In the 5th century AD, Emperor Hanzei is believed to have had his palace, Tajihi Shibagaki-no-Miya (丹比柴籬宮) in the area. The area that now comprises Matsubara was located in the historical Kawachi Province, which is still considered the (non-municipal) subregion to which it belongs. During the Edo Period, Matsubara was the administrative center of the Tannan Domain (丹南藩, -han), whose Tannan Encampment was located in present-day Tannan, Matsubara City.
1889 (Meiji 22), April 1: The villages of Matsubara, Amami, Nunose, Miyake, and Ega are designated as part of Tanboku District.
1896 (Meiji 29), April 1: Naka-Kawachi District is created, consolidated from the former districts of Tanboku, Takayasu, Ōgata, Kawachi, Wakae, and Shibukawa. The above villages thus become part of Naka-Kawachi District.
1942 (Shōwa 17), July 1: The village of Matsubara is promoted to Town status, becoming Matsubara-chō, Naka-Kawachi District.
1947 (Shōwa 22), January 1: The village of Amami is promoted to Town status, becoming Amami-chō, Naka-Kawachi District.
1955 (Shōwa 30), February 1: The towns of Matsubara and Amami, along with the villages of Nunose, Miyake, and Ega, are consolidated into Matsubara City, Osaka Prefecture's 21st city.
1957 (Shōwa 32)
April 1: Matsubara incorporated the Tannan area of Mihara-chō, Minami-Kawachi District (now Mihara-ku, Sakai).
October 15: Matsubara incorporated the Kawai area of Kita-Yashimo Village, Minami-Kawachi District
1964 (Shōwa 39): The Kita-Wakabayashi area was made part of Yao City.