History of Latin America.
The Latin American region includes the vast territories of the Western Hemisphere south of the US - Mexico, Central and South America with the adjacent islands with a total area of 20.6 million km 2 (15% of the inhabited land). At the turn of the 20-ies of the XX century. Here lived 5% of the world's population (95 million people).
The name "Latin America" comes from the Latin foundations of the Romance languages, spoken by most of the region's population. It reflects the influence of the culture and customs of the Latin (Romantic) peoples of the Iberian peninsula - the Spaniards and the Portuguese, who colonized this part of America and then constituted the most important component of the nations formed here.
Washed by two oceans: from the west - Pacific, from the east - Atlantic. There are 46 states and dependent territories on the total area of about 21 million square meters. km, which is about 15% of the total land area of the Earth. The borders between mainland countries are mainly on large rivers and mountain ranges. Most countries have access to the oceans and seas or are insular. In addition, this region is in relative proximity to a very developed in the economic state of the United States. Thus, the economic and geographical position of Latin America is very favorable, despite its some isolation from other regions. According to the state structure, Latin American countries are sovereign republics, states within the Commonwealth, headed by Great Britain, or possession of Britain, France, the USA, the Netherlands (mainly islands in the Atlantic Ocean).
The geographical position of Latin America is beneficial and favors the development of the economy thanks to three aspects. First, the access to the seas and oceans and the presence of the Panama Canal, secondly, the close location of the United States, thirdly, a huge natural and resource potential, which has not yet been realized due to the historical factor. After all, almost all the countries here in the past were colonies, and some still remain dependent.
The territory of Latin America was originally inhabited by natives of Northeast Asia, which later mixed with migration flows and formed numerous Indian tribes and nationalities. The oldest sites of primitive people date back to the 20th-10th millennium BC. e. By the time of the invasion of European conquerors in the late 15-16 centuries. most of the Indian tribes were at various stages of the primitive communal system, engaged in gathering, hunting and fishing. Aimara, the Aztecs, the Mayans, the Incas, and others created the early class states. After the travels of H. Columbus, who discovered the islands of the Antilles archipelago, the coasts of Central America and Venezuela (1492-1504), the first Spanish settlements were established on the islands of Hispaniola (Haiti) and Cuba, which became pillars of further penetration into the interior of the American continent. Expeditions of the conquistadors led to the establishment of Spanish rule in Mexico, California, Florida, Central America and the entire South American continent, with the exception of the territory of Brazil, which Portugal conquered, and the Guiana seized by England, Holland and France. The internecine struggle of the Indian leaders, who entered into alliances with foreign invaders, facilitated the conquest of Latin America by the colonialists. The conquest of America by the Spaniards and the Portuguese, basically ended in the 16th and 17th centuries. Despite the desperate resistance of the indigenous people (which the colonialists in many cases responded to by their total extermination), Spain and Portugal planted their languages, their religion (Catholicism) there and had a great influence on the formation of the culture of Latin Americans. English, French and Dutch colonization also influenced the history of Latin America, but much less than the Spanish and Portuguese.
By the beginning of modern times, Latin America in its historical development has passed three major stages. The first and longest of them was the era of pre-Columbian America, which lasted until the end of the XV-beginning of the XVI century. At that time, the population of the region was represented by Indians. By the time the Europeans came here, most of the territory of the Western Hemisphere was inhabited by Indian tribes who lived in the conditions of the primitive communal system. In the center and south of Mexico and in Guatemala, as well as in South America along the Andean plateau (from Venezuela and Colombia to the north of Chile, including Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador) Indian civilizations of Maya, Aztecs, Incas, Chibcha were formed. In a number of relationships, they can be compared with the early civilizations of the East in the 4th-2nd millennium BC.
Columbus's first overseas expedition (1492) marked the beginning of the discovery, conquest and colonization of the Western Hemisphere by Europeans.
1. Small islands of the Caribbean, as well as Guyana and Belize in the XVII-XVIII centuries. were under the rule of Britain, France and the Netherlands.
