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LATIN AMERICA is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Spanish, French and Portuguese are spoken. The term originated in the French government in the mid-19th century as Amérique latine to consider French-speaking territories in the Americas
Americas
( Haiti
Haiti
, French Guiana
French Guiana
, Martinique
Martinique
, Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
, Saint Martin , Saint Barthélemy
Saint Barthélemy
) along with the larger group of countries where Spanish and Portuguese languages prevailed. It is therefore broader than the terms Ibero-America or Hispanic America . The term excludes French Canada
Canada
and modern French Louisiana .

Latin
Latin
America consists of nineteen sovereign states and several territories and dependencies which cover an area that stretches from the northern border of Mexico
Mexico
to the southern tip of South America
South America
, including the Caribbean
Caribbean
. It has an area of approximately 19,197,000 km2 (7,412,000 sq mi), almost 13% of the Earth's land surface area. As of 2016, its population was estimated at more than 639 million and in 2014, Latin
Latin
America had a combined nominal GDP
GDP
of 5,573,397 million USD
USD
and a GDP
GDP
PPP of 7,531,585 million USD.

The term " Latin
Latin
America" was first used in an 1856 conference with the title "Initiative of the America. Idea for a Federal Congress of Republics" (Iniciativa de la América. Idea de un Congreso Federal de las Repúblicas), by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao . In such conference, he called for the creation of a confederation of Latin
Latin
American republics to better search for their common defense and prosperity, without political or economic barriers between them. In the same work, he also detailed the principles under which such a confederation should work.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology and definitions

* 1.1 Origins * 1.2 Contemporary definitions * 1.3 Subregions and countries

* 2 History

* 2.1 Pre-Columbian history

* 2.2 European colonization

* 2.2.1 Slavery and forced labor in colonial Latin
Latin
America

* 2.3 Independence (1804–25)

* 2.3.1 Independent Empire of Brazil
Brazil

* 2.4 Conservative-liberal conflicts in the 19th Century * 2.5 British influence in Latin
Latin
America during the 19th century * 2.6 French involvement in Latin
Latin
America during the 19th century

* 2.7 United States
United States
involvement in Latin
Latin
America during the 19th Century

* 2.7.1 Monroe Doctrine * 2.7.2 Mexican–American War (1846–48)

* 2.8 World wars (1914–45)

* 2.8.1 World War I
World War I
and the Zimmermann Telegram
Zimmermann Telegram
* 2.8.2 Brazil\'s participation in World War II
World War II
* 2.8.3 Involvement in World War II
World War II

* 2.9 Cold War
Cold War
(1946–90)

* 2.9.1 Economy * 2.9.2 Reforms * 2.9.3 Bureaucratic authoritarianism * 2.9.4 US relations * 2.9.5 Cuban Revolution * 2.9.6 Bay of Pigs Invasion
Bay of Pigs Invasion
* 2.9.7 Alliance for Progress * 2.9.8 Nicaraguan Revolution

* 2.10 Washington Consensus * 2.11 Turn to the left * 2.12 Return of social movements * 2.13 Modern era

* 3 Demographics

* 3.1 Largest cities * 3.2 Ethnic groups * 3.3 Language
Language
* 3.4 Religion * 3.5 Migration * 3.6 Education * 3.7 Crime and violence

* 4 Economy

* 4.1 Size * 4.2 Development * 4.3 Standard of living * 4.4 Environment

* 5 Inequality * 6 Trade blocs * 7 Tourism

* 8 Culture

* 8.1 Art * 8.2 Film * 8.3 Literature * 8.4 Music and dance * 8.5 World Heritage Sites

* 9 See also * 10 Notes * 11 References * 12 Further reading * 13 External links

ETYMOLOGY AND DEFINITIONS

ORIGINS

Presencia de América Latina (Presence of Latin
Latin
America, 1964–65) is a 300 square meters (3,200 sq ft) mural at the hall of the Arts House of the University of Concepción, Chile. It is also known as Latin
Latin
America's Integration.

The idea that a part of the Americas
Americas
has a linguistic affinity with the Romance cultures as a whole can be traced back to the 1830s, in the writing of the French Saint-Simonian Michel Chevalier , who postulated that this part of the Americas
Americas
was inhabited by people of a " Latin
Latin
race ", and that it could, therefore, ally itself with "Latin Europe
Europe
", ultimately overlapping the Latin Church
Latin Church
, in a struggle with "Teutonic Europe
Europe
", "Anglo-Saxon America " and " Slavic Europe
Slavic Europe
". Further investigations of the concept of Latin
Latin
America are by Michel Gobat in the American Historical Review , the studies of Leslie Bethell, and the monograph by Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo, Latin
Latin
America: The Allure and Power of an Idea (2017).

Historian John Leddy Phelan locates the origins of “Latin America” in the French occupation of Mexico. His argument is that French imperialists used the concept of "Latin" America as a way to counter British imperialism, as well as to challenge the German threat to France. The idea of a " Latin
Latin
race" was then taken up by Latin American intellectuals and political leaders of the mid- and late-nineteenth century, who no longer looked to Spain
Spain
or Portugal as cultural models, but rather to France. French ruler Napoleon III
Napoleon III
had a strong interest in extending French commercial and political power in the region he and his business promoter Felix Belly called “Latin America” to emphasize the shared Latin
Latin
background of France
France
with the former colonies of Spain
Spain
and Portugal. This led to Napoleon's failed attempt to take military control of Mexico
Mexico
in the 1860s.

The term " Latin
Latin
America" was first used in 1856 in a conference by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao in Paris. The conference had the title "Initiative of the America. Idea for a Federal Congress of Republics." The same year the Colombian writer José María Torres Caicedo also used the term in his poem "The Two Americas." Two events related with the U.S. played a central role in both works. The first event happened less than a decade before the publication of Bilbao's and Torres Caicedo's works: the Mexican–American War , after which Mexico
Mexico
lost a third of its territory. The second event happened the same year both works were written, in opposition to the decision by U.S. president Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce
to recognize regime recently established in Nicaragua
Nicaragua
by American William Walker and his band of filibusters who ruled Nicaragua
Nicaragua
for nearly a year, 1856-57.

In both Bilbao's and Torres Caicedo's works, the U.S.- Mexico
Mexico
war and Walker's expedition to Nicaragua
Nicaragua
are explicitly mentioned as examples of dangers for the region. For Bilbao, " Latin
Latin
America" was not a geographical concept, since he excluded Brazil, Paraguay
Paraguay
and Mexico. Both authors also ask for the union of all Latin
Latin
American countries as the only way to defend their territories against further foreign U.S. interventions. Both rejected also European imperialism, claiming that the return of European countries to non-democratic forms of government was another danger for Latin
Latin
American countries, and used the same word to describe the state of European politics at the time: "despotism." Several years later, during the French invasion of Mexico , Bilbao wrote another work, "Emancipation of the Spirit in America," where he asked all Latin
Latin
American countries to support the Mexican cause against France, and rejected French imperialism in Asia, Africa, Europe
Europe
and the Americas. He asked Latin
Latin
American intellectuals to search for their "intellectual emancipation" by abandoning all French ideas, claiming that France
France
was: "Hypocrite, because she calls herself protector of the Latin
Latin
race just to subject it to her exploitation regime; treacherous, because she speaks of freedom and nationality, when, unable to conquer freedom for herself, she enslaves others instead!" Therefore, as Michel Gobat puts it, the term Latin America itself had an "anti-imperial genesis," and their creators were far from supporting any form of imperialism in the region, or in any other place of the globe.

However, in France
France
the term Latin
Latin
America was used with the opposite intention. It was supported by the French Empire of Napoleon III during the French invasion of Mexico
Mexico
as a way to include France
France
among countries with influence in the Americas
Americas
and to exclude Anglophone countries . It played a role in his campaign to imply cultural kinship of the region with France, transform France
France
into a cultural and political leader of the area, and install Maximilian of Habsburg as emperor of the Second Mexican Empire . This term was also used in 1861 by French scholars in La revue des races Latines, a magazine dedicated to the Pan-Latinism movement.

CONTEMPORARY DEFINITIONS

The 4 common subregions in Latin
Latin
America

* Latin
Latin
America generally refers to territories in the Americas where the Spanish or Portuguese languages prevail: Mexico, most of Central and South America, and in the Caribbean, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Latin
Latin
America is, therefore, defined as all those parts of the Americas
Americas
that were once part of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires. By this definition, Latin
Latin
America is coterminous with Ibero-America ("Iberian America"). * The term is sometimes used more broadly to refer to all of the Americas
Americas
south of the United States, thus including the Guianas , the Anglophone Caribbean
Caribbean
(and Belize
Belize
); the Francophone Caribbean
Caribbean
; and the Dutch-speaking Caribbean
Caribbean
. This definition emphasizes a similar socioeconomic history of the region, which was characterized by formal or informal colonialism , rather than cultural aspects (see, for example, dependency theory ). As such, some sources avoid this oversimplification by using the phrase " Latin
Latin
America and the Caribbean" instead, as in the United Nations geoscheme
United Nations geoscheme
for the Americas
Americas
. * In a more literal definition, which is close to the semantic origin, Latin
Latin
America designates countries in the Americas
Americas
where a Romance language
Romance language
(a language derived from Latin
Latin
) predominates: Spanish, Portuguese, French , and the creole languages based upon these. In this definition, Quebec
Quebec
would be classified as part of Latin
Latin
America.

