In 1871 a long period of conservative rule was brought to an end with Miguel Garcia Granados and Justo Rufino led liberals in the capture of the capital (Guatemala City) after a short six month campaign. Granados ruled for two years before retiring being succeeded by Barrios who was the commander of the Army. Barrios not surprisingly ruled as a dictator and reduced the influence and power of the church. He also strengthened the economy by pushing the cultivation of coffee which was a lucrative commercial crop.
In 1876 his attempted move to bring about a union of Central American states via a peaceful route failed. This followed his call of 25th February 1885 for the establishment of a united Central American states which was supported by Honduras but was rejected by El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In an attempt to force Guatemalan acceptance of this Mexican President Porfirio Diaz ordered troops to be deployed on their common boarder. This failed to have the desired effect and Barrios led his army into El Salvador where he was defeated being killed in the battle of Chalchuapa on April 2nd 1885.
|Modern Boundaries of Guatemala.|
This brought to an end the war but not the Government. Guatemala was to remain a Liberal Controlled Dictatorship till 1945.
Wargaming the overthrow and war. With the war lasting such a short period and only one major battle it offers little for the wargamer. What ifs and possible extension of the campaign make it a much more reasonable conflict to wargame. Given the unstable nature of the region and that heady period before trench warfare and industrialisation turned warfare into mass slaughter. The revolution period is a much easier (and better value for money) to wargame. This can be done it small scale with units of troops fighting for many and varied reasons only limited by your imagination. What's more the forces can transplant to many other revolts and minor wars that were fought during this period. More recent and brutal uprisings make wargameing the modern period far more a morel dilemma.