Two tropical commodities-coffee and sugar-dominated Latin American export economies in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
When Sugar Ruled presents a distinctive case that does not quite fit into the pattern of many Latin American sugar economies. Tucuman's sugar industry catered exclusively to the needs of the expanding national market and was financed mostly by domestic capital.
The expansion of sugar production did not produce massive land dispossession as sugar mills relied on outside growers for the supply of a large share of the sugarcane.
The arrival of thousands of workers from neighboring provinces transformed rural society profoundly.
As the most dynamic sector in Tucuman's economy, revenues from sugar enabled the provincial government to participate in the modernizing movement that was sweeping turn-of-the-century Argentina. When Sugar Ruled uncovers the unique features that characterized sugar production in Tucuman as well as the changes experienced by the province's economy and society between 1876 and 1916, the period of most dramatic sugar expansion.