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1816 - United States Congress grants charter to the American Colonization Society to establish a settlement for freed slaves.

1822 - First American settlers arrive, with financial aid from US President James Monroe.

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1847 - Liberia declares independence.

1944 to 1971 - President William Tubman centralizes authority, seeks unification of Americo-Liberian and tribal groups. Promotes foreign investment. Tubman dies in office.

1971 - William Tolbert Jr. succeeds Tubman.

1979 - Widespread rioting over proposed increase in price of rice shocks Monrovia. Emergency powers granted to Tolbert: municipal elections postponed.

1980 - First opposition party, the People's Progressive Party (PPP), organizes a general strike. PPP leaders arrested.

April 1980 - Tolbert killed in coup. Master Sgt. Samuel Doe, chairman of People's Redemption Council, assumes control.

April 1981 - Commission drafts a new constitution in keeping with Doe's promise to return government to civilian rule by 1985.

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July 1984 - Constitutional referendum passes. Doe creates interim national assembly and announces elections for October 1985.

October 1985 - Amid allegations of electoral fraud and military intimidation, Doe claims the presidency. His National Democratic Partyof Liberia fills 73 of 90 assembly seats.

1986 to 1990 - Doe cracks down on opposition and exercises control over Supreme Court. January to July 1990 - Ethnic conflicts escalate throughout the interior. Charles Taylor and Prince Johnson emerge as strong opposition leaders.

July 23 - Johnson gains control of Monrovia.

Aug. 25 - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sends peacekeeping forces into Monrovia.

Sept. 11 - Doe is killed in a dispute with Johnson.

Nov. 22 ECOWAS brokers cease-fire and recognized Amos Sawyer, former constitutional commission head, as presidend of Interim Government of National Unity.

July 1, 1991 - Taylor, Sawyer, and five West African heads of state meeting in Ivory Coast to discuss terms for elections.

Sept. 17 In second meeting agreement is reached on procedures for disarming rebel forces and on a new structure for peacekeeping forces. Jan. 15, 1992 - Deadline for disarming rebel forces passes without Taylor's compliance.

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