Latin America
“anything South of the United States”
Ancient Civilizations
Mayans
-Central America
-concept of 0, large temples, 365 day calendar
Incas
-Extensive road system to maintain the Empire (like Rome)
-Terrace farming for agriculture on the mountain sides
Aztecs
-Capital city of Tenochtitlan ruled by Montezuma
-City built with Chinampas, or floating gardens.
-Chinampas were used to grow more food
Exploration
(3) New advances led to increased sailing: Compass, Astrolabe,
Cartography, Caravel ships
Portuguese and Spanish dominate exploration:
Portuguese
Spanish
1415- Prince Henry the Navigator
1492- Columbus Sails West towards Asia
-fleet of ships explore African Coast
-The New world is split b/t Spain and
finding Cape of Good Hope (Dias 1488)
Portugal by Treaty of Tordesillas
-Vasco da Gama found all water trade
-Founded Columbian Exchange- Global
route to India’s port cities
transfer of goods, food, ideas and
people
Discovery
The Americas were discovered by Christopher Columbus who established trading
routes between Europe and the “West Indies”
Latin America was quickly populated by European settlers looking to strike it rich
with gold. The trade route between the Americas and Europe was the Columbian
Exchange.
Columbian Exchange
Positives
Negatives
-New foods thrived in Europe and created a
surplus of food (increase population)
-disease spread from Europe to the New
world killing millions
-permanent contact between the East and
West established
-Natives were subjected to a form of slavery
under the Encomienda system
-African Slave trade begins
Encomienda
A racial social structure meant which effectively
enslaved the Native Americans
Peninsulares- Spanish Born
Most Social systems in history
American born Spanish
are based Creoleson socio-economic
status, such as occupation.
Spanish and Native
What is the MestizosEncomienda
American
system based
on?
MulattoesSpanish and African
Race
Natives and African (slaves)
Mercantilism
As trade with the American colonies
increased many Europeans began
investing in companies to make a
profit.
European nations also adopted
Mercantilism. This policy involves a
nation building up their wealth by
EXPORTING more than they IMPORT.
In other words, they sell more than
they buy.
Revolutionary Fever
The people of Latin America had witnessed the American Revolution. Then
the French Revolution. They were inspired by both, particularly the creoles,
who read translated copies of the American Declaration of Independence.
• Lack of political
influence
• Distant foreign
king
American
French
• Outdated social
system
• Financial crisis
• Unfair Social
classes
• Lack of political
influence
Latin
Catalyst for change
When Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Spain in 1808 the people of
Spanish controlled Latin America saw it as an opportunity to
revolt.
Napoleon placed his brother on the throne of Spain. Latin
American leaders saw this as a sign of Spain’s weakness. With
Spain preoccupied with the French, the opportunity for them to
demand independence from colonial rule had arrived.
The Spark!!
Latin American Revolutions
Haiti
-led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, the slaves of Haiti rebelled
Mexico
-Father Miguel Hidalgo led a peasant revolt to free the Mexicans from Spanish
rule. He was unsuccessful
-Mexico earned independence in 1802 but struggled with democracy
Columbia
-Simon “the Liberator” Bolivar leads Columbians and others in independence
throughout Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
-envisions a Gran Columbia but political differences and geography prevents it
7:48
Third World
Latin America is considered a third world
nation because much of the area lacks
water supplies, many areas deal with
struggling governments and limited
infrastructure.
As third world nations, Latin America
provides cheap labor, new markets, and
resources
Cuban Revolution
Cuba did not gain independence until 1902 with
help from the US. The US maintained puppet
governments led by presidents backed by the US.
The US maintained the right to intervene in Cuban
affairs for decades, and US investors mostly
controlled Cuba’s economy.
Fidel Castro made several attempts at Coup’s to
overthrow Cuba’s government, but did not succeed
until 1958/59
Castro created a Socialist and Communist
government, and the Cold War era US cut off
relations. Today, diplomatic relations are strained
and an Embargo prevents trade.

Latin America Review