• Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


There is evidence of settlement by Paleo-Indians in the region around 4000 BC. Spanish explorers, led by Gil Gonzalez de Ávila, arrived in the west of present-day Nicaragua in 1523. They made contact with the Niquirano and the Chorotegano tribes, thought to have been linked to the Aztec civilization in Mexico, and the Chontal, who shared cultural traits with the Honduran Maya people. Government up to this point was through tribal monarchies and each grouping had distinct customs. In 1524 Francisco Hernández de Córdoba established Granada on Lake Nicaragua and León on Lake Managua. Many indigenous Indians were killed, died of introduced diseases or were enslaved. Estimates suggest the population fell from lm. to less than 100,000.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Further reading

  1. Baracco, Luciano, Nicaragua: The Imagining of a NationFrom Nineteenth-Century Liberals to Twentieth-Century Sandinistas. 2005Google Scholar
  2. Cruz, Consuelo, Political Culture and Institutional Development in Costa Rica and Nicaragua: World-making in the Tropics. 2005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dijkstra, G., Industrialization in Sandinista Nicaragua: Policy and Party in a Mixed Economy. 1992Google Scholar
  4. Horton, Lynn, Peasants in Arms: War and Peace in the Mountains of Nicaragua, 1979–94. 1998Google Scholar
  5. Jones, Adam, Beyond the Barricades: Nicaragua and the Struggle for the Sandinista Press, 1979–1998. 2002Google Scholar
  6. National Statistical Office: Dirección General de Estadistica y Censos, Managua.Google Scholar
  7. Website (Spanish only):

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations