While the development of horizontal networks and black identities within the rebel army and later particularly in national infantry seems clear, it remains uncertain the nature of vertical networks between black soldiers and white officers as these links tied these soldiers with the larger political turbulence which underwent the region. On the one side, these networks could be understood within the caudillo politics emerging in nineteenth-century Latin America which provided continuity to patron-client relationships rooted in colonial times. On the other, these ties may be interpreted as evidence of political mobilization on the part of subaltern groups now acting within liberal politics. Instead of defining whether these ties expressed subaltern participation in liberal politics or old patterns of patron-client networks, this paper argues that these views may be seen just as the two ends of the same continuum: the new political relationships between elites and urban subaltern populations in nineteenth-century Latin America.
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