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A comparative study of two Latin American revolutions exhibits the causes and effects necessary to define a struggle for independence. Through examining the Haitian and Brazilian independence movements, the differences between the fight for freedom and re

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Introduction

Thuy-Khue Tran Mrs. Pereira 15 October 2009 IB History of the Americas 3-4 The history of Latin America endured a period that was riddled with conquest and a series of wars of independence. A comparative study of two Latin American revolutions exhibits the causes and effects necessary to define a struggle for independence. Through examining the Haitian and Brazilian independence movements, the differences between the fight for freedom and reform in Latin America become clear. The people of Haiti instigated their revolution - a true grass root movement. On the contrary, Brazil's movement for reform was strictly a consequence of a shift of political power from different authorities. In both countries, a driving force caused the people of Haiti and Brazil to commence a movement for change. Just as important as the causes of a war are the effects and the aftermath of the battle; at times the war is started to benefit the people and in other cases the war is fought for the advantage of the privileged and elite. The primary struggles, techniques and effects of the Haitian and Brazilian drive for independence visibly provide evidence as to why and how these two revolutions are distinct from one another. ...read more.

Middle

As a result, the main cause of Haiti's social movement for reform was to establish equality for all people and to permanently abolish slavery. Thus the Haitian war centered around the new ideals for equal opportunity and liberation. In sharp contrast, the battle for independence in Brazil did not result in blood shed or social equality. The prestigious and elite Peninusalres enjoyed their wealth of power in Brazil during Napoleon's invasion of the Iberian Peninsula. After Napoleon's demise, the Portuguese reclaimed control and dominance over their country as Portugal's various bodies of government reunited. Soon after King Joao VI returned to rule Portugal and he left his son Pedro to preside over Brazil as prince regent. However, "the Portuguese C�rtes was determined to rule the Empire from Lisbon and lower Brazil to the status of a colony again (Mabry 5)." The rich and powerful residents of Brazil feared a loss of their influence and privileges; they objected to the institution of the mercantilism policy which restricted their freedom to trade. The elite refused to conform to the rules and regulations of Portugal because like Spain and its colonies, "Mercantilism [would bring Brazil] into the world economy in a subservient position to the mother country (DeWitt 11)." ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, Emperor Pedro ruled liberally and pursued a stable and successful constitutional monarchy. By creating an independent Brazil, the elitist freed themselves from the chains of mercantilism, while still retaining the benefits of monarchy. On the contrary, Haiti did not reach their goal of liberty and equality. They replaced their system of slavery with a forced labor structure that generated chaos and conflict between the public and the government. Although Haiti has the distinction of being the first free black republic in the western hemisphere, it also has the unfortunate distinction of being the one of the most unsuccessful republics in the west. It is still plagued by poverty and continued on the path of instability from the early days of its revolution. Aside from the conflicts between social classes, Haiti also suffers from political damage from the revolution. By gaining independence from their mother country, Haiti and Brazil were left on their own to either prosper or ruin. The countries were building their steps to a better organized country. However, Haiti's revolution resulted in ruin, while Brazil prospered and accomplish its goal- to benefit the elite. In both cases, the political, social, and economic causes contribute to the vast differences in the Haitian and Brazilian revolutions. ...read more.

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