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Independence in the Americas

independence lecture powerpoint


  • What did Simón Bolívar identify as the causes of the wars of independence?
  • Was there an 'age of Atlantic revolutions'?
  • What role did “ordinary people” play in these revolutions?

Required Reading:

Please read:

  • Bolívar, Simón, ‘The Jamaica Letter’, 1815. There are many translations available electronically

AND TWO of the following:

  • Adelman, Jeremy, 'An Age of Imperial Revolutions', American Historical Review, vol. 113:2 (April. 2008).
  • Bakewell, Peter, A History of Latin America (Oxford, 1997), Ch. 14: ‘Independence’. Available on-line through EBL e-books.
  • Blanchard, Peter, ‘The Language of Liberation: Slave Voices in the Wars of Independence’, Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 82:3 (2002)

Additional Readings

  • Adelman, Jeremy, "Independence in Latin America." Oxford Handbook of Latin American History, OUP, 2011. (e-book @ Library) [this is a useful recent survey of the changing historiography on the topic.]
  • Bakewell, Peter, A History of Latin America (Oxford: OUP, 1997), Chapter 14: “Independence”
  • Bethell, Leslie, ed., Cambridge History of Latin America, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, 1984), vol. III, chapters by Lynch, Anna, Bushnell, and Bethell, available as E-book at library (These chapters are also available in Leslie Bethell, ed., The Independence of Latin America (Cambridge, 1987).)
  • Burkholder, Mark, and Lyman Johnson, Colonial Latin America (Oxford, 2001), chapters 8: “Crisis and Collapse”.
  • Ducey, Michael, “Village, Nation, and Constitution: Insurgent Politics in Papantla, Veracruz, 1810-1821,” Hispanic American Historical Review, vol.79 (1999), pp.463-93
  • Graham, Richard, Independence in Latin America: A Comparative Approach (New York, 1994).
  • Guardino, Peter, Peasants, Politics, and the Formation of Mexico’s National State: Guerrero, 1800-1857, Stanford University Press (Stanford, 1996), chapter 2.
  • Brian Hamnett, “Process and Pattern: A Re-Examination of the Ibero-American Independence Movements, 1808-1826,” Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 29:2 (1997), pp. 279-328.
  • Helg, Aline, “The Limits of Equality: Free People of Color and Slaves during the First Independence of Cartagena, Colombia, 1810-1815,” Slavery and Abolition, vol. 20 (1999), pp. 1-30.
  • Larson, Brooke, Trials of Nation-Making: Liberalism in the Andes, 1810-1910 (Cambridge University Press, 2004) [e-book at Library]
  • Lynch, John, The Spanish American Revolutions, 1808-1826, WW Norton (London, 1973), chapters 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9.
  • Rodríguez O., Jaime, The Independence of Spanish America (Cambridge, 1998).
  • Van Young, Eric, “The Raw and the Cooked: Popular and Elite Ideology in Mexico, 1800-1821,” in Mark D. Szuchman, ed., The Middle Period in Latin American History: Values and Attitudes in the 18th-19th Centuries, Lynne Rienner (Boulder, 1989), pp. 75-102. (Re-printed in Arij Ouweneel and Simon Miller, eds., Indian Community of Colonial Mexico: Fifteen Essays on Land Tenure, Corporate Organizations, Ideology and Village Politics, CEDLA (Amsterdam, 1990], pp. 295-321.)
  • On Brazil:
  • Emilia Viotti da Costa, The Brazilian Empire: Myths and Histories (1985) especially chapter 2, “José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva: A Founding Father,” pp 24-52, and chapter 3, “Liberalism: Theory and Practice,” pp. 53-77
  • Hendrik Kray, “Daniel Gomes de Freitas,” in Peter Beattie (ed.), The Human Tradition in Modern Brazil pp 5-22 [e-book and several copies at Library]
  • Maxwell, Kenneth. Conflicts and Conspiracies: Brazil and Portugal, 1750-1808. Routledge, 2004. [e-book @ Library]

Audio source

"THe Haitian Revolution" with Tim Lockley. In Our Time, BBC Radio 4. Available @ BBC IPlayer or YouTube