The distinction between Latin
Latin
America and Anglo-America is a convention based on the predominant languages in the Americas
Americas
by which Romance-language and English-speaking cultures are distinguished. Neither area is culturally or linguistically homogeneous; in substantial portions of Latin
Latin
America (e.g., highland Peru
Peru
, Bolivia
Bolivia
, Mexico
Mexico
, Guatemala
Guatemala
), Native American cultures and, to a lesser extent, Amerindian
Amerindian
languages, are predominant, and in other areas, the influence of African cultures is strong (e.g., the Caribbean
Caribbean
basin – including parts of Colombia
Colombia
and Venezuela
Venezuela
).

The term is not without controversy. Historian Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo explores at length the "allure and power" of the idea of Latin
Latin
America. He remarks at the outset, "The idea of 'Latin America' ought to have vanished with the obsolescence of racial theory... But it is not easy to declare something dead when it can hardly be said to have existed," going on to say, "The term is here to stay, and it is important." Following in the tradition of Chilean writer Francisco Bilbao, who excluded Brazil, Argentina
Argentina
and Paraguay from his early conceptualization of Latin
Latin
America, Chilean historian Jaime Eyzaguirre has criticized the term Latin
Latin
America for "disguising" and "diluting" the Spanish character of a region (i.e. Hispanic America ) with the inclusion of nations that according to him do not share the same pattern of conquest and colonization .

SUBREGIONS AND COUNTRIES

Latin
Latin
America can be subdivided into several subregions based on geography, politics, demographics and culture. If defined as all of the Americas
Americas
south of the United States, the basic geographical subregions are North America
North America
, Central America
Central America
, the Caribbean
Caribbean
and South America
South America
; the latter contains further politico-geographical subdivisions such as the Southern Cone , the Guianas and the Andean states . It may be subdivided on linguistic grounds into Hispanic America , Portuguese America and French America .

FLAG ARMS NAME Area (km²) Population (2016) Population density (per km²) CAPITAL NAME(S) IN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE(S) TIME(S) ZONE(S)

Argentina
Argentina
2,780,400 43,847,430 14.4 Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Argentina UTC/GMT -3 hours

Bolivia
Bolivia
1,098,581 10,887,882 9 Sucre and La Paz
La Paz
Bolivia; Buliwya; Wuliwya; Volívia UTC/GMT -4 hours

Brazil
Brazil
8,515,767 207,652,865 23.6 Brasília
Brasília
Brasil UTC/GMT -2 hours ( Fernando de Noronha ) UTC/GMT -3 hours ( Brasília
Brasília
) UTC/GMT -4 hours (Amazon ) UTC/GMT -5 hours (Acre )

Chile
Chile
756,096 17,909,754 23 Santiago
Santiago
Chile UTC/GMT -3 hours

Colombia
Colombia
1,141,748 48,653,419 41.5 Bogotá Colombia UTC/GMT -5 hours

Costa Rica
Costa Rica
51,100 4,857,274 91.3 San José Costa Rica UTC/GMT -6 hours

Cuba
Cuba
109,884 11,475,982 100.6 Havana
Havana
Cuba UTC/GMT -4 hours

Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
48,442 10,648,791 210.9 Santo Domingo República Dominicana UTC/GMT -4 hours

Ecuador
Ecuador
283,560 16,385,068 54.4 Quito
Quito
Ecuador UTC/GMT -5 hours

El Salvador
El Salvador
21,040 6,344,722 290.3 San Salvador El Salvador UTC/GMT -6 hours

French Guiana
French Guiana
* 83,534 275,713 3 Cayenne
Cayenne
Guyane UTC/GMT -3 hours

Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
* 1,628 449,975 250 Basse-Terre Guadeloupe UTC/GMT -4 hours

Guatemala
Guatemala
108,889 16,582,469 129 Guatemala
Guatemala
City Guatemala UTC/GMT -6 hours

Haiti
Haiti
27,750 10,847,334 350 Port-au-Prince Haïti; Ayiti UTC/GMT -4 hours

Honduras
Honduras
112,492 9,112,867 76 Tegucigalpa
Tegucigalpa
Honduras UTC/GMT -6 hours

Martinique
Martinique
* 1,128 385,103 340 Fort-de-France Martinique UTC/GMT -4 hours

Mexico
Mexico
1,964 375 127,540,423 57 Mexico
Mexico
City México UTC/GMT -5 hours (Zona Sureste) UTC/GMT -6 hours (Zona Centro) UTC/GMT -7 hours (Zona Pacífico) UTC/GMT -8 hours (Zona Noroeste)

Nicaragua
Nicaragua
130,375 6,149,928 44.3 Managua
Managua
Nicaragua UTC/GMT -6 hours

Panama
Panama
75,517 4,034,119 54.2 Panama
Panama
City Panamá UTC/GMT -5 hours

Paraguay
Paraguay
406,752 6,725,308 14.2 Asunción
Asunción
Paraguay; Tetã Paraguái UTC/GMT -4 hours

Peru
Peru
1,285,216 31,773,839 23 Lima
Lima
Perú; Piruw UTC/GMT -4 hours

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
* 9,104 3,667,903 397 San Juan Puerto Rico UTC/GMT -4 hours

Saint Barthélemy
Saint Barthélemy
* 53.2 9,000 682 Gustavia Saint-Barthélemy UTC/GMT -4 hours

Saint Martin * 25 39,000 361 Marigot Saint-Martin UTC/GMT -4 hours

Uruguay
Uruguay
176,215 3,444,006 18.87 Montevideo Uruguay UTC/GMT -3 hours

Venezuela
Venezuela
916,445 31,568,179 31.59 Caracas
Caracas
Venezuela UTC/GMT – 4:00 hours

Total

20,111,457 626,741,000

*: Not a sovereign state

HISTORY

Main article: History of Latin
Latin
America See also: History of North America , History of South America
South America
, History of Central America
Central America
, and History of the Caribbean
Caribbean

PRE-COLUMBIAN HISTORY

Main articles: Settlement of the Americas
Americas
, Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas
Americas
, and Pre-Columbian era
Pre-Columbian era
A view of Machu Picchu , a pre-Columbian Inca
Inca
site in Peru
Peru
. Mayan archeological site Chichen Itza .

The earliest known settlement was identified at Monte Verde
Monte Verde
, near Puerto Montt in Southern Chile. Its occupation dates to some 14,000 years ago and there is some disputed evidence of even earlier occupation. Over the course of millennia, people spread to all parts of the continents. By the first millennium CE , South America's vast rainforests, mountains, plains and coasts were the home of tens of millions of people. The earliest settlements in the Americas
Americas
are of the Las Vegas Culture from about 8000 BCE and 4600 BCE, a sedentary group from the coast of Ecuador
Ecuador
, the forefathers of the more known Valdivia culture , of the same era. Some groups formed more permanent settlements such as the Chibcha (or "Muisca " or "Muysca") and the Tairona groups. These groups are in the circum Caribbean
Caribbean
region. The Chibchas of Colombia
Colombia
, the Quechuas and Aymaras
Aymaras
of Bolivia
Bolivia
and Perú were the three indigenous groups that settled most permanently.

The region was home to many indigenous peoples and advanced civilizations, including the Aztecs , Toltecs , Maya , and Inca
Inca
. The golden age of the Maya began about 250, with the last two great civilizations , the Aztecs and Incas, emerging into prominence later on in the early fourteenth century and mid-fifteenth centuries, respectively. The Aztec
Aztec
empire was ultimately the most powerful civilization known throughout the Americas, until its downfall in part by the Spanish invasion.

EUROPEAN COLONIZATION

Main articles: European colonization of the Americas
Americas
, Spanish colonization of the Americas
Americas
, and Portuguese colonization of the Americas
Americas
Romantic painting of Christopher Columbus arriving to the Americas
Americas
(Primer desembarco de Cristóbal Colón en América), by Dióscoro Puebla (1862). Cristóbal de Olid
Cristóbal de Olid
leads Spanish soldiers with Tlaxcalan allies against indigenous warriors during the European colonization of the Americas
Americas
.

