Patria Chica

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Patria Chica

Patria Chica, literally the "small homeland." The term expresses the sense of affiliation with local entities—villages, regions, ethnic groups—that challenged and sometimes overcame loyalty to the state. Within the Hispanic and Hispanic-American worlds this tension between the immediate and the distant communities created conflicting political and social identities. The expression of loyalty to the patria chica and the degree to which local identities predominated varied widely within Spain's American empire, depending on ethnic and class factors, regional political conflicts, economic cycles, and distance from imperial administrative centers. During the independence movements of the early nineteenth century, the concept of patria chica played a key role by providing an alternative political identity for Creole elites.

See alsoSpanish Empire .


Anthony Pagden, "Identity Formation in Spanish America," in Colonial Identity in the Atlantic World, 1500–1800, edited by Nicholas Canny and Anthony Pagden (1987).

Additional Bibliography

Brading, D. A. The First America: The Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriots, and the Liberal State, 1492–1867. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Domínguez Ortiz, Antonio. La sociedad americana y la corona española en el siglo XVII. Spain: M. Pons, 1996.

Morgan, Ronald J. Spanish American Saints and the Rhetoric of Identity, 1600–1810. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2002.

                              Ann M. Wightman