Summary & Evaluation
Latin America & Canada to 1850
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Archaeologists believe that the American continents were populated
by hunters migrating across the northern land bridge from Asia
within the last 40,000 years. They hunted large mammals until
the glaciers melted about 9,000 BC. Maize (American corn) was
being grown in the region of Mexico by 5,000 BC. Another culture
developed in the Andes mountains and built large pyramids about
2700 BC. The religious Chavin culture developed there during the
first millennium BC. The Olmecs developed in central America from
1500 BC and also worshipped symbols of the jaguar. In the sixth
century BC the Zoque people built pyramids, and their language
was similar to that of the Mayans, who became dominant by the
first century BC.
By the third century CE Mayan civilization had developed cities in Mexico and central America. Teotihuacan had about 80,000 people. Sporadic wars between different kingdoms were recorded until the ninth century. Captured leaders of rivals were sacrificed while other prisoners were enslaved. After 822 events were not recorded as power was apparently decentralized. Causes for the decline of Mayan civilization during the eighth and ninth centuries include overpopulation, ecological disasters, disease, wars, revolutions, fatalism, trade isolation, and conquest by the Putun Maya. However, the fall of the elite power structures may have allowed a more egalitarian culture. Popol Vuh recounted the migration of the Quiché Maya to the north and their conquest of the Pokomam Maya in the east in the 13th century. According to this book, an early race of people had no hearts and minds and was destroyed by a flood. The next race learned how to play ball and to clear the land for gardening. The current race was created from corn flour, but their omniscience was reduced. Gods appeared only in spirit form, and sacrifices were used to appease them. The Quichés were victorious in war and forced other tribes to pay tribute. Wars continued to occur, and the rulers were recorded.
Eight-Deer founded the Toltec empire in central Mexico in 1030, but he was defeated, captured and sacrificed in 1063. Topiltzin, son of a Chichimec leader, claimed to be the divine Quetzalcoatl and ruled at Tollan (Tula) 1153-75. According to legend, Quetzalcoatl did not sacrifice men or animals, and he prohibited war and violence. Angry magicians caused Quetzalcoatl (Topiltzin) to flee Tollan and set himself on fire, becoming the morning star (Venus). Thus Tollan fell about 1168. Mexica groups and Chichimecs (Dog People) then ruled the region for the next two centuries. By the end of the 13th century the Mexica (Aztecs) had settled in Chapoltepec. Farther north the more peaceful Anasazi, who became the Pueblo, and the Hopis and Zunis attempted to withstand the aggressive Navahos and Apaches.
In the 14th century the Mexica fled from Tepanec domination by migrating south, founding Tenochtitlan in 1325 and the rival city Tlatelolco in 1358. Under their first king, Acamapichtli (r. 1372-91) and his son Huitzilihuitl (r. 1391-1414), the Mexica still served as mercenaries and allies for Tepanec king Tezozomoc (r. 1371-1426). Prince Nezahualcoyotl (r. 1418-72) emerged as an outstanding ruler of Texcoco. He helped the Mexica king Itzcoatl (r. 1427-40) defeat the Tepanecs in 1428. Itzcoatl had the records of their subjugation by the Tepanecs destroyed, and he began the Aztec empire by conquering the entire valley of Mexico. Nezahualcoyotl codified Texcoco laws, improved agriculture with dams and canals, built a causeway and an aqueduct, and gave prizes in the arts. Mexica society was stratified with the kings, priests, warriors, and merchants dominating serfs and slaves. Religion promoted purity, humility, discipline, and honesty, but dying in war was considered a blessing. Punishments were strict and included capital punishment for adultery and drunkenness.
Moteuczoma Ilhuicamina (r. 1440-68) was a successful general and high priest, and he was elected king. He expanded the empire by military conquest and in 1444 sacrificed five hundred captives. In the next decade the Mexica suffered increasing famine caused by locusts, floods, frosts, and drought. The Aztec empire struggled to survive and fought wars to gain more tribute and prisoners to sacrifice. After a long war Chalco was annexed in 1465. Axayacatl (r. 1469-81) used military power to compel unfair trade agreements, but in 1478 the northern Tarascans defeated the Mexica, killing 20,000 warriors. After the short reign of the unpopular Tizoc, his brother Ahuitzotl (r. 1486-1502) aggressively ruled the Aztec empire. The great pyramids of Tenochtitlan were inaugurated in 1487 with the sacrifice of 80,400 people. After defeating rebellious cities, Ahuitzotl distributed 40,000 children around the empire. Zapotecs in Oaxaca revolted against unfair trade in 1496. Moteuczoma Xocoyotl (Montezuma II) was elected king in 1502, but he hired only nobles and tall men and then executed those who had served Ahuitzotl. Moteuczoma used force ruthlessly to consolidate his empire. When the Spaniards arrived in 1519, the valley of Mexico had more than a million people.
In the Andes mountains in the 13th century the Incas also developed a stratified society that honored warriors. Viracocha Inca expanded his rule into an empire in the early 15th century. After a struggle for power, he was succeeded by his third son, who took the name Pachacuti in 1438. The Incas faced rebellions and transferred conquered people to other regions. Pachacuti organized his empire into a well organized state that provided for all the needs of the people including the poor and the aged; but the Emperor's word was law, and strict discipline was required. An official might be punished if a crime resulted from an unmet need. The sons of the nobles were educated and given the choice of the most beautiful girls. Inca religion and culture were imposed on conquered peoples; but capitulating leaders were appointed as officials, and others were drafted into the imperial army. Pachacuti made his son Topa Inca co-regent in 1463 and abdicated eight years later. Topa led his army into the south and north as far as Quito. When Topa Inca died in 1493, a regent governed until Huayna Capac grew up. After he died in 1526 from a plague brought by the Spaniards, his sons Atahualpa and Huascar fought a civil war that cost a hundred thousand lives. Atahualpa ended this war when he learned that Spaniards led by Pizarro had arrived in 1532.
In 1492 the Spanish Queen Isabel and King Fernando sponsored the bold expedition of Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón) with three ships, and he and his crews were the first Europeans to land in America since the Vikings’
brief explorations about 100 CE. His second voyage included seventeen
ships and began the exploitation of the Tainos as slaves on the
island of Española. Most of the Tainos died from diseases
or in rebellions, and Spaniards carried syphilis to Europe. Spain
claimed most of the “new world” but agreed in 1494 to
let Portugal dominate Africa and what turned out to be Brazil.
While Columbus explored the Caribbean, he was assisted in governing
by his brothers Bartolomé and Diego Colón. They founded
the encomienda system that gave natives and their land
to European settlers. The Italian Colóns had difficulty controlling the greed
and lust of the Spaniards, and in 1500 Bobadilla sent the viceroy
and his two brothers back to Spain in chains. Ojeda named Venezuela
and found pearls. On his fourth voyage Columbus was marooned on
Jamaica, but he returned to Spain where he died in 1506.
Ovando governed Española 1502-09 with ruthless force, and the first African slaves arrived in 1505. Ojeda used a proclamation that asked the natives to accept the Catholic faith or be made slaves. Ponce de Leon colonized Puerto Rico in 1509, and in six years the population was reduced to a quarter of what it was. In 1511 Velazquez led the conquest of Cuba. The friar Montesinos preached a sermon at Santo Domingo against Spanish cruelty, but King Fernando ordered his preaching suppressed. In 1512 the Laws of Burgos ratified the encomienda system authorizing coerced labor. Balboa emerged as the leader in Panama and crossed the isthmus to the Pacific Ocean in 1513. The Requirement was formalized that threatened the natives with subjugation if they did not immediately accept Christianity and Spanish sovereignty. Governor Balboa was investigated and was executed by Pedrarias in 1517. After King Fernando died in 1516, the regent Cardinal Jiménez appointed Las Casas protector of the Indians. Importing African slaves was approved to take the burden off the natives, and sugar plantations developed. A smallpox epidemic exterminated the Tainos on Española and spread to Cuba.
In 1519 Cortes left Havana with eleven ships and began the conquest of Mexico. They defeated Mayans and gained an interpreter they called Marina. As they approached the Aztec empire, they received gold and jewels from Moteuczoma Xocoyotl (Montezuma II). Cortes sent away political rivals and was chosen captain-general. He persuaded the Totonacs to rebel against Mexica. After discovering a conspiracy and hanging two leaders, he ordered the wood from nine of his ships used for building. After the Spaniards defeated them in battle, the Tlaxcalans surrendered their city. When Cortes had more than a hundred Cholulan leaders killed, they no longer believed he was Quetzalcoatl returning. Emperor Moteuczoma welcomed the Spaniards to Tenochtitlan as guests. Cortes and his men seized golden treasures, destroyed idols, and imprisoned Moteuczoma and other leaders. Velazquez sent Narvaez from Cuba with nine hundred men to discipline Cortes, and they founded the town that became Veracruz. Cortes led 340 men who defeated Narvaez, killing 17 Spaniards. Alvarado fought an uprising at Tenochtitlan, killing thousands of Mexicas, until the hostage Moteuczoma stopped the fighting. Cortes returned to the capital. Moteuczoma was replaced by his brother Cuitlahuac and was killed. About four hundred Spaniards were killed, mostly drowned while trying to escape with gold. Having lost 870 Castilians and sixty horses, Cortes decided to enslave the Mexicas.
Smallpox devastated the Mayans of Yucatan and spread through the Mexica empire. As more ships arrived, the men were incorporated into the army of Cortes. He ordered Texcoco sacked, the men killed and the women and children enslaved. The battle for Tenochtitlan began in June 1521; Alvarado's men captured Tlatelolco in July; and Cuauhtemoc became a vassal in August. Cortes took over the Mexica empire and began exacting tribute and sending out forces to conquer outlying areas. When Tapia arrived as governor of New Spain, he was expelled. Emperor Carlos V recognized Cortes as governor in 1522. Cortes promulgated laws for New Spain in 1524, and no encomendero was allowed more than 300 Indians. The first Franciscans arrived, and in seven years they destroyed five hundred temples and twenty thousand images. Cortes was exiled and went to Spain to appeal in 1528.
The corrupt and cruel Guzman plundered northern Mexico, but a 1530 royal decree tried to stop the enslaving of natives. Guadalupe became a shrine to the Virgin, and Augustinians and Dominicans converted millions. Cortes sent Montejo to subjugate Yucatan in a costly war that lasted fourteen years. Viceroy Mendoza allowed 5,000 to be enslaved in the Mixton War 1540-42. Viceroy Velasco (r. 1550-64) developed public education, and many slaves were emancipated in 1551. Franciscans had convents and churches built by native labor without paying them. Relatives of Cortes and the Gonzales brothers tried to overthrow the next viceroy but failed, and Enriquez became viceroy in 1568. Ibarra spent thirteen years brutally conquering the northwest by 1575. The Inquisition began prosecuting heretics in 1574. Two million natives died from the matlazahuatl plague.
Oviedo implemented reforms in Darien until Panama governor Pedrarias had him arrested. In 1521 Pedro de Alvarado invaded Guatemala with 420 soldiers and 20,000 natives, killing about four million people in the next twenty years. New Laws tried to reform the encomiendas in Central America in 1542, but they were repealed three years later. Dr. Quesada brought some reforms to Guatemala in 1555. Española, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Cuba imported 2,600 African slaves in 1523, but slaves rebelled in Puerto Rico in 1527. Española imported 30,000 slaves by 1540. After Soto left in 1539, natives and slaves rebelled in Cuba.
In 1528 Narvaez explored Florida with 400 men, but the expedition was a failure. Cabeza de Vaca and the African Estevanico survived as slaves, escaped, and were accepted as medicine men before going to Mexico after many years. Coronado went looking for cities of gold among the Zunis and Hopis and as far north as Kansas without success. Hernando de Soto led an expedition with about six hundred soldiers that explored from Florida to west of the Mississippi River, where he died in 1542. Later travelers observed that most of the Coosa, Apalachees, Timucuans, and Calusas had been devastated by diseases. Menendez led a thousand men and five hundred slaves to St. Augustine in 1565, and they slaughtered most of the French Protestants at Fort Caroline.
In 1532 Francisco Pizarro invaded the Inca empire with 168 men and 62 horses. Emperor Atahualpa provided hospitality at Cajamarca; but he was treacherously captured as the Spaniards killed 7,000 Incas. He had a room filled with gold for Pizarro, who was reinforced by Almagro and had Atahualpa put to death. Pizarro went to Cuzco, where he collected much silver, and he founded Lima on the coast in 1535. Carlos V assigned northern Peru to Pizarro and the south to Almagro. The Inca leader Manco was abused and organized a rebellion in 1536 with more than 100,000 warriors, who besieged 190 Spaniards at Cuzco. Spaniards sent more soldiers from Central America. Almagro returned from a disastrous expedition to Chile, and in 1537 he took over Cuzco from the Pizarrists. In 1538 Hernando Pizarro defeated and executed Almagro. Gonzalo Pizarro fought in the north and governed Quito. He explored the east, and Orellana sailed all the way down the Amazon River. Almagrists assassinated Francisco Pizarro at Lima in 1541, but they were defeated by the army of Alonso de Alvarado the next year. Peru had 480 encomenderos who also resisted the New Laws of 1542. Gonzalo Pizarro overthrew Viceroy Velez in 1544. Gasca was appointed governor, and he defeated and executed Gonzalo Pizarro in 1548, giving the encomiendas to his supporters. Laws began discriminating against mestizos in 1549.
