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Q4. Briefly discuss the liberation movement of Spanish American colonies and its consequences.


Revolution in Spain gave advantage to the colonies in S. America to throw off the yoke of Spanish rule.  Inspiration came from the newly formed republic to the north, the United States.  United States also stood up to protect the Americas from foreign intervention in the famous Monroe Doctrine in 1823.  Britain too supported the revolutions so it could break Spain’s mercantilist monopoly on trade.  Spain could not ignore the power of the British navy, so its American colonies went free.

Independence brought two sources of instability to Latin America.  Most Spanish bureaucrats fled back to Spain, leaving few trained bureaucrats to handle government business.  As a result, the armies that won the revolutions were often the only means of keeping matters under control and became very powerful.

Second, with Latin American markets now open for free trade were exploited by Britain and other European countries for production of one type of commodity in each nation, such as beef in Argentina or copper in Chile. Such mono-economies were too dependent on international markets for its one product.  Therefore, if the market for their product fell, their economy would have nothing else to fall back upon.

These factors led to unstable economic and political structures in Latin America encouraging rule by military dictatorships.  Misrule and poor economic conditions led to more military coups and revolutions, that would further destabilize the economy and the new government, leading to more revolutions.

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