Latin American and Related Sessions at the American Historical Association Meeting December 27-30, 1974, Chicago

Initialed luncheon meeting, committee meeting, and session and panel reports were written by Eleanor B. Adams (University of New Mexico), Robert J. Alexander (Rutgers University), Emília Viotta da Costa (Yale University), Charles Gibson (University of Michigan), Kenneth J. Grieb (University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh), Robert J. Knowlton (University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point), Brooke Larson (Columbia University), James H. Lee (Marquette University), R. Michael Malek (University of South Alabama), John L. Phelan (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Dehner G. Ross (Oakwood College), Frank R. Safford (Northwestern University), Carl Solberg (University of Washington), Maureen Jo Smith (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).

Benjamin Keen presided at the Conference on Latin American History luncheon and business meeting, December 28. At the conclusion of the luncheon the several committee chairmen announced prize awards, as follows: 1) The Distinguished Service Award to Lewis Hanke (University of Massachusetts); 2) The 1974 Bolton Prize to Warren Cook (Castleton State College) for Floodtide of Empire: Spain and the Pacific Northwest, 1543-1819, with Honorable Mentions to Frank McCann (University of New Hampshire) for The Brazilian-American Alliance, 1937-1945, and to Stuart Schwartz (University of Minnesota) for Sovereignty and Society in Colonial Brazil: The High Court of Bahia and Its Judges, 1609–1751; 3) The 1974 Conference on Latin American History Prize to Charles Hale for “The Reconstruction of Nineteenth-Century Politics in Spanish America: A Case for the History of Ideas,” Latin American Research Review, 8:2 (Summer 1973), with Honorable Mention to Patricia Aufderheide for “True Confessions: The Inquisition and Social Attitudes in Brazil at the Turn of the XVII Century,” Luso-Brazilian Review, 10:2 (December 1973). 4) The 1974 Robertson Prize to Friedrich Katz (University of Chicago) for “Labor Conditions on Haciendas in Porfirian Mexico: Some Trends and Tendencies,” Hispanic American Historical Review, 54:1 (February 1974), with Honorable Mention to Herbert Klein (Columbia University) for “Structure and Profitability of Royal Finance in the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1790,” Hispanic American Historical Review, 53:3 (August 1973) and to John Coatsworth (University of Chicago) for “Railroads and the Concentration of Landownership in the Early Porfíriato,” Hispanic American Historical Review, 54:1 (February 1974).

Following the luncheon address (see below) Keen turned the chairmanship of the Conference over to David Bushnell, who solicited the assistance of all members during the coming year. Other officers for 1975, in addition to Chairman Bushnell (University of Florida), were announced: Stanley Stein (Princeton University), vice-chairman; G. Michael Riley (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), secretary-treasurer; Benjamin Keen (Northern Illinois University, retiring chairman), ex officio member of the General Committee, which also will include the following members: Bushnell, Stein, Riley, and Stanley R. Ross (University of Texas). John D. Wirth (Stanford University) was elected ex officio, nonvoting member of the General Committee and is regional committee representative. New members elected were Asunción Lavrin of Silver Spring, Md., 1974-1975; Ralph Lee Woodward (Tulane University), 1974-1975; Marvin Bernstein (SUNY-Buffalo), 1975-1976; Murdo MacLeod (University of Pittsburgh), 1975-1976.

Tulio Halperín-Donghi (University of California at Berkeley) delivered the luncheon address on “Trends in Argentinian Historiography, 1930–Present. Halperin pointed out the importance of 1930 as his beginning date. He said that in 1930 a crisis was initiated that still has not ended, and the search for a new national consensus has been unsuccessful. In his continuing remarks, these were points emphasized: This historical background must be borne in mind in order to understand recent Argentine historiography. In 1930 Argentine historiography was dominated by the New School (Nueoa Escuela Histórica). Most of the members of the New School were professional historians and members of the urban middle class. These historians, for all their search for accuracy, did not offer any really new or controversial interpretations of the nation’s past, instead they were influenced by older interpretations. Their non-controversial attitude was reinforced by a desire to “survive” in an academic community controlled by the government after 1930.

Halperín also pointed out that the New School came under growing criticism from a group that called itself “revisionist,” which concentrated its writing on the Rosas period. Halperín attributed this emphasis to two things: the revisionists were not professional historians and, therefore, preferred topics on which investigation had already been done; and they were little interested in economic problems that became so important in later history. The revisionists partiality for Rosas, and their hostility toward his opponents—this simplified history aroused but little response from the academic historians.

Continuing, Halperin noted that the ambiguity that characterized the relationship between the revisionists and the restored conservative regime continued under Perón. Meanwhile, if revisionist historical work lacked innovation, the best work at least showed an elegance of style. After the fall of Perón in 1955, a new commitment to historical research began to emerge, to higher standards of work that were eclectic in inspiration. This change was part of a general intellectual trend called cientificismo, but the return of the military in 1966 ended its influence in the universities. Meanwhile a neo-revisionism was developing that helped bridge the gap between “the Peronist tradition and the growing resistance of non-Peronist sectors to the conservative reshaping of Argentine society.” Beginning as firmly non-revolutionary, neo-revisionism adapted to changed conditions and radicalized after 1966. The history written by this group was inaccurate, but it is appealing to many. Halperin concluded with this thought: as historians the neo-revisionists reflect little more than themselves, and the new trend will not thrive, but it will survive.

R. J. K.


Committee on Andean Studies—On December 28, the Andean Studies Committee presented a panel on the subject “Recent Research in Andean History,” chaired by its current president, Herbert Klein. Five young historians currently completing their doctoral dissertations on various aspects of social and economic history of Andean society read papers discussing preliminary conclusions or delineating the methodological approaches of their studies. The papers ranged chronologically from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Topically, two papers focused on the tribute system in the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries; two papers took regional approaches: one examined Cuzco society in the seventeenth century, the other considered economic change in Cochabamba in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; a final paper discussed the role of women in early colonial Peru.

