Latin America

Its honestly odd how little the general population thinks about Latin america from a historical standpoint. The United States have had their hands deep within it for a long time in an effort to shape it to their desires and before that there were the original colonizers of Spain and Portugal who set up their own Africa like imperialism throughout the continent. Latin America has seldom had the chance to progress on its own terms without outside influence.

For starters I’d like to look at the era post colonialism where the countries were left to their own devices, or so they thought,  now that WWII is over. Most of these nations had some form of government in place as a post colonial regime and many of which were indeed democratic. This is where america steps in. America according to Bayly was in ,”full swing” both from an economic standpoint and a world influence stand point and at the top of their hit list was communism. Since there wasn’t much on the home front except McCarthy’s rampant witch hunting they looked at a world view. Where did this lead them? To Vietnam and Korea for armed conflict and to Latin America where the people came first and sometimes the “threat” of socialism arose. The Pink Wave is the term for the wave of democratic reforms that spread throughout. Its also no secret that Nixon and Kissinger were heavily involved in many of these revolutions as a way of protecting their own interests but justified through containment. Bayly remarks that Chili is a rather strong example of this.

As an earlier example of how Latin America struggles to exist on its own is early civilizations being collapsed by Spanish existence on the continent. As Professor Holt stated on Monday the Civilizations in the area, namely the Aztecs and Inca were extraordinarily advanced and their cities rivaled many European cities both in structure and population. The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan was 120,000 residents strong but was whipped from the face of the earth by Smallpox. The Inca which a population of 3-12 million suffered a similar fate and this cataclysm of the Latin america population basically hit the reset button on progress and caused most of the country to become imperialism by the Spanish and Portuguese.

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