Even without restrictions, however, and despite the fact that some countries recovered quickly from the effects of the depression, Latin America in the s was simply not as attractive to immigrants as before. In some countries the life of most inhabitants seemed little changed in , at the end of World War II , from what it had been in This was the case in Paraguay , still overwhelmingly rural and isolated, and Honduras , except for its coastal banana enclave. But in Latin America as a whole more people were becoming linked to the national and world economies , introduced to rudimentary public education, and exposed to emerging mass media.
It was still not explosive, for, while birth rates in most countries remained high, death rates had not yet been sharply reduced by advances in public health. But it was steady, the total Latin American population rising from roughly 60 million in to million at mid-century. The urban proportion had reached about 40 percent, though with great differences among countries.
Moreover, the usual pattern was that of a single primate city vastly overshadowing lesser urban centres.
The ‘water’ to Wirathu’s ‘fire’
Yet even that was as many as lived in Tegucigalpa , the capital of Honduras. What such rural workers most clearly had in common was grossly inadequate access to health and education services and a low material standard of living. A socioeconomic and cultural gulf separated them from traditional large landowners as well as from the owners or managers of commercial agribusinesses. In the cities an industrial working class was more and more in evidence, at least in the larger countries, where the size of the internal market made industrialization feasible even with low average purchasing power.
However, factory workers did not necessarily form the most important urban sector, to some extent because the growth of cities had been more rapid than that of the manufacturing industry. Moreover, port, transportation, and service workers—or miners, as in the Chilean nitrate fields—rather than factory workers usually led the way in union organization and strike actions.
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One reason was the high proportion of women workers in early factories, who, though even more exploited than male workers, were perceived by radical activists as less-promising recruits than stevedores or locomotive firemen. In urban settings the most important social development in the short run was the steady expansion of middling white-collar and professional groups.
The middle sectors were, in any case, the chief beneficiaries of the expansion of educational facilities, which they strongly supported and used as means of upward mobility.
Are nationalism and cosmopolitanism compatible?
Urban workers, for their part, had access to primary education but rarely secondary; at least they were now mainly literate, whereas most rural Latin Americans still were not. Yet, starting in the s, the rapid spread of the new medium of radio throughout Latin America exposed even illiterate people to an emerging mass culture. Additions to transportation infrastructure also contributed to greater integration of isolated population clusters. The most essential rail lines had already taken shape by , but the coming of automotive transport led to a major upgrading and extension of highways, and the airplane introduced an entirely new mode of transportation.
Air travel similarly played a key role in knitting together far-flung sections of Brazil previously connected by coastal steamer. Transport improvements of all kinds favoured the creation not only of national markets but of shared national cultures , in the latter respect reinforcing the effects of popular education and radio. History of Latin America.
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New order emerging, —45 The advances in economic growth and political stabilization that were evident in most of Latin America by the early 20th century came up against an array of challenges as the century wore on. McDonald, Blair A.
Nationalism and the crisis of community in the Middle East
Ruble, Keeley W. Good, Triadafilos Triadafilopoulos, and Luc Turgeon. Clarke and Keeley W. Good, and Triadafilos Triadafilopoulos. Toggle navigation Books. Good , Luc Turgeon and Triadafilos Triadafilopoulos. UBC Press.
White Nationalism’s Deep American Roots
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