Thursday, September 19, 2019

Latin America: A Legacy of Oppression Essay -- essays research papers

Latin America: A Legacy of Oppression When the Europeans first arrived in Latin America, they didn’t realize the immensity of their actions. As history has proven, the Europeans have imposed many things on the Latin American territory have had a long, devastating effect on the indigenous people. In the centuries after 1492, Europeans would control much of South America and impose a foreign culture upon the already established civilizations that existed before their arrival. These imposed ideas left the continent weak and resulted in the loss of culture, the dependence on European countries, and a long standing ethnic tension between natives and settlers which is evident even to this day. The indigenous people of South America, which included the Aztec, Olmec, and the Maya cultures of Central America and the Inca of South America, had developed complex civilizations, which made use of calendars, mathematics, writing, astronomy, the arts, and architecture. Unfortunately for them, the Europeans cared little about the culture they would be obliterating, and cared more about their own ulterior motives. Before the influence of the Europeans, the different tribes scattered throughout Latin America would be viewed by â€Å"western† standards as somewhat barbaric. The European friars were horrified by native practices and felt obligated to â€Å"eliminate† them. (Gibson 72) An extremely Christianized view of the natives was formed which viewed them as ignorant pagans. Some accounts reported that, â€Å"The natives were so savage and stupid as to be beyond belief. For the say, these early tribes were bestial, and that many ate human flesh; others taking their mothers and daughters for their wives, besides committing other great sins, having much intercourse with the devil, who they served and held in high esteem†(Hanson 29). This extremely biased thinking was common in the era of colonization among settled Europeans and sparked a crusade of Christianity on the aboriginal tribes to â€Å"westernize† their civilizations. The Europeans felt free to do this because they â€Å"found no native tradition worth preserving and where the Indian element was absorbed almost imperceptibly into the alien† (Salas 42). The European powers hid under a veil of Christianity to gain support for the underlying atrocities they were committing to the people of Latin America. The European government’s main goal ... ...s, 1966 Hanson, Earl Parker. South from the Spanish Main, Delacorte Press, 1967 "Latin America." Encarta. CD-ROM. Seattle: Microsoft, 2001. Leon, Juana Ponce de. Our Word is Our Weapon, Seven Stories Press, 2001 Liss, Peggy K. and Liss, Sheldon B. Man, State, and Society in Latin America, Praeger Publishers, 1972 Lyon, Patricia J. Native South Americans: Ethnology of the Least Known Continent, Little, Brown and Company, 1974 McDonald, Ronald H. and Ruhl, J. Mark. Party Politics and Elections in Latin America, Westview Press, 1989 â€Å"The Peace of Latin America.† National Geographic October 1905: 479-480 Picon-Salas, Mariano. A Cultural History of Spanish America, University of California Press, 1963 Radin, Paul. Indians of South America, Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1942 Ribeiro, Claudio de Oliveira. â€Å"Has Liberation Theology Died?† The Ecumenical Review Jul. 1999: 304 Toplin, Robert Brent. Slavery and Race Relations in Latin America, Greenwood Press, 1940 Veliz, Claudio. The Centralist Tradition of Latin America, Princeton University Press, 1980

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