1.07 postcolonial blues

January 7, 2011
Do Now: Create a list of reasons on the
board as to why Latin America catches
“the postcolonial blues”
Review homework
Discuss the importance of the
Begin discussing the postcolonial
Homework: Bring in a current events
article on Monday to present
Where did it come from?
What is it made out of?
◦ Traditionally made by soaking corn kernels in lime,
and then grinding into a dough
◦ Dough is called “masa”
Staple food of Latin America
Frances Calderón de la Barca—”[Mexico City was]
one of the noblest-looking cities in the world”
◦ “The common Indians, who we see every day bringing
their fruit and vegetables to market, are, generally
speaking, very plain, with a humble, mild expression of
countenance, very gentle and wonderfully polite in their
manners to each other”
Yet, there was still a negative tinge
◦ “When I say they read, I mean they know how to read;
when I say they write, I do not mean they can always
“…the first postcolonial
generation saw Latin America
going nowhere fast.”
What are the defining characteristics of
“split personality of Latin America”
Concept of “legal equality for all citizens” vs.
reality of hierarchy
Caste distinctions left legal records
Slavery receded
Formalized, but not formally practiced
“[Liberal leaders] had mixed feelings about
‘the people.’ They considered indigenous
people and their lands a national problem,
never a national asset.”
Challenged liberal agenda
Proclaimed commoners should know their
place and allow elites to govern
Issue of church and state
How do you make this concept into a reality?
Beginning of partisan politics—never had that
Silver mines wrecked
Little external investment
Lack of experience
Lack of control of import/export trade
Lack of transportation infrastructure
And overall…very little money!
No trust
Lack of
“The rapid fall of Latin America’s first
republican governments further undermined
their legitimacy and set a tragic precedent, as
one constitutional president after another
was overthrown militarily.”
Preparedness—book, notebook, pencil, etc.
Presence—are you there and owning it?
Personal responsibility—homework, did you
help others, did you make excuses, etc.
Current events article on your country to
present on Monday