Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. The eastern coast of the country is washed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea, the western - the Pacific Ocean. The area is 130 thousand km². The population is 6.1 million people. The capital is Managua. Nicaragua has been an independent state since 1838.


In Nicaragua, some historical features of the colonization of its territory are still preserved. At one time, the western part of the country (in the region of Lake Nicaragua) was occupied by the Spaniards, and the eastern (mosquito coast with an unhealthy climate and dense forests) by the British. Today, more than 70% of nicaragua's population is made up of Hispanic mestizos - Ladinos, living in the western part of the country. Most residents of the east of the country speak a dialect of English. Here also lives the most numerous and isolated group of the Indian population of Nicaragua - the Miskito.
Mountain ranges with steaming volcanoes, swampy lowlands, huge blue lakes and fast rivers with sparkling waterfalls in the sun, vast, virgin evergreen forests represent the main types of landscapes of Nicaragua. About half of the country's territory is occupied by highlands with a relatively cool climate. The temperature of the "coldest" month - January - at an altitude of 1500 m is 16 ° C. Windward, open trade winds eastern parts of the territory can receive up to 5000 mm of precipitation per year. Further west, rainfall decreases. There are quite clearly traced two seasons - dry (November - April) and wet (May - October). Nicaragua is an agrarian country, the main export crop of which is cotton, as well as coffee, citrus fruits. The capital Managua and other major cities (Granada, Leon) are located in the western, most inhabited and visited by tourists part of the country with large picturesque lakes and volcanoes.



The coast of Nicaragua was discovered by Christopher Columbus on September 16, 1502 The western part of Nicaragua was surveyed and conquered by Gil González de Ávila in 1521 In 1522, by order of the governor of Panama, Pedrarias Davila, this territory was captured by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba. Having founded here in 1524 the cities of León and Granada, he tried to create an independent state, but was defeated by the troops of Pedrarias and executed in 1526 In 1523, the territory of Nicaragua was incorporated into Panama, and in 1573 it became subordinate to the Captaincy General of Guatemala. All this time, the rivalry between the two main cities - León, the intellectual and political capital of the province, and the conservative stronghold of Granada - did not subside; this rivalry did not cease even after the country's independence.

In 1821, Mexico and the countries of Central America declared their independence from Spain, and Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala became part of the short-lived Mexican Empire created by Agustín de Iturbide. When the fall of Iturbide was reported, the Legislature in Guatemala City decided to create a federal state of the United Province of Central America (later the Federation of Central America). However, in the federation, a conflict soon broke out between the liberals (most of them the intellectual elite and creole landowners) and the conservatives, whose support was the Spanish landed aristocracy and the Catholic Church. In Nicaragua, this conflict is reflected in the rivalry between León and Granada. 1826–1829 was marked by anarchy and armed clashes, which continued until the Honduran liberal Francisco Morazan managed to unite the provinces. However, political disagreements soon flared up with renewed vigance, and in 1838 the union disintegrated; Nicaragua became an independent state. During the 19th centuries, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua made repeated attempts to restore the union.
In addition to internal strife between the parties, which had a heavy impact on the situation in the country, Nicaragua suffered from expansion and direct intervention of foreign states. After gold deposits were discovered in California in 1848, the construction of a canal that would connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans became an urgent need. During the Gold Rush, Cornelius Vanderbilt organized a sea connection between New York and California, with a land crossing through the territory of Nicaragua, and in 1851 obtained a contract for the construction of the canal. The route of the proposed canal was to run up the San Juan River to Lake Nicaragua and then cross the strip of land separating the lake from the shore of the Pacific Ocean. However, in 1841, Great Britain captured the Mosquito Coast, establishing its protectorate over it and creating the Kingdom of Mosquito, headed by the leader of the Miskito Indian tribes. On the coast hall. San Juan del Norte founded a settlement called Greytown. The U.S. made efforts to block british encroachments and forced them to sign the Clayton-Bulver Treaty in 1850, under which neither the U.S. nor Britain could obtain exclusive rights to the canal being designed.

