State Building and Regionalism in Latin America: Central America and the Rio De La Plata, 1810-1850

Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Mark Szuchman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

N. David Cook

Third Advisor's Name

Victor Uribe

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study is to account for regional disintegration in Central America and the Río de la Plata following Independence. It is a comparison of the two regions that once existed as the Kingdom of Guatemala and the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. After independence these regions became nine separate states: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica in Central America; Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina in the Río de la Plata. The methodology used is the study of the late colonial period, the aftermath of the breakup of centralization, and the rise of the political strongman. Through this research I establish that the roots of nationalism never existed in the two regions. The research demonstrates that the states of Central America and the Río de la Plata exhibited signs of regionalism from their beginnings as colonial administrative centers to the formation of their political boundaries in the middle of the nineteenth century.



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