Latin American Revolutions

Causes of the Latin American Revolutions:

-Spain sets up colonies in the Americas.

After the discovery of the Americas in 1492 and later years, there was a rush to set up colonies and trading posts. Spain was really fast and was able to conquer most of South America and rule over the native people. This resulted in Spain being a huge dominant world power.

-Social classes grow disconnected with Spanish rule (Creoles and Mestizos).

As the Spainards settled in too ruling Latin America, the caste system grew very disconnected. In other words, the distance between the rich and the poor became very large.

-Enlightenment ideas spread around the world

As society advanced, the reliance on the church in terms of science lessened. People started thinking for themselves, asking questions and exploring answers. Many of the ideas and conclusion ended up not being what the Church had thought and therefore lead to conflicts between the science world and the religious world.

-Revolutions occurred in North America and France.

U.S. Revolutions

French Revolution

-Spain's power weakens.

With the French invasion, the overthrowing of Carlos IV and the instating of Ferdinand, Spain became considerably weaker. They had gone from being the most powerful nation in the world to a very weak nation.

-Spain tried restoring authority in the colonies.

-Strong leaders called for independence.

Napoleon Bonparte, the Napoleonic Wars and Affects

Carlos IV King of Spain (1788-1808) was considered a weak leader and his rule ultimately lead to the loss of most of the Spanish Empire. He allied with Napoleon I who eventually invaded Spain. Napoleon replaced Carlos IV with his brother Ferdinand VII which lead to unrest in Spain and revolts. This encouraged revolts in the Spanish colonies in the Americas.

Role of Símon Bolívar and the Influences of America/ France

Eventually, after the Brazilian Revolution in 1889, Brazil based their government on the U.S. governmental model.

Many of the revolts in Latin America were spurred by unrest in Spain. Spain lost a lot of it's land to the French while losing most of their power and wealth. Thus beginning the Latin Americans revolting against their Spanish oppressors. Símon Bolívar played a key role in military success and as a result Bolivia was named after him.


1) Which country was originally named Saint-Dominque?

  • a. Jamaica
  • b. Haiti
  • c. Venezuela
  • d. Thailand

2) What country claimed independence from Spain without having to go to war?

  • a. Ecuador
  • b. Jamaica
  • c. Haiti
  • d. Brazil

3) What were the two main powers in colonial Latin America?

  • a. English and Spanish
  • b. English and French
  • c. Spanish and French
  • d. Spanish and Portugese

4) What revolutions also influenced the Latin American's revolutions?

  • a. American
  • b. French
  • c. Indian
  • d. a & c
  • e. a & b

5) What were the social group of people called that were colonial leaders, originally born in Spain or Portugal and were at the top of society called?

  • a. Peninsulares
  • b. Creoles
  • Mestizos
  • Mulattos
Gran Columbia

The political side to the Latin American Revolutions

Quiz over the Political section:

1) What was the Caste system based on

  • A. Money
  • B. Race and Ethnicity
  • C. Gender
  • D. Habbits
2) Who was known as the military key player of the Latin American Revolutions and what were his political contributions
  • A. Pedro I- overthrew all the governments in countries
  • B. Miguel Hidalgo- created a new stable government that people loved.
  • C. Simón Bolívar- overthrew all the governments in countries
  • D. Simón Bolívar- caused oligarch government territories to move away from independence.

3) What did the Caudillos do?

  • A. Help people hostage and starved them
  • B. Overthrew governments and took away basic human rights
  • C. Helped people find land and granted them freedom
  • D. Cared about people rather than themselves and provided basic necessities for all people

4) Who were Liberals?

  • A. People who supported a government with elected legislature who then represented people in political decision making.
  • B.  People who were against the government that had an elected legislature, letting them make them make their own political decisions.
  • C. People who supported a non elected legislature where government officials were elected for them and made there own rules and decisions.
  • People who supported and absolute power government and still were able to choose their government officials and make political decisions.

Terms and their Connection

1. How did Napoleon's campaign through Europe effect many of the revolutions in Latin America?

  • A. It spread the idea of nationalism
  • B. It caused them to create a dictatorship
  • C. All of the Latin American countries united together to overthrow the Spanish rule

2.How did the class systems in Latin America effect the revolutions?

  • A. The slaves wanted complete power over everyone else
  • B. It caused the lower classes to want to be equal to those above them
  • C. The peninsulares wanted to control the territories in the new world instead of the royal families

3. What was Simón Bólivar effect on the governments of Latin America?

  • A. He created Constitutional Monarchies
  • B. The created a communistic government
  • C. He implemented a dictatorship
  • D. He implemented constitutionalism and republicanism

4. What form of government was implemented in Latin America due to the people not having a voice in the government?

  • Communism
  • Democracy
  • Constitutional Monarchy

Effects of the Latin American Revolutions:

  • Many deaths occurred
  • Nations of Latin America won independence
  • New nations wrote constitutions
  • Civil wars broke out
  • Caudillos took power
  • New nations become economically dependent



Simón Bolívar." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

"New Political Ideas and Revolutions." New Political Ideas and Revolutions. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.


"Carlos IV." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.

"Simón Bolívar." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

"independence of Brazil." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

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