I read the Wiki page and an another good source of information of the Federal Republic of Central America (sometimes referred as United States of Central America). I see the process of how it fell apart, but I can't really find a decent description of the causes.

In the sense of culture, the federated states were similar, what were the reasons of its dissolution? Was it the result of the liberal-conservative conflict? Or something else?

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    Added tags - hope u don't mind. Apr 11, 2014 at 14:01
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    I'd like to just add a comment, but I have not enough reputation: Spanish only became a common language after the Radio and the Television.
    – mentatkgs
    May 21, 2014 at 11:00

2 Answers 2


The main thing that the Central American Republic going for it was its fear of Mexico. Otherwise, the countries had rather little in common.

The fear of Mexico diminished in the late 1830s, after Santa Anna was defeated by the Texans in the (1836) War of Independence. It might not be an accident that the Central American Republic started to dissolve around 1840. Ditto for the fact that the first countries to leave, Costa Rica and Nicaragua were the furthest away from Mexico, as well as being the most prosperous. (Panama was then part of Colombia, not part of the Central American Federation.)

  • " had rather little in common" I'd be interested to hear a defense of this. They have a lot in common as far as language, religion, and ethnicity are concerned.
    – Colin
    Sep 6, 2017 at 23:58
  • @ColinZwanziger: Only on the Spanish side. Much less so on the (more important) Indian side. Also, "Spanish only became a common language after the Radio and the Television." – mentatkgs May 21 '14 at 11:00
    – Tom Au
    Sep 7, 2017 at 3:53

The Federal Republic of Central America was not a stable country because the area it contained was very difficult to rule in a unified way. This was for several reasons:

  • The inhabitants spoke different languages
  • Some areas are mountainous and impassable, others are impassable jungle
  • There are relatively few roads
  • Malaria was endemic

Under these conditions it was difficult to govern with consensus. Even recently there have been many insurgency groups in these countries and little civil wars going on. It is hard enough just keeping Guatemala in one piece, much less the whole region.

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    The logistic and health issue points are good, but I would like to see a reference on linguistic problem, because the area today is homogenously spanish (Belize is the only country there with English), back in the mid 19th century I can imagine bigger native american communities, but by then most of them assimilated to the spanish culture. Of course if you have a good source which shows I am wrong, I guess it might be the answer I am looking for. May 14, 2014 at 14:17
  • A lot of people speak Mayan even today. In Nicaragua there are currently I think 7 different "recognized" languages including Miskito, Sumo, and Rama. Back then this was a much larger problem. There were literally dozens and dozens of different languages and dialects. May 14, 2014 at 14:44
  • Yup, there are something like 7 million mayan speakers in Mexico and Central America today - but there are actually a half million speakers each of a dozen or so dialects, many of which are incomprehensible to each other. May 15, 2014 at 14:35
  • @CsBalazsHungary the point about languages is primarily true of Guatemala
    – Colin
    Sep 6, 2017 at 23:57

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