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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2015

The Johns Hopkins University
Department of History, The Johns Hopkins University, Gilman Hall 301, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218,


This article examines Spanish and Portuguese liberal political thought in the period after the independence of Latin America (c. 1825–50). It argues that while Iberian liberalism undoubtedly reflected broader European and transatlantic debates and intellectual trends, it was distinguished by its robust engagement with literary romanticism. The article proceeds to describe and make a case for ‘romantic liberalism’ through the examination of texts by six politically engaged writers: Spanish statesman, poet and dramatist Francisco Martínez de la Rosa (1787–1862); Portuguese statesman, poet, novelist, and dramatist João Baptista da Silva Leitão de Almeida Garrett (1799–1854); Spanish poet and statesman Ángel de Saavedra (1791–1865), Duque de Rivas; Spanish parliamentarian and literary critic Antonio Alcalá Galiano; Spanish poet, journalist, and parliamentarian José de Espronceda (1808–42); and Portuguese historian, novelist, and journalist Alexandre Herculano (1810–77).

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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The first version of this article was given as the Fourth Balzan-Skinner Lecture, delivered at the University of Cambridge in April 2013. A subsequent version was given at the University of Notre Dame in October 2013. The author thanks the audiences on both occasions and extends his special gratitude to the following scholars for their indispensable assistance, invaluable advice, and astute criticism: Quentin Skinner, John Robertson, Richard Drayton, Robert Sullivan, Javier Fernández Sebastián, Brian Hamnett, Nuno Monteiro, Gregorio Alonso, and one anonymous Historical Journal expert reviewer.


1 These subjects are addressed, both directly and indirectly, in several noteworthy works, including Elliott, J. H., Empires of the Atlantic world: Britain and Spain in America, 1492–1830 (New Haven, CT, and London, 2006)Google Scholar; and Pagden, Anthony, Lords of all the world: ideologies of empire in Spain, Britain and France, c. 1500–1800 (New Haven, CT, and London, 1998)Google Scholar.

2 On the genesis of such master-narratives about Spanish History in the nineteenth century that accentuated either ‘difference’, ‘exceptionalism’, ‘failed modernity’, or ‘irreversible decline’, including ‘the Two Spains’, see, for example (in English and inter alia), Kagan, Richard, ‘Prescott's paradigm: American historical scholarship and the decline of Spain’, American Historical Review, 101 (1996), 423–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Burdiel, Isabel, ‘Myths of failure, myths of success: new perspectives on nineteenth-century Spanish liberalism’, Journal of Modern History, 70 (1998), pp. 892912CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Schmidt-Nowara, Christopher, The conquest of history: Spanish colonialism and national histories in the nineteenth century (Pittsburgh, PA, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Note that most of these tropes emerged from within Spain itself, or at least drew heavily on Spanish sources, discourses, and debates.

3 See, for example, the essays in Moyn, Samuel and Sartori, Andrew, eds., Global intellectual history (New York, NY, 2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 A key example is the ‘IberConceptos’ project, straddling the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking worlds, directed by Fernández Sebastián, Javier. See Sebastián, Fernández, ed., Diccionario político y social del mundo Iberoamericano: La era de las revoluciones, 1750–1850 (Madrid, 2009)Google Scholar. See especially the editor's stimulating methodological approach as outlined in ‘Introducción: Hacia una historia atlántica de los conceptos políticos’. For an assessment of this work and related publications, see Paquette, Gabriel, ‘The study of political thought in the Ibero-Atlantic World in the age of revolutions’, Modern Intellectual History, 10 (2013), pp. 437–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

5 Yet this fate befell Iberian liberalism in the standard, general works of the twentieth century: Laski, Harold, The rise of European liberalism: an essay in interpretation (London, 1936)Google Scholar; de Ruggiero, Guido, The history of European liberalism, trans. Collingwood, R. G. (Boston, MA, 1959; original 1927)Google Scholar; and Manent, Pierre, An intellectual history of liberalism, trans. Balinski, R. (Princeton, NJ, 1996)Google Scholar.

6 Davis, John, Naples and Napoleon: southern Italy and the European revolutions (1780–1860) (Oxford, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Bayly, Christopher A., Recovering liberties: Indian thought in the age of liberalism and empire (Cambridge, 2012)Google Scholar; Stites, Richard, ‘Decembrists with a Spanish accent’, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, 12 (2011), pp. 523Google Scholar; and Breña, Roberto, El primer liberalismo español y los procesos de emancipación de América, 1808–1824: una revisión historiográfica del liberalismo hispánico (Mexico City, 2006)Google Scholar.

7 Isabella, Maurizio, Risorgimento in exile: Italian émigrés and the liberal international in the post-Napoleonic era (Oxford, 2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Alonso García, Gregorio and Muñoz Sempere, Daniel, eds., Londres y el liberalismo hispánico (Madrid, 2011)Google Scholar; and Simal, Juan Luis, Emigrados: España y el exilio internacional, 1814–1834 (Madrid, 2012)Google Scholar.

