Latin American and Related Sessions at the American Historical Association Meeting, December 27-30, 1981, Los Angeles, California
Initialed meetings and sessions were written by Thomas M. Davies, Jr. (San Diego State University); Kenneth Maxwell (The Tinker Foundation, Inc., and Columbia University); William F. Safer (California State University at Long Beach); John V. Lombardi (Indiana University); Christon I. Archer (University of Calgary); Leon G. Campbell (University of California, Riverside); John H. Coatsworth (University of Chicago); Frederick M. Nunn (Portland State University); Michael C. Meyer (University of Arizona); Carlos E. Cortés (University of California, Riverside); Mario Rodriguez (University of Southern California); Paul J. Vanderwood (San Diego State University); John V. Murra (Cornell University); David L. Chandler (Brigham Young University); Allen Woll (Rutgers University); Louis A. Pérez, Jr. (University of South Florida); and Richard M. Morse (Stanford University).
The Conference on Latin American History held its fifty-fourth annual business meeting at a breakfast on December 29, 1981, in Los Angeles, California. Outgoing Chairperson John TePaske (Duke University) presided.
Following the introduction of Conference officers and honored guests, TePaske announced the results of the latest CLAH election. Professor Stuart B. Schwartz (University of Minnesota) will serve as 1982 vice-chairperson, and Professors Karen Spalding (University of Delaware) and Mark A. Burkholder (University of Missouri—St. Louis) were elected to two-year terms on the General Committee.
The 1981 Conference prize winners were then announced. The Herbert Eugene Bolton Memorial Prize for the best book in English published in the field of Latin American history during 1980 was awarded to Herman W. Konrad (University of Calgary), for A Jesuit Hacienda in Colonial Mexico: Santa Lucia, 1576-1767, published by Stanford University Press. Honorable mention went to George Reid Andrews (University of Pittsburgh) for The Afro-Argentines of Buenos Aires, 1800-1900, published by the University of Wisconsin Press.
The Conference on Latin American History Distinguished Service Award for significant contributions to the advancement of the study of Latin American history in the United States was presented to Charles Gibson (University of Michigan).
The Howard F. Cline Memorial Prize for the best article or book on Latin American ethnohistory was awarded to Frank Salomon (University of Illinois) for his book Los señores étnicos de Quito en la época de los Incas, published by the Instituto Otavaleño de Antropología in Otavalo, Ecuador. Honorable mentions went to Maria Rostworowski de Diez Canseco (Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, Lima) for her book Señoríos indígenas de Lima y Canta, published by the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos; Louis Necker (Institut Universitaire d’Etudes du Développement, Geneva) for his book Indiens Guarani et Chamanes Franciscains; Les Premières Reductions de Paraguay, published by Anthropos in Paris; and Edward Spicer (University of Arizona) for his book The Yaquis: A Cultural History, published by the University of Arizona Press.
The Conference on Latin American History Prize for the best article published in a journal other than the Hispanic American Historical Review was awarded to Inga Clendinnen (La Trobe University, Australia) for “Landscape and World View: The Survival of
Yucatec Maya Culture under Spanish Conquest,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 22 (July 1980). Honorable mention went to Elizabeth A. Kuznesof (University of Kansas) for “The Role of the Female-Headed Household in Brazilian Modernization: Sao Paulo, 1765-1836 "Journal of Social History, 13 (Summer 1980).
The James Alexander Robertson Memorial Prize for the best article published in the HAHR was won by Jane M. Loy (University of Massachusetts) for “Forgotten Comuneros: The 1781 Revolt in the Llanos of Casanare," HAHR, 61 (May 1981).
Following the announcement of the CLAH prize winners, the chair introduced Dr. Ingrid Scobie who announced the creation of the James R. Scobie Memorial Award (to be administered by CLAH), which will be given annually to a graduate student to do predissertation research in Latin America or the Iberian Peninsula to determine the feasibility of his or her dissertation topic and to make initial scholarly contacts in the country selected.
The chair then introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Magnus Morner (Latinamerika-Institutet I Stockholm, Sweden) who gave a highly informative and valuable address entitled “The Latin Americanist Historian and International Cooperation.” Morner described the European Latin Americanist periodicals of particular interest to historians and called for greater cooperation between Latin American historians in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and even Japan and China, particularly in the area of exchanging publications so that we all may be better informed about the research and publications of our colleagues throughout the world.
