HISTORY OF LATIN AMERICA including Spaniards in a new world, Panama, A glimpse of Aztec gold, Arrival of Cortes, Cortes and Montezuma History of Latin America, history of the region from the pre-Columbian period and including colonization by the Spanish and Portuguese beginning in the 15th century, the 19th-century wars of independence, and developments to the end of the 20th century. Latin American nations do not usually loom in world history as the source of great traditions. In 1933 Franklin Roosevelt rules out unilateral intervention in Latin American affairs, inaugurating what he describes as a Good Neighbour policy. Paraguay resisted Buenos Aires’ military and set out on a path of relative isolation from the outside world. A Brief History of Latin America First of all, where is Latin America? Many supporters of the crown now had doubts about the monarchy for which they were fighting. Despite the traumatic experience, Latin music is one of the positive outcomes that came from that process. The ancestors of today's American Indigenous peoples … By siding with France, Spain pitted itself against England, the dominant sea power of the period, which used its naval forces to reduce and eventually cut communications between Spain and the Americas. Imperial prohibitions proved unable to stop the flow of potentially subversive English, French, and North American works into the colonies of Latin America. Although shielding itself with a pretense of loyalty to Ferdinand, the junta produced by that session marked the end of Spanish rule in Buenos Aires and its hinterland. Transforming these early initiatives into a break with Spanish control required tremendous sacrifice. The indigenous world and the word “Indian”, Conquest society in the central mainland areas, Institutional, legal, and intellectual developments, Spanish America in the age of the Bourbons, The north and the culmination of independence, Political models and the search for authority, Political and economic transitions, 1850–70, The United States and Latin America in the Cold War era, Latin America at the end of the 20th century, https://www.britannica.com/place/Latin-America, History World - History of Latin Literature, Latin America - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Latin America - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Having benefited from colonial monopolies and fearful of the kind of social violence that the late 18th-century revolt had threatened, many Peruvian Creoles were not anxious to break with Spain. That concession divided and weakened loyalist opposition to independence in the Americas. BREAK IT ALL: The History of Rock in Latin America 2020 TV-MA 1 Season Music & Concert Documentaries Soda Stereo, Café Tacvba, Aterciopelados and others figure in this 50-year history of Latin American rock through dictatorships, disasters and dissent. In 1817 San Martín, a Latin American-born former officer in the Spanish military, directed 5,000 men in a dramatic crossing of the Andes and struck at a point in Chile where loyalist forces had not expected an invasion. The inhabitants of America all lacked immunities to diseases common in Europe and Africa. The region consists, with just one exception, of those parts of the American continent colonized by the Spanish. When Napoleon turned on his Spanish allies in 1808, events took a disastrous turn for Spain and its dominion in the Americas. Shortly after Charles had abdicated in favour of his son Ferdinand, Napoleon had them both imprisoned. Part history, part polemic, this is a foundational text in understanding the place that Latin America plays in the world today. The struggles that produced independence in the south began even before Napoleon’s invasion of Portugal and Spain. These groups are generally believed to have been isolated from the people of the "Old World" until the coming of Europeans in the 10th century from Iceland led by Leif Erikson and in 1492 with the voyages of Christopher Columbus. After hundreds of years of proven service to Spain, the American-born elites felt that the Bourbons were now treating them like a recently conquered nation. Illustrates and analyzes the major and minor events that shape history, the triumphs and defeats, and the everyday lives of people of varied classes and racial and ethnic backgrounds Britannica now has a site just for parents! In 1807 the Spanish king, Charles IV, granted passage through Spanish territory to Napoleon’s forces on their way to invade Portugal. See also the articles on the dependencies and constituent entities Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Puerto Rico. Find the top 100 most popular items in Amazon Books Best Sellers. For discussion of major cities of Latin America and their histories, see specific articles by name—e.g., Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City. Updates? They had no word meaning “inhabitant of the Western Hemisphere,” and most of them seem not to have adopted any equivalent even after centuries of contact. For a quarter of a century, Tulio Halperín Donghi's Historia Contemporánea de América Latina has been the most influential and widely read general history of Latin America in the Spanish-speaking world. Still, these ideas were not, strictly speaking, causes of independence. By 1815 Artigas and this force dominated Uruguay and had allied with other provinces to oppose Buenos Aires. The indigenous world and the word “Indian”, Conquest society in the central mainland areas, Institutional, legal, and intellectual developments, Spanish America in the age of the Bourbons, The north and the culmination of independence, Political models and the search for authority, Political and economic transitions, 1850–70, The United States and Latin America in the Cold War era, Latin America at the end of the 20th century. Not only did the geography of precontact America persist, but both the new arrivals and the indigenous inhabitants long retained their respective general characteristics, and it was the fit between them that determined many aspects of Latin American evolution. The peoples of this large area shared the experience of conquest and colonization by the Spaniards and Portuguese from the late 15th through the 18th century as well as movements of independence from Spain and Portugal in the early 19th century. This article treats the history of Latin America from the first occupation by Europeans to the late 20th century, with an initial consideration of the indigenous and Iberian background. