Latin America midterm week 4
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What is development
Actions that promote standards of living and economic health of a specific area.
- concept that focuses on modernizing production
- theory that if more is produced, this will help
- the poor.
two different explanations for under-development -
- The Scarcity Explanation: Overpopulated countries have too few resources and cannot produce enough food to feed everyone.
- Inequality Explanation: The reason for poverty is because of unequal access to land, water and other resources required to feed people.
Understand the general economic climate after independence and the role of Western Europe and later, the United States
Liberalism and free trade is the model at this time in the government.
Great Britain was a key source of investment in LA.
Europe was industrializing and looking for raw materials to export.
Railways opened up a to the interior continents making the cost cheaper for shipping.
So now instead of only exporting luxury goods Europe could now export other items such as food.
What is world system
- massive movement of products, labor, and capital from one area or another to another
- the basis of an integrated world system.
- Allows for export of luxury and nonluxury goods.
what is comparative advantage
- certain regions are more suited to do certain things more than others.
- Each area would produce what it best could, so that these products could be exchanged.
- economies of different countries were interdependent, but are not equal.
Understand the general characteristics of Latin America dependency
- LA characterized by "dependency", meaning that they produce relatively inexpensive raw materials and agricultural products & must import expensive capital goods like machines from other areas in order to export these products.
- Thus the idea that Economies are interdependent, but not equal
- Latin America depends on comparative advantage on having a cheap labour force, rather than a highly educated and well-paid one.
Know the general implications of focusing on one export product, and how Latin American became integrated into the world economy
- single export product or the focus of producing only one or two main things means that they are vulnerable to a given price on the world market.
- if other areas decide to pay less for their already cheap products this means that their economies crumble.
Understand how there has been demand for certain commodities over others, and what this has implied for Latin America
- Some products only come from very few places which then again helps determine international competition
- There is not a unlimited choice of commodities to choose from but rather there is a limited choice.
- Some products have no close synthetic substitute (e.g. gold), while cotton face the competition from synthetic fibres.
- Some products LA has monopoly of world supply (cocaine), though international competition of sugar is fierce.
- The geographical and geological diversity of LA meant that each republic had only a limited choice of commodities to export.
- They fell back on traditional export activities (using the land and a dependet labor force), British, french, german, and US manufactured goods and needed a market to sell it to, LA continued to produce primary and agricultural products in exchange for manufactured goods.
Understand what an enclave economy is
- Enclave economies: where foreign capital owns enterprises; and situations of domestic ownership of production.
- With an enclave, especially with a single production/company there can be a lot of pressure on national policies to ensure that the interests of that industry are protected.
- It is under these circumstances that some of the greatest inequalities have emerged in latin America, the worst then in the “Banana republics” - examples: immigration and horrible labor conditions
- Since the British involvement declined because of it’s colonies in Africa, an increasing US interest in LA started, starting with Central America and the Caribbean.
Understand the role of Latin American elites and the uneven distribution of resources
- certain Latin American elites promoting the interests of certain American capitalist precisely because their own individual interests coincided.
- Certain LA elites have benefited from the processes of dependent development.
Have an anthropological understanding of the term nation and why it is often thought of as an “imagined community”
A “nation” is not simply a group of people with a shared language, history, and identity that “deserves” sovereignty…
the nation must be made, constructed, formed, shaped, reinforced, and performed.
- Who is part of the nation and who is not?
- Fear of what foreigners were doing?
connections between developing the export economy and racist immigration policies
be familiar with Honduras and Ecuador examples
understand the relationship between the mestizo elite in the government and the development of export economy
Honduras, banana enclaves, welcomed and encouraged western european immigrants to the country, African slaves were not allowed, they received many people from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria who became the dominant commercial elite on the north coast, and the Black Caribs who worked on the banana plantations dedicated themselves to subsistence agriculture.
The state wanted europeans to lift the country out of its debt and make money for them, but there were african slaves that took Mestizos jobs, so the state created racial immigration laws.
Ecuador: they created racial immigration laws to attract the europeans so they could cultivate the earth, they believed that since they were so industrialized they were better at agriculture and would be money-makers for LA.
Understand the general approaches toward indigenous populations during colonialism and with independence (the move from a corporatist to a liberal model)
Colonialism: 2 Republics (Corporatist) Model. Indians needed to pay tribute to Crown, but had legally-recognized communal territory “separate” from Spaniards, Creoles, & Mestizos. Different guilds had different sets of rights and duties. Indians were “protected” by living in a separate society.
Independence: Liberal model of export-led growth and “equality”. Ideal of equality among all citizens meant no more Indian tribute… but also no more communal land rights. Pressure to learn Spanish and assimilate to Hispanic society.
Know what being indigenous has been associated with (speaking an indigenous language, living in an indigenous community..and not necessarily biological ancestry)
means that one speaks an indigenous language, having markedly different cultural traditions and values that broaden Hispanic society (eg. medicine, religion, rejection of the market economy, communal property, etc.), living in a (rural) indigenous community
Know what campesinos (peasants) are, and some of the debates about what their roles should be with the agrarian economy
- campesinos are peasants who live in subsistence based rural communities which have marginal contact with a larger society. Usually peasants choose to stand against capitalism because they have communal land and are engaged in subsistence agriculture. semi-autonomous, semi-dependent
- self-sufficient small-scale farmers or fishers, who sell some surplus products on the market (or to pay taxes or other dues to the state or landowners).
indigenous or mestizo, usually considered poor, produce or help to produce some food for the internal market (different from large scale agricultural workers, but still produce food for others to purchase), urban population depends on peasantry but peasantry does not really depend on the urban population and can challenge capitalist models of export-led growth and industrialization, and rather engage in subsistence agriculture (not selling their labor)
The agrarian question: Will peasants act as allies in the struggle to achieve socialism? achieve class consciousness? will they ally with the industrial proletariat (as members of the working class)?
The agrarian problem: How to best distribute land and become most productive?, how to make food for everyone, and still export agricultural products on the world market?Agrarian structure: Set of institutions, norms, social, political and economic relationships governing the access to and use of land as productive resource. E.G. Land to whomever farms is; no land can be left idle for extended periods of time etc...
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