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HIST222: Modern Latin America

Unit 1: Independence amidst Imperialism   During the first three decades of the 19th century, every Spanish and Portuguese colony in the Western Hemisphere, with the exception of Cuba and Puerto Rico, achieved political independence. Freedom from European rule represented only the first step in a long and arduous process of nation-building. Over the course of the 19th century, Latin American political leaders gradually organized national governments, developed local economies, and attempted to resolve regional conflicts through negotiations and military force. Local elites of European decent controlled political life in most Latin American nations. Poor inhabitants of mixed ancestry, who comprised the majority of the population, held little political power. In many nations, disputes between contending factions of the political elite led to periodic coups and revolutions throughout the 19th century. Typically, poor inhabitants were caught in the middle of these broader political and military struggles and suffered dreadful consequences. 
 
While the nations of Latin America gained political independence in the 19th century, most countries remained tethered to former colonial powers by economic bonds. Spanish and Portuguese investors controlled many local businesses and served as sources of capital for economic development. British investors also began to organize local companies in many Latin American nations and used their economic power to influence political affairs in these nations. European economic imperialism had a profound influence over the economic and political development of the nations of Latin America. 
 
In this unit, you will examine how independent Latin American nations grew economically, politically, and socially over the course of the 19th century. You will evaluate the ways in which European imperialism shaped political and economic life in Latin American countries. You will also look at the regional military conflicts that shaped the modern-day boundaries of these nations and explore the consequences of these conflicts for the former Spanish and Portuguese colonies.  

Unit 1 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 1.2: 1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 0.75 hours   

☐    Subunit 1.4: 2 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - analyze how the peoples of Latin America attempted to organize viable nation-states following independence from Spanish and Portuguese colonial rule; and - analyze and interpret primary source documents from the 19th and 20th centuries, using historical research methods to garner a more profound understanding of Latin American history.

1.1 Nation-Building   - Reading: Connexions: Ana Maria Seglie’s “Pan-Americanism in the Wake of Latin American Independence” Link: Connexions: Ana Maria Seglie’s “Pan-Americanism in the Wake of Latin American Independence” (HTML) (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this article, which addresses the origins and development of the Pan-Americanism movement in the early 19th century. This reading covers the topics outlined in subunits 1.1.1–1.1.3.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Ana Maria Seglie, and the original version can be found here.

1.1.1 Organizing National Governments   Note: The reading assigned beneath subunit 1.1 covers this topic. Focus specifically on the way in which nascent Latin American nations create unique governmental structures that confront the dilemmas faced by the newly independent nations.

1.1.2 Liberalism and Representative Democracy   Note: The reading assigned beneath subunit 1.1 covers this topic. Focus specifically on the development of political progressivism and how early post-colonial nations struggle with the creation of truly representational governments.

1.1.3 Conservative and Radical Regimes Vie for Power   Note: The reading assigned beneath subunit 1.1 covers this topic. Focus specifically on how recent post-colonial politics often veer to conservatism as the ruling social elite attempt to maintain political control after independence and how radical political challenges arise to confront these attempts to maintain the political status quo.

1.1.4 Class Conflict and Politics   - Reading: Wilson Whitman’s (ed.) Jefferson’s Letters Link: Wilson Whitman’s (ed.) Jefferson’s Letters (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this excerpt from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to John Jay. This excerpt offers a first-hand account of Brazil and Mexico in the final years before independence.
 
Reading this excerpt should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain. 

1.1.5 Social Challenges in Latin America at the Time of Independence   - Reading: Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa’s Excerpts from A Voyage to South America Link: Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa’s Excerpts from A Voyage to South America (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read these excerpts from A Voyage to South America by two Spanish scientists, Juan and Ulloa. Pay special attention to the descriptions of the social classes and racial division in Peruvian society.
 
Reading these excerpts should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

1.2 Rebuilding National Economies   - Reading: MIT: Professor James Howe’s The Conquest of the Americas: “Lecture 17: Independence and Change in 19th Century Latin America” Link: MIT: Professor James Howe’s The Conquest of the Americas: “Lecture 17: Independence and Change in 19th Century Latin America” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read these lecture notes on independence and change in 19th century Latin America. Pay special attention to the liberal reforms that took place after independence.
 
Reading these lecture notes should take approximately 45 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to James Howe, and the original version can be found here.

