Modern Latin America
April 1, 2014
Open Veins of Latin America: Eduardo Galeano
In his book, Open Veins of Latin America, Galeano vividly illustrates the exploitation of Latin American resources. We will look at the exploitation of gold, silver, and sugar, upon discovery, specifically considering the direction of such resources and applying reasons for that direction. Latin American resources did not benefit Latin America. Like information from the telegram, Latin American resources transmitted in only one direction, from Latin America to Europe 1.
Discovery and colonization of Latin America.
After the part of Caribbean known as the Canary islands was discovered Europe took notice to undiscovered land that lay an ocean away.1 Word spread. Spain and Portugal were rivaled one another for the land until the pope of the time drew an imaginary line down the middle of a map and gave half the Caribbean to each country. This was called the treaty or Tordesillas and it allowed Spain and Portugal to establish control in whichever land they found in their half. This was the beginning of the Spanish conquest, the discovery of Latin America, and what was discovered: Resources.
Latin America was blessed with resources far beyond what was found in its neighbor across the sea. It still is even in 2014- the President of France is reconnecting ties with Mexico because of it. Capital was required for expansion. Capital that Europe did not have then, but saw where it could be potentially found. Gold was discovered shortly are the conquest began.
The Aztecs- The Inca- The Maya- these early complex civilizations that were found with gold, had not integrated it into their economic systems. It was instead used in temples to honor Gods and as laminae to cover objects. (source) This is a contrast from economics in the foreign nation Eruope, whose economic basis was that of capital. That made the gold extremely valuable in their eyes as it would to the nation’s. After mass murder and near extinction of natives, gold was melted into bars and shipped back to Europe.
“Our defeat was always implicit in the victory of others; our wealth has always generated our poverty by nourishing the prosperity of others – the empires and their native overseers.”
Early exploration and exploration of gold. Vast majority of Latine America lay undiscovered, though not empty. Native civilizations were among those who lived there. 7 This soon was learned when the Spaniards came upon Maya, Aztec, and Inca 8.These civilizations had gold, which they used as decoration, and to honor the Gods 9. These ancient civilizations had no use for gold in their economies as they used the gold for decoration of temples and laminae of garden objects 10. When Spanish conquistadors, those who conquer, came upon them they took the gold and melted it down into bars 11. The bars were sent back to Europe to be stacked up, in wait for accumulation 12. The Spaniards ambition must have stretched far; for they dug at the bottom in the lake for years searching for more 13.
Progress is defined as a process of improving, or developing something over time 14.
Continuing exploration and exploration of silver: As Spanish conquistadores traveled to Latin America took precious item a cycle was created. Kill or enslave natives, send resources to Europe- the King of Spain and developing European countries are continually provided with the finances for development. This includes more banks, more markets, manufacturers, and merchandise. Once merchandise was exported even more money could brought back into Europe furthering an expansion process of commercial capital.15 If that had been the idea behind accumulation of gold bars then how could Latin America not been at the service the European market.
Postosi is a great example of Latin America being at the service of European market. The city was once the biggest producers of exports to Europe, had the greatest source of capital, but when business subsided, Postosi was abandoned 16. It is a poor city in our time. An old Potosian lady states , “the city which has given most to the world and has the least.” 17
Direction of flow of capital. The King of spain said:
put the gold straight into their economy. Gold was and is still worth a lot in their ecnomy. The gold was coming out of Latin American soil and going into European banks. Spaniards took the land and began to settle down, establish citiys and ordering Indians to work for them in mines. And later encomiendas.
Among Latin Americas other resources wer silver. Postosi is a city locatied in Bolivia that was once so rich anyone could buy title up to prince” (source) Silver was mined there. And like many other la cities that have been vlessed with bountiful natural resources, Potosi now sees only poverty. “Church candles cannot be lite” (source) the Silver extracted went back to Europe. The Spanish had a demand to keep up with. Not only were the proceeds from silver not entirely going into Posiosis exconomy but they were hardling entering the Spanish either. The Spaniards were selling out their silver to other European countries before it got off the ship. (source)
It has been observed that the money went to wealthy bankers, to finance the completetion of St. Peter’s, and to build factories (source). When- 17th century
Industrial Revolution date:
The more Europeans built the more capital they needed and knew where they could get it from. Or so they thought. Eventually..the silver ran out. What little capital remained in Potosi did not go to building factories and or into banks. Wealthy miners spent the wealth.
