Native inhabitants were powerless against the superior firearm and the onslaught of foreign disease leading to their colonization. The previously free spirited populace was organized into communities and were made as labourers in gold mines and plantations. Their rights were limited and their life left to the whims of the captors. There were many excesses on the part of the victors and many sacrifices on the part of the conquered. Nevertheless, they would continue to bear this yolk as their beliefs and grudges were tempered by religious missions which instilled superstitious beliefs and damned all those who tried to break free from the system. Yet, even that could not prevent the inevitable.
With the weakening of Spain and Portugal in the face of its French adversary and the rise of nationalistic sentiments, it was not long before the populace rebelled against those who have wronged them. This paper aims at investigating the fight for independence of three South American countries namely Mexico, Brazil and Chile. I am to discuss their colonial background and then highlight the similarities and difference in their fight for independence. I will also be discussing the possible reasons behind these so as to provide a more critical perspective regarding the history of the three nations.
Brazil became a Portuguese colony by the early...
The region soon became a major sugar, gold and diamond exporter. Brazil's road to independence started in September 1821 when Don Pedro, a Portuguese himself, defied the ruling of the Cortes in Portugal which placed the Kingdom of Brazil under direct control of Lisbon. The first confrontation involved the loyal- to-Lisbon troops and thousands of armed Brazilians. There was no bloodshed as Dom Pedro ordered the Portuguese commanding general and his soldiers to go back to Portugal. Bloodshed occurred in uprisings in other regions. Fuelled by being branded as traitors by Lisbon, Don Pedro finally declared independence in September 7, 1822 when he swore:"By my blood, by my honour, and by God: I will make Brazil free." Britain and Portugal recognized Brazilian independence by signing a treaty on August 29, 1825. (Cavaliero, 1993)
Mexico's path to independence was much more violent than that of Brazil. Mexico experienced a decade long war starting with an armed conflict between the people of Mexico and Spanish colonial authorities on September 16, 1810. The Mexican War of Independence movement was led by Mexican-born Spaniards, Afro-mexicans and mestizos who sought independence from Spain. It started as an idealistic peasants' rebellion against their colonial masters, but finally ended as an unlikely alliance between conservative Spaniards not wanting to recognize the new head in their motherland and the Creoles (Spaniards born in Mexico) who instigated the cry for independence. Representatives of the Spanish crown and the head of the Mexican alliance signed on August 24, 1821 the Treaty of Crdoba which recognized Mexican independence. (Ruiz, 1992)
Chile's move for independence came about when news of Napoleon's advance into Spain and the deposing of the