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Between Political Emancipation and Creole Hegemony: Viscardo's Letter to the Spanish Americans (c. 1791)

Nunez-Faraco, HR; (2018) Between Political Emancipation and Creole Hegemony: Viscardo's Letter to the Spanish Americans (c. 1791). History of European Ideas , 44 (1) pp. 49-59. 10.1080/01916599.2016.1261256. Green open access

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Abstract

Viscardo’s Letter to the Spanish Americans inaugurates a tradition of nonconformist political writing against Spanish colonial rule during the second half of the eighteenth century, a period characterised by the Crown’s attempt to reorganise several aspects of the colonial administration. As an ex-Jesuit living in exile after the expulsion of the Society of Jesus from all Spanish territories in 1767, Viscardo had a political as much as a personal motive in designing a project that would cut the colonial ties between Spain and the New World. His plans for emancipation included the instauration of a monarchical form of government, but his design was out of touch with reality and would have hardly been taken seriously by the inhabitants had a British-backed expeditionary force reached the coasts of Chile and Peru, as he had planned. While Viscardo’s Letter may have stirred a sense of creole patriotism some years after his death, the political scruples of the ancien regime based on social privileges and racial distinctions were too strong to be dismantled by mere ideals of freedom, justice and equality. Thus, effective political participation was restricted to the creole elite, whom Viscardo saw as the legitimate guarantor of social order and economic prosperity.

Type: Article
Title: Between Political Emancipation and Creole Hegemony: Viscardo's Letter to the Spanish Americans (c. 1791)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/01916599.2016.1261256
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01916599.2016.1261256
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Bourbon reforms, colonialism, natural rights, political emancipation, racial heterogeneity, Viscardo y Guzmán
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1529258
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