A Brief History of Latin America Ancient Civs., Europeans, and

January 9, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, World History, Aztec
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A Brief History of Latin America Ancient Civs., Europeans, and Independence

Once Upon a Time (before Christopher Colombus) 

Three Native American empires in present-day Latin America  Maya  Inca  Aztec

Maya 

Dominated Southern Mexico & northern Central America

AD 250-800

City of Tikal: present-day Guatemala 

Greatest Mayan city

Priests and nobles ruled

Skilled in mathematics 

Calendars (end of the world, 2012??????)

Predicted solar eclipses using astronomical obs.

Glyphs: picture writings carved in stone to honor deities & record their history

POLYTHEISTIC society: Belief in multiple gods

So, What Happened? 

Abandoned cities for unknown reasons  

Ideas of collapse: drought, warfare led to sharp decline in pop. Spanish took over in 1500s

Now: archeologists are studying this area  

Uncovered ruins of roughly 40 cities Glyphs, however, remain largely untranslated 

Temple ruins = popular tourist attractions

Today: descendants live in S. Mexico, n. Central America, practice subsistence farming 

Subsistence farming: producing just enough food for a family or village to survive (not for profit)

Chichen Itza: Maya temple

Aztec 

Central Mexico, 1300s

Capital: Tenochtitlan (present day Mexico City)

Aztec farmers grew crops on chinampas, or floating islands made from large rafts covered with mud from the lake bottom

Structured class system 

Headed by emperor & military officials

Priests: performed rituals to win deities’ favor & ensure good harvests

Majority at the bottom: farmers, laborers, and soldiers

Maize (eventually corn), tomato, xocoatl (chocolate)

Defeated by Hernan Cortes (1521), beginning of Spanish Mexico

The Aztec performed sacrifices to the Sun God, Huitzilopochtli,each day. The “sacrificed” were mainly prisoners

Inca 

Also around 1440s Andes Mountains (South America) 

Ecuador to central Chile

Capital: Cuzco (Peru)

Ruled through central government headed by an emperor

Built massive temples, fortresses, system of roads, irrigation systems 

All roads went through the capital city of Cuzco!

Domesticated the alpaca & llama, used for wool

No written language, used oral storytelling

System of record-keeping: quipu, or a series of knotted cords of different colors & lengths; each knot represented a different item or number

Conquered by Francisco Pizarro (1535)

Original Incan road

Machu Picchu

Invasion of the Europeans! 

Spanish & Portuguese began colonizing after Christopher Colombus’ discovery of the “New World” 

God—spread Christianity throughout new areas

Glory—competition among European countries


European colonies eventually arose 

Hernan Cortes (1521): Aztecs

Francisco Pizarro (1535): Inca

Both men were CONQUISTADORS: conquerors

Brought with them diseases; as this killed Natives, Africans were transported to the area to cover labor shortage

Characteristics of European Colonies 

Spanish: highly-structured political systems under royally appointed officials (also known as a viceroy)

Spanish + Portuguese colonies = Roman Catholic Church

conversion of natives to Catholicism

Hospitals & schools set up by missionaries

Ecomomies 

Natural resources (Spanish: gold & silver mining; Portuguese: metals made into Brazilwood)

Cities & towns built, served as trade centers & government seats

Native Americans used to work in plantations & ranches. Eventually replaced by African slaves

Colombian Exchange

Independence Movements 

Began in the late 1700s because resentment against European rule was building

Wealthy European colonists wanted self-rule, lower-class wanted more rights

Native Americans & African slaves wanted freedom

Revolutions in the US (American Revolution! Yay America!) and France (with Napoleon) inspired them

Napoleon defeating Spain Spain weaker  VIVA LA REVOLUCION!!!

Latin American Revolutions

Sources of DiscontentLate 1700s 1.

Viceroys- Spanish governors


Peninsulares- Spaniards living in LA


Creoles- straight Euro. descent


Mestizos- Native + Euro.


Mulattoes- Afn. + Euro.


Zambos- Native + Afn.


Amerindians- Natives ALL distrusted one another

Haiti’s Struggle 


Sugar & coffee plantations = 1/2 million slaves lots of $ for France

25,000 free (but not equal) mulattoes

Haiti’s Struggle 

Revolted in 1791

Led by Toussaint L’Ouverture 

Former slave, but educated

1804: Complete independence

Haiti became the FIRST country to abolish slavery in the western hemisphere

Mexico’s Fight 

Father Hidalgo: El Grito de Dolores  1810: cry for independence  encouraged lower class (mestizos) to fight for indep. and more rights  Hidalgo was executed Fr. Jose Morelos led fight (later executed)

Creoles (pure Span. descent) against rebels at 1st

1820: new govn’t in Spain  scared Creoles  fought with rebels  won in 1821

Set up monarchy 1st, later a republic long road to stability…

Simón Bolívar 

1810: Bolivar led revolt in Venezuela  form republic

Went on to Ecuador, Peru, & Bolivia republics

Joined Jose de San Martin 

Leader in Argentina & Chile

Wars ended in 1824

Tried to unite lands into Gran Colombia  

Biggest problem: Power struggles caused huge civil wars turn to military

Panama Canal 

Isthmus perfect place to connect oceans

Ferdinand de Lesseps (Suez Canal) tried but failed 

Disease, geography, $

Bunau-Varilla asked US pres TR (1901) to aid building

Panama Canal 

Panama was part of Colombia at time 

Col. refused to give up land

Panamanians revolted, US helped them

Panama gained independence (1903)

Canal began in 1904, until 1914

US owned until 1999

Dictatorships: Pattern 

As the countries fought for indep., power went to new people

European & indigenous hist. stressed rank & privilege

So ppl of power and strength were natural fit

Enter the era of CAUDILLOS (dictators)

Dictatorships 

People are unhappy REVOLT

Option A: the military puts out revolt and resumes power to keep order

Option B: rebels win & put in someone military/wealthy don’t like  military coup

Dictatorships 

Chile  Military coup over threw dem. socialist govn’t in 1973  Led by Augusto Pinochet  Ruled harshly, human rights violations  Over 100,000 either killed, imprisoned, or tortured  Ruled until 1990! (remained in charge of army)  Died in 2006 while awaiting trial

Cuba Fidel


Like others, ppl were discontent with govn’t

Cuba- gap b/w rich and poor  Revolution led by Fidel Castro set up Communist State with military dictator (1959) 

Ruled until 06-08 left Raul (brother) in power

Change 

Venezuela: 

Coups lasted into 90s, one even by current leftist Pres. Chavez

Electorate voted him in b/c he was a strong ruler in a time a of crisis

2012: re-elected again!

Mexico: 

Mid-90s gave rise to Zapatista rebels 

Fight for indigenous rights spreads

2000 marked PAN take over (Vicente Fox) 

Felipe Calderoncurrent

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