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Mapping the Country of RegionsThe Chorographic Commission of Nineteenth-Century Colombia$
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Nancy P. Appelbaum

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627441

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627441.001.0001

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The Illustrated and Progressive Spirit of the Granadinos

The Illustrated and Progressive Spirit of the Granadinos

Envisioning Economic Progress

Chapter:
(p.106) 5 The Illustrated and Progressive Spirit of the Granadinos
Source:
Mapping the Country of Regions
Author(s):

Nancy P. Appelbaum

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627441.003.0006

The fifth chapter examines the commission’s optimistic yet ambivalent portrayal—in illustrations, maps, and texts—of New Granada’s struggling mid-century economy, including its natural resources, industries, and workers. The commission was an economic project that aimed to stimulate capitalist modernization via immigration, investment, infrastructure, and exports. No real roads linked the country’s disparate centers of production, yet an export boom in gold, tobacco, and hats augured well for the commission’s dreams of progress. Women were depicted alongside men as productive workers. Codazzi, moreover, was not satisfied with simply representing the landscape and inhabitants; he also tried to effect material transformation. He advocated coercive labor regimes, road building, railroads, land privatization, and clearing forests. In Panama, then part of New Granada, he accompanied doomed European expeditions in search of a canal route. He personally surveyed an indigenous landholding for privatization and supervised the initial excavation for a road that, like most of his economic endeavors, ended up going nowhere. The liberal economic model advocated by the commission proved contradictory and difficult to implement. Few European immigrants arrived; tobacco and hat exports declined; and the dream of export-based capitalist progress was deferred until the coffee boom at the end of the century.

Keywords:   Agustín Codazzi, Economic Liberalism, Export Boom, Land Privatization, New Granada, Panama Canal, Progress, Roads, Women, Workers

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