Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-489z4 Total loading time: 0.288 Render date: 2022-05-28T09:57:25.932Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Governing the Countryside: Microsocial Analysis and Institutional Construction in Late Eighteenth-Century Río de la Plata

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2021

Darío G. Barriera*
Affiliation:
ISHIR, CONICET/CEHISO UNR, Rosario, Argentina

Abstract

At the end of the eighteenth century, the Hispanic Monarchy imagined new solutions for governing its territories between the south of the Amazon, the Strait of Magellan, and the Andean cordillera. Populated by farmers and shepherds, these huge rural areas remained poorly known to the authorities. Yet among the reforms conducted in America by Charles III—including the adoption of the intendancy system—none tackled the administration of the countryside head-on. This problem is key for two reasons. First, most of the population of the Río de la Plata lived in rural areas. Second, the enormous distances that separated these areas from the urban centers where representatives of the Monarchy resided (Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, or Madrid) posed a challenge that the authorities had to face in order to govern these populations. Shifting from a “top-down” perspective to a ground-level analysis attentive to local dynamics makes it possible to shed new light on how these spaces far removed from the centers of power functioned. Through the microhistorical analysis of a series of institutional transformations affecting the Río de la Plata, this article shows how subjects came to participate in the government of their region, mobilizing their networks to create a community and institutions on a local scale.

Type
Microanalysis and Global History
Copyright
© Éditions EHESS 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

This article was translated from the French by Monica Biberson and edited by Chloe Morgan, Romain Bertrand, and Nicolas Barreyre.

References

1 Francisco Javier Guillamón Álvarez and Julio David Muñoz Rodríguez, Educando al príncipe. Correspondencia privada de Luis XIV a Felipe V durante la guerra de Sucesión (Rosario: Prohistoria Ediciones, 2008).

2 José Javier Ruiz Ibáñez and Bernard Vincent, Los siglos xvixvii. Política y sociedad (Madrid: Síntesis, 2007); John H. Elliott, España, Europa y el mundo de ultramar, 1500–1800 (Madrid: Taurus, 2010). Philip V radically reformed the Council of the Indies in 1706: Guillermo Burgos Lejonagoitia, Gobernar las Indias. Venalidad y méritos en la provisión de cargos americanos, 1701–1746 (Almeria: Universidad de Almería, 2014), 83.

3 We should not however assume that these ideas traveled only in one direction, from France to Spain. See Anne Dubet and José Javier Ruiz Ibáñez, eds., Las monarquías española y francesa, siglos xvixviii. Dos modelos políticos? (Madrid: Casa de Velázquez, 2010).

4 Fabrice Abbad and Didier Ozanam, Les intendants espagnols du xviii e siècle (Madrid: Casa de Velázquez, 1992); Pablo Fernández Albaladejo, ed., Los Borbones. Dinastía y memoria de nación en la España del siglo xviii (Madrid: Marcial Pons/Casa de Velázquez, 2001).

5 Romain Bertrand, “Histoire globale, histoires connectées,” in Le tournant global des sciences sociales, ed. Alain Caillé and Stéphane Dufoix (Paris: La Découverte, 2013), 44–66; Sanjay Subrahmanyam, “Connected Histories: Notes towards a Reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia,” Modern Asian Studies 31, no. 3 (1997): 735–62.

6 Darío G. Barriera, Ouvrir des portes sur la terre. Microanalyse de la construction d’un espace politique. Santa Fe, 1573–1640 [2013], trans. François Godicheau (Toulouse: Presses universitaires du Midi, 2016).

7 Luis Navarro García, Las reformas borbónicas en América. El plan de intendencias y su aplicación (Seville: Universidad de Sevilla, 1995).

8 Its geographical features aside, the American countryside consisted of areas devoid of villages. It started where the urban network of “towns and cities” ended and was separate from the “Indian villages,” which had their own government made up of Spaniards and natives. According to a report by the Count of Floridablanca entitled Estado general de la población de España en el año de 1787, 70 percent of the Iberian Peninsula’s population engaged in agro-pastoral activities. See Gonzalo Anes, Economía y sociedad en la Asturias del Antiguo Régimen (Barcelona: Ariel, 1988).

9 The term “governed” is used here in the sense defined by Partha Chatterjee, The Politics of the Governed: Reflections on Popular Politics in Most of the World (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004).

10 In the early nineteenth century, after the Argentinian War of Independence, liberals deemed rural populations “ungovernable”: Antonio Annino, Silencios y disputas en la historia de Hispanoamérica (Bogota: Universidad externado de Colombia/Taurus, 2014). Liberal historiographers still claim that caudillism and clientelism are a reflection of these rural populations’ rustic character. For a critique of this school of thought, see Raúl O. Fradkin and Jorge Gelman, Juan Manuel de Rosas. La construcción de un liderazgo político (Buenos Aires: Edhasa, 2015).

