Short Research and Writing Assignment – 2nd source

The second source I would like to summarize and give an analysis of is chapter 10 in the book “Latin America and Its People” vol.2 by Cheryl E. Martin and Mark Wasserman. The chapter is titled Everyday Life In a Uncertain Age and it deals with Latin American during the years of 1800-1880 and talks about the everything economic and social conditions of people in their respected countries.

The chapter is mainly centred around the differences of life for poor and rich, free and slave, and women from different walks of life. The chapter notes that there was a huge gap between the poor and the rich in many of the countries in the region. The chapter looks at poor Mexican workers during that time and how they got into debt with institutions like the Church to perform notable social tasks like marriage and burial but also go into debt to the richer citizens in their respected towns and cities.

The chapter also focuses on Slavery and how the conditions they worked under. The chapter notes that the jobs of slaves varied but they mainly had to deal with manual labour. Brazil is used as an example in this chapter and it is noted that most of the slaves worked on coffee plantations in Rio de Janeiro and Sãn Paulo. The chapter also notes that since 1850, the steady flow of slaves stopped due to British economic influence and that many Africans born in Brazil created their own culture and mixed traditional Portuguese culture or Brazil with the African practices from their old homes. An example of this mixing was seen in religion where Catholicism was mixed with traditional tribal practices that were prevalent in Africa.

Finally, the life of women was extremely different among all the classes and practiced differently. Widows of richer husbands were seen as having more freedom when windows of poorer husbands had to deal with more troubles with money and food. The chapter also notes that the husband usually had all the power in the union. It was common for husbands to beat their wives and husbands to have affairs with other men when on the other hand it was unacceptable for a women to have a man on the side hidden from her husband.

To end this posting, I will argue how this source will be useful for me and my partners video project. This chapter from Martin and Wasserman’s book details the everyday life, habits, and customs of people in the entire Latin American region. It gives great details on the religious, social and economic life of women, poor workers, rich elites, and African slaves. With this, this source will be useful for adding more to the narrative and and the changes that Latin American experience during the time of abolition of slavery and the growing fight for the rights of women.

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