With the arrival of the Europeans following Christopher Columbus ' voyages, the indigenous elites, such as the Incas and Aztecs, lost power to the heavy European invasion. Hernándo Cortés seized the Aztec
Aztec
elite's power with the help of local groups who had favored the Aztec
Aztec
elite, and Francisco Pizarro eliminated the Incan rule in Western South America. The European powers of Spain
Spain
and Portugal colonized the region, which along with the rest of the uncolonized world, was divided into areas of Spanish and Portuguese control by the line of demarcation in 1494, which gave Spain
Spain
all areas to the west, and Portugal all areas to the east (the Portuguese lands in South America subsequently becoming Brazil). By the end of the sixteenth century Spain
Spain
and Portugal had been joined by others, including France, in occupying large areas of North, Central and South America, ultimately extending from Alaska to the southern tips of the Patagonia . European culture, customs and government were introduced, with the Roman Catholic Church
Catholic Church
becoming the major economic and political power to overrule the traditional ways of the region, eventually becoming the only official religion of the Americas
Americas
during this period.

Epidemics of diseases brought by the Europeans, such as smallpox and measles , wiped out a large portion of the indigenous population. Historians cannot determine the number of natives who died due to European diseases, but some put the figures as high as 85% and as low as 25%. Due to the lack of written records, specific numbers are hard to verify. Many of the survivors were forced to work in European plantations and mines. Intermixing between the indigenous peoples and the European colonists was very common, and, by the end of the colonial period , people of mixed ancestry (mestizos ) formed majorities in several colonies.

Slavery And Forced Labor In Colonial Latin
Latin
America

See also: Slavery among the indigenous peoples of the Americas
Americas
and Atlantic slave trade
Atlantic slave trade

Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
of the Americas
Americas
in various European colonies were forced to work in European plantations and mines; along with African slaves who were also introduced in the proceeding centuries.

The Mita of Colonial Latin
Latin
America was a system of forced labor imposed on the natives. First established by Viceroy Francisco de Toledo (1569–1581), the Mita was upheld by laws that designated how large draft levies were and how much money the workers would receive that was based on how many shifts each individual worker performed. Toledo established Mitas at Potosi and Huancavelica, where the Mitayos—the workers—would be reduced in number to a fraction of how many were originally assigned before the 1700s. While several villages managed to resist the Mita, others offered payment to colonial administrators as a way out. In exchange, free labor became available through volunteers, though the Mita was kept in place as workers like miners for example were paid low wages. The Spanish Crown had not made any ruling on the Mita or approved of it when Toledo first established it in spite of the uncertainty of the practice since the Crown could have gained benefits from it. However, the cortes of Spain
Spain
later abolished it in 1812 once complaints of the Mita violating humanitarian rights were made. Yet complaints also came from: governors; landowners; native leaders known as Kurakas; and even priests, each of whom preferred other methods of economic exploitation. Despite its fall, the Mita made it to the 1800s.

INDEPENDENCE (1804–25)

Main articles: Latin
Latin
American wars of independence and Spanish American wars of independence Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
was the first leader of the Mexican War of Independence . Simón Bolívar , Liberator of Venezuela
Venezuela
, Colombia
Colombia
, Ecuador
Ecuador
, Bolivia
Bolivia
, Peru
Peru
and Panama
Panama
. José de San Martín
José de San Martín
, The Liberator of Argentina
Argentina
, Chile
Chile
and Peru
Peru
.

In 1804, Haiti
Haiti
became the first Latin
Latin
American nation to gain independence, following a violent slave revolt led by Toussaint L\'ouverture on the French colony of Saint-Domingue
Saint-Domingue
. The victors abolished slavery. Haitian independence inspired independence movements in Spanish America.

By the end of the eighteenth century, Spanish and Portuguese power waned on the global scene as other European powers took their place, notably Britain and France. Resentment grew among the majority of the population in Latin
Latin
America over the restrictions imposed by the Spanish government, as well as the dominance of native Spaniards (Iberian-born Peninsulares ) in the major social and political institutions . Napoleon 's invasion of Spain
Spain
in 1808 marked a turning point, compelling Criollo elites to form juntas that advocated independence. Also, the newly independent Haiti
Haiti
, the second oldest nation in the New World
New World
after the United States, further fueled the independence movement by inspiring the leaders of the movement, such as Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
of Mexico, Simón Bolívar
Simón Bolívar
of Venezuela and José de San Martín
José de San Martín
of Argentina, and by providing them with considerable munitions and troops.

Fighting soon broke out between juntas and the Spanish colonial authorities, with initial victories for the advocates of independence. Eventually these early movements were crushed by the royalist troops by 1810, including those of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
in Mexico
Mexico
in the year 1810. Later on Francisco de Miranda in Venezuela
Venezuela
by 1812. Under the leadership of a new generation of leaders, such as Simón Bolívar "The Liberator", José de San Martín
José de San Martín
of Argentina, and other Libertadores in South America, the independence movement regained strength, and by 1825, all Spanish America , except for Puerto Rico and Cuba, had gained independence from Spain. In the same year in Mexico
Mexico
, a military officer, Agustín de Iturbide , led a coalition of conservatives and liberals who created a constitutional monarchy , with Iturbide as emperor . This First Mexican Empire was short-lived, and was followed by the creation of a republic in 1823. Pedro I of Brazil
Brazil
, was the founder and first ruler of the Empire of Brazil
Brazil
.

Independent Empire Of Brazil

Main articles: Independence of Brazil
Brazil
and Empire of Brazil
Brazil
Declaration of the Brazilian independence by the later Emperor
Emperor
Pedro I on September 7, 1822.

During the invasion of Portugal (1807) , the Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil, establishing Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
as the de facto capital of Portugal. This had the side effect of creating within Brazil
Brazil
many of the institutions required to exist as an independent state; most importantly, it freed Brazil
Brazil
to trade with other nations at will. After Napoleon's army was finally defeated in 1815, in order to maintain the capital in Brazil
Brazil
and allay Brazilian fears of being returned to colonial status, King John VI of Portugal raised the de jure status of Brazil
Brazil
to an equal, integral part of a United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves , rather than a mere colony, a status which it enjoyed for the next seven years.

Tensions between Portuguese and Brazilians increased, and the Portuguese Cortes , guided by the new political regime imposed by the 1820 Liberal Revolution, tried to re-establish Brazil
Brazil
as a colony. The Brazilians refused to yield, and Prince Pedro decided to stand with them, declaring the country\'s independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822. A month later, Prince Pedro was declared the first Emperor
Emperor
of Brazil, with the regnal title of Dom Pedro I , resulting in the foundation of the Empire of Brazil
Brazil
.

The Brazilian War of Independence , which had already begun along this process, spread through northern, northeastern regions and in Cisplatina province. With the last Portuguese soldiers surrendering on 8 March 1824, Portugal officially recognized Brazil
Brazil
on 29 August 1825.

On 7 April 1831, worn down by years of administrative turmoil and political dissensions with both liberal and conservative sides of politics, including an attempt of republican secession , as well as unreconciled with the way that absolutists in Portugal had given to the succession of King John VI, Pedro I went to Portugal to reclaim his daughter\'s crown , abdicating the Brazilian throne in favor of his five-year-old son and heir (who thus became the Empire's second monarch, with the regnal title of Dom Pedro II ). Pedro II , Emperor
Emperor
of Brazil
Brazil
between 1831 and 1889.

As the new Emperor
Emperor
could not exert his constitutional powers until he became of age, a regency was set up by the National Assembly. In the absence of a charismatic figure who could represent a moderate face of power, during this period a series of localized rebellions took place, as the Cabanagem
Cabanagem
, the Malê Revolt , the Balaiada
Balaiada
, the Sabinada , and the Ragamuffin War
Ragamuffin War
, which emerged from the dissatisfaction of the provinces with the central power, coupled with old and latent social tensions peculiar of a vast, slaveholding and newly independent nation state . This period of internal political and social upheaval, which included the Praieira revolt , was overcome only at the end of the 1840s, years after the end of the regency, which occurred with the premature coronation of Pedro II in 1841.

During the last phase of the monarchy, internal political debate was centered on the issue of slavery. The Atlantic slave trade
Atlantic slave trade
was abandoned in 1850, as a result of the British ' Aberdeen Act , but only in May 1888 after a long process of internal mobilization and debate for an ethical and legal dismantling of slavery in the country , was the institution formally abolished.

The foreign affairs in the monarchy were basically related issues with the countries of the Southern Cone with which Brazil
Brazil
has borders. Long after the Cisplatine War
Cisplatine War
that resulted in independence for Uruguay
Uruguay
, Brazil
Brazil
won three international wars during the 58-year reign of Pedro II. These were the Platine War , the Uruguayan War and the devastating Paraguayan War
Paraguayan War
, the largest war effort in Brazilian history.

On 15 November 1889, worn out by years of economic stagnation, in attrition with the majority of Army officers, as well as with rural and financial elites (for different reasons), the monarchy was overthrown by a military coup.

