The Political Economy of Spanish America in the Age of by Kenneth J. Andrien, Lyman L. Johnson

By Kenneth J. Andrien, Lyman L. Johnson

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Extra info for The Political Economy of Spanish America in the Age of Revolution, 1750-1850

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R. Palmer, "Social and Psychological Foundations of the Revolutionary Era," in A. , 1965), passim; and Jacques Godechot, France and the Atlantic Revolution of the Eighteenth Century (London, 1971), 3. It also represents the period from 1750 to 1850 in Spanish America as a time of transition, beginning with the crisis of the colonial orderfrom the escalation of the Bourbon Reforms between approximately 1750 and 1765to Spanish America's incorporation into the global economy between approximately 1850 and 1900.

Changes in political leadership and military events could alter but not destroy the established colonial trade routes. In the long run, this nation's relative competitiveness and external market demands supported export agriculture and the reemergence of the Paraguay-Paraná commercial links. Each of the essays in this volume demonstrates the role of the state in promoting socioeconomic changes in the late colonial and early national periods. The pervasive influence of the colonial state, however, meant that its slow-motion collapse between the 1790s and 1825 had a decided impact on the character of many long-term trends, often altering their configuration and heightening social tensions, political disorders, and economic Page 12 fragmentation.

In both colonies, however, the slow collapse of the imperial trading system from the mid-1790s led to mining crises. The transition to a free market in mercury after independence proved difficult, and despite adequate supplies and lowered prices, by 1850 structural damage to the mines, the loss of skilled workers, and reduced capital resources combined to undermine production. Despite its obvious inefficiencies, the Bourbon state had the territorial scale, political authority, and administrative cohesion to provide the stable supplies of mercury needed by American silver producers.

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