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Latin America in the 20th Century

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Presentation on theme: "Latin America in the 20th Century"— Presentation transcript:

1 Latin America in the 20th Century

2 Latin America in the 19th Century
Gained independence Legacy of colonization left many problems: – Powerful militaries – One-crop economies – Sharp class divisions European and U.S. economic domination – Dependency Theory Rulers more interested in personal power than in democracy

3 Political Instability
Influence of caudillos Creole elites supported the status quo Little experience with European democracy Foreign Intervention – Monroe Doctrine – Spanish American War – Panama Canal Political Instability

4 Revolution and Stability?
Mexico Revolution and Stability?

5 Mexican Revolution Preliminary Phase
– Porfirio Diaz dominated Mexican politics and tried to industrialize using foreign capital Initial Phase – Moderate reforms of Francisco Madero Radical Phase – Civil war between Pancho Villa & Emiliano Zapata; both demanded radical reforms Recovery Phase.

6 Recovery Phase Constitution of 1917
– Mexican government owned the subsoil and its products – State had the right to redistribute land to peasants after confiscating it and compensating the landowners Lazaro Cardenas ( ) – Redistributed 45 million acres to peasants – Seized control of Mexican oil wells from foreign investors

7 Economy Since the Revolution
Substantial land reforms continued Many Mexicans face poverty and unemployment Substantial foreign debt • Economic decline – New oil reserves found as world oil prices fell NAFTA

8 The PRI Institutional Revolutionary Party, 1946 Provided stability
Not a true democracy PRI controlled the Congress and won every election; fraud and corruption

9 Economy Since the Revolution
Substantial land reforms continued Many Mexicans face poverty and unemployment Substantial foreign debt • Economic decline – New oil reserves found as world oil prices fell • NAFTA

10 Cuba

11 Cuban Revolution • Preliminary – Fulgencio Batista – Economic growth – U.S. Influence • In1958,FidelCastro overthrew Batista – 26th of July Movement – Aided by Ernesto “Che” Guevara

12 Fidel Castro’s Cuba Provided reforms: economy, literacy, health care, improvement for women. Harsh dictator - suspended elections, jailed or executed opponents, restricted the press. Nationalized Cuban economy Castro turned to Soviets for economic and military aid. – Cuban Missile Crisis

13 Guatemala • Juan Jose Arevalo used a series of reforms that conflicted with foreign companies working in Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz was elected President in 1951. 1954 US CIA invaded Guatemala to overthrow Arbenz and installed a US-supported government. Reforms were minimal.

14 Brazil

15 Government in the Early 20th Century
Originally government supports coffee and cacao planters and rubber exporters – Large gap between rich and poor • Getulio Vargas rules as a dictator in 1930s - Suppressed political opposition. – Promoted economic growth and helped make Brazil a modern industrial nation.

16 Post-WWII Brazil Government dominated by dictators
Continued economic modernization – Encouraged foreign investment to promote development projects. – Debt soared and inflation increased, causing hardship for most Brazilians. Movements towards democracy since 1980 – Hampered by government corruption

17 Argentina

18 Argentina after WWII Juan Peron ( ) promoted “nationalistic populism” – Called for industrialization – Supported the working classes – Limited foreign economic intervention Military dictators dominate 60s, 70s, & 80s – “Death Squads” fought a “dirty war” against subversives from • Democratic reforms demanded in the 1980s

19 Eva Peron • Immigrant and soap-opera star married Juan Peron in 1944
• Ministered to the needs of the descamisados “shirtless ones” • Formed Eva Peron Foundation to help poor • Died in 1952 at age of 33 – Husband lost popularity after her death

20 Chile

21 Chile • Salvator Allende world’s 1st democratically elected Marxist president in 1970 Gen Augusto Pinochet ousts Allende in CIA sponsored coup -3,000 people were killed or “disappeared” in his 17-year rule

22 Private investment by American companies were the chief means of influence in Latin America.
The United States intervened periodically in Latin America to protect investments. Direct interventions were usually followed by the creation or support of conservative governments that would be friendly to the United States.

23 Other U.S. Intervention Banana Republics
– U.S. backed dictators in a capitalist economic system U.S. backed dictatorships – Augusto Pinochet in Chile – Manuel Noriega in Panama Military intervention – Sandinistas (USSR) vs. Contras (US) in Nicaragua

24 Many militaries in Latin American seized power after World War II and imposed new types of bureaucratic and authoritarian regimes. Government economic policies fell heaviest on the working class. All military governments were nationalistic.

25 More US in Latin America
The US launched a program called the Alliance for Progress in 1961, which aimed to develop regions and eliminate ideas of radical political solutions. After 2000, US concerns with Latin America continued to focus on issues of commerce, immigration, the drug trade, and political stability. Over 30% of the population of Latin America falls under the poverty line, which contributes to legal and illegal immigration to the US.


27 Changes in Latin America 1980-
South American governments returned to civilian governments in the mid 1980’s. Large foreign loans taken in the 1970’s threatened economic stability in Brazil, Peru and Mexico. International commerce in drug trafficking stimulates criminal activity in many Latin American countries. Latin American continues to have economic and political problems.

28 Women slowly gained suffrage in Latin America, but were even more slowly integrated into national political programs. Migration among Latin American countries is common because of job opportunities and politics. Movement in Latin American from rural to urban areas is extremely high.

29 Latin American popular culture combines crafts, music, dance.
The struggle for social justice, economic security and political formulas still exists. Economics of Latin America have expanded but problems of distribution of wealth are prevalent.

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