Latin American and Related Sessions at the American Historical Association Meeting, December 27-30, 1982, Washington, D.C.

Initialed session and committee meeting summaries were written by Thomas M, Davies, Jr. (San Diego State University); Peter F. Klarén (George Washington University); George Reid Andrews (University of Pittsburgh); James D. Riley (The Catholic University of America); Jo Ann Carrigan (University of Nebraska at Omaha); Carl N. Degler (Stanford University); A. J. R. Russell-Wood (The Johns Hopkins University); Joseph C. Miller (University of Virginia); John M. Hart (University of Houston); John H. Coatsworth (University of Chicago); Vincent C. Peloso (Howard University); Lyman L. Johnson (University of North Carolina at Charlotte); Judith Ewell (College of William and Mary); Christon I. Archer (University of Calgary); Frederick M. Nunn (Portland State University).

The Conference on Latin American History held its fifty-fifth annual business meeting at a breakfast on December 29, 1982, in Washington, D.C. Outgoing Chairperson Herbert S. Klein (Columbia University) presided.

Following the introduction of Conference officers and honored guests, Klein announced the results of the latest CLAH election. Professor Richard Graham (University of Texas) will serve as 1983 vice-chairperson, and Professors William B. Taylor (University of Virginia) and John Womack, Jr. (Harvard University) were elected to two-year terms on the General Committee.

The 1982 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 Friedrich Katz (University of Chicago) for The Secret War in Mexico, published by the University of Chicago 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 Donna J. Guy (University of Arizona) for “Women, Peonage and Industrialization: Argentina, 1810-1914,” Latin American Research Review, 16 (No. 3, 1981). Honorable mention went to Richard Graham (University of Texas) for “Slavery and Economic Development: Brazil and the United States South During the Nineteenth Century,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 23 (Oct. 1981).

The James Alexander Robertson Memorial Prize for the best article published in the HAHR was won by Steve Stern (University of Wisconsin-Madison) for “The Rise and Fall of Indian-White Alliances: A Regional View of ‘Conquest’ History,” Hispanic American Historical Review, 61 (Aug. 1981). Honorable mention went to Robert J. Ferry (University of Colorado) for “Encomienda, African Slavery and Agriculture in Seventeenth-Century Caracas,” Hispanic American Historical Review, 61 (Nov. 1981).

The James R. Scobie Memorial Award to do predissertation fieldwork was won by Eugenio Pinero (University of Connecticut) for a topic entitled “Cocoa Plantations, Notable Families and the Genesis of a Peasantry in the Province of Caracas: 1700-1770.”

Following the announcement of the CLAH prize winners, the chair introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Franklin Pease G. Y. (Pontífica Universidad Católica del Perú), who delivered a valuable and highly informative address entitled “Tendencias Actuales de la Etnohistoria en el Perú,” in which he cogently outlined the growth and development of Andean ethnohistoriography in the twentieth century.

The meeting ended as Chairperson Klein passed the gavel to 1983 Chairperson Stuart B. Schwartz (University of Minnesota).



Peter F. Klarén (George Washington University) chaired the session “Agrarian Transformation, Proletarianization and Forms of Labor Acquisition in the Andes,” which featured papers by Catherine LeGrand (University of British Columbia) on “Labor Acquisition and Social Conflict on the Colombian Frontier, 1850-1936” and by Julian Laite (Manchester University, England) on “Three Fiestas: Capitalist Development and Social Rituals in Highland Peru.”

LeGrand examined the transformation that accompanied the growth of the agricultural export economy between 1870 and 1930 of independent squatters on the Colombian frontier into tenant farmers and wage laborers. Peasant squatters, whose parcels were enclosed by commercializing haciendas in search of a stable labor supply, resisted this process of proletarianization much as Indian communities did in other areas of the Andes, with similarly mixed results. Conflicts over these public lands penetrated the collective memory of future generations, to be tapped later by reformers who formulated an elaborate ideology of rural protest after 1930.

Laite’s paper established the social and political relations of production and exchange in the central Peruvian Andes, through an analysis of social rituals in the region. Capitalist expansion led to socioeconomic differentiation and the formation of the classes of traders, proletarians, and migrant laborers that participate in highland fiestas. The structures of three fiestas show that “traditional” rituals are no longer peasant based, but rather a recreational moment for migrant laborers in the small village, a socioeconomic obligation for traders in the larger village, and a political vehicle for the urban bourgeoisie. The rituals reveal that capitalist expansion affects different locations in different ways, generating various labor-forms, and that the peasant economy in this region is involved in capitalist development.

