Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Hispanic Studies and Political Science

First Advisor

Anne Lambright


Following a humiliating defeat in the War of the Pacific towards the end of the 19th century, Perú suffered severe economic and foreign policy repercussions. Such an event drew attention to an oligarchic tradition that accentuated the divide between the landowning elite and Andean indigenous culture. Perú was a state built upon an exploitative feudal economy that sapped an Andean laboring class of their resources and sustained the power of a landed capitalist class of “latifundistas.” In accord with the 20th century’s emergence of political philosophy and nation planning projects, Peruvian intellectuals José Carlos Mariátegui and Manuel González Prada rose to the scene with their own notions of national utopia. When assessing the political, economic, and ethnic implications of their utopias, there are evident overlaps and divergences in philosophical thought. However, both philosophical visions possess the intent of reconciling Peru’s fundamental Andean culture with its urbanized elites in order to forge a strong nation. Contemporary history affirms how fundamental these utopian thinkers were to Peru’s repertoire of Peru’s competing national discourses, as elements of the utopias of Mariátegui and González Prada both were drawn upon during contemporary political debates and the prolonged internal conflict of 1980-2000.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Studies and Political Science.