Columbus had named natives in America “Indians.” They worked in the mines of Peru and provided King Carlos with 1,500,000 pesos a year. An ecclesiastical council in 1567 suppressed native drinking, incest, and witchcraft, and the Inquisition came to Lima in 1570. Viceroy Toledo governed Peru 1569-82. He organized forced labor in 1574 and had the last Inca king Tupac Amaru executed. Toledo had 1,500,000 natives moved from small villages to larger towns. In a half century the Spanish conquest and European diseases reduced the Andes population from nine million to less than two million while Spaniards took 185,000 kilograms of gold and 16,000,000 kilograms of silver from Peru.
Spaniards began moving into what became New Granada (Colombia and Venezuela) after Bastidas founded a town in 1525. Jiménez de Quesada conquered the Chibcha capital at Bacata (Bogota) in 1538. Carlos V appointed him marshal of New Granada and Belalcazar governor of Popayan. Jiménez repelled an attack from Venezuela in 1561. He searched for the mythical El Dorado and conquered the Guali Indians before dying of leprosy in 1579. Efforts to find gold and settle in Venezuela met much native resistance.
The Araucanians fought the Spaniards who invaded Chile. Valdivia founded Santiago in 1541, but he was defeated and killed in the Araucanian rebellion of 1553. Ercilla wrote the epic poem La Araucana about the war. Pedro de Mendoza began colonizing the Rio de la Plata in 1535. Irala moved settlers to Asuncion in 1539, and in 1545 he led an expedition that killed two thousand natives and enslaved 12,000. He assigned natives to encomenderos and governed Paraguay until he died in 1556.
Bartolomé de Las Casas became a priest in 1507 at Rome and an encomendero on Española two years later. He owned slaves but came to realize it was wrong and spent the rest of his life working and writing to bring about reforms in colonial policies. In 1516 Las Casas was appointed Protector of the Indians. His peaceful mission to Venezuela in 1521 failed for lack of support. He was prior at a monastery on Española. In 1537 he experimented again by attempting to turn strife in Guatemala to peace, and Vera Paz was more successful. He went to Spain and helped Dominicans to persuade Carlos V to stop granting encomiendas in 1542. His radical reforms and ideas of repentance were resented by many colonists, and in 1547 he left America. In 1550 he debated the royal chaplain Juan Ginés de Sepulveda, who defended slavery and Spanish superiority. Las Casas wrote extensive histories of the Spanish colonies detailing the exploitation, atrocities, and destruction of the conquest. Other treatises gave philosophical arguments for treating the natives peacefully and with respect for their freedom and justice.
Arias de Saavedra governed Rio de la Plata three times between 1597 and 1618, facilitating the Jesuits coming in 1608. Bishop Trejo of Tucuman founded a Jesuit college at Cordoba in 1612. The Jesuits introduced printing in 1703. Antequera was supported by the comuneros and challenged royal authority. He investigated Governor Balmaceda of Paraguay in 1721 and expelled the Jesuits from Asuncion. Viceroy Armendariz imprisoned Antequera in Lima, and after a revolt led by his friend Mompo in 1730, Antequera was executed. Jesuits supported the royalists, and Governor Ruiloba was killed in a civil war in 1733; but troops defeated the comuneros, and the Jesuits regained their influence.
In spite of epidemics in Peru, silver mining increased the population of Potosi to 150,000 by 1600. In the next century their annual income from silver decreased from seven million pesos to less than two million. The Spaniards made one-sixth of the men labor in rotations. By 1746 Lima had increased to 60,000 people.
Luis de Valdivia came to Chile with the first Jesuits in 1593. Peru established an army on the Chile frontier in 1603 and allowed enslavement of rebel Indians in 1608. Valdivia persuaded Felipe III in 1612 to adopt defensive warfare, limit Indian labor, abolish encomiendas, and make the Biobio River the boundary so that Araucanians could live south of there. In 1626 Felipe IV ended the defensive policy; hundreds of Spaniards were killed as the army took prisoners and sold them as slaves. Pineda was captured by the Araucanians in 1629 and wrote Happy Captivity, condemning the encomienda system. Governors Acuña, Meneses, and Henriquez were corrupt. The Spaniards' relations with the natives gradually improved, but Governor Salamanca illegally drafted their labor and provoked an Araucanian revolt in 1723. Conde de Superunda made a peace treaty with caciques in 1738.
In New Granada (Colombia, Venezuela, and after 1717 Ecuador) encomienda exploitation of native labor caused overwork and rebellion, which with European diseases wiped out 95 percent of the natives in a century. Miners then imported African slaves. The Inquisition came to Cartagena in 1610 and punished 762 people. Drake raided Cartagena in 1586 and Santa Marta in 1596. Buccaneers came inland to sack Caracas in 1680. A seminary in Caracas became a university in 1725, and the Caracas Company was given a trade monopoly in 1728. The first printing press came to Bogota in 1738. Vernon led an English fleet of 51 warships and 28,000 men against Cartagena in 1741, but they lost 18,000 men from warfare and disease.
Franciscans and Dominicans flourished in Guatemala, but Itzas and others in the central region resisted. Planters exploited native labor; Honduras had gold and silver mines; and cattle ranching spread along the Pacific coast of Central America. Vetancur founded the Bethlehemites, and Costa Rica governor Maldonado gave up his sword and got the order sanctioned by Pope Innocent XI in 1681. Mixed natives and Africans called zambos lived on the Mosquito Coast and became a resource for buccaneers. In 1668 Morgan and his pirates plundered several places in Panama and came back again two years later, killing 600 Spaniards, capturing as many, and taking 4,500,000 pesos worth of booty. In 1678 a Dominican college became the University of San Carlos Borromeo in Santiago, Guatemala. In 1698-1700 two colonial expeditions from Scotland to Panama failed. In the 18th century the English exported increasing amounts of logwood and mahogany from Belize.
The native population of Mexico was reduced from about 25 million in 1519 to about one million. New Spain was giving Felipe II 2,500,000 ducats annually in the 1590s. The Inquisition punished thousands, and Franciscans had 712 monasteries. Sexual morality was much stricter for women than men. African slaves were imported, and they revolted at Veracruz in 1609. Viceroy Gelves began implementing numerous reforms in 1621; but his eliminating corruption and privileges made enemies, and Archbishop Serna excommunicated him in 1624. In 1633 the Crown abolished labor exploitation of natives except in mining. By 1650 New Spain had about 120,000 Africans. Mexico dedicated the largest cathedral in the world in 1667. Juana Inés (1651-95) was born in Mexico and became an intellectual prodigy with her poetry, plays, science, and philosophy. She lived in a convent and advocated education for women. Laws were published in four volumes in 1681. When war began in 1689, French subjects were imprisoned in Mexico City. The high price of grain led to a riot and looting in 1692. Viceroy Albuquerque (1702-11) tried to clean up the corruption in the courts that favored the wealthy. In New Galicia the government used a monopoly on mercury to control silver mining for the wealthy. Viceroy Casafuerte (1722-34) abolished the practice of selling offices. Gaceta de Mexico was founded in 1722 and had a monopoly on political news.
Oñate explored the New Mexico area and was appointed governor in 1602; but he treated the natives badly and was replaced for mismanagement in 1608. Spanish law allowed mine owners to use force in recruiting non-Christian Indians, and the exploitation caused many conflicts in northern Mexico. Tepehuans revolted in 1616 and were suppressed by 1618. Jesuits claimed they baptized 300,000 people and had 35 missions in Sinaloa and Sonora by 1645. Popé led a revival of native religion, and he was tried at Santa Fe with others in 1675. Five years later he led a widespread uprising of Tanos, Pueblos, Tewas, and Tiwas that killed missionaries and colonists. The Spaniards did not reconquer the region until 1692. Diego de Vargas tried to get rebels to submit by peaceful means, but he had seventy surrendering warriors shot. A rebellion in Upper Tarahumara that broke out in 1696 lasted two years. The Jesuit missionary Kino worked with the Upper Pimas for 25 years until his death in 1711. The Hopis refused to give up their religion. Apache Navajos were defeated in 1713. Conflict came to Alamos and Sonora with the miners in the 1730s, and thousands were killed.
Governors Chavez de Osorio (1628-36) and Biamonte (1636-44) of Española controlled defense industries to become rich. Governor Guzman of Puerto Rico began granting asylum to slaves in 1664, and from 1683 the English occupied Vieques to catch fugitives and for contraband trading. In 1708 a Spanish royal decree enabled slaves to purchase their freedom, and most of the freed Africans in the West Indies were in Puerto Rico and Cuba. In 1723 Cuba got a printing press, and Dominicans began a university at Havana in 1728. The Royal Commerce Company formed in 1740 to control all imports and exports.
In 1500 the Portuguese captain Cabral discovered South America
by accident on his way to India. The Portuguese began exporting
its brazilwood. Pernambuco became the most prosperous Portuguese
colony in Brazil. The French began trading there, but in 1526
King Joao III sent Christovao Jacques with a fleet that sank three
ships from Brittany at Bahia. In 1545 natives wiped out Bahia
and the next year Sao Tomé. Sao Vicente had six sugar cane
factories and six hundred colonists, who owned 3,000 slaves. In
1549 Tomé de Sousa was appointed the first royal governor
with a thousand settlers at Salvador in Bahia. Nobrega led the
first Jesuits in America. Sardinha became the first bishop of
Brazil in 1552, but the Caeté killed and ate him in 1556.
Nobrega wrote Conversion of the Heathen and founded a community
in 1559 that 34,000 natives joined. Villegagnon brought six hundred
French colonists to Guanabara Bay (Rio de Janeiro) in 1555, but
Governor Mem Sa (r. 1558-72) drove them out in 1560. European
diseases devastated the natives. More than a thousand African
slaves had been imported by 1570, when King Sebastian tried to
limit enslavement of natives; but the law was revoked four years
later. Sebastian limited trade to the Portuguese and exempted
Brazil's sugar from import duties to stimulate colonization.
Sugar replaced brazilwood in the 1580s as the major industry in Brazil, and by 1600 about 14,000 African slaves made up 70% of the plantation workers. Bandeiras raided slaves in the jungle during the first half of the 17th century while the Dutch blocked the slave trade from Angola. Jesuits opposing ill treatment of natives were driven out of Sao Paulo but came back in 1653. The Dutch West India Company began trading in America in 1621, and from 1624 until 1654 theDutch fought the Portuguese for control of Brazil. Maurits governed at Pernambuco 1637-44 and tolerated Jews and Catholics. Portugal's Joao IV began fighting the Spanish for independence in 1640. He made an alliance with the Dutch but secretly aided the revolt in Brazil against the Dutch. When the Dutch surrendered Recife in 1654, most of the Jews left.
Antonio Vieira (1608-97) was a popular preacher and a missionary who communicated with the Indians and Africans in their own languages. He preached against slavery and oppression while working with Joao IV for reforms. He was expelled in 1661 and was imprisoned by the Inquisition but returned in 1681 to do more missionary work. Barbalho led a tax revolt in Rio de Janeiro, but he was executed in 1661. Portugal made a treaty with the Dutch in 1662 and with Spain in 1668, opening up trade. Inland settlers and cattle ranchers continued to oppress the natives. Zumbi led a revolt by former African slaves living at Palmares from 1673 to 1695.
The discovery of gold in Brazil led to increased mining during the first half of the 18th century, and the Crown attempted to take a fifth. An average of 30,000 African slaves per year were imported into Bahia and Rio de Janeiro. Civil strife broke out in Rio de Janeiro in 1709 and in Recife the next year, and 1711 the French captured Rio and collected ransoms. Battles with the inland Tapuia tribes went on, and the rebel chief Mandu Ladino was killed in 1719. The Paiagua killed 200 gold miners in 1725 and nearly 400 in 1730. An army killed 600 Paiagua in 1734, but the Paiagua attacked a convoy again the next year. Minas Gerais governor Almeida began regulating diamond mining in 1730.
By the middle of the 18th century the native population of Brazil had been reduced to 1.5 million while 790,200 slaves had been imported from Angola and Costa da Mina. The Guarani revolted in 1754 but were defeated in two years. In 1755 the Marques of Pombal persuaded Portugal’s José I to restore Indian rights, and marriages with the Portuguese were encouraged; but after two years of freedom male Indians aged 13-60 had to work half each year for colonists. Slaves continued to be imported from Africa.
Tiradentes advocated a republican constitution for Brazil and a revolution, but he was executed on 21 April 1792. That year Joao began ruling Portugal’s empire as Prince Regent. Bahia was influenced by the French Revolution, and a revolt there was suppressed in August 1798. By 1801 about 60% of Portugal’s exports were from Brazil’s imports. After Napoleon’s French army began invading Portugal in 1807, Joao and his family and 10,000 aristocrats moved to Brazil. In 1808 Joao made Rio de Janeiro the capital of the Portuguese empire, and newspapers were published. Portuguese troops occupied Montevideo in 1817.
Spain’s Carlos III ordered the Jesuits expelled from the empire, and they were deported from Buenos Aires in May 1768. Comuneros sought their rights, and military funding for Buenos Aires was greatly increased by 1775. Carlos appointed Cevallos the first Viceroy of Rio de la Plata in 1776, and he invaded Montevideo and Brazil the next year. The population of Buenos Aires and the export of hides increased greatly. Viceroy Vertiz (1778-84) implemented liberal reforms to improve health and education, and a major Indian revolt was suppressed. Salting meat also increased exports, but Buenos Aires suffered a depression in the late 1790s. Paraguay had a tyrannical government that allowed creoles few rights. British troops took over Buenos Aires briefly in 1806 but then were defeated.
