Nationalism: Latin America

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By the late 1700s, colonists in Latin America, already aware of Enlightenment ideas, were electrified to hear of the American and French Revolutions. The success of the American Revolution encouraged them to try to gain freedom from their European masters. A simple example of this can be Air Alert. Air Alert is a workout that trains you to jump higher. When other people hear of your success using this workout, they will be interested. The same happened with the colonists in Latin America. Individuals such as Toussaint L’Ouverture, Simon Bolivar, and Miguel Hidalgo, played huge roles in leading nationalist movements.

Toussaint L’Ouverture was a former slave who led a nationalist movement in Saint Domingue, which is now known as Haiti. This French colony was the first Latin American territory to free itself from European law. Nearly 500,000 enslaved Africans worked on French plantations. These Africans outnumbered their masters. White masters used brutal methods to terrorize them and keep them powerless. While the French Revolution was taking place, oppressed people in the French colony of Haiti rose up against their French masters. In 1791, 100,000 enslaved Africans rose in revolt. Toussaint L’Ouverture then emerged as a leader. He was a former slave and was unfamiliar with military matters. He still rose to become a skilled general. By 1801, he had taken control of the entire island and freed all the enslaved Africans. Without Toussaint , this revolt may have not been as successful.

Simon Bolivar was from Venezuela and led a nationalist progression there. Venezuela declared independence in 1811.Bolivar’s volunteer army of revolutionaries suffered many defeats. Bolivar had to go into exile twice. In 1819, Bolivar led over 2,000 soldiers on a daring march through the Andes and took the Spanish army in Bogota by surprise and won a decisive victory. By 1921, Bolivar had won Venezuela’s independence. Bolivar was a brilliant Creole general, and that is just what...
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