Central America under Mexican rule

Captaincy General of Guatemala
Captaincy general of the First Mexican Empire
A map of the Firest Mexican Empire (1822–1823).
A map of the First Mexican Empire (1822–1823).
DemonymCentral American
• 1822–1823[1]
445,683 km2 (172,079 sq mi)
 • TypeCaptaincy general
Head of State[a] 
• 1822–1823
Agustín I
• 1823
Captain General 
• 1822
Gabino Gaínza
• 1822; 1823
Vicente Filísola
• 1822–1823
Felipe Codallos
Historical eraDecolonization of the Americas
• Annexation requested
28 November 1821
• Annexed by Mexico
5 January 1822
• Agustín I's abdication
19 March 1823
• Independence declared
1 July 1823
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Captaincy General of Guatemala
United Provinces of Central America
Supreme Executive Power

From January 1822 to July 1823, the five Central American nations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua were controlled by the First Mexican Empire, and briefly, the Supreme Executive Power. Collectively known as the Captaincy General of Guatemala (Spanish: Capitanía General de Guatemala; IPA: [kapitaˈnia ˈxeneɾal ðe ɣwateˈmala]), each nation was one of the five southernmost provinces of the Mexican Empire. The incorporation of Central America brought Mexico to the height of its territorial extent.

Only two months after the Act of Independence of Central America was signed in September 1821, Regent of Mexico Agustín de Iturbide, later the Mexican emperor, made a formal request to the Central American government to accept annexation to the Mexican Empire. His request was accepted by the Consultive Junta of Guatemala City on 5 January 1822. Despite the acceptance by the Guatemalan-based government in favor of annexation, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and parts of Nicaragua resisted Mexican annexation, forcing Mexican and allied Guatemalan soldiers to forcefully subjugate the rebellious regions of Central America.

Mexican and allied Guatemalan forces under the command of Brigadier Vicente Filísola, who was serving as the captain general of the Central American provinces, spent just over one year campaigning to forcefully annex El Salvador, which ended in a Mexican victory and El Salvador's annexation in February 1823. In Costa Rica, the government declared independence from Mexico in October 1822, however, a coup by monarchists in March 1823 led to the outbreak of a civil war. The Battle of Ochomogo deposed the monarchist government and reestablished the secessionist government. Meanwhile, a rebellion in Nicaragua led by José Anacleto Ordóñez sought to overthrow the incumbent Nicaraguan government.

Before Filísola could continue to Nicaragua and Costa Rica after his victory in El Salvador, Agustín I was forced to abdicate the Mexican imperial throne and go into exile, and a provisional government was established after the abolition of the monarchy. As a result, Filísola abandoned his orders to continue the conquest of Central America and convened a congress of Central American political leaders to determine the future of Central America.

On 1 July 1823, the Central American congress declared independence from Mexico and established the United Provinces of Central America, later known as the Federal Republic of Central America, which existed until its dissolution in 1841 after a series of civil wars. Not all of Central America chose to become independent, however, as the region of Chiapas remained a part of Mexico and is now one of the country's 31 states. In its "25-Point Program", the far-right Nationalist Front of Mexico (FNM) has called for the reincorporation of Central America to Mexico.[5]

Independence of New Spain

Mexican independence

The declarations of independence of Mexico (left) and Central America (right).

On 16 September 1810, Criollo priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla issued the Cry of Dolores, beginning the Mexican War of Independence from the Spanish Empire.[6] His declaration was made as a result of Napoleon's invasion of Spain, which overthrew Spanish King Ferdinand VII and replaced him with Napoleon's brother, Joseph I.[7] Although Ferdinand VII was restored in 1814, some in New Spain were not satisfied with his reign. The constitution of 1812 was suspended in 1814, and high ranking military officers in New Spain demanded in 1820 that the constitution be reinstated.[8]

On 24 February 1821, Agustín de Iturbide, a Mexican general fighting for independence, published his Plan of the Three Guarantees in the city of Iguala, which outlined his vision for the new independent Mexican state. It included the establishment of a constitutional monarchy, and issued special protections to the Catholic Church, which would also be declared as the state religion, to the army, and to both Europeans and mestizos.[9][10][11] Iturbide invited Ferdinand VII, any member of his immediate family, or any other Spanish Bourbon prince to rule as the Emperor of Mexico.[12] Until an emperor could be appointed, Iturbide held the position of president of the regency council unopposed.[2]

After eleven years of war between Mexican independence forces and Spanish royalist forces, full independence for Mexico was attained with the signing of the Treaty of Córdoba on 24 August 1821 and the issuance of the Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire on 28 September 1821.[13]

Central American independence

Central America, which had been administered as a colony of Spain under the Captaincy General of Guatemala, also known as the Kingdom of Guatemala, since 1568,[14] launched attempted rebellions in 1811 and 1814 (es) to gain independence. Both attempts were suppressed by Spanish forces.[15][16] Despite the opposition to independence by some Central American leaders, such as Gabino Gaínza,[17] on 15 September 1821, Central America declared independence from Spain with the signing of the Act of Independence of Central America in Guatemala City.[18][19] Independence was sought for in part due to Iturbide's Plan of the Three Guarantees, as it was very popular within Central America.[20]

Upon independence, the Captaincy General of Guatemala was abolished and the former provinces of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua became semi-independent nations under a provisional national government—the Consultive Junta—which was established in Guatemala to help form a formal federal government for Central America.[21] Elections for a permanent government were scheduled to occur on 1 March 1822.[22][23] The Spanish-appointed provincial governors remained in place and continued to exercise their authority after independence was declared.[19][b] The independence of Central America was not considered to be a priority by Spain, due to its relative insignificance in comparison to their other colonies of New Granada, New Spain, and Peru, which they were still fighting for control of.[19]

Central American infighting over annexation

Immediately after independence, prospect of annexation to Mexico divided the Central American ruling class.[27] Monarchist politicians preferred annexation, while more nationalist and republican politicians opposed annexation and wish to retain independence.[28][29]

