The State And Underdevelopment In Spanish America The Political Roots Of Dependency In Peru And Argentina
Challenging the dependency theory approach to the origin of underdevelopment in Spanish America, this book argues that internal political and economic factors led the nations of the region to become dependent and underdeveloped during the nineteenth century. Dr. Friedman focuses on Peru and Argentina in the aftermath of their wars of independence to show how underdevelopment and dependency resulted from a crisis of the state brought about by the loss of legitimacy of Spanish colonial rule. Class conflicts had been effectively managed by the colonial state; its collapse, Dr. Friedman demonstrates, created conditions of intense inter- and intra-class conflicts, chiefly political in nature, which weak post-independence governments found impossible to restrain. Left with little authority, legitimacy, or control over internal resources, the fledging Peruvian and Argentine states turned to external sources for the capabilities with which to begin the process of consolidating their internal power. By the last half of the nineteenth century, both Peru and Argentina had chosen a course that led to their integration into the international economy as dependent nations.