Uspallata Train Station in Argentina

   There was room for growth in Latin America after independence was established. The many nations resulting after the Spanish crown left Latin America, all saw a better and brighter future. They wanted to expand and had big aims of achieving modernization. Aspiring to establish themselves and make their mark as newly formed countries. Many important things started to come to question with expansion and modernization. Such as communication, transportation, and unification. All important and necessary factors in better establishing a modern and efficient society. Remote and isolated areas of Latin America were important in making them more accessible. Much of Latin America started to take advantage of it’s natural resources. In order to do so, these isolated areas abundant in cacao, coffee, etc., needed to be reached. Therefore to improve civilization and the economy, railroad systems were vital for success in economic expansion. Latin America is a very diverse and large land. Each country can have varying climates and terrains. Reaching from coastal beaches, to Andean plains, to dense and tropical jungles. These unique circumstances created very real challenges in trade and transportation. With the unification that came with railroads, this was a problem of the past. Industrialization, Governments, and trade better reached communities. The prospect of new job opportunities arose as well. Hence, setting forth modernization in Latin America.   

   The period between 1830’s-1900’s was a great economic boom for Latin America. Changes and new technologies were emerging rapidly. The technology of the railroad  pushed forth the anticipated renewal. Brought unity in countries and economic stability for a period. This picture taken in Argentina, circa 1850-1900. Shows exactly the great changes brought forth by the railroad. Argentina reaped many of the benefits that followed through with modernization. It is a great example of what positive changes were made in South America. “In the early twentieth century, Argentines could proudly claim that theirs was one of the ten richest countries in the world. Buenos Aires, like a number of Latin American cities, was a modern showpiece with a population of 1.5 million people, complete with new mansions, electric lights, department stores, and trolleys”, Dawson, pg. 122.  Argentina saw new waves of immigration as well, further developing the nation. The image shows, the Andes, we can see the train carts. A woman waiting and about to board her cart. She’s dressed in a hat and nice clothes. In faint small letters in Spanish, “Primera Classe”, meaning first class. To be more accurate, this photo was taken in Mendoza, a small city in Argentina. A city compromised of high plains and foot hills east to the andes. The addition of the railroad here certainly met the expectations of what come with the idea of expansion and modernity.


Dawson, Alexander. Latin America since Independence: A History with Primary Sources. 2nd ed. Taylor & Francis, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central.Ch 4, pg.122-123

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