Full Text

Costa Rican Civil War and Uprising, 1948

Jan Ullrich

Subject History » Political History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Americas » Central America

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics civil war, peace, rebellion, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00413.x


The Costa Rican Civil War in 1948 and the struggle for political and social reforms in the 1940s are central events in the country's contemporary history. In the 44-day armed confrontation between a pro-government workers' militia and the oppositional National Liberation Army, more than 4,000 people lost their lives. The uprising led to the establishment of an interim Junta by José Figueres Ferrer, and the constitutional foundation of the Costa Rican Second Republic. On March 12, 1948 José Figueres Ferrer, the later founder of the social democratic Partido de Liberacion Nacional (PLN), led a rebellion against the government of Teodoro Picado. It was the immediate reaction to a March 1, 1948 congressional decision to annul the presidential elections of February, in which the victory of opposition candidate Otilio Ulate Blanco had been declared by the National Election Tribunal. The Communist Party Vanguardia Popular, which supported the candidacy of Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia, reacted by organizing workers' militias, blaming the opposition for having manipulated the elections by denying Calderón's supporters access to the polling booths. While Costa Rican armed forces fell apart and were quickly defeated by the troops of Figueres, the workers' militias occupied San José. After the victory of Figueres in the famous Battle of Tejar, near Cartago, on April 13, both sides agreed to ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top