Gabriel Garcia Moreno and Conservative State Formation in the Andes
AUTHOR: Henderson, Peter V. N.
PUBLISHER: University of Texas Press
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This book explores the life and times of Ecuador's most controversial politician within the broader context of the new political history, addressing five major themes of nineteenth-century Latin American history: the creation of political networks, the divisiveness of regionalism, the bitterness of the liberal-conservative ideological divide, the complicating problem of caudillismo, and the quest for progress and modernization.
Two myths traditionally associated with Garc#65533;a Moreno's rule are debunked. The first is that he created a theocracy in Ecuador. Instead, the book argues that he negotiated a concordat with the Papacy giving the national government control over the church's secular responsibilities, and subordinated the clergy, many of whom were highly critical of Garc#65533;a Moreno, to the conservative state. A second, frequently repeated generalization is that he created a conservative dictatorship out of touch with the liberal age in which he lived. Instead, the book argues that moderates held sway during the first nine years of Garc#65533;a Moreno's period of influence, and only during his final term did he achieve the type of conservative state he thought necessary to advance his progressive nation-building agenda.
In sum, this book enriches our understanding of many of the notions of state formation by suggesting that conservatives like Garc#65533;a Moreno envisioned a program of material progress and promoting national unity under a very different formula from that of nineteenth-century liberals.
PUBLICATION DATE: 1/4/2010
CATEGORY: Biography & Autobiography, History