Creoles and Caudillos: Latin America in the Nineteenth Century

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Transcript Creoles and Caudillos: Latin America in the Nineteenth Century

Independence, Authoritarianism, and Political Instability
• Hispaniola in the 1700s was divided between French and
– French part of island produced half of the world’s supply of
sugar and coffee.
– By 1789 . . .
• 30,000 white settlers
• 28,000 mulattoes (who owned one-third of the slaves )
• 500,000 slaves
• Slave rebellion began August 1791 when
Vincent Ogé’s uprising failed to get citizen
rights for mulattoes who owned property.
– Rebels were also protesting harsh conditions
of slavery.
• Rebellion, and fear of British or Spanish invasion
of island, led French to abolish slavery in 1794.
• Francois-Dominique Toussaint
Louverture, a slave,
ended the revolt.
– . . . created a constitution based
on French constitutional
• First concern was to rebuild sugar production,
down by 75 percent.
• Napoleon took over France in 1799
– sent an army to Saint-Domingue.
– tried to reinstitute slavery.
• Louverture captured in 1802;
dies in 1803.
• Jean Jacques Dessalines, another former slave,
took over and defeated the French troops.
• Declared himself emperor of Haiti in 1804,
but was killed in 1806.
• Decades of political instability and agricultural
weakness ended in 1874.
• By 1911, Haiti was a successful black
constitutional state.
• 1911 – 1915 numerous political assassinations
• US occupies Haiti 1915 – 1934.
• Napoleon replaced the King
Fernando of Spain with his
brother Joseph Bonaparte
– French army occupies Spain
• Joseph rejected by Mexican creoles.
• Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla led a rebellion.
• Comprised of poor creoles, mestizos, and Indians.
• Rebellion turned violent, looting and killing
peninsulares randomly.
• Revolution suppressed in 1811, and Hidalgo
• Creole elites want independence even after
Fernando is restored to the throne.
• In 1824, the creole elites declared the Republic of
• Mexican advantages included lots of open
lands and abundant natural resources.
• To encourage settlement, in the 1820s Mexico
encouraged immigration.
• Allowed settlers to be independent as long as
they paid taxes.
• Policy coincided with expansion of the United
States needing land for cotton.
• Many immigrants from the United States
settled in the region of Texas.
– Texans violated the Mexican Republic’s ban on
– Texans allied with the United States and
independent of Mexico.
• General Santa Anna, as president, sent army to
prevent Texas from declaring independence.
• Santa Anna was acting as a “caudillo,” or strong
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
1794 – 1876
President of Mexico
11 times
“. . . perhaps the principal
inhabitant even
today of Mexico's . . .
pantheon of those
who failed the nation."
• At San Jacinto Santa Anna was captured, and
an independent Texas declared.
• Texas asked to be annexed to the United
• James K. Polk elected President of the US in 1844.
• Texas annex by out-going Congress.
• Mexico saw this as an act of expansionist
aggression by the United States and declared war.
• Mexico lost the war in 1848 and ceded Texas,
New Mexico, and California to the United States.
• Shortly afterward, gold was discovered in
• Louis Bonaparte becomes Emperor Napoleon III
of France in 1852 after a coup d’état.
– Determined to rebuild France’s empire and influence.
– Uses economic leverage and ties to conservatives in
Mexico to aid Austrian
Prince Maximilian to
become Emperor of Mexico from 1864 to 1867.
– U. S. aid to Mexican liberals led to Maximilian’s
• Benito Juarez returns to the presidency.
• Porfirio Diaz became president in 1877, and a
– dominated Mexico until 1915.
• Diaz brought peace and stability to Mexico,
helped by stability in the United States in
Texas, the southwest, and the south.
• Diaz developed Mexico’s infrastructure,
including rail, telegraph, and telephone lines,
as well as industry.
• Development funded by British and U.S. firms,
in exchange for rights to minerals, metals, and
agricultural exports.
• Petroleum drilling was also first begun during
his term in office.
• Diaz driven from power by Francisco Madero,
who was wealthy but supported reforms to
aid the majority of Mexico’s population, which
was poor.
• Madero assassinated by the Mexican Army
• Victoriano Huerta
becomes president.
• Provokes US reaction
• . . . and Mexican revolt.
• Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa led
competing uprisings for land reform.
• Conservatives and reformers also competed
for political power.
• Mexican instability ended in 1917 with a new
constitution that was socialist, limited foreign
ownership of land, and more equal land
• US troops entered northern Mexico in search
of Villa, but failed.
“Mexican Punitive Expedition”