The meeting ended as Chairperson TePaske passed the gavel to 1982 Chairperson Herbert S. Klein (Columbia University).
SESSIONS AND PANELS
John H. Coatsworth (University of Chicago) chaired the December 29 session “Labor and Social Control in Late Colonial Mexico City.” Papers included D. Lome McWatters’s (University of Illinois) “Fear and Loathing in Mexico City: Controlling the Tobacco Factory Workers, 1788-1804” and Richard J. Salvucci’s (University of California, Berkeley) “Work and Workers in the Obrajes of the Valley of Mexico in the Late Colonial Period. Commentators were Gabriel Haslip-Viera (City College, CUNY) and John H. Coatsworth.
The two papers displayed different approaches to analyzing social control of labor. McWatters’s paper focused on the acts and opinions of political authorities in New Spain, who responded to a 1794 demonstration of 1,400 tobacco workers by subdividing the factory to disperse the work force and by accelerating the substitution of female for male workers. Salvucci’s paper represented an economic analysis of peonage and indebtedness among obraje workers in the declining textile industry of the late eighteenth century and concluded that variations in both were closely linked to market conditions.
In his comments, Haslip-Viera stressed the importance of the economic crisis of the last decade of the eighteenth century as an underlying condition affecting both the textile and the tobacco industries. Coatsworth commented that McWatters’s interpretation of policy decision could be complemented by economic analysis, while Salvucci’s analysis of peonage would be enriched by looking at the noneconomic determinants of labor force coercion.
Frederick M. Nunn (Portland State University) chaired the session “Regional Interests, State Hegemony, and Bourgeoisie: Cuba and Peru at the Turn of the Century.”
Louis A. Pérez, Jr. (University of South Florida) discussed “Planters, Separatist Politics, and the Client State in Cuba, 1885-1902.” He emphasized the relationship of the planter elite to the struggle for independence, arguing that the elite’s loyalist-reformist politics aligned it with a cause doomed to fail. He also noted that insurgent strategy against sugar property and Spain’s inability to protect the estates contributed to the ruin of the island bourgeoisie. By 1898, Pérez concluded, the only hope left to the elite both to guarantee its political ascendancy and economic solvency, and to contain social forces released by the revolution, was American intervention and the establishment of United States hegemony on the island.
Vincent C. Peloso (Howard University) spoke on “Cotton Planters, the State and Rural Labor Policy: Peru 1895-1908.” He asserted that national reconstruction after the War of the Pacific tied revival of the agroexport economy to development of cotton plantations. Ambivalence toward politics and the state and contempt for indigenous labor induced planters to favor technological innovation and European immigration. Immigration failed to provide the necessary labor, Peloso claimed, and cotton planters exploited peasant labor aided and abetted by the law. They controlled labor with little need for other forms of government aid until internal migration mushroomed, and the need for outright institutional force arose.
Thomas M. Davies, Jr. (San Diego State University) commented on Peloso’s paper and Edwin Lieuwen (University of New Mexico) read comments on Pérez’s paper prepared by Nelson P. Valdés (University of New Mexico). Davies stressed the difficulty in dealing with “modernization” in preindustrial societies such as Peru’s, noting that Peloso had made a significant contribution to defining such “modernization.” He also emphasized race relations, the role of the family, and the development of the Peruvian state as phenomena affecting modernization. Valdés’s comments stressed the problems of definition inherent in labeling planters variously as bourgeoisie, social elite, aristocracy, and mill owners; and in considering planters as a unified sector. He congratulated Pérez for pointing out the linkage between economic interest and political choice.
Brief discussion followed the presentation.
