The Filibuster War (2)

In 1854, a civil war erupted in Nicaragua between the Legitimist party (also called the Conservative party), and the Democratic party (also called the Liberal party). The liberal elite of León, represented by the Democratic party, was losing the struggle to unseat the Legitimist part of the conservative elite of Granada. Democratic president Francisco Castellón contracted William Walker to bring three hundred ‘colonists’ to Nicaragua.

Calling these mercenaries ‘colonists’ allowed Walker to bypass American neutrality laws. Walker sailed and sixty volunteers sailed from San Francisco on May 3, 1855, and 170 locals and 100 more Americans joined him when he landed in Nicaragua.

After failing to capture Rivas, he defeated the Legitimist army led by General Guardiola. On October 11, he landed his small force from a lake steamer and captured Granada within minutes. After taking control of the country, placed Patricio Rivas as his figurehead president.

Soon after, Walker declared himself president, established English as the official language, and abolished the slavery ban hoping to win support from the American Slave States. Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and El Salvador declared war against him.

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