Timeline

Colonial Period

    »  The Encounter (1492-1600)
    »  Colonial Crucible (1600-1810) 

National Period

    »  Independence (1810-1825)
    »  Postcolonial Blues (1825-1850)
    »  Progress (1850-1880)
    »  Neocolonialism (1880-1930)
    »  Nationalism (1910-1945)
    »  Revolution (1945-1960)
    »  Reaction (1960-1990)
    »  Neoliberalism (1990- )
    »  The Present 


The Encounter (1492-1600)
1400s: slave trade underway, led by Portuguese
1492: Completion of Reconquest in Iberian Peninsula; arrival of Columbus's expedition to Hispaniola ("the Indies")
1500: Pedro Alvares Cabral mistakenly lands in Brazil. For the first three decades of the 1500s Portugal ignored Brazil, concentrating on its monopoly trade with the Far East
1519: Spaniards first set foot in Mexico. By 1521 the Spaniards, along with aid from rival indigenous groups and the decimating power of European diseases, had conquered the Aztec empire
1530s: Portugal sends settlers, beginning sugar cultivation and destruction of indigenous societies in Brazil. Indigenous populations replaced by slaves brought from Africa
1532: Pizarro captures and executes Atahualpa
1540s: Major mining zones in Zacatecas and Potosí opened
1542: Spanish crown issues the New Laws of the Indies for the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Indians, limiting encomiendas
1544-49: Rebellion of Gonzalo Pizarro against new encomienda laws
1552: Bartolomé de las Casas publishes A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies 

Colonial Crucible (1600-1800)
1680: Pueblo rebellion in New Mexico begins
1695: Zumbi, the king of Palmares, killed
1749: Venezuelan cacao growers revolt
1740s-90s: Bourbon reforms tighten Spanish control over American colonies
1761: Yucatec Maya revolt in Yucatán peninsula
1765-66: Uprising in Quito against tax increases
1767: Jesuits expelled from Spanish America
1776: Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata created
1780-83: Rebellion of Tupac Amaru II in Peru and Upper Peru
1781: Comunero uprising in Colombia
1789-99: French Revolution
1791: Massive slave uprising in Haiti, beginning the Haitian revolution
1796: Beginning of war between Spain and England
1799: Beginning of Napoleonic Wars
1804: Haiti declares independence
1806, 07: British invasion of the Río de la Plata
1807: Napoleon invades Portugal; royal family flees to Brazil
1808: Napoleon invades Spain; Joseph Bonaparte crowned king of Spain 

Independence (1810-1825)
1810: Major revolts in Venezuela, New Granada, the Río de la Plata, Chile, and Mexico, to establish juntas to rule in the name of the king. Hidalgo revolt begins in Mexico
1811: Hidalgo captured and killed
1813: Father Morelos, one of Hidalgo's officers, champions Mexican independence
1814: Fernando VII recovers Spanish throne
1815: Morelos caught and executed
1816: Argentina declares independence
1817: Chile declares independence
1820: Liberal revolution in Spain and Portugal
1821: Mexico and Peru declare independence
1822: Brazil declares independence
1824: Battle of Ayacucho, final defeat of Spanish forces 

Postcolonial Blues (1825-1850)
1814-40: Doctor Francia rules in Paraguay
1823: Monroe Doctrine announced by United States
1829-52: Juan Manuel de Rosas rules in Argentina
1830s and 40s: Gunboat diplomacy practiced by England, France, and the United States 
1831: Pedro I abdicates Brazilian crown and returns to Portugal
1831-40: Turbulent Regency years in Brazil, while Pedro II is a minor
1834: Santa Anna president of Mexico
1835: Bahian slave conspiracy in Brazil
1836: Texas breaks away from Mexico
1836-39: War of the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation with Chile
1841: Avellaneda publishes her anti-slavery novel Sab, banned in Cuba
1845: Texas becomes a U.S. state, provoking war with Mexico
1845: Domingo F. Sarmiento publishes his anti-caudillo treatise Facundo
1846-48: United States-Mexican war. United States seizes about half of Mexico's territory
1847: Beginning of Caste War in Yucatán 

Progress (1850-1880)
1852: Rosas flees to exile in England
1855: Júarez Law passed in Mexico, kicking off liberal reform
1856: Lerdo Law passed in Mexico, requiring church to sell landholdings 
1860: Argentine liberal Bartolomé Mitre becomes president
1861: Colombian caudillo Mosquera initiates liberal rule
1862: French troops invade Mexico
1864: Maximilian installed as Mexican emperor
1865-70: War of the Triple Alliance
1867: Maximilian defeated by Benito Juárez
1868: Beginning of the Ten Years War in Cuba; Sab reprinted in newspapers to inspire patriots
1868: Sarmiento named president in Argentina
1879-84: War of the Pacific between Chile, Peru, and Bolivia

