• The Haitian War for Independence (1791-1803) began as a struggle between the privileged white planters and the less privileged affranchis (those of mixed blood) and became a race war when the third and largest racial element, the pure blacks, ultimately dominated.• During the early years of the war, some wealthy plantation owners were able to escape Haiti with their slaves, which contributed to the spread of race conflict, especially in neighboring Cuba.• Latin American wars for independence were an outgrowth of deep-seated political, economic, and social frustrations.
• Within colonial Latin America a class system exalted the Europeans, gave lesser privilege to the American-born, pure-blooded whites, and repressed all others.• Mercantilism, an economic system which held that colonies existed for the benefit of the motherland, stagnated economic development throughout the New World.• Adding to political frustration, trade was exclusive and monopolistic, conducted by Europeans in European ships. Mestizos, Indians, and blacks were treated worse and taxed heavily.• Catalysts for independence were the American Revolution and French Revolution. These influenced Simon Bolivar of New Granada and Miguel Hidalgo in Mexico in their quests for independence from Spain.
• Strong-willed individuals, known as caudillos, routinely used force to achieve their personal ends. Throughout the 19th century hundreds existed but most never rose above the local level and controlled a handful of men.• A few caudillos were motivated by patriotism for the fatherland and a few by purely selfish desires. The power of the caudillos was his ability to deliver his followers to the cause of his choice.• In the decades following independence, the unresolved struggle between conservatives, who favored a monarchy, and liberals, who wanted a republic, led to wars. Other political ideologies, such as federalism versus centralism, as well as economic disputes among the ruling class also sparked intraclass wars.
• The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 outlined a policy for intervention in Latin America in order to prevent a monarchic counterrevolution against republican governments and to deter the expansion of European colonies in the New World.• Only on rare occasions did the United States threaten military intervention to enforce the Monroe Doctrine.• More than one hundred interventions took place in Latin America during the 19th century. Not all interventions were initiated by nations. Many were acts of individuals.
• South America’s plentiful natural resources can now reach global markets, particularly Asia, faster than ever.• Solid American relations with Latin America could mean substantial energy self-sufficiency in the Western Hemispheric pan-region and independence from the turbulence of Eurasia.• Imperial systems can be compared to bubbles blowing up in size, expanding and rising, then bursting and falling. Latin America has always been caught in others’ imperial bubbles, and never been able to form its own…its own underdevelopment was integral to the rise of world capitalism.
• Beginning with the arrival of Christopher Columbus, competition to conquer the hemisphere’s vast expanses was ruthless. United only by a commitment to spread Catholicism, the Spanish and Portuguese monarchies divided all the colonies of the New World.• Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortes destroyed Mexico’s Aztec empire in the 1520s. With Spain’s direct domination of Portugal from 1580 to 1640, Spain controlled the entire Western Hemisphere.• Native populations were conquered by the sword and exotic diseases, while Christian charity justified the bleeding of the New World for its silver and gold.• After the Protestant Reformation, the New World reentered calculations of the global balance of power, with France and the Netherlands undermining Catholic Spain by seizing territories from Canada to the northern coast of South America.
• America’s psychology toward Latin America reflects a striking continuity over the centuries. America’s hemispheric domination from the 1790s through the War of 1812 and onward succeeded in supplanting European powers through a mix of pocketbook diplomacy and military conquest.• The United States declared war on Spain on April 21, 1898, supposedly to liberate Cuba and initiate its democratic evolution. Roosevelt sought to also control the Philippines, which the United States simultaneously seized.• None of the forty governments America has over- thrown in Latin America since 1898 became democratic; the plan was to implant democracy in form only.• China’s economic interest in Latin America is a blessing and a curse, bringing current account surpluses for the first time in decades, along with fierce competition, as China rivals in their own market and in exports to the first world.
• The United States is coming to realize that Latin America is a strategic economic opportunity, and is increasing its investment with the aim of generating a strong, low-cost manufacturing base to compete with Asia.• After centuries of rule by mercantilist powers, Latin America and Africa remain largely neglected by their powerful neighbors while doing little more than posturing for brotherhood with their actual neighbors.• Latin America could still become a solidly second-world region due to big economies like those of Brazil and Mexico, vast oil and gas resources, and proximity to the importing giant that is the United States.
• Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva born October 27, 1945, known popularly as Lula, served as President of Brazil from 2003 to 2010.• Lula had little formal education. He did not learn to read and write until he was ten years old, and quit school after the fourth grade in order to work to help his family.• As a young man, Lula joined the labor movement and rose steadily in the ranks. He served two terms as president of the Steel Worker’s Union of Sao Bernardo do Campo and Diadema, areas home to most of Brazil’s automobile manufacturing facilities.• On February 10, 1980, Lula along with other academics, intellectuals, and union leaders, founded the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) or Worker’s Party. This was a left-wing party with progressive ideas created in the midst of Brazil’s military government.
• As President, Lula’s government chose a reformist line, passing new retirement tax, labor and judicial legislation, and discussing university reform.• Lula’s social programs like Bolsa Familia (Family Allowance) and Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) are trademarks of his time in office.• Lula’s Administration’s economic policies significantly raised the living standards; the consumerist middle class rose from 37% to 50% of the population.• Since his Presidency, Lula has attained numerous medals and was rated the most popular Brazilian president of all time. In 2010, Time Magazine named Lula one of the most influential leaders in the world.