- Slides: 6
CAUSES OF LATIN AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
Long-Term Factors Ø Implementation of Bourbon Reforms (undermined strength of Crown, rather than strengthened) Ø Growing class consciousness (tensions between Creoles and Peninsulares) and growth of merchant middle class Ø Unequal access to wealth Increasing and unequal taxation effected creoles, mestizos and Native Americans Anger over taxation issues led to native rebellions Rebellions led to the creation of a larger colonial militia Creation of a militia that would be prepared to fight against the Crown Ø Success of American and French Revolutions provided inspiration, justification and hopes for Latin America autonomy Ø Theory of rising expectations (elites briefly held power, all experienced higher standard of living, then power and living standards declined) Ø Enlightenment ideas encouraged revolutionary spirit
Enlightenment ideas… Ø Right to self-government (branches of gov, federal or parliamentary system, constitutional government) Reality… strong elites remained powerful, no female suffrage, no real native participation, assemblies not very representative Ø Free labor and trade system Reality… saw logic of a capitalist system, but didn’t want to implement because elites feared foreign competition, lower classes lost land became labor forces, worried Britain would take advantage of Latin American trade
Ø Increased access to education Reality… private, access only for wealthy, church still powerful in educational realm Ø Progress = modernization = “order” and “growth” Reality…associated urban Creole elites with “progress” and rural masses with “backwardness”, immorality and laziness, followed European models, favored “growth” over would “development” – belief was what would benefit elites benefit masses)
Immediate Causes Ø 1796 Spain (allied with France) went to war with Britain - unsuccessful, had disastrous results for Spain - convinced many Creoles in the colonies that Spanish interests were not their interests Ø Increased colonial taxation to pay for war Ø British blockade of Spanish ports caused extreme shortage of consumer goods from Spain into the colonies and a loss of income from exports out of colonies - (1797 Spanish decree allowed foreign trade with neutral countries- disaster- revoked in 1799 – revocation was ignored, creating an even bigger problem)
Ø War again with Britain in 1804 - by 1806 Spain was barely trading with colonies Ø Napoleon’s invasion of Spain - France turned on Spain during invasion of Portugal - Napoleon put his brother, Joseph, on the throne and overthrew Ferdinand VII (1808) - Spanish nationalists opposed this and set up a junta in Seville - This junta declared that the Spanish territories in the Americas were free This led to confusion and chaos in the colonies!