Chapter 25

The Consolidation of Latin America, 1830 - 1920


The time period between 1830 to 1920 in Latin America was a great time for political change in Latin America. Many Latin American countries sought for more autonomy or outright independence from their conquerors. Many new countries such as Gran Colombia and Haiti were formed. Independence movements were copious although not always successful. The Latin Americans’ hope for independence increased as they watched the successful American Revolution and the French Revolution take place. 

Theme 3: State-Building, Expansion, and Conflict

• Political structures and forms of governance

• Empires

• Nations and nationalism

• Revolts and revolutions

• Regional, transregional, and global structures and organizations

       In this chapter, Spanish and Portuguese colonies are just starting to declare their independence from their mother countries. During the time of their independence, many changes and problems were occuring in Europe. The French invasion of Spain and Portugal caused the Portuguese royal family to move from Portugal to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil causing the city to be declared as the new capital of Portugal after many improvements were constructed. After France gave back Portugal, the king was being called back and within that time frame his son, Pedro I, declared the independence of Brazil in 1822 and made it a monarchy. Although Brazil got its independence, most of the other colonies in Latin America could not gain their independence until later on because of the slave rebellion in St. Domingue. Independence movements sprung up in several colonies, but were brought down by government forces. Although after some time, people were united under one leader and, by Augustin Iturbide, Mexico declares its independence. States, like Gran Colombia, gained their independence, but broke apart into smaller countries. 

       In addition to the independence of Latin American colonies, the governments that were created were largely a republic form of government. Though there were conflicts between conservatives and republicans and as to how the government should be structured, a side was chosen which was a more republican government. Even within the republican side, conflicts as to how the government should be structured were being fought between centralists and federalists. Centralists wanting a stronger national government with broad powers and federalists wanting a regional government. Another form of government that was brought up was a monarchy in Brazil, which is the only monarchy in Latin America. The governments and independence of colonies mostly grew because of the Monroe Doctrine which was meant to protect the new governments from military intervention by European governments.

Theme 4: Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic Systems

• Agricultural and pastoral production

• Trade and commerce

• Labor systems

• Industrialization

• Capitalism and socialism

       In this chapter, this time is age of economic resurgence to Latin America. Before the 1820, most Latin American used to engage in agriculture. However, since 1850, Latin America developed their economies caused by industrial revolution and population growth. Foreigners saw new demands for Latin American products; entrepreneurs and bankers joined liberals, landowners, and merchants to tie Latin America to the capitalist expansion of the Western economy. This economic expansion also led to the expense of the peasantry; landowners and governments expropriated land and developed forms of tenancy, peonage, and disguised servitude.

       During this time, most Latin American countries were independent and powerful nations. That is affected to not only Latin American but also Europe such as Spain, Portugal, and Britain. Because of Britain trying to change other powerful nation’s policy from control the economic system to neo-colonial commercial system, Latin Americans could trade with other nations more freely. Even though Britain and Spanish was main customer so they absorb most of their products, unquestionably, this is one of the reasons that they could develop their economy more wealthy and affluent.

Toussaint L’ Overture: Leader of the slave rebellion on the French island of St. Domingue, France’s great sugar colony, in 1791; led to the creation of the independent of Haiti in 1804. Haiti became symbol of freedom and hope to slaves and free people of color throughout America. 

 Mask of Ferdinand: Term given to the movements in Latin America allegedly loyal to the deposed Bourbon king of Spain; they actually were Creole movements for independence. 

Miguel de Hidalgo: Mexican priest who established an independence movement among Indians and mestizos in 1810 to help lead Creoles to independence. However, after early victories he was captured and executed because he lost the support of the Creoles. The creoles had feared social rebellion more than they desired independence. 

 Augustin Iturbide: Conservative Creole officer in the Mexican army who joined the independence movement by drawing up an agreement with the insurgent forces. He was made emperor of Mexico in 1821 

Simon Bolivar

Simon Bolivar: Creole military officer in northern South America that won victories against Spain in Venezuela, and Ecuador between 1817 and 1822 that led to the independent state of Gran Colombia. 

Gran Colombia: Existed as an independent state until 1830 when Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador became separate independent nations. Political differences and regional interests led to the breakup of Gran Colombia. 

Jose de San Martin: Leader of movements in Rio de la Plata that led to the independence of the United Republic of Rio de la Plata by 1816. He wanted to achieve freedom of trade. He also later led independence movements in Chile and Peru. 

Joao VI: Portuguese monarch who fled the French to establish his court in Brazil from 1808 to 1820; Rio de Janeiro became the real capital of the Portuguese empire. He transformed Rio de Janeiro into an imperial city. There were public libraries, botanical gardens, printing presses, schools, etc. 

