LAH

1. Latin America went through a period of modernization from 1870-1920. The most beneficial change during this time was the introduction of railroads. Railroads allowed for rapid movement of goods and people. However, this beneficial change also came with a cost. Urbanization became an issue for the indigenous peoples. Many lands that had been owned by the people were taken over by the government so that railroad track could be laid down. The people who were forced from their lands by the government moved to the cities where they hoped to find new jobs and continue with their lives.

2: The primary source of the interview of Porfirio Diaz supports the point made in class that standardized education was starting to become part of life for the people of Mexico.

“The schoolhouse. There can be no doubt of that. I want to see education throughout the Republic carried on by the national Government. I hope to see it before I die. It is important that all citizens of a republic should receive the same training, so that their ideals and methods may be harmonized and the national unity intensified. When men read alike and think alike they are more likely to act alike.”

The above quote is how and why the interview supports the notion that standardized education will be introduced to the public. This source is important because it dispels the notion that Mexico was a wild land. The general public has little knowledge of what developing Mexico was like and are only shown the current vision given off by extremely corrupt officials and cartels controlling the nation. This primary source dispels the notion that this was always the way Mexico was.

What are the main points of each of the historiographical perspectives on the USA’s intervention in Guatemala?

1. What are the main points of each of the historiographical perspectives on the USA’s intervention in Guatemala? (These historiographical perspectives are: Realist, Revisionist and Postrevisionist).

Realists believe that the USSR was the main aggressor of the Cold War with its expansionist empire. They also believe Jacobo Arbenz was a Soviet puppet and therefore see his stain removal from the Government of Guatemala as a necessary step to remove Communism from the Western Hemisphere. The text indicates that Realists believe Arbenz was a communist because of the propaganda thrown around by the US government to raise support for the coup along with the shipment of Czech arms and documents found that were previously Arbenz’s which had plans for a Communist stronghold in the Western Hemisphere.
Revisionists believe that the USA was the main proponent of the Cold War as the government kept trying to expand markets and foreign investments. They believe that the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz was caused by economic imperialism as the USA responded to the call of the UFCO.
“The financial ties between U.S. government officials and the company, the massacre of at least 1,000 banana workers on a UFCO plantation immediately following the Liberation, and Castillo Armas’s decision to return land confiscated from United Fruit under Decree 900, all seemed to point toward a conspiracy.”
Postrevisionists are a harder group to pin down compared to both Realists and Revisionists. They believe economic and strategic factors were the cause of the Cold War while putting the blame for it more on the shoulders of the USSR. Postrevisionists believe that the US government was too blinded by the threat of communism to see that Jacobo Arbenz was a nationalist, not a communist.

What did gender and youth policing entail, and why was it so important to the Cuban State?

1. What did gender and youth policing entail, and why was it so important to the Cuban State?
• Gender and youth policing was so important to the Cuban state because it was needed to help create the “New Man” that Che Guevara envisioned.
• The “New Man” were youth who “would unquestioningly carry out state orders.”
• Officials within the Cuban government started policing not only gender and youth but also popular music and fashion. The officials believed those who deviated from the normal gender order were ideological diversionists.
• “Ideological diversionalism” was declared a political crime in 1968 from Raul Castro.
• To police their citizens officials introduced “the use of iconography and the study of his life and his war diaries…” to schools and other institutions throughout the country. Him being Che Guevara. Officials also spread throughout the country that women were calling on their men to live for the development of the country.
• In the 1960s, two youth groups organized purges throughout the schools of the country. Whole departments would come together for a mass trial to testify against people suspected of being homosexuals. Almost always they were accused and tried as such which led to expulsion from the school along with the burning of transcripts and transferring of one’s name to a list of people with issues.

 

Lillian Guerra, “Visions of Power in Cuba Revolution, Redemption, and Resistance, 1959-1971,” 228
Lillian Guerra, “Visions of Power in Cuba Revolution, Redemption, and Resistance, 1959-1971,” 228
Lillian Guerra, “Visions of Power in Cuba Revolution, Redemption, and Resistance, 1959-1971,” 230

Independence: Problem Solver or Causer?

Independence: Problem Solver or Causer?

Independence is the one glorious idea that every person and nation strives for in their existence. No one person or entity wishes to be subservient to another if for any reason that entity seems unfair or controlling. The infant nations of Latin America were able to gain independence through their people because of two reasons: the want of the people to have more control over their daily lives was strong enough to turn into revolt and then war for independence and the conditions and events in Europe happened at the right time. Once independence was achieved, instability surged through the nation. The main reason for this instability in the 19th century was the lack of a political system to keep everything together.

Stable political regimes do not appear out of thin air. The United States of America, for example, had no way of knowing if their government of a democratic republic would work or not. For the first few years in its infancy, the government was extremely rocky. This was even worse in Latin America. There were no Founding Fathers to write up a new constitution and government. The people of Latin America had to do it while trying to find their identity based on their region. People developed their identities through the creation of flags, national symbols, and region-based papers that kept people up-to-date with what was happening across the lands. The most important characteristic of their new identities was the name of the country. Many countries renamed themselves to what we see on a map today. The problem with new countries being born is that no one truly knows where the geopolitical boundaries lie just yet. Someone who believed themselves to be a Peruvian could be living in Bolivia and vice versa. There were no borders yet established by a government to outline these new countries. This set the stage for the fight between federalism and centralism to continue.

