South American Independence: Bourbon Policies, Enlightenment and Simon Bolivar

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Thesis: The policies instituted under the rule of the Bourbons heightened social tensions between the creoles and pennisulares, and when combined with enlightenment ideas from Europe led to South American Independence led by revolutionary leader Simon Bolivar.

I. Introduction: Social Hierarchy that laid the ground for revolution.

A. Social hierarchy based on origin and blood.

1. Peninsulares, Creoles , and Mestizos .

B. Hierarchy system was very complex.

1. Hard for people to mobilize their social position, and led to social tensions.

II. Bourbon hands-on policies created and exposed problems in the colonial government and caused Creoles to resent the Bourbons.

A. Appointment of Viceroys.

1. Took positions from Creoles and decreased freedom.

B. The weakening of local governments was created by the increased number of Spanish bureaucrats and the Creoles loss of power.

1. The goal of the Bourbons was direct imperial control.

a. Led to frustration and social tensions .

III. Bourbon Economic policies increased social tensions.

A. Mining and Agricultural prosperity.

1. Expansion and increased production.

a. Economic prosperity increased social tensions.

B. Bourbons reformed and modernized commercial system under the Decree of Free Trade .

1. Commercial relations changed due economic expansion of the 18th century.

2. Liberalized regulations.

a. Easier and cheaper to trade legally with Spain.

3. Created monopoly companies modeled after Dutch or British East India company.

4. Steadily increased the number of ports allowed to trade with another.

5. Increased taxation and reformed tax collection system.

a. People opposed new taxes.

D. Economic growth was accompanied by social change.

1. Tensions bet...

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