In 1521, the territory of Guatemala officially became a colony of Spain. As a result, it suffered political, economic, social and religious domination by the Spanish who viewed the ancient indigenous practices as primitive and inferior.
What was Guatemala like before colonization from Europe?
Guatemala Before the Conquest
It was a collection of powerful city-states who warred and traded with one another, and it stretched from Southern Mexico to Belize and Honduras. The Maya were builders, astronomers, and philosophers with a rich culture.
When was Guatemala colonized?
The colonial period in Guatemalan history is customarily dated from 1524 to 1821. During that time, Guatemala was the most populous and most prosperous of the provinces that made up the kingdom, or audiencia, of Guatemala, a district that stretched from Chiapas in the west to Costa Rica in the east.
Was Guatemala ever a colony?
The colony became independent in 1821 and then became a part of the First Mexican Empire until 1823. From 1824 it was a part of the Federal Republic of Central America. When the Republic dissolved in 1841, Guatemala became fully independent.
Why does Guatemala suffer from poverty?
Poor Distribution of Resources
Extreme socioeconomic and geographic inequality largely characterizes the nature of poverty in Guatemala. … Access to health resources and quality education is key in enhancing social mobility and bringing individuals out of poverty.
How did Guatemala get colonized?
The Spanish conquest of Guatemala was a protracted conflict during the Spanish colonization of the Americas, in which Spanish colonisers gradually incorporated the territory that became the modern country of Guatemala into the colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain.
How did Guatemala gain independence?
By 1540, the Spanish Crown had official rule over the area and Guatemala was a member of New Spain, a group of sovereign territories administered from Mexico City. … The country declared its independence from Spain on September 15, 1821, just three weeks after its neighboring Mexico had won freedom.
How did the Mayans influence Guatemala?
The earliest Maya civilizations began to emerge in the highlands of Guatemala by as early as 2000 BC. … In addition to the notable architecture, the Maya also developed a complex calendar, a hieroglyphic writing system, and an impressive body of scientific knowledge.
How did the Spanish attempt to colonize the Mayans?
The Spanish engaged in a strategy of concentrating native populations in newly founded colonial towns; they viewed the taking of prisoners as a hindrance to outright victory, whereas the Maya prioritised the capture of live prisoners and of booty.
Who led Guatemala to independence?
A chronology of key events: 1523-24 – Spanish adventurer Pedro de Alvarado defeats the indigenous Maya and turns Guatemala into a Spanish colony. 1821 – Guatemala becomes independent and joins the Mexican empire the following year.
How does the Guatemalan government work?
Politics of Guatemala takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, where by the President of Guatemala is both head of state, head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. … Guatemala is a Constitutional Republic.
Who freed Guatemala?
In the 16th century, most of this area was conquered by the Spanish and claimed as part of the viceroyalty of New Spain. Guatemala attained independence in 1821 from Spain and Mexico.
What is the problem in Guatemala?
Guatemala faces formidable challenges: weak governance, endemic corruption, pervasive poverty, food insecurity, severe violence, citizen insecurity, shrinking space for civil society, lack of respect for human rights, inequitable access to economic opportunities and social services, and the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Is Guatemala really poor?
The poverty rate in Guatemala is very high. According to the World Bank, 59.3% of the population lives below the poverty line. In addition, 23% live in extreme poverty. The indigenous people in Guatemala are most affected by poverty.
What is Guatemala famous for?
Guatemala is best known for its volcanic landscape, fascinating Mayan culture and the colorful colonial city of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But this small Central American country has a wealth of homegrown produce and talent.