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Dancing Jacobins$
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Rafael Sánchez

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823263653

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823263653.001.0001

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Bullying for Independence

Bullying for Independence

(p.96) Chapter 2 Bullying for Independence
Dancing Jacobins

Rafael Sánchez

Fordham University Press

This chapter addresses the Venezuelan crisis of Independence arguing that it cannot be understood in terms of continuity, as resulting from contradictions brewing in the colonial order; instead, in line with well-known group of historians, it must be apprehended as the unintended consequence of the momentous disappearance of the Spanish Monarch, imprisoned by Napoleon in Bayonne, France. Such an event opened an unprecedented crisis of representation throughout the Spanish monarchy that issued in the implosion of the colonial order and the loosening, amidst horrifying violence, of postcolonial crowds upon the flattened landscapes of the postcolony. The ‘political’ as opposed to ‘politics’ is identified as the crucial instance that needs to be taken into account for understanding not only why the mentioned crisis resulted in independence, but, moreover, the kind of governmentality that formed in the latter’s wake. After a consideration of the debates taking place in the Venezuelan Congress both before and after the Declaration of Independence the chapter ends with a “excursus on the colonial crowds” that addresses the significance of these crowds as the one emergent phenomenon that ultimately explains why Independence eventually prevailed over and against other available alternatives.

Keywords:   Crisis of Independence, crowds, politics vs the political, republican imaginary

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