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Neo-Colonialism - Essay Example

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The rise of neo-colonialism saw a foreign corporate control over the natural and human-made resources of the continent and by 1914, much of the mining, real estate, ranching, and manufacture was in the hands of the international corporations…
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Neo Colonialism Soon after the Iberian conquests by Napolean, the great Spanish and Portugease empires began to fall apart resulting into a massive de-colonization in Latin America during the 19th century. As South American states gained independence from their colonial masters, much did not change in terms of the economic and social distress that had plagued their people for many a century. Even without the political presence of a Colonial power, Latin America was exploited by presence of the economic powers of the time, which was initially Great Britain during the late 19th and early 20th century, and later on the United States of North America (Cline, 2003). Historians and public figures have described this phenomenon as ‘Neo colonialism’. In words of the legendary Che Ernesto Guevara, "As long as imperialism exists it will, by definition, exert its domination over other countries. Today that domination is called neo colonialism (1965)."
The rise of neo-colonialism saw a foreign corporate control over the natural and human made resources of the continent and by 1914, much of the mining, real estate, ranching and manufacture was in the hands of the international corporations (pg 246, Benjamin Keen, 2008). As a result, although there was a temporary, uneven rise in the economic progress of Latin America, but it was mostly dependant on monoculture. A few products from each country, according to their demand in the international market became the basis of progress (pg 244, Benjamin Keen, 2008). As a result, the economy was fragile and easily manipulated by the economic powers of the time.

The inability to create industries and massive imports of manufactured goods, meant dependence on Britain. It wasn’t until the first world war, that the market for Latin American raw material was disrupted and the British lost control over the trade. This period saw entry of a new global player in the form of United States that took control over the South American trade. US investments rose from nothing in 1870 to over one and a half billion dollars in 1914 (Latin American History - The Triumph of Neo-Colonialism). What started of as economic dominance over Latin America later grew into political influence and soon United States was choosing dictators for the Latin American states.
Many believe that the social revolutions that were to follow in the latter half of the 20th century, had their roots in the mass sense of deprivation that took place in this period of neo colonization. Many of the groups were formed in the 1890s which later were to challenge both capitalism and neo-colonialism in Latin America (Latin American History - The Triumph of Neo-Colonialism).
Benjamin Keen, K. H. (2008). A History of Latin America (8 ed.). Cengage Learning.
Cline, P. S. (2003, April 24). Colonial and Neocolonial Latin America (1750-1900). Retrieved June 20, 2011, from
Latin American History - The Triumph of Neo-Colonialism. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2011, from Read More
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