The history of Cambodia ... in outline

Not easy to summarize the rich history of Cambodia in a few lines ... however, it is always interesting to be aware of the major events that have marked the history of the country that we visit. To us then we dive deeper into the periods that excite us.

  • The first inhabitants of Cambodian territory are probably related populations to Australian Aborigines and Melanesians arrived it was 40 000 years.
  • Around 5000 BC, populations descend from China are the ancestors of the Mon and Khmer.

    Until the sixteenth century:
    • Mon-Khmer civilization develops under the influence of India. Sanskrit is adopted, Buddhism and Hinduism but also laws and Indian techniques.
    • The Khmer empire flourished from the I century, the Khmer kingdom of Chenla is the vassal of the Funan kingdom of the Mekong Delta to the VIth century. In the VIIth century, Jayavarman established the capital at Angkor.
    • In the eighth century, the Kingdom of Chenla broke into rival kingdoms then passes under domination of Java.
    • The ninth century marks the beginning of the golden age of the Khmer empire, Jayavarman II unified the Khmer princes and frees Javanese. In the XIIth century, the empire encompasses much of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, but some of the fights between Hindus and Buddhists, between Môn, Khmer and Cham eventually lead the kingdom on the slope of decline.
    • Siamese eventually take power in Cambodia, while the Vietnamese are also trying to take power. Apart from a brief period of prosperity XVIéme century, Cambodia lives a long decline under Siamese domination until the XIXth century.

      The nineteenth and twentieth centuries:
      • In 1863, France offers its protection in Cambodia, King Norodom I accept the protectorate.
      • After World War II, King Norodom Sihanouk negotiated independence which is granted in 1953.
      • From 1968, the Khmer Communist Party took up arms. In 1970 a military coup in Cambodia precipitated a civil war that killed more than 300,000 dead.
      • In April 1975, the Khmer Rouge took power. The country has turned into a giant labor camp, the forces of Pol Pot kill more than 1 million people.
      • In 1978, Vietnam invaded Cambodia and set up the People's Republic of Kampuchea, which remains in power until 1989. The Khmer Rouge still represent Cambodia at the United Nations until 1991 and some find refuge in Thailand .
      • In 1989, Vietnamese forces withdraw, Hun Sen is the head of state of Cambodia.
      • In 1991, Sihanouk was elected president by the Supreme National Council. UN forces control the country and elections are held in 1993.
      • King Norodom Sihanouk returns to Cambodia and Hun Sen and Norodom Ranadiddh shares the seat of prime minister. The Khmer Rouge guerrillas continued sporadically until 1996.
      • In 1997, Hun Sen deposed by Rannariddh force that was about to make a political alliance with Sam Rainsy and the Khmer Rouge.
      • In 2004, Norodom Sihanouk leaves the throne to his son Norodom Sihamoni.
      • The country opened to tourism in 2008 the Cambodian People's Party won the elections and Hun Sen remains prime minister.
      • In 2009, the Khmer Rouge to trial by the international tribunal begins.