|Nation building circa 1825 |
The Russian colony of Alaska was used by fur traders, but largely ignored by the mother country before being eventually sold to the United States in 1867. England had extended its territory to the northwest to the Hudson Bay and in the Treaty of Paris of 1763, purchased all French mainland/continental territories. Only Canada was left after the Declaration of Independence. The Oregon territory was divided between England and the United States. These territories were created by the merger of 13 colonies of the east coast, who in 1774 called for political equality from England. The deployment of British forces led to the Revolutionary War (177583), the Declaration of Independence, the Congress (1776) and the draft constitution of 1787, still in force to this day. By 1825, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana were all parts of the state.
Independance of Central and South America
Meanwhile, Mexico had won its independence from Spanish colonial rule in 1824 and became a republic. The countries of Central America had made themselves independent from Spain in 1821. In 1823, they joined together for the Central American Confederation but it broke up in 1841 after years of civil war and could not be restored.
The autonomy of South America was largely the work of Simón Bolívar (17831830). The "Liberator" pushed for the 1811 Declaration of Independence of Venezuela. Following the victorious struggle against the Spaniards in 1819, he became President of the country. As President, he united the Republic of Venezuela and New Granada to become Grand Colombia and through him, followed the liberation of Ecuador and Peru. From 1825, he also served as President of the country afterwards named as Bolivia, liberated in 1824. He stepped back in 1830, after futile attempts to unite the newly independent countries. The other countries of South America (except Guyana) declared their independence in the years from 1810 to 1828.
Nation-building in the New World
In North America, nation-building took place successfully, but not without conflict. In the war against Mexico, the United States were able to conquer the territory which later became the Union states of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California between 1846 and 1848. In the 1860s, the conflict led to the abolition of slavery with the Civil War between the north and south that ended in 1865 with surrender of the southern states and the restoration of the Union.
In the former colonial countries, political independence did not bring about emancipation to the existing populations of predominantly Indians, African-Americans and mixed blood races. In the absence of a political involvement, the small class of European origin Creoles took over the entire political and economic power and social structures of the former colonial powers. The Creoles continued to develop the system of haciendas with authoritarian organised land property estates in which the owner virtually had local government powers (such as law, management, exercising duties). As the owners of the haciendas were often related to each other, or had mutual interests, they controlled vast tracts of land and successfully blocked the interests of the central government.
K. Lückemeier; Ü: C. Fleming
Keywords: Central America city foundation colonialism colony history independence Latin America North America South America state
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