Federal Republic of Central America

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Federal Republic of Central America

República Federal de Centroamérica
1823–1841
Flag of the Federal Republic of Central America.svg
Flag
Escudo de la Republica Federal de Centro America.svg
Coat of arms
Anthem:  La Granadera
"The Song of the Grenadier"
United Provinces of Central America (orthographic projection).svg
Capital
Recognised national languages Spanish
Religion
Catholicism
Government Revolutionary republic
History 
 Independence from Spanish Empire
September 15, 1821
 Independence from First Mexican Empire
July 1 1823
 Disestablished
1841
Currency Central American Republic real
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of Mexico (1821-1823).svg First Mexican Empire
Free State of Costa Rica Flag of Costa Rica (1838-1840).svg
El Salvador Flag of El Salvador (1839-1865).svg
Guatemala Flag of Guatemala (1838-1843).svg
Honduras Flag of Honduras (1839-1866).svg
Nicaragua Flag of Nicaragua (1839-1858).svg
Los Altos Flag of Los Altos.svg
Mosquito Coast Flag of the Mosquito Coast 1834-1860.svg
Belize Flag of British Honduras (1870-1919).svg
Federal Republic of Central America, 4 Escudos (1835). Struck in the San Jose, Costa Rica mint (697 were minted). Federal Republic of Central America 1835 4 Real.jpg
Federal Republic of Central America, 4 Escudos (1835). Struck in the San Jose, Costa Rica mint (697 were minted).

The Federal Republic of Central America (Spanish : República Federal de Centroamérica), also called the United Provinces of Central America (Provincias Unidas del Centro de América) in its first year of creation, was a sovereign state in Central America consisting of the territories of the former Captaincy General of Guatemala of New Spain. It existed from 1823 to 1841, and was a republican democracy.

Contents

The republic consisted of the present-day Central American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. [2] In the 1830s, a sixth state was added – Los Altos, with its capital in Quetzaltenango – occupying parts of what are now the western highlands of Guatemala and Chiapas.

Shortly after Central America declared independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, some of its countries were annexed by the First Mexican Empire in 1822 and then Central America formed the Federal Republic in 1823. From 1838 to 1840, the federation descended into civil war, with conservatives fighting against liberals and separatists fighting to secede. These factions were unable to overcome their ideological differences and the federation was dissolved after a series of bloody conflicts. [3]

History

Independence 1821–1822

From the 16th century through 1821, Central America, apart from Panama, formed the Captaincy General of Guatemala within the Spanish Empire. In 1821 a congress of Central American Criollos in Guatemala City composed the Act of Independence of Central America to declare the region's independence from Spain, effective on September 15 of that year. [4] The process was bloodless with no resistance from the Spanish authorities as the Governor General Brigadier Gabino Gaínza, along with all the royal governors of the five provinces, were retained in office as executive powers pending a full transition to local rule. That date is still marked as independence day by most Central American nations.

Absorption into the Empire of Mexico, 1822–1823

Independence proved short-lived, as local law and order broke down. Driven by regional rivalries, many localities refused to accept the newly formed federal powers in Guatemala—San Salvador, Comayagua, León, and Cartago were in open revolt. On January 25, 1822, the Junta consultiva in Guatemala City voted for annexation. A few weeks later General Vicente Filísola, the envoy of Emperor Agustín de Iturbide of the First Mexican Empire, arrived in Guatemala as the new ruler. [5]

The annexation was controversial, with some seeing the Mexican constitution with its abolition of slavery and establishment of free trade as an improvement over the status quo . Central American liberals in San Salvador objected to this[ clarification needed ] and refused to accept Filísola's authority. The army[ which? ] was ordered[ by whom? ] to quell dissent.

In the case of Costa Rica, the country decided not to join the Mexican Empire as part of the resolutions upon conclusion of the Ochomogo War (April 5, 1823), where imperialists lost against Republicans in the first civil war of Costa Rica.

