In the pre-Columbian era, Indian tribes migrated through the territory of El Salvador. The Maya were replaced by the Toltecs, later by the Aztecs. By the 16th century Pipil and Lenca tribes settled. In 1524–28 the country was conquered by Spanish troops, and in 1560 it became part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala. During the period of colonial rule, Indian uprisings were brutally suppressed. In 1821, independence from Spain was proclaimed; in June 1822, El Salvador was incorporated into the Mexican Empire; after its collapse, it became part of the federation—the United Provinces of Central America. After the collapse of the federation, El Salvador was proclaimed an independent republic in 1841. A fierce struggle between conservatives and liberals continued throughout the 19th century. In the 1870s liberal reforms were carried out: the church was separated from the state, Suffrage for men and compulsory free primary education were introduced, and the first Constitution was adopted in 1871. Since the 1880s Conservative governments were in power, establishing a dictatorship regime. From the beginning 20th century increased penetration of foreign capital into the economy of El Salvador. In the 1930s a sharp deterioration in the economic situation was accompanied by the intensification of the peasant movement and uprisings against the dictatorship of E. Martinez (1931–44). From Ser. 1940s to early 1980s military regimes were in power, the rule of which led to the emergence of an armed opposition – radical leftist rebel organizations. In 1980 they formed the National Liberation Front. Farabundo Marti (FMLN), who headed for the conquest of power by force of arms. In 1969, an armed conflict was unleashed with Honduras (“football war”), which was settled with the help of the OAS. The series of presidents brought to power by the military command ended in 1979, when, after another coup d’état, a military-civilian junta was created, heading towards democratization.
According to localcollegeexplorer, the transition of El Salvador to civilian rule was initiated in the context of armed conflict. It was led by leaders of the Christian Democratic Party (CDA), who acted in alliance with the military. In 1983, the Constitution was adopted, which secured the personal rights and freedoms of citizens. In 1984, in the first free elections, CDA leader N. Duarte was elected president. His attempts to establish a dialogue with the rebels were rejected by the military command and leadership of the FMLN. In 1989, the leader of the opposition right-wing party, the Nationalist Republican Union (NRS-ARENA), A. Christiani, was elected president. Thus, the first transfer of power in the history of El Salvador to a legitimately elected head of state took place. The Cristiani government (1989-94), with the support of the UN, set a course for a political settlement of the intrastate conflict. The negotiation process was completed on December 15, 1992 with the conclusion of the peaceful Chapultepec Accords, which put an end to the 12-year armed conflict that claimed the lives of 75 thousand Salvadorans. These agreements paved the way for national reconciliation, demilitarization and democratization, the demobilization of the rebels and their inclusion in legal political life. In 1993, a national civilian police was created and the military reform provided for by the peace agreements was carried out, and a law on amnesty for participants in the conflict was adopted. The FMLN was transformed into a political party. Cristiani’s successor was the banker Calderon Sol (1994–99), a candidate of the ruling party of the LRC, a banker who supported the liberalization of the economy. At the beginning of his reign, the LRC had a majority of seats in parliament, but from con. 1990s his positions were weakened by internal contradictions and the emergence of an influential left faction of the FMLN. In the presidential elections of March 7, 1999, the main rival of the ruling party candidate Francisco Guillermo Flores was Facundo Guardado, one of the leaders of the FMLN, who received 29% of the vote. The presidency of Flores (1999-2004) continued the course of economic liberalization and demilitarization. In the presidential elections of March 21, 2004, the young candidate of the LRC, Antonio Elias Saka, was significantly ahead (57.7% of the votes) of the leader of the leftist FMLN party, Shafik Handal (35.6%). The victory of the representative of the ruling party was due to his successful career as a journalist and entrepreneur, demonstrating energy and readiness for dialogue with the opposition.