8 Paquette, Gabriel, ‘Introduction: liberalism in the early nineteenth-century Iberian world’, History of European Ideas, 41 (2015), pp. 153–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

9 The apt phrase is borrowed from Kagan, Richard, ‘The Spanish Craze in the United States: cultural entitlement and the appropriation of Spain's cultural patrimony, c. 1890–c. 1930’, Revista Complutense de Historia de America [Madrid], 36 (2010), pp. 3758CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

10 Ruiz, Ricardo Navas, El romanticismo español (3rd edn, Madrid, 1982), p. 26Google Scholar.

11 Peers, E. Allison, A history of the romantic movement in Spain, i (Cambridge, 1940), p. 98Google Scholar.

12 Navas Ruiz, Romanticismo, p. 26.

13 Kamen, Henry, The disinherited: exile and the making of Spanish culture, 1492–1975 (New York, NY, 2007), p. 198Google Scholar.

14 Saglia, Diego, ‘Orientalism’, in Ferber, Michael, ed., A companion to European romanticism (Oxford, 2005), p. 483Google Scholar.

15 As Porter, Roy and Teich, Mikuláš observed, romanticism ‘was neither uniformly progressive nor reactionary, neither wholly liberal nor authoritarian, neither republican nor monarchist’, in their ‘Introduction’ to Porter, and Teich, , eds., Romanticism in national context (Cambridge, 1988), p. 3Google Scholar; In Spain, José Joaquín de Mora famously equated liberalism with classicism (‘El liberalismo es en la escala de las opinions politicas lo que el gusto clásico es en la de las literarias’), quoted in Flitter, Derek, Spanish romanticism and the uses of history: ideology and the historical imagination (London, 2006), p. 157Google Scholar; and much ink has been spilled on ‘romantic conservatism’; see, for example, the application of that appellation to Southey, Robert in Eastwood, David, ‘Robert Southey and the intellectual origins of romantic conservatism’, English Historical Review, 104 (1989), pp. 308–31Google Scholar.

16 The term ‘romantic liberalism’ has been used by other scholars, most recently by K. Steven Vincent in reference to Benjamin Constant (and Germaine de Staël). Vincent argued that ‘elements we associate with “liberalism” were creatively intertwined with those we associate with sensibilité and “romanticism”’ and that ‘sentiment – the enthusiasm of conviction and commitment – was essential for individual fulfillment’; see Vincent, , ‘Benjamin Constant, the French Revolution and the origins of French romantic liberalism’, French Historical Studies, 23 (2000), pp. 607–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar; the argument presented here is rather different, but the effort to connect literary commitments, preoccupations, and endeavours with political action and thought is undoubtedly a related enterprise.

17 The apt phrase belongs to, and is borrowed from, Barzun, Jacques, Berlioz and the romantic century, i (Boston, MA, 1950), p. 383Google Scholar.

18 This article focuses on the agents who drew on ideas they conceived to be ‘liberal’ and ‘romantic’, and attempts to reconstruct their intentions (and their mental world) for using these ideas together in certain political junctures at particular moments. This approach is indebted to the one developed by Skinner, Quentin, not least in the essays ‘Meaning and understanding in the history of ideas’ and ‘Motives, Intentions and the interpretation of texts’, both republished in Skinner, Meaning and context: Quentin Skinner and his critics, ed. Tully, James (Cambridge, 1988)Google Scholar.

19 Recently, a historian of political thought has enriched this scholarly literature. See Morrow, John, ‘Romanticism and political thought in the early nineteenth century’, in Jones, Gareth Stedman and Claeys, Gregory, eds., The Cambridge history of nineteenth-century political thought (Cambridge, 2011), pp. 3976CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

20 In the Portuguese case, Cardim, Pedro, Cortes e cultura política no Portugal do Antigo Regime (Lisbon, 1998)Google Scholar, and Hespanha, A. M., As vésperas do leviathan: Instituições e poder político em Portugal. Século XVII (Coimbra, 1993)Google Scholar, have shown the chasm between early modern practices, especially relating to the Cortes, and nineteenth-century Portuguese liberals’ interpretation of those practices.

21 See the excellent essay by D. R. Kelley, ‘Historians and lawyers’, in Stedman Jones and Claeys, eds., Cambridge history, pp. 147–70.

22 De Ruggiero dismissed romantic historicism as ‘anti-historical fetishism’. See de Ruggiero, European liberalism. Several recent Spanish literary scholars have purveyed views consonant with those of de Ruggiero; the position advanced in this article departs from this interpretation and instead coincides with, and is indebted to, that of Hamnett, Brian, The historical novel in nineteenth-century Europe: representation of reality in history and fiction (Oxford, 2011), pp. 103, 146CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

23 On the impact of Latin American independence in Spain and Portugal, see Costeloe, Michael, Response to revolution: imperial Spain and the Spanish American revolutions, 1810–1840 (Cambridge, 1986)Google Scholar; de la Escosura, Leandro Prados, De imperio a nación: crecimiento y atraso económico en España (1780–1930) (Madrid, 1988)Google Scholar; Hamnett, Brian, ‘Spain and Portugal and the loss of their continental American territories in the 1820s: an examination of the issues’, European History Quarterly, 41 (2011), pp. 397–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Paquette, Gabriel, Imperial Portugal in the age of Atlantic revolutions: the Luso-Brazilian world, c. 1770–1850 (Cambridge, 2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

24 This tendency toward cultural autarky jostled uneasily with the cosmopolitan sensibilities evinced by many of the figures classified in this article as ‘romantic liberals’.

