Central America, officially the Federal Republic of Central America (Spanish: República Federal de Centroamérica) is a Latin American nation located in the Central American region of southern North America. It shares borders with the US state of Panama to the east/southeast, Mexico to the north, and the West Indies province of British Honduras to the east.
Initially inhabited by Mayan Indians in the pre-Columbian era, modern-day Central America was discovered by Spain in the 16th century, who rapidly conquered the lands formerly inhabited by the Mayans. Central America was under control of the Spanish Empire as the Viceroyalty of New Spain until 1821, when Mexico won its eleven-year war of independence against Spain. In July 1823, the five states of Central America declared their independence from the Mexican Empire, though only in August of 1824 did Agustin I finally recognize their sovereignty. In the following decades, the republic admitted two new states (Los Altos in 1838 and Soconusco in 1841), narrowly avoided all-out civil war, and, in order to prevent any one state from gaining too much power by claiming the national capital, San Salvador was separated into a new federal district in 1842.
In 1904, the nation's Ministerio de Ingeniería (Ministry of Engineering) began construction of the Nicaragua Canal, and finally completed it in 1914. Initial profits from the canal (despite competition from the Panama Canal) gave a boost to the Central American economy for decades, allowing it to escape the Great Depression relatively unscathed. Even to this day, the canal provides nearly 1/6 of the nation's annual revenue.
With the exception of the nine-year First (1894-1905) and two-year Second (1971-1973) Guatemala Uprisings, Central America has enjoyed relative internal stability since the late 19th century, with a prosperous economy and recent adoption of clean, renewable-energy power for its cities.
Separation from Mexico (1823)
A Republic is Born (1824)
Years of Establishment (1824-1870)
New Alliances (1870-1890)
First Guatemala Uprising (1894-1905)
Main Article: First Guatemala Uprising (1894-1905)
The Nicaragua Canal (1906-1916)
Main Article: Nicaragua Canal
The Neutral Years (1914-1940)
World War II (1941-1945)
Main Article: World War II (1938-1945)
Postwar/early Cold War Era (1946-1965)
The Managua Games (1968)
Main Article: 1968 Summer Olympics
Second Guatemala Uprising (1971-1973)
Main Article: Second Guatemala Uprising (1971-1973)
Modern Times (1988-present)
Main Article: States of Central America
Main Article: Armed Forces of Central America