Guatemala Recent History
Conquered Mexico, Hernán Cortés (December 1523) sent Peter of Alvarado to conquer the Guatemalan territory. The Alvarado found resistance especially in the Quiche peoples, the oldest residents of the region who had been overwhelmed by the Cakchiquel. These, who dominated the region when the Spaniards arrived, were instead hospitable to foreigners. With the resistance of the Quichés defeated, Alvarado was therefore able to claim to be the master of the territory. He then founded a city in Iximché or Tecpán-Quauhtemalȧn (hence the name “Guatemala”) which in the deed of foundation (25 July 1524) was called Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala. When Alvarado, first governor, died (4 July 1541), he was succeeded by his widow, Beatrice de la Cueva, and therefore, Beatrice also died, her brother Francesco and bishop Marroquín (September 17, 1541) who rebuilt the city destroyed by a flood. In 1542 the council accepted as governor Alonso de Maldonado, designated by the viceroy of Mexico. In the same year the new laws were promulgated, with which the creation of an Audienza was ordered which was to be established within the borders of Guatemala and Nicaragua; and that its first president was Governor Maldonado. In 1548 the government was entrusted to A. López de Cerrato, who (1549) declared most of the slaves free. He was replaced by Antonio Rodríguez de Quesada (1554); and, subsequently, by Giovanni Núñez de Landecho, who was dismissed and replaced by Francesco Briseño. In 1570 Antonio González took possession of the government, in 1573 Pietro di Villalobos; in 1578 García de Valverde, under whose government the junta promoted the foundation of the University. In 1588 Peter Mayén de la Rueda was appointed governor, who began the construction of the port of lztapa. He was succeeded, among the most notable, by Alonso Criado of Castilla (1598), under whose government the port of Santo Tomás was founded and the peaceful conquest of Taguzgalpa and Tologalpa began; D. Antonio Peraza, count of Gomera (1611), who founded the city of this name; Alvaro de Quiñones y Osorio (1634) who founded the city of S. Vicente de Lorenzana; Martino C: de Mencos (1659), under whose government the printing press was introduced to Guatemala by Bishop F. Payo Enríquez de Ribera, who was later archbishop and viceroy of Mexico (1660). They were followed among others by Sebastiano Alvárez (1667) who made an expedition to Nicaragua; Toribio J. de Cosío (1706), who subdued the Zendal Indians; D. Francesco Rodríguez de Rivas (1712); Pietro A. Echevers (1724); D. Pietro de Salazar (1765) who proceeded to expel the Jesuits; D. Martino de Mayorga (1773), during the government of which the capital, destroyed by an earthquake, was transported to the hamlet of la Ermita; Giuseppe Tomás (1794), who gave a strong impulse to the improvement of the new city; D. Carlo di Urrutia (1818) who gave his mandate on 7 March 1821 to Brigadier D. Gabino Gainza. Giuseppe Tomás (1794), who gave a strong impulse to the improvement of the new city; D. Carlo di Urrutia (1818) who gave his mandate on 7 March 1821 to Brigadier D. Gabino Gainza. Giuseppe Tomás (1794), who gave a strong impulse to the improvement of the new city; D. Carlo di Urrutia (1818) who gave his mandate on 7 March 1821 to Brigadier D. Gabino Gainza.
According to Beautypically.com, the example of Mexican independence prompted the patriots of Guatemala to ask Gainza for a meeting which was convened on September 15, 1821. In it it was decided to proclaim the independence of the state, to convene a congress and to appoint a provisional junta. On the same day, the Act of Independence was drafted by José Cecilio del Valle, which was sent to all the provinces together with the convocation for the Constituent Assembly; but before this was reunited, the junta called a plebiscite, which resulted in the annexation of Guatemala to the Mexican Empire on January 5, 1822. The province of El Salvador which had opposed it was occupied by the Mexican general Vincenzo Filísola. But having left Filísola for Mexico, in the grip of anarchy, he met on 23 June 1823, the National Constituent Congress of Central America; and on 1 July the independence – vis-à-vis Spain as well as Mexico – of the new state was proclaimed, known as the “United Provinces of Central America”. The new state, organized as a federal republic, included Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador – each of which in turn was constituted into a state.
