South America

Like a herald of lost Atlantis, Gregor MacGregor arrived in 19th-century London with news of a Central American utopia. Unfortunately, Poyais didn’t exist and its would-be emigrants found only a ‘sinister coast of disillusion’.

If Bolivia is so rich, why is it so poor? 

Ralegh's fateful attempt to discover El Dorado began on March 17th, 1617.

Cyril Hamshere describes how the British community in Argentina came to be, at one point, the largest outside the Empire.

In certain parts of Spanish America today O’Higgins is a name still remembered and honoured to an extent that would surprise the great majority of Irishmen who have never heard of the once famous Viceroy of Peru or of his son, the founder of Chilean independence.

In 1902, writes Norman Wilkinson, a revolutionary dictator named Castro provoked an Anglo-German naval demonstration off the coast of Venezuela.

At a low point in his fortunes, the Liberator sent an emissary to recruit troops in London. Philip Ziegler describes how their achievements were of various importance, but the flame of Simón Bolivar’s British Legion lives on.

George Washington had warned the American people against “the insidious wiles of foreign influence.” President Monroe, writes Arnold Whitridge, further developed “the thesis of non-entanglement.”

Of all the measures undertaken by President Peron, none was more popular in Argentina than the nationalization of the British-owned railway system.

In 1861 a young clergyman’s son arrived in British Guiana to oversee a sugar plantation. Over the next 30 years Henry Bullock’s letters home caught the texture of life in a remote backwater of Empire – though they don’t tell the whole story, as Gaiutra Bahadur explains.