Gaínza, who had assumed the political leadership of both Guatemala and the Consultive Junta under the title of Superior Political Chief,[30] was in favor of annexation, as was Nicaraguan clergyman Nicolás García Jerez, the bishop of León, and the Aycinena clan (es) of Guatemala. Politicians from the cities of León and Comayagua were also in favor.[28][31] Although most indigenous Central Americans did not have an opinion on the issue of annexation, the K'iche' were in favor of annexation.[32]

Manuel José Arce, a Salvadoran politician, was one of primary opponents to annexation and a leading republican figure. Although some parts of El Salvador sought annexation, the capital city, San Salvador, firmly supported independence.[33] On 4 October 1821, Arce was arrested along with several other Salvadoran politicians by Pedro Barriere, the conservative political chief of El Salvador, for calling on Barriere to hold elections to elect a delegation to be sent to the Consultive Junta. As a result, the Consultive Junta decided to remove Barriere on 11 October 1821 and replace him with Salvadoran priest José Matías Delgado, freeing Arce in the process.[c][35][36] Meanwhile, Costa Ricans were initially opposed to independence from Spain; at that time, there was no definitive consensus as to whether Costa favored or opposed annexation.[29][37] Gaínza did not wish to hold a meeting of Central America's political leaders, fearing that disagreements from the meeting could contribute to the outbreak of a civil war within Central America.[36]

"My object is only to manifest to you that the present interest of Mexico and Guatemala is so identical or indivisible that they cannot constitute themselves in separate or independent nations without risking the security of each..."

Agustín de Iturbide, 28 November 1821[32][38]

Agustín I, Emperor of Mexico

On 28 November 1821, Gaínza received a letter from Iturbide formally requesting the annexation of Central America into the Mexican Empire.[39] In the letter, Iturbide stated that stability and security in Central America could only be possible if it joined a union with Mexico.[32] He claimed to look for harmony with the Central American people, but he also stated that he was sending soldiers to Central America to ensure that order would be protected.[40] On 20 November 1821, Iturbide had already sent 200 soldiers into Chiapas, which declared its separation from Guatemala on 26 September 1821,[41] to seize control of the area.[42]

In response to the letter, Gaínza ordered all 237 municipalities across Central America to publish Iturbide's letter publicly, hold open cabildos, and vote for or against annexation within thirty days.[40] The results of the open cabildos were as follows:

Results of the open cabildos on annexation to the Mexican Empire[43][44]
Choice Votes[d] %
In favor of complete annexation checkY 104 61.18
In favor of annexation with certain conditions 11 6.47
In favor of letting the Consultive Junta decide 32 18.82
In opposition of annexation until a new government is elected 21 12.35
In total opposition of annexation 2 1.18
Total votes 170 100.00
Turnout 170/237 71.73

Although the final report of the poll which was issued did not give exact details on how each municipality voted, Gaínza assured the public that the 104 municipalities which voted in favor of complete annexation without any conditions represented a majority of the population.[44] As such, on 5 January 1822, the Consultive Junta voted in unconditional support for the annexation of Central America to the Mexican Empire.[43] As a result of the annexation, Mexico reached the height of its territorial extent,[1] and the people of Central America were automatically granted Mexican citizenship.[45] The Consultive Junta was later dissolved on 21 February 1822.[46]

The Act of Union of the Provinces of Central America with the Mexican Empire, which formalized Central America's annexation to Mexico, was signed by fourteen people. The fourteen signatories were:[47]

Annexation and subsequent separatist conflicts

Brigadier Vicente Filísola was appointed by Iturbide to command the Mexican soldiers to occupy Central America and solidify Mexican control in the region.[48] The only active resistance against the annexation was in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Republican politicians in El Salvador attempted to usurp authority of Central America from Guatemala City and lead a region-wide resistance to Mexican occupation.[45][49]

Suppression of Salvadoran resistance

Mexican annexation of El Salvador
DateJanuary 1822 – 9 February 1823
Result Mexican victory
 El Salvador
Commanders and leaders
5,000 <1,000
Casualties and losses

Arce and Delgado organized an armed Salvadoran resistance and prepared to engage in battle with Mexican forces.[50] Gaínza, who was serving as the captain general of Central America,[51] dedicated Guatemalan soldiers to support the Mexicans in March 1822 and placed them under the command of Chilean Sergeant José Nicolás de Abós y Padilla (es). Salvadoran and Guatemalan forces clashed in the town of El Espinal on 3 March 1822, ending in a Salvadoran victory which forced Abós y Padilla's soldiers to retreat.[52] Gaínza sacked Abós y Padilla and replaced him with Manuel Arzú on 19 March 1822, and also supplied him with more soldiers. Arzú's army succeeded in occupying San Salvador on 5 April 1822 and forced Salvadoran soldiers to abandon the city.[50]

Filísola remained in Chiapas as Guatemalan forces occupied San Salvador. After requests from the Guatemalan government for his presence, he arrived at Guatemala City on 12 June 1822.[53] He succeeded Gaínza as the captain general and political chief of all of Central America on 23 June 1822.[54][55] On 30 August 1822, Filísola managed to negotiate an armistice with El Salvador, ending tensions between Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.[56] The delegations which negotiated the armistice included Antonio José Cañas and Juan Francisco Sosa from El Salvador, and Colonel Felipe Codallos and Lieutenant Colonel José Luis González Ojeda from Guatemala.[56][57]

Brigadier Vicente Filísola was placed in command of subjugating El Salvador.

