Peoples World Cultures: Latin America- UNIT II

Analysis Paper Research.

Chapter 5: Europe Builds Empires

  • The first European contacts with the lands we know today as Latin America came as a result of Christopher Columbus’s 1492 voyage to the Americas (38).
  • The success of his voyage set off a scramble among Europe’s countries (38).
  • Their goal was to build great colonial empires in the America’s (38).
  • (Spain/Portugal:West/East) It was easy to draw imaginary lines on a map. It was much harder to conquer and settle the land (38).
  • From about 1500 to 1550, soldiers from Spain and Portugal came to the Americas to win its riches (38).
  • It was difficult to enforce laws that had been made thousands of miles away across the Atlantic (43).
  • Native Americans soon found themselves bound to the land. They could not leave until they paid their debts to their landlords, but they had no way of paying (43).
  • The government found another group of people to replace the Native Americans in the fields and mines—-enslaved africans. (43.)
  • Spain’s approach to its American colonies was that of a master to a servant. The kings of Spain were absolute rulers in the Americas. To them, the American colonies were sources of gold and silver. The Spanish had no interest in giving their colonies any power.  All laws were made in Spain and carried out in the Americas by officials who were directly responsible to the Spanish King. (43.)
  • The wealthiest and most powerful people in Spanish America were the peninsulares. There were people who had been born in Spain of Spanish parents. (43.)
  • Further out were the houses for Creoles and the mestizo population (43-44.)
  • Creoles were people of Spanish descent who had been born in the Americas (44).
  • Many wealthy landowners were Creoles (44)
  • Brazil was a thriving colony. In the late 1600s, the Portuguese discovered diamonds and emeralds. Thousands of new settlers streamed to the colony (44).

Chapter 6: Independence Struggles

  • By the early 1800s, Spain and Portugal had rules their Latin American colonies for nearly 300 years. Yet, below the surface, that rule was weakening (47).
  • Between 1791 and 1825, Latin Americans fought a series of wars for independence (47).
  • There were inspired by ideals such as freedom and equality (47).
  • Many of those who led the fight for independence were upper-class Creoles (47).
  • The Creoles resented the privileges of the peninsulares (47).
  • Enslaved Africans longed for freedom (47).
  • Native Americans wanted to regain their homelands (47).
  • Fighting Foreign Rule- during the years of fighting, Mexico borrowed large amounts of money from foreign countries. It did not have the money to pay back these debts (50).  (Mid 19th Century)
  • A debt is an obligation to pay back money borrowed (50).
  • This money may be borrowed from a bank or government by a person, industry or country (50).
  • It is paid back with interest, or a fee paid for borrowing this money (50).
  • Most Mexicans continued to live in deep poverty (50). (Early 20th Century)
  • Mexicans who protested against these conditions were killed, jailed or exiled (50).
  • Republic: form of government in which citizens elect public officials (52).
  • The first successful Latin American war for independence was not fought in Mexico or South America. It was fought in Haiti, one of France’s prized colonies (52).
  • In 1791, a slave revolt broke out on Haiti (52).
  • A slave revolt or rebellion is an uprising in which enslaved people make demands for their freedom on their rulers and often capture them. (52).
  • Enslaved Africans who worked on the sugar cane plantations rose up against their oppressors. An oppressor is someone who rules harshly or unjustly (53).
  • In 1804 Haiti became the first Latin American nation to win its independence (53).
  • Wealthy Creole Planters: The planters vowed to prevent similar uprisings in the Spanish colonies of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo. The Creoles know that they needed the Spanish army to stop salve rebellions. Thus, they had no wish for independence from Spain (53).
  • Santo Domingo freed itself in 1844 and became the independent nation of the Dominican Republic (53).
  • Cuba & Puerto Rico were Spain’s last colonies to be freed….as a result of the Spanish-American war these colonies did not gain total independence. (53).
  • US took over Puerto Rico as a colony (still a commonwealth today) and also used its power to control events in Cuba even after its independence in 1902 (53.)
  • The revolutions in Latin America did not change social class divisions much. Even after independence, Latin America remained sharply divided by classes that were based on birth. At the top of society were the Creoles. They had taken the place of the Spanish. Though mestizos, African Americans, and Native Americans had fought for independence, they were not given the same freedoms as the Creoles. They were barred from high positions in government and the Roman Catholic Church (54).
  • As independent nations, Latin American countries became dependent on Europe and the United States (55).
  • Latin American nations exported raw materials such as sugar, beef, copper, and coffee to Europe and the United States (55).
  • To export is to send goods out of a country or region for sale to another (55).
  • In exchange, they imported, or brought in goods, from other countries or regions (55).
  • Since more developed nations in Europe and the United States se the prices for these goods, Latin America became dependent on these nations for pricing (55).
  • During the late 1800s, Britain and the United States invested heavily in Latin America. They built railroad lines and developed gold, silver, and copper mines (55).
  • U.S. companies invested in cattle ranches and plantations. They made huge profits from the products such as coffee, bananas, and beef. They often stepped in to protect their investments (55).
  • Money put into business or land to get income or a profit is called an investment. (there is also foreign investment.)
  • As the 1900s began, Latin America faced easing poverty, breaking down the social barriers against lower classes, bringing greater democracy to the region (56).

Chapter 7: Revolution and Dictatorships

  • For most of Latin America’s history, its wealth was based on landownership (57).
  • During the fight for independence, Latin Americans fought to win control of the land from Spain or other European nations.
  • Once independent, wealthy Latin American took control of the land (57).
  • Latin America’s poor landless farmers had little or no hope of improving their condition (57).
  • Land Reform: government policy that divides large estates owned by the wealthy among poor farmers (57).
  • Nationalization: government policy by which the government takes over and operates a major industry or resource (58).
  • Mexico’s constitution became a model for many other Latin American countries. It set up schools in poverty-stricken areas of the country. It promised freedom of religion and gave workers the right to strike. The constitution called for the break-up of large estates and the nationalization of Mexico’s resources (60.)

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