Latam independence Movements Review Unit description and Objectives

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LATAM Independence Movements Review

Unit description and Objectives

This unit will prepare students to address essays related to Paper 3, Topic 1, “Independence Movements in the Americas.”
Specific themes to be addressed include:
(1) Political, economic, social, intellectual and religious causes; the role of foreign intervention; conflicts and issues leading to war

(2) Political and intellectual contributions of leaders to the process of independence: (specifically in LATAM): Bolivar, San Martín, O’Higgins, L’Ouverture and Dessalines

(3) Independence movements in Latin America: characteristics of the independence processes; reasons for the similarities and/or differences in two countries in the region; military campaigns and their impact on the outcome (suitable examples could be Chacabuco, Maipú, Ayacucho, Boyacá and Carabobo). CASE STUDIES will include

Gran Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Haiti

(4) United States’ position towards Latin American independence; events and reasons for the emergence of the Monroe Doctrine

(5) Impact of independence on the economies and societies of the Americas: economic and

social issues; new perspectives on economic development; impact on different social

groups: Native Americans, African Americans, Creoles

** Research for these questions, unless otherwise specified, can utilize a combination of text and web-based materials. Whole-sale cutting and pasting of web materials is NOT acceptable. Write in your own style and using a format that makes these notes usable to you.

1) INDIVIDUAL … Download a timeline using the "Colonial LATAM Chronology" web link. Look for the material on the 1800s. This will be useful reference material.
2) INDIVIDUAL … Research the background to any ONE of these LATAM leaders, and create a detailed chart identifying the following traits:

Leaders: Simon Bolivar, Jose de San Martin, Bernardo O’Higgins, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson
· Birthplace

· Lifespan

· Social class and family background

· Educational and career background prior to independence involvement

· Philosophical influences

· Career during independence era

· Concise description of the kind of government they preferred

· Career in the post-independence period

· Brief evaluation of their impact (politically, culturally)

  • Today, they are often referred to as the liberator/father of what country/countries?

3) INDIVIDUAL: read the Bushnell article (see “Web-based materials” links” at the end of this section) and discuss the author’s conclusions about Bolivar’s attitude about the US, democracy, and US-LATAM relationships. Why is Bolivar such a powerful figure today? How is he used by modern LATAM leaders, including Hugo Chavez?

4) INDIVIDUAL … What advantages and disadvantages did the revolutionaries (patriots) have in the Independence Wars? What advantages and disadvantages existed for the Spanish Royalists and Peninsulares?

See text, but another good source is
Mabry, Donald. (2001) Military Aspects of Latin American Independence.


* Bushnell, David. “Simon Bolivar and the United States: A Study in Ambivalence.” Air University Review, 1986.
* Centellas, Miguel. "The Bolivarian Republic." Biblioteca Virtual de Simon Bolivar. 1995.
"Colonial Latin America Chronology." --> Look at 1700 onward

[see also, which has great links]
* Fitzgerald, Gerald. "The Political Thought of Bolivar." The Hague. Biblioteca Virtual de Simon Bolivar. 1971.

* "A Letter by Simón Bolívar (1815)." Translated by Lewis Bertrand in Selected Writings of

Bolivar, (New York: The Colonial Press Inc.,1951) Known as the JAMAICA LETTER.
* "Simon Bolivar's Ups and Downs, 1812-1830."

(online at my website)
** Chapters 1-5 in Born in Blood and Fire of your textbook (general background)

You need to reread all the material covered in this section over spring break. Refresh your memory on History of the Americas. Be sure to read the websites I have listed above. Mrs. Stone and I will be reviewing with you when you get back from Spring Break.

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