Julio H. Cole JULIO H. COLE

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Revista de Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales (Santa Cruz de la Sierra)

Print version ISSN 1819-0545

Abstract

ROBLES, Gustavo A. Prado. Economic ideas in the early Republic of Bolivia: notes on an anonymous manuscript of 1830.Translated byJulio H. Cole. Rev. humanid. cienc. soc. (St. Cruz Sierra) [online]. 2005, vol.1Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1819-0545.

This essay examines the theoretical framework underlying an anonymous manuscript of 1830 which contains a discussion of Bolivian economic problems during the early years of the republic, and a proposal for protectionism. The manuscript is an example of the degree of refinement that had been achieved by the intellectual elite of Charcas towards the end of the colonial period. In this essay we question the hypothesis of doctrinal unity between protectionists and free-traders during the first decades of the Republic: it is shown that the anonymous author is critical and selective vis-a-vis the principles of classical political economy, and that his protectionist prescriptions are based, for the most part, on the notion of historical relativism as expounded in Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws. We begin with a brief presentation of the contents of the manuscript, followed by an analysis of the author’s theoretical framework, and concluding with a review of the set of protectionist measures adopted by the Bolivian government between 1829 and 1832.

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