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Cash Crops, Chavez, and the OAS
Do Now:
“All too often the wealth of Latin American countries has depended on one or two
cash crops or on a single mineral. The plantations and mines that produce these
products are usually in the hands of a few wealthy, politically powerful landowners.
This narrow concentration of power and ownership plus a sharp class division
between Indians and people of European extraction have resulted in an unequal
distribution of wealth, health services, and education. The rich landlords have often
treated the people who work for them in much the same way that medieval
landlords treated their serfs.” ~ Global History: The Growth of Civilizations
1- Where has most of the wealth of Latin American countries come from?
2- Who typically owns the plantations and mines in Latin America?
3- Describe the sharp class division in much of Latin America.
4- How have the rich landlords often treated the people who worked for them?
I. Problems facing Latin America
A. Reliance on cash crops
1- One or two main crops like coffee and sugar
2- Prices fall – economies devastated
B. Gap between rich and poor
1- High levels of poverty
C. Powerful militaries
1- Sometimes threaten democracies: overthrow governments
II. Hugo Chavez
A. President of Venezuela
B. Removed term limits for politicians
C. Turning Venezuela into a socialist state
1- Taking over major industries (oil)
D. Restricting freedoms
E. Free education and healthcare
III. Organization of American States (OAS)
A. Founded in 1948
B. Promote regional cooperation
C. Includes countries of South America, Central America, U.S.A.,
Canada, and Caribbean
D. Tries to resolve disputes peacefully
E. Inspired by Simón Bolívar
1- Encouraged an association of states in the hemisphere
1- What are most Latin American countries dependent on [economically]?
2- Provide several examples of cash crops.
3- What gap exists in many Latin American nations?
4- What institution is very powerful in Latin America and has often controlled
the governments of Latin American nations?
5- Who is Hugo Chavez?
6- How has Chavez changed Venezuela?
7- What is the OAS?
8- What is the purpose of the OAS?
9- How was the OAS inspired by Simón Bolívar?
10- Previous Knowledge: What factors made it impossible for Simón Bolívar to
realize his dream of a Gran Colombia?
11- Previous Knowledge: Define mercantilism. How has mercantilism affected
Latin America’s economy even to this day?
Excerpt adapted from
“On April 30, 1948, 21 nations of the
hemisphere met in Bogotá, Colombia, to
adopt the Charter of the Organization of
American States (OAS), which affirmed
their commitment to common goals and
respect for each nation’s sovereignty. Since
then, the OAS has expanded to include the
nations of the English-speaking Caribbean,
as well as Canada.
The principles that embody the OAS grew
out of a history of regional cooperation
dating back to the 19th century.
1- What happened on April 30,
2- What are the goals of the
3- What countries today belong
to the OAS?
4- How did the ideas and actions
of Simon Bolivar influence the
creation of the OAS?
5- How can this regional
organization promote peace in
the Western Hemisphere?
6- Why do you think this
regional organization
sometimes fails to promote
In 1826, Simón Bolívar convened the
Congress of Panama with the idea of
creating an association of states in the
In 1890, the First International
Conference of American States, held in
Washington, D.C., established the
International Union of American
Republics and its secretariat, the
Commercial Bureau of the American
Republics—the forerunner of the OAS.
In 1910, this organization became the Pan
American Union.
In 1948, at the Ninth International
American Conference, participants signed
the OAS Charter and the American
Declaration of the Rights and Duties of
Man, the first international expression of
human rights principles.
The transition from the Pan American
Union to the OAS was smooth. The
Director General of the former, Alberto
Lleras Camargo, became the first
Secretary General of the OAS.”
1. The policy of establishing colonies to
gain wealth by controlling colonial trade
is called
(1) socialism
(2) fascism
(3) mercantilism
(4) communism
2. Which statement demonstrates a
major characteristic of mercantilism in
colonial Latin America?
(1) Colonies developed local industries to
compete with Spain.
(2) Spanish colonies traded freely with
English colonies.
(3) Spain instituted democratic
governments in its colonies.
(4) Colonies were a source of raw
materials for Spain.
6. The main purpose of the North
American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) and the European Union (EU)
is to
(1) increase the authority of the United
(2) encourage increased economic
(3) promote peace between nations
(4) establish and enforce military
7. • Organization of American States
• European Union (EU)
• North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA)
These organizations and agreements are
examples of
3. Which problem faces many of the
(1) political isolation
least developed nations today?
(2) military alliances
(1) Too many varieties of crops are being (3) regional cooperation
(4) collective security
(2) An excess of investment capital is
8. Which geographic feature made it
(3) High rates of illiteracy are limiting
difficult to unify South America?
economic development.
(1) Andes Mountains
(4) A high-calorie diet is causing obesity. (2) Straits of Magellan
(3) Gulf of Mexico
4. A major argument used to support the (4) Argentinian pampas
building of the Suez and Panama Canals
was that these waterways would
9. What was a major cause of the civil
(1) shorten trade routes
wars in many Central American nations
(2) strengthen command economies
in the 1970s and 1980s?
(3) increase competition for trade
(1) economic differences between social
(4) promote the local economy
(2) end of slavery in the encomienda
5. What was one similar goal shared by
Simón Bolívar and Mohandas Gandhi?
(3) rapid economic reform
(1) ending foreign control
(4) oil production policies
(2) promoting religious freedom
(3) establishing a limited monarchy
(4) creating collective farms