Rafael Carrera and the Emergence of the Republic of Guatemala, 1821-71 (Hardback)
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A propos de cet article
Titre : Rafael Carrera and the Emergence of the ...
Éditeur : University of Georgia Press, United States
Date d'édition : 1993
Reliure : Hardback
Etat du livre :New
A propos de ce titre
Rafael Carrera (1814-1865) ruled Guatemala from about 1839 until his death. Among Central America’s many political strongmen, he is unrivaled in the length of his domination and the depth of his popularity. This “life and times” biography explains the political, social, economic, and cultural circumstances that preceded and then facilitated Carrera’s ascendancy and shows how Carrera in turn fomented changes that persisted long after his death and far beyond the borders of Guatemala.From the Back Cover:
Caudillismo, the personality cult of the "great man," has been a primary catalyst in Central American politics since the Spanish Conquest. In Guatemala, where this passion for charismatic and forceful leaders is especially strong. Rafael Carrera is unrivaled in the length of his domination and the depth of his popularity. Based on extensive research in Central American archives, this monumental, revisionist narrative provides the most balanced and detailed account to date of Carrera's times and of his conservative legacy. Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., explains the political, social, economic, and cultural circumstances that preceded and then facilitated Carrera's ascendancy and also shows how Carrera in turn fomented changes that persisted long after his death and far beyond the borders of Guatemala. An illiterate drifter of mixed blood, Rafael Carrera began his rise to power in 1837, on the eve of a conservative backlash against years of liberal rule in Guatemala. For more than a decade reforms aimed at rapid modernization and development had chipped away at the country's old Spanish institutions and customs - alienating and finally galvanizing the country's creole patriarchy, the Catholic Church, and the devout, tradition-bound peasantry. Carrera first led a small revolt in a mountainous rural district of eastern Guatemala, and as similar isolated uprisings escalated into a bloody, full-scale, reactionary revolution, he advanced quickly through the insurgents' ranks. A brilliant military strategist and tactician and an intuitive problem solver, Carrera knew how to charm people even as he exploited them, and he regarded brutality as a legitimate political tool. By 1839, at age twenty-five, he commanded the Guatemalan army; he was to remain the dominant caudillo on the isthmus, almost without interruption, until his death in 1865. Woodward establishes Carrera as an aberration of regional politics. He emerged from the revolution as something of a rural populist, able to mobilize Indians, Ladinos, and other segments of society that were disdained and feared by elites of all political leanings. His sway over the common people forced the elite factions to lay aside political differences in the interest of preserving their social status. Carrera himself thrived amid the resulting intrigue and ideological bickering, so secure at home that he often sent troops into neighboring countries to oust liberal elements. In this context of turmoil, Woodward traces many of Central America's present-day characteristics to Carrera's time: the region's reputation for economic and political instability, its minimal contributions to hemispheric trade, the prevalence of self-interest in politics, the dismaying similarities of liberal and conservative rhetoric and tactics, shortsighted alliances and agreements with foreign powers, and the rise of a powerful and arbitrary military class. Contradicting widely held notions, Woodward presents evidence that Guatemala enjoyed stable growth and an increase in agricultural exports during Carrera's reign. In addition, Woodward reassesses Carrera's administrative capabilities as well as the effects of his attitude of benign neglect toward his lower-class constituencies. Conveying the full sweep of events during the tumultuous first half-century of Central American independence, yet encyclopedic in rendering details of everyday life, this is a landmark workin the history of the Americas.
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