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The Development of Underdevelopment (1969)
Andre Gunder Frank
hope to formulate
and policy for the majority without first learning underdevelopment.
the world's population pasr economic historians colonial
who suffer from underdevelopment gave rise to their presem metropolitan countries
how their Yet most
and social history
study only the developed and underdeveloped
and pay scant arrcnrion categories from the historical countries
lands. For this reason most of our theoretical advancea ca iralist nations. and underdeveloped
g~ides to development of"the Europcan
policy have been disrilled exclusivelv oft re colonial
experienCtt has demon-
and Norrh American
Since t e listOrical experience strably been quite different, developed pan. assume More important,
fails to reflect the past of the under, countries' earlier history leads us to of
parr of the world entirely, our ignorance countries.
and reflects the past of the world as a whole only in of the underdeveloped resembles stages of the history lead
that their past and indeed their present This ignorance opment about contemporary ana unaeraeve the metropolis between
the now developed misconceptions other relations sma'ies of(jevelopment of the world-wide Consequently, capitalist system
and this assumption and develo colonies all to taKe account of the mercantilist rhe structure in others.
underdevelopment and irs economic
memo Further, of the economic
the history of the
and capiralist system. of underdevelopof capitalist depicted stages as an or
most of our theory
fails to explain
as a whole and to account for its simultaneous development held that economic underdeveloped through the respect acquaintance neither development
ment in some of its parts and of economic It is generally and that roday's original traditional even a modest countries
occurs in a succession countries
are still in a stage, sometimes shows chat underdeyelopmcnt
stage of history, and that countries
which the now developed as! nor the present though
passed long ago. Yet is not original countries. counrriel
of the underdeveloped
es in any important believed
the past of the now deve ope underdevelopment
were never lllldaaevclopea, that the contemporary
they may have been undeveloped. of a country can be
It is also widely
jr'"'rrislic~ of income and differences in culture have led many observers to see countries. and or structure.it " !Ill. political.I1I:>C· olf this contact. it is 11.dd.. In this paper I should like to sketch the kinds of evidence which suppOrt this thesis and at the same time i ndicare lines along which further study and research could fruitfully proceed.' very conditions of underdevelopment they are supposedly designed to remedy. and therefore more underdeveloped. Analogously to the relations between development and uu. Yet historical research demonstrates [hat conrempois in large part the historical product of past and continuing ceo•)(Iwr re-lations between the satellite underdeveloped and the now developed ii (Ill •.. and cultural institutions and relations we I" -w observe there are the products of the historical development of the capitalist system II •• j. Therefore.'SS than are the seemingly more modern or capitalist features of the national merropoles . .'fft. I helieve on the contrary that the emire "dual society" thesis is false and that the policy "'....." called capitalist institutions of [he supposedly more progressive areas. and a contemporary dynamic largely !id" "'II. to incorporate the indigenous population into the economy brought and developed .l!l. political. subsistencel""d'.)11111 ries.' . the economic. :\ I nou nting body of evidence suggests. i 11(111 ni' their most underdeveloped domestic areas.(il~lil's and economics in the underdeveloped I\'..! i hcse underdeveloped countries.. only one part of the economy and society has beer. Supposedly.I. Ii illHIILlntiy affected by intimate economic reladons with the "outside" ca italisr world' . the contemporary underdeveloped institu!)"IlS of the so-called backward or feudal domestic areas of an underdeveloped coumry are '''' less the product of the single historical process of capitalist development than are the :. that the expansion of (he capitalist system over the past centuries effectively .:II.11.) have a history of its own.. h-udal..Iii'! I 1:11 parr. became modern. social.. social. and relatively developed precisely h.·. these relations are an essential part of the structure of the capitalist system on a world scale as a whole.. if acted upon. It was founded by the Conqueror to serve the same ends that it still serves today. or precapiralist. A related and also ... a structure.kl11 of [he other. serve only to intensify and perpetu..·•. »u mcndations to which it leads will. Each of the (WO parts is 1. must and will be generated or dilTusi to them from the' perspective on t counthat on the contrary in the underdeveloped countries econow occur only independently of most of these relations of !. a nd I am confident (hat future historical research \\..The Development of Underdevelopment 77 ilu: product or reflection solely of its own economic.11 rontirm. The other parr is widely regarded as variously isolated. Furthermore. 'us view is that the development of these underdeveloped countries and.:. capitalist.-Icnl inequalities II The Secretary General of the Latin American Center for Research in the Social Sciences writes in that Center's journal: "The privileged position of the city has its origin in the colonial period.<1 I.k-rdevelopment on the international level.1 ('Ill irely penetrated even the apparently most isolated sectors of the underdeveloped \\..
