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Nepal: A Brief History
Josh Gellers, PhD
September 16, 2015
Geography
2
Vital Statistics
• Population: 28 million (2014)
• GDP per capita: $698 (2014)
• Life expectancy: 67 male/70 female (2013)
• % with access to electricity: 76% (2012)
• % living in extreme poverty: 24% (2010)
• Human Development Index: 145/187 (2014)
• Diversity: 101 ethnic groups, 91 linguistic
groups, 9 religious groups
3
Early History
• Lichavi Dynasty (400-750 AD)
– Lichavis migrate to Nepal from northern India and
set up a peaceful, centralized system
• Malla Dynasty (12th-15th centuries)
– Kantipur (Kathmandu) founded, and Kathmandu
Valley divided into 3 kingdoms (Kathmandu,
Bhaktapur, and Patan) resulting in wars
• Shah Dynasty (1768-2008)
– Nepal unified under King Prithi Narayan Shah,
and war with Great Britain caused loss of Terai
– Marked by periods of monarchy (1768-1846),
hereditary prime ministers (1846-1951), and
constitutional monarchy (1990-2008)
4
Modern Struggles
• 1959: Multiparty system achieved via democratic
constitution
• 1960: King Mahendra seizes power and installs partyless
regime (Panchayat)
• 1990: First People’s Movement (Jana Andolan I) leads to
democratic constitution
• 1996: Maoist insurgents wage People’s War against the
state, resulting in 13,000 deaths
• 2002/05: Royal coups led by King Gyanendra restore rule of
the crown
• 2006: Maoists and political parties unite to oppose king in
second People’s Movement (Jana Andolan II)
• 2007: Interim Constitution adopted
5
Nepal Today: Natural Disaster
• April 2015: Nepal earthquake
6
Nepal Today: Constitutional Crisis
• 2008: Began drafting new constitution
• 2010: Deadline passes
• 2011-15: Deadline extended, protests ensue
• Today: Constituent Assembly overwhelmingly
approves adoption of new 2015 constitution
7
A New Hope/The Final Frontier
8

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Nepal: A Brief History

  • 1. Nepal: A Brief History Josh Gellers, PhD September 16, 2015
  • 3. Vital Statistics • Population: 28 million (2014) • GDP per capita: $698 (2014) • Life expectancy: 67 male/70 female (2013) • % with access to electricity: 76% (2012) • % living in extreme poverty: 24% (2010) • Human Development Index: 145/187 (2014) • Diversity: 101 ethnic groups, 91 linguistic groups, 9 religious groups 3
  • 4. Early History • Lichavi Dynasty (400-750 AD) – Lichavis migrate to Nepal from northern India and set up a peaceful, centralized system • Malla Dynasty (12th-15th centuries) – Kantipur (Kathmandu) founded, and Kathmandu Valley divided into 3 kingdoms (Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan) resulting in wars • Shah Dynasty (1768-2008) – Nepal unified under King Prithi Narayan Shah, and war with Great Britain caused loss of Terai – Marked by periods of monarchy (1768-1846), hereditary prime ministers (1846-1951), and constitutional monarchy (1990-2008) 4
  • 5. Modern Struggles • 1959: Multiparty system achieved via democratic constitution • 1960: King Mahendra seizes power and installs partyless regime (Panchayat) • 1990: First People’s Movement (Jana Andolan I) leads to democratic constitution • 1996: Maoist insurgents wage People’s War against the state, resulting in 13,000 deaths • 2002/05: Royal coups led by King Gyanendra restore rule of the crown • 2006: Maoists and political parties unite to oppose king in second People’s Movement (Jana Andolan II) • 2007: Interim Constitution adopted 5
  • 6. Nepal Today: Natural Disaster • April 2015: Nepal earthquake 6
  • 7. Nepal Today: Constitutional Crisis • 2008: Began drafting new constitution • 2010: Deadline passes • 2011-15: Deadline extended, protests ensue • Today: Constituent Assembly overwhelmingly approves adoption of new 2015 constitution 7
  • 8. A New Hope/The Final Frontier 8