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HIS330H5 Study Guide - Social Inequality, Platt Amendment, Meyer Lansky

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What are the causes of revolution in L.America?
The issues causing revolution in L.America were a combination of social, economic inequality,
political participation being close off and the United States foreign policy towards Latin America
that was for their own interest. The essay will focus on specific examples in El Salvador,
Guatemala, Cuba & Nicaragua
El Salvador:
The revolution began with the social & economic inequality. The economy was based on coffee
production and the demand for their products abroad. The traditional land was taken from the
peasants and Indians because it was the best land for making coffee, this turned the Indians into
productive citizens, into workers. Large social inequality were due to this as there is no middle
class, 95% of the population were mestizos or indian but they were all poor. The country was run
by 14 families where a group of oligarchs controlled 77% of the wealth but only .85% of the
population. The lords had plantations with their personal armies which became the national
guard to protect the interest of the family. Through the depression these ienqualities grew more
extreme when the price of coffee dropped; which meant the peasantry had no money, no land and
could only sell their labor. These inequalities resulted in rebellions against Augustin Marti, and in
1932 the Matanza Masacree had 30,000 killed. This lead to complete political participation being
shut down under Hernandez Marti the revolution was likely because when the majority of the
population is so poor and the economy is based to benefit the few, you can’t demonstrate your
grievance through political institutions when there is one dictator, which leads to violent
uprisings. The revolution failed in 1948 when the old guard labelled the revolutionaries
communist and appealed to the usa, this caused more violence from the government to any
people who wanted to rise up. The FMLN in 1980 was a merger of a leftist group against the
government and right wings. n December 1980, four American churchwomen were raped and murdered by military and
paramilitary forces. U.S. President Jimmy Carter responded by temporarily cutting off aid to El Salvador. But U.S. policy took a
dramatic shift with the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980. Asserting a hemispheric-wide national security strategy, the Reagan
administration considered the Salvadoran government – its atrocities notwithstanding – a friend in the Cold War. 1980s El Salvador received 1
billion military, men traine at us war schools, truth commission 85% of assassinations and murders were the security force, flmn did 5%. They
terrorized the peasantry to not rise up,
The reasons for revolution was the major issues were access to land & labor. The Liberals got in
power and grew coffee to become the dominant staple crop, all land is being use to grow coffee,
not growing food who lives there. The country was mostly Indians and their land was taken to
work growing coffee plantations with vagrancy laws; work or go to prison than you are forced to
work, they started growing banana’s and invited the UNFCO in 1901; the united fruit would
control all the infrastructure (railways, boats) and the land, with the concentration of wealth for a
few people, open veins thesis; neocolonialism, one corporations own everything and they take
the wealth back to ameirca. The corporation became stronger than the government. The operation
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