Newars are thought to have lived in the Nepal Valley since
the 4th century AD, developing a Hindu-Buddhist culture. The Gurkha principality was later established by RAJPUT warriors from India, and
in 1769 they conquered lands beyond the present-day borders of
Nepal. After incursions into northern India in which the Gurkhas were
defeated, Nepal lost part of its territory to British India but
retained its independence and enjoyed close ties with the British.It has
maintained its close association with India since the latter gained
independence in 1947.
Nepal, the world’s only Hindu monarchy, was controlled by a
hereditary prime ministership until 1951. The nation’s first election
was held in 1959, but in 1960, King Mahendra dismissed the cabinet,
dissolved parliament, and banned political parties. A 1962
constitution created a nonparty panchayat (council) system of
government. After a 1980 referendum approved a modified version of the
panchayat system, direct parliamentary elections were held in 1981. A
dispute with India led to India’s closing of most border crossings
from March 1989 to July 1990, and the resultant economic crisis fueled
demands for political reform. After months of violence, King Birendra
Bir Bikram Shah Dev dissolved parliament. The opposition formed an
interim government in April 1990, and a new constitution creating a
constitutional monarchy and a bicameral legislature became effective
on Nov. 9, 1990. Multiparty legislative elections held in May 1991
were won by the centrist Nepali Congress party; the Communists became
the leading opposition party. Mid-term elections in November 1994,
which were called after the government lost a parliamentary vote,
resulted in a hung parliament and the communists, who emerged as the
single largest party, formed a minority government.
Nepal: Chronology of Important Events
|ca. 563 B.C.
||Buddha born in Lumbini;
||Licchavi kingdom in power in Kathmandu
||“Transitional” kingdom in power in Kathmandu Valley
||Khasa Mall kings rule in western Nepal
||Arimalla, first monarch of the Malla Dynasty, rules in Kathmandu Valley.
||Khasa king Ripumalla leads raid in Kathmandu Valley
||Sultan Shams ud-din Ilyas of Bengal leads raid in Kathmandu Valley.
||Jayasthitimalla rules as king of united Malla kingdom in Kathmandu Valley.
||Yakshamalla reigns – height of united Malla kingdom.
||Malla kingdom divided; three kingdoms of Kathmandu, Bhadgaon, and Patan established.
||Gorkha kindgom established by Dravya Shah.
||Ram Shah of Gorkha reigns; Gorkha kindgom experiences first expansion.
||Prithvi Narayan Shah ascends to throne of Gorkha.
||Gorkha conquers Kathmandu and Patan, Bhadgaon, eastern Nepal, and western Nepal.
||Prithvi Narayan Shah dies, first king of united Nepal.
||The Anglo-Nepalese War and the resulting Treaty of Sagauli reduces the territory of Nepal.
||Jang Bahadur Rana takes over as prime minister and establishes hereditary Rana rule.
||The Nepali Congress Party is founded.
||The United States establishes diplomatic relations with Nepal.
||The country’s first constitution, the Government of Nepal Act, is promulgated; Prime Minister Padma Shamsher Rana resigns in the wake of opposition to the new constitution from conservative Ranas; Mohan Shamsher becomes prime minister; constitution is suspended.
||Ranas are in open conflict with King Tribhuvan implicated in Nepali Congress Party conspiracy against Rana power, seeks and is granted asylum in India; government troops desert to the rebel side; over 140 Ranas join the dissidents. Treaty of Peace and Friendship and Treaty of Trade and Commerce are signed with India.
||Mohan Shamsher capitulates; King Tribhuvan is restored to the throne; Mohan Shamsher heads new coalition cabinet for 10 months; he is secceeded by Nepali Congress Party leader M.P. Koirala as prime minister;