lunes, 11 de noviembre de 2013

Anibal Galindo, the Colombian Economist of the XIX Century

Anibal Galindo, the Colombian Economist of the XIX Century[1]

(In Memory of Jesus Antonio “Chucho” Bejarano Avila)



Luis Guillermo Velez Alvarez

Economist; Professor, EAFIT University

Chairman, ECSIM Foundation



The scene, real or imaginary, may have taken place in Bogotá in June, 1862. The government of General Tomas Cipriano de Mosquera had just decreed the forced currency of notes issued by the Nation and was determined to impose it by the sword. A shoemaker –ex fighter of the military uprising that led Mosquera to power– is being detained for refusing to receive government paper in exchange for the produce of his labor. Economist, Economist! –shouts the craftsman, to draw the attention of a subject that happens to pass by the vicinity of his shop at that time– come here, I put you as a witness, tell me if it is true that these papers are current money, whether it is fair that in exchange for them they want to deprive me of the value of my work.

The economist in question is Anibal Galindo and the scene described marks the beginning of his burlesque article "Paper Currency", published in La Paz newspaper in February, 1863, to ridicule in the manner of Bastiat, the nonsense of an authoritarian government that intended to make gold with lithographic presses as Galindo himself would say years later. The craftsman avoids being imprisoned accepting government paper in payment of the booties and paying in turn, this one in cash, a fine for his insubordination. A delicious dialogue starts then, in which Galindo explains the principles of political economy and free trade which the clever craftsman will find incredibly simple.


This little episode defines what the attitude of Galindo towards life and society of his time was. He always saw himself as a liberal economist, namely as an intellectual concerned about understanding rationally economic problems, proposing solutions and illustrating his contemporaries on the principles of free trade.

Descendant of a wealthy family[2], he was born in Coello, a small village of Tolima Grande, in 1834 and died in Bogotá in 1901. He lived through the turbulent period of formation of the Colombian nation –marked by civil wars and constitutional instability– and of the unsuccessful integration of its economy to international trade flows and foreign investment[3] Between 1830 and 1901 Colombia suffered nine general civil wars, 14 local civil wars, two international wars –both with Ecuador– and seven constitutions were issued[4]. That is also the time when there are major political and economic changes in the country that allow the liquidation of the colonial regime and the gradual, conflicted and imperfect emergence of the institutions characteristic of the capitalist economy.

In both processes, which naturally are deeply articulated, Anibal Galindo will be active starring: fighter in two civil wars, Congressman on several occasions, Governor of the States of Cundinamarca and Tolima, public officer in various national administrations, trader and successful entrepreneur, trial lawyer, Secretary of the Embassy of Colombia before governments of England and France, representative on boundary negotiations with Venezuela and Peru, university professor, journalist and permanent student of the economic problems of the country. The debate on protectionism and free trade, the liquidation of colonial taxes and their replacement by modern taxation, the nature of state intervention in the economy, the development of the monetary and financial system, the importance of railways, the question of wastelands and amortized assets, in short, the significance of socialist ideas versus liberalism are some of the matters addressed in his economic writings, characterized all of them for relevant employment of economic theory, knowledge of history, permanent reference to the experience of other countries and using, as far as the circumstances permitted, statistics and hard facts.

Naturally, Galindo had no formal economic education. He studies in Bogota in the Jesuit Seminary and the colleges of The Rosary and St. Bartholomew. In the latter he graduated as a lawyer in 1852, at the age of 18. In St. Bartholomew he surely attends the chair of Political Economy provided by Ezequiel Rojas Ramirez, but his true learning of the economy and public finances will start during his work as Assistant Director of National Income between 1855 and 1857, in the administration of President Manuel Maria Mallarino. With regard to this experience he observes in his Historical Memories:

"Having to prepare in that delicate position serious work on customs, salt mines, the Panama railroad, national stamp, wastelands, national assets, etc., etc., for which it was not enough to know how to make speeches or write articles about politics, I needed to apply myself to serious economic studies on these subjects, in which I persevered and came to acquire enough sufficiency".