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The main thrust of the southern independence forces met much greater success on the Pacific coast. Caught between the loyalism of Spanish officers and the imperialist intentions of Buenos Aires and Portuguese Brazil, the regional leader José Gervasio Artigas formed an army of thousands of gauchos. "180 Landings by the U.S. Marine Corps" (History Division), Counterspy (July-Aug. 1982). With Chile as his base, San Martín then faced the task of freeing the Spanish stronghold of Peru. In 1806 a British expeditionary force captured Buenos Aires. The reforms imposed by the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century provoked great instability in the relations between the rulers and their colonial subjects in the Americas. Though the conditions of pre-Columbian America and 15th-century Iberia are beyond the scope of Latin American history proper, they must be given consideration in that connection. Most inhabitants speak Spanish or Portuguese, but there are other languages in this region like Indigenous languages, French, English and Dutch. Moreover, the Cortes would not concede permanent free trade to the Americans and obstinately refused to grant any degree of meaningful autonomy to the overseas dominions. A constituent assembly meeting in 1813 adopted a flag, anthem, and other symbols of national identity, but the apparent unity disintegrated soon afterward. European diplomatic and military events provided the final catalyst that turned Creole discontent into full-fledged movements for Latin American independence. This was evident in the assembly that finally proclaimed independence in 1816; that body received no delegates from several provinces, even though it was held outside Buenos Aires, in the interior city of Tucumán (in full, San Miguel de Tucumán). Creoles selectively adapted rather than simply embraced the thought that had informed revolutions in North America and France. When the Spanish colonial officials proved ineffective against the invasion, a volunteer militia of Creoles and peninsulars organized resistance and pushed the British out. Not all of these governments lasted very long; loyalist troops quickly put down Creole-dominated juntas in La Paz and Quito. Mexican movies from the Golden Era in the 1940s and 1950s are significant examples of Latin American cinema. After three centuries of colonial rule, independence came rather suddenly to most of Spanish and Portuguese America. Central authority proved unstable in the capital city of Buenos Aires. A borrower of forces and influences from other places, they merge with more local elements. After its revolution of May 1810, the region was the only one to resist reconquest by loyalist troops throughout the period of the independence wars. Although retired from active teaching for some years, Keen continued to research, write, and lecture until his death in late 2002. Ege & Makhijani. By the first millennium CE, South America's vast rainforests, mountains, plains and coasts were the home of tens of millions of people. Many Creoles (those of Spanish parentage but who were born in America) felt Bourbon policy to be an unfair attack on their wealth, political power, and social status. Nevertheless, usage has fastened on Latin America, and it is retained here. More troubling still were the bitter rivalries emerging between Buenos Aires and other provinces. In Santiago, Caracas, Bogotá, and other cities, by contrast, it was Creoles who controlled the provisional juntas. He was a leading scholar in the field of Latin American history, particularly the colonial period in Mexico. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. History of Latin America - History of Latin America - Latin America since the mid-20th century: In Latin America as elsewhere, the close of World War II was accompanied by expectations, only partly fulfilled, of steady economic development and democratic consolidation. History of Latin America - History of Latin America - The independence of Latin America: After three centuries of colonial rule, independence came rather suddenly to most of Spanish and Portuguese America. The inhabitants’ social and cultural characteristics differ according to the constitution of the occupants before the Iberian conquest, the timing and nature of European occupation, and their varying material endowments and economic roles. The result is that Latin America is much more supportive of the USA in the next global conflict. As a result, the indigenous peoples, once in contact, were very vulnerable to the outsiders. An early radical liberal government dominated by Mariano Moreno gave way to a series of triumvirates and supreme directors. Two other European developments further dashed the hopes of Creoles, pushing them more decisively toward independence. In May 1810 prominent Creoles in Buenos Aires, having vied with peninsulars for power in the intervening years, forced the last Spanish viceroy there to consent to a cabildo abierto, an extraordinary open meeting of the municipal council and local