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The Law of Disentailment (Ley de Exvinculación) of 1874 was the culmination of liberal reform initiatives going back to the late-colonial period and to Bolívar. It sought to end the colonial institution of Indian tribute and replace it with a universal tax on the land, to be collected from all citizens regardless of caste or race. At the same time, it aimed to break up collective landholding by Indians, on the grounds that communal property was a drag on the land market and economic productivity, and to grant titles to individual proprietors who would be free to buy and sell...

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