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Thread: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

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    Default Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    This has bugged me for a long time. The people of Latin America and many islands are called "Latino" and such, but they speak Spanish. Latin means Rome and Rome means Italian, but the people of Latin America don't speak Italian (as their native language).

    When you look into it, every explanation is almost circular. Wikipedia under "Latin America" says:

    Latin America[a] is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Romance languages such as Spanish, French or Portuguese are predominantly spoken. Some territories such as Quebec, where French is spoken, or areas of the United States where Spanish is predominantly spoken are not included due to the country being a part of Anglo America. The term is broader than categories such as Hispanic America which specifically refers to Spanish-speaking countries or Ibero-America which specifically refers to both Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. The term is also more recent in origin.

    The term "Latin America" was first used in an 1856 conference with the title "Initiative of America. Idea for a Federal Congress of the Republics" (Iniciativa de la América. Idea de un Congreso Federal de las Repúblicas),[6] by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao. The term was further popularised by French emperor Napoleon III's government in the 1860s as Amérique latine to justify France's military involvement in Mexico and try to include French-speaking territories in the Americas such as French Canada, French Louisiana, or French Guiana, in the larger group of countries where Spanish and Portuguese languages prevailed.[7].

    Including French-speaking territories, Latin America would consist of 20 countries and 14 dependent territories that cover an area that stretches from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego and includes much of the Caribbean. It has an area of approximately 19,197,000 km2 (7,412,000 sq mi),[1] almost 13% of the Earth's land surface area. As of March 2, 2020, population of Latin America and the Caribbean was estimated at more than 652 million,[8] and in 2019, Latin America had a combined nominal GDP of US$5,188,250 million[9] and a GDP PPP of 10,284,588 million USD.[9][10]

    There is no universal agreement on the origin of the term Latin America. Some historians[citation needed] believe that the term was created by geographers in the 16th century to refer to the parts of the New World colonized by Spain and Portugal, whose Romance languages derive from Latin. Others argue that the term arose in 1860s France during the reign of Napoleon III, as part of the attempt to create a French empire in the Americas.[11] The idea that a part of the Americas has a linguistic affinity with the Romance cultures as a whole can be traced back to the 1830s, in the writing of the French Saint-Simonian Michel Chevalier, who postulated that this part of the Americas was inhabited by people of a "Latin race", and that it could, therefore, ally itself with "Latin Europe", ultimately overlapping the Latin Church, in a struggle with "Teutonic Europe", "Anglo-Saxon America" and "Slavic Europe".[12]
    It goes on and on. So, apparently, it's a reference to Latin being a root of the Spanish, Portuguese and sometimes French languages spoken by the people of Latin America.

    It seems convoluted to me. Spain took all the wealth, so it really should be called "Spanish America".

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    I thought Rome was Roman.
    IDK

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by __floater__ View Post
    I thought Rome was Roman.
    IDK
    The Roman Empire did not last into the 15th century.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Personally, I dont think logic and language fits together. Language is ofyhen not very systematic or regular
    Ragnar B.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    This has bugged me for a long time. The people of Latin America and many islands are called "Latino" and such, but they speak Spanish. Latin means Rome and Rome means Italian, but the people of Latin America don't speak Italian (as their native language).

    When you look into it, every explanation is almost circular. Wikipedia under "Latin America" says:



    It goes on and on. So, apparently, it's a reference to Latin being a root of the Spanish, Portuguese and sometimes French languages spoken by the people of Latin America.

    It seems convoluted to me. Spain took all the wealth, so it really should be called "Spanish America".
    Portuguese isn’t Spanish so it shouldn’t be called Spanish America. I mean there is a New England but we’re not England America.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    What language is it they spoke in the church?

    Oh, yeah...

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?
    julio iglesias?
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    julio iglesias?
    Miami Sound Machine!

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    What language is it they spoke in the church?

    Oh, yeah...
    By that logic, it would have been Latin Germany (before the reformation), Latin England (before Henry VIII), Latin Maryland even today, etc.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Here ya go - courtesy of a quick google. Not a simple or obvious answer, but interesting --

    https://www.babbel.com/en/magazine/w...-latin-america
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    Default Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    The Roman Empire did not last into the 15th century.

    Kaiser Wilhelm and the Austro-Hungarian Empire would beg to disagree. They styled themselves as the true heir to the Roman Empire. The honorific "Kaiser" is "Cæsar" auf Deutsch.
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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Here ya go - courtesy of a quick google. Not a simple or obvious answer, but interesting --

    https://www.babbel.com/en/magazine/w...-latin-america
    That offers less explanation than the Wikipedia page I cited. It seems to all come down to the colonizing nations speaking a "Romance" language. The one thing this citation offers is a charge (probably correct) that US culture tries to "flatten" the differences in the various countries to create a one size fit all view. However, the term goes WAY back before the US was a serious power.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    Kaiser Wilhelm and the Austro-Hungarian Empire would beg to disagree. They styled themselves as the true heir to the Roman Empire. The honorific "Kaiser" is "Cæsar" auf Deutsch.
    They can call themselves fire hydrants for all I care, but I doubt they'll produce enough water to put out a blaze.

    At best they can trace themselves back to the barbarians who overthrew the Roman Empire.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    Kaiser Wilhelm and the Austro-Hungarian Empire would beg to disagree. They styled themselves as the true heir to the Roman Empire. The honorific "Kaiser" is "Cæsar" auf Deutsch.

    The things you learn on this on this obscure iconoclastic website.
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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Good question!
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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Well it wasn't the Aztecs was it, nor was it the Mapuche!
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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    The Roman Empire did not last into the 15th century.
    Well then
    Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp
    Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong
    Who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop
    Who put the dip in the dip da dip da dip

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    I always refer to the Americas by their geography. North, Central, and South. I cannot remember ever using the term "Latin America"
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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    By that logic, it would have been Latin Germany (before the reformation), Latin England (before Henry VIII), Latin Maryland even today, etc.
    No. There are plenty of Latin languages in Europe.

