Compare and contrast revolutionary and reform movements in Latin America and China during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. How were their goals and methods similar and different?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

First, a quick summary of revolutionary and reform movements in each region, then we will directly compare and contrast them.

For Latin America, reform movements began with the Spanish and Portuguese monarchs with the Bourbon and Pombal reforms, respectively. These reforms encouraged mercantilism and state control, something that the people...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

First, a quick summary of revolutionary and reform movements in each region, then we will directly compare and contrast them.

For Latin America, reform movements began with the Spanish and Portuguese monarchs with the Bourbon and Pombal reforms, respectively. These reforms encouraged mercantilism and state control, something that the people of Latin American countries were beginning to resent. In addition to this, the creole population (Europeans born in the New World but with increasingly Latin American identities), spurred on with the successes of the Enlightenment, the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions, began to consider independence. When Napoleon invaded Spain, and control of the colonies was questioned, creoles began to fight against Spanish and Portuguese control throughout Central and South American colonies. A majority of these revolutions took place between 1810-1825.

In China, Westerners were starting to challenge Qing dynastic power throughout the nineteenth century. The British began selling opium, a powerful drug, to China in order to control their economies and suppress their people. In an attempt to push British opium out, the Chinese lost, and as a consequence Europeans took over Chinese economies and port cities. One rebellion, the Taiping Rebellion, was led by a Christian Chinese priest who wanted to overthrow the weak Qing government. Taiping saw westernization occurring and took advantage of political instability to rebel, but he was ultimately unsuccessful. Another popular rebellion against the Qing was the Boxer Rebellion, where people tried to overthrow the Qing. The Qing brought the Europeans in to help suppress the rebellion, which was successful, but this only enabled the Europeans to take more control over China. The self-strengthening movement was an attempt by Chinese authorities to bring back an agrarian, isolated model of government, but it was too late. By 1911, nationalist movements fought to remove the Qing, take over China, and westernize.

One similarity between revolutionary movements in Latin America and China was an attempt to break away from European power. Latin America, controlled mainly by Spain and Portugal, and Qing China, fighting primarily against Britain, were subjected to the economic whims of their European aggressors.

Another similarity between the two was that they both saw revolutionary movements that were counter to popular trends. For China, it was the Taiping Rebellion and the Boxer Rebellion. In Latin America, there was a rebellion against the creoles in Peru led by a Mestizo named Tupac Amaru II, who argued that the indigenous and Mestizo populations should have power, not the European-blooded populations. In both cases, internal rebellions challenged the status quo, and those rebellions were crushed.

A difference between Latin America and China would be that Latin America saw political independence in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, while China was never politically conquered by Europeans.

Images:
This image has been Flagged as inappropriate Click to unflag
Image (1 of 1)
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team