The papers of Elinor Burkett (Pittsburgh University) and Brooke Larson (Columbia University) focused on opposite poles of the colonial period—the former was a broad view of colonial society and the latter a regional economic study. Both attempted to suggest new methodological directions towards which colonial social and economic history must move. In her paper, “Early Colonial Peru: A Feminist Perspective,” Burkett criticized past methodological approaches to the social history of colonial Peru, which only recently have begun to focus on segments of society other than the European or Creole upper class. She continued with these thoughts: with the exploration of new types of local sources and the development of more sophisticated analytical tools, social history has begun to take account of the economic participation, social status, and the political power or manipulation of divergent social classes or racial groups. Burkett argued that in their analysis of the articulation and interaction of the various social entities, social historians have not gone far enough, and that until now they have failed to cross sexual boundaries on each level of the social pyramid. As a result, historians have conjured up a distorted picture of colonial Peru. She said that because of the ignored female half of the population, certain areas of social history have never come to light, while other facets suffer distortion. In her own research on colonial Peru, Burkett discovered that Indian and mestizo women were active and vital participants in the provisioning of colonial cities; upper-class, white women were encomenderas, whose economic power and social ties played a crucial role in the entrenchment of first- and second-generation landholders. Through analyses of women’s role in colonial society, Burkett suggested that social history will increasingly rely on sources like dowries, wills, and parish records. Kinship and marriage ties will increasingly become key variables to determine not only active and passive roles women played in early colonial society, but the mechanisms by which the elite consolidated and transferred wealth and moved up and down the social ladder. Feminist history of colonial Peru will carry the analysis even further to delineate historical processes such as conquest and acculturation and how they were manifest for indigenous and mestizo women, as opposed to men. With important methodological implications for social history, Burkett suggested that feminist history is the “ultimate refinement of social history.” It not only attempts to fill in the gaps and correct the distortions, but its task is to construct new conceptual frameworks that consider the interplay between sexism and racism and recognize the historical circumstances when sex becomes a more important variable than class. In her study of the female component of social groups in early colonial Peru, Burkett hopes to suggest new methodological directions for social history as well as more clearly to define the goals of a feminist approach to historical analysis.

Larson, in her paper “Research and Methodology in the Study of the Cochabamba Region, 1750-1840,” shifted the focus to the tasks of colonial historians of regional economic history. She approached the study of Cochabamba within a broad analytic framework that posits the secular decline of the agricultural region of study as a partial consequence of the collapse of the mass consumer markets at the mining centers of Potosí and Oruro, where Cochabamba once marketed much of the area’s grain. Fascinated by the conjecture of recent growth-pole exponents and particularly dependency theorists, Larson’s thesis tries to test hypotheses of both schools of thought, in order to determine the interaction of variables that go furthest in explaining recession in a regional agricultural economy. Preliminary conclusions indicate that the recession did not mean economic entrenchment of the great estate in a collective effort to buttress the unstable social position of the landowner, as Chevalier described for rural Mexico a century earlier. Downward social mobility, the fragmentation of haciendas, a complex and ever-widening debt structure, an emergent rentier class, all characterized the region’s landholding class at the end of the colonial period. Simultaneously, a growing smallholder class of mestizos began to spring up, spilling over into the semi-urbanized labor force of the region’s cloth factories. Larson also hypothesized that indigenous society was marked by a more rigidly stratified class structure. The second part of her paper outlined the kinds of macro-quantitative and micro-qualitative data that lay the empirical foundation of the study. From an analysis of the basic regional demographic and economic trends and their interaction with changes in the local social structure, Larson hopes to explore questions about the nature and extent of economic integration of an agricultural region in a colonial economy whose axis was once the mining sector.

The papers read by William Jowdie (University of Michigan) and Erwin Grieshaber (University of North Carolina) were related in their attempts to analyze the function and impact of the tribute system in the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Jowdie’s paper “Tribute in Late Sixteenth Century Peru" was interested in the operations of the institution itself: how tribute was levied, the total and relative value of tribute, the location and size of the repartamientos that were created by the Spanish precisely to facilitate tribute collection. His paper suggested that the major part of the study will attempt a reconstruction of the repartimiento system established by Toledo in 1570. Jowdie is interested to determine per capita tribute payments, payments in kind versus currency, and costs of tribute collection. In a wider context, his study attempts to analyze the relationship between the tribute system and the establishment of corregimientos, as an integral part of the administrative apparatus designed to mobilize tribute revenue and goods. Jowdie’s thesis will also examine sixteenth-century treasury accounts, in order to show the flow and value of tribute revenue as a source of royal income and expenditure in the late sixteenth century.

Grieshaber in his paper “The Contribución Indigenal in Bolivia, 1825-1880,” approached the institution of tribute during the first decades after Independence from the standpoint of a stagnant economy, characterized by the “underutilization” of Indian labor in both the agricultural and mining sectors, which depends entirely on an Indian head tax to support a growing local bureaucracy. The thesis suggests that traditional forms of exploitation vis-à-vis labor systems are less significant, in terms of the number of Indians working on haciendas or in mines, in the post-Independence period. Grieshaber estimated that about 70 percent of the adult, male Indian population lived in comunidades indígenas during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. The major change in postIndependence Bolivia, he suggested, was the growing tax burden on the indigenous population, which generated about 45 percent of total government income in the 1840s. To trace the flow of tax revenue, Grieshaber’s paper then considered Bolivia’s provincial tax structure and types of government expenditures. He argued that it was the new, local elite of mid-nineteenth century Bolivia that both controlled the source of tax income and channelled and benefitted from its expenditure. Like much of provincial Spanish America in the nineteenth century, Bolivia’s new elite formed an interwoven network of bureaucratic, military, and landed interests, which allowed the consolidation of a local power base in a stagnant national economy.

