Chapter 8 - Chapter 8 Intro -Growing inequality of income,...

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Chapter 8 Intro -Growing inequality of income, wealth, and land ownership did erode clientelist mechanisms of subsistence security, confronting peasant households in both nations (Peru and El Salvador) with an increasing risk of subsistence crisis. Land reform provided some relief from that risk, but now always and certainly not for all classes of peasants Inequality and Instability -Conventional analyses argue that agrarian reform did not distribute enough land and other benefits to enough peasants to deny guerrillas a base of peasant supporters sufficient to sustain their insurgency -The relationship between inequality and instability may itself be spurious -The “stick” of repressive violence that accompanies the “carrot” of land reform in most counterinsurgency programs can undermine any remedial effects agrarian reform might have on popular support for the incumbent regime -Erosion of subsistence security that accompanies inequality -Land reform can provide some relief from the risk of subsistence crisis for some butt not all classes of peasants cultivators, however those not helped with the reform still have a reason to support the rebels -Inequality is one of many factors for the causes of revolution Export Agriculture and the Breakdown of the Clientelist Order in El Salvador -A dramatic transformation of peasant life resulted from the shift to export crops in land use and land tenure. Land ownership became much more concentrated, and land use shifted to the production of export crops. Of more immediate concern for peasants was that these changes also resulted in the erosion of many clientelist mechanisms that had afforded them some security against the risk of subsistence crisis The Coffee Boom and the Peasant -Lands most favorable for growing coffee was the land of the ejidos -The Salvadoran state intervened to try to get the land to elites that could utilize it, the government set up laws stating that 2/3 of land needed to be used for coffee -Resulted in trouble for the farmers because they needed the land for food (subsistence farmers) -Coffee also required a capital investment for the plant and it took 2-3 years for the crop to be marketable -To fight this communities used the common lands as an area to grow coffee, this way the cost and risk was shared within the community -Government passed another law however to eliminate the use of communal lands and eventually abolished it all together -These decrees abolished the ejidos system and the village institution, as a result the land was lost by the ejidos and went to the elites -It didn’t help that the major credit institutions were pushing for the expansion of coffee as well, so they were financially firm on the peasants -The peasants became landless and thus became the cheap labor used
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Chapter 8 - Chapter 8 Intro -Growing inequality of income,...

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