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Indian and Slave Royalists in the Age of Revolution


  • 2 b/w illus. 5 maps
  • Page extent: 294 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.54 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9781107084148)

Royalist Indians and slaves in the northern Andes engaged with the ideas of the Age of Revolution (1780–1825), such as citizenship and freedom. Although generally ignored in recent revolution-centered versions of the Latin American independence processes, their story is an essential part of the history of the period. In Indian and Slave Royalists in the Age of Revolution, Marcela Echeverri draws a picture of the royalist region of Popayán (modern-day Colombia) that reveals deep chronological layers and multiple social and spatial textures. She uses royalism as a lens to rethink the temporal, spatial, and conceptual boundaries that conventionally structure historical narratives about the Age of Revolution. Looking at royalism and liberal reform in the northern Andes, she suggests that profound changes took place within the royalist territories. These emerged as a result of the negotiation of the rights of local people, Indians and slaves, with the changing monarchical regime.

• Brings Latin America to the center of the debate on the Age of Revolution which has previously focused mainly on the Caribbean • Puts indigenous people and enslaved Africans in the same analytical frame, exploring their legal and political strategies during the Age of Revolution • Based on extensive research in multiple archives in Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, and the United States


Introduction. Law, empire, and politics in the revolutionary age; 1. Reform, revolution, and royalism in the Northern Andes - New Granada and Popayán, 1780–1825; 2. Indian politics and Spanish justice in eighteenth-century Pasto; 3. The laws of slavery and the politics of freedom in late-colonial Popayán; 4. Negotiating loyalty - royalism and liberalism among Pasto Indian communities (1809–19); 5. Slaves in the defense of Popayán - war, royalism, and freedom (1809–19); 6. 'The yoke of the greatest of all tyrannical intruders, Bolívar' - the royalist rebels in Colombia's southwest (1820–5); Conclusion. The law and social transformation in the early republic.


'One of the great merits of this book - and something that makes it truly unique - is that it analyzes black and Indian political strategies within the space of the same historical narrative. Echeverri skillfully stretches conventional understandings of the geography of the Atlantic world by writing the history of a royalist bastion along the northern Pacific coast of South America. The breadth and depth of historiographical engagement in this manuscript is quite remarkable. There are only a handful of books that I have encountered that equal Echeverri's mastery of these diverse historical literatures.' Yanna Yannakakis, Emory University

'This book is an innovative, broad, accessible, intelligent rethinking of the wars of independence in South America from the perspective of Indians and blacks who supported the royalists. It reconceptualizes political culture in the transition from colony to republic, demonstrating that royalism and liberalism were not polar opposites but entwined. This is not a narrow case study, but, instead, a re-envisioning of colony to republic in Andean South America. Nonetheless, Echeverri accomplishes this through a fine-grained social and political history of Popayán. What she achieves is presenting these findings and arguments in a broad, comparative perspective.' Charles Walker, MacArthur Foundation Endowed Chair in International Human Rights, Director of the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas, and Professor of History, University of California, Davis

'This book contributes to several important bodies of scholarship, including Atlantic studies, particularly the historiography on the Age of Revolutions, the burgeoning field of legal history in Latin America, and the scholarship on race, ethnicity and nation making in the region.' Alejandro de la Fuente, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics, and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

'Echeverri offers a fine work of social and political analysis, informed by close and detailed knowledge of the regions and groups studied, and framed by a strong grasp of the wider historical literature on subaltern politics under Spanish rule. Her book opens a new window onto popular politics in Spanish America during the wars of independence, and provides a 'state of the art' entry into the burgeoning recent scholarship on the Spanish legal system, the formation of identities within the Spanish monarchy, and the role of race and ethnicity in shaping the wars of independence and the republics that emerged from them.' Anthony McFarlane, The English Historical Review

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