What Is The Latin America History Essay

Before trying to specify it, it is necessary to recognize that Latin America is an wholly subjective impression. Problems arise when Latin America is defined entirely geographically, because the individuality of Latin America lies in deeper historical roots. For illustration, Mexico could be classified as North American by geographers ; nevertheless, historiographers believe it to hold inherently Latin American roots. Furthermore, Puerto Rico is politically connected to U.S.A – being a commonwealth of the U.S. – but sing its historical and cultural roots, it is besides considered portion of Latin America ( Halloway 2-3 ) .

Latin America is, by no agencies, a homogeneous community ; nevertheless, a sense of communal individuality exists between the states which call themselves ‘Latin American. ‘ the shared experiences of Latin American states are correspondingly undeniable, taking to the formation of a fluid and motile Latin American individuality.

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A myriad of factors come together to organize this individuality. Historical, political, economic and cultural concepts are highly relevant in organizing this individuality, and therefore, being able to reply the inquiry of what Latin America is. The followers will discourse all these factors in order to let us to be able to estimate what it means when we say ‘Latin America ‘ .

Historical and Political Identity

The individuality of Latin America, which is constantly linked to the manner we define the community, is rendered through integrity among the person states which make up Latin America. One primary factor which plays a critical function in set uping Latin American individuality is a shared history of colonialism and its interplay with political relations. Itzigsohn explains that “ historical buildings are frequently experienced as aboriginal elements of corporate life ” ( 3 ) , reflecting on the fact that the shared history of states Acts of the Apostless as a uniting factor for all communities, including Latin America.

Amongst the specifying features widely associated with Latin America, colonization bases as a chief 1. Geographically speech production, Gallic Guiana, Suriname, Guyana and Belize ( conquered by the Gallic, Dutch and British ) should be included in Latin America. However, the ground they are non widely recognised as such is because their histories coincide more with the non-Spanish Caribbean islands than they do with Latin America. Likewise, states such as Jamaica and the Lesser Antilles were colonised by Europeans ( non including Spain and Portugal ) and are non admitted in the usual categorization of Latin America. These exclusions gesture towards the non-geographical definition of what Latin America is, seeing them in a historical and political position.

In discoursing the historical position, we refer to when Latin America was originally conquered. The countries of the south-western hemisphere that were once claimed by Spain and Portugal, and where the primary national linguistic communication soon is Spanish or Lusitanian, are the 1s that seem to be considered inherently Latin American. Autochthonal linguistic communications are nonextant now and many were lost because of colonization and replaced with the common linguistic communications of either Spanish or Lusitanian ( Johnson ) . The shared history of colonization between the Latin American states has led to the uniting feature of a common linguistic communication, pulling the differentiation between Latin America and the remainder of the western hemisphere, therefore organizing an inherently Latin American individuality. Clare Mar-Molinero explains that the colonization of Latin America by Spain and Portugal formed a new multi-national individuality which is presently used today in set uping what defines Latin America ( Mar-Molinero 1 ) .

Furthermore, political events further deepened this division of Latin America against Europe and North America. The Cold War invited an oncoming of revolutions within the Latin American states, one of the most important being the Cuban Revolution. Dominiguez explains that the Cuban foreign policy as a consequence of the revolution defined the place of Latin Americans on the West ( 51 ) . The West and Cuba “ have placed themselves on the opposite sides of about every… issue ” ( Bernell 65 ) , even today. The Council of Foreign Relations states that Raul and Fidel Castro have criticized the Obama disposal andA accused the United States of “ giving new breath to open an clandestine corruption against Cuba ” ( Hanson ) , exhibiting the resistance that still exists between the states. Along with Cuba, many other rebellions and revolutions in Latin American states against the Western elect ensued during the twentieth Century as a consequence of colonization ‘s depriving effects. The result of polarization between the two universes emphasises the differentiation between what establishes Latin America as distinguished from the remainder of the universe, as its ain individuality.

These political phenomena – end point of shared colonial histories – have had the consequence of presenting commonalties between the southern American states, henceforth unifying them into what we refer to as ‘Latin America. ‘

Economic Identity

Steming from colonization, the impressions of underdevelopment and dependence in Latin America further shaped the manner Latin America is seen today.

During the post-colonialist epoch, the term ‘America ‘ was given to the Western hemisphere, including both North and South America, as we know them today. However, in modern times, ‘America ‘ is used alternatively in mention to the Northern country of the continent. The apparent segregation of North and South America, which historically came under the same name, reflects the thought that the southern states are defined by something other than mere geographics. Economic differences and dependences are a major lending factor in this impression.