The session entitled “The Politics of Energy in Latin America: Nationalism, National Oil Companies, and the State,” met in the Crystal Ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel on December 28, 1981. John Wirth’s (Stanford University) paper treated the role of General Horta Barbosa in the formation of the Brazilian state petroleum company and examined three of the alternatives not followed: the private national company, the foreign-controlled company, and the mixed solution. Carl Solberg (University of Washington) considered the formative period of the Argentine petroleum industry, focusing on the career of General Enrique Mosconi, the first director general of YPF. He concluded that Mosconi’s efforts to make the YPF the monopoly producer of Argentine oil on the one hand, and to finance the state company through joint private-public ownership on the other, both failed, and that these failures contributed to the state of confusion that endures in the Argentine petroleum industry today. Edwin Lieuwen’s (University of New Mexico) presentation on the Venezuelan petroleum experience detailed how Shell and Exxon frustrated nationalistic initiatives of the Venezuelan government until World War II. Shortly after the war, however, Mining Minister Juan Pablo Pérez Alonso introduced tax, conservation, and production-control policies that not only were extended to OPEC, but that culminated in Venezuela with the nationalization of the petroleum industry in 1976.
The commentaries of Peter S. Smith (University of Waterloo) and Alfred Saulniers (University of Texas, Austin) both were constructively critical. Because all three presentations emphasized politicians and ideologues in the formation of national energy policy, Smith emphasized some of the theoretical considerations of the role of the individual in the historical process. Saulniers evaluated the presentations using as his standard a six-point economic model and indicating how each of the papers contributed or failed to contribute to an understanding useful to economists. A lively discussion followed, some responses prompted by commentary from the floor.
The session “The New Chicano Urban History: Recent Publications” dealt both with the field in general and with three recent books on Chicanos: in Santa Barbara by Albert Camarillo (Stanford University), in Los Angeles by Richard Griswold del Castillo (San Diego State University), and in El Paso by Mario García (University of California, Santa Barbara). In his paper, “A Chicano History Perspective,” Pedro Castillo (University of California, Santa Cruz) stated that the Chicano urban experience has deep nineteenth-century roots, which have had a powerful influence on the destinies of twentieth-century Mexican Americans. The three books being discussed help to clarify this multifaceted process.
David Weber (Southern Methodist University), in “A Southwestern History Perspective,” pointed out that pre-1970 histories of southwestern cities almost totally ignored the presence of Mexican Americans, an omission challenged by these three books as well as by the research-in-progress of other young scholars. These studies demonstrate that the city has long been a major crucible of the Chicano experience. Roger Lotchin (University of North Carolina), in “An Urban History Perspective,” lauded the three books for providing new insights into urban history, but criticized what he considered an overemphasis on race and capitalism as nearly exclusive causative factors. Moreover, he challenged the authors use of “Anglo” as a term for lumping all non-Hispanic Americans of European background.
In response, Camarillo indicated that, because of the ongoing historical significance of the United States conquest and 1848 annexation of northern Mexico and Mexicans, Chicano history cannot be viewed as simply a facet of United States immigration history. Griswold del Castillo emphasized the importance of locating the Chicano urban experience within the larger sweep of Mexican American history. García argued that Chicano history must be viewed as essentially revisionist, in that it challenges United States history as traditionally written and taught.
Chaired by Mario Rodríguez (University of Southern California), the session “New Viewpoints on Spanish American Independence” featured papers by Professors Timothy E. Anna (University of Manitoba) and Brian R. Hamnett (University of Strathclyde): “Institutional and Political Impediments to Spain’s Settlement of the American Rebellions” and “New Viewpoints on the Mexican Independence Period, 1810-1821.”
Anna’s overview of Spain’s preoccupation with rebellion emphasized the decided weakness of Spanish institutions and leadership to meet the overseas challenge constructively. Although there was a military response from Spain and from viceregal authorities in America, there was no general consensus on a “pacification” policy. The constant turnover of ministers—and a convincing chart illustrated this point—further impeded attempts to achieve a meaningful reconciliation with the insurgents. The weakness was especially evident from 1814 to 1820 because of Ferdinand VII’s vacillation and the intrigues at court between “hawks” and “doves.”
Hamnett’s presentation urged more emphasis on regional and local perspectives in order to appreciate the Mexican Revolution’s true significance at the time and for the future. He posed realistic questions to guide investigators of both the “insurgency” and the “counterinsurgency.”