On 25 May 1810 in Buenos Aires a revolutionary Cabildo accepted the people’s desire for the Primera Junta, and the next week Dr. Mariano Moreno founded the Gaceta de Buenos Aires. Montevideo remained loyal to Spain, and their forces marched on Buenos Aires but were defeated on August 26. Manuel Belgrano led the army which was defeated in Paraguay where the military declared its independence from Spain on 14 May 1811. Francia became the ruler of Paraguay. President Saavedra in Buenos Aires overcame Moreno’s faction, but the Junta Grande was replaced by a triumvirate on September 23. They created the Intendancy of Buenos Aires on 13 January 1812. Belgrano led the army and defeated the Spaniards at Salta. Posadas and his nephew Alvear were directors for a time, and on 9 July 1816 the Congress of Tucuman declared the Rio Plata independent.
More than 100,000 Araucanians lived in the interior of Chile beyond the government’s control. Ambrosio O’Higgins was President of Chile 1788-96, and his reforms helped some Indians get land. Governor Carrasco repressed revolutionaries from 1809 until he was deposed on 16 July 1810. The Cabildo (Council) elected his successor Count Zambrano president of the First Junta in September. Conservatives dominated Chile’s first National Congress that began on 4 July 1811, and José Miguel Carrera took dictatorial power on November 15. Spanish forces began the reconquest of Chile in 1813, and they regained control in October 1814. Juan McKenna and Bernardo O’Higgins led the resistance, but Luis Carrera killed Mackenna in a duel. Manuel Rodriguez led guerrilla forces while in February 1816 O’Higgins joined the army of San Martin who was preparing an expedition to liberate Chile.
The Incas in Peru were oppressed by the Spaniards and often rebelled as large amounts of gold and silver continued to be shipped to Spain. A widespread Inca uprising began in 1780 and was led by Tupac Amaru II, though more than twenty caciques remained loyal to Spain. Tupac was captured and executed in 1781, and another Inca rebellion in Huarochiri failed in 1783. Books from the French enlightenment and revolution were suppressed. Europeans were about one-eighth of the population but outnumbered Africans, enslaved and free. Liberal ideas spread more after 1800. The local assemblies (cabildos) gained more power in 1809, but revolts were defeated. After King Fernando VII was restored in 1814, Spaniards reconquered Peru for a few years.
Spaniards exploited northern South America in the viceroyalty of New Granada, but in 1765 Spain allowed trading in seven Caribbean ports. Cartagena got a printing press and a royal library by 1777. Many Indians rebelled during the Inca revolt in the early 1780s. Archbishop Caballero became viceroy in 1782 and granted a general amnesty. In 1800 New Granada had about 70,000 slaves but twice that many free Africans. Antonio Nariño disseminated revolutionary books and was imprisoned in 1797.
New Granada had eight provinces in 1777, and free trade began the next year. Francisco de Miranda advocated revolution and American independence, and in the 1780s and 1790s he traveled to the United States and Europe while rebellions failed. In August 1808 creoles (African-Americans) formed a junta in Quito, and Bogota did so the next month and formed a Supreme Congress on December 22. A revolutionary Congress declared Quito free on 12 February 1812, but royalists crushed them in November. Nariño restored the Constitution, and in October 1812 they formed the United Provinces of New Granada. Bogota declared its independence on 18 July 1813, but the royalists defeated them on 11 May 1814.
Simón Bolívar was born into a wealthy family in Caracas, and he traveled in Europe. He returned to Venezuela in 1807 and became a leader in the independence movement the next year that was supported by most of the provinces. He worked with Miranda, and a Venezuelan Congress met at Caracas on 2 March 1811. They developed a constitution which protected rights that was signed on December 21.
Congress made Miranda dictator on 23 April 1812, and the royalists took over the capital at Valencia in May. He declared martial law and recruited slaves by offering them freedom. The royalists took over Caracas, and Miranda was accused of taking money. Bolívar went to Cartagena and asked for help from New Granada in December. His patriots won victories in Venezuela, and Mérida welcomed him as a liberator on 23 May 1813. Bolívar’s army grew, and they regained Valencia on August 2. He was given supreme power on 2 January 1814, and he organized the state. The restoration of Fernando VII strengthened the royalists, and civil war raged.
Spain sent more troops, and the casualties in battles increased. José Tomas Boves let the Spaniards kill prisoners, and on 12 May 1815 General Pablo Morillo entered Caracas with Spain’s largest army in America. Bolívar had gone back to Cartagena, and he commanded Columbia’s armies. Morillo invaded New Granada and captured Cartagena. Bolívar went to Jamaica to raise money and published his letter on republican values, and he also gained support from Haiti’s President Pétion. Bolívar promised to free slaves and decreed this on 2 June 1816; but men had to join the army, or their families remained slaves. During the civil war from 1810 to 1816 trade was drastically reduced.
The Dutch governed the colony of Guiana which in 1762 had 3,833 African slaves but only 346 Europeans and countless Indians. A large slave rebellion in 1763 was brutally suppressed by April 1764. Essequibo and Demerara imported slaves from 47 ships from 1766 to 1786. When the French took over Holland, Guiana got a French government in 1795; but the British invaded and took over Guiana in 1796. In the next six years the number of slaves doubled, and in the 1802 Treaty of Amiens the British gave Guiana back to the Batavian Republic (Holland). The British invaded again in September 1803, and two years later they ended the slave trade there. English became the language of the colony, and in 1816 the three main cities had more than 100,000 slaves with only about 8,000 free citizens.
Spain continued to rule Mexico through the viceroys of New Spain who enriched themselves and Spain at the expense of the Americans. A Mayan shaman led a revolt in Yucatán in November 1761 that was quickly squelched. That year smallpox killed 94,000 people in Puebla and Mexico City, but Jenner’s vaccine would start helping Mexico in 1804. Spain got more territory in North America when France ceded Louisiana in the 1763 treaty. José de Galvez visited Mexico 1765-71 and made major financial reforms to increase Spain’s revenue. New Spain had 678 Jesuits, and they were all deported in 1767. As the population of Indians increased, they became poorer with 85,000 people dying of starvation in the famine of 1785-86 just in Bajio. Viceroy Branciforte confiscated the property of the French, but in 1796 England became Spain’s enemy. Viceroy Iturrigaray (1803-08) raised taxes to pay for the war. In 1805 Bustamente began editing the first daily newspaper in Mexico. After Napoleon removed Fernando VII in 1808, conservatives took control in Mexico City.
Another famine in 1810-11 provoked rebellion. The well-educated priest Miguel Hidalgo joined a group started by Captain Ignacio Allende at Querétaro, and on September 16 Hidalgo preached a call for independence that quickly gained many followers. Hidalgo and Allende led a revolutionary army, and they captured Guanajuato, Valladolid, and other cities but not Mexico City. General Calleja led the Spanish army and began winning battles in November. The revolutionaries occupied Guadalajara and tried to govern from there. Hidalgo abolished the Indian tribute, but his army of 80,000 suffered a major defeat on 17 January 1811. Hidalgo, Allende, and other leaders were captured on March 21 and were executed.
Ignacio Rayon took over the rebel army, and the priest José Maria Morelos emerged as a leader and became captain-general. He advocated social equality regardless of race and declared all people except Spaniards in Mexico “Americans.” Morelos won battles in nine months and controlled the southern coast with four battalions, but the royalists defeated his army on 2 May 1812, killing 3,000 rebels. Guadalupes formed secretly in Mexico City, and some press freedom was declared on October 5. Morelos captured Oaxaca in November, and the fortress at Acapulco finally fell on 19 August 1813. Viceroy Calleja raised taxes while Morelos called the Congress of Anahuac that declared independence on November 6. The royalists won the battle for Valladolid on December 23, and by April 1814 they regained control of southern Mexico. The rebels met at Apatzingan and created a liberal constitution on October 22, and the royalists ordered all copies burned. The rebels fled east, and Morelos was captured and executed on 22 December 1815. Viceroy Apodaca replaced Calleja on 16 September 1816, and he granted amnesty.
Spanish colonists in New Mexico converted Moquis (Hopis), but from 1747 to 1761 they battled Comanches before making a treaty with them in 1771. General Croix made peace with Apache Mescaleros in 1779 and allied with the Navajos in 1785 to fight the Apache Gileños. Governor Anza (1777-87) made peace with Comanches, Utes, and Navahos but not all the Apaches. In 1810 Pedro Bautista Pino was elected deputy for New Mexico and made a report to the Spanish Cortes in November 1812. Revolutionaries sent an army from Guadalajara in December 1810, and they defeated royalists and took over San Sebastian, Mazatlan, and Cosala; but they were defeated in February 1811.
The Navahos were usually at peace with the Spaniards. After the United States acquired Louisiana in 1803, Viceroy Iturrigaray fortified San Antonio and Nacogdoches with 1,500 soldiers. In 1806 General Simon Herrera crossed the Sabine River, and an agreement with the United States recognized neutral ground. In 1807 Spanish authorities in Santa Fe arrested the explorer Zebulon Pike but released him four months later. The blacksmith Gutierrez led a revolt in January 1811 and was supported by Captain Casas who arrested Governor Salcedo and Herrera, but in March the deacon Zambrano set up a junta that was loyal to Fernando VII. In August 1812 the rebels captured Nacogdoches and La Bahia in November. Reuben Kemper led a republican army that defeated 1,200 royalists at Rosillo on 29 March 1813. Gutierrez proclaimed himself president of Texas as part of republican Mexico with a new constitution. On August 18 the royalists defeated the republican army by the Medina River, killing more than a thousand men, and amnesty was offered on October 10. In 1816 revolutionaries set up a government on Galveston island with Luis Aury as military governor; but they were overcome by the smuggler Jean Lafitte in 1817.
In 1768 Junipero Serra sent Franciscans to replace the Jesuits who had been expelled from the missions in Baja California. The next year Governor Portola organized four expeditions at San Diego, and Serra founded the first mission there. In 1770 he started the San Carlos mission in Monterey with a presidio for soldiers. No trade was permitted with California ports. More missions were founded, and by 1773 the Franciscans had baptized 491 natives. Monterey became the capital, and San José was the first pueblo for colonists. Serra confirmed 5,309 Christians before he died in 1784. By the Colorado River the Yumas rebelled against the Spaniards who brought few gifts. Governor Neve made Los Angeles a pueblo in 1781. Governor Fages (1782-90) toured the missions, and the converts increased to 7,500 by 1790. In the next five years the new president Fermin Francisco de Lasuen confirmed 10,139 Christians. Two hundred neophytes fled from San Francisco in 1795. Lasuen founded four new missions in 1797, and by 1798 they had eighteen. Governor Arrillaga (1804-14) complained that supply ships left the soldiers destitute.
Spanish colonists in Panama had trouble with the Chucunaques in 1756 and 1768. In 1809 Panama was allowed to trade with Jamaica. In 1812 Viceroy Perez retreated from Bogota to Panama for four years.
From 1745 the archbishop of Guatemala was over Central America. A monopoly on liquor was imposed in 1758 and one on tobacco in 1765. England withdrew soldiers from Guatemala in 1763. The Economic Society of Guatemala began in 1795 and promoted educational reforms. The liberal Gazeta de Guatemala was published and sponsored classes. In 1809 the provinces elected deputies to the Junta in Spain. An independence struggle began in November 1811 and was defeated in April 1812. Guatemala adopted Spain’s new constitution in November. In 1813 rebels were prosecuted, and in 1814 Fernando VII ended the liberal reforms.
English settlers by the Belize River were harassed by Spaniards in 1745, 1747, and 1754. An African slave revolt broke out in 1773 and was punished by Yucatán’s Governor Vetancur in 1779.
Wars between France and England from 1744 to 1815 caused the West Indies to be a frequent war zone, and many islands changed governments. The French West Indies in 1780 had 437,738 African slaves, 63,682 Europeans, and 13,429 free Africans while the British West Indies in 1787 had 461,864 African slaves, 58,353 Europeans, and 7,706 free Africans. Maroons on Dominica rebelled in 1785. A slave revolt in 1793 caused French colonists to ask the British for aid. The second Maroon war by the black Caribs in Jamaica began in July 1795 and lasted eight months. In 1807 the Bahamas extended the vote to free Africans. In the 1814 treaty the British restored most of the French colonies they had seized. On 31 October 1815 Jamaica’s Assembly protested British suppression of their illegal slave trade.
Spain’s colony of Cuba was active in the slave trade. George Albemarle led a British invasion of Havana in June 1762 and took over western Cuba for a year while losing 6,000 men to sickness. Governor Conde de Ricla increased taxes, but the sugar industry expanded greatly. By 1775 Cuba had 96,440 Europeans, 44,928 African slaves, 19,027 free persons of color, and 11,588 free Africans. Cuba’s imports and exports increased dramatically between 1774 and 1804. Cuba got its first newspaper in 1791, and the Economic Society promoted education. In 1795 the Spanish army suppressed a slave revolt. After Fernando VII abdicated in 1808, creoles made Cuba a sovereign state with a constitution for a while.
