Miranda K. Walker An Analysis of the Exert for Environmental Justice in Ecuador
Introduction Ecuador’s quest for environmental justice, subsequent to oil extraction, is a noxious consequence of colonialism. Through principles and the aftermath of colonialism, a dependence on resource extraction has proven detrimental to Ecuador’s indigenous population, only profiting a select few. This very act demonstrates a need for ecological democracy, a demand for the just treatment of the indigenous, and an inherent disfunction of capitalism. These conditions have nurtured, and validated, the idea of a resource curse; as resource-rich Ecuador is “worse off” than countries without commodities like oil. Specifically, this …show more content…
In the early 17th century, there were around 500 Spanish estates in Ecuador—where Native Ecuadorians were enslaved. The Spaniards profited the most off of Ecuador’s coastal economy, revolved around shipping and trade. This was until the fall of the Ecuadorian economy in the 18th century, attributed to the expulsion of the Jesuits by King Charles III of Spain—as missions were abandoned. Between 1700 and 1800, textile production dropped around 50-75%. As a result, Ecuador’s diminished into ruins, and even its elite fell into poverty. During the end of the colonial era, Spain’s Bourbon monarchs developed a new approach to promote colonial development. Once Charles III declared a decree of free trade, thus expanding the number of ports in South America that were permitted to trade amongst themselves or with any port in Spain from six to twenty-four, the region’s economy bettered. However, it would never fully recover from the fall of the textile industry. In 1976, after a Texaco Gulf consortium discovered mass amount of oil in the Oriente, the construction of a 312-mile-long pipe line was commissioned. The pipe line was gradually transferred to state ownership during the 1970s and 1980s, and for the first time in Ecuador’s history, from its new ability to tax private foreign petroleum companies, the government had its own economic independence and source of revenue, and created free market policies, dubbing neoliberalism. Its economic growth
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Only Spanish vessels were legally allowed to trade at these ports, but the local land owners cared little for such formalities. Hawkins had slaves and cloth that the Spanish colonists needed. In 1567 Spanish treasure ships caught up with Hawkins and destroyed his small fleet” (Andrews Vol. 3, 116)
Profound development began in 1660 when, after a five-year struggle against the Spanish crown, the British won power. There was a significant rise in population under British control. Their system allowed the colony to prosper as they gave new European settlers land to cultivate sugar cane and cocoa. “The European planter has been described as a machine for making money” (Waters, 1985: 22). The purpose of this colonial economic system was to provide raw materials and goods for the Mother Country. In addition, a general consumer market was developed to send wealth to Europe and allow for capital accumulation, all for the benefit of the colonizers.
For decades, the history of Latin America has been shrouded in a cover of Spanish glory and myth that misleads and complicates the views of historians everywhere. Myths such as the relationship between natives and conquistadors, and the individuality of the conquistadors themselves stand as only a few examples of how this history may have become broken and distorted. However, in Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest Matthew Restall goes to great lengths to dispel these myths and provide a more accurate history of Latin American, in a readable and enjoyable book.
In Imperial Spain, J.H. Elliot examines the history of early modern Spain from the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, Isabella and Ferdinand, to the reformation of the Spanish government by the first member of the Bourbon dynasty. According to the author, at the start of the 15th century, Spain was internally weak, hopelessly divided and isolated from the continent by the Pyrenees. Yet, by 1492, Spanish society experienced a tremendous transformation which allowed Isabella and Ferdinand to unify the country, secure the largest transoceanic empire the world has ever known, and for a
When Christopher Columbus discovered the coast of Venezuela, he thought he had encountered an earthly paradise, today that grace land is ravaged by famine, inflation, scarcity, violence, social and political conflicts; “social implosion [being] driven by economic collapse, caused by shockingly self-destructive policy making” (Toro, 1). Venezuela’s antidemocratic government and its lack of foresight has created a severe economic crisis crumbling health care system and a lack of basic necessities and is jailing innocent people who object.
When examining the change and continuity of commerce in Latin America during the time period, 1450-present, some things changed and some things stayed the same. One thing that changed was the previous, trade which was limited to llamas and was therefore more regional. This changed due to the introduction of cattle due to the Colombian Exchange. One thing that continued for the most part was the items used for trading because of the natural resources in Latin America such as silver and various crops that were part of the culture and minimally changed. One thing that changed was the large variety of ethnicities and races that arrived in Latin America because of new economic opportunities situated in the area such as a mercantile job.
* At this time, Spain thought as America as not only a barrier but a source of wealth.
There have been many instances throughout history in which indigenous people have unwillingly suffered the consequences of foreigners’ interaction with their culture. In the case of the Huaorani two foreign groups, the oil companies and the missionaries, invaded their land and gravely affected the life they led in the Ecuadorian amazon. In the book Savages Joe Kane gives a firsthand account at how the Huaorani fight to preserve their land and traditional way of life.
During the 1450’s to 1750’s the Americas were evolving at a constant rate. The slave trade and the use trade such as the triangular trade were very common during this time-period due to the rise in plantations, causing a diverse region in South America. In addition, forced labor was an important constant throughout the region and was controlled by Spanish and the Inca’s which also allowed for a mixture of culture and ethnicities.
Trade was also a significant motivation for Europeans to “colonize territories across the seas”. Trade was one of the most effective ways to improve the economy for the Europeans, and a significant way
The Control of England in North America and Demise of the Spanish Power in the Atlantic
One of the main features of Ecuador ’s economy is its dependence on only a few key export commodities, most importantly oil and bananas. Oil accounts for approximately 40% of the export economy, while bananas are responsible for about 17%, and Ecuador is the largest producer of bananas in the world. The rest of the economy is mostly based on less important agricultural exports, such as shrimp and flowers, which account for 6% and 4% of exports respectively. Ecuador is almost completely reliant on the success of these few industries, particularly oil, and so has suffered through a cycle of boom and bust economies over the past several decades, since oil was discovered in the 1970s.
“Open Veins of Latin America” by Eduardo Galeano primarily focuses on historical events following the “discovery” and colonization of Latin America. This book however, unlike many others has very distinct and contrasting ideas. In his historical piece, Galeano incorporates many peculiar ideas that have since caused controversy following the publishing of the book in the year 1973. As we examine the cover, the subtitle (“Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent”) gives us an antecedent of our authors viewpoint on the subject and what’s to come later in the book. Without a doubt, one of the major themes and the books main purpose is to clarify the events that took place in Latin America involving the pillage of land and natural resources by foreigners. In his “Seven Years Later” segment of the book, Galeano claims that he wanted to uncover lies and things that have been hidden in the history books. Galeano also wants to uncover the social, economic, and political disparity that Latin American indigenous people were/are facing compared to and as a direct result of foreigners who were/are benefitting and prospering from Latin American land and people.
Colonialism has been viewed and interpreted from multiple perspectives. Both the coloniser and the colonised are said to have benefitted therefrom. While on the one hand it is considered abject exploitation by the coloniser to fill his coffers, on the other, the routine by-products of colonisation were of absolute benefit to the colonised. The four century long period of colonisation that gripped the world is one of the most oft debated and scrutinized periods of human history. In the period beginning sixteenth century AD, trade and commerce through the sea route became a means of expanding markets in many countries. Great Britain, France, Belgium and Portugal were amongst the pioneers in taking their wares to countries far away, like Africa and Asia. One early form of colonialism that was thrust upon the colonised country was economic exploitation.