Commentators Hugh M. Hamill (University of Connecticut) and Mario Rodriguez agreed that the regional approach contained promise for the study of Mexican independence and early nationhood. Hamill’s comments were read by Professor Asuncion Lavrin (Howard University). Hamill and Rodríguez both felt that Anna’s emphasis on institutional impediments was perhaps overstated. Rodríguez maintained that the real culprit for the institutional breakdown was the emotional polarization that occurred in the Cortes of Cádiz and Madrid between Americans and Europeans and the same clash overseas between creoles and the Spanish hierarchy as illustrated in Central America. A short, but lively, discussion ended the session.
In the session “Social Banditry in Latin America,” banditry in Mexico and Brazil was measured against Eric Hobsbawm’s model of social banditry. Paul Vanderwood (San Diego State University) traced changing forms of Mexican brigandage from the colonial period through the Mexican Revolution, and Bill Chandler (Texas A & I University) concentrated upon Brazil’s cangaceiros, and in particular Lampião. In neither case did the bandits discussed fit Hobsbawm’s descriptions of premodern bandits. They were not necessarily bandits, nor were they ordinarily protected by the peasantry, whom they often plundered for self-gain. Neither were their goals the reestablishment of traditional society. Latin American bandits looked ahead, not back. They sought to enter and to profit from the developing capitalist society of which they were not yet, for a variety of reasons, an integral part.
Commentators Richard Slatta (North Carolina State University) and Peter Singelmann (University of Missouri, Kansas City) endorsed the positions of the speakers and believed they had broken important, new ground in bandit studies. Slatta suggested that shifting definitions of law and crime might profitably be intertwined with bandit studies, and Singelmann noted the necessity to extract brigands from their romantic myths and to study them in the hard light of their socioeconomic and political contexts. All panelists noted the difficulty in separating myth from reality while investigating banditry and acknowledged that public perceptions of banditry needed to be incorporated into any study of the topic.
Audience participants suggested that future research concentrate upon the relationship between bandits and the regional powerbrokers with whom they interacted, the urban-rural connection between brigands and their compatriots, and the use of terrorism by bandoleros as a political tactic.
In the “Peasant Rebellion in Eighteenth-Century Peru and Mexico” session, Kevin Gosner (Lafayette College) felt that seventeenth-century highland Chiapas experienced an economic decline that resulted in: the outward migration of ladinos; a greater role for civil and church officials; and the persistence of a tribute economy with native control of production. When twenty-one Tzeltal, Tzotzil, and Chol communities united behind a cult to the Virgin, they were also responding to increased taxation and outside interference, but under conditions of weak Spanish control. The politics of the movement suggest causation was linked, in part, to internal sociopolitical dynamics.
Jürgen Golte (Freie Universität, Berlin and the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, Lima) found that there was a direct relation between the peasant rebellions of 1765-80 and the development of the reparto of goods in the Peruvian viceroyalty. The regional borders of how far the rebellions spread was discussed, starting from the organization of production among the Collaguas. Foremost was the low productivity of work among them when compared with irrigated agriculture on the coast. To overcome this low productivity, the Collaguas would attempt to increase the reach of their labor force through the superposition of several agricultural cycles, in diverse climatic zones. The Collaguas thereby achieved subsistence needs, but could not develop their capacity for a plus-productivity; nor did they dispose of free time, which they could invest into fulfilling the new demands of the reparto. In this context, the reparto was seen as a looting of the peasant’s reserves.
One discussant, Jan de Vos (Universidad Ibero-Americana, Mexico) remarked that the situations of rebellion were so different that comparison of the two was difficult. The Chiapas rebellion was still part of oral tradition in that area; the interpretation given today was quite different from the one suggested by colonial documents, as was that of the leader of the movement. Reliance on the written sources alone has its drawbacks, since we rarely hear the voice of the Chiapas population. There was some discussion of the reasons some of the ethnic groups in each region did not join the rebellions. Ideologic considerations were pointed out by J. V. Murra (Cornell University) as were the Andes rivalries between Quechua and Aymara rebels that led to the lifting of the siege of La Paz. A recent thesis by Jan Szeminski, of Warsaw, has suggested continuities from Inca times in the organization of the rebellion, elements that were interpreted in different ways in the several Andean subregions.
