Chapter Study Outline

The first governments of Latin America had few resources and many obstacles. The rallying cries that united anti-colonial armies gave way to post-colonial hierarchies, and economic stagnation imperiled the idealistic hopes of American patriots.

  1. Liberal Disappointment
    1. Split personality: Liberal ideas meet colonial traditions
      1. Strongly traditional societies
        1. Collective responsibility over individual freedom
        2. Religious orthodoxy over religious freedom
        3. Hierarchical society with exploitative labor system
      2. Promise of legal equality for all races had been precondition of mass support for independence
        1. Caste classifications removed from census forms and parish records
        2. White leaders still looked at mixed race populations as a problem
    2. Conservative leaders emerge in defense of traditional values
      1. Keep common people in “their place”
      2. Rule by elites
      3. Conservative ideas had appeal to many common people
        1. Church-State conflicts
        2. Church represented reverence for colonial traditions
        3. Liberals wanted freedom of religion and church-state separation
          1. Support of protestant merchants
          2. Educational reformers
        4. 4. Conservatives wanted Catholicism to remain official religion
          1. Pious, traditional peasants
          2. Landowners
          3. Winning issue for Conservatives
      4. Liberal-Conservative divide shaped Latin America
      5. Often formed into Liberal Party/Conservative Party conflict
      6. Centerpiece of electoral debates in new republics
    3. Economic devastation
      1. Wars for independence destroyed economies
        1. Mexican and Peruvian silver mines hardest hit
        2. Shafts flooded
        3. Needed injection of capital to recover
      2. Little capital available
        1. Latin America had few banks before 1850
        2. Little interest in investment by foreign banks
        3. Foreign traders controlled international commerce
        4. Wealthy Creoles preferred to invest in land
      3. Lack of transportation infrastructure
        1. Few navigable rivers, high mountains, thick forests
        2. Merchants kept quantities low, margins high
        3. Expanding trade required new infrastructure
          1. Roads
          2. Bridges
          3. Ports
          4. Railroads, eventually
        4. 4. Insufficient capital to build
      4. Struggle to create governing institutions
        1. Rebuilding governments was expensive
        2. Armies were overdeveloped
          1. Top-heavy with salaried officers
          2. Difficulty paying created dangerous conflict with military
        3. 3. Republican institutions had little legitimacy
    4. Fragile republics
      1. Understaffed governments
      2. Difficult to make people pay taxes
        1. Relied on import/export, high-yield taxes
        2. Borrowed money
        3. Often defaulted
      3. Liberals had no resources to effect the sweeping changes they proposed
      4. Collapse of republics
        1. Military overthrows became common
        2. Presidents often held office for only days
      5. Conservative ascendancy by 1830s
  2. Patronage Politics and Caudillo Leadership
    1. Many politicians viewed government as means of personal enrichment
      1. Control of government jobs, pensions, public works
        1. Distributed as reward for loyalty to friends and followers
        2. Personal relationships often replaced political platforms
      2. Hypothetical example of “Don Miguel”
        1. Use office to secure benefits for family, friends, informal clients
        2. Exchange for future favors
        3. Support had little to do with principle, but was about loyalty
        4. Clients would vote as their patron wished
        5. Don Miguel would be a client of someone higher
        6. Highest patron would be a caudillo
    2. Caudillos
      1. Who was a caudillo?
        1. Highest party or faction leader
          1. In office, the president
          2. Out of office, the second most powerful in the country
        2. 2. Frequently large landowners
        3. Use wealth to maintain private armies
        4. Often war heroes
          1. The first were prominent veterans of independence
          2. Embodied masculine ideals
        5. 5. Cultivated a common touch – identity with average people
        6. Ability to communicate with and manipulate followers
        7. Focus on personal leadership
      2. Juan Manuel de Rosas
        1. Dominated Argentina from 1829–52
          1. Rancher from the cattle fields called the pampa
          2. Used frontier militias as backing to control Buenos Aires
        2. 2. Used violence against opponents
        3. Strong use of propaganda
          1. Put picture on church altars
          2. Supporters wore red ribbons
          3. Anyone caught without a ribbon could be beaten on the street
        4. 4. Closely identified with gauchos and poor black workers against urban elites
        5. Made war on indigenous communities to open land for ranching
        6. Repelled British and French interventions
      3. Antonio López de Santa Anna
        1. Mexican caudillo
        2. Creole who fought against Hidalgo and Morelos
        3. Helped overthrow Iturbide
        4. In 1830s–40s, seemed to overthrow presidents at will
        5. Made himself president repeatedly as both Conservative and Liberal
      4. Central America
        1. Never rebelled, became independent on Mexico’s coattails
        2. Rafael Carrera
