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La Educación
Número: (117) I
Año: 1994

14. Jane M. RAUSCH. The Llanos Frontier in Colombian History, 1830-1930. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1993. 413p., maps, illustrations, glossary, bibliography, index. Cloth: $50.00.

The Llanos Orientales of Colombia which occupy the eastern fifth of the country, (east and south of the Eastern Andean Cordillera to the Venezuelan border), is one of the little-known regions of South America. Professor Jane M. Rausch, who has written extensively on Colombia’s history, dedicates this well researched volume to show the great role that this region has played in the evolution of this country. Professor Rausch analyzes wars and rebellions that shook the country in the nineteenth and twentieth century in which men from the Llanos participated, mainly as a result of anger against a central government who ignored the economical, political and administrative needs of the peripheral regions.

The volume is divided into nine main chapters, a preface, and a conclusion. Chapters one to five study the geography, history and politics of Colombia during the Nineteen Century, focusing on their effects on the Llanos’ region. The titles include: “New Granada and the Llanos Frontier,” “The Missionary Reprise, 1821-49,” “The Liberals and the Llanos, 1849-63,” “The Territorial Initiative, 1863-86” and “Regeneration á la Llanera, 1886-99.” In the remaining chapters, six to nine, Professor Rausch concentrates on the twentieth century history of the Region with the following titles: “War and Dictatorship, 1899-1909,” “The National Intendency of Meta, 1909-30,” “The Comisaría Especial of Arauca, 1909-30” and “Casanare, Province of Boyacá, 1909-30.”

In the six pages of the conclusions on the Colombian Llanos, the historian summarizes economical changes, regional identities, and the influence of religious missions and tensions along the Venezuelan border. She exposes the impact of the “colonos” from Cundinamarca and from regions of Venezuela to the Llanos de San Martín, who, on the one hand, brought relative prosperity to the Llanos while, on the other, created unresolved legal battles to gain land titles. After her reflections on the national policy toward the frontier between 1830 and 1930, the author points out the need to build a more rational system of territorial rule. This task was partially undertaken four years later (between 1934 and 1938) by President Alfonso López Pumajero.


Isabel Rodríguez Vergara