On this day November 5, 1838

The collapse of the Federal Republic of Central America began when Nicaragua seceding from the union followed by Honduras and Costa Rica.

centram1821401The union effectively dissolved in 1840, by which time four of its five states had declared independence. The union was only officially ended upon El Salvador’s self-proclamation of the establishment of an independent republic in February 1841.

Because of the chaotic nature of this period an exact date does not exist, but on May 31, 1838 the congress met to declare that the provinces were free to create their own independent republics. In reality, they were just making legal the process of disintegration that had already begun.

The Federal Republic of Central America was intended to be a federal republic modeled after the United States of America.

The republic consisted of the states of Guatemala (which initially included a large part of what is now the Mexican state of Chiapas), El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. In the 1830s, an additional sixth state was added – Los Altos, with its capital in Quetzaltenango – occupying parts of what are now the western highlands of Guatemala and Chiapas.

Although the new nation was now independent of Spain, it had been annexed by Mexico. The annexation was the focus of disagreement, some seeing the Mexican constitution with its abolition of slavery and establishment of free trade as an improvement over the status quo.

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