This collection of essays forms part of a series on “issues related to the social, economic and cultural framework and interaction of the conduct of trade in conflict situations.” Two initial essays focus on institutional approaches to the understanding of Latin American economies after independence. Seven other contributions deal with commerce in various regions of Latin America during, or slightly after, the struggle for independence.

Jorge Gelman asserts that institutional analyses of Latin American economies neglect the role of geography and transportation costs as constraints on economic growth. Gelman contends that institutional interpretations treat national economies as a whole, neglecting crucial regional variations. He also notes, in the case of Mexico, the damage to silver mining in the independence struggle and the loss of highly productive lands in the war of 1846 – 48. Finally, he notes that nineteenth-century Cuba, depending on the...

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