The final paper took a more descriptive approach to the study of local society, offering the only window on Peru midway through the colonial period. In his paper “Research on Colonial Cuzco,” Donald Gibbs (University of Texas) reviewed the archival holdings where most of his data was gathered in Lima and Cuzco. He then outlined the kinds of groups his study would delineate. The paper offered no hypotheses he intended to test; rather, he implied that the configuration of local Cuzco society would emerge from the notarial information he has collected. Gibbs’s paper focused on three segments of Cuzco society in the seventeenth century: Indians, clergy, and cabildo members. He suggested that Indian society around Cuzco was increasingly integrated into local European society, although remnants of pre-Columbian society were still evident, particularly in the ayllus’s maintenance of distant lands. Most Indians entered Cuzco society as petty artisans, traders, and muleteers. The clergyman was another highly visible member of local society. The enormous number of clerics, Gibbs said, meant that most were more involved in managing family or monastic estates rather than in more traditionally ecclesiastical appointments. Finally, Gibbs mentioned the social makeup of the cabildo. Not surprisingly, the members were landlords, and half of them were descendants of sixteenth-century encomenderos. The paper concluded by underlining the importance of local political control as a major feature of seventeenth-century colonial society.

From the five papers, the impression emerged that colonial and nineteenth-century social and economic history is at once focusing more sharply on various facets of economy or society while attempting to integrate the microcosm into a broader picture. Two of the above papers examined the tribute institution; but one was interested in its place in the fiscal and administrative structure of sixteenth-century Peru; the other paper saw its extension as the outcome of economic decay of a post-Independence national economy. Another theme pointed to regional social and economic change conditioned by wider trends in a colonial economy. Finally, the emphasis on the female portion of Peruvian society was in one sense an attempt to reconstruct the totality of historical experience in colonial society. While the exploration of new archival sources allows closer examination of local economy and society, the monograph is disappearing, as historians increasingly cross disciplines and incorporate specifics into a wider framework of historical change in colonial and neo-colonial Andean society.

B. L.

Committee on Río de la Plata and Chile Studies—Chairman Roger Haigh (University of Utah) called the first meeting of the Río de la Plata-Chile Studies Committee to order on Saturday, December 28. First on the agenda was establishment of a nominating committee; its members include Carl Solberg (University of Washington), chairman, Gene Sofer (University of California at Los Angeles), Paul Goodwin (University of Connecticut), Diana Hernando (State University of New York—Oswego), and Robert Claxton (West Georgia College). Haigh then proposed to form a program committee in order to prepare sessions for next year’s committee meeting, and to work with the organizers of conferences held on Latin American affairs, to achieve greater visibility for "Cono Sur" history in future programs. Considerable discussion followed and centered around the problem of the need for more participation by River Plate-Chile specialists at scholarly conferences. The program committee, composed of volunteers from the membership, includes Diana Hernando, Ron Seckinger (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Mark Szuchman (University of Texas), David Tamarin (University of Washington), and Frederick Nunn (Portland State University). This committee will name its own chairman.

The next topic discussed concerned finances and dues. After discussion from the floor, Robert Potash (University of Massachusetts) moved to instruct the program committee to study and report on the question of dues and financial arrangements. The motion carried. Hobart Spalding (Brooklyn College) asked the committee’s membership for help with the River Plate-Chile section of the Handbook of Latin American Studies, which he is now editing. Reprints of articles, bibliographical references, etc. should be sent directly to Spalding at 789 West End Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10025. Rolando Pérez (Stanford University), director of the Guía para las investigaciones históricas en la Argentina, a research guide under preparation, discussed his project and requested a working relationship with the River Plate-Chile Studies Committee. It was decided to publicize news relating to the Guía in forthcoming issues of the CLAH Newsletter.

C. S.

Committee on Caribe-Centro América Studies—Dehner G. Ross (Oakwood College, Huntsville, Alabama) presided at the December 28th meeting. It was announced that all members will be advised when publication of the Directory of Caribbean Scholars is completed. During the past year there has been an exchange of syllabi of Caribbean and Central American history courses with the Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology, Department of Caribbean Studies, Leiden, Netherlands. Other exchanges have included journals, articles, and books by both Dutch and American membership. It was announced that the Dutch have also volunteered to assist with the CLAH-CCA guide-handbook on research possibilities, archives, etc.

The Editor-in-Chief for a proposed volume Research in Caribbean and Central American History was announced to be Kenneth J. Grieb (University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh). With two sponsors already agreeable, coordination of the publication will be directed by R. Michael Malek (University of South Alabama). The following will contribute, and anyone else interested may contact the Editor-in-Chief: Malek, Dominican Republic; Richard V. Salisbury (State University of New York-Geneseo), Costa Rica; and Delmer G. Ross (Oakwood College), R. Lee Woodward, Jr. (Tulane University), Thomas Schoonover (University of Southwestern Louisiana), Jess H. Stone (The College of William and Mary). Others may write to Grieb, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901, with a carbon to Malek, Department of History, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688.

Formation of the Caribbean Studies Association, annual dues $5.00, was announced. President is Dr. Roland I. Perusse (Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, P. O. Box 3255, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936). Editor of the Association’s Caribbean Studies Newsletter, is Frank Paul LeVeness (St. John’s University, New York). A meeting and conference of the CSA was announced for January 9-11, 1975, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the Borinquen Hotel and Beach Club, with “Patterns of Change in the Contemporary Caribbean” as the theme.

