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By M. H. J. Finch

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Extra info for A Political Economy of Uruguay since 1870

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Hence it was to the 'dependent middle class' stratum, to administrative and managerial posts and professional activities which carried prestige and from which their fathers had tended to be excluded, that the sons of immigrants looked for economic and social advancement. For the class of small producers the implications of Uruguay's dependent status were ambiguous. On the one hand their attempts to secure a wider share of the domestic market were opposed by the high commercial interests involved in overseas trade, and the concentration of land in the hands of the rural elite inhibited the extension of the market to rural Uruguay.

The limited supply of land suitable for arable production, the absence of unclaimed land available for extensive colonisation and settlement schemes, and the reduction of the labour requirement in livestock production with the adoption of wire fencing, all encouraged the majority of immigrants either to move on to Argentina or to remain in Montevideo. 3 per cent. 96 per cent) had more rapid rates. The increasing concentration of population in Montevideo is not explained by a higher rate of natural increase.

The number of medium-sized units has also remained relatively constant since 1913, but declining from the mid-1950s, though this category has seen a tendency to increasing farm size in the last two decades. It is believed that the number oflarge farm units overstates the number oflarge landowners because of single ownership of a number of units. 3 that in this century the control ofthe land by a small number of owners has been reduced. 37 There is thus a relatively free movement of capital between the rural and urban sectors, while the leadership of the rural upper class is exercised through its institutions, the Asociacion Rural and Federacion Rural.

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