David L. Chandler (Brigham Young University) chaired the session on “Slavery and Export Economies in Latin America: A Revisionist View,” at which two papers were presented: "Rural Slavery and Racial Mixture in the Province of Cartagena,” by Adolfo Meisel (University of Illinois), and “Slavery and Economy in Nineteenth-Century Minas Gerais, Brazil: A Revisionist View,” by Amilcar Martins Filho and Roberto B. Martins (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil). Robert W. Slenes (Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil) commented.
These papers analyzed two important slave-based economies that had no direct involvement with export-oriented activities, yet represented significant percentages of the total slave populations of both countries. Both papers reflect a laudable and growing interest in slavery in nonplantation and nonexporting areas as well as in the economics and demography of slavery.
The latter paper is the first study to provide a systematic demographic and economic analysis of the slave population of Minas Gerais, which had the largest slave population in Brazil in the 1870s (380,000 slaves). The authors summarized their major revisionist findings as follows. Contrary to the prevailing historiography, (1) the slave population of Minas was not concentrated in the coffee plantations of the province, or in any other export-oriented activity. Mineiro slaves not only were evenly distributed throughout the province, but were also employed in many different activities, mainly in the agricultural production for local and regional markets. (2) There was no major transfer of slaves from the old mining regions of the province to the Mineiro or the Paulista coffee regions. Minas Gerais as a whole, and not only its coffee sector, was a net importer of slaves during the period under study. (3) Noncoffee regions of the province, which represented 96 percent of its territory, were as committed to defending slavery as were coffee regions. (4) Minas Gerais in the nineteenth century was to be considered neither an “export economy” nor a “coffee province.”
Meisel’s paper notes that slaves were the principal source of labor for the most rural tasks in seventeenth-century Cartagena. The region, however, never saw the emergence of an export-oriented economic activity, in clear contrast with other regions of Colombia (such as Antioquia, Cauca, and Chocó), where slaves were closely associated with the mining sector. Of particular interest for the rural history of this region was the virtual absence of slave women in rural areas, a situation that produced widespread sexual relations between slave men and Indian women and spurred many slave runaways in search of women. This situation encouraged a much higher degree of racial mixture than in other areas of New Granada, and created a large free peasantry that became the driving force behind the formation of the hacienda in the late eighteenth century when Spanish and creole landlords, faced with an abundance of land and a shortage of labor, tied the widely dispersed free peasantry to their rural estates. They created an agrarian regime based on land-intensive cattle ranching and peasant serfdom, which has persisted in large part down to the present.
The two papers presented at the session “Race and Class in Colonial Spanish America” were designed to develop a spatial and chronological context for interpreting local social patterns; to synthesize existing research on the relative importance of diverse social hierarchies (race, class, occupation, and wealth); and to demonstrate new methods for analyzing patterns of social interaction. In his paper, “Beyond the Occupational Hierarchy: Household and Social Order in Mexico City, 1753,” Dennis Valdes (University of Minnesota) used the 1753 civil census of Mexico City to test whether occupation, division of labor, and social relations of production weighed more heavily as determinants of household size and structure than did casta group. Valdes found that households were largest and most complex at upper socioeconomic levels and, at lower ones, more uniform and more likely to correspond to nuclear families. He further found that the late-colonial decline of slavery and of the sociedad de castas deeply affected household structure and domestic relations, offering greater possibilities to servants for freedom, mobility, and legal protection.
The second paper, “Calidad and Casta in Colonial Spanish America: A Statistical Grammar for Social Historians,” by Robert McCaa and Michael Swann (both of the University of Minnesota), was presented by McCaa. Basing their research on the 1788 civil census of Parral, Mexico, the authors asserted that arguments seeking simply to resolve whether race or class (i.e., socioeconomic postion) was more determinative miss the complex interplay of societal relations. Their paper proposed multivariate statistical analysis as a remedial strategy, tested the efficacy of various techniques, stipulated the simplifications of data that they had accepted in their constructions, and compared their results with the diverse findings of previous scholars. The most successful model was found to be the “status opportunity” model, which “tests the notion that occupational status was a function of experience and migratory responses to opportunities.” The authors’ conclusions were, among others, that the most important social escalator in Parral was marriage and miscegenation, that the association between calidad and casta was ubiquitous regardless of the analytical tactic applied, that calidad but not casta was directly related to all variables (family and marital status, migration, age), and that race related to weakly to age and not at all to marital status.
