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Mapping the Country of RegionsThe Chorographic Commission of Nineteenth-Century Colombia$
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Nancy P. Appelbaum

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627441

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627441.001.0001

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A Seat among the Savants

A Seat among the Savants

Controversies after Codazzi

(p.184) 8 A Seat among the Savants
Mapping the Country of Regions

Nancy P. Appelbaum

University of North Carolina Press

The eighth chapter examines controversies that swirled around the commission’s final publications. In his final months, Codazzi fretted that the commission’s work would languish in obscurity, gathering dust in the archive. His worries were justified; most of the illustrations were indeed locked away for a century. In an effort to avoid this fate, he presented a detailed plan for deluxe and illustrated publications of detailed texts and maps, with which he intended to take his seat among the world’s savants and represent New Granada at the table of civilized nations. After his death in 1859, his cartography and reports were simplified, redacted, and published without illustrations, amidst a bitter feud that underscored the political significance of science and history. Tensions embedded in the commission erupted in the context of violent conflicts among competing Liberal factions over control of the state. Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera attacked the redactor of the commission’s work, Felipe Pérez, along with Codazzi’s own methods and findings. Controversies over the commission would become increasingly partisan later in the nineteenth century, as Liberals and Conservatives staked out competing interpretations of history, prehistory, and geography that reflected differing ideologies.

Keywords:   Agustín Codazzi, Conservatives, Liberals, Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, Felipe Pérez, Science

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