Postcolonial Cosmopolitan Republicanism: A Conceptual Approach to Nineteenth-Century New Granada/Colombia

Abstract: This article employs a conceptual approach to understand the place and importance of cosmopolitanism for Colombians between independence from Spain (in 1819) and the ensemble of liberal reforms that were designed to end enduring social and economic colonial structures (1846–1863). While the concept of cosmopolitanism did not play a conspicuous role during the first fifty years of the country’s independence, it constituted an ineludible component of its early republican vocabulary and practices. Furthermore, Colombian cosmopolitan republicanism is best understood as structurally ambivalent in that it promoted inclusive citizenship while embodying a civilizing mission directed toward its own Indigenous, African, and mestizo populations.

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