notables. Independence in the former Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, however, encountered grave difficulties in the years after 1810. The Enlightenment clearly informed the aims of dissident Creoles and inspired some of the later, great leaders of the independence movements across Latin America. Yet the Creoles who participated in the new Cortes were denied equal representation. Moreover, the influence of those ideologies was sharply restricted; with few exceptions only small circles of educated, urban elites had access to Enlightenment thought. From the time of Columbus and the late 15th century forward, the Spaniards and Portuguese called the peoples of the Americas “Indians”—that is, inhabitants of India. Omissions? The final victory of Latin American patriots over Spain and the fading loyalist factions began in 1808 with the political crisis in Spain. In which John Green talks about the many revolutions of Latin America in the 19th century. Did the Incan people rule over ancient Mexico? A History of Modern Latin America: 1800 to the Present examines the diverse and interlocking experiences of people of indigenous, African, and European backgrounds from the onset of independence until today.. The film Maria Candelaria (1944) by Emilio Fernández, won the Palme D'Or in Cannes Film Festival. Sort fact from fiction in this journey through Latin America. From the south proceeded another powerful force, this one directed by the more circumspect José de San Martín. The indigenous peoples were greatly varied, far more so than the Europeans; they were spread over a vast area and only faintly aware of each other from one major region to the next. With the Spanish king and his son Ferdinand taken hostage by Napoleon, Creoles and peninsulars began to jockey for power across Spanish America. Without denouncing Ferdinand, Creoles throughout most of the region were moving toward the establishment of their own autonomous governments. For more-detailed coverage of the area prior to European contact, see pre-Columbian civilizations. Final destruction of loyalist resistance in the highlands required the entrance of northern armies. The earliest settlements in the Americas are of the Las Vegas Culturefrom about 800… Britannica now has a site just for parents! However, those profits merely whetted those Creoles’ appetites for greater free trade than the Bourbons were willing to grant. Across the Río de la Plata from Buenos Aires, Montevideo and its surroundings became the separate Estado Oriental (“Eastern State,” later Uruguay). During 1808–10 juntas emerged to rule in the name of Ferdinand VII. The best-selling text for introductory Latin American history courses, A HISTORY OF LATIN AMERICA encompasses political and diplomatic theory, class structure and economic organization, culture and religion, and the environment. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. After establishing naval dominance in the region, the southern movement made its way northward. The physical and human geography of the continents, with some historical overview, are provided in the articles North America and South America. In alliance with Chilean patriots under the command of Bernardo O’Higgins, San Martín’s army restored independence to a region whose highly factionalized junta had been defeated by royalists in 1814. After initial victories there, the forces from Buenos Aires retreated, leaving the battle in the hands of local Creole, mestizo, and Indian guerrillas. Not only do the people live in a large number of independent units, but the geography and climate of their countries vary immensely. "This history of Latin America will delight any reader. Arriving in Rio de Janeiro with some 15,000 officials, nobles, and other members of his court, John transformed the Brazilian colony into the administrative centre of his empire. Not only is the term erroneous by origin, but it did not correspond to anything in the minds of the indigenous people. Author of. Latin seems to suggest an equal importance of the French and Italian contributions, which is far from being the case. In 1820 troops waiting in Cádiz to be sent as part of the crown’s military campaigns revolted, forcing Ferdinand to agree to a series of liberal measures. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Nonetheless, the indigenous peoples had several things in common. Having said that, Latin America is also a wonderfully diverse group of countries, as well as a growing political and economic force. A History of Latin America: Empires and Sequels, 1450-1930. By 1810, however, the trend was clear. All shared an isolation from the great mass of humanity inhabiting Eurasia and Africa, who were in some way in contact with one another. Latin music is the result of a complex social and historical process that took place in the Americas after the arrival of Columbus. Foreign Affairs Division, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. The rapidity and timing of that dramatic change were the result of a combination of long-building tensions in colonial rule and a series of external events. The majority of Latin America gained independence from Spain between 1810 and 1825, with Brazil gaining independence from Portugal in 1825. Did Chile gain its independence in 1818? Its task, however, was formidable. The earliest known settlement was identified at Monte Verde, near Puerto Montt in Southern Chile. However, there are also enormous differences between them. The year 1814 saw the restoration of Ferdinand to the throne and with it the energetic attempt to reestablish Spanish imperial power in the Americas. Having had a taste of freedom during their political and economic isolation from the mother country, Spanish Americans did not easily consent to a reduction of their