As an ideology, civic virtue inspired rebellion throughout the Age of Revolution, most famously in the United States and Francebut also in the Spanish American independence movements of the 1810–1820s. Throughout the Atlantic world, however, the appeal of virtue faded, usually within a decade after the violent phase of each revolution. This article explores the rise and fall of civic virtue in Venezuela, which adopted this North Atlantic ideology but then abandoned it within a decade of achieving independence. The investigation identifies three factors that challenged the persistence of virtue as an ideology in Venezuela: the power of regionalism, the increasing allure of liberalism, and the difficulty that most people faced in acquiring virtue. In addition, the article explores how the culture of honor transformed after independence to incorporate several characteristics of virtue. While virtue disappeared from public discourse, many of its features persisted in the new honor code.


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pp. 391-424
Launched on MUSE
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