Civil Affair Essay

1364 words - 6 pages

A Civil Affair There are many different reasons why civil wars occur. These violent conflicts arise in a nation and usually destroy and split the country. The United States felt the pain that civil war causes because of the issue of states rights and slavery. Spain experienced the agony of civil war firsthand because Gen. Franco attempted a coup and tried to install a Fascist government. These two countries experienced civil wars because of political decisions and government policies. The civil wars that occurred in El Salvador and Guatemala were different from those of the United States and Spain. These countries suffered from many problems that neither the United States nor Spain had to ...view middle of the document...

The conditions in 1960's El Salvador were quickly leading to problems.In the 1970's El Salvador began to become more violent. The government began to develop a militaristic side. The poor began to form guerilla movements to show the government that they were fed up with the situation that existed in the country (Rosenburg 14). Over the years the economic system that developed in El Salvador was a push for the poor to become involved with the guerilla movements that existed. They had seen that their government would not take care of them. Even if they did not join the guerilla movement they would help the guerillas out in any way if they could. Soon the guerillas were waging terrorist attacks and kidnappings to cripple the Salvadoran economy and system. The government and the elite were waging their own attacks against the guerillas. The two sides basically beat each other up over and over again, but neither side really had the advantage. This lasted until, in the 1980's, the guerillas rose up in one last attempt to take control of the country. When this failed both the guerillas and the government realized that peace was needed.Peace was finally reached and the civil war in El Salvador finally ended. Throughout the duration of the civil war the elite justified their actions several ways. From the 1930's on violence and terror were considered a viable tool that the elite could utilize for their cause. In 1932 the military crushed a revolt by poor Salvadorans and since that time violence has been a tool of the elite. By using violence in 1932 and continuing to use it, the practice of violence against the poor became a part of elitist society (Rosenburg 12). The elite began to use violence in any situation, and they taught their children that violence was appropriate for dealing with the poor. From the start of El Salvador's coffee boom, the elite in society began to develop an attitude that would allow them to see the violence that took place as a natural occurrence that should take place.Much like El Salvador, Guatemala was a hot zone for Civil War. The production of coffee and cotton for export placed a great deal of pressure on the land. The poor were getting pressured off the lands that they did have so the government and the elite could have more land. The original guerilla movement that developed in the 1960's in resistance to the wrong doings of the government was eventually defeated. These actions led to the military gaining a great deal of strength in Guatemala.In the highlands of Guatemala there were a good number of Indian cultures, which were settled in the area. They farmed what they could and were used as labor on the plantations throughout the country (Menchu 3). The Indians were looked down upon and were considered sub-human....

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