The causes for the independence movements throughout Latin America during the colonial period were both varied and centralized around specific ideas. For some Latin American Countries, colonial rule was tolerated because the mistreatment of the population was eventually being attributed to an emerging class status system of mixed races of Indian and African slaves and the Spanish. For the other Latin American countries Spain's influence and presence was not welcomed at all. Their imperialistic ways went against the new ideas of Nationalism. But the common thread amongst all of the countries, in their strive for independence, was the belief in the most essential human rights and the soverignty of both the people and the individual countries. .
During the colonial period, the ruling Spanish class set up a colonial system that was based primarily on the concept of mercantilism. Mercantilism was founded on the assumption that precious metals, gold and silver, were the primary source of wealth. And to obtain the greatest amount of wealth possible it was necessary to mine the metals as well as war, steal, and trade in order to secure your wealth and class position. However, as mining revenues declined and people began to pirate the ships bringing metals to Europe, the abuse and division of class amongst the slaves grew. The colonial system became a precarious situation that was in immediate danger of toppling at any moment.
Some of the long-term complaints of the people in Latin America were focused directly on the treatment they received at the hands of the Spainiards. Spanish law in the colonies was specifically set up to justify the enslavement and give rationalizations for the conduct of those in charge. If the natives of the individual countries resisted the oppression brought upon them, there was documented Spanish law that was set to keep the natives in check. In the Requerimiento authored and applied in 1514 by King Charles I of Spain, it was written if the Indians did not comply to the demands placed upon them that .