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Soldiers as CitizensPopular Politics and the Nineteenth-Century British Military$
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Nick Mansfield

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620863

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620863.001.0001

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Overseas Military Adventurers, 1770–1861

Overseas Military Adventurers, 1770–1861

(p.122) 6 Overseas Military Adventurers, 1770–1861
Soldiers as Citizens

Nick Mansfield

Liverpool University Press

This chapter covers largely forgotten overseas military adventurers, who served in private armies between 1815 and 1860. They were mainly contracted as mercenaries by liberal or nationalist revolutionaries in South America and parts of Southern Europe. Given the intense government prosecution of radicalism in the post Waterloo period and the failure of potential or actual insurrection, some ex-soldiers went overseas to avoid persecution. The complex wars of liberation, particularly in South America, enabled these men to pursue their old trade whilst serving a progressive cause. The careers of both officers and rankers are analysed in the Americas, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy, with an assessment of their commitment to political radicalism. A special study is made of the largest group – the British Auxiliary Legion, 1835-8 - raised by the threatened Spanish liberal government.

Keywords:   Mercenaries, Revolutionaries, Nationalism, Liberalism, Latin America, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, British Auxiliary Legion (BAL)

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