The Catholic church was another part of life that was heavily affected by the absence of a government. The church had been very important during the colonial period as religion was a large part of colonial life. It held power as both social and political institutions as it greatly influenced the government. Many government officials fled the region once independence took hold. This included many, if not most, of the Peninsular bishops. They abandoned their dioceses and left them without any replacements. These abandoned posts were not filled for decades until new church officials could be created and relations between the new nations and the Vatican calmed. Liberals, however, started to attack the church and keep its power small as they did not want it becoming a strong force as nations developed.

The period of unstable political regimes was marked by rapid expansion of government systems. Nations were trying to create or adopt a political system but were also failing quite spectacularly. For several nations, war and government controlled by the military occurred because there were no well-defined political or even national institutions to take control. The armies and officers that were created during the wars for independence wanted their rewards once the wars were over, even if they had to play dirty to get them. Many of these armies did not fully disband once the wars were over. However, these armies were one of the stabler institutions to survive the wars for independence which is why they came into power.

The primary fighting on the political battlefield was between liberalism and conservatism. Conservatives fought hard to maintain the ways of the old government that was ran by the Catholic church underneath their Spanish rulers so that a modicum of stability would remain. Liberals counterattacked by trying to create a more open and progressive government by ending the class and race distinctions of the old regime. The change proposed by the Liberals did not sit well with the Natives who were well acquainted with the old system of laws. Conservatives were worried that by giving the Natives power it would lead to an even larger revolt and the purging of the upper class. However, Natives would often switch sides depending on who promised not to intrude in their lives.

Some may argue that the largest cause of instability in Latin America was the lack of an economy. However, economies are always flowing and changing. They have to be to stay relevant to the times. An economy cannot stay in one state as the nation or the world changes or else it will crumble cutting down the country it resides with it. The economy suffered large losses as the Spanish retreated from the region. Now the infant nations had no one to trade with for a period of time until Great Britain, France, and the United States saw opportunity in them. The main point against the economy being the reason for instability within Latin America is that the Natives had gone without Spanish goods and assistance for centuries before they had even been discovered. They had grown dependent on their goods but could transition into a new economy that involved trading with one another or countries to the north.

War was a constant issue during this time, meaning there was always a need for goods in certain nations which means there was always a market, however small. The reason the economies did not recover as quickly and wars continued to dot the continent is that there were no solid governments to take charge and step in. Without a government or solid political system, the economy would forever stay in flux or crash entirely. A system of government is needed for an economy to thrive and become part of world trade. Until Latin America nations created or adopted a government, their economies would forever be crippled. Once the government recovered, not only in Latin America but also in France and the United States, the economy started to recover. War is something too that continues on when there is no government to make treaties and deals to stop it. Without a stable government, there was no way that the regional wars in Latin America would ever stop until one group ruled the rest.

The lack of a stable political regime or government caused the most instability within the region of Latin America within the 19th century. Without a stable government, economic strife, and even sometimes collapse, ran rampant throughout the region. War, too, ran rampant throughout the continent as different groups vied for control of regions so they could establish their own identities and nations. Stable governments would have prevented or lessened the amounts of economic and hostilities within the region had they been thought of or practiced by the revolts before the wars for independence had occurred.

 

 

Cheryl E. Martin and Mark Wasserman, “Regionalism, War, and Reconstruction: Politics and Economics” in Latin America and Its People Vol. 2, p. 244-45

Cheryl E. Martin and Mark Wasserman, “Regionalism, War, and Reconstruction: Politics and Economics” in Latin America and Its People Vol. 2, p. 257
Cheryl E. Martin and Mark Wasserman, “Regionalism, War, and Reconstruction: Politics and Economics” in Latin America and Its People Vol. 2, p. 245

Cheryl E. Martin and Mark Wasserman, “Regionalism, War, and Reconstruction: Politics and Economics” in Latin America and Its People Vol. 2, p. 267

Cheryl E. Martin and Mark Wasserman, “Regionalism, War, and Reconstruction: Politics and Economics” in Latin America and Its People Vol. 2, p. 266-67

What strategies did Rigoberta Menchu’s community develop to resist oppression?

What strategies did Rigoberta Menchu’s community develop to resist oppression?
The first step Menchu’s community developed to combat oppression from the government was to move the village chief, her father, to the center of the village. Other villages had been divided and conquered by the government because they had separated their leader from the people. The people were then unable to organize and became easy pickings. In a nearby village, the government came and took “the elected representative, the chief catechist, and their families.” In response to this event, Menchu’s village decided to come together and live on the plot of land given to her father by the government so that when soldiers came they would not be conquered so easily. The villagers immediately started to build the houses on Menchu’s families land. They started to prepare the land for houses and cut down palms to create the houses while other created the frames for the houses. The people abandoned their old customs and traditions in favor of security. No longer would they perform their traditional ceremonies before they harvested the crops or else the crops would be taken by others when it became harvestable. The children were taught to be even more discreet than ever before while signals were developed out of everyday actions to warn the people that something was about to occur. To defend themselves, the people took everyday objects and came up with ways that they could be used against the army. They also took the traps used to keep the mice and mountain animals from eating the maize and altered them to capture the army. Dogs were trained to bark at the army whenever they were in the village, no matter the time of day.

1) After reading the articles on Rigoberta Menchu and her account, what should a person make of Rigoberta Menchu’s account and why?
There should be a grain of salt taken with Menchu’s account. Many people have looked over the facts and information in her book and questioned it. With research, several have come to the conclusion that not everything is how it was written. The overall theme and story of her account should not be ignored as what she recalled happening did happen. People are just not sure now, after her facts had been checked and sifted through, if everything was true.

 

Rigoberta Menchú, “I, Rigoberta Menchú An Indian Woman in Guatemala,” 124
Rigoberta Menchú, “I, Rigoberta Menchú An Indian Woman in Guatemala,” 124