Spanish America in the political cultures of Spain and the United Kingdom (1824-1850)

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Wednesday 14 December 2022, 4.30 - 6pm
Online via MS Teams

In this talk organized by the Modern History Research Centre (MHRC) in partnership with the Hispanic-Anglosphere project, Dr Rodrigo Escribano Roca will introduce his latest book Memorias del viejo imperio. Hispanoamérica en las culturas políticas de España y el Reino Unido (1824-1850) – a study of the impact of Spanish American independence on the political cultures of Spain and the United Kingdom.

The disintegration of the Spanish Monarchy in the Americas in the nineteenth century affected two European powers with great intensity. The first was Spain itself, an intercontinental monarchy that transformed into a peninsular state with island possessions. The second was the British Empire that, our speaker argues, had a foreign policy that contributed to emancipate the Hispanic dominions and to incorporate them into its sphere of influence. The book analyses the political thinking in Spain and the United Kingdom during the transitional period following the Atlantic Revolutions (1824-1850). In so doing, it aims to dissect the exercises of mythification of the Spanish Monarchy's overseas past and the interpretations of the republican developments that took place in Spanish America after the revolutionary schism.

The book explains how the ideologized memory of the imperial crisis encouraged Spanish, British and Irish intellectuals to produce knowledge, binding myths, and geopolitical expectations. These myths and expectations were not purely consensual: there was no single Spanish memory or British interpretation of the imperial crisis. Instead, he encountered a kaleidoscope of polemical visions intertwined with a substratum of romanticism, nationalism, and imperialism that responded to the diverse ideological projects of absolutists, moderates, progressives, demo-republicans, socialists, Whigs, Tories, and radicals. The book helps to shed light on the importance of the Spanish-American emancipations in forging the political cultures of both monarchies.

Rodrigo Escribano Roca is Director of the Centre of American Studies at the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez in Chile. In 2019, he was awarded a doctorate in Philosophy at the School of Humanities and Communications Arts, Western Sydney University, Australia and a similar degree under the banner ‘Latin America and the European Union in the International Context’ by the Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Estudios Latinoamericanos (IELAT), Universidad de Alcalá, Spain. He is Head Researcher of the Chilean Fondecyt (Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico) Project No. 11200245 "The Pacific Expedition and the Spanish-South American War in the geopolitical imaginaries of liberal Spain (1860-1866)". He has also published various articles in prestigious journals, such as the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Anuario de Estudios Americanos, Historia Constitucional and Philosophia.

Discussant: Dr James Sanders, Director of Graduate Studies (Utah State University)

Chair: Dr Graciela Iglesias-Rogers, convenor MHRC (University of Winchester)

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