The Royal Company of Barcelona began regulating Puerto Rico’s trade in 1755. Puerto Rico got a printing press and a newspaper in 1806. They sent Ramon Power as a deputy to the Spanish Junta in 1809, and the next year he took petitions from the cabildos. The Cortes at Cadiz elected Power vice president, and he helped the deputies cancel the Regency’s decree that had given colonial governors special powers; but the restoration of Fernando VII in 1814 ended elections and reforms.
Slaves revolted in St. Domingue in the 1750s, and the Jesuits were expelled in 1763. The Gazette de St. Domingue began in 1764. Restrictions were put on blacks, and slaves escaped to the mountains and got their own territory in 1782. By 1791 about 40,000 Europeans controlled 452,000 slaves and 28,000 free Africans. That year France’s Assembly decreed that free blacks could be elected to colonial assemblies. That summer a slave revolt resulted in 2,000 French and 10,000 slaves being killed. In 1792 Santo Domingo offered freedom to fugitive slaves. The Jacobins granted equality to all free Frenchmen, and 6,000 soldiers were sent to enforce it in St. Domingue. In June 1793 thousands of Africans forced Governor Galbaud and 10,000 people to flee. A British force from Jamaica arrived in September while Toussaint led the fight for liberty in the north. After learning the French National Convention had freed all the slaves, in June 1794 he began fighting for the French.
In 1795 Spain agreed to evacuate the island they called Española. The British went east, but Toussaint defeated them. Commissioners freed the slaves there. In April 1797 Toussaint’s army of 20,000 and Rigaud’s 12,000 defeated the English and drove them out after they lost 25,000 men mostly to diseases. Toussaint with 30,000 troops defeated Rigaud in a civil war, and the Directorate made Toussaint governor-general in 1799. He entered Santo Domingo in January 1801, abolished slavery, and banned racial discrimination in a constitution. Napoleon objected and sent 28,000 troops to reimpose slavery. The French lured Toussaint to a conference and arrested him, and he died in prison. The French lost 50,000 men in the war, and Rochambeau surrendered in November 1803. They declared the independent republic of Haiti. Jean-Jacques Dessalines had many French killed and was crowned emperor in 1804. The Constitution of 1805 barred whites from owning property. Pétion joined a revolt in the west and supported President Henri Christophe, and Dessalines was killed. The British helped the Spaniards in the east while Pétion turned on Christophe in the civil war and became president of the southern republic in 1806. In 1811 in the north a council proclaimed Christophe as King Henri. In 1815 a few senators re-elected Pétion president.
João VI became King of Portugal in 1816 while he was living in Brazil, and he appointed his son Pedro Prince Royal in January 1817. In March a revolution began in Pernambuco, and João VI sent to Portugal for soldiers. He banned Masons and taxed imported slaves in 1818. That year Brazil had 1,040,000 Europeans, 1,930,000 slaves, 585,000 freedmen, and 250,000 Indians. The revolution broke out in Portugal in August 1820, and in January 1821 Portuguese troops rebelled in Belém. Liberals in Brazil set up provisional juntas by spring. The Cortes in Lisbon restored colonial rule in Brazil. They persuaded João VI to return to Portugal, and he made Prince Pedro regent. Brazilians had taken over Montevideo in January 1817, and Brazil incorporated the Cisplatina province (Uruguay) by June 1821. Regent Pedro decreed a constitution with a free press in August. Portugal’s Cortes ordered him to return to Lisbon; but Brazilians persuaded him to stay in January 1822, and Brazilian forces surrounded the Portuguese garrison. The Portuguese left Brazil by March, and Pedro became the Constitutional Emperor of Brazil in October.
Elections enabled Brazil’s Constituent Assembly to open in May 1823. The Amazonia provinces of Belém and Para were brought into the Brazilian empire. The Cisplatina province joined Brazil in March 1824 when Emperor Pedro promulgated a liberal constitution. In May the United States recognized Brazil. In the early 1820s Brazil imported about 30,000 slaves annually. Manuel da Carvalho in July proclaimed Pernambuco independent, but Brazil’s army defeated the rebellion by November. In 1825 Brazil promised to take over Portugal’s £1,400,000 debt to the British and pay £600,000 to João VI for his property in Brazil. Argentina claimed the Cisplatina province which began fighting for independence in April 1825. Argentines defeated the Brazilians in a naval battle in February 1827, and a peace treaty in August 1828 recognized the independence of Uruguay. The British had exploited Brazil in a commercial treaty with high interest on loans and duties on Brazilian exports in August 1827, and in 1829 Brazil’s bank had to close. Brazil imported 175,000 slaves in three years before its anti-slave trade treaty with Britain went into effect in 1830. Yet in the 1830s over 400,000 slaves were brought to work on Brazil’s coffee plantations, and by the 1840s Brazil was producing 40% of the world’s coffee.
In 1830 Brazil adopted a liberal criminal code. A French revolution in July 1830 influenced Brazil, and Pedro I abdicated and left in April 1831. His son Pedro II was only 5 years old, but he would begin governing in 1840. Resistance occurred until Pedro I died in September 1834. Provincial assemblies gained power, and the liberal Minister of Justice Diogo Feijó was elected Regent in 1835. Revolts broke out in northern Para and went on until a general amnesty in 1840 and in Rio Grande do Sul until the armistice in March 1845. Slave revolts had been suppressed in Bahia in January 1835 and in the Maranhão province in 1841. In 1837 the conservative party led by Major Frias de Vasconcelos gained a majority and reformed laws, and they ended the regency in 1840. They dissolved the Chamber of Deputies in May 1842, but liberals rebelled and regained power in January 1844.
Brazil had the most African slaves, and they had more rights than those in the South of the United States. African culture was stronger in Latin America, and they had more revolts; but the Catholic culture allowed Brazil’s slaves to be baptized, buy their freedom more easily, and legally marry. Members of slave families could not be sold off. Brazil passed a strong anti-slave trade law in 1850.
In July 1816 Argentines declared the independence of the United Provinces of Rio Plata. Director Pueyrredon imposed economic sanctions on federalist provinces, but revolts forced him to resign in June 1819. Local cavalries fought and signed the Pilar Treaty in February 1820. Estanislao López emerged as a leader and governed Santa Fe, Argentina 1818-38. In January 1822 Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, Santa Fe, and Corrientes agreed to the Quadrilateral Treaty. Martin Rodriguez governed Buenos Aires 1820-24, and his minister Bernardino Rivadavia implemented many reforms on trade, immigration, land, suffrage, taxes, accounting library, charity, and education of women while limiting the power of the Church, police, and the army. Rivadavia was elected President in 1826 with a constitution he imposed on the provinces. After Brazil declared war on the United Provinces, trade fell, reducing revenues to a quarter. Four provinces opposed the constitution, and Rivadavia resigned in June 1827.
As civil war broke out, Buenos Aires Governor Manuel Dorrego canceled the Constitution and recognized provincial autonomy. By a treaty in August 1828 Brazil and Buenos Aires recognized the Eastern Republic of Uruguay. Juan Lavelle replaced Dorrego and executed him in December. One year later Juan Manuel de Rosas became governor. He would maintain power during the civil war and would govern Buenos Aires from 1835 until 1852 while killing about 2,000 people. Private ownership of land was restored by 1838. In March 1837 Rosas went to war against Peru and Bolivia. The civil war went on until 1841. During Uruguay’s civil war in 1842 both sides freed the slaves.
Paraguay’s Congress made José Rodríguez de Francia dictator in 1814, and he would rule the nation until his death in 1840. He began jailing political enemies in 1818, and he also imprisoned, exiled, or killed many wealthy Spaniards and Creoles. In 1840 a provisional junta did not release the 600 political prisoners. Army officers took power in 1841, and a congress was elected that chose Mariano Roque Alonso and Carlos Antonio López to be consuls. López supported more schools.
Argentina faced a trade blockade from the French and British in 1845 that lasted five years. The poet Echeverría, conservative Alberdi, nationalist writer Mitre, and socialist Sarmiento, who championed public education, led a generation of liberal intellectuals. In 1850 Sarmiento helped reconcile Buenos Aires with the Argentine Confederation. Carlos Antonio López was President of Paraguay 1844-62.
In January 1817 Argentine General José de San Martín led an expedition into Chile with 5,400 men, and they defeated royalists at Chacabuco in February. He declined to rule and made Bernardo O’Higgins supreme director. Patriots at Talca declared Chile independent in February 1818. They fled on March 18 but defeated royalists at Maipu on April 5. O’Higgins governed Chile benevolently for six years. A constitution in 1818 authorized five senators to legislate. Rodriguez Aldea was a corrupt minister of finance 1820-23. The Senate tried to protect slavery in Peru, and O’Higgins took their power in 1822. A new constitution created a Congress in January 1823 that forced O’Higgins to resign. In April the Junta made liberal General Ramón Freire Supreme Director until July 1826. In December 1823 a new constitution ended slavery and created elected assemblies; but its moral constraints were unpopular, and a new Congress was elected and nullified it in December 1824.
Freire was elected President but resigned in May 1827. The next President Pinto adopted a liberal constitution in 1828. Civil war began in December 1829, and Conservatives led by General Prieto defeated in battle the Liberals and Freire in April 1830. Prieto was elected President in 1831 and was re-elected in 1836. The Conservative constitution of 1833 gave more power to the President. Only 2% of the people could vote, and 80% were tenant workers. Conservative minister Diego Portales became War Minister in 1835. In October 1836 Peru and Bolivia formed a Confederation, and Chile’s Congress declared war in December. After disease devastated Chile’s navy, they recognized the Confederation; but Chileans defeated the Peru-Bolivian army in January 1839, ending the Confederation. The victorious General Bulnes was elected President in 1841. Chile increased trade in the 1840s.
Simón Bolívar returned to the Barcelona province in Venezuela on 31 December 1816. General Píar’s army of revolutionaries defeated royalists at San Félix in April 1817, and Spaniards evacuated Guayana province in August. Píar resented Bolívar and joined Mariño’s separatists, and Píar was captured and executed in October. Bolívar was reunited with Mariño, and they set up a government in Angostura in October. “Liberator and Supreme Chief” Bolívar with 3,000 men crossed the Andes and combined forces with José Antonio Páez in January 1818. The Venezuelan Republic recruited 4,000 soldiers, arms, and money from Europe, and they helped train the army. Bolívar got a printing press and began publishing the weekly Orinoco Post in June. In February 1819 an elected Congress met. Bolívar welcomed democracy but wanted a strong presidency, and Congress elected him. Bolívar’s army supported Santander’s forces in Colombia, and the people of New Granada welcomed them in June 1819. Bolívar declared martial law and drafted all men, and they defeated Barreiro’s forces in August and entered Bogotá.
Bolívar let Santander govern New Granada as Vice President. Nine provinces were liberated by October, and Bolívar appointed military governors. Zea ruled Venezuela and arrested Arismendi, but Congress replaced Zea with Arismendi. Bolívar sent General Sucre to meet with royalists, and they agreed on an armistice for six months in November 1819. Bolívar returned to Venezuela, and Arismendi resigned. In December the Congress created the Colombia Republic uniting Venezuela and New Granada. In November 1820 Bolívar and General Morillo agreed to a 6-month armistice, and in June 1821 Bolívar’s army defeated royalists at Carabobo and entered Caracas, making Venezuela independent. A constitution for Colombia was signed in July, and Congress declared all citizens born after that date free. Bolívar’s Colombian navy defeated a Spanish fleet on Maracaibo Lake in July 1823, and Páez led a force that took Puerto Cabello in November.
Colombia was called the Republic of New Granada 1831-58. Tomás Mosquera was elected President in 1845, and he supported public works. In the 1840s Bolivia extracted 40% of its revenues from native tribute, and only 7% of the people were literate. Liberal José Hilario López (1849-53) freed the remaining 20,000 slaves in 1852.
Ecuador had fought off revolutionary armies in 1820. Bolívar sent an army to Panama, and patriots there declared independence in November 1821. In December 800 men from Panama reinforced Ecuador. Sucre’s army attacked Quito in May 1822, and Governor Aymerich surrendered. Bolívar made Sucre President of Ecuador in June. Bolívar met San Martín in July and promised to send 1,800 men to help liberate Peru. Bolívar got tuberculosis, and fighting continued at Pasto. In 1824 the Colombian Congress raised an army of 50,000 men and borrowed money from the English. General Páez drafted all men aged 16-50 into the Venezuela militia. Vice President Santander supported liberal education. Colombia made treaties with Chile, Peru, Mexico, Central America, and Buenos Aires.
In February 1819 Chile and Argentina allied and planned to invade Peru. San Martín raised an army of nearly 500,000 men, and they captured Valdivia in February 1820. Chile’s navy helped them occupy Pisco in September. San Martín preferred monarchy, and northern Peru was independent by May 1821. His troops took over Lima in July, and in August he was given supreme authority. He declared slaves born after July 28 free, and he abolished Indian tribute and forced labor, renaming them “Peruvians.” Some Spaniards and creoles continued guerrilla warfare. Liberals in Peru did not want a monarch. When Peru’s congress met in September, San Martín renounced power and left for Chile and Europe.
