Loading...

HIST303: The Age of Revolutions in the Atlantic World, 1776–1848

Unit 4: Latin America and Caribbean Revolutions   Beginning in the early 19th century, a spate of revolutions swept through the European territories in the Americas.  The independence movements that proliferated in Americas in the early 19th century were a direct result of the American and French Revolutions, as well as the Peninsular War, a conflict over the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars.  The slave revolt in Haiti was the only truly successful slave revolt, as well as the first of the new Independence movements.  Napoleon Bonaparte dismantled the Spanish Bourbon monarchy, allowing for the establishment of several junta governments in Spanish America that advocated independence from Spain.  While Napoleon’s forces occupied Portugal, the monarchy fled to Brazil, its South American colony.  When the Portuguese king returned to Portugal in 1821, his brother, the prince regent, declared Brazil independent of Portugal.  The wars for independence that ensued in Central and South America during this time resulted in protracted and bloody conflicts, the adoption of free trade policies, the rise of many unstable regimes, and the expansion of representative government. 

In this unit, you will consider the many causes of the Latin American and Caribbean Revolutions of the early 1800s as well the particular character of each revolution.  You will also study how the revolutionary movements helped better integrate Central and South America into the world economy and forge alliances with America and Great Britain.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
Time Advisory: This unit will take approximately 8 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 4.1: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 4.3: 1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 4.4: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 4.5: 0.75 hour  

☐    Unit 4 Assessment: 0.5 hour

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- identify and discuss the importance of the American Revolution, French Revolution, and the Napoleonic invasion of Spain and Portugal to the Latin American Independence movements; - describe the role of Simon Bolivar in fomenting independence; - distinguish the histories of various revolutions in Spanish-speaking South America from one another and the Brazilian experience from those of the Spanish-speaking areas; - discuss the complex transitions from colony to independent countries undertaken by Latin American countries during the middle 19th century; and - explain the relationship between the French Revolution and the Haitian Slave Revolt.

4.1 The Haitian Revolution   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Haitian Revolution” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Haitian Revolution” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read this text.  This reading will give you an excellent introduction to the main causes, events, and consequences of the Haitian Revolution.  Pay special attention to the permanent effect of colonial rule in Haitian society, politics, and economy.  This reading covers the topics outlined in subunits 4.1.1 through 4.1.4. 

 Reading this text should take approximately 30 minutes.

4.1.1 Slave Society in Haiti   Note: The reading assigned below subunit 4.1 covers this topic.

  • Lecture: Khan Academy’s “Haitian Revolution – Part 1” Link: Khan Academy’s “Haitian Revolution – Part 1” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Watch this video lecture, which provides an overview of the slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue, which sparked the Haitian Revolution and the rise of the commander and revolutionary leader Toussaint L’Ouverture.  The Haitian Revolution is considered to be the most successful slave rebellion ever to have occurred in the Americas and a defining moment in the history of Africans in the New World.  Note that this lecture will also cover subunit 4.1.2.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.  It is attributed to the Khan Academy.

4.1.2 The Revolt of 1791   Note: The video lecture assigned under subunit 4.1.1 covers this topic.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Civil Rights for Les Gens de Couleur” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Civil Rights for Les Gens de Couleur” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Read this text.  As you read, consider the following study question: How important was the Universal Emancipation decree to the abolition of slavery? 
     
    Reading this text and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

4.1.3 The French Response   - Lecture: Khan Academy’s “Haitian Revolution – Part 2” Link: Khan Academy’s “Haitian Revolution – Part 2” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Watch this video lecture on the second phase of the Haitian Revolution under Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who became leader after the capture of L’Ouverture in 1802.  Note that this video lecture will also cover the topic outlined in subunit 4.1.4.

 Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 45 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: This video is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).  It is
attributed to the Khan Academy.

4.1.4 Independence   Note: The reading assigned below subunit 4.1 and the video lecture assigned below subunit 4.1.3 cover this topic. 

4.2 Causes and Independent Movements   4.2.1 Discontent in Colonial Society   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Period of Imperial Crisis” (PDF) and “Causation of Spanish American Independence” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Period of Imperial Crisis” (PDF) and “Causation of Spanish American Independence” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this text.  As you read, consider the following study question: Why was it so important for so many of the Spanish colonies not to fall under French control during the Napoleonic invasion of Spain?
 
Studying these readings and answering the question above should take approximately 45 minutes.