 Pedro I: Son and successor of Joao VI in Brazil. He aided in the declaration of Brazilian independence in 1822 and became constitutional emperor. Brazil’s declaration of Independence did not change the political structure drastically. All former Spanish American colonies became republics and Brazil became a monarchy.

Jose Rodriguez de Francia: Ruler of independent Paraguay as dictator until 1840 

Andres Santa Cruz: Mestizo general who established a union between independent Peru and Bolivia between 1829 and 1839. 

Caudillos: Leaders in independent Latin American who dominated local areas by force in defiance of national policies and sometimes seized the national government. Resulted from poorly enforced politics of the new nation after a decade of warfare. 

Centralists: Latin American politicians who favored strong, centralized national governments with broad powers (Conservative) 

Federalists: Latin American politicians who favored regional governments rather than centralized administrations (Liberal) 

Monroe Doctrine: United States declaration of 1823, which stated that any attempt by a European country to colonize the Americas would be considered an unfriendly act. 

Guano: Bird droppings, used as fertilizer, became a major Peruvian export between 1850 and 1880. The government used the income to abolish slavery by compensating the owners 

Positivism: A philosophy, based on the ideas of Auguste Comte, which stressed observation and scientific approaches to the problems of society. Supported the shift in attitude and possibilities in Latin America that would transform the nations. 

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna: Mexican general who seized power after the collapse of the Mexican republic in 1835. 

 Manifest Destiny:

- Belief that the United States was destined to rule from the Atlantic to the Pacific

- "god- given right"

- States would still be under Spanish rule if it wasn't for Manifest Destiny

- California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and Utah

Treaty of Guadalupe- Hidalgo (1848):


- Treaty between the United States and Mexico

- Mexico lost one- half of national territory

- Ended Mexican- American War

- Established Rio Grande as boundary between US and Mexico

- Gives territorial claims to the US

- Texas, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, etc.

Benito Juarez:

- Indian lawyer and politician who led a liberal revolution against Santa Anna

- Defeated by the French

   - made Maximillian emperor

- Returned to power from 1867 to 1872

- Created modern civil society in Mexico after the end of the Spanish rule


La Reforma:

- Name of Juarez's liberal revolution

- Land Reforms

- Redistribution of land, especially Church property

- Increased educational opportunities for the poor

Maximilian von Habsburg:

- Austrian archduke proclaimed emperor of Mexico as a result of French intervention in 1862

- After the French withdrawal he was executed in 1867

- Installed by Napoleon III


- Mounted rural workers in the Rio de la Plata region

- Strong political force in the early years of the Argentine republic

- Bringing to power such caudillos as Juan Facundo Quiroga and Juan Manuel de Rosas

Juan Manuel de Rosas:

- Federalist leader in Buenos Aires

- Took power in 1831

- Commanded loyalty of guachos

- Restored local autonomy

- Prototype of the caudillo dictators of South America

- Ruled supreme in the Argentine Confederation from 1829 to 1852

Argentine Republic:

- Replaced state of Buenos Aires in 1862 as a result of a compromise between centralists and federalists

Domingo F. Sarmiento:

- Liberal politician and president of the Argentine Republic

- Author of Facundo

   - Critique of caudillo politics

- Increased international trade and launched reforms in education and transporation


- Coffee estates that spread into the Brazillian interior between 1840 and 1860

- Intensification of slavery

- Increased the economy

Modernization Theory:

- The belief that the more industrialized, urban, and modern a society became, the more social change and improvement were possible as traditional patterns and attitudes were abandoned or transformed

- Major perspectives in sociology of national development and underdevelopment

- Economic growth in society was main concern


Dependency Theory:

- The belief that development and underdevelopment were not stages but were part of the same process

- That development and growth of areas like western Europe were achieved at the expense of underdevelopment and dependent regions like Latin America

- Present among the underdeveloped areas out of poverty

Porfirio Diaz:

- One of Juarez's generals

- Elected president of Mexico in 1876 and dominated politics for 35 years

- Established strong centralized state and held control for more than three decades



- Advisors to Diaz's government who were influenced strongly by positivist ideas

Spanish American War:

- Fought between Spain and the United States beginning in 1898

- Resulted in annexation of Puerto Rico and the Philippines

- Permitted American intervention in the Caribbean

- Spain lost almost all it's overseas territories

   - US gained all that Spain lost

- Spain lost world power, and US gained it

Panama Canal:

- The United States supported an independence movement in panama, then part of Columbia

- In return for the exclusive rights for a canal across the Panamanian Isthmus

Auguste Comte:

- 19th- century French philosopher

- Founder of positivism

   - Philosophy that stressed observation and scientific approaches to the problems of society

Mexican- American War:

- Fought between Mexico and the US from 1846 to 1848

   - Led to devastating defeat of Mexican forces and loss of about one- half of Mexico's national territory to the United States

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