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History of Costa Rica

History of Costa Rica

The native Mesoamerican peoples of what is now Costa Rica were conquered by Spain in the 16th century. Costa Rica was then the southern-most province in the Spanish colony of New Spain. The provincial capital was in Cartago.

After a brief time in the Mexican Empire of Augustin de Iturbide (see: History of Mexico) Costa Rica became a state in the United States of Central America (see: History of Central America) from 1823 to 1839. In 1824 the capital was moved to San Josť. From the 1840s on Costa Rica was an independent nation.

Costa Rica is a Central American success story: since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred its democratic development. Although still a largely agricultural country, it has achieved a relatively high standard of living. Land ownership is widespread. Tourism is a rapidly expanding industry.

See also : Costa Rica

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