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When Sugar Ruled

Economy and Society in Northwestern Argentina, Tucuman, 1876-1916

Patricia Juarez-Dappe

Publication Year: 2010

Two tropical commodities—coffee and sugar—dominated Latin American export economies in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. When Sugar Ruled presents a distinctive case that does not quite fit into the pattern of many Latin American sugar economies. Tucumán’s sugar industry catered exclusively to the needs of the expanding national market and was financed mostly by domestic capital. The expansion of sugar production did not produce massive land dispossession as sugar mills relied on outside growers for the supply of a large share of the sugarcane. The arrival of thousands of workers from neighboring provinces transformed rural society profoundly. As the most dynamic sector in Tucumán’s economy, revenues from sugar enabled the provincial government to participate in the modernizing movement that was sweeping turn-of-the-century Argentina. When Sugar Ruled uncovers the unique features that characterized sugar production in Tucumán as well as the changes experienced by the province’s economy and society between 1876 and 1916, the period of most dramatic sugar expansion.

Published by: Ohio University Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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p. vii


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pp. ix-x

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p. xi

This project could not have been completed without the encouragement and assistance of many people and organizations. At the University of California, Los Angeles, financial support from the Department of History and the Office of International Studies and Overseas Programs facilitated the...

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Introduction: Setting the Stage

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pp. 1-7

In the fifty years preceding the First World War, Argentina experienced one of the highest sustained growth rates in the world. Wool for Belgian and French carpet factories, wheat for British flour mills, and beef for British consumers enabled the country's full integration into the world economy..

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Chapter 1: Foundations for Growth

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pp. 8-32

In the late 1850s German naturalist Hermann Burmeister visited the province of Tucumán and observed, "Of all the cities in the interior, there is no doubt that San Miguel de Tucumán is the most elegant and friendliest...

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Chapter 2: The Sugar Industry and Tucumán’s Economy

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pp. 33-54

During the last decades of the nineteenth century, at the same time Argentina consolidated its position in the international market as a producer of beef and grains, Tucumán's economy experienced important transformations. Describing the province in those days, Harry Franck observed, "Toward...

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Chapter 3: Sugarcane Planters

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pp. 55-86

specialization in sugar quickly replaced Tucumán's diversified productive structure, although it did not provoke profound modifications in Tucumán's land tenure patterns. Changes in methods of sugar manufacturing...

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Chapter 4: Sugar Labor

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pp. 87-118

Growth in sugar production required comparable additions to labor. Contemporary accounts differ in their estimates on the total workers engaged in sugar production, although they all agree that during the harvest their numbers reached many thousands. Harry Franck observed during his visit...

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Chapter 5: Sugar and the Province

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pp. 119-142

During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the sugar industry became the most dynamic sector in Tucumán's economy. The changes experienced by Tucumán's productive structure had a significant impact on the province's public finances. Between 1876...

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Conclusion: The World That Sugar Created

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pp. 143-152

In 1916, San Miguel de Tucumán hosted the centennial celebration of Argentina's independence. Thousands of visitors attended the nearly month long festivities and were surprised to find in the capital city of Argentina's tiniest province the same amenities found in many other major cities....

Appendix: Census Manuscript Schedules, 1869 and 1895

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pp. 153-154


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pp. 155-204


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pp. 205-206


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pp. 207-228


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pp. 229-233

E-ISBN-13: 9780896804630
Print-ISBN-13: 9780896802742

Page Count: 233
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 681349657
MUSE Marc Record: Download for When Sugar Ruled

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Subject Headings

  • Tucumán (Argentina) -- Economic conditions -- 20th century.
  • Sugar trade -- Argentina -- Tucumán -- History -- 20th century.
  • Tucumán (Argentina) -- Economic conditions -- 19th century.
  • Argentina -- Politics and government -- 1910-1943.
  • Tucumán (Argentina) -- Social conditions.
  • Tucumán (Argentina) -- Politics and government.
  • Argentina -- Politics and government -- 1860-1910.
  • Sugar trade -- Argentina -- Tucumán -- History -- 19th century.
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