A welcome was extended to F. Roy Augier (University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica) and Woodville Marshall (University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados). The latter is President of the Association of Caribbean Historians and had previously inquired concerning establishment of a relationship between the AHA and the ACH.

R. M. M.

D. G. R.

Committee on Gran Colombian Studies—At the meeting of the Committee on Gran Colombian Studies, December 28, the committee’s 1974 chairman, Frank Safford (Northwestern University) announced the election of Robert Gilmore (University of Kansas) as vice-chairman for 1975. The 1974 vice-chairman and 1975 chairman, Helen Delpar (University of Alabama), organized the program, which followed, on “Economic Change since 1850.” In the first of three papers, Mary Floyd (Indiana University) explored the ways in which Antonio Guzman Blanco used government-controlled credit instruments and other economic mechanisms to pacify and co-opt regional caudillos in Venezuela, thus creating the political stability necessary for later economic development.

David Johnson (University of Alberta) discussed three economic groups in the Santander region of Colombia—tobacco growers, cotton weavers, and palmleaf hat weavers. Johnson, through various calculations, argued that tobacco growers were a relatively insignificant element in Santander’s export economy in the nineteenth century. He contended that the decline of cotton weaving in Santander occurred gradually until the gross weight tariffs of the 1860s brought a considerable increase in the importation of cheap cottons. He suggested that the Santander region favored the movement to free trade, despite the presence of cottage textile weavers, because free trade favored the interests of the hat weavers, a much larger group producing for the export economy.

Lois Weinman (California State-Long Beach) presented a summary of some salient points in her UCLA dissertation on Ecuador’s cacao boom of 1880-1925. Foreigners and foreign companies played little role in the cacao boom—“almost no part in estate ownership, none in domestic transport, none in export organization, and none in capital formation.” Yet, despite the absence of foreign control of factors of production, the economic results of the Ecuadorean cacao boom were much the same as in foreign-controlled export economies. Rather little of the income from cacao exports found its way into effective productive investment in Ecuador. Though a considerable amount of money was poured into railroads and other public works projects, most of these were never completed, in Professor Weinman’s opinion, because they were allocated in obedience to a “traditional politics of privilege” rather than according to real economic needs. Aside from local politicians, other major beneficiaries of the cacao boom were the Agricultural Association, which developed monopoly control over the export trade, and the Banco Comercial y Agrícola, which, through its control of exchange arrangements, exercised decisive power in Ecuadorean politics. Weinman viewed the activities of the Agricultural Association and the Banco Comercial y Agrícola as further examples of the operation of a “traditional politics of privilege in restraint of economic development. She concluded that “capitalization for modernization was present [and] interference from abroad nonexistent, but cultural factors directed unproductive spending.”

In floor discussion of the papers it was suggested that Weinman could not prove that cultural factors played a decisive role in Ecuador’s misspending of export income unless she gave some attention to some obvious alternative explanations. Several participants pointed particularly to the possible effects of Ecuador’s economic structure (the location of the plantations in relation to the rest of the economy, the lack of economic linkages in cacao production, etc.) in inhibiting productive investment of export income.

Another question dominating floor discussion concerned whether imported goods after 1850 primarily represented upper-class luxury consumption, or rather were distributed across a broad mass market. David Johnson said that imported cotton textiles were a mass consumer item in Santander, particularly after 1860, with hat weavers providing an important part of the consumer base.

F. S.

Committee on Mexican Studies—The program of this committee concerned “The New Borderlands Historiography,” or new writings on Borderlands history, or the emergence of minority group history. Ralph Vigil (Director, Institute for Ethnic Studies, University of Nebraska, Lincoln) chaired the panel discussion, whose other participants were Juan Gómez-Quiñones (University of California, Los Angeles), Joseph V. Torres-Metzgar (University of Nevada, Reno), and Félix D. Almaráz (The University of Texas at San Antonio), substituting at the last minute for Dave Warren of the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe. After listing a number of articles dealing with the topic, Vigil pointed out that the “coexistence of at least two schools of thought seeking to develop ethnic studies along diverging lines has made for conceptual differences in the formulation of a Mexican American and/or Chicano history, and arises from the Spanish-speaking people’s feeling of identity and its psychological and ideological implications.” Gómez-Quiñones concentrated on “Trends and Contributions, Concepts and Methodology in New Borderlands Historiography since the 1970’s,” covering the available literature, research trends, and the polarity of interpretation (two schools—one of accommodation, one of conflict). He noted that the dominant theory was based on generational framework. Other theories include the ecological framework, internal colonialism (most used), conventional Marxism, nationalism (as related to community identity), and social change. He concluded that “we should not suffer a scholar who wishes to set up racial classifications.” Torres-Metzgar called upon historians to recognize the voice and role of the people in the historical process, adding: “The Chicano historian proclaims a history of ‘Los de abajo,’ which should be sociological not ideological.” Problems needing intensive local studies are land grants, Mexican immigration and naturalization, and the process of change in the recent past. “The alienation of certain intellectuals, politicians, and the affluent from their own people” requires further examination. Almaráz discussed the problems in relation to Texas-Mexican history, giving particular emphasis to the various patterns of immigration and accompanying attitudes. Questions from the floor about terminology, methodology, and intellectual approach indicated that the rise and progress of this branch of ethnic history should receive more attention from Spanish-American historians in general.

Executive Secretary Noel Stowe announced the election of Marvin Bernstein (State University of New York at Buffalo) to succeed Eleanor B. Adams as Chairman of the committee.

