Economies from Independence to Industrialization
- LAST MODIFIED: 25 September 2018
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0198
- LAST MODIFIED: 25 September 2018
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0198
Between the fall of Spanish rule in continental America and the emergence of Latin America’s big economic growth (1821–1940), the gap in per capita gross domestic product (GDP) compared with North Atlantic economies was evident. Mainstream economic history of the various Latin American countries and of the so-called North Atlantic identify the existence of this gap since the time of colonial rule and continuing through the advent of the independence movements and revolutions of the 19th century. In any case, this disparity was not born in the 20th century. One of the reasons why the literature on low economic growth gained in importance after World War II was the establishment of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) by the United Nations. CEPAL fostered surveys and the establishment of archives with economic and statistical data for an important group of Latin American countries. Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela evolved as strategic geographical regions with great factor endowments for Latin American trade with European economies at the end of the war. One of the first tasks of CEPAL was to improve political economies in these countries so that they might narrow the gap in industrialization. This bibliography distinguishes a remarkable continuity in the road to industrial development in Latin America: the role of the post-independence state as a stakeholder in efforts toward economic growth and development. Especially in the cases of Mexico and Brazil—and later Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Cuba, and Colombia—we offer three main organizing principles in the study of economic evolutions: (1) Precocious Attempts at Takeoff, 1821–1880; (2) The Latin American Economies in the Age of Exports, 1880–1930; and (3) The Road to Industrialization: State-Led Production, ISI, and CEPAL Overviews, 1930–1980. This bibliography attempts to find a balance between the “economic growth” school influenced by Kuznets and Rostow, as well as some other Latin American schools in CEPAL overviews, and economic and social history monographs by scholars in Latin American universities and research centers with Keynesian, Marxist, and structural approaches.
Few single-authored or multiauthored works of general synthesis can be found before the 1990s and this is because the “new economic history” approach issuing from the United States was unfamiliar to regional scholars and, secondly, because Marxist, Annales school, and CEPAL influences were predominant in the 1960s and 1970s. Cardoso and Pérez Brignoli 1979 is a clear example of a Marxist approach with structural analysis, while Chevalier 1993 represents the work of a French scholar who influenced Mexican colonial studies since the 1950s. At the turn of the 21st century works by scholars trained in the United States and Europe began to focus on the influence of British trade in the Americas and the path-dependence models that emerged mainly in South America (Mahoney 2003). The economic growth model and long-run analysis are demonstrated by Williamson 2009 and Bértola and Ocampo 2013. Prados de la Escosura 2005 discusses the “lost decades” as a relative process in which backwardness is connected with the regional market of low integration and autocracy that resulted in regional disparities throughout the 19th century. This does not mean that economic growth was absent from the entire region. The edited companion Bulmer-Thomas, et al. 2006 should also be consulted, along with Cárdenas, et al. 2000, a companion on the economic history of Latin America.
Bértola, Luis, and José Antonio Ocampo. El Desarrollo económico de América Latina desde la independencia. Mexico City: FCE, 2013.
This important overview, in the manner of economic growth studies, includes specific historical analysis of the three periods of per capita GDP changes in the region: the relative decrease between 1821–1870, the new growth between 1870 and 1980, and the decline after 1980.
Bulmer-Thomas, Victor. “The Struggle for National Identity from Independence to Midcentury.” In The Economic History of Latin America since Independence. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
This foundational study examines the failure of the region to close the gap with the United States in GDP and living standards and explores the reasons. It contains a wealth of material that was new at the time and which laid the groundwork for new research in this area.
Bulmer-Thomas, Victor, John H. Coatsworth, and Roberto Cortés Conde, eds. The Cambridge Economic History of Latin America. 2 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Bibliographical essays that are important across countries and periods.
Cárdenas, Enrique, José Antonio Ocampo, and Rosemary Thorp, eds. An Economic History of Twentieth-Century Latin America. 3 vols. New York: Palgrave, 2000.
Important companion for the 20th century, especially for periodization of the export era and the state-led production system after the 1929 economic crash.
Cardoso, Ciro F. S., and Héctor Pérez Brignoli. Historia Económica de América Latina. Barcelona: Crítica, 1979.
