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Indians/Native Americans and Creole Republics (Guy Thomson)

This session will explore the response of the Indian population of Mexico, Bolivia and Peru, to republican government during the Nineteenth Century. Given the length of this reading list, be selective. Read some Florencia Mallon for recent theoretical approaches. Then pick a region and a personality. You can concentrate on Mexico or Peru/Bolivia but try to read something from both N and S America.

For discussion:

1. How successful were Indians in conserving the protected status they enjoyed under colonial rule ? Were Indians concerned about become republican citizens ? (Ducey, Caplan, Thurner and Guardino)

2. To what extent, if any, did Indian communities participate in regional and national politics and economies ? (Mallon, Larson and Langer)

3. Why was Indian participation at these levels often labelled “Caste war” by Mestizo and Creole authorities ? (Rus)

4. To what extent were Indians in the Nineteenth Century aware of being Mexicans, Bolivians or Peruvians ? (Mallon, Platt and Thomson)

5. What do the stories of Pedro Pablo Atusparía, Juan Francisco Lucas and Felipe García tell us about differences in the process of nation-state building in Mexico and Peru ? (Thomson, McNamara and Thurner)



New post-1992 approaches: "subaltern studies", Gramschi and the importance if "local intellectuals", peasant nationalism, etc..

Florencia Mallon, Peasant and Nation: The Making of Postcolonial Mexico and Peru, Ch.1 "Political History from Below: Hegemony, the State and Nationalist Discourses" pp.1-22 (E-book on line)


Florencia Mallon, “Indian Communities, Political Cultures and the State in Latin America, 1780-1990”, Journal of Latin American Studies Vol. 1992, 35-53


Florencia Mallon, “Decoding the Parchments of the Latin American Nation-State: Peru, Mexico and Chile in Comparative Perspective”, in James Dunkerley, Studies in the Formation of the Nation State in Latin America 2002, 13-53.


Florencia E. Mallon, “The Promise and Dilemma of Subaltern Studies: Perspectives from Latin American History”, American Historical Review, Vol. 99, No. 5 (Dec., 1994), pp. 1491-1510



Indians and the Revolutions of Independence:

Michael Ducey, “Village, Nation, and Constitution: Insurgent Politics in Papantla, Veracruz, 1810-1821” Hispanic American Historical Review 1999, Vol.79, pp.463-93

Karen Caplan “The Legal Revolution in Town Politics: Oaxaca and Yucatan, 1812-1825” Hispanic American Historical Review, 83, No.2, 2003, 255-293.

Indians in Post-Independence Politics

Peter Guardino, "Barbarism or Republican Law. Guerrero's Peasants and National Politics, 1820-1846” The Hispanic American Historical Review 1995

Guy Thomson, 'Bulwarks of Patriotic Liberalism: the National Guard, Philharmonic Corps and Patriotic Juntas in Mexico, 1847-1888,' Journal of Latin American Studies 22, 1990:31-68.

Guy Thomson, 'Popular Aspects of Liberalism in Mexico, 1848-1888,' Bulletin of Latin American Research 10, 1991, 121-52.

Guy Thomson, 'Juan Francisco Lucas. Patriarch of the Sierra Norte de Puebla,' in The Human Tradition in Latin America ed. William H Beezley and Judith Ewell (Wilmington, 1988),1-13.

Florencia Mallon, "Reflections on the Ruins: Everyday Forms of State Formation in 19th C Mexico " in Gilbert Joseph and Daniel Nugent Everyday Forms of State Formation, pp.69-106.

Jan Rus, "Whose Caste War ? Indians, Ladinos and the Chiapas 'Caste War' of 1869," in Spaniards and Indians in Southeastern Mesoamerica eds. Murdo MacLeod and Robert Wasserstrom, Nebraska, 1983, 127-68

Patrick McNamara, Sons of the Sierra Juárez, Díaz & the People of Ixtlán, Oaxaca, 1855-1920 North Carolina, 2007.


Patrick McNamara, “Felipe García and the Real Heroes of Guelatao”, in Jeffery Pilcher, ed., The Human Tradition in Mexico 2003, pp.75-81

 Peru and Bolivia

Brooke Larson, Trials of Nation Making Ch.4 Peru: War, National Sovereignty, and the Indian Question, pp.141-202

Brooke Larson, section “Peru: National Sovereignty and the ‘Indian Problem’ ” . in “Andean Highland Peasants and the Trials of Nation Making during the Nineteenth Century”, in Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of Latin America Vol.III, Part 2, 558-703

Chs. By Heraclio Bonilla, Florencia Mallon and Tristan Platt, in Part III “Rebellion and Nation-State Formation: 19th Century Perspectives” in Steve Stern, ed., Resistance, Rebellion, and Consciousness in the Andean Peasant World Wisconson, 1987, 213-320.

Tristan Platt, ‘Simon Bolivar, the Sun of Justice and the Amerindian Virgin: Andean Conceptions of the Patria in Nineteenth-Century Potosi’, Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 25:1 (1993), 159-185.

Cecilia Mendez GIncas Si, Indios No: Notes on Peruvian Creole Nationalism and Its Contemporary Crisis” Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 28, No. 1. (Feb., 1996), pp. 197-225

Mark Thurner, “Atusparia and Caceres: Rereading Representations of Peru’s Late 19th C ‘National Problem’”, Hispanic American Historical Review 77, 1997, 409-441.

Mark Thurner “Republicanos and ‘La Comunidad de Peruanos’: Unimagined Political Communities in Postcolonial Andean Peru”, Journal of Latin American Studies, 1995, 291-318

Erick Langer, “Bringing the Economic Back In: Andean Indians and the Construction of the Nation-State in Nineteenth-Century Bolivia” Journal of Latin American Studies, 41, 3, August 2009, 527-551

Further Reading

Florencia Mallon, Peasant and Nation The Making of Post-colonial Mexico and Peru Berkeley, 1994

Mark Thurner, From Two Republics to One Divided Contradictions of Postcolonial Nation-building in Andean Peru 

Guy Thomson with David LaFrance, Politics, Patriotism and Popular Liberalism in Nineteenth-Century Mexico Juan Francisco Lucas and the Puebla Sierra

Peter Guardino, Peasants, Politics and the Formation of Mexico’s National State

Guy Thomson, “Agrarian Conflict in the Municipality of Cuetzalan” (Sierra de Puebla): The Rise and Fall of "Pala" Agustín Dieguillo, 1861-1894, Hispanic American Historical Review 71, 1991:205-58 (for shorter version of Pala Agustín’s career see my “Popular Aspects of Liberalism” above).

Peter Guardino, The Time of Liberty Popular Political Culture in Oaxaca, 1750-1850 (Mixtec, Zapotec: Mexico)

Karen D Caplan, Indigenous Citizens Local Liberalism in Early National Oaxaca (Maya, Mixtec, Zapotec: Mexico)

Michael Ducey, A Nation of Villages (Huaxtec and Totonac, Mexico)

Emilio Kouri, A Pueblo Divided (Totonac, Mexico)