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Sat, 09.15.1821

Costa Rica Gains Independence From Spain

Costa Rica flag

*The Republic of Costa Rica gained independence from Spain on this date in 1821. 

The first Blacks that arrived in Costa Rica came through the middle passage with the Spanish conquistadors.  Beginning in the 15th century, the slave trade was common in all the countries conquered by Spain. Costa Rica, the first blacks, were shipped from specific sources in Africa's Equatorial and Western regions.  Costa Rica never fought for independence, but Guatemala declared the independence of all countries in Central America in 1821.

However, Costa Rica was already an autonomous Spanish province after adopting the Spanish Constitution of 1812, which the country adopted for a second time in 1820.  This resulted from the Mexican War of Independence from 1810 until 1821.  After independence, an immediate challenge for the country was deciding whether to remain independent or join the Mexican Empire.

The disagreement led to the Costa Rican Civil War that ended in 1823 when the pro-independence side won and created the capital, San José. In 1838, the country withdrew from the Federal Republic of Central America and became fully sovereign.  To date, Costa Ricans celebrate their Independence Day annually on September 15.  

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