Economic-Social_Challenges

Altered the politics of many of the hemispheres

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Unformatted text preview: ts were changed by their experiences in their adopted nations, undergoing acculturation. At the same time, the languages, the arts, the music, and the political cultures of the Western Hemisphere nations were influenced by the cultures of the immigrants. Women’s Rights and the Struggle Women for Social Justice In the second half of the nineteenth century women’s rights movements made slow progress toward the achievement of economic, legal, political, and educational equality in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Most working class women played no role in the women’s rights movements; nonetheless, economic circumstances forced working-class women to take jobs outside the home and thus to contribute to the transformation of gender relations. Despite the abolition of slavery, various forms of discrimination against persons of African descent remained in place throughout the Western Hemisphere at the end of the century. Attempts to overturn racist stereotypes and to celebrate black cultural achievements in political and literary magazines failed to end racial discrimination. Development and Development Underdevelopment Nearly all the nations of the Western Hemisphere experienced economic growth during the nineteenth century, but the United States was the only one to industrialize. Only the United States, Canada, and Argentina attained living standards similar to those in Western Europe. Rising demand for mine products led to mining booms in the western United States, Mexico, and Chile. Heavily capitalized European and North American corporations played a significant role in developing mining enterprises in Latin America. The expense of transportation and communications technology also increased dependence on foreign capital. Latin America, the United States, and Canada all participated in the increasingly integrated world market, but interdependence and competition produced deep structural differences among Western Hemisphere economies. Those nations that industrialized achieved prosperity and development while those nations that depended on the export of raw materials and low wage industries experienced underdevelopment. Cyclical swings in international markets partially explain why Canada and the United States achieved development while Latin America remained underdeveloped. Both the United States and Canada gained independence during periods of global economic expansion. Latin American countries gained independence during the 1820s, when the global economy was contracting. Weak governments, political instability, and (in some cases) civil war also slowed Latin American development. Latin America became dependent on Britain and, later, on the United States for technology and capital. Altered Environments Altered Population growth, economic expansion, and the introduction of new plants and animals brought about deforestation, soil exhaustion, and erosion. Rapid urbanization put strain on water delivery systems and sewage and garbage disposal systems and led to the spread of the timber industry. The expansion of the mining industry led to erosion and pollution in the western United States, Chile, and Brazil. Efforts to meet increasing demand for food and housing and to satisfy foreign demands for exports led to environmental degradation but also contributed to economic growth. Faced with a choice between protecting the environment or achieving economic growth, all of the hemisphere’s nations chose economic growth....
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