    There were NONE in the Americas before they were “conquered”, and the language the church used became the official language.

    The “Latin” was entirely imported.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    No. There are plenty of Latin languages in Europe.

    There were NONE in the Americas before they were “conquered”, and the language the church used became the official language.

    The “Latin” was entirely imported.
    My point was that you associated it with the church, which was not correct. Yes, European conquest brought Latin and other living languages to the Americas and the church was up to their eyeballs in Spanish guilt, but it neither begins nor ends with them.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    My point was that you associated it with the church, which was not correct. Yes, European conquest brought Latin and other living languages to the Americas and the church was up to their eyeballs in Spanish guilt, but it neither begins nor ends with them.
    Which other institution insinuated the language on the people? The entire operation was shrouded in the guise of saving souls. The church was integral to everything that happened here.

    Does that mean they’re “bad”? No. And I never implied that.

    You added guilt. I simply explained WHY Latin languages were prevalent in the Americas, because there are no Latin language groups here, otherwise.

    We had a whole secret war weapon based on that fact.

    ETA: remember, there was NO separation of church and state; the church WAS a the state back then. Again, not a judgement, just how it was.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    ..but it neither begins nor ends with them.
    The Irony!

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Woodward View Post
    Amish Rob is correct.
    Again.
    As usual.
    ???

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    By that logic, it would have been Latin Germany (before the reformation), Latin England (before Henry VIII), Latin Maryland even today, etc.
    uh, there was no “Germany” until 1871.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    This has bugged me for a long time. The people of Latin America and many islands are called "Latino" and such, but they speak Spanish. Latin means Rome and Rome means Italian, but the people of Latin America don't speak Italian (as their native language).

    When you look into it, every explanation is almost circular. Wikipedia under "Latin America" says:



    It goes on and on. So, apparently, it's a reference to Latin being a root of the Spanish, Portuguese and sometimes French languages spoken by the people of Latin America.

    It seems convoluted to me. Spain took all the wealth, so it really should be called "Spanish America".
    So, Quebec is Latin American. I did not know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Which other institution insinuated the language on the people? The entire operation was shrouded in the guise of saving souls. The church was integral to everything that happened here.
    Well... not exactly, there were a lot of friars with Pizzaro, Cortez, et all, that were writing back to their home bishops, and to the Holy See reporting on what was going on, that the soldiers were murdering and enslaving people, and that the Church needed to do something to stop the slaughter of innocents.

    Complicit, yes, but integral, no. The Spanish armies were quite gold- and blood-thirsty enough to not need the church's help.
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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    Well... not exactly, there were a lot of friars with Pizzaro, Cortez, et all, that were writing back to their home bishops, and to the Holy See reporting on what was going on, that the soldiers were murdering and enslaving people, and that the Church needed to do something to stop the slaughter of innocents.

    Complicit, yes, but integral, no. The Spanish armies were quite gold- and blood-thirsty enough to not need the church's help.
    Again, I didn’t assign blame from now. I simply stated fact. There were no other institutions than the church. The church gave South America over to be explored, for Pete’s sake.

    Nowhere have I said evil European bad guys or church nasties or any of that.

    The church back then was the government here. One and the same. It isn’t a value judgement on my behalf. As such, the language spoken to do business was necessarily of a “Latin” origin.

    ETA: wait a second. The friars etc. were appealing to the church to help, but the church wasn’t in charge?

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?
    Gringos.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    So, Quebec is Latin American. I did not know.
    The articles cited, especially the Wikipedia article I sited, discusses this. I think the answer is no, but I still find it all very confusing from an historical perspective.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Latin was the lingua franca for politics and commerce as the clerics were the only reliably literate people who could communicate across European borders. This persisted until the Renaissance (and for scholarly writing until the 18th C). So, whether with the Vatican's involvement or not, Latin and the priests of the Catholic Church were integral.
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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Woodward View Post
    I usually find your observations and insights to be spot on.
    That surprises me, because you seem like a smart dude.

    Sorry, and thanks. I am feeling it today, and wanted to make sure I didn’t miss something or misunderstand something.

    I have a tendency to do that, and it’s embarrassing.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    The Roman Empire did not last into the 15th century.
    Really? Maybe you should study a little but if world history. Last time I looked, 1453 was part of the 15th century.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    No. There are plenty of Latin languages in Europe.

    There were NONE in the Americas before they were “conquered”, and the language the church used became the official language.

    The “Latin” was entirely imported.
    The official language of the Spanish Empire was Castilian (not Latin). It had been the official language if the Castilian court since the late 13th century, under Alphonso X.

    Latin was never the official language of the colonies. Yes, it was the official language of the Church.

    I think there is a possibility that the term Latin America was a reference to it's religion as opposed to its language, as the Western Church has also often been referred to as the Latin Church, and the most common rite in the Western Church us, to thus day, referred to as the Latin Rite. But it's just conjecture on my part, the religious base makes more sense than the language base.

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    Default Re: Who put the "Latin" in Latin America?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Again, I didn’t assign blame from now. I simply stated fact. There were no other institutions than the church. The church gave South America over to be explored, for Pete’s sake.

    Nowhere have I said evil European bad guys or church nasties or any of that.

    The church back then was the government here. One and the same. It isn’t a value judgement on my behalf. As such, the language spoken to do business was necessarily of a “Latin” origin.

    ETA: wait a second. The friars etc. were appealing to the church to help, but the church wasn’t in charge?
    All false. The church was not in the government in central and south america. Were bishops political persons who had some clout? Yes, but they were by no means the government.

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