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Historia Crítica

versão impressa ISSN 0121-1617


CABRERA HANNA, Santiago. “Primitive Sovereignty” and the Proclamations of the Municipalities in the Southern District during the Crisis of la Gran Colombia in 1826. hist.crit. [online]. 2019, n.71, pp.3-23. ISSN 0121-1617.


This article study the municipal proclamations in the Southern District of the Gran Colombia during the crisis of 1826. It analyzes the political discourse employed by the departmental seats of Guayaquil, Quito and Azuay. It also assesses the ways in which those cities organized their municipal assemblies. The course of the republican crisis was finally decided by the demands of these assemblies, which issued proclamations in favor of the republican order or its immediate reform, which meant that a local and corporate sovereignty (residing in the towns) prevailed over a national sovereignty (residing in the legislative branch). The sources used correspond to the proclamations and proceedings of the cities of Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, newspaper articles mentioned in the official gazette and the 1821 Constitución de Cucutá.


Studies of the crisis of la Gran Colombia and its repercussions in the Southern District usually focus on highlighting the role of the caudillos (political “strong men”) or the “needed/indispensable men” (hombres necesarios) as the builders of the north Andean republicanisms which followed the period of the Gran Colombia. In addition, it insists on the leading role of the city of Quito, which hauled the other cities towards the breakup of the federation and the creation of a new republican agreement. However, the interest of these articles focuses on an inquiry into the pronouncements of the cities which were departmental capitals, as the expression of their own agendas and appropriation of political language, with a view towards inserting their own voices into the context of the crisis. A study of the exercise of local sovereignties during the crisis throws light on this subject.


this investigation was guided by the approach of the “New Political History”. What it has done is to situate the proclamations in the departmental capitals of the Southern District in the framework of the crisis unleashed by the separatist revolution in Venezuela (the Cosiata Venezolana). It then scrutinizes the political language of these documents, with the aim of finding the uses of the term “sovereignty” in them and in the official documents. This was done in order to compare the ways in which that term was used both by the local assemblies, on the one hand, and the Constitución de Cucutá and the defenders of the republican order, on the other.

Palavras-chave : Cities; Sovereignty; Constitutionalism; Gran Colombia; municipality; popular assemblies; republicanism; Southern District; 19th century.

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