Colonial Legacies: The Problem of Persistence in Latin American History

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More than other Atlantic societies, Latin America is shackled to its past. This collection is an exploration of the binding historical legacies—the making of slavery, patrimonial absolutist states, backward agriculture and the imprint of the Enlightenment—with which Latin America continues to grapple.

Leading writers and scholars reflect on how this heritage emerged from colonial institutions and how historians have tackled these legacies over the years, suggesting that these deep encumbrances are why the region has failed to live up to liberal-capitalist expectations. They also invite discussion about the political, economic and cultural heritages of Atlantic colonialism through the idea that persistence is a powerful organizing framework for understanding particular kinds of historical processes.

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Editorial Reviews

A collection of 12 essays addressing the legacy of writing on colonial formations in Latin America. Topics include colonial Africa through the lens of colonial Latin America; the European diaspora of silver by war; dependency and the colonial heritage in southeastern Mesoamerica; evidence from Bourbon Mexico on agriculture and the colonial heritage of Latin America; the Argentinian historical burden; and conceptualizing post- Brazil. Contributors are US- based scholars of Latin American history. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415921527
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Pages: 330
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeremy Adelman is the Director of the Program of Latin American Studies and Professor of History at Princeton University.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: The Problem of Persistence in Latin American History 1
2 Europe and the Atlantic World 15
3 Colonial Africa through the Lens of Colonial Latin America 29
4 Financing Empire: The European Diaspora of Silver by War 51
5 Hegemonies Old and New: The Ibero-Atlantic in the Long Eighteenth Century 69
6 Dependency and the Colonial Heritage in Southeastern Mesoamerica 91
7 Agriculture and the Colonial Heritage of Latin America: Evidence from Bourbon Mexico 107
8 The Tricks of Time: Colonial Legacies and Historical Sensibilities in Latin America 135
9 Argentines Ponder the Burden of the Past 151
10 The Colonial Past: Conceptualizing Post-Dependentista Brazil 175
11 Furtado, Social Science, and History 193
12 The Elision of the Middle Classes and Beyond: History, Politics, and Development Studies in Latin America's "Short Twentieth Century" 207
Notes 229
Notes on Contributors 289
Index 293
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