William Walker. In 1854, the struggle between conservatives and liberals in Nicaragua resulted in a bloody civil war. Then the leader of the liberals, Francisco Castellón, decided to use the help of mercenaries from the United States. In 1855, in agreement with Castellón, the American adventurer William Walker landed in Corinto at the head of a detachment of 57 people. Shortly before that, he tried to capture the Mexican california and sonora states. Reaching Nicaragua with the help of Vanderbilt's transportation company, which transported Americans to Nicaragua for free, Walker quickly seized power in the country. His intention was to seize all of Central America and annex it to the Confederacy of southern states of the United States. In September 1856, Walker announced the restoration of slavery in Nicaragua. A month before, he proclaimed himself president, gaining recognition of his regime by the United States. However, Walker got involved in a struggle between the main shareholders for control of Vanderbilt's company, quarreled with Vanderbilt himself and seized the company's property and equipment in Nicaragua. In a rage, Vanderbilt blocked the channels through which Walker received reinforcements and supplies, and sent his agents to help the anti-Walker coalition, which included Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Costa Rica. By April 1857, the Allied army had pushed the filibustier troops back to the coast. In May, Walker abandoned his supporters and surrendered to the U.S. Navy. In November 1857, Walker repeated his attempted takeover of Nicaragua and again unsuccessfully. In the spring of 1860, he invaded Honduras, was defeated and shot by the verdict of the court.
Agreement. Attempts to build the canal were repeatedly made throughout the 19th century. in 1901, the United States and Great Britain signed a treaty on the status of the future canal, the so-called Hey-Pawnsforth Treaty, which annulled the previous Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. Under the new agreement, the U.S. was given the right to build and operate the canal, provided it was open to all countries.

After a lengthy debate in the U.S. Congress, it was decided to begin construction of a canal in Panama; to some extent, this decision was influenced by the revolution in Panama in 1903, but the United States remained interested in using the route through Nicaragua; despite objections from Costa Rica, Honduras and El Salvador, the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty was signed in 1916, under which the United States paid the sum of $3 million. and received a 99-year lease on the island of Maiz off the east coast of Nicaragua, as well as the right to build a military base in the hall. Fonseca and the exclusive right to build the canal.

In 1893, the government of Nicaragua was headed by the leader of the Liberal Party, José Santos Zelaya, who began to pursue a policy of limiting foreign interference. Under him, Nicaraguan sovereignty over the city of Bluefields and the Mosquito Coast, which were under British control, was restored. State banks were established, railways were built and telegraph services were organized; the inflow of foreign capital into the country has increased.

Zelaya tried to limit U.S. influence in Nicaragua. Using the help of the Americans in order to clear the Caribbean coast from the British, he refused to give them the exclusive right to build a canal and introduced a number of investment restrictions. In response, in 1909 the United States began to support – first diplomatically and then militaryly – the Conservative Party, which carried out the coup d'état. However, the conservatives could not hold power in the country for long. Social and political instability grew, and in 1912 U.S. Marines arrived in the country to restore order.


After the withdrawal of the U.S. Marines from Nicaragua in 1925, conservatives tried to establish themselves in power, but this caused armed resistance, and in January 1927, North American troops again landed in Nicaragua. The U.S. worked out the terms of a political agreement between the Conservative and Liberal parties, but several Liberal leaders, led by Augusto Sandino, refused to lay down their arms.

Sandino's supporters waged a fierce guerrilla war, making increasingly radical demands as conditions for a cessation of hostilities, and the U.S. concluded that local forces were necessary. Such a force was the National Guard, at the head of which the Americans put Anastasio Somos Garcia, who once lived in the United States and was engaged in the car trade there. In 1933, the U.S. withdrew the Marines from Nicaragua, and in 1934, Somoz's Guardsmen killed Sandino and a number of military leaders of the movement during negotiations between the Sandinistas and the government in Managua.

Soon, Somoza finally prevailed over the liberals and in 1937 won the presidential election (the national guard counted the ballots). For 20 years until his death, Anastasio Somoza ruled the country as his personal property, accumulating a fortune of $ 60 million during this time. In 1956, he was succeeded by his eldest son Luis Somoza Debayle, who remained president until 1963, when he was succeeded by René Chic Gutiérrez. In 1967, the president's brother Luis Somoza, a graduate of the US Army Military Academy at West Point, Anastasio Somoza Debayle, who ruled the country until his overthrow in 1979, took the place of president.

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