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Neocolonialism and dependency in Latin America

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  1. Introduction
  2. The rise of neo-colonialism in Latin America
  3. Nationalist rhetoric promising land reforms and equality
  4. The new nationalist governments in power
  5. US Latin American relations
  6. The exploitation by the US in Latin America
  7. The difference between Latin America and Japan
  8. Conclusion

Latin American history is the story of on-and-off again exploitation; from being a colonial possession to a neo-colonial inferior. There have been very few periods in time that the continent has been able to develop without interference. By examining the origins and events that have occurred during Latin America's history we see what 1970's and 80's intellectuals label the economic dependency theory at work, however upon critically analyzing the dependency theory we see certain flaws in both its content and solution to ending Latin American dependency.

[...] These ideas spread throughout Latin America safe in most Central states, which were still under the authority of US backed dictators (who had economic interests to protect) and foreign companies. Throughout the 1900- 1930 time period there is a rise of numerous new nationalist governments through both revolution (Mexico) and election (Uruguay and Argentina). These countries were not the only ones to undergo a transformation, but were among the first to change in the first phase of nationalism. Nationalist rhetoric promising land reforms and equality combined with its uneven relationship with the US (due to constant interventions in Latin America, including 2 during the Mexican revolution[5]) would see the 1910 Mexican revolution take place. [...]


[...] Underdevelopment to Marxist dependency theorists is a product of capitalism, and after the rise of dictators in Latin America it was used as an explanation for Latin American ?backwardness? and the wide wage gap that existed in societies. Despite the large element of truth that the dependency theory contains critics find flaws on certain points, and in its endorsement of socialism as a solution to underdevelopment. Despite the truth contained in the dependency theory there exist some flaws concerning certain points in the Marxist version that radical leftist Latin Americans adopted. [...]


[...] The dependency theory, although first floated around two decades earlier, would become a source of support for explaining why Latin America was underdeveloped, US actions in Latin America, and why it had to be overthrown. The exploitation by the US in Latin America not only changed intellectual thinking on theories of capitalist development and underdevelopment in Latin America, but also with political scientists in the United States. The first theory of capitalist development is one of diffusion. Underdeveloped countries look to foreign government aid, financial institutions, and private corporations and assume progress will evolve through the tricking down of capital and technology[14]. [...]

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