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Anuario Colombiano de Historia Social y de la Cultura

versão impressa ISSN 0120-2456

Resumo

MARTINEZ PINZON, FELIPE. Heroes of Civilization. The Amazon Region as Agricultural Export Cosmopolis in the Work of General Rafael Reyes. Anu. colomb. hist. soc. cult. [online]. 2013, vol.40, n.2, pp.145-177. ISSN 0120-2456.

The loss of Panama in 1903 and the subsequent opening of the canal in the isthmus led the Colombian elites to rethink other border spaces. The article analyzes the discourse of appropriation of the Amazon territory set forth by President, General, and entrepreneur Rafael Reyes (1849-1921) in speeches lectures, travel diaries, and autobiographical memoirs. On the basis of those materials, the article argues that instead of nationalizing the Amazonian territory, Reyes suggesting incorporating it into the dynamics of global capitalism through the contradictory proposal of an "agricultural export cosmopolis" aimed at exploiting the region's wealth. The contradictions of a segregationist cosmopolis, as a narrative of globalization in the early 20th century, also led General Reyes to represent the entrepreneurs of the agricultural frontier as "heroes of civilization", a phrase that betrays the anachronism and irrationalism inherent in the allegedly indestructible rational discourse of civilization in the tropics.

Palavras-chave : Rafael Reyes; Colombia; Amazon region; modernization; cosmopolitanism.

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