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Anticolonialism in Latin America

Independence, Neocolonialism, Anti-imperialism, Non-spanish Caribbean, Bibliography

Over the past five hundred years, Latin America has experienced three and possibly four periods of colonization, all of which gave rise to anticolonial movements. The first period symbolically began with Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas on 12 October 1492, launching three centuries of Spanish, Portuguese, and British colonial control over the hemisphere, with the French, Dutch, Danish, and other European powers competing for slices of the action in the Caribbean. In most of Latin America, this period came to an end with the wars of independence from about 1810 to 1825. Political independence ushered in a second period (known as neocolonialism), in which the countries of Latin America were still subject to foreign economic control—this time largely by the British. During the third period, corresponding to the twentieth century, this economic dependency shifted from the British to the United States, and anticolonial responses increasingly assumed anti-imperialistic characteristics. The twenty-first century arguably introduced a fourth period of neocolonialism, in which Latin America has become subject to control through the maquiladora system to transnational capital not necessarily rooted in one country and in which the export commodity is labor rather than raw materials.

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