Rachel Lora Lambrecht

Social Studies Teacher, Asociacion Escuelas Lincoln

Award Information

2011 IDRF Program

HistoryEmory University

Under the Coral Tree’s Shadow: Popular Politics and State-Building in the Rio de la Plata (1810-1820)

My project explores popular political participation in the Rio de la Plata littoral, a geographical area that today is part of Uruguay and Argentina but was once one same political body, the viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata. By integrating plebeian politics in the provinces of Corrientes, Entre Ríos, and the Banda Oriental in the aftermath of independence, I analyze the ways in which regional and local politics influenced state-building. I aim to expand the debate regarding the collaboration of the lower ranks by questioning the means in which these groups, i.e., Africans descendents, Indians, and poor white/mestizos, directly engaged in political conflicts. I ask whether these groups shared a common political culture and examine the nature and motivations of their contribution in relation to the colonial political framework and the development of a novel American identity. Thus, by showing how politics fluctuated during independence and by rethinking national boundaries, I will bring a new focus to demonstrate how popular political participation affected and influenced the debate over state building in the Rio de la Plata.