1918-1945






Panama Costa Rica Nicaragua
1945-1979
Honduras Guatemala El Salvador Br. Honduras
1945-1981



Central America, 1945-1970



In 1945 the Central American republics became founding members of the United Nations (except British Honduras, still a British crown colony). In 1951 the ORGANIZATION OF CENTRAL AMERICAN STATES was founded. In 1960, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica formed the CENTRAL AMERICAN COMMON MARKET.
Yet, the Central American economies continued to be dominated by export-oriented monocultures. Land ownership was concentrated on a small group of (powerful) plantation owners, partially in the hands of foreigners (United Fruit Company); the large majority of CAMPESINOS (peasants) was landless, forced to work the plantations for extremely low wages. So there was a widespread demand for reform,; nationalist and leftist politicians and parties found large followership. The US massively interfered in Central American politics to forestall far-reaching reforms (Guatemala 1954 etc.).
In 1969, Honduras went to war with El Salvador, seemingly over a soccer game (the SOCCER WAR). It was an excuse to expel ca. 300,000 illegal Salvadorian squatters who had settled in less densely populated Honduras; the war resulted in the failure of the Central American Common Market.



Central America, key data
Belize Guatemala El Salvador Honduras Nicaragua Costa Rica Panama
Population 1950
Population 1970
Pop. density 1970
area (sq.km)
GNP (US $, 1973)
per-capita-inc. (US $)
67,000
91,000
5
22,965
no data
no data
2,969,000
3,964,000
48
108,689
2,590 Bill.
570
1,940,000
2,570,000
171
21,040
1,320 Bill.
390
1,401,000
1,935,000
23
112,088
890 Bill.
340
1,098,000
1,493,000
16
148,000
1,310 Bill.
650
862.000
1,236,000
34
50,700
1,520 Bill.
790
893,000
1,148,000
20
75,850
1,450 Bill.
1,010






EXTERNAL
FILES
Articles from Infoplease : Central American Federation; Central American Common Market
DOCUMENTS
REFERENCE



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on November 5th 2004

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