After10 years of a bloody Maoist insurgency and a gradual royal putsch, the people's movement of April 2006 has laid the foundations for a new political beginning. Nepal's numerous problems must be understood against the background of historical and social developments of the modern state. The multiethnic, multicultural, multireligious and multilingual modern state of Nepal came into existence in the second half of the 18th century when the Shah monarchy of the principality of Gorkha unified numerous small states by military force. The Shah kings organized the new unitary state on the principles of traditional law with all its aspects of a stratified hierarchical social system. A small coterie of male members of so-called higher Hindu castes became dominant in all public spheres while other groups and the women became excluded, a situation that is still prevalent today and that is the reason for growing unrest. Neither the abolition of Rana oligarchy in 1950/1 nor the democratization of the country in 1990 changed this fundamentally. Elections for a constituent assembly took place in April 2008. They were meant as foundation for a reconstruction of state and society, but the political leaders still have a hard time with its implementation.