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Crafting a Republic for the World: Scientific, Geographic, and Historiographic Inventions of Colombia

Lina del Castillo

ISBN 10: 0803290748 / ISBN 13: 9780803290747
Published by University of Nebraska Press
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Title: Crafting a Republic for the World: ...

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Binding: Hardback

Book Condition: New

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In the wake of independence, Spanish American leaders perceived the colonial past as looming over their present. Crafting a Republic for the World examines how the vibrant postcolonial public sphere in Colombia invented narratives of the Spanish “colonial legacy.” Those supposed legacies included a lack of effective geographic knowledge, blockages to a circulatory political economy, existing patterns of land tenure, entrenched inequalities, and ignorance among popular sectors.

At times collaboratively, and at times combatively, Colombian leaders tackled these “colonial” legacies to forge a republic in a hostile world of monarchies and empires. The highly partisan, yet uniformly republican public sphere crafted a vision of a virtuous nation that, unlike the United States, had already abolished slavery and included Indians as citizens. By the mid-nineteenth century, as suffrage expanded to all males over twenty-one, Colombian elites nevertheless tinkered with territorial divisions and devised new constitutions to manage the alleged “colonial legacy” affecting the minds of popular voters. The book explores how the struggle to be at the vanguard of radical republican equality fomented innovative contributions to social sciences, including geography, cartography, political ethnography, constitutional science, history, and the calculation of equity through land reform. Paradoxically, these efforts created a kind of legal pluralism reminiscent of the Spanish monarchy during the “colonial” period. 


“This is the rare scholarly work that will make valuable contributions to not just one but three historical fields: the political history of republicanism, the cultural history of nineteenth-century mentalités, and the global history of science.”—James E. Sanders, professor of history at Utah State University Author: James E. Sanders

“Lina del Castillo’s work deepens our understanding of nineteenth-century Latin America as part of the vanguard of democracy.”—Rebecca Earle, professor of history at the University of Warwick Author: Rebecca Earle

“Deeply researched and innovative, Crafting a Republic for the World shows how nineteenth-century Colombians invented the notion of colonial legacies and how this notion was essential to the creation of a new science of republicanism. An inspiring account of how ideas about the past shape politics and policy!”—Marixa Lasso, associate professor of history at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia Author: Marixa Lasso

“According to Del Castillo’s sharp and provocative analysis, Colombia’s oft-cited ‘colonial legacy’ was actually a nineteenth-century construct, one that has far outlived its early republican creators as an explanatory framework for all that is wrong with modern Latin America. Crafting a Republic for the World will spark scholarly debate by forcing us to rethink this legacy.”—Nancy Appelbaum, professor of history at Binghamton University, SUNY Author: Nancy Appelbaum

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