Peasants and the revolution of 1781 in the viceroyalty of New Granada (Colombia)


1 July 2014


Volume 1 – Number 5

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Héctor J. Martínez Covaleda



Recent historiography on the revolution of 1781 in New Granada(Colombia) argues that it was a “traditionalist” revolution that did not seek a break with the colonial pastortoachieveindependencefromSpain.Afteranew review of the documentary sources, recent economic and social historiography and economic theory, it is concluded that the revolution of 1781 was essentially peasant and plebeian, and shows important traits of a modern revolution. The revolution arose in a context of broad economic and social changes in New Granada and the policies of the Spanish Crown. The plebeians had the ability to galvanize all sectors of society in New Granada even the bureaucratic elite of the colonial State for a common political project. In the process, very diverse interests and aspirations of the social groups emerged, but the elite factions that had a greater degree of political and military organization were finally able to impose their political project.


Viceroyalty of New Granada (Colombia), Peasants, Revolution of 1781