An Agrarian Republic

Commercial Agriculture and the Politics of Peasant Communities in El Salvador, 1823–1914

. . . Lauria's research in previously unavailable primary sources sheds light on transformations at the local level and in doing so, forces us to reconsider our understanding of the 'Liberal Reforms' of the 1880s. . . . This new perspective also challenges important myths in Salvadoran historiography such as the Indian rebellions at the end of the nineteenth century and the misnamed Communist revolt of 1932. In fact, standard works on state formation in Central America will have to be revised to incorporate this important contribution.
Hector Lindo-Fuentes, Fordham University

With unprecedented use of local and national sources, Lauria-Santiago presents a more complex portrait of El Salvador than has ever been ventured before. Using thoroughly researched regional case studies, Lauria-Santiago uncovers an astonishing variety of patterns in land use, labor, and the organization of production. He finds a diverse, commercially active peasantry that was deeply involved with local and national networks of power. An Agrarian Republic challenges the accepted vision of Central America in the nineteenth century and critiques the “liberal oligarchic hegemony” model of El Salvador. Detailed discussions of Ladino victories and successful Indian resistance give a perspective on Ladinization that does not rely on a polarized understanding of ethnic identity.

336 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

June, 1999

isbn : 9780822957003

about the author

Aldo Lauria-Santiago

Aldo Lauria-Santiago, associate professor of history and director of Latin American and Latino Studies at the College of the Holy Cross, is the author of An Agrarian Republic: Commercial Agriculture and the Politics of Peasant Communities in El Salvador, 1823-1914.

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Aldo Lauria-Santiago