In his training as an economist the three trips made to Europe along his life will be relevant: The first in 1856, the second between 1857 and 1859, and the third between 1866 and 1868, as business manager and Secretary of the legation of Colombia before France and England. During his second stay he resides in London and writes articles on economic and political issues for El Vapor, a newspaper published in Honda[5]. Even more important for his training will be his third stay in which he drafts[6] Theory of Banks. Study on the organization of the Bank of England, which can be considered the most academic of his writings. The text was published in 1869 and according to Galindo it will be "the most influential writing in determining the establishment of the first bank in Bogota". For many years it will be used as a text for teaching the subject at the National University and the College of The Rosary. From these trips Galindo will also get a great knowledge of English[7] and French, allowing him first-hand contact with the work of the leading economists of the time.

Galindo was active in the political life of his time. He was member of the Liberal Party, in the radical wing called "Golgotha"[8], of which were also part Manuel Murillo Toro, Aquileo Parra, Salvador Camacho Roldan, Januario Salgar, the Samper brothers –Jose Maria and Miguel– and Carlos Martin, among others . He was a Congressman on several occasions and in addition to the aforementioned Assistant Direction of National Income, he served (1874 – 1875) as Secretary of Statistics in the administration of Manuel Murillo Toro and as Finance Minister in the government of Jose Eusebio Otalora, in 1883.

As head of the Statistics Office he published the first Statistical Yearbook of Colombia with information on territory, population, government, political-administrative division, education, crime, production, foreign trade, currency, communications, rents and taxes, public debt, etc. Based on reports to the Congress of successive secretaries of finance he constructs statistical series for certain variables since 1831[9]. His passage through the Ministry of Finance was extremely short, just 15 months, but he had to face a fiscal crisis that he got around obtaining from the Inter-Oceanic Canal Company a loan of 2.5 million francs. In 1886 he is appointed also briefly as interim President of the State of Tolima and in 1894 in exercise of his last job as public officer he travels to Peru to negotiate the Amazon boundaries.

In 1880 Galindo published his fundamental work, Economic and Fiscal Studies, which brings together his main economic writings, "the result of 25 years of application to the study of this science of Political Economy", will say his dedication to the Society of Political Economy of Paris[10]. The last years of his life were devoted to writing his properly historic works: The Decisive Battles of Freedom, 1888, and Historical Memories, 1900[11].


Anibal Galindo was still a lad when Florentino Gonzalez[12], Finance Secretary in the first government of General Tomas Cipriano de Mosquera, won congressional approval of the customs reform (July 14, 1847 Act) and the removal of the tobacco monopoly (May 24, 1848 Act) that marked the beginning of the dismantling of the tax and protectionist system inherited from the colony. Years later in his Notes Galindo will indicate that in 1847 begin the great liberal reforms that will end the protectionist system established since the independence and which had failed in their objective of stimulating the development of domestic industry:

"The 26 years that lasted in-office the protectionist system that restricted with very high duties the import of cotton fabrics for general consumption of the population and footwear, furniture, clothing made, saddles, beer, iron and copper in rough, flour, gunpowder, manufactured tallow, crockery and other articles of domestic production, left no trace of progress or advancement in the industry of the country. On the contrary, these manufactures numbed with the protection of the law, maintained by a hateful and unfair tax that levied most taxpayers in favor of a few, far from advancing were retrograde and something ¡unique! The country has had world-class artisans (...) to rival foreign products, only when in the middle of freedom the stimulus of competition has forced them to form "[13].

However, moving away from the radicalism of his Florentino Gonzalez[14], Galindo accepts some protection to certain new industries:

"It is true that our country is destined mainly to provide the old world manufacturing industry with materials that their machines transform into that infinity of objects that satisfy our rarest whims. But it is also true that only half-savage tribes may have a unique, equal, common, emptied and stereotyped-in-the-same-mold industry. After all, every people, for poor and backward as it is, needs to diversify their occupations, under penalty of leaving many capacities unemployed, many arms without work. Not everyone can engage in cattle raising, mining or hard labor in agriculture (...) all people need to acclimate in their own soil certain industries (...) although at first they have to make great sacrifices in founding them to eventually buy their products at lower prices producing them in the country than buying them abroad (...) it is cheaper to make great anticipations to acclimate these arts in the country, than staying perpetually importing products from overseas...”[15].