11 See the synthesis by Horst Pietschmann, “Un testimonio del impacto del reformismo borbónico en Nueva España. La representación del intendente de Puebla de los Angeles de 27 de junio de 1792,” Jahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas 31 (1994): 1–38. David Brading and John Lynch’s readings of these reforms were gradually abandoned: the former saw these measures as “a revolution in government,” the latter as “a second conquest.” In the 1990s, François-Xavier Guerra and Antonio Annino’s interpretations of the phenomenon became predominant and classic. On Río de la Plata, see José M. Mariluz Urquijo, ed., Estudios sobre la real ordenanza de intendentes del Río de la Plata (Buenos Aires: Instituto de investigaciones de historia del derecho, 1995).

12 Rafael Diego-Fernández de Sotelo et al., eds., De reinos y subdelegaciones. Nuevos escenarios para un nuevo orden en la América borbónica (Zamora: El Colegio de Michoacán, 2014).

13 Bartolomé Yun Casalilla, ed., Las redes del imperio. Élites sociales en la articulación de la Monarquía hispánica, 1492–1714 (Madrid/Seville: Marcial Pons/Universidad Pablo de Olavide, 2009); Pedro Cardim et al., eds., Polycentric Monarchies: How Did Early Modern Spain and Portugal Achieve and Maintain a Global Economy? (Portland: Sussex Academic Press, 2012); Ana Crespo Solana, ed., “Empires: Concepts and New Research on the Hispanic World, 16th–18th Centuries,” special issue, Culture and History Digital Journal 3, no. 1 (2014).

14 The history of local justices, both rural and urban, is crucial to understanding these issues. See Felipe Castro Gutiérrez, Nueva ley y nuevo rey. Reformas borbónicas y rebelión popular en Nueva España (Zamora: El Colegio de Michoacán, 1996); Sergio Serulnikov, Conflictos sociales e insurrección en el mundo colonial andino. El norte de Potosí en el siglo xviii (Buenos Aires: Fondo de cultura económica, 2006); Federica Morelli, Territorio o nación. Reforma y disolución del espacio imperial en Ecuador, 1765–1830 (Madrid: Centro de estudios políticos y constitucionales, 2005); Juan Carlos Garavaglia, San Antonio de Areco, 1680–1880. Un pueblo de la campaña, del Antiguo Régimen a la modernidad argentina (Rosario: Prohistoria Ediciones, 2009); María Paula Polimene, ed., Autoridades y prácticas judiciales en el Antiguo Régimen. Problemas jurisdiccionales en el Río de la Plata, Córdoba, Tucumán, Cuyo y Chile (Rosario: Prohistoria Ediciones, 2011); Jordana Dym, “El poder en la Nueva Guatemala. La disputa sobre los Alcaldes de barrio,” Cuadernos de literatura 14, no. 28 (2010): 196–229; Julián Andrei Velasco Pedraza, Justicia para los vasallos de su majestad. Administración de justicia en la villa de San Gil, siglo xviii (Bogota: Editorial universidad del Rosario, 2015). The microhistorical perspective has drawn heavily on network theory: Jean-Pierre Dedieu and Zacarias Moutoukias, “L’approche de la théorie des réseaux sociaux,” in Réseaux, familles et pouvoirs dans le monde ibérique à la fin de l’Ancien Régime, ed. Juan Luis Castellano and Jean-Pierre Dedieu (Paris: Cnrs Éditions, 1998), 7–30; Michel Bertrand, Grandeur et misère de l’office. Les officiers de finances de Nouvelle-Espagne, xvii e xviii e siècles (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1999).

15 Juan Carlos Garavaglia and Jorge Gelman, “Mucha tierra y poca gente. Un nuevo balance historiográfico de la historia rural platense (1750–1850),” Historia agraria 15 (1998): 29–50.

16 On the identification of outsiders with the poor, see Simona Cerutti, Étrangers. Étude d’une condition d’incertitude dans une société d’Ancien Régime (Montrouge: Bayard, 2012).

17 Juan Carlos Garavaglia, “Alcaldes de la hermandad et juges de paix à Buenos Aires (xviii exix e siècle),” Études rurales 149/150 (1999): 99–110; the organization of justice in rural Buenos Aires during the colonial expansion into indigenous areas is addressed by Fradkin and de Gelman in several articles published in the same issue of Études rurales. On the concept of negotiated obedience, see Jean-Paul Zúñiga, ed., Negociar la obediencia. Autoridad y consentimiento en el mundo ibérico en la Edad Moderna (Granada: Comares, 2013).

