The Current State of Development in Latin America

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The Current State of Development in Latin America

Throughout this paper I will be making reference to Peter Winn's book Americas. Winn states on page 4 that "Latin America is equally an invention, devised in the nineteenth century by a French geographer to describe the nations that had once been colonized by Latin Europe---Spain, France, and Portugal." In attempting to establish the current state of development in Latin America, historical chronology serves as the foundation necessary for a broad logical position. Latin American development has evolved in distinct phases, which lead to the present day standings of the politics and peoples throughout the region. The conclusion of distinct historical attributes: conquest, colonialism, immigration, capitalism, and industrialism, serve as the developmental path from the past, to allow an understanding of the current state of development. The conquest is a major factor in shaping Latin America. In 1492 Christopher Columbus landed on the shores of the Caribbean and claimed the new land in the name of Spain and God. From then on the world was changed forever in the sense that there was a whole New World to conquer. Conquistadors like Cortez and Pizarro then followed and claimed entire new lands and people in the name of gold and wealth. These men started a revolution that changed an entire continent. It was transformed from a free race of people at one with the land to one of slavery and oppression in which man was bound to the land. This was the beginning of colonialism in the New World. The newly founded colonialism changed everything about the land, its inhabitants, culture, and religion and even created new races of people, of which we still do not know everything about. With the curiosity of European countries piqued and rumors of cities made of gold, the Old World decided that there were no boundaries established within the New World and the land was for the taking. The controlling influence of...
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