19th Century Latin American Revolutions Roots History Essay

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This essay would represent short overview of the 19th century Latin American Revolutions roots, relating to the abolition of slavery. It should be noted that slavery was a typical social institution in Latin America at this time, it was supported by the governmental forces (mainly formed from the representatives of White minority - colonists and their descendants). The inhuman attitude and growth of conflict (supported by the revolutionary movement in Europe) burnt the fire of the revolutionary atmosphere all over the Latin America and even touched US. The Revolutionary movement promoted in the New World definitely different social structure, they dealt with the era of the new governments, slavery abolition, making the first states to the understanding of the Human Rights.

The background of the rebellions and maroons communities formation

Let's start from the very beginning. Examination the nature and reasoning of the Latin American Revolutionary movement there should be noted what processes caused the creation of the Rebellions and unifications of them. The Colonial Government from the very beginning did not have constant form and firm state legislation. In the basis of the Colonial Government in the start could hardly be called democratic. The power was not given according to the some kind of elections; the supreme power has never belonged to the nation as it was in Europe, when the first kingdoms were formed. The European colonists came to the new World and invaded it, making the aboriginals their slaves and transporting the Africans to Americas to make them slaves. The governor was not just a military leader of the troops, depending on the common will of the nation, stating all the decisions and determining any activity. The powers of the governor looked like the absolute monarchy in the colonies, as the person on behalf of whom the governor was acting was too far to evaluate the fairness of his policy. The nation could not choose the head of the state. During the many centuries the governors of different countries of the New World, conquered by conquistadors, bought for a penny from the aboriginals, who were intended to break the independent soul of those who lived there centuries before their arrival. Those whom they brought from the African continent also formed their identity during the three hundred years and were starving for changes, oppressed by the wishes of the white masters: "The growth of a sense of identity and community among the African slaves in Latin America was essential for their survival as society and group. Families were established, children were educated, and beliefs were developed that gave legitimacy to their lives. But many aspects of their lives were controlled by the others. Their labor was defined by the others and was not typically organized by households, as in the case of other working class persons. Even their social behavior was restricted by the whites when it clashed with the needs for control or the norms of behavior acceptable by the whites. Physical violence was also inherent in chattel slavery and created a level of fear and uncertainty unmatched by any other form of class or labor relations in America. Finally, even the physical well being of the slave and his family was largely at the whim of his or her master and could be affected by consideration outside the slave's control" [1] . The practice of escaping was typical among the aboriginal slaves and among the African. They could not stand anymore this oppressive impact of the planters' government and planters themselves. A number of maroons communities were formed in different lands and the gave the shelter for those who seek for it. It goes without saying that before the civil wars the countries like Cuba and Mexico were poorly organized, social abuse became harder because of unfair division of the civil rights. And even the slavery was abolished the nation was rendered to the despotism, going from inequality. The nobility was divided on the courtiers living on the favors of the governor(i. e. the nation provided their support); they were empowered by the government on different levels or they took senior positions within the military troops. All the higher official positions were provided by the governor to representatives of nobility. They all were oppressing the people, slaves most of all, who provided their prosperity

The roots of revolutionary movements

The French Revolution significantly changed correlation of the political forces and provided a serious shift in the internal existence of the whole world. This event highly impacted and actually inspired the revolutionary movements in Latin America during the 19th century. It should be noted that at the revolutionary times in Latin America (already 19th century) there still existed medieval forms of society - slavery and plutocracy were still acute social structures and forms. But it should be noted that even before the revolutions in all the countries there existed free communities of the runaway slaves, who escaped from the regime and changed to form the communities, actually living far from the places where they representatives of the government of planters could catch them: "Most runaway slave communities in the Americas were quickly overcome by whites. However, a good many of those communities not only survived but became legally recognized towns whose residents eventually blended into the surrounding population. Although whites managed to eventually destroy most New World fugitive slave settlements, a surprising number of them managed to survive" [2] . It goes without saying that right before and during the revolutionary times these communities highly impacted those who fought against the oppressive colonial regimes. And It is considered that the Whites and the governments supporting slavery just could not find them and catch during the peaceful times, so during the confrontation - Revolutionary years - these settlements became supportive bases for the rebels' army. During the years of peace they were the shelters for the runaway slaves who were typical for that contradictory period.

Historians investigating the subjects consider that the maroon settlements appeared much earlier than the revolutionary atmosphere arrived from Europe [3] . It is not surprising that planters were severely worried about the fact they lost for some time and even permanently the laboring people (they have paid for them). In the 19th century there were typical to propose a reward for catching the slave, who escaped from their masters. It should be noted that Latin American Slaves were highly oppressed by the terrible attitude of their masters and poor living conditions. The vast majority of the planter did not cared about there health (but there were the opposites of such treatment [4] )

The whole countries were divided on the confronting provinces, - some was occupied by the colonial governments the others were under control of those who seek for the slavery abolition. It is not surprising that the society was also divided on the classes confronting each other. The planters and the White majority, so called the colonial nobility had lost all its powers, the same time had its certain privileges; the nation did not have any rights; the regal authority was not limited by any demands and rules and during the confrontations such countries as Mexico, Cuba and many others were under the oppressive ministry's autocracy, local governments and social privileges for certain classes. The only place to survive in such conditions between the confronting sides was to escape somewhere. These maroon communities in Latin America Were Giving a shelter to those who escaped either from the planters, who did not want to accept the new laws (like in Mexico during the period from 1810 till 1860-s) [5] . The planters were highly intended to reject the new rules, that is why even after the slave abolition, in many countries normal life was possible only inside of the slave communities.


These inhuman and illegal social structures were supposed to be replaced by the new, fairer and more corresponding to the demands of time social government. It replaced despotism by legislation, privileges by equality; the revolution was intended to make people free from class differences and provided a number innovative practice that helped people to understand their role and place within the society, guaranteeing the same equality for all the classes, for all legal implications and the one united nation. To provide such significant reforms within the society, the Latin American rebellions had to overcome a number of difficulties and this caused temporal redundant, alongside with the long lasting and beneficial effects. The privileged classes tried to stop the Revolution and European countries tried to put it according towards the certain norms and subdue the process, as they did not want to lose their colonies. But such attitude had only sharpened the struggle and could not change its forces and lessen revolutionary success. Supported inside by the maroon communities and the new escapers, who were tired by this inhuman attitude, the new governments rapidly took the power. The internal opposition caused the masses supremacy and outer interference shifted to the military despotism. But despite all these contradictory facts it would be essential to note that the dominating anarchy and despotism were just after effects, hence the main idea was reached - the old social state was ruined within the empire during the revolution and the new one was born.


Analyzing the history of this significant period, it should be noted that the country was demanding significant changes and they were provided as well as there were some ideas that were not realized as it was planned first. In the very beginning there were clear reasons for such a magnificent historic events.