Recently, the term "discovery of America" is often replaced by another - "a meeting of cultures." Obviously, both formulas are valid and complement each other. It is really a meeting of different cultures and civilizations - Indo-American and European, with their subsequent synthesis. But this is America's discovery for the rest of the world, and not just a "meeting", but a dramatic unequal clash of the two worlds, culminating in the enslavement of the Indian population of the colonial empires of Spain and Portugal by the Europeans (the latter took possession of the vast Brazil).
In the history of Latin America came a three-century colonial period (XVI-early XIX century.). The natural development of the traditional Indian society was forcibly interrupted, ancient Indian civilizations were killed, a significant part of the local population was exterminated, and the surviving was subordinated to the power of the colonialists. At the same time, Europeans (in particular, the Spaniards and the Portuguese) brought to the New World the achievements of European civilization and culture, which, along with Indian traditions, became the property of Latin America. European colonists and their descendants - Creoles have become an important and growing part of the population of the region. The importation of colonizers into the New World from the 16th century. Negro slaves led to the formation here of a third, African-born, component of the population and culture. The interaction of such diverse elements was accompanied by the growth of mixed in the racially-ethnically and culturally diverse population and the formation of a peculiar ethno-cultural symbiosis. The result of such complex processes was the modern Latin American society. It was the colonial period that played a decisive initial role in its formation.
The initial phase of Latin America's involvement in the processes of world capitalist development as its peripheral zone is associated with the colonial period, which led to the emergence here of early capitalist elements. Towards the end of the colonial era, the preconditions for the formation of Latin American nations begin to form, the first sprouts of national self-awareness are awakened. The development of capitalist relations, peasant and urban insurrections in the 18th century. (the peasant war in Peru in 1780-83, the uprising in New Granada 1781, etc.) shook the colonial system and contributed to the awakening of the national consciousness of the local population. The War of Independence of the English colonies in North America 1775-83 and the Great French Revolution hastened this process. As a result of the rebellion of Negro slaves that began in Haiti in 1791, slavery was abolished in 1801 and the independence of Haiti was won (1804), while Spanish domination in Santo Domingo (the modern Dominican Republic) was also undermined. The war for the independence of the Spanish colonies in America 1810-26 ended with the abolition of the colonial regime. Almost all the Spanish colonies won political independence. Attempts to liberate Cuba and Puerto Rico failed because of the intervention of the United States and Britain. In the context of a broad popular movement in September 1822, independence of Brazil from Portugal was proclaimed.
The third stage of the history of Latin America began - the stage of the formation and development of politically independent Latin American states and, accordingly, Latin American nations. All these countries, with the exception of Brazil, immediately or soon after independence became republics. In 1889, the monarchy in Brazil was overthrown. To 18 Latin American republics in the beginning of XX century. joined by Cuba (1902) and Panama (1903). Of the 20 states in the region, 18 were Hispanic. In Brazil, the Portuguese language was established, in Haiti - French.
The formation of states was the most important prerequisite for accelerating the development of capitalist relations. The preservation of large landed estates and the privileges of the church hampered this process. In the middle of the 19th century. a new upsurge of the revolutionary movement began in the civil wars in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Uruguay, Guatemala and forced important social reforms in Peru, Honduras and Brazil. The capitation was abolished from the Indians and the slavery of the Negroes (without the granting of land), noble titles were destroyed. In 1889, the monarchy was abolished and the republic was proclaimed in Brazil. After the advent of socialism and its collapse (except for Cuba), an active process of capitalism developed.
For a century - from independence to the First World War - Latin American countries have made significant progress in economic and socio-political development, which had its own characteristics. With a weak population of most of the territory, the undeveloped vast inner regions of Latin America (for example, the Amazon basin and Patagonia), millions of people concentrated in economic centers such as Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico. The population of Argentina, Uruguay, southern Brazil in the late XIX - early XX century. significantly increased due to immigration from Europe.
