This book surveys Argentina's development from the establishment of
the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata within the Spanish-American
empire to the building of the first railways in the independent
nation. Two aspects of Argentina's development receive special
attention. First, the author examines the international markets for
Argentina's products, taking into account the industrial revolution
then under way in Europe and the United States. Second, he
discusses the influence of traditional native technology on
Argentine production and transport. In addition to describing
commercial development at the port of Buenos Aires, the study
discusses the expansion of ranching and farming onto the virgin
pampas. Although the prosperity of Buenos Aires was not duplicated
in the interior provinces, the export trade did permit commercial
recovery from depression and civil war throughout Argentina. The
author concludes that the conventional dependent or neo-colonial
theory of Latin American development does not apply to Argentina's
economic expansion. The staple theory of economic growth proves to
be more accurate, for the linkages produced by the export trade
actually diversified domestic economic activity and broadened
entrepreneurial and labour opportunities in Argentina.
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