Focusing on late nineteenth-century insurgent movements for self-government, sovereignty, and political representation in Bolivia in 1899, this essay explores issues of regional antagonism, elite fragmentation, and incipient class divisions within Indian peasant communities. I discuss the theoretical and methodological stakes involved in analyzing the Bolivian Federal War of 1899 and detail existing historiographic debate. Then I explore the geographic and historical coordinates of the Indian community insurgency, leadership, and political representation, as well as revolutionary consciousness. Finally, I describe how victorious Liberal elites used the trope of race war to criminalize community insurgents, whose leaders were subject to trial, imprisonment, and execution, and stress the importance of linking national political struggles to local-level conflicts and indigenous visions of political alternatives. I caution against reading insurgent projects in the Federal War of 1899 in terms of subaltern nationalism

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