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Banana Republic

Updated: May 19


Banana republic or banana state (noun) – a small country, considered to be poor and ruled by dishonest and corrupt government.

Banana republic - a pejorative term, coined by the American writer O.Henry in the 19th century to describe the fictional Republic of Anchuria in his book Cabbages and Kings. The book is a collection of related short stories inspired by his experiences in Honduras, where he lived for six months.

Further etymology of the term relates to the early 20th century when the United Fruit Company (a multinational American corporation) was involved in the creation of the banana republic phenomenon. Along with other American corporations, they created the political, economic, and social circumstances which led to establishment of banana republics in Central American countries such as Honduras and Guatemala.


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