Trials of Nation Making

Liberalism, Race, and Ethnicity in the Andes, 1810–1910

by Brooke Larson

This book offers the first interpretive synthesis of the history of Andean peasants and the challenges of nation-making in the four republics of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia during the turbulent nineteenth century. Nowhere in Latin America were postcolonial transitions more vexed or violent than in the Andes, where communal indigenous roots grew deep and where the 'Indian problem' seemed so daunting to liberalizing states. Brooke Larson paints vivid portraits of Creole ruling élites and native peasantries engaged in ongoing political and moral battles over the rightful place of the Indian majorities in these emerging nation-states. In this story, indigenous people emerge as crucial protagonists through their prosaic struggles for land, community, and 'ethnic' identity, as well as in the upheaval of war, rebellion, and repression in rural society. This book raises broader issues about the interplay of liberalism, racism, and ethnicity in the formation of exclusionary 'republics without citizens'.

  • Cambridge University Press; January 2004
  • ISBN: 9780511162589
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Trials of Nation Making
  • Author: Brooke Larson
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

"This masterful book is an expansion of Larson's important extended essay on nineteenth-century indigenes in the Andes...Larson has a commanding knowledge of the monographic literature about Andean indigenes." Journal of Interdisciplinary History Frank Safford, Northwestern University