Travel through our timeline of major events in Bolivia's history.
The Tiahuanaco (tee-a-wa-na-ko) civilization flourishes in the Altiplano region.
The land now known as Bolivia comes under the control of native people called the Aymara.
The Incas expand beyond their vast empire. It extends from Peru to Bolivia.
Spain invades and conquers the area.
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Antonio José de Sucre and Simón Bolívar free the land from Spanish rule. It becomes an independent nation and is named Bolivia in honor of Bolívar. Sucre becomes the nation’s first elected president.
Bolivia and Chile go to war. Bolivia becomes landlocked when it loses its only coastal territory to Chile.
Bolivia and Paraguay fight the Chaco War for control over territory that is believed to be rich in oil. Paraguay gains most of the land, but no oil is found.
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Victor Paz Estenssoro becomes president of Bolivia. He gives native people the right to vote. Paz Estenssoro is elected president three more times, in 1960, 1964, and 1985.
Colonel Hugo Banzer Suárez overthrows the government. In 1978, he is driven from power. But he is elected president in 1997.
After nearly a month of heavy rains, the government declares about half the country a natural disaster area.
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Evo Morales becomes Bolivia’s first indigenous, or native, president. He is reelected in 2009. Morales puts the energy and gas industry under government control. His relationship with the U.S. is rocky.