          1. Overthrew liberal leader Morazán
          2. Rural mestizo
          3. Protected lands of indigenous people
          4. Protected Catholic church
          5. Allowed the United Republics of Central America to collapse into minirepublics of today
      5. José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia
        1. Ruled Paraguay from 1814–40
        2. Unusual caudillo
        3. Doctor of theology, not a war hero
        4. Called himself “el Supremo”
        5. Tried to seal Paraguay from European influence
        6. Spied on and arrested some European visitors
        7. Paraguay did become independent and prosperous
    3. Constitution and republic
      1. Constitutions constantly re-written
      2. Most countries were ruled by conservative caudillos
      3. Federalism often led to the breakup of large countries
        1. Greater Colombia into Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador
        2. Central American Republic into five parts
  3. Brazil’s Different Path
    1. Maintained colonial institutions
      1. European monarchy
      2. Church-State link
      3. Embrace of slavery
    2. Stable and prosperous
      1. Provincial governors appointed, not elected
      2. Army loyal to the emperor
      3. Coffee produced revenue
    3. Liberal hopes and disappointments
      1. Pedro I claimed to be a Liberal, but ruled as authoritarian
        1. Ruled “by the grace of God”
        2. 1824 constitution called for Senate appointed for life
        3. Emperor’s power virtually unchecked
      2. Pedro became unpopular, giving Liberals hope
        1. Presence of so many Portuguese angered ordinary Brazilians
        2. “Brazil for Brazilians”
      3. Death of his father made Pedro heir to Portuguese throne
        1. Renounced throne
        2. Prompted worries of recolonization
        3. Anti-Portuguese sentiment rose
        4. Abdicated Brazilian throne, returned to Portugal
        5. Left his five-year-old son to rule
        6. Regents had to rule for him until he came of age
      4. Regency years, 1831–40
        1. The regents were liberals
          1. Reduced size of army
          2. Gave greater authority to provincial officials
        2. 2. Liberals quickly sought to regain greater power
        3. Liberals needed support of common people
          1. Raised nativist rhetoric
          2. Rebelled in four provinces
          3. Slaves became involved in rebellions
        4. 4. Some elite Liberals became afraid
          1. Prince Pedro elevated to the throne at 14
          2. Rebuilt imperial army
          3. Canceled other liberal reforms
  4. Continuities in Daily Life
    1. Daily life remained mostly unchanged
      1. Indigenous communities maintained autonomy
        1. Subsistence farming
        2. Little contact with republican institutions
      2. Mixed-race peasants
        1. Outnumbered indigenous in some places (Colombia)
        2. Worked as attached workers, or peons
          1. Lived on the property of a large landowner
          2. Became his clients, and he their patron
          3. Worked part-time for the patron
        3. 3. Many peasants cleared forests to tend to their own plots
      3. Africans and African-descended people
        1. Enslaved in Brazil and Cuba
        2. Devoted to cultivating export crops
        3. Brazil important record number of African slaves
          1. Despite English-inspired prohibition on trade
          2. Laws on the books “for the English to see”
        4. 4. Cuba benefitted from outlawing of slavery in other Caribbean islands
          1. Importing huge numbers of slaves
          2. Becoming “one big sugar factory”
      4. Landowners held the most power
        1. Eliminated merchant guilds to promote free trade
          1. Cut costs
          2. Wiped out local manufacturing
        2. 2. Reliance on agricultural exports gives landowners more clout
          1. Gave landowners more political influence
          2. Urban merchants had fewer clients and followers
      5. Transculturation encouraged by nativist rhetoric and landowner power
        1. Landowners
          1. Fewer maintained city homes
          2. Countryside now seen as defining native identity
        2. 2. Mestizo cultural forms gain acceptance
          1. Creates distinction between Americanos and Spanish
          2. Folk dances seen as signifiers of national culture
            1. (i) Mexican jarabes
            2. (ii) Colombian bambucos
        3. 3. Latin American literature
          1. Played a role in creating national identity in mid 1800s
          2. Costumbrismo
            1. (i) Popular literary form
            2. (ii) Focuses on lives of common people
            3. (iii) Published in newspapers
            4. (iv) Performed on stage
      6. Nativism
        1. Expulsion of Spaniards from Mexico
        2. Rosista publicists created Pancho Lugares
          1. Gaucho character
          2. Mocked Europeans
      7. Lower-class unrest
        1. Few challenges to elite, Creole authority
        2. Caste War of Yucatán
          1. Maya uprising
          2. Inspired by messages from a talking cross
          3. To cleanse land of whites and mestizos
          4. Called themselves Cruzob — “people of the cross”
        3. 3. Bahían slave conspiracy, 1835
          1. Mâles – Arabic-speaking African slaves
          2. Alienated Christian slaves from joining
      8. Cultural Hegemony
        1. White minority rule
        2. Relied on the idea of “civilization” for control
          1. Emulation of European model
