Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Does Skin Color Matter?

Source: http://goo.gl/gQC8FS

Latin American Revolutions Overview

Race should never be a problem, but it is. A person's race was and still is viewed as a big deal by many people. Even though I disagree with those who always make their decisions based on what race someone is, I have to acknowledge the fact that race played a big role in history. But today, we are here to find out; why is it essential to acknowledge human value regardless of race? We are going to
take the events of the Latin American Revolutions and use them as evidence of this social imperative. To start out the unit on Latin American Revolutions, we looked at a very essential map that shows when present-day Latin American countries received independence from colonial rule. The map can be seen below. First, let's learn about the different races in the population on Latin America in 1800. The largest percent of the population was made up of Indians, making up of about 50% of the population. These were people who lived in Latin America before the Spanish arrived. Next, the Creoles, who made up about 23% of the population. They were people of pure Spanish blood who were born in America. They owned the largest and richest mines and haciendas. However, they did not hold that many high-ranking jobs in government, the church, or trade. The African slaves, considered property, made up 11% of the population. Together, Mulattoes and Free Blacks made up about 8% of the population. Mulattoes were mixed people with African and Spanish blood. Mestizos, people of mixed Spanish and Indian heritage, mostly small farmers and shopkeepers, made up about 7% of the total population. Lastly, Peninsulares. They were born in Spain and migrated to the colonies. They made up less than 1% of the population, and they worked in high-ranking jobs in the government, military, and church. The highest social class was Peninsulares, then Creoles, Mestizos, Mulattoes, Indians, and African slaves in the lowest level. Now that we know about the people that made up the colonies, let's take a look at the events of the Revolutions.

This map represents when each country in Latin America gained independence.
Source: http://goo.gl/gQC8FS
This photo shows what the child of different race parents would be called. As you can see, every race was considered.
Source: http://goo.gl/gQC8FS

Brazillian Revolution Timeline

  • 1789: People who worked under Captain Minas Gerais revolted & protested for the imperial control and the imposition of new taxes.
  • 1793: Jose de Silva Xavier (Toothpuller) was hanged because he fought for Brazillian independence.
  • 1807 and 1808: Napoleon invades Portugal and Spain. Portuguese royalty fled to Rio de Janeiro. 
  • 1808: Spanish king Ferdinand VII is deposed (removed from office) and imprisoned.
  • 1815: King John VI of Portugal made Brazil a kingdom, placing it on equal footing with Portugal
  • 1820: Portuguese army started a revolution to get a constitutional government. John VI would be the constitutional monarch, but he had to return to Portugal
  • 1821: John VI leaves Brazil for Portugal reluctantly. His 23 year old son Pedro stayed in Brazil as the prince regent.
  • 1822: On September 7th, Pedro declares Brazil's independence. Pedro becomes Pedro the First, the emperor.
  • 1824: Pedro writes a constitution
  • 1825: Portugal recognizes Brazil's independence 
  • 1827: Brazil loses against Argentinians 
  • 1831: Pedro abdicates the throne and returns to Portugal

Brazil, Gran Colombia, and Mexico's Revolutions

My group read about Brazil's Revolution in this document for the activity. The timeline above is what we created using information from the document. After making this using the Brazil document, we shared our timeline with classmates from other country groups. (Mexico and Gran Colombia). We had to figure out what two things were similar between all three revolutions, and two things that were different. The two commonalities they shared was that all of the revolutions had success in gaining independence, and all countries broke apart from their ruling countries. Brazil gained independence from Portugal, Gran Colombia from Spain, and on August 24, 1821, Spanish Viceroy Juan de O'Donojú signed the Treaty of Córdoba, which approved a plan to make Mexico an independent constitutional monarchy. Race was an issue in all three revolutions and affected the events. Gran Colombia Revolution leader Simón Bolívar was born Venezuelan, so he was born in the new world. He wanted to lead an army against the minority of Peninsulares. The soldiers in his army were most likely Creole or in a lower class. In Brazil, the elites in the captaincy of Minas Gerais revolted against the imperial taxes, so they were possibly Creoles, and they revolted against the Peninsulares from Europe. Mexico's Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was a catholic priest, so he was also most likely a Creole. He and a group of Mestizos, people with white and Indian parents, and peasants revolted against the Peninsulares. As you can see, race had a big impact on the Revolutions and nobody really liked the high class Peninsulares. 

Current Issues with Race?

Race is still a bigger issue today than it should be. Everyday, stories are being reported on about whether or not race was an issue with a certain event. The most recent event is the verdict on the shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown on August 9th. The police officer that shot and killed Brown, Darren Wilson, was found not guilty last night. Many riots broke out, because Brown was unarmed. Since he is African American, a lot of people believe he was shot just because of his race. Whether that is true or not, it shouldn't even be something we have to worry about in this day and age. It is kind of depressing that kids in 2014 are growing up still with racism in their lives and on their TVs & computer screens. They shouldn't have to learn that some people don't accept others because of their skin color. It is very important to consider the issue of race because we need to put an end to it. A story from April of this year was about Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling getting banned for life for saying racial comments towards blacks on recording. Race is still an issue in the U.S. today and should be paid attention to by people of all ages and put to an end. 

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