Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Edward O. Elsasser

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Sorenson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The separation of Central America from Spain in 1321 was, unlike other similar occurrences, a peaceful event. This thesis, after presenting an historical overview, narrates certain happenings in the area during the thirteen years prior to the gaining of political independence. Commencing with the Napoleonic invasion of Spain in 1808, this thesis places special emphasis on political changes in the Spanish Empire which were brought about through the adoption of a liberal Spanish constitution in 1812. In Central America the new measures were opposed by a recently appointed Captain-General who effectively frustrated any creole ambitions towards having an enlightened government. Eventually, however, the re-promulgation of the 1812 Constitution and the presence of a more pliable Captain-General did rekindle hopes for a better and more responsive government. Nevertheless, independence was declared once the deteriorating Mexican situation made such an act inevitable.