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Introduction Located on the Central American isthmus, Nicaragua is the largest country in the region. It is named after the Amerindian chief Nicarao, who once ruled the land. It boasts a population slightly over 6 million people, and is comprised of indigenous peoples, Europeans, Africans, Asians, and Middle Easterners (Wikipedia Contributors). Its capital is Managua, though the cities of Granada and León are equally important. The Central Bank of Nicaragua is the primary bank, and the Córdoba is the country’s currency. The country’s governmental structure is a unitary presidential constitutional republic, and is currently headed by Daniel Ortega. While the largest country in the region, Nicaragua maintains some of the lowest economic …show more content…
In 1823, the Mexican empire was overthrown and Nicaragua joined the United Provinces of Central America. Finally, on April 30th, 1838 Nicaragua declared its independence from the United Provinces, and established itself as a republic.
Political Unrest During the 1840s and 50s, Nicaragua was characterized by political unrest. A power struggle ensued between liberals in the city of León and conservatives in the city of Granada. Continuous conflict tore the country apart, and eventually erupted into civil war. As a result, economic stability was difficult to maintain, influencing Nicaragua’s growth in years to come. In 1855, liberals invited United States military adventurer William Walker and his mercenaries to take part in the war. While he assisted the liberals in capturing the city of Granada, he suppressed the liberal’s leadership and appointed himself president. After one year in power, he was “captured and executed in Honduras in 1860” (Advameg Inc.). Conservatives then took power in 1863 and ruled for thirty
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A conservative coup, with assistance from the United States deposed Zelaya in 1909. The United States chose to involve itself when Zelaya ordered the execution of 500 revolutionaries, to include two Americans (Wikipedia Contributors). The coup resulted in a U.S. presence in the country for over two decades. Not only were Nicaraguan officials hand-selected by the United States, but American private bankers dominated Nicaragua’s financial realm. “The overthrow of Zelaya by this ‘feudal-imperialist’ alliance had far-reaching consequences for Nicaragua’s political and economic sovereignty and may also have retarded the development of capitalism in Nicaraguan agriculture” (Biderman). Unlike other Central American countries that had liberal laws assisting them with the progress of their economies, Nicaragua was subject to a warring divide. “Liberal laws facilitate[ed] the private appropriation of Church, indigenous and public land, the recruitment of labor, and specific incentives to stimulate […] cultivation and foreign immigration, as well as the provision of infrastructure” (Biderman). Because Nicaragua was unable to obtain this, its economy fell behind.

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