Latin American Independence
From World History Wiki
(1807-1824), political and military movement that ended colonial rule by Spain and Portugal over Mexico, Central America, and South America and gave birth to the modern independent nations of Latin America.
When the independence movement began at the beginning of the 19th century, Latin America contained two large and productive colonial empires, the Spanish and the Portuguese. Spain’s colonies stretched from what is now the western United States and Mexico to Argentina, while Portugal’s empire was in Brazil. Under the system of colonialism, these territories were subject to extensive and complex networks of control by Spain and Portugal.
Both empires functioned fairly well for three centuries. But by the mid-1700s grievances developed among the colonists, who complained about economic restrictions and tax burdens imposed by the imperial powers. Those born in the colonies also resented the fact that European-born residents were favored for important bureaucratic and administrative positions.
There were many reasons why independence movements arose in Latin America when they did. Colonists were influenced by new political ideas from Europe’s Age of Enlightenment, which questioned traditional beliefs and authority and introduced such concepts as limiting the power of monarchs. The American Revolution and the French Revolution, both in the late 1700s, provided inspiration for some Spanish-American and Brazilian colonists to seek more control over their economic and political affairs.