What were the problems facing the countries of Latin America at the end of the Second World War? Explain why progress in solving these problems was so slow.

The problems faced by Latin American countries:

  • The countries were underdeveloped, there were some factories, which came up during Second World War due to encouraging local demand, but the production was nowhere near the production of developed countries because there was shortage of skilled labour, technical knowledge and capital. The economy of the countries was mostly dependent on the exports of one or some limited range of products, fall in prices resulted in fall of economy. For example Chile’s 80% of the revenue came from the export of tin. Agriculture remained backward because of cheap labour and dominated by landlords.
  • Massive rise in population due to improvement of medical sciences, availability of medicines, and forbidden use of contraceptives by the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Political systems were not developed enough to deal with the problems of that time. Before Second World War there was no democracy and the states were controlled by landlords or military dictators. After the war when democracy was introduced it was opposed by landlords and reforms were blocked.
  • The investment of the foreigners were huge in industries and agriculture and most of the profit was taken out of the Latin American countries.

Progress was slow in solving these problem because of the American motives and the cold war. The countries were made to follow economic polices know as neo-liberalism, so the west did not help the Latin America to overcome the problem while they treated them as a market and used methods to keep the communists away.


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