1.2.1 The Economic Costs of Independence   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Economic Costs of Independence” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Economic Costs of Independence” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this article to learn about the high costs and
benefits of independence. Pay special attention to the permanent
effect of the colonial economic system.  
    
 As you read, consider the following study question: Were foreign
capital inflows beneficiary, harmful or simply unavoidable?  

 Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.

1.3 European Economic Imperialism   - Reading: Connexions: Jack E. Maxfield’s “America: A.D. 1801 to 1900” Link: Connexions: Jack E. Maxfield’s “America: A.D. 1801 to 1900” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the sections of this article titled "Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean" and "South America." Pay special attention to the permanent effect of the European colonial heritage in the newly independent Latin American nations' society, politics, and economy.
 
As you read, consider the following study question: Do you think the colonial cast system helped European nations to keep a bridle on Latin America's affairs?
 
This reading covers the topics outlined in subunits 1.3.1–1.3.2.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 45 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Jack E. Maxfield, and the original version can be found here.

1.3.1 European Investment   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.3.  Please focus specifically on European investments in Latin America did not always improve the welfare of the people. Compare the results of foreign investment in Mexico under Porfirio Diaz and Brazil under Pedro I.

1.3.2 Trade Relations   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 1.3.  Please focus specifically on how the relationships of subordination and superiority are reinforced by trade relationships between Latin America and Europe. Pay special attention to how Guatelama remained as Spain’s largest supplier of sugar, cocoa and indigo even after independence. 

1.4 Military Conflict   - Reading: Brigham Young University Library: “The Treaty of the Triple Alliance”

Link: Brigham Young University Library: “[The Treaty of the Triple
Alliance](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Secret-Treaty-of-the-Triple-Alliance.pdf)”
(PDF)  
    
 Instructions: Study this primary source document. The treaty,
signed on May 20, 1882, created an alliance among Brazil, Argentina,
and Uruguay. Signed before the outbreak of war between these three
allied nations and Paraguay, the Treaty of the Triple Alliance
required the alliance to act together to defeat Paraguay.  
    
 Studying this treaty should take approximately 30 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.4.1 The Paraguayan Setting for the War of the Triple Alliance   - Reading: US Library of Congress: Dennis M. Hanratty and Sandra W. Meditz’s (ed.) Paraguay: A Country Study: “Dictatorship and War” and “Francisco Solano López” Link: US Library of Congress: Dennis M. Hanratty and Sandra W. Meditz’s (ed.) Paraguay: A Country Study: “Dictatorship and War” (HTML) and “Francisco Solano López” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read these two articles from Paraguay: A Country Study. Pay attention to the economic factors that led to the War of the Triple Alliance.
 
Reading these articles should take approximately 30 minutes.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.4.2 The War of the Triple Alliance   - Reading: US Library of Congress: Dennis M. Hanratty and Sandra W. Meditz’s (ed.) Paraguay: A Country Study: “The War of the Triple Alliance”

Link: US Library of Congress: Dennis M. Hanratty and Sandra W.
Meditz’s (ed.) *Paraguay: A Country Study*: “[The War of the Triple
Alliance](http://countrystudies.us/paraguay/11.htm)” (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article from *Paraguay: A Country Study*.
Pay special attention to the causes of the war.  
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.4.3 Collapse of Gran Colombia   - Reading: US Library of Congress: Dennis M. Hanratty and Sandra W. Meditz’s (ed.) Colombia: A Country Study: “The Gran Colombia”

Link: US Library of Congress: Dennis M. Hanratty and Sandra W.
Meditz’s (ed.) *Colombia: A Country Study*: “[The Gran
Colombia](http://countrystudies.us/colombia/13.htm)” (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article from *Colombia: A Country Study*.
Pay special attention to Simon Bolivar’s role.   
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.  
              
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.4.4 Establishing Modern-Day National Boundaries and Foreign Interventions   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Establishing Modern-Day National Boundaries and Foreign Interventions” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Establishing Modern-Day National Boundaries and Foreign Interventions” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this article for an introduction to the dangers
faced by the newly independent nations of Latin America, focusing
primarily on the delineation of territorial boundaries and how
internal strife resulted in many occasions to foreign
interventions.  

 As you read, consider the following study question: Do you think
Latin America’s territorial boundaries delimitate identifiable
ethnic or ethno-linguistic cultures?  

 Reading this article and answering the study question should take
approximately 30 minutes.