Thus. in fact. to promote implanted colonial throughout structure ment development their own development in Latin America and the enrichrneur of their ruling classes. always lives in a city.78 Andre Gunder Frank and his descendants.il to the wlIrid servc.. which of conquest (National popuacts as the communia by that Conqueror Indian Insritute) metropolis and is still today an instrument ofdomiuation. this metropolis-satellite center in Europe United States to the farthest When we examine including metropolis to impose we find that each ofrhe satellite". and maintain of the merropoles are the principal each national and local metropolis relationship and exploitative or tim system interests These (as the Insrituto lndigenisra of Mexico calls it) as long as it serves dl<' of this global. part of this surplus now-underdeveloped surplus Spain and Portugal. of the satellite in the Latin American of the metropolis development the satellized national.are in turn provincial centers their own local satellites orbit. serves as an instrument or economic out of its own satellites and to channel the monopolistic Nacional structure of which all are satellites. particularly.of these metropoles and satellites and still continuing In this way we and world regional. find that their economic is at best a lin". "the mestizo lation. the esrablishrneru calls for study of Latin COil by the Conquest. metropolis around of metropoles the satellite 1e of the Iberian (and later of other) metropoles sectors 0 ulation nomic system. and the stand why there were and still are tendencies which seem to lead to the development and why.". structural and local strucuur: which WCl'" which take advantage and still surviving context. of the nationa satellites thus arc themselves the latter of the world metropolis ." The Institute closer economic "~ and which maintains with the underdevel- relation which links the center with the satellite who live in the peasant hinterland there goes on to point out that "between the mestizos who live in the nuclear is in reality and that the city of the region and the Indians provincial metropoles and social interdependence relations US! than might at first glance appear" are also centers political. as the colonial becomes and of exploitation.and underdevelopment the following . are not limited to the imperial and national "by being centers of intercourse the very economic. Beyond examining the proposed historical of I hitc structure in its historical or I . III That present patron underdevelopment of Latin America is the result of its centurtcslnuj. relates all parts of the whole system from its metropolitan in the Latin American structure. a whole chain outpost of constellations countryside. national. Moreover.tlld rnerropolcs in Latin America underdeveloped development. and social life of the Latin ca ital and irs ex on of the world ceo' ~ metro oli~ the ~ and which' and or 1 he Furthermore. characteristics approach process. a center of an intercultural of a zone of indigenous an intimate oped communities ries. to suck capit. . ." The Institute this observation population when it notes that. roallctive which a colonial and then a national of the interior. I believe I have shown ill Ill) in the process of world capitalist development. this satellite immediatel' wirfi res ect CO t provincial through satellites capitals. or international Thus these merropolis-sarellire level bur penerrare American colonies seCtor become and structure and countries. of Mexico confirms The regional city was an instrumcnr Nacioual lndigcnisra region.
