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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Between 1808 and 1840, the Central American territory lived through a period of political instability, marked initially by the impacts of local revolts and the implementation of the Cádiz Constitution of 1812. With political independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Mexican Empire in 1823, the continued implementation of reformist policies established in the late eighteenth century and under Cádiz liberalism would be undertaken in a context of war. Efforts to create a Central American Federation (1823–1838) failed almost from the start, as conflicts arose among those who favored a very loose confederation and those who sought more centralization of power. Federal, state, and municipal governments acted in a context of pressures from dominant and subaltern groups, the latter empowered by their participation in war. Dominant local actors chose to engage with states to further their interests, and these would be solidified, even as the Federation was largely abandoned.

Keywords: independence, Federation, war, liberalism, state-building, unrest, reforms

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