A SHORT HISTORY OF HONDURAS

By Tim Lambert

Early Honduras

For thousands of years indigenous peoples lived in Honduras. The greatest of them were the Mayans. However the first European to reach Honduras was Christopher Columbus on 30 July 1502. Columbus later sailed as far south as Panama. The area became known as Honduras from the Spanish word for depths. The Spanish conquest of Honduras began in 1523. The native people resisted bitterly but by 1539 the Spanish were in control. The native people were forced to work for the Spanish but their numbers fell drastically partly due to European diseases to which they had no resistance such as smallpox. In the early 19th century the Spanish colonies in central and South America gained their independence. Honduras became independent from Spain in 1821 but in 1822 it was joined with Mexico and 4 other nations, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. However the 5 central American nations broke away from Mexico in 1823. Honduras finally became completely independent in 1839.

Modern Honduras

In the early 20th century exports of bananas came to dominate the economy of Honduras. In General Tiburcio Carías Andino was elected president of Honduras. He made himself a virtual dictator and he held onto power till 1949. General Oswaldo López seized power in Honduras in 1963. Then in 1969 Honduras fought a war with El Salvador. Lopez resigned in 1974 but civilian rule was not restored until 1981. Unfortunately Honduras suffered badly when Hurricane Mitch struck in 1998. However the country slowly recovered. Nevertheless Honduras remains a very poor country. Today the population of Honduras is 8.4 million.

A brief history of Nicaragua

A brief history of Costa Rica

A brief history of Guatemala

A brief history of Mexico

A brief history of Panama

Country of Honduras