Nicaraguan history

Brief history of Nicaragua summarized

A brief look at the history of Nicaragua, in a summarized way.

Nicaraguan Beginnings

The agricultural revolution arrived in what is now Nicaragua around 400 BC Then, in 1502, Christopher Columbus landed on the Nicaraguan coast. However, Europeans did not explore the interior until 1522, when Gil González de Ávila led an expedition to the region.

The following year 1523 the Spanish landed in force and founded León and Granada. The Spanish conquered Nicaragua and divided the land among themselves into large estates, which the natives were forced to work.

In the 17th century, English, Dutch, and French pirates sometimes attacked Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast. However, little changed in Nicaragua until the beginning of the 19th century. In 1821 part of Central America broke away from Spanish rule and formed the United Central Provinces. However, in 1838 Nicaragua became completely independent.

During the 19th century, Nicaragua was divided between liberals and conservatives. In 1855 an American adventurer named William Walker seized power in Nicaragua and in 1856 he declared himself president. However, he was expelled in 1857.

In 1893 a man named José Santos Zelaya became dictator of Nicaragua. In 1909 there was a rebellion and Zelaya was forced to resign. In 1912 the United States sent Marines to occupy Nicaragua. They remained there until 1933.

In 1936 Anastasio Somoza García became dictator of Nicaragua. He and his family ruled the country for the next 42 years. Anastasio Somoza García was assassinated in 1956, but his son Luis Somoza Debayle took power as dictator of Nicaragua. He died in 1967 and was followed by his younger brother Anastasio Somoza Debayle.

Contemporary Nicaragua

Meanwhile, in 1961 the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) was formed. They started a long guerrilla war. In 1972, Managua was shaken by a strong earthquake. Somoza and his cronies took much of the international aid and opposition to his regime grew.

By 1978 the rebellion was spreading throughout Nicaragua. Finally in 1979 the Sandinistas launched an offensive. On July 17, 1979 Somoza fled abroad and on July 19 the Sandinistas captured Managua. The long campaign against Somoza has cost 50,000 lives.

Meanwhile, in 1972, Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, was devastated by an earthquake that killed thousands of people.

Daniel Ortega became president of Nicaragua in 1984. Meanwhile, relations with the US deteriorated. The US ended aid in 1981 and introduced a trade embargo in 1985. (Lifted in 1990). In 1990 the opposition to the Sandinistas, the National Opposition Union (UNO), won the elections for the assembly and the presidency.

Violeta Chamorro became the first female president of Nicaragua. In 1997 Arnoldo Alemán became president. He was followed by Enrique Bolaños. Daniel Ortega was elected president in 2006. He was re-elected in 2011.

Today Nicaragua is still a poor country. Nicaragua is an agricultural nation, but tourism is a growing industry. Many people from Nicaragua work abroad and there is a lot of underemployment at home. The current population of Nicaragua is 6 million inhabitants.

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