Daily Lives of Civilians in Wartime Latin America: From the Wars of Independence to the Central American Civil Wars

Daily Lives of Civilians in Wartime Latin America: From the Wars of Independence to the Central American Civil Wars

Daily Lives of Civilians in Wartime Latin America: From the Wars of Independence to the Central American Civil Wars

Daily Lives of Civilians in Wartime Latin America: From the Wars of Independence to the Central American Civil Wars

Synopsis

The countries of Latin America have suffered through numerous foreign interventions and domestic wars in the nearly two centuries that have followed its independence. These conflicts have also given rise to mass mobilizations of middle-class professionals, women, peasants, urban workers, and Indians, who sought to carve out a more active public role in the new states that emerged from these struggles. In some cases, elites and their military allies violently repressed the newly emerging forces. Recent research has begun to place greater emphasis on the lives of common people and the interventions they had on the larger events of the day. Eight chapters written by different scholars show the the importance of the actions of civilians in wars in Latin America.

Excerpt

Few scenes are as poignant as that of civilian refugees torn from their homes and put to plodding flight along dusty roads, carrying their possessions in crude bundles and makeshift carts. We have all seen the images. Before photography, paintings and crude drawings told the story, but despite the media, the same sense of the awful emerges from these striking portrayals: the pace of the flight is agonizingly slow; the numbers are sobering and usually arrayed in single file along the edges of byways that stretch to the horizon. The men appear hunched and beaten, the women haggard, the children strangely old, and usually the wide-eyed look of fear has been replaced by one of bone-grinding weariness. They likely stagger through country redolent of the odor of smoke and death as heavy guns mutter in the distance. It always seems to be raining on these people, or snowing, and it is either brutally cold or oppressively hot. In the past, clattering hooves would send them skittering away from the path of cavalry; more recently, whirring engines of motorized convoys push them from the road. Aside from becoming casualties, civilians who become refugees experience the most devastating impact of war, for they truly become orphans of the storm, lacking the barest necessities of food and clothing except for what they can carry and eventually what they can steal.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.