Arms for Revolutions: Military Demobilization after the Napoleonic Wars and Latin American Independence

TitleArms for Revolutions: Military Demobilization after the Napoleonic Wars and Latin American Independence
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBlaufarb, Rafe
EditorForrest, Alan, Karen Hagemann, and Michael Rowe
Book TitleWar, Demobilization and Memory: The Legacy of War in the Era of Atlantic Revolutions
Pagination100-118
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
CityBasingstoke, UK
Abstract

Demobilization in Europe after the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 released manpower and resources that tipped the balance of the ongoing struggle between insurgents and loyalists in Spanish America in favor of the former. By the end of 1815, Spanish loyalism had all but crushed insurgency in New Spain, Venezuela, and New Granada, and the insurgent leaders had fled. Within a year, however, they had returned and begun to win the victories that would bring down Europe's largest and oldest overseas empire. Historians have never convincingly accounted for this reversal of fortunes. Their accounts, generally focusing on high-level politics, overlook something obvious which changed after 1815: the insurgents could procure significant amounts of weapons for the first time in their struggle. That, coupled with the influx of foreign volunteers, shifted the balance of power in Spanish American in favor of the insurgents. Demobilization in Europe after 1815 meant independence in Spanish America.

URLhttps://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-1-137-40649-1_6
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917340703

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