Chapter Study Outline

As Latin American countries embraced the idea of progress, the very countries that served as models of modernity were those that installed it in the Americas, and often came to own it. Foreign investment and influence became so powerful in Latin America that many historians call the period of 1880–1930 the neocolonial period.

  1. The Great Export Boom
    1. More than half a century of rapid, sustained economic growth
      1. Total value of Mexican trade increased 900 percent between 1877–1910
      2. By 1900, Brazil produced two-thirds of coffee drunk in the world
      3. Cuba’s sugar production reached 5 million tons by 1929
      4. Chilean nitrates, copper, iron worth hundreds of millions
      5. Argentina’s wheat exports increased 1000 times by 1900
      6. Smaller countries had their own version of export boom
    2. Increase in railroads integral to the boom
    3. Beneficiaries were large landowners and urban merchants<
      1. Land values soared with railroads
      2. Merchants and workers with secondary functions in import/export economy
      3. Middle class grew rapidly
        1. Argentina’s large middle class was one-third of population
        2. Mexico’s small middle class was more typical
    4. The majority of Latin Americans saw no benefit from progress
      1. Railroads pushed peasants off their land in Mexico
      2. Displaced peasants become employees of landowners
      3. Indigenous people who had held on to communal land in Mexico were now forced out by landowners
      4. Only 3 percent of Mexicans owned land in 1910
      5. Most lived as peons on rural haciendas
        1. Landless peasants had no place to grow subsistence crops
        2. Once working for landowners, had little time to grow their own crops
        3. Wages were often too small to support a family
        4. Women and children joined labor force
        5. Vagrancy laws harassed those who avoided wage labor
    5. Argentina
      1. Italian immigrants served as labor for wheat production
        1. Rarely acquired their own land
        2. Many moved into the cities
      2. Gauchos vanished from the pampa
        1. Wire fences
        2. Fancy English breeds of cattle and sheep
      3. Trade in chilled beef more profitable than dried beef
        1. 1876 first refrigerator ship
        2. By 1900, refrigerator ships numbered in the hundreds
    6. Coffee booms in the tropics
      1. European immigrants needed in Brazil after abolition of slavery
        1. To attract Europeans, landowners give some land for worker cultivation
        2. Italian immigrants able to benefit from export boom
        3. Usually they eventually moved to the cities
      2. El Salvador, Guatemala and southern Mexico
        1. Indigenous people provided the labor
        2. Plantations owned by foreigners, usually Germans
      3. Family farms grow some crops profitably
        1. Coffee helps create a rural middle class in Colombia, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico
        2. Tobacco in Cuba and Brazil
    7. Sugar and Mining
      1. Massive, industrialized operations
      2. Divided societies into rich and poor
      3. Sugar dominated in northern Brazil, coastal Peru, and Caribbean
        1. Owners of sugar refineries dominated rural economy
          1. Immediate milling crucial to sugar production
          2. Refinery owners set price; growers had little choice
        2. 2. Cane cutters
          1. Industrialized workforce
          2. Low wages
          3. Spent half of the year unemployed
          4. Cubans called it “the dead time”
      4. Mining in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Chile
        1. Powerful companies employ thousands of workers
        2. Workers have little or no bargaining power
        3. Usually foreign-owned, due to need for massive capital
    8. Rubber boom in Amazonia
      1. Latex sap of rubber tree used in United States for tires
      2. Rubber harvesters lived isolated along Amazon river banks
      3. In Brazil, many tappers fled droughts in the sertão
      4. Elsewhere, many indigenous people became tappers
        1. Low wages
        2. Barely enough to pay for supplies they purchased from employers
      5. Rubber trade produced huge profits for international traders
      6. 1910, rubber accounted for a quarter of Brazil’s export earnings
        1. “Rubber barons” had more money than they could handle
        2. Famously built an opera house deep in the Amazon
      7. Rubber boom ravaged indigenous communities
        1. Alcoholism
        2. Disease
      8. By the 1920s, Malaysian rubber undercut price, killing Amazon industry
    9. Bananas
      1. U.S. companies came to Caribbean basin in 1880s–90s
        1. Merged into United Fruit Company
        2. Operated in Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela
      2. Banana companies had far greater economic power than host countries
      3. “Banana Republics”
