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The People Are King: The Making of an Indigenous Andean Politics (Hardback)
  • The People Are King: The Making of an Indigenous Andean Politics (Hardback)
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The People Are King: The Making of an Indigenous Andean Politics (Hardback)

(author)
£64.00
Hardback 312 Pages / Published: 14/01/2020
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In the sixteenth century, in what is now modern-day Peru and Bolivia, Andean communities were forcibly removed from their traditional villages by Spanish colonizers and resettled in planned, self-governed towns modeled after those in Spain. But rather than merely conforming to Spanish cultural and political norms, indigenous Andeans adopted and gradually refashioned the religious practices dedicated to Christian saints and political institutions imposed on them, laying claim to their own rights and the sovereignty of the collective. The People Are King shows how common Andean people produced a new kind of civil society over three centuries of colonialism, merging their traditional understanding of collective life with the Spanish notion of the comun to demand participatory democracy. S. Elizabeth Penry explores how this hybrid concept of self-rule spurred the indigenous rebellions that erupted across Latin America in the eighteenth century, not only against Spanish rulers, but against native hereditary nobility, for acting against the will of the comuneros. Through the letters and documents of the Andean people themselves, The People Are King gives voice to a vision of community-based democracy that played a central role in the Age of Atlantic Revolutions and continues to galvanize indigenous movements in Bolivia today.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780195161601
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 574 g
Dimensions: 242 x 159 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Elizabeth Penry offers a sharply original account of the Andean Age of Rebellions, placing it in a culture of civic populism whose roots extended to both pre-conquest Peru and medieval Spain. Where previous narratives have gravitated toward charismatic leaders, The People Are King breathes a democratic spirit that is both moving and persuasive. * Jeremy Mumford, Brown University *
This meticulously researched and gracefully narrated look at the transformation over time of the public sphere in indigenous communities of highland Bolivia offers readers a remarkable window into how and why the Great Rebellion of the 1780s unfolded by focusing on communities instead of on the leadership. Instead of concentrating on the Native lords that historians commonly document, Penry focuses on how local indigenous councils wrested authority from hereditary rulers, and how they organized using popular festivals and the mails. She shows how Native Andeans created forms of popular sovereignty that evolved over two centuries by combining Spanish forms of institutionalized authority with their own political structures and values into what she calls 'an elaborate synthesis that [led] to revolutionary conclusions.' This is an unusual and exciting second look at the prelude to independence in Spanish America. * Joanne Rappaport, author of The Disappearing Mestizo *
Elizabeth Penry's skillfully crafted study reconstructs the ways colonial Andean comunes or commons became grassroots laboratories where modern ideas of communal self-government and popular sovereignty gradually emerged. Her vivid analysis of village life in the highlands of colonial Charcas over three centuries reveals how commoner-led republics reconciled the ethos of solidarity and mutual obligation of Pre-Columbian kinship groups with Castilian concepts of town government, corporatism, and civic Catholicism, in a synthesis that drew from both traditions but was, in fact, reducible to neither of them. Inscribed in the best traditions of Andean history and ethnohistory, The People Are King is a much-needed contribution to the intricate ways indigenous community politics helped establish the foundations of the modern world. * Jose Carlos de la Puente, author of Andean Cosmopolitans: Seeking Justice and Reward at the Spanish Royal Court *

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