El Gobierno (parte 1)
During the first three decades of the 19thcentury, every Spanish and Portuguese colony in the Western Hemisphere, with the exception of Cuba and Puerto Rico, achieved political independence. Freedom from European rule represented only the first step in a long and arduous process of nation-building. Over the course of the 19thcentury, Latin American political leaders gradually organized national governments, developed local economies, and attempted to resolve regional conflicts through negotiations and military force. Local elites of European decent controlled political life in most Latin American nations. Poor inhabitants of mixed ancestry, who comprised the majority of the population, held little political power. In many nations, disputes between contending factions of the political elite led to periodic coups and revolutions throughout the 19thcentury.