History Essays on Development in Latin America

With the increased expansion of trade in different parts of the globe, different countries around the world developed distinct mechanisms that could be used to increase their penetration in the international markets. For instance, after the great depression, most of the Latin American countries such as Brazil viewed industrialization as the only way to achieve development. Although the development started late, it helped these counties to realize their potential in the international trade. I believe that through engaging in trade, countries such as Brazil realized their potential not only in trade but also the level of influence they have in both political and social spectrums.

The trade helped in the development of mechanisms that could protect the local industries including iron and steel. Some of the methods used such as raising taxes on the imports, and other tariff barriers helped the local companies to increase their competitiveness and develop a platform that could increase the revenues earned by these states (Green and Sue 40). Considering the various techniques used to enhance industrial development in the Latin American states, it’s evident that these countries promoted the chronological development of their economies. Moreover, this enhanced the empowerment of their population and a subsequent increase in their local productivity and per-capita income.

With the constant growth in the economies of these countries, the development of different infrastructures and subsequent emergence of cities led to an increase in the level of migration.  Many people believed that through changing their location, they would be able to reduce their level of poverty.  Although this move provided increased cheap labor for companies, it slowly led to the emergence of different classes of people in cities such as Rio.  In the modern economy, the overall uncontrolled migration led to the emergence of other challenges including poor planning methods, increase in poverty levels, and the development of border conflict, the developed countries such as the United States increasing their border controls to limit effects of increased migration into their countries. With increased development, different ideologies were developed that defined the ways of life adopted by the Latin American states. The adoption of the Western methods of governance redefined the concept of historical development around the region.

Part B

Effect of European and American Imperialism on Latin America Its Unity

Imperialism and Governance

Understandably, it involves extending of a country’s powers to another state based on political or economic grounds. Undoubtedly, the concentration in the Latin American countries by both the European countries and the United States played an important role in shaping the rate of development in these states (Easterly and Ross 228). Although most of the Latin American countries such as Chile had developed their mechanisms that could improve their development, the influence of the western imperialism helped in redefining these frameworks.

For instance, with the increase in the effects of the recession, the governments were forced to privatize some of their companies to increase their expenditure (Green and Sue 47). This ideological shift purposed to reduce the control of the state on in their institutions and the subsequent risk barred by the government.  The method employed was similar to the one adopted in Britain as the control of these institutions were given to managers who would make decisions based on the state of the economy (Green and Sue 47).

The Latin American countries also adopted different aspects of leadership that were used in the Western countries such as the U.S.  Instead of concentrating on domestic empowerment, most of the Latin American states saw the need for regional integration and working together to enhance overall growth. Thus they formed trade agreements such as the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and the Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) that comprised of countries such as the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Imperialism and industrialization

The economic history of the region was primarily based on agriculture and other land utilization methods. With the introduction of modern farming methods, most of the farmers started using artificial fertilizers in increasing their produce and fertility of their lands.  Mining as one of the most adapted forms of land use in 20th Century attracted an average of 12% increased investment in the region. Countries such as Brazil, Chile, and Peru used this economic method to increase their level of exports. This technique used land clearing and human labor to increase production and efficiency (Easterly and Ross 234). Consequently, although this economic practice led to economic growth, it resulted in the growth in deforestation and the pollution of water bodies such as rivers and subsequent displacement of people (Green and Sue 142).

In the long run, the activities and wastes disposed of with the extraction companies resulted to the emergence of different health complications such as Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria that adversely affected some of the indigenous groups such as the Yanomami in Brazil (Abel & Lewis n.p). However, the intensive nature of farm labor in Latin America was one of the lowest paid activities in these countries (Carnes and Noam 7). Most of the residents in these countries concentrated on agriculture as the main source of income and the adoption of the western civilization methods enhanced the development of alternative farming methods.

Effects of Increased Modern Trade Methods

In a bid to increase their control in the regional trade and the revenue earned in imports, most of the Latin American countries adopted unique strategies that were aimed at increasing their capital strength.  For instance, states such as Brazil took foreign loans to boost its local production (Koo and Dwight n.p). This led to the growth of different industries including agriculture, manufacturing, and assembling industries. However, these projects could not raise enough capital to finance the loans thus leading to the accumulation of the unpaid debts. In the long run, this led to the collapse of some of the most profitable corporations in the region including Pemex.

The governments of these countries paid little attention to the strategies of paying the debts and concentrated on borrowing to increase production. Some of the money borrowed was also smuggled into offshore accounts or invested in unproductive projects that limited the ability of these governments to pay (Easterly and Ross 227). To resolve this problem, both the governments and the lending institutions developed strategies that would help resolve these aspects including rescheduling of the payment periods

With increased industrialization, most of the mining companies engaged in deforestation activities that had a long-term effect on both the environment and human beings.  This has seen the increase in the effects of global warming in several areas of the world. Equally, the increase in the use of pesticides has increased the rate of pollution in the continent.


The history of the Latin American countries depicts a sequential shift of the focus of the continent from traditional methods to the modern techniques of enhancing economic development. Although these countries still experience several challenges, they have adequately created an emerging market that attracts many investors.




Works Cited

Abel, Christopher, and Colin M. Lewis, eds. Welfare, poverty, and development in Latin America. Springer, 2015.

Carnes, Nicholas, and Noam Lupu. “Rethinking the comparative perspective on class and representation: Evidence from Latin America.” American Journal of Political Science 59.1 (2015): 1-18.

Easterly, William, and Ross Levine. “The European origins of economic development.” Journal of Economic Growth 21.3 (2016): 225-257.

Green, Duncan, and Sue Branford. Faces of Latin America: (Revised). NYU Press, 2012: 23-194

Koo, Bon Ho, and Dwight H. Perkins, eds. Social capability and long-term economic growth. Springer, 2016.