Latin American History

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The shift of many Latin American nations away from liberal economic and political models, as well as away from European ideals began with changes in Latin American nationalism and culture and ended in economics. In the beginning of the 20th century many Latin American nations had cultural movements that were challenging the old ideas about racist positivism. In Mexico, there was a significant break with the old Diaz regime that created efforts to present the indigenous past as something to be proud of (Cohen). Nationalistic art grew with the Muralistas and Vasconselos's idea of the Cosmic Race embraced the mixing of all races. In Brazil an example of the break away from European ideals would be Sao Paulo's Modern Art Week in 1922 (Chasteen 232). This festival signified a strengthening of nationalism in Brazilian arts. These changes in ideas about race and culture were beginning all around Latin America. More widespread use of the telegraph, radio, and easier access to books and literature helped Latin America change and grow. Also, new ideas were fermenting globally. With the Russian revolution in 1917 and the rise to power of Mussolini and Hitler, radical movements were also growing in Europe (Cohen). The countries of Latin America recognized that Europe was also rejecting liberalism. Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia started small movements of Indigenismo, which glorified the indigenous race and rejected the idea of a racial hierarchy. The Communist party grew in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay.

Another main reason for the shift away from liberal economic and political models was the basis of Latin American economies in exports. The demand for Latin American exports was very high and many countries were prospering. WW1 created demand for products from Latin American that were previously bought elsewhere. The worker and middle classes were growing, creating new ideas and problems. However, the export economies were unstable and even though Latin...
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