The Effects Of Colonialism On The People Of Latin America

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Scholars have debated not only the nature of Iberian colonialism, but also the impact that independence had on the people of Latin America. Historian Jaime E. Rodriguez said that, “The emancipation of [Latin America] did not merely consist of separation from the mother country, as in the case of the United States. It also destroyed a vast and responsive social, political, and economic system that functioned well despite many imperfections.” I believe that when independence emerged in Latin America, it was a positive force. However, as time progressed, it indeed does cause conflict. During Colonial times, there were considerably high instances of racism, slavery, and sexism. However, these elements of daily life were never questioned, just accepted. This is due to the power of Hegemony, rule by consent instead of force. As time progressed, the indigenous peoples began to realize that rebelling against the Spanish was much too dangerous and accepted basic premises of Colonial life. During this time, church and state were completely intertwined. Religion was “cultural glue,” in Colonial times and also plays a significant role in the process of Hegemony. In the film, “I, The Worst of All,” Sor Juana de La Cruz is an intelligent woman during the Inquisition who becomes a nun in order to avoid marriage and continue learning. “The search for knowledge (by women) is the devil in disguise,” this statement exemplifies the strong sense of patriarchal ideals of this time. In the end, La Cruz is forced to give up all her writings and belongings. Religion provided a basis for monarchies, sexual discrimination, and the process of conquest. In the 1770’s, French Revolutionaries challenged the idea of monarchies based on divine right. Th... ... middle of paper ... ...has made Castile what it is today.” I also think that Brazil’s decision to remain a monarchy was the key factor to their success. “Loyalty to the king had taken generations to develop, and so would loyalty to republican institutions.” The lack of government in other parts of Latin American made them fragile. If they had also remained a monarchy, they may have been able to maintain at least one aspect of their life. Instead they divided up into Liberals and Conservatives and without a king, made no decisions. Rodriguez’s observations about Latin American independence are correct. Although I disagree with the colonial people’s use of slaves, they were necessary during this time. Despite the institution of slavery, the domination of church and state, and patriarchal ways of living, the economy was functioning more efficiently than after they achieved independence.
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