18 I am referring here to the Buenos Aires ordinances: Real Ordenanza para el establecimiento e instrucción de Intendentes de Ejército y Provincia en el Virreinato de Buenos Aires del 28 de enero de 1782 (Madrid: Imprenta Real, 1783). The same phenomena were noted in New Spain (1786) where the implementation of the ordinances nevertheless caused conflicts between city dwellers, villagers, hacienda owners, and intendants’ subdelegates.

19 On New Spain, see Diego-Fernández de Sotelo, De reinos y subdelegaciones. On Chile, see Lucrecia Enríquez, “Los jueces diputados y los distritos judiciales borbónicos en Chile (1786–1818),” Revista chilena de derecho 43, no. 2 (2016): 643–68.

20 The Royal Ordinances on Intendants ascribed governor-intendants to each intendancy, assisted by subdelegates. Specializing in military and financial matters, the latter were at the head of subdelegations (subdelegaciones), that is, cities endowed with royal treasuries.

21 Francisco Javier Guillamón Álvarez, Las reformas de la administración local durante el reinado de Carlos III (Madrid: Instituto de estudios de administración local, 1980). Besides Federica Morelli and Julián Velasco Pedraza on New Granada, see Jorge Conde Calderón, “La administración de justicia en las sociedades rurales del Nuevo Reino de Granada, 1739–1803,” Historia crítica 49 (2013): 35–54; María Victoria Montoya Gómez, “La jurisdicción de los jueces pedáneos en la administración de justicia a nivel local. La ciudad de Antioquia, 1750–1809,” Anuario colombiano de historia social y de la cultura 39, no. 2 (2012): 19–40. On the Philippines, see Luis Ángel Sánchez Gómez, “Gobierno y administración del territorio en Filipinas (1565–1898),” in Poblar la inmensidad. Sociedades, conflictividad y representación en los márgenes del imperio hispánico (siglos xvxix), ed. Salvador Bernabéu Albert (Madrid/Barcelona: Csic/Ediciones Rubeo, 2010). On Río de la Plata, see Carlos Mario Storni, Investigaciones sobre la historia del derecho rural argentino. Españoles, criollos, indios y gauderios en la llanura pampeana (Buenos Aires: Instituto de investigaciones de historia del derecho, 1997).

22 Edberto Óscar Acevedo, “La causa de policía (o gobierno),” in Mariluz Urquijo, Estudios sobre la real ordenanza de intendentes, 43–82, in particular p. 63.

23 On the Andean region, see Sergio Serulnikov, “La Insurrección Tupamarista. Historias e historiografías,” 20/10 Historia (February 9, 2015): 1–12, https://rodrigomorenog.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/serulnikov-la-insurreccic3b3n-tupamarista-historias-e-historiografc3adas-20_10-historia.pdf.

24 For instance, the one concerning the withdrawal of the ability to elect ordinary alcaldes, or local officials. Archivo general de la provincia de Santa Fe (hereafter “AGSF”), Varios documentos, 1634–1816, carton 20, fol. 10: following protests from the Sante Fe municipal council, Viceroy Arredondo restored this prerogative in 1791.

25 The ideas of Jacques Revel and Bernard Lepetit have been a source of inspiration: Jacques Revel, “L’institution et le social,” in Les formes de l’expérience. Une autre histoire sociale, ed. Bernard Lepetit (Paris: Albin Michel, 1995), 63–84; Bernard Lepetit, Carnet de croquis. Sur la connaissance historique (Paris: Albin Michel, 1999). See also Giovanni Levi, Inheriting Power: The Story of an Exorcist [1985], trans. Lydia G. Cochrane (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988).

26 These sources can be found in different archive collections: Archivo general de la Nación, Buenos Aires (hereafter “AGN”), Archivo general de la provincia de Santa Fe, Archivo del departamento de estudios etnográficos y coloniales de Santa Fe, and Archivos parroquiales de Santa Fe y Coronda. [Vecinos were the main inhabitants of a city, members of the principal families, whose legal status made them active members of the polity. For a definition, see Geneviève Verdo, “Organizing Sovereign Provinces in Independent America: The Republic of Córdoba, 1776–1827,” Annales HSS (English Edition) 69, no. 2 (2014): 223–53, here p. 225. In the present article, the author uses the term vecinos rurales—employed by the actors themselves—to describe the residents of rural areas who were trying to establish their political power over the hinterland of the city—Les Annales].

27 Although used by contemporaries, this phrase was popularized by Justo Prieto, Paraguay, la provincia gigante de las Indias. Análisis espectral de una pequeña nación mediterránea (Buenos Aires: El Ateneo, 1951).

