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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 8 years ago

Latin America independence?

Historical circumstances that led the people of Latin America to want to gain their independence from Spain? Why didn't they like Spain????

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  • 8 years ago
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    Latin American independence was caused by multiple factors.

    1. Social Caste System, Racial segregation, monopolization of land. In Latin America ethnicities were more stratified than in North America, ie there was a specific categorization (at least 20 categories) of what you were where you went and you were codified based on your ethnicity whereas in north america it was just white, mixed, amerindian or black. the church and spanish crown held much of the land and most of the viceroyal governments were run by peninsulares (hispanic americans born in iberia/spain) while creoles (white spanish americans born in latin america) were second class citizens followed by mestizos/mulattos (mixed), amerindians and blacks. it was mostly a rural economy so the urban population didn't get much of a say. there was some degree of anti-clericalism among the nationalist liberals, though many of the revolutionaries (such as Hidalgo who lead Mexican independence) were religious and were opposed to the bourbon reforms of the church that had begun in spain proper.

    2. Influence of the Enlightenment, American and French Revolutions. Though it took longer for the Enlightenment to reach (and be tolerated) in Spain and by consequence in Latin America than the rest of the Western hemisphere and Europe, it nevertheless had a significant impact in the thinking of Latin American revolutionaries and Spanish governors. However the American and French revolution (particularly Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen) also influenced the desire of Latin Americans for legal independence from Spain.

    3. Napoleonic Invasion of Iberian Peninsula. While anti-Peninsular sentiment was rampant throughout Latin America well in the 18th Century, it became feverish by the time of the Napoleonic Invasion of Spain in the turn of the 19th Century. Napoleon had overthrown the conservative Bourbon government in Spain and replaced it with the Bonaparte dynasty (with his brother Joseph on the throne) which was in some ways more liberal, some ways more authoritarian than that of the Bourbons. Latin Americans resented French rule, but they admired some of the ideas that Napoleon had (liberal reforms, secularism, etc.) and wanted an independent Latin America both from Spain and France, realizing the necessity of being able to defend the Western hemisphere from a European invasion which could only be done by a status of independence. They resisted the new Bonapartist puppet state in Madrid as well as the royalist Viceroys who had to deal with trouble at home and abroad. At the same time, the Portuguese crown was moved to Brazil (they were afraid that due to Portugal's alliance with Napoleon's archenemy, Britain, the French might blockade Portugal), inspiring the Brazilians to demand more independence than a mere formality and a relatively speedy independence was granted by the Prince Regent Pedro who was crowned Emperor of Brazil. This strengthened the resolve of other Latin American states to continue demanding independence in a similar way from Spain (though Mexico had already proclaimed independence in 1810). It is said that the biggest trigger for Latin American independence is not events in Latin America but events in the Continent (namely, Napoleon's Invasion of Spain).

    Source(s): Wikipedia, History class
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