It is up to government to stimulate the development of these industries but mainly through the training of workers:

"… between the protective system that produces the result of printing to national activity a different direction from what it would have taken in the midst of freedom; between this and the initiative a foresighted and enlightened government should take to educate the national work in order to make it smarter, more fruitful, more productive, there is all the distance that separates error from truth and awkward abandonment (...) from intelligent and foresighted activity of the true statesman” [16]


Anibal Galindo became a moderate interventionist, although in the early years of his work as an economist like most of his colleagues of liberal radical generation, focused naive and exaggerated hopes on the effects that over economic activity would have the unrestricted application of the "laissez-faire". In his report on the French postal service written in 1868, not without irony recalls how Rafael Nuñez and he applied the principle of "laissez-faire" when they were officers in the administration of Mallarino. It is worth quoting at length that delicious text:

"In 1856, when I was General Director of Income and when it was fashionable as the non plus ultra of liberalism the laissez-faire economic doctrine, false as an absolute principle, true only in its paradoxical sense that governments should let do everything that they should not do, in 1856 I mean, we decided Mr. Nuñez, Finance Secretary and me, laisser faire the posts, namely to leave without communication the towns we were in charge of serving. Then we suppressed as a liberal measure most of the internal posts, leaving them reduced to a few that put in communication the capital of the republic with the provincial capitals and with the income administrations. I think my illustrated friend Mr. Nuñez, who later got in touch with the civilized world, will remember this act I will not say with shame, but with sadness. Rapid communication of the various towns that make up a nation is a need as urgent as that of administering justice and that of having a public force to repress the bad guys and provide security to the innocent"[17]

In various writings Galindo addressed the issue of government intervention in the economy. In his study on the railways, 1874, against the arguments of Camacho Roldan he notes that more than a debate about the nation's fiscal possibilities to undertake public works of general interest, what is at stake is the definition of the scope of government intervention in the economy:

"Under these modest and deceiving appearances of a simple fiscal question, in this issue of construction of railroads is hidden a political issue of the highest importance, which is to determine with accuracy up to where the intervention of general government should go in the promotion of material improvements” [18]

But it is in his History of the Foreign Debt, 1871, where the position of Galindo on the role of government is exposed more clearly, in no way far from that of Adam Smith[19]. Here are two examples:

"... In a backward and poor country the task of government cannot be limited to the passive action of letting go, being satisfied with abolishing on paper legal obstacles that go against the free development of the faculties of the individual, but it is necessary to use the resources of the community to break material obstacles that go against this development, and that are in fact higher than the stimuli and the foresight of the individual interest"[20]

"Our governments cannot be limited then to the passive task of administering justice, although that should be the most sacred of their duties and is the primary purpose for which any government is instituted. But rather it will be necessary arming them of a great economic power, so that with the resources of the nation they remove the material and moral obstacles that nature and ignorance oppose to the development of public wealth. On the cover of our administrative science should be written for more than half a century the following aphorism: The Government is instituted to provide security, to spread primary education and to make roads"[21]

And one more from the study of railways:

"In almost all civilized countries public education, elementary and secondary, would not be produced to the extent that is needed, if society did not set a fee to pay as a general service what cannot be afforded by the direct consumers of it." [22]

These ideas about the role of government will set Galindo aside from his fellow of the so called Olimpo Radical[23] who translated their liberal ideals in the 1863 Constitution of Rionegro[24]. In respect of this constitution, Galindo wrote:

"... It was a crime against civilization. No side had any absurd result. It formed nine republics with their respective sovereignties (...) It could not be more defective in the distribution of sovereignty. The citizen was all about granting absolute guarantees for the exercise of individual freedom. The society was nothing. The authority had no power, no means and no force to maintain order and make justice prevail. The government of the United States of Colombia was reduced to the craft of forming a budget and eating it"[25]

Despite his antipathy for the political regime of the Constitution of Rionegro, Galindo was officer of several radical governments and represented them before other countries. In the last years of his life he moved even more away of radicalism and approached the sector headed by Rafael Nuñez. About the centralist and presidential constitution of Nuñez and Caro he wrote in his Memories that "It would have been therefore, in my humble concept, inconvenient for the Liberal Party to accept the Constitution of 86 as a basis for a Republican modus vivendi..."


