Week 6: Citizenship and Rights in the New Republics

This week’s readings were interesting, especially because when thinking about and studying rights and citizenship in Latin America, the black population is most likely to be left out. It was also interesting because when thinking about emancipation in Latin America the case study is usually Haiti, and in this week’s readings we could see that the emancipation process was something that happened elsewhere and at different times such as in Cuba and in Brazil.

I found Dawson’s chapter a bit dry as I was expecting to know more about indigenous populations, because at the end of the day these are the majority in some Latin American countries.Especially how indigenous rights have played a part in each country’s constitution. Yet Dawson’s chapter was largely focused towards slavery and the emancipation process, which helps explain some countries in Latin America, but not make generalizations across the region. I think the comparisons Dawson draws to the United States are helpful but do not help in constructing an idea of Latin America as it seems that what the author is trying to do is draw comparisons between the United States and Latin America, when in reality things played out differently. Although I do consider the African and slave population to have played an important part in the construction of Latin America, I would argue that the study of indigenous populations and their struggle for rights should be considered, especially given the case that some countries still have large indigenous populations.

Question: why was there such a difference between the United States and the rest of America when considering black populations?

3 thoughts on “Week 6: Citizenship and Rights in the New Republics

  1. roberto pelayo mazzone

    I believe that it has largely due to the severe economic difference and unfairness with regards to both areas. Latin America is an incredibly unstable region economically with big money for a small amount of people. In the United States there is a much stronger economy for larger amounts of people to take advantage of, although disenfranchised groups still live under the poverty line.

  2. Silas Latchem

    Hi! Great post. In response to your question, I believe it could be related to America’s seemingly constant need to break groups into less than distinct categories. Even Latin America separated racial groups into a variety of different “races,” but there seems to be a much more homogenous approach to categorization in the states. (One drop, and all that) This could lead to a greater rift between the decided races, as each struggles to find their own identity.


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