Español

A Short History of Honduras

You are here: Countries / Honduras



The Mayan civilization is an important part of the multi-ethnic pre-history of Honduras until its decline in the 19th century. After becoming part of Spain’s vast empire in the kingdom of Guatemala, Honduras had its first city-capitals of Trujillo and Gracias. After three centuries under Spanish conquest, the country was granted its independence on September 15, 1821. Looking back after that independence, the Hondurans always considered mining as an important factor under Spanish rule until 1954 when mining operation was shut down, seven years after the country joined the Allied Nations upon the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

In 1957, a military coup forced the election for a constituent assembly, which appointed a president of the country and turned itself as a legislature for six years. In 1963, another military coup deposed the President, setting up a military rule up to 1970. In 1975, however, the military rule was brought down by charges of corruption and scandals. From 1975 to 1982, two military generals led the country one after the other, and it was under their leadership that the country enjoyed rapid economic growth due to international demand for its products, only to be cut by seven consecutive Presidential elections from 1982 to 2005 when Jose Manuel Zelaya was elected President on a small margin of less than 4%. Another military coup deposed and exiled Zelaya in 2009 and installed Roberto Micheletti, who was head of Congress, as provisional president against the will of the United Nations and the Organization of American States, which still recognize Zelaya as president of the country, on their claim that the military coup of 2009 was an assault against the country’s democracy.

Share this page: