Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Connections after Colonialism: Europe and Latin America in the 1820s

Connections after Colonialism: Europe and Latin America in the 1820s, edited by Matthew Brown and Gabriel Paquette, is just out, published by the University of Alabama Press. Gabe and I are as proud as punch to have pulled together a stellar line-up of historians to work on this project, which began as a symposium at Trinity College Cambridge back in 2009.

In the project we wanted to test our hypothesis that the 1820s was a decade marked by substantial continuities in the economic, cultural and political relationships between Europe and Latin America. This ran against some meaty historical arguments which assumed that Europe and Latin America had been definitively separated in this decade by the tumultuous processes of independence from colonial rule. The book shows quite clearly that this was not the case at all - which means historians need to do some serious thinking about the paradigms that rest upon this assumption, for example Eric Hobsbawm's influential 'Age of Revolutions' argument, as well as much writing about Atlantic history.

The book's table of contents is:

‘Introduction: Between the Age of Atlantic Revolutions and the Age of Empire’, Matthew Brown and Gabriel Paquette
1. ‘Themes and Tensions in a Contradictory Decade: Ibero-America as a Multiplicity of States’, Brian Hamnett
2. ‘Rafael del Riego and the Spanish Origins of the Nineteenth- Century Mexican Pronunciamiento’, Will Fowler
3. ‘Include and Rule: The Limits of Liberal Colonial Policy, 1810–1837’, Josep M. Fradera
4. ‘Entangled Patriotisms: Italian Liberals and Spanish America in the 1820s’, Maurizio Isabella
5. ‘The Brazilian Origins of the 1826 Portuguese Constitution’, Gabriel Paquette
6. ‘An American System: The North American Union and Latin America in the 1820s’, Jay Sexton
7. ‘The Chilean Irishman Bernardo O’Higgins and the Independence of Peru’, Scarlett O’Phelan Godoy
8. ‘Corinne in the Andes: European Advice for Women in 1820s Argentina and Chile’, Iona Macintyre
9. ‘Heretics, Cadavers, and Capitalists: European Foreigners in Venezuela during the 1820s’, Reuben Zahler
10. ‘Porteño Liberals and Imperialist Emissaries in the Rio de la Plata: Rivadavia and the British
David Rock
11. ‘“There Is No Doubt That We Are under Threat from the Negroes of Santo Domingo”: The Specter of Haiti in the Spanish Caribbean in the 1820s’, Carrie Gibson    
12. ‘Bartolomé de las Casas and the Slave Trade to Cuba circa 1820’, Christopher Schmidt-Nowara
13. ‘The 1820s in Perspective: The Bolivarian Decade’, Matthew Brown

Additional essays on the topic may be found in the special issue of European History Quarterly we guest-edited in July 2011.

It was an absolute pleasure to work with all these excellent scholars on this collaborative project. It can be purchased through Amazon or direct from the publisher.

It is increasingly popular to write books, produce t.v. series or simply speculate wildly about the supposed identity of particular decades from history. To my knowledge this is the first book on the 1820s to have such a broad geographical approach. Of course the 1820s have been celebrated for many things we don't touch on, like Georgian architecture in the U.K., fashion or horse-racing. But much more important than that, this book demonstrates the extent to which Europe and the Americas were tied together back in the 1820s, long before people started talking about globalization.