After Iturbide abdicated (March 19, 1823), Mexico became a republic (formally proclaimed on November 1, 1823) and offered the previously annexed Central American provinces the right to determine their own destiny. Filísola turned over his power to the hastily formed National Constituent Assembly, which comprised representatives from each of the five provinces. On July 1, 1823, the Congress of Central America declared absolute independence from Spain, Mexico, and any other foreign nation, and established a republican system of government. [5]

Reconstitution of the Federal Republic 1823–1840

The liberal-dominated Assembly elected Manuel José Arce as president but he soon turned against his own faction and dissolved the Assembly. San Salvador rose in revolt against federal authority. Honduras and Nicaragua joined the rebellion and Arce was deposed in 1829. The victors led by the Honduran Francisco Morazán took power and Morazán was proclaimed president in 1830. To appease liberal supporters, the capital was relocated from Guatemala City to San Salvador in 1831 but as Morazán's hold on power was waning the opposition regained control in the provinces. [5]

The Assembly in 1838 adjourned with the declaration that the provinces were free to rule themselves as the Federal Republic dissolved. In 1839 Morazán was exiled as rebels from Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua entered San Salvador, evicting the governing institutions that held the region together. [5]

Dissolution of the union

In practice, the Federation faced insurmountable problems, and the union slid into civil war between 1838 and 1840. [6] Its disintegration began when Nicaragua separated from the federation on November 5, 1838, followed by Honduras and Costa Rica [7] (other sources give Nicaragua's secession date as April 30). [8] Because of the chaotic nature of this period an exact date of disestablishment does not exist, but on May 31, 1838, the Congress met to declare that the provinces were free to create their own independent republics. [8] In reality, this merely legally acknowledged the process of disintegration that had already begun. [9] The union effectively ended in 1840, by which time four of its five states had declared independence. The official end came only upon El Salvador's self-proclamation of the establishment of an independent republic in February 1841.

Name and emblems

The five rowed volcanos in the coat of arms of Central America was inspired by the Cordillera de Apaneca volcanic range of El Salvador, visible from the city of Sonsonate, which became the capital of the Federal Republic of Central America in 1834. Salcoatitan, El Salvador - panoramio (9).jpg
The five rowed volcanos in the coat of arms of Central America was inspired by the Cordillera de Apaneca volcanic range of El Salvador, visible from the city of Sonsonate, which became the capital of the Federal Republic of Central America in 1834.

The flag shows a white band between two blue stripes, representing the land between two oceans. The coat of arms shows five mountains (one for each state) between two oceans, surmounted by a Phrygian cap, the emblem of the French Revolution. The flag was introduced to the area by Commodore Louis-Michel Aury and inspired by the Argentine flag. The nation also adopted the term "united provinces", used in Argentina's original name, Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata ("United Provinces of the River Plate").

Successor flags

Today, all five successor nations' flags retain the old federal motif of two outer blue bands bounding an inner white stripe. (Costa Rica modified its flag significantly in 1848, darkening the blue and adding a double-wide inner red band.) The short-lived sixth state of Los Altos was annexed by Mexico as the state of Chiapas.[ citation needed ]

Flag of the original Federal Republic of Central America, 1823-1839
Flag of the Federal Republic of Central America.svg
Member nations, 1839
Flag of Guatemala (1838-1843).svg Flag of El Salvador (1839-1865).svg Flag of Honduras (1839-1866).svg Flag of Nicaragua (1839-1858).svg Flag of Costa Rica (1838-1840).svg Flag of Los Altos.svg
Guatemala El Salvador Honduras Nicaragua Costa Rica Los Altos
Current flags
Flag of Guatemala.svg Flag of El Salvador.svg Flag of Honduras (darker variant).svg Flag of Nicaragua.svg Flag of Costa Rica.svg Flag of Chiapas.svg
Guatemala El Salvador Honduras Nicaragua Costa Rica Chiapas

Later Central American federal unions

Despite the failure of a lasting political union, the sense of shared history and the hope for eventual reunification persist in the nations formerly in the union. Various attempts were made to reunite Central America in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but none succeeded for any length of time:

See also

Related Research Articles

Central America central geographic region of the Americas

Central America is a region in the southern tip of North America and is sometimes defined as a subregion of the Americas. This region is bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: El Salvador, Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The combined population of Central America is estimated at 44.53 million (2016).

