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Why did Latin American countries seek independence in the 19th century? • Revolutions occurred in other parts of the world and a rebellion in Haiti was very influential • Increasing tension between those born in the New World (creoles) and those born in Spain or Portugal (peninsulares) • The Napoleonic Wars removed the kings of Spain and Portugal
The Enlightenment and Three Revolutions that Shook the World • The Enlightenment • Challenges to absolute monarchy-questioned the rights of rulers as well as the ruled • Beliefs in the equality of men • The North American Revolution (1776) • First in hemisphere • Did not challenge racial inequality • U.S. revolutionaries supported and encouraged Latin American revolutionaries • US books and pamphlets about revolution (“Common Sense” by Thomas Paine) available in Latin American cities
The French Revolution • The French Revolution (1789) • Declaration of the Rights of Man-Liberty, Equality, Fraternity • Killed their monarchs, established constitutional monarchy • Set out to restructure their society to eliminate corporate privilege- restricted rights of the Church • Rise of Napoleon (1790s) • Impact on French Revolution-made it more conservative • Impact on Spain and Portugal—Invaded Spain and forced the king of Portugal to flee to Brazil in 1808 • Impact on Latin America—caused regional groups to think about their relationship to Spain and Portugal and brought the monarchy to Rio de Janeiro
The Haitian Revolution 1791 • Haiti critical to France as a source of sugar—annexed in 1697 • Population mostly non-white with large number of slaves • Population divided by French Rev.-Rich whites opposed it, poorer whites and non-whites, esp. small planter class, favored it • August, 1791 revolt began and pitted whites against mulattos, all of whom wanted to keep the black slaves under control • French initially supported the black slaves and declared their freedom in 1793 to keep them from uniting with the Spanish, British involved against slaves • Slave leaders, Toussaint l'Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines led revolution which turned into race war against better off mulattos, 10,000 killed • Napoleon turned against new Haitian government-wanted absolute control of colonies-disapproved of Dessalines • 1802 Napoleon Declared war on Haiti and sent his brother-in-law L'Ouverture captured and died in France, but Dessalines won over the French and declared indep. of Haiti in 1804 • Dessalinles’authoritarian ways led to his assassination in 1806 and the beginning of uncertain political rule in Haiti
Independence and the Jewish Community of Latin America • Impediments to Jewish immigration: Political instability, the presence of slavery, the political debates between liberalism and Catholic conservatism, the local question of how welcome they would be • Jews rarely immigrated to Latin America before 1830 unless they were promised freedom of religion. In this sense very different from conversos • Push-Pull issues: Local conditions of Ashkenazi Jews in Europe, birth rates among Jewish populations, access to land ownership or business contacts • First Jews came from France and Germany principally Bavaria, then from Holland • Where would they go in Latin America? Argentina, Chile, Meixco, Peru and Guatemala • Moroccan Jews began to emigrate to Latin America in 1859-60.
Venezuela as an early case • Before 1819 no Jews in Venezuela which included Panama, Venezuela and Ecuador • However, in 1819 religious freedom was granted to the Jewish community, which facilitated trade with Jewish merchants. • Interest in gold mines also attracted Jews from Great Britain to found a company in 1823 . They also intended to encourage agriculture. • Jewish firms in London also lent Colombia money in these early years, but often limited by world economic conditions.
Enrique Meyer • First Jew to arrive in Venezuela and the only one to enlist in the revolutionary army. Had been recruited in Hamburg with other Europeans out for adventure. Also paid for their efforts. Came from a well known merchant family • Went to South America against the wishes of his parents who did not hear from him for years. • Colombians, according to fellow Germans who wrote back home and studied by Günter Böhm, totally unprepared and Bolivar often lacked funds to pay the army. • Meyer last heard from in 1840s when he suffered from the consequences of a horse falling on him. However, he died a rich man from trading.
Early Jewish Immigration to Chile • As with many Latin American countries, British trade and concern for religious freedom facilitated trading possibilities for Jews • Chile unlike Argentina—few immigrants, large Mestizo population in 19th century. • First Jew Stefan Goldsack, engineer hired by the British who helped Chileans win the naval battle against Spain for independence in 1818 • Significant German immigration to Chile after independence enabled other Jews to arrive. They settled in the port city of Valparaiso and in 1838 founded a German club in 1838, many of the store owners. Sephardic Jews from Smyrna settled there too. • Dr. Pedro Hertzl became the first Austrian-trained physician in Santiago de Chile in 1848. • After the discovery of gold in US in 1849 Jewish merchants also went to Chile to sell goods to the miners.