E. B. A.


Approximately 75 persons attended the session on “Reinterpretations of New Spain’s Seventeenth Century,” where papers were read by Richard Boyer (Simon Fraser University) and Louisa Hoberman (Wesleyan University). Boyer’s paper, “Mexico City in the Early Seventeenth Century,” identified the capital city as an outpost of colonial government, a metropolis dependent on a local region, and a compact urban society. In the economy of the seventeenth century, the crucial fact for Mexico City was not decline or depression but rather economic expansion into areas previously under local domination and involvement in an increasingly self-reliant colonial economy. Trade with Seville declined, but this afforded the opportunity for colonial economic growth. It was a time of subtle transformation and development in the relations between the overseas economy and the local economy. All urban areas participated in an expanded economic control but none so fully as Mexico City, and this despite the tumult of 1642, the floods of the seventeenth century, the shortages of supply, and the increased prices. In the seventeenth century, developing capitalism, economic diversification, and specialized production, rather than “depression,” characterized the colonial economy.

Hoberman’s paper, “Merchants in Seventeenth-Century Mexico City: A Group Portrait,” nicely paralleled Boyer’s. Hoberman analyzed the activities of the body of merchants in the city of Mexico, principally from the evidence of the 80 on whom detailed information is available. Merchants were not directly active in the muncipal cabildo, but they did exert a strong influence in the fiscal offices of the lower bureaucracy. Many were involved in the Manila trade, and this helps to explain their continuing prosperity. As a group they were predominantly of Spanish birth. Hoberman concluded with some interesting new material on the private lives of the merchants and on the financial contributions made by them to the church.

In the absence of the scheduled commentators, a brief commentary was made by the chairman, Charles Gibson (University of Michigan). He suggested that the economic prosperity noted in both papers may have been particularly appropriate to Mexico City and the merchant class. If so, this would allow for some modification of the “century of depression” thesis along the lines currently being examined, but it would still permit some portion of that thesis to be applied to rural areas and regions whose labor supply was affected by the Indian depopulation.

From the audience, John TePaske (Duke University) and Stanley Stein (Princeton University) commented on the economic implications of the Manila trade and the inaccurate statistics of silver receipt in Seville. Others asked questions or made specific points with relation to the role of cofradías in the seventeenth-century economy, the marriage connections of merchants in the society, the relation between reduced exports and an economic depression, and other subjects. A comment frequently overheard as the crowd moved on to its next appointments was that the two papers and the contributions from the floor made for a session of exceptional interest and value in a field too little known.

C. G.

J. H. L.

Stanley Stein (Princeton University) chaired a December 28 afternoon session titled “The Linking of the City with the Countryside: Railroads and the Processes of Integration in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.” Papers were presented by Paul Goodwin (University of Connecticut) on Argentina, Arthur P. Schmidt, Jr. (Temple University) on Mexico, and Robert H. Mattoon (University of Michigan) on Brazil. Roberto Cortés-Conde provided the commentary.

Stein, in his introductory remarks, indicated the focus of each of the papers and explained the issues involved, and how railroads altered the relationship between the city and countryside.

Paul Goodwin’s paper dealt with the impact of the Central Argentine Railway, begun in 1864, that linked Rosario and Córdoba. Contemporaries believed that railroads would bring unity, development, and political stability to the country. Goodwin emphasized that railways may have accelerated development in Argentina, but they did not initiate it. Rosario was a vital center earlier—cart and mule traffic through the city was large, river trade was important in the growth of the city, and it was tied to the export economy despite high transport costs. Nevertheless, the Central Argentine Railway had a considerable impact with negative as well as positive aspects. Its construction reordered marketing patterns of the interior provinces: cheaper transportation costs meant goods were shipped and obtained from Buenos Aires rather than Chile. A shift in and increased production of products of the interior were other changes. The railroad also accelerated the growth of the population and development of the land between Rosario and Córdoba. According to Goodwin negative aspects were that: Argentina remained fragmented; the railroads benefited the export-oriented economy, but the land distant from the lines remained isolated and unaffected; the landholding elite was the prime beneficiary of the railroads, thus the conservative, landed oligarchy was strengthened.

Arthur Schmidt’s paper focused on the Puebla-Veracruz area during the Porfirian years 1876-1911. The speaker noted the nineteenth-century optimism in railroads as a cure for many problems. Porfirian railroads served export trade, linked Mexico City with foreign outlets, and increased the dominance of the capital city, but they left many areas untouched, isolated, and unintegrated. The railroads contributed to land concentration and to pauperization of the rural populace. Maize production in the region declined because it was not commercially profitable; but foreign investment promoted various industries, such as beer and textiles. Railroad rates favored large producers, while the small producer could not afford to ship by train. Little attention was paid to building feeder lines. Railroads contributed to the relative decline of Puebla, its loss of ground to Guadalajara and Monterrey, and its undermining as a regional center. On the other hand, although Veracruz declined for a time due to rail lines to the United States and the growth of Tampico, in the early twentieth century the government revived it as the chief port.

Robert Mattoon spoke of three levels of integration: international; national; regional. Railroads in Latin America have tended to emphasize the first, tying a country to the world, rather than integrating the nation. Brazil’s railways redirected trade to the coast, breaking down earlier attempts at knitting the country together; internal integrative principles were sacrificed to external. Mattoon discussed some of the São Paulo rail lines and their importance. A proposed line from São Paulo to Matto Grosso brought the countryside face-to-face with the city. The project was opposed by Rio de Janeiro, but the Paulistas won and the line was built. Mattoon stated that Paulistas controlled regional railroads in São Paulo with the city as the hub. He noted that cities sometimes grew in population before the coming of the railroads, and sometimes growth coincided with their arrival. Also, the region was already committed to coffee production, but the railroads and coffee fueled capital for further development of São Paulo and lessened its dependence on Rio de Janeiro. On the other hand, cart roads deteriorated, areas not blessed by good coffee land suffered by being ignored by the railroads, and there was irrationality in railroad development, even in São Paulo.