25 Whether by the government or powerful private individuals or groups (e.g. guilds, the church, other corporations).

26 Iberian romantic liberalism resembles in some respects German romantic political thought of the 1790s. While there were notable intersections between romanticism and liberalism, German romanticism was marked by a strong communitarian element as well as a critique of excessive individualism. See Beiser, Frederick C., Enlightenment, revolution and romanticism: the genesis of modern German political thought, 1790–1800 (Cambridge, MA, 1992), pp. 1819, 223CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

27 An obvious fourth aspect, perhaps the best-known aspect, of romantic liberalism was its internationalism, marked by staunch solidarity with oppressed people everywhere. While extremely important, it is far from self-evident that such internationalism (or cosmopolitanism) was exclusive to romantic liberalism. It was ubiquitous and shared by partisans of many divergent visions of politics. On this subject, see Isabella, Risorgimento in exile; Clair, William St, That Greece might still be free: the Philhellenes and the War of Independence (London, 1972)Google Scholar; Rosen, F., Bentham, Byron, and Greece: constitutionalism, nationalism and early liberal political thought (Oxford, 1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Stock, Paul, The Shelley–Byron circle and the idea of Europe (New York, NY, 2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

28 Genette, Gérard, ‘Introduction to the paratext’, New Literary History, 22 (1991), pp. 261–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar; as Genette clarified, ‘the paratext, in all its forms, is a fundamentally heteronomous, auxiliary discourse devoted to the service of something else which constitutes its right of existence namely the text’, p. 269.

29 On the importance of using different registers of texts for the study of political thought, see Fernández Sebastián, ‘Introducción’.

30 This last sentence draws heavily from Hadfield, Andrew, ‘Republicanism in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Britain’, in Armitage, David, ed., British political thought in history, literature and theory, 1500–1800 (Cambridge, 2006), p. 118Google Scholar. Hadfield further argued, with regard to republicanism in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Britain, that republicanism ‘existed as a series of stories. These were easy to narrate, repeat, retell and configure, signaling a republican subject matter … without necessarily entailing a commitment to any program’, p. 118.

31 Percy Bysshe Shelley, ‘A defence of poetry’ (1821), reproduced in Breckman, W., ed., European romanticism (Boston, MA, 2008), p. 152Google Scholar.

32 Skinner, ‘Meaning and understanding’.

33 Garrett, Almeida, ‘Prefácio’ to the 2nd edition of Romanceiro I’ (dated 12 Aug. 1843), in Obras completas: Romanceiro, i (Lisbon, 1983), pp. 65–6Google Scholar.

34 Anonymously published article in the Boletín de Comercio, 1 (8 Feb. 1833), quoted in Peers, Romantic movement in Spain, i, p. 205.

35 Galiano, Antonio Alcalá, An introductory lecture delivered in the University of London on Saturday, November 15, 1828 (London, 1828), p. 27Google Scholar.

36 Among others, Eisenstadt, Shmuel, ‘Multiple modernities’, in Eisenstadt, , ed., Multiple modernities (New Brunswick, NJ, and London, 2005)Google Scholar.

37 Victor Hugo's ‘Preface’ to Hernani, quoted in Blanning, Tim, The romantic revolution: a history (New York, NY, 2011), p. 159Google Scholar.

38 For the most influential theses concerning the inseparability of liberalism and romanticism in Spain, see Ruiz, Navas, Romanticismo; and Vicente Lloréns, Liberales y románticos: una emigración Española en Inglaterra (1823–34) (3rd edn, Madrid, 1979)Google Scholar; for a comprehensive overview of this intellectual lineage, see Iarocci, Michael, Properties of modernity: romantic Spain, modern Europe and the legacies of empire (Nashville, TN, 2006), pp. 3447Google Scholar; for a recent study that has decried the ‘profound and serious terminological confusion’ of these debates, see Ginger, Andrew, Liberalismo y romantismo: la reconstrucción del sujeto histórico (Madrid, 2012), pp. 2530Google Scholar.

39 There is an abundant scholarly literature on this theme, beyond the scope of this article, which has argued that Spanish romanticism was essentially conservative, using ‘medievalism as a strategy of legitimation’ and asserting that ‘its most salient features were its religious emphasis and its dynamically intense patriotism’; see Flitter, Spanish romanticism, pp. 20, 196; Silver stated the point more strongly: ‘the majority of romanticism was essentially conservative … the only literary romanticism with any chance of success became a backward-looking historical romanticism’. See Silver, Philip, Ruin and restitution: reinterpreting romanticism in Spain (Liverpool, 1997), p. 10Google Scholar; this view originates with Vicens, Jaime Vivens's short yet influential essay, ‘El romanticismo en la historia’ (1950), republished in Gies, David T., ed., El romanticismo (Madrid, 1989)Google Scholar; the view of the present author coincides with that of Iarocci, who pointed out that ‘liberal romantics in Spain and across Europe often espoused historicist ideas, even as they fought against absolutism. Opposing the Ancien Régime and embracing nationalist mythology were by no means contradictory.’ See Iarocci, Properties of modernity, p. 46.

