There can be no doubt that nation-building was the most important political project in nineteenth-century Latin America. It emerged from three main sources: first, from the internal economic, social, and political contradictions of the colonial period, tinted by a Romantic exaltation of “feeling” and “identity”; second, from the modern liberal conviction that a legitimate state should be based on the consent of the people rather than, say, on dynastic succession or divine will; the third pillar was the belief that the nation-state should be based on an “inclusive” definition of citizenship. Following the French example, most newly formed Latin American governments adopted the Republican notion that anyone who accepted loyalty to the state could become a fully fledged “citizen.”1
KeywordsLegitimate State Mexican Society Reflexive Praxis Latin American Context Latin American Government
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