Why do we say Latin America and not Hispanic America? It’s this French politician’s fault.

History has shown this many times The first war that must be waged is that of history. And then, when necessary, the victories will come on the battlefield and in office. But call a spade a spade (with the name chosen by the winners) It is also very important.

In South and Central America there has long been a silent pulse that rages around a name in the streets, on the Internet, in articles and in books. What do we call the area that extends from the southern United States to the Strait of Magellan?

Geographically, of course, it is the sum of Central America (up to the Darién jungle in Panama, which borders Colombia) and South America. But culturally? Seemingly, The most correct would be to say Latin Americaboth historically and linguistically, although this would leave out Brazil and other small non-Spanish speaking countries (Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, Belize and the French and English Caribbean).

It would therefore be more precise that the term Ibero-America would include the largest country in the region, a former Portuguese colony. But what about Latin America? What do the Latins, whether heirs to ancient Rome or not, have to do with the continent?

And yet, It is the term that has made fortunes: “Latin America” is already the most common name for the continent, as shown, among other things, by the thermometer called Google: In Spanish, Latin America has almost 1,000 million citations, compared to only 61 million in Latin America or 12 million in Ibero-America. In English the gap is even more catastrophic.

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But there is nothing accidental about this seemingly popular choice for a particular denomination, but rather hides a geopolitical intent that has proven to be very effective. The “mistake” that made the term Latin America a fortune is a clever French diplomat Michel Chevalier, nicknamed Michel Chevalier, is considered the first intellectual to coin this term.

Chevalier, economist, politician and advisor, wrote a book in 1836 called Letters on North America, in which argued that America was essentially Latin against Anglo-Saxon expansionism in the north. But what began as a figure movement against London ultimately engulfed the Spanish and Portuguese footprint.

Chevalier’s statement was later taken up by the French writer Benjamin Pourcel and the Chilean Francisco Bilbao Barquín, who already spoke openly of a “Latin American” race at a conference in Paris, to the greater enthusiasm of those present and in contrast to the Anglo-Saxon race.

The idea Little by little, the term “Spanish America” came into constriction of “Latin America” among Latin American intellectuals, starting with the Colombian José María Torres Caicedo, who officially decided to change his name (as recorded in “Madre Patria” by Marcelo Gullo Amadeo), to the others.

Oddly enough, what was born as an antidote to English America made a fortune in northern Mexico, unlike Hispanic America. The rest of the history of Latin America, Hispanic America or Ibero-America is already known… and has yet to be written.

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