Neocolonialism (1880-1930)
1870-1900: Miles of railroad tracks in Latin America grew from 2,000 to 59,000; primarily owned by European & U.S. companies
1876: First refrigerator ship takes Argentine beef to Europe
1876: Díaz becomes president of Mexico
1877-1910: Mexican trade expanded by 900 percent
1880s and 90s: U.S. banana companies blossom in Central America
1886: Spanish abolish slavery in Cuba
1888: Brazilian abolition ends four centuries of slavery in the Americas
1889: Brazil becomes a republic
1889: Clorinda Matto de Turner publishes Birds without a Nest
1890s: U.S. influence in Latin America begins overtaking British and European influence
1897: Brazilian army destroys holy city of Canudos
1898: UnitedStates declares war on Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines
1898: United States annexes Hawaiian Islands
1900: Rubber boom underway
1903: U.S. intervention makes way for Panama Canal
1905: Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine announced
1912-33: U.S. military occupation of Nicaragua
1915-34: U.S. military occupation of Haiti
1916-24: U.S. military occupation of the Dominican Republic
1919: Paulina Luisi begins movement for female suffrage in Uruguay
1929: New York Stock Market implodes
1932: Brazilian women allowed to vote; initiative led by Berta Lutz, who had been advised by Luisi 

Nationalism (1910-1945)
1903-07: Reformer Batlle y Ordóñez becomes president of Uruguay
1910: Beginning of Mexican revolution against Díaz dictatorship
1916: Yrigoyen defeats landed oligarchy in Argentine presidential election
1917: Revolutionary Mexican constitution drafted
1923-28: Rivera paints murals for Mexican Ministry of Education
1924: Haya de la Torre and colleagues found the APRA party in Peru
1929: New York Stock Market crash initiates Great Depression
1930s: Import Substitution Industrialization process gets underway in Latin America
1930: Brazilian "Revolution of 1930": Vargas becomes president
1932-35: Chaco War fought between Bolivia and Paraguay
1933: Gilberto Freyre publishes The Masters and the Slaves
1933: Beginning of the "Good Neighbor Policy" toward Latin America
1934-40: Cárdenas presidency in Mexico
1937: Mexican railroads nationalized
1937: Vargas assumes dictatorial power in Brazil, initiating the Estado Novo
1938: Cárdenas nationalizes Mexican oil
1945: Gabriela Mistral becomes first Latin American to win a Nobel Prize
1948: Colombian populist Gaitán assassinated, triggering the Bogotazo 

Revolution (1945-1960)
1944-54: Guatemala's "decade of spring"
1945: Crowds in Buenos Aires demand return of Perón
1946: Perón wins presidential election by wide margin
1947: Argentine women granted suffrage
1947: United States announces Marshall Plan; Latin American nations sign the Rio Pact
1948: United States leads creation of the Organization of American States
1950: Vargas elected president as Brazilian Workers' Party candidate
1952: Evita Peron dies of cancer; massive show of public grief in Buenos Aires
1952: National Revolutionary Movement (MNR) takes power in Bolivia
1954: Organization of American States issues the Declaration of Caracas
1954: U.S. proxy force ousts Arbenz in Guatemala
1955: Argentine military exiles Perón
1956: Castro's first uprising against Batista
1958: Batista flees Cuba on December 31
1960: Brasilia, Brazil's new capital, inaugurated
1960: Cuba appropriates U.S. property; United States applies trade embargo
1961: Bay of Pigs invasion
1960s: New Song and New Cinema movements
1962: Cuban Missile Crisis in October
1968: Che Guevara captured and executed in Bolivia
1968: Conference of Latin American bishops embraces Liberation Theology

Reaction (1960-1990)
1961: United States announces the creation of the Alliance for Progress
1964: Brazilian military, backed by the United States, stages coup
1964: Tupamaro guerrilla movement forms in Uruguay
1966: Argentine armed forces establish military government
1967: Uruguayan president declares martial law
1968-74: Hard-line military leaders rule Brazil
1968: Tlatelolco massacre of university students in Mexico City
1970: Popular Unity candidate Salvador Allende wins presidential election in Chile
1973: Armed forces take over in Uruguay
1973: Chilean military, led by Augusto Pinochet, stages bloodiest coup in Latin American history
1975: "Dirty War" underway in Argentina and Uruguay
1978: Lula leads metalworkers' strike in São Paulo
Late 1970s: mothers and grandmothers begin protesting in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires
1978: Rebellion against Somoza begins in Nicaragua, led by Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)
1980s: United States backs the contras in a decade-long war against the FSLN in Nicaragua and supports Salvadoran army in fight against Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front FMLN
1982: Argentina goes to war with Great Britain over the Falkland Islands
1983: Argentine elections oust military
1984: Civilian president elected in Uruguay
1985: End of military rule in Brazil
1990: Elections in Nicaragua end Sandinista revolution
1992: FMLN signs peace treaty in El Salvador 

Neoliberalism (1990- )
1990s: Neoliberal presidents and economic policies across the region
1992: Indigenous leaders meet in La Paz, Bolivia
1994: North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) implemented
1994: Formation of the Zapatista National Liberation Army to combat NAFTA
1994-95: Mexican economic crisis
1995: MERCOSUR free trade zone created 

The Present
2001: Argentina defaults on international debts
2002: Lula wins presidential election in Brazil
2002: Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez survives a coup attempt
2004: Uruguayan socialist Vázquez wins presidential election 
2006: Evo Morales becomes Bolivia’s first indigenous president
2009: Hugo Chávez wins referendum allowing him to be reelected indefinitely
2009: New Bolivian constitution goes into effect
2010: Neoliberal businessman Sebastián Piñera becomes Chilean president, replacing the socialist leader elected in 2006