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Central America Introduction. Key issue: Agrarian Transformation “a major change in the organization of agrarian society” What is the relationship between.

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Presentation on theme: "Central America Introduction. Key issue: Agrarian Transformation “a major change in the organization of agrarian society” What is the relationship between."— Presentation transcript:

1 Central America Introduction

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3 Key issue: Agrarian Transformation “a major change in the organization of agrarian society” What is the relationship between landownership, agricultural systems, and poverty? – agricultural export option “Agro-export” model Proposition:historical evolution since colonization has perpetuated poverty and underdevelopment –land dispossession and concentration –subjugation of peasants/anti democratic –unequal economic development –failure to reinvest in countries

4 Political implications: focus on specific countries Agrarian reform--central to agendas of both reformers and revolutionaries –Goal and overthrow of reformers Guatemala 1954 Honduras 1963 –civil war and conflict: El Salvador Nicaragua Guatemala peace and reconciliation

5 PRE-INDEPENDENCE These transformations are important because they limit current options Pre-Columbian agricultural systems The conquest

6 COLONIAL PERIOD: HOW TO MAKE WEALTH? 16 th Century: Cacao 17 th Century: Indigo 18 th Century: Haciendas –EXCEPTION: Costa Rica

7 LIBERAL REFORMS AND COFFEE Crisis “roots are to be found in the contradictions of a social structure established in the late 19 th C. “ Independence: Declared in 1821 –Central American Federal Republic  CA liberalism different than Mexican liberalism –Economic, not political: Democracy =Property

8 CA coffee regimes Guatemala: “forced labor camp” El Salvador: Plenty of labor, but not enough land Nicaragua: Retarded but similar to the others Costa Rica: unique foundations Honduras: waits til later Conclusions of coffee boom

9 BANANA REPUBLICS Two Views –Heroic entrepreneurs –Monopolist exploiters United Fruit “The Octopus” Bananas and Railroads Key players –Minor Keith –Samuel Zemurry

10 BANANA REPUBLICS Costa Rica Honduras Guatemala Plusses and minuses

11 POSTWAR TRANSFORMATION OF CENTRAL AMERICAN AGRICULTURE Factors Cotton and Sugar Diversification Cattle Non traditional exports (NTX) END RESULT: comparative expansion of exports v. food production

12 INTERNATIONALISATION OF EXPORT AGRICULTURE Growing insertion into global economy by both commercial farmers and peasants Growing role of international aid agencies Evaluation of “comparative advantage”

13 IMPACTS OF AGRICULTURAL TRANSFORMATION ON RURAL ECONOMIC SECURITY Status Population growth or agricultural transformation  Poverty? –Access to land –Export cropping  Access to food/malnutrition –Access to Employment and Income –Social Impact of non-traditional exports (NTX) –Environmental Degradation

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