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American Civil WarsThe United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Crisis of the 1860s$
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Don H. Doyle

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631097

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631097.001.0001

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Arms and Republican Politics in Spanish America

Arms and Republican Politics in Spanish America

The Critical 1860s

(p.185) Chapter Nine Arms and Republican Politics in Spanish America
American Civil Wars

Hilda Sabato

University of North Carolina Press

By the 1820s, Spanish America had become a republican area. While in Europe nineteenth century experiments in the republic had been short-lived, the post-colonial Spanish American nations in the making adopted republican forms of government that proved long-lasting. A crucial dimension of republicanism occupied centre stage in the following decades: the model of defence and the role of armed institutions in the polity. This chapter explores the main features of that model, which was based upon the figure of the citizen-in-arms and deeply enmeshed in the values and institutions of self-government. It focuses upon the organization of military forces; the role of the militia, the National Guard, and the professional armies in the polity; the use of force and the resort to revolutions as a regular feature of politics. Finally, it examines the impact of “the crisis of the 1860s” that initiated a long and tortuous process of change, which eventually brought about the dismantling of the initial system.

Keywords:   Spanish American republics, Militia, Citizens-in-arms, Military forces, Revolution

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