History of Tibet

AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
A Chinese military officer visits the square near the Potala Palace in Lhasa, western China's Tibet
Province, July 28, 2007. Tibet's history is steeped in dispute.

Modern Political History of Tibet

In the popular consciousness, Tibet is a mystical, spiritually and culturally rich land of sublime natural beauty, beset with social unrest and political turmoil. And its exiled leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, is of the world’s most charismatic and influential social activists. Learn about the modern political history of Tibet, the debate surrounding Tibetan freedom and the future of Tibet.

History of Tibet

Tibet was once a great military power that “carved for itself a huge empire in Central Asia,” according to the Web site Friends of Tibet. Throughout its long history, Tibet has clashed with China several times, often violently. Learn more about the history of Tibet with the following sites.

Top Sites for the History of Tibet

Friends of Tibet is a New Zealand organization that provides lengthy account of events in Tibet’s history from 127 BCE until 1959, when the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was exiled from his homeland.

The Japan Times explains how the Chinese government, though it is officially atheist, has attempted to determine how Tibetan Buddhism is practiced, including how Tibetans choose their spiritual leaders.

BBC provides a timeline of significant events in the political history of Tibet. The chronology begins with the unification of Tibet in the 7th to 9th centuries, and traces a narrative through the birth of the 14th Dalai Lama and Chinese takeover of the 1950s. Nine events listed from 2007 to the present help readers understand contemporary Tibet, in addition to the conflict’s roots.
Back to Top

Chinese Annexation of Tibet

In the early 1950s, China invaded Tibet, enforcing its claim to ownership of the region. The ... read more »

Tibet Today

Protests surrounding the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games brought renewed attention to Tibet, and ... read more »

Free Tibet Movement

The Dalai Lama and advocates of Tibetan political sovereignty maintain that since the 1951 invasion ... read more »

The Future of Tibet

Activists advocate for Tibetan sovereignty, and the Chinese government argues that life for ... read more »

Most Recent Guides