CONSERVATIVE-LIBERAL CONFLICTS IN THE 19TH CENTURY

DEVELOPMENT OF SPANISH AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE Government under traditional Spanish law Loyal to Supreme Central Junta or Cortes American junta or insurrection movement Independent state declared or established Height of French control of the Peninsula

After the independence of many Latin
Latin
American countries, there was conflict between the people and the government, much of which can be reduced to the contrasting ideologies between liberalism and conservatism. Conservatism was the dominant system of government prior to the revolutions and it was founded on having social classes, including governing by kings. Liberalists wanted to see a change in the ruling systems, and to move away from monarchs and social classes in order to promote equality.

When liberal Guadalupe Victoria
Guadalupe Victoria
became the first president of Mexico in 1824, conservatists relied on their belief that the state had been better off before the new government came into power, so, by comparison, the old government was better in the eyes of the Conservatives. Following this sentiment, the conservatives pushed to take control of the government, and they succeeded. General Santa Anna was elected president in 1833. The following decade, the Mexican–American War (1846–48) caused Mexico
Mexico
to lose a significant amount of territory to the United States. This loss led to a rebellion by the enraged liberal forces against the conservative government.

In 1837, conservative Rafael Carrera conquered Guatemala
Guatemala
and separated from the Central American Union . The instability that followed the disintegration of the union led to the independence of the other Central American countries.

In Brazil
Brazil
, rural aristocrats were in conflict with the urban conservatives. Portuguese control over Brazilian ports continued after Brazil's independence. Following the conservative idea that the old government was better, urbanites tended to support conservatism because more opportunities were available to them as a result of the Portuguese presence.

Simón Bolívar
Simón Bolívar
became president of Gran Colombia
Colombia
in 1819 after the region gained independence from Spain. He led a military-controlled state. Citizens did not like the government's position under Bolívar: The people in the military were unhappy with their roles, and the civilians were of the opinion that the military had too much power. After the dissolution of Gran Colombia, New Grenada
Grenada
continued to have conflicts between conservatives and liberals. These conflicts were each concentrated in particular regions, with conservatives particularly in the southern mountains and the Valley of Cauca. In the mid-1840s some leaders in Caracas
Caracas
organized a liberal opposition. Antonio Leocadio Guzman was an active participant and journalist in this movement and gained much popularity among the people of Caracas.

In Argentina
Argentina
, the conflict manifested itself as a prolongued civil war between unitarianas (i.e. centralists) and federalists , which were in some aspects respectively analogous to liberals and conservatives in other countries. Between 1832 and 1852, the country existed as a confederation , without a head of state, although the federalist governor of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
province, Juan Manuel de Rosas
Juan Manuel de Rosas
, was given the powers of debt payment and international relations and exerted a growing hegemony over the country. A national constitution was only enacted in 1853, reformed in 1860, and the country reorganized as a federal republic led by a liberal-conservative elite . After Uruguay
Uruguay
achieved its independence, in 1828, a similar polarization cristallized between blancos and colorados, where the agrarian conservative interests were pitted against the liberal commercial interests based in Montevideo, and which eventually resulted in the Guerra Grande civil war (1839–1851).

BRITISH INFLUENCE IN LATIN AMERICA DURING THE 19TH CENTURY

British invasions of the Río de la Plata . Beresford surrenders to Santiago
Santiago
de Liniers (1806).

Losing the North American colonies at the end of the 18th century left Great Britain
Great Britain
in need of new markets to supply resources in the early 19th century. In order to solve this problem, Great Britain turned to the Spanish colonies in South America
South America
for resources and markets. In 1806 a small British force surprise attacked the capitol of the viceroyalty in Río de la Plata . As a result, the local garrison protecting the capitol was destroyed in an attempt to defend against the British conquest. The British were able to capture large amounts of precious metals, before a French naval force intervened on behalf of the Spanish King and took down the invading force. However, this caused much turmoil in the area as militia took control of the area from the viceroy. The next year the British attacked once again with a much larger force attempting to reach and conquer Montevideo. They failed to reach Montevideo but succeeded in establishing an alliance with the locals. As a result, the British were able to take control of the Indian markets.

This newly gained British dominance hindered the development of Latin American industries and strengthened the dependence on the world trade network. Britain now replaced Spain
Spain
as the region's largest trading partner. Great Britain
Great Britain
invested significant capital in Latin
Latin
America in order to develop the area as a market for processed goods. From the early 1820s to 1850, the post-independence economies of Latin American countries were lagging and stagnant. Eventually, enhanced trade among Britain and Latin
Latin
America led to state development such as infrastructure improvements. These improvements included roads and railroads which grew the trades between countries and outside nations such as Great Britain. By 1870, exports dramatically increased, attracting capital from abroad (including Europe
Europe
and USA).

FRENCH INVOLVEMENT IN LATIN AMERICA DURING THE 19TH CENTURY

Maximilian receiving a Mexican delegation at Miramar Castle in Trieste, Italy
Trieste, Italy
.

Between 1821 and 1910, Mexico
Mexico
battled through various civil wars between the established Conservative government and the Liberal reformists (" Mexico
Mexico
Timeline- Page 2)". On May 8, 1827 Baron Damas, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Sebastián Camacho, a Mexican diplomat, signed an agreement called "The Declarations" which contained provisions regarding commerce and navigation between France and Mexico. At this time the French government did not recognise Mexico
Mexico
as an independent entity. It was not until 1861 that the liberalist rebels, led by Benito Juárez, took control of Mexico
Mexico
City, consolidating liberal rule. However, the constant state of warfare left Mexico
Mexico
with a tremendous amount of debt owed to Spain, England, and France, all of whom funded the Mexican war effort (Neeno). As newly appointed president, Benito Juárez
Benito Juárez
suspended payment of debts for next two years, to focus on a rebuilding and stabilization initiative in Mexico
Mexico
under the new government. On December 8, 1861, Spain, England and France
France
landed in Veracruz in order to seize unpaid debts from Mexico. However, Napoleon III, with intentions of establishing a French client state to further push his economic interests, pressured the other two powers to withdraw in 1862 (Greenspan; "French Intervention in Mexico…"). Painting depicting the Battle of Puebla in 1862

France
France
under Napoleon III
Napoleon III
remained and established Maximilian of Habsburg, Archduke of Austria, as Emperor
Emperor
of Mexico. The march by the French to Mexico
Mexico
City enticed heavy resistance by the Mexican government, it resulted in open war-fare. The Battle of Puebla in 1862 in particular presented an important turning point in which Ignacio Zaragoza led the Mexican army to victory as they pushed back the French offensive ("Timeline of the Mexican Revolution"). The victory came to symbolize Mexico's power and national resolve against foreign occupancy and as a result delayed France's later attack on Mexico
Mexico
City for an entire year (Cinco de Mayo (Mexican History)). With heavy resistance by Mexican rebels and the fear of United States intervention against France, forced Napoleon III
Napoleon III
to withdraw from Mexico, leaving Maximilian to surrender, where he would be later executed by Mexican troops under the rule of Porfirio Díaz. Napoleon III's desire to expand France's economic empire influenced the decision to seize territorial domain over the Central American region. The port city of Veracruz, Mexico
Mexico
and France's desire to construct a new canal were of particular interest. Bridging both New World
New World
and East Asian trade routes to the Atlantic were key to Napoleon III's economic goals to the mining of precious rocks and the expansion of France's textile industry. Napoleon's fear of the United States' economic influence over the Pacific trade region, and in turn all New World economic activity, pushed France
France
to intervene in Mexico
Mexico
under the pretense of collecting on Mexico's debt. Eventually France
France
began plans to build the Panama
Panama
Canal in 1881 until 1904 when the United States took over and proceeded with its construction and implementation ("Read Our Story").

UNITED STATES INVOLVEMENT IN LATIN AMERICA DURING THE 19TH CENTURY

Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was included in President James Monroe 's 1823 annual message to Congress. The doctrine warns European nations that the United States
United States
will no longer tolerate any new colonization of Latin
Latin
American countries. It was originally drafted to meet the present major concerns, but eventually became the precept of U.S. foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere. The doctrine was put into effect in 1865 when the U.S. government supported Mexican president, Benito Juárez
Benito Juárez
, diplomatically and militarily. Some Latin
Latin
American countries viewed the U.S. interventions, allowed by the Monroe Doctrine when the U.S. deems necessary, with suspicion.

Another important aspect of United States
United States
involvement in Latin America is the case of the filibuster William Walker . In 1855, he traveled to Nicaragua
Nicaragua
hoping to overthrow the government and take the land for the United States. With only the aid of 56 followers, he was able to take over the city of Granada , declaring himself commander of the army and installing Patricio Rivas as a puppet president. However, Rivas's presidency ended when he fled Nicaragua; Walker rigged the following election to ensure that he became the next president. His presidency did not last long, however, as he was met with much opposition from political groups in Nicaragua
Nicaragua
and neighbouring countries. On May 1, 1857, Walker was forced by a coalition of Central American armies to surrender himself to a United States
United States
Navy officer who repatriated him and his followers. When Walker subsequently returned to Central America
Central America
in 1860, he was apprehended by the Honduran authorities and executed.

