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Nation Building and Economic Transformation in the Americas

Independence in Latin America, 1800-1830 The Problem of Order, 1825-1890 The Challenge of Social and Economic Change
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Learning Objectives: 1. Be able compare and contrast early independence movements in Spanish South America, Mexico, and Portuguese Brazil. 2. Be able to describe late eighteenth- and nineteenthcentury efforts to end slavery and achieve equal rights for women and blacks.
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Focus Questions: What were the causes of the revolutions for independence in Latin America? What major political challenges did Western Hemisphere nations face in the nineteenth century? How did economic modernization and the effects of abolitionism, immigration, and women's rights change the nations of the Western Hemisphere?
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Independence in Latin America, 1800-1830

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Both Iberian empires had reformed their colonial administration and strengthened their military forces in the eighteenth century

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Roots of Revolution, to 1810
The Enlightenment as well as revolutionary documents were circulating widely in Latin America by 1800 Local-born members of Latin America’s elite and middle classes were frustrated by the political and economic power of colonial officials and angered by high taxes
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Napoleon's decision to invade Portugal (1807) and Spain (1808) created the crisis of legitimacy that undermined the authority of colonial officials In Spain, in contrast, Napoleon forced King Ferdinand VII to abdicate and placed his own brother, Joseph Bonaparte, on the throne
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Spanish patriots fighting against the French created a new political body, the *Junta Central, to administer the areas they controlled These were temporary political structures to govern colonial regions while the chaos in Europe ensued
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In late 1808 and 1809, popular movements overthrew Spanish colonial officials in Venezuela, Mexico, and Alto Peru (modern Bolivia) and created local juntas By 1810, Spanish colonial authorities were facing a new round of revolutions more clearly focused on the achievement of independence
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Spanish South America, 1810-1825
Faced with determined resistance, the revolutionary movement placed overwhelming political authority in the hands of its military leader *Simon Bolivar (1783-1830), who later became the preeminent leader of independence movement in Spanish South America
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Between 1813 and 1817 military advantages shifted back and forth between the patriots and loyalists The revolt in Spain forced Ferdinand VII—restored to the throne in 1814 after the defeat of Napoleon—to accept a constitution that limited the powers of both the monarch and the church

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With resistance waning, present-day Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador, were freed and Bolivar’s forces occupied Peru and Bolivia (named after Bolivar)

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Mexico, 1810-1823
In 1810 Mexico was Spain’s wealthiest and most populous colony—its’ silver mines being the world’s richest Mexico also had the largest population of Spanish immigrants among the colonies As is the case for South America, colonial authority waned during the Napoleonic wars
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The first stage of revolution against Spain occurred in central Mexico On September 16, 1810 *Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, parish priest of a small town, gathered thousands of disgruntled people to ruse up against the oppression of Spanish officials They attacked the ranches and mines that had exploited them
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The military tide quickly turned against Hidalgo and he was captured, tried and executed in 1811 The Revolution continued under the leadership of another priest— *Jose Maria Morelos He attempted to draft a constitution in 1813 but was defeated and executed in 1815
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The conservative origins of Mexico’s transition to independence were highlighted by the decision to create a monarchial form of government and crowed a revolutionary military leader king In early 1823, the army overthrew this king and Mexico became a republic
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