Political map of North America & the Caribbean 26 October 1838 (Fragmentation of Central America): A united Central America (Federal Republic of Central America) had broken away from Mexico in 1823, but remained unstable. In 1837, revolution erupted in Guatemala - by far the most populous state in the federation - leading both to the fall of Guatemala City (Rafael Carrera) and the brief independence of Los Altos (Los Altos, Central America). Just as the federal government in San Salvador had regained control of Guatemala (Francisco Morazan), Nicaragua and Honduras seceded, followed soon after by Costa Rica. For over a year, civil war raged across the isthmus, before San Salvador finally admitted defeat and let the states go their own way.