28 James Lockhart, The Nahuas after the Conquest: A Social and Cultural History of the Indians of Central Mexico, Sixteenth through Eighteenth Centuries (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992).

29 In Paraguay and Río de la Plata Jesuits played a central role in this process of “domesticating” local populations.

30 On the spatial consequences of the jurisdictional nature of power and the use of governing methods, historiography is indebted to the pioneering work of António M. Hespanha: Hespanha, Vísperas del Leviatán. Instituciones y poder político. Portugal, siglo xvii (Madrid: Taurus, 1990); Hespanha, La gracia del derecho. Economía de la cultura en la Edad Moderna (Madrid: Centro de estudios constitucionales, 1993). See also Pietro Costa, “Uno ‘spatial turn’ per la storia del diritto? Una rassegna tematica,” Research Paper Series, Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, 2013, https://archive.org/details/research_paper_no2013-07. A recent historiographical survey can be found in Darío G. Barriera, “Entre el retrato jurídico y la experiencia en el territorio. Una reflexión sobre la función distancia a partir de las normas de los Habsburgo sobre las sociabilidades locales de los oidores americanos,” Caravelle 101 (2013): 133–54. See also Guillaume Gaudin, Penser et gouverner le Nouveau Monde au xvii e siècle. L’empire de papier de Juan Díez de La Calle, commis du Conseil des Indes (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2013).

31 Santa Fe had been moved from its original location along the San Javier river and rebuilt between 1653 and 1660 at its current location on the Salado river. For an account of this episode, during which indigenous populations were driven south, see Miriam Moriconi, “Con los curas a otra parte. Curatos rurales y doctrinas en la frontera sur santafesina (1700–1740),” in Gobierno, justicias y milicias. La frontera entre Buenos Aires y Santa Fe (1720–1830), ed. Darío G. Barriera and Raùl Osvaldo Fradkin (La Plata: Universidad nacional de La Plata, 2014), 71–119.

32 Juan Carlos Garavaglia, Mercado interno y economía colonial. Tres siglos de historia de la yerba mate (Mexico: Grijalbo, 1983).

33 This expression does not really represent the complex make-up of this population, whose European forebears had settled in the Americas at different times. Nor does it say anything about the diversity of those living in these Creole households, or their biological identity. In reality, this convenient sociopolitical label has lumped together “white,” “Spanish,” and “Creole” populations. Although this concept smooths out the features of these individuals’ identities and thus makes for a poorer description, it nevertheless helps grasp the disparate and irregular information typical of pre-statistical societies.

34 On this office, see Darío G. Barriera “Justicias rurales: el oficio de alcalde de la hermandad entre el derecho, la historia y la historiografía (Santa Fe, Gobernación del Río de la Plata, siglos xvii a xix),” Andes 24, no. 1 (2013): http://ref.scielo.org/fgpqxh.

35 Florencia Sol Nesis, Los grupos mocoví en el siglo xviii (Buenos Aires: Sociedad argentina de antropología, 2005), 16.

36 On the San Javier reduction, see Nesis, Los grupos mocoví; on San Jerónimo, see Carina Paula Lucaioli, Los grupos abipones hacia mediados del siglo xviii (Buenos Aires: Sociedad argentina de antropología, 2005). On the jurisdictional character of these entities, see Miriam Moriconi, “Administración borbónica de pueblo de indios en el Río de la Plata. Matriculas de pueblos de Santa Fe (1785),” Prohistoria 15, no. 18 (2012): 144–98.

37 “Lettre à Sa Grâce le Gouverneur Ortiz de Rozas (1744),” quoted in Juan Álvarez, Historia de Rosario (1689–1939) (Rosario: Unr/Emr, 1998), chap. 4.

38 These reductions comprised Mocovís, Abipónes, Mocoretás, Calchines, and Colastinés. Some were the result of displacement, others were aggregations of preexisting reductions. On this phenomenon and the religious and secular agents involved, see Moriconi, “Administración borbónica.”

39 Griselda Tarragó, “The Long Kiss Goodbye: Santa Fe and the Conflict over the Privilege of Puerto Preciso (1726–1743),” in Growing in the Shadow of an Empire: How Spanish Colonialism Affected Economic Development in Europe and in the World (xvith–xviiith cc.), ed. Giuseppe De Luca and Gaetano Sabatini (Milan: Franco Angeli, 2012), 271–84, notes that the situation in the region improved from 1734 with the appointment of two members of the local elite to key positions: Francisco Javier de Echagüe y Andía became the governor’s lieutenant and Francisco de Vera Muxica was named alderman; a slowdown in their personal affairs led these two men to tackle these problems head on.

