The Effects of IndustrializationEdit
The industrial revolution began in 1750 in England. By the 1800's it would eventually spread to all of the North Atlantic core, including most of Europe, America and the remaining British common realms. By 1850 and the age of Caudillos in Latin America, the after effects of the industrial revolution would be felt throughout the entirety of the Latin fringe. This effect would be seen in the mass extraction of American resources in order to fuel the core's industrial machine. As the induction of liberalism affected a weakened state of post colonial Latin America, it provided the perfect opportunity for charismatic leaders such as the Caudillos to take over. This would not stop the effects of the industrial movement in taking advantage of Central and South America but it would lead to many land reforms and socioeconomic programs that would attempt to stave off indigenous and mestizo non-elites while these charismatic leaders were able to rob the national treasury until people revolted against them as well.
Juan Manuel de Rosas and Camila O'GormanEdit
The caudillos' superiority and the role of women
Government soon became very unstable with a string of presidents and representatives coming in and out of office. Both the conservatives and liberals began using the office as a way of personal gain instead of trying to improve the entire country. Caudillos began coming into power by giving extravagant gifts and promises to people in return for their loyalty. Caudillos were generally large landowners with enough money to maintain their patronage and private armies. Patronage, gifts in exchange for loyalty, became a driving factor in the slow economies (Chasteen 122). The caudillos were seen as the leaders who were charismatic and able to persuade the people to follow and support them. The people looked up to them in hopes of a new and improved lifestyle after the Independence wars. However, it became clear that some caudillos had the ability to use their authority against the people. People were driven by what could benefit them instead of what could benefit the state. One such caudillo was Juan Manuel de Rosas.
Rosas dominated Argentina for years. He was a cattle rancher that was known to use violence against his political opponents. He demanded his picture be hung in churches and that people wear ribbons in support of him. Anyone caught not wearing a ribbon could be beaten right there on the street. Rosas gained his following by marketing himself as "a man of the people" (Chasteen 124). He made sure people saw him as one of them, especially the cattle ranchers.
The ideal Latin American woman of the time was expected to be prim and proper and to follow all of society's rules for women. She was supposed to stay home and take care of the house and kids and be there for her husband when he wanted her. The ideal woman of this time followed the Marianismo way, which means that she was to be submissive, caring, selfless, but most of all - a mother. It was not proper for her to make rash decisions or manipulate her limited independence. During this time, Camila O'Gorman was a great example of what women were not expected to do. She became pregnant by and ran away with a priest. Many people placed blame on Juan Manuel de Rosas. With many of the population questioning his leadership ability. Rosas would not tolerate this and vowed to hunt them down and be
done with the situation. The two of them were able to hide for a time, but eventually they were found. Though she was far along in her pregnancy, they were both executed by a firing squad.
At first the people were terrified of the message a young lady like O'Gorman would send to children and other young women. She went against all standards set for proper ladies of the time. However, with her execution came cries of brutality. They could not believe Rosas would punish a lady and her unborn child so harshly even with her poor behavior. Rosas resorted to such drastic measures to send a message to the people that his rules must be followed and that nobody should try to behave in any way that he would not approve of. It was common for people in power to make an example of those that "misbehaved" or went against the ideas of the caudillos. The reactions of the people to the actions of O'Gorman and her priest lover were normal for the time. Currently, priests are allowed to marry; but even if they weren't, it would not cause a scandal such as this. The priest was killed as well because his actions were frowned upon as much as hers; however, given the mindset of the time, her actions exemplified immorality for the Latin American culture.
Dom Pedro I and Dom Pedro II of BrazilEdit
Brazil's back and forth in postcolonial colonialismEdit
Unlike the rest of Latin America, the lusophone country of Brazil remained in Imperial control throughout most of the 19th century; although, they nonetheless shared sentiments in favor of liberalism over absolutism.
Dom Pedro I of Brazil embodied the vacillating needs and desires of the Brazilian people of his era. Known as “the Liberator,” he founded and ruled as the first emperor of the Empire of Brazil. When his home land Portugal was invaded by Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops in 1807, the Portuguese royal family fled to their prosperous colony and set up Portugal’s new capital in Rio de Janeiro. The King, Pedro’s father, sailed back to Portugal in 1821, and Pedro was left in charge as regent of Brazil. When Pedro was called back to Portugal, he instead sided with the Brazilians. He delivered “the great fico” (‘I am staying” in Portuguese) and declared Brazil’s independence from Portugal in 1822.
Like many other leaders in Latin America in this era, Dom Pedro preached liberal ideas, but ruled his new empire as an authoritarian. Lauded for his role in liberating Brazil, his popularity began to decline as he made his absolute power more blatant. After the death of his father, Pedro I was to inherit the Portuguese throne, increasing the Brazilians’ fear of re-colonization. He eventually sailed for Portugal and abdicated the Brazilian throne to his son Dom Pedro II in 1831. The later Pedro was 5 when his father left him the throne.
Dom Pedro II was highly regarded by his people. A true Brazilian, born in Rio de Janeiro, he was raised and ruled with strong morals and an incredible devotion to his country. During the regency (as he did not ascend to the throne until he was 14), the regents of Brazil implemented many liberal reforms in the government. However, upon taking the crown, Dom Pedro II shifted the government again back to an imperial structure. Notwithstanding, Pedro fought for civil liberties and social and economic stability throughout his rule of 58 years. He was largely successful, and Brazil enjoyed an era of economic prosperity and social solidarity, setting Brazil apart from her Latin American neighbors. Even as Emperor of Brazil, Pedro II successfully moved Brazil from its postcolonial absolutist government to a more liberal, stable nation, despite the political chaos that surrounded it.