Mixed into Unity

Diego A. von Vacano

in The Color of Citizenship

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746668
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932337 | DOI:
Mixed into Unity

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This chapter examines the republican response to the imperial period’s emergent racialization through an analysis of the ideas of Simón Bolívar. It argues that, while most instances of republican theory ignore or minimize the importance of race to politics, the writings of Bolívar place it at their center. Bolívar’s rejection of imperialism led him to espouse republicanism as a way not only to gain independence from Spain and other encroaching foreign powers, but also to create stability and order out of racially and ethnically diverse societies. Bolívar believed the mixing of European, African, and indigenous blood in the Americas was creating an entirely new racial identity in the modern period. This inherent admixture distinguishes Hispanic Americans from Europeans or North Americans, according to Bolívar. Far from advocating radical democracy grounded on the General Will of Rousseau, or a liberal commercial republic along the lines of Montesquieu, Bolívar’s central aim was to create, in Machiavellian fashion, the martial and civic conditions to preserve independence under conditions of extensive racial miscegenation and diversity

Keywords: Bolívar; republicanism; race; Machiavellian; pardos; Rousseau; Montesquieu; imperialism; dictatorship; diversity

Chapter.  14491 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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