Colombia ended the nineteenth century with less than 200 miles of rail, including 40 of the Panama Railroad[26]. In the early twentieth century, Argentina had more than 20,000 miles of railroad; Mexico about 17,000; Brazil just over 16,000 and Chile approximately 5,000[27]. In his study on the Colombian railroads, Galindo refers to the experiences of Argentina and Chile and also to those of the United States, India and Russia, putting in mind the impact that construction of railway lines have on overall economic activity. This is his main argument against Camacho Roldan, who argued that all what was transportable in Colombia could be transported by bridle path in a less expensive way than by rail. Camacho Roldan calculations assume that the cargo volume transported will be the same before and after the introduction of the railway. Galindo mischievously points out:

"... Mr. Camacho (...) does not grant railway the virtue to dislocate in the change of products of domestic and foreign trade one kilogram over those transported by mules and Indians"[28]

We know who was right in this dispute. In fact, the Congress had adopted the June 5 Act, 1871 that included the construction of several railroads. What really defeated Galindo were not the arguments of Camacho, who years later recognized his mistake and came to preside the Girardot Railway Company, but the fiscal poverty of the country –a country as poor as ours that does not have money to build a railroad, say Galindo[29]– the topography, as Galindo recognized and the inability to attract the foreign capital that financed the construction of railways in Argentina, Chile and Mexico. For these reasons, in the nineteenth century Colombia was left by the train[30].


Until the mid-nineteenth century Colombia lacked a modern financial system. The census system from the colony prevailed until mid-century. In the early 40s the appearance of an audacious financial man, Judas Tadeo Landinez, is recorded and he is responsible for the first bankruptcy of the Colombian history. The first financial regulation is 1865 Act 35, which supports the free banking system that prevails in the country until 1885 when the government of Nuñez sets forced currency. Act 35 was extremely liberal: "The establishment of banks of issue, deposit, discount and money order and of mortgage banks is free in the State, and their exercise is not subject to other duties than those imposed by the laws on trade companies and traders", proclaims its first article. Therefore it is not surprising that in 1881 the country had 42 private banks that issued their own gold backed paper. Even a company, El Zancudo mine, issued its own money.

Galindo calls for his study on the organization of the Bank of England the merit of having revealed to the country the benefits of banking business and of having been decisive in establishing the first bank in Bogota. This is certainly a well-written piece that presents systematically the functioning and organization of the Bank of England and the functioning of the international payments system. For many years it was a text for teaching the matter at the National University and the College of The Rosary and surely influenced the development of banking. Galindo was in favor of the gold standard and declared enemy of forced currency. In his dialogue with the shoemaker evoked at the beginning of this paper Galindo explains the difference between the notes issued by the Bank of England and those put into circulation by the government Treasury:

"... The Bank of England (...) is at the same time creditor and debtor of banknotes put into circulation; it has given them on loan and not on pay, as the General Treasury. (...) And even if the Treasury organized a permanent system of change, to issue bearer notes admissible as money in all national income and contributions and redeemable in all offices of the Treasury, the government could not still create, in these circumstances, a representative sign, a circulating medium, but an effect of trade, a good exchange merchandise.

What do you mean by that talk? Please explain in Castilian.

I say that even with these notes neither your wife would buy eggs, meat, bread, candles, soap, chocolate or lard, nor myself the shoes that so willingly you sell for my money.

Why not?

Because it would lack trust which is the whole secret of the circulation of bank notes”[31].

After the publication of his work on the banks in 1869, Galindo does not return to work on the banking issue. Vainly is sought in his writings a judgment on the National Bank, which in 1880 was granted the monopoly of the issuance and the subsequent forced currency regime established in 1886.


The problem of wasteland awarding is the most remarkable aspect of the land question in the nineteenth century. Also important are the topics of reserves and disentailment. The way how the conflict on wastelands between productive occupants and landlords and holders of land bonds was faced will impact in a decisive way the agrarian conflicts even in the twentieth century.

In the nineteenth century lands in Colombia were distributed in colonial haciendas, indigenous reserves, lands of the church and those of public domain or wastelands[32]. No much is known of their quantitative distribution in these forms of tenancy. The Geographer Agustin Codazzi, who toured the country in mid-century, estimated that wastelands accounted for 75% of the territory. Other scholars speak of a higher percentage. These forms of tenancy determined both the orientation of the land policy of the republican governments throughout the period –and even in the first three decades of the twentieth century– and the nature of land disputes.