The underdevelopment of Latin America spawns from its dependance on other more developed states. Its colonization led to the trust of the economic industries on other states. It has been asserted that “ colonialism non merely deprives a society of its freedom and its wealth, but of its really character, go forthing its people intellectually and morally disoriented ” ( Miguel ) .A Galeano is in understanding with this, supplying the illustration of how colonizers seized gold and silver resources in big measures during the post-colonialist epoch ( 25 ) . Even in the Latin Americans ‘ earliest corporate memory of colonization, they were suppressed for their resources, hence, organizing a sense of individuality consistent with its overhauled economic system. The basic resources of Latin America came from mills owned by the European elite, with Galeano showing this phenomenon as “ Spain owned the cow, others drank the milk ” ( 33 ) . This want led to Latin America holding to trust on other states in order to last, and led to mono-economies to a great extent tied to the imperial Centres of the universe for the sale of their trade goods, a dependence on them for new engineerings and European elites in control of the states ‘ economic system. With most of Mexico ‘s maize and grain industry being controlled by the elite ( Challu ) , the economic system still remains, unwittingly, in the custodies of the more developed northern states. Mexico has been included in North American economic understandings ( eg. NAFTA ) , every bit good as geographically being closer to North America than the south – but it still remains inherently portion of the Latin American community partially due to this ground. Protests in Argentina emerged in response to a “ neo-liberal economic policy which may hold been experienced as reenforcing poorness and societal inequality ” ( Humphrey and Valverde 15 ) . This exhibits how the hapless made up most of the populations of the states of Latin America, and therefore, the bulk of Latinos resented the Western elites who controlled the economic system and incited societal inequality every bit good as poorness. A sense of individuality developed amongst the downtrodden multitudes by positioning themselves against the West.

The division of America into “ industrial, advanced or ‘central ‘ states and developing, rearward or ‘peripheral ‘ states ” ( Valenzuela and Valenzuela 544 ) has resulted in separate individualities within the same continent. Itzigsohn explains that “ individuality is constructed around norms ” ( 3 ) , and the exposure of Latin America in this economic sense serves to underscore the differentiation between the states of Northern America and Latin America.

This differentiation forms the individuality of what distinguishes Latin America from other states of the continent, and therefore, factors into what defines Latin America.

Cultural Identity

The distinguishable civilization of Latin America is one of the most marked features of its definition. More than anything else, the difference which identifies Latin America from the remainder of America is the patent civilization of the country. Once once more, geographics dramas really small function in finding what defines Latin America, concentrating more on the features of the demographic of the country. Anderson implies that implies that “ ‘true ‘ communities exist when they can be… juxtaposed to states ” ( 7 ) .


Although much of the lineage of the Latin American demographic is Spanish or Lusitanian, Latin American literature reflects its ain civilization based on the flight of its history. For case, Campos comments that, “ late twentieth-century authors animate figures omitted by colonial Hagiographas ” ( 15 ) . Latin American writers created a Latin American individuality through literature in which they could slander the Spanish colonial regulation and mark national individuality. Fernando Ainsa believes that, “ the echt roots of individuality are preserved in the concealed inside of Latin American literature and in the antediluvian yesteryear that is remembered with nostalgia ” ( 2 ) .

‘The Continuity of Parks ‘ reflects the thought that the merger of phantasy and world expands the political and cultural chances and envisages options to what truly is, alternatively of accepting to the position quo. There are besides other plants which were a remark or response the post-colonial absolutisms and anti-Western motions throughout Latin America such as ‘El Senor Presidente ‘ ( 1946 ) and ‘El recurso del metodo ‘ ( 1974 ) .


In a similar line of idea, Latin American film reflects its dedication to self-definition. Dennison and Shaw show how film allows us to comprehend a state ‘s sense of ego ( 180 ) . Latin American film, in its simplest sense, would mention to any films that come from the Latin American parts. However, the desire for national individuality is a important constituent of Latin American movies ( Dennison and Shaw 180 ) during a period of worsening diverseness and an external irresistible impulse to occidentalize. Whilst Latin American movies are highly diverse, Alvaray observes that Latin America is a united continent, and this integrity is spawned of “ portion of a political consciousness or the demand to document unfairnesss and inequalities overruling Latin American states ” ( 57 ) .


Identity is a signifier of exclusivist thought – as the formation of an individuality distinguishes one topic from others – and Latin music, being highly recognizable, AIDSs in the formation of Latin American individuality. There are many vocals that emphasise the individuality of Latin America, such as the vocal ‘Por Que No Se Van ‘ by the bandA Los Prisioneros, which is dedicated to being proud of the civilization.

Through intermixing West African and Spanish music, the Cubans formed the footing of Latin music genres which are popular today. This resulted in the oncoming of an sole individuality for Latin Americans. Bakan explains that “ Cuban national individuality that arose in the late 1800s in connexion with a strong, anti-Spanish regulation nationalist motion. They rei¬‚ected a displacement toward a more inclusive impression of what constituted Cuban individuality ” ( 244 ) . This consisted of all those states which shared the corporate memory of the Spanish or Lusitanian colonization. This construct of the anti-European motion throughout Latin America was apparent through their ain genre of music, which to the present twenty-four hours, is identified as ‘Latin American ‘ .


In decision, it is apparent that Latin America is more a mental paradigm than a geographical one. In explicating what Latin America is, it is necessary to understand that single states nurture their ain civilizations and traditions in many-sided ways. However, common evidences of individuality such as shared history and political relations, economic system and underdevelopment, every bit good as cultural aspects of the states of Latin America, all come together to exhibit certain integrity, which forms the individuality that we call ‘Latin America. ‘

Word Count: 1950

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