          2. Required acceptance of a civilized ruling class
        3. Writing
          1. Spanish and Portuguese remained languages of law, administration, long-distance communication
          2. Most Latin Americans could neither read nor write
          3. Written word central to new national culture
            1. (i) Written laws in legislature
            2. (ii) Published debates in newspapers
          4. Rhetorical skill central to political life
          5. Glamour associated with writing
            1. (i) Proper, formal poetry
            2. (ii) Reciting literature, philosophy
          6. University education open only to men
      9. Lives of women
        1. Women largely excluded from major changes of independence
        2. Achieved fame by connections to powerful men or by breaking gender rules — or both
          1. Domitila de Castro
            1. (i) Known by her title, Marqueza de Santos
            2. (ii) Emperor’s mistress
            3. (iii) Family received noble titles
            4. (iv) Her daughter by the Emperor became a duchess
            5. (v) Humiliated his wife, Empress Leopoldina
              1. (1) She had helped convince Pedro to declare Brazil independent
              2. (2) Died in pregnancy
              3. (3) Her death discredited Pedro and contributed to his ouster
          2. Encarnación Ezcurra
            1. (i) Wife of Argentine caudillo Juan Manuel de Rosas
            2. (ii) Important political role, mostly behind the scenes
            3. (iii) Took over political affairs when Rosas was away
            4. (iv) Corresponded with Rosas over dealings with other caudillos
              1. (1) Correspondence shows a tough Rosista
              2. (2) Dismissed slanders by enemies – “they will pay dearly”
            5. (v) Rosas proclaimed her “Heroine of the Federation”
            6. (vi) Her death honors were traditional for a woman
            7. (vii) Daughter Manuela stepped into her shoes
              1. (1) Managed father’s political affairs
              2. (2) Known as “la Niña”
              3. (3) Was only able to marry after her father was overthrown
          3. Camila O’Gorman
            1. (i) Famous for scandal
            2. (ii) Friend of Manuela
            3. (iii) Ran away with a young priest
              1. (1) Rosas’s enemies connected this with moral corruption of Argentina under Rosas
              2. (2) Rosas promised to hunt them down
              3. (3) Both faced firing squad
        3. Patriarchy remained strong
          1. Women remained largely confined to home life
          2. Poor women worked in homes of elites
          3. Prostitution was a standard feature of urban life
          4. Eugenia Castro
            1. (i) Mistress of Rosas
            2. (ii) Six children with him
            3. (iii) No recognition for her or family
            4. (iv) Remained a servant in his home
            5. (v) Rosas invited her to join him in England, but she stayed in Argentina
          5. Upper class women remained confined by honor system
            1. (i) Honor system was evolving
            2. (ii) Post-independence honor system less rigid
              1. (1) Poorer women could achieve honor
              2. (2) Republican ideals of motherhood and chastity
              3. (3) Military service could gain honor for men
      10. Caste system less rigid
        1. Depended on wealth
          1. Economic class was more fluid
          2. Black, indigenous, or mixed-race individuals could gain wealth and status more easily
          3. Economic power led to status
        2. Multiple racial categories were collapsing
        3. Two basic class categories
          1. Decent people at the top
            1. (i) Mostly white
            2. (ii) Wealthy
          2. “El pueblo” or “o povo,” — the people
        4. Upper class defended their position harshly
          1. Strict standards of behavior and fashion
          2. Based on European models
  5. Countercurrents: The Power of Outsiders
    1. Latin American republics remained oriented toward England, France, United States
    2. For Liberals, these epitomized progress and civilization
    3. Strong desire for trade with these countries
      1. Peru’s guano boom
        1. Export of fertilizer – seabird manure
        2. Highly prized by European markets
        3. Created foreign investment in Peru
        4. Enriched the state
          1. Financed one of region’s first railroads
          2. Public gas lighting
          3. Public jobs for “decent people”
        5. Little of the boom reached the sierra beyond Lima
          1. State relied less on Andean silver and taxes
          2. Region was neglected
    4. Gunboat diplomacy
      1. Each of these countries sent warships to region
        1. Defend trade
        2. Punish governments, often for debt-payment delays
        3. U.S. war on Mexico
          1. Mexican government had allowed slave-holding U.S. southerners to settle in the province of Texas
            1. Settlers eventually outnumbered Mexicans
            2. Mexican state tried to limit regional autonomy
            3. Settlers rebelled, declaring Texas independent
          2. After losing at the Alamo, Texas won independence
          3. Annexed by the United States as a state in 1845
          4. Fighting renewed amid Mexican fears of more U.S. expansion
            1. Mexico unable to fight off U.S. military
            2. United States occupied Mexico City
          5. 5. United States took half of Mexico’s territory, now the U.S. West and Southwest