Saturday February 17, 2018 - Es el 17 de febrero, 2018. Es sábado

WebQuest: Conclusion

When you are done you will have figured out that these three leaders freed South America from the Spanish. Their actions gave counties such as Venezuela, Peru and Argentina the ability to set up their own governments. The results were mixed, mostly because when the Spaniards left they left a legacy of social stratification that considered white Latin Americans to be better that browner citizens. Slavery was left intact and the much bigger problem of how to govern a country with very few super wealthy people and a vast majority of poor people made it extremely difficult to follow the ideals of the Enlightenment in the foundations of government. On top of that, Spain continued to inflict damage in its attempt to regain control of its lost territories until well into the mid 180s.

If you think about it, how can a country with such a difference between rich and poor form a democracy in which everyone's vote matters? How do you tax the citizens of your country? Would the rich be willing to pay more for the benefit of the country? Also, who would end up governing? A democratically elected citizen, or as José the San Martín feared, a fortunatel soldier? How fit would a soldier, used to military life, be at governing a country? On top of that, how do you build a government with laws, a congress, courts, etc. from scratch so that freedom is not lost?

The answers to these questions may have been included in your projects, but if they were not, and you liked this project, you might be interested in extending your research. After all, it is the responses that each one of these and other Latin American countries gave to these questions that resulted in the upheavals of the late 1800s and even to the coup d'états that have happened until very recently (2009 in Honduras) in Latin America.

When people wonder why Latin America doesn't have the same stability and similar democratic institutions to those of the United States, it is good to remember that Latin America did not have any until after 1820. There were no such institutions under the ancient civiliaztions of the Americas, and there were none during the Spanish reign, and even after spilling blood for the ideals of the Englightenment, many countries ended up with serioud difficulties in making the ideals become reality.

Further topics of research

Argentina

José de San Martín's concern with the fortunate soldier taking power
Juan Manuel de Rosa's government of Argentina
The civil wars of Argentina (1814-1880)

Chile

The Chilean revolution of 1851
The revolution of 1829

Perú

Civil war of Peru, 1856-1858

Venezuela

Simón Bolívar's conclusion of the governability of Latin America
The separation of Venezuela from Colombia in 1830
Guerra civil de Venezuela (1848-1849)
Guerra civil entre los conservadores y los liberales de Venezuela (1858-1870)

Sudamérica circa 1850

Sudamérica circa 1850

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