Walker’s Invasion of Nicaragua (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Independence of Nicaragua. Result: Nicaraguan victory preserved its independence.
Since its independence, Nicaragua had been subject to civil wars between liberals in León and conservatives in Granada. After the U.S. annexation of California in 1848 and the gold rush the following year, the United States became more interested in Nicaragua because it provided a relatively safe transit route. Commodore William K. Vanderbilt organized a profitable transportation system through Nicaragua for passengers going from the eastern United States to California. The idea of manifest destiny was still popular among many U.S. citizens, and people in the South thought of Central America and Cuba as areas of expansion for slavery.
After an unsuccessful attempt in 1853-1854 to invade Mexico, William Walker decided to invade Nicaragua. Walker received a land grant from Francisco Castellon, the liberal claimant to the presidency of Nicaragua. Recruits were enlisted as colonists to circumvent the U.S. neutrality laws. Walker was able to recruit only 58 men, who sailed to Nicaragua on May 4, 1855. They landed unopposed at Realejo (later Corinto), on the Pacific Coast, and marched to León. Walker decided to capture Rivas, which controlled the western end of the transit route, where Walker could receive men and supplies from the United States. The Americans faced...
(The entire section is 723 words.)
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