Immigration and Economic Development: Brazil and Argentina (1870 – 1930)

André Luiz Lanza, Maria Lucia Lamounier


Between 1870 and 1930, Latin American countries passed by several economic and social changes. The two most representative examples of it were Brazil and Argentina, the two biggest economies of Latin America at that time and the ones with similar development processes with similar results. This paper aims to analyze, link and compare the role of European immigrants in the economic development of both countries from 1870 to 1930. On this period, changes on the international demand allied with the fall on costs of freight and improvements on maritime transports led to the inclusion of both countries on the international trade route. Their agro-export economies expanded. In Brazil, the expansion of coffee production to the northeast of São Paulo’ state and, in Argentina, the growth of the cereal productions and cattle rising stock were the motors of those two economies. At the same time, in both countries, the industrial development and modernization of their infrastructure began. Moreover, both countries were characterized by the great availability of land, scarceness of population and growing demand for labor force to sustain the agro-export economy expansion. The policies seeking to solve these problems led to the massive entrance of immigrants. Accordingly to the historiography, immigration led to population growth, monetary circulation, development of commerce and several authors highlight their role in the industrial development. The theory of growth induced by exports explains the industrialization in both countries and its theorists also present data showing the immigrants as fundamental components for it.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n11p116

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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