Republic of Capital: Buenos Aires and the Legal Transformation of the Atlantic World

Stanford University Press, 02.07.2002 - 392 Seiten

This book is a political history of economic life. Through a description of the convulsions of long-term change from colony to republic in Buenos Aires, Republic of Capital explores Atlantic world transformations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Tracing the transition from colonial Natural Law to instrumental legal understandings of property, the book shows that the developments of constitutionalism and property law were more than coincidences: the polity shaped the rituals and practices arbitrating economic justice, while the crisis of property animated the support for a centralized and executive-dominated state. In dialectical fashion, politics shaped private law while the effort to formalize the domain of property directed the course of political struggles.

In studying the legal and political foundations of Argentine capitalism, the author shows how merchants and capitalists coped with massive political upheaval and how political writers and intellectuals sought to forge a model of liberal republicanism. Among the topics examined are the transformation of commercial law, the evolution of liberal political credos, and the saga of political and constitutional turmoil after the collapse of Spanish authority.

By the end of the nineteenth century, statemakers, capitalists, and liberal intellectuals settled on a model of political economy that aimed for open markets but closed the polity to widespread participation. The author concludes by exploring the long-term consequences of nineteenth-century statehood for the following century's efforts to promote sustained economic growth and democratize the political arena, and argues that many of Argentina's recent problems can be traced back to the framework and foundations of Argentine statehood in the nineteenth century.

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Imperial Reconstitution and the Limits of Political Property
The Quest for Equipoise in the Shadow of Revolution
From Revolution to Civil War
Rosas Agonistes or the Political Economy of Cronyism
The Duress of Merchant Law
Reconsidering the Republic
Constitutional Persuasions
The New Property of Merchant Capital
The Battle for Monetary Authority
The Unfinished Revolution of the Republic of Capital

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Beliebte Passagen

Seite 141 - For he that performeth first has no assurance the other will perform after, because the bonds of words are too weak to bridle men's ambition, avarice, anger, and other passions, without the fear of some coercive power, which in the condition of mere nature, where all men are equal and judges of the justness of their own fears, cannot possibly be supposed.
Seite 193 - The innovator makes enemies of all those who prospered under the old order, and only lukewarm support is forthcoming from those who would prosper under the new.
Seite 49 - A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.
Seite 224 - Civil government supposes a certain subordination. But as the necessity of civil government gradually grows up with the acquisition of valuable property, so the principal causes which naturally introduce subordination gradually grow up with the growth of that valuable property.
Seite 279 - It was only in the course of the eighteenth-century revolutions that men began to be aware that a new beginning could be a political phenomenon, that it could be the result of what men had done and what they could consciously set out to do. From then on, a "new continent...
Seite 62 - Disertación jurídica sobre el servicio personal de los indios en general y sobre el particular de Yanaconas y Mitayos es el primero de los escritos que trasunta, con sus imperfecciones de forma, un perfume de su juventud.
Seite 344 - Gleanings an,d Remarks collected during many Months Residence at Buenos Ayres and within the Upper Country, with a prefatory account of the Expedition from England, until the Surrender of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, under the joint command of Sir D. Baird, GCBKC and Sir Home Popham, KCB By Major Alexander Gillespie...
Seite 185 - ... about which were gathered the brave, ignorant, free, and unemployed peasantry, were found by thousands through the country. The revolution of 1810 carried everywhere commotion and the sound of arms. Public life, previously wanting in this Arabico-Roman society, made its appearance in all the taverns, and the revolutionary movement finally brought about provincial, warlike associations, called montoneras, legitimate offspring of the tavern and the field, hostile to the city and to the army of...
Seite 279 - The novus ordo saeclorum was no longer a blessing given by the "grand scheme and design in Providence," and novelty was no longer the proud and, at the same time, frightening possession of the few. When newness had reached the market-place, it became the beginning of a new story, started — though unwittingly — by acting men, to be enacted further, to be augmented and spun out by their posterity.

Über den Autor (2002)

Jeremy Adelman is Professor of History at Princeton Univers

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