Between Silver and Guano

Between Silver and Guano: Commercial Policy and the State in Postindependence Peru

Copyright Date: 1989
Pages: 244
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    Between Silver and Guano
    Book Description:

    This study of Peru's transformation from a tottering colonial economy based on extraction of precious bullion to a massive exporter of bulk goods like guano shows how a struggle between protectionists and free traders shaped the state. "This is an elegant and sophisticated book that can be read on many levels, written by an author who never takes the facile road. [Its] significance is great--not just for Peruvian history but for theoretical questions relating to dependency and economic history in nineteenth-century Latin America.. Gootenberg has added a major new element to the dependency debate, one that is more intellectually satisfying than the sterile old argument about good guys and bad guys."--Timothy E. Anna, The Hispanic American Historical Review "[One] of the best books in recent years on Peruvian history, and a valuable contribution to nineteenth-century commercial and financial studies."--Michael J. Gonzales, Journal of Economic History "Fascinating reading. Gootenberg has taken the why of Latin American underdevelopment a step forward by unraveling complexities of the actual historical-economic forces.. [This book] is perhaps the most thorough examination of exactly how those internal class and productive forces contributed to Peru's under-development."--Choice

    Originally published in 1991.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6041-8
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-1)
  4. CHAPTER 1 Introduction: From Nationalist Elites to a Liberal State
    (pp. 3-17)

    By high noon, Saturday, the twenty-third of August, 1834, the gratings were locked tight on the swank boutiques along Lima’s normally bustling commercial boulevard, the Calle de Bodegones. Around the block, from Mantas Street to Santo Domingo Square, a pall hung over the emptied storefronts of scores oflimeñoshopkeepers. Instead of customers, crowds of tense merchants milled in the plazas. Theirsambos, black slaves, readied themselves with brickbats, should anyone dare break the peace, or venture out to sell or buy. Yet this was no day of rest for merchants, but one of action, political action.¹

    The “movimiento mercantil”...

  5. CHAPTER 2 Beleaguered Liberals
    (pp. 18-33)

    Who were the commercial liberals in postindependence Peru? Which groups actually spearheaded the opening drive for free trade between 1820 and 1840? Five distinct liberal currents emerged among the elites: foreign political envoys and their resident merchant houses; the Bolivarians and their ideological orphans, the internationalists; and an incipient southern regional bloc centered in Arequipa. These groups certainly introduced the Andes to the alien ideas of free trade, and each fought as best it could to put these ideas into practice. Yet, as a free trade “movement,” these men were to remain divided, isolated, and illegitimate, no match against the...

  6. CHAPTER 3 The Protection of Elites
    (pp. 34-67)

    The overwhelming majority of Peruvian elites—landed, agro-industrial, commercial, and bureaucratic—were anything but free traders in the postindependence era. These sectors were similar in composition and influence to the commercialized backbone of the traditional viceregal economy, that is, the colonial ruling class. By the mid-1820s, despite declining economic fortunes, they reemerged as a widely based, vociferous, and relatively cohesive republican protectionist movement, well-equipped for defeating the scattered band of liberals who could never manage to form a credible free-trade movement. The protectionist program enveloped a vast range of specific proposals (restrictive practices, state monopolies, and global trade strategies, as...

  7. CHAPTER 4 Nationalist Caudillo Politics and Liberal State-Building
    (pp. 68-99)

    Peru could not achieve a stable national state until the 1850s—the liberal guano-age Leviathan erected by Ramón Castilla—whether such consolidation is viewed in its political, social, regional, institutional, diplomatic, or financial dimensions. As the premier “caudillo” regime of postindependence America, the Peruvian state, like most others, has eluded analysis. Historians still assume away structural regularities (or even meaning) in postindependence politics, which is customarily portrayed as a nonsensical merry-go-round of armed, opera buffa executives, frivolous discourse, incoherent policies, fiscal desperation, and stillborn political institutions. Even if such were the case, this sort of view still provides no understanding...

  8. CHAPTER 5 Fiscal Politics: From National to Liberal Finance
    (pp. 100-137)

    A core difficulty with all political analysis of caudillo regimes, including the attempt just offered, is identification of any stable political elite or vested interest in a revolving state. The bewildering turnover of executives, policies, and personnel; the hamstrung development of civil institutions—all leave the impression that no political continuity could have existed. Yet, some underpinning must have existed to permit the very survival (for nearly three decades in Peru’s case) of a system based on permanently militarized politics and rapid succession of rulers. In Peru, civil war was indeed the extension of politics by other means.

    Key realms...

  9. CHAPTER 6 Conclusions: Nationalism, Dependency, and the Peruvian Nation-State
    (pp. 138-158)

    At the start of this study, we saw that a central tenet in the historiography of Peru is the dearth of nationalist elites in the early republic. This forms the cornerstone for influential new conceptions that purport to explain Peru’s subsequent “underdevelopment” under nineteenth-century free trade. The implied relationship here, among elite protectionism, Peruvian nationalism, and national development, will remain controversial. However, this book argues that the republic was actually founded by highly nationalist elites whose influence spanned three decades of republican rule. Peru, historically one of the most liberal of Latin American economies, experienced one of the most vigorous...

  10. APPENDIX 1 External Economy
    (pp. 161-164)
  11. APPENDIX 2 Lima Economy
    (pp. 165-167)
  12. APPENDIX 3 Emergency Public Finance
    (pp. 168-174)
  13. NOTES
    (pp. 175-210)
    (pp. 211-226)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 227-234)