Week 8: Signs of Crisis in a Gilded Age

This week took into consideration the different results that modernization and the export boom brought about. It was interesting to think about the different reasons behind a revolutionary movement and who decides to call a movement “successful”. More importantly, and Dawson makes the point, the revolutions, or social/economic/political movements in Latin America did not distribute the gains equally across the population. It was because there were losers that the winners got to win. This helps explain many of the reasons behind how Latin America has had trouble developing, simply because there have been great disparities.

Again, it seems that Latin America is shaped and is a result of the reproduction of certain practices and institutional conditions. The revolution seems to benefit only certain groups, as did Independence and this was certainly the case for many other countries in Latin America.

In regards to this week, several questions come up: first, is, and should, violent revolutions be the solution towards disposing authoritarian regimes? Secondly, how effective are revolutions that do not take into account sectors of the population and are simply a replication of elite politics? Lastly, who gets to define what a revolution is and what characteristics a revolution should have?

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