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Latin American Independence

Latin American Independence

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Latin American Independence

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  1. Latin American Independence • 1808-1825

  2. 4 outside events that prompted it: • Enlightenment ideas of liberalism spread among Creoles • American Revolution showed how it could be done - inspired revolutionary leaders • French Revolution idea of “liberty, equality and fraternity” but up to a point. • Fear of Haiti’s slave revolt made Creoles act quickly.

  3. Stop - review society: • Known as a sociedad de castas - based on racial origins: • peninsulares - born in Spain - Spanish government officials, church officials - the clergy: priests, monks • Creoles - born in America - controlled local economies, owned haciendas (plantations) and mines • the castas - mestizos and mulattos - those of mixed origins • Indians and African slaves

  4. Short-term cause - What sparked it? • Napoleon forces invade Iberian Peninsula • resistance to Napoleon’s forces: (1) guerilla fighters and (2) “junta central” - royalists claiming to rule temporarily while king was away • Problem of legitimacy - What is the legitimate government of Spain? • “juntas” central committees formed in Spain • Peninsulares do not recognize juntas as the legitimate government of Spain

  5. 3 separate revolutions: • Mexico • Northern South America: Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador • Southern South America: Argentina

  6. Mexico • Mexico - Father Miguel de Hidalgo - leads Indians and mestizos - Creoles fear this • Augustin de Iturbide - Creole officer takes over - proclaimed emperor of Mexico 1821 • The rest of Central America separates from Mexico which becomes a republic.

  7. Northern part of South America • Simon Bolivar - Bolivar The Liberator: wealthy Creole - creates Gran Colombia by 1830. “America is ungovernable. Those who have served the revolution have plowed the sea.” • Liberator turned dictator but is unable to prevent break-up of Gran Colombia • political differences and regional differences cause break up (unlike the U.S. where Lincoln preserves the Union in Civil War)

  8. European influence of Nationalism on Latin American Revolutions Statute of Simon Bolivar Statue of Napoleon

  9. Southern part of South America • Jose de San Martin - Buenos Aires, Argentina and Chile, Peru • By 1825 all of Spanish South America had gained its political independence.

  10. Brazil • A totally different path to independence. • Napoleon forces in Portugal leads royal family to move to Brazil - Rio de Janeiro. • When king returns to Portugal, youngest son stays - warns him if independence comes he should lead it. • He does - 1825 he becomes Dom Pedro I

  11. Independence of Latin America • Except for Brazil - all become republics • Mexico a temporary monarchy and then a republic • Haitian revolution made Latin American revolutionaries very conservative - social revolutions were avoided

  12. Early governments of Latin America • Problems: social inequalities, disagreements over political representation and the role of the church and regionalism • Solution: rise of personalist (charismatic) leaders, caudillos, supported by strong militaries • Slavery will be abolish by 1854 except for Cuba and Puerto Rico - still Spanish colonies and Brazil is independent but economy still dependent on slavery.

  13. Rise of caudillos • caudillos - independent leaders who dominated local areas by force because they either led or were back up by the military - not constitutional gov’ts - personalist leader - follow Napoleon’s example • some represented the interest of landed elites • some represented the populous - indians, mestizos, poor peasants

  14. Where do you think the caudillos got the idea to rule as a dictator with the support of a military? Napoleon

  15. Other problems causing division • All wanted a republic but disagreed after that: • centralists (wanted tax and trade policies to be controlled by the central government) vs. federalists ( wanted it controlled at the regional level) • conservatives (wanted to keep the church in power) vs. liberals (promoted secularism and individual rights) • First 50 years were unstable, presidents and constitutions came and went - overturned

  16. Reasons for Latin America Instability Philip II - Absolutist Monarch of Spain • Internal reasons: • Problems of personalism, charismatic leaders • a lack of civic responsibility needed for representative governments • unequal distribution of wealth = uprisings • External reasons: • meddling of Western powers = US neocolonialism

  17. Debate over political instability and struggling economies of Latin American nations: Nations have been unable to rule themselves due to corrupt governments leading to a lack of economic development. VS. Western imperialist powers like the U.S. have interfered with these nations leading to neocolonialism.