The Failure of Union: Central America, 1824-1960

The Failure of Union: Central America, 1824-1960

The Failure of Union: Central America, 1824-1960

The Failure of Union: Central America, 1824-1960

Excerpt

The numerous movements to combine the five republics of Central America into one federal union have been the subject of a vast quantity of literature. Most of this writing, produced by Central Americans, portrays the glories that such unification might bring in contrast with the tragedy that has so often been the Central American experience. Much of the production has been emotional rather than critical, and until very recently, almost none has been documented. Often the authors have been participants in some of the unification conferences and have seen fit to concentrate their studies on the events that they knew personally. As a consequence, only two books, the new and able volumes by Alberto Herrarte and Ricardo Gallardo, have exhibited any interest in a survey of the entire federation story.

United States authors have largely played the same theme but with more willingness to blame the foreign policy of the United States for the failure of union. The reader of these books and articles in English should beware of two historiographic booby traps. First, in Central America the forces of liberalism have had all of the trumpets -- most of her historians were Liberals, and Liberals favored federation. Therefore, any method or person sup-

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