Latin American Colonies In The 19th Century

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Latin America, in the late 19th century, was a time for the flourishment of independent nation states and a new social and political view for the people that fought for independence. The structure of the colonies, in the colonial period, were established by a system based on race which influenced many aspects of life in Latin America and in the years to come. The Spanish and Portuguese set up administrative systems, such as the cabildos, viceroyalties, and audiencias in colonial Latin America, in order to manage local municipal governing and maintain rule by the crown. In order to extract resources from the colonies, the Iberian crowns set up a cascade system through which laws passed from the crown to be implemented by the cabildos. Occasionally,…show more content…
The Spanish knew indigenous people were accustomed to paying taxes and agricultural work. They used this knowledge to form an economy and get rich based on the exploitation of Indian and African manual labor. Products from gold mining, silver mining, and agricultural work were the foundation of export trade. In order to attempt to tighten up the administrative system, the two crowns aimed to extract more wealth from the colonies through tax increases. However, the wealthy colonists did not see the wealth from the tax increase and wanted to depart from the mother countries restrictions on trade. This would enable legal trade with the other countries. This sparked the notion of the politically active population in the colonies to seek control of their political lives and for…show more content…
Whites and their decedents were placed at the top of the social structure. Transients in commerce, trade, and military were middle class, and Indians, free Africans, enslaved indigenous and Africans were at the lower part of the social structure. Elites did not perform manual labor due to it being viewed as a sign of low social status. Labor was greatly needed in the colonies and as a consequence indigenous and Africans were forcibly placed into those roles. This arose the idea that the "whiter" the heritage a person could claim, the higher their status; on the contrary, darker features meant less opportunity. Additionally, women’s roles were effected by their race and social class. Women, through marriage and entering convents, and men, through military rank or becoming skillful in a craft, could establish honor and move up in the social
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