El Salvador: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, history, size, population, and government in the country of El Salvador.



Location-Central America. Neighbors are: Honduras (north and northeast) and Guatemala (northwest). The Pacific Ocean is on the southwest.

How Created-An extensive Indian civilization had existed in the area since 3000 B.C. When Pedro de Alvarado invaded El Salvador in 1524, he was met by stiff Indian resistance. In 1525 he succeeded in conquering the Indians and he established San Salvador in 1528. During colonial times, the area was administered by the captaincy-general of Guatemala, but remained isolated and poor. Along with the other Central American Spanish possessions, El Salvador declared its independence from Spain in 1821. However, a Mexican attempt to absorb all the Central American states resulted in a unique request-El Salvador became the only Latin American country to request U.S. statehood. On November 22, 1822, the El Salvadorean Congress formally declared itself a State of the Union in an Act of Annexation. The U.S. Congress rejected the move, the Mexican Government fell, and El Salvador joined its neighbors in establishing the United Provinces of Central America. In 1838 the union collapsed, and El Salvador became an independent, sovereign state.

Size-8,260 sq. mi. (21,393 sq. km.).

Population-4 million: mestizo, 89%; Indian, 10%; white, 1%. 75% Roman Catholic.

Who Rules-El Salvador is a republic with a 1962 constitution, which provides for a President and bicameral legislature.

Who REALLY Rules-Since the 1940s the military, in conjunction with the PNC (Party of National Reconciliation), has been in effective control of the Government. Backbone of the PNC is the "14 families" who control most of the wealth and power of El Salvador. Conservative, they seek to maintain the status quo, and vigorously resist any social, political, or economic reform.

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