Joshua Goode says Spain attributed its 1898 defeat to the racial inferiority of its soldiers — they were not mixed enough. Mixing the blood of Spaniards would also help dissolve regional divisions in the country.
They reasoned that when you choose the most robust youths for soldiers, you then remove their genes from the general pool. Thus do military adventures weaken the Spanish stock; soldiers must be selected differently.
There is more to this but I must find out when Spain, or anyplace outside Latin America, started valuing mestizaje. Goode is studying the 1870-1930 period but the answer to my question may be in his book or in one of the many others I have on this matter. Where did Bolívar get his ideas?
Well, he got them in part from Bello, who theorized a mestizo grammar and lexicon; what else did Bello say about mestizaje and statesmanship? I talk so far about mestizaje and culture from the point of view of language and Nebrija, but Bolívar spoke at Angostura at a time when the modern idea of national consciousness was quite new.
I have to follow up on this — does he have a single source for this idea? Will Maduro give me a grant to go to Venezuela and learn about these things?
One might also read Susan Martin-Márquez on Spanish identity in relation to its colonial adventures in Africa, and then that other book, The Return of the Moor.