HISP 226 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Gunboat Diplomacy, Argentine Confederation, Monroe Doctrine
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Lecture 14 - 19th Century Hispanic World: Challenges from U.S. and
In international relations, the strong do what they have the power to do, while the weak accept what
they have to accept
19th century: crucial change - Industrial Revolution (England is at the forefront - it spreads from there
and British dominance starts reducing in relative terms - the US becomes a great industrial power)
Transportation (steam engine), communications were features of the revolution
Division of labor (seen in factories); as production increases, the demand for raw materials increases;
motivation has to do with guarantee of resources and sale of product (for profit)
Change between powerful and weak countries changes rapidly
Hispanic world is weak compared to some advanced countries
o Spain's loss of colonies
Within Spain and colonies: social changes, political instability
The Monroe Doctrine, 1823
Proclaimed by the US president Munroe
Most of Spanish America is independent at this time
It said that European powers shouldn’t interfere in the American hemisphere (except in remaining
colonies). If they didn't, US would act against them.
Newly independent nations welcomed the pronouncement at first, whilst still fearing attacks from
European colonial power.
Bolivar saw it as a chance to establish concerted hemispheric action and called for a Pan-American
meeting in 1826 (solidarity)
UK also supported this doctrine and was the only power capable to enforcing it. They had their empire in
South East Asia, where they could enjoy privileges.
If peace and stability in America, UK could still get what it wanted (markets for their products)
If Spanish America went back to Spain, the UK would be excluded from markets
Change in attitude - in the UK free trade won over mercantilism (after the corn laws)
Latin America so important to British economy, that over a quarter of the total investment abroad went
Argentina was an important economic center
Consensual support for 'informal empire' and 'soft power'
Much of this investment was in Brazil and Argentina where the British had become very
entrenched in local society and there was no need for military interference.
Consensus from the local country - economic ties bind people together. Depend on jobs or
business association with British interest. Political parties define policies around attempts that this
nexus survives. Cultural mixes and consequences of this kind of association.
Argentina - UK link: UK became one of the first countries to recognize Argentinian independence
Economic investment played a large part in the development of Argentine railway and tramway
10% of all British foreign investment was in Argentina.
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