power and autonomy. Between 1808 and 1826 all of Latin America except the Spanish colonies of Cuba and Puerto Rico slipped out of the hands of the Iberian powers who had ruled the region since the conquest. Its occupation dates to some 14,000 years ago and there is some disputed evidence of even earlier occupation. The Spanish political tradition centred on the figure of the monarch, yet, with Charles and Ferdinand removed from the scene, the hub of all political authority was missing. The immediate effect of that concession was to send the Portuguese ruler, Prince Regent John, fleeing in British ships to Brazil. After difficult conquests of their home regions, the two movements spread the cause of independence through other territories, finally meeting on the central Pacific coast. Rejecting compromise and reform, Ferdinand resorted to military force to bring wayward Spanish-American regions back into the empire as colonies. Between 1808 and 1826 all of Latin America except the Spanish colonies of Cuba and Puerto Rico slipped out of the hands of the Iberian powers who had ruled the region since the conquest. Any such word refers to commonalities seen from the outside and not to any unity perceived by the inhabitants of the Americas themselves. After the conquest of Latin America by the Spanish and Portuguese, over 4 million enslaved Africans were taken to Latin America via the Atlantic slave trade, roughly 3.5 million of those to Brazil. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. But the exception is too large to overlook - mighty Brazil, belonging in colonial This region deserves to be defined on its own terms, beyond dismissive stereotypes, rather than being known simply as the less-well known neighbour of the USA. Now available in a fully-revised and updated second edition, A History of Modern Latin America offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the rich cultural and political history of this vibrant region from the onset of independence to the present day. But the truth is Latin America has had a varied and significant role in world history. More generally, Creoles reacted angrily against the crown’s preference for peninsulars in administrative positions and its declining support of the caste system and the Creoles’ privileged status within it. Since the Spanish and Portuguese element looms so large in the history of the region, it is sometimes proposed that Iberoamerica would be a better term than Latin America. By 1825, Mexico, Central America, and South America were free, soon to be followed by Brazil. Latin America has traditionally been home to dictators: charismatic men who have seized almost complete control over their nations and held it for years, even decades.Some have been fairly benign, some cruel and violent, and others merely peculiar. Creole participants in conspiracies against Portugal and Spain at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century showed familiarity with such European Enlightenment thinkers as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Montesquieu, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The America of the Latins: The term Latin America, first used in the 19th century, is something of a compromise. Two years later it produced a new, liberal constitution that proclaimed Spain’s American possessions to be full members of the kingdom and not mere colonies. World war and world trade Few Latin Americans felt strong emotional identification with either of the contending alliances in World War I (1914–18), except for the immigrant communities in southern South America and the ranks of generally Francophile liberal intellectuals. The Cambridge History of Latin America is the first authoritative large-scale history of the whole of Latin America - Mexico and Central America, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean (and Haiti), Spanish South America and Brazil, from the first contacts between the native peoples of the Americas and Europeans in the late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth centuries to the present day. It is the area consisting of Mexico, all of Central America and South America, as well as the Caribbean islands. These traditions reflect the distinctive mixtures of Native American, African, and European influences that have shifted throughout the region over time. CRS Report for Congress, 2002. From the north came the movement led most famously by Simón Bolívar, a dynamic figure known as the Liberator. Occurrences in Europe in the early 19th century created a deep political divide between Spain and its American colonies. The movements that liberated Spanish South America arose from opposite ends of the continent. Slavery in Latin America began in the precolonial period, when indigenous civilizations including the Maya and Aztec enslaved captives taken in war. Exploring Latin America: Fact or Fiction? John Charles Chasteen presents a narrative of the Latin American experience, animated by stories about men and women from all walks of life, and enriched by insightful analysis. Consequently, the forces under San Martín managed only a shaky hold on Lima and the coast. Mexican movies were exported and exhibited in all Latin America and Europe. Here are some of the more noteworthy men who have held dictatorial powers in their home nations. From the start Buenos Aires’ intention of bringing all the former viceregal territories under its control set off waves of discord in the outlying provinces. The effort only served to harden the position of Creole rebels. They were closely related to one another in biological terms, and their languages, though they cannot be shown to have a common origin, tend to share many general features. Parts of this chronology are reprinted with permission from Dr. Richard W. Slatta's Ancient and Colonial Latin American and US-Latin American Relations courses.. Other sources. Latin American History. Richard Grimmet, Instances of Use of Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2001. Latin American music, musical traditions of Mexico, Central America, and the portions of South America and the Caribbean colonized by the Spanish and the Portuguese. Grossman, Zoltan. Leaders in Latin America tended to shy away from the more socially radical European doctrines. … Bakewell, Peter. Spain’s wartime liberalization of colonial trade sharpened Creoles’ desires for greater economic self-determination. 