The economic policy debate that took place along with the transition to capitalism in Latin America in the nineteenth century offers a relevant perspective to examine the assimilation, discussion, and reformulation of economic paradigms and ideas (Mallon, 1988; Coatsworth and Williamson, 2004; Jacobsen, 2007). In particular, conflicts regarding customs tariffs can illustrate how economists and policymakers not only adopted, but also adapted economic doctrines to support different business sectors and social classes’ often contradictory interests. Such was the case of Julio Menadier, a Prussian lawyer born in 1823, who arrived in Chile in 1849, and soon revealed himself as an erudite analyst of agriculture and rural society. In addition to his theoretical knowledge, Menadier acquired first-hand familiarity with Chile’s economic issues and institutions. In the 1860s, Menadier served as head of the Customs House in Valparaíso, then a major commercial center in the South Pacific coast; shortly after, in 1869, the National Agricultural Society (SNA) hired him as its secretary and chief editor of its agricultural magazine, which he created and directed until 1883.1 In that capacity, Menadier became the most important agrarian ideologue in nineteenth-century Chile. He published nearly a hundred articles in the Bulletin of the National Agricultural Society (BSNA), thus producing a work that dealt with an impressive variety of topics, ranging from agronomic and technical matters to social and economic issues. As such a knowledgeable expert, he also actively participated in Chile’s oligarchic public sphere, representing the landed elite’s interests, and becoming the SNA’s authoritative spokesperson. Menadier was also a Listian economist, whose ideas added unexpected complexity to the ongoing confrontation between protectionism and liberalism. Thus, he played a significant role in the economic policy debate in the late 1860s and the 1870s, a critical period in Chile, characterized by several controversial tariff reforms and, in response, a growing questioning of free trade as theoretical base for economic policy.