In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 or entity. In exchange for this, the protectorate usually accepts specified obligations, which may vary greatly, depending on the real nature of their relationship.

1881    In North Africa, Tunisia becomes a French protectorate.

1885    The United Kingdom establishes a protectorate over Bechuanaland.

1900    The United Kingdom proclaims a protectorate over Tonga.

1907    Korea becomes a protectorate of Japan.

1912    Sultan Abdelhafid signs the Treaty of Fez, making Morocco a French protectorate.

1922    The United Kingdom ends its protectorate over Egypt through a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.

1939    From Prague Castle, Hitler proclaims Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate.

1956    Spain relinquishes its protectorate in Morocco.

1966    The British protectorate of Bechuanaland declares its independence, and becomes the Republic of Botswana. Seretse Khama takes office as the first President.

1971    Independence Day of the Kingdom of Bahrain from British Protectorate status