James Sanders asserts in this ambitious and important book that the young states of Spanish America, far from lagging behind the United States and Europe in the pursuit of liberty, democracy, and republicanism, stood at the “vanguard of the Atlantic world,” especially during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Focusing on these times of intractable political instability and international conflict, which North Americans and Europeans evoked to justify their imputation that Spanish America's fledgling republics were unfit for self-rule, Sanders argues passionately that it was precisely during this period that the egalitarian, democratic, and republican ideas suppressed elsewhere in the Atlantic world in the wake of the 1848 revolutions found their fullest expression, in what Sanders calls “American republican modernity,” the rise and decline of which constitute the leitmotif of the book. Readers familiar with Contentious Republicans: Popular Politics, Race, and...

You do not currently have access to this content.