Revolutionary Interlocutors: Inter-American Diplomacy and Commercial Networks in the Venezuelan Struggles for Independence, 1810–24

Saturday, January 7, 2017: 10:30 AM
Room 501 (Colorado Convention Center)
Edward Pompeian, St. Olaf College
Three issues discouraged Simón Bolívar as he struggled to free South America from Spanish rule: race war and pardocracia (the rule of mixed-race blacks over whites), entrenched regionalism; and the United States’ refusal to support his cause.  Like Bolívar, many Venezuelan patriots expected the United States to be a natural ally for Spanish American independence.  After all since 1797, trans-Atlantic commercial networks had deeply tied the Spanish colonial provinces of Venezuela to the United States.  This paper focuses on merchants’ and traders’ attempts to profit from revolution in Venezuela, and it examines their influence on international relations during South America’s longest and most violent struggle for independence.  Already well-practiced cultural go-betweens, merchants and traders were the principal agents of inter-American diplomacy during the Age of Revolutions.  They became revolutionary interlocutors, and, thereby, shaped early Latin American-U.S. relations.
Previous Presentation | Next Presentation >>