Caudillos vs. the Nation State

I have drawn parallels of the fight for independence of these countries to that of Quebec and Canada, and once again this chapter reminds me of such links. Dawson talks about the caudillos and that they are strongmen, charismatic, and leaders who fought for their people. In the case of Santa Anna, and him being a caudillo and Mexican ruler for many years, he was backed by a Catholic society. This is in such a case the same situation that French fighters in Quebec were in when they were fighting for independence from Britain reign. They also had the religious aspect, as Quebecers for the most part belonged to the Catholic Church, and the Ontarians belonged to the Protestant church. There were a few select figures in Quebec, who saw French nationalism as a good thing and who wanted their needs to be met. Unfortunately for the Quebecers, France had not cared about their colony because they lacked sufficient resources that the France of Europe could benefit from. Instead France focussed on areas such as Haiti, because there they had the resource of sugar. I draw this conclusion because we see some of these Latin American countries striving for independence to be under the same issue as not wanting to be backed by Spain, for various reasons. Dawson explained how the cultural and ethnic divisions were “too vast,” and [Spain’s] idea of being connected by patriotism and blood, among other things, could not work,

“The Slaughterhouse” was an interesting read because we read into the early history of Latin America and the strive of independence from the charismatic leaders of the colonies. The caudillo is fictionalized into groups of people that ultimately relay a message of good or bad: this idea of socially constructed ideas depending on what side you’re on. Going back to the last couple weeks and talking about who benefitted from revolts, independence and liberation. Some of these people were viewed as bad, and some were viewed as good. There are figures, like Santa Ana or Che Guevara, figures who are viewed as both good and bad, depending on which side you’re on and how you viewed the situation. Mostly these views were war based or politically segregated: ‘I didn’t benefit from his leadership’ or ‘I benefitted from his leadership.’

Though the caudillo is viewed as either hero or enemy, how did the idea of a caudillo leadership reform Latin American independence?

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