The commentator, Roberto Cortés-Conde, praised the three papers as scholarly and well-organized. He elaborated on major points of disagreement with each speaker, as well as indicating areas of agreement. He believed Schmidt’s focus on the Puebla-Veracruz area was misplaced; the main point was the growth of new areas in the north and the importance of the railroads in development there as well as in the growth of exports from the whole country to the United States.

Cortés-Conde disagreed with Goodwin about the main purpose of the Central Argentine Railway, and he believed the contribution of the railroad was greater than Goodwin suggested. The line played a crucial role in cereal growth and made Rosario the most important cereal port. The commentator noted the role of railroad stations as centers for new rural towns in the pampas, and he mentioned government concessions of land to the Central Argentine Railway. Finally, Cortés-Conde disagreed with the speaker’s statement about Argentina remaining a fragmented nation.

The commentator criticized Mattoon for ignoring the role of old coastal cities and ocean transportation, which was the only rational transport; cross-country transport was too expensive so there was no internal agricultural development prior to the railroads. Cortés-Conde maintained that railroads aided the development of a domestic, regional market and increased immigration to the interior, as well as adding to the export economy.

Questions and comments from the audience and the speakers’ responses to Cortés-Conde’s criticisms followed. This well-attended session was stimulating and enlightening.

R. J. K.

A “Workshop on Women’s History: Latin America,” was held on the morning of December 29. Coordinator Susan Soeiro (City University of New York—York College) introduced the workshop with a short paper dealing with the relationship of women’s history to Latin American social history. The main point was that historical writing has tended either to apply male criteria to women or to ignore them altogether. However, since women occupy a different position in society than men, they warrant study within a separate conceptual framework. Ultimately, the effort to study women from a feminist perspective serves to reintegrate them into the historical panorama and to more accurately reconstruct the past. Possible approaches to the study of women include : biography (traditional and multiple) ; analysis of female organizations and groups (prostitutes, orphans, nuns, criminals); demographic research on rates of marriage, mortality, and child bearing; and case studies of regions or populations. A lively discussion of the sources available, and possible themes for research and teaching followed the presentation. Asunción Lavrin (Silver Spring, Maryland) and Elinor Burkett (University of Pittsburgh) assisted in the discussion.

M. J. S.

At the Sunday, December 29 session on “Approaches to the Study of Labor Movements in Latin America,” Thomas Holloway of Cornell University gave a paper on the evolution of organized labor in São Paulo, stressing the importance of the immigrants in the São Paulo labor force in dampening trade union activity. Peter Winn of Princeton University presented a study of organized labor in Chile during the Allende regime, particularly emphasizing the growth of labor militancy under the impetus of the revolutionary program gotten under way by the Unidad Popular government. David Tamarin of the University of Washington at Seattle delivered the third paper, on the evolution of Argentine organized labor. The two critics for the session were Hobart Spalding, Jr., of Brooklyn College, and Stephen Volk of Columbia University. Both commentators were particularly critical of the Holloway paper, objecting to his supposedly unilateral explanation of the nature of the São Paulo labor movement, and stressing what they saw as the potentially revolutionary role of working-class organizations in Latin America.

R. J. A.

The session on “Characteristics of Political Elites in Nineteenth-Century Latin America,” December 29, chaired by Frank Safford (Northwestern University), featured three diverse approaches to the study of elites in Latin America. Roderick and Jean Barman (University of British Columbia) presented a study of some aspects of the career patterns of 8,000 law graduates active during the Brazilian empire. The Barmans’s paper focused primarily on the relationship of time and place of legal training to ultimate position in Brazilian administrative, judicial, and political hierarchies. By contrast, Diana Hernando (State University of New York-Oswego) analyzed a more limited sample of seventeen families in Buenos Aires during three generations. Professor Hernando was concerned not with the political roles of these families but rather with the development of distinct social and cultural modes in each generation, as reflected in changing occupational and residential patterns (1780-1900). The third paper, by Charles Bergquist (Duke University), offered still another approach to the study of elites, emphasizing relationships between economic interests and ideologies and the political allegiances of political elites in Colombia during the 1890s.

In their paper on the role of the law graduate, which they view as a preliminary report on their massive study, the Barmans examined the changing educational origins and career patterns of the Brazilian political elites. The Barmans perceive several distinct generational groupings: 1) those educated at Coimbra before 1830, who formed the backbone of the Brazilian administrative establishment in the first decades after independence; 2) those educated at the new Brazilian law schools in Pernambuco and São Paulo (both established in 1827), who until the late 1840s moved easily into elite positions; 3) the post-1850 law graduates, whose entry into elite positions initially was considerably more limited but who were conciliated by the expansion of public employment in the 1870s; and, finally, 4) the university generation of the 1870s, whose career opportunities were still more limited and whose alienation from the system proved one element in the collapse of the Empire.

Whereas the Barmans studied all Brazilian lawyers for whom information was available, Diana Hernando selected seventeen Buenos Aires families, each of which had at least one member in the Sociedad Hipódromo of 1876. Like the Barmans, Hernando found significant generational changes. The first generation in her study, most of whom arrived in Buenos Aires between 1780 and 1800, were merchants and shopkeepers; their sons were estancia founders; and the third generation were estancia owners who in most cases did not directly administer their properties, instead engaging in urban occupations, whether “banker, senator, soldier, or wastrel.” Using slides, Professor Hernando demonstrated the changing residential patterns of those families, from the first generation’s one- or two-patio Roman plan houses in neighborhoods intermingling different occupations and statuses, to the more elaborate three-patio homes of the second generation, to the grand Italian- and French-style mansions of the third, which were constructed in places and in a manner calculated to emphasize class differentiation.

