Causes of the emancipation of the Spanish American colonies

Causes of the emancipation of the Spanish American colonies

The emancipation of the Spanish American colonies had multiple causes, although the uprising of General Riego in Spain was what ended up consolidate the independence movements.

Although it was the «drop that spilled the glass«, There were already a series of problems that had blown him up long before.

The frustration of the «criollos»

On the one hand, there was a great feeling of frustration on the part of the Creoles, that is, children of Spaniards born in the American territories, who formed the wealthy class within the colonial society.

Although the legislation of 1619 guaranteed equal rights “to all whites"The truth is that those in charge of executing the laws completely discriminated against them.

Humboldt commented that the Creoles preferred to be called Americans and that after the French Revolution they used to say the phrase "I am not Spanish, I am American”Accompanied by great resentment.

This frustration came because they wanted to be part of the colonial government, but they were denied.

The anti-monopoly of the Creole oligarchy

On the other hand, the creole oligarchy, the main holder of economic power in the colonial world, had free trade thoughts that clashed with the postulates of the metropolitan monopoly.

In 1797, the situation worsened because Spain was unable to maintain communications with its American possessions.

The British They took advantage of this situation to increase hatred against the Spanish, since they wanted to benefit from the commercial opening that would take place in America.

The weakness of the Spanish government

Another cause, in relation to the previous two, was that the Spanish metropolitan government was extremely weak.

The political and military arrangements that they had made over the centuries, such as the handover of Louisiana to France or the recognition of British sovereignty over Trinidad, caused a stir and widespread concern among the Creoles.

The French invasion

All these uncertainties grew exponentially after the loss of the battle of trafalgar Y the French invasion of the Iberian Peninsula.

The royal family was arrested and kidnapped by foreign troops, leaving any possible government beheaded.

The political chaos and the crisis of power that ensued were very important issues that would mark the future and the emancipation of the Spanish American colonies.

The power vacuum caused the colonies to find alternative ways to govern themselves, so they created several agencies that had a lot of autonomy.

Then came the struggle between liberals and absolutists, which reached its zenith in 1814, when Ferdinand VII annulled the Cadiz reforms and the Constitution of 1812.

Some of the movements stopped in their tracks with the return of the absolutist monarch, but most were maintained or increased.

The rupture and the beginning of the emancipation of the Spanish American colonies

All these reasons opened a gap that led to the final break between the colonies and the metropolis.

But it would also have a double aspect within the American population itself.

In some territories, natives and creoles were enemies, while in others, they allied to expel the Spanish.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was a child he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.


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