Since colonial times, the State gave large extensions of public lands to private persons in payment for services or for the purpose of promoting the occupation of the territory, especially in the period of the Bourbon reforms. After independence and until the mid-nineteenth century, this practice was maintained initially to reward soldiers who participated in the wars of independence and later to encourage immigration and for fiscal purposes. Wastelands were also granted for the construction of transportation routes –roads, railways and canals. An 1835 Act granted 25,000 hectares to the contractor in charge of building the road of Quindio.

The use of wastelands as fiscal resource goes back to the moment of completion of the wars of independence. Lacking funds, the new republics chose to reward former combatants with territorial bonds on extensions that varied according to the degree of the military or the merits in combat. In 1821, the Congress of Cucuta issued laws on rewards and disposition of wastelands and ordered the creation of an office of surveying. An 1825 Act awarded 50,000 fanegadas. Another 1844 Act awarded wastelands to various military. Apparently most of the beneficiaries of bonds, for lack of resources or for not being interested in agriculture, did not claim the land granted and sold their titles to merchants and landlords. An incipient market of land bonds was born that way, which was gradually expanded with the titles of those who subscribed borrowings of the nation redeemable in land. Thus, those who wished to acquire land to engage in farming or to expand their possessions came to this secondary market, acquired titles and subsequently claimed the land. Even in the early twentieth century it was possible to buy wastelands with the old land bonds.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, as the exporter economy of agricultural products progressed –tobacco, cinchona bark, cotton, indigo and finally coffee– conflicts between absentee owners –the land bondholders– and the occupants of fact became more frequent and intense. Catherine LeGrand (1988) distinguishes two phases in the public land policy in the nineteenth century. The first, between 1820 and 1870, would be marked by the nation's fiscal problems, although it also sought to encourage immigration and occupy the territory by granting concessions for the founding of villages. In the 1870s there is a change in the policy, leaving fiscal considerations that had until then guided land legislation, and setting the objective of promoting the economic exploitation of the border areas through free grants. Act 61, 1874 and Act 48, 1882 reflect this orientation. LeGrand summarizes the guidance of the new policy in the following terms:

"Laws specified that although legal title had not been requested, by the fact of their occupation settlers acquired land rights. It was expressly forbidden to bondholders the acquisition of territory already opened by settlers and in lawsuits over land rights the law favored over other applicants those who had plowed the land for five or more years. Thus, in the years after 1870 the Colombian Congress explicitly recognized a potential conflict between settlers and great entrepreneurs and in doing so he sided with the settlers. Wasteland farmers were the only peasant group in Colombia whose rights obtained explicit legal definition in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. At the same time, the government encouraged independent settlers to seek through legal means the awarding of the land they cultivated, because without land titles they could not sell or mortgage their plots. By strengthening this way the legal rights of farmers and facilitating the obtaining of their property titles, the Colombian government sought to encourage settlement and economic use of wastelands by both, large and small producers"[33]

The intentions of the national state to formalize property rights of productive occupants in border lands would crash against its weak capacity to intervene solving on their behalf the land conflicts that would increase exponentially between 1870 and 1930. A reflection of this situation is also the fact that territorial bondholders received most awarded land even after the change of the policy.

In his writing Limitations of Domain and Award of Wastelands Galindo analyzes with clarity the origin of the conflict and reminiscent of Locke, develops the principles that should govern land appropriation. It is convenient to illustrate to some extent his position:

"From the vast amount of wasteland awarded, there are only about 100 thousand hectares that have been granted to occupants and tillers of the soil, which are the only people who strictly speaking of principles are entitled to acquire ownership on uncultivated land; other represent concessions made without discrimination, on onerous contracts that have always borne the implied condition of colonizing and cultivating the lands granted, but which have not been met. And of the million and 100 thousand hectares that have passed to private domain by material awards made in the field, it can be ensured without fear of error, that the portion of that surface that has been really occupied and modified by culture is less than one hundredth".