40 Since 1509 papal Crusade bulls had granted Spanish kings the proceeds of the sale of privileges and indulgences, money originally used to wage holy war and ransom captives in the Mediterranean. This resource was collected in Spain, the Italian territories belonging to the Crown, and the Americas.

41 AGSF, AC, XIII, fol. 158, March 17, 1760: these tax rolls confirm that the county of Salado stretched as far as the Santo Tomé ford where the settlements of San Jerónimo and Coronda began.

42 This figure does not include the natives who lived in reductions or freely and numbered 3,500 in the county of Los Arroyos and 2,000 in the Coronda jurisdiction. See the “Rapport du procurador José Teodoro de Larramendi (1795),” in Manuel María Cervera, Historia de la ciudad y provincia de Santa Fe, 1573–1853. Contribución a la historia de la República Argentina (1907; repr. Santa Fe: Universidad nacional del litoral, 1980), vol. 3, annex, p. xxvii. See also Gabriel Carrasco, ed., Primer censo general de la provincia de Santa Fé (República Argentina, América del Sud), vol. 1, Censo de la poblacíon (Buenos Aires: Imprenta de Jacobo Peuser, 1888), xl. Félix de Azara, Descripción e historia del Paraguay y del Río de la Plata (Madrid: Sanchíz, 1847), suggested a total number of 12,600 inhabitants in 1797.

43 Cervera, Historia de la ciudad y provincia de Santa Fe, 1:562.

44 Including 265 slaves (mulattos and blacks, men and women), 274 free mulattos, and only 9 free blacks. See Pedro Tuella, “Relación histórica del pueblo y jurisdicción del Rosario de los Arroyos, en el Gobierno de Santa Fe, Provincia de Buenos Aires,” in Miguel Navarro Viola, Memorias y notícias para servir á la historia antigua de la República Argentina. Compiladas y publicadas por los fundadores de la Revista de Buenos Aires (1802; repr. Buenos Aires: Imprenta de Mayo, 1865).

45 Mariana Canedo, “Propiedades, propietarios y ocupantes. La tierra y la familia en la campaña de Buenos Aires. El Pago de los Arroyos, 1600–1750,” Boletín del Instituto de historia argentina y americana Dr. Emilio Ravignani 3, no. 7 (1993): 7–29; Garavaglia, San Antonio de Areco.

46 Teresa Suárez and María Laura Tornay, “Poblaciones, vecinos y fronteras rioplatenses. Santa Fe a fines del siglo xviii,” Anuario de estudios americanos 60, no. 2 (2003): 521–55, here p. 534. These phenomena have also been described in relation to the cities of Santiago del Estero and Río Cuarto: Judith Farberman, “Los que se van y los que se quedan. Familia y migraciones en Santiago del Estero a fines del período colonial,” Quinto Sol 1 (1997): 7–40; María E. Rustán, De perjudiciales a pobladores de la frontera. Poblamiento de la frontera sur de la Gobernación Intendencia de Córdoba a fines del siglo xviii (Córdoba: Ferreyra Editor, 2005). On the case of Buenos Aires, see María Elena Barral, Raúl O. Fradkin, and Gladys Perri, “Quiénes son los ‘perjudiciales’? Concepciones jurídicas, producción normativa y práctica judicial en la campaña bonaerense (1780–1830),” Claroscuro. Revista del Centro de estudios sobre diversidad cultural 2 (2002): 75–111.

47 A point first made by Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977–1978, ed. Michel Senellart, trans. Graham Burchell (New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2007).

48 AGSF, AC, VII, fols. 48–49, November 10, 1710.

49 AGSF, AC, XVI A, fols. 35v–37v.

50 AGSF, AC, XVI B, fols. 436–38, session of March 2, 1797. The municipalities of Buenos Aires in 1784 and Luján in 1811 noted similar difficulties.

51 The area and the distance varied with the governing methods and means of transport employed.

52 AGSF, Varios documentos, 1634–1816, Legajo 20, fols. 5v–7, January 10, 1791. A month later the city’s notary wrote that there were not enough alcaldes de hermandad to keep this “turbulent” population under control.

53 AGSF, AC, XV, fol. 365.

54 AGSF, XVI B, fols. 512–513v, May 7, 1799: when in 1799 the judge dispatched to Nogoyá reported on the difficulties he encountered in his mission, he emphasized “the pride and lack of docility of these people, many of whom are vagrants and convicts who roam this country with complete freedom and impunity.”

55 This was the consequence of contrasting policies pursued in these villages after the Jesuits’ expulsion: Miriam Moriconi, “Intersecciones críticas. Doctrineros en pueblos de indios de Santa Fe después de la expulsión de la Compañía de Jesús (1767–1804),” Revista de ciencias sociales 6, no. 26 (2014): 29–48.

