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Inter-Colony Dynamics

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines two interlinked processes, the construction of a community that spans across the territories of different states, and the dynamics of colony fission and formation. It argues that these cross border practices and colony fission and formation are the two main strategies the Mennonites deploy in order to cope with the problems of demographic growth, external state impositions, and internal conflict. Different colonies from Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, Mexico and Belize belong to the Altkolonier Reinlaender Mennoniten Gemeinde. During the author's research, there were a total of forty-one Mennonite colonies in Bolivia, of which fifteen belonged to the Old Colony. The chapter argues how the Mennonites apply translocal and cross-border strategies for the maintenance of community, and that these practices are implemented in order to cope with three problems: demographic growth, internal dissent, and state intervention.

Keywords:Argentina; Belize; Bolivia; cross border practices; Mennonites; Mexico; Old Colony; Paraguay



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