A chronology of key events:
1206-63 - Following unification of the Mongol tribes, Genghis Khan launches a campaign of conquest. His sons and grandsons create the world's biggest land empire.
1267-1368 - Weakened by disunity, the empire implodes. Ming troops oust the Mongols from Dadu - present-day Beijing.
1380 - The Golden Horde is defeated by the Russian Prince Dmitriy Donskoy. Ming troops destroy the Mongol capital, Karakorum.
1636 - The Manchu (Qing) empire conquers the southern Mongols, creating Inner Mongolia.
1691 - The Qing empire offers protection to the northern Mongols, creating Outer Mongolia.
1727 - The Treaty of Kyakhta fixes the western border between the Russian and Manchu empires, confirming Qing dominion over Mongolia and Tuva.
First Soviet satellite state
1911 - The Qing dynasty falls and Outer Mongolia declares its independence. Russia and the Republic of China recognise its autonomy.
1919 - The Chinese army occupies Outer Mongolia.
1920 - Mongolian revolutionaries found the Mongolian People's Party and open contact with Bolsheviks in Siberia.
1921 - With Red Army support, Mongolian revolutionaries drive out Chinese and Tsarist forces and install the Mongolian "people's government".
1924 - The People's Party chooses Lenin's "road to socialism bypassing capitalism" and renames itself the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP). The Mongolian People's Republic is proclaimed.
1928-32 - "Rightists" who want private enterprise are ousted. "Leftists" who want communes are ousted. A "counter-revolutionary uprising" against the confiscation of monastery property is suppressed.
1937 - Mongolian Prime Minister Genden is arrested in the USSR and shot for spying for Japan. The Minister of War Marshal Demid is poisoned aboard a Trans-Siberian train. Monasteries are destroyed and lamas murdered.
1939 - Mongolian and Soviet troops commanded by General Zhukov defeat an invasion by Japanese and Manchukuo forces in the Battle of Halhyn Gol (Nomonhan).
1939 - "Mongolia's Stalin", interior minister and new Minister of War Choybalsan, is appointed prime minister. Ex-PM Amar is tried in the USSR and shot for spying for Japan.
1945-46 - Yalta conference agrees to preserve the status quo - Soviet control - in Mongolia. Mongolians vote for independence in a UN plebiscite. Mongolia is recognised by the Republic of China.
1949-55 - Relations established with the People's Republic of China. Railway built across Mongolia linking Russia and China.
1952 - Choybalsan dies, and is replaced as prime minister by Tsedenbal, the MPRP general secretary since 1940.
1961-63 - UN Security Council approves Mongolia's UN membership. Diplomatic relations established with the UK.
Soviet buffer against China
1966 - Soviet Communist Party General-Secretary Brezhnev signs a friendship treaty in Ulan Bator allowing secret stationing of Soviet troops in Mongolia.
1973-81 - Mongolia accuses China of planning annexation, protests against Chinese leaders' call for withdrawal of Soviet troops, accuses China of "aggressive intentions" and expels some Chinese residents.
1984 - "Mongolia's Brezhnev", party General-Secretary Tsedenbal, head of state since 1974, is forced out of office by the MPRP Politburo.
1986 - Gorbachev's Vladivostok speech opens the way to detente with China and the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Mongolia.
1990 - Street demonstrations force resignation of the MPRP Politburo. Political parties are legalised. Elections to the Great Hural (parliament) are won by the MPRP, but 19 of the 50 seats in a new standing legislature go to non-communists.
1992 - Mongolia's new constitution gives first place to human rights and freedoms. In the first democratic elections the MPRP wins 71 of the 76 seats in the new single-chamber Great Hural.
1993 - The first direct presidential elections are won by Ochirbat, nominated by the National and Social Democrats.
1996 - The National and Social Democrats win 50 seats in the Great Hural elections, but the MPRP can deny a quorum, hindering passage of legislation.
1997 - MPRP candidate Bagabandi wins presidential election.
2000 - After the democrats form three new governments in two years the MPRP wins 72 seats in the Great Hural elections. The National and Social Democrats and three other parties form a new Democratic Party.
2001 February - UN launches appeal for $8.7m (£6m) to support herders suffering in worst winter conditions in more than 50 years.
2001 May - President Bagabandi re-elected.
2001 October - IMF approves nearly $40 million in low-interest loans over next three years to help tackle poverty and boost economic growth.