10 Black in Latin America by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. For additional information about the European exploration and colonization of Latin America, see colonialism. Unable to preserve any sort of monopoly on trade, the Spanish crown was forced to loosen the restrictions on its colonies’ commerce. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Of Spain's two remaining colonies, Cuba gained its independence in 1898, at which time Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the U.S. in the Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War. For information about the individual countries of Central America and South America as well as the Romance-language-speaking Caribbean countries, see specific country articles by name: for Central America, seeBelize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama; for South America, see Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana (a départément of France), Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela; and, for the Caribbean, see Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Distinct interests and long-standing resentment of the viceregal capital led different regions in the south to pursue separate destinies. Professor of History, University of California, Los Angeles. In Mexico City and Montevideo caretaker governments were the work of loyal peninsular Spaniards eager to head off Creole threats. In cities throughout the region, Creole frustrations increasingly found expression in ideas derived from the Enlightenment. The prehistory of the Americas begins with people migrating to these areas from Asia during the height of an Ice Age. History of Latin America, history of the region from the pre-Columbian period and including colonization by the Spanish and Portuguese beginning in the 15th century, the 19th-century wars of independence, and developments to the end of the 20th century. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. At most, foreign ideas helped foster a more questioning attitude toward traditional institutions and authority. From Columbus to Frida Kahlo, learn about the conquistadors, artists, revolutionaries, and everyday people who shaped the vast region known as Latin America. With these figures of legitimate authority in his power, the French ruler tried to shatter Spanish independence. At stake was not only political autonomy per se but also economic interest; the Creole merchants of Buenos Aires, who initially sought the liberalization of colonial restraints on commerce in the region, subsequently tried to maintain their economic dominance over the interior. From there, troops under northern generals finally stamped out the last vestiges of loyalist resistance in Peru and Bolivia by 1826. Using the Napoleonic invasion of Spain as an excuse, most of Latin America declared independence from Spain in 1810. Spanish rule in the Americas ended in 1898 when they lost their final colonies to the United States following the Spanish-American War. Even since independence, many of the various nations have experienced similar trends, and they have some awareness of a common heritage. Spanish Americans now found themselves able to trade legally with other colonies, as well as with any neutral countries such as the United States. Over the course of millennia, people spread to all parts of the continents. By the time Bolívar’s armies finally completed the liberation of Upper Peru (then renamed in the Liberator’s honour), the region had long since separated itself from Buenos Aires. Fully informed by the latest scholarship, this survey spans six centuries and covers twenty countries. There is, then, at times, a need for a common term, and if one realizes its limitations, “Indian” may do as well as another. Latin American Cultural History is a course designed to introduce some of Latin America's most prevalent themes that express everyday life, common customs, major festivals, and national expressions of pleasure and mourning. Buenos Aires achieved similarly mixed results in other neighbouring regions, losing control of many while spreading independence from Spain. In 1928 Herbert Hoover makes a goodwill visit to Latin America. Latin America is generally understood to consist of the entire continent of South America in addition to Mexico, Central America, and the islands of the Caribbean whose inhabitants speak a Romance language. In the process he set off a political crisis that swept across both Spain and its possessions. Over the next decade and a half, Spanish Americans had to defend with arms their movement toward independence. When the Spanish crown entered into an alliance with France in 1795, it set off a series of developments that opened up economic and political distance between the Iberian countries and their American colonies. Epidemics raged wherever intruders appeared; with their materials and techniques the Europeans were able to conquer whenever they felt it imperative to do so. Other expeditions took the cause to Upper Peru, the region that would become Bolivia. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). 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