Francisco Morazán and the Liberal Uprising 1821: Central America declaration of independence 1822: Annexed to Mexico (except ES which had to be “convinced” by Mexican troops 1823: Iturbide abdicates – Absoute declaration of CA independence –United Provinces of CA Liberal/Conservative struggle: Morazán leads libs –Strong vision of united CA
19 th Century in Honduras 1850’s: Honduras is relatively unimportant Some silver mines discovered in southern/central Honduras shift the center of gravity and justify Tegucigalpa as the capital. In general, no great landed wealth blurs lines of demarcation between Conservatives and Liberals
Mild transitions between cons/libs—ie. Lindo allowed free election in 1852
President Marco Aurelio Soto 1876: Typical “republican dictator” but with a twist: –sought to establish a reform policy similar to that in Costa Rica. –envisioned a system of smallholdings that encourage direct peasant participation in agro-export production. –peasants were encouraged to maintain their traditional land systems this agrarian reform was the least destructive to the communal and ejidal land systems –established a structure of labor relations that was non- coercive –eschewed the use of force to regulate labor.
Banana Republic United Fruit Co –1871: Henry Meiggs/Minor Keith go into Costa Rica; create Tropical Trading and Transport Co. complete RR by 1890 –1885: Boston Fruit Co emerges –1899: Two co’s merge to form United Fruit Antilles: fruit and sugar CA: principally bananas –Northern Honduran coast San Pedro Sula Never connected to Tegucigalpa
UFCO competitors Vacarro Brothers –From New Orleans to La Ceiba in 1899 –Eventually merged with comp to form Standard Fruit Co. Zemurray Cuyamel Fruit Co. 1911 UFCO financed and partnered with both these cos. –Friendly relations, cooperation in marketing 1929: UFCO buys Cuyamel for $32 million, Zemurray becomes Chairman of UFCO board
“Export Enclave” Isolated development area, but still powerful relative to domestic politics –UFCO and Cuyamel supported their own presidential candidates US government role –Removed president in 1919 when he attempted to tax UFCO – ruled much of Honduras as a colony invaded the country at least five times between 1899 and 1925, often during an election. –remained in place until the early 1930’s
UFCO impacts Honduras orientation to north and trans Caribbean trade: closer to New Orleans than to Tegucigalpa –RR in north –Inaugurated radio communications between CA and US in 1910 Tropical Radio Telegraph Co in 1913 Medical influence: –Addressed yellow fever, malaria, tropical diseases with clinics, research and cooperation with international health agencies –Plant diseases (monocropping) Dominated the fruit market –Plantations/Controlled prices even for small producers Changed racial composition in N and E Honduras Contributed to weak political institutional structure
Honduras 20 th century 1900-1930: 18 different presidents –Patronage, chaos, US influence –Result: no oligarchy –But political control=economic power, not the reverse Carias: depression dictator but not as ruthless as counterparts in Guatemala and El Salvador (Nicaragua is occupied by US) –1923 on and off through 1948 –Supported coffee development in NW and in SW (Honduras finally moves into the coffee export regime although bananas are always #1) Role of military, violence not as strong as in Guat/ES/Nic –WHY? BECAUSE THE STATE DOES NOT CONTROL LABOR
Transition to democracy? 1948-1957: constant struggle between conservative and progressive liberals and military –Coffee cultivation dramatically expanded –Galvez supports overthrow of Arbenz in Guatemala –Major banana worker strikes in N Honduras won collective bargaining/1955 labor code Wage increase 1957: first fair election since 1923: Villeda
Modern leadership Villeda: 1957-1963 –Moderate social revolution –Collaborated with JFK/Alliance for Progress –Challenged ruling class/Cuban revolution makes them even more nervous 1963: military exiles Villeda, installs Lopez Arellano (Carias faction) 2 separate periods –Land reform ceases Increasing popular activism and strikes –Salvadoran immigrants compete for jobs/land –1969: Futbol (soccer) war –1975: Land reform is back on the agenda United Brands scandal: ousted
Reformist outcomes of the 1970’s Industrial growth Land reform benefits 10% Social security benefits 30% of workers Health and education Closer to Costa Rica than Guatemala But military is still strongly in control
Honduras in the 1980’s Heavy buildup of Contra activity on southern (Nicaraguan) border and training of ES gov forces in West –US built bases –John Negroponte is ambassador –Pres. Denies, but US vastly increases aid Other border tensions –Nicaraguan refugees –Fighting in El Salvador spills over through refugees and guerilla raining Gov controlled during Suarez admin by Gen. Alvarez Martinez –Linked to Sun Myun Moon, supported Reagan's opposition to Liberation Theologists
1990’s Economic and political upheaval –Per capita income in 1990 $534 $205 –Major struggle between banana workers and Chiquita –Land invasions –US leaves Indigenous groups become politically active in the West
Current Agriculture continues to be a significant part of the economy, despite recent declines in its proportional contribution to GDP, which now amounts to 18% of the total. –subsistence sector is substantial –42% of the economically active population works in the agricultural sector –agriculture contributes more than 70% to export earnings up to 85% of the rural population in Honduras lives in poverty or dire poverty. HDI is.667 (v. ES.719, Guat..652, Nic.643, CR.832), many of the departments sustain HDIs from.37 to.41.