2002 November - Dalai Lama visits. China denounces trip and warns Mongolian leaders not to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader.
2003 July - It is announced that 200 soldiers will be sent to Iraq to contribute to peacekeeping.
2004 January - Russia writes off all but $300 million of Mongolia's debts.
2004 June-August - Parliamentary elections, in which the opposition performs strongly, result in political deadlock over contested results. Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj is eventually appointed as prime minister following power-sharing deal.
2005 March-April - Protesters in the capital demand the government's resignation and an end to poverty and official corruption.
2005 May - MPRP candidate Nambaryn Enkhbayar wins presidential election.
2005 November - President George W Bush becomes the first serving US leader to visit Mongolia.
2006 January - Coalition government headed by Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj falls after the MPRP pulls out, blaming the leadership for slow economic growth. Parliament chooses MPRP's Miyeegombo Enkhbold as the new prime minister.
2007 November - Prime Minister Miyeegombo Enkhbold resigns. He is replaced by MPRP leader Sanjagiin Bayar.
State of emergency
2008 July - President Enkhbayar declares a state of emergency to quell riots in the capital which left five dead and hundreds injured. Violence erupted after the opposition accused the governing party of rigging elections.
2009 May - Former Prime Minister and candidate of the opposition Democratic Party, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, wins presidential election, defeating incumbent Nambaryn Enkhbayar by a narrow margin. Governing MPRP says it accepts the result.
2009 October - Prime Minister Sanjagiin Bayar of the MPRP resigns for health reasons. Foreign Minister Sukhbaataryn Batbold succeeds him.
2010 February - Extreme cold kills so much livestock that the United Nations launches a programme to pay herders to clean and collect carcasses. This will help maintain living standards while disposing of possible sources of disease.
2010 April - PM Sukhbaataryn Batbold takes over as head of governing MPRP from former PM Sanjagiin Bayar.
2010 September - Mongolian spy chief Bat Khurts is arrested on landing in Britain, sparking a diplomatic row. A court later rules that he can be extradited to Germany on kidnapping charges.
Gobi desert development
2011 July - Mongolia selects the US Peabody Energy, China's Shenhua and a Russian-Mongolian consortium as partners to develop the highly sought-after Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit in the Gobi desert.
Spy chief Bat Khurts loses appeal in Britain against extradition to Germany on kidnapping charges.
2011 October - Mongolia and Rio Tinto-owned Ivanhoe Mines reach agreement on stakeholding in the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper mine. Mongolia settles for a 34% share, as previously agreed, dropping demands for parity.
2011 November - Germany releases Mongolian spy chief Bat Khurts ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Mongolia.
2012 April - Mongolia puts Tavan Tolgoi coal mine deal on hold while it decides whether to go it alone on developing the project. It had earlier agreed to work with a group of US, Chinese and Russian companies.
2012 June - Parliamentary elections. Democratic Party wins most seats and goes on to form a coalition with the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party.
2012 August - Former president Nambaryn Enkhbayar is sentenced to four years in jail for corruption.
2012 December - Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party threatens to leave governing coalition in protest at its former leader Enkhbayar's jail sentence.
2013 June - Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, from the Democratic Party, wins a second term as president.
2013 August - Mining giant Rio Tinto says it will lay off up to 1,700 workers at the massive Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia following a dispute with the government.
2014 November - Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag is dismissed by a vote of parliament. He had been under fire for alleged corruption and economic underperformance.
2014 November: Parliament elects Chimed Saikhanbileg as prime minister in a vote boycotted by the opposition Mongolian People's Party.
2015 January: The opposition Mongolian People's Party agrees to form a coalition government with the Democratic Party and the Justice Coalition.
2015 August - Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg removes the Mongolian People's Party from the coalition government by dismissing six of its ministers.
2016 June - Opposition Mongolian People's Party scores a landslide victory in the parliamentary election winning 65 out of 76 seats. Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg is among the Democratic Party incumbents who fail to win re-election.
2016 December - Mongolia says it will not allow future visits by the Dalai Lama after China opposed a visit by the Tibetan spiritual leader in November.
2017 February - Mongolia reaches an agreement with the IMF and other international partners worth more than five billion dollars on the proviso that it will strengthen its banking system and implement fiscal reforms.
2017 July - Khaltmaa Battulga is elected president.