Revolution in the Countryside: Rural Conflict and Agrarian by Jim Handy

By Jim Handy

Even though so much discussions of the Guatemalan "revolution" of 1944-54 specialise in overseas and nationwide politics, Revolution within the nation-state offers a extra advanced and built-in photo of this decade. Jim convenient examines the agricultural negative, either Maya and Ladino, as key gamers who had a decisive effect at the nature of swap in Guatemala. He seems to be on the ways that ethnic and sophistication kinfolk affected govt coverage and identifies the clash generated within the geographical region via new monetary and social policies.Handy presents the main specific dialogue but of the Guatemalan agrarian reform, and he indicates how peasant organisations prolonged its influence by utilizing it to put declare to land, regardless of makes an attempt by means of agrarian officers and the president to use the legislations strictly. by way of targeting alterations in rural groups, and through detailing the coercive measures used to opposite the "revolution within the nation-state" following the overthrow of President Jacobo Arbenz Guzm‡n, convenient offers a framework for reading newer occasions in Guatemala, in particular the continued fight for land and democracy.

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Extra info for Revolution in the Countryside: Rural Conflict and Agrarian Reform in Guatemala, 1944-1954

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During the years following the Liberal victory in 1871, Indians steadily lost influence in municipal politics. This practice combined with other Liberal measures to increase dramatically racial tension throughout rural Guatemala. Liberal measures also heightened tension over land in rural Guatemala. Land tenure in Guatemala was complicated, with municipios, cantones (districts of a municipio), aldeas (outlying hamlets), cofradías (brotherhoods honoring a specific saint), and individuals all having different rights to land.

While the demand for labor declined due to reduced harvests during the 1930s and peasants benefited to some extent from government policies supporting increasing production of domestic-use agriculture, the basic coercive structures of Guatemala's rural economy were maintained. Wages that were artificially depressed through the use of forced labor contributed to declining rural living standards for the bulk of the rural population despite the prosperity brought to the country by coffee production.

But the most bitter debate was reserved for provisions concerning the abolition of the vagrancy law and the granting of voting rights to illiterates. During the discussion of the vagrancy law, the assembly resounded with age-old arguments concerning Indians' unwillingness to work and the necessity of a strictly enforced vagrancy law. " Finally, the president of the assembly, Jorge García Granados, was able to push through a much less coercive vagrancy law. S. S. 5 The discussion of voting rights for illiterates was no less heated.

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