Jose de Bustamante and Central American Independence: Colonial Administration in an Age of Imperial Crisis

Front Cover
University of Alabama Press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 283 pages
0 Reviews

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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Creation of a Spanish Colonial Official
The Kingdom of Guatemala on the Eve of Independence
The Imperial Crisis and Colonial Defense 17981811

4 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

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.

Bibliographic information