Women and Revolutions in Latin America. Latin America at Independence. Incorporating Women in Revolutions. What did women have to offer to the wars of independence? How did women of different classes experience the revolutions? How did men view women as part of revolutions?
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Women and Revolutions in Latin America Latin America at Independence
Incorporating Women in Revolutions • What did women have to offer to the wars of independence? • How did women of different classes experience the revolutions? • How did men view women as part of revolutions? • Who did men fight revolutions for? • How were women integrated into the new nation-state?
Three Revolutions that Shook the World • North American Revolution 1776 • French Revolution of 1789 • Haitian Revolution of 1791 • How did these revolutions deal with issues of gender?
Latin American Ideas of Gender Equality • Benito Gerónimo Feijóo y Montenegro (1676-1764) spoke out about female inferiority. • Benedictine monk who agreed that women might be physically weaker, but “both sexes are equal in intellectual capacities.” • His work found all over Latin America, including in convents • During the late 18th and early 19th century elite educated women often ran tertulias or literary salons where both men and women discussed politics.
What does revolution mean for women? Tertulia (source: María Sáenz Quesada, Mariquita Sánchez: Vida política y sentimental
What Gender Issues did people discuss? • Education for women • Traditionally women taught to read and not to write-to keep them from writing love letters! • 1790 Josefa Amar y Borbón of Bogotá complained that girls should be educated to be more than decorations. • Women’s links to convents helped them expand female education. • In Argentina after 1823 the liberal leader Bernadino Rivadavia established the Sociedad de Beneficencia which set up schools for women. Some of their pupils like Rosa Guerra subsequently wrote on women’s issue. • Women also wrote in favor of revolution
Women as Political Actors • Several elite women encouraged slave revolts • In Mexico, María Josefa Yermo de Yermo, a wealth landowner, liberated 500 slaves on her haciendas • In Venezuela, Joaquina de España helped her husband in 1791-she hid him while helping slaves to rebel. She also worked with Isabel Gómez, a parda, to distribute revolutionary literature—both captured and exiled. • Ecuadorian Baltzara Chiza led a rebellion in 1778. After being captured she was drawn and quartered. • Wife of indigenous leader of Tupac Amaru rebellion in 1780-81 had to watch the execution of her sons and have her tongue cut out. • Many women arrested for disloyalty to the crown
Other forms of political participation • Women contributed their sons to the conflict—often losing many of them • Women accompanied husbands and sons to war • Some women also supported the Spanish • Some women fought alongside their children • Policarpa Salvarrieta was just 18 years old when she was shot by the Spanish for refusing to give information in 1817 regarding the revolutionary movement.
Was Independence a watershed for women? • What is a watershed? An event that transforms the history of a place, group of people. • Are political revolutions watersheds for women? • If not, what would be defined as watersheds? • Did the Latin American wars of Independence affect women in the same way as men? • How could we measure this?