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Trinidad and Tobago History Timeline

Trinidad and Tobago's Information

Flag of Trinidad and Tobago
Land Area 5,128 km2
Total Area 5,128km2 (#164)
Population 1,220,479 (#158)
Population Density 238.00/km2
Government Type Parliamentary Republic
GDP (PPP) $43.57 Billion
GDP Per Capita $31,900
Currency Dollar (TTD)
Largest Cities
1400 - 1700
  • (1498) Christopher Columbus visited; named Trinidad island for three peaks at its southeast corner; island of Tobago named after local tobacco pipe
  • (1532) Trinidad colonized by Spain, governor appointed to rule
  • (1630s) Dutch settled on Tobago, planted sugar cane
  • (1781) French seized Tobago from Spanish, transformed into sugar producing colony
  • (1797) Trinidad captured from Spain by British naval expedition
  • (1802) Under Treaty of Amiens Spain ceded Trinidad to Britain
  • (1814) France ceded Tobago to Britain
  • (1834) Slavery abolished
  • (1889) Trinidad and Tobago combined administratively as single British colony
  • (1945) Universal suffrage instituted
  • (1956) People's National Movement (PNM) founded by moderate nationalist, Eric Williams
  • (1958-62) Trinidad and Tobago became members of British-sponsored West Indies Federation
  • (1959) Britain granted Trinidad and Tobago internal self-government; Eric Williams named prime minister
  • (1962) Trinidad and Tobago gained independence with Williams as prime minister
  • (1967) Trinidad and Tobago joined Organization of American States
  • (1970) Government declared state of emergency after violent protests by "Black Power" supporters
  • (1972) State of emergency lifted
  • (1975) Economy crippled by workers' strike in oil, sugar, transport and electricity sectors
  • (1976) Trinidad and Tobago became republic; Ellis Clarke, former governor-general, president; Eric Williams prime minister
  • (1981) Williams died; George Chambers, agricultural minister, became prime minister
  • (1986) Arthur Robinson (NAR) won election as prime minister
  • (1987) Noor Hassanali became president
  • (1991) Patrick Manning (PNM) became prime minister
  • (1995) UNC and NAR formed coalition, Basdeo Panday as prime minister
  • (1999) Capital punishment restored


  • (2000) Basdeo Panday won another term
  • (2001) General elections ended in unprecedented tie
  • (2002) Prime Minister Patrick Manning PNM, declared victory, months of political deadlock ended in third general election
  • (2003) President Maxwell Richards elected; Caroni, state-owned sugar company, shut down; more than 8,000 jobs lost
  • (2005) Death March occurred, with over 10,000 protesting soaring rate of violent crimes
  • (2006) Former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday, sentenced to two years in prison for failing to declare overseas bank account while in office; conviction annulled
  • (2007) PNM party re-elected
  • (2008) Basdeo Panday re-elected
  • (2010) Kamia Persad-Bissessar, People's Partnership coalition, became country's first female prime minister
This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.

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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