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Chapter 1 uses the case of the Carrera family of Chile, based principally upon their voluminous correspondence, to demonstrate how both men and women worked through extended family networks to carry out political plans. From 1810 to 1814, they were among the principal leaders of the independence movement in Chile. After 1814, as most of the Carreras went into exile, their efforts increasingly focused on opposition to the government established by their rival Bernardo O’Higgins. This chapter also analyzes contemporary expectations of one’s political affiliation and activism based upon both gender and specific familial roles. It reveals expectations that wives would further the causes of their husbands; hence they had to be watched closely in wartime but could be treated with sympathy in periods of national reconciliation. Male blood kin of one’s enemies were also regarded with suspicion, but husbands were presumed to act independently of their wives and in-laws.

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