Open Borders in the Nineteenth Century: Constructing the National, the Citizen and the Foreigner in South America

36 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2017

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Date Written: September 15, 2017

Abstract

This working paper describes and explains the historical origins of the division between the national and the foreigner in South America. In the early nineteenth century, all the previously Spanish possessions in South America as well as Brazil achieved independence. With this new freedom, countries turned their attention to asserting their statehood through the delineation of three constitutive elements: government, territory and population. The new governments had to define who were going to be considered as nationals, citizens and foreigners, and the rights that pertained to each of these categories. These countries were all concerned with attracting new settlers and very early on introduced constitutional provisions on open borders and equal treatment for foreigners. White, male Europeans were the principal addresses of open borders provisions in an effort to entice them to settle in territories presented as empty to the exclusion of indigenous groups, bring new industries, and contribute to the whitening of mixed race populations. Whilst weak statehood came with independence, forming nations was a much longer process and States used migration and citizenship policies as tools to define nationhood.

Keywords: citizenship, migration, South America, naturalisation, nation

Suggested Citation

Acosta Arcarazo, Diego, Open Borders in the Nineteenth Century: Constructing the National, the Citizen and the Foreigner in South America (September 15, 2017). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. 2017/46. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3047008 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3047008

Diego Acosta Arcarazo (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

Wills Memorial Building
Queens Road
Bristol, BS8 1RJ
United Kingdom
44(0) 117 331 5512 (Phone)

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