And further:

"If territorial property had not been founded on monopoly by the right of conquest, but by natural soil occupation, by the scientific principle that the only legitimate basis of value of land is the human service incorporated therein, its distribution would have followed a very different course from the one it has had in our country. Instead of one hundred original acquirers, there would have been one thousand, ten thousand and probably one hundred thousand. The plus value added by social progress constantly, which is the largest of the factors that come into its value, would have been distributed among many; its pricing would be the natural that an effective competition would have given legitimately and not the artificial that the monopoly has given..."


"The earth, as God made it, originally belongs to the community. The law recognizes private ownership for the purpose that the land be improved. The deeper science research cannot discover other ethical foundation of property rights on the land"[34].

These ideas would be reflected in Act 48, 1882, commonly known as Galindo Act. Spotlessly is noted in this law: "The wasteland property is acquired by culture, whatever its size". It also establishes that "growers of wastelands established therein with house and farm will be considered as possessors in good faith and may not be deprived of the possession but by judgment in ordinary civil trial"[35].

The enforcement of Act 48 was limited by the weakness of central government against local authorities controlled by landowners. Anyway it remains for history Galindo's substantive contribution to understanding and solving the problem of landownership in a law which in many respects was more progressive than the undeservedly famous 1936 Act 200.




Anibal Galindo was a man of study and action. His contemporaries recognized to him merits in the field of law and economics. Nuñez called him "one of the brightest talents in the liberal constellation of the time"[36]. He knew the work of Smith, Malthus, Mill, Turgot, Say, Bastiat, Carey, Garnier, etc. He was an applied economist with unique talents, who used the theory to analyze the problems of his time. His rigor in the empirical support of his work and the judicious use of theory is unmatched among his contemporaries –Camacho Roldan, Miguel Samper, Florentino Gonzalez, etc.– which posterity has enshrined as the great economic thinkers of the nineteenth century. The unbearable Abel Cruz Santos does not mention him in his "Economy and Public Finance", nor does Oreste Popescu in his History of Colombian Thought. Even a so scrupulous Historian as Jaime Jaramillo Uribe falls into the slip of treating him as a minor Benthamite. Credit is due to the unforgettable Chucho Bejarano of having recognized his true condition entitling his preface to the 1978 edition of the Economic and Fiscal Studies in this bare way: Anibal Galindo – Economist.


Bejarano, J.A. (1978). “Aníbal Galindo, economista”. Preface to the edition of Estudios Económicos y fiscales. Popular Library of Economics. ANIF-COLCULTURA. Sol y Luna Editions. Bogota.

Bulmer-Thomas, Victor (1998). La historia económica de América Latina desde la independencia. Fondo de Cultura Económica. Mexico.

Botero, Maria Mercedes (1985) “Instituciones Bancarias en Antioquia, 1872-1886". Lecturas de Economía. No. 17. May-August, 1985.

Camacho Roldan, Salvador (1976). Escritos sobre economía y política. Colombian Basic Library. COLCULTURA. Bogota.

Galindo, Anibal.  Recuerdos Históricos: 1840 - 1895. La Luz Press. Bogota.

Galindo, Anibal. (1978). Estudios Económicos y fiscales. Popular Library of Economy. ANIF-COLCULTURA. Sol y Luna Editions. Bogota.

Galindo, Anibal (1880). Estudios económicos y fiscales. Andrade Press. Bogota.

Jaramillo Uribe, Jaime (1997). El pensamiento colombiano en el siglo XIX. Planeta Editorial. Bogota.

Jaramillo, L.R. and Meisel, A. (2010). Más allá de la retórica de la reacción, análisis económico de la desamortización en Colombia, 1861 – 1888. In Meisel, A. and Ramirez, M.T. Editors (2010). Economía colombiana del siglo XIX. Fondo de Cultura Económica – Bank of the Republic of Colombia. Bogota.

LeGrand, Catherine  (1988). Colonización y protesta campesina en Colombia 1850 – 1950. National University of Colombia. Bogota.

Mendoza Morales, Alberto (2012). Aníbal Galindo, protagonista del siglo XIX.

Nieto Arteta, Luis Eduardo (1973). Economía y cultura en la historia de Colombia. Oveja Negra Editorial. Medellin.

Ospina Vasquez, L. (1955, 1974). Industria y protección en Colombia 1810 – 1830. Oveja Negra Editorial. Medellin.

Pardo Rueda, Rafael (2004). Historia de las guerras. Javier Vergara Editorial. Bogota.

