El Salvador history
El Salvador History
El Salvador has one of the most fascinating histories of Central America, from the Pipil people to the current Mestizos.
Before Spanish Contact
El Salvador was originally inhabited by the Pipil, a Nahuatl-speaking people, and other Native American peoples such as the Lenca. As well as these peoples, there was a Mayan civilization living there, as shown by the multiple Mayan-influenced ruins throughout El Salvador. In 1520, the population had fallen by 80% due to a smallpox epidemic.
After Spanish Contact
In 1522, Andres Nino, a Spanish admiral, took an expedition to an island he named Petronila and Juiquilisco Bay, the first Spanish connection to what is now known as Salvadoran territory.
At some point between 1524 and 1525, two other conquistadors, Pedro and his brother Gonzalo de Alvarado, discovered what is now El Salvador. (Shown above is Gonzalo.) The two were disappointed that they didn’t find the same abundant gold and jewels they had in Mexico and Guatemala, but recognized the lushness of the volcanic soil. As the brothers began their conquest, the first battle was a victory for them, but the Lenca and Pipil people defeated them and kept them at bay for ten more years, during which Pedro de Alvarado was crippled for life.
Part of Various Collections of Countries
For many years, El Salvador was simply part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala (also known as the Kingdom of Guatemala), a province created in 1609. Finally, in 1811, a rebellion against Spain was started; however, the Kingdom of Guatemala was only freed from the influence of Spain in 1821. It was also part of the Central American Federation, gaining independence in 1839 after a long battle in which thousands of lives were lost.
El Salvador’s Forming
During the nineteenth and twentieth century, El Salvador was passed, or yanked, from hand to hand of belligerent presidents. The only consistent part of life was that El Salvador’s main crop was coffee, and how well the country did depended on the coffee market. It took many years for El Salvador to become what it is now.
El Salvador’s Flag’s History
The Salvadoran flag consists of one white stripe between two blue ones, with the Salvadoran coat of arms perching on top of the white stripe. The blue stripes represent the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, respectively, and the white stripe symbolizes peace. The coat of arms is based on the one of the former United Provinces of Central America, and features a triangle, which represents equality and the three branches of its government, and five volcanoes which emblematize the five former members of the federation.
El Salvador Government
El Salvador’s government is based around its Constitution. Like our government, it has three branches, the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The Executive Branch is led by their president, who is elected by popular vote and remains in office for five years, but cannot be elected to a second term. The Legislative branch is the unicameral (consisting of only one house) Legislative Assembly, consisting of 84 deputies. The Legislative Assembly selects 15 judges to serve in the Supreme Court.
El Salvador Currency
Until 2001, the colon was El Salvador’s official currency; since 2001, their official currency has been the U.S. dollar. More history