        1. Foreign companies control governments
          1. Companies control land
          2. Companies control railroads, or sometimes vice-versa
        2. 2. Created company towns
          1. Inhabited by managers, agronomists, engineers
          2. Miniature U.S. cities
          3. Company ships brought clothes, newspapers, etc. from United States.
      4. Contributed little to the development of host nations
        1. Managerial positions reserved for foreigners
        2. Locals did “machete work”
        3. Paid favorable taxes to government
    10. Migration to cities
      1. Cities remained small
      2. Attracted migration from countryside and overseas
        1. Buenos Aires largest city at two-thirds of a million
        2. Rio followed with nearly half a million
        3. Montevideo, Santiago, Havana and São Paulo have 250,000
      3. Cities were commercial, administrative, and service centers
      4. Landowners spent export profits in cities
        1. Accumulated mansions, artwork, china, etc.
        2. Eventually became urban, leaving business in the hands of a hired administrator or family member
    11. Education became important to landowning families
      1. Most studied law
      2. Intended for politics
      3. Urbanization meant education
        1. Argentina and Uruguay were most literate
        2. Brazil, mostly rural, only 2 in 10 literate
      4. Education opened doors to mixed-race people
        1. Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
          1. Considered greatest Brazilian novelist
          2. Mother was a laundress
          3. Worked his way up
          4. Became president of Academy of Letters
        2. 2. Rubén Dário
          1. Mestizo from Nicaragua
          2. Received universal reverence
          3. One of the most influential Spanish-language poets
  2. Authoritarian Rule: Oligarchies and Dictatorships
    1. Democracy takes back seat to export growth and progress
      1. “Scientific rule” by “best and brightest”
      2. “Positivism” prescribes authoritarian rule for order and progress
      3. “Order and progress” becomes slogan on Brazilian flag
    2. Government becomes more orderly
      1. Tax revenue increases
      2. National armies and police receive modern weapons and training
      3. European military advisers
      4. Railroads and telegraphs speed troops to quash rebellions
      5. Increased revenue increases size of government, creating jobs
      6. Greater stability attracts more foreign investment
      7. Stable, authoritarian governments become the norm
    3. Managed elections
      1. Keep rural majorities from influencing politics
      2. Tug of war between patronage networks
      3. Those in power named election officials from their side
      4. Local efforts to cast many ballots per person and prevent rival from doing the same
      5. Landowners controlled the votes of their clients
      6. Local authorities could disqualify rival’s clients from voting
      7. Although corruption was protested, it was difficult to thwart
      8. Oligarchies
        1. Rule by the few
        2. Narrow ruling class of economic elites
      9. Dictatorships
        1. Ruled by a powerful individual
        2. Sometimes supported by managed elections
    4. Porfirio Díaz
      1. Ruled Mexico from 1876–1911
        1. Part Mixtec
        2. From the south of Mexico
        3. Hero of anti-French struggle
      2. Epitome of neocolonial dictatorships in Latin America
        1. Maintained appearance of constitutionality, but managed elections to keep himself and allies in power
        2. Circle of technocratic advisers called “científicos”
        3. Value of import/export trade rose ten times
        4. Curbed threats from caudillos by crushing them or buying them off
        5. Bureaucracy created middle class jobs
        6. “Pan o palo,” or “carrot or stick”
        7. Mexican rail system
        8. Monument-lined avenues
        9. Removed indigenous people from downtown Mexico City so country would look better to foreign visitors
      3. Founded the rurales, to secure rural areas for foreign investors
        1. Foreigners owned about one-quarter of Mexico’s land
        2. Foreign companies owned silver and oil concerns
    5. Neocolonial Brazil
      1. Oligarchic
      2. Decentralized federation of twenty states
        1. Landowners enjoyed local autonomy
        2. Coffee and sugar planters, ranchers, rubber barons managed local elections to their benefit
        3. Regional oligarchies controlled states
        4. Each state kept its own export revenues
        5. Two most powerful states – São Paulo and Minas Gerais – traded control of presidency
      3. Resistance in northeastern Brazil
        1. 1874–5, peasants rioted to reject imposition of metric weights that they believed would cheat them
        2. Burned records and archives used to evict families who had no title to land
        3. Bandits with Robin Hood reputations became folk heroes
        4. Tradition of wandering holy men
          1. Revived religious tradition
          2. Sometimes believed to work miracles
            1. (i) Antonio the counselor
              1. (1) Preached against materialism and the “godless republic”
              2. (2) Canudos, his base, becomes second largest city in the state
              3. (3) Brazilian federal government attacks Canudos
            2. (ii) The Backlands
              1. (1) Famous chronicle of Canudos events
              2. (2) Euclides de Cunha
              3. (3) Describes clash as civilization vs. barbarism
  3. Links with the Outside World
    1. Rise of feminist movements
      1. Feminist movements emerge in places where international influence was greatest
        1. Patriarchy goes largely unchallenged in rural areas
        2. Many feminist leaders had non-Iberian surnames
      2. Paulina Luisi of Uruguay
        1. First woman in Uruguay to get a medical degree
