Crafting a Republic for the World is a work of great ambition. It reconstructs how a host of postcolonial elites attempted to create a pioneering, modern republic in the former territories of the Viceroyalty of New Granada. To do so, these elites not only daringly advocated for the creation of a modern republic in a hostile world of empires and monarchies but also led the way in using science, cartography, political economy, and multiple modes of sociological analysis to assemble a coherent republican nation in which commodities and people circulated freely. This development ultimately enabled a vast array of former subjects of the Spanish monarchy to become citizens of a worldly Colombian republic.

This bold argument leads del Castillo to several important historiographical interventions. First, she pushes against the commonly held trope among historians that the nineteenth century was an unfortunate period besieged by caudillismo, regional strife, and never-ending...

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