Domestically the evidence so far is fairly . I.11of Chile very quickly.111" iSlOry of Brazil is perhaps the clearest case of both national and regional developIt pi underdevelopment. the coffee (""I1'III1Yexperienced a similar though nor yet quite as serious fate (though the develop11)<'111a synthetic coffee substitute promises to deal it a mortal blow in the not roo distant nr !1." "I'I hese regions experienced what may have appeared as economic development d.ue important obstacles to its economic development.\1 "('l1th century successively convened the Northeast.'1'.Ihe period of its respective golden age. This structure then penetrated and . free trade. Instead. I:.lIltl the Center-South (Rio de Janeiro. Chile b. however. also appears destined to limited Of underdeveloped J 1!1t" . h..·" >111(" increasingly marked by the economic.11111' economic and social histories of Chile and Brazil. But it was a satellite development which was lidilwi" self-generating nor self-perpctuanng. social.11. I he largest in Latin America roday. Since that time and in the course of world and Chilean dHI'illg (he epochs of colonialism.u Ihe Conquest not only incorporated this country fully into the expansion and 11111'111 olrhe world mercantile and later industri~l capitalist system bur that it also !Ill' monopolistic metropolis-satellite structure and development of capitalism f.. it converted them into internal colonial satellites. the II. deI'.' ( :hi Iran domestic economy and society itself. I believe that the answer is no. foreign and domestic economic interest in them waned. This development.I rization of Chile's domestic economy.1. . l IV )llring the First World War. My study of Chilean history . The dcveiopmenr of industry in Sao Paulo has not brought greater riches to the III her regions of Brazil. my studies lead me ro believe. and they \\. As the market or the productivity of the first 'j 111 'T rq~ions declined. and even more during the Great Depression and Second \Vorld War. imperialism.·Il·ar. the evidence is that although the initial development of Sao Paulo's industry was relatively autonomous it is being increasingly satellizcd by the world capitalist metropolis and its future development possibilities are increasingly restricted..J. The expansion of the world economy since the beginning of :.l" .. and political structure of satellite This development of underdevelopment cominues roda both in increasing satellization by the world metropolis and through the ever more " I)'.1 ill(lIlvorated them into the structure and development of the world capitalist system.:. and the present. III.'Id'l [0 develop the underdevelopment they live today. Externally.The Development of Underdevelopment 79 •. Sao Paulo. '.".'1 ill)'.. the Minas Gerais interior.lpitalizcd them further. The question arises whether this industrial developn u-nr did or Can break Brazil out of the cycle of sarellite development and underdevelopnu-nt which has characterized its other regions and national history within the capitalist syslcm so far. In the fourth rcgion. and Parana) into export economies "'.'!ltn')_All of this historical evidence contradicts the generally accepted theses that Latin i\ IIH"ri("~l suffers from a dual society or from the survival of feudal institutions and that ! h(. '!'here is little evidence ro suggest that this process is likely to be reversed in the foreseeable Iuiure except insofar as the provincial poor migrate and become the poor of the mcrropoliI an cities. Sao Paulo began to build up an industrial establishment which i. and consolidated or even deepened their underdevelopment.
lining adherents among students of Latin America and is proving irs worth in shedding new light on [he problems the development of the area and in affording a better perspective for the formulation of theory and policy. u. five periods are: the European Napoleonic industrial countries War. and unsatisfactory national rnerropoles. during Apart from minor century.iS generated by the very same historical process which also generated economic development: of capitalism itself. It is perhaps than the following ones because part of its confirmaNonetheless. I am glad to say. their greatest economic A second hypothesis is that the satellites and especially their most classically are weakest. The most important century. as long as it rakes II 'vVemust conclude. and social of archaic isolated development framework. It is clearly has experienced in the course of its history.ndcrdeVeiOpmcnr was and still. One is the temporary tion caused by the crises of war O[ depression (and especially established Spanish) in the world metropolis. of the more difficult tion depends be generally industrial studies metropoles is limited by their satellite status. national and structural approach can also lead co better about development The hypotheses that within development are derived this theory from the to underto and policy by generating observation a series of hypotheses in my current theoretical has already and and underdevelopment world-embracing the [ am testing research. but was and remains first of Britain a satellite and then of the United States. thar underdevelopment of capital shortage is not due to the survival that have remained institutions and the existence in regions from the stream of world history. of the 1930's.especially of Argentina.---------place in the present economic. assumption metropolis-satellite development structure the rnerropolcs which tend to develop and the satellites The first hypothesis and other subordinate been mentioned above: that in contrast the development of the world metropolis to test this hypothesis is no one's satellite. but also of ot lu.has taken place precisely . was therefore development and at the same time most confirmatory largely untrammelled l pies are the metropolitan inthe nineteenth regions of Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo whose growth largely dependent experience capitalise on the outside only began metropolis. and the Second World that the most important the periods recent and Mexico. the Depression and generally development . rht' of such major crises stand our and seem to confirm the hypothesis. this hypothesis economic appears to and especially in the exam- on the test of the other hypotheses. On [he contrary. confirmed by the non-autonomous of Latin America's development already as documented cited. political. developopposed followt isolatioll· isola developed ment industrial development if and when their ties ro their metropolis This hypotheSiS is almost diametrically countries of relative from (he metropolitan w the generally from the greatest countries~ This accepted degree hypothesis thesis that development seems in the underdeveloped by two kinds of conran with and diffusion to be confirmed that Latin America ones. Depression recognized Brazil. in short.80 Andre Gunder Frank ------- -----~.r of the two \Vor!d such as Chile . This view. by any colonial heritage. v The same historical such as those empirical. develop. the First World War. These of the seventeenth Wars. is g.
