1820: Freed slaves are repatriated from the United States and settle in Liberia.

1847: Liberia becomes a Republic.

1951: The right to vote is extended to women and some property-owning indigenous people.

1971: President William Tubman dies and is succeeded by Vice President William Tolbert.

1980: Sergeant Samuel K. Doe, a member of the indigenous Krahn group, seizes power in a military coup which sees the execution of President Tolbert.

1984: Under pressure from international donors, Doe introduces a new constitution which allows for multi-party elections.

1985: Does is elected President, in an election marred by widespread, systematic vote-rigging.

1985 (Nov): Thomas Quiwonkpa leads a failed coup attempt, which is followed by violent reprisals against the Gio and Mano people of Quiwonkpa's native Nimba County.

1989 (December): Charles Taylor leads the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) in an invasion of Nimba County from the Ivory Coast, with the aim of ousting the Doe regime.

1990: As the the rebels look poised to take Monrovia, the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), forms ECOMOG - a peacekeeping force headed by Nigeria - and sends them into the city. to keep the warring parties apart.

1990: Doe is captured, tortured and killed by a splinter group of NPFL.

1991: An Interim Government of National Unity, headed by Amos Sawyer, and sponsored by ECOWAS is established. The plan is rejected by Taylor, who establishes his own, rival government.

1992: NPFL rebels attack ECOMOG peacekeepers in Monrovia.

1993: The warring factions agree to a ceasefire, but it fails to halt the violence.

1995: A peace agreement (pdf) is signed by the temporary Liberian government, rebel groups and civil society.

1996: Fighting between the various factions resumes, and spreads to Monrovia. Around 3,000 people are killed in the battle that follows.

1996 (Aug): ECOWAS begins disarmment programme, clearing the way for the return of refugees.

1997: Taylor wins the presidential elections elections with 75 per cent of the vote. Although they are seen as free and fair, many Liberians believed Taylor would resume fighting if he failed to win the presidency.

1999 (Jan): Liberia accused of supporting the RUF rebels in Sierra Leone, leading sanctions from the US, UK, and UN.

1999 (Apr): Emergence of a new rebel group, the Liberians United for Reconcilation and Democracy (LURD). Operating out of Guinea, they attack the town of Voinjama in Loma County, north west Liberia.

2000 (Sept): The beginning of a major Liberian operation to end the rebel presence in the north. Guinea accuses Liberia of entering its territory.

2001 (Mar): UN imposes an arms embargo against Liberia for their support of Sierra Leonean rebels.

2002: Liberia declares a state of emergency, as the rebels advance on Monrovia.

2003: Heavy fighting in Monrovia as rebel forces seem on the brink of taking the city.

2003 (Jul): Sierra Leone produces indictment accusing Taylor of being implicit in war crimes committed by the RUF. Fighting around Monrovia intensifies, and ECOWAS once again deploys peacekeepers to defend the city.

2003 (Aug): Taylor resigns and is exiled in Nigeria, opening the way for a peace agreement between the rebels and the government. US troops arrive to help enforce the peace.

2003 (Oct): US troops withdraw, and are replaced with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

2004: UNMIL announces it has successfully demobilised over 103,000 ex-combatants.

2005: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is elected President, becoming Africa's first female democratically elected head of state.

2006 (Feb): The Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission is established in order to investigate human rights abuses committed between 1979 and 2003.

2006 (Apr): Taylor is arrested in Nigeria and handed over to the United Nations in Sierra Leone.

2006 (Jun): International Criminal Court agrees to host Taylor's trial due to fears of instability if the trial were to be held in Sierra Leone. In order to allow training of the security services, the UN eases a ban on weapons sales. The following month the timber export embargo is lifted.

2006 (Jul): Generator-powered street lights provide Monrovia with the first electricity it has had for 15 years.

2007 (Apr): The UN lifts the embargo on Liberian diamonds.

2007 (Jun): Taylor's trial begins, although it is subsequently postponed for a year.

2008 (Mar): Liberia conducts its first census since 1984.

2008 (Jun): Taylor's trial is re-opened.

2009 (Dec): The Truth and Reconciliation Committee produce their final report.

2010 (Feb): The American-born son of former Liberian dictator; Chuckie Taylor has been ordered to pay more than £14m in compensation to five people tortured during the West African country's civil war. He is currently serving 97 years in prison for his role in one of Africa's bloodiest chapters; he was the first person to be convicted by a federal court of committing offences outside the US.

2010 (Aug): Mia Farrow and Naomi Campbell give evidence to the ICC about blood diamonds given to Campbell by Charles Taylor. Their appearances bring media attention back to the long running case.

2010 (Dec): A WikiLeaks cable details America's lack of confidence in the proceedings against former Liberian president Charles Taylor (right) in the international criminal court. Judges in one of the world's most controversial war crimes trials have been deliberately slowing down proceedings, senior US officials believe, causing significant delays to proceedings.

2011 (Jan): Thousands of young Liberians paraded through the streets of Monrovia, Buchanan, Gbarnga, Voinjama, Kakata, and Sanniquelie in a historical event to raise awareness about the ongoing voter registration process ahead of the October elections.