The Era Of The Guano In Peru

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The era of the guano in Peru


The investigation has as a design to respond. To what extent can it be affirmed that Peru lived only a “fallacious prosperity” in the period of 1845-1866? Therefore, the measures taken by the Government will be analyzed and identified in order to obtain sustainable income based on the export of the Guano and evaluate the years in which they had financial difficulties

The investigation has required to reference various sources on websites of the Internet in addition to books serving as a summary of the contemporary history of Peru, highlighting especially the era of the guano. As can be seen at the blog post entitled The “Era del Guano”: Introduction by Juan Luis Orrego (2008) and the book entitled, Contemporary Peru of Gustavo Pons Muzzo (1971). The importance of both lies in the fact that the first collects important but synthesized data from the era of the guano, making references to various objective points, which makes it more relevant;The second shows the context of the beginning and end of the era of the guano and thus explains in detail how the boom and shortage of the same.

Source No. 1: Contemporary Peru

The first source speaks of the period in which exports from Guano to North America and Europe begin in addition to talking about its decline. The purpose of the source is to demonstrate that the guano was a resource that was extinguished and that it was not considered by the rulers and so that the financial crisis of the state budget began with the consequent consequences to the population, which in this case isexpanded by the facts mentioned to demonstrate the author’s main thesis.

The source is of high credibility because the author has proven to be a historian, a specialist in Peru’s History, and the information he has adds value due to the elaboration and research tests present when exact dates and totally objective references are used

On the other hand, although the author is aware of the subject, it is limited by the fact of synthesizing the information to be able to provide a summarized explanation but it could be adapted so that it has a much more academic format.

Source No. 2: The "Era del Guano": Introduction

The second source is a broad summary of the economic and international crisis of the time of the Guano which explains that the liberal and conservative trend of Ramón Castilla because he began to pay both his external and internal debt, in addition to spending the money and having a debtenormous. Thus, the purpose of the source is to show through objective facts that Peru lived in those times as expected, wanting to be as much as the countries of Europe, in addition to demonstrating that the facts support that the "country of the guano" declined byExcessive caudillism.

The source demonstrates prestige because it has been coordinated by a group of acclaimed historians at different times, included in the book and approved by resolution of the Ministry of Education, concluding that the content of the book with 20 historical chapters, includes very well the forms of expressionobjective.


When he was democratically elected in 1845 for his first government Ramón Castilla, he began in a period of relative political peace and an economic bonanza generated by the unexpected export of the guano, an indispensable fertilizer to meet the needs generated by the demographic growth of North America and Europe.

It should be noted that the guano, quickly became a very important export product for Peru in those years. The first budget prepared by the Government of Ramón Castilla, in the year of 1846, the Guano represented only 5% of the total income, representing 80% of the income of the amount for the years between 1869 and 1875.

However, the Peruvian State did not have the necessary resources to exploit the Guano, so some contracts with the private sector were established, because an important investment was needed to be able to exploit it.

In 1840, agreements of a lease with Francisco Quiroz were signed, so that the entire guano can exploit paying an annual rental. Between 1847 and 1862, consignment agreements with foreigners were granted, signing concessions with national companies in 1862.

During the government of José Balta, the Dreyfus contract was signed in 1869, through which the monopoly was granted to the French house to exploit and market the guano, committing to pay the Peruvian external debt, advancing to the State Funds, which theHe used to strengthen and modernize the State.

Without good it is true, this government of José Balta (1868 – 1872) was a prodigal in infrastructure works, the central railroad was building, the first samples of excesses in the expenses by the state of the State began to be received. At the end of this government, the election of the first civil president (Manuel Pardo and Lavalle), led to a military insurrection which ended with the murder of President José Balta, before a fierce response from the population of Lima, who executed the usurpers.

During 1841 and 1847, mainly the funds from the freight of the guano, were destined to pay the external public debt, which for the period 1850-1875 became one of the highest in Latin America, so that the finances of the finances of thePeruvian government depended mainly on the international price of the guano.

In 1873, agriculture and the European industry were affected by a strong economic crisis, which generated that the international price of raw materials are considerably reduced, among which was the guano.

During the Government of Manuel Pardo, in 1875 the saltpeters were expropriated, with the purpose of covering the deficit generated by this crisis, however these income was not enough to cover the debts contracted by the State, generating that Peru be declared in bankruptcyin 1876.

Peru had not been able to become a modern or prosper. 

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