Filísola sent a message of the armistice to Iturbide,[58] who had assumed the throne of the Mexican Empire on 19 May 1822 becoming Emperor Agustín I;[3] however, he rejected the armistice. He believed that the armistice was not enough to ensure the loyalty of El Salvador, and ordered Filísola to again occupy San Salvador and extract a total submission to Mexican authority from its government.[59] Additionally, on 10 November 1822, the Salvadoran congress declared that it was not able to ratify the armistice, and that El Salvador would defend its rights with force.[60]

Following Agustín I's orders, Filísola exited Guatemala City on 11 November 1822 with 2,000 to occupy San Salvador.[49][61][62] In response to Filísola's invasion, Delgado sent a message to the Mexican government offering full annexation on the sole condition that representatives from El Salvador will be allowed to participate in the formulation of the new Mexican constitution.[62] Before Filísola's forces invaded El Salvador, the Salvadoran government junta sent an envoy of diplomats to Washington, D.C. to formally request annexation to the United States in an attempt to avoid being completely conquered by Mexican forces.[63][64] The envoy arrived in mid-1823, but they were not invited to meet either President James Monroe or Secretary of State John Quincy Adams. By then, the Mexican Empire had already collapsed.[65]

On 7 December 1822, Filísola occupied the Salvadoran city of Coatepeque. On 21 December 1822, he was informed that Arce's soldiers had fortified themselves in the cities of San Miguel, San Martín, and Cojutepeque, and that Delgado's symbolic religious support was boosting public morale in San Salvador. Although the Mexican army numbered 5,000 soldiers, while the Salvadoran forces numbered less than 1,000 and were armed with only machetes and spears, Filísola recognized that attempting to subjugate the seemingly determined rebel army would be difficult.[66] Filísola issued an ultimatum to Arce on 14 January 1823, stating that annexation to the United States was hopeless and that annexation to the Mexican Empire was inevitable; Arce sent Filísola a response the following day, rejecting the ultimatum.[67]

After the rejection, Mexican forces marched on Apopa and Ayutuxtepeque on 7 February 1823, all while being attacked by Salvadoran soldiers using guerrilla tactics.[68] The soldiers defending San Salvador fled the city that same day, and two days later, on 9 February 1823, Filísola captured San Salvador.[69][70][71] The Salvadoran soldiers who fled the city retreated to Honduras under the command of Mariano Prado, where they later surrendered to Filísola near the town of Gualcince on 21 February 1823.[72][73][74]

Civil war in Costa Rica

Monarchist Joaquín de Oreamuno attempted to keep Costa Rica a part of the Mexican Empire by force.

The Electoral Junta was established in Costa Rica on 5 January 1822 after the Interim Junta was abolished, and five days later, the junta approved Costa Rica's annexation to the Mexican Empire.[75][76] The Electoral Junta was succeeded by the Superior Gubernatorial Junta (es) on 13 January 1822, and its president, Rafael Barroeta y Castilla (es), began preparations to hold elections which would determine Costa Rica's representatives in the Mexican Constituent Congress (es). The election was held on 31 January 1822.[77]

In October 1822, some Costa Ricans became frustrated with Agustín I when he abolished the Constituent Congress without a new constitution being drafted. The frustrations divided Costa Rican politicians on whether to remain with Mexico or to secede. On 8 March 1823, the junta voted to secede from Mexico, declaring: "The Province of Costa Rica shall be absolutely free and independent of any power, therefore in the use of its rights and the current congress in the exercise of its sovereignty."[77][78] The declaration of independence was not universally agreed upon by all Costa Rican politicians and led to a civil conflict between the Costa Rican ruling class between those in favor of independence (republicans) and those in favor of remaining with Mexico (monarchists).[77]

On 14 March 1823, the Superior Gubernatorial Junta was dissolved in favor of the Provincial Deputation led by Rafael Francisco Osejo. Osejo and the new government, however, were overthrown in a coup d'état by monarchist Joaquín de Oreamuno on 29 March 1823.[79][80][81] Republican Gregorio José Ramírez was declared as the leader of Costa Rica in opposition of Oreamuno in the city of Alajuela on 1 April 1823.[79]

Ramírez led republican forces in battle against the monarchists on 5 April 1823 in the Battle of Ochomogo. The battle ended in a republican victory and the overthrow of Oreamuno. Afterwards, Ramírez assumed the position as the absolute leader of Costa Rica.[81][82] Ramírez was succeeded by José María de Peralta on 16 April 1823, who was then succeeded by a second Superior Gubernatorial Junta led by Manuel Alvarado e Hidalgo (es) on 10 May 1823, which remained in power until September 1824.[83]

Unrest in Nicaragua

José Anacleto Ordóñez, a Nicaraguan soldier and merchant, launched a rebellion against Mexican rule on 16 January 1823. He and his supporters bloodlessly captured the military barracks in Granada, which was followed by a series of lootings and robberies by his supporters and civilians in the cities of Granada, Jinotepe, Juigalpa, and Masaya. The violence caused many in the affected cities to flee to Managua, which remained under the control of pro-Mexican forces.[84]

On 23 February 1823, Miguel González Saravia y Colarte (es), the governor of Nicaragua, forcibly recaptured Granada with an army of 1,000 soldiers,[73] forcing Ordóñez and his supporters to flee the city.[84] Ordóñez bestowed upon himself the title of caudillo and retreated to Masaya, where he continued his rebellion. On 17 April 1823, González Saravia stepped down as the governor of Nicaragua and was replaced by José Carmen Salazar, and five days later, Ordóñez's rebel forces captured Crisanto Sacasa, the pro-Mexican commander of Granada and held him as a prisoner of war. Salazar attempted to make peace with Ordóñez's rebellion, however, his rebellion continued, well past the independence of Central America, resulting in Ordóñez overthrowing the government of Pablo Méndez in August 1824.[84]

Independence from Mexico

Abdication of Agustín I

After the subjugation of El Salvador, Filísola was going to continue his campaign on securing Mexican control of Central America, including subjugating the rebellious city of Granada and solidifying control of Costa Rica. Before he could continue, however, he heard news about a military-led plot to depose Agustín I.[85] Filísola returned to Guatemala City in March 1823, abandoning his orders to complete the annexation of Central America.[85][86]

The coat of arms of the Supreme Executive Power (1823–1824).

