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Economic Development of Central America Econ. 4200 - Spring 2004 – Dr. Taylor - page 2 / 153

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Centroamérica, América Central, and Middle America

Strictly speaking, Central America (or, centroamérica) comprises five countries: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

These five countries (plus the area that now constitutes Belize) span the territory that was part of the Vice Royalty of New Spain, which also included Mexico and part of present day United States.

After Mexico declared independence from Spain, the landed class in Central America annexed themselves to Mexico in 1822, but broke their tie a year later to become the United Provinces of Central America.

Panama had always been part of a different vice-royalty – first the Vice Royalty of Peru, then of Nueva Granada (centered in Venezuela). As is commonly known, Panama had been part of the country of Colombia, when the United States support independence forces at the turn of the last century in anticipation of a transoceanic canal.

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