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Colonial Period

      The Encounter (1492-1600)

      Colonial Crucible (1600-1800)

National Period

      Independence (1810-1825)

      Postcolonial Blues (1825-1850)

      Progress (1850-1880)

      Neocolonialism (1870-1930)

      Nationalism (1910-1945)

      Revolution (1945-1960)

      Reaction (1960-1990)

      Neoliberalism (1990- )

      The Present

Colonial Period

The Encounter (1492-1600)
1400s: slave trade1 underway, led by Portuguese
1492: Completion of Reconquest in Iberian Peninsula; arrival of Columbus's expedition to Hispaniola ("the Indies")
1500: Pedro Alvares Cabral mistakenly lands in Brazil. For the first three decades of the 1500s Portugal ignored Brazil, concentrating on its monopoly trade with the Far East
1519: Spaniards first set foot in Mexico. By 1521 the Spaniards, along with aid from rival indigenous groups and the decimating power of European diseases, had conquered the Aztec empire2
1530s: Portugal sends settlers, beginning sugar cultivation and destruction of indigenous societies in Brazil. Indigenous populations
replaced by slaves brought from Africa
1532: Pizarro captures and executes Atahualpa3
1540s: Major mining zones in Zacatecas and Potosí4 opened
1542: Spanish crown issues the New Laws of the Indies for the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Indians, limiting encomiendas
1544-49: Rebellion of Gonzalo Pizarro against new encomienda laws
1552: Bartolomé de las Casas publishes A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies

Colonial Crucible (1600-1800)
1680: Pueblo rebellion in New Mexico begins
1695: Zumbi, the king of Palmares5, killed
1749: Venezuelan cacao growers revolt
1740s-90s: Bourbon reforms tighten Spanish control over American colonies
1761: Yucatec Maya6 revolt in Yucatán peninsula
1765-66: Uprising in Quito against tax increases
1767: Jesuits expelled from Spanish America
1776: Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata created
1781: Comunero uprising in Colombia
1780-83: Rebellion of Tupac Amaru II7 in Peru and Upper Peru
1789-99: French Revolution
1791: Massive slave uprising in Haiti, beginning the Haitian revolution8
1796: Beginning of war between Spain and England
1799: Beginning of Napoleonic Wars
1804: Haiti declares independence
1806, 07: British invasion of the Río de la Plata
1807: Napoleon invades Portugal; royal family flees to Brazil
1808: Napoleon invades Spain; Joseph Bonaparte crowned king of Spain

National Period

Independence (1810-1825)
1810: Major revolts in Venezuela, New Granada, the Río de la Plata, Chile, and Mexico, to establish juntas to rule in the name of the king. Hidalgo revolt begins in Mexico
1811: Hidalgo9 captured and killed
1813: Father Morelos, one of Hidalgo's officers, champions Mexican independence
1814: Fernando VII recovers Spanish throne
1815: Morelos caught and executed
1816: Argentina declares independence
1817: Chile declares independence
1820: Liberal revolution in Spain and Portugal
1821: Mexico and Peru declare independence
1822: Brazil declares independence
1824: Battle of Ayacucho10, final defeat of Spanish forces

Postcolonial Blues (1825-1850)
1814-40: Doctor Francia11 rules in Paraguay
1823: Monroe Doctrine announced by United States
1829-52: Juan Manuel de Rosas12 rules in Argentina
1831: Pedro I abdicates Brazilian crown and returns to Portugal
1831-40: Turbulent Regency years in Brazil, while Pedro II13 & 14 is a minor
1834: Santa Anna president of Mexico
1835: Bahian slave conspiracy in Brazil
1830s and 40s: Gunboat diplomacy practiced by England, France, and the U.S.
1836: Texas breaks away from Mexico
1836-39: War of the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation with Chile
1841: Avellaneda publishes her anti-slavery novel Sab, banned in Cuba
1845: Texas becomes a U.S. state, provoking war with Mexico
1845: Domingo F. Sarmiento publishes his anti-caudillo treatise Facundo
1846-48: U.S.-Mexican war. U.S. seizes about half of Mexico's territory
1847: Beginning of Caste War15 in Yucatán

Progress (1850-1880)
1852: Rosas flees to exile in England
1855: Jarez Law passed in Mexico, kicking off liberal reform
1856: Lerdo Law passed in Mexico, requiring church to sell landholdings
1860: Argentine liberal Bartolomé Mitre becomes president
1861: Colombian caudillo Mosquera initiates liberal rule
1862: French troops invade Mexico
1864: Maximilian installed as Mexican emperor
1865-70: War of the Triple Alliance16
1867: Maximilian defeated by Benito Juárez
1868: Beginning of the Ten Years War in Cuba; Sab reprinted in newspapers to inspire patriots
1868: Sarmiento named president in Argentina
1879-84: War of the Pacific between Chile, Peru, and Bolivia
1886: Spanish abolish slavery in Cuba
1888: Brazilian abolition17 ends four centuries of slavery in the Americas
1889: Brazil becomes a republic
1889: Clorinda Matto de Turner publishes Birds without a Nest18

