Central America is an extraordinarily beautiful part of the world, with sweeping panoramic vistas of tropical vegetation, towering mountains, and striking ethnic and racial diversity. This tropical paradise has a history as diverse as its people and cultures. Starting with the Maya in ancient Mesoamerica, the History of Central America continues with European contact and the subsequent subjugation of the people of Central America. Spaniards established and ruled their Central American empire during the Colonial period. This led to the National period, independence movements, and the subsequent development of independent, sovereign Central American nations. By the mid-20th century, the economies, governments, and populations of the seven republics had evolved so distinctly that each has its own unique set of challenges to deal with today. Pearcy examines the development of each individual nation and the regional similarities that propelled or constrained that development.
Ideal for students and general readers, the History of Central America is part of Greenwood's Histories of Modern Nations series. With over 30 nations' histories in print, these books provide readers with a concise, up-to-date history of countries throughout the world. Reference features include a biographical section highlighting famous figures in Central American history, a timeline of important historical events, a glossary of terms, and a bibliographical essay with suggestions for further reading.
About the Author
Thomas L. Pearcy is Associate Professor of History at Slippery Rock University.
Table of Contents
Timeline of Events in Central American History
An Introduction to the Seven Nations of Central America
Early Roots of Modern Central America
From United Provices to Independent States: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua
Panama: From Columbian Provice to Occupied State
The United States and Central America
The Cold War I: Communism and "Freedom Fighters"
Cold War II: Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama
Central America in the Twenty-First Century
Notable People in the History of Central America
Glossary of Foreign Language Words and Key Concepts
Central American History: A Bibliographic Essay
What People are Saying About This
"Professor Thomas Pearcy's excellent history of Central America is unusual in its consideration of places that previous historians of Central America have often overlooked, including Belize and Panama. This expanded scope enables Pearcy to make provocative comparisons that challenge conventional understandings of the Cold War and other pivotal moments in the region's history. This engagingly written book will be of great interest to anyone who seeks an insightful introduction to a region whose history has long been intertwined with that of the United States."
"Tom Pearcy's History of Central America introduces the reader to key issues in the study of the region, offering an illuminating counterpoint to some conventional wisdom. He achieves this through a concise, balanced and intelligent approach that takes into consideration the particular conditions of every country, the historical trends shared by this heterogeneous territory as a whole, and the influence of its relationship with the United States of America. This is a smooth and engaging brief narrative not only of the five countries usually included in this kind of study, but also of Belize and Panama."
"Tom Pearcy has written a highly readable and geographically complete introduction to the history of Central America, with an emphasis on social, political and economic developments in the region from the colonial period to the present. Additionally, Pearcy outlines the role of the United States in Central America, as well as the Cold War. This book is ideal for high school students and college freshmen."