        2. Italian name typical of immigrant-populated Montevideo
        3. Called an anarchist for urging use of a sex education textbook
        4. Represented Uruguay at international women’s conferences
        5. In 1919 began drive for women’s voting rights in Uruguay
        6. 1922 honorary vice president of Pan-American Conference on Women
      3. Berta Lutz
        1. Father was Swiss-Brazilian, mother English
        2. Became a biologist
        3. Left São Paulo to study in Europe
        4. In 1918, published a feminist call-to-arms
          1. Said Brazilian women were lagging behind European and U.S. women
          2. Women could be “valuable instrument of progress in Brazil”
        5. 5. Brazilian Federation for Feminine Progress
        6. Brazilian women got vote in 1932, before Uruguayan, Argentine, or most Latin American women
    2. Colonialism
      1. Until late 1800s, Britain was most powerful in Latin America
        1. Military exploits were limited
          1. Argentina bore the brunt
          2. Malvinas/Falklands
        2. 2. Commercial and financial expansion
          1. Great Britain owned over half of Latin America’s foreign investment and debt
          2. Great Britain was a model of progressive economics and politics
          3. Men adopted British clothing
      2. U.S. involvement began to displace British in 1890s
        1. U.S. depression spurs desire for overseas markets
        2. Alfred Thayer Mahan
          1. Calls for stronger navy
          2. Canal linking Atlantic and Pacific
        3. 3. Calls for annexation of Hawaii
      3. U.S. intervention in Cuba
        1. 1898 United States declares war on Spain and intervenes in Cuba
          1. Invaded Puerto Rico and Philippines
          2. War lasted only a few weeks
          3. “Yellow journalism” reports of Spanish atrocities in Cuba
          4. U.S. public opinion favors “rescuing” Cuba from Spain
        2. 2. Outcome of war benefits U.S. economic and strategic interests
          1. Cuba remained a protectorate for 35 years
          2. Platt Amendment allows United States to intervene in Cuban affairs
          3. Philippines
            1. (i) Commercial gateway to Asia
            2. (ii) Governed directly until World War II
      4. Theodore Roosevelt
        1. War in Cuba boosted his political career
        2. As president, acquired U.S. base in Panama
          1. (i) Helped separate Panama from Colombia
          2. (ii) Bought canal rights from new Panamanian government
          3. (iii) Deal secured with no native Panamanian participation
      5. U.S. attitudes toward Latin Americans shaped by racial prejudice
        1. Rudyard Kipling’s “white man’s burden”
          1. Duty of whites to civilize non-Europeans
          2. Idea influenced U.S. mission in Latin America
          3. Senator Alfred Beveridge – “God has marked the American people as His chosen nation to finally lead the regeneration of the world”
        2. 2. Roosevelt Corollary
          1. Update to Monroe Doctrine
          2. U.S. military would intervene around the region
        3. 3. U.S. newspapers caricature Latin American nations
          1. Naughty schoolboys
          2. “Little black Sambo”
        4. 4. Intervention needed to discipline Latin America
      6. Pan-American Union
        1. Promote free trade
        2. Initially composed of ambassadors to the United States
        3. Pan-American conferences
          1. United States promoted trade
          2. Latin American countries voiced dismay at U.S. interventions
          3. Protests came to a head at Havana Conference of 1928
      7. Latin American protest
        1. United States had intervened in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, as well as in Nicaragua, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic
        2. By late 1920s, United States engaged in a war with Nicaraguan rebels
          1. Led by Augusto Sandino
          2. Accused United States of imperialism
          3. Became hero to many Latin Americans
        3. 3. Latin American writers protest
          1. Darío condemns “godless” Roosevelt
          2. José Martí defends “our America”
            1. (i) Cuba’s greatest patriotic hero
            2. (ii) Exiled from Cuba at age 16
            3. (iii) Edited magazine in Mexico
            4. (iv) Taught in Guatemala
            5. (v) Organized Cuban independence
            6. (vi) Wrote on the United States from New York
          3. José Enrique Rodó
            1. (i) Uruguayan essayist
            2. (ii) Wrote Ariel (1900)
            3. (iii) Accused U.S. culture of crass materialism
        4. 4. Rise of cinema helped bind Latin America to United States
    3. Neocolonial model shattered by depression
      1. U.S. market crash in 1929
      2. Demand for Latin American exports plummeted
      3. Importation of progress halted
  4. Countercurrents: New Immigration to Latin America
    1. Mass movement of laborers from southern Europe
      1. Nine-tenths of immigrants went to the southern cone countries
      2. Climate for farming would allow European crops
      3. Land sparsely settled
      4. Poorest colonial areas would become richest parts of Latin America
    2. Argentina
      1. Five million European immigrants
      2. Half of the population of Buenos Aires was European in 1914
      3. Italian and Spanish, but also Irish, Jewish, German, Austrian, French, English, and Swiss
      4. Conventillos – colonial mansions converted into multiple apartments
      5. Many immigrants began as farmers, then moved to Buenos Aires
      6. Tango lyrics written in Spanish/Italian slang called lunfardo
    3. Southern Brazil
      1. Attracted immigrants from Italy, Portugal, Spain, Germany, as well as eastern European Jews
      2. São Paulo attracted Japanese immigrants
      3. Ethnic colonies emerged in the south as immigrants were granted land
      4. Spanish immigration to Cuba
      5. Middle Eastern immigrants all over region