Nicaragua - A Historical Reference

Spain entered Nicaragua in the 1500's and quickly established it as a colony. The population of the country quickly became devastated as a result of disease, deportation, and slavery by the Spaniards. Granada was established as the colonial head of the country, and was one of the first communities built in the Americas by the Europeans.

Nicaragua continued as a colony of Spain until 1821, at what time it declared its freedom. Britain however controlled the Caribbean shore, but slowly gave up rule over the next couple of decades. In 1838, Nicaragua affirmed itself as an independent republic. Shortly afterward, a U.S. industrialist named William Walker set his sights on taking over the country and having the US Government seize it as a slave state to supply the South. Subsequently, Nicaragua was in the middle of a civil war during this. Walker did succeed in gaining control over Nicaragua, but he quickly lost it when he attempted to occupy Costa Rica. Walker finally left the country, but was executed in Honduras soon thereafter.

The majority of the 20th Century was framed by the regime of the Somozas; first the father and afterward his sons. By the conclusion of the 1970's, unrest among the residents exploded into a rebellion, and eventually the Somoza reign stopped at the hands of the Sandinista army. Yet again, the U.S. played a role in Nicaragua's past, via instructing and supplying revolutionaries to combat the Sandinistas and their rule of the country. Finally, an end of war agreement was brokered, and in 1990 the country organized its first democratic elections. They have not looked back since.

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