"This book discusses responses to the challenges faced by two different Iberian imperial systems in their struggle to sustain territorial integrity and economic interests in the face of international competition. During a so-called period of 'Enlightened Despotism', absolutist governments in Spain and Portugal sought to harness Enlightenment ideas to their policies of reform. The Iberian Enlightenment, however, did not rely exclusively on government sponsorship--it had existing foundations in sixteenth-century Spanish humanism and subsequent attempts at reform, and educated individuals in major cities frequently operated independently of government. The Enlightenment contributed greatly to the availability of potential political solutions to the urgent matter of political status, in the attempt to transform absolutist governments into constitutional systems and drawing in the process on the structures of medieval foundations, contemporary revolutions or less radical constitutional monarchies, or a combination of sources more closely aligned with Ibero-American realities."--
Juarez, the Indian-born (Zapotec) founding father of modern Mexico, championed a newly-independent, largely non-white nation. He struggled to preserve the integrity of Mexico as a sovereign state in the face of US pressure and European intervention; and, as President, his brand of Liberalism broke with the Indian and Hispanic pasts, curbed the power of church and army, and promoted federalism and civil rule.
Studies in Spanish American regional history have, as yet, made little attempt to incorporate the struggles for independence within the context of provincial society and politics viewed over the broader period that spans the late colonial and early national experience of Latin America. This book attempts a new perspective: it emphasises the provincial milieu and popular participation in its varied forms, often ambiguous and contradictory. The central aim is to examine social conflicts, chiefly in the Mexican provinces of Puebla, Guadalajara, Michoacán, and Guanajuato from the middle of the eighteenth century, and to assess their relationship to the widespread insurgency of the second decade of the nineteenth century.
The second edition of this accessible study of Mexico includes two new features: an examination of cultural developments since Independence from Spain in 1821 and a discussion of contemporary issues up to the time of publication. Several new plates with captions expand the thematic coverage in the book. The updated edition examines the administration of Vicente Fox, who came to power with the elections of 2000. The new sections reinforce the importance of Mexico's long and disparate history, from the Precolumbian era onwards, in shaping the country as it is today. This Concise History looks at Mexico from political, economic and cultural perspectives, and tackles controversial themes such as the impact of the Spanish Conquest and the struggle to establish an independent Mexico. A broad range of readers interested in the modern-day Americas should find here a helpful introduction to this vibrant and dynamic North-American society.
This book argues that in addition to being a war of national liberation, Mexico's movement toward independence from Spain was also an internal war pitting classes and ethnic groups against each other, an intensely localized struggle by rural people, especially Indians, for the preservation of their communities.