This panel seeks to open up new debates on post-independent Chile, by incorporating a rich variety of hitherto under-explored case studies, from perceptions of Bolivarian expansionism, and indigenous vocabularies of citizenship, to the monitorial education system.
This panel seeks to open up new debates on post-independent Chile. Incorporating a rich variety of hitherto under-explored case studies - from indigenous vocabularies of citizenship, to the monitorial education system, and the role played by drafters of constitutions - it challenges the four major limitations that have dominated much of the previous historiography. First, panellists explore the opportunities and possibilities of the period, as well as the well-documented difficulties and problems. The 1820s, they argue, was not merely a decade of anarchy and disorder, as has so often been claimed - especially by Liberal historians in Chile. It was also a time of fruitful experiments and profound reflections; just because the experiments were not successful (federalism, for example) does not mean they were necessarily doomed to failure from the outset. Second, the papers affirm that the decade is worth studying in its own right, for what happened then, not simply as the end of, or the transition to something else (the wars of independence and the Portalian regime respectively). Third, they investigate political practices as well as ideas (namely liberalism and republicanism), and when studying the latter they focus very much on the adaptation and moulding of international ideas to local circumstances. Finally, the panel aims to go beyond the 'nation-state' approach that is so prominent in many scholarly works on the early independence era, by drawing out and analysing not only the continental and global dimensions of the republican project, but also its (internal) regional permutations.