As the age of the age of Industriliazation grew nearer, economically Latin America depended on the export of farm products.
Galeano says hey guys the world has its winners and it has its losers. There cannot be one with out the other, and it happened that the Latin America has been the losers for five hundred years nd here is my reason for why i think what. He say: Imperaialist Expansion.
Proving his point by moving through 500 years of exploited resources is—-I chose to represent sugar, gold, and silver as the resources I wanted to bring forth to my audience. They will represent some but not all of the exploitation taking place in Latin America since the time is was discovered. Galeano infuses in his work is the exploitation of hum as—-Explotation is not only about land/resources- it is about people too.
Exploitation of sugar:
Opposing opinion: A guy named blank blank graduated of blahk blank questions the certainly of Galeano’s thesis. He demonstrates this by taking information by from Galeano’s conclusion. (show information). blank blank blank the argument is hey look this guy isn’t even sure of himself why should we believe him. The quote shows galeano’s thoughts something imperialism. Resources are the are the raw materials. The environment is where they are bleed from. Emptied.
Antoher oppossing opinion:
Another opposing opinion:
The Bourgouise mindset.
At time progress the Middle class in Europe, known as the Bourgeoisie, had expansion on the mind. Charactized by materialistic values and “Conventional?” attitudes. The discovery of America, as Karl Marx notes, “paved the way” for modern industry that has established the world market. (Source)
It is important to point out the awe and wonder that looked upon Latin America and its fertile land and abundant resources. Spanish and Portugal had rule in Latin America for around 300 hundred years. Expansion was not slowing down in Latin America and neither was it in Europe. Europe was progressing and, entering an age of industrialization. The finances needed to fund such industrialization would come from Latin America.
Expansion would bring commerce and navagation and railroads to Latin America (soure) that is good for progress. “…as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed, incread its capital, and pushed into the background every class hnded down from the Middle Ages.” (source/does this fit)? Latin America would be drained of its resources. The discovery of such land, “opened fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie.” (source) Raw materials sought after by the bougoueroise were taken and shipped back overseas to be refined in forgein industry and from there, exported across the globe. Sometimes Latin America would be buying the exports their resources generated. But Latin America was not an industrialized country, and because its resources were drained, they would remain this way. Land was taken and controlled by forgein investors, and as more resources were sold- and the resources needed to be- in order to provide the countries with an economy- because the resources, before tourism, was the basis of these economies. Raw materials were exported because industries did not exist. The Bourgoise themselves could not exist without expanding, “revolutionizing the instruments of production” and for that, they needed capital, and a new market.
Capital: money or other assets, was the foundation of the Bourgeoisies society. (Source) This was different from original, native civilization in Latin America.
Latin America made out to be a perfect market.
conclusion: Galeanos insight provides blank blank blank.
He makes obersvations that show Latin America resources were exploited for foreign Industrial expansion.
Additional explotaited resources + ideas for further study:
1. Chasteen 161
2. Galeano 11
3. World Cultures Latin America Student Text 38
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tordesillas 3-19-14
7. World Cultures Latin America Student Text 43
8. Galeano ____
9. Galeano 20
10. Galeano 20
11. Galeano 20
12. Galeano 29
13. Galeano 19
15. Galeano 29
16. Galeano 31-32
17. Galeano 32
Bibliography of Notes
Chasteen, John. Born in Blood & Fire, Latin American Voices. New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011. Print.
Galeano, Eduardo. Open Veins of Latin America. Monthly Review Press, 1997. 1-317. Print.
Guitierrez-Steinkamp, Martha, John Moreno, and Jeanette Betancourt. Peoples World Cultures Latin America. Saddle Brook, N.J.: Peoples Pub. Group, 2001. Print.
Marx, Karl, and Zbigniew A. Jordan. “1848 and After.” Karl Marx: economy, class and social revolution. New York: Scribner, 19751971. . Print.