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Contested Nation

The Mapuche, Bandits, and State Formation in Nineteenth-Century Chile
By Pilar M. Herr

Details

Overview

Throughout the colonial period the Spanish crown made numerous unsuccessful attempts to conquer Araucanía, Chile’s southern borderlands region. Contested Nation argues that with Chilean independence, Araucanía—because of its status as a separate nation-state—became essential to the territorial integrity of the new Chilean Republic. This book studies how Araucanía’s indigenous inhabitants, the Mapuche, played a central role in the new Chilean state’s pursuit of an expansionist policy that simultaneously exalted indigenous bravery while relegating the Mapuche to second-class citizenship. It also examines other subaltern groups, particularly bandits, who challenged the nation-state’s monopoly on force and were thus regarded as criminals and enemies unfit for citizenship in Chilean society.

Pilar M. Herr’s work advances our understanding of early state formation in Chile by viewing this process through the lens of Chilean-Mapuche relations. She provides a thorough historical context and suggests that Araucanía was central to the process of post-independence nation building and territorial expansion in Chile.

Contributor Bios
Pilar M. Herr is an assistant professor of history and the coordinator for the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.