VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > E. Latin America and the Caribbean, 1914–1945 > 3. Central America > c. Guatemala
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1898–1920)
c. Guatemala
1920, April 8
MANUEL ESTRADA CABRERA, president since 1898, was deposed by the assembly because of his opposition to the scheme of Central American federation.  1
Carlos Herrera, president. He was overthrown by a revolution (Dec. 5, 1921) led by Gen. José Orellana, who rejected the Central American federation scheme.  2
Orellana, president.  3
Lázaro Chacón, president.  4
Bautillo Palma, president. He was overthrown (Dec. 16) by Gen. Manuel Orellana, who was not recognized by the U.S. and who soon resigned.  5
José M. Andrade, president.  6
GEN. JORGE UBICO (1878–1946) made himself president-dictator. He established close contact with the dictators of Honduras and El Salvador for the suppression of all opposition. Posing as a friend of the Indians, Ubico also oversaw the end of state-imposed forms of debt peonage in the country. In actual fact, however, the government then used vagrancy laws as a means of recruiting laborers for the coffee economy. This period also saw major railroad, land, and port concessions granted to a small number of foreign interests, with the United Fruit Company in the lead.  7
1935, June
By “plebiscite” Ubico's term was extended until 1943, and subsequently (1941) a constitutional convention extended it to 1949, but he was expelled in 1944.  8
1941, Dec. 8
Guatemala declared war on Japan, “thus expressing the solidarity of the Guatemalan government and people with the United States.” On Dec. 11 Guatemala also declared war on Germany and Italy.  9
1944, June
Ubico was forced to resign after a student and then general strike elicited strong support for the opposition from progressive military officers and urban middle-class groups. He was followed by a brief right-wing regime, however, pushing dissident groups to arm in preparation for revolutionary struggle.  10
A coalition of urban middle-class groups, junior army officers, and working-class activists united to launch the DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION OF 1944. JACOBO ARBENZ GUZMAN (1913–71), Francisco Arana, and Jorge Toriello established a military-civilian junta, which called for free elections in December.  11
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.