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Varia Historia

Print version ISSN 0104-8775On-line version ISSN 1982-4343


PALACIO, Germán. The role of Law in the material and symbolic change of the Colombian landscape 1850-1930. Varia hist. [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.39, pp.17-45. ISSN 0104-8775.

This article entangles several aspects of the transformation of the Colombian landscape in both, its material and symbolic faces, since the middle of the nineteenth until the third decade of the twentieth century. Consequently, it describes, and analyses the legal system, particularly those aspects related to the private and the public property of land. It argues first, about the importance of the Civil Code to understand the whole nineteenth century project; and second, about "waste lands" (baldíos: public lands without legal proprietors) which are of crucial interest to understand the whole process. It thinks about Law, not simply as a written norm, but in its environmental interaction. It also goes beyond the apparent chasm posed by sociology of Law as "law in books and law in action". It concludes that the dualistic "Law of the State" tended - unfolded as private and public Law - to monopolize the legal phenomenon engendering symbolic and material changes of a landscape that was territorially fragmented and heterogeneously appropriated.

Keywords : Colombian landscape; "waste lands"; Civil Code.

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