American Independence Movements: A History in Documents.

AuthorJane Rausch, Emerita

Klooster, Wim, ed. Spanish American Independence Movements: A History in Documents. Petersborough, Ontario, Canada: Broadview Press, 2021.

The independence movements of Spanish America in the early nineteenth century signal the virtual end of Spanish colonialism in the Americas (except for Cuba and Puerto Rico). These independence movements gave rise to the creation of the contemporary Latin American nations that stretch from Mexico in the north to Chile and Argentina in the south. Wim Klooster's Spanish American Independence Movements: A History in Documents is the ninth instalment of Broadview Press' impressive Sources Series, which was launched with the 2016 publication of The Trial of Charles I. Klooster by K. J. Kesselring, who holds the Robert H. and Virginia N. Scotland Chair in History and International Relations at Clark University and is also the author of Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History and coeditor of The Atlantic World: Essays on Slavery, Migration, and Imagination.

Klooster's detailed and thought-provoking introduction provides the information needed to place the primary source documents in historical perspective. Topic discussed in the introduction include Ethnicity Culture, and Power in the Spanish Territories; Early Revolts and Rebellions; The French Revolution and Spanish America; Napoleons Invasion of Spain and the Imperial Crisis; The Road to a Constitution; The Constitution of Cadiz; Revolts in New Spain; Creole Ascension in the Rio de la Plata; South America's Southern Theater; New Granada: South America's Northern Theater; The Perils of Self-Governance; Fernando's Return; Bolivar's Success; Peru and San Martin's Achievement; South America's Final Battles; and Mexican Independence. The book offers a carefully selected collection of fifty-four documents that cover the major developments from 1780 to 1826. The documents, many of which are appearing in English for the first time, are arranged chronologically in five sections: Prelude (documents 1-3), Imperial Crisis (documents 4-10), Independence Movements Take Off: Fernando's Restoration (documents 11-28), Continued Warfare and Independence (documents 29-41), and Imperial Defeat and Construction of New Regimes (documents 42-54). In addition to the chronological presentation of the documents, Klooster provides an alternative arrangement of the documents by region in a section called "Alternate Table of Contents: Documents Separated by Region." The...

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