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Week 8 – Signs of Crisis in a Gilded Age

In the lecture video for this week, “ Signs of Crisis in a Gilded Age” professor John talked about the evident effect the United States has on Latin America. 

In To Roosevelt, the author has a certain respect  for the U.S. while criticizing the nation. I first interpreted the author’s feeling towards the USA as fear. Fear in the sense of what the United States may have represented for Latin America, “a new form of colonization” as mentioned in the lecture video. Yet nevertheless, the fear did not paralyze Latin Americans to talk back and stand up for themselves as Ruben Dario does in the poem. The overall attitude was a defensive arrogance. There definitely is an awe factor for the United States but it seems like Latin America (assuming the poem represents it) must put up a strong front or else their fear may come true. The arrogant aspect of it is not because they necessarily think that the United States is inherently worse, but the need to emphasize their worth as a culture so they are not taken advantage of. 

I personally wrote down in my notes “Future wherever your bullet strikes. No.” because I found it striking, in comparison to Professor Beasley-Murray who explained it to be one of the most important lines throughout the poem. It caught my eye because it could imply the assumption that the United States are ruthless innovators, hence planning their future based on where the bullets land. 

Discussion Question: What belief did La Raza Cosmica tie Latin Americans to be superior to?Was it referring to christianity or was it also including indigenous beliefs?

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