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8 - Views of the Latin American Independences from the Iberian Peninsula

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 March 2023

Marcela Echeverri
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
Cristina Soriano
Affiliation:
The University of Texas, Austin
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Summary

The various Atlantic and European entanglements of the age of Latin American independence make it difficult to establish solely “Iberian” perspectives of the events culminating in the independences. Nevertheless, this essay proposes four distinct periods, mostly based on developments in Iberian politics, including the Peninsular War and its aftermath, when elites in Spain and Portugal advanced distinct views and solutions to the crises unfolding in the Americas. Certainly, the situation was not the same in Spain and Portugal. Still, the many cross-pollinations in Spanish and Portuguese politics in the first quarter of the nineteenth century permit the use of shared chronological benchmarks. Indeed, the years of the French occupation of the Iberian Peninsula between 1808 and 1814, and the distinct challenges that the events in this six-year period created, loomed large in subsequent debates about imperial preservation, sovereignty, rights, and relations within the Iberian Empires. Large-scale, multisited, unrest in Spanish America since 1810, prompted the proposal of political and military solutions to guarantee the integrity of the empire and of what some viewed as a trans-Atlantic “Spanish nation.” In Portugal, the debates revolved around the lasting consequences of the royal family’s relocation to Rio de Janeiro in 1808, and anxieties about the status of Portugal itself within the reconfigured empire.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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