In January 1823 Spaniards defeated the Peruvian army at Torat and Moquehuá. Peru and Colombia signed a treaty in March. After 7,000 royalists marched into Lima in June, Peru’s President Aguero withdrew to Trujillo, raised an army, and dissolved the Congress. Congressmen elected the Marquis de Torre Tagle President in August. The army welcomed Bolívar in September, and Congress gave him supreme authority. A mutiny at Callao in February 1824 enabled royalists led by Tagle to occupy Lima again. Congress appointed Bolívar dictator. He sold state land cheap and let natives own their land. His army crossed the Andes in July and defeated royalists at Junin in August. Sucre’s army defeated more royalists at Ayacucho in December, and Bolívar resigned his presidency. In August 1825 Bolivia became independent. He proclaimed all citizens equal and in December he abolished Indian tribute.
Bolivia got a constitution in July 1826 and elected Sucre President for life. Peru expelled Chileans and Argentinians, adopted a Bolivian constitution in August, and elected Bolívar President for life. Páez of Venezuela and Santander in Colombia came into conflict, and Bolívar mediated; but he renounced Santander in 1827. In May 1828 Peru’s forces invaded Bolivia. Spaniards supported insurgents in Colombia. Bolívar regained dictatorial power in Bogotá in August, and he granted amnesty. Colombia broke diplomatic relations with Peru which invaded southern Colombia, and 1,500 soldiers were killed in February 1829. Sucre made a treaty that Bolívar criticized. Venezuelans revolted against the Colombian union. In January 1830 Sucre was elected President of Colombia. Bolívar withdrew, and Colombia got a new constitution in May. Ecuador became independent. Sucre was murdered in June, and Bolívar condemned insurrections and died in December.
Peru’s budget in 1831 spent 59% on the military, but a constitution restored civilian power in 1834. Civil war broke out in January 1835, and Bolivia’s army invaded Peru which was divided; but Bolivia and Peru formed a confederation. Gamarra regained Peru’s presidency in August 1838, and they defeated the Confederate army in January 1839. In 1841 Peru’s army invaded Bolivia; but they were defeated in November, and Gamarra was killed. Peru’s military seized power in 1843, but a constitutional President was restored in 1844. In 1846 Peru cut their tax on the natives by more than half. President Ramón Castilla (1845-51) improved travel and public education.
Most Bolivians spoke Quechua or Aymara. General Andrés Santa Cruz was President 1829-39. He reduced taxes, and Bolivia banned slavery in August 1831. Civil war in 1835 led to Bolivia’s army invading Peru, and Santa Cruz was Protector of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation 1836-39. Vice President Velasco was elected in February 1839 and made reforms until General Ballivián led a revolt and removed him in June 1841 and became President in September for six years.
The Colombian federation dissolved in 1830-31 and became New Granada, Venezuela, and Ecuador. New Granada limited voting to wealthy men, and General Santander was President 1832-37. President Márquez (1837-41) made diplomatic relations with Spain. Local chiefs rebelled in 1839, and Santanderistas joined them in 1840. Santander opposed the revolt and died in May. Congress elected General Herrán President in 1841, and in 1843 he invited Jesuits to return in order to improve education.
Venezuela had adopted a constitution in 1830, and Congress elected General Páez President in March 1831. In a decade Venezuela doubled its exports, and new roads aided trade. Páez was re-elected in 1839, and by 1840 liberal and conservative parties had formed. Conservative Soublette was President 1837-39 and 1843-47. Conservatives held power in Venezuela, and in 1848 Páez led a revolt. José Tadeo Monagas was President 1847-51
Ecuador became a nation with a constitution in September 1830. Deputies elected General Flores President for four years. Ecuador annexed the Galápagos Islands in 1832. President Rocafuerte (1835-39) was educated in Europe and promoted the republican values of the 1835 constitution. Flores was President again 1839-45, and he dissolved Congress in 1841 for two years. A convention in Cuenca, Ecuador in October 1845 led by Vicente Rocafuerte created a liberal constitution, but in December they chose the Conservative Vicente Ramón Roca who became President in February 1846.
Demerara-Essequibo and Berbice united to become the colony of British Guiana in 1831. A slave uprising had been brutally suppressed in August 1823, and Britain passed slavery reforms in 1825 to reduce working hours and allow property rights. The British freed 84,915 slaves in August 1834 with owners being compensated, and apprenticeship ended in 1838.
Sebastian Kindelan governed Santo Domingo for Spain 1818-21. Haiti’s President Jean-Pierre Boyer (1818-43) had soldiers put down the peasants’ 13-year revolt in Southern Grande’Anse by May 1819. Efforts were made to make Santo Domingo independent of Spain, and Haiti’s soldiers unified the island in February 1822. In July 1823 Haiti agreed to pay France an indemnity of 100 million francs, and King Charles X decreed Haiti an independent nation in March 1825. Haiti’s exports of raw sugar and cotton had fallen drastically since 1801. In 1830 Haiti could not pay its foreign debt, and negotiation reduced it to 60 million francs by 1838. European nations recognized Haiti, but the United States and all Latin American nations refused to do so. The African Prince Saunders (1775-1839) wrote the Haytian Papers, became attorney general, and revised Haiti’s criminal code. Boyer kept 28 deputies out of the Chamber in 1842. The Society of the Rights of Man and of Citizens led by Charles Riviere-Hérard won over the military and forced Boyer to flee to Paris in February 1843. They created a democratic constitution by December 30, and Hérard became President in January 1844. Trinitarians led by Duarte occupied the fortress in Santo Domingo in February. Conservatives led by General Santana gained power, adopted a constitution, and elected Santana President in November, and he was President until 1848. Their government was based on the United States Constitution. Buenaventura Báez was President in 1849-53. In August 1849 the Senate of Haiti crowned Soulouque “Emperor Faustin” and made the nation a monarchy. He used voodoo and gave 400 people noble titles, and printing money caused rapid inflation.
In 1831 Mary Prince’s slave narrative was published in London, and slaves in Antigua revolted. In Jamaica 60,000 slaves went on strike. After an 11-day uprising 325 slaves were executed. Britain freed slaves under the age of six in its colonies in August 1834. Others became apprentices until 1838 or 1840 and then were free. In the West Indies 38,218 owners claimed compensation for 540,559 slaves. In 1839 the French West Indies had 285,956 slaves.
In the West Indies slavery was abolished by the Swedes in 1847 and by the Danes in 1848. The French Emancipation Proclamation of 1848 gave the French colonists 126 million francs to free their slaves. In the late 1840s British Guiana imported 11,000 people from India and 10,000 from the Madeira islands, and the number from India coming to Guiana, Trinidad, and Jamaica increased to about 110,000 in the 1850s.
Spain governed Puerto Rico and gave settlers land for their families and slaves. The liberal Quiñones worked for gradual self-rule; but Miguel de la Torre was military governor 1822-37, and he promoted importing of African slaves, doubling them by 1834. He imposed a strict slave code but limited daily work hours to 9 and 13 during the sugar harvest. In 1837 Spain imposed a war tax of 500,000 pesos. In 1841 the French abolitionist Victor Schoelcher exposed how Puerto Rico’s slave code was violated. Puerto Rico produced mostly sugar, rum, coffee, and cigars, and its exports increased.
General Juan Prim governed Puerto Rico in 1847-48 and imposed a harsh Black Code against African slaves and all blacks, but Governor Juan de la Pezuela reduced the severe punishments.
Cuba’s Governor José Cienfuegos opened up trade in America and to Europe in February 1818. In 1817 a census revealed that whites were only 45% of Cubans, and Spain began offering land and livestock to encourage migration. Cuba imported 77,000 African slaves in the three years before their planned end of the slave trade in 1820. In 1827 they had 286,942 slaves and 106,494 free blacks. Francisco Dionisio Vives was Captain-General of Cuba 1823-32, and five decades of martial law began in 1825. Those born in Cuba could not serve in the government or the military. Tacón was Captain-General 1834-38, and Cuba got a railroad in 1837. Sugar production expanded in the early 1840s. In 1841 Cuba had 425,521 slaves. Captain-General Jerónimo Valdés (1841-43) tried to suppress the slave trade but faced two slave revolts in 1843 and another in June 1844. Joaquín de Agüero returned to Cuba in 1849 and led a small revolt for independence from Spain, and they were crushed in August 1851.
In 1820 Central America had 1,227,000 people, and Spain’s Fernando VII restored laws the Cortes passed for the American provinces. In June 1821 Central American deputies proposed peace to Spain’s Cortes and demanded free trade. Mexico separated from Spain on September 3, and on the 15th delegates from Guatemala, Chiapas, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica signed the Act of Independence of Central America. Salvador declared independence. Nicaragua seceded from Guatemala in October, but Leon joined Nicaragua to Mexico. Costa Rica seceded from Spain. In January 1822 a Junta decreed that Central America was annexed to Mexico. Guatemala’s Junta was dissolved. Salvador led by Manuel José Arce drove away Guatemalan troops in June. Mexico sent General Vicente Filisola with 600 men to govern Guatemala. Mexico annexed Central America in November. Filosola’s army occupied San Salvador in February 1823. Honduras in May joined the Central American union which declared independence in July. Mexican forces withdrew from Costa Rica and Nicaragua in August.
The Central American constitutional republic began in December, and they emancipated all slaves by April 1824. The executive council had two senators from each state, and the supreme court was elected. In February 1825 the Federal Congress elected liberal Mariano Gálvez as President. They made treaties with Colombia in March and the United States in December. Conflicts with Arce arose in 1826, and his forces fought against Salvadorans. General Morazán led a Salvadoran army that besieged Guatemala City in February 1829, but they were driven away. Yet his army defeated federal forces in March and sacked Guatemala City in April. In August the Federal Congress expelled troublemakers. Morazán commanded the Central American army and defeated resistance in February 1830. The Federal Congress met on March 27, and Morazán was President 1830-34. In May 1832 the Federation ended the Catholic Church as the state religion, and they recognized freedom of conscience. In 1834 Guatemala ceded most of its land to foreign companies, and smaller states resented Guatemala.
Morazán was Central American President again 1835-39. Guatemala’s Rafael Carrera led a revolt in 1838; but he was defeated until he restored a conservative government in Guatemala City in April 1839. In January 1839 Nicaragua and Honduras allied, and they invaded Salvador in March. Carrera forced Salvador to accept conditions in May 1840. Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua confederated in July 1842. Costa Rica suffered from conflicts but adopted a constitution in April 1844.
Honduras battled Salvador in 1845, but Nicaragua mediated a peace treaty between them in November. In 1848 Honduras, Nicaragua, and Salvador met, and they would form the Central American union in January 1851. Costa Rica had promulgated a constitution in March 1847 and declared independence in August 1848. Juan Mora became President of Cost Rica in November 1849, and Spain recognized Costa Rica in May 1850.
Carrera dominated Guatemala as a military leader and was eventually elected President in December 1844. The Guatemala Assembly elected Lt. General Rafael Carrera president in December 1844. In March 1847 Guatemala declared its independence, and one year later France made a treaty with Guatemala. Carrera supported indigenous people and pacified rebellions.
El Salvador had more mixed race Ladinos than Indians and Europeans combined. They struggled to form constitutional government and elected Col. Malespín President in February 1844. Seventeen men struggled to be President of El Salvador between 1845 and 1865. Eugenio Aguilar was President 1846-48.
Honduras got a constitution in 1839, and Francisco Ferrera was President for about four years in the early 1840s. In February 1848 Honduras gave all residents born in Central America citizenship and allowed foreigners to be naturalized; but only literate citizens could vote, and only the Catholic religion was permitted. British Honduras (Belize) abolished slavery in 1840.
Nicaragua was less populated and adopted its second constitution in 1838. A civil war in Nicaragua ended in January 1845, and they elected José León Sandoval President. In April 1850 the United States and Britain claimed dominion over Nicaragua and Costa Rica so that they could build a canal and railroads, but Spain recognized Nicaragua’s independence.
Panama got a printing press in 1820, and Panama City’s Council proclaimed itself free of Spain in November 1821. In 1822 they prohibited slave trading and freed future children of slaves. Panama joined New Granada in 1831. In 1846 the Mallarino-Bidlack Treaty gave the United States the right to move across the Isthmus of Panama.
Mexico’s revolution against Spain continued to fail from 1817 to 1820. Then Spain restored the liberal Constitution of 1812, and King Fernando VII released all political prisoners. Viceroy Ruiz de Apodaca revived the free press in June and freed prisoners in October. Col. Agustín de Iturbide met with the rebel Guerrero, joined him in February 1821, and put forth his Iguala Plan for independence with a constitutional monarchy. The Viceroy mobilized an army. Anastasio Bustamente and many supported the Plan, and in July royalists forced Viceroy Apodaca to resign. The new Viceroy O'Donojú proclaimed liberal principles. Iturbide declared national independence and made a treaty with O'Donojú. Iturbide’s army entered Mexico City in September and set up the Regency Junta. Iturbide was given money and land while most trade stopped. An elected Congress met in February 1822, but in May without a quorum Iturbide was elected emperor. He had 19 deputies arrested in August. Mexico’s debt was increasing, and it forced loans. Food prices rose. Iturbide lost support, and Santa Anna declared Vera Cruz a republic in December. In January 1823 Mexico recognized Central American independence. Several generals revolted against Iturbide who abdicated in March and left Mexico.
