Armies, Politics and Revolution

Chile, 1808–1826

Juan Luis Ossa Santa Cruz

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ISBN: 9781781381328

Publication: December 31, 2014

Series: Liverpool Latin American Studies 13

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This book studies the political role of the Chilean military during the years 1808-1826. Beginning with the fall of the Spanish monarchy to Napoleon in 1808 and ending immediately after the last royalist contingents were expelled from the island of Chiloé, it does not seek to give a full picture of the participation of military men on the battlefield but rather to interpret their involvement in local politics. In so doing, this book aims to make a contribution to the understanding of Chile’s revolution of independence, as well as to discuss some of the most recent historiographical contributions on the role of the military in the creation of the Chilean republic. Although the focus is placed on the career and participation of Chilean revolutionary officers, this book also provides an overview of both the role of royalist armies and the influence of international events in Chile.

Juan Luis Ossa Santa Cruz is Executive Director of the Centro de Estudios de Historia Política at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Santiago, Chile.

Abbreviations Maps Introduction I. Themes and hypotheses II. Book structure III. A note on sources and terminology Chapter I: Building up a revolutionary army in Chile, 1808-1814 I. 1808-1810: internal responses to imperial crisis II. A conflict of politics, a conflict between provinces III. Revolutionary warfare in Chile IV. The political legitimization of a revolutionary movement Chapter II: Political and military counterrevolution in Chile, 1814-1817 I. Mariano Osorio’s political and military behaviour II. Francisco Marcó del Pont: alienating internal inhabitants, facing an external threat III. Was it possible to re-conquer Chile? Chapter III: Mendoza: the preparation of a South American army, 1814-1817 I. Chilean émigrés in a foreign territory II. The Army of the Andes and the militarization of civil society III. Chileans in the Army of the Andes. Spies, military intelligence and the guerra de zapa IV. Crossing the Cordillera Chapter IV: The establishment of a military regime in Chile, 1817-1823 I. Ruling over an unruly population II. Maipú: battle for territorial dominance III. Irregular warfare in the south of Chile IV. The personalization of politics Chapter V: Becoming a Chilean army. The Ejército Libertador del Perú, 1818-1823 I. The organization of the Ejército Libertador del Perú and the first Chilean navy II. Lima: royalist stronghold III. Internal conflicts, external consequences IV. Becoming a Chilean army Chapter VI: The political role of the military in the making of the Chilean republic, 1822-1826 I. The revival of Concepción and the Army of the South II. The political role of the military in the 1820s. The case of Francisco Antonio Pinto III. Politicizing the army in the Chilean Congress IV. Chiloé: capitulation of revolutionary warfare Conclusion References Index

In Armies, Politics, and Revolution, Juan Luis Ossa Santa Cruz examines the impact warfare had on political modernity in Chile between 1808 and 1826.Ossa Santa Cruz argues “that the revolutionary war was a prolonged experience that—for good or bad—had permanent effects on Chilean society” (5). The book describes in detail the different armies in wars that led to Chilean independence. It analyzes both royal forces and the Army of the Andes, which finally won the war and established—in the words of Ossa Santa Cruz—a military regime in Chile.
Ulrich Mücke, Latin American Research Review


Armies, Politics, and Revolution: Chile, 1808-1826 can be regarded as a significant contribution to the collection of books relating to Independence, especially with regard to the study of civil-military relations, to the the social impact of war and the politicization of the army at the construction stage in the framework of a welcome turn to a political and army.
Gabriel Cid, Universidad Diego Portales


This book takes a fresh look at Chilean independence, focused on war and the rise of military leadership. Based on extensive research in primary sources and entering into debate with recent historiography, it makes a valuable contribution to the literature on war and politics in the age of Latin American independence.
Anthony McFarlane  
University of Warwick

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 × 163 mm

288 Pages

ISBN: 9781781381328

Publication: December 31, 2014

Series: Liverpool Latin American Studies 13

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