9780822943471

Under the Flags of Freedom : Slave Soldiers and the Wars of Independence in Spanish South America

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780822943471

  • ISBN10:

    0822943476

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-06-28
  • Publisher: Univ of Pittsburgh Pr
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Summary

During the wars for independence in Spanish South America (1808-1826), thousands of slaves enlisted under the promise of personal freedom and, in some cases, freedom for other family members. Blacks were recruited by opposing sides in these conflicts and their loyalties rested with whomever they believed would emerge victorious. The prospect of freedom was worth risking one's life for, and wars against Spain presented unprecedented opportunities to attain it. Much hedging over the slavery issue continued, however, even after the patriots came to power. The prospect of abolition threatened existing political, economic, and social structures, and the new leaders would not encroach upon what were still considered the property rights of powerful slave owners. The patriots attacked the institution of slavery in their rhetoric, yet maintained the status quo in the new nations. It was not until a generation later that slavery would be declared illegal in all of Spain's former mainland colonies. Through extensive archival research, Blanchard assembles an accessible, comprehensive, and broadly based study to investigate this issue from the perspectives of Royalists, patriots, and slaves. He examines the wartime political, ideological, and social dynamics that led to slave recruitment, and the subsequent repercussions in the immediate postindependence era.Under the Flags of Freedomsheds new light on the vital contribution of slaves to the wars for Latin American independence, which, up until now, has been largely ignored in the histories and collective memories of these nations.

Author Biography

Peter Blanchard is professor of history at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Origins of the Peruvian Labor Movement, 1883-1919 and Slavery and Abolition in Early Republican Peru.

Table of Contents

A Historical Traditionp. 1
Serving the King in Venezuela and New Granadap. 17
Fighting for the Patria in the Rio de la Platap. 37
Changing Loyalties in the Northp. 64
Controlling Slave Recruitment in Chile and Perup. 86
Recruitment and Resistancep. 113
The Personal War of Slave Womenp. 141
The Survival of Slaveryp. 160
Notesp. 183
Bibliographyp. 225
Indexp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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