Costa Rica

Costa Rica History

Brief history of Costa Rica summarized

A brief brushstroke on the history of Costa Rica summarized.

Costa Rica in its beginnings

At the beginning of the 16th century, the indigenous people of Costa Rica divided into farming tribes. They had created a sophisticated society. However, on September 18, 1502, Christopher Columbus sighted Costa Rica. In the mid-16th century the Spanish gradually conquered Costa Rica.

However, there was no gold. Its population was small and much less important than the other Spanish colonies. In addition, the indigenous population was devastated by European diseases that they did not resist.

The first Spanish city was Cartago, founded in 1562. However, for centuries Costa Rica remained poor and unimportant, with few cities.

In 1821 Central America broke away from Spain and became independent, although independence meant little to most people in Costa Rica. Juan Mora Fernández became the first head of state in 1824. At first Costa Rica was part of a federation with other Central American states. However, it was soon dissolved and Costa Rica formally became a separate state in 1838.

Meanwhile, in the early 19th century, coffee was being grown in Costa Rica and a class of coffee barons grew up. Coffee brought new wealth to the country.

Costa Rica in the 20th century

In 1889 the first democratic elections were held in Costa Rica. The beginning of the 20th century was generally peaceful in Costa Rica. However, a brief civil war was fought in 1948 following disputed elections.

Around 2,000 people were killed in the fighting. However, peace soon returned and in 1949 a new constitution was published. The army in Costa Rica was abolished.

At the end of the 20th century Costa Rica gradually developed and in 1987 President Oscar Arias Sánchez received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Costa Rica today

In 2010 Laura Chinchilla was elected the first female president of Costa Rica.

Today Costa Rica is a relatively prosperous country with a well-developed welfare system. Tourism is a growing industry. Bananas, coffee, sugar, and beef remain important exports.

However, the industry in Costa Rica is developing rapidly. There are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of Costa Rica. The current population of Costa Rica is 4.9 million inhabitants.

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