Commentators Karen Spalding (University of Delaware) and Peter Klarén agreed that the process of proletarianization as a consequence of the advance of capitalism (mining, export agriculture, transport infrastructure) appears to be anything but a smooth, inexorable transition to the proletarian end of a continuum. Spalding noted how the process of peasant migration had deep roots in the pre-Columbian and colonial past, and how peasant migrants have persisted in returning to their agrarian communities, even as they have been pushed and pulled to wage labor in the cities and mines. Klarén noted that the peasantry, rather than being rapidly extinguished in the face of proletarianization, as some have predicted, appears to be remarkably adaptive and resistant to “depeasantization” and disintegration as a class.


The panel on “Race, Caste, and Class in Nineteenth-Century Latin America and the Caribbean,” chaired by George Reid Andrews (University of Pittsburgh), brought together the results of recent research on the transition from caste to class societies in the region. Ramón Gutiérrez (University of California, San Diego) described patterns of “Caste, Ethnicity, and Race in Colonial New Mexico, 1690-1840,” arguing that Bourbon efforts to strengthen the caste regime in the late eighteenth century foundered amidst the social realities of a frontier region where individuals’ economic and civic roles took precedence over their ethnic status. “From Free Colored to Middle Class: The Development of a Segment of the Population in Antigua, British West Indies, 1830-1930,” presented by Susan Lowes (Teachers College, Columbia University), took issue with the long-standing assumption that present-day West Indian middle classes are the linear descendants of the free colored population that existed under slavery. Using extensive genealogical analysis and record-linkage, she demonstrated that most of the prosperous free colored families on the island of Antigua lost their social and economic standing during the economic crisis of the mid-1800s, to be replaced toward the end of the century by a new middle class composed in large part of the biracial offspring of recent white immigrants. Finally, Robert Levine (University of Miami) discussed “The Transformation of the Brazilian Povo” since emancipation, focusing on the division within the Brazilian working class between a “relatively stable … labor elite” and a larger mass that lives outside the formal economy and that “may be described as almost a lumpenproletariat.” Levine went on to explore some of the implications of this division for class relations, and particularly for systems of social control.

Stuart Schwartz (University of Minnesota) and Richard Price (The Johns Hopkins University), commentators, concurred on the continuing centrality of the relationship between race and class in the study of Latin American and Caribbean societies. They concluded with specific comments and criticisms of each paper and a call for additional research in this area.


The session “Middlemen and Commodity Marketing in Eighteenth-Century Mexico,” chaired by James D. Riley (The Catholic University of America), featured two papers: “Rural Middlemen in Bourbon Mexico: The Guadalajara Countryside in the Eighteenth Century,” by Eric Van Young (University of California, San Diego); and “Consumption and Control: The Mexico City Business Community and Commodity Marketing in the Eighteenth Century,” by John E. Kicza (Washington State University).

In his presentation, Van Young tested Marxist ideas about the articulation of capitalism with precapitalist modes of production, using the specific case of the Guadalajara countryside. After explaining the theory of articulation, he attempted to show its usefulness in understanding the roles played by small renters (rancheros) and country merchants in crop production, supply of labor, and marketing, as well as how they filled the interstices between large-scale hacienda production and the peasant agriculture found in landholding Indian villages. For his part, Kicza focused on the methods used in supplying Mexico City with the wide range of agricultural commodities it consumed. He showed that the major wholesalers and smaller dealers who participated used their control of credit and capital to maintain their position as middlemen between retail operations such as slaughterhouses, bakeries, and artisan shops, and the hacendados who produced the livestock and agricultural products. The system was characterized by a constant struggle between producers and middlemen over who would secure the largest share of the profit from the trade.

In her comments, Edith Couturier (National Endowment for the Humanities) generally applauded both efforts but suggested that Van Young had not made a persuasive case for the usefulness of the theory of articulation. The second commentator, Murdo MacLeod (University of Arizona), chided Kicza for presenting too static a picture, suggesting that the competition between merchants and suppliers was part of a long-term struggle, coming to an end, to establish a stable system of monopolistic mercantilism.