The Development of Underdevelopment I 81 he intervening Depression. there. during the periods 1. All of these regions textiles. and even exporters. kind of isolation isolation the second hypothesis system. these periods. Thanks ro the consequent initiated marked loosening of trade and indusrriin grew in the of manuin Latin happened nunr ties during I. industrial and/or secrors of Brazil and most conspicusustain development ously of Argentina less able to generate more and more underdeveloped industrialization .''>)Jened. of trade choked and the spread of economic the seventeenth the First World from American Product had experienced of the nineteenth.·010nI<11. corollary of the second hypothesis is that when expands the metropolis recovers from its crisis the satellite into into is and re-establishes the system. and Paraguay regional cases probably lu-r cities such as Mendoza and Rosario.. became since. examples. Chile was also an example was relatively P:ll1ama.l'. The Napoleonic gave rise ro independence and these 1'01 hesis also be interpreted tends to confirm and capitalist regions development the development is the geotied to the research capitalist as well as during and example. should and several of them Wars perhaps which such as Chile became as confirming exporters movements goods. Seventeenth- Sao Paulo. countries. serious conserate of Gross was again War and Far from and less and ofrhe economy. The increase satellized War. The 1110S( into the mercantilist that in Latin America self-generating important and experienced of the classical industrial and Asuncion. national. choked the world-wide This happened off and reversed during After quences National reversed especially having the trade and investment system. expansion centuries off or channelled into directions liberalism after each of the five crises cited above. World and in some places at the beginning industry invasion. in the interior of Argentina end of the eighteenth j".. via in part. The renewed in the eighteenth developmenr which the manufacturing century. before the sea route around centers the Hom was usually into the isolated at the end of the long voyage from Europe manufacturing their effective system . the new national economic became of Brazil suffered in the growth and particularly of industrialization increasingly War recovery structurally throughout Latin America and industry become after the Second after the post-Korean more developed have become continued and expansion of rhe metropolis. Historical the satellites autonomous research demonstrates chat the same thing Manufacturing /\ mcrica during Europe's seventeenth-century American I II )"('<i depression. since then. long before in Colombia is another in Mexico are other III its own way. as satellites incorporation preceding and world capitalist VI A. My preliminary of regions which at one time were relatively it was these economic which initiated are Tucuman weakly Tilt" other and economic pnorly integrated promising pc. the previous ties which fully re-incorporate to incorporate or when the metropolis previously isolated regions development which and industrialization are not self-perpetuaring and nineteenth Latin America of these regions and promising.. this country 0[" and the beginning and Puebla of the nineteenth coffee was grown and Queretaro centuries.hleenrh-cemury Perhaps Antioquin -.m and growth.
