The Plebeian Republic (Paperback)
The Huanta Rebellion and the Making of the Peruvian State, 1820-1850
Duke University Press, 9780822334415, 343pp.
Publication Date: April 21, 2005
In addition to official sources such as trial dossiers, census records, tax rolls, wills, and notary and military records, Mendez uses a wide variety of previously unexplored sources produced by the mostly Quechua-speaking rebels. She reveals the Huanta rebellion as a complex interaction of social, linguistic, economic, and political forces. Rejecting ideas of the Andean rebels as passive and reactionary, she depicts the barely literate insurgents as having had a clear idea of national political struggles and contends that most local leaders of the uprising invoked the monarchy as a source of legitimacy but did not espouse it as a political system. She argues that despite their pronouncements of loyalty to the Spanish crown, the rebels' behavior evinced a political vision that was different from both the colonial regime and the republic that followed it. Eventually, their political practices were subsumed into those of the republican state.