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Nicaragua History Timeline

Nicaragua's Information

Flag of Nicaragua
Land Area 119,990 km2
Water Area 10,380 km2
Total Area 130,370km2 (#96)
Population 5,966,798 (#110)
Population Density 49.73/km2
Government Type Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $33.55 Billion
GDP Per Capita $5,300
Currency Cordoba (NIO)
More Information Nicaragua
Largest Cities
  • (1522) Spanish explorer Gil de Avila named Nicaragua after a local Indian chief, Nicarao
  • (1523-24) Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba completed conquest of Nicaragua
  • (1524) Hernandez de Cordoba founded Granada and Leon in Nicaragua
  • (1806) the Spanish king set boundaries between Honduras and Nicaragua
  • (1821) Nicaragua became independent; incorporated into the Mexican empire
  • (1823) United Provinces of Central America (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador) gained independence from Mexico
  • (1838) Nicaragua fully independent
  • (1855) William Walker, US adventurer, stormed into Granada, Nicaragua
  • (1856) William Walker declared himself president of Nicaragua; Battle of San Jacinto, Nicaragua defeated invaders
  • (1860) William Walker, conqueror of Nicaragua, convicted and executed by the government of Honduras; British cede control over the country's Caribbean coast to Nicaragua
  • (1885) Managua, Nicaragua leveled by earthquake
  • (1893) General Jose Santos Zelaya, liberal, seized power and established dictatorship
  • (1896)US Marines landed in Nicaragua to protect US citizens in the wake of a revolution
  • (1900) US and Great Britain signed the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, gave US rights to build a canal in Nicaragua, but not to fortify it
  • (1902) French offered to sell their Nicaraguan Canal rights to US
  • (1909) US troops helped depose president Zelaya
  • (1912-25) US established military bases
  • (1927-33) guerrillas led by Augusto Cesar Sandino campaigned against US military presence
  • (1934) Sandino assassinated on orders of the National Guard commander, General Anastasio Somoza Garcia
  • (1937) General Somoza elected president, started a 44-year-long dictatorship by his family
  • (1945) Nicaragua first nation to formally accepted the United Nations Charter
  • (1949) Nicaragua and Costa Rica signed friendship treaty, ended hostilities over their borders
  • (1956) Anastasio Somoza assassinated, succeeded by his son Luis Somoza Debayle
  • (1960) Central American Common Market set up by a treaty between El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and later Costa Rica
  • (1961) Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) founded
  • (1967) Luis Somoza died, succeeded as president by his brother, Anastasio Somoza; Anastasio, last Somoza ruler
  • (1972) Managua, Nicaragua devastated by an 6.25 earthquake, killed between 5,000-10,000
  • (1978) Assassination of opposition Democratic Liberation Union leader, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, triggered general strike; FSLN united in quest to oust Somoza
  • (1979) President Somoza resigned; FSLN military offensive ended with ousted Somoza
  • (1980) Former Nicaraguan President, Anastasio Somoza, assassinated in Paraguay; FSLN government led by Daniel Ortega nationalized, turned lands held by Somoza family into cooperatives
  • (1984) Daniel Ortega elected president; US mined Nicaraguan harbors, actions condemned by World Court

1900s continued

  • (1985) US President Reagan ordered embargo against Nicaragua; US House of Representatives approved $27 million in aid to Nicaraguan contras; US House of Representatives voted to limit use of combat troops in Nicaragua
  • (1987-88) Nicaraguan leadership signed peace agreement, talks held with Contra
  • (1990) US backed center-right National Opposition Union defeated FSLN in elections; Violeta Chamorro president; trade sanctions lifted against Nicaragua by President Bush
  • (1992) Earthquake rendered 16,000 homeless
  • (1996) Arnoldo Aleman elected president
  • (1998) Hurricane Mitch caused massive devastation, more than 3,000 killed, hundreds of thousands left homeless; Nicaragua filed large damage suit against all major US tobacco companies
  • (2000) FSLN won Managua municipal elections
  • (2001) Enrique Bolanos defeated former Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua's presidential election
  • (2002) Opposition Sandinista party re-elected Daniel Ortega; former President Arnoldo Aleman charged with money laundering, embezzlement during term in office
  • (2003) Ex-president, Arnoldo Aleman, found guilty of fraud, jailed for 20 years
  • (2004) World Bank eliminated 80% of Nicaragua's debt; agreement made with Russia to write-off Nicaragua's multi-billion-dollar Soviet-era debt
  • (2005) Seven Central American nations (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama) agreed to create rapid-response force to combat drug trafficking, terrorism, other regional threats; cost of living, rising fuel prices triggered weeks of street protests; government and opposition alliance embroiled in power struggle
  • (2006) Free trade agreement with US in effect; Nicaragua's Congress approved Central American Free Trade Agreement; President Bolanos unveiled plans to build new ship canal linking Atlantic, Pacific Oceans; Nicaragua's congress voted to ban all abortions; ex-president Daniel Ortega returned to power in elections
  • (2007) International Court of Justice in The Hague settled long-running territorial dispute between Honduras, Nicaragua
  • (2009) President Ortega announced plans to change constitution to allow him to stand another term in office; UN's highest court's judgment ended four-year legal battle: entire San Juan River belonged to Nicaragua up to Costa Rican bank, Costa Rican ships had freedom of navigation for commerce
This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.

Nicaragua Trivia

What Languages are Spoken in Nicaragua?

Spanish is the official language of Nicaragua, although English is also an important language spoken in the nation. The country has several indigenous languages, many of which have become extinct, while others are spoken by small groups of Nicaraguans.

What Languages are Spoken in Nicaragua?

What Were the Contras of Nicaragua?

The Nicaragua contras were right-wing rebels who opposed the socialist "Sandinista" government that was active in Nicaragua from 1979 until 1990. They included the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense or FDN). I

Who Were The Contras Of Nicaragua?

What type of government does Nicaragua have?

In Nicaragua, a presidential republic, the President of the country leads the government and also is the head of state. The National Assembly and the government exercises legislative power. The executive power is vested in the government. An independent judiciary handles the federal judicial functions.

What Type Of Government Does Nicaragua Have?

What Are The Ecological Regions Of Nicaragua?

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forest, tropical and subtropical coniferous forests, and mangroves are the terrestrial ecoregions of Nicaragua. Tropical Northwestern Atlantic and tropical East Pacific are the country’s marine ecoregions. Tropical and subtropical coastal rivers is the freshwater ecoregion of Nicaragua.

Ecological Regions Of Nicaragua

Where Is The Leon Cathedral?

The Leon Cathedral, officially the Santa María de León Cathedral, is located in León, Spain. It was built in the 13th century in the place of ancient Roman baths. Today, the cathedral is a major tourist attraction in the country.

León Cathedral: Notable Buildings of the World

Where Are The Ruins of León Viejo Located?

The Ruins of León Viejo located in Nicaragua was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. It is one of the oldest Spanish colonial settlements in the Americas.

León Viejo Ruins, Nicaragua

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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