The largest states of Latin America were Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. On a share of these three countries it was necessary about �! � all territory and almost 60% of the population of the region. One Brazil - a giant country - by the area (8.5 million km 2) almost twice exceeded all foreign Europe (without Russia and other CIS countries). Significant territories were occupied by Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Chile. At the same time, there were more than a dozen small republics, mainly in Central America. Unlike Asia and Africa, the share of colonial possessions belonging to the United States, Britain, France and the Netherlands and concentrated mainly in the Caribbean, was small (2.5% of the territory and 4.5% of the region's population).
Even before the First World War, the development of capitalism in Latin America reached a significant level, especially in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Mexico and Brazil, which came from the 70-80s of the nineteenth century. in the phase of industrial revolution. In these countries in the early XX century. there was a factory production, capitalism developed in the countryside, mainly the industrial bourgeoisie and the proletariat were formed. The manufacturing industry in Argentina in 19.14 was 14%, and the entire proletariat is not less than one-third of the employed population. An important role in these processes was played by European immigrants (primarily in Argentina and Uruguay). The large factory industry coexisted with a mass of small handicraft and handicraft enterprises, and there were practically no branches of heavy industry. In Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, more than half of the population lived in cities. Less than in these countries, the level of development of capitalism was in Colombia and Venezuela. In the more backward republics of Central America, as well as in Bolivia and Paraguay, capitalist development before the First World War did not yet lead to the creation of a significant industry and the formulation of classes of capitalist society. True, the share of countries of the latter category in the territory, population and economy of the region was small.
The specific nature of the economic and political development of Latin America was largely determined by the belated entry into the path of bourgeois progress compared with Europe. The gigantic rupture of the initial levels of development of the Old and New World, conditioned by objective historical reasons, predetermined the inclusion of Latin American countries in a single world economic complex, first by colonization and then by unequal relations of dependence on the advanced centers of world capitalism. The basis for the accelerated transition of the region to capitalism was its involvement in the world capitalist market as a peripheral agrarian and raw-material link.
A characteristic feature of bourgeois development under similar conditions was that here new social, economic and political structures did not simply replace the old, but, tightening them, integrated into their orbit. In particular, the colonial regime successfully adapted the economic and social structures of Inca society, the Indian community, to establish its domination. The plantation slave economy (in Brazil, Cuba), the landlord's latifundia, forced labor in the mines served as the starting point for Latin America's involvement in commodity production for export, for the world capitalist market, for the initial accumulation of capital and, ultimately, for the capitalist evolution of the Latin American society itself , during which traditional forms of management also underwent changes, were "saturated" with capitalism. In the latifundia, wage labor became increasingly widespread, and the enslaving forms of hiring were combined with capitalist forms. This process was more rapid in the farms that were most integrated into the world capitalist market, especially in the coastal provinces of Argentina, Uruguay, South Brazil, where the proportion of immigrants from Europe was also large. In remote areas, including in territories with large masses of indigenous Indian peasant population (in the Andean upland countries, in Mexico, in most Central American countries), this process developed more slowly, latifundism of the traditional type with the predominance of bonded forms of exploitation of rural workers lasted longer.
The ability to integrate the components of the old structures into the new facilitated and accelerated the involvement of these countries in bourgeois progress, made them pliable to accept new, advanced forms coming from outside. The same can be said about culture, social psychology, ideology. As a result, in just four centuries - from the beginning of the XVI century. before the beginning of the 20th century. Latin America made a historic leap from the stone age of the primitive communal system and from the early civilizations of the ancient Eastern type to the stage of industrial capitalism, for which Europe needed millennia.
The reverse side of these processes was the extraordinary vitality of the integrated elements of the old, traditional structures within the new ones. Along with the acceleration of bourgeois progress towards the prevalence of its conservative options, the entrenching of multi-structure, when the formation and development of the capitalist mode of production was combined with the preservation of the components of pre-capitalist ways, with the existence of small-commodity, patriarchal economy and even the primitive communal system of Indian tribes (on territories not yet "civilized"), . This increased the contradictoriness of the development of society.
History of Latin America.