Between 1776 and 1826 movements from Boston to Buenos Aires criticized, fought, and overthrew the European empires that had ruled the Americas for more than three centuries, creating independent states to govern in their stead. While these American Revolutions emerged from distinctive contexts and had divergent results, they also present striking and under-studied similarities, particularly in their intellectual dimensions. In this dissertation, I show that political thinkers across the hemisphere converged substantially in the arguments they offered in defense of their rebellions, the constitutional designs they proposed for independent societies, and the programs of territorial expansion they hoped to pursue once European rule had been abolished. I argue that these points of ideological convergence reflect the fact that the American independence movements were led by Creoles, the European-descended, American-born elite of the colonies, who sought, paradoxically, to end European imperialism in the Americas while preserving the social hierarchies the Empires had established. I provide evidence for this argument by systematically comparing three prominent Creole Revolutionaries: Alexander Hamilton of the United States, Simón Bolívar of Colombia, and Lucas Alaman of Mexico, showing that despite biographical, societal, and philosophical differences, all three had similar ideas of American independence. Finally, I suggest that a revised understanding of the Americas' independence, which takes better account of their ideological similarities, can sharpen questions about the causes of political and economic divergence in the post-independence development of the United States and Latin America.
|School Location:||United States -- Connecticut|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Latin American Studies, Political science|
|Keywords:||Alaman, Lucas, Bolivar, Simon, Colombia, Creole, Hamilton, Alexander, Ideology, Independence, Latin America, Mexico, Revolution, United States|
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