A new Congress met in March 1823 and elected executives Bravo, Victoria, and Negrete, and they borrowed $32 million from English firms. Politicians formed the conservative Centralist party and liberals the Federalists. Victoria was elected President, and a constituent assembly met in November. In 1824 ten provinces declared their sovereignty. They created a constitution like the USA’s but with the Catholic religion, election of supreme court judges, and banning torture. Most of Mexico’s 19 states produced constitutions in 1825. Mexico made treaties with Britain in October 1827 and with the United States in January 1828. General Gómez Pedraza was elected President in September; but Santa Anna led a revolt in Vera Cruz, and in January 1829 the Congress elected the Afro-Mestizo General Guerrero to be President. A Spanish reconquest failed by September. Then Guerrero abolished slavery. His officers were accused of crimes, and Vice President Bustamante denounced Guerrero who resigned in December and left with soldiers. Bustamante claimed power in January 1830. Guerrero raised an army, but he was defeated in January 1831 and executed in February. Bustamante’s conservative government imposed censorship and was corrupt. In 1832 General Santa Anna struggled for power in a civil war. He was elected President in February 1833 and let Vice President Farías implement liberal reforms reducing the power of the military and the Church. In June 1834 Santa Anna dissolved Congress and disbanded state legislatures. He deposed governors, and Congress replaced Farías. The 1836 constitution made the government more conservative. Santa Anna retired, and Bustamante was elected President. Federalists revolted. Santa Anna helped the army defeat the French in December 1838. Government censored the press, and resistance was suppressed. Yucatán seceded in February 1840, and Santa Anna granted them autonomy in December 1843. Federalists produced a liberal constitution in 1842, but Centralists made conservative changes in 1843. National delegates elected Santa Anna President again in January 1844, but a revolt led to his being banished to Cuba in December.
California’s Governor Sola (1815-22) asked Viceroy Apodaca for more support, and the Californians welcomed Mexican independence in March 1821. A brief Chumash revolt broke out in February 1824 at the Santa Inés mission that spread to Santa Barbara and La Purísima. Governor Echeandía (1825-31) banished Jedediah Smith in 1826 and improved schools, and he began secularizing missions to pueblos in 1831. Pio Pico, Echeandía, and others defeated Governor Victoria and banished him in December 1831. California Governor Figueroa (1833-35) gave mission lands to neophytes to farm. An epidemic killed about 35,000 Indians in 1833. In April 1834 the Mexican Congress freed all natives at the missions. In May 1835 Los Angeles proclaimed itself the capital, though Monterey objected. Turmoil in 1836 led to Juan Bautista Alvarado becoming interim governor in July 1837. Mexico appointed Carlos Carrillo governor but recognized Alvarado in June 1838 and proclaimed an amnesty. The missions became less populated, and he implemented reforms. He granted Sutter 48,800 acres by the Sacramento River. The last Russians left California in 1841. Governor Micheltorena (1843-45) gave more land grants. A revolt led by Manuel Castro and Jesus Pico in November 1843 was suppressed by December. Mexico made New Mexico a territory in 1824 and a department in 1836. In the 1820s the Navajos raided in northwestern New Mexico. By 1824 a trail was established connecting Missouri to Santa Fe, and Americans trading lost horses and mules to raiding Indians. Mexico sent more soldiers in 1826. Padre Martínez complained that buffalo were slaughtered during the breeding season. Governor Albino Pérez (1835-37) banned selling weapons and horses to raiding tribes. Pueblos rebelled in July 1837 and defeated the militia and killed Pérez. Natives at the capital elected José González from the Taos tribe governor; but Manuel Armijo was re-elected governor, raised an army, and defeated them in January 1838. In 1841 some Texans tried to take over Santa Fe; but they were attacked by Comanches and captured by Mexicans, and prisoners were not released until 1842. New Mexico Governor Martínez de Lejanza provoked a war with the Utes in 1844.
In 1845 rebellions in Alta California made Mexico’s government there unstable. The Assembly’s leader Pio Pico summoned the Junta, and they replaced Governor Micheltorena with Pico. Micheltorena recognized Lt. Col. José Castro as Commandant General of California and withdrew to Mexico City. Los Angeles became the capital, and in May news arrived that the United States Army had invaded Mexico. The Mexican government recognized Pio Pico as Governor, and he raised money by selling missions and their property. In December the United States admitted Texas as a state. General Mariano Paredes took over Mexico’s government in January 1846, and a junta elected him interim President. Former President Santa Anna sent an offer to US President Polk to accept the Rio Grande as the Mexican border and to sell much territory for $30 million, but Polk sent General Zachary Taylor with troops to the Rio Grande. On May 9 his force defeated a larger Mexican army, and on the 13th the US declared war. Governor Armijo abandoned Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Taylor’s army defeated the Mexicans at Monterrey in northern Mexico on September 24. In 1846 Mexico organized a liberal Congress that appointed General Santa Anna as interim President and army commander. Vice President Farías sold Catholic church property to raise 5 million pesos. Taylor’s army defeated Santa Anna’s at Buena Vista in February 1847. Santa Anna returned to the capital and resumed the Presidency. US General Winfield Scott invaded at Veracruz in March, and his army fought their way to Mexico City by September. In the peace treaty in February 1848 Mexico ceded nearly half the country to the United States in exchange for $18.25 million.
A Mayan rebellion in Yucatán began in July 1847, and by 1850 many had died. The Mexican army put down a revolt in Aguascalientes in July 1848. Herrera was President again 1848-51, and he tried to rebuild the treasury despite heavy debts.
Because the human species evolved in Africa and spread around the world from there, the number that reached the American continents across the northern bridge from Asia or by ships across wide oceans was naturally much smaller than the civilizations that developed in the Middle East, India, China, and Europe. These cultures also had the advantage of learning from each other’s discoveries. Thus cultural evolution in America was much more isolated and slower, especially in regard to technology. Most of the scattered peoples in North and South America remained as hunters and gatherers because the resources of the land enabled their smaller numbers to do so. Yet these indigenous tribes were able to refine their ethics and learn how to live in harmony with nature. Though they surely must have had their conflicts, they probably avoided the massive violence and injustice of war and imperialism that tend to infect the urban cultures that develop more specialized social and political functions.
In central America and the Andes Mountains cities eventually developed with the consequent pressure to exploit natural resources and engage in imperialistic wars to do so or face possible collapse in a deteriorating environment. The competition and clash of cities also stimulated humans to develop political skills and institutions in order to handle such interactions without destroying each other. America had much less of this experience before the fifteenth century.
People settled down to grow maize (corn) and beans, which enabled the Mayans to build cities, specialize labor, develop religious institutions, and even play sports. The conflicts that developed after they built cities in the third century CE often led to wars and the enslavement of the captives. Thus the culture was militarized, and by the ninth century CE these wars brought about the demise of this civilization back to a more localized culture.
Two centuries later the Toltecs developed skilled artisans and cities and were brought the wisdom of Quetzalcoatl by Topiltzin who taught them to avoid the violence of war and human sacrifice. However, he was apparently killed, and the Mexica used warfare to expand the Aztec civilization in the 14th century into a powerful empire by the 15th century. Nezahuacoyotl stands out as a great leader who codified laws and improved agriculture, transportation, and the arts. Yet in the stratified Mexica culture kings, priests, warriors and merchants dominated the vast numbers of serfs and slaves. The massive killing in wars and human sacrifices that the Aztec emperors used to maintain and display their individual power indicate a cruel system that provoked rebellions and more wars. Although many local clans and tribes probably used consensus and democratic methods, on the scale of large nations and empires democratic institutions had not developed to resolve conflicts with greater justice. Moteuczoma Xocoyotl was using military power to consolidate and maintain his empire which was being threatened by rebellions when messages began arriving that Spaniards were approaching his capital.
In the Andean region the development of the Inca culture was roughly parallel in time to the Mexicas, but in the 15th century the Incas seem to have developed social and political institutions that placed priority on meeting the needs of all their people. The rulers were still an elite class who exploited others, but their ethics included the responsibility for making sure that no one was suffering poverty that would lead to crime. Although more benevolent, the Incas were imperialistic and forced other peoples to adopt their religion and culture and serve in their army. The conflict between the princes Atahualpa and Huascar brought about a brutal civil war among the Incas just as the Spaniards were arriving.
The struggle between the great civilizations of the Mexicas and Incas against the invading Spanish conquistadors was very one-sided because the Europeans had the advantages of steel, gunpowder, and horses. The Spaniards also used war-dogs to intimidate the natives. Thus with much smaller numbers the Spaniards were able to conquer big cities. Also the colonists represented the power of much greater numbers in Europe that could always be called upon if needed. Furthermore the Europeans were more resistant to various diseases that devastated the native Americans. Although syphilis was one disease that spread from America to Europe, this could only be transmitted by sexual contact and thus could be avoided more easily. Smallpox, measles, influenza, and other diseases were weapons that Europeans did not usually consciously employ but which nonetheless greatly reduced the numbers of the Americans. The Europeans also brought a powerful religion (Christianity) with sophisticated teachings that made them feel superior to the culture of the native Americans and which they used as a justification for dominating and converting those they considered “heathens.” Yet ironically, what most conquistadors were doing to the native people they met was in direct violation of what Jesus taught.
Most of the Tainos, who first met Columbus and the Spanish explorers, were friendly, hospitable, and giving. In the warm Caribbean climate most wore little or no clothing. The first Spanish colonists were men, who naturally were missing and desiring women. Thus the temptation to exploit the native women was overwhelming despite Christian teachings. Yet this lust was surpassed by an even greater greed for gold, silver, pearls, and other precious gems that were trinkets to the natives but represented great wealth in European society. The Europeans were also imperialistic and warlike. In the second half of the 15th century the Atlantic nations of Europe had begun to exploit captured Africans as slaves. Thus many Spaniards were easily tempted into capturing natives to sell as slaves or conquering them to exploit their labor for agriculture, building, and mining. The natives, who were used to a simple life of ease in harmony with nature, were forced to work long hours to pay tribute to the conquering Spaniards. Many who refused to do so had their hands cruelly cut off and bled to death. Armed rebellions were crushed with superior European weapons.
Within a few years the Spaniards had developed the encomienda system that gave natives and their land to European settlers. By threat of violence the natives were compelled to accept Spanish sovereignty and Christianity. Many of the priests who accompanied the conquistadors went along with this exploitation, but a few such as the friar Montesinos and Las Casas tried to reform the system and alert the Europeans that they were not practicing the teachings of the Christ. When the Spaniards realized that most of the native Americans did not make good slaves, they began importing Africans, who were more resistant to disease and more willing workers.
Cortes and the Spaniards were also greeted as gods at first until the natives realized they were murderous conquerors. He was able to use the rebellious peoples in the Mexica empire as allies in his conquest of the capital. When people resisted, Cortes ordered the men killed and the women and children enslaved. Welcomed into the capital as a guest, Cortes turned on his host and took over his empire by force of arms. He sent out forces to conquer Mexico and Central America, assigning encomenderos to exploit up to three hundred natives each. Franciscans arrived and destroyed hundreds of temples as they began to convert the natives. Guzman plundered northern Mexico; Montejo subjugated the Yucatán peninsula; and Alvarado committed genocide as four million people died in Guatemala. These atrocities are some of the most serious ethical violations in the history of the world.
Once again in Peru in 1532 Atahualpa offered Pizarro hospitality and was forced to provide gold and then was killed. The Pizarro brothers and others conquered the great Inca cities and established encomenderos to exploit native labor and land. The attempt to reform the system by Las Casas and Carlos V in 1542 did not last long, and his efforts to colonize in a peaceful way were only isolated examples of how settlements could be more just. In 1574 the Inquisition began enforcing Catholic dogma by prosecuting heretics. The conquistadors set up an aristocratic hierarchy with African slaves and natives on the bottom. Not only were the mestizo children of the Europeans and natives discriminated against, in Latin America even the creoles of European parents who were born in America were in a second class behind those born in Europe. The Spaniards exploited the silver mines of Potosi and went to other regions looking for gold. The lack of ethics was also reflected in the lawless buccaneers who plundered coastal towns and ships at sea. The Spaniards brought their laws, but they allowed mine owners to compel non-Christians to work. They did not use a jury system, and the natives were at the mercy of autocratic judgments by their conquerors.
The Portuguese discovered eastern South America and followed a similar pattern of conquest in Brazil. This region did not have large cities, and so already mined gold and silver were not easily found. Brazilwood was exploited, and in the late 16th century sugar plantations developed using slave labor. Africans were imported from Angola until the Dutch blocked that. Then slave raiders captured natives in the interior. The Portuguese had competition from the French and Dutch, resulting in some European conflicts. The Dutch governed much of Brazil for thirty years and tolerated Jews, but in 1654 they were defeated and left. The missionary Vieira tried to bring reforms to Brazil by his friendship with Joao IV, but he was expelled in 1661 and imprisoned by the Inquisition in Portugal. Gold was discovered, and in the first half of the 18th century it was increasingly mined by imported African slaves.
In early American history many serious ethical violations are obvious and clear to most detached observers. The greatest injustices were caused by the powerful Europeans taking advantage and exploiting the native peoples in America and those they brought by force from Africa. As the Europeans came into their territory, the native Americans had their lives and culture severely disrupted by a technologically more advanced people. Because so many were annihilated by diseases most Indian nations would never recover fully their previous way of life and would have to adapt to the European culture of the invaders. The numbers of natives would diminish as the numbers of Europeans in America would grow steadily.
