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Ch. 25 Discussion
AP World History
Describe the degree to which Latin American
states were successful in shaking off their
colonial past.
With independence, most nations had republican
governments; liberal constitutions extended the vote. Their
economies no longer were under European dictation.
Slavery, the base of exploitative labor, ended by 1888. The
colonial heritage of a society based on castes of color and
race was more difficult to overcome. Indians continued to
be oppressed and remained at the bottom of the social
structure. Even liberal land reforms and redistribution
plans discriminated against Indians and mestizos. There
were frequent rebellions of peasants and Indians against
governments dominated by Creole aristocracies.
Compare the relationship of the Latin American
nations with the West at the end of the 19th
century with the relationship of the West to true
colonies created through imperialism.
Latin America remained independent, did not provide
military forces to the West, and was outside of the
imperial scramble. The profits of economic expansion
were not drained off by Western merchants. But Latin
America was in many ways reduced to an economic
dependency typical of true colonies; economic
expansion was based on the export of raw materials,
and markets were dependent on the West. The West
provided capital for initiation of industry and often
owned the industries. The labor force often was
exploited in a manner similar to that of colonial labor
Trace the causes of political change in Latin
Four external events had a major effect on Latin
American political thought. The American Revolution
provided a model for colonial rebellion. The French
Revolution offered revolutionary ideology. The slave
rebellion on the French island of St. Domingue, led by
Franyois-Dominique Toussaint L'Overture in 1791,
ended in 1804 with the independent republic of Haiti.
The final and precipitating factor was the confused
political situation in Spain and Portugal caused by
French invasion and occupation.
Contrast the Brazilian move to independence
with other Latin America independence.
Because of political unrest and invasion in Portugal,
the king of Portugal was forced to flee to Brazil in 1820.
In 1822, Brazil was declared independent with a
monarchy ruling. This contrasts from the rest of Latin
America's colonies as they fought protracted
revolutions for independence. Ultimately each of these
colonies became republics.
Compare the centralist versus the federalist
There were many differences among leaders about
the forms of republican government. Centralists
wanted strong governments with broad powers, while
federalists favored awarding authority to regional
Characterize the liberal politics of the period
from 1850 to 1870
Liberals, influenced by the French and United
States models, stressed individual rights,
opposed the corporate structure of colonial
society, and favored a federalist government.
Identify the successes of reform at resolving
problems of race, class, and gender.
Women, despite participation in the revolutions, gained
little ground during the 19th century. They continued as
wives and mothers under the authority of men; they could
not vote or hold office. Lower-class women had more
economic and personal freedom but otherwise shared in
subordination. Public education became more open to
women to prepare them for more enlightened roles in the
home. Most of the new nations legally ended the society of
castes in which status depended on color and ethnicity; in
reality, very little changed for natives and former slaves.
Control of land, politics, and the economy was dominated
by a small, white, Creole elite that displayed rigid social
Summarize the economic boom of the period
after 1870
The increasing demand in industrializing Europe stimulated
Latin American economic growth. Political alliances were
forged to influence governments in their favor at the
expense of the peasants and the working class. Export
products fueled the expansion and provided resources for
imports of foreign manufactured goods and local
development projects. The developing commerce drew the
interest of foreign investors. Germany and the United
States joined Britain as major participants. The capital
brought in was useful, but it placed key industries under
foreign control, and it influenced the internal and external
policies of governments.
Generalize the ways that the United States
entered the political and economic affairs of
Latin America
The Spanish-American War of 1898 brought the United
States directly into Latin American affairs. American
investment in Cuba predated the war, and following it
there was direct involvement in the Caribbean. Cuba
became an American economic dependent, and Puerto
Rico was annexed. When Colombia was reluctant to meet
American proposals for building the Panama Canal, the
United States backed a revolution in Panama and gained
exclusive rights over the canal. Latin Americans, as a
consequence, became very suspicious of the expansionist
United States.