History of Central America aspect of history

When studying the history of Central America one must first clarify just what Central America is. Today (2019) it is commonly taken to include Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. This definition matches modern political borders. However, in some senses and at some times Central America begins in Mexico, at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and the former country of Yucatán was part of Central America. At the other end, before its independence in 1903 Panama was politically and culturally part of the South American country of Colombia, or its predecessors. At times English-speaking Belize, with a quite different history, has been considered as apart from Central America.

Francisco Morazán Honduran general and politician

Francisco Morazán was a Central American politician who was president of the Federal Republic of Central America from 1830 to 1839. Before he was president of Central America he was the head of state of Honduras. He rose to prominence at the battle of La Trinidad on November 11, 1827. Morazán then dominated the political and military scene of Central America until his execution in 1842.

Flag of Honduras flag

The national flag of Honduras was adopted on March 7, 1866, based on the flag of the Federal Republic of Central America. In 1823 Honduras joined the United Provinces of Central America and adopted their flag. In 1866 it was amended; five cerulean stars were placed in the center to represent the five original Central American provinces. The colors and pattern are the same as the flag of the United Provinces of Central America. Civilian and government ships fly it as an ensign. Ships of the Honduran Navy fly as a naval ensign a version in which the five star emblem is replaced by the coat of arms of Honduras above an inverted arch of five small turquoise stars.

Coat of arms of Costa Rica coat of arms

The official coat of arms of the Republic of Costa Rica was designed in 1848, with modifications in 1906, 1964, and 1998. The latest change was the addition of smoke to distinguish the three volcanoes.

Francisco Gómez (El Salvador President) President of El Salvador

Francisco Gómez de Altamirano y de Elizondo was a Central American licenciado, military officer and Liberal politician. From November 15, 1835 to February 1, 1836 he was chief of state of the state of El Salvador within the Central American Federation.

Captaincy General of Guatemala Spanish 1609-1821 possession in Central America; administrative division of the Spanish Empire, under the viceroyalty of New Spain

The Captaincy General of Guatemala, also known as the Kingdom of Guatemala, was an administrative division of the Spanish Empire, under the viceroyalty of New Spain in Central America, including the present-day nations of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, and the Mexican state of Chiapas. The governor-captain general was also president of the Royal Audiencia of Guatemala, the superior court.

Diego Vigil Cocaña was a Central American politician. He was the last president of the Federal Republic of Central America (1839–40), during its disintegration. He was also chief of state of the federal states of Honduras (1829) and El Salvador.

Gabino Gaínza Spanish general and politician; 1st President of the Federal Republic of Central America

Gabino or Gavino Gaínza y Fernández de Medrano was a Spanish military officer and politician in Spain's American colonies. During the Latin American wars of independence, he initially fought on the royalist side, in Chile. Later, in Guatemala, he supported independence and became the first president of a united Central America extending from Soconusco through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Mariano Prado President of El Salvador

Mariano Prado Baca was a Central American lawyer and a four-time, liberal chief of state of El Salvador, while it was a state in the Federal Republic of Central America.

Antonio José Cañas Quintanilla was a Salvadoran military officer, diplomat, and politician. For two brief periods he was head of state of the State of El Salvador, within the Federal Republic of Central America.

Index of Central America-related articles

This is an Index of Central America-related articles. This index defines Central America as the seven nations of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Postage stamps and postal history of El Salvador

El Salvador became independent from Spain in 1821. It has produced its own stamps since 1867.