Agustín I was forced to abdicate the Mexican throne and go into exile on 19 March 1823, marking the end of the Mexican Empire.[87][88] In its place, three Mexican military officers—Nicolás Bravo, Guadalupe Victoria, and Pedro Negrete—established the Supreme Executive Power, a provisional government formed in the wake of the abolition of the Mexican monarchy, with the three serving as joint heads of state.[4] On 29 March 1823, after news of Agustín I's abdication reach Filísola, he called for the formation of a Central American congress to decide the future of Central America.[86][89][90] On 1 April 1823, the Mexican Constituent Congress instructed Mexican forces in Central America to cease hostilities with anti-annexation and republican forces, and Filísola expressed his support for the Central American people to determine their own "destiny".[91]

On 7 May 1823, Filísola appointed Codallos, who was his second-in-command during the campaign to annex El Salvador,[57] as the military chief of San Salvador in his absence. Less than one month later on 25 May 1823, Salvadorans managed to pressure Codallos and the garrison of 500 Mexican and Guatemalan soldiers under his command to leave San Salvador.[92] In his place, Salvadoran politicians and military leaders established another Consultive Junta, based in San Salvador. The junta was composed of Prado, Colonel José Justo Milla, and Colonel José Rivas. The junta was later dissolved on 17 June 1823 and Prado assumed sole governance of El Salvador.[93]

Central American congress

On 18 June 1823, the Mexican congress instructed Filísola to be in attendance of the upcoming session of the Central American congress and to maintain friendly relations in the hope that the congress would vote to remain a part of Mexico. The Mexican congress did instruct him, however, to respect the congress' decision whether to remain in union with Mexico or to become an independent state.[94]

The flag of the newly formed United Provinces of Central America, adopted on 21 August 1823.[95]

The session of the Central American congress began on 29 June 1823 with representatives from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico in attendance. Chiapas, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua boycotted the conference until Filísola resigned as captain general and withdrew all Mexican forces from Central America.[86][96][97] During the congress, 37 of the 41 representatives voted to appoint Delgado as the president of the congress, then known as the National Constituent Assembly of Central America.[98][99]

On 1 July 1823, the National Constituent Assembly of Central America issued the Decree of Absolute Independence of the Provinces of Central America, declaring independence from Mexico and reaffirming independence from Spain.[100] The declaration formed the United Provinces of Central America.[61][101] Chiapas, however, did not join the newly declared Central American state, and chose to remain a part of Mexico,[102][103] and its decision to remain with Mexico was confirmed in a referendum on 26 May 1824.[104][105]

After the residents of Guatemala City raised enough money to pay for the Mexican army's withdrawal,[64] Filísola and his soldiers withdrew from Guatemala and returned to Chiapas on 3 August 1823.[106] The United Provinces of Central America, later known as the Federal Republic of Central America, continued to exist until its collapse in 1841 following two civil wars to form the modern states of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.[107]

Central America's independence resulted in many provinces of Mexico to desire increased regional autonomy for themselves. Most provinces called upon the national government to establish a new national congress as they believed those under Agustín I were illegitimate. Meanwhile, the provinces of Oaxaca, Yucatán, and Zacatecas announced the establishments of their own local juntas in place of a national congress, and San Luis Potosí and the Eastern Interior Provinces[e] stated that they would declare independence from Mexico unless a new congress was established.[109]


Captaincy government

A map of the First Mexican Empire at its territorial peak (1822–1823).

The head of state of Central America during Mexico's annexation of the region was the same as the head of state of Mexico. Agustín I ruled as regent, and then as emperor, from January 1822 until his abdication in March 1823, after which, the three leaders of the provisional government—Bravo, Victoria, and Negrete—served as joint heads of state.[110]

On a more regional level, the five provinces were organized into the Captaincy General of Guatemala[111] (Spanish: Capitanía General de Guatemala; IPA: [kapitaˈnia ˈxeneɾal ðe ɣwateˈmala]), and the captaincy general was governed by a captain general from the capital in Guatemala City. The position of captain general existed throughout Mexico's rule, and it was held by Gaínza (January to June 1822), Filísola (June 1822 to November 1822; March 1823 to July 1823), and Codallos (November 1822 to March 1823).[51][54][55][57]

Color key
Captain General Assumed office Left office Time in office
Gabino Gaínza
Gabino Gaínza
5 January 1822 23 June 1822 169 days
Vicente Filísola
Vicente Filísola
23 June 1822 26 November 1822 156 days
Felipe Codallos
Felipe Codallos
26 November 1822 7 March 1823 101 days
Vicente Filísola
Vicente Filísola
7 March 1823 1 July 1823 116 days

Individual provincial governments

The following are lists of the political leaders of the five individual provinces. Control of the provinces changed multiple times between monarchists in favor of annexation and republicans in favor of secession, usually as a result of conflicts and unrest within the provinces.

Color key

Costa Rica

Political Chief Assumed office Left office Time in office Ref.
1 Rafael Barroeta y Castilla (es) 5 January 1822 13 April 1822 98 days [112]
2 Santiago de Bonilla y Laya-Bolívar 13 April 1822 14 June 1822 62 days
3 José María de Peralta y La Vega 14 June 1822 15 October 1822 124 days
4 José Rafael Gallegos Alvarado (es) 17 October 1822 31 December 1822 76 days
5 José Santos Lombardo y Alvarado (es) 1 January 1823 14 March 1823 72 days
6 Rafael Francisco Osejo 14 March 1823 29 March 1823 15 days
7 Joaquín de Oreamuno 29 March 1823 5 April 1823 7 days
8 Gregorio José Ramírez 5 April 1823 16 April 1823 11 days
9 José María de Peralta y La Vega 16 April 1823 10 May 1823 24 days
10 Manuel Alvarado e Hidalgo (es) 10 May 1823 1 July 1823 52 days

