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The End of Iberian Rule on the American Continent, 1770–1830


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  • Date Published: April 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316626634

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About the Authors
  • In this new work, Brian R. Hamnett offers a comprehensive assessment of the independence era in both Spanish America and Brazil by examining the interplay between events in Iberia and in the overseas empires of Spain and Portugal. Most colonists had wanted some form of unity within the Spanish and Portuguese monarchies but European intransigence continually frustrated this aim. Hamnett argues that independence finally came as a result of widespread internal conflict in the two American empires, rather than as a result of a clear separatist ideology or a growing national sentiment. With the collapse of empire, each component territory faced a struggle to survive. The End of Iberian Rule on the American Continent, 1770–1830 is the first book of its kind to give equal consideration to the Spanish and Portuguese dimensions of South America, examining these territories in terms of their divergent component elements.

    • Focuses on the end of empire, rather than the birth of nations
    • Explains a new view on Spanish and Portuguese empires, analyzing how they lasted for such a long period of time and generated much support within the Americas
    • Enables an understanding of imperial systems and their limitations while still examining specific cases where necessary
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    • Winner, 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is a masterly treatment of the dissolution of the Iberian empires by a master historian. Ranging deftly from Mexico to Peru to Brazil to the Iberian Peninsula and beyond, Hamnett provides an innovative synthesis and a fresh interpretation of the Age of Revolutions.' Gabriel Paquette, The Johns Hopkins University

    'In this work, Hamnett displays tremendous erudition and a mastery of politics and economics. In distilling a great deal of primary and secondary source research into a wide-ranging text, he forces us to re-evaluate key events and figures rather than fall back on simplistic binaries and dated interpretations.' Scott Eastman, Creighton University, Nebraska

    'In this absolute tour-de-force Hamnett brings together the many disparate strands of the complex story of how the Iberian monarchies dissolved. Moving comfortably in time and from Spain and Portugal to their American possessions, a clear picture emerges of how and why the empires collapsed and new nations emerged.' Natalia Sobrevilla, University of Kent

    '… must be considered the single most important work to summarize the pressures on the Iberian empires, which eventually drove them to implosion.' Jeremy Adelman, The Journal of Modern History

    '… Brian Hamnett's book is an extraordinary contribution to our knowledge of a generation of politicians, men of letters, military officers, and popular leaders who, for better or for worse, changed the Ibero-American spectrum. Anyone interested in both the ideas and the material culture that enabled and gave legitimacy to these events should consult this work of rare comprehensiveness and consequence.' Juan Luis Ossa, H-LatAm

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316626634
    • length: 372 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. One Sole Monarch: 'One Sole Nation' - Advocates, Critics, and Challengers:
    1. Negotiation, networks, linkages
    2. An alternative vision? Andean perceptions of the Hispanic monarchy
    3. The idea of metropolis and empire as one nation
    Part II. Salvaging the Greater Nation: Constitutionalism or Absolutism?:
    4. Iberian monarchies in crisis: juntas, congresses, constitutions
    5. Hispanic America - violence unleashed
    6. The first Spanish constitutional experiment: the 'one sole nation' and its opponents (1810–14)
    7. The counter-revolution and its opponents (1814–20)
    Part III. Shattering the Greater Nation: Fragmentation, Separate Sovereign States, and the Search for Legitimacy:
    8. Metropolitan Iberia - focus of disunion (1820–30)
    9. The divergence of the American territories (1820–30)
    10. Independence - territory, peoples, nations
    Final reflections

  • Author

    Brian R. Hamnett, University of Essex
    Brian R. Hamnett is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of History at the University of Essex. He has travelled and researched widely in Latin America, and in Spain and Portugal. His published works have focused primarily on Mexico in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with interest also in Peru, Colombia and Brazil.


    • Winner, 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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