Latin American Plantation Economy

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at
Sun Oct 29 23:52:28 MST 2000

Review, XVI, 3, Summer, 1993

Michael S. Yoder, "The Latin American Plantation Economy and the
World-Economy: The Case of the Yucatecan Henequen Industry"

Agave fiber crops, including henequen and sisal, are among the
domesticated plants native to the American Tropics that have been
diffused to tropical zones on other continents. This diffusion has been
carried out by entrepreneurial agents of the core states of the world
capitalist system interested in establishing numerous source areas of
fiber crops to maintain cheap, reliable supplies. One result has been to
pit different tropical regions of the periphery, heavily dependent upon
fiber production, against one another, ensuring low prices and poverty
for these regions, while enhancing profits for the core. This paper
traces the role of the globalization of agave fiber crops in the
generation of poverty and the maintenance of dependency in Yucatan,
Mexico, the original culture hearth of these plants.

Review, XVI, 4, Fall, 1993

Elena Frangakis-Syrett, ``Patras''

This article studies the economy of Patras in the nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries and traces its emergence as one of the principal
ports in Greece, primarily as a result of a successful pattern of
monoculture and of strong ties with British capital and market. Although
other agricultural goods were produced for export, the local economy was
completely dominated by the cultivation, mainly on the basis of
small-scale independent proprietors, of currants for export. Although it
prospered, with a noticeable growth in its domestic market in the course
of the century and the development of an industrial sector (though
mostly light industry) in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, as
the surplus from a prospering commerce was invested, Patras' economy
remained heavily dependent on exports for its imports and on the
fluctuations of the international market's demard for currants. Although
credit availability improved, its market remained capital-thirsty, on
the whole, and with a weak
local currancy. When world demand for currants fell, despite elaborate
rescue operations by the government, Patras found it difficult to meet
the crisis created by the overproduction of currants and effectively
diversify its economy.

Y. Eyüp Özveren, ``Beirut''

This paper traces the development of Beirut into a major eastern
Mediterranean port in the course of the nineteenth century.
The different phases of this development are spelled out in detail. It
is argued that Beirut developed as a port-city in response to the
stimulus of the world-economy as organized under the British hegemony as
witnessed in the eastern Mediterranean. Beirut acquired distinct
attributes in accordance with its port-city function. It differed in
demographic composition, urban layout, and regional role from the cities
of the Syrian interior, such as Aleppo and Damascus. It developed
relations of interdependency with both other seaborne cities and its
hinterland which served to accentuate and reproduce its specificity.
Eventually, global economic changes forced Beirut to readjust itself to
a less favorable context. The kinds of political projects formulated by
the urban elite and the merchant stratum are traced back to such changes
and are evaluated as a response to
the new pressures emerging from within as well as from outside prior to
the First World War. Beirut's new relationship as a capital city to its
then-segmented hinterland is seen as the culmination of this long-term


Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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