El Salvador

Political Chief Assumed office Left office Time in office Ref.
1 José Matías Delgado 5 January 1822 9 February 1823 1 year and 35 days [113]
2 Vicente Filísola 9 February 1823 7 May 1823 87 days [114]
3 Felipe Codallos 7 May 1823 25 May 1823 18 days [92]
4 Consultive Junta 25 May 1823 17 June 1823 23 days [93]
5 Mariano Prado 17 June 1823 1 July 1823 14 days [115]


Political Chief Assumed office Left office Time in office Ref.
1 Gabino Gaínza 5 January 1822 23 June 1822 169 days [54][55]
2 Vicente Filísola 23 June 1822 1 July 1823 1 year and 8 days


Political Chief Assumed office Left office Time in office Ref.
1 Juan Lindo y Zelaya 5 January 1822 1 July 1823 1 year and 177 days [116][117]


Political Chief Assumed office Left office Time in office Ref.
1 Miguel González Saravia y Colarte (es) 5 January 1822 17 April 1823 1 year and 102 days [84]
2 José Carmen Salazar 17 April 1823 6 May 1823 19 days
3 Pablo Méndez 6 May 1823 1 July 1823 56 days

Representation in the national legislature

The Mexican Constituent Congress was established on 24 February 1822 and was tasked with drafting a constitution for the Mexican Empire.[77][118] In November 1821, the Mexican government decided on the electoral procedures to select representatives for the Constituent Congress and that it would consist of 162 members. After Central America joined the empire, Iturbide wanted to extent congressional representation to the region. Due to unavailable demographical data at the time, Iturbide reluctantly allowed Central America to have 40 representatives in the Constituent Congress, which he thought was a "prudent" amount.[119] Despite being allowed to have 40 representatives, only 38 were elected.

The following is a list of Central America's representatives in the Constituent Congress:

Agustín I abolished the Constituent Congress on 31 October 1822 before a constitution was approved,[77] and replaced it with the National Institutional Junta.[118] Of the 55-member legislature, 13 were from Central America. The Central American representatives were Arrollave, Beltranena, Celís, de la Plata, Fernández de Córdova, Figueroa, Gutiérrez, Larreynaga, Montúfar, Orantes, Peralta, Quiñones, and Rubí.[128] The National Institutional Junta was short-lived and was abolished on 29 March 1823, shortly after Agustín I abdicated.[128]


For Mexico, the annexation of Central America was seen as a way to help stabilize the country's struggling economy, especially the mining and agriculture fields, after a decade of fighting against Spanish rule. Central America's annexation offered the Mexican government a larger population to institute taxes upon which would help the country rebuild its infrastructure. Additionally, leaders in Central America saw annexation as a way to help its own economy.[129]

A Spanish coin minted in 1821.

Upon independence from Spain in September 1821, the Central American government owed 3,138,451 pesos of foreign debt, and by October 1823, after the end of the period of Mexican rule, the debt increased to 3,583,576 pesos.[130] Further economic difficulties included a decline in indigo production which predated independence, the decline of textile production to a "state of extreme decadence" due to competing English cotton goods,[131] and the government's failure to collect 385,693 pesos worth of taxes from the provinces.[132] In an attempt to alleviate the debt and economic troubles, a tariff law was passed in 1822—placing taxes on various exports from Central America—and the exporting of coins was made illegal.[133] That same year, Gaínza issued 40,000 pesos in the form of banknotes, which was the first use of paper money in Central America.[134] The Central American federal government eventually defaulted on its debt the mid-1820s.[135]

Sometime between 1823 and 1825, a congressional commission by the government of the Federal Republic of Central America began an investigation into why the mint in Guatemala City had been "reduced" to the "condition of insignificance" it was it. Initially, the commission believed that the mint was "despoiled" between 1822 and 1823 by Gaínza and Filísola, who supposedly used the mint to directly fund their military operations in the annexation of El Salvador.[136] Additionally, the residents of Guatemala City were forced to raise enough money to pay for the Mexican army's withdrawal from Central America in August 1823.[64] Eventually, the commission's initial belief was proven incorrect, as it later found that the reason the mint had been producing less money was because the mint failed to make loans to miners.[136]

To celebrate the incorporation of Central America to the Mexican Empire, Iturbide authorized the minting of proclamation medals in gold, silver, and bronze, however, they did not have any monetary value.[137] Four types of medals were struck for Central America dating to late-1822 for Chiapas, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, and León; the location of where the medals were minted is unknown.[138]

See also


  1. ^ Agustín de Iturbide used the title "President of the Regency Council" until 19 May 1822,[2] after which, he used the title Emperor of Mexico as Agustín I.[3] After the abolition of the monarchy, Nicolás Bravo, Guadalupe Victoria, and Pedro Negrete each served as joint heads of state.[4]
  2. ^ The Spanish provincial governors of Central America at the time of independence were: Juan Manuel de Cañas y Trujillo (es) (Costa Rica),[24] Pedro Barriere (El Salvador),[25] Gabino Gaínza y Fernández de Medrano (Guatemala),[19] José Gregorio Tinoco de Contreras (de) (Honduras),[26] Miguel González Saravia y Colarte (es) (Nicaragua).[25]
  3. ^ Although the Consultive Junta appointed Delgado as political chief of El Salvador on 11 October 1821, he actually assumed office on 28 November 1821.[34]
  4. ^ Each singular vote represents the decision of an entire municipality's population, not the vote of single individuals.[43][44]
  5. ^ The Eastern Interior Provinces consisted of Coahuila, Nuevo León, Nuevo Santander, and Texas.[108]
  6. ^ El Salvador was entitled to elect 6 representatives, but none attended the Constituent Assembly due to being in armed rebellion against Mexican annexation.[122] Juan de Dios Mayorga (es), a representative of Guatemala, diplomatically represented El Salvador in the Constituent Assembly.[123]
  7. ^ José Cecilio del Valle was elected from both Chiquimula, Guatemala, and Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Since he was not a resident of Chiquimula, del Valle was considered to be a Honduran representative.[126]



