Notes on the Week 3 Reading
PMLAH - Ch3
Independence and Its Consequences
- The independence movements of the early 1800s did not want to revolutionize the social order
of latin america but merely control it themselves.
- Latin American elites found their justification in the liberalism that had been bred and nurtured
but the American and French revolutions/independence movements
- The Catholic church was originally a big proponent of liberalism but a rivalry between the two
parties soon emerged.
- Once the creoles were in power and the ethos of emergency dissipated the creole elites fell
into a conservative inertia that tried to stall social progress any further and created anti-liberal
policies (these conservative powers however were contended in most latin american countries)
- though slavery was abolished the relationships between owners and workers tended to remain
War to the death - Simon Bolivar
- fiery and poetic language
- unites people under the americano banner
- promises that spaniards not on the sides of the american republic will be shot and ignorant
americans will be pardoned.
- “Spaniards and Canary Islanders, you will die, though you be neutral, unless you actively
espouse the cause of America’s liberation. Americans, you will live, even if you have
The vision of Father Morelos - Enrique Krause
- tells the story of a seemingly idealistic preist who was an agent of change and seems to have
truly believes in the latent content of the words he spoke unlike bolivar.
- Priest likely divorced from the mechanisms of change outside civil society
- furthers the all encompassing americano propoganda
- was not for any other religion other than roman catholicism
Argentina’s Black Legions - G. Reid Andrews
- black inclusion in the armed forces of independence movements in the early 19th century in
latin america was scarry and worrisome for greater society. there was fear that, having been
suppressed and treated as subbordinate class they will use their force against the organs of
government in an attempt to change it and secondly that black participation in state military
campaigns will be used as a basis for renegotiation of their social position or repayment for their
subordination in the past.
- many black forces did participate in the wars of argentina (some entirely made up of slaves)
- in the 1800s slaves could be sold to the state as soldiers and would be provisionally free while
in service and completely free upon completion of service.
- this was in theory however many were forced to serve long terms and there is no evidence as
to how honoured this pact was kept with some documented stories of the freemen being
delivered back to their slave owners.
- Segregation of the army forces into white and black battalions has led some historians to think
of whether black battalions were sent primarily into more dangerous forms of combat. this would
explain to an extent the gradual disappearance of argentinia’s african population.
- some units of mixed race did exist certainly more so after the independence movements than
during the colonial period.
The brazilian path to independence
- brazilian independence happened from the top down and required less blood shed because of
the presence of portugese royalty in the form of Prince Joao VI.
- Brazil however did succum to the ideals of liberalism and was formally declared independent
by Prince Joao with the formation of republic like structures.
- some in society (again largely clergy) harboured more radical sentiments which aspired to
achieve greater independence than what was being offered by King Joao and the Brazilian
- movement reached its “zenith” in 1830 managing to unseat the monarch figuratively by rallying
popular opinion behind the idea of a republic. however the movement was crushed and would
only claim total victory in late 1800s as part of a continental trend.
What independence meant for women
-women were continually judged at this time as virtuous in their domesticity and sexual purity.
- considered improvements at the time women were beginning to be able to show their
mathimatical abilities in public. but their education, severely deprived in the colonial times, was
still primarily aimed at the betterment of their domestic roles (though the quality of their
education had improved under the time of independence).
- Women were called upon for the donations of their jewels to the armies
- the thought of what opposition armies would do to wives and female children was a motivating
- rare cases existed where women participated actively in military movements with one
documented case of a woman being awarded an army pension/compensation for duties.
- there was a sytematic and prevalent failure to identify women as citizens of the republic.
- woman used the claim of ignorance to their advantage (not spoken of maliciously)
- poor women had it the roughest with republican rich women being heralded as important for
their reproductive duties as well as the transmission of culture through motherhood.
- the idea prevailed that a soldiers life would corrupt women.
- only after independence was rape actively prosecuted.