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Ladinos with Ladinos, Indians with IndiansLand, Labor, and Regional Ethnic Conflict in the Making of Guatemala$
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Rene Reeves

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804752138

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804752138.001.0001

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Debt, Labor Coercion, and the Expansion of Commercial Agriculture

Debt, Labor Coercion, and the Expansion of Commercial Agriculture

(p.72) Chapter 3 Debt, Labor Coercion, and the Expansion of Commercial Agriculture
Ladinos with Ladinos, Indians with Indians
Stanford University Press

This chapter recontextualizes the history of labor in Guatemala's nineteenth century so that 1871 no longer bursts forth as a great historical rupture, but rather emerges as part of an established continuum. Aside from providing a useful corrective to the Reforma-as-revolution perspective, this recontextualization also contributes to a better understanding of why resistance to the second generation of Liberal reforms did not develop along the lines of the Carrera revolt. First, the growing turn toward wage labor among highland residents roughly paralleled increased planter demand. Secondly, the post-1871 labor statutes did not represent the qualitative shift in exploitation and repression that they implied on paper. Finally, the new regulations and bureaucratic linkages that evolved as the state attempted to further develop its organizational and coercive capacity vis-à-vis an expanding labor force provided lucrative possibilities for local officials and those involved in municipal governing apparatuses.

Keywords:   labor history, Guatemala, Reforma, Liberal reforms, wage labor, exploitation, repression

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