Jo Ann Carrigan (University of Nebraska at Omaha) chaired the session entitled “Health Hazards in the Tropics and Subtropics.” Robin L. Anderson (Arkansas State University) presented “Disease and Mortality in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1876-1893,” a paper based largely on her compilation and analysis of some 15,000 burial records. Obtained from newspaper sources, the mortality data included age, marital status, and cause of death of persons buried in the public cemetery. Residents of the rapidly growing city faced the threat of epidemics such as yellow fever, smallpox, cholera, and plague, as well as the more common and destructive endemic ailments—tuberculosis, malaria, pneumonia, and intestinal disorders. Health hazards varied according to age cohort. Professional medical care was inadequate, expensive, and ineffectual; people relied mainly on patent medicines, herbal cures, and spiritism. Suzanne Austin Browne (Duke University) discussed “The Effects of Epidemic Disease in Colonial Ecuador.” Her preliminary analysis outlined the devastating impact of natural disasters and epidemics of the 1690s on Quito’s colonial society. Labor shortages resulted in the temporary closing of textile mills. Ecuador’s highland region entered the eighteenth century in a state of demographic and economic crisis. In his paper, “Yellow Fever and Black Policemen in Memphis, 1870-1880,” Dennis C. Rousey (Arkansas State University) argued that the employment of Black policemen in post-Reconstruction Memphis was related to the high mortality among white officers during the yellow fever epidemics of the period, increased demand for police during epidemic crisis, and the obvious resistance of Blacks to the disease. In most southern cities that had Black police during Reconstruction, the return of conservative rule brought about their firing; Memphis conservatives hired Black policemen for the first time, after Reconstruction, apparently only under the influence of epidemic conditions.

Both commentators, James O. Breeden (Southern Methodist University) and Donald B. Cooper (Ohio State University), praised the papers for focusing attention on important questions and for contributing to our understanding of the health history of the Americas, by specifically illustrating the considerable influence of disease on social change, a theme worthy of more attention than it has yet received.


The first paper of the session “German Communities in Latin America in World War I and World War II” was “The German Ethnic Group in Brazil; The Ordeal of World War I,” delivered by Frederick C. Luebke (University of Nebraska-Lincoln). In discussing the large German element in southern Brazil before and during World War I, Luebke pointed to settlement patterns, urban-rural divisions, and attitudes toward the receiving society as ways of understanding groups in times of stress. Large anti-German riots occurred in April and November 1917 in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Pôrto Alegre, and other cities. These acts of hostility were in sharp contrast to the relatively minor opposition to Germans at the same time in the United States, Luebke pointed out. The paper stressed the different responses of groups within the German-Brazilian community, which arose, Luebke contended, from differences in religion and in places of residence.

The second paper, by Ronald C. Newton (Simon Fraser University), had a different title and content from those given in the printed program: “The U.S., the German-Argentines, and the Myth of the Fourth Reich.” Newton was concerned to show that although German-Argentine communal institutions had been deeply affected by Nazism during the 1930s, as the Second World War progressed, that influence markedly declined. Nevertheless, Newton maintained, the United States, on the ground that there was a plot to create a Fourth Reich in Argentina, sought to induce the Argentinian government to force German assimilation and to destroy German economic interests in that country. No such plot existed, Newton contended, but the Argentines did comply with United States’ wishes because only by doing so could the Argentines obtain the commodities, capital, and surplus military matériel they wanted.

The first comment was provided by Mark D. Szuchman (Florida International University). Szuchman’s comments were constructive in that he sought to show how a comparison of the differences in the experiences of Germans in two different Latin American countries could be accounted for by differences in their locations. In Brazil the Germans were spread out; in Argentina the rural Germans were separated from the urban by the special (“macro-cephalic”) character of Argentinian urbanization. He thought that Newton had incompletely explored the ideology of the Argentinian right. He closed with a brief comparison of his own on Brazilian and Argentine Germans.

Herbert Klein (Columbia University), the second commentator, also emphasized the value of comparisons. He said it was not enough to describe the relations between hosts and immigrant groups; rather, the comparative costs and processes of assimilation needed to be analyzed as well. From Luebke, he asked for more testable hypotheses along these lines and from Newton he asked that more attention be given to explaining why Argentinian Germans were forced to integrate and how that integration was accomplished.

The discussion that followed the papers concentrated more on Argentina than Brazil, but it was clear that the process of assimilation of Germans into Latin American nations held a strong interest for the audience. The session was presided over by Carl N. Degler (Stanford University), who in his opening remarks emphasized the comparative aspects of the subject.


