The World Today

The World Today
Earth in 2013

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

State of the Union: Costa Rica

Statehood: August 12, 1869
Population: 4,187,355
Area: 126,617 km2
Capital: San Jose
Largest City: Panama City
Crops: Coffee, Bananas, Sugar, Potatoes
Resources: Timber, Minerals
Industry: Tourism, Pharmaceuticals, Plastics, Panama Canal

Following the Mexican War, several private ventures by Americans into the Central American provinces of Mexico lead to military filibusters. By 1854, such an adventure under the command of William Walker created the Republic of Costa Rica, which immediately petitioned the Congress of the United States for annexation. Costa Rica was added as a free territory shortly before the Civil War. During the Civil War and Third Anglo-American War, the enemies of the United States made no serious attempt to seize Costa Rica. In the 1880s, France in their recently aquired Mexican colony began construction of the Nicarugua Canal. In 1903, the United States purchased the province of Panama from Grand Colombia and annexed it to the State of Costa Rica. During the following decade, a joint American, German and Dutch venture went into constructing a competing canal to the Anglo-French project in Mexico. During both the Great War and World War II, Costa Rica played a strategic role in allowing American victory in both wars. Following the war, ships grew in size, prompting the construction of a third set of locks to the Panama Canal, which were opened in 1979.

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