Modern Latin America Audria Muscara Dr. Arguello HIST 141
Britain and Latin America
Britain had a particular interest in Latin America as a new trading post with the new nations.
England was winning the war over the land until the British intervened and established treaties with South America starting with Brazil.
The English maintained a dominant role in finance and trade.
After the first world war, The United States had economic power in Latin America which crippled regions because of the Great Depression.
Settlements of Spanish and Portuguese grew.
Britain and Latin America
Governments were short of money with most of the income coming from foreign trade.
Internal civil conflict over the roles of the church, governments, and economic powers of the elite.
Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia were especially unstable.
Civilian power was retained shortly after the establishment of their independence.
During economic growth, land owners prospered while poverty remained in some of the more rural areas.
Argentina: The Garden of Forking Paths
“ The best and worst of both possible worlds exist side by side” Jorge Luis Borges on Argentina.
Democracy was protested based on the poor wages, opportunities, and rights of the people.
By the end of the 20 th century, the Argentinean economy was crippled by inflation, political instability, and prior military tactics.
The Tango- was a song of disappointment and broken dreams
Argentinean culture was influenced greatly by the British
Those who established wealth had access to land and soil for agriculture but the $$ greatly depended on exports. U.S. Great Depression hurt Argentina's economy.
The northwest was stagnant and poverty stricken while the South (Buenos Aires) provided more wealth and opportunity.
Mirrors of the Heart
As Europeans colonized in the Latin America “melting pot,” adjustments were made amongst the social, economic, and political relations within the countries.
Bolivia- Indigenous people of Bolivia with held information and fled from Spanish conquerors. They lacked political rights and were forced into labor. In 1952, the indigenous people were granted citizenship and came out of their dwellings for better lives; education, jobs, and opportunistic moves to the city.
Haiti- A South American country of mostly African heritage. Haiti has had a poorly governed past which has made it a poor and unequal place to live.
Dominican Republic- Made up of a blend of African and European decent. Many modern Dominicans are racist towards Haitian blacks based on the history of conflict between the 2 nations.
The Second World- Venezuela: Bolivars Revenge
Post World War II, Venezuela was a land of opportunity because of oil availability.
With this comes greed and high levels of inequality. Revenue from oil production is spent by the government to serve political ends. President Hugo Chavez runs the country poorly by appointing all his officials, spending all the oil revenue, acquiring massive debts, and allowing the support from militias and gangs.
The militias are violent and crime rates are high in Venezuela.
The Second World- Brazil: The Southern Pole
Brazil is the world largest exporter of many goods including beef, sugar, and coffee.
Brazil is considered South Americas greatest power.
Remains the southern hemispheres melting pot.
Brazil, however, demonstrates how wealth and poverty can coexist.
Streets continue to be full of gangs and guns.
Efforts exist to dump money into the dangerous poverty zones to improve the countries “third world” zones.
Brazil continues to grow economically with tourism, technology, and efforts to save the ecosystem and Amazon rain forest.
The Second World- Mexico: The Umbilical Cord
Mexico joined NAFTA in 1994 and slowly built it’s economy through maquiladoras. (where products are assembled then re exported) China then became the largest country for this type of work resulting in 300,000 job losses in Mexico.
With the huge economic losses, many went to trafficking immigrants and drugs into the US.
This has been referred to as a “reconquista” by some writers because part of US soil once belonged to Mexico.
Further down in central America, countries have higher levels of poverty in communities that are filled with gangs, violence, and guns.
The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) was established to help lift Central America’s economy.
The Second World- Argentina and Chile: Very Fraternal Twins
Argentina was a prosperous country for many years until the presidency of Juan Bautista Alberdi.
It was wealthy, beautiful, and unaffected by the first world war.
After a poor militant move to seize the Falkland Islands, British forces intervened.
Argentina was at one point a prideful country above all others in South America, but is no longer considered first world.
Chile is considered South America’s “role model.”
With economic growth, Chile was able to reduce poverty and employ more citizens rather than develop inequality.
The Galapagos Islands
A small chain of islands off the coast of Ecuador.
A dry and rocky climate home to different and rare species of animals.
Claimed by the Ecuador government in 1832.
First settlers were a doctor who fled his practice and his mistress who was a patient of his.
Island only inhabited a few but became famous for a love affair and the mystery surrounding it.
Latin America dances are known for their swift and jerky motions
Salsa-originated in Cuba. Typically a partner dance with an Afro-Cuban folklore style.
Samba- A popular Brazilian dance. It’s been identified as a musical expression of urban Rio de Janeiro.
Rumba- Another Afro-Cuban dance of slower beat similar to a ballroom dance.
Tango- It originated in Rio de la Plata. It’s a dance of European and African culture. Different styles of the Tango reflect different regions of Argentina.
Latin America Dance: Salsa, Samba, Rumba and Tango