Guatemala was constituted as such on 11 October 1825, appointing its constitutional head Giovanni Barrundia on 12 October; on November 28 the constitution was promulgated. But the fact that the city of Guatemala was at one time the seat of the president of the federation of the United Provinces, and the seat of the particular government of the state of Guatemala, that a federal district was not established and that therefore two authorities with partially conflicting attributions coexisted in the same city, soon aroused questions between the federal president Arce and Barrundia, which ended with the latter’s imprisonment. And, shortly thereafter, the characteristic phenomenon of a large part of Latin America also began in the United Provinces of Central America: caudillos, the narrowing of political life to personal competition, the succession of dictatorship and revolutions. It began Francesco Morazán, who having become master of El Salvador and Honduras, marched against Guatemala, conquering the capital on April 12, 1829. Then, against Morazán, liberal, federalist, the Jambo rose Rafael Carrera (v.), Who had the support of the conservatives, disgusted by the liberal reforms promoted in the state of Guatemala by its new head, Mariano Gálvez. Carrera took possession of Guatemala (January 31, 1838). Morazán had to come to terms. Then, on April 13, 1839, Carrera entered Guatemala again and placed Mariano Rivera Paz at the head of power, who declared the federal pact broken. The district of los Altos declared itself independent; however Carrera marched against Quezaltenango and forced this province to reunite with the state of Guatemala. From 1841 to 1844 Rivera Paz and Venanzio López took turns as presidency until Carrera himself was elected, who issued a decree on March 21, 1847 according to which the republic of Guatemala declared itself totally independent from the other states of Central America. On August 15, 1848, Carrera resigned and was replaced by Giovanni A. Martínez, but in 1851 Carrera returned to power. Carrera expelled the president of Honduras Trinidad Cabañas and, after declaring war on this country, took possession of the castle of Omoa on August 24, 1853; the following year he was appointed president for life of the republic of Guatemala and his power became absolute and dictatorial. He brought relief to Nicaragua against the invasion of the North American William Walker, declared the relations of Guatemala with El Salvador broken (1862), which produced a war that ended with the triumph of Carrera. Carrera died in 1865, on 14 April 1865 Vicente Cerna was appointed president, who was re-elected at the end of his term in 1869. Shortly after a revolt broke out, at the head of which were General Miguel García Granados and Colonel Justo Rufino Barrios, united by the act of Patzicia (from the place where it was sanctioned) by which Miguel García Granados was appointed provisional president.
After defeating Cerna, the revolutionaries entered the capital on June 30, 1871. When the Constituent Assembly was convened, Barrios was elected effective president (May 8, 1873) who favored education, agriculture, commerce and public works, and, in political field, favored the development of liberal and democratic institutions. The Barrios remained in power until 1885; and he was succeeded as president by Emanuele Lisandro Barillas who soon (1887) erected himself as dictator, although he soon afterwards re-established constitutional order again. Thethein fact, in March 1888 he called the congress. Barillas proposed to the sister republics the project of a single diplomatic representation and, after the delegates of all had gathered in Tegucigalpa on October 15, 1889, the (Pacto de Unión provisional de los Estados de Centro America) was adopted. After Barillas’ mandate was elected president, in 1892, José M. Reina Barrios, who died assassinated in 1898. Manuel Estrada Cabrera succeeded him. After dominating the political and economic life of his country for many years, he was overthrown on April 14, 1920 by a revolt that led to his incarceration. He was succeeded by Carlo Herrera, during the presidency of which, on September 15, 1921, the Republic of Central America was formed, consisting of Guatemala, Honduras and S. Salvador. Herrera was replaced on March 15, 1922 by General José M. Orellana, who broke away from the union; in 1928 General Lazzaro Chacón was elected president, who resigned in 1930, assuming the presidency of the Minister of War, D. Baudillo Palma. He was overthrown by a military coup that gave the job to General Orellana, whose passage to power was very fleeting, as the United States government refused to recognize it. Finally, on January 3, 1931, the national assembly elected José M. Reina Andrade as president.