Mexican–American War (1846–48)

American occupation of Mexico
Mexico
City .

The Mexican–American War , another instance of U.S. involvement in Latin
Latin
America, was a war between the United States
United States
and Mexico
Mexico
that started in April 1846 and lasted until February 1848. The main cause of the war was the United States' annexation of Texas in 1845 and a dispute afterwards about whether the border between Mexico
Mexico
and the United States
United States
ended where Mexico
Mexico
claimed, at the Nueces River , or ended where the United States
United States
claimed, at the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
. Peace was negotiated between the United States
United States
and Mexico
Mexico
with the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo , which stated that Mexico
Mexico
was to cede land which would later become part of California and New Mexico
Mexico
as well as give up all claims to Texas, for which the United States
United States
would pay $15,000,000. However, tensions between the two countries were still high and over the next six years things only got worse with raids along the border and attacks by Native Americans against Mexican citizens. To defuse the situation, the United States
United States
agreed to purchase 29,670 squares miles of land from Mexico
Mexico
for $10,000,000 so a southern railroad could be built to connect the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. This would become known as the Gadsden Purchase . A critical component of U.S. intervention in Latin
Latin
American affairs took form in the Spanish–American War , which drastically affected the futures of Cuba
Cuba
and Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
in the Americas, as well as Guam
Guam
and the Philippines, by dismantling some of the last remaining Spanish colonial possessions throughout the world.

WORLD WARS (1914–45)

* v * t * e

United States
United States
involvement in the Mexican Revolution
Mexican Revolution

Mexican Revolution
Mexican Revolution

* Tampico Affair * Ypiranga incident * Veracruz

Border War

* 1st Agua Prieta * 1st Ciudad Juarez * Bandit War * Norias Ranch * Ojo de Agua * 2nd Nogales * Santa Isabel * Columbus * Mexican Expedition * Guerrero * Agua Caliente * Parral * Tomochic * Ojos Azules * Glenn Springs * Rubio Ranch * Castillon * Las Varas Pass * San Ygnacio * Carrizal * Zimmermann Affair * Brite Ranch * 1st Pilares * Neville Ranch * 2nd Pilares * Porvenir * 3rd Nogales * 3rd Ciudad Juárez * Ruby

See also: Pan-Americanism

World War I
World War I
And The Zimmermann Telegram

The Zimmermann Telegram
Zimmermann Telegram
as it was sent from Washington to Ambassador Heinrich von Eckardt (who was the German ambassador to Mexico
Mexico
).

The Zimmermann Telegram
Zimmermann Telegram
was a 1917 diplomatic proposal from the German Empire
German Empire
for Mexico
Mexico
to join an alliance with Germany in the event of the United States
United States
entering World War I
World War I
against Germany. The proposal was intercepted and decoded by British intelligence. Revelation of the contents outraged the American public and swayed public opinion. President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
moved to arm American merchant ships in order to defend themselves against German submarines, which had started to attack them. The news helped generate support for the United States
United States
declaration of war on Germany in April of that year.

The message came as a coded telegram dispatched by the Foreign Secretary of the German Empire, Arthur Zimmermann , on January 16, 1917. The message was sent to the German ambassador of Mexico, Heinrich von Eckardt . Zimmermann sent the telegram in anticipation of the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare by Germany on 1 February, an act which Germany presumed would lead to war. The telegram instructed Ambassador Eckardt that if the U.S. appeared certain to enter the war, he was to approach the Mexican Government with a proposal for military alliance, with funding from Germany. As part of the alliance, Germany would assist Mexico
Mexico
in reconquering Texas and the Southwest. Eckardt was instructed to urge Mexico
Mexico
to help broker an alliance between Germany and Japan. Mexico, in the middle of the Mexican Revolution
Mexican Revolution
, far weaker militarily, economically and politically than the U.S., ignored the proposal; after the U.S. entered the war, it officially rejected it.

Brazil\'s Participation In World War II

After World War I, in which Brazil
Brazil
was an ally of the United States
United States
, Great Britain
Great Britain
, and France
France
, the country realized it needed a more capable army but didn't have the technology to create it. In 1919, the French Military Mission was established by the French Commission in Brazil. Their main goal was to contain the inner rebellions in Brazil. They tried to assist the army by bringing them up to the European military standard but constant civil missions did not prepare them for World War II
World War II
.

Brazil's President, Getúlio Vargas
Getúlio Vargas
, wanted to industrialize Brazil, allowing it to be more competitive with other countries. He reached out to Germany, Italy, France, and the United States
United States
to act as trade allies. Many Italian and German people immigrated to Brazil
Brazil
many years before World War II
World War II
began thus creating a Nazi influence. The immigrants held high positions in government and the armed forces. It was recently found that 9,000 war criminals escaped to South America, including Croats, Ukrainians, Russians and other western Europeans who aided the Nazi war machine. Most, perhaps as many as 5,000, went to Argentina; between 1,500 and 2,000 are thought to have made it to Brazil; around 500 to 1,000 to Chile; and the rest to Paraguay
Paraguay
and Uruguay. It was not a secret that Vargas had an admiration for Hitler's Nazi Germany and its Führer. He even let German Luftwaffe build secret air forces around Brazil. This alliance with Germany became Brazil's second best trade alliance behind the United States. Brazilian soldiers greet Italian civilians in the city of Massarosa , September 1944. Brazil
Brazil
was the only independent Latin
Latin
American country to send ground troops to fight in WWII.

Brazil
Brazil
continued to try to remain neutral to the United States
United States
and Germany because it was trying to make sure it could continue to be a place of interest for both opposing countries. Brazil
Brazil
attended continental meetings in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina
(1936); Lima, Peru (1938); and Havana, Cuba
Cuba
(1940) that obligated them to agree to defend any part of the Americas
Americas
if they were to be attacked. Eventually Brazil
Brazil
decided to stop trading with Germany once Germany started attacking offshore trading ships resulting in Germany declaring a blockade against the Americas
Americas
in the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, Germany also ensured that they would be attacking the Americas
Americas
soon.

Once the German submarines attacked unarmed Brazilian trading ships, President Vargas met with United States
United States
President Franklin D. Roosevelt to discuss how they could retaliate. On January 22, 1942, Brazil
Brazil
officially ended all relations with Germany, Japan, and Italy, becoming a part of the Allies.

The Brazilian Expeditionary Force was sent to Naples, Italy to fight for democracy. Brazil
Brazil
was the only Latin
Latin
American country to send troops to Europe. Initially, Brazil
Brazil
wanted to only provide resources and shelter for the war to have a chance of gaining a high postwar status but ended up sending 25,000 men to fight.

After World War II, the United States
United States
and Latin
Latin
America continued to have a close relationship. For example, USAID created family planning programs in Latin
Latin
America combining the NGOs already in place, providing the women in largely Catholic areas access to contraception.

Involvement In World War II

There was Nazi influence in certain parts of the region, but Jewish migration from Europe
Europe
during the war continued. Only a few people recognized or knew about the Holocaust. Furthermore, numerous military bases were built during the war by the United States, but some also by the Germans. Even now, unexploded bombs from the second world war that need to be made safe still remain.

COLD WAR (1946–90)

See also: Operation Condor , Organization of American States , Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance , and Alliance for Progress

Economy

Burning forest in Brazil
Brazil
. The removal of forest to make way for cattle ranching was the leading cause of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest
Amazon rainforest
from the mid-1960s. Soybeans have become one of the most important contributors to deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

The Great Depression caused Latin
Latin
America to grow at a slow rate, separating it from leading industrial democracies. The two world wars and U.S. Depression also made Latin
Latin
American countries favor internal economic development, leading Latin
Latin
America to adopt the policy of import substitution industrialization. Countries also renewed emphasis on exports. Brazil
Brazil
began selling automobiles to other countries, and some Latin
Latin
American countries set up plants to assemble imported parts, letting other countries take advantage of Latin America's low labor costs. Colombia
Colombia
began to export flowers, emeralds and coffee grains and gold, becoming the world's second leading flower exporter.

Economic integration was called for, to attain economies that could compete with the economies of the United States
United States
or Europe. Starting in the 1960s with the Latin
Latin
American Free Trade Association and Central American Common Market, Latin
Latin
American countries worked toward economic integration.

In efforts to help regain global economic strength the U.S. began to heavily assist countries involved in World War II
World War II
at the expense of Latin
Latin
America. Markets that were previously unopposed as a result of the war in Latin
Latin
America grew stagnant as the rest of the world no longer needed their goods.

Reforms

Large countries like Argentina
Argentina
called for reforms to lessen the disparity of wealth between the rich and the poor, which has been a long problem in Latin
Latin
America that stunted economic growth.

