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Kelly WagnerHistory 141/Spring 2011Theme 7<br />
British Interests<br />“By the middle of the twentieth century Britain’s influence had disintegrated.” The United States was able to “gain ground” in Latin America, and Britain became a debtor due to the First World War. <br />When the Second World War occurred, Britain lost even more control because they became in debt to the United States and Latin American countries. Trade had been declining, and their investments that had been making them money, no longer did, except for petroleum and manufacturing interests. <br />During this time, the “pre-1914” investments were turned over to the Latin American governments as a way to cancel out Britain’s debt. <br />
British Interests<br />During the time of Latin America’s independence, they still appeared to have the look of European colonies, but without the connections.<br />Much of their colonies were along the coast and anyone inland were Indians. Their populations were low and one-third of them were commonly slaves.<br />People who were of Mestizo, African or indigenous decent were ruled by “white elites,” bureaucrats and land owners. <br />In the Spanish colonies, they relied greatly on slaves for their agricultural work and indigenous people for mining production and manufacturing. <br />Even though poverty was a problem, they did not let it affect their trade. They had a very advanced network of trade for all different commodities such as grain sugar and wine, textiles, mules, cattle and salt. <br />
British Interests<br />Latin America’s future was undefined, even though they had achieved independence. <br />Spaniards fled to the Caribbean and to Europe. The Portuguese hit the hardest; they took capital with them, took cattle, food and mules, and new soldiers with every city they went through. <br />Without any money or transport, they were unable to trade on their existing networks. <br />This became a time of unknown. Governments would rise and fall with the military. A common problem for all governments was they did not have enough money. They tried to impose taxes again on merchants and indigenous people, but in the end just became more in debt for a mixture of factors. <br />
British Interests<br />Along with people fleeing, and the countries going more in debt, there were civil conflicts and political struggles. <br />“Mexico faced an invasion from Spanish forces in 1829, the secession of Texas in 1835-36, a French intervention in 1838, and war with the United States in 1846-47.” Then Brazil and Buenos Aires had a battle going on over the ownership of modern Uruguay for three years. The republics were unsure of the “role of the church,” constitutional questions about the legislature and economic problems between the elite.<br />As far as the political struggles it varied according to the region. Areas such as Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia were extremely unstable, and were constantly having new leaders because one couldn’t stay in office long enough to provide order to everyone. Though there were those who couldn’t take control, the caudillos did have some success through making better relationships with land owners. <br />In order to have a government expand, they needed growth of the economy. If this could occur then they could fix all their problems. Larger economy meant a growth in profits, which would help decrease national debt. <br />
Mexico<br />The country is starting to mix with the United States. Whether people like it or not, Mexico is where drugs come through to reach the United States from other countries such as Columbia. <br />Besides drugs coming through, many Hispanic people now live in California, Texas and Arizona that previously resided in Mexico. There is also a growing number of illegal immigrants who reside in the United States who take advantage of tax payers money. Not all Hispanics who have come here are illegal because there are a growing number of Latinos now in Congress. <br />It is not only Hispanics coming to the United States, it is US citizens moving to Mexico for cheaper healthcare. <br />
Brazil<br />“Brazil is the United States of South America.” It is the largest country of South America bordering almost all other countries. <br />From central and southern regions, they are the largest exporters of beef, oranges, sugar, coffee, poultry, pork and soy. Even though they are such large exporters this only adds up to about 10% of Brazil’s economy. Of the top 500 companies on the continent, 80% of them are Brazilian. <br />Brazil is place filled with culture and even though when looking at it doesn’t seem as if they are interracially mixed, they are. A total of 70% of Brazil is “some mix of African. European, or indigenous; thus, segregation is more class-than-race based. Some consider Brazil and “hourglass” shape because there are a large amount of wealthy people on the top, a small middle class and then a larger lower class. It is one of the place in the world that such a great diversity among classes exist together. <br />They are energy conscious and consider the affect on the ecosystem which is why there is also controversy over the Amazon. The rainforest is the “lungs” to the world, so if construction keeps occurring to cutting down the forest, when Brazil goes, then South America will go.<br />
Argentina and Chile <br />“The story of Argentina is a sobering reminder that neither first nor second-world status is a permanent condition.” Argentina used to be the seventh-richest nation in the world, but followed the same cycle as many second-world nations; “liberalization of enterprise, booming investment, rapid growth, expanding vulnerabilities, failed rescue packages, and finally, economic and political unraveling.”<br />Since Argentina had its “meltdown,” people do not want to invest, which makes them have to rely on agricultural trade to China. <br />Now unlike Argentina, Chile has the possibility to join the first-world nation group within up coming years. The government is giving emphasis to education and technology, which are the foundations to make the economy grow. Their poverty line is below 15% and since the 1990s their income has doubled. <br />Chile on its own cannot lift South America out of its poverty, but it can help to increase trade and jobs because it is the only country with free trade agreements. <br />Other countries in Latin America can learn from the example Chile has set through economic growth and putting priorities to the countries resources and working from there. <br />
Columbia<br />With having the third largest population in the world, of 3.5 billion people, there is a lot of uncertainty. Because the country is split by three mountain ranges, there is a range of culture, that is clearly seen and a fight for control over the cities of over a million people. The people involved in this fight are the government and its army, the drug-trafficking rebels , and paramilitary groups. <br />The country is not a safe place, and cannot gain control of its inhabitants. They are constantly faced with internal threats because no territorial control from the government. <br />Unlike Argentina, Columbia has been able to remain a second-world nation because it has never experienced hyperinflation, or massive debt, has it the best in the stock exchange. This is due to gradually reducing poverty and having foreign investments. <br />
Shakira<br />A Columbian born star, Shakira signed her first recording contract at the age of 13 with Sony Music Columbia. She is considered the “best female lyricist of Latin America.”<br />Though she spoke three languages, she sang in Spanish. It wasn’t until later in her career she wrote her first song in English, “Objection.”<br />After she finished secondary school is when she decided to focus her life on music. <br />The feel of her music is from the love of rock, but at the same time from her fathers descent of “Arabic tastes and sounds.”<br />She has sold 60 million albums throughout her career and the only artist from Latin America to have a song be number one in the US.<br />She also opened the Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) Foundation, which has six schools in Columbia, that provides six thousand impoverished children with food and education. She first opened this foundation at the age of 18 and is still continuing expansion, now to other countries. <br />
Female Politicians<br />Laura Chinchilla became the first female president of Brazil this year of 2011. In her second year she would like to expand her experience as president of Costa Rica. <br />Unlike that of the United States there are many female leaders throughout the world. <br />Isabel Peron was president of Argentina in 1974. <br />Claudette Werleigh was prime minister of Haiti in 1995. <br />MireyaMoscoso was president of Panama in 1999.<br />These are just a few examples, but it shows that a women can also be taken seriously to run a country and handle certain affairs. <br />Moscoso was in office when The US handed over the Panama canal and kept execution running.<br />Claudette Werleigh worked to empower women and get them involved in politics. She grew up very wealthy and realized she wanted to help others.<br />Isabel Peron was the first non-royal head of state in Argentina. <br />Though these women may not have been well-liked, they still managed to do their job. <br />