40 For an analysis, albeit in a different context, and an attempt at reconciliation, see Rosenblum, Nancy, Another liberalism: romanticism and the reconstruction of liberal thought (Cambridge, MA, 1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

41 Lovejoy objected to the fact that ‘such manifold and discrepant phenomena have all come to receive one name’ and believed that ‘each of these so-called Romanticisms was a highly complex and usually an exceedingly unstable intellectual compound’; see Lovejoy, Arthur, ‘On the discrimination of romanticism’ (1924), in Lovejoy, Essays in the history of ideas (New York, NY, 1955), pp. 234–6Google Scholar passim.

42 Even within a single country and language, as another scholar sceptical of romanticism's unity noted, ‘differences between [works] are so patently vast as to make comparison appear well nigh ludicrous’; see Furst, Lilian, Romanticism in perspective: a comparative study of aspects of the romantic movements in England, France, and Germany (New York, NY, 1969), p. 16Google Scholar. Some have taken this argument further, arguing that even in individual strains of romanticism, that is, in the work of a single writer, are ‘ephemeral and eclectic’, an ‘incongruent’, ‘mixed together’, ‘fluctuating’, and ‘unstable’ ‘intermezzo’ in European culture; see Gabriel Augusto Coelho Magalhães, Garrett e Rivas: O romantismo em Espanha e Portugal, ii (Lisbon, 2009), p. 329Google Scholar.

43 A list drawn from the core essences of romanticism enumerated or cited by Bowra, Maurice, The romantic imagination (Oxford, 1988)Google Scholar; Berlin, Isaiah, The roots of romanticism (London, 1999)Google Scholar; McGann, Jerome J., The romantic ideology: a critical investigation (Chicago, IL, 1983)Google Scholar; and Porter and Teich, eds., Romanticism.

44 Bloom, Harold, The visionary company: a reading of English romantic poetry (Ithaca, NY, 1971), pp. 270–1Google Scholar.

45 Barzun, Berlioz.

46 Durán, Agustín, Discurso sobre el influjo que ha tenido la crítica moderna en la decadencia del teatro antiguo español, y sobre el modo con que debe ser consideado para juzgar convenientemente de su mérito peculiar, ed. Shaw, D. L. (Exeter, 1973), p. 14Google Scholar.

47 Lloréns, Liberales, p. 381.

48 Hugo, Victor, Preface to Cromwell’, in Hugo, The essential Victor Hugo, ed. , E. H. and Blackmore, A. M. (Oxford, 2004), p. 38Google Scholar. The Iberian gravitation toward Hugo and Stendhal's celebration of Shakespeare's ‘barbaric genius’ is understandable: his shrugging off of the classical unities, combining verse and prose, mixing, in Hugo's words, the ‘grotesque and sublime, the terrible and the absurd, tragedy and comedy’; see Heike Grundman, ‘Shakespeare and European romanticism’, in Ferber, ed., Companion, p. 41, with Hugo's quotation on the same page; The characteristics of French Romantic drama are well known and may be summarized as the liberalization of language and style; the introduction of prose (or a freer form of Alexandrine verse); the lifting spatial/temporal limits on action; the promotion of modern historical themes, ‘local colour’; and awe-inspiring spectacle. See Barbara Cooper, ‘French romantic drama’, in Ferber, ed., Companion, pp. 235–6.

49 On the nineteenth-century interest in the romance more generally, see Duff, David, Romance and revolution: Shelley and the politics of a genre (Cambridge, 1994), p. 11Google Scholar.

50 As Eduardo Posada-Carbó and Iván Jaksić judiciously pointed out, ‘it would be a mistake to speak of a liberal tradition in the singular, or to refer to “liberals” in a generic way, as if they were adherents of a uniform and well-defined school of thought’; see their ‘Introducción: naufragios y sobrevivencias del liberalismo Latinoamericano’, in Liberalismo y poder: latinoamérica en el siglo XIX (Santiago, 2011), p. 41.

51 Pilbeam, Pamela, The 1830 revolution in France (Basingstoke, 1991), pp. 80, 98CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Some scholars have put a more positive gloss on the apparent variety of early nineteenth-century French (and British) liberalism, describing how it was produced slowly through the ‘grappling with predicaments’, from an ‘active dialogue’, which resulted in a liberalism that was ‘not sealed, but open; not uniform, but confidently heterogeneous’; see Kalyvas, Andreas and Katznelson, Ira, Liberal beginnings: making a republic for the moderns (Cambridge, 2008), pp. 1112CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 17.

