Latin America since Independence

Two Centuries of Continuity and Change

By (author) Thomas C. Wright

Publication date:

24 February 2017

Length of book:

392 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781442235700

This innovative text offers a clear and concise introduction to Latin America since independence. Thomas C. Wright traces continuity and change in five central colonial legacies: authoritarian governance; a rigid social hierarchy based on race, color, and gender; the powerful Roman Catholic Church; economic dependency; and the large landed estate. He shows that the outcomes of debate and contestation over these colonial legacies have been crucial in shaping contemporary political systems, economies, societies, and religious institutions in a richly diverse region. These unifying themes guide the reader through each period. The text’s user-friendly illustrations, maps, chapter summaries, and suggestions for further reading enrich student understanding of a major part of the world.
In this panoramic study of Latin America since independence, Thomas Wright critically examines processes of continuity and change in crucial colonial legacies through two hundred years of postcolonial history. The book is invaluable for understanding the historical weight of many cultural traits, attitudes, values, practices, and institutions that crystalized in colonial times and have continued to influence two centuries of independent life. In clear and incisive language, it threads together complex political, socioeconomic, religious, and cultural developments, clarifying macroregional processes while providing detailed analyses of all the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of the Americas. Textboxes, maps, images, and suggestions for further reading make it a persuasive learning tool. Highly recommended for any comprehensive course on Latin America.