Advances in public health caused an explosion of population growth, making it difficult to provide social services. Education expanded, and social security systems introduced, but benefits usually went to the middle class, not the poor. As a result, disparity of wealth increased. Increasing inflation and other factors caused countries to be unwilling to fund social development programs to help the poor.

Bureaucratic Authoritarianism

Bureaucratic authoritarianism was practiced in Brazil
Brazil
after 1964, in Argentina, and in Chile
Chile
under Augusto Pinochet, in a response to harsh economic conditions. It rested on the conviction that no democracy could take the harsh measures to curb inflation, reassure investors, and quicken economic growth quickly and effectively. Though inflation fell sharply, industrial production dropped with the decline of official protection.

US Relations

See also: Latin
Latin
America– United States
United States
relations

After World War II
World War II
and the beginning of a Cold War
Cold War
between the United States and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
, US diplomats became interested in Asia
Asia
, Africa
Africa
, and Latin
Latin
America, and frequently waged proxy wars against the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in these countries. The US sought to stop the spread of communism. Latin
Latin
American countries generally sided with the US in the Cold War
Cold War
period, even though they were neglected since the US's concern with communism were focused in Europe
Europe
and Asia, not Latin America. Between 1946 and 1959 Latin
Latin
America received only 2% of the United States
United States
foreign aid despite having poor conditions similar to the main recipients of The Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
. Some Latin
Latin
American governments also complained of the US support in the overthrow of some nationalist governments, and intervention through the CIA . In 1947, the US Congress passed the National Security Act , which created the National Security Council in response to the United States's growing obsession with anti-communism.

In 1954, when Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala
Guatemala
accepted the support of communists and attacked holdings of the United Fruit Company , the US decided to assist Guatemalan counter-revolutionaries in overthrowing Arbenz. These interventionist tactics featured use of the CIA rather than the military, which was used in Latin
Latin
America for the majority of the Cold War
Cold War
in events including the overthrow of Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende
. Latin
Latin
America was more concerned with issues of economic development, while the United States
United States
focused on fighting communism, even though the presence of communism was small in Latin
Latin
America.

Cuban Revolution

By 1959, Cuba
Cuba
was afflicted with a corrupt dictatorship under Batista, and Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
ousted Batista that year and set up the first communist state in the hemisphere. The United States
United States
imposed a trade embargo on Cuba, and combined with Castro's expropriation of private enterprises, this was detrimental to the Cuban economy. Around Latin
Latin
America, rural guerrilla conflict and urban terrorism increased, inspired by the Cuban example. The United States
United States
put down these rebellions by supporting Latin
Latin
American countries in their counter guerrilla operations through the Alliance for Progress launched by President John F. Kennedy. This thrust appeared to be successful. A Marxist, Salvador Allende, became president of Chile
Chile
in 1970, but was overthrown three years later in a military coup backed by the United States. Despite civil war, high crime and political instability, most Latin
Latin
American countries eventually adopted bourgeois liberal democracies while Cuba
Cuba
maintained its socialist system.

Bay Of Pigs Invasion

Main article: Bay of Pigs Invasion
Bay of Pigs Invasion
Che Guevara
Che Guevara
(left) and Castro , photographed by Alberto Korda in 1961.

Encouraged by the success of Guatemala
Guatemala
in the 1954 Guatemalan coup d\'état , in 1960, the U.S. decided to support an attack on Cuba
Cuba
by anti-Castro rebels. The Bay of Pigs invasion was an unsuccessful invasion of Cuba
Cuba
in 1961, financed by the U.S. through the CIA, to overthrow Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
. The incident proved to be very embarrassing for the new Kennedy administration.

Alliance For Progress

President John F. Kennedy initiated the Alliance for Progress in 1961, to establish economic cooperation between the U.S. and Latin America. The Alliance would provide $20 billion for reform in Latin America, and counterinsurgency measures. Instead, the reform failed because of the simplistic theory that guided it and the lack of experienced American experts who could understand Latin
Latin
American customs.

Nicaraguan Revolution

Following the American occupation of Nicaragua
Nicaragua
in 1912, as part of the Banana Wars, the Somoza family political dynasty came to power, and would rule Nicaragua
Nicaragua
until their ouster in 1979 during the Nicaraguan Revolution. The era of Somoza family rule was characterized by strong U.S. support for the government and its military as well as a heavy reliance on U.S. based multi-national corporations. The Nicaraguan Revolution (Spanish: Revolución Nicaragüense or Revolución Popular Sandinista) encompassed the rising opposition to the Somoza dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s, the campaign led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) to violently oust the dictatorship in 1978–79, the subsequent efforts of the FSLN to govern Nicaragua
Nicaragua
from 1979 until 1990 and the Contra War which was waged between the FSLN and the Contras from 1981–1990.

The Revolution marked a significant period in Nicaraguan history and revealed the country as one of the major proxy war battlegrounds of the Cold War
Cold War
with the events in the country rising to international attention. Although the initial overthrow of the Somoza regime in 1978–79 was a bloody affair, the Contra War of the 1980s took the lives of tens of thousands of Nicaraguans and was the subject of fierce international debate. During the 1980s both the FSLN (a Leftist collection of political parties) and the Contras (a rightist collection of counter-revolutionary groups) received large amounts of aid from the Cold War
Cold War
super-powers (respectively, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and the United States).

WASHINGTON CONSENSUS

Main article: Washington Consensus See also: Free Trade Area of the Americas
Americas
Roll-on/roll-off ships, such as this one pictured here at Miraflores locks , are among the largest ships to pass through the Panama
Panama
Canal . The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama
Panama
and is a key conduit for international maritime trade.

The set of specific economic policy prescriptions that were considered the "standard" reform package were promoted for crisis-wracked developing countries by Washington, D.C.-based institutions such as the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
(IMF), World Bank , and the US Department of the Treasury during the 1980s and 1990s.

In recent years, several Latin
Latin
American countries led by socialist or other left wing governments – including Argentina
Argentina
and Venezuela
Venezuela
– have campaigned for (and to some degree adopted) policies contrary to the Washington Consensus set of policies. (Other Latin
Latin
countries with governments of the left, including Brazil, Chile
Chile
and Peru, have in practice adopted the bulk of the policies.) Also critical of the policies as actually promoted by the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
have been some US economists, such as Joseph Stiglitz and Dani Rodrik
Dani Rodrik
, who have challenged what are sometimes described as the "fundamentalist" policies of the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
and the US Treasury for what Stiglitz calls a "one size fits all" treatment of individual economies.

The term has become associated with neoliberal policies in general and drawn into the broader debate over the expanding role of the free market, constraints upon the state, and US influence on other countries' national sovereignty.

This politico-economical initiative was institutionalized in North America by the 1994 NAFTA , and elsewhere in the Americas
Americas
through a series of like agreements . The comprehensive Free Trade Area of the Americas
Americas
project, however, was rejected by most South American countries at the 2005 4th Summit of the Americas
Americas
.

TURN TO THE LEFT

See also: Pink tide UNASUR
UNASUR
summit in the Palacio de la Moneda, Santiago
Santiago
de Chile.

In most countries, since the 2000s left-wing political parties have risen to power. The presidencies of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Ricardo Lagos and Michelle Bachelet in Chile, Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, Néstor Kirchner and his wife Cristina Fernández in Argentina, Tabaré Vázquez and José Mujica in Uruguay, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Fernando Lugo
Fernando Lugo
in Paraguay, Manuel Zelaya in Honduras
Honduras
(removed from power by a coup d\'état ), Mauricio Funes and Salvador Sánchez Cerén in El Salvador
El Salvador
are all part of this wave of left-wing politicians who often declare themselves socialists , Latin Americanists , or anti-imperialists (often implying opposition to US policies towards the region ). A development of this has been the creation of the eight-member ALBA alliance, or "The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America " (Spanish: Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América) by some of the countries already mentioned. By June 2014, Honduras
Honduras
(Juan Orlando Hernández ), Guatemala
Guatemala
( Otto Pérez Molina ), and Panama
Panama
(Ricardo Martinelli ) had right-wing governments.

RETURN OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

A view on globalization, titled Somos cultura que camina en un mundo globalizado ("We are a culture walking in a globalised world"). The mural is located in Humahuaca in the north of Argentina
Argentina

In 1982, Mexico
Mexico
announced that it could not meet its foreign debt payment obligations, inaugurating a debt crisis that would "discredit" Latin
Latin
American economies throughout the decade. This debt crisis would lead to neoliberal reforms that would instigate many social movements in the region. A "reversal of development" reigned over Latin
Latin
America, seen through negative economic growth, declines in industrial production, and thus, falling living standards for the middle and lower classes. Governments made financial security their primary policy goal over social security, enacting new neoliberal economic policies that implemented privatization of previously national industries and informalization of labor. In an effort to bring more investors to these industries, these governments also embraced globalization through more open interactions with the international economy.