and which were abandoned by the metropolis when for one reason or another business off This hypothesis also conrradicrs the generally held thesis that the source of a reg·. primary sources of capital for the world mCII'''I'(. the ex-mining districts of Minas Gerais in Brazil. and other economic and political difficulties. Brazil.. and their own development had to be sacrificed (0 rhat of others. The provincial centers did not yield to satellization without a struggle.ut islands will confirm it further. and Rio d. and it may be said to have been the sole imporunu cause of the War of the Triple Alliance in which Buenos Aires.'''·cc. Though this is no doubt the most spectacular example which rends to confirm dll' hypothesis.82 Andre Gunder Frank This process. Our hypothesis suggests that.''~" ' America which are today more cursed by underdevelopment and poveny. I ". These regions did not have a chance against the forces "r expanding and developing capitalism. and other countries wh i.NoJ"lh('. intraregional distribution of income became much more unequal. This hypothesis seems to be amply confirmed by the former super-satellite develop! Ii. The expansion of Buenos Aires as a satellite of Great Britain and the introduction of free track in the interest of the ruling groups of both rnetropoles destroyed the manufacturing and much of the remainder of the economic base of the previously relatively prosperous interior almost entirely.in the metropolis.. VII are regions were gI'P(" . encouraged and helped by London.. fundamentally the same process occurred even more dramaricaliy with the incorporation into the system of previously unsatellized regions. and Bolivi.. The economy and industry of Argentina.11i.r. and others whose names W('rIC Ii .I· . I believe that historical research on the satellizarion of previously relatively independent yeoman-farming and incipient manufacturing regions such as the Caribbe. destroyed no! only the autonomously develop ing economy of Paraguay but killed off nearly all of its population which was unwilling It I give in.]. regions.... underdevelopment is its isolation and its precapitalist institutions. if fortunately still in lesser degree. .. Zacatecas. like Bengal in India.. and promises to yield to no solution short of far-reaching structural change.Janeiro. yel . today suffering much the same fate. once provided the life blood of mercantile and indust 1'1.111 of t!i '. These regions' participation in the deve-lop: I".I~IV Brazil.1. and the previously developing regions became simple satellites of Buenos Aires and through it of London. This metropolis-satellite conflict was much of the cause of the long political and armed struggle between the Unitarists in Buenos Aires and the Federalists in the provinces. There surely are no major regions il. Montevideo. highland Peru. lands were taken and concentrated into latifundia by the rapaciously growing export economy.. Manufacturiug was destroyed by foreign competition. world famous centuries ago by their silver. . talist development . have experienced the effects of metropolitan recovery since the Second World War . is reflected in a whole gamut of balance-ofinflationary.1··· the central Mexican states of Cuanajuato. payments. . and present ulna-underdevelopment ofthe once sugar-exporting West Indies.. from which India also suffers.•.
l. "'s!'('l:live of whether ir appears as a plantation or a hacienda today.! the creation of the institutions of servitude which later came to be called feudal "'" II rrcd in (he eighteenth century and have been conclusively shown (0 be (he result of . All of these and other factors rendered Ir.>1 1'''' ..le'IIS have attributed to a depression of the economy caused by the decline of mining and " :.'.111 ivirics such as mining and foreign trade declined. ==~ i... 'l'l!l' evidence to test these hypotheses is not open to easy general inspection and requires •.nxc in support of the fourth hypothesis and can in no way be attributed to the transfer .rlll" I . political..1 response to the opening of a marker for Chilean wheat in Lima:' Even the growth and nxolidation of the latifundium in seventeenth-century Mexico .. The conversion of previously yeoman-farming Caribbean d.1" »rages became acute. food prices skyrocketed. . wl ')( II produce for the American marker. When the market for their sugar or the mines disappeared and the metropolis abandoned them [0 their own devices.1 ry and contemporary resurgence of latifundia particularly in the North of Mexico. the rise of the Iatifundiuru .:.The Development wii."""'