A. J. R. Russell-Wood (The Johns Hopkins University) chaired the session on “The Family and Social and Economic Change in Brazil.” Alida C. Metcalf (University of Texas at Austin) spoke on “Marriage, Inheritance, and Family Structure in Eighteenth-Century Brazil: Strategies for Survival in a Changing Society.” The primary dilemma facing the sugar planters, she said, was how best to reconcile Portuguese inheritance laws requiring that all heirs share equally in the distribution of an estate and properties with the preservation of family resources from generation to generation, on which their survival as a class largely depended. At the crux of the problem lay the fact that planters in Brazil (unlike nobles in Portugal) had no legal claim to entailed estates. Death thus transcended the family of the deceased and placed in jeopardy an elite class. Taking Santana de Parnaíba as a case study, Metcalf carefully-reconstructed planter families to show that short-term compliance with the law was more apparent than real, and that, in the long run, estates were saved from fragmentation by imaginative use of the legally valid expedient of the terça, application of the first dowry, acceptance of sons-in-law over sons, and blatant favoring of some heirs over others. The presence of strong male authority was the sine qua non for the survival of such an ideology and of family rituals. Metcalf’s findings throw new light on family structures in the late colonial period; only future research will indicate how relevant they are to Portuguese America as a whole.

Relationship between family and society in a period of change occupied Susan K. Besse (Yale University) in her paper “When the Public Becomes Private and the Private Becomes Public.” Between 1890 and 1930, São Paulo underwent great social and economic change. Middle- and upper-class women were exposed to the pressures of consumerism, movies, enhanced communications, education, improved health services; and they entered the work force. Many were caught between the values of a traditional aristocratic society and the pressures and opportunities of a new urban industrial society. Redefinition of terms of marriage, and what was viewed as nonconformist behavior, provoked strong reactions and undermined the foundations on which the traditional family had been built.

As commentator Darrell Levi (Florida State University) noted, both panelists had stripped away some of the stereotypes associated with the patriarchal family, and, in their different ways, suggested that there was greater diversity and variety in Brazilian family institutions than generally appreciated. The situation in Santana de Parnaíba revealed evasion of the spirit of the law, the concern for capital accumulation, recruitment of future leaders, and authoritarianism. To what extent was this the microcosm of a greater reality, and could family strategies themselves be adapted to changing economic situations elsewhere in the colony?

While agreeing that the manipulation of women was a theme shared by both papers, Levi questioned whether the process of industrialization alone had contributed to the division between the traditional and the modern family, and whether these two categories were so totally distinct that they shared no common traits. He found contradictions and ambiguities in Besse’s paper, possibly attributable to the fact that this was a single chapter taken out of a thesis. He found it interesting that, although women were seeking to redefine roles as wives and mothers in the family, it was precisely in family terms that they defined injustice. Levi pointed to the European legacy to Brazil of conspicuous consumerism and drew parallels between the Brazilian situation and that prevailing in the United States.


The session on “Slaves and Smallpox: African Sources of American Epidemics before 1850” examined the medical history of Black populations in Brazil from three distinct points of view. Together they confirmed the complexity of the evidence and the problems of its interpretation that confront historians hoping to grasp even the most elementary questions of life and death among slaves and freed Blacks in colonial Latin America.

The paper by Dauril Alden (University of Washington) and Joseph C. Miller (University of Virginia), “Unwanted Cargoes: The Origins and Dissemination of Smallpox Via the Slave Trade from Africa to Brazil, c. 1560-c. 1830” refined the cliché attributing many diseases endemic in Brazil to African sources. The clearest evidence comes from the latter half of the eighteenth century and from an apparent sharp reduction of epidemics in Latin America, though not in Africa, after vaccination spread through Brazil after 1804.

Mary Karasch (Catholic University) examined health conditions among Rio de Janeiro’s Black population in the 1830s and 1840s in her paper, “African Mortality and Epidemic Disease in Nineteenth-Century Rio de Janeiro.” A variety of recaptured slave records, burial certificates, and medical and lay observations left the strong impression of morbidity and mortality arising from the inadequate diets and filthy living conditions that Rio masters provided for their slaves. Deaths were highest in the first years after landing in Brazil for the recaptives, and among infants and children for all Africans in Rio. Among the diseases recognized and reported by physicians, tuberculosis ranked first by a wide margin, with a great variety of other conditions following in lessening significance.