Still useful for a quick overview of comparative structural analysis of “late capitalism” in Latin America with an original combination of economic, political, and social studies highlighting the early role of Latin American states in their movement toward modern capitalist economies.
Chevalier, François. L’Amérique Latine (de l’indépendance à nos jours). 2d ed. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1993.
As former professor at the Sorbonne and a pioneer of economic and social history of late colonial rule in Mexico, Chevalier offers a work of general synthesis on the main Latin American countries, covering economics, politics, and social and cultural evolutions from the pre-Columbian period to contemporary times. The background of primary sources and surveys for each country are very useful for further research.
Mahoney, James. Long-Run Development and the Legacy of Spanish America. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Mahoney argues that the origins of hierarchy in Spanish and Portuguese America built a path-dependent legacy. This overview outlines competing hypotheses to explain a strange relationship between development in the more isolated colonial regions and the stagnation found close to the core of the empire.
Prados de la Escosura, Leandro. Colonial Independence and Economic Backwardness in Latin America. Working Papers of the Global Economic History Network (GEHN), 10/05. London: Department of Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2005.
Prados explores the different origins of Latin American post-independence economic decay. This overview shows how economic growth was no more absent from the early attempts at modernization and development than from that of many Asian and continental European economies during the long-run 19th century.
Weaver, Frederick S. Latin America in the World Economy: Mercantile Colonialism to Global Capitalism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000.
This overview focuses on the birth of free trade and the struggles of the Americas during the postcolonial period. It compares Spanish America and Brazil, highlighting the different impact of British trade in the two Americas.
Williamson, Jeffrey G. Five Centuries of Latin American Income Inequality. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2009.
This is another foundational study from the economic growth school and a mixture of institutional analysis. Williamson questions inequality in Latin America as a gap in institutional roots that originated during Spanish rule and was reinforced by economic elites. Contributors Engerman and Sokoloff argue that high levels of income inequality stimulated a rent-seeking system, which was incompatible with economic growth.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
- Agricultural Technologies
- Ancient Andean Textiles
- Andean Contributions to Rethinking the State and the Natio...
- Andean Music
- Antislavery Narratives
- Arab Diaspora in Brazil, The
- Arab Diaspora in Latin America, The
- Argentina in the Era of Mass Immigration
- Argentina, Slavery in
- Argentine Literature
- Army of Chile in the 19th Century
- Asian Art and Its Impact in the Americas, 1565–1840
- Asian-Peruvian Literature
- Atlantic Creoles
- Baroque and Neo-baroque Literary Tradition
- Bello, Andrés
- Black Experience in Colonial Latin America, The
- Black Experience in Modern Latin America, The
- Borderlands in Latin America, Conquest of
- Bourbon Reforms, The
- Brazilian Northeast, History of the
- Buenos Aires
- Caribbean Philosophical Association, The
- Caribbean, The Archaeology of the
- Cartagena de Indias
- Caste War of Yucatán, The
- Caudillos, 19th Century
- Cádiz Constitution and Liberalism, The
- Chaco War
- Children, History of
- Chile's Struggle for Independence
- Chronicle, The
- Church in Colonial Latin America, The
- Chávez, Hugo, and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela
- Cinema, Contemporary Brazilian
- Cinema, Latin American
- Colonial Central America
- Colonial New Granada
- Colonial Portuguese Amazon Region, from the 17th to 18th C...
- Contemporary Maya, The
- Costa Rica
- Cárdenas and Cardenismo
- Cuban Revolution, The
- Dependency Theory in Latin American History
- Development of Architecture in New Spain, 1500–1810, The
- Development of Painting in Peru, 1520–1820, The
- Drug Trades in Latin America
- Dutch in South America and the Caribbean, The
- Early Colonial Forms of Native Expression in Mexico and Pe...
- Economies from Independence to Industrialization
- Ecuador, La Generación del 30 in
- El Salvador
- Enlightenment and its Visual Manifestations in Spanish Ame...
