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Latin America’s Struggles After Independence Essay

1001 words - 5 pages


Latin America went through many years of colonial rule from Spain, but around the 1800’s they began to seek their independence. The years to follow were full of rebellion and war, trying to gain their independence from colonial Spain. The “Americanos”, now believed that they were able to rule themselves, and that it was no longer necessary for Spain to keep controlling the Americas. When Latin America finally defeated Spain, new issues began to arise that were caused by many years of war, which led to chaos and a sense of imbalance in the hands of Latin America. Many of these struggles impeded Latin America’s success to rule themselves, and create their own democracy. Some of the main challenges and struggles that were most predominant in the independence of Latin America, was the economic instability caused by many years of war, the burden of colonialism from Spain, and the strong hand of the caudillos.
Many years of war made Latin America’s economy suffer, and made it almost impossible to be able to recover from their debt. A stable economy was crucial to be able to gain credibility, from other countries so that investments would continue. In Peru, for example the silver mines and machinery where destroyed beyond repair. “Horrendous economic devastation had occurred during the wars of independence. Hardest hit were…Peruvians silver mines. Their shafts flooded, there costly machinery wrecked.” 120(Chasteen ). This made Peru suffer greatly because this was one of their main trades. In Mexico, one of their largest economic struggles was the lack of transportation infrastructure, meaning that Mexico did not have railroads. Mexico also lacked navigable rivers which made it much harder to be able to transport agricultural products, therefore affecting its economic growth. “With few navigable rivers—Mexico, for example had none to speak of—and lots of steep mountains and tropical forests, transportation was costly indeed...roads, bridges, not to mention railroads, which belonged to a later period of Latin American development did not yet exist.”121(Chasteen ). Without these types of transportation, Mexico and other Latin American countries had yet to uncover their full potential of economic growth, and Mexico and Peru continued to have economic decline. “Meanwhile, Latin American economies grew slowly or, as in Mexico and Peru, even experienced decline.” 124(Chasteen ). This show that most Latin American countries experienced economic trouble, but Peru and Mexico had the worst trouble.
Another obstacle that Latin America had to overcome, was the burden of the colonialism from Spain. The ideals of Spain, stayed with the Latin American countries after its independence, like the caste system, and the Catholic Church. This caste system was a type of hierarchical scale that had the people of lighter skin at the very top, and the people of darker skin at the very bottom. This was not ideal for the new...

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