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Independence of Latin America

In the 1800’s, Latin American countries won independence, but many new independent countries had trouble creating strong, stable governments. The Creoles played an important role in the independent movements. These countries won their independence through strong leaders and many other factors. As soon as these countries won their independence from Spain and Portugal, they did not want to return the way they did. Many countries revolted, we even find out that the United States had something to do with it. Behind many of these countries’ independence, stands and list of causes and effects.

One of the first causes of the Independence of Latin America was the Creoles. Since Spain had rule over the Latin American countries, the Creoles were one of many groups that led the struggle for Latin Independence. Another group, who were known as the Mestizos, revolted against Spain in Peru. Many of these Indians remembered how the Spanish conquered them over 300 years ago. It didn’t last much because their leader Tupac Amaru was executed, but the slaves saw independence as a way of freedom. These groups were not the only cause of the Independence.

Another cause that led to the independence of Latin America, was the French Revolution. With these enlightenment ideas, the people of Latin America were able to have their own government that protected their interest and gave them freedom. These countries liked the idea of having natural rights, liberty, and property, as any country would. They gained a little bit of more freedom when Napoleon conquered Spain. But, that did not last much because he was defeated and all of the boundries had to be redrawn. This only leads to revolt from the Latin American countries. Among many of the small causes stands discrimination and slavery.

Now, Latin America was made up many countries and each of them got their independence separately, not as a whole. Each of these countries had leaders that led them to their own independence. These countries included Haiti, South America, Mexico, and Brazil. Tousaint L’ Overture led and uprising of African slaves in 1791, forcing the French out of Haiti – making Haiti the first Latin American colony to achieve independence. Jose de san Martin worked to liberate Argentina and Chile from Spanish rule in the years 1816 to 1818. Simon Bolivar defeated Spanish forces between 1819 and 1825, liberating Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.

Miguel Hidalgo, a priest, began a rebellion against Spanish rule in Mexico in 1810, but the uprising failed. Mexico later achieved its independence in 1821. The result of these causes of course, was that the Latin American countries did gain their independence. Many nations had trouble building stable governments though. There were many divisions, socially and economically. A good thing that happened was that slavery ended. Under Spanish rule, colonist had little experience with representative government. Within each country, power struggles often erupted between rival groups.

This is when military leaders known as caudillos seized power and ruled as dictators. They only held power for a short time. By the late 1800’s, most governments became oligarchies, under an oligarchy, a small elite has ruling power. These ruling groups divided into conservatives and liberals. Conservatives wanted to preserve the old social order of church. However, the liberals wanted to limit the influence of the church. They hoped to reduce the gap between rich and poor. Many civil wars also erupted as a result of Latin Independence. This caused chaos and a need for reform.

The Independence of Latin America wasnt the only event taking place in the world. We see that other events were taking place and that the French Revolution was one of those events that influenced that Independence of Latin America. There are many possible solutions that would help Latin America in this chaotic time period. One is that they could do away with their class system, this would create equality for everyone. They could also explore their resources and make some big trades, like Europe and The United States was doing. These possible solutions would strengthen the economy for a better Latin America.

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