Roman Catholicism
  • (1632) The state religion of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity is reinstated, and Jesuit missionaries are expelled along with other Europeans
  • (1755-1855) Ethiopia entered an age of isolation, referred to as the Zemene Mesafint ("Age of Princes")
  • (1855) Ethiopia is united and the power of the Emperor is restored under the reign of Tewodros II
  • (1888-1892) The Great Ethiopian Famine claimed the lives of a third of the population
  • (1889) A friendship treaty known as the 'Treaty of Wichale' between Ethiopia and Italy is signed; Italy would recognize Ethiopia's sovereignty in order to obtain control of an area north of Ethiopia
  • (1889) Addis Ababa is declared the capital of Ethiopia
  • (1895) Ethiopia is invaded by Italy following an attempt by the latter to expand their territorial claims
  • (1896) Italian forces are defeated by Ethiopians during the battle of Adwa
  • (1923) Ethiopia is granted membership to the League of Nations
  • (1931) A written constitution is drafted and subsequently adopted
  • (1935) Italy invaded Ethiopia claiming a border infraction, and ill-equipped to defend themselves, Ethiopia is merged into Italy's East African colony
  • (1936) Addis Ababa is captured by Italy, and the Italian king is declared Emperor of Ethiopia
  • (1941) Italy is defeated, with the aid of British troops, and the Ethiopia's independence is restored
  • (1942) A proclamation is issued abolishing slavery
  • (1962) Eritrea is annexed by Emperor Haile Selassie, and is made an Ethiopian province
  • (1963) The Organization of African Unity (OAU) is formed
  • (1974) Food shortages, border wars, and a discontented middle class sparked demonstrations; Haile Selassie was deposed of in a military coup
  • (1977) Ethiopia's Ogaden region is invaded by Somalia
  • (1984) Ethiopia devastated by widespread famine, 1 million reported dead
  • (1987) Mengistu Haile Mariam is elected president under a new constitution and one-party system
  • (1991) Addis Ababa is captured by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front forcing Mengistu to flee the country
  • (1994) A new constitution is adopted leading to Ethiopia's first multiparty election
  • (1995) Negasso Gidada is elected president; Meles Zenawi is appointed Prime Minister
  • (1999) Ethiopian-Eritrean erupted following border disputes
  • (2000) A ceasefire agreement is signed with Eritrea ending the border war
  • (2002) Ethiopia and Eritrea reached a new common border agreement, with the town of Badme remaining a disputed territory
  • (2005) Disputed multiparty elections lead to deadly protests
  • (2006) Several parties banned together to form an opposition alliance, the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy
  • (2006) Addis Ababa is bombed several times with no party claiming responsibility
  • (2006) Widespread flooding leaves thousands homeless and several hundred dead in its wake
  • (2006) Tensions with Somalia flared
  • (2006) Ethiopian troops entered Somalia to forcefully remove rebel Islamists
  • (2007) Ethiopian troops withdrawal from Somalia after a peace agreement is signed with the rebels
  • (2012) Prime Minister Meles Zenawi passed away in Brussels where he was being treated for an unspecified illness; Hailemariam Desalegn was appointed prime minister
  • (2013) Ethiopia and Egypt agreed to discuss plans for a dam on the Blue Nile
This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.

Ethiopia Trivia

What is the Major Ethnic Group of Ethiopia?

The Oromo people are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, with a total population of around 34 million people.

Ethnic Groups Of Ethiopia

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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