Latin American Royalty


Figure 1.--

The major pre-Colombian civilizations had royal dynasties and historians have developed some information on them. The best known civilizations were the Aztecs in Mexico and the Inca in Peru. A good deal is known about both Montezuma and Altalapa who were in power at the time of the Conquest of Mexico and Peru. There were also two short-lived monarchies during the 19th century. Most of the Latin American countries after their wars of independences established republics. Europe at the time was dominated by monarchies and it was far from clear that republics were a practical way of governing. Two monarchies were established in Latin America during the19th century. The Brazil monarchy (Pedro I and II) was a domestic one. Santa Anta in Mexico wanted to set up a kingdom, but was unable to do so. France imposed a monarchy (Maximillian) on Mexico. Maximillian was a Austrian royal, but robavly father by Napoleon II which in part explains why Napolen chose him. His reign proved short lived. After Napoleon withdrew French support, he was executed by a Mexican firing squad.

Native American Monarchies

The major pre-Colombian civilizations had royal dynasties and historians have developed some information on them. The best known civilizations were the Aztecs in Mexico and the Inca in Peru. A good deal is known about both Montezuma and Altalapa who were in power at the time of the Conquest of Mexico and Peru. The history of these monarchies is one that we have not yet been able to persue. We would be very interested in any work that reades may have done.

Independent Monarchies

There were also two short-lived monarchies during the 19th century. Latin America in the 18th century was dominated by Portugal and Spain. As a result of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, both of these countries were weakened. As a result, the ability of both countris to control their colonies was significantly impaired. The result was a series of wars or independence in South and Central America. Most of the Latin American countries after their wars of independences established republics. Europe at the time, however, was dominated by monarchies and it was far from clear that republics were a practical way of governing. One of the great strength of monarchies (where the eldest son is the usually the sucessor) is that the sucession is constitunionally asured. Two monarchies were established in Latin America during the 19th century. The Brazil monarchy (Pedro I and II) was a domestic one. Santa Anta in Mexico wanted to set up a kingdom, but was unable to do so. France imposed a monarchy (Maximillian) on Mexico. Maximillian was a Austrian royal, but probably fathered by Napoleon II which in part explains why Napolen III chose him. His reign proved short lived. After Napoleon withdrew French support, he was executed by a Mexican firing squad.

Brazil

Brazil became independent somewhat later than neighboring countries and had one of the few Latin American monarchies. Portugal for a time was Britain's only ally on the continent. This made the country a target for the French. The British landed a small army comanded by Wellington, but it was not large enough to resist a French inbvasion forcehand had to be withdrawn. The French moved on Lisbon. The Prince Regent departed seeking refuge in Brazil (1807). Dom Joao established Rio de Jneinro as the temporary capital of the Portuguese Empire. Napoleon's defeat in Russia (1812) fatally weakened France and the French had to withdraw from Iberia (1814). Napoleon was finally defeated at Waterloo (1815). Dom Joao did not return to POrtugal, however, until several years later (1821). Dom Joao left his son Dom Pedro in charge of Brazil when he returned to Portugal (1821). Dom Joao attempted to resume the traditional system of colonial rule. Dom Pedro decided to declare Brazuil's independence from Portugal and his independence from his father (1822). Brazil's economy changed significantly in the 19th century as coffee became an increasingly important crop. There was considerable Europeam immigration in the 19th century, especially from Italy. Dom Pedro II's daughter, the Princess Imperial married Gaston de'Eu (1868). Gaston was the grandson of Louis Phillipe, the deposed French king. The Brazilian monarch was overthrone (1889).

Mexico

Royalist Agustin de Iturbide who in the end helped achieve independence, unsuccessfully atempted to set up a monarchy rather than a republic. Santa Anta in Mexico wanted to set up a kingdom, but was unable to do so. France imposed a monarchy (Maximillian) on Mexico. Maximillian was a Austrian royal, but probably fathered by Napoleon II which in part explains why Napolen III chose him. His reign proved short lived. After Napoleon withdrew French support, he was executed by a Mexican firing squad.







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Created: 4:00 AM 12/6/2007
Last updated: 7:08 AM 7/4/2010