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Although historians usually trace its origins to the Haitian Revolution of the late 18th Century, Latin American political, economic and cultural emancipation is still very much a work in progress. As new national identities were developed, fresh reflection and theorising was needed in order to understand how Latin America related to the wider world. Through a series of case studies on different topics and national experiences, this volume shows how political economy has occupied an important place in discussions about emancipation and independence that occurred in the region.
The production of political economic knowledge in the periphery of capitalism can take on many forms: importing ideas from abroad; translating and adapting them to local realities; or else producing concepts and theories specifically designed to make sense of the uniqueness of particular historical experiences. The Political Economy of Latin American Independence illustrates each of these strategies, exploring issues such as trade policy, money and banking, socio-economic philosophy, nationalism, and economic development. The expert authors stress how the originality of Latin American economic thought often resides in the creative appropriation of ideas originally devised in different contexts and thus usually ill-suited to local realities.
Taken together, the chapters illustrate a fertile methodological approach for studying the history of political economy in Latin America. This book is of great interest to economic historians specialising in Latin America, as well as those who study history of economic thought, political economy and Latin American history.