“The developed-developing relationship in many ways replaces the colonizer-colonized relationship. The idea of development is a way for rich countries to control and exploit the poor” (Silver, 2015). This describes what colonialism meant for Latin American countries when Spaniards came to “trade” with indigenous communities in the so called, ‘New World’. In the 1500’s when Iberians’ realized they were in an “undiscovered” land, they started to take control of lands, destroy native civilizations and introduce slavery. In this paper, I will point out the most significant effects of colonialism in Latin America,
It’s been more than five centuries since the first settler arrived to Caribbean islands, but the effects of their implementation of social, religious and economic policies can be observed today throughout Latin America. In other words, Latin American countries inequality can largely be explained by looking at how the “past still has its claws in the present, asserting that “hierarchical political structures based on arbitrary executive dominance, an extremely weak rule of law, and excessive militarism” are the core obstacles colonialism persists even today (Karl, 2003). Iberians began to exploit the lands, they turned every agrarian territory to an extracting industry, exporting all the goods and making indigenous people their workers. For example, in Mexico, the arrival of these colonizers, Mexico also welcomed new legal institutions, such as the encomienda system, that would later have a significant repercussion in the socioeconomic structure of Mexico. The encomienda system, established legal institutions that granted select Spaniards the right to “Extract tribute and forced labor f...
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..., indigenous are treated differently, as less educated and incapable of dealing with high and important roles in society.
In conclusion, the colonial era marked a period of change in Latin America, mostly negative, and that it still continues to have a presence in society. The present economic inequality, racial divisions, poverty, corruption and the displacement of Latinos in countries like the U.S are all results of the colonization era. The region that was considered the richest in natural resources is now considered to be underdeveloped. Europeans were able to dominate civilizations of the region because of their superiority in education and technology, this created what today is the dependency theory in Latin America. However, thanks to colonization Latin American countries could improve living standards, acquire new customs, cultures, languages and religions.
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