The difficulties of employing contemporary medical theory and observations to understand eras before the advent of modern medicine emerged clearly from the paper by James D. Goodyear (The Johns Hopkins University) on “The Slave Trade, Public Health and Yellow Fever: The Image of Africa in Brazil.” Contradictory notions based on Galenic humoral pathology, contagionist ideas of imported (if only vaguely defined) infective agents, and environmentalist theories based on local tropical miasmas permitted no organized attempts to isolate Brazil from the diseases from which arriving slaves suffered by means of seaport medical inspections or quarantines of ships reaching Brazil. White susceptibility to yellow fever, which affected Blacks much less acutely, provoked official concern only once before the yellow fever epidemic of 1849 finally led to government-sponsored quarantines (just as the slave trade was ending).

N. David Cook (University of Bridgeport) and Kenneth F. Kiple (Bowling Green State University) commented from the perspectives of their work on Andean Indian demographic history and Caribbean epidemiological history.


John M. Hart (University of Houston) chaired the session entitled “Regional Perspectives on Social and Economic Change in Porfirian Mexico.” The papers read included Evelyn HuDeHart’s (Washington University, St. Louis) “Indians and Immigrants: Rebellion and Assimilation in Sonora”; Frans J. Schryer’s (University of Guelph) “A Ranchero Economy in Northern Hidalgo”; and Thomas Benjamin’s (Central Michigan University) and Marcial Ocasio’s (Michigan State University) “Mexico’s Porfirian Historiography in Perspective, 1880s-1980s.” Mark Wasserman (Rutgers University) commented.

The papers by Hu-DeHart and Schryer were similar in their identification of regional diversity as a major element in a Porfirian synthesis. Hu-DeHart’s paper focused on the oppression of the Chinese and Yaqui Indian minorities in Sonora. The Chinese, at least, enjoyed the luxury of safe haven in the United States, when they were able to escape. Schryer combined anthropological and historical research methods to capture the relative social status of rancheros and the nature of ranchero society in Hidalgo. The rancheros were Liberals, supported Díaz in 1876, crushed Indian rebellion, and became family farmers. Benjamin divided Porfirian historiography into four chronological eras: 1877-1908, 1908-40, 1940-68, and post 1968. He stressed that Porfirian historical analysis has reflected the political environment of the four eras identified.

Wasserman praised Schryer’s work, but felt that rancheros in Hidalgo might be better understood if placed in a comparative context with such groups in other parts of Mexico. He noted that Hu-DeHart’s Yaqui and Chinese suffered disadvantages in the needs of a developing export economy. He took issue with Benjamin and Ocasio’s conclusion that the “increasing mosaic of local and regional studies discourages immediate synthesis,” arguing the contrary.


The papers presented in “Transportation Workers, A Labor Aristocracy” focused on transport workers at the end of the nineteenth and the first of the twentieth centuries. The authors addressed the issue of whether such workers should be viewed as labor “aristocracies” or “elites,” with cultural, ideological, political, trade union, and economic positions distinct from those of other workers.

Eileen Keremitsis’s paper found Rio’s trolley car workers better paid, more “respectable,” more likely to receive company help when sick or disabled, more loyal to their employers, and less inclined to form unions or engage in labor politics than other workers. More than half were foreign-born (mainly Portuguese). This labor aristocracy, however, was unable to arrest a long-run decline in real wages or to improve working conditions.

Joel Horowitz’s paper explained the relative success of the Unión Ferroviaria, the main railroad workers’ union in Argentina, in the 1920s and 1930s. Horowitz argued that the strategic importance of the railroads, the consequent willingness of the government to impose concessions, and the workers’ development of an “occupational community” that facilitated cohesion and solidarity were mainly responsible. His paper concentrated on the organizations and associations that promoted this community, including diverse forms of off-the-job mutual aid, health, and social organizations formed by the workers.

Peter C. DeShazo’s paper analyzed the experience of three groups of transport workers in Chile between 1900 and 1927. Maritime workers proved the most militant and affiliated with anarchist organizations. Trolley workers tended to be less willing to strike in support of other groups of workers and channeled their militancy into reformist and, later, communist political organizations. Chile’s railroad workers seldom engaged in strikes and formed a series of fragmented, conservative, and nonideological unions. DeShazo’s paper traced the history of each group and compared the divergent histories that produced these differences.

