Latin America is a region that includes the Caribbean. This region was a creation of the Latin European colonists. This term was coined by a French Geographer in the 19th century. It included about twenty three colonies such as Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti among others. These nations were colonial territories of the France, Spain and Portugal. Their language is not English but Romance and the European languages dominate the region. Most of the people inhabiting the Latin American region are Roman Catholic followers.
Latin America started by the coming of the Portuguese and Spanish as colonialists to the vast American land. During the same 16th century, the Dutch and the French also claimed the North America. This clearly divided the American land into Latin America and the North America. To this extent, the Latin America was born as the southern region of the vast new found land.
The Portuguese conquered parts of the Latin America with a lot of authority and dictatorship. For instance, they landed in Brazil with a lot of dictatorship that triggered off a fierce resistance from the Brazilians who were mainly Indians. A lot of differences were very evident between the Portuguese and Spanish Americans in the Latin America. Not many colonial residents accepted such an authoritative and dictatorship leadership. The majority of the immigrants into the Latin American region were Indians and they dared opposition against the advancement of the colonial rule.
It is the legacy that was left behind by these colonialists that created the Latin America. Allan (1990) emphasizes that it is meaningless to explore or study the Latin America without paying attention to the legacy established by the region’s colonial masters. It was in the interests of the Latin Europeans to push forward their agenda by assimiLating the Latin Americans. They therefore laid down the necessary foundation for the existence of the Latin American territory.
After independence, new rulers took over leadership and started improving the Latin region’s economy. For example, Argentina and Uruguay embraced livestock agriculture which fetched good money from the European markets. This ensured that the Latin Americans would not be dependent people but produce their own food stuffs for both home use and export purposes. These leaders also undertook political reforms and worked hard towards the restoration of their nations. They embraced and upheld the unique culture that ensured unity and prosperity.
The name Latin America majorly came into play by the 19th century. Tracing the development of the Latin America, the European transported slaves from the African continent and settled them in this region. Upon the termination of slavery and slave trade, these people then procreated to give the rise to the current African-Americans. The Latin American region is today a region of integrated races, cultures and ethnicities.
The creation of the Latin America was both political and economical. As the Latin Europe rushed into acquiring colonies in this vast region, their main aim was to exercise their political power and might. This notion is reiterated by the fact that colonization was an attempt by the British mainly to expand their territories in the Diaspora. The many colonies a nation controlled the stronger and powerful it was. As I discussed in my introduction, the Europeans scrambled for colonies in the Latin America both from the north and from the south. As witnessed in the first and the second world wars, European powers used their colonial subjects in their military conquest that even handed some of them victory.
Another gain that the creation of the Latin America brought to its creators is of economic nature. The Americas was a virgin land that had just been founded and it had very good fortunes. This region had a lot of mineral deposit and other resources that the Britain urgently needed for her industrial needs.
The destruction of the Latin America was majorly advanced by the United States of America. The US brought together fifty states under one government. In doing so, most of the Latin Americans were ignored. Many of these Caribbean nations are left struggling with their identity, economy and political ideologies. The case of Puerto Rico precisely describes this situation. Currently, outside political observers view Puerto Rico as a nation without a state. This is because this island is neither affiliated to the United States of America nor is it a sovereign republic. Despite the United States granting its people US citizenship, it was never incorporated into the United States territory. In fact, the United States Supreme court refers to Puerto Rico as a “foreign state in the domestic sense”. This explains how alienated the island is. Even at the onset of the twenty first century, Puerto Rico remains a nation that has no state and is not yet assimilated in the United States culture.
Much confusion was even witnessed when there was a mix up in identification of nationalism. At the destruction of this region, many counties were wallowing in great confusion. Citizens kept on crossing their countries’ borders to an extent that they found it hard to identify themselves with any nation. This is quite clearly illustrated in countries such as Cuba, Haiti and Puerto Rico. For example, the Puerto Rican transnationalism started with the US rejection of the existence of a Puerto Rican nationality. The US administration viewed the island as weak and unable to run a self government and on a clear political and cultural identity. This prompted them to invade the island. The idea of opening up its borders was also fueled by its unpreparedness for independence as long as from 1898. Most scholars reiterate that this island was not ready for independence from the Spanish. Its residents appeared primitive and uncivilized. Soon after the end of World War II, the Puerto Rican island received a great extent of autonomy from the US. However, this autonomy did not eliminate the United States’ colonialism on this island.
The US initiated cultural nationalism adoption as from 1955s. Since this time, most latiin and Caribbean countries and their major government agencies such as cultural institutes have pushed for nationalist iconography guided by their various aspects of the society such as culture, language folk art among others. These icons diffused into both the mainland and the island but never achieved their objectives. Despite this wide spread of these iconography, they did not generate massive support for the Latin American free association with United States or rather independence. Transnationalism is also a product of the presence of the Diaspora. Nearly half of the Puerto Rico nationals live abroad in the United States or other neighboring states.
In conclusion, Latin America was an establishment of the colonization of the Latin European countries which were guided by greed and selfishness. They then satisfied their industrial needs through heavy extraction of the Latin American rich resources such as minerals and land. The Europeans established vast agricultural land that produced raw materials that would run their industries.
Comparing, Argentina to other areas of Spanish America, Argentina was on the frontier and life there was harsh. It was found north and north east of Paraguay. For this reason the land was older and unproductive. This brought some conflicts between Buenos Aires and other provinces. The rivalry continued until Buenos became the federal capital of the country. However, it was not until the war for Independence that Argentina ended the colonial age. The Spanish were defeated and the state remained independent.
The first inhabitants of Argentina are the indigenous people. However, there are several immigrants who have settled in Argentina and contribute to the national development. More than 50% of the population lives in towns and about 30% live in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Santa Fe.
Argentina is one of the states that have gone through hard times to attain its present state. During the reign of Juan Manuel de Rosas, also known as the Restorer of the Law, imposed the colonial system of governance. This never went well with the political, economic and social structure of the state. When he was finally overthrown, there came a time when the country had to come back to her feet. Argentina adopted a new constitution that was aimed at restoring the economy of the country. However, there urge to have political and economic freedom never materialized. Years later, Argentina went through a revolutionary era. She initiated economic, political and social reforms.
Some of the notable personalities I Argentina who have steered her from its colonial master are Juan Manuel de Rosas, and Cristina Fernandez. Manuel was known to be a dictator and was later over thrown years later by the military, headed by Juan Carlos.
Gilbert, Alan. Latin America. illustrated. New York: Routledge, 1990.