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cause led by creoles; republican discourse legitimized the objectives of this struggle; and patriarchal self-representations sought to validate creoles' political hegemony. On the other hand, the lower classes adopted creole discourse (when they did) to benefit from the imminent political change. Slaves adopted the nationalist rhetoric to avoid exclusion in the emergent "nations" and reap the benefits of the fight for independence; they echoed the egalitarian and nationalist discourse to further their quest for personal liberty; they appealed to creole paternalistic self-representation in order to seek individual protection within the patriarchal model.

The discourse analyzed here (and its articulations by different social sectors) reflected a specific aim at sociopolitical change20 rather than a permanent transformation. This becomes clear when we analyze nationalist discourse (the creole claim of a national identity beyond social divisions) in the light of the continuing discrimination of certain social sectors from political power. The invention of a Peruvian nation-ness was not without its long-term contradictions, if we consider the oppression of Indians which was virtually untouched (if not worsened) by independence. Against San Martín's prediction, Indian (as opposed to 'Peruvian', or 'Mexican') identity did not disappear.21

A retrospective analysis therefore leads us to the conclusion that nationalist rhetoric was, if anything, a political devise in the legitimation of the independence movement. This rhetoric opened a space of political negotiation for Indians and blacks, who adopted the very rhetoric used by creoles to further their own cause. But although nationalist rhetoric may have served to challenge the inequalities of Spanish-American societies when adopted by the oppressed social


20. Social, political and economic change was limited by the very ambiguities of the independent cause identified by Bolívar. Therefore, we talk of sociopolitical change advisedly. Independence from Spain did not cause drastic modifications in the social pyramid-except, of course, the virtual disappearance of the peninsular elite.
21. Indigenismo, the pride in being Indian developed in the early twentieth century, is an example of the failure of the national identification.
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