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=== Independent Nicaragua from 1821 to 1909 ===
[[File:Political Evolution of Central America and the Caribbean 1830 na.png|thumb|[[Federal Republic of Central America]] and British colony of the [[Mosquito Coast]] in 1830]]
The [[Act of Independence of Central America]] dissolved the [[Captaincy General of Guatemala]] in September 1821, and Nicaragua soon became part of the [[First Mexican Empire]]. After the overthrow of the Mexican monarchy in March 1823, Nicaragua joined the newly-formed [[United Provinces of Central America]] (July 1823), which later{{when?​|date=March 2021}} became the [[Federal Republic of Central America]]. Nicaragua definitively became an independent republic in 1838.<ref>{{cite journal|last1= Smith|first1= RS|title= Financing the Central American federation, 1821–1838|journal= The Hispanic American Historical Review|volume= 43|issue= 4|pages= 483–510|year= 1963|doi= 10.2307/2509898|jstor= 2509898}}</ref>
 
Rivalry between the [[Constitutionalist Liberal Party (Nicaragua) |Liberal]] elite of León and the [[Conservative Party (Nicaragua)| Conservative]] elite of Granada characterized the early years of independence and often degenerated into civil war, particularly during the 1840s and 1850s. [[Managua]] was chosen{{by whom?|date=March 2021}} as the nation's capital in 1852 to allay the rivalry between the two feuding cities.<ref name="Capital">{{cite book|last= Cybriwsky|first= Roman Adrian|title= Capital Cities around the World: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture|url= https://books.google.com/books?id=qb6NAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA177|date= May 23, 2013|publisher= ABC-CLIO|isbn= 978-1-61069-248-9|page= 177}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|title= Managua|url= http://archivo.laprensa.com.ni/archivo/2006/marzo/09/servicios/guiaturistica/|access-date= May 24, 2017|work= La Prensa|date= March 9, 2006|archive-url= https://web.archive.org/web/20131111081208/http://archivo.laprensa.com.ni/archivo/2006/marzo/09/servicios/guiaturistica/|language= es|archive-date= November 11, 2013 | quote = Fue elevada a ciudad en 1846 y salomónicamente declarada capital de la República en 1852, para dirimir el viejo conflicto entre las urbes coloniales de León (occidente) y Granada (oriente) que rivalizaban por ejercer la hegemonía política de Nicaragua.}}</ref> Following the start (1848) of the [[California Gold Rush]], Nicaragua provided a route for travelers from the eastern [[United States of America | United States]] to journey to [[California]] by sea, via the [[San Juan River (Nicaragua) |San Juan River]] and Lake Nicaragua.<ref name="Brief" />{{rp|81}} Invited by the Liberals in 1855 to join their struggle against the Conservatives, the United States adventurer and [[Filibuster (military)|filibuster]] [[William Walker (filibuster) |William Walker]] set himself up as [[President of Nicaragua]] after conducting a farcical election in 1856; his presidency lasted less than a year.<ref name="mined">{{cite web|url= http://www.mined.gob.ni/gobernant4.php|archive-url= https://web.archive.org/web/20121009181920/http://www.mined.gob.ni/gobernant4.php|url-status= dead|archive-date= 9 October 2012|title= Gobernantes de Nicaragua|date= 9 December 2012|publisher= Ministerio de Educación}}</ref> Military forces from Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua itself united to drive Walker out of Nicaragua in 1857,<ref>{{cite book|last= Walker|first= W|title= The War in Nicaragua|publisher= S.H. Goetzel & Company|place= New York|year= 1860|url= https://archive.org/stream/warinnicaragua00walkgoog#page/n6/mode/2up}}</ref><ref>{{cite journal|last= Juda|first= F|title= California Filibusters: A History of their Expeditions into Hispanic America (excerpt)|journal= The Grizzly Bear |volume= XXI|issue= 4|pages= 3–6, 15, 19|year= 1919|url= http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist1/walker.html|access-date= 2011-07-20}}</ref><ref>{{cite book|last= Baker|first= CP|title= Moon Handbooks: Costa Rica|edition= 4th|chapter= The William Walker Saga|page= [https://archive.org/details/costarica00bake_2/page/67 67]|publisher= Avalon Travel Publishing|place= New York|year= 2001|isbn= 978-1-56691-608-0|chapter-url= https://archive.org/details/costarica00bake_2/page/67}}</ref> after which a period of three decades of Conservative rule ensued.
 
Great Britain, which had claimed the [[Mosquito Coast]] as a [[protectorate]] since 1655, delegated the area to Honduras in 1859 before transferring it to Nicaragua in 1860. The Mosquito Coast remained an [[autonomous area]] until 1894. [[José Santos Zelaya]], President of Nicaragua from 1893 to 1909, negotiated the integration of the Mosquito Coast into Nicaragua. In his honor, the region became "[[Zelaya Department]]".
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