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South America

Latin American History

Enlightenment philosophy, Iberian Peninsula, Spanish America, allegiance, Napoleon

Deeper web pages:

>  Colonization

>  Spanish Empire

>  Emergence of a Latin American People

>  Latin American Independence

>  Liberal Republics and Dictatorships

End of Colonial Status

In the 18th century, after a century of declining power in Europe, a reforming impulse in both Portugal and Spain led to an emphasis on agricultural exports, mining, administrative efficiency, defense, and expansion of the frontiers. These reforms, applied in both Portuguese and Spanish America, increased production and revenues, but they also contributed to Creole dissatisfaction and put greater pressures for land and labor on the oppressed masses.

Enlightenment philosophy and the growth of liberalism strongly influenced the colonial elites, but it was Napoleonís invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in 1808 that actually led to the independence of Latin America. By 1825 all of Spanish America, except Cuba and Puerto Rico, had renounced allegiance to Spain and established Creole republics. Brazilian Creoles established an independent monarchy under a Portuguese prince in 1822.

Article key phrases:

Enlightenment philosophy, Iberian Peninsula, Spanish America, allegiance, Napoleon, revenues, Cuba, Puerto Rico, expansion, Spain, Europe, emphasis, invasion, labor, land, mining, defense

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