Last week I learned about Latin American Revolutions in history class. More specifically my class learned about the revolutions in Mexico, Brazil, and Gran Colombia. The goal of this lesson was to learn about why it is essential to acknowledge human value regardless of race, and how the events in these Latin American Revolutions provide evidence to support this. This question is important to think about because there are many racial problems that still need to be mended in society. In order to answer these questions we first learned about racial prevalence in Latin America, and how people were categorized by the race of their parents. We also learned that each of these groups in the Latin American social structure had a different rank. For example Peninsulares were at the top of the social structure because they were born in Europe and then sailed over to Latin America, while slaves occupied the lowest social rank. We also viewed the Casta Artwork, which helped classify people into classes. We then broke into three groups and studied each revolution in more depth using summaries of the events that occurred.
As my group studied the Brazilian Revolution we created a timeline to help us understand all of the events that took place. Here is our timeline.
We then scrambled the groups so that there were two experts on each revolution in each group. After each pair presented their timeline we looked for similarities and differences between these revolutions. We found that the revolutions all happened in the late 1700s to the early 1800s. We also noticed that Napoleon’s rule sparked fights and revolts in Mexico and Brazil, who both wanted a new constitutional monarchy. These revolutions were also different. Brazil became a constitutional monarchy, but Gran Colombia became a republic. The revolutions in Mexico and Gran Colombia were led by creoles, while the revolution in Brazil was led by a Peninsular. Although these revolutions were all different they all address the issue of race. In the Brazilian revolution Pedro attempted to reinstate the same class system as before with Peninsulares receiving the most power, which caused a revolution. In Mexico the end to Spanish rule resulted in racial equality and redistribution of land. Finally, In Gran Colombia Simon Bolivar wanted to end Spanish rule, and discrimination based on place of birth and race.
Racism continues to linger in society today, even in the United States, where equality is supposed to extend to all. One of example of this is the distress and outrage people felt over the Ferguson Grand Jury decision. This past summer a black unarmed teen was shot by a white police officer. This leads many to consider racism as the cause of this tragedy and the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict the officer caused anger and rioting similar to a smaller-scale revolution. Another example of problems with race in society today is how many politicians seem to hate President Obama, which brings into question the possibility of racism. It is sometimes hard to tell what is racism and what isn’t, but it is definitely a big problem even in America today. It is definitely something we should all consider on a daily basis.