'America has escaped from our hands': Rethinking empire, identity and independence during the trienio liberal in Spain, 1820-1823

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Spanish nationalists lauded the Constitution of 1812, which erased the boundaries of colony and metropole. By the early 1820s, however, separatists narrated 300 years of American history as a Biblical tale of enslavement, with nations ultimately freed from captivity by the heroism and martyrdom of liberators such as Hidalgo. Contrary to the idea that an apathetic metropolis turned away from its empire, this article recovers a vibrant public sphere in which debates raged over independence, nationality and the possibilities of constitutional monarchy. As Spain and Mexico shared a liberal political culture, it is clear that national identities diverged only inasmuch as nationalists insisted upon distinctive cultural and historical roots and the definitive separation of the 'two Spains'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-443
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean History Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

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