Charles Bergquist analyzed the social composition and the ideologies of the elites in the contending parties in the Colombian presidential election of 1897, using the party electors in Bogotá’s electoral district as the basis for his conclusions. Bergquist found considerable consistency between the policy positions of the three contending parties and the occupational characteristics of their Bogotá electors. He noted that merchants were heavily represented among the electors of the Liberal and Historical Conservative parties, both of which favored orthodox Manchesterian liberal economics, including low tariffs, the gold standard, and the abolition of government monopolies. The Nationalists, who favored statist economics, had few merchants among their Bogotá electors and relatively large numbers of employees and professionals. Bergquist saw in this conjunction between occupation and economic ideology an argument for the utility of “political economy” as an instrument for the analysis of political history. He took the occasion to point up some of the weaknesses of an alternative “clientelist” approach to political analysis.

The commentary of Richard Sinkin (The University of Texas at Austin) emphasized, among various points, the need for precision in defining “elites.” While, in his opinion, the Barmans offered the most precise and most useful definition to be found in the three papers, Sinkin noted that even they had casually interjected the quite distinct concept of “status elite” into a discussion otherwise devoted to political elites. Sinkin questioned whether Bergquist’s data, based upon the single case of Bogotá, could sustain the weight of his thesis: would party electors in Antioquia or elsewhere in Colombia have fallen into such convenient patterns? In the second commentary Robert Oppenheimer (University of California at Los Angeles) emphasized the diversity of elites in Latin America and questioned whether any general conclusions might be reached. Among the questions touched upon in a lively discussion period was one initially raised by Diana Hernando— whether the term “elite,” developed to explain patterns at a specific time in European history, might be appropriately used at any time in Latin American history. Peter H. Smith emphasized that the generalization that Robert Oppenheimer doubted possible would indeed be impossible without the use of precisely defined terms to facilitate communication. Smith himself was more sanguine, both about the usefulness of the elite concept and the possibility of generalization. The session broke up with Marvin Bernstein vigorously asserting the catastrophic consequences of applying social science methods to history. The session on nineteenth-century elites attracted a much larger crowd than the AHA planners anticipated; not a few of those attending were forced to sit on the floor or stand at the back.

J. H. L.

F. R. S.

At the “Modern Caribbean Dictators: Revisionist Critiques” session, December 30, emphasis was upon the study of modern dictatorship, and its differentiation from previous regimes characteristic of the 19th century. Delmer G. Ross (Oakwood College), Chairman of the Caribe-Centro-America Committee, served as chairman of the session. R. Michael Malek (University of South Alabama) presented a paper entitled “Rafael Trujillo: Rise of a Caribbean Dictator, focusing on the factors that brought the Dominican caudillo to office. Adopting an historiographical approach, Malek discussed several prevailing theories regarding the dictator’s rise, concluding that many of them placed too much emphasis upon external factors, and that far greater attention must be paid to the explanation regarding the political fragmentation of the Dominican society offered by Juan Bosch. Malek concluded that it was the acrimonious factional politics of the Dominican Republic that created the void enabling the rise of a dictator, and that Trujillo merely took advantage of this opportunity, which in fact had been presented him by the elite and all elements of the political spectrum. Louis Pérez, Jr., University of South Florida, discussed “Fulgencio Batista: Rise of a Cuban Dictator.” Drawing upon United States Department of State Papers and upon reports of the United States military attaché in Cuba, Pérez detailed the events involved in the fall of Gerardo Machado, and the rise of Batista. He noted the political manipulations employed by Batista, and placed heavy emphasis upon the role of the United States, through its envoy Sumner Welles, in the maneuvers which, by leading to the overthrow of the Machado dictatorship, provided an opportunity for the rise of a new regime, and thus led to the coming to power of Batista. Richard Millett (Southern Illinois University) analyzed “Anastasio Somoza: Man with a Difference in Nicaragua.” Basing his discussion on careful research including United States Department of State Papers, contemporary periodicals, interviews, and secondary works from both Nicaragua and the United States, Millett discussed Somoza’s background, his rise through the Guardia, and the manipulations that brought him to power. The paper discussed several separate episodes, in order to illustrate the methods employed by Somoza, concluding that his rise reflected both the internal political situation in Nicaragua and his own political finesse, since he was far more a politician than a military man.

Kenneth J. Grieb (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh) served as commentator. He noted the diverse approaches employed by the three speakers, who had thus provided the audience not merely with individual studies of their regimes, but also with an example of the diverse methodological approaches which might be employed in the study of modern dictatorship. He emphasized the absence of historical scholarship dealing with modern, populist, or twentieth century dictators, noting that far more attention was necessary to this pivotal theme, which previously had been largely neglected by historians. Drawing from the three papers, and also from his own research regarding the regime of Jorge Ubico in Guatemala, he discussed the dominant characteristics of this type of dictator, emphasizing the differences between the modern dictator and his nineteenth century predecessor. He stressed the political methods involved, noting that modern dictators were politicians rather than military autocrats, who depended at least as much upon political manipulations as upon force in retaining power, and did enjoy considerable popularity within their republics. In concluding, he emphasized that the lack of understanding of these dictators reflected the small amount of study presently devoted to them, and called for much more attention to these topics by the historical profession.

K. J. G.

All participants in the December 30 session “Three Colonial Cities: New Light Concerning the Social Structure of Colonial Latin America,” chaired by John L. Phelan (University of Wisconsin, Madison), attempted to revise standard historical conceptions of colonial Latin America as a static society, “a society devoid of intergenerational social and occupational mobility.”

Peter Marzahl (University of New Mexico) attempted to analyze the reasons for the diversity of colonial towns. He argued that others have emphasized the uniformity of these towns, and as a result have ignored valuable evidence concerning the social and political structure of these centers of colonial life. Marzahl considered the town of Popayán, midway between New Granada and Quito, in his analysis of the conflicting demands between empire and local interests in the colonial town.

