Costa Rica was founded by Christopher Columbus on his fourth and last voyage to the new world in 1502. Already living in Costa Rica were four indigenous tribes. The Corucas, Chibchas, and Diquis lived in the south west region while the Caribs lived on the east coast. Tthe natives from the tribes either left when the Spaniards arrived or died from the disease smallpox. Colonists started to settle in this area in 1522.
After settlement, Spain was under a military Governor from the Captaincy General of Guatemala for three centuries. They called this area the Rich Coast because they thought it was full of gold. They found little gold and other minerals so they started to agriculture in the land.
Costa Rica and other Central American countries all came together to get an independence from Spain in 1821. Costa Rica's northern Guanacaste Province was annexed from Nicaragua in one dispute. Costa Rica finally withdrew from being a part of Nicaragua in 1838.
A democracy started in Costa Rica in 1899. They elected the first free and honest people in their history. This was a positive thing for the country. The only two problems the country had was Federico Tinoco in 1917-19 who was a dictator and Jose Figueres who led an army in 1949.
A forty four day war took place because of the uprising of the army. This was the bloodiest event in Costa Rican History. The victorious army drafted a constitution for the country. This had elections with universal suffrage and the abolition of the army. Jose Figueres is national hero. He won the first election under the new constitution that his army made for the country in 1953. Sine the constitution was made Costa Rica had eleven presidential elections. The latest election was in 1998.
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