Lost decades? Independence and latin America’s falling behind, 1820-1870
This paper explores the connections between independence and Latin America’s relative decline during the half a century after independence. The release of the fiscal burden was partly offset by higher costs of self-government, while opening up to the international economy represented a handmaiden of growth. Colonial emancipation had a different impact across regions and widened regional disparities. Per capita income grew and though Latin America fell behind to the U.S. and Western Europe, improved or kept its relative position to the rest of the world. ‘Lost decades’ seems an unwarranted depiction of the period 1820-1870.
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