They gained support from the Indians and landless peasants by promising to end the abuses committed by landowners.

After the revolution, Indians and peasants remained impoverished and largely without land or legal rights.

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In 1833, an Indian rebellion of indigo sowers and cutters led by Anastasio Aquino demanded distribution of land to the poor and the just application of the penal laws, the only laws applied to the poor. Thousands of rural peasants were displaced as new laws incorporated their lands into large "modern" coffee plantations where peasants were forced to work for very low wages.

This created a coffee oligarchy made up of fourteen families.

Very few Salvadorans now speak the indigenous language, which virtually disappeared after 1932, when General Maximilio Hernández Martínez suppressed rural resistance by massacring 30,000 mostly Indian rural peasants.

Those who survived la Matanza ("the massacre") hid their Indian identity by changing their dress and speaking only Spanish.

Legal and illegal emigration has continued at a high rate since the end of the civil war in 1992. Almost all residents speak Spanish, which was brought in by the conquistadors.

Before the Spanish conquest, the area was inhabited by the Pipil Indians.

That year the United Provinces of Central America were formed from five Central American countries.

When that federation dissolved in 1838, El Salvador became an independent republic.

Under them were the criollos , Spaniards born in the Americas.

The mestizos were people of mixed Spanish and indigenous descent, who had some rights but could not hold private property.

When the Central American provinces were joined with Mexico in 1822, El Salvador insisted on the autonomy of the Central American countries.