56 An “autochthony capital” could be claimed against newcomers: Émilie Aunis et al., eds., Les territoires de l’autochtonie. Penser la transformation des rapports sociaux au prisme du “local” (Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2016).

57 On this jurisdictional model, see Luca Mannori, “Justicia y administración entre antiguo y nuevo régimen,” Revista jurídica 15 (2007): 125–46.

58 The Los Arroyos jurisdiction covered the southern part of Santa Fe, west of the Paraná, from the Santo Tomé ford to the Arroyo del Medio (240 km). To the west it was bordered by a series of small forts. In total, this territory encompassed more than one million hectares. An initial examination of this territorial division can be found in Darío G. Barriera, “La política desde el campo: iniciativas locales y gobierno rural en tiempos reformistas (Santa Fe, virreinato del Río de la Plata a finales del siglo xviii),” Revista de Indias 77, no. 270 (2017): 521–49.

59 On the complex relations between royal and ecclesiastical jurisdictions in the preceding period, see Darío G. Barriera and Miriam S. Moriconi, “Gobiernos y territorialidades. Coronda, de caserío a curato (Santa Fe, Gobernación y Obispado de Buenos Aires, 1660–1749),” Nuevo Mundo Mundos Nuevos, 2015, http://journals.openedition.org/nuevomundo/67858.

60 AGN, IX-4-1-7: document signed at “Desmochados by the Carcaraña river, December 3, 1787. This region’s vecinos make it known that …” More than twenty Desmochados vecinos signed the text, and one of them did so on behalf of several soldiers who could not sign their names.

61 AGSF, AC, XV B, fols. 292 and 314: several months later, in November 1788, the municipality declared it had mislaid the petition and “could not find” it in its archives. It ordered the procurador to resolve this issue. A week later the latter confidently stated that he was going to Buenos Aires armed with the said request.

62 Nicolás Felipe Cristóbal del Campo y Rodríguez de Salamanca (1725–1803), second Marquis of Loreto, viceroy of Río de la Plata between 1784 and 1789, viceroy and superintendent since 1788.

63 AGSF, NYOC, II, fol. 209.

64 The compañía de Blandengues was the first regular paid militia established in Santa Fe. In response to the city’s authorities, on August 21, 1724, the governor of Buenos Aires, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, ordered two companies of fifty men each to be set up. In 1750 they were known as the Blandengues de Santa Fe.

65 Or comandante de los vagos in Spanish: AGSF, AC, XV B, fol. 365; the title gave him the power to displace these people near forts where the company was stationed.

66 AGSF, NYOC, II, fols. 209 and 209v.

67 AGSF, AC, XV B, fol. 353. This decision joined a series of similar plans devised since 1782.

68 AGN, IX-24-1-5, exp. 7.

69 AGSF, AC, XV B, fols. 352v–354. Córdoba had eighty-four justices of the peace.

70 The southern bank was the beginning of the county of Los Arroyos, also known as “Rosario.” It stretched all the way to the Arroyo del Medio.

71 AGSF, AC, XV B, fol. 353v, March 2, 1789.

72 Indeed, the powers of the alcaldes de hermandad and the parish priests were reinforced at the expense of the former jurisdictions that encompassed them.

73 AGSF, AC, XVI B, fol. 435, January 16, 1797, makes the status of the justices of the peace as judicial auxiliaries explicit, describing them as the “auxiliary judges or pedáneos of the alcaldes de hermandad.”

74 These were armed sergeants under the authority of an alcalde de hermandad. Appointed and maintained by the alcaldes, they helped them exercise their coercive power and make arrests. Similarly, the alcaldes de hermandad had great influence over the selection of justices of the peace in their jurisdiction since the municipalities required them to draw up lists of men eligible to hold this office.

75 AGN, IX-24-1-5, exp. 7.

76 It is likely—though not proven—that the vecinos of Coronda took their inspiration from the city of Córdoba, where justices of the peace had been appointed since the mid-eighteenth century. From 1783 the governor and intendant, the Marquis of Sobremonte, established a hierarchy between these judges and had their jurisdictions overlap with parish boundaries: Silvia Romano, “Instituciones coloniales en contextos republicanos. Los jueces de la campaña cordobesa en las primeras décadas postrevolucionarias,” in Revolución. Política e ideas en el Río de la Plata durante la década de 1810, ed. Fabián Herrero (Rosario: Prohistoria Ediciones, 2010), 184.

