Accepted paper:

Trans-border caudillos and exile: the Carreras and the Pincheiras in transnational perspective


Edward Blumenthal (Universite Paris 7 diderot/Universite Cergy Pontoise)

Paper short abstract:

Trans-border caudillos operating in the Andes attracted the support of opponents of the newly established post-independence authorities in Chile and the Rio de la Plata. These two case studies highlight how political movements crossed the new borders even as they helped form them.

Paper long abstract:

Trans-border caudillos such as the Carrera and the Pincheira brothers illustrate how exile in the early republican period played an important role in shaping national political projects. Following the independence wars, the new authorities in Chile and the Rio de la Plata had the difficult job of consolidating their authority, and exile was a tool they used to control political opposition. Various groups opposed to the sanmartinian power on both sides of the Andes, including Federalists, Loyalists and their indigenous allies, consolidated around independent armed exile groups, such as those led by the Carrera or the Pincheira brothers. Neither wholly "Chilean" nor "Argentine", these groups followed pre-existing colonial patterns of mobility, but gave them new political meaning, shaped by ideas of liberalism and federalism, but also loyalty to the Spanish king. At the same time, they were trans-Andean political movements whose political message found an echo on both sides of new national borders. These two case studies show that while the mountains were more of a connecting highway than a dividing line, political movements acting on both sides of the Andes had the effect of strengthening the nascent border between the two countries. Indeed, only when political authorities in Santiago and the Rio de la Plata cooperated were these threats eliminated. They also show the need to go beyond national boundaries when analyzing nineteenth century nation-building projects.


panel P13
New perspectives on political ideas and practices in post-independent Chile (1818-1830)