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Caudillos in Spanish America 1800–1850$
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John Lynch

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198211358

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198211358.001.0001

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Rafael Carrera: Guatemala 1837–1865

Rafael Carrera: Guatemala 1837–1865

9 Rafael Carrera: Guatemala 1837–1865 (p.365)
Caudillos in Spanish America 1800–1850

John Lynch

Oxford University Press

Rafael Carrera followed a different route to the top from that of most national caudillos and learnt the art of leadership in more primitive conditions. Carrera played a major role in the Mita rebellion of 1837, when 2,000 peasants rioted against the district governor of Mita. Carrera came to power with a personal display of terrorism and a demonstration of savagery by his Indian troops; having perpetrated two massacres, these were now on the streets of Guatemala City, a protection against his enemies and a warning to his allies. Victory in the rebellion and power in the capital owed much to Carrera's leadership. It also depended on the active support of Indians and mestizos. And both Carrera and his followers had the indispensable blessing of the Catholic Church. Through his role in the insurrection of Mita, Carrera had accumulated enough military power to impose his will on government without holding high political office, a standard test of caudillism.

Keywords:   Rafael Carrera, Guatemala, caudillos, caudillism, rebellion, Mita, Catholic Church, terrorism, Indians, mestizos

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