Martiniére, Guy. "Linvention dun concept opératoire: la latinité de l'Amérique." In Aspects de la coopération franco-brésilienne, 25-38. Grenoble: Presses Universitaires de Grenoble and Paris, Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’homme: 1982. Originally published in Contribution a l'étude de l'économie rétrospective du Brasil, essai d'historiographie. PhD Diss., Paris X, 1978.
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In this second chapter of French academic Guy Martinière’s book, Aspects de la coopération franco-brésilienne: Transplantation culturelle et stratégie de la modernité (1982), he presents a history of the use and political implications of the term “Latin America.” He begins by stating that the coinage has not always been widely accepted. He further explains that the term began as an “operative concept”—a construct indeed—and that during the first half of the nineteenth century, there was a concerted effort to find a new political vocabulary for the surge of independence that swept the continent under Spanish and Portuguese rule. It was now impossible to use vice-regal names such as New Spain (Mexico) or New Grenade (Colombia). Martinière explains that the new political vocabulary came from France and upon independence the territories were called Latin America for political and ideological reasons. This concept first appeared in print in a series of 20 volumes by Carlos Calvo (1862), the scope of which was astonishing. The failed imperial adventure of Napoleon III in Republican Mexico (1862-67) was embedded in that idea of “Latin” to describe the French political, cultural and economic objectives concerning the continent. He further explains the term’s reception in other European countries and how after France fell, it was cautiously used, noting that it was accepted in the Americas with new distinctions, most important of which included as chief priority the Catholic religion—the nature of the Latin legacy. This “Latin concept” was an essential and important one for both the French and South American ruling classes. Martinière then explains the new concepts of Latin America that began to take hold in the twentieth century, citing French historian Fernand Braudel and Italian historian Ruggiero Romano. He charts the development of later twentieth-century ideas about “Afro-Latin American-ness” in Cuba and the Americas, and “Indianismo” in Mexico and the Andean countries.
French academic and historian Guy Martinière (b. 1944) included this essay as a chapter of his doctoral thesis from 1978. It was first titled, Contribution a l'étude de l'économie rétrospective du Brasil, essai d'historiographie (These III, Cycle: Histoire, Paris X, 1978). The thesis was later edited and published as Aspects de la coopération franco-brésilienne (Grenoble, Presses Universitaires de Grenoble and Paris, Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’homme, 1982).