A Political Geography of Latin America (1997) by Jonathan R. Barton

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By Jonathan R. Barton

The realms and peoples of South and crucial the United States, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, that jointly shape the political countryside of Latin the USA, surround a variety of societies, politics and economies. this article exposes the diversities among locations, areas and nations, participants and societies, supplying a useful perception into the subjects of political and monetary improvement, and gives a advisor to realizing strength and house kin. From the Antarctic to the tropical jungles, the coastal groups to the highland villages, the mega-cities to remoted rural lifestyles, the political geographies of lives, localities, towns and rurality are too subtle to be subjected to generalizations. Adopting a severe human geography viewpoint, Jonathon Barton offers an realizing of similarities, distinction and complicated human geographies.

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Explaining the paradigm shifts within the continent and the impetus for these shifts requires an understanding of the background of the discipline. There can be little debate that Latin American geography is essentially a geography of European influence and of European immigrants rather than of the indigenous peoples. The changes within the pre-colonial, colonial and independence periods within Latin America render it a region with a strong heritage of political geography. The extremes of political ideology and political policy in terms of spatial organisation provide this political geography with considerable diversity.

This ‘mission’, alongside the perceived resource wealth of new lands, was at the heart of the conquest of the Amerindian societies within South and Central America from the late fifteenth century. Effectively, a new America was invented by the conquistadores since the pre-Columbian Americas could not co-exist with Europe (O’Gorman, 1958). America had to be remodelled as the New World, a New Europe. PreColumbian societies and their activities were forced to adapt to the New World model and could not live outside it.

Both these schools of thought emanated from a Latin American political philosophy tradition developed during the early twentieth century. The most influential proponents of this tradition were the Peruvians Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre and José Carlos Mariátegui (Kay, 1989). While they both pursued different approaches to an explanation of the Latin American condition, they established the philosophical environment for the emergence of intrinsically Latin American development thinking. This marked a seachange for development theory, an alternative to Anglo-European traditions.

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