Not long ager the Haitian Rebellion, revolution spread to virtually all of Latin America.
From 1810 to 1825, Mexico, Central America, and South America gained their independence from Spain and Portugal.
As with the American Revolution, reasons for the Latin American uprisings included a growing sense of national identity and local resentment of Spanish and Portuguese economic policies.
Also important was the frustration that the European-descended, or criollo (“creole”), upper and middle classes felt toward the rigid social hierarchy of Latin American societies, which prevented them from realizing their goal of upward social and economic mobility.
The spark that set off the Latin American revolutions was lit back in Europe, by Napoleon.
As part of his campaign of European conquest, Napoleon invaded Portugal and Spain in 1807 to 1809.
He toppled the royal governments there and put his own representatives, including his brother, in charge.
The Spanish king was placed under house arrest, while the Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil.
These sudden blows to the Spanish and Portuguese monarchies had a swift and profound impact on Latin American politics.
Brazil’s transition to independence was relatively smooth.
Spain’s Latin American possessions, however, rose up in rebellion.
The decision to free Brazil came from above, rather than below,
In 1820, the King of Portugal returned to Portugal to reclaim throne.
He left his son, Prince Pedro, as regent but told his son to make sure that if Brazilians demanded independence that he proclaim itHe did in 1822 Brazil became a constitutional monarchy.
TO TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE
By William Wordsworth TOUSSAINT, the most unhappy man of men!
Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough
Within thy hearing, or thy head be now
Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless den;
O miserable Chieftain! where and when
Wilt thou find patience? Yet die not; do thou
Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow:
Though fallen thyself, never to rise again,
Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind
Powers that will work for thee; air, earth, and skies;
There's not a breathing of the common wind
That will forget thee; thou hast great allies;
Thy friends are exultations, agonies,
And love, and man's unconquerable mind.