52 Isabella, Risorgimento in exile, p. 25.

53 Ryan, Alan, The making of modern liberalism (Princeton, NJ, 2012), p. 29Google Scholar.

54 As Skinner, Quentin has elucidated, what neo-roman writers repudiate avant la lettre is the key assumption of classical liberalism to the effect that force or the coercive threat of it constitute the only forms of constraint that interfere with individual liberty’; see Skinner, Liberty before liberalism (Cambridge, 2012), p. 84Google Scholar.

55 For discussions of the diffusion of the Spanish Constitution, see Alonso, Manuel Moreno, La generación española de 1808 (Madrid, 1989), p. 219Google Scholar; ‘Liberal’ emerged as much as a term of opposition in Spain during the Cortes of Cádiz, the counterpart of ‘servil’ (and ‘iliberal’). A strong case has been made that the Spanish usage of the word ‘liberal’, pregnant with the meanings just mentioned, passed from Blanco White, and others, into the English language thanks to its dissemination by influential Hispanophiles Robert Southey and Lord John Russell. See Moreno Alonso, Generación, p. 221, building on the scholarship of V. Lloréns.

56 This summary is indebted to the scholarship of Portillo Valdés, J. M., including his ‘Constitución’, in Fernández Sebastián, J. and Fuentes, J. F., eds., Diccionario político y social del siglo XIX español (Madrid, 2002)Google Scholar, and, above all, his Revolución de la nación: orígenes de la cultura constitucional en España, 1780–1812 (Madrid, 2000).

57 Suanzes-Carpegna, Joaquín Varela, Política y constitución en España (1808–1978) (Madrid, 2007), p. 48Google Scholar; see also Suanzes-Carpegna, Joaquín Varela, La teoria del estado en los origenes del constitucionalismo hispanico (Las Cortes de Cádiz) (Madrid, 1983), p. 25Google Scholar.

58 For a discussion of the fissures within Spanish liberalism between 1814 and 1820, see Morange, Claude, Una conspiración fallida y una constitución nonnata (Madrid, 2006), pp. 158–95Google Scholar passim.

59 From the viewpoint of social and regional history, Burdiel has argued that the ‘“open” ideology of liberalism, combined with its intense local character, implied a deep social and political heterogeneity’. See Burdiel, ‘Myths’, p. 895; These shifting and mutually contradictory aspects of ‘liberalism’ (as well as other terms equally fraught with ambiguity, like ‘absolutism’ or ‘conservatism’) has encouraged some historians to adopt alternative frameworks, polarities, dyads, and antonyms, such as ‘reform versus ‘traditionalism. See Breña, Primer liberalismo, pp. 46–56.

60 Fernández Sebastián, ‘Introducción’, p. 28; though ‘liberal’ eventually came to refer to a recognizable ‘conjuncture of ideas, institutions, subjects, and political practices’ in the 1830s. See Fernández Sebastián, ‘Liberalismos nacientes en el Atlántico Iberoamericano: “Liberal” como concepto y como identidad política, 1750–1850’, in Diccionario … Iberoamericano, p. 719. As a result of the many compromises made with traditional institutions (and local and provincial powers) in order to retain power during the Trienio, Spanish liberalism's internal contradictions multiplied, its horizons became foreshortened, and its boldness faded. See Chust, Manuel, ‘El Liberalismo Doceañista, 1810–1837’, in Cortina, Manuel Suárez, ed., Las máscaras de la libertad: el liberalismo rspañol, 1808–1950 (Madrid, 2003), p. 95Google Scholar; as Raquel Sánchez García noted, Spanish liberalism ‘mortgaged the greater part of its ideological principles [in order to cling to power], which generated a rupture in the movement’, See García, Sánchez, Alcalá Galiano y el liberalismo Español (Madrid, 2005), p. 24Google Scholar.

61 Garrett, Almeida, in O Cronista (1827), quoted in Reis, António, ed., Portugal contemporâneo (Lisbon, 1990), p. 19Google Scholar.

62 José de Espronceda, ‘Política y filosofía. Libertad. Igualdad. Fraternidad’, El Español, 76 (15 Jan. 1836), in Espronceda, Obras completas, ed. D. Martínez Torrón (Madrid, 2006), p. 1292.

63 Espronceda, ‘España y Portugal’, El Pensamiento, 1 (19 May 1841), in Espronceda, Obras, p. 1298.

64 Gies, David T., Theatre and politics in nineteenth-century Spain: Juan de Grimaldi as impresario and government agent (Cambridge, 1988), p. 115CrossRefGoogle Scholar; see also Gies, David T., ‘Spain’, in Goldstein, Robert Justin, ed., The frightful stage: political censorship of the theatre in nineteenth-century Europe (New York, NY, 2009), p. 163Google Scholar. Censorship eventually would return to Spain in 1836. A royal order re-imposing regulation maligned the tendency of theatre to ‘exaltar las pasiones politicas de los espectadores’ (‘to inflame the political passions of the audience’); quotation reproduced in Gies, David T., The theatre in nineteenth-century Spain (Cambridge, 1994), p. 13CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

65 Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, a rock-fortress off the coast of modern Morocco, over which Spain remains sovereign.

