Can citizenship rights be denied to significant groups in a society that regards itself as civilized and self-governing? Is it possible to exclude such people in the name of freedom and reason? Is it plausible to explain classifications that differentiate between first- and second-class citizens as “natural”?
This is the paradox inherent in modern politics, born of the revolutions that ended the Ancien Régime in the western world. Throughout the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth, liberalism inspired a representative form of government that appealed to citizenship, yet marginalized many social groups, including natives, women, immigrants, workers, slaves and nomads. In the Hispanic dimension of the Atlantic world that this book deals with, modern politics was based on exclusions explained as natural and necessary. In both Europe and America, a distinction was made between the responsible citizen and those “others” in society, potential “enemies within”, who had to be controlled and supervised Sigue leyendo