Do not write on revolutions Document Based Questions Question



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Latin American DBQ – Class Set DO NOT WRITE ON

Revolutions Document Based Questions

Question: Using the provided documents, explain how the causes of revolution were similar and different in two of the following revolutions: English Revolution, American Revolution, French Revolution, Haitian Revolution, Mexican Revolution, or the Venezuelan Revolution.
Historical Background: In 1688 the English overthrew their king (James II) and replaced him with new king, who would recognize an increase of citizen rights by signing the English Bill of Rights. This event, also known as the Glorious Revolution, was justified by John Locke in Two Treatise on Government (1689). In response, Locke would be considered the father of the Enlightenment, a philosophical movement that inspired the people to question their government and rulers (kings). These Enlightenment ideals would be displayed through a chain reaction of political revolutions in the 18th and 19th centuries in America, France, Haiti and throughout Latin America. The success and failure of these revolutions may lie in their goals and the causes for which they fought.

Document 1


Source: Declaration of Independence. Signed July 4, 1776, near the beginning of the American Revolution


The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world… He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good…He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them…For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world…For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent…For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury



  1. Thomas Jefferson gave six reasons in this excerpt of the Declaration of Independence. List four of them in plain English from this document.

    1. ___________________________________________________

    2. ___________________________________________________

    3. ___________________________________________________

    4. ___________________________________________________


Document 2


Source: Political cartoon illustrating the Estate system in 18th century France prior to French Revolution.



  1. The political cartoon in Document 3 shows the Estate system in France before 1789. AN Estate is a class of people with different rights, privileges and duties. There were three estates. Judging by the cartoon, you can assume the man with the long black hair is Louis XVI, the King of France. Who do the other three men represent as classes?



    1. The man with the tall hat who Louis is hiding behind, represents the _____________________ of the Catholic Church

    2. The short man with the uniform represents the _____________ or aristocrats with titles from birth

    3. The man at the bottom whom the other three are riding like an animal must represent ____________________ made up of peasants, professionals, merchants, and people in towns.





Document 3


Source: PROCLAMATION OF HAITI'S INDEPENDENCE BY THE GENERAL IN CHIEF, Jean Jacques Dessalines to the Haitian people in Gonaives, on January 1st 1804, year first of Haiti's independence


Dear Citizens,

It is not enough to have expelled from your country the barbarians who have bloodied it for two centuries; it is not enough to have put a brake to these ever reviving factions which take turns to play-act this liberty, like ghost that France had exposed before your eyes; it is necessary, by a last act of national authority, assure forever an empire of liberty in this country our birth place; we must take away from this inhumane government, which held for so long our spirits in the most humiliating torpor (lifelessness), all hope to resubjugate (enslave) us; we must at last live independent or die.

Let us be on guard however so that the spirit of proselytism does not destroy our work; let our neighbors breath in peace, may they live in peace under the empire of the laws that they have legislated themselves, and let us not go, like spark fire revolutionaries, erecting ourselves as legislators of the Caribbean, to make good of our glory by troubling the peace of neighboring islands: they have never, like the one that we live in, been soaked of the innocent blood of their inhabitants; they have no vengeance to exercise against the authority that protects them.

Let us swear to the entire universe, to posterity, to ourselves, to renounce forever to France, and to die rather than to live under its domination.



To fight until the last crotchet rest for the independence of our country!



  1. In Document 6, General-in-Chief Dessalines demands independence of Haiti from France. What reason does he give that Haiti should be granted independence from France, considering what the Frenchmen had recently gone through themselves? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________






Document 4


Source: Source: François Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture, Letter, in C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins, 2d ed. (New York: Vintage Books, 1963), 195-197


I shall never hesitate between the safety of San Domingo and my personal happiness; but I have nothing to fear. It is to the solicitude of the French Government that I have confided my children.... I would tremble with horror if it was into the hands of the colonists that I had sent them as hostages; but even if it were so, let them know that in punishing them for the fidelity of their father, they would only add one degree more to their barbarism, without any hope of ever making me fail in my duty.... Blind as they are! They cannot see how this odious conduct on their part can become the signal of new disasters and irreparable misfortunes, and that far from making them regain what in their eyes liberty for all has made them lose, they expose themselves to a total ruin and the colony to its inevitable destruction. Do they think that men who have been able to enjoy the blessing of liberty will calmly see it snatched away? They supported their chains only so long as they did not know any condition of life more happy than that of slavery. But to-day when they have left it, if they had a thousand lives they would sacrifice them all rather than be forced into slavery again. But no, the same hand which has broken our chains will not enslave us anew. France will not revoke her principles, she will not withdraw from us the greatest of her benefits. She will protect us against all our enemies; she will not permit her sublime morality to be perverted, those principles which do her most honour to be destroyed, her most beautiful achievement to be degraded, and her Decree of 16 Pluviôsewhich so honors humanity to be revoked. But if, to re-establish slavery in San Domingo, this was done, then I declare to you it would be to attempt the impossible: we have known how to face dangers to obtain our liberty, we shall know how to brave death to maintain it.



  1. What does L’Ovuverture cite as the irony and hypocrisy imposed by France on the Haitians, and why does he say, the Haitians will not tolerate it?

    1. ___________________________________________________

    2. ___________________________________________________




Document 5


Source: The following selections come from a proclamation by Simon Bolivar, calling Venezuelans to arms in the fight against Spanish occupation, which occurred in 1813.

THE 1813 PROCLAMATION

We are sent to destroy the Spaniards, to protect the Americans, and to re-establish the republican governments that once formed the Confederation of Venezuela. The states defended by our arms are again governed by their former constitutions and tribunals, in full enjoyment of their liberty and independence, for our mission is designed only to break the chains of servitude which still shackle some of our towns, and not to impose laws or exercise acts of dominion to which the rules of war might entitle us.



Moved by your misfortunes, we have been unable to observe with indifference the afflictions you were forced to experience by the barbarous Spaniards, who have ravished you, plundered you, and brought you death and destruction. They have violated the sacred rights of nations. They have broken the most solemn agreements and treaties. In fact, they have committed every manner of crime, reducing the Republic of Venezuela to the most frightful desolation. Justice therefore demands vengeance, and necessity compels us to exact it. Let the monsters who infest Colombian soil, who have drenched it in blood, be cast out forever; may their punishment be equal to the enormity of their perfidy, so that we may eradicate the stain of our ignominy and demonstrate to the nations of the world that the sons of America cannot be offended with impunity.



  1. First, what is the assumption you must make about Venezuela and Colombia (Gran Columbia) before you answer the question: What objection does Simon Bolivar have to the Spanish occupation of Gran Colombia?

    1. ___________________________________________________

    2. ___________________________________________________







Document 6


Source: A Casta Painting- Casta is a Portuguese and Spanish term used in seventeenth and eighteenth centuries mainly in Spanish America to describe as a whole the mixed-race people which appeared in the post-Conquest period.


  1. What does the Casta painting say about changes in Latin America after conquest? Then state why Creole rule would be resented by the children shown in this painting.

    1. ___________________________________________________

    2. ___________________________________________________




  1. In general, give justification to the Latin American Revolutions in light of the global perspective offered in the documents prior to the revolutions.


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