Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Week 4: Liberalism in Crisis: The Social Question

Liberalism in crisis: The Social Question. Socio-Economic Rights?

How did the political and economic changes at the turn of the century effect notions of rights in Latin America? What is meant by ‘The Crisis of Liberalism’ and what processes were at work? What is meant by ‘The Social Question’? What were the causes of the revolutions and labour disputes? What role did civil society, state and international actors play in the upheavals of the period? What was the impact of immigration on thinking about citizenship?

Primary sources:

The Vatican response. Social Catholicism: Pope Leo XII Rerum Novarum (May 15, 1891) and Pope Pius II Quadregisimo Anno (May 15, 1931)

Mexico: Plan de Ayala, 1911 (Translated and reproduced for Modern Latin America, Brown University). and The Constitution of the United States of Mexico, 1917. (1926 Translation in the MRC).

Articles in The Herald of Revolt, MRC archive on Human Rights in Latin America

Nicaragua: Augusto Sandino's Political Manifesto of July 1927.

The Sandino Rebellion Digital Archive

Core Readings:


Paulina L. Alberto. Terms of Inclusion : Black Intellectuals in Twentieth-Century Brazil, University of North Carolina Press, 2011. (Chapter 1. "Foreigners")


Knight, Alan. “Popular Culture and the Revolutionary State in Mexico, 1910-1940.The Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 74, no. 3, 1994, pp. 393–444.



José C. Moya, "A Continent of Immigrants: Postcolonial Shifts in the Western Hemisphere." Hispanic American Historical Review 1 February 2006; 86 (1): 1–28.


Roberto Gargarella. Latin American Constitutionalism, 1810-2010: The Engine Room of the Constitution. Oxford University Press, September 26, 2013. (Chapter 5 "The Crisis of the Postcolonial Constitutional Model Positivism and Revolution at the Beginning of the New Century.")

Practical Assignment Preparation:

Look at this website about contemporary issues of migration from central America. Find something that interests you (A video, an artistic intervention, disappearance search). What do you think of the website as a source of public history/ human rights scholarship.

Ecologies of Migrant Care, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, New York University

You'll find some more information about the project in Diana Taylor. Presente! : The Politics of Presence. Duke University Press, 2020. (Chapter 1)

If you are thinking of writing a blog you could have a look at these and see what you think.

This is a blog run by the UK-based organisation, The Latin America Bureau: Latin American Bureau Blog

This is a blog by the US Historian who works on the Pink Tide Governments in Latin America: Patrick Iber's Blog

Background Reading:

Andrew Dawson, Latin America since Independence: A History with Primary Sources, 2011. (Chapters 4,5 and 6)

Hebe Mattos and Wlamyra Albuquerque, Oxford Research Bibliography: Beyond Slavery and Abolition in Brazil

Gilbert M. Joseph, et al. (eds) Close Encounters of Empire : Writing the Cultural History of U. S. -Latin American Relations, edited by Gilbert M. Joseph, et al., Duke University Press, 1998. (Especially Part II Empirical Case Studies and Schroeder's piece on The Sandino Rebellion in Nicaragua)

Further Reading:

Theresa Alfaro-Velcamp. 'Immigrant Positioning in Twentieth-Century Mexico: Middle Easterners, Foreign Citizens, and Multiculturalism.' Hispanic American Historical Review 1 February 2006; 86 (1): 61–92.

Adriana Brodsky and Raanan Rein. The New Jewish Argentina: Facets of Jewish Experiences in the Southern Cone, BRILL, 2012. (Esp. Chapter 1).

Carmagnani, Marcello. The Other West : Latin America from Invasion to Globalization, University of California Press, 2011. (Chapter 4)

Todd A. Diacon. Stringing together a nation: Cândido Mariano Da Silva Rondon and the construction of a modern Brazil, 1906-1930. Durham/ London: Duke University Press: 2004.

Kwame Dixon and John Burdick, eds. Comparative Perspectives on Afro-Latin America. Florida: University Press of Florida, 2012. (Especially Chapter 6)

James Dunkerly Power in the Isthmus. A Political History of Modern Central America, Verso, London 1990. (Relevant Chapters)

Brodwyn M. Fischer. A poverty of rights: citizenship and inequality in twentieth-century Rio de Janeiro. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008.

Brodwyn M. Fischer, Bryan McCann and Javier Auyero (eds.) Cities from Scratch. Durham/ London, Duke Univeristy Press, 2014. (Chapter 1)

Guy, Donna J.Women Build the Welfare State : Performing Charity and Creating Rights in Argentina, 1880-1955.Duke University Press, 2009. 

Heilman, Jaymie Patricia. Before the Shining Path : Politics in Rural Ayacucho, 1895-1980, Stanford University Press, 2010. (Relevant Chapters)

Gilbert M. Joseph, et al. (eds) Close Encounters of Empire : Writing the Cultural History of U. S. -Latin American Relations, edited by Gilbert M. Joseph, et al., Duke University Press, 1998. (Especially Part II Empirical Case Studies and Schroeder's piece on The Sandino Rebellion in Nicaragua)

Charles Hale, “Political and Social Ideas in Latin America, 1870-1900.” in The Cambridge History of Latin America Vol. 4, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Joel Horowitz. Argentina's Radical Party and Popular Mobilization, 1916–1930. Penn State University Press, 2008.

Alan Knight, ‘The Working Class and the Mexican Revolution, c. 1900-1920’, Journal of Latin American Studies

Alan Knight, The Mexican Revolution, Cambridge, 1986.

Jeffrey Lesser. Immigration, Ethnicity, and National Identity in Brazil, 1808 to the Present. CUP, 2013.

Florencia E. Mallon. The Defense of Community in Peru's Central Highlands: Peasant Struggle and Capitalist Transition, 1860-1940. Princeton, 2014. (Chapters 4 and 5).

Sandra McGee Deutsch. Las Derechas: the extreme right in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, 1890-1939.1999.

Maxine Molyneux. "'No God, No Boss, No Husband!': Anarchist Feminism in Nineteenth-Century Argentina." In Maxine Molyneux. Women’s Movements in International Perspective. Institute of Latin American Studies Series. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2001.

Jorge Nállim Transformations and Crisis of Liberalism in Argentina, 1930-1955. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012. (Chapter 1.)

David Nugent. Modernity at the edge of empire: State individual and nation in the Northern Peruvian Andes, 1885-1935. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997.

Otovo, Okezi, Progressive Mothers, Better Babies: Race, Public Health and the State in Brazil, 1850-1945. University of Texas Press, 2016.

Maria Helena Pereira Toledo Machado, "From Slave Rebels to Strikebreakers: The Quilombo of Jabaquara and the Problem of Citizenship in Late-Nineteenth-Century Brazil." Hispanic American Historical Review 1 May 2006; 86 (2): 247–274.

Ronn Pineo and James A. Baer, eds., Cities of Hope: People, Protests, and Progress in Urbanizing Latin America, 1870–1930. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1998.

Scarfi, Juan Pablo. 2017. The Hidden History of International Law in the Americas: Empire and Legal Networks. New York: Oxford University Press. (Chapters 1 and 2)