4.2.2 The American and French Revolutions   - Reading: Florida International University: Robert A. Peterson’s “A Tale of Two Revolutions” Link: Florida International University: Robert A. Peterson’s “A Tale of Two Revolutions” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this text.  This comparative study of the French Revolution and American Revolution reveals interesting issues relating to their substantive common features and dynamics, as well as their cultural, political and ideological differences, which provided two contrasting models of revolutionary change.  Write a summary about how these revolutionary models compare and contrast.
 
Reading this text and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.3 The Napoleonic Wars   - Reading: US Library of Congress’s Country Studies: “Spain: The Napoleonic Era” Link: US Library of Congress’s Country Studies: “Spain: The Napoleonic Era” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this text.  Remember that the Spanish American Wars of Independence are a direct result of the French invasion of Spain.
 
Reading this text should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.3 The Spanish Empire   4.3.1 Mexico   - Reading: US Library of Congress’s Country Studies: “The Road to Independence”, “Wars of Independence, 1810–21” and “Empire and Early Republic, 1821–55” Link: US Library of Congress’s Country Studies: “The Road to Independence” (HTML), “Wars of Independence, 1810–21” (HTML) and “Empire and Early Republic, 1821–55” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read these studies.  As you read, consider the
following study question: What is the historical importance of the
military coup that took place in Spain against Ferdinand VII in
October 1807?  

 Reading these texts and answering the question above should take
approximately 45 minutes.  

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

4.3.2 Simón Bolívar and South America   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Simón Bolívar and José de San Martin” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Simón Bolívar and José de San Martin” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this text.  General Simón Bolívar was hailed as El Libertador (the Liberator) by his compatriots.  Historians have sometimes called him the George Washington of Latin America. José de San Martin was an Argentinian general who fought for independence.
 
As you read about Bolívar, consider the following study questions: Do you think that comparing Bolívar to George Washington is fair? Why, or why not?
 
Reading this text and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

4.4 The Portuguese Empire   4.4.1 Colonial Brazil   - Reading: US Library of Congress’s Country Studies: “Brazil: The Transformation to Kingdom Status” Link: US Library of Congress’s Country Studies: “Brazil: The Transformation to Kingdom Status” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the text.  You will read the remainder of the article in subunit 4.4.3.  Remember that at this point Brazil was not independent and instead was part of a transatlantic kingdom, or pluri-continental monarchy.  In other words, the Kingdom of Portugal and the Kingdom of Brazil shared the same king and formed part of a single united state.  
 
Reading this text should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.4.2 Impact of European Wars   - Reading: US Library of Congress’s Country Studies: “Brazil: Emperor Dom Pedro I” Link: US Library of Congress’s Country Studies: “Brazil: Emperor Dom Pedro I” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this study on Brazil.  This reading offers an overview of the life and accomplishments of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil.

 Reading this text should take approximately 30 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.4.3 Brazilian Independence   - Reading: US Library of Congress’s Country Studies: “Brazil: The Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil, 1815–21” Link: US Library of Congress’s Country Studies: “Brazil: The Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil, 1815–21” (HTML)

 Instructions: Scroll down and read the text below the heading "The
Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil, 1815-21".  As you read, consider the
following study question: Was Brazil an equal member in this
political union?  

 Reading this text and answering the question above should take
approximately 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.5 Impact of American Revolutions   4.5.1 The New Nations   - Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Francisco Bilbao’s “Excerpts from America in Danger” Link: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Francisco Bilbao’s “Excerpts from America in Danger (HTML)

 Instructions:  Read the introductory material and the excerpts from
Bilbao’s *America in Danger* for an overview of the
post-independence era in Latin America as well as Bilbao’s criticism
of military dictatorships.   
    
 Reading this text should take approximately 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.5.2 Monroe Doctrines and the Americas   - Reading: Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library’s The Avalon Project: “The Monroe Doctrine” Link: Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library’s The Avalon Project: “The Monroe Doctrine” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this text.   The Monroe Doctrine was a presidential proclamation by which the United States declared that any intervention by European nations in North or South America would be seen as a threat to the US and would be treated as such.

 As you read, consider the following study questions: Was the Monroe
Doctrine an effort to stop European colonialism in the Americas?
Why, or why not?   

 Reading this text and answering the question above should take
approximately 30 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

Unit 4 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4 Assessment”

Link: The Saylor Foundation’s [“Unit 4
Assessment”](https://resources.saylor.org/wwwresources/archived/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/HIST303-Unit-4-Assessment.FINAL_.pdf)
(PDF)  

 Instructions: Please complete this assessment.  You can check your
work against The Saylor Foundation’s [“Unit 4 Answer
Key”](https://resources.saylor.org/wwwresources/archived/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/HIST303-Unit-4-Answer-Key.FINAL_.pdf)
(PDF).  

 Completing this assessment should take no more than 30 minutes.