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Political & Economic Development of Latin America

248). The exchange between Latin America and the industrialized world did not flow only towards the latter; manufactured goods from Europe and the United States were imported into Latin America at increasing rates, while private investment in Latin America also grew. British investment, for example, went from 85 million pounds sterling in 1870 to 757 million pounds in 1913; by the end of that time period British investors owned about two-thirds of the total foreign investment in Latin America. The downside of this foreign investment was that foreign interests controlled key sectors of Latin economies (Skidmore, 1984, pp. 47-48).

Most Latin American countries obtained their independence during the 19th Century; the strongest influences during this period of nation-building were those of the American revolutionary/constitutional period and the French Enlightenment. Independence, however, only meant that power passed from the colonial governors to the large landowners. Leaders in the new countries consisted of individuals who attracted support through personal magnetism rather than through any civic-minded ideas, as in the United States or western Europe (Harris & Alba, 1974, pp. 22-25). Eventually, political parties grew up around personalities. This personalism has persisted up to the present time; as a result, the kind of democracy practiced in Latin America has


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Political & Economic Development of Latin America. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:25, October 24, 2014, from
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