66 The scathing attacks on Martínez de la Rosa are amply documented in the historiography: already during the Trienio, he had been nicknamed ‘Rosita la Pastelera’, a derogatory nickname, revived in an 1836 book, which combined the insult of an alleged predilection for compromising his beliefs with the vague, but malicious, insinuation of ‘effeminate’ behaviour. On this subject, see Escudero, Pedro Ojeda, El Justo Medio: neoclasicismo y romantismo en la obra dramatica de Martínez de la Rosa (Burgos, 1997), p. 39Google Scholar n. 94; and Mayberry, Robert and Mayberry, Nancy, Francisco Martínez de la Rosa (Boston, MA, 1988), p. 6Google Scholar. Azorín's early twentieth-century depiction of Martínez de la Rosa is memorably savage: ‘at his core, this man believed in nothing … [when he again became minister] even his superficial and sickly-sweet liberalism had fallen away and this man, now without recourse to artifice, showed himself to be arbitrary, hard, [and] despotic. Is this Spanish liberalism? Yes, it is.’ Azorín, , Rivas y Larra: razón social del romanticismo en España, in his Obras completas, xviiii (Madrid, 1921), pp. 56–7Google Scholar.

67 The official title was Presidente del Consejo de Ministros.

68 The best treatment of the Royal Statute remains Villarroya, Joaquín Tomás, El sistema político del Estatuto Real (1834–1836) (Madrid, 1968)Google Scholar.

69 It must be noted that it was written and published in Paris as part of his Obras literarias in 1830, and would have been well known by Spanish readers by the time the play went into production.

70 Fígaro [Larra], ‘Representación de La conjuración de Venecia, año 1310, Drama Histórico en Cinco Actos y en Prosa, de Don Francisco Martínez de la Rosa’, Revista Española, 198 (25 Apr. 1834), reproduced in de Larra, Mariano José, Fígaro: colección de artículos dramáticos, literarios, políticos y de costumbres, ed. Vidal, Alejandro Pérez (Barcelona, 2001), p. 203Google Scholar.

71 Of course, Martínez de la Rosa is bending the historical sequence here: the Tribunal was founded in 1310, after the revolt against the Doge.

72 As Gies and others have suggested, many elements emblematic of Spanish romantic drama abound in La conjuración: the historical time frame; the mysterious setting; the use of masks; surprise discoveries related to the origins of the principal characters which radically change the plot; the belief that love transcends life itself; rebellion against perceived injustice and oppression; the bloody joining of love and death. See Gies, Theatre in nineteenth-century Spain, p. 98.

73 de la Rosa, Martínez, La conjuración de Venecia, Año de 1310 (1834), ed. Seoane, M. J. Alonso (Madrid, 2000)Google Scholar, Act i, Scene iii, p. 192.

74 Ibid., Act ii, Scene iii, p. 217.

75 Ibid., Act v, Scene x, p. 292.

76 El Tiempo, 144 (24 Apr. 1834), quoted in Ojeda Escudero, El Justo Medio, p. 227 n. 67.

77 The texts of both the 1812 Spanish Constitution and the 1834 Estatuto Real are published in Galván, Enrique Tierno, ed., Leyes políticas españolas fundamentales (1808–1978) (2nd edn, Madrid, 1979)Google Scholar.

78 [Francisco Martínez de la Rosa et al.], ‘Exposición del Consejo de Ministros á S. M. la Reina Gobernadora’ (signed 4 Apr. 1834), preceding Estatuto Real para la convocación de las Cortes Generales del Reino (Madrid, 1834). The ‘Exposición’ was originally published in the Gaceta de Madrid; it should be noted that this document closely resembled the preamble to the French Charte, which, like the ‘Exposición’, presented precedents in French history as justification for its promulgation. For a valuable analysis of the preamble to the Charte, see Gruner, Shirley, ‘Political historiography in Restoration France’, History and Theory, 8 (1969), pp. 347, 360CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

79 Martínez de la Rosa made this point explicitly at the end of the ‘Exposición’: ‘politics cannot be derived from abstract principles and various theories, but rather must be conceived as a practical measure to secure the tranquil possession of civil rights (derechos civiles)’, pp. 30–1.

80 Martínez de la Rosa, ‘Exposición’, p. 10.

81 Martínez de la Rosa, Nov. 1834, quoted in de la Blanca, Pedro Pérez, Martínez de la Rosa y sus tiempos (Madrid, 2005), p. 282Google Scholar.

82 Martínez de la Rosa, ‘Exposición’, pp. 11–13.

83 Villarroya claimed that Martínez de la Rosa's political and literary interests were unrelated, that the ‘equilibrium and objectivity’ displayed in the Royal Statute had ‘little to do with the romantic extremism’ of his dramas. See Villarroya, El sistema político, pp. 126, 448. This article disputes the claim made by Villarroya.