  1. ^ a b Zoradia Vázquez 1997, p. 47.
  2. ^ a b Rodríguez Ordóñez 1993, p. 312.
  3. ^ a b Kirkwood 2000, p. 87.
  4. ^ a b Kirkwood 2000, p. 90.
  5. ^ Nationalist Front of Mexico 2017.
  6. ^ Sosa 1985, p. 289.
  7. ^ Carpenter 2013, pp. 15–18.
  8. ^ Carpenter 2013, pp. 21–22 & 27.
  9. ^ Stanger 1932, p. 31.
  10. ^ Rodríguez Ordóñez 1993, p. 299.
  11. ^ Kirkwood 2000, p. 86.
  12. ^ Rodríguez Ordóñez 1993, pp. 299 & 308.
  13. ^ Rodríguez Ordóñez 1993, p. 266.
  14. ^ Stanger 1932, p. 21.
  15. ^ Stanger 1932, pp. 27 & 29.
  16. ^ Cruz Pacheco & Cadenas y Vicent 1981, p. 479.
  17. ^ Stanger 1932, p. 32.
  18. ^ Trabanino & Herrerte 1956, pp. 3–5.
  19. ^ a b c d Munro 1918, p. 24.
  20. ^ Stanger 1932, pp. 31–33.
  21. ^ Munro 1918, pp. 24 & 27.
  22. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, p. 132.
  23. ^ Marure 1895, p. 1.
  24. ^ Obregón Quesada 2002, pp. 18 & 21–23.
  25. ^ a b Ayala Benítez 2007, p. 134.
  26. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, p. 133.
  27. ^ Kenyon 1961, p. 176.
  28. ^ a b Ayala Benítez 2007, p. 139.
  29. ^ a b Stanger 1932, p. 34.
  30. ^ Pollack 2019, p. 89.
  31. ^ Stanger 1932, pp. 34–35.
  32. ^ a b c Foster 2007, p. 135.
  33. ^ Stanger 1932, p. 35.
  34. ^ Meléndez Chaverri 2000, p. 257.
  35. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, pp. 134–135.
  36. ^ a b Stanger 1932, p. 36.
  37. ^ Kenyon 1961, p. 177.
  38. ^ Carpenter 2013, p. 29.
  39. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, p. 138.
  40. ^ a b Stanger 1932, p. 37.
  41. ^ Benson & Berry 1969, p. 683.
  42. ^ Kenyon 1961, p. 181.
  43. ^ a b c Kenyon 1961, pp. 183–184.
  44. ^ a b c Stanger 1932, p. 38.
  45. ^ a b Stanger 1932, p. 39.
  46. ^ Meléndez Chaverri 2000, p. 258.
  47. ^ Trabanino & Herrerte 1956, pp. 6–7.
  48. ^ Kenyon 1961, pp. 182–183.
  49. ^ a b Kenyon 1961, p. 192.
  50. ^ a b Ayala Benítez 2007, p. 143.
  51. ^ a b Marure 1895, p. 135.
  52. ^ Aceña 1899, p. 42.
  53. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, pp. 143–144.
  54. ^ a b c Ayala Benítez 2007, p. 145.
  55. ^ a b c Kenyon 1961, pp. 191–192.
  56. ^ a b Ayala Benítez 2007, p. 144.
  57. ^ a b c Meléndez Chaverri 2000, p. 264.
  58. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, pp. 145–146.
  59. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, pp. 145–147.
  60. ^ López Velásquez 1998, p. 29.
  61. ^ a b Munro 1918, p. 28.
  62. ^ a b Ayala Benítez 2007, p. 147.
  63. ^ Kenyon 1961, pp. 192–193.
  64. ^ a b c Foster 2007, p. 136.
  65. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, pp. 148–149.
  66. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, pp. 150–151.
  67. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, pp. 151–152.
  68. ^ Aceña 1899, p. 30.
  69. ^ Stanger 1932, pp. 39–40.
  70. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, p. 52.
  71. ^ Kenyon 1961, p. 193.
  72. ^ Meléndez Chaverri 2000, p. 267.
  73. ^ a b Marure 1895, p. 8.
  74. ^ Aceña 1899, pp. 36–37.
  75. ^ Obregón Quesada 2002, pp. 25–26.
  76. ^ Fernández Guardia 2007, p. 30.
  77. ^ a b c d e Obregón Quesada 2002, p. 27.
  78. ^ Fernández Guardia 2007, pp. 76–77.
  79. ^ a b Obregón Quesada 2002, p. 30.
  80. ^ Fernández Guardia 2007, p. 86.
  81. ^ a b Pollack 2019, p. 62.
  82. ^ Obregón Quesada 2002, p. 31.
  83. ^ Obregón Quesada 2002, pp. 33–34.
  84. ^ a b c d Bolaños Geyer 2018.
  85. ^ a b Kenyon 1961, pp. 194–195.
  86. ^ a b c Stanger 1932, p. 40.
  87. ^ Kirkwood 2000, p. 88.
  88. ^ Kenyon 1961, p. 196.
  89. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, p. 153.
  90. ^ Kenyon 1961, pp. 196–197.
  91. ^ Kenyon 1961, p. 198.
  92. ^ a b Casa Presidencial c. 2005b.
  93. ^ a b Casa Presidencial c. 2005c.
  94. ^ Kenyon 1961, p. 199.
  95. ^ Meléndez Chaverri 2000, p. 277.
  96. ^ Kenyon 1961, p. 200.
  97. ^ Meléndez Chaverri 2000, p. 274.
  98. ^ Ayala Benítez 2007, p. 154.
  99. ^ Meléndez Chaverri 2000, pp. 274–275.
  100. ^ Trabanino & Herrerte 1956, pp. 8–10.
  101. ^ Stanger 1932, pp. 40–41.
  102. ^ Bethell 1991, p. 7.
  103. ^ Zamacois 1877, pp. 515–516.
  104. ^ Buttrey 1967, p. 234.
  105. ^ Wortman 1976, p. 259.
  106. ^ Zamacois 1877, p. 515.
  107. ^ Munro 1918, pp. 30–31.
  108. ^ Weber 1982, p. 167.
  109. ^ Carpenter 2013, pp. 63–64.
  110. ^ Kirkwood 2000, pp. 88–90.
  111. ^ Kenyon 1961, p. 175.
  112. ^ Obregón Quesada 2002, pp. 26–34.
  113. ^ Casa Presidencial c. 2005d.
  114. ^ Casa Presidencial c. 2005e.
  115. ^ Casa Presidencial c. 2005a.
  116. ^ Honduras Educacional 2007.
  117. ^ Benson & Berry 1969, p. 694.
  118. ^ a b Benson & Berry 1969, p. 679.
  119. ^ Benson & Berry 1969, pp. 680–681.
  120. ^ Benson & Berry 1969, p. 684.
  121. ^ Benson & Berry 1969, pp. 696–698.
  122. ^ Benson & Berry 1969, p. 698.
  123. ^ Benson & Berry 1969, p. 689.
  124. ^ Benson & Berry 1969, p. 687.
  125. ^ Benson & Berry 1969, pp. 691–692.
  126. ^ Benson & Berry 1969, p. 691.
  127. ^ Benson & Berry 1969, p. 695.
  128. ^ a b Benson & Berry 1969, pp. 698–699.
  129. ^ Carpenter 2013, pp. 32–33.
  130. ^ Smith 1963, p. 486.
  131. ^ Smith 1963, pp. 504–506.
  132. ^ Wortman 1976, p. 253.
  133. ^ Smith 1963, p. 490.
  134. ^ Smith 1963, p. 497.
  135. ^ Paolera & Taylor 2012, pp. 202 & 209.
  136. ^ a b Smith 1963, p. 498.
  137. ^ Buttrey 1967, pp. 234–235.
  138. ^ Buttrey 1967, pp. 236–237.