Significantly, as democracy spread across much of Latin
Latin
America, the realm of government more inclusive (a trend that proved conductive to social movements), the economic ventures remained exclusive to a few elite groups within society. Neoliberal restructuring consistently redistributed income upward while denying political responsibility to provide social welfare rights, and though development projects took place throughout the region, both inequality and poverty increased. Feeling excluded from these new projects, the lower classes took ownership of their own democracy through a revitalization of social movements in Latin
Latin
America.

Both urban and rural populations had serious grievances as a result of the above economic and global trends and have voiced them in mass demonstrations. Some of the largest and most violent of these have been protests against cuts in urban services, such as the Caracazo
Caracazo
in Venezuela
Venezuela
and the Argentinazo in Argentina. Children singing the Internationale, 20th Anniversary of MST.

Rural movements have made diverse demands related to unequal land distribution, displacement at the hands of development projects and dams, environmental and indigenous concerns, neoliberal agricultural restructuring, and insufficient means of livelihood. These movements have benefited considerably from transnational support from conservationists and INGOs . The Movement of Rural Landless Workers (MST) is perhaps the largest contemporary Latin
Latin
American social movement. As indigenous populations are primarily rural, indigenous movements account for a large portion of rural social movements, including the Zapatista rebellion in Mexico, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador
Ecuador
(CONAIE ), indigenous organizations in the Amazon region of Ecuador
Ecuador
and Bolivia, pan-Mayan communities in Guatemala, and mobilization by the indigenous groups of Yanomami peoples in the Amazon, Kuna peoples in Panama, and Altiplano Aymara and Quechua peoples in Bolivia. Other significant types of social movements include labor struggles and strikes, such as recovered factories in Argentina, as well as gender-based movements such as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina
Argentina
and protests against maquila production, which is largely a women's issue because of how it draws on women for cheap labor. Mexico
Mexico
City – Mexico
Mexico
. São Paulo
São Paulo
Brazil
Brazil

HISTORICAL POPULATIONS

YEAR POP. ±%

1750 16,000,000 —

1800 24,000,000 +50.0%

1850 38,000,000 +58.3%

1900 74,000,000 +94.7%

1950 167,000,000 +125.7%

1999 511,000,000 +206.0%

2013 603,191,486 +18.0%

Source: "UN report 2004 data" (PDF).

Main article: Latin Americans See also: Demographics of South America

LARGEST CITIES

The following is a list of the ten largest metropolitan areas in Latin
Latin
America.

CITY COUNTRY Metropolitan population (2017) Gross Domestic Product (PPP, $Million) ( USD
USD
, 2014) GDP
GDP
per capita ( USD
USD
, 2014)

1. Mexico
Mexico
City Mexico
Mexico
23,655,355 $403,561 $19,239

2. São Paulo
São Paulo
Brazil
Brazil
23,467,354 $430,510 $20,650

3. Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Argentina
15,564,354 $315,885 $23,606

4. Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Brazil
Brazil
14,440,345 $176,630 $14,176

5. Bogotá Colombia
Colombia
9,900,800 $159,150 $17,497

6. Lima
Lima
Peru
Peru
9,752,000 $176,447 $16,530

7. Santiago
Santiago
Chile
Chile
7,164,400 $171,436 $23,929

8. Belo Horizonte Brazil
Brazil
6,145,800 $95,686 $17,635

9. Guadalajara Mexico
Mexico
4,687,700 $80,656 $17,206

10. Monterrey Mexico
Mexico
4,344,200 $122,896 $28,290

ETHNIC GROUPS

Main article: Ethnic groups in Latin
Latin
America The Mexican mestizo population is the most diverse in Latin
Latin
America, with people being either largely European or Amerindian
Amerindian
rather than having a uniform admixture.

The inhabitants of Latin
Latin
America are of a variety of ancestries, ethnic groups, and races, making the region one of the most diverse in the world. The specific composition varies from country to country: some have a predominance of European- Amerindian
Amerindian
or more commonly referred to as Mestizo
Mestizo
or Castizo depending on the admixture, population; in others, Amerindians are a majority; some are dominated by inhabitants of European ancestry; and some countries' populations are primarily Mulatto
Mulatto
. Asian and Afro- Amerindian
Amerindian
(historically sometimes called Zambo ) minorities are also identified regularly. People with European ancestry are the largest single group, and along with people of part-European ancestry, they combine to make up approximately 80% of the population, or even more.

LANGUAGE

Linguistic map of Latin
Latin
America. Spanish in green, Portuguese in orange, and French in blue.

Spanish and Portuguese are the predominant languages of Latin America. Spanish is spoken as first language by about 60% of the population, Portuguese is spoken by about 34% of the population and about 6% of the population speak other languages such as Quechua, Mayan languages , Guaraní, Aymara, Nahuatl, English, French, Dutch and Italian. Portuguese is spoken only in Brazil
Brazil
(Brazilian Portuguese ), the biggest and most populous country in the region. Spanish is the official language of most of the rest of the countries on the Latin American mainland ( Spanish language
Spanish language
in the Americas
Americas
), as well as in Cuba
Cuba
, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
(where it is co-official with English), and the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
. French is spoken in Haiti
Haiti
and in the French overseas departments of Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
, Martinique
Martinique
and Guiana , and the French overseas collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
; it is also spoken by some Panamanians of Afro-Antillean descent. Dutch is the official language in Suriname
Suriname
, Aruba
Aruba
, and the Netherlands Antilles
Netherlands Antilles
. (As Dutch is a Germanic language , these territories are not necessarily considered part of Latin
Latin
America.) QUECHUA, GUARANí, AYMARA, NáHUATL, LENGUAS MAYAS, MAPUDUNGUN.

Native American languages are widely spoken in Peru
Peru
, Guatemala
Guatemala
, Bolivia
Bolivia
, Paraguay
Paraguay
and Mexico
Mexico
, and to a lesser degree, in Panama
Panama
, Ecuador
Ecuador
, Brazil
Brazil
, Colombia
Colombia
, Venezuela
Venezuela
, Argentina
Argentina
, and Chile amongst other countries. In Latin
Latin
American countries not named above, the population of speakers of indigenous languages tend to be very small or even non-existent (e.g. Uruguay
Uruguay
). Mexico
Mexico
is possibly the only country that contains a wider variety of indigenous languages than any Latin
Latin
American country, but the most spoken language is Nahuatl.

In Peru
Peru
, Quechua is an official language, alongside Spanish and any other indigenous language in the areas where they predominate. In Ecuador
Ecuador
, while holding no official status, the closely related Quichua is a recognized language of the indigenous people under the country's constitution; however, it is only spoken by a few groups in the country's highlands. In Bolivia
Bolivia
, Aymara , Quechua and Guaraní hold official status alongside Spanish. Guaraní , along with Spanish, is an official language of Paraguay
Paraguay
, and is spoken by a majority of the population (who are, for the most part, bilingual), and it is co-official with Spanish in the Argentine province of Corrientes
Corrientes
. In Nicaragua
Nicaragua
, Spanish is the official language, but on the country's Caribbean
Caribbean
coast English and indigenous languages such as Miskito , Sumo , and Rama also hold official status. Colombia
Colombia
recognizes all indigenous languages spoken within its territory as official, though fewer than 1% of its population are native speakers of these languages. Nahuatl
Nahuatl
is one of the 62 native languages spoken by indigenous people in Mexico, which are officially recognized by the government as "national languages" along with Spanish.

Other European languages spoken in Latin
Latin
America include: English , by some groups in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
, as well as in nearby countries that may or may not be considered Latin
Latin
American, like Belize
Belize
and Guyana
Guyana
; German , in southern Brazil
Brazil
, southern Chile
Chile
, portions of Argentina
Argentina
, Venezuela
Venezuela
and Paraguay
Paraguay
; Italian , in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Uruguay
Uruguay
; Ukrainian , Polish and Russian in southern Brazil, and Welsh , in southern Argentina. Yiddish and Hebrew are possible to be heard around Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
and São Paulo
São Paulo
especially. Non-European or Asian languages include Japanese in Brazil
Brazil
and Peru, Korean in Brazil, Arabic in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela
Venezuela
and Chile
Chile
and Chinese throughout South America.

In several nations, especially in the Caribbean
Caribbean
region, creole languages are spoken. The most widely spoken creole language in Latin America and the Caribbean
Caribbean
is Haitian Creole , the predominant language of Haiti
Haiti
; it is derived primarily from French and certain West African tongues with Amerindian
Amerindian
, English, Portuguese and Spanish influences as well. Creole languages of mainland Latin
Latin
America, similarly, are derived from European languages and various African tongues.

The Garifuna language is spoken along the Caribbean
Caribbean
coast in Honduras , Guatemala
Guatemala
, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
and Belize
Belize
mostly by the Garifuna people
Garifuna people
a mixed race Zambo people who were the result of mixing between Indigenous Caribbeans and escaped Black slaves. Primarily an Arawakan language , it has influences from Caribbean
Caribbean
and European languages.

