Towards the 200th Anniversary of the Annexation of Nicoya
In this article we will talk about the events that led to the annexation of the Nicoya party to the rest of Costa Rica.
We are heading towards the 200th anniversary of the annexation of the Nicoya party, but how did these events happen? Let’s review the history to delve into this important event for Costa Rica that dates back to the Cortes of Cádiz in Spain.
Cortes of Cádiz
The Cortes of Cádiz was the name given to the Spanish Constituent Assembly moved to Cadiz in 1811 during the Spanish War of Independence.
This period of war caused a power vacuum, since the Spanish kings were held in Bayonne by Napoleon Bonaparte. By this time, there were already Provincial Boards, made up of military, professors, civil servants and the high clergy in order to confront the invaders.
Because of the adverse times for Spain, the Juntas Provinciales had to cede their power to the Junta Suprema Central in order to fight against the French. At the same time, the Junta became the government of Spain.
It was in 1810 when the Cortes were convoked in Cádiz, since, being an island, it would be more difficult for the Napoleonic troops to conquer the place.
In these cortes, the American territories belonging to Spain were represented by deputies, who were to be elected by voters from their region.
Costa Rica in the Cortes of Cádiz and its relationship with Nicoya
In order to participate in the Cortes of Cádiz, Costa Rica had to elect a deputy. However, in 1812, the country did not have 60,000 inhabitants to vote for its representative (this was a requirement for voting).
For this reason, the province of Costa Rica and the Nicoya Party united in order to send a deputy to said Cortes.
What happened during the Cortes of Cadiz was key to the annexation of the Nicoya Party to Costa Rica, but the two regions already had good relations with each other.
These relations were mainly commercial. In fact, Nicoya and Bagaces had been trading bait and livestock since the 17th century.
Nicoya and Nicaragua
During this time civil war broke out in Nicaragua, between Granada and León, which could have been detrimental to the Nicoya region.
The context with Nicaragua contrasted sharply with the Costa Rican context. Nicoya was linked to Costa Rica through the port of Puntarenas, where several commercial activities continued to take place. This is how the great regional elites were more interested in being part of Costa Rica.
The annexation took place in 1824 by means of an open town meeting. In this, the inhabitants of Nicoya and Santa Cruz voted to separate from Nicaragua and join Costa Rica under the slogan “De la Patria por nuestra voluntad“.
This event, on the one hand, was a long process because it produced many tensions and uncertainties since Nicaragua intended to retake the Nicoya territory and, on top of that, Costa Rica needed to legitimize and defend the decision taken.
On the other hand, the annexation brought many advantages to the country such as: an increase in the size of the territory, the securing of the Port of Puntarenas, an increase in population and an increase in tourism due to the beaches and landscapes.
Above all, Costa Rica gained customs, dances, food, musical instruments and a lot of Nicoyan culture.