Alternate Author Name(s)

Adalberto Lopez

Document Type


Date of Award



Investments, French, Guano, Peru, Economic conditions, 19th century

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Charles E. Freedman

Second Advisor

Thadd E. Hall


The study of these seven years provide an illustration of economic-imperialism, and the problems faced by both sides in the relationship. Peru was dependent upon Dreyfus alone to provide it with a substantial part of its income, for the Dreyfus contract stipulated that Peru could not use its guano, its only negotiable resource at the time, as a mortgage for any further loans with anyone but Dreyfus. The French syndicate exercised no overt control over Peru, but the fact that Peru's economic well being was dependent on the Syndicate's success, restricted the freedoin of the government. Yet at the same time, the syndicate was dependent on the good will of the Peruvian government. Once Dreyfus lost that good will, as he did in 1872 with a change in government, the possibility of extending his activities in Peru was sharply curtailed. The Guano Syndicate's relations with Peru are also interesting because its position gave its members opportunity for further investment in Peru. Dreyfus founded a bank in Peru to handle the transactions of the syndicate. The Societe Generale acquired the concession for the construction and operation of a new harbor in Callao. Nevertheless, despite the Guano Syndicate's strong position in Peruvian economic affairs, it was unable to retain control of the guano trade, the key to the Peruvian economy, after 1876. The Peruvians, however, did not regain control of their guano trade; instead an English company took over the Guano Syndicate's I role, continuing Peru's dependence on foreign investment.