This book studies the political role of the Chilean military during the years 1808-1826. Beginning with the fall of the Spanish monarchy to Napoleon in 1808 and ending immediately after the last royalist contingents were expelled from the island of Chiloé, it does not seek to give a full picture of the participation of military men on the battlefield but rather to interpret their involvement in local politics. In so doing, this book aims to make a contribution to the understanding of Chile’s revolution of independence, as well as to discuss some of the most recent historiographical contributions on the role of the military in the creation of the Chilean republic. Although the focus is placed on the career and participation of Chilean revolutionary officers, this book also provides an overview of both the role of royalist armies and the influence of international events in Chile.
'This book takes a fresh look at Chilean independence, focused on war and the rise of military leadership. Based on extensive research in primary sources and entering into debate with recent historiography, it makes a valuable contribution to the literature on war and politics in the age of Latin American independence.'
Anthony McFarlane, University of Warwick
'Armies, Politics, and Revolution: Chile, 1808-1826 can be regarded as a significant contribution to the collection of books relating to Independence, especially with regard to the study of civil-military relations, to the the social impact of war and the politicization of the army at the construction stage in the framework of a welcome turn to a political and army.'
Gabriel Cid, Universidad Diego Portales
'In Armies, Politics, and Revolution, Juan Luis Ossa Santa Cruz examines the impact warfare had on political modernity in Chile between 1808 and 1826.Ossa Santa Cruz argues “that the revolutionary war was a prolonged experience that—for good or bad—had permanent effects on Chilean society” (5). The book describes in detail the different armies in wars that led to Chilean independence. It analyzes both royal forces and the Army of the Andes, which finally won the war and established—in the words of Ossa Santa Cruz—a military regime in Chile.'
Ulrich Mücke, Latin American Research Review