Independence Processes in Spanish and Portuguese Latin America
Latin America consists mainly of Portuguese and Spanish people. As they are united within one region of the U.S., their history has much in common. The process of their independence also has similar points. The first similarity deals with the trigger of the independence process. The movements began due to the actions of the representatives of the upper classes. Their ideas were undertaken by the lower classes that started the revolts. As Spain was invaded by Napoleon, the governors understood that the country will not take care of the colonies, and they need to become independent and take care of themselves.
In Portugal, this event made the royal government function from the colonies and reinforce the relationships. As they transformed the colony into the capital, which maintained many innovations and improved the living conditions, the idea of independence got into the limelight. Moreover, the representatives of the upper classes were familiar with the Enlightenment ideas, as they were studying the works of the European philosophers. The theme of liberty was among the central ones, and it influenced the views of the Spanish and Portuguese people greatly.
The second common feature is the connection between the movements and religion. The Church took part in the process of independence in both colonies. It encouraged the revolutions and became one of the leaders of the independence movements. In this way, the Church showed its connection with the general public and made people treat it with respect. Thus, as independence was gained, the citizens advocated the prestige of the Church. The third similar point is the discrepancy in the reasons why people wanted to become independent. In both colonies, the population was roughly divided into classes. The upper ones wanted to get economic independence and become politically recognized. The lower classes were fighting for equality in all spheres, including politics. Slaves were aimed at gaining basic human rights as well as social and political freedom from their masters. Still, the independence movements were their common tool for achieving their purposes.