By Matthew Brown (auth.)
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Extra info for The Struggle for Power in Post-Independence Colombia and Venezuela
1 Imperial jealousy for control in order to deprive others of the joys of possession created a constant state of uncertainty on both sides of the Atlantic. All parties tried to strengthen their state institutions and their military defenses to ward off potential imperial predators. Even when British victory over the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar in 1805 created British naval supremacy in the Atlantic, and when Napoleon was definitely defeated 16 THE STRUGGLE FOR POW ER at Waterloo in 1815, this sensation did not disappear.
This chapter provides a brief overview of the births, backgrounds, and the political trajectories of the principal protagonists in the years before 1820. In total, 1,150 men fought at El Santuario, according to the most reliable figures: 370 rebels under Córdova and 780 government troops under O’Leary. All of Córdova’s army were Antioquians, most of them peasants and farmers recruited in the month before the battle. They included mestizos, slaves, free blacks, and indigenous people as well as white Creoles such as Córdova himself.
Piecing together these fragmentary sources can allow us to recreate both local and global histories. , name, age, and place of birth) are but a negligible proportion of the whole. General Daniel O’Leary had between 700 and 900 men under his command in the Colombian government forces, and Córdova’s “Army of Liberty” contained around 370 men, meaning INTRODUCTION 13 that there were around 1,200 veterans in all. We know more about officers than soldiers, an inevitable consequence of the historical sources and their archives, which for the nineteenth century tend to preserve records of the literate and the influential rather than of the illiterate or the dispossessed.
The Struggle for Power in Post-Independence Colombia and Venezuela by Matthew Brown (auth.)