84 Martínez de la Rosa, ‘Apuntes sobre el drama histórico’ (1830), in de la Rosa, Martínez, Obras dramáticas, ed. Jean Sarrailh (Madrid, 1933), pp. 408–9Google Scholar. Originally published in vol. v of the Didot (Paris) edition of Obras Literarias, published in 1830; in the prologue to another historical drama, Aben Humeya, he stressed a similar point, distinguishing between historical drama and history. Although the playwright sought to remain faithful to historical facts and to use details drawn from history (‘local colour’, in the phrase Hugo popularized, and Martínez de la Rosa invoked frequently), he should not ‘attempt to maintain scrupulous fidelity to the sources demanded of a chronicle’, but ‘rather the character, the stamp of the epoch and nation that produced it’. See Martínez de la Rosa, ‘Prólogo’ to Aben Humeya (1830), in Martínez de la Rosa, Obras dramáticas, p. 175.

85 He had broached the same subject more than two decades earlier. See de la Rosa, Martínez, La revolución actual de España, bosquexada (Granada, 1813), pp. 1112Google Scholar.

86 Martínez de la Rosa, ‘Exposición’, pp. 14–15, 27. This authority, it must be said, was quite ample, extending to the convocation and dissolution of the Estamentos; on the pouvoir neutre in Constant's thought, see Fontana, Biancamaria, Benjamin Constant and the post-revolutionary mind (New Haven, CT, and London, 1991), pp. 64–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

87 For a good analysis of the Estatuto Real, see Varela Suanzes-Carpegna, Política y constitución, p. 79.

88 Martínez de la Rosa, ‘Exposición’, pp. 18, 19, 26.

89 Martínez de la Rosa, Oct. 1834, quoted in Pérez de la Blanca, Martínez de la Rosa, p. 132; compare this image to other romantic anthropomorphized depictions of liberty. See Duff, Romance and revolution, p. 35.

90 de la Rosa, Martínez, Espíritu del siglo, i (Madrid, 1835), pp. v, xiiiGoogle Scholar.

91 On notion of literature as revolution ‘by other means’, see Hamilton, Paul, ‘“Realpoetik”: revolution by other means in European romantic Restoration thought’, History of European Ideas, 38 (2013), pp. 370–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

92 On the Quadruple Alliance, see Bullen, Roger, ‘France and the problem of intervention in Spain, 1834–1836’, Historical Journal, 20 (1977), pp. 363–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

93 [Alcalá Galiano], ‘Prólogo’, to de Saavedra, Don Ángel [de Rivas, Duque], El moro expósito, ó Córdoba y Búrgos en el siglo décimo, leyenda en doce romances, i (Pamplona, 1834), p. ixGoogle Scholar; further along in the ‘Prólogo’, he argued that romanticism and classicism were ‘arbitrary divisions in whose existence I do not believe’, p. xxvii.

94 Ibid., pp. xiv, xviii–xx.

95 Ibid., ‘Inaugural’, p. 10.

96 Ibid., ‘Prólogo’, pp. xxii, xxvii, xxix.

97 [Bowring, John], Observations on the state of religion and literature in Spain, made during a journey through the peninsula in 1819 (London, 1819), p. 15Google Scholar.

98 Mesonero, quoted in Gies, Theatre in nineteenth-century Spain, p. 91.

99 Almeida Garrett was elected to the lower chamber (Camara dos Deputados) of parliament and subsequently to the upper chamber (Pares) for Braga, Lisbon, Angra (Azores), and Beira in 1837, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1846–52.

100 Preface [‘Ao Sr. Duarte Lessa’] (1828) to Adosinda, in Obras de Almeida Garrett, i (Oporto, 1966), pp. 1748–9, 1751. Many scholars have noted Almeida Garrett's contradictions, including his ambiguous relationship with romanticism. Nevertheless, he is generally considered to have introduced many of its tenets into Portuguese literature, even in his ostensibly, and self-declared, ‘classical’ phase. Helder Macedo, for example, offered the following compilation of his contradictions: ‘conservative revolutionary, classicist romantic, narcissistic altruist, puritan sensualist, moralist without morals’. See Macedo, ‘Garrett no romantismo Europeu’, in Monteira, Ofélia Paiva and Santana, Maria Helena, orgs., Almeida Garrett. Um romântico, um moderno, i (Lisbon, 2003), p. 35Google Scholar.

101 Almeida Garrett, Preface to Lírica de João Mínimo (1828), in Obras, i, pp. 1497–8; Madame de Staël distinguished between romanticism as poetry of northern Europe, of Ossian, and southern Europe synonymous with Homer and classicism more generally, in her 1813 De L'Allemagne, a distinction which entered thereafter into the mainstream.

102 Almeida Garrett, O Cronista, 1 (4 Mar. 1827), pp. 15–17, quoted in Álvaro Manuel Machado, ‘Almeida Garrett e o paradigma romântico europeu: modelos e modas’, in Monteira and Santana, orgs., Almeida Garrett, i, pp. 44–5. In the introduction to the Lírica de João Mínimo, Almeida Garrett bluntly stated that ‘to imitate foreign works and reject those of one's own nation is ignorant and stupid’, in Obras, i, p. 1497.

103 Almeida Garrett, ‘Introducão’, Romanceiro, ii, p. 49 (n.b. originally published, as serial of five articles, in the Revista Universal Lisbonense (1845–6)).