<1' which created for ==::!::!:==t.'''"11<' and/or in economic depression.pie. The same is evidently the case of the postrevoIi II 11>11.1 Il"1.iwrtage of Indian labor and to a consequent turning in upon itself and ruralization of I II\' economy . ii. Nonetheless.. •:di 01 i luir "tli.1)1('. . pnl'(>." mining export regions activity declined in general. umiticrarions suggest two further and related hypotheses.i·t. The growth of the latifundium in nineteenth-century Argentina and Cuba is a i.uicnda agriculture more profitable.!'".·" r r. In Chile..J "'ll1LdiSl of Underdevelopment 83 system gave them.).'v<'Illccmh and twentieth centuries and the resulting rise of the larifundia in these islands ""111<1 seem to confirm the fourth hypothesis as well.". and of similar ones on the coast of Peru and the !TI'W coffee regions of Brazil. gl'l1('ration of economic development and left them no alternative but to i'i UpOJl rhcmselves and to degenerate into the ultra-underdevelopment we find . 1lri . already in their golden age. One is that the i.. and even co the opinions of some historians and other students of the subject.Jy nisling economic. .III.OCCUlTed a time when urban population and demand were growing.which most expert Stu. even this case would seem to confirm the !ii". such as Barbados.lcl:iI institutions during colonial times.md agrarian institutions are to be found in the transfer of feudal institutions from 1. of these regions prohibited :'-::J""'i'i('" ilL'.1"1" nvru of a capitalist export economy. into sugar-exporting economies at various times between the ·. food at '. Thus. and social structure . the typical structure of • ".111. I.I"ding ro whom the historical roots and socio-economic causes of Latin American latiiqi •• Ii.lfl\b.qlt-d analyses of many cases.. some important confirmatory evidence is I ' .'1'. These two hypotheses run counter to the notions of n" . and the profitability of other economic .
e. Nacional Indigenisra. p. in a study on Brazilian IX All of these hypotheses talisr system.' who most it is probably and clarify than its monopoly and uneven throughout capitalism deserve change boundaries.[ holistic. I'..i.still I arc the same persons some of which Testing still more detailed analysis. To change confirmation approach their reality they must undersmnd and further I hope that better of these hypotheses pursu il .. might then be attributed produced economic the . Though its most industrially development science and truth the necessary and development. 1 Jean Borde and Mario Gongora. profitable beyond the reach of capitalist in the fifth hypothesis by owners today really are more or less (though causes advanced tural enterprises is. the decline of previously who frequently agricul- whose capital was. Afio 6. The emergence to increased and that it does nor represent or survival of alien iustirurions oflatifundia. the resulting developed atreurion hitherto persistence and studies suggest structure of commercial of economic that the global extension development than industrial advanced rather and unity of the capi irs history. and structural may help (he peoples of the under the reality of their devclopn 11'1. and best can. process and eliminating this miseruhki'rO!n 11<'1. 1963). have undertaken isolated.11 countries to understand the causes and eliminate of underdevelopment and their underdevelopment of development. NOTES Amhica 2 3 4 lnsnruto Ibid" L(ltina. and in the under much mor. Origcll de los "in'Juililios" dc Chile cenlral (Santiago: Editorial Universit. iudigcnistas (Mexico Cit)" 1961). devote these problems lil'- of underdevelopment It is their people who in the last analy~i'. No. transferred or families. this no longer acceptable countries) and cultural no national to know new generations process reality.m. [0 accomplish these goals by importing to their sterile stereotypes reality do not correspond political satellite economic and do needs.84 Andre Gunder Frank that the grmvth of the larifundium and irs feudal-seeming conditions response of sendthat have whir l: to hypothesis demand remained tude in Larin America has always been and still is the commercial the transfer not entirely) development.r. . 8. themselves world (including in the study received. 4 (Oct. Sergio Sepulveda. this hypothesis surplus.H Los ccnrrcs cMn1il1lulare.s-Occ. Ewlucion de 1<1 pl\11'rieda 1 ruml ell d Valle del P1!<l!lg" I S. the proposed developed which to their liberating historic. 1959). 33-4.l' pp. and whose currently elsewhere and merchants requires agriculture. of scientists from the underdeveloped attention countries need to. 88. 11 face the task of changing They will not be able the metropolis respond For this reason. Mario Gongora.they hav.1I11 lnstiruto de Sociologia de hi Universidad de Chile). El rrigo chileno <'11d l u!HJ!dial (Sanriago: Editorial Universitaria.