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Flows of sovereignty: a transnational approach to parliaments in the Hispanic world during the age of revolutions

Courants de souveraineté : approche transnationale des parlements dans le monde hispanique à l’âge des révolutions
Jorge Luengo
p. 47-63

Résumés

Cet article éclaire le rôle des parlements dans le processus de construction de l’État et de la nation dans le monde hispanique, durant le premier xixe siècle. Il considère la création et l’institutionnalisation des parlements à partir d’une perspective transnationale. En examinant particulièrement les cas de l’Espagne et de la Nouvelle-Grenade/Colombie dans les années 1810 et 1820, l’article cherche à démontrer comment la construction institutionnelle a accéléré la transformation de la notion de souveraineté dans un espace transnational, et a joint régions, nations et empires.

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Texte intégral

I would like to thank Brad Hayes, Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, Domingo Centenero, and Israel Arroyo for their helpful suggestions and insightful comments.

  • 2 Anthony McFarlane, War and Independence in Spanish America, New York, Routledge, 2013; Clément Thib (...)
  • 3 José M. Portillo, Crisis atlántica: autonomía e independencia en la crisis de la monarquía hispana, (...)
  • 4 Jeremy Adelman, Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic, Princeton, Princeton University (...)
  • 5 Eduardo Posada-Carbó, « Congresses versus caudillos: the untold history of democracy in Latin Ameri (...)
  • 6 Some remarkable examples of an extensive literature are Federico Suárez, Las Cortes de Cádiz, Madri (...)

1This article highlights the role of parliaments in the process of state and nation building in the Hispanic world during the early-nineteenth century. In studying the age of revolutions in the Hispanic Atlantic, some scholars have privileged warfare and the dominant role of the military2. Others have pointed to the rise of constitutionalism during the revolutionary process in the Hispanic Atlantic as a single space, and especially the role of the 1812 Spanish Constitution3. Yet other scholars, from different perspectives, have interpreted the period with an emphasis on the transformation of sovereignty4. However, all this scholarship has neglected the role of parliaments in the process of independence and the consolidation of republics in the new world, as Eduardo Posada-Carbó has recently pointed out5. Only in the case of the Cortes de Cádiz has a more comprehensive corpus of literature been produced6.

  • 7 Two remarkable examples are Timothy Tackett, Becoming a Revolutionary: The Deputies of the French N (...)
  • 8 Pasi Ihalainen, « European parliamentary experiences from a conceptual historical perspective », in (...)
  • 9 See Akira Iriye, Pierre-Yves Saunier, « Introduction. The Professor and the Madman », in Akira Iriy (...)

2Employing a broad notion of parliament, understood as any assembly summoned during this period with the goal of exercising sovereign power, this article defends the centrality of parliaments in the construction of new forms of sovereignty in the Americas during the 1810s and 1820s. Unlike from dominant national perspectives on parliamentarism7, it will approach the convening and institutionalization of parliaments from a transnational perspective. A transnational approach to the institutional establishment of parliaments involved both the circulation of representatives and the transfer of political models, practices, and ideas across distinct world regions8. In an imperial and post-imperial context in which nation-states were still undergoing definition, examining the transnational dimension refers in this case to the links and flows among parliaments as the notion of national sovereignty took root9.

  • 10 Among many other examples, Maurizio Isabella, Konstantina Zanou (eds.), Mediterranean Diasporas: Po (...)
  • 11 Jürgen Osterhammel, The Transformation of the World. A Global History of the Nineteenth Century, Pr (...)

3In this regard, the study of parliaments in early-nineteenth century Latin America relates to exiles and diasporas during the age of revolutions. Here the scholarship has been prodigious. Circulation of actors across borders and continents characterize recent work10. These studies have especially emphasized political actors on the move, such as exiles and expatriates. However, parliamentary representatives, often members of the petite bourgeoisie11, whose local or regional profiles gave access to offices that did not tend to operate beyond the state, traveled fairly often all the same and thus actively participated in the movements of people and ideas across political borders.

  • 12 Juan Fernández Sebastián, « Iberconceptos. Hacia una historia transnacional de los conceptos en el (...)
  • 13 María Teresa Calderón, Clément Thibaud, La majestad de los pueblos en la Nueva Granada y Venezuela, (...)
  • 14 Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, Un nuevo reino: geografía política, pactismo y diplomacia durante el Inter (...)

