To this day few scholars have given any particular attention to nineteenth-century Latin American political thought. Or, to put it differently, any notion that nineteenth-century Latin American political thinkers were original or came up with novel political ideologies, systems, practices, or philosophies has been either not given serious consideration or quite simply ignored. The prevalent view is that all the big ideas originated mainly in Europe (with some surfacing in the United States), crossed the Atlantic in due course, and were then taken up by Latin American politicians, generals, and intellectuals, adopted as well as adapted to suit the needs, customs, and idiosyncratic circumstances of their given countries or national contexts. There is ample evidence that Latin American politicians read and discussed the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Edmund Burke, Benjamin Constant, Montesquieu, and Alexis de Tocqueville, to name but a few European...

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