Because of the greater populations in the south and their more ruthless policies, the Spaniards and Portuguese killed many more people in what became Latin America than the English, French, and Dutch did in the north. In the earlier phase the Spaniards thought of themselves as conquistadors who came to dominate and find wealth, usually in the form of gold or silver. They often succeeded in their endeavor and shipped fabulous amounts of these minerals to Europe; but from an ethical perspective they were mass murderers and robbers. Some of the Catholics attempted to educate the natives and reform the society but without much success. Yet the efforts and teachings of Las Casas were a prophetic voice for the remediation of Spanish crimes. The Catholic cultures of Spain and France tended to be more authoritarian and did not encourage democratic institutions.
Also endemic in these ethical violations is the violently militaristic culture of the Europeans. Thus they not only subjugated the natives and kept the Africans enslaved by violence, they also fought each other over national allegiances or even differences within the Christian religion itself.
By 1744 Latin America had been colonized by Spain for two and a half centuries, and the Portuguese were in Brazil nearly that long. The oppression of the native peoples continued in Brazil, and large numbers of African slaves were imported. Yet Brazil prospered with trade so much that it became more important than Portugal itself so that King Joao moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1809.
When Napoleon’s French army occupied Spain from 1808 to 1814, that provided the opportunity for the Spanish colonies to become independent. Spaniards prospered in Buenos Aires, and in May 1810 the creoles revolted against colonialism and declared its independence a year later. Paraguay also became independent but was autocratic. On the west coast Chile had many Araucanians inland, and they formed a National Congress on 4 July 1811; but the Spaniards reconquered the colony for a few years. Peru still produced much gold and silver as they exploited the Incas who rebelled in the early 1780s. Cabildos took power in 1809, but the Spaniards also regained control in Peru.
In the north New Granada developed as they allowed many African slaves to become free. A revolt in Quito in 1812 was crushed by the Spaniards, and Bogota’s independence in 1813 was defeated the next year. Simón Bolívar emerged in Venezuela as a revolutionary leader, and he worked to bring New Granada into a larger American republic with Venezuela. A civil war raged from 1810 to 1816, and that year Bolívar declared slaves freed if they served in the revolutionary army. In another South American colony the English replaced the Dutch and the French in Guiana where Europeans were greatly outnumbered by African slaves.
Spain also ruled and exploited Mexico while expanding to Texas, New Mexico, and California. During a famine in 1810 Hidalgo started a revolution in Mexico, but Spaniards used military forces to defeat them. Morelos carried on the revolution in southern Mexico until he was finally executed in December 1815. Nonetheless the efforts of the creoles to liberate the oppressed Indians and create a liberal constitution would not be forgotten. The Franciscans established missions along the coast of California and helped the Indians, though they pushed their own religion on them. Yet this approach was more peaceful and successful than the military and exploitative methods. The situation in Guatemala and Central America was similar to Mexico with high taxes.
On the Caribbean islands the slave trade flourished and provided the labor that made European aristocrats richer. The wars between France and England made their lives even more difficult. Spain used military force to dominate Cuba and Puerto Rico, but they were driven out of Santa Domingo by the only successful slave revolt in Haiti. There the French Revolution stimulated a revolution led by blacks. The English lost 25,000 men while fighting there. In 1801 Toussaint abolished slavery and discrimination based on color in a constitution. They defeated the troops sent by Napoleon as the French lost 50,000 men in the war by 1803. Personal ambition caused Haiti to be divided into a northern kingdom and a southern republic.
Brazil’s revolution to become independent of Portugal began in 1817, and elections gave them a Constituent Assembly by 1823. The United States was the first nation to recognize Brazil. The Cisplatina province fought for independence and became the nation of Uruguay in 1828. Brazil adopted liberal reforms from French influence in 1830 and was under a regency from 1831 to 1840. The conservative party dominated from 1837 until liberals regained power in 1844. Brazil had more than 2 million slaves who enabled them to dominate world coffee production in the 1840s.
Argentines in the United Provinces of Rio Plata became independent in 1816. Rivadavia as the primary minister from 1821 and then as President in 1826-27 implemented many liberal reforms. War against Brazil led to a civil war in 1828. Buenos Aires Governor Rosas gained power in 1835 and would exercise it until 1852, though the civil war ended in 1841. Paraguay suffered under the dictator Francia as he persecuted his political opponents until his death in 1840. Then Carlos Antonio López added schools.
General San Martín with an Argentine army helped Chileans defeat the royalists in 1818, and he made compassionate O’Higgins the supreme director of an independent Chile. Pro-slavery senators forced him out in 1823, but a new constitution in December abolished slavery and created elected assemblies. Yet Congress nullified it a year later. President Pinto adopted a liberal constitution in 1828; but conservatives won a short civil war in April 1830 and elected General Prieto president, and he served ten years. General Bulnes led Chileans to victory over the Confederation of Peru and Bolivia, and he was elected president in 1841.
Simón Bolívar led the liberation and founding of the republics Venezuela and Colombia, and San Martín’s army helped liberate Peru. Bolívar benefited the native tribes as the first President of Bolivia. During Peru’s civil war Bolivians invaded and formed a brief confederation. The Colombian federation dissolved by 1831 and became New Granada, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Each nation became self-governing under constitutions, though they often elected generals as leaders. The military dominated Peru most of the time until 1844. New Granada restored relations with Spain, and President Herrán invited Jesuits to promote education. President Santa Cruz in Bolivia reduced taxes and prohibited slavery. Ecuador’s President Rocafuerte implemented a liberal constitution 1835-39.
Haiti under President Boyer 1818-43 maintained its freedom but struggled to pay the huge debt that France imposed on them. The African Prince Saunders helped them develop their own laws, and Charles Riviere-Hérard led the effort to remove Boyer and to establish a more democratic constitution in 1844. In the 1830s the British freed the slaves in their West Indies colonies, but the French took longer. Puerto Rico suffered under a Spanish military governor with slavery and a war tax imposed in 1837. Cuba’s Governor Cienfuegos expanded trade, and Cuba continued to import slaves that led to major slave revolts in 1843 and 1844.
Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821 stimulated the six Central American nations to form in December 1823 a constitutional republic that was recognized by Colombia and the United States in 1825. General Morazán helped the federal government overcome resistance and was President for eight years in the 1830s. The military leader Carrera established a conservative government in Guatemala in 1839 and was elected its President in 1844. Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Costa Rica adopted national constitutions. Panama became free of Spain in 1821 and banned the slave trade in 1822. General Pedro Santana governed the Dominican Republic most of the time between 1844 and 1862.
Iturbide’s Iguala Plan and the liberal Viceroy O'Donojú led to Mexico’s independence in September 1821. After Iturbide became Emperor, generals revolted. Mexico became a republic with a constitution in 1824. The Afro-Mestizo President Guerrero abolished slavery in 1829, but conservative Vice President Bustamante’s forces defeated his army in 1831. A civil war in 1832 led to Santa Anna being elected President in 1833. The conservative Centralists overcame the liberal Federalists and dominated the government, though Santa Anna was exiled in 1844. California secularized its missions and released natives from them. New Mexico developed trade with Americans by the Santa Fe trail and had conflicts with native tribes.
Brazil had many slaves, but they had better conditions and more rights than those in the United States. Argentina faced trade restrictions from England and France while socialists like Sarmiento expanded public education and abolished slavery. President López dominated Paraguay. Chile thrived on trade and worked for progressive reforms, and they tried to unite liberals and conservatives.
Mexico lost about half its territory including Alta California and its large state of New Mexico to the United States in America’s aggressive war 1846-48.
In the 15th century north of Mexico probably less than ten million people were spread out in villages, living tribally, hunting, fishing, and gathering food with some farming. The Huron Deganawidah taught the ways of peace. About 1450 CE the Mohawk sachem Hiawatha took his ideas to the five nations that the French later named the Iroquois, and they formed a confederation. The Iroquois lived communally in long houses, and the women were very influential in governing. When Europeans began arriving about 1600, the Iroquois were using their alliance to subjugate other tribes. The Mohawks especially got fire-arms from the Dutch and English. Mohawks attacked the Mahicans in 1624 and fought them for four years.
Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River in 1534. King François authorized French colonization in 1541, but efforts to find gold or diamonds failed. France formed the Canada Company in 1602. Champlain began a colony at Quebec in 1608, and he formed an alliance with the Algonquins and Hurons to fight the Mohawks. The French and Dutch took beaver furs to make felt hats for Europeans. Jesuits began arriving in 1611. Two years later Samuel Argall sailed from Virginia, captured French colonists, and returned to destroy Port Royal and Sainte Croix. In 1621 Viceroy Montmorency gave the De Caen Company exclusive trading rights, but in 1627 Richelieu started the Company of the Hundred Associates. In 1624 Champlain made peace with the Iroquois. The English attacked French colonies from 1628 until a treaty was made in 1632. Champlain prohibited the French from giving the Indians brandy and died in 1635. Montmagny became the first governor of Canada, and Jesuit reports encouraged colonization.
In Acadia in a conflict with Menou d’Aulnay, Charles La Tour turned to the English as allies; but after much intrigue and fighting the 1667 Treaty of Breda gave Acadia back to France. In 1644 the Mohawks got guns and ammunition from the Dutch, and they went to war with the French, Algonquins, and Hurons. The governing Council of Quebec was formed in 1647. Governor Stuyvesant sold the Mohawks four hundred more guns in 1648. Mohawks began a long war against the Susquehannocks in 1652. Most of the Iroquois made peace with the French in 1653, but in their war with the Hurons the Mohawks killed about 1,500 and captured about 2,000. The Mohawks destroyed the Eries in 1656. An Iroquois attack on Quebec was blocked in 1660, and Senecas and Onondagas made peace in 1661. In February 1663 Louis XIV took over the Company of the Hundred Associates.
Louis XIV appointed the governors and the council of New France. Viceroy Tracy had five forts built along the Richelieu River to Lake Champlain. He fought the Mohawks but made peace with the Iroquois League in 1667. The Iroquois subjugated the territory between the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers by 1670, but disease had reduced their population to about 10,000. France sent young women to increase the population of Canada. Intendant Talon administered the economy and made money. Frontenac (1672-82) governed Canada and controlled the fur trade. Laval became the first bishop of Quebec. Jolliet and Marquette explored the Mississippi River in 1673. La Salle supported Frontenac and won over the Illinois and Miamis in the west. La Salle led an expedition that went down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico in 1682; but his attempt to found a colony in Louisiana failed, and he was murdered in 1687. Quebec governor La Barre avoided a war between the Illinois and the Senecas but was recalled. Denonville strengthened Canada’s forts, and in 1687 he went to war against the Iroquois nations. Smallpox and measles killed colonists as well as natives. Lacking troops, Denonville made peace the next year, and the fur trade revived.
Frontenac returned as governor in 1689 during war with England, and the next year he fought off the attack led by Phips against Quebec. La Hontan wrote New Voyages to North-America, praising the Hurons. In Acadia the Jesuits converted Abenakis who attacked English settlers. Because of surplus beaver furs, in 1696 Louis XIV canceled permits. He sent Le Moyne d’Iberville with five ships to attack the English in Hudson Bay. In the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697 France and England confirmed previous territory. Mohawks lost more than half their warriors in this war. In the summer of 1701 many native tribes made a treaty with the French at Montreal. That year Cadillac founded Detroit, and in 1710 he became governor of Louisiana. The Iroquois let the Hurons, Ottawas, and Miamis trade with the English at Albany. France and England were at war again 1702-13. Governor Callieres urged western Indians to attack English settlers, and Governor Philippe Rigaud de Vaudreuil (1703-25) sent troops against New England. The Iroquois tried to stay neutral. In the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht the French ceded Newfoundland, Acadia, and Hudson Bay to England.
In 1714 Intendant Bégon exploited a monopoly on wheat sales. French soldiers defeated the hostile Outagamies in 1716. Canada had few slaves, some Catholic schools and hospitals, no newspapers, and only one printing press. Those who married Indians tended to live with the tribe because of social prejudice. In 1720 John Law’s company caused a financial bubble, but the low interest rates enabled many people to pay off their debts. Bourgmont developed relations with Missouris, Osages, and Comanches. The French began arming Abenakis in Acadia in 1719, and in 1724 the English killed the Jesuit Rale. For the next twenty years the French and English had more peaceful relations. Intendant Hocquart did not use his position for personal profit. Governor Beauharnois (1726-46) sent forces that nearly exterminated the Outagamies in 1734. La Vérendrye and his four sons tried to find a route to the Pacific Ocean, but they were blocked by the Rocky Mountains. France and England came into conflict again and declared war in 1744.
Starting in 1699 Iberville founded colonies at Biloxi, Mobile, and Dauphin Island in Louisiana, and in the war he captured thirty English ships. His brother Bienville governed Louisiana 1701-13, 1718-26, and 1733-41. In 1712 Louis XIV granted Crozat a monopoly on trade in Louisiana that lasted five years. Louisiana began importing thousands of African slaves in 1719. Bienville paid Choctaws for Chickasaw scalps. John Law’s schemes financed investment in Louisiana. In 1724 Louisiana excluded Jews and Protestants, and the Code Noir regulated slavery. The Natchez had advanced agriculture, but Bienville attacked them in 1723. After the Natchez killed 236 French in 1729, the French with Choctaw allies defeated them. Some Natchez found refuge with Chickasaws who were defeated by Choctaws. In 1731 Louisiana became a royal colony and was exempted from commercial duties. Bienville attacked the Chickasaws in 1736 and 1739 but had to cede them land the next year.