The two commentators, John K. Chance (University of Denver) and Magnus Mörner (Institute of Latin American Studies, Stockholm) addressed themselves largely to the McCaa-Swann paper, circulated beforehand. With different emphases, they commended statistical manipulations in the interest of clarity and specificity, but pointed out shortcomings in the state of the art as here represented, such as: the need, confessed by the speakers, for qualitative information such as life histories; the difficulty of projecting diachronic analyses from a single census base; the incomparability of the two papers caused by use of variant socioeconomic categories; and the skewing of the social universe by the nature of the data base (overrepresentation of the Hispanic traza in the 1753 census; exclusion of females and of males without occupation by McCaa-Swann).
Committee on Brazilian Studies—This committee met, Tuesday, December 29, 1981, from 6:00 to 7:30 P.M., Kenneth Maxwell (The Tinker Foundation, Inc., and Columbia University) presiding. Richard Morse (Stanford University) gave a stimulating and broadranging paper on the current state of Brazilian historiography, discussing the contributions (none too distinguished in Morse’s view) of the North American Brazilianists. Morse regretted the premature eclipse of the historical themes first opened up in the work of Sérgio Buarque de Holanda and Gilberto Freyre, but he saw some signs the both historians were being rediscovered by a new generation. He criticized the predominance of rationalistic and mechanistic presumptions in the work of most North American scholars. Morse’s was the first of two sessions planned by the Brazilian Studies Committee to assess the current state of the profession. In December 1982 it is hoped that a Brazilian historian will provide some perspective on the production of the so-called Brazilianists.
Chile-Río de la Plata Committee—This year the Committee featured a session on “New Trends in Chilean and Argentine Historiography.” David Rock (University of California, Santa Barbara) reviewed outstanding publications of the past two years and then considered an analysis of Argentine historiography concerning the World War II era. Thomas O’Brien, Jr. (University of Houston) considered new trends in the evaluation of late nineteenth-century Chilean social and economic history.
Committee on Teaching and Teaching Materials—This committee convened on Wednesday, December 30, in the Biltmore Hotel. The chairman reported that the General Committee of CLAH had voted to provide a subsidy for the publication of another volume of essays similar to those that appeared in the May issue of The History Teacher.
Those present agreed that rather than embark upon any new ventures, the Committee should oversee the production of two additional volumes, which should fulfill partially the CLAH commission. These proposed works would follow the format of the first number and would seek to incorporate a mixture of regional studies with special topics. Possible contributors were identified and the chairman agreed to get in touch with prospective candidates. Given the financial constraints, it was agreed that outside funding should be sought to defray the cost of publishing the proposed volumes. The chairman, working with the CLAH Secretariat, will endeavor to obtain the necessary subvention.
The Committee decided to consider changing its membership in order to permit other colleagues interested in teaching to participate in its future activities.
The Committee agreed to meet again in 1982.
Committee on Gran Colombian Studies—A small group met in the Café Restaurant of the Biltmore for a dinner and discussion of the paper by Tico Braun on the meaning of Gaitán and the Bogotazo. We had a lively discussion about Gran Colombian topics in general and Braun’s excellent paper in particular. The Gran Colombian Committee will be headed in 1982—84 by Judith Ewell (College of William and Mary). Committee members and other interested individuals with ideas for next year’s meeting and other Gran Colombianist activities should communicate their views to Ewell as soon as possible.
Committee on Mexican Studies—Christon I. Archer (University of Calgary) chaired the session “Mexican Regional History: A Session in Honor of Charles Gibson.” About fifty persons attended. There were two papers: by Nancy M. Farriss (University of Pennsylvania), “Regional Comparisons and the ‘Homogenization’ Model of Socio-Cultural Change”; and Herman W. Konrad (University of Calgary), “Man and Land in Colonial Mexico: A View From the Center.” Professors Enrique Florescano (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia) and James Lockhart (University of California, Los Angeles) commented. Farriss was unable to attend the session and her paper was read by Kevin Gosner (University of Pennsylvania).
