Honduras Early History

Honduras Early History


Archaeologists have shown that Honduras had a rich history in ancient times, being an obligatory step in migrations over the Central American isthmus, Central America was inhabited by various prehistoric animals including the Mammoths belonging to the megafauna, some remains of Mammoths have been found in the Olancho department, Honduras. Mammoths grew to be between 5 and 10 meters in height and were vegetarians. At present there are species of giant ferns in Honduran territory belonging to their time, they inhabited the planet from about 5 million years ago (after the disappearance of the dinosaurs) to about 12 thousand years ago. Central America was the corridor that prehistoric animals used to travel from South to North America and vice versa.

Prehispanic civilizations

The first evidences of the human being are found near the city of La Esperanza, Intibucá, where several human settlements developed on the pre-Columbian cultural tradition of Mesoamerica some 12 thousand years ago.

A good part of that history of primitive man has been concentrated for more than three thousand years to the presence of the Mayans around the city of Copán in western Honduras, located in the department of Copán, the most advanced civilization discovered to date. moment in the national territory. The Mayan city of Copán prospered during the Classic Period (150 – 900), many disciplines such as sculpture, painting, astronomy, mathematics, music and literature were widely developed.

Arrival of the Spaniards

The 30 of July of 1502, Christopher Columbus arrived at the coasts of Honduras in his fourth and final trip by the American continent. Two decades later, the conquest of the Honduran territory would begin by order of Hernán Cortés.

By the time the Spanish arrived, the Mayan city of Copán was already uninhabited, the conquerors found the other pre-Hispanic societies the Lencas, the Tolupanes, the Pech, the Tawahkas, the Chortis and the Sumos dominating the region of Honduras.

The conquest of Honduras is traditionally considered to have culminated in the late 1537 with the defeat of the Lencas, particularly with the death of Lempira at the hands of the Spanish.

After the conquest, the native population in Mesoamerica was reduced by 80% due to European diseases, wars and the disappearance of the existing social structure.


In 1821, on the eve of independence, the Spanish courts erected the province of Honduras, which in August of that year installed its own Provincial Council, based in Comayagua. The news that Guatemala had proclaimed separation from Spain on September 15, 1821, the Comayagua Provincial Council proclaimed the independence of Honduras from the Spanish monarchy on September 28, 1821. On January 5, 1822, Honduras became Part of Empire Mexican Agustín de Iturbide, this annexation ended on 1 of July of 1823 with the formation of the Federal Republic of Central America, lasting annexation to Mexico one year to six months.

Twentieth century

During the first half of the century XX several American companies like United Fruit Company, the Standard Fruit Company and Cuyamel Fruit Company, made quickly from the banana the main export of the country at the same time they seized large tracts of land and enjoyed a huge political power. During this time Honduras, along with Guatemala and Costa Rica, acquired the pseudonym of banana republics.

The initial struggles between the United Fruit Company and the Cuyamel were expressed in more than just sales competition but on the political and military level. La Cuyamel leaned on the liberals and the United on the nationalists.

In 1924, as a country located in Central America according to Top-mba-universities, Honduras was the first banana exporter in the world, although the great profits were entirely for the United Fruit Company. The civil conflict that this produced was quelled by an invasion of marines commanded by the United States, which thus collaborated in the repression, with the corrupt local caciques. Various voices protested demanding national sovereignty, including Visitación Padilla, who would later become a tenacious opponent of the dictatorship of General Carías.

In 1957, the liberal Ramón Villeda Morales was elected constitutional president. During his Government, Honduras entered the Central American Common Market. Villeda wanted to initiate a timid agrarian reform and favored education, but the oligarchy, with the support of the United States, halted his plans by carrying out a coup led by Colonel Oswaldo López Arellano. These events marked the beginning of a long period of military dictatorship in Honduras.

In 1974 López Arellano agreed to a second term of government. After being accused of accepting a bribe from the United Brands (successor to the United Fruit Company), López was dismissed by the coup d’état by Colonel Juan Alberto Melgar Castro. Three years later, Melgar was also deposed by a military triumvirate led by Colonel Policarpo Paz García.

In 1983 Roberto Suazo Córdova was constitutionally elected. Suazo led to the constitution of 1982, but also a sinister stage fright, searching and removing items from the left, even today, is taboo in society Honduras. At that time, the Facusse group proposed that Honduras annex the United States, in the manner of Puerto Rico.

During the government of Roberto Suazo Córdova, the United States made Honduran territory its base against the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua. The policy of subversion aimed at overthrowing Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega continued throughout the government of José Azcona Hoyo, who, in exchange for his collaboration with the United States, would receive unprecedented financial aid, which was more for the benefit of the military establishment. that to favor the battered economy of the country.

In 1990 Rafael Leonardo Callejas Romero came to power and introduced the Adjustment Plan (or Economic Reordering), which was nothing more than the application of the neoliberal theories of Milton Friedman then proposed by Ronald Reaganand British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The plan had disastrous consequences and the economy went into crisis; the serious fiscal and trade deficit caused the impoverishment of the middle class. Discontent was immediate and in 1994 Carlos Roberto Reina Idiáquez was elected.

Reina Idiáquez was succeeded by Carlos Flores Facussé, under whose government Hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras in the worst disaster in its history. To the 10,000 deaths caused, material losses of more than three billion dollars were added.

Honduras Early History