Neocolonialism (1870-1930)
1870-1900: Miles of railroad tracks in Latin America grew from 2,000 to 59,000; primarily owned by European & U.S. companies
1876: first refrigerator ship takes Argentine beef to Europe
1876: Díaz19 becomes president of Mexico
1877-1910: Mexican trade expanded by 900%
1880s and 90s: U.S. banana companies20 blossom in Central America
1890s: U.S. influence in Latin America begins overtaking British and European influence
1897: Brazilian army destroys holy city of Canudos21
1898: U.S. declares war on Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines
1898: U.S. annexes Hawaiian Islands
1900: Rubber boom22 underway
1903: U.S. intervention makes way for Panama Canal23
1905: Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine announced
1912-33: U.S. military occupation of Nicaragua24
1915-34: U.S. military occupation of Haiti
1916-24: U.S. military occupation of the Dominican Republic
1919: Paulina Luisi begins movement for female suffrage25 in Uruguay
1929: New York Stock Market implodes
1932: Brazilian women allowed to vote; initiative lead by Berta Lutz, who had been advised by Luisi

Nationalism (1910-1945)
1903-07: Reformer Battle y Ordóñez26 becomes president of Uruguay
1910: Beginning of Mexican revolution27 against Díaz dictatorship
1916: Yrigoyen defeats landed oligarchy in Argentine presidential election
1917: Revolutionary Mexican constitution drafted
1923-28: Rivera paints murals28 for Mexican Ministry of Education
1924: Haya de la Torre & colleagues found the APRA party in Peru
1929: New York Stock Market crash initiates Great Depression
1930s: Import Substitution Industrialization process gets underway in Latin America
1930: Brazilian "Revolution of 1930": Vargas becomes president
1932-35: Chaco War fought between Bolivia and Paraguay
1933: Gilberto Freyre29 publishes The Masters and the Slaves
1933: Beginning of the "Good Neighbor Policy" toward Latin America
1934-40: Cárdenas presidency in Mexico
1937: Mexican railroads nationalized
1937: Vargas assumes dictatorial power in Brazil, initiating the Estado Novo
1938: Cárdenas nationalizes Mexican oil
1945: Gabriela Mistral30 becomes first Latin American to win a Nobel Prize
1948: Colombian populist Gaitán assassinated, triggering the Bogotazo

Revolution (1945-1960)
1944-54: Guatemala's "decade of spring"
1945: Crowds in Buenos Aires demand return of Perón
1946: Perón31 wins presidential election by wide margin
1947: Argentine women granted suffrage
1947: U.S. announces Marshall Plan; Latin American nations sign the Rio Pact
1948: U.S. leads creation of the Organization of American States
1950: Vargas elected president as Brazilian Workers' Party candidate
1952: Evita dies of cancer; massive show of public grief in Buenos Aires
1952: National Revolutionary Movement (MNR) takes power in Bolivia
1954: Organization of American States issues the Declaration of Caracas
1954: U.S. proxy force ousts Arbenz32 in Guatemala
1955: Argentine military exiles Perón
1956: Castro's first uprising against Batista
1958: Batista flees Cuba33 on December 31
1960: Brasilia, Brazil's new capital, inaugurated
1960: Cuba appropriates U.S. property; U.S. applies trade embargo
1961: Bay of Pigs invasion
1960s: New Song34 and New Cinema movements
1962: Cuban Missile Crisis in October
1968: Che captured and executed in Bolivia
1968: Conference of Latin American bishops embraces Liberation Theology35

Reaction (1960-1990)
1961: U.S. announces the creation of the Alliance for Progress
1964: Brazilian military, backed by the U.S., stages coup
1964: Tupamaro guerrilla movement forms in Uruguay
1966: Argentine armed forces establish military government
1967: Uruguayan president declares martial law
1968-74: Hard-line military leaders rule Brazil
1968: Tlatelolco massacre of university students in Mexico City
1970: Popular Unity candidate Salvador Allende wins presidential election in Chile
1973: Armed forces take over in Uruguay
1973: Chilean military, led by Augusto Pinochet, stages bloodiest coup in Latin American history
1975: "Dirty War"36 underway in Argentina and Uruguay
1978: Lula leads metalworkers' strike in So Paulo
Late 1970s: mothers and grandmothers begin protesting in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires
1978: Rebellion against Somoza begins in Nicaragua, led by Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)
1980s: U.S. backs the contras in a decade-long war against the FSLN in Nicaragua and supports Salvadoran army in fight against FMLN
1982: Argentina goes to war with Great Britain over the Falkland Islands
1983: Argentine elections oust military
1984: Civilian president elected in Uruguay
1985: End of military rule in Brazil
1990: Elections in Nicaragua end Sandinista revolution
1992: FMLN37 signs peace treaty in El Salvador

Neoliberalism (1990- )
1990s: Neoliberal presidents and economic policies across the region
1994: North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)38 implemented
1994: Formation of the Zapatista National Liberation Army to combat NAFTA
1994-95: Mexican economic crisis
1995: MERCOSUR free trade zone created

The Present
2001: Argentina defaults on international debts
2002: Lula39 wins presidential election in Brazil
2004: Uruguayan socialist Vázquez wins presidential election

African Background
The Aztec Empire
The Inca Empire
Quilombos and Palenques
Mayan Civilization
The Rebellion of Tupac Amaru II
The Haitian Revolution
The Liberators and their Legacy
The Liberators and their Legacy
Paraguay on the Edge of the Storm
Gauchos and Caudillos
New World Throne
New World Throne
Paraguay on the Edge of the Storm
Slavery and Abolition
Indigenista novels
Porfirato and Revolution
Banana Republics
Marines vs. Sandino
Womens' Movements
A Model Country
Porfirato and Revolution
Arts and Literature
Arts and Literature
From Peron to Dirty War
Banana Republics
Cuban Revolution
Nueva Cancion
From Peron to Dirty War
The Revolutionary Left in El Salvdor
Brazil's Lula