Archaeologists have deciphered over 15 pre-Columbian distinct writing systems from mesoamerican societies. the ancient Maya had the most sophisticated textually written language, but since texts were largely confined to the religious and administrative elite, traditions were passed down orally. oral traditions also prevailed in other major indigenous groups including, but not limited to the Aztecs and other Nahuatl
Nahuatl
speakers, Quechua and Aymara of the Andean regions, the Quiché of Central America, the Tupi-Guaraní in today's Brazil, the Guaraní in Paraguay
Paraguay
and the Mapuche
Mapuche
in Chili

RELIGION

Main article: Religion in Latin
Latin
America Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels located in Cartago , Costa Rica
Costa Rica
.

The vast majority of Latin Americans are Christians (90%), mostly Roman Catholics belonging to the Latin Church
Latin Church
. About 70% of the Latin
Latin
American population consider themselves Catholic.

According to the detailed Pew multi-country survey in 2014, 69% of the Latin
Latin
American population is Catholic and 19% is Protestant. Protestants are 26% in Brazil
Brazil
and over 40% in much of Central America. More than half of these are converts from Roman Catholicism.

MIGRATION

Due to economic, social and security developments that are affecting the region in recent decades, the focus is now the change from net immigration to net emigration . About 10 million Mexicans live in the United States. 31.7 million Americans listed their ancestry as Mexican as of 2010, or roughly 10% of the population. According to the 2005 Colombian census or DANE, about 3,331,107 Colombians currently live abroad. The number of Brazilians living overseas is estimated at about 2 million people. An estimated 1.5 to two million Salvadorans reside in the United States. At least 1.5 million Ecuadorians have gone abroad, mainly to the United States
United States
and Spain. Approximately 1.5 million Dominicans live abroad, mostly in the United States. More than 1.3 million Cubans live abroad, most of them in the United States. It is estimated that over 800,000 Chileans live abroad, mainly in Argentina, the United States, Canada, Australia
Australia
and Sweden. An estimated 700,000 Bolivians were living in Argentina
Argentina
as of 2006 and another 33,000 in the United States. Central Americans living abroad in 2005 were 3,314,300, of which 1,128,701 were Salvadorans , 685,713 were Guatemalans , 683,520 were Nicaraguans , 414,955 were Hondurans , 215,240 were Panamanians and 127,061 were Costa Ricans .

For the period 2000–2005, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, and Venezuela were the only countries with global positive migration rates, in terms of their yearly averages.

As a result of the 2010 Haiti
Haiti
Earthquake and its social and economic impact, there was a significant migration of Haitians to other Latin American countries. During the presidency of Hugo Chávez and his successor Nicolás Maduro , over 1.5 million people fled Venezuela
Venezuela
in what was called the " Bolivarian diaspora " as socioeconomic conditions and the quality of life worsened .

EDUCATION

See also: Education in Latin
Latin
America World map indicating literacy rate by country in 2015 (2015 CIA World Factbook ) Grey = no data

Despite significant progress, education access and school completion remains unequal in Latin
Latin
America. The region has made great progress in educational coverage; almost all children attend primary school and access to secondary education has increased considerably. Quality issues such as poor teaching methods, lack of appropriate equipment and overcrowding exist throughout the region. These issues lead to adolescents dropping out of the educational system early. Most educational systems in the region have implemented various types of administrative and institutional reforms that have enabled reach for places and communities that had no access to education services in the early 1990s. Compared to prior generations, Latin
Latin
American youth have seen an increase in their levels of education. On average, they have completed two years schooling more than their parents.

However, there are still 23 million children in the region between the ages of 4 and 17 outside of the formal education system. Estimates indicate that 30% of preschool age children (ages 4–5) do not attend school, and for the most vulnerable populations, the poor and rural, this calculation exceeds 40 percent. Among primary school age children (ages 6 to 12), coverage is almost universal; however there is still a need to incorporate 5 million children in the primary education system. These children live mostly in remote areas, are indigenous or Afro-descendants and live in extreme poverty.

Among people between the ages of 13 and 17 years, only 80% are full-time students in the education system; among them only 66% advance to secondary school. These percentages are lower among vulnerable population groups: only 75% of the poorest youth between the ages of 13 and 17 years attend school. Tertiary education has the lowest coverage, with only 70% of people between the ages of 18 and 25 years outside of the education system. Currently, more than half of low income children or living in rural areas fail to complete nine years of education.

CRIME AND VIOLENCE

Main article: Crime and violence in Latin
Latin
America

Latin
Latin
America and the Caribbean
Caribbean
have been cited by numerous sources to be the most dangerous regions in the world. Studies have shown that Latin
Latin
America contains the majority of the world's most dangerous cities. Many analysts attribute the reason to why the region has such an alarming crime rate and criminal culture is largely due to social and income inequality within the region, they say that growing social inequality is fueling crime in the region. Many agree that the prison crisis will not be resolved until the gap between the rich and the poor is addressed. 2012 map of countries by homicide rate . As of 2015, the Latin
Latin
American countries with the highest rates were El Salvador (108.64 per 100,000 people), Honduras
Honduras
(63.75) and Venezuela (57.15). The countries with the lowest rates were Chile
Chile
(3.59), Cuba (4.72) and Argentina
Argentina
(6.53).

Crime and violence prevention and public security are now important issues for governments and citizens in Latin
Latin
America and the Caribbean region. Homicide rates in Latin
Latin
America are the highest in the world. From the early 1980s through the mid-1990s, homicide rates increased by 50 percent. The major victims of such homicides are young men, 69 percent of whom are between the ages of 15 and 19 years old. Countries with the highest homicide rate per year per 100,000 inhabitants as of 2015 were: El Salvador
El Salvador
109, Honduras
Honduras
64, Venezuela
Venezuela
57, Jamaica
Jamaica
43, Belize
Belize
34.4, St. Kitts and Nevis 34, Guatemala
Guatemala
34, Trinidad "> Brazil
Brazil
, São Paulo
São Paulo
. Mexico
Mexico
, Mexico
Mexico
City . Argentina , Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
. Colombia
Colombia
, Bogotá .

POPULATION AND ECONOMY SIZE FOR LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES COUNTRY Population (2016, millions) 2015 GDP
GDP
(Nominal) In Billions US$ 2015 GDP
GDP
(PPP) In Billions US$

Argentina
Argentina
43.8 601.7 972.3

Bolivia
Bolivia
10.9 33.5 73.9

Brazil
Brazil
207.7 1,799.6 3,207.9

Chile
Chile
17.9 240.0 424.3

Colombia
Colombia
48.7 300.98 724.16

Costa Rica
Costa Rica
4.9 51.6 74.1

Cuba
Cuba
11.5 N/A N/A

Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
10.6 66.6 147.6

Ecuador
Ecuador
16.4 98.9 181.8

El Salvador
El Salvador
6.3 25.7 52.9

Guatemala
Guatemala
16.6 63.2 125.6

Haiti
Haiti
10.8 8.8 19.0

Honduras
Honduras
9.1 19.9 41.0

Mexico
Mexico
127.5 1,161.0 2,220.1

Nicaragua
Nicaragua
6.1 12.3 31.2

Panama
Panama
4 47.5 82.2

Paraguay
Paraguay
6.7 29.1 60.8

Peru
Peru
31.8 179.9 385.4

Uruguay
Uruguay
3.4 55.0 74.2

Venezuela
Venezuela
31.6 131.9 491.6

TOTAL 577.8 N/A N/A

DEVELOPMENT

Over the past two centuries, Latin
Latin
America’s GDP
GDP
per capita has fluctuated around world average. However, there is a substantial gap between Latin
Latin
America and the western economies. Between 1820 and 2008, this gap widened from 0.8 to 2.7 times. Since 1980, Latin America also lost growth versus the world average. Many nations such as Asia
Asia
joined others on a rapid economic growth path, but Latin America has grown at slower pace and its share of world output declined from 9.5% in 1980 to 7.8% in 2008.

STANDARD OF LIVING

Latin
Latin
America is the region with the highest levels of income inequality in the world. The following table lists all the countries in Latin
Latin
America indicating a valuation of the country's Human Development Index , GDP
GDP
at purchasing power parity per capita, measurement of inequality through the Gini index , measurement of poverty through the Human Poverty Index , measurement of extreme poverty based on people living under 1.25 dollars a day, life expectancy , murder rates and a measurement of safety through the Global Peace Index
Global Peace Index
. Green cells indicate the best performance in each category while red indicates the lowest.

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INDICATORS FOR LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES COUNTRY HDI 2015 Estimates GDP
GDP
(PPP) 2015 Per Capita In US$ Real GDP 2015 Growth % Income inequality (2015) Gini Extreme Poverty (2011)

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