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Estudios atacameños

On-line version ISSN 0718-1043


CONTRERAS CRUCES, Hugo. With promises of liberty. The enrollment of slaves in the Peruvian independence war, 1820-1825. Estud. atacam. [online]. 2019, n.63, pp.131-146. ISSN 0718-1043.

This article studies the enrollment process of slaves for the armies that fought for the independence of Peru. This was marked by the conjunctures of the conflict and in few occasions, it was due to a planned effort for adding new troops. The willingness of the slaves themselves to enlist, the donations of their masters and, even, the forced recruitment made by the patrols of the military corps in the streets of Lima, were how these serfs became a part of the army. On the other hand, the promises of immediate liberty or after a certain amount of years’ service also depended on the wars’ conjunctures. The worse the military situation for the patriots, of whom this article is principally about, the faster liberty could be reached. This was reflected in the decrees that regulated the recruitment of the black troops, leading to diverse legal statuses and to continuous disputes with the once masters of the enlisted slaves, evidenced in long trials after the war was over and the independence of Peru was secured.

Keywords : independence; recruitment; slaves; promises of liberty.

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