This book offers the first interpretive synthesis of the history of Andean peasants and the challenges of nation-making in the four republics of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia during the turbulent nineteenth century. Nowhere in Latin America were postcolonial transitions more vexed or violent than in the Andes, where communal indigenous roots grew deep and where the 'Indian problem' seemed so daunting to liberalizing states. Brooke Larson paints vivid portraits of Creole ruling elites and native peasantries engaged in ongoing political and moral battles over the rightful place of the Indian majorities in these emerging nation-states. In this story, indigenous people emerge as crucial protagonists through their prosaic struggles for land, community, and 'ethnic' identity, as well as in the upheaval of war, rebellion, and repression in rural society. This book raises broader issues about the interplay of liberalism, racism, and ethnicity in the formation of exclusionary 'republics without citizens'.