Ramirez, Mauricio (2003). “Pensadores económicos de la segunda mitad del siglo XIX en Colombia”. Center for Economic and Financial Research (CIEF). EAFIT University. Working documents of Economy and Finance. No. 03-04.

Rodriguez Piñeres, Eduardo (1950). El Olimpo Radical. Voluntad Editorial. Bogota.

Safford, Frank (2010). “El problema de los transportes en Colombia en el siglo XIX”. In Meisel and Ramirez (Editors). Economía Colombiana del siglo XIX. Fondo de Cultura Económica – Bank of the Republic. Bogota.

Samper, Miguel  (1976). Selección de escritos. Colombian Basic Library. COLCULTURA. Bogota.

Tirado Mejia, Alvaro (1976). Aspectos sociales de las guerras civiles en Colombia. Colombian Institute of Culture. Bogota.

[1] Traducción de Esneda Botero.
[2] "I come from a family of wealthy landowners of Ibague..." With this sentence Galindo begins his autobiography entitled "Historical Memories".
[3] In the preamble to Historical Memories we read: "Though with no pretensions to leading actor on the political scene, I have found myself however mixed secondly for nearly half a century, since 1851, in peace and war to many major policy transactions ..."
[4] See on the civil wars in Colombia: Tirado Mejia, Alvaro (1976) and Pardo Rueda, Rafael (2004).
[5] He writes in Historical Memories "... I filled with my correspondence the columns of El Vapor, a newspaper drafted in Honda by Prospero Pereira Gamba".
[6] In the Memories we read: “About the same time I published my study on the organization of the Bank of England, carried out by me with special permission of the Governor of the Bank, in all the offices of that establishment, in 1866 and 1868, and which is reproduced in my book Economic and Fiscal Studies".
[7] He became so proficient in English that performed a translation of Paradise Lost, the work of Milton, of which he was particularly proud. That translation was published without his authorization in an edition illustrated by Gustav Dore. In his Memories we read: "A few years later appeared in Barcelona a magnificent deluxe edition of Paradise Lost, illustrated with superb engravings of Gustave Dore, without saying whose translation is that one copied in the work ".
[8] At mid-nineteenth century, the Liberal Party was divided into two wings: Golgothas and Draconians. The first were openly free traders and the second protectionists.
[9] In the introduction to the Yearbook we read: "Despite the arduous, painstaking work the Office has employed in the formation of the attached tables on the movement of national income, they are very poor and it was impossible to obtain them complete".
[10] The 1978 edition of Bejarano gathers: Theory of Banks: Study on the organization of the Bank of England, 1869; Paper Currency, 1863; Colombian Railways, 1874; Notes on the Economic and Fiscal History of the Country, 1874; Limitations of Dominion and Wasteland Award, 1880; The Estate and the Law of War, 1879 and Socialism and the Working Class, 1850. Also included are major statistical tables of the Statistical Yearbook prepared when he served as Chief of the Bureau of Statistics. Bejarano excludes three works that are in the 1880 edition of Andrade, namely Inter-oceanic Canal, The Income of the Salt Mines and The French Postal Service.
[11] In his biography of Galindo, Alberto Mendoza Morales reports the following works: Argument presented by Colombia on the boundary arbitration with Venezuela. La Luz Press. Bogota. 1882. The Decisive Battles of Freedom. Ganier Brothers. Paris, 1888. Historical Memories. La Luz Press. Bogota. 1900. Economic and Fiscal Studies. Andrade Editorial. Bogota, 1880. For Truth Time, for Righteousness God. Gaitan Press. Bogota. 1881. Economic and statistical history of the national treasury from the colony to the present day. National Press. Bogota. 1874. Cerruti Arbitration. First exposure of the national government on preliminary questions and principles submitted to the international commission ruling on this case. La Luz Press. Bogota. 1889 and The Northern Railway: reply to the opinions of Mr. Salvador Camacho Roldan. Gaitan Press. Bogota 1974.
[12] Florentino Gonzalez (1805 – 1875) is perhaps the most representative of the nineteenth-century liberal free traders. A presentation of his ideas is in Ramirez (2003), where the author also analyzes the work of Salvador Camacho Roldan and Miguel Samper.
[13] Galindo (1978), pages 147 – 148.
