First Advisor

Martha A. Works

Term of Graduation

Spring 1998

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Geography






Coffee industry -- Nicaragua -- History, Nicaragua -- Economic conditions

Physical Description

1 online resource (95 pages)


Throughout the nineteenth century expanding coffee cultivation transformed the economic, political, and social landscapes of the Central American republics. In Nicaragua, coffee cultivation developed in two primary regions, the Southern Uplands and the North-Central Highlands. This study analyzes the formation and development of these two regions using six key factors: 1) pre-coffee economic development; 2) transportation; 3) government promotion; 4) labor and population structure; 5) land tenure and access; and 6) capital and credit. Qualitative assessment of the relative importance of these six factors determines which factors were most important in the creation of the Southern Uplands and the North-Central Highlands as coffee regions. Analysis suggests that active government promotion of coffee culture and the absence or presence of transportation linkages are the two factors which most affected the establishment of coffee cultivation in nineteenth-century Nicaragua.


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