Costa Rica has a population roughly the same size as Ireland. It was a peripheral Spanish colony before becoming part of the short-lived 1821-1823 Mexican Empire, and then part of the United Provinces of Central America, until it declared independence in 1847. It permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming one of about 15 Sovereign nations without armed forces. One argument given for Costa Rica as a colony remaining underdeveloped was the lack of sizable indigenous population to use for forced labour. This meant the settlers had to work their own land! They never had to fight Spain for independence. After the defeat of Spain in 1821 in the Mexican War of Independence, the authorities in Guatemala declared the independence of all of Central America. The Age of Enlightenment, French Revolutionary Wars, and economic crisis had led native-born Creole elites to a wave of new nation-building.
Americas Independence Map