José de Bustamante and Central American Independence: Colonial Administration in an Age of Imperial Crisis
Latin American independence histories of the last 150 years have tended to stereotype Captain General Bustamante, governor of the Spanish colony of Guatemala from 1811 to 1818, as a tyrannical arch-villain who personified colonial oppression. Timothy Hawkins, in contrast, examines Bustamante and his administration within the context of "preservation of empire," the effort by colonial officials and partisans to maintain the integrity of the Spanish empire in spite of internal and external unrest.
Based on extensive primary research in the archives of Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain, Hawkins's approach links the Central American experience to that of areas such as Peru, Venezuela, and Mexico, that also responded equivocally and haphazardly to rebellious uprisings against colonial rule. While conceding that Bustamante's role in the suppression of unrest turned him into one of the more controversial figures in Latin American history, Hawkins argues that the Bustamante administration should not be seen as an isolated and perverse case of Spanish repression but as an example of a relatively successful, if short lived, campaign by Spain to preserve its empire.
Timothy P. Hawkins is Professor of History at Indiana State University and has written articles for the "Colonial Latin American Historical Review, The Historian," and the "Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture."
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The Creation of a Spanish Colonial Official
The Kingdom of Guatemala on the Eve of Independence
The Imperial Crisis and Colonial Defense 17981811
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Actas Capitulares acuerdo afrancesado AGCA alcalde alcalde mayor Alejandro Malaspina Antonio argued arrival audiencia authority Aycinena ayun ayuntamiento ayuntamiento of Guatemala Bourbon Bumgartner Busta Bustamante Bustamante's capital captain Casaus Central America colonial administration colonial government constitutional Cortes Council of Regency counterinsurgency creole elite crown declared decree defense economic emissaries Ferdinand VII forces Francisco French Gonzalez governor Granada Guate Guatemala City Guatemala City ayuntamiento Historia Ibid independence infidencia Instrucciones insurgents insurrection intendant isthmus José Juan Junta Junta Central jurisdiction king Kingdom of Guatemala ladino loyalty Malaspina Mallol mante Manuel March Marure Mayorga Metapán Mexico military militia monarchy Napoleon Nicaragua November officials oidores oligarchy patriotic Peinado peninsular policies political population position prisoners provincial reforms regidores revolt royal royalist Salazar Salvadoran San Salvador sentiment Spain Spanish empire Spanish rule stamante subversion tamiento Tegucigalpa threat tion town tranquility tribunal troops unrest uprisings Valle Viceroy Venegas