104 Almeida Garrett, ‘Introdução’, Romanceiro, ii, pp. 50, 54–5.

105 ‘All the goods are null and void, all of the principles and effects of the constitution are uncertain, without a certain measure, the most efficacious and most important guarantee of all of the constitution's magnificent promises … everything will be a chimera without this [freedom]’; see Almeida Garrett, ‘Carta de guia para eleitores em que se trata da opinião pública, das qualidades para deputados e do modo de as conhecer’ (9 Sept. 1826), in Almeida Garrett, Obras, i, p. 1084.

106 Espronceda, ‘Influencia del gobierno sobre la poesía’, El Siglo, 12 (28 Feb. 1834), in Espronceda, Obras, pp. 1250–1.

107 Speech of the de Rivas, Duque (6 Dec. 1835), published in Ateneo Científico y Literario: sesión inaugural del 6 de Diciembre de 1835 (Madrid, 1835)Google Scholar, quoted in Morales, Angel Garrorena, El Ateneo de Madrid y la teoría de la monarquía liberal (1836–47) (Madrid, 1974), pp. 41–2Google Scholar.

108 This subject, and cognate subjects, has attracted some excellent historical work: for Portugal, in general, see Monteiro, Nuno, O crepúsculo dos grandes: a casa e o património de aristocracia em Portugal (1750–1850) (Libson, 1998)Google Scholar; and Elites e poder: entre o Antigo Regime e o Liberalismo (2nd edn, Lisbon, 2007)Google Scholar; for Spain, see Janke, Peter, Mendizábal y la instauración de la monarquia constitucional en España (1790–1853) (Madrid, 1974)Google Scholar; the most recent historiography for Spain has been summarized in Vincent, Mary, Spain, 1833–2002 (Oxford, 2007), pp. 1619Google Scholar.

109 He would be toppled by a coup d’état led by more conservative-leaning liberals, who were, in turn, turned out of office. It was then that the 1812 Constitution was reinstated, replacing Martínez de la Rosa's Royal Statute, before it was, in turn, superseded by the 1837 Constitution.

110 As Iarocci has argued, ‘[Romanticism] was not simply part of the machinery of liberalism. It was also the ghost in that machine, a sort of pained bad conscience that accompanied the upheavals of liberal modernity’; see Properties of modernity, p. 47, though Iarocci does not study these episodes recounted here, his arguments are applicable.

111 Ginger, Liberalismo, pp. 94–5.

112 The decree authorizing the sale of monastic properties was published on 8 Mar. 1836.

113 In fairness to Mendizábal, the political ‘package’ he promised seemed reasonable, if ambitious, to solve the fiscal conundrum, meet the challenge of Carlism, and avert revolution ‘from below’: the expansion of the franchise, the elimination of the estamentos, the exclusion of D. Carlos from Spain, disentailment, and the abolition of seigneurial jurisdiction. For a summary in English, see Burdiel, ‘Myths’, p. 907.

114 de Espronceda, José, El Ministerio Mendizábal (Madrid, 1836), pp. 1920Google Scholar.

115 Ibid., p. 20.

116 José de Espronceda, ‘El Gobierno y la Bolsa’, El Español, 128 (7 Mar. 1836), in Espronceda, Obras, p. 1289–90; the best treatment of Espronceda's thought remains Marrast, Robert, José de Espronceda y su tiemp: literatura, sociedad y política en tiempos de romanticismo, trans. L. Roca (Barcelona, 1989)Google Scholar.

117 Rivas had been a political enemy of Mendizábal and had conspired to oust him from power in 1836, as a result of which he joined newly installed ministry of Francisco Javier de Istúriz, together with his long-time political and literary collaborator Alcalá Galiano.

118 Duque de Rivas, ‘Discurso parlamentario [en defensa de Bienes Eclesiásticos]’, 1 Mar. 1838, in Derozier, Alberto, ed., Escritores políticos Españoles (1789–1854) (Madrid, 1975), pp. 282–4Google Scholar.

119 Herculano, Alexandre, A voz do profeta, in Herculano, Opúsculos, i (5th edn, Lisbon, n.d.), pp. 64Google Scholar, 76–7 (n.b. split-text format; the citation is taken from the original O Panorama text).

120 A. Herculano, ‘Monumentos pátrios’ (1838–9), in Herculano, Opúsculos, i, p. 186.

121 Ibid., pp. 192, 195, 200.

122 Manent, Liberalism, p. 92.

123 The author is indebted to Professor Richard Drayton for assistance in developing this formulation personal communication (25 Apr. 2013). See also Drayton, Synchronic palimpsests: work, power, and the transcultural history of knowledge’, in Hock, Klaus and Mackenthun, Gesa, eds., Entangled knowledge: scientific discourse and cultural difference (Münster, 2012), pp. 3150Google Scholar.

124 Gray, John, Liberalism (2nd edn, Buckingham, 1995), p. xiiiGoogle Scholar; a more recent general account of liberalism shares a disquiet similar to that expressed in this article. See Kelly, Paul, Liberalism (Cambridge, 2005), p. 18Google Scholar.

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