From Two Republics to One Divided

Contradictions of Postcolonial Nationmaking in Andean Peru

From Two Republics to One Divided

Latin America Otherwise

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Book Pages: 224 Illustrations: 1 map Published: June 1997

Author: Mark Thurner

History > Latin American History, Latin American Studies, Postcolonial and Colonial Studies

From Two Republics to One Divided examines Peru’s troubled transition from colonial viceroyalty to postcolonial republic from the local perspective of Andean peasant politics. Thurner’s reading of the Andean peasantry’s engagement and disengagement with the postcolonial state challenges long-standing interpretations of Peruvian and modern Latin American history and casts a critical eye toward Creole and Eurocentric ideas about citizenship and nationalism.
Working within an innovative and panoramic historical and linguistic framework, Thurner examines the paradoxes of a resurgent Andean peasant republicanism during the mid-1800s and provides a critical revision of the meaning of republican Peru’s bloodiest peasant insurgency, the Atusparia Uprising of 1885. Displacing ahistorical and nationalist readings of Inka or Andean continuity, and undermining the long-held notion that the colonial legacy is the dominant historical force shaping contemporary Andean reality, Thurner suggests that in Peru, the postcolonial legacy of Latin America’s nation-founding nineteenth century transfigured, and ultimately reinvented, the colonial legacy in its own image.


“[A] carefully researched and convincingly argued analysis of the transition from colonial to postcolonial rule in the Huaylas-Ancash region of north-central Peru. . . . [A]n impressive and compelling book, one that is sure to find a permanent place among important works on nation-making, and on state/subaltern relations, in the postcolonial Andes.” — David Nugent , Latin American Studies

“In this important book, Mark Thurner examines the contradictory place of Andean Indians in the Republic of Peru. He perceptively outlines the disagreements among the political elite about the Andean population, demonstrating that, while statemakers in Peru and other Spanish-American republics concurred that the republic should be stratified, they differed about the exact position of the Indians. Thurner excels at incorporating the Indians themselves into these debates. . . .” — Charles F. Walker, American Historical Review

“Given its remarkable intellectual depth and range, this book will emerge as one of the most widely read and admired works in Andean studies and beyond. This is historical anthropology at its very best.” — Paul Gootenberg, State University of New York at Stony Brook

“Theoretically engaged and narratively engaging, this smartly crafted volume beams light into the darkest corners of 19th-century Andean historiography. In the process, Thurner provides one of the most provocative treatments of peasant political culture I’ve read in years.” — Gil Joseph, Yale University


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Mark Thurner is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Florida.

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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1812-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1805-7
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