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Adventuring Through Spanish Colonies: Simon Bolivar, Foreign Mercenaries and the Birth of New Nations

Between 1810 and 1825, seven thousand British, Scottish, and Irish mercenaries traveled to Gran Colombia to fight against Spanish colonial rule under the rebel forces of Simon Bolivar. Their motives were mixed. Some traveled for money, others for honor. "Adventuring Through Spanish Colonies "explores the lives of these men—their encounters with other soldiers, indigenous people, local women, and slaves—as recounted in adventure stories, military histories, and British imperial history. As Matthew Brown illustrates, the history of Britain and its colonial subjects can no longer be easily defined. The colonists were themselves adventurers, penetrating Latin America beyond the formal boundaries of the empire during the early nineteenth century, and even (as these narratives show) fighting for its independence. As Brown demonstrates, these "foreigners" were an essential part of the revolution that eventually gave Spain's colonies their freedom. Using archival research from England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia, "Adventuring Through Spanish Colonies" clearly shows the active role these mercenaries played in the creation of Latin America as we know it today.
Adventuring Through Spanish Colonies: Simon Bolivar, Foreign Mercenaries and the Birth of New Nations
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Between 1810 and 1825, 7,000 English, Scottish and Irish mercenaries sailed to Gran Colombia to fight against Spanish colonial rule under the rebel forces of Simon Bolivar. Their motives were mixed. Some travelled for money, others travelled for honour. "Adventuring Through Spanish Colonies" explores the lives of these men their encounters with other soldiers, indigenous people, local women and slaves as recounted in documents that fall outside the usual remit of military, political and economic historians. Matthew Brown considers the social and cultural aspects of the presence of these foreigners', and shows how they were an essential part of the revolution which eventually gave South America its freedom. Using archival research from England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia, "Adventuring Through Spanish Colonies" clearly shows the active role that these mercenaries, informal outriders of the British Empire, played in the creation of Latin America as we know it today.
Matthew Brown is a Lecturer in Latin American Studies, University of Bristol.
Figures, Maps and Tables p. viii Preface p. ix Abbreviations p. xiii Introduction p. 1 1. The Context for Adventure p. 13 2 The Terrain of Adventure in Gran Columbia p. 39 3 The Practicalities of Adventure p. 61 4 Negotiating Honour p. 81 5 Nations and Armies p. 110 6 Race, Slavery and Abolitionism p. 133 7 Veteran Soldiers and the State p. 156 8 Settling In p. 173 9 After Adventure p. 202 Conclusion p. 214 Glossary p. 221 Bibliography p. 223 Index p. 259
This is a very enjoyable book to read, full of surprising and suggestive insights. Perhaps most importantly, it is an interpretation that adds complexity, and nuances, to long-standing historiographical views of British involvement in the Spanish American Wars of Independence, of early Spanish American concepts of nationhood and ethnicity, and of the impact these adventurers' actions had in the region. ... this is a noteworthy contribution Many people have tried to write this book, but Matthew Brown finally has done it properly. It is a work of astonishing ambition and considerable labor and, through his new methodology, the author arrived at some surprising conclusions. Adventuring through Spanish colonies is an ambitious and successful book. In short, this book is a much needed corrective to earlier, more speculative accounts of the British and Irish recruits in Gran Colombia's independence armies.
Author
Matthew Brown
Short Title
ADVENTURING THROUGH SPANISH CO
Pages
266
Publisher
Liverpool University Press
Series
Liverpool University Press - Liverpool Latin American Studie
Language
English
ISBN-10
184631044X
ISBN-13
9781846310447
Media
Book
Format
Paperback
Illustrations
Yes
Year
2007
Publication Date
2007-03-31
Imprint
Liverpool University Press
Subtitle
Simon Bolivar, Foreign Mercenaries and the Birth of New Nations
Place of Publication
Liverpool
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
DEWEY
980.02
Birth
1957
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