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Latin America’s History
(Conflict & Change; Movement & Migration)
SS6H2 The student will explain the development of Latin America and the
Caribbean as colonies of European nations and on through their
a. Describe the influence of African slavery on the development of the Americas.
b. Explain the influence of the Spanish & the Portuguese on the language and
religions of Latin America.
c. Explain the Latin American independence movements: include the importance of
Toussaint L‘Ouverture, Simon Bolivar, & Miguel Hidalgo.
African Slavery in the Americas
 Shortages of labor in Americas led to beginning of Atlantic slave trade.
 Farmers and plantation owners first used Native Americans; European
diseases and warfare killed millions of Native Americans.
 Workers were still needed on sugar, tobacco, and other types of plantations
which brought about the African slave trade in the Americas.
 Between the 1500s and the 1800s, millions of Africans were captured,
shipped across the Atlantic Ocean, and sold as slaves in the Americas
o Brazil: 4-10 million; Spanish Empire: 2-5 million; Caribbean: 3-6
million; North America: 5-1 million
 Triangular trade is a historical term indicating trade among three ports or
regions, in the shape of a triangle: Europe, Africa, and the Americas
o First leg of triangle: ships carrying European goods to Africa to be
exchanged for slaves.
o Second leg, Middle Passage: brought Africans to Americas to be sold.
o Third leg carried American products to Europe.
 As result of slave trade, people of African descent spread throughout
Americas & Western Europe (called African Diaspora)
o Eventually led to spread of African culture: music, art, religion, food
throughout the Western World
o Slaves and other ethnic groups blended
 The term Latin America refers to the origin of the languages Spanish and
Portuguese from Ancient Roman Empire.
 These languages are spoken widely throughout Latin America as a result of
European colonization of the region.
 There are two main languages spoken throughout Latin America: Portuguese:
Brazil, Spanish: in most other countries
Latin America’s History
(Conflict & Change; Movement & Migration)
 Why did Europeans Explore?
o The 3 G’s: God, Gold & Glory
 European explorers found gold and glory in the Americas.
 After the Spanish conquered the Aztecs and the Incas (and
other Native Americans), they tried to convert them to
 Just as the Catholic Church was powerful in Spain, it soon
became powerful in Latin America
 Catholic priests set up churches, schools, hospitals and
Spanish missions
 The purpose of Spanish Missions and the priests was to spread
the Christian religion among the local natives.
 To help accomplish this, each Spanish mission recruited local
natives, brought them to live at the mission and taught them
Spanish, farming and other skills.
 The lasting impact of the spread of Christianity can still be
found throughout Latin America today.
 94% of Latin Americans are Roman Catholic.
Toussaint L‘Ouverture
 He was a former slave in Haiti (freed in 1777).
 In 1791, he led a huge slave revolt against the French in Hispaniola.
 France was also fighting a war against Spanish forces in Hispaniola; they
couldn’t deal with slave rebellions.
 They promised that any slave who joined the French army & fought the
Spanish would be freed.
 In 1795, L’Ouverture’s army helped the French defeat the Spanish.
 In 1801, L’Ouverture led a huge army into a Spanish colony & freed all slaves
 Six months later, he became “governor general of Haiti for life.”
 In 1802, a large French army lands in Haiti.
 They wanted to restore the old French government & regain control of sugar
 L’Ouverture’s army fought the French & lost.
 French arrested L’Ouverture and sent him to prison in France.
 L’Ouverture died while in prison.
 L’Ouverture’s army was outraged & took up arms again against France.
 In November 1803, they defeated the last of the French forces.
Latin America’s History
(Conflict & Change; Movement & Migration)
 In 1804, they declared Haiti independent of French rule.
 Haiti became the 1st country in Latin America to break free of European
Simon Bolivar
 Bolivar was a wealthy Venezuelan Criollo (parents born in Spain, but children
born in Latin America) who spent many years traveling Europe.
 While in Italy, he discovered his life’s purpose: to liberate his homeland from
European control.
 In 1810, Bolivar’s army kicks Spanish governor out of Venezuela
 In 1811, a new constitution proclaimed Venezuela independent of Spanish
 Soon after, Spanish royalists defeated the new country’s army & Bolivar was
forced to flee to New Granada (Colombia).
 Bolivar organized a bigger army and marched back into Venezuela.
 In 1813, Bolivar’s army won & took control of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.
 Bolivar was nicknamed El Libertador.
 Over the next few years, Bolivar liberated New Granada (now Colombia),
Ecuador, Panama, Peru, & Upper Peru (now Bolivia).
Miguel Hidalgo
Hidalgo was a Catholic priest in the town of Dolores.
He began the struggle for Mexico’s independence in 1810.
September 16th, 1810: “Cry of Dolores” was his call for revolution.
He rang church bells and shouted, “Long live our Lady of Guadalupe! Death
to bad government! Death to the Spaniards!”
An army of mestizos & Native Americans rallied behind Hidalgo.
Over 80,000 people joined the fight, but the army was soon defeated by the
Hidalgo was captured and executed in 1811.
Mexicans continued to fight for independence over the next decade.
In 1821, Mexico gained independence from Spain.
Mexico celebrates September 16th as it’s Independence Day.
The president rings a bell in Mexico City and repeats Hidalgo’s “Cry of