SICA
History

 

Upon the arrival of Saturday morning, September 15, 1821, the colonial provinces of the Captaincy General of Guatemala - or Kingdom of Guatemala as they liked to call themselves- had already experienced an intense decade in favor of the political emancipation from the Spanish imperial crown.

But it is also true that those ten years comprised between November 5, 1811 and that historical date were only the result of a much longer process in which a series of strongly influential and decisive world and local events were also involved.

The liberal and humanistic ideas from the revolutionary processes in the United States (1776) and France (1789) added to the weaknesses of the regime of the Spanish King Fernand VII, who was held prisoner and exiled in the French territory. Additionally, we must not forget that the scientific and philosophical knowledge of the most brilliant minds of the Enlightenment had already touched many Central American minds in the classrooms of the Royal and Pontifical University of San Carlos Borromeo, in the cities of Santiago de los Caballeros- presently Antigua Guatemala- and Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción.

Thanks to these heroic struggles in search for freedom, a new view of the world and a national feeling of their own identity arose, particularly among Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Hondurans, because the distance kept Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans apart from this movement to the point that patriots from these two territories did not sign the Act of Independence of 1821.

Owing to the existing communication limitations at the beginning of the third decade of the 19th century, the southern peoples of Central America learned about the signing of this important emancipation document a few weeks later, resulting in the military uprising of San José, on October 29 of the same year.

The presence of representatives of Nicaragua and Costa Rica in the political origins of the United Provinces of Central America came into effect after the annexation to the Mexican Empire -decreed in Guatemala City on January 5, 1822, with the support of both southern provinces- and the set up of the first Constitutive Congress of the Federal Republic in June 1823.

As a result, Central America was born to independent history 180 years ago as the political representation only of what is currently known as Guatemala - with its territories of Chiapas, Soconusco and the Mayoralty of Sonsonate-, El Salvador and Honduras. It was in fact a common but a divided birth in terms of the effective participation of the representatives of all the provinces and administrative divisions as well as of the interests of the various pressure groups existing in the region.

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