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Hemispheric Encounters

The Early United States in a Transnational Perspective


Edited By Gabriele Pisarz-Ramirez and Markus Heide

In the decades following the American Revolution, literary and cultural discourses, but also American collective and individual identification were shaped by transatlantic relations and inter-American exchanges and conflicts. The way Americans defined themselves as a nation and as individuals was shaped by such historical events and social issues as the Haitian Revolution, the struggles for independence in Spanish America, ties with Caribbean slave economies, and rivalries with other colonial powers in the Americas. Contextualizing transatlantic and inter-American relations within a framework of the Western Hemisphere, the essays collected in this volume discuss inter-American relations in the early United States, and in American, European and Spanish-American writing of the period.
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Gabriele Pisarz-Ramirez – From “Southern Brethren” to “Treacherous Cowards”: Temporal Narratives of Latin America in Early Nineteenth-Century U.S. America


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Gabriele Pisarz-Ramirez

From “Southern Brethren” to “Treacherous Cowards”: Temporal Narratives of Latin America in Early Nineteenth-Century U.S. America

The October 1824 issue of the Atlantic Magazine, a New York periodical edited at this time by Robert Charles Sands, published an article entitled “South America” that discusses European prejudices against the new republics emerging on the American continent after the end of Spanish rule. The article—a reprint from the Biblioteca Americana in London1—refutes the opinion of many Europeans that the new republics could not succeed, given their political instability, the weakness and ignorance of their patriots, and the “anti-republican aspect of all their political experiments” (“South America” 464). The undisclosed authors of the article characterize this opinion as a strategy employed by European powers to diminish the force of the revolutionary movements in South America and “to arrest the progress of those glorious principles which these united tyrants [the European powers] have denounced as blasphemous and damnable heresies” (464–65). As the authors point out, portraying Latin American republics as unable to rule themselves is an expression of these powers’ concern over the loss of their influence in the region and a discursive maneuver that would not prevent the end of European despotism in Latin America. “In Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Chili and Buenos Ayres,” they make clear that “whatever be the constitution of the existing government, the authority of Spain is utterly, and, we trust, forever, at an end” (466). After emphasizing...

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