Inhabited by tribes that had not managed to give themselves a unitary political organization, Honduras was conquered by the Spaniards in 1524. Cristóbal de Olid, Francisco de Las Casas and Hernan Cortés alternated in command of the operations. The territory was incorporated into the Viceroyalty of New Spain (Mexico) and this followed the events until independence. It definitively broke away from Mexico, together with the other countries in the sector, in 1823, the year in which the new state of the United Provinces of Central America was born (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua). In 1839, despite the federalist resistance of Honduran Francisco Morazán, the five members of the regional entity separated, each acquiring its own individuality. Life in Honduras immediately turned out to be agitated: riots and revolts followed one another relentlessly, with continuous changes of government. This situation stemmed from the rivalries that divided the families of the landowners, in whose hands the power was concentrated. From their favor, therefore, also depended the caudillos who from time to time occupied the presidency of the Republic. Towards the middle of the century. XIX also Honduras, like all of Central America, began to suffer the influence of the United States, after that, declining, of Great Britain. In particular the United States, after the Secession war, they were able to freely dedicate themselves to economic and financial expansion towards the South, so that Mexico and Central America soon found themselves conditioned by the decisive presence of the “colossus of the North”. In Honduras between the end of the century. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the United Fruit Company and the Standard Fruit Company settled in particular and, directly or through subsidiaries, took over the banana production and management of various services (transport, energy, telephones, etc.). The local landowners allied themselves with the Americans and the country thus entered a phase of intense exploitation, without however enjoying the profits. The landed oligarchy and its secular arm, the army, alongside the North American companies were the real beneficiaries of that system. The rest of the population, except for a small merchant class, he continued to live in misery. In this way governments and presidents, always friends of the United States and of the wealthy class, alternated.
In 1924 a mixed US-Honduran commission was also established for the collection of customs duties by way of payment of the debts contracted with North American banks. In 1933, the conservative general rose to power with a stroke of force Tiburcio Carías Andino, who managed to hold the office of president until 1948. The following year, Juan Manuel Gálvez took his place. There was a more dynamic economic policy, which allowed young entrepreneurial groups to initiate forms of industrialization. The consequences were felt in 1954 and 1957, when the elections gave victory to the liberal Ramón Villeda Morales, a proponent of even timid reforms. But the conservatives did not accept the novelty and in 1963 promoted yet another military intervention to restore the old order. Head of state became colonel, then general, Oswaldo López Arellano. Meanwhile Tegucigalpa had joined the Organization of Central American States, created to favor the economic and political integration of the sector, and to a treaty of 1960, which set the objective of a regional common market. This orientation in foreign policy did not prevent the outbreak of hostility with El Salvadorin 1969, due to the problems caused by the strong Salvadoran emigration to Honduras. The conflict lasted a few days, but put the Central American community process in crisis. Especially from an economic point of view, Honduras was deeply wounded: this determined, in March 1971, the electoral victory for the presidency of the Republic of López Arellano’s opposing candidate, the “nationalist” Ramón Ernesto Cruz. In 1972 López Arellano managed to regain power but in April 1975 he was in turn overthrown by Colonel (later general) Melgar Castro. The latter, progressively ousted by a Higher Council of the Armed Forces, was deposed in 1978 and replaced by a military junta chaired by General Policarpo Paz García, who assumed the functions of head of state and called general elections in November 1981, won by the Liberal Party candidate, Roberto Suazo Córdova. The presidential elections of November 1985 marked the victory of José Simón Azcona del Hoyo, candidate of the Liberal Party. During his mandate he tried to promote conditions of greater security in the country – which, under the previous government, became the main ally of the United States for the freedom granted to Nicaraguan exiles (contras) to reorganize itself militarily on its own territory, inserting it in the wider process of pacification of the region, which culminated in the agreements of the Tela summit (August 1989). The political events of the Eighties therefore favored the return to power, after eighteen years, of the National Party, which in the elections of November 1989 expressed the new president in Rafael Leonardo Callejas, also winning the majority of the Congress.
However, the political violence that continued to plague the country did not stop the process of democratization of the institutions and the regular running of the legislative and presidential elections of 1994, which, won by the Liberal Party, led to the presidency of Carlos Roberto Reina. During 1995 the difficulties encountered by the new president worsened: the state of poverty remained the most widespread condition, inflation doubled and delinquency increased. As part of the restructuring of the army, the government approved the dissolution of the National Directorate of Investigations (DNI), accused several times of corruption and violation of human rights. In its place, a new police force was established, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (DIC), no longer under the control of the military. In September, according to usaers, the Liberal Party (PLH), the National Party (PNH), the Christian Democrats (PDC) and the Party of Unity and Innovation (PINU) joined together to form CONACOM, the National Council for Convergence, which he proposed to obtain popular consensus on the most pressing social, political and economic problems. In 1997, the new elections confirmed power to the Liberal Party, with the new president Carlos Flores Facussé. During his presidency, international relations experienced a new phase of tension on the borders with Nicaragua and with El Salvador, despite the fact that a free trade treaty was signed with the latter country (and with Mexico) in June 2000.
On March 31, 2001, the presidents of Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador jointly announced their desire to find a peaceful solution and to relaunch cooperation between the three countries. In November of the same year the presidential elections decreed the return of the National Party to the government, awarding the victory to its candidate, Ricardo Maduro. At the heart of government policy were measures to restore legality, such as the fight against corruption and the repression of crime. In 2003, the immunity regime enjoyed by deputies, senior public officials and members of the armed forces was suspended. The presidential elections, held in December 2005, were won by Manuel Zelaya, from the Liberal Party (right wing formation), which obtained 47.3% of the votes. In 2008, a referendum approved the country’s accession to CAFTA, the free trade treaty with the US and other countries in the region. In June 2009, President Zelaya was deposed by the army and sent into forced exile in Costa Rica. Roberto Micheletti, president of the parliament was appointed head of state ad interim, while the intrenational community condemned the coup. In September the deposed president Zelaya returned to the country but took refuge in the Brazilian embassy, while in November, with the mediation of the United States, he managed to sign an agreement with the head of the coup government Micheletti. In December the congress rejected the return to power of the deposed president Zelaya and gave the green light to the conservative Porfirio Lobo, winner of the November elections. In February 2010 Zelaya left the country and reached the Dominican Republic. The presidential elections of 2013 were won by Juan Orlando Hernàndez of PNH.