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Latin American History: Sarmiento - Essay Example

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Sarmiento described two different cultures that defined the argentine society. According to him, he considered the cities to be making gross progress because of accepting the European influence. He sought to encourage the country side communities to adopt civilization…
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Latin American History: Sarmiento
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Download file to see previous pages Sarmiento expressed his views concerning the history and culture of the argentine society when he was in exile in 1845. During this time, Rosas was the president, but from the description of Sarmiento, it becomes evident that he exercised dictatorial rule on Argentina. From this text, the ardent politician and scholar expressed his views on the contrasting cultures of barbarism and civilization. He highlighted that the cities had adopted the European civilization while the rural areas valued the barbaric culture that had defined the South Americans. According to Sarmiento, the cities had a culture that was very different from that in the rural areas. Although Sarmiento’s roots were in the rural San Juan, he seemed to adore the civilization in cities such as Buenos Aires and Cordova, and encouraged the rural people to adopt the European culture. This paper will discuss the concepts of barbarism, civilization, violence and progress in reference to the cities of Buenos Aires and Cordova.
Sarmiento was expressing his views during a time when there was a stark contrast between life in the cities and the countryside. Apparently, the cities had adopted the European culture and abandoned the South American barbaric culture that had dominated the society. The cities had developed education institutions making it possible for the city people to have access to education. In addition, the cities had developed local governments in forms of municipalities that defined the running of activities. The city people had adopted the European mode of dressing and promoted developmental interests exhibited by the Europeans. In the cities, commerce was rampant and different avenues of revenue collection existed. Industries had begun to thrive in the cities after the introduction of the European industrialization practices1. Buenos Aires had become the center of European civilization. It exhibited a direct link with Europe, a factor that heightened cultural exchange. This city was significant as a leader in civilization setting an example for other cities. It had established systems of power and commerce. Moreover, this city had placed itself significantly at an advantage with Europe, and received a high rate of influence, transforming the city into a highly civilized region. The city had established a powerful municipal system that determined laws and regulations that defined the city society setting boundaries. Through vibrant industrialization and commerce, the city had established different avenues of revenue. All these factors reflected the ideas that had emanated from the Europeans. The people had emulated the European mode of dress, and rejected the outdated South American dress. Evidently, the city was making vast progress in all these aspects, setting itself apart from the dominant barbaric culture in the countryside. However, President Rosas supported the barbaric argentine culture. He relied on different means to preserve the argentine culture that he thought was rich and unique. He placed pressure on the Buenos Aires city to abandon the foreign culture that it had adopted and revert to its original culture. This placed the city in a dilemma because it had two opposing cultures at its disposal. The barbaric culture that Rosas supported did not promote the development of social amenities, and municipal governments. The Unitarist party initiated attacks on Buenos Aires, giving rise to violence in the city. The‘barbaric culture’ ridiculed the ‘civilized culture’ that the city people exhibited. However, Buenos Aires managed to establish new forces of civilization in the neighboring subordinate towns. On the other hand, Cordova had also adopted different aspects of the European culture and was making strides towards civilization. The people had gained awareness on the need for local governments, laws and regulations that served to ensure that the society was in order. The city was ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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