Since the French Revolution, and particularly during and after the Industrial Revolution, it became a commonplace notion to associate the Catholic Church with counterrevolution and traditionalism, through its contacts with reactionary aristocracies. Furthermore, in Latin America, the Church was strongly attached to colonial traditions and social structures, and thus proved in general quite reluctant to accept the changes brought about by independence from France (1804), Spain (1810–1824), and Portugal (1822) as well as the liberal trends originating in Europe. The nineteenth century progressive thinkers, particularly those inclined to liberalism and socialism, had good reasons to mistrust the Catholic Church, and occasionally there was open confrontation with Catholic preachers and authors as if they were irreconcilable enemies. Catholic authors and their teachings tended to remain confined to Church circles and somewhat discredited. The Church was often accused of being a stronghold of the Ancient Régime, monarchical and reactionary, as well as an obstinate bulwark against modernization. Moreover, it remained decidedly opposed to the efforts to extend full political rights to the “populace,” thus hindering the democratization process and, in particular, rejecting the demands of the nascent working classes for social justice and laws designed to improve the prevailing labor conditions.