1st Edition

Independence and Nation-Building in Latin America Race and Identity in the Crucible of War

    188 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    188 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Independence and Nation-Building in Latin America: Race and Identity in the Crucible of War reconceptualizes the history of the break-up of colonial empires in Spanish and Portuguese America. In doing so, the authors critically examine competing interpretations and bring to light the most recent scholarship on social, cultural, and political aspects of the period.

    Did American rebels clearly push for independence, or did others truly advocate autonomy within weakened monarchical systems? Rather than glorify rebellions and "patriots," the authors begin by emphasizing patterns of popular loyalism in the midst of a fracturing Spanish state. In contrast, a slave-based economy and a relocated imperial court provided for relative stability in Portuguese Brazil. Chapters pay attention to the competing claims of a variety of social and political figures at the time across the variegated regions of Central and South America and the Caribbean. Furthermore, while elections and the rise of a new political culture are explored in some depth, questions are raised over whether or not a new liberal consensus had taken hold. Through translated primary sources and cogent analysis, the text provides an update to conventional accounts that focus on politics, the military, and an older paradigm of Creole-peninsular friction and division. Previously marginalized actors, from Indigenous peoples to free people of color, often take center-stage.

    This concise and accessible text will appeal to scholars, students, and all those interested in Latin American History and Revolutionary History.


    1. Colonialism, Enlightenment, and Reform

    2. Sovereignty and Insurgency in the Revolutionary Atlantic

    3. The 1814 Restoration

    4. Total War

    5. Loyalism, Monarchy and Constitutionalism in America

    6. Nations-in-the-Making: The Republican Tradition in Latin America

    7. Epilogue: Postcolonialism

    Appendix: Primary Source Documents


    Scott Eastman, Professor of Transnational History at Creighton University, USA, most recently has written A Missionary Nation: Race, Religion, and Spain’s Age of Liberal Imperialism, 1841–1881 (2021) and contributed articles to European History Quarterly and Historia y Política, among other journals. He has received major funding from LASA and the Fulbright Commission.

    Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, Professor of Latin American History at the University of Kent, UK, has written The Caudillo of the Andes: Andrés de Santa Cruz (2011), in addition to several books in Spanish. She has published in European History Quarterly and The Americas and has been funded by grants and awards from the Leverhulme Trust, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, LASA, and the British Academy.

    Eastman and Sobrevilla Perea broaden our understanding of Latin American independence by exposing the multifaceted and multilayered nature of this transformative period. This nuanced history gives voice not only to familiar names but also to heretofore-underrepresented participants and explores the complex motivations that inspired both the defenders of empire and their opponents. Ambitious and creative in its approach, Independence and Nation-Building in Latin America will inform the debate around this subject for a new generation of students and scholars.

    Dr. Timothy Hawkins, Indiana State University, USA