The history of Bangladesh as a nation state began in 1971, when it seceded from Pakistan. Prior to the creation of Pakistan in 1947, modern-day Bangladesh was part of ancient, classical,medieval and colonial India.

The area’s early history featured a succession of Indian empires, internal squabbling, and a tussle between Hinduism and Buddhism for dominance. Islam made its first appearance between the 8th-10th centuries when Muslim missionaries arrived. Later, Muslim rulers reinforced the process of conversion by building mosques, madrassas and Sufi Khanqah.

The borders of present-day Bangladesh were established with the partition of Bengal and India in 1947, when the region became East Pakistan, part of the newly formed Islamic State of Pakistan. However, it was separated from the western wing by 1,600 km (994 mi) of Indian territory. Due to political exclusion, ethnic and linguistic discrimination, as well as economic neglect by the politically dominant West Pakistan, popular agitation led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman grew against West Pakistan, resulting in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, which the Bengali people won with the support of India. After independence, the new state endured famine, natural disasters and widespread poverty, as well as political turmoil and military coups. The restoration of democracy in 1991 has been followed by relative calm and economic progress.