Marzahl identified a continuity in the composition of the elite in Popayán, but argued “whether the local elite was also a ruling stratum.” He concluded that the elite “might have run the government, but it did not rule,” since “it accepted the Crown’s and the Church’s authority.”

Elizabeth Kuznesof, a doctoral candidate at the University of California at Berkeley, analyzed social structure in colonial São Paulo from 1765 to 1820. She argued that standard conceptions of the rigid social stratification in colonial Brazil were somewhat lacking. She considered recent studies by Stuart Schwartz and A. J. R. Russell-Wood, which “cast doubts on the impregnability of this theoretically closed system.” Ms. Kuznesof presented further evidence of the “incorporation of Portuguese immigrant merchants, typically unpropertied, untitled, and lacking a Coimbra education into the traditional Paulista families and the centers of urban power.” She argued that traditional families maintained control of the economic and political institutions through the incorporation of these economically dynamic immigrant elements into the family network.

She concluded that without the incorporation of the immigrant into the Paulista elite, the economic power of the foreign merchant would not have been manifested in the political sphere and the resulting instability might have led to an urban civil war like that in Pernambuco in 1710. On the contrary, the actual situation revealed that the upward mobility of the merchant allowed the traditional Paulista elite to maintain control over the political institutions.

Susan Migden Socolow (State University of New York-Plattsburg) turned to the study of colonial Buenos Aires and its comerciantes, those men engaged in the wholesale trade between Río de la Plata and Spain. She attempted to debunk standard myths of the rigidity of colonial society, and to demonstrate that social mobility was both a reality and a common phenomena” in colonial Argentina. Through the use of census materials, parish records, notarial archives, wills and personal correspondence, Socolow considered such issues as “who were these merchants, where did they come from, who were their fathers, what training did they receive, how were they recruited, what patterns of group penetration existed, and what became of their fabled fortunes.”

Socolow concluded that the “porteño merchant group displayed a fair amount of social mobility.” She also noted that “there were several avenues to merchant recruitment, especially for the literate industrious Northern immigrants. Furthermore, merchants were successful in perpetuating their group by forming merchant clans—groups of merchants related to each other by marriage.

Both Lyman Johnson (University of North Carolina, Charlotte) and E. William Jowdy (University of Michigan) agreed with the participants’ attempts to examine critically the concept of a static colonial society. Both critics believed that Socolow’s paper supplied a clarity of definition and a sophisticated use of statistical methods which were clearly necessary in such a study. The analyses of Popayán and São Paulo were found lacking in this respect. Johnson and Jowdy agreed that the participants were too hasty to ascribe marriage into the elite as motivated by a desire for upward social mobility and that other factors were not taken into consideration. Despite these criticisms, all were praised for their efforts to tackle tire problem of social mobility in colonial Spanish and Portuguese America.

J. L. P.


An agreement between the Jesuit Order in Rome and the Arizona Board of Regents will bring an estimated 650,000 pages of Jesuit documental material on Southwestern history to the University of Arizona. Jesuit missionaries were the first Europeans to explore and settle what is now Arizona. The documents are primarily in Spanish, some in Latin, and a few in German and Italian. They are to be published in a documentary series.

For the past several centuries this research material has resided in the Vatican Archives and was used primarily by the Jesuits for their own histories. Unavailable for general use until now, the collection includes documents, microfilms, photographic reproductions, indexes and manuscripts. Most of it is on microfilm. The collection will be ready for use by scholars in the Arizona State Museum this summer.


The Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations organized a special conference in Washington, D.C., August 15-16, 1975. Sessions include “The Impact of the American Revolution,” “United States-German Relations in the 20th Century,” Energy and Foreign Policy: Crises and Crunches,” “Major Powers and the U.S., 1898-1910,” “The U.S. Response to the Fascist Menace in Latin America,” “Three Cold Warriors and the Origins of the Cold War: Harriman, Bohlen, Kennan,” “An Overview of American Foreign Policy in the Late Nineteenth Century,” and “China and the United States: The Economic Dimension, 1890’s-1975.” Further details are available from SHAFR, Department of History, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325.


A Scandinavian research conference on Latin America will be held at the University of Bergen, Norway on June 17-19, 1976. The conference theme will be “Levels of Domination in Latin America: Past, Present and Future.” Dr. Henning Siverts is chairman of the organizing committee and Mrs. Ana-Beatriz Sørbø is secretary. Correspondence should be directed to Dr. Siverts or Mrs. Sørbø at the Museum of History, University of Bergen, P.O. Box 25, N-5030, Bergen.


A conference on European emigration to Latin America will be held on October 1-3, 1975, at the University of Cologne on “Emigración europea a América Latina (desde la Independencia hasta la crisis de 1929/31).” It will constitute the Fourth Meeting of European Latin Americanist Historians and will cover the European aspects of the migratory movement. Additional information can be obtained from Dr. Horst Pietschmann, Iberische und Lateinamerikanische Abteilung des Historischen Seminars der Universität Köln, 5 Köln 41, West Germany.


Editorial Francisco de Aguirre, S.A. has initiated publication of a journal entitled Estudios Históricos. The new publication is patterned along the lines of Estudios Internacionales edited by this firm for the last five years. Sr. Luis Bertone Des Balbes advises that they intend to make the new magazine a vehicle for exchange of historical information between researchers in different countries.


The Southwestern American Indian Society, dedicated to the study of Native Americans in North and Central America, is accepting membership. Annual membership dues are $7.00. Members receive the American Indian Quarterly, A Journal of Anthropology, History and Literature, and occasional newsletters. The AIQ features articles, book reviews, bibliography, current research inventories, and professional news. Correspondence, including manuscripts, books for review, and other editorial matters should be addressed to the Editor, AIQ, P. O. Box 443, Hurst, Texas 76503.