John H. Coatsworth viewed all three papers as part of a larger trend in social history, interrupted in many countries because of the persecution of Latin American scholars in this field by the military dictatorships and authoritarian regimes of the past two decades. He expressed unease with the concept of a labor “elite” and suggested that it is often misused. He emphasized the role of the state in all three cases, suggested that the high number of foreign-born workers was especially important in explaining the Rio trolley worker’s conservatism, argued that more work needs to be done on divisions within the Argentine railroad workers’ community, and concluded with comments on the utility of comparisons across countries and between related groups of workers as a fruitful direction in the development of this relatively new field for Latin American history.



Committee on Andean Studies—This Committee met on December 28, 1982, and discussed the unique qualities of “Resources for the Study of Andean History in the Greater Washington, D.C., Area.” Chaired by Vincent C. Peloso (Howard University), the panel featured remarks by Peter F. Klarén (George Washington University), William E. Carter (Library of Congress, Hispanic Division), Georgette Dorn (Library of Congress, Hispanic Division), and Milton Gustafson (the National Archives). Unable to attend, Klarén forwarded comments on the Andean Seminar at George Washington University, pointing out its multi-disciplinary nature and pedagogical success. Carter stressed the comprehensive character of the Hispanic Collection of the Library of Congress, which, though focused on current materials, highlights both outstanding pre-1800 Andean imprints and recent monographs. As sources on the Andean church, Dorn emphasized the Edward P. Harkness Collection manuscripts, the Hispanic law materials, and pre-twentieth-century church correspondence in the Library of Congress, without overlooking post-Vatican II Andean materials. She referred as well to Andean sources available in the American Academy of Franciscan History, the Woodstock Library of Georgetown University, and the Catholic University Library. Gustafson described the arrangement of State Department records relating to the Andean region, announced that declassified 1920s and 1930s documentation is now available on microfilm, and noted that 1950-54 period files are open to scholarly use.


Chile-Río de la Plata Studies Committee—The Committee officers for 1983-84 are Lyman L. Johnson (University of North Carolina at Charlotte), chairperson, and Thomas O’Brien (University of Houston), executive secretary.

Paul W. Drake (University of Illinois-Urbana) presented an overview of his book-length study on the advisory missions of United States economist Edwin W. Kemmerer to South America, focusing on the Chilean case. The Kemmerer Mission was invited to Chile in 1925 because that country hoped to modernize its monetary and banking system in order to suppress price inflation and currency depreciation and to promote urban enterprises. Chilean leaders also sought to revamp their fiscal institutions, to expand the scope of the central government, and to obtain loans from foreign banks. Kemmerer’s recommendations for a central bank and the gold standard won easy acceptance. Although the reforms appeared successful in the 1920s, resultant indebtedness rendered Chile vulnerable to the Great Depression. This calamity discredited Kemmerer’s free-market policies, but his contributions to financial and fiscal institution-building endured.

Susan M. Socolow (Emory University) reviewed the major contributions to the historiography of the colonial and early independence periods. Her discussion included the published work of United States, European, and Latin American scholars, as well as completed doctoral research. Important new studies of demography and social history have appeared; however, the narrowness of their geographic and temporal focus has limited our ability to evaluate large-scale, long-term questions of social and economic change in the region.

Nevertheless, studies of rural Andean society, popular revolts, and, recently, pampean social and economic history have complemented and supplemented the scholarship on Buenos Aires. Published and ongoing studies of local and regional fiscal and economic history have pointed up the continuity between late colonial and early national periods and raised important new questions for social and political historians.

Finally, Socolow noted that most of the contributors to this historiography are North Americans, Europeans, or Latin Americans trained and living abroad. This, she suggested, is the price of political repression and the interruption of university and publishing activities.

Kristine L. Jones (Center for History of the American Indian, Newberry Library) presented a paper on “Conflict and Adaptation in the Argentine Pampas, 1750-1880.” The contributions of the Indians of the pampas to the dynamism of nineteenth-century Argentina are often overlooked, despite the intensive social and economic interaction between the Indians and creole frontiersmen.

By 1880 the costs of earlier relations with the Indians were seen as too costly and the modern economy was too complex to allow anything but a military conquest. With rapid economic growth, industrialization, centralization, and modernization of the state military, confrontation became inevitable. Because most historians have focused their attentions on the rationalizations of the 1880 campaign, they have failed adequately to appreciate the contributions of these Indian societies to the ranching economy, political character, and social structure of Argentina.


