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The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century$
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Judith Brown and Wm Roger Louis

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205647

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205647.001.0001

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Latin America

Latin America

(p.623) 27 Latin America
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century


Oxford University Press

The history of the Latin American political economy in the first half of the 20th century was strongly conditioned by three external shocks: the two world wars and the Great Depression. Together, these dealt drastic blows to Britain's position of pre-eminence which, even before 1914, was fast eroding as a result of German and United States competition as well as internal economic and political challenges. After 1945, there was no British trade offensive as there had been after 1918. A massive informal empire had been peacefully relinquished, its assets devoted to the prosecution of two world wars; but a generation later the erstwhile collaborators — both sorely reduced in relative wealth and power, influenced by old atavisms, and desperate for domestic political advantage — fell to fighting over a vestigial speck of formal empire.

Keywords:   Latin America, political economy, Great Depression, world wars, Britain, Germany, United States, British trade

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