Rise in democracy is one of the major political developments in the neoliberal period. He captures different ruling territories like Maya, Inca, and Aztec empires and other bigger nations, like Mexico and Brazil, found in Latin America. Having been colonized by the Spanish and Portuguese, the indigenous people of Latin America revolted at the invasion of these colonizers. The indigenous natives formed alliances to resist these invaders at their arrival in Latin America. This resulted into killing of many people by the colonizers, especially the leaders of these revolts. Both, men and women were captured and tortured for their involvement in resistance of the invaders in Latin America. Such individuals include Yucatec Maya and Canek, who were leaders against the Spanish rule in Mexico in 1761 though it lasted shortly. Women were also involved in these revolts, like the famous Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz and Juana Azurduy, and the unknown Gertrudis Bocanegra, a woman who was executed because of her collaboration with other patriots in their resistance of the colonialists. The author also highlights the rise of democracy in the 1980’s from dictatorship regimes as women were discriminated having no provision to participate in voting process.
Social and Cultural Developments of Neoliberal Period
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Social equality is one of the social developments experienced in Latin America as portrayed by John Charles Chasteen in his book. The arrival of colonizers in their countries resulted into racial discrimination as different social classes were formed depending on their economic and racial status. This resulted into formation of caste system, nationalism, and racial mixing in their bid to break the barriers imposed by their colonizers in attaining social equality. Social changes were also noted with the construction of opera halls deep in Amazonian forest, which was a social development. These social changes were introduced by the colonialists, which included Spain, Portugal, and France. Introduction of both, high and popular cultures in Latin America marked a great development in the culture of the native Latin Americans. The arrival of colonialists introduced high culture where literature art was practiced in addition to the former pre-Columbian cultures practiced. The European invaders introduced their various cultures in Latin America, such as painting, music, and dance. These formed what is referred to as high culture in Latin America. It was also coupled with introduction of visual arts from the colonialists. Cultural activities, such as painting, were adopted and practiced extensively by the natives of Latin America. The neoliberal period was marked with rise of many social movements in Latin America as they fought for their independence from their colonizers. These social movements demanded equal social welfare rights among all citizens as there was a lot of discrimination based on social classes.
Chasteen focuses on major political, social, and economic topics and occurrence that transformed Latin America. He also explores the impact of the Spanish colonialism in Latin America and the contribution of both, the European and United States of America for the present state of Latin America. In addition, Chasteen also writes of individuals who participated remarkably in the history of Latin America in their quest for freedom from their colonizers. The arrival of colonizers in their countries resulted into racial discrimination as different social classes were formed depending on their economic and racial status. This resulted into formation of caste system, nationalism, and racial mixing in their bid to break the barriers imposed by their colonizers in attaining social equality.