Popular Sovereignty and the History of the Soul

Mark Thurner

in History's Peru

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035383
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038940 | DOI:
Popular Sovereignty and the History of the Soul

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This chapter further examines the deep political and figurative significance of Lorente's philosophical history of the soul of Peruvian civilization. Was Peru ready for a republican independence? This most historicist of political questions gave occasion to spirited debate in postcolonial republican Peru. The critics argued that concept of the republic was foreign to Peruvian history, and that an errant and ungovernable postcolonial Peru should return to the European breast of imperial monarchy or, failing that, follow the independent example of the neo-European constitutional monarchy of the empire of Brazil. This chapter argues that Lorente's postcolonial philosophical history of the Peruvian “soul” provided the political community of Peru with a positive and persuasive historicist narrative of its own modernity and contemporaneity as a sovereign historical subject. In contrast to the standard negative or “not yet” plots of most narratives of Peru then and now, Lorente's account maintained that Peru was ready for the popular sovereignty of the contemporary age of democratic revolutions.

Keywords: sovereignty; Sebastián Lorente; Peruvian civilization; republican independence; postcolonial Peru; imperial monarchy; neo-European constitutional monarchy; Brazil; Peruvian soul

Chapter.  23499 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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