77 AGSF, AC, XV, fol. 348.

78 AGN, IX-24-1-5, exp. 7. The list was drawn up on April 1, 1789, and finalized on April 3 when the names of six inhabitants staying in Santa Fe were added.

79 AGSF, AC, XV B, fol. 353.

80 AGSF, AC, XV B, fol. 360.

81 Coronda, Santa Fe, San Jerónimo parish, Book of Confirmations, vol. 1 (1747–1764).

82 Coronda, Santa Fe, San Jerónimo parish, Book of Marriages, vol. 1 (1742–1792).

83 AGSF, AC, passim.

84 AGN, IX-13-3-3. I wish to thank Julio Djenderedjian for providing a methodical electronic transcription of this document.

85 AGSF, AC, supplement 1796–1811, fol. 3.

86 AGN, IX-24-01-07, Guerra y Marina, leg. 3, exp. 6.

87 AGSF, AC, XV B, fol. 255, session of January 7, 1788.

88 AGN, IX-3-3-3; IX-23-4-6, exp. 110. Another signatory of the petition, Manuel Torres, was a farmer; he bred horses and owned a farm in Coronda which was located one league from Salado, at the end of the “Carrizal road” known today as Carrizales.

89 AGN, IX-24-01-05, exp. 7, Martín Francisco de Larrechea to the first alcalde of Santa Fe, José Arias Troncoso, March 21, 1789.

90 AGN, IX-24-01-05, exp. 7, Martín Francisco de Larrechea to the first alcalde of Santa Fe, José Arias Troncoso, March 21, 1789.

91 AGSF, AC, XIV B, fol. 535 ff. In 1779 he had been asked to justify the high cost of rations supplied to soldiers living in the forts. His enemies accused him of inflating prices by systematically providing meat which he sold at a premium.

92 AGSF, AC, XV B; AGN, IX-24-01-07, leg. 5. At the 1788 Santa Fe auction for a six-year contract to provide provisions for the troops, Antonio de Vera Mujica, a royal sublieutenant (alférez) and landowner from Santa Fe, came forward as a bidder.

93 AGN, IX-04-01-07, petition by Juan Francisco de Larrechea to the viceroy concerning the quarrels started by the appointment of officers charged with collecting excise duties. A central figure of the American reforms, particularly in Peru and Chile, the finance and war subdelegate was not involved in the process that shaped this new institutional landscape. His absence was due to the fact that in Santa Fe the intendant-governor had entrusted this responsibility to Melchor de Echagüe y Andía, the governor’s former lieutenant. A native of Santa Fe, this official belonged to the old elite close to the Aldao faction. In March 1786 the viceroy relieved him of his duties as governor’s lieutenant in order to appoint him subdelegate: AGSF, AC, XV, fol. 181. In reality, these changes made very little difference to the municipality, which continued to call him by his old title of “lieutenant.”

94 On the concept of “territorial division,” see Hespanha, Vísperas del Leviatán, 80–85.

95 AGSF, AC, XV, fols. 112–13, December 24, 1783; XVI A, fols. 78–80: similar measures were taken in July 1790 in view of “the urgent need to create justices of the peace in Paraná, Rincón, and Ascochingas.” Fol. 111 contains a reference to the full title of the appointed intendant: “L[ord] Intendant-General of the Army and Royal Finances” (Sr. Intendente General de Ejército y Real Hazienda). The jurisdiction under his responsibility was designated as: “General Superintendence of Royal Finances” (Superintendencia General de Real Hazienda).

96 AGSF, AC, XV B, fol. 302: in 1788 the superintendence of war and finance was given to the Viceroy of Río de la Plata, the Marquis of Loreto; Santa Fe’s authorities were informed of this on August 23, 1788.

97 AGSF, Varios documentos, 1634–1816, carton 20, fols. 5–7, January 10, 1791: “And since the current justices of the peace cannot control such vast districts, the appointment is ordered of those commissioned above.”

98 These problems were dealt with differently in the various imperial territories. In New Spain, where government consisted of several interlocking structures—audiencias, corregimientos, and Indian villages—the figure of the subdelegate rose above the conflicts that emerged most frequently between municipalities and native villages: Beatriz Rojas, Las ciudades novohispanas. Siete ensayos. Historia y territorio (Mexico/Zamora: Instituto Mora/El colegio de Michoacán, 2016). Cuba, which was a military captaincy, used capitanes pedáneos who served as both police officers and justices of the peace: François Godicheau, “Les capitanes pedáneos, juges et policiers à Cuba (1765–1851)” (paper given at the conference “Police et justice, le nœud gordien,” University of Geneva, November 6, 2014), http://syspoe.hypotheses.org/410.

