This book covers the years from the breakdown of the Spanish Empire in America to the stabilisation of the new republic of Chile. It is a survey of the political ideas and the interplay of ideas and political action during the independence period. Whilst examining the influences making for change in late colonial Chile and the implications of political experiment and instability, much of the text is devoted to a description of the common ideology of the revolution. The author considers that the political theory was based on the notions of the social contract, the sovereignty of the people, representative government, the division of powers and a system of natural rights. It was derived from the liberal thought of the enlightenment and from the doctrines of the North American and French revolutions. But it was a complex of vaguer emotions and attitudes such as utopianism, anti-Spanish feeling, the 'black legend', an incipient nationalism and the idealisation of the Araucanian Indian which gave the revolution its mystique.
Table of Contents
Preface; Abbreviations; Part I. The Growth of the Revolution; Part II. The Revolutionary Ideology; Part III. Experiments in Government; Appendices and Sources; Index.