El algodón en la Nueva Granada 1750 - 1810 : el principal producto agrícola del final de la era colonial
Arismendi Márquez, Santiago | 2015
"In the eighteenth century, in the viceroyalty of New Granada, favorable conditions existed to sustain sustained economic growth, contrary to the generalized idea that the Bourbon reforms generated economic stagnation, the empirical evidence points out the opposite: the growth of mining in Areas such as Popayán, Valle del Cauca and Antioquia were strong and sustained, even faster than silver mining in Mexico, the main cash store of the Spanish empire (Kalmanovitz, 2006, p.169).
The economic growth evidenced in mining was also noticeable in other activities such as agriculture and textile production. In his report of 1807, on economic and fiscal matters, Don José Ignacio de Pombo, explains the importance of the cotton trade as follows: "the cotton that is the main branch of agriculture and shipping, was exported from Santa Marta, Girón and Socorro "(De Pombo, 1965, p.127).
A prominent part of the appearance of cotton was the central region, specifically the subregion of Guanentá, composed approximately of the municipalities of Vélez, Socorro, San Gil and Girón, which currently belong to the department of Santander. For the Census of 1779, this sub-region had approximately 102,000 people, almost 17% of the population of the viceroyalty (Tovar Pinzón, 1994, pp. 380 and 430). Guanentá was characterized by the presence of cotton and fique cultivation, which forged the livelihood of a large number of people specialized in the manufacture of textiles, hats and espadrilles, among others. These characteristics allowed it to be the second most dynamic area of the region with a growth in the period between 1763 and 1813 of 3.5% of the tithes per capita, above the average of the central region that was 2.9% ( Kalmanovitz, 2008, pp. 84-86). "- Extract from the document