Final: How Costa Rica saved all of Central America from becoming enslaveds

This discussion topic submitted by Lisa Tirmenstein ( tirmenlb@miamioh.edu) at 12:13 am on 5/16/00. Additions were last made on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.

Costa Rica has enjoyed a peaceful history, but in 1856 they waged a war on William Walker. Walker was American filibuster who wanted to carry out the manifest destiny of the United States single handedly, without the approval of the government. He unsuccessfully attempted to take Sonora and Lower California, but was easily defeated by Mexico and driven out. When the Democrats of Nicaragu asked for aid, Walker and his men went down, took over the country, and legalized slavery. He then planned to take over all of Central America, enslave its people, and, get it annexed as part of the US. President Mora of Costa Rica declared war on the filibusters and rallied his people to stop Walker if they were to save themseleves, their wives and their children from slavery. The Costa Rican's marched into the unoccupied city Rivas, Nicaragua. Walker then marched into the heavily occupied city and suffered severe losses and retreated. Costa Rican farmer Juan Santamaria was the hero of the battle and on April 11 Costa Ricans celebrate his noble death. The celbration of Juan Santamaria is very important for the national pride of Costa Rica, a country with little history of fighting and war.

Walker is forgotten in American History, but he enjoyed much fame and positive press at home during his invasion of Central America. Today, however, he is not a proud figure in United States history because of his extreme racism and desire to anniliate the culture of Central America for the gain of the United States.

Outline:
Walker's beginnings in Mexico
Walker's appearance in Nicaragua
-"unifying" the country
Costa Rica's Fear
-enslavement of its people
-the possability of a canal through disputed lands of San Juan River
Mora Declares war on Walker
-Guanacaste (possible canal area of San Juan River)
-Rivas (city important in controling the possible canal area)
Costa Rican Nationalism
-Juan Santamaria, forgotten for nine years and then remembered.

sources:
Bird, Leonard. Costa Rica The Unarmed Democracy. Sheppard Press, London. 1984

Greene, Laurence. The Filibuster. Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis. 1937.

Keller, Nancy, Rob Rachowieckim, Barbara Reioux. Central America on a Shoestring. lonely planet publications, australia. 1997.

Rosengarten, Frederic Jr. Freebooters Must Die! Haverford House Publishers, Wayne, Pennsylvania. 1976.

Scroggs, William O. Filibusters and Financiers: The story of William Walker and his Associates. The Macmillan Company, New York. 1916.

For Further Info on this Topic, Check out this WWW Site: http://www.infocostarica.com/history/1856.html.
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