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Agrarian Puerto Rico

Agrarian Puerto Rico
Reconsidering Rural Economy and Society, 1899–1940

$99.99 (C)

  • Publication planned for: March 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from March 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108488464

$ 99.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Fundamental tenets of colonial historiography are challenged by showing that US capital investment into this colony did not lead to the disappearance of the small farmer. Contrary to well-established narratives, quantitative data show that the increasing integration of rural producers within the US market led to differential outcomes, depending on pre-existing land tenure structures, capital requirements to initiate production, and demographics. These new data suggest that the colonial economy was not polarized into landless Puerto Rican rural workers on one side and corporate US capitalists on the other. The persistence of Puerto Rican small farmers in some regions and the expansion of local property ownership and production disprove this socioeconomic model. Other aspects of extant Puerto Rican historiography are confronted in order to make room for thorough analyses and new conclusions on the economy of colonial Puerto Rico during the early twentieth century.

    • Avoids dominant historical narratives to pursue a nuanced understanding of the impacts of colonialism on Puerto Rico's economy under US control
    • Takes advantage of empirical data to correct common perceptions of Puerto Rican socioeconomics
    • Emphasizes the importance of land tenure structures which provides a unique perspective useful to scholars trying to revisit the island's colonial past
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: March 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108488464
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from March 2020
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of tables
    List of maps
    1. The myth of the disappeared legion of proprietors
    2. The coffee economy
    3. The sugar industry
    4. The tobacco industry
    5. Economic transformation and demographic change
    6. Land concentration/fragmentation using land-tax records
    7. Rates of land ownership in rural Puerto Rico
    8. Land tenure patterns using census data
    9. Land use

  • Authors

    César J. Ayala, University of California, Los Angeles
    César J. Ayala is a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of American Sugar Kingdom: The Plantation Economy of the Spanish Caribbean, 1898–1934 (1999) and co-author of Puerto Rico in the American Century: A History Since 1898 (2007).

    Laird W. Bergad, Lehman College, City University of New York
    Laird W. Bergad is a Distinguished Professor of Latin American and Caribbean History at Lehman College, City University of New York and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Slavery and the Demographic and Economic History of Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1720–1888 (1999) and co-author of Hispanics in the United States: A Demographic, Social, and Economic History 1980–2005 (2010).

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