Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Race, Nation and History in Spanish America (Rebecca Earle)

This session explores the connections between nationalism, citizenship and race through an examination of nation-building ideologies in nineteenth-century Spanish America.

For discussion

1. What is creole patriotism? What importance did it accord indigenous history?

2. What role did the preconquest past play in the construction of national identity in post-independence Spanish America?

3. To what extend were Native Americans embraced as either ancestors or citizens by national elites?



Bradford Burns, E., The Poverty of Progress: Latin America in the Nineteenth Century (Berkeley, 1980).

Bushnell, David, and Neill Macauley, The Emergence of Latin America in the 19th Century (New York, 1994).

Chasteen, John Charles, Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America (New York, 2002), chapters 5-7.

Hamnett, Brian, A Concise History of Mexico (Cambridge, 1999), chapters on the 19th century.

Williamson, Edwin, The Penguin History of Latin America (London, 1992), chapters 7-8.

Creole Patriotism

Brading, David, Prophecy and Myth in Mexican History, Cambridge University Press (1984).

Brading, David, The First America, the Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriots, and the Liberal State, 1492-1867 (Cambridge, 1991). This is a vast tome; read selectively.

Brading, David, The Origins of Mexican Nationalism (Cambridge, 1985).

Earle, Rebecca, ‘Creole Patriotism and the Myth of the Loyal Indian’, Past & Present 172 (2001), pp. 125-45.

Florescano, Enrique, Memory, Myth and Time in Mexico from the Aztecs to Independence (Austin, 1994).

Pagden, Anthony, ‘Identity Formation in Spanish America’, in Colonial Identity in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800, eds. Nicholas Canny and Anthony Pagden (Princeton, 1987).

Pagden, Anthony, Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination. Studies in European and Spanish-American Social and Political Theory, 1513-1830, Yale University Press (New Haven, 1990).

Patriotic History and Cultural Nationalism

Earle, Rebecca, ‘Padres de la Patria and the Ancestral Past: Celebrations of Independence in Nineteenth-Century Spanish America’, Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 34:4 (2002), pp. 775-805.

Earle, Rebecca, ‘Sobre Héroes y Tumbas: National Symbols in Nineteenth-Century Spanish America’, Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 85:3 (2005), pp. 375-416.

Mendez G., Cecilia, ‘Incas Si, Indios No: Notes on Peruvian Creole Nationalism and Its Contemporary Crisis’, Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 28:1 (1996), pp. 197-225.

Tenorio-Trillo, Mauricio, Mexico at the World’s Fairs: Crafting a Modern Nation, University of California Press (Berkeley, 1996).

Citizenship, Nationalism and Race

Dawson, Alexander, ‘From Models for the Nation to Model Citizens: Indigenismo and the ‘Revindication’ of the Mexican Indian, 1920-40’, Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 30 (1998).

Knight, Alan, ‘Racism, Revolution and Indigenismo: Mexico, 1910-1940’, The Idea of Race in Latin America, 1870-1940, ed. Richard Graham (Austin, 1990).

Sábato, Hilda, The Many and the Few: Political Participation in Republican Buenos Aires (Stanford, 2001).