Part 1: Arab Spring
The Arab Spring refers to the various revolutionary demonstrations and protests that have been witnessed in the Arab world over the past twenty years (Simpson, 2014). The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were a precursor of the Arab Spring, with the then president of the United States, President Bush, wanting the Middle East reshaped in the image of democracy (Class Notes on Arab Spring Part 2). The fall of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein resulted in a psychological empowering of Arab oppositions, who started viewing dictatorships as powers that could be removed. The causes of the protests and demonstrations were many, including issues such as human rights violations, monarchies, political corruption, unemployment, economic decline, extreme poverty, the increased population of educated but unemployed or dissatisfied youth. The youth were the people involved in the demonstrations with all age groups between 15-40 years of age being involved. Overall, I think that the Arab Spring was a success. Countries such as Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Tunisia were able to achieve democracy and overthrow the dictatorial governments that were in place, through continued demonstrations and protests (Simpson, 2014).
Part 2: Pre-Columbian Latin America
The conquer of America by Columbus was a way of acquiring new wealth and resources that Europe needed. By the year 1474, a majority of Jewish and Muslim people had been expelled from Spain (Class Notes on Pre- Columbian Latin America). These people took their wealth and advancements with them, resulting in a breakdown of the central government and civilization in Spain. Spain found itself in need of new wealth to eradicate the intense poverty that it was experiencing. Columbus sailed in search of wealth, stumbling upon America and conquering it. The resources that Columbus brought back to Europe funded the Scientific Revolution, centralized governments in Europe, and the transition to capitalism (Class Notes on Pre- Columbian Latin America).
Columbus Day should be celebrated as it is a commemoration of the beginning of the age of exploration, which shaped history as it is known today. Even though Columbus may have been bad, his action of bridging the gap that existed between the new world and the old is the reason why modern institutions and western civilization exist. While Columbus was not the first person to discover America, he was the one who took action to bring men to America and start trade. His actions changed the world and he should be celebrated for his contributions.
Part 3: 12 Post-colonized Latin America
The two revolutions that affected the relationship between the western world and Latin America were the Haitian revolution and the Cuban revolution (Class Notes on Post Colonized Latin America). America was concerned about the Haitian revolution since trade between the region and America was important. The revolution threatened trade, and the involvement of Britain in fueling the revolution was also a concern for America. The Cuban revolution generated concern since most of the farmland in the country was owned by American companies. This land was snatched away and given to Cubans during the revolution (Class Notes on Post Colonized Latin America).
In response to the revolutions in these countries, America protested to the seizing of land owned by US companies by putting trade embargos with the countries. America planned a secret overthrow of Castro, in Cuba, called the Bay of Pigs (Class Notes on Post Colonized Latin America). Cuban Americans were trained to invade southern Cuba with the support of the American government. A “puppet” government was installed by America to prevent the spread of communism to other countries in the region. This way, America was able to protect its interests.
Class Notes on Post Colonized Latin America.
Class Notes on Pre- Columbian Latin America.
Class Notes on Arab Spring Part 2.
Simpson, J. (2014). Who are the winners and losers from the Arab Spring? BBC News, 12.