Economic Imperialism in Latin America
Lingering Political Problems
1. Simon Bolivar had hoped to create strong ties among the nations of Latin America 2. But feuds among leaders, geographic barriers, and local nationalism shattered that dream of unity. 3. 20 separate nations emerged
4. These new nations wrote constitutions modeled on that of the United States 5. They set up republics with elected legislature.
6. True democracy failed to take hold
The Colonial Legacy
1. The existing social and political hierarchy barely changed. 2. Creoles simply replaced peninsulares as the ruling class. 3. The roman catholic church kept its privileged position and still controlled huge amounts of land 4. For most people- mestizos, mulattoes, blacks, and Indians- life did not improve after independence. 5. The new constitutions guaranteed equality before the law, but deep-rooted inequalities remained. 6. Voting rights were limited
7. Many people felt the effects of racial prejudice.
The Search for stability
1. With few roads and no tradition of unity, regionalism, or loyalty to a local area, weakened the new nations. 2. Local strongmen, called caudillos, assembled private armies 3. At times, popular caudillos, occasionally former military leaders, gained national power. 4. Power struggles led to frequent revolts that changed little except the name of the leaders. 5. Liberals backed laissez-faire economics, religious toleration, and greater access to education, and freedom of the press. Mexico’s Struggle for Stability
1. During the 1800s, each Latin American nation followed its own course 2. Mexico provides an example of the challenges facing many Latin American nations 3. Large Landowners, army leaders, and the Catholic Church dominated Mexican politics. 4. Bitter battles between conservatives and liberals led to revolts and the rise of dictators 5. Deep social divisions separated wealthy creoles from mestizos and Indians who lived in poverty Santa Anna and War with the United States
1. Between 1833 and 1855, an ambitious and cunning caudillo, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, gained and lost power many times. 2. He reversed his stand and crushed efforts at reform
3. In Mexico’s northern territory of Texas, discontent grew. 4. In 1835, settlers who had moved to Texas from the United States and other places revolted. 5. After a brief struggle with Santa Anna’s forces, the settlers gained independence from Mexico. 6. In 1845 the United Sates annexed Texas.
La Reforma Changed Mexico
1. In 1855, Benito Juarez, a liberal reformer of Zapotec Indian heritage, and other liberals gained power and opened an era of reform known as La Reforma. 2. He and his fellow reformers revised the Mexican constitution to strip the military of power and end the special privileges of the church. 3. They ordered the Church to sell unused lands to peasants. 4. Conservatives resisted La Reforma and began a civil war.
5. Still, Juarez was elected president in 1861 and expanded his reforms 6. His opponents turned to Europe for help, 1863 Napoleon
7. 111 sent troops to Mexico and set up Austrian archduke Maximilian as emperor. Growth and Oppression Under Diaz
1. After Juarez died, General Porfirio Diaz, a hero of the war against the French, staged a military coup and gained power. 2. From 1876 to 1880 and 1884 to 1911, he ruled as a dictator. 3. The rich prospered, but most Mexican remained poor.
4. Many Indian and mestivos fell into Peonage to their employers. 5. Many children died in infancy
6. Children worked 12-hours days and never learned to read or write. The economics of Dependence
The cycle of economic dependence
1. After independence, this pattern changed very little
2. The new Latin American republics did adopt free trade, welcoming all comers. 3. Britain and United States rushed into the new markets, replacing Spain as Latin America’s chief trading partners. Foreign Influence Mounts
1. In the 1800s, foreign goods flooded Latin...
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