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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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Soldiers and Statesmen

Soldiers and Statesmen

Race, Liberalism, and the Paradoxes of Afro-Nicaraguan Military Service, 1844–1863

(p.42) 2 Soldiers and Statesmen
Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin America

Justin Wolfe

University Press of Florida

This chapter traces the struggles to define the parameters of popular liberalism, particularly in the Liberal stronghold of León, in the face of Conservative oligarchic exclusion and in relation to the popular rebellions and civil wars that engulfed Nicaragua between 1844 and 1863. Unlike early republican Colombia where white elites controlled liberal politics, in Nicaragua politics was dominated by Afro-Nicaraguan men from León. For soldiers, the colonial militia had provided the means to organize the black community and demand political inclusion. Liberal statesmen, by contrast, dismissed the colonial past in favor of a democratic future that promised equal opportunity.

Keywords:   liberalism, León, Afro-Nicaraguan, statesmen, colonial militia, postcolonial Nicaragua

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