4Indeed, parliaments should be understood within broader discussions tackling the transformation of political concepts during the Sattelzeit12. In this regard, the focus on the transformation of sovereignty has adopted a long-term perspective in interpreting the revolutionary process13. This long-term perspective contrasts with the approaches of other scholars who emphasize events that occurred from 1810-1820 onwards14. Without necessarily interpreting these approaches as contradictory, the focus on parliaments enables us to bridge the rupture that occurred as new republics formed throughout the 1810s and 1820s. A transnational history of parliaments should not only stress the importance of spheres of political activity and the dialectics and interactions in the interstices and transboundary spaces within the process of nation-state building. It should also show, and this is the main argument of this article, how institution-building accelerated the transformation of the notion of sovereignty in a transnational space that transcended and joined regions, nations, and empires.

5Along with other cases, I will especially concentrate on the myriad of parliaments that were formed in New Granada, the Republic of Colombia, and Venezuela in the 1810s and 1820s, the Cortes de Cádiz (1810-1814) and the Spanish parliament of the Liberal Triennium (1820-1823.) The first section of this article will discuss the role of parliaments within the debates regarding the age of revolutions. The second section will focus on the regional, transnational, and Atlantic mobility of representatives. The last part will take up examples that demonstrate the transnational dimension of legislative bodies during the first decades of the nineteenth century.

The role of parliaments in the Hispanic world: Reshaping sovereignties in provinces, nations, and empires

  • 15 See above note 6.
  • 16 See José M. Portillo, Crisis atlántica…, op. cit., p. 124-158. This is one of the few examples that (...)
  • 17 Jaime E. Rodriguez O., The Independence of Spanish America, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, (...)

6In studies of the monarchical crisis that struck the Spanish world in 1808, the Cortes de Cádiz have gained much broader historiographical attention than any other parliament15. In contrast to the emergence of constitutionalism, the interrelated history of the formation of parliaments in Spain and the Americas during these years still remains obscure. Indeed, the opening of the Cortes in 24 September 1810 was far from an isolated phenomenon in the Hispanic world16. From late 1810, multiple assemblies started to experiment with bringing into practice concepts of popular and national sovereignty. The making of representative assemblies reveals local reactions to the process of reconstruction of the broken body politic of the Spanish Monarchy following the events of Bayonne more than the accounts of national beginnings17.

  • 18 François-Xavier Guerra, Modernidad e independencias. Ensayos sobre las revoluciones hispánicas, Mad (...)
  • 19 Miguel Artola, La España de Fernando VII, Madrid, España, 1999, p. 285-314; Manuel Chust (ed.), 180 (...)
  • 20 François-Xavier Guerra, Modernidad e independencias…, op. cit., p. 148-188.
  • 21 Juan Fernández Sebastián, « El mundo atlántico como laboratorio conceptual, 1750-1850 », Jahrbuch f (...)
  • 22 Josep M. Fradera, The Imperial Nation: Citizens and Subjects in the British, French, Spanish, and A (...)

7The transfer of the Spanish Crown to Napoleon in May 1808 and the subsequent abduction of the king – who was held in the French town of Valençay until 1814 – led to both political disintegration and eroded political legitimacy throughout the Spanish Empire18. Another implication of the resulting vacuum of power was the loss of the body politic’s head. Both political power and legitimacy had to be reconstructed. Where French rule did not reach, governing juntas were formed19. Starting in 1810, juntas evolved into representative assemblies on both sides of the Atlantic. These assemblies carried the name of Cortes, asambleas, or congresos. Unlike early-modern estates, they were all representative parliaments directly based on the modern foundations of sovereignty. The goal of these parliaments was the reconstruction of the body politic through new forms of political community. As a matter of fact, these parliaments provided a vehicle for the passage from royal to national sovereignty, whatever form the latter took in the various areas of the Americas during the nineteenth century. The discussions on sovereignty pursued in previous decades, which mainly involved political economy and political autonomy, took on a very different focus in a matter of months. The turmoil unleashed by Napoleon’s invasion allowed this process20. In parallel and in close relation, new forms of political legitimation and political idioms emerged. Notwithstanding, defining the new sovereign subject, the people, or the source of the sovereignty all remained difficult21. These questions, that had already been posed in previous Atlantic, revolutionary experiences22, became fundamental issues in the revolutions that spread across the Hispanic world.

  • 23 Actas del Cabildