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Latin America

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Before the 1800's some of the Spanish American colonies began to see "major cities" popping up. One must wonder as these cities were popping up is why they emerged, and how did they survive econimcally and socially. As other cities in the world were starting develop Spanish American cities were doing so as well.

These colonial communities had to ermerge because the era of the conquest was starting to collapse. After the conquest the three groups of people; the Indians, the Africans, and the Iberians all found reasons to grow regionally rather than imperially. They felt that their families were the most important things to them, and with new economic ideas they felt that they should grow their own place of living rather than focusing on moving on or expanding. So the Iberians started to care less about the fortunes of the Iberian Peninsula and more on the fortunes of their own regions. They also had never had this kind of power at the local and regional levels (Voss, The Colonial Period from a Historic Prospective).

The legacy of the Conquest also brough forth economic ideas that many Latin Americans accepted. One of these are the guilds that didn't

necessarily work for Europe and North America. Latin American craftspeople, miners, and merchants found guilds to be great social communities, economic protection associations, and political interest groups. The guild system however was being undermined by the commercialization of the economy in the 1750's. Some of these corporate bodies that helped accelerate the commercialization of the economy were the church and the military. These bodies had their own special rights and goals. The Indian villagers' ideas worked in well with Europe's corporate ways. "They held their land as corporate bodies, though individual households worked it. The hacienda (large landed estate) existed as a kind of self-subsistant corporate community, with social and cultural, as well as economic ties binding it together. Most people in colonial society found their identity less as individuals than as members of corporate communities" (Voss, The Legacy of the Iberian Conquest).



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