Farriss examined theoretical and methodological implications of a general model of sociocultural change, which saw contact between culturally heterogeneous groups as inevitably leading toward cultural uniformity and explained variations in terms of differing rates of change. For her examples, she drew upon regional comparisons within colonial Mesoamerica, with specific reference to contrasts between central Mexico and Yucatán. Konrad reexamined the man-and-land question for colonial Mexico from “center” as opposed to “northern” and “southern” perspectives. He suggested that the role of the larger colonial economy and the expanding importance of central Mexico were the key variables for understanding developments in rural areas throughout the colony.
In their comments, Florescano and Lockhart focused upon the contributions of the work of Charles Gibson and then placed the papers in perspective. Florescano was critical of aspects of the papers where economic and social theories came into play. Lockhart stressed the changing concepts about regions and approaches. The speakers and commentators lauded the work of Charles Gibson and underscored his significance in the field of Mexican historical research.
Committee on Andean Studies—Professor Leon G. Campbell (University of California, Riverside), chaired the meeting, held on December 28. Campbell announced that the Committee had 144 members as of August. Campbell noted the publication of the Research Guide to the Andean Area (Duke University Press, 1981), which testified to the continuing vitality of Andean Studies as a research field. He then asked that suggestions for the next meeting, to be held in Washington, D.C., in December 1982, be forwarded to him.
The chairman then introduced the panelists for the session, “Foreign Enterprise in Andean America.” The first speaker, John A. Britton (Francis Marion College), spoke on the topic “Anti-Imperialism and Andean America in the Depression Decade.” Britton’s paper drew attention to the visit of American journalists, particularly Carleton Beals, John T. Whitaker, and Archibald MacLeish, to the Andean nations in the 1930s, where they met and were influenced by intellectuals such as Peru’s Victor Raul Haya de la Torre and Bolivia’s Gustavo Adolfo Navarro.
Lawrence A. Clayton (University of Alabama) offered a second paper, “The Paramonga Revolution: Creating Wealth in the Third World.” The paper was based on efforts made in the 1930s by the W. R. Grace Company at Hacienda Paramonga, a sugar estate on the northern Peruvian coast, which led to a commercial process for making paper from bagasse, a waste product of the sugar industry.
Fredrick Pike (University of Notre Dame), in commenting on the complementarity of the two papers, demonstrated how the United States master plan for Latin America often failed to take hold at the local level, and noted that this fact made it all the more important that studies of United States imperialism respect the exocentric approach pioneered by John Gallagher and Ronald Robinson, which stresses the value of viewing imperialism from the periphery as well as the center. The second commentator, James Nelson Goodsell (Christian Science Monitor), was unable to be present.
A short question-and-answer period followed the session.
Caribe-Centro America Studies Committee—This Committee met Monday, December 28, 1981. Josefina Cintrón Tiryakian’s (Duke University) paper, “Strategic Minerals, National Security, and Alternative Development Models in the Caribbean,” assessed one aspect of the economic underpinnings of current United States policy in the Caribbean. The first section focused on the potential mineral wealth of this area and its significance for United States national security in the context of United States mineral resource policy. This policy seeks to minimize United States strategic mineral vulnerability by assuring the United States access to stable sources of reasonably priced foreign mineral supplies. Central to this policy is the further development of the Western Hemisphere—by, or with the assistance of, multinational mining corporations—as a primary supplier of strategic minerals essential to United States security.
The second part of the paper compared the two viable economic development models competing at present in the Caribbean: a private-sector development model for basically export economies, supported by the United States, and a governments-directed, more inwardly oriented development model espoused by Third World countries favoring a restructuring of the world economy and opposed by the United States.
The paper discussed factors that will affect the success or failure of present United States-Caribbean policy. The main threat to United States mineral resource policy in the Caribbean, as well as in the rest of the Western Hemisphere, is likely to come from nationalist pressure for more autonomy in economic decisions and specifically for more control over mineral resources. This trend has already surfaced in Canada and Mexico, as well, as in Nicaragua and in Jamaica during the Manley regime. The success of United States—Caribbean policy, consequently, will hinge upon its ability to accommodate nationalist pressures and upon its recognition that, although Caribbean countries may seek support from the Eastern bloc, the nature of the conflict lies essentially along a North-South axis, not an East-West one.
Comments by Abraham Lowenthal (Woodrow Wilson Center) and Neill Macaulay (University of Florida) followed.