Crawling towards Weber? Mexican State Capacity in the 19th Century

38 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2021

See all articles by Robin Grier

Robin Grier

Texas Tech University - Free Market Institute

Date Written: July 2020

Abstract

I examine 19th century Mexico for a better understanding of how and why it was so difficult to create the institutions of a modern state. I show that Mexico suffered from a vicious cycle in that period, something that is probably common to many developing countries, in that they needed a large army in order to create a monopoly on violence, but they did not have the money to fund such an institution. The chronic lack of funding led to a situation where the country was littered with roving bandits, and the central government had little ability to stop the constant revolts and banditry that prevailed. It was not until the late 19th century that the government was finally able to create a centralized police force and the beginnings of centralized, state control.

Keywords: Mexico, State Capacity, Roving Bandits, Economic Development

JEL Classification: N16, N36, N46

Suggested Citation

Grier, Robin, Crawling towards Weber? Mexican State Capacity in the 19th Century (July 2020). Free Market Institute Research Paper No. 3940700, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3940700 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3940700

Robin Grier (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University - Free Market Institute ( email )

Box 45059
Lubbock, TX 79409-5059
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
37
Abstract Views
377
PlumX Metrics