The Spanish American Revolutions                   (1810-1825)

The Class System Divide:

There was a great deal of class division in the Spanish Colonies.  Often, classes were divided by the amount of European blood they had in their heritage.  The Peninsulares, or the Spain-born Spanish, were at the top of the hierarchy, with the Creoles, the Spanish born in the Americas, next.  They were followed by the Mestizos, those of mixed blood, and lastly by the indigenous populations of the Americas.

Factors that led to the Spanish-American Revolutions included the Enlightenment, which also played a factor in the French and American Revolutions.  The earlier revolutions in France and America set the precedent for revolutions and for government.

Napoleon's invasions in Europe opened up a window of opportunity for the Southern Americans to attack because the Spanish and port uses were under attack and stress in their own main land.

Simon Bolivar was the revolutionist who brought together the native Americans by coining them "Americanos" to give them a uniting factor and serves to create Bolivar's ultimate dream of having a United States of Southern America, which unfortunately never ends up happening.

-Hidalgo-Morelos rebellion in Mexico (1810-1815)

  • This was a peasant insurrection lead by two priests named Miguel Hidalgo and José Morelos.
  • The rebellion was caused by hunger for land and an increase in food prices.
  • Hidalgo held discussion groups at his house to discuss problems in Mexico.
  • The central government got word of Hidalgo's discussions and ordered for his arrest, so Hidalgo called for the people to join him in rising up, and the revolutionary forces moved through Mexico and took over a few cities before Hidalgo was stopped.
  • Morelos later took over, and brought up the idea of Mexico becoming an independent nation with rights first brought about by the Enlightenment such as popular sovereignty, but he was later stopped like Hidalgo.
  • Rebellions carried on with fighting until around 1820.
  • Alliance of clergy and creole elites later led Mexico to a more socially controlled independence for Mexico in 1821.

-Peruvian uprising--social uprising, creoles fear 'reign of terror'

  • Latin American elites feared violent uprisings from the majority of the population, which were mestizos and natives, like in the French and Haitian Revolutions with the Reign of Terror and the violent slave revolt in Haiti.
  • Tupac Amaru rebellion in Peru in the early 1870s was also a reason for elites to fear uprising from the masses. Native Americans and mestizos rose against government reforms and an increase in taxes in Peru by the Spanish government elites.

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