The French had trouble founding a colony at Cayenne in Guiana and did not secure it until 1664. The French gained control of western Española and named it St. Domingue in 1659. Major slave revolts broke out in 1679 and 1697. Louis XIV issued the Code Noir in 1685, severely restricting African slaves while regulating the owners’ treatment. The French extended St. Domingue until the border was fixed in 1731.
The European war between France and England that began in 1744 was also fought between New France and New England. The English attacked Fort Louisbourg in May 1745 and captured it in June, forcing 4,460 people to return to France. Canadians invaded Massachusetts in March 1747. A treaty ended the war in October 1748, and captured territory was restored. While the French expanded their colonies at Ile Royale and Ile St. Jean, English settlers came to Nova Scotia. Both sides built forts and sought Indian allies.
Governor Duquesne organized a special militia and in 1753 sent an expedition to build forts in the Ohio valley. In April 1754 French soldiers pushed a few Virginians from the forks of the Ohio River and began building Fort Duquesne. Franklin warned that the English colonies did not have the unity of the French in Canada. England sent 23,000 soldiers for this war but France only 6,800. Soon the English side had twice as many soldiers as Canada. On July 26 the French surrendered the Ile Royale and Ile St. Jean; 5,637 French prisoners were sent to England, and 4,000 people from Louisbourg were deported to France. Canada’s war expenses multiplied, but shipments of food relieved starvation in Quebec in 1759. General Wolfe led 8,500 troops to Quebec, and they defeated and killed Montcalm in a major battle in September. French and Canadians won a marginal victory near St. Foy on 28 April 1760, but General Amherst with 11,000 men marched on Montreal which was besieged by 18,000 troops. Governor Vaudreuil capitulated on September 8, and the English transported the French soldiers back to France. General Thomas Gage became Governor of Montreal, and the British Navy took over the fur trade. Many Canadians lost savings when Louis XV reduced his debt there from 90 million livres to 45.6 million. In 1761 General Amherst had 16,000 British regulars take over posts in Canada. Spain declared war on Britain in early 1762, and on November 3 France secretly ceded Louisiana west of the Mississippi and New Orleans to Spain. In the Treaty of Paris on 10 February 1763 France ceded New France to England.
Some French left, and the British excluded Catholics from government. King George III reserved the western lands for Indians. Governor Murray tried to be fair to the French Catholic majority in Quebec, but he was recalled in 1765. The British opened up trade with the Indians in 1768. Governor Carleton supported community leaders, but he left in 1770 and returned in 1774, the year of the Quebec Act which reformed the government in 1775. Although some Halifax merchants supported the American boycott of tea, most of the British in Canada sided with England during the American Revolution; but no Canadians attended the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. During the British-American War some Canadians helped Americans take forts on Lake Champlain, but the Americans failed to hold Montreal or take Quebec. The British sent 10,000 troops to Canada in May 1776, and the Americans retreated. General Burgoyne let his army get trapped and surrendered at Saratoga in October 1777. France allied with the Americans and would not let them invade Canada while the Americans had no interest in helping the French regain Canada. In the treaty of 1783 the British ceded the Ohio valley to the Americans. Many Loyalists left the United States and went to Nova Scotia and Quebec.
Lt. Governor Henry Hamilton implemented reforms in the laws and was recalled in 1785. The Constitutional Act of 1791 let French civil law function in the eastern Lower Canada while British common law was instituted in the western Upper Canada. They and Nova Scotia exported fish, flour, and timber to the West Indies. Newfoundland also exported fish and built ships. Mackenzie and others explored the north and west. In the 1794 treaty with England the Americans opened the Mississippi River and promised not to interfere with the Canadian fur trade. Lower Canada had 145,000 French and 10,000 English, and their Legislative Assembly first met in December 1792. The French had a majority but not in the Legislative and Executive councils. They agreed to use English laws and rules of evidence. In 1793 they banned bringing in slaves. Agents of Genet and the French Revolution led to riots, and a militia act and the Alien and Sedition Act were passed. The French won more seats in 1797; but the English still controlled the councils, and they granted land to their friends. Lt. Governor Milnes (1799-1805) encouraged education, and newspapers flourished. Governor General Craig (1807-11) dissolved the Assembly and persecuted the publishers of Le Canadien. Upper Canada went from 14,000 people in 1791 to 90,000 in 1812. Lt. Governor Simcoe encouraged Loyalists and opposed slavery. Americans speculated in land. In 1803 the Canadian courts were given jurisdiction over the Indian territory. Montreal’s fur trade prospered.
Much of the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain was fought near the Canadian border. Canada had less than 500,000 people, but the British sent more troops to supplement the 6,000 regulars already there. Governor Brock organized the war effort and won a victory in August 1812 capturing 2,182 soldiers at Fort Detroit. Some Americans wanted to take over Canada, but the British, Canadians, and Indians led by Tecumseh managed to defend it fairly well. In 1813 the Americans in their Niagara campaign outnumbered the British, and they burned the capital buildings at York. The Americans also took control of Lake Erie and Lake Champlain. General Harrison’s US Army defeated the Indian confederacy and killed Tecumseh on October 5, and the Americans regained most of Michigan. However, in 1814 the Americans retreated from Canada, and the British plundered Washington. In the peace treaty the boundaries of 1783 remained the same. After the war Americans going into Canada had to take an oath of allegiance. Upper Canada’s Lt. Governor Gore granted land to American refugees and prorogued the Assembly which challenged that.
In 1818 the United States and British Canada agreed to the Rush-Bagot Treaty which banned warships from the Great Lakes. A convention set the western boundary as the 49th parallel to the Rocky Mountains and opened the Oregon territory west of the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean. Canada had about 800,000 people, and immigration would increase to 66,000 in 1832. Montreal merchants formed the Bank of Canada in 1818. Robert Gourlay studied and challenged land deals and was banished in 1820. In 1821 a royal charter established McGill University. Epidemics devastated native tribes until the smallpox vaccine was introduced. Robert Baldwin helped reform Upper Canada in the south by the Ontario and Erie lakes. In the northeast Lower Canada exported wheat. The Hudson’s Bay Company dominated in the West. Canals connected the Erie and Ontario lakes to the Ottawa River by 1834. Louis Joseph Papineau led the Lower Canada Assembly most of the time 1815-37, and the government used the Quebec Gazette.
William Lyon Mackenzie was a critical journalist who had his printing equipment destroyed and replaced, and he was expelled from the Assembly five times. Cholera killed 3,292 Canadians in 1832. Mackenzie was elected Mayor of York which was renamed Toronto in March 1834, and his committee reported on grievances. In 1835 Speaker Papineau rejected Governor-General Gosford’s proposal on revenue control. Governor-General Head explained how the elite Family Compact governed society, and he criticized the United States government. Mackenzie began the Constitution newspaper in July 1836, and Democrats formed a committee.
Dissenters against British rule began meeting in Lower Canada in May 1837. Led by Papineau in October they adopted revolutionary resolutions. Mackenzie at more than a hundred meetings helped farmers prepare to defend their rights, and he issued the Call to Revolution in 1837. About 5,000 people met at Saint Charles and urged counties to elect pacificators, justices of the peace, and militia officers while at Montreal 7,000 people supported the British. On November 4 a thousand led by Robert Nelson declared the independence of Lower Canada at Napierville. Fighting broke out, and captured Patriotes were punished. Papineau organized a boycott of British imports into Lower Canada, and he formed the Conseil des patriotes. Mackenzie published a draft constitution. Government declared martial law in Toronto on December 5, and 1,500 troops defeated 200 French militia. Mackenzie’s men destroyed the US ship Caroline. The government suspended habeas corpus until 1840. Fighting led to the trial of 1,900 rebels. Governor General and High Commissioner Durham made a 141-page report.
The Act of Union in 1840 united Canada in February 1841 with English the official language. Canada East had 670,000 people with 510,000 speaking French, and Canada West had 432,000. Lt. Governor Charles Bagot came to govern in January 1842. He spoke French and included Lafontaine and two other French Reformers in his council. East and West had different laws, and Lafontaine and Baldwin became their Attorney Generals. Conflict over the border with the US state of Maine was resolved in the Ashburton-Webster treaty in August. Governor General Charles Metcalfe declined the advice of his council which resigned in late 1843. Metcalfe dissolved the legislature and called for elections in 1844 which gave him a majority.
The British governed Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick independently of the Canadian provinces. Dalhousie University was founded at Halifax in Nova Scotia in 1818.
British Canada and the United States established the border in 1818. Epidemics wiped out many native people, and the Hudson’s Bay Company had a monopoly in the northwest. The journalist Mackenzie survived adversity and became Mayor of Toronto. The British defeated the Canadian revolt for democracy of 1837 in 1838. The British united Canada in 1841 with English as the official language. The border dispute with the United States was settled in 1842.
Canada West had more wealth than Canada East, and British immigrants moved into Canada East. Efforts were made to heal the conflicts of the Rebellion of 1837 by offering amnesty and by providing compensation. Canada East organized schools in Catholic parishes. Conflict in the far west between the Oregon Territory of the United States and Canada was resolved by making the 49th parallel the border with the British keeping Vancouver Island. Canadians moved more toward free trade by lowering duties on American manufactured goods. Many poor Irish immigrants came in the late 1840s and were quarantined. Elgin governed the Canadian Union 1847-54, and he included the French on his Legislative Council. Papineau began publishing the newspaper L’Avenir in Montreal. The Ojibway were concerned about the land policy. Robert Baldwin worked on improving self-government in the West, and his Reform government passed over 200 bills. The Canadian Union ended primogeniture in 1850.
In the 17th century the Five Nations of the Iroquois were using their consolidated power to subjugate other tribes. Women had important roles, and the tribal peoples tended to be more egalitarian. The Mohawks obtained firearms from the Dutch and English and used them against the French and their Algonquin enemies. Champlain entered America by way of the St. Lawrence River and formed alliances with the Algonquins and Hurons. Again the French had steel swords, armor, guns, and devastating diseases that enabled them to dominate the natives. In addition to the fishing off the Grand Banks, the French traded for furs, especially beaver which was prized by Europeans who wanted felt hats. Thus the French came in fewer numbers than the Spanish and English settlers and so were not as threatening to the Indians. Jesuits attempted to convert natives but did not impose their religion and culture as forcefully as the Spaniards.
In 1663 Louis XIV took over New France from the Company, and Canada was ruled by governors and a council in Quebec. The French colonies were Catholic, and the first bishop Laval tried to prohibit the sale of alcohol to Indians. Giving or trading liquor to Indians was often used by the French and English to take advantage of the natives. Trading for beaver pelts continued, and strategic forts were built. The authoritarian nature of the royal colony and Catholic religion did not allow for the development of democratic assemblies nor even a newspaper. By traveling down the Mississippi River and claiming Louisiana, La Salle prepared the way for France to dominate the western territory from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. As the English colonists moved west, this would lead to increasing conflicts between the French and English in the wars of 1689-97, 1702-13, 1744-48, and the major war that would break out in 1754; greater numbers and military power would enable the English to take over French Canada in 1760.
New France was also administered by intendants, who often were corrupt and enriched themselves and their merchant friends. For mutual benefit the Indians and the French attempted to get along with each other, and an important peace treaty was made with most of the Indian nations at Montreal in 1701. Because of European social prejudices against the Indians, those in mixed marriages usually lived with the native tribe. The Indian life-style must have been appealing for there to be more French going native than Indians choosing to join the Christian society. Jesuits established some communities for Christian Indians. The Mohawks were closest of the Iroquois to the English and had already lost half their warriors. Acadia being near New England was a region of greater conflict as the Abenakis were French allies. Between 1724 and 1744 New France enjoyed a period of peace with less corruption after 1729 under Intendant Hocquart. In the west most of the Indian nations learned to get along with the French traders except for the hostile Outagamies who were attacked until the tribe dissolved. Colonies in Louisiana after 1701 developed a different economy as African slaves were imported to work on sugar plantations. Again battles were fought between the European colonists and the native tribes. French colonists also exploited slaves in the West Indies and Guiana under the Code Noir, and slave revolts would lead eventually to a successful slave revolution in Haiti.
Monarchical France lost control of Canada in the war that ended with the treaty of 1763. After some religious discrimination the British gradually recognized the rights of French Catholics. The British in Canada did not join the American revolution as most supported England, though some fought for the Americans. The numerous French still had little power. The peace treaty in 1783 established the borders with the Ohio valley in the United States. Canada provided a refuge for Loyalists leaving the United States.
The Constitutional Act of 1791 divided Canada with most of the French in Lower Canada in the east and the British in the less populated Upper Canada in the west. Although the French elected a majority in the Lower Canada Assembly, the ruling councils and governors above them were still controlled by the British. Canada was greatly affected by the war that broke out between the United States and England in 1812. The Indians tended to side with the British because they had lost land in the territories of the United States. England sent more troops, and Canada managed to defend itself with a much smaller population. Thus the war changed little as the borders remained the same.
British Canada and the United States banned warships in the Great Lakes and established the border in 1818. Epidemics wiped out many native people, and the Hudson’s Bay Company had a monopoly in the northwest. The journalist Mackenzie survived adversity and became Mayor of Toronto. The British defeated the Canadian revolt for democracy of 1837 in 1838. The British united Canada in 1841 with English as the official language. The border dispute with the United States was settled in 1842. The Canadian Union and the United States with the established border improved trade. Canada’s Governor-General Elgin (1847-54) worked with the French while Baldwin led reforms in Canada West.
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