chapter  6
21 Pages


If the belief that the question of development concerns only contemporary thinkers can find some justification in other parts of the world, it has been proved to be totally false in the history of the American doctrines. Actually, the conquest of what was originally known as the West Indies (called the Indies because Columbus mistakenly believed he had discovered a shorter route to India) and their incorporation in the system of the Iberian mother country has brought up, besides problems of other types, many and very complex economic issues. It was not only a matter of directing the economic process in a vast space with a very different culture and located far away from Spain, although this alone, considering the knowledge and the state of technology at the time, was a difficult problem for the central administration. In fact, it was not an easy matter to have a permanent migratory flow for the productive process or an administrative apparatus in the execution of the imperial economic plans. Nor was it easy to guarantee a system of cargo and trade for the Indian production via the metropolitan economic system if one keeps in mind the emerging smuggling activities, carried out on a large scale, as well as the competitive interference of the other imperial powers, on the one hand, and, on the other, great dislocations due to the process of economic exploitation in the new region, particularly the increasing flow of metals from the mines in Mexico and Alto Perú in the same metropolitan economic circuit.