Latin America has an impressive history of culturally rich and advanced societies. However, the region has suffered from continuous instability due to the interventions of other nations in the region. The country has a rich archeological treasure, architectural wealth and a significantly diverse population. The history of Latin America is filled with tales of conquerors, foreign settlers and migrations. The most famous cultural heritage is that of the Maya and Aztec societies. The ruins of these civilizations are enough to prove that how advanced and developed was the earlier population of Latin America. The region has seen the downfall of a number of civilizations and building of new ones on the ruins of the old. The major turnover in the history of Latin America was the invading of Spanish in the region. The Spanish conquest gave way to the development of a single society consisting of a mixed population. The Spanish conquerors formed a united Latin America, under the rule of the Spanish kingdom, by bringing an end to smaller kingdoms spread out all over Latin America. During the colonial period, the Mexican’s started to get united under a single identity. The resentment by native Mexicans due to the discriminatory policies of the Spanish authorities brought the Spanish regime to an end in the early nineteenth century. Even after independence the socio political scene of Latin America remained disturbed. Disputes among different factions of the population and the intervention from different foreign nations kept the region to stabilize for a long period of time. Internal disputes among different political groups, influence of military on governmental issues and the expansion of the United States by invading Mexico’s lands wee the primary reason for the uncertainty in the region. The general population of Mexico suffered from ignorance and refutation from providing the basic rights of a citizen. The citizens of Mexico didn’t have any kind of civil liberty or legal protection until the early twentieth century. The restriction of civil liberty and concentration of wealth in a limited faction led to massive resistance from the ignored factions. This struggle was later named as Mexican revolution. The war lasted for years and finally ended up on compromise to implement an ideological framework. A constitution was passed in 1917, which assured the Mexican pubic to provide equality, property rights, social welfare and an unbiased society. However, the ideal framework didn’t last for long and the Mexican state became a venue of corruption and inequality. Poverty though decreased to some extent but it was still one of the major problems faced by the Mexican economy. The crisis of the 1980s brought a significant change in the Mexican economic scene. It gave way to the liberalization of industrial and trade regulations and privatization of major industries.
The constitution of 1917 gave Mexicans the legal and ideological framework on which to base national development: equality before the law, national self-determination, and a state-mediated balance between private property rights and social welfare objectives. In the decades that followed, different Mexican administrations would alternatively promote redistribution or economic growth, depending on a variety of circumstances. Till the end of the twentieth century Mexico became an active participant of the global trade market.
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The ancient civilizations, which were once existent in the Mexican region, gave too much importance to religion. Their major events and celebrations were based on several religious beliefs. However, after the invasion of Spaniards in the region, the Christian machineries started to promote Christianity. Most of the population did not accept the influence of Christians but they adopted many of the Christian beliefs. In the later years, the Christians became the dominant religious group. The decade of the late 1980s and early 1990s also experienced a significant change in the religious climate of Latin America. There was a considerable shift in religious affiliations. The church started to act more openly and started to speak more openly on major public issues despite of the government’s restrictions that prohibit the involvement of church in political issues. The change in the attitude of church led to instant changes in the constitution in the 1992. Though the major part of the population defines itself as Roman Catholics but in recent years there has been a decline in the population of the Roman Catholics. On the other hand some other denominations experienced a rise in their population especially the Protestants.
The lower standard of living in Mexico has caused a number of Mexicans to illegally migrate to the U.S in hopes of improving their lives and that of a more prosperous future. The successive Mexican governments, unable to provide economic stability to their citizens, found it easier to let their people migrate to the United States whether legally or illegally. The rapid flow of illegal immigrants has raised grave concerns for the law enforcement authorities. Some of these illegal immigrants are involved in drug trafficking, hence worsening the situation. This influx of illegal immigrants from south of the border has put up some serious questions. Is this good that people are coming to the U.S.? Are they going to steal our jobs? In what way this flow of people is going to affect our lives? These questions afflict many and need to be addressed.
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Immigration is raising some other issues as well, including overcrowded housing. Over crowding has had a major impact on families living near the Mexican border, lowering standards of living and living space as well. Another economic concern is that immigrants will swamp social services such as education, health and welfare. Immigrants who arrive traumatized in their new countries are indeed likely to need considerable support. But other immigrants generally contribute much more in taxes than they take in benefits. This means that in contrast to popular belief, legal immigrants actually benefit the U.S. as a whole. On the other hand, illegal immigrants can cause many economical drains. Others worry about the economic impact - nervous that immigrants are going to steal their jobs.
Noble D. Cook and Alexandra P. Cook: Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance.
Bartolome Arzans de Orsua: Tales of Potosi
Anita Brenner: The wind that swept Mexico
E. Brandford Burns: Latin America: Conflict and creation
Carolina Maria de Jesus: Child of the dark: the diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus