In Michel Gobat’s The Invention of the Latin America: A Transnational History of Anti-Imperialism, Democracy, and Race, he discusses the social construction of the term Latin America in the 19th century. The term Latin America was used to push against United States expansionism and European imperialism. The emergence of ‘Latin America’ is tied to a race, a democratic-republican government and linked to the idea of modernity, and the pushback against the United States. To be Latin America is to be modern, speak a romantic language, have Iberian ties and to embrace Roman Catholicism. By calling this specific geographical part of the world Latin is to imply the French imperialism within it. “Latin” is linked to this idea of “whiteness”, this means modernity that will allow Latin Americans to compete with the Anglo Saxon race. an argument for coining this term is because the people of current Latin America did not want to call the land America because of it’s association with the United States. They also did not want to call it just Latin because that implies that it is only associated with the French, instead they combined both to incorporate the two different words into one meaning. The Latin American identity also rose with the democratic, republican, and anti-colonial political culture that was shared in both North and South America.
Brazil and Haiti are not really associated with the term Latin American. In the mid 19th century Brazil was did not fit in with the rest of Latin America because they were colonized by Portugal and “Ever since independence, Spanish American relations with the South American hegemon had been tense. This was not just because of cultural differences but also due to B...
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Gobat identifies promoters of the Anti-Walker Alliance within his article, one specifically is Francisco Bilbao. Bilbao proposed a continental confederation for “Latin America” and one of the most surprising “puntos” was the first one. “La ciudadanía universal. Todo Republicano puede ser considerado como ciudadano en cualquier República que habite.” It translates to: The universal citizen. Every Republican can be considered as a citizen in any Republic they inhabit. This is an interesting point because Latin America is viewed a a country that fought for it’s independence and it is seen as a united part of geography. To want to turn into a confederation is a one-eighty on what each country has individually fought for. It is also a very modern idea in the sense of a the global citizen, it is a very cosmopolitan ideal.
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