Compare and contrast the North American and Latin American revolutions.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The revolutions in these two areas were somewhat similar, but had very important differences that ended up making their outcomes very different.

All of these revolutions were revolutions that came out of Enlightenment ideas and which were basically started because of unhappiness on the part of people of European descent in the colonies who felt they were being treated badly.  In both regions, the colonists were treated as if they were at least in some way less valuable than those born in Europe.  In Latin America, the peninsulares were privileged and the criollos were discriminated against.  In North America, the colonists were not allowed to govern themselves as they thought they should.  The colonists in both regions felt, in accordance with Enlightement ideas, they should be treated as the equals of those people who had been born in Europe.

What was really different about the two regions was their commitment to the ideas of democracy.  The North American revolutionaries, while not as democratic as we are today, were very much more democratically inclined than those in Latin America.  For this reason, the United States ended up with a representative democracy while most Latin American countries struggled with the problems caused by rulers who aspired to dictatorial powers.