A chronology of key events:
1830 - France seizes Algiers, ending Algeria's three centuries as an autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire.
1939-1945 - The collapse of France and the Anglo-American occupation of North Africa during Second World War encourages hopes for independence.
1945 - Pro-independence demonstrations in Setif. Thousands are killed in suppression of ensuing unrest.
1954-1962 - Algerian War of Independence.
1962 - Algeria gains independence from France.
1963 - Ahmed Ben Bella elected as first president.
1965 - Col Houari Boumedienne overthrows Ben Bella, pledges to end corruption.
1976 - Col Boumedienne introduces a new constitution which confirms commitment to socialism and role of the National Liberation Front as the sole political party. Islam is recognised as state religion.
1976 December - Col Boumedienne is elected president and is instrumental in launching a programme of rapid industrialisation.
1978 - President Boumedienne dies and is replaced by Col Chadli Bendjedid, as the compromise candidate of the military establishment.
1986 - Rising inflation and unemployment, exacerbated by the collapse of oil and gas prices, lead to a wave of strikes and violent demonstrations.
Ban on parties lifted
1988 - Serious rioting against economic conditions.
1989 - The National People's Assembly revokes the ban on new political parties and adopts a new electoral law allowing opposition parties to contest future elections.
1989 - Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) founded and over 20 new parties licensed.
1990 - The FIS wins 55% of the vote in local elections.
1991 - In the first round of general elections in December the FIS wins 188 seats outright, and seems virtually certain to obtain an absolute majority in the second round.
Descent into conflict
1992 January-February - Army forces President Chadli to dissolve parliament and resign, replacing him with a Higher State Council chaired by Mohamed Boudiaf.
Government declares state of emergency and disbands the FIS and all its local and regional council administrations, triggering ten years of bloody conflict with Islamist groups.
1992 June - Head of State Boudiaf is assassinated by a member of his bodyguard with Islamist links. Violence increases and the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) emerges as the main group behind these operations.
1994 - Liamine Zeroual, a retired army colonel, is appointed chairman of the Higher State Council.
1995 - Col Zeroual wins presidential election with a comfortable majority.
1996 - Proposed constitutional changes approved in a referendum by over 85 per cent of voters.
1997 - Parliamentary elections won by the newly-created Democratic National Rally, followed by the Movement of Society for Peace moderate Islamic party.
1999 - Former Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika elected president after all opposition candidates withdraw over concerns and fairness and transparency of poll.
1999 - Referendum approves President Bouteflika's law on civil concord, the result of long and largely secret negotiations with the armed wing of the FIS, the Islamic Salvation Army (AIS). Thousands of members of the AIS and other armed groups are pardoned.
2000 - Attacks on civilians and security forces continue, and are thought to be the work of small groups still opposed to the civil concord. Violence is estimated to have claimed over 100,000 lives in Algeria since 1992.
2001 May - The mainly Berber party, the Rally for Culture and Democracy, withdraws from the government in protest against the authorities' handling of riots in the Kabylie Berber heartland.
2002 March - President Bouteflika says the Berber language, Tamazight, is to be recognised as a national language.
2002 June - Prime Minister Ali Benflis's National Liberation Front (FLN) wins general elections marred by violence and a low turnout. They are boycotted as a sham by four parties - two of which represent Berbers.
2003 21 May - More than 2,000 people are killed and thousands are injured by a powerful earthquake in the north. The worst-hit areas are east of Algiers.
2003 June - Leader of the outlawed Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) Abassi Madani and his deputy Ali Belhadj are freed after serving 12-year sentences.
2004 April - President Bouteflika is re-elected to a second term in a landslide poll victory.
2005 January - Authorities announce the arrest of rebel Armed Islamic Group (GIA) head Nourredine Boudiafi and the killing of his deputy, and declare the group to be virtually dismantled.
Government makes deal with Berber leaders, promising more investment in Kabylie region and greater recognition for Tamazight language.
2005 March - Government-commissioned report says security forces were responsible for the disappearances of more than 6,000 citizens during the 1990s civil conflict.
2005 September - Voters back government plans to amnesty many of those involved in post-1992 killings in a reconciliation referendum.
2006 May - Algeria is to pay back all of its $8bn debt to the Paris Club group of rich creditor nations, in a move seen as reflecting its economic recovery.
Rise of al-Qaeda
2006 December - Roadside bomb hits a bus carrying staff of a US oil firm, killing one man. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) claims responsibility.
2007 January - GSPC renames itself the al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb and steps up attacks through over the next two years.
2007 April - Thirty-three people are killed in two bomb blasts in Algiers - one the prime minister's office. Al-Qaeda claims responsibility.
2007 May - Parliamentary elections: dozens are killed in the run-up, in a wave of fighting between the military and armed groups. Pro-government parties retain their absolute majority in parliament.
2007 September - Al-Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri urges north Africa's Muslims to ''cleanse'' their land of Spaniards and French.
2008 November - Parliament approves constitutional changes allowing President Bouteflika to run for a third term.
2009 April - President Bouteflika wins third term at the polls.
2009 July - Nigeria, Niger and Algeria sign an agreement to build a $13bn pipeline to take Nigerian gas across the Sahara to the Mediterranean.
2010 April - Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Niger set up joint command to tackle threat of terrorism.
2011 January - Major protests over food prices and unemployment, with two people being killed in clashes with security forces. The government orders cuts to the price of basic foodstuffs.
2011 February - President Abdelaziz Bouteflika lifts 19-year-old state of emergency - a key demand of anti-government protesters.
2011 September - President Bouteflika ends state monopoly over radio and TV.
2012 May - Parliamentary poll: Ruling FLN and allied National Democratic Rally win another majority in parliament, with Islamists coming third, although some MPs allege fraud.
2012 October - The army kills al-Qaeda's deputy leader in Algeria, Boualem Bekai, alias Khaled al-Mig, in an ambush near Tizi Ouzou in the Kabylie region.
2012 December - French President Francois Hollande acknowledges suffering caused by France's colonisation of Algeria but stops short of an apology.
2013 January - Dozens of foreign hostages are killed by Islamist al-Murabitoun group in four-day siege at remote In Amenas gas plant. Algerian special forces storm the site.
2013 April - President Bouteflika suffers a stroke and spends three months in France being treated.
2014 April - Bouteflika wins another term as president in elections condemned by the opposition as flawed.
2014 September - Islamists behead French tourist Herve Gourdel after demanding that France end its support for the campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
2015 June - US airstrike reported to kill Mokhtar Belmokhtar, leader of the al-Murabitoun armed Islamist group, in eastern Libya, although his supporters deny this.
2015 September - President Bouteflika sacks Mohamed Mediene, head of the top intelligence body for 25 years; he was regarded as a major power behind the scenes.
2016 - February - Parliament passes constitutional reforms limiting presidents to two terms, expanding the legislature's power and giving the Berber language official status.
2018 January - New Year celebrated by the Berber people is marked for the first time as a national public holiday.
End of Bouteflika
2019 April - Street protests prompt President Bouteflika to resign, having earlier postponed presidential elections because of political turmoil.
Abdelkader Bensalah, the speaker of the upper house of parliament, becomes interim president, but protests continue.