The purpose of this article is to assess the political, diplomatic, and ethnic dynamics of the Mosquito Kingdom, an Afro-indigenous alliance based along Central America's Caribbean coast, during the eighteenth century. Drawing from new archival sources—most notably those of the National Archives of Costa Rica—this essay first examines the political organization of the Mosquitos, demonstrating that early leaders consolidated their authority by unifying different factions into a powerful confederation with expansionist tendencies. This essay then presents new evidence against the hypothesis that ethnic rivalry was a major source of factional conflict within the kingdom and thereby calls for a reexamination of the causes of the confederation's descent into civil war in 1791.

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