Colonialism and Latin America

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History of the Modern World
Midterm Essay
1/08/13

Colonialism and Latin America
Eduardo Galeano is a passionate journalist and writer, a man that has put this passion into writing about the lost or often overlooked histories of Latin and South Americas. In one of his acclaimed books, Las venas abiertas de América Latina/Open Veins of Latin America, he looks at the history of exploitation in this place from early European explorers to current United States and European endeavors. In this paper using three examples from Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano, will show how Latin America has developed a dependency on foreign entities.

Latin America was mostly untouched by the European world until 1492, when the Spanish where looking for a cheaper way to obtain the goods from the Exotic East. Galeano even goes on to speculate that even earlier explorers could have visited thus creating the religions and gods that the native tribes worshipped (pg. 17). These Spanish explorers came looking for new goods and spices, and when they saw that these natives had bits of metal upon them and inquired after them discovered that gold and silver were in abundance here. Thus began the Spanish Conquistadors reign begin in Latin America, though out numbered 10 to 1, the Spanish steadily moved out. The technology gaps between these two worlds was astounding, as Columbus earlier noted, “They knew nothing of swords, and when these were shown to them they grasped the sharp edges and cut themselves.” Along with gunpowder, full metal armor, and most importantly horses the Spanish were able to decimate and terrorize most opposing forces that they encountered. “The conquests shattered the foundations of these civilizations” (pg. 43), afterwards almost every major native city and been sacked and looted along with the natives being indentured or killed. The mines that were established created the greatest displacement of the native people; it forced them into grueling labor...
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