- Environmental History
- Era of Porfirio Díaz, 1876–1911, The
- Family History
- Film, Science Fiction
- Football (Soccer) in Latin America
- Gaucho Literature
- Gender in Colonial Brazil
- Gender in Postcolonial Latin America
- Guaraní and Their Legacy, The
- Guatemala and Yucatan, Conquest of
- Guatemala City
- Guatemala (Colonial Period)
- Guatemala (Modern & National Period)
- Haitian Revolution, The
- Health and Disease in Modern Latin America, History of
- History, Cultural
- History, Food
- Honor in Latin America to 1900
- Horror in Literature and Film in Latin America
- Human Rights in Latin America
- Immigration in Latin America
- Indigenous Elites in the Colonial Andes
- Indigenous Population and Justice System in Central Mexico...
- Indigenous Voices in Literature
- Japanese Presence in Latin America
- Jewish Presence in Latin America, The
- José María Arguedas and Early 21st Century Cultural and Po...
- Las Casas, Bartolomé de
- Latin American Independence
- Latin American Urbanism, 1850-1950
- Law and Society in Latin America since 1800
- Legal History of New Spain, 16th-17th Centuries
- Legal History of the State and Church in 18th Century New ...
- Literature, Argentinian
- Machado de Assis
- Magical Realism
- Maroon Societies in Latin America
- Martí, José, and Cuba
- Mestizaje and the Legacy of José María Arguedas
- Mexican Nationalism
- Mexican Revolution, 1910–1940, The
- Mexican-US Relations
- Mexico, Conquest of
- Mexico, Education in
- Migration to the United States
- Military and Modern Latin America, The
- Military Government in Latin America, 1959–1990
- Military Institution in Colonial Latin America, The
- Modern Decorative Arts and Design, 1900–2000
- Modern Populism in Latin America
- Modernity and Decoloniality
- Musical Tradition in Latin America, The
- Native Presence in Postconquest Central Peru
- New Conquest History and the New Philology in Colonial Mes...
- New Left in Latin America, The
- Novel, Chronology of the Venezuelan
- Novel of the Mexican Revolution, The
- Novel, 19th Century Haitian
- Novel, The Colombian
- Oaxaca, Conquest and Colonial
- Painting in New Spain, 1521–1820
- Paraguayan War (War of the Triple Alliance)
- Pastoralism in the Andes
- Paz, Octavio
- Perón and Peronism
- Peru, Colonial
- Peru, Conquest of
- Peru, Slavery in
- Philippines Under Spanish Rule, 1571-1898
- Photography in the History of Race and Nation
- Political Exile in Latin America
- Popular Culture and Globalization
- Popular Movements in 19th-Century Latin America
- Post Conquest Aztecs
- Post-Conquest Demographic Collapse
- Poverty in Latin America
- Preconquest Incas
- Pre-conquest Mesoamerican States, The
- Pre-Revolutionary Mexico, State and Nation Formation in
- Printing and the Book
- Prints and the Circulation of Colonial Images
- Protestantism in Latin America
- Puerto Rican Literature
- Religions in Latin America
- Revolution and Reaction in Central America
- Rosas, Juan Manuel de
- Sandinista Revolution and the FSLN, The
- Santo Domingo
- Science and Empire in the Iberian Atlantic
- Sexualities in Latin America and the Caribbean
- Slavery in Brazil
- São Paulo
- Spanish American Arab Literature
- Spanish and Portuguese Trade, 1500–1750
- Spanish Caribbean In The Colonial Period, The
- Spanish Colonial Decorative Arts, 1500-1825
- Spanish Florida
- Spiritual Conquest of Latin America, The
- Telenovelas and Melodrama in Latin America
- Textile Traditions of the Andes
- 16th-Century New Spain
- Transculturation and Literature
- Trujillo, Rafael
- Tupac Amaru Rebellion, The
- United States and Castro's Cuba in the Cold War, The
- United States and the Guatemalan Revolution, The
- United States Invasion of the Dominican Republic, 1961–196...
- Urban History
- Urbanization in the 20th Century, Latin America’s
- U.S.-Latin American Relations During the Cold War
- Vargas, Getúlio
- Venezuelan Literature
- Women and Labor in 20th-Century Latin America
- Women in Colonial Latin American History
- Women in Modern Latin American History
- Zapatista Rebellion in Chiapas