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Americanos: Ch. 1. Why does Chasteen use the term Americano? Who was Alexander von Humboldt? Why do you think Chasteen includes an account of Humboldt’s adventures? What were Humboldt’s impressions of the places he visited? What sort of person was Jose Artigas?.

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americanos ch 1
Americanos: Ch. 1
  • Why does Chasteen use the term Americano?
  • Who was Alexander von Humboldt?
  • Why do you think Chasteen includes an account of Humboldt’s adventures?
  • What were Humboldt’s impressions of the places he visited?
  • What sort of person was Jose Artigas?

How did the death of his wife affect Simon Bolivar?

  • In what ways was Miguel Hidalgo not a typical priest?
  • How did his peculiarities affect his career?
  • Who was Jose Bonifacio?
  • What were his political opinions at the time of Napoleon’s invasion?
chapter 2
Chapter 2
  • What sort of character was Francisco Miranda?
  • What was his ultimate ambition for Spanish America?
  • Why did Britain support his goal?
  • How did his attempt at forcibly liberating Venezuela end?
  • Why?
  • Why did Admiral Popham and General Beresford invade Buenos Aires?
  • Which type of people welcomed the British invasion?
  • Why did most people oppose it?

How liberal were the British invaders?

  • Why do you think Chasteen chooses to relate the story of Mariquita Sanchez?
  • What role did Jose Artigas play in preparing the defence of Montevideo?
  • How did the British move on Buenos Aires, from Montevideo, end up for the British?
  • What role did the local militia play in defending the cities?
  • How did the Viceroy conduct himself during this time of crisis?
  • What was the most important lesson, according to Chasteen, to be learned from the events in the Rio de la Plata and Venezuela in 1806-07?
  • Why did the Brazilian royal family sail for Brazil?
  • How come the Spanish royals did not follow suit?

How did Fernando become king of Spain?

  • How was the news of the capture of Carlos and Fernando taken by the people of Spain?
  • What was the “pillars of the crown” metaphor?
  • How did the juntas of Spanish America use it?
  • Which types of people wore the “mask of Fernando”? Why?
  • Who was Ignacio Allende? Why did he want Hidalgo to participate in the plot to overthrow the viceroy of New Spain?
  • Where Jose de San Martin during this time?
  • What were Simon Bolivar’s thoughts on the creation of a junta in Caracas?
  • How did he offer to help?
  • How did he disobey the instructions of the Junta while in London?

What was happening in Buenos Aires? And Santiago?

  • What challenges did many of the Spanish America’s juntas face once they were established?
  • How did social divisions affect the juntas and the Cortes of Cadiz??
  • Why did many of the movements for equality with Spain devolve into civil wars?
chapter 3
Chapter 3
  • Why did Hidalgo wear the “mask of Fernando”?
  • Why did creoles not flock to Hidalgo’s cause?
  • Is it accurate to call Hidalgo a true revolutionary?
  • Why did Hidalgo’s uprising fail?
  • What role did race play in the dealings of the Cortes?
  • Why did the Spanish members of the Cortes of Cadiz not want all the people of Spanish America to be qualified for political representation?
  • What compromise was eventually worked out between the representatives from America and Spain?
  • Why did Buenos Aires’ attempt to take control of Upper Peru fail?

Why did Francisco Miranda rub many of the people of Caracas the wrong way?

  • Did the government in Caracas control all of Venezuela?
  • What was Princess Carlota Joaquina’s interest in the Rio del Plata region?
  • What steps did she take to increase her influence in the region?
  • What did her husband, Prince Joao think of her maneuverings?
  • What was his interest in the region?
  • Who took control of Santiago in September 1811?
  • Who became his main rival for control of Chile?
  • How was Artigas betrayed by the leaders of Buenos Aires?

Who was Jose Maria Morelos?

  • How was he different than Hidalgo?
  • Why did Jose de San Martin and other American delegates leave the Cortes of Cadiz and head for Buenos Aires?
  • Why did many people in Venezuela feel that God was on the side of Fernando?
  • What roles did the church, and clergy play in the struggles for independence?
  • Why were priests leading the fight in Mexico while in most places the church was quite conservative?
  • What did Morelos mean when he used the term americano?
  • Why did he use it?

What was the symbolic importance of the siege of Cuautla?

  • How would you describe Bolivar’s treatment of Miranda?
  • How was Jose de San Martin able to gain influence in Buenos Aires?
  • Where did Bolivar end up after the collapse of the First Republic
  • What did Bolivar mean by declaring “war to the death”?
  • Were there women who participated in the revolutions? Describe one. Is she typical? (Leona Vicario, Juana Azurduy)
  • What did Fernando VII do once he was back in power?

Why did the Spanish people go along with it?

  • Who were the llaneros? Why were they so important to the course of Venezuelan history?
  • What was San Martin’s new plan?
  • To whom was Bolivar appealing to for help with his famous “Jamaica Letter”?
  • What did Joao VI do December 12, 1815? Why?
  • What happened at Rancagua on October 2, 1814?
  • To what extent was internal divisions among the Chilean patriots to blame for the defeat?
  • What happened to Morelos on December 22, 1815?
  • How had he finally been caught by the royalists?
chapter 5
Chapter 5
  • Why was San Martin’s crossing of the Andes so remarkable?
  • What level of preparation did San Martin put into the crossing?
  • Who was Manuel Piar and why did Bolivar have him executed?
  • Who was Jose Antonio Paez and why was his support essential for Bolivar’s future success?
  • Why was Bolivar’s crossing of the Andes so remarkable?
  • Compare and contrast the two crossings.
  • Why was Bolivar’s victory at Boyaca Bridge and capture of Bogota so pivotal?

Why were the two liberators unable to work together?

  • Why did Iturbide and Guerrero agree to work together?
  • What role did the Holy Alliance play in Spain and Portugal?
  • Why did Joao return to Portugal?
  • What pushed his son to lead Brazil’s independence movement?
  • Were all Brazilians happy with his style of governance?
  • What happened to Pedro I?
  • What happened to Emperor Augustin I?
  • What happened to Guerrero?
  • Why was the patriot victory in Peru and Upper Peru so complete? Why weren’t there royalist guerrillas fighting for years afterward?

Does Chasteen argue that victory came solely as a result of military success? If no, then where did it truly come from?

  • What was Bolivar’s grand plan for Spanish America? Why did it fail?
  • What happened to Bolivar and Guerrero and Artigas and Sucre and O’Higgins and many of the other leaders of the revolutions?
  • What became of the countries that arose out of the revolutions?
  • Did they retain their liberal ideals? Why or why not?