  • Aceña, Ramón (1899). Efemérides Militares [Military Ephemeris] (in Spanish). Guatemala: Tipografía Nacional. ISBN 9781246122381. Retrieved 28 January 2023.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Ayala Benítez, Luis Ernesto (2007). La Iglesia y la Independencia Política de Centro América: "El Caso de El Estado de El Salvador" (1808–1833) [The Church and the Political Independence of Central America: "The Case of the State of El Salvador (1808–1833)"]. Ecclesiastical History (in Spanish). Rome, Italy: Gregorian University Press. ISBN 9788878391024. Retrieved 2 July 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Bethell, Leslie (25 October 1991). Central America Since Independence. Cambridge history of Latin America. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521423731. Retrieved 15 July 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Carpenter, Kyle (May 2013). Mexico's Break Up: Mexico City's Misconceptions and Mismanagement of its Peripheries: Central America and Texas, 1821–1836. Arlington, Texas: University of Texas at Arlington. hdl:10106/11781. Retrieved 19 October 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Cruz Pacheco, José Santa & Cadenas y Vicent, Vicente de (1981). "Relacion de los Alcaldes Mayores de San Salvador" [Relation of the Greater Mayors of San Salvador]. Revista Hidalguía Número 166–167. Año 1981 [Hidalguía Magazine Number 166–167. Year 1981]. Hidalguía: La Revista de Genealogía, Nobleza y Armas; Publicación Bimestral (in Spanish). Vol. 166–167. Madrid, Spain: Publicación Bimenstral. pp. 469–480. ISSN 0018-1285. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  • Fernández Guardia, Ricardo (2007). La Independencia: Historia de Costa Rica [The Independence: History of Costa Rica] (in Spanish). San José, Costa Rica: Distance State University. ISBN 9789968314992. Retrieved 2 August 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Foster, Lynn V. (2007). A Brief History of Central America. Brief History (2nd ed.). New York City, New York: Facts on File. ISBN 9780816066711. Retrieved 2 August 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Kirkwood, Burton (2000). The History of Mexico. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313303517. OCLC 1035597669. Retrieved 4 July 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Marure, Alejandro (1895). Efemérides de los Hechos Notables Acaecidos en la República de Centro-América Desde el Año de 1821 Hasta el de 1842 [Ephemeris of the Notable Events that Occurred in the Republic of Central America from the Year 1821 to that of 1842] (in Spanish). Central America: Tipografía Nacional. OCLC 02933391. Retrieved 28 July 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Meléndez Chaverri, Carlos (2000). José Matías Delgado, Prócer Centroamericano [José Matías Delgado, Central American Hero] (in Spanish). Vol. 8 (2nd ed.). San Salvador, El Salvador: Dirección de Publicaciones e Impresos. ISBN 9992300574. OCLC 1035898393. Retrieved 17 July 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Munro, Dana Gardiner (1918). Kinley, David (ed.). The Five Republics of Central America; Their Political and Economic Development and Their Relations with the United States. New York City, New York: Oxford University Press. LCCN 18005317. OCLC 1045598807. Retrieved 2 July 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Obregón Quesada, Clotilde María (2002). Nuestros Gobernantes: Verdades del Pasado para Comprender el Futuro [Our Governors: Truths of the Past to Comprehend the Future] (in Spanish) (2nd ed.). San José, Costa Rica: Editorial Universidad de Costa Rica. ISBN 9789977677019. Retrieved 1 August 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Pollack, Aaron, ed. (2019). Independence in Central America and Chiapas, 1770–1823. Translated by Hancock, Nancy T. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. doi:10.1017/tam.2020.14. ISBN 9780806163925. LCCN 2018034185. S2CID 219006354. Retrieved 2 August 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Sosa, Francisco (1985). Biográfias de Mexicanos Distinguidos: (Doscientas Noventa y Cuatro) [Biographies of Distinguished Mexicans: (Two Thousand Ninety-Four] (in Spanish). Mexico City, Mexico: Editorial Porrua. ISBN 9789684520509. LCCN 86127335. OCLC 1148010867. Retrieved 3 July 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Rodríguez Ordóñez, Jaime Edmundo (1993). La Transición de Colonia a Nación: Nueva España [The Transition from a Colony to a Nation: New Spain] (in Spanish). Vol. 43. Irvine, California: University of California, Irvine. pp. 265–322. ISSN 2448-6531. JSTOR 25138899. Archived from the original on 19 September 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  • Weber, David Joseph (1982). The Mexican Frontier, 1821–1846: The American Southwest Under Mexico. Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 9780826306036. Retrieved 27 October 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • Zamacois, Niceto de (1877). Historia de Méjico desde sus Tiempos más Remotos hasta Nuestros Días [History of Mexico from its most Remote Times until Our Days] (in Spanish) (XI ed.). Barcelona y Mejico. OCLC 654372457. Retrieved 16 July 2022.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Journal articles

