World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Caudillismo

Article Id: WHEBN0007629957
Reproduction Date:

Title: Caudillismo  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 1973 Chilean coup d'état
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Caudillismo

For the documentary film, see Caudillo (film).

Caudillo (Spanish pronunciation: [kawˈdiʎo]; Portuguese: caudilho [kɐwˈðiʎu]; Old Spanish: cabdillo, from Latin capitellum, diminutive of caput "head") usually describes a political-military leader at the head of an authoritarian power. The term translates into English as leader or chief, or more pejoratively as warlord, dictator or strongman. Caudillo was the term used to refer to the charismatic populist leaders among the people. Caudillos have influenced a sizable portion of the history of Latin America.

The term originally referred to military power: Indíbil and Mandonio, Viriathus, Almanzor (sometimes in the modern historiography), Don Pelayo and other fighters of the Reconquista, even Simón Bolivar, Francisco Franco, Juan Perón etc., but in Latin America another sense has developed: the caudillo lawyer and politician Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was honored with the title "Caudillo of The Colombian People" (and other nuances with a significance mostly demagogic) and even without state responsibilities like cacique in Spain and oligarchicalplutocratic power.

Origin

The related caudillismo is a cultural phenomenon that first appeared during the early 19th century in revolutionary South America, as a type of militia leader with a charismatic personality and enough of a populist program of generic future reforms to gain broad sympathy, at least at the outset, among the common people. Effective caudillismo depends on a personality cult.

The root of caudillismo lies in Spanish colonial policy of supplementing small cadres of professional, full-time soldiers with large militia forces recruited from local populations to maintain public order. Militiamen held civilian occupations but assembled at regular times for drill and inspection. Their salary from the Crown was a token; their reward was in prestige, primarily because of the fuero militar ("military privilege"), that exempted them from certain taxes and obligatory community work assignments (compare the feudal corvée), and more significantly, exempted them from criminal or civil prosecution. Away from colonial capitals, the militias were at the service of the criollo landowners.

Leadership

Charismatic image

Typically, the caudillos took it upon themselves to attain power over society and place themselves as its leader. Caudillos were capable of commanding large numbers of people and holding the attention of large crowds with growing excitement. In the late Roman Republic men like Gaius Marius along with his army of devoted scholars were populist commanders who had strong personal ties with their soldiers, and imagery of revived Roman values is often brought to bear in support of caudillismo. A similar phenomenon in Italy from the 13th to the 16th century repeatedly brought to power the condottieri, the charismatic leader of a band of mercenaries, when institutions of power temporarily failed.

Gaining of support

In the upheavals of the decades of revolution and its aftermath, leaders who were able to draw to themselves bands of loyal followers and keep them well armed and otherwise well cared for could assume the title of "general." Caudillos began to attain this power in the course of the Spanish American wars of independence, where the militias did much of the fighting and earned a heroic reputation. The caudillos used their small armed bands to overthrow the vulnerable newly independent states in South America. These caudillos were not always welcome, but they were not publicly condemned either. Some were large landowners (hacendados) who sought to secure their private interests, but more typically they began as vigilantes keeping the local peace for the hacienda, then gained independence of action and developed an anti-oligarchic public stance and finished by supporting an acquiescent establishment that included the Catholic Church.

Government structure

Since the caudillo typically held power by controlling a patronage network that brooked no rival structure, some caudillos took up an anti-clerical stand. Many of the caudillos used their newly gained power, which was unchecked because it was extra-constitutional, to promote their own wealth and interests. At the height of caudillismo, as in Venezuela, the national army was rendered superfluous by the personal armies of the caudillos: in 1872 Venezuela's federal troops were dismissed entirely.

See also

External links

  • "
  • "Venezuela: history of the Armed Forces"
  • "Los caudillos en América y España"
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.