Sample History Essays on Industrialization and its effects in Latin


Part A: Critical Reflection: Synthesis of the Module’s Three Sections

Latin America, just like many other countries, experienced unequal wealth distribution after colonization. During colonization, colonizers took fertile lands in Latin America for themselves, leaving citizens with little or no lands for farming. After colonization, many of the citizens did not get their land back, and this forced them to continue working for individuals who had vast lands as laborers. Additionally, the industrial revolution led to the development of urban areas, which provided people with job opportunities. Latin America, just like other countries such as Canada and China, experiences high rural-urban migration rates. People move to urban areas in search of job opportunities in the industries. Unequal wealth distribution forces people to move to urban areas in search of a better life. Moreover, rural-urban migration has led to regional integration as people from different backgrounds meet in the city, and they are integrated.

Unequal distribution of wealth among countries has led some countries, such as the United States, to hire workers from Latin America. Moreover, first world nations, such as the United States and Canada, have put up industries in Latin America to help boost the economy. Globalization has made it possible for countries to participate in trade and share ideas. Moreover, globalization has led to the development of partnerships among countries to help eradicate poverty.

Development, which has come as a result of globalization, has helped to improve the living standards of Latin American people.  Investors from both within and outside help to create job opportunities for thousands of Latin American people. However, with development also comes an increase in environmental degradation as well as wealth inequality.

Unequal wealth distribution was as a result of colonization whereby property was concentrated on the hands of the colonizers. After independence, the wealth was transferred to a few individuals, leaving many of the citizens without property. Unequal distribution of wealth led to rural-urban migration as people searched for better job opportunities. Globalization has made it possible for foreign countries to invest in Latin America, thus improving people’s socio-economic status. However, even though development has led to environmental degradation, it has also helped many people in Latin America to access employment opportunities, which improve their economic status.

Part B: Explain how the process of industrialization in Latin America has created environmental problems

Industrialization is a shift from an agricultural-based economy to an economy that solely relies on the manufacturing of goods. Industrialization began in Britain in the 18th century, and it was as a result of social and economic changes. The United States was second to embrace industrialization in the middle of the 18th century, and then it moved to Latin America in the 19th century (Kemp). Latin America, just like Canada, embraced the shift from agriculture to industrialization since industrialization provided better employment opportunities. Latin America was an important region for other countries that had embraced industrialization since it possessed many of the raw materials needed in the industries. Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico were the first countries in Latin America to embrace industrialization, and then the rest followed.  Latin Americans were able to access better-paying jobs in urban areas due to the increase in the number of industries (Kemp). In the past, Latin Americans had to work on the farms, either practicing subsistence farming or working at other people’s lands for little wages.  Agriculture was no longer able to sustain the growing population, and so industrialization helped to offer economic security to individuals who were facing poverty and starvation (Filho et al.). Therefore, industrialization helped to create better job opportunities for Latin American people.

Industrialization led to economic growth in Latin America. Without industrialization, a country would not be able to sustain itself. The taxes collected from the industries help the government to develop other areas in the country, such as infrastructure and the education sector. However, the development of industries has also led to environmental degradation.  There has been forest encroachment as well as noise and land pollution in areas where the industries are located (Almandoz). Industrialization is necessary since it helps to reduce the levels of starvation and poverty within a region, and people have to accept that as much as there are advantages of industrialization, there also will be consequences. In recent years, there has been a debate on the need to protect the environment, and while this is necessary, there is also a need to accept the fact that a section of the environment will have to suffer.

Industrialization is the main contributor to environmental degradation. The rise of industries within the region meant that there was increased use of fossil fuels within and outside the industries. The combustion of fossil fuels leads to the release of carbon into the environment (Holloway). According to the World Health Organization there are high amounts of air pollutants in Latin America, which exceed recommended limits of air quality (Jackson). The ozone layer has been affected, and this could be disastrous in the future if the condition is not remedied. One of the effects being experienced in Latin America as a result of pollution is increased heat waves as well as a change in weather patterns. However, environmental degradation can be reversed by utilizing renewable fuel, which does not harm the environment.

Environmental pollution has mainly been experienced in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina since there is a high concentration of industries in these regions. Some of the industries do not follow the correct procedures when disposing of their waste materials, thus polluting the environment (McGranahan and Frank). Besides, pollution has been experienced in Costa Rica as a result of the development of industries on mangrove swamps. Moreover, Amazon forest encroachment has also occurred as industries search for raw materials and new areas to build industries.

The industrialization has had more benefits on Latin American people than disadvantages. The rise of industries in Latin America led to job creation for the growing population. Moreover, industrialization helped to improve the economy of Latin America. Individuals who could not afford to have consistent meals after industrialization can afford a little bit of economic stability. On the other hand, the rise of industries within the region has led to environmental degradation. Industries have been built on forest and mangrove areas, leading to encroachment. Moreover, some of the companies fail to follow guidelines when disposing of waste materials, thus leading to air and land pollution. There is also an increased release of carbon into the environment, which has destroyed the ozone layer. However, without industries, Latin American people would suffer from poverty and starvation.

Works Cited

Almandoz, Arturo. Modernization, Urbanization, and Development in Latin America, 1900s – 2000s. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, 2014.

Filho, Walter L., et al., editors. Handbook of Sustainability and Social Science Research. New York: Springer, 2017.

Holloway, Thomas H. A Companion to Latin American History. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2011.Bottom of FormBottom of Form

Jackson, Tim. Material Concerns: Pollution, Profit, and Quality of Life. Abingdon-on-Thames:    Taylor and Francis, 2013.

Kemp, Tom. Historical Patterns of Industrialization. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2013.

McGranahan, Gordon, and Frank Murray. Air Pollution and Health in Rapidly Developing Countries. 2012.