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Nation Building in Peru

             From 1879 to 1883, a war between Peru and Chile engaged in war for the control of nitrate deposits in southern Peru. This war nonetheless helped define the role of lower class Peruvians in national construction. Bonilla believes in the failure of national integration with the peasants. It is important to first study Peru's situation before the war with Chile in order to understand the context of the events that occurred soon after. The economic and social situation of Peru was in shambles after its separation from Spain. Significant parts of the economy (mines and agriculture) deteriorated. Guano, a product in high demand, was exploited for political purposes. Chilean invasion worsened the situation. Chile's military victory resulted in forcing Peruvian landowners to face the Chilean army on their own. General Andrés Cáceres organized a resistance formed of peasant guerrilla bands. .
             Through the confrontation, a strong sense of nationalism was developed. No such nationalism was recognized by the upper-class. The hacendado class renounced the resistance in search for peace with Chile while the peasants "shed their banner of nationalism- but lacked the foundation. Bonilla conclude by stating that "the national integration of the peasantry in the context of Peru is still, as in so many other cases, an unfulfilled promise."".
             Mallon inspects basic historical events and emerges with an opposite conclusion. "Whether they were mustering the initial willingness to fight, struggling over the narrative of completed battles, demanding legitimacy as soldiers and citizens, or debating the form of their reintegration into the postwar sociopolitical order, the village and townspeople of the central highlands helped forged new perspectives of the meaning of nation."" The war with Spain renewed tensions between the lowland authorities and highland shepherds due to the battle over the control of precious resources.

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