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In chapter thirty-one many different aspects of 20th century Latin America are discussed. After the passing of the 19th century Latin America was not only able to continue to function without creating a new nationhood but also able to stay away from warfare and conflicts that would destroy the country. The only major war that occurred was from 1932-1935 was the Chaco war between Bolivia and Paraguay. One unfortunate aspect was that there was violence in the country against peasant protesters and Indian minorities as landowners who were being killed while the caudilos were trying to keep their power. A theme of Latin America was the revolution in the beginning of the 20th century. This revolution was mainly about the political structure and governmental reform.
With the population growing this brought about economic problems that needed severe change for Latin America to survive in the 20th century. The last theme of the chapter is through out all these political and economical problems facing Latin America they were still able to grow as a culture. This growth was in areas of painting, architecture, and literature.
The Mexican Revolution, from 1910-1917, was the great event of the early 20th century in Latin America, though it directly affected only the one major nation (Stearns p.614). The revolution dates back to 1900 when intellectuals started to look at how corrupt Porfirio Diaz was as a leader. This soon spread out to more people such as urban workers and the peasantry. Their main goal was to get the economic side of Mexico back in their rule and not outsider rule such as the United States investors. The peasant leader was Emiliano Zapata who believed in "Land and Liberty". Pancho Villa was the Bandit leader who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor.
After Diaz escaped Francisco Madero tried to become the new leader but people felt that he was not looking out for the working-class and he soon lost the revolution. Zapata began to make new revolts, which in turn scared the U.S. and they in turn ordered the execution of Madero. In 1916, with the backing of the U.S., Venustiano Carranza took control. A new constitution was formed in 1917, which gave Mexico the right to own all minerals; this reduced foreign investors and benefited the mestizo and Indian peasants.
In 1920, revolutionaries pressed for new leadership; under the presidency of Alvaro Obregon, the long period of disorder drew to a close, and the results of revolution took clearer shape (Stearns p.616). The caudillismos, a name for Latin American leaders, were put down and a single political party to control. The PNR (National Revolutionary Party) could sway the elections of Presidents, but it would only allow the President to rule for six years and putting to an end to any kind of dictatorship. In the 1990's the PNR was renamed the PNI and they let freer elections take place. This political stability has let Mexico become more independent of outside relations and let Mexico prosper in the 20th century.
Just as the United States was facing a depression in the 30's, Latin America was feeling the effects of other countries not being able to buy their agricultural goods. Not being able to sell goods and make money poverty was growing and rioting began. People began to see they needed to create a better economy and gain economic independence. One great Mexican president was Lazaro Cardenas. Cardenas set up land reforms
Terminology mentioned in this term paper
Locations referenced in this report
Latin America, United States, the fourth largest computer industry, Mexico,
Keywords included in this report
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