Bolivar's Revolutionary Armies In The Modern Era

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The author of Revolutionary Armies in the Modern Era began this book as an update of existing research on the topic of revolutionary armies. However, in researching for the piece he came across two problems that were nearly universal in works studying the revolutionary armies in the modern era. The first problem was that the comparative analysis utilized in most works ignored the human lives and flaws of the individuals. The second problem was that revolutions had to produce new ways of fighting and a new rugged type of soldier. In recognizing these two things Mackenzie changed the goal of his work. His new goal was to create a work analyze how common views on revolutionary armies had arisen and examine how these views differ from the realities of the time. In this piece the author’s sources were largely secondary sources, largely…show more content…
In his goal to show how the realities of Bolivar’s revolutionary army differ from the common beliefs of historians Mackenzie has a tendency to focus nearly exclusively on the flaws of the army while ignoring the positive sides of the army and campaign. Even when he did acknowledge positive aspects of the army he would follow this with derisive attacks on the positives. An example of this can be seen after he admitted the usefulness of foreign soldiers, “But it is worth noting that in the early days one of the generals, Rafael Urdaneta, claimed that he preferred ten battles to one march with the British legionnaires.”(Cite, 62) This clear bias is likely caused partly by the fact that Mackenzie lacks a sufficient number of primary sources for the work. However, given that his sources include the books by Masur and Madriaga which show both the pros and cons of the revolutionary armies, it is impossible to argue that some of Mackenzie’s bias was an intentional bias by commission that actively sought to ignore facts that disagreed with his
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