American Colonies Take the Gold

America was better prepared for independence than Latin American colonies for many reasons, but two major ones were the differences of diversity and political experience. The lack of cultural conflict in America, as well as the aftermath of both removing themselves from their mother countries gave America had the edge. Through the documents read in class, it was made clear that the American colonies were much more prepared than their Latin American neighbors.

The lack of diversity in America lead to the smooth transition into independence, unlike in the Latin American colonies. In America, the minority of Native Americans was removed from the east coast entirely, making it very difficult for them to have any say in the government. This picture shows how they pushed the natives out west.

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As well as being located far from where the decisions were taking place, it was against the law for different races to marry each other. A law from Virginia in 1691 said, “For prevention of that abominable mixture and spurious [children] which hereafter may increase in this dominion, as well as by negroes, mulattos, and Indians intermarrying with English, or other white women, as by their unlawful accompanying with one another…”. This made it so the races could stay separate, especially the Native Americans. Because of this separation, it was not difficult to agree on ideas during independence because it was the same race with the same ideas creating the new rules. Having the entire white race together created a calm environment to stage their revolution because they all had the same views. This was not the case for Latin American colonies, though.  Not having as much space as America, there was no room for separating classes and races. This source shows how many different types of races lived in the colonies. Picture

This created conflict, because the upper class peninsulares and slaves had different ideas on what they thought should happen with their fight for independence. Although the whites were the majority in the Latin American areas, they were the majority. Having the minority make all the laws for themselves as well as the native majority led to a lot of disagreement and clash. There was not as much cultural conflict in America because the diverse population was removed, making it easier for the white leaders to agree on ideas. Latin America counties were more mixed, so it was harder to come together and make decisions.

Along with their lack of diversity among race, America was better prepared for independence because they had much more political experience compared to Latin America. In America, most of the government was run in their own territory. The only government position that wasn’t held in America was the king. This gave the colonists a lot of their own power. Picture

 This chart shows how colonists held highly ranked government positions in America, The Charter of Massachusetts Bay of 1629, said “all who should settle in that colony should “have and enjoy all liberties and Immunities of free and naturall Subjects . . .”. This quote gives people in America had many of the same liberties that citizens in England had, and that they were able to self govern if the laws did not conflict with those of the king. Because the colonists were already ruling themselves, it was not hard when they gained independence to continue ruling. Latin America, on the hand, did receive as much power from their mother country than America did. Picture

The chart above shows how many steps were needed to get to a government position that was held in the colony and not in Spain. And once the position was held not in Spain but the colony, a white minority most likely held it. This did not set up Latin America for a good transition into independence because once Spain was not in charge anymore, they barely had any government. Once they removed themselves, these Latin American colonies had to create a whole government because a lot of their rulers were from the mother country. This is compared to the American colonies, whose already large role in the government gave them an advantage in terms of surviving after independence.

America had the advantage over Latin America in the preparedness for their independence for multiple reasons, with two main ones being their lack of diversity in the colonies, and their political experience. Pushing all of their natives to the west allowed white American colonists to all agree on things together, while in Latin America all of the races were forced together. Having them all together made it much more difficult to agree on ideas. America also had much more of a political connection with their mother country, which gave them an advantage because when England left the colonies they still had the base of their government. Once Spain left Latin America, they basically had to create a whole new government. Because of these reasons, America was much more prepared for independence than Latin America was.

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