El Salvador–Mexico relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of El Salvador and the United Mexican States

El Salvador–Mexico relations refers to the diplomatic relations between El Salvador and Mexico. Both nations are members of the Association of Caribbean States, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the United Nations.

Act of Independence of Central America Declaration of independence from Spain

The Act of Independence of Central America, also known as the Act of Independence of Guatemala, is the legal document by which the Provincial Council of the Province of Guatemala proclaimed the independence of Central America from the Spanish Empire and invited the other provinces of the Captaincy General of Guatemala to send envoys to a congress to decide the form of the region's independence. It was enacted on 15 September 1821.

Spanish immigration to Guatemala

The arrival of the Spaniards in Guatemala began in 1524 with the conquest of the Guatemalan Highlands and neighbouring Pacific plain under the command of Pedro de Alvarado. After the conquest and the colonial era, more people came to the country not as conquerors, but to do business or daily activities.

Agustín Guzmán was a Mexican military officer, who was appointed as Army Commander in Chief of Los Altos when this new State was formed as part of the Central American Federation on 2 March 1838. He was defeated by Rafael Carrera on 19 March 1840, the same date on which the Los Altos State ceased to exist. Trying to create Los Altos once again while Carrera was briefly in exile in 1848, he tried to occupy Guatemala City along with rebel leader Agustín Reyes, and after setting fire to Carrera's house, he was killed by enemy fire in the Plaza de Armas.

Mariano de Aycinena y Piñol Conservative Guatemalan statesman

Mariano de Aycinena y Piñol (1789-1855) was wealthy and influential Guatemalan merchant family and an important conservative politician. A younger son of the first marquis of Aycinena, peninsular-born Juan Fermín de Aycinena (1729-1796), Mariano was a leader of Guatemalan independence from Spain. He served governor of the State of Guatemala in the Central American Federation from 1 March 1827 to 12 April 1829 and patriarch of the Aycinena family. The family had the commercial monopoly in Central American during the Spanish colonial era later year thanks to the Consulado de Comercio. He was one of the signatories of Central American independence and lobbied heavily for the annexation of Central America to the Mexican Empire of Agustín de Iturbide. This arrangement would keep the family's economic position and privileges following independence. After being expelled along with the Aycinena family in 1829 after being defeated by Francisco Morazán, went into exile in the United States and then to Mexico. He came back to Guatemala after the conservatives had allied with general Rafael Carrera; but then he retired from public life and hand the Aycinena family leadership to Juan José de Aycinena y Piñol.

2020 in Central America

The following lists events that happened during 2020 in Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

References

  1. Cuhaj, George S., ed. (2009). Standard Catalog of World Gold Coins 1601–Present (6 ed.). Krause. p. 224. ISBN   978-1-4402-0424-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. Mandujano, Isaín (June 26, 2001). "Mexico's Southern Border: a Virtual Line".
  3. Foster, Lynn V. (2000). A Brief History of Central America. New York: Facts on File. pp. 134–136. ISBN   0-8160-3962-3.
  4. "Documentos de la Union Centroamericana" (PDF). Organization of American States – Foreign Trade Information System. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Munro, Dana. The Five Republics of Central America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1918. pp 24–34.
  6. "New Physical, Political, Industrial and Commercial Map of Central America and the Antilles: With a Special Map of the Possessions of the Belgian Colonization Company of Central America, the State of Guatemala". World Digital Library . 1845. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
  7. Minster, Christopher. "The Federal Republic of Central America (1823–1840)". Latin American History. About.com. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  8. 1 2 Sandoval, Victor Hugo. "Federal Republic of Central America". Monedas de Guatemala. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  9. Karnes, Thomas L. (1961). The Failure of Union: Central America, 1824–1960. Durham, NC: University of North Carolina Press. p. 85.
  10. Text in League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 5, pp. 10–31.

Coordinates: 14°37′N90°31′W / 14.617°N 90.517°W / 14.617; -90.517