Brute New World: Rediscovery of Latin America in the Early 19th Century
British and American soldiers, naval officers, mining engineers, merchants, businessmen and wealthy travellers flocked to the countries of Latin America following their independence from Spain and Portugal. Most such travellers were entirely ignorant of the continent and expected instant success: easy money, the cheap acquisition of fertile land, military glory or vast mineral wealth. Few of them realized their ambitions, for the overthrow of the old regimes had not brought peace, liberalism and the social conditions in which foreign investment could thrive. To their shock and disgust, they encountered the same civil strife, corruption, squalor and ""barbarism"", religious intolerance and petty jealousies that had prevailed in earlier centuries.