[14] ".... The strong duty imposed on cotton fabrics intended for general consumption of the population estranges the import of these products, induces Grenadians to undertake manufacturing and holds a part of the population in unproductive occupation of manufactures assembled without intelligence and whose output may not be sold advantageously. Agriculture and mining are neglected therefore and we fail to take advantage of the benefits that they could provide (....) this wealth is not obtained but producing things that can be sold at a profit as our tobacco, our sugar, our indigo, coffee, cocoa, cotton, precious wood, gold, silver and copper from our mines, which are sold at the immense and rich market of Europe, and not manufacturing in isolation and without machines, canvases and cloths to be sold to the miserable indigenous population (....) When agriculture and mining, which are the sources of our wealth and food of our trade have been taxedthe one with the tithe and the other with the right of fifths protecting simultaneously artifacts that Europe and North America can send at cheap prices to all markets of the world would be an unforgivable economic contradiction. Freedom to produce and change, here is what the legislator should give to all..." Florentino Gonzalez, 1847. Finance Report, quoted by Galindo (1978) page 155.
[15] Galindo (1978), page 186.
[16] Galindo (1978), page 186.
[17] Galindo (1880), pages 91 and 92.
[18] Galindo (1978), page 94.
[19] Galindo mentions Smith three times in his fiscal studies. In one of them he cites the beautiful phrase of Smith according to which "the most sacred of all property is this one that everyone has in his own work."
[20] Galindo (1880), page 250.
[21] Galindo (1978), page 251.
[22] Galindo (1978), page 64.
[23] In the history of Colombia the name of Olympus Radical is given to a group of liberal intellectuals and politicians, some of whom came to the presidency of the republic, whose ideas were determinant in the country's politics in the second half of the nineteenth century. Among the most prominent are mentioned Florentino Gonzalez, Francisco Javier Zaldua, Manuel Murillo Toro, Aquileo Parra, Eustorgio Salgar, Santiago Perez, Felipe Zapata, Felipe Perez, Nicolas Esguerra, Salvador Camacho Roldan and Miguel Samper. See: Rodriguez Piñeres (1950).
[24] The Constitution of Rionegro was in force for 23 years, between 1863 and 1886. It was a federal constitution under which the country adopted the name of United States of Colombia. One of its most remarkable features was the extreme weakness of the national executive: The presidential period was 2 years and the President of the Republic was appointed by the Presidents of the 9 states, these ones elected by popular vote.
[25] Cited by Mendoza Morales (2012), page 67.
[26] The first railroad built in Colombia was the Panama Railroad, between 1850 and 1855. In 1869 1870 the Bolivar railroad was built and La Dorada railroad between 1881 and 1885.
[27] Bulmer-Thomas (1998), page 131.
[28] Galindo (1978), page 79.
[29]Galindo (1880), page 80.
[30] Frank Safford says about that: "... it is a matter of topography. In Cuba, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, in the places where they built most of their mileage the terrain was relatively flat compared to the obstacles of the Colombian mountain chains. (...) Another factor was that in Colombia there was no powerful incentive to attract foreign capital to invest in railway construction (...). If Colombia had had a better history as to pay its creditors, the country might have had the possibility of getting higher borrowing to finance railway construction". Safford (2010), pages 565, 566 and 567.
[31] Galindo (1978), pages 54 and 55.
[32] The small family-run property may have occupied some extent, but its quantitative importance and economic significance have been poorly studied in the economic history of Colombia. Referring to the land tenure between 1740 and 1810, the time of the New Granada Viceroyalty, Jaramillo Uribe says: "... although the large estate prevailed, there was no lack of regions of small and medium property. This seems to have been the case of Socorro, Pasto and the province of Antioquia". In Antioquia, it is good to remember, the inspector Juan Antonio Mon y Velarde conducted in 1785 a redistribution of land, since he had found it very monopolized. This reform, which found no opposition between the economic elite of the region oriented to cattle rising and trade probably was what allowed that at the dawn of independence the range of small and medium owners in Antioquia were quite broad, according to Jaramillo Uribe.
[33] LeGrand (1988), page 38.
[34] Galindo (1978), pages 191 – 192.
[35] LeGrand (1988), pages 37 and 38.
[36] Mendoza (2012), page 105.

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