  • Benson, Nettie Lee & Berry, Charles R. (November 1969). "The Central American Delegation to the First Constituent Congress of Mexico, 1822–1823". The Hispanic American Historical Review. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 49 (4): 679–702. doi:10.2307/2511161. JSTOR 2511161. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  • Buttrey, Theodore Vern Jr. (1967). "Central America Under the Mexican Empire, 1822–1823". Museum Notes (American Numismatic Society). New York City, New York: American Numismatic Society. 13: 231–250. JSTOR 43574022.
  • Kenyon, Gordon (1 May 1961). "Mexican Influence in Central America, 1821–1823". Hispanic American Historical Review. Duke University Press. 41 (2): 175–205. doi:10.1215/00182168-41.2.175. JSTOR 2510200. Retrieved 3 July 2022.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  • López Velásquez, Eugenia (1998). "La Independencia del Imperio del Septentrión y la Soberania Salvadoreña" [The Independence of the Northern Empire and Salvadoran Sovereignty] (PDF). Cultura (in Spanish). San Salvador, El Salvador: Dirección de Publicaciones e Impresos (82): 5–32. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 February 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  • Paolera, Gerardo della & Taylor, Adam M. (2012). "Sovereign Debt in Latin America, 1820–1913" (PDF). Revista de Historia Economica – Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History. Cambridge, Massachusetts: National Bureau of Economic Research. 31 (2): 173–217. doi:10.1017/S0212610913000128. hdl:10016/27361. S2CID 45141534. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 August 2021. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  • Smith, Robert S. (1 November 1963). "Financing the Central American Federation, 1821–1838". Hispanic American Historical Review. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 43 (4): 483–510. doi:10.1215/00182168-43.4.483. JSTOR 2509898. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  • Stanger, Francis Merriman (February 1932). "National Origins in Central America". The Hispanic American Historical Review. Duke University Press. 12 (1): 18–45. doi:10.2307/2506428. JSTOR 2506428.
  • Wortman, Miles (1976). "Legitimidad Política y Regionalismo – El Imperio Mexicano y Centroamérica" [Political Legitimacy and Regionalism – The Mexican Empire and Central America] (PDF). Historia Mexicana (in Spanish). Geneseo, New York: El Colegio de México. 26 (2): 238–262. JSTOR 25135551. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  • Zoradia Vázquez, Josefina (1997). Rodríguez Ordóñez, Jaime Edmundo; Vincent, Kathryn (eds.). "The Colonization and Loss of Texas: A Mexican Perspective". Myths, Misdeeds, and Misunderstandings: The Roots of Conflict in U.S.–Mexican Relations. Latin American Silhouettes. Rowman & Littlefield: 47–78. ISBN 9780842026628. ISSN 1043-657X. Retrieved 3 September 2022.

Web sources

  • Bolaños Geyer, Enrique (2018). "La Independencia de Nicaragua" [The Independence of Nicaragua]. enriquebolanos.org (in Spanish). Nicaragua: Enrique Bolaños Biblioteca. Archived from the original on 31 March 2022. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  • "Juan Nepomuceno Fernández Lindo y Zelaya". Honduras Educacional (in Spanish). 2007. Archived from the original on 3 April 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  • "Presidentes de El Salvador – Don Mariano Prado" [Presidents of El Salvador – Don Mariano Prado]. Casa Presidencial (in Spanish). El Salvador: Government of El Salvador. c. 2005a. Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  • "Presidentes de El Salvador – General Felipe Codallos" [Presidents of El Salvador – General Felipe Codallos]. Casa Presidencial (in Spanish). El Salvador: Government of El Salvador. c. 2005b. Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  • "Presidentes de El Salvador – Junta Consultiva" [Presidents of El Salvador – Consultive Junta]. Casa Presidencial (in Spanish). El Salvador: Government of El Salvador. c. 2005c. Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  • "Presidentes de El Salvador – Presbítero y Doctor José Matías Delgado" [Presidents of El Salvador – Presbyter and Doctor José Matías Delgado]. Casa Presidencial (in Spanish). El Salvador: Government of El Salvador. c. 2005d. Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  • "Presidentes de El Salvador – Brigadier Vicente Filísola" [Presidents of El Salvador – Brigadier Vicente Filísola]. Casa Presidencial (in Spanish). El Salvador: Government of El Salvador. c. 2005e. Archived from the original on 28 February 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  • "Programa de 25 Puntos" [25 Point Program]. nacionalistas.mx (in Spanish). Mexico: Nationalist Front of Mexico. 18 September 2017. Archived from the original on 4 November 2022. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  • Trabanino, José Guillermo; Herrerte, Alberto (June 1956). "Documentos de la Unión Centroamericana" [Documents of the Central American Union] (PDF). sice.oas.org (in Spanish). San Salvador, El Salvador: Organization of Central American States. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 September 2021. Retrieved 3 July 2022.

Further reading

External links

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