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The History of Mining: The events, technology and people involved in the industry that forged the modern world by Michael Coulson

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7. Latin America

The first major political event of the 19th century in South America was the recognition by the great powers of independence for the states which made up the Spanish Empire in Latin America. This happened at the end of 1824 and it ushered in the first major economic event of the century for Latin America – the 1825 mining boom and bust. Up to his ears in this latter event was none other than Benjamin Disraeli, destined in due course to become one of Britain’s greatest Prime Ministers when the country was at the peak of its powers.

In the opening years of the 19th century there was a rapid build up in European banking loans to the nascent republics of South America. There is some argument whether the loans fuelled the mining ...

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