From the early days of Nicaragua, Granada was inhabited by citizens involved in business and politics, thus giving it a conservative flavor. On the other hand, painters, authors, and musicians made Leon as their home, thus making it a town of the intellectuals. Throughout the country’s history, the citizens of these two towns fought with each other regarding the country’s future political and cultural directions.
At one point, residents of Leon made the mistake of inviting an American mercenary named William Walker to help them in this internal fight. But, he came in like an invader. First, he and his fellow mercenaries conquered Granada. Then, learning about the country’s abundant natural resources along with future business opportunities, he would plan to take over the entire country. Sensing his ulterior motive, the entire country then joined together and stood up against him. They chased him out of the country to neighboring Honduras where he was captured and ultimately killed.
From this experience, the country would learn a valuable lesson: “When in dispute, don’t invite a foreigner to solve your problem.” Subsequently, Nicaragua would decide to have Managua, equal-distant from Granada in south and Leon in north to be its capital.