99 Once the Constitution of Argentina was approved on May 1, 1853, each province had to enact a constitution in keeping with the national supreme law. That of Santa Fe was promulgated on May 25, 1856. It reorganized the province into four departments under the authority of the municipality, an institution which had previously been abolished in 1833. In 1813 the counties east of the Paraná were included in the new province of Entre Ríos.

100 A form of government which relied on the active participation of various agents. See Michel Bertrand, “Configurations sociales et jeux politiques aux confins de l’empire espagnol,” Annales HSS 62, no. 4 (2007): 855–84, in particular p. 864. The author notes the same difficulties in the case of Guatemala from 1760 on. See also Brian Connaughton, “Reforma judicial en España y Nueva España entre los siglos xviii y xix. Bitácora de agravios, arbitrios procesales y réplica eclesiástica,” Estudios de historia novohispana 53 (2015): 30–51. For a historico-legal analysis, see Rafael García Pérez, “El intendente ante la tradición jurídica indiana: continuidad o ruptura?” in Reformismo y sociedad en la América borbónica, ed. Pilar Latasa (Pamplona: Ediciones Universidad de Navarra, 2003), 73–110.

101 Jorge I. Domínguez, Insurrección o lealtad. La desintegración del imperio español en América [1980], trans. Juan José Utrilla (México: Fondo de cultura económica, 1985). Many of the territorial districts that resulted from these divisions exist to this day in various provinces and cities: in Madrid and Naples, or in the former viceroyalties of New Spain, New Granada, Peru, and Río de la Plata.

102 On Tucumán, see Gabriela Tío Vallejo, “Presencias y ausencias del Cabildo en la construcción del orden provincial. El caso de Tucumán, 1770–1830,” Araucaria. Revista iberoamericana de filosofía, política y humanidades 9, no. 18 (2007): 236–65. On Córdoba, see Romano, “Instituciones coloniales en contextos republicanos”; Ana Inés Punta, Córdoba borbónica. Persistencias coloniales en tiempos de reformas (Córdoba: Unc, 1997).

103 Mariluz Urquijo, Estudios sobre la real ordenanza de intendentes; Ezequiel Abásolo, “Estilo militar de gobierno y disciplinamiento en la administración virreinal rioplatense bajo los borbones,” Revista de historia del derecho 33 (2005): 13–67.

104 María Laura San Martino de Dromi, Intendencias y provincias en la historia argentina (Buenos Aires: Cca, 1992).

105 María Inés Moraes, ed., El arreglo de los campos (Montevideo: Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, 2015).

106 This was made possible by the ius commune. This law favored an individual’s integration and political involvement in the community, though the nature of this relationship varied with each region. See Tamar Herzog, “La vecindad: entre condición formal y negociación continua. Reflexiones en torno de las categorías sociales y personales,” Anuario del IEHS 15 (2000): 127–28. Eugenia Néspolo, “La ‘frontera’ Bonaerense en el siglo xviii un espacio políticamente concertado: fuertes, vecinos, milicias y autoridades civiles-militares,” Mundo agrario. Revista de estudios rurales 7, no. 13 (2006): https://www.mundoagrario.unlp.edu.ar/article/view/v07n13a08/1181, states that the status of militiaman was enough to prove an individual resided in a county and belonged to its community.

107 AGSF, Expedientes civiles, CXLIX, fols. 33–34, May 26, 1800: when consulted in 1800 on how to pay for armed reinforcements to assist rural judges, Viceroy Avilés argued that it was first and foremost the wealthiest who should contribute since it was in their interest that the “thieves be exterminated.”

108 Zacarías Moutoukias, “Des liens sociaux à l’ordre politique. Réflexions pour une approche relationnelle des institutions,” Caravelle 101 (2013): 111–32, here p. 121.

109 At the same time the viceroy tried to assert his authority over the municipalities: in 1791 he took away Santa Fe’s right to appoint rural judges. The city’s elites and less influential inhabitants did not seem to take umbrage at this since he was the preferred recipient of their requests.

110 Until the mid-nineteenth century “district” and “department” were interchangeable in the language of Hispanic actors. This was not the case in France, where the term département acquired a specific meaning after the French Revolution. See Marie-Vic Ozouf-Marignier, La formation des départements. La représentation du territoire français à la fin du 18 e siècle (Paris: Éd. de l’Ehess, 1989).

111 Annino, Silencios y disputas.

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Governing the Countryside: Microsocial Analysis and Institutional Construction in Late Eighteenth-Century Río de la Plata
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Governing the Countryside: Microsocial Analysis and Institutional Construction in Late Eighteenth-Century Río de la Plata
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Governing the Countryside: Microsocial Analysis and Institutional Construction in Late Eighteenth-Century Río de la Plata
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *