Colonial rule and independence: Latin America
Latin America territories were under Portuguese or Spanish empires after the two colonial were among the first colonial powers to make forays into the region in early days. Precisely, Latin America can be said to be all states south of America. Spaniards and Portuguese had established their empires on these states to exploit them economically and spread introduce or impose their religious beliefs to the people. The independence of Latin Americas was inevitable due to some factors that were more civil than revolution. Spain could not consistently maintain her authority over Latin Americans as some global activities like revolutions and growing population which was as a result intermarriages gradually realised the oppression they were facing was reversible. The Latin Americans felt that they were not respected at all and noted that the Spanish looked down upon them and despised them. This gradually created a rebellion where the Latin Americans demanded for better treatment which Spanish were not ready to do. There was restricted trade where the Spanish colonies were only allowed to trade with Spain which restricted their expansion economically. Spain wanted to be a single beneficially of the products from her Colonies. Moreover, colonialism came to an end due to the influence of revolutions in other countries notably the United States which motivated the Latin Americans. They motivated by the fact that that though the struggle called for sacrifice, the benefits that came with the sacrifices were much better. In addition, the events were timely in that Spain was weakened by the death of Charles III and his successor was generally weak. Spain’s weakness was also as a result of her fight in collaboration with France with the British. The end of colonial rule was further influenced by the fact that the Latin Americans felt they were different from Spain. They felt they needed their own identity and not inclined to Spanish beliefs or rule of law. The invasion of Spain by Napoleon also greatly led to end of the colonisation where both Spain and Portugal were both conquered. The rebellion by the Latin Americans due to continuous oppressions and restricted trade rules by Spain catalysed their independence. Napoleons invasion is however credited most as it greatly weakened Spain due to massive destruction on her ships and troops.
The outcome of Latin America’s independence was inevitable due to several emerging issues and events that unfolded. Historical bad relationship between the Latin America and Spain could not be contained and hence the Spanish Empire had to give way. Lack of inclusion in major sectors by Spanish could have certainly caused a rebellion in that the Latin America would feel discriminated calling for reaction. Disruption and exposed weakness of Spanish rule by Napoleon’s invasion opened a new chapter and made the Latin America believe they would also conquer. On the case of Brazil, the elite class felt time was due for them to be independent and run their affairs. The rebellion was growing and extended even to the low illiterate class where they also felt separation from the Portuguese was the best option (Miguel 21-36). In addition, Brazilians were motivated by the trend of considerable number of nations attaining their independence from Britain. They felt they were also in capacity to sacrifice and attain their self-rule. All these factors made their quest of independence inevitable and indeed they succeeded.
The beneficiaries of self-independence were the Latin Americans. The Latin America were able to find lucrative new markets for their products unlike when they were dictated to trade with Spain alone. Growth in infrastructure was also another tremendous benefit arising from this independence. The growth and expansion of professional class in Latin America was also realised due to attainment of self-independence. The other benefit to Latin America that was as a result of independence is maturity, change and growth of the political class. The independence in Latin America also brought cultural and social diversity in gender and ethnicity precisely. There were efforts to integrate different races and genders to break down male dominance in equally all sectors. The benefits notably extended to other neighbouring countries and new allies of the Latin America. It is eminent that countries like the United States of America benefited as the Latin Americas encouraged industrialization hence creating conducive environment for investors. Apart from investing the new ally countries benefited from the exports from Latin America unlike in colonial era when exports were precisely meant for Spain. Britain on the other hand benefited from the independence attained by Latin Americas since there was an increased trade partnership with those countries. Extensively, the citizens of the new independent nations benefited due to rise in income and new avenues of earning.
Some changes experienced in these countries were gradual and took a period of to be realised. After independence there were challenges that escalated from colonial era and also new emerging challenges. Notably inequality was a major negative aspect since most quotas were dominated by males. There were misunderstandings in leadership roles with each class, who felt they should have the final say in various decisions. Social diversity was experienced in that freedom of worship, among other social aspects, was diversified. This was contrary to the earlier scenarios when diversity wasn’t encouraged and individuals had to follow a given order. The growth of liberalism was witnessed after the independence of the Latin America countries. Notably, there was a sense of inferiority by Latin elites since independence brought about equality to all stakeholders (Bulmer 45-62). The elites however had influence in the leadership of many countries as strong men ruled under their. Unlike in colonial era, progress was felt in these nations due to change in lifestyle and economic activities. Establishment of formidable and well-coordinated military for future defence against aggressions was also universal step taken equally the Latin Americas.
Political instabilities were also rampant when militaries tried to overthrow leaders from their position. This was at times influenced by the fact that some leaders were viewed as corrupt and dictators. This led to several leaders losing their positions and in some occasions the military would partially take over leadership or instil other leaders. There were arguments on how governments should be made and run with some not going down well with the idea of the majority having their way. There was also an issue on whether there should be a central government or the governing systems should be delegated to regional levels. In some cases, there was misunderstanding between those who supported mornachialism and those who felt republicanism was the best way.
Bulmer Victor Thomas, .The Economic History of Latin America since Independence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Miguel, Vinicius Valentin Raduan. “Colonialism and Underdevelopment in Latin America.” Political Affairs August 4, 2009. Available at http://www.politicalaffairs.net/colonialism-and-underdevelopment-in-latin-america/
Sheinin, David. Colonial and Post-colonial Latin America. African Studies Quarterly 7, (2-3) (2003): 219 – 224. Available at: http://asq.africa.ufl.edu/files/Sheinin-Response-Vol-7-Issues-23.pdf