During the tenth century, Muslim merchants and scholars established communities in several West African commercial centres.
Both groups established trans-Saharan trade routes, leading to a large export trade in slaves, gold and ivory, as well as imports of manufactured goods.
Between 16, some parts of the Gambia were under the rule of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, and were bought by Prince Jacob Kettler.
The British Empire occupied the Gambia when an expedition led by Augustus Keppel landed there following the Capture of Senegal in 1758.
The 1783 First Treaty of Versailles gave Great Britain possession of the Gambia River, but the French retained a tiny enclave at Albreda on the river's north bank.
Later, on , The Gambia was made a part of the British Empire when the government formally assumed control, establishing the Province of Senegambia.
In 1965, The Gambia gained independence under the leadership of Dawda Jawara, who ruled until Yahya Jammeh seized power in a bloodless 1994 coup.
It also tried, unsuccessfully, to end the slave trade in the Gambia.