Committee on Gran Colombian Studies—About sixteen Gran Colombianistas met in the Espresso Café of the Shoreham Hotel for a dinner discussion on December 29. Michael McKinley (United States State Department) presented a summary of his dissertation on Caracas Province from 1770 to 1820. McKinley argued that Caracas society did not suffer from major economic and social conflicts in the late eighteenth century. The cause of the bloody Independence Wars was not social tension, but the political crisis caused by the Napoleonic invasion of Spain; nor were the wars as constant and as violent as they have been depicted. McKinley’s “traditional” conclusion rests squarely on economic and social data drawn from Spanish and Venezuelan archives. The presentation brought forth a number of questions and some comparisons with Ecuador and Colombia during the same time period.

Business matters were addressed at the meeting as well. A letter from Gerald Greenfield (University of Wisconsin–Parkside) was circulated, which requested volunteers to contribute chapters for a book on labor history; Greenfield needs chapters on Colombia and Bolivia. David Johnson (University of Alberta) wrote that he will be in Colombia in 1983-84 to continue his research on Santander and asked that anyone who will be in Colombia during that time please contact him. Charles Bergquist (Duke University), the new secretary and rising chairperson of the Committee, asked for suggestions for the San Francisco meeting in December 1983. All agreed that Gran Colombianistas should more actively seek to propose panels for the AHA and LASA.


Committee on Mexican Studies—Christon I. Archer (University of Calgary) chaired the session “The History of the Mexico-U.S. Border Region: New Dimensions and Directions.” There were two presentations: by Charles H. Harris and Louis Ray Sadler (both of New Mexico State University), “A Case of Prejudice? United States Archives and the Mexican Revolution”; and by Paul J. Vanderwood (San Diego State University), “Tomóchic: A Historian’s Dilemma.” Stanley R. Ross (University of Texas at Austin) commented.

Both papers represented ongoing research projects rather than finished work. Vanderwood examined the Tomóchic Rebellion of 1891 in which a small town turned against the Díaz regime and toward a new folk saint. Having completed some archival research in municipal, state, and federal archives, Vanderwood raised a number of significant cultural, religious, social, and economic issues that had impact upon the events. Harris and Sadler discussed archival sources in the United States that have not been fully used by historians. They pointed out the significance of federal court records and of coded intelligence materials that require decoding before they can be utilized.

Stanley Ross, in commenting upon the two presentations noted that the Mexican Revolution is very much alive in the hands of young historians who are using new sources and approaches to examine different themes. In the case of Vanderwood’s paper, Ross expanded the discussion to suggest links with other events where conflicts developed over land and resources. He illustrated his remarks with a number of highly entertaining and useful incidents drawn from his own long research in Mexican archives. He praised Harris and Sadler for their diligence in working their way through a mass of poorly indexed archival materials, but warned against overdependence upon any single source. He was not totally convinced that a binational team of researchers should undertake the enormous task of decoding intelligence materials.

During the short business meeting, Archer announced the election of Peter Bakewell (University of New Mexico) and Asuncion Lavrin (Howard University), who will serve as committee officers for the next term.


Projects and Publications Committee—This committee met on Tuesday, December 28, 1982, in the Sheraton Hotel. John V. Lombardi (Indiana University) reported to those present that the Teaching Atlas was in the hands of the University of Wisconsin Press and, pending minor negotiations on the contract, it would soon be in print. A copy of the final manuscript draft was circulated.

Lawrence A. Clayton (University of Alabama) reported on the joint CLAH/University of Texas at Austin proposal submitted to the National Endowment for the Humanities for preparation of the Guide to Latin American Manuscripts in the United States. At the time of the report, there was no word on the fate of the proposal.

Frederick M. Nunn (Portland State University), Committee Chairman, reported that CLAH and the University of Texas at Austin had reached an agreement on the fate of the Relaciones Geográficas project, releasing CLAH from further obligations for publication costs.

Following reports there was discussion on a permanent location for the Cline map collection currently in Lombardi’s possession. The Committee voted to recommend that the collection be located at a Latin American center where it would be of use to as many interested parties as possible. The Committee also voted to express its collective gratitude to John Lombardi and Cathryn Lombardi for their efforts in producing the Atlas. Before adjourning, the Committee discussed its role in generating new projects.