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Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin
AmericaRace, Nation, and Community During the Liberal Period$
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Nicola Foote and Rene D. Harder Horst

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034874

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034874.001.0001

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Subaltern Strategies of Citizenship and Soldiering in Colombia's Civil Wars

Subaltern Strategies of Citizenship and Soldiering in Colombia's Civil Wars

Afro- and Indigenous Colombians' Experiences in the Cauca, 1851–1877

(p.25) 1 Subaltern Strategies of Citizenship and Soldiering in Colombia's Civil Wars
Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin America

James E. Sanders

University Press of Florida

This chapter explores why Afro- and Indigenous Colombians' experiences with soldiering and civil war differed so much in the Cauca region of southwestern Colombia, one of the relatively few regions of Latin America where large numbers of both Indians and people of African descent lived in close proximity. It proposes that Afro-Colombians embraced military service as a way to claim citizenship and increase their political voice as members of the Colombian Liberal Party. Saddled with a colonial identity marked by slavery and the lack of a public voice, and with few historical claims to the new republican nation in the form of past rights, privileges, or resources, Afro-Colombians saw military service in the defense of the Liberal Party as a path to citizenship.

Keywords:   Afro-Colombians, civil war, Cauca, soldiering, Liberal Party, citizenship

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