Nicaragua Early History

Nicaragua Early History

In 1524, the towns of Granada and León were founded by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba in the area that is now Nicaragua. In 1528 the Spanish Crown erected the Province of Nicaragua, which later came under the Audience and Captaincy General of Guatemala, dependent on the Viceroyalty of New Spain until 1812.

In 1803, through the Royal Order of November 20, the King of Spain ordered the segregation of the Mosquito Coast as the islands of San Andrés from the former Captaincy General of Guatemala and add them to the Viceroyalty of New Granada. In 1894, Nicaraguan troops under the command of Rigoberto Cabezas occupied the region, which was organized as the Department of Zelaya, divided at the end of the 17th century into two regions (the North Atlantic Autonomous Region and the South Atlantic Autonomous Region). In 1812 the Cortes of Cádiz erected the Province of Nicaragua and Costa Rica (separate from the Province of Guatemala), and with head in the city of León. This province lasted until 1814, the year in which the kingdom of Guatemala was reestablished. In 1820, when the constitutional regime was reestablished, the Province of Nicaragua and Costa Rica re-emerged, which was divided into seven parties.


The November from October of 1821, the Provincial Government of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, meeting in Leon, proclaimed the absolute independence of Spain and binding to the First Mexican Empire, headed by Agustín de Iturbide. However, Granada and Costa Rica separated from the province, constituting their own governments. In 1823, after the fall of Emperor Augustine I, Nicaragua joined the Central American Union, shortly afterwards transformed into the Federal Republic of Central America (1824). The Federation did not survive long, and Nicaragua was the first State to separate from it definitively, in 1838. During the nineteenth century there were various attempts to reunify Central America, without success.

Nicaragua had a turbulent political life during the first half of the 19th century, as Nicaragua was the bridge between the two oceans that was used for the movement of passengers on the transit route owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt, a route through which adventurers and merchants circulated. and emigrants who traveled from the United States Pacific to California where gold deposits had been discovered around 1848-49, making it a strategic and important point in Central America.

In 1854 the liberal generals Castellon and Jérez hired the services of Byron Cole through Vanderbilt, as a mercenary, later Cole gave the contract to William Walker ; Walker, protected under the Monroe doctrine, proclaims himself president of Nicaragua and tries to make the Central American nation a new member of the United States. The filibusters were defeated in a campaign that had the participation of all the Central American countries, and that with regard to the Nicaraguans had its most glorious episode in the battle of San Jacinto.

Conservative dominance

However, as of 1858 a stage of recovery began, not only economic but above all institutional, which constitutes one of the most outstanding periods in the history of Nicaragua and is known as the era of thirty years or of conservative predominance. The economy, cultural development and also, although to a lesser extent, social development due to class inequality, made the country the most stable and wealthy in all of Central America and one of the best economies on the continent, with a solid regime constitutional law and a proven and austere administration of public finances. All this caused a new wave of immigrants from Europe, mainly from Germany and Italy., which made the economy flourish even more, while other nations in the area such as El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala remained in armed conflicts, especially in Costa Rica, where there was a time of military coups.

In 1885, as a country located in Central America according to Localcollegeexplorer, Nicaragua joined Costa Rica and El Salvador in a military alliance to face the claims of the President of Guatemala Justo Rufino Barrios, supported by the President of Honduras Luis Bográn, to reestablish Central American political unity by force; but the Nicaraguan troops did not have the opportunity to enter into combat, since Barrios died in the battle of Chalchuapa, shortly after having invaded El Salvador.

The period of conservative dominance culminated in 1893, when President Roberto Sacasa y Sarria was overthrown and the Liberals led by José Santos Zelaya López came to power. Although Zelaya established a dictatorial regime and remained in power until 1909, repressing his adversaries and initiating a stage of political instability, his government continued with the development of the country supported by the ample solvency and economic surpluses existing in the country.

Nicaragua Early History