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20 th Century Latin America: Case Studies
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  1. 20th Century Latin America: Case Studies Communists, Dictators, and Democracy

  2. What is good about dictatorships – esp. in times of instability? • What is bad about a cash crop economy? • Why might wealthy people in Latin America prefer military rule to land reform? Think about…

  3. Geographic barriers (mountains, jungles, deserts) discouraged unity • Class structure still intact • The “IRON TRIANGLE” of rule • Creoles • Controlled land and wealth • Military rulers (called CAUDILLOS) often gained control and created dictatorships • Roman Catholic Church – powerful and sided with the upper classes. WHY? • Dependent on cash crop economies (sugar, cotton, coffee, chocolate) • BUT allowed some foreign investment which built up infrastructure (RRs, roads, ports) Problems after Independence

  4. What do you know about Argentina? Argentina

  5. Rich until Great Depression in 1930s • JUAN PERON: Gained power in 1946 • Promoted import substitution = local manufacturing instead of reliance on imports • Boosted wages, unions, and social welfare • BUT…he was a dictator… Argentina

  6. Eva “Evita” Peron

  7. Military government in 1970s • Went after communist (leftist) guerillas in a “dirty war” • Tortured, killed, and kidnapped thousands • Desaparcidos – “The Disappeared” • Led to mothers’ marches over next 30 years • Democracy since 1983 Argentina: 1970s & 1980s

  8. Somoza family in power from 1936-1979 • Repressive BUT supported by the U.S. b/c anti-communist • 1979: SANDINISTAS (nationalists and communists) overthrew Somozas – put DANIEL ORTEGA in power • 1980s: CONTRAS – armed military group that opposed Sandinistas • given support by the U.S. – WHY? • Civil war ended 1990 BUT… • Ortega recently re-elected to power in 2007 Nicaragua

  9. What do you know about Mexico? Mexico

  10. Series of revolutions and civil wars throughout 19th century • Mexican Revolution of 1917 – one party in power for next 71 years • Periods of upheaval from 1960s-2000 • Demand for eco. And social reforms • NAFTA (1990s) = North American Free Trade Agreement – plan between US, Canada, and Mexico to open up trade • Mixed results • Immigration to U.S. • ENRIQUE PENA NIETO – Current president since 2012 Mexico

  11. Gap between rich and poor • Social Class structure • Population and poverty • Urban growth – slums, unemployment • Drug Cartels and police corruption Mexico: Causes of Unrest

  12. What do you know about Brazil? Brazil

  13. Reforms in 1950s under leadership of Kubitschek led to economic growth and modernization • BUT…military dictators took power, continued development at expense of social reforms • 1980s – Democracy restored • Now part of BRIC countries • Economic expansion but great diversity Brazil

  14. Oil exports - some rich, but most people very poor • Socialist leader – HUGO CHAVEZ (died 2013) • Current Leader: Nicholas Maduro • Super-high inflation and repressive policies led to… • Major Anti-government Protests this year Venezuela

  15. A Tale of Two Villages Guatemala