Latin America: State-Building and Nationalism

Nicola Miller

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780199209194
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

Latin America: State-Building and Nationalism

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  • History of the Americas



This chapter challenges the widely held view that nationalism in Latin America was mainly civic until the end of the nineteenth century and mainly ethnic thereafter, arguing that both civic and ethnic factors have interacted with each other throughout the period since independence. Debates about cultural distinctiveness between the former colonies began soon after independence; conversely, various forms of civic nationalism, particularly constitutionalism and economic nationalism, have persisted into the twenty-first century. The historical experiences of Latin America vividly illustrate that the two processes of state-building and nation-formation, still so often analysed separately, are best understood in relation to each other, and that the most successful nationalisms have been founded on a combination of civic and ethnic factors.

Keywords: Liberalism; republicanism; sovereignty; imperialism; history; racial mixing; universalism; cultural nationalism; economic nationalism; populism

Article.  8939 words. 

Subjects: History ; History of the Americas

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