Bolivia And Its Resources Essay

3913 WordsDec 13, 201016 Pages
Bolivia and its Resources: Observations of the political and economic consequences of an export-based economy. During the 19th century, Bolivia saw the rise and fall of several key resources, the export of which carried the country’s economy through periods of success and instability. In any case, it has become clear that Bolivia’s economy has and will most likely continue to depend on the extraction of a natural resource. Though extremely lucrative during a “boom” of its resource of focus, this type of economy is extremely volatile in the long run, creating uncertainty in both the economic and political realms of the national composition. The variable nature of a resource extraction-based economy lacks long term vision, focusing only on the immediate economic conditions. As a result, shifts in leadership and in resource production are frequent, and abrupt and deliberate reaction is often necessary. Bolivia demonstrates these traits in its reactions to variations in world market demands in the 19th and early 20th century. The transitions that the Bolivian export sector made between Silver, Tin, and Rubber both exhibit the necessary reactions, and reveal the resulting political shifts. The fixation with the silver and gold mining in Bolivia began with the arrival of Pizarro and the Spanish Conquistadors. Prior to their arrival, the native Incan Indians had mastered mining techniques sufficient in producing the necessary amounts of precious metals for the production of weapons, religious objects, and other commodities of everyday life. With the arrival of the Spanish, however, came a lust for gold and indifference toward indigenous human life. Pizarro and his troops essentially eradicated the entire Incan civilization, leaving in their wake what Harold Osborne refers to as “a record of cruelty, treachery, resolution, and intrepidity which has not been surpassed in

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