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The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 1, January 5, 2020, Article 13

MORE ON THE CENTRAL AMERICAN UNION PACT

Brian Stickney writes:

Reference your recent comment that you would like to have more information regarding the 1890 gold Guatemalan medal for the Pact of Union - the below comments are drawn from: A Monetary History of Central America.

1890 Central American Union Pact Gold Medal obverse 1890 Central American Union Pact Gold Medal reverse

"The political origins of the medal date back to as early as 1871 when liberal, revolutionary forces under the command of generals Miguel Granados and Justo Rufino Barrios overthrew conservative forces which had been in power for 30 years. Granados assumed the presidency, renouncing that office in June, 1873, allowing Barrios to follow in his footsteps. Barrios became one of Guatemala's more charismatic leaders of the nineteenth century, retaining power until his death in 1885.

"Politically speaking, Barrios harbored delusions of grandeur, promoting the proposition that the Central American Federation (1825-1838) should be restored under his leadership, incorporating the states of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Failing to convince others by diplomatic means, Barrios announced the restoration of the Federation on February 28, 1885, declaring himself the commander of the "united" army. The other countries failed to accept the proposition, even lobbying Mexico to intervene in the event of hostilities. As it turns out, intervention was unnecessary. Barrios invaded El Salvador but was killed at the battle of Chalchupa, April 2nd, thus, eliminating the military threat to force a union.

"The political will to unite Central America remained in some quarters, however. But Barrios' successor, General Manuel Barillas, (1885-1892) chose to pursue the concept of union through diplomatic means. A Pact of Union was successfully concluded October 15, 1889, commemorated by the striking of the gold medal at the mint in Guatemala. Copper and silver issues also are reported. In hopeful anticipation of union, pattern one and two centavo coins also were struck in copper, probably in Europe. In the end, all was for naught, as the Pact failed to be ratified by all five countries then making up Central America. "

Thanks! Sometimes things that don't happen are more interesting than things that do. It's nice to have these numismatic reminders. Brian also provided these images of the pattern coins; originally from Almanzar's Coins of the World, republished in the book A Monetary History of Central America, by the American Numismatic Society. -Editor

1 Cent, 1889, Obv, Pattern (Alm-Stick Photo) 1 Cent, 1889, Rev, Pattern, (Alman-Stick Photo)
2 Cents, 1889, Pattern Obv (Alman 05-82) 2 Cents, 1889, Pattern, Reverse (Alman 05-82)

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
: 1890 Central American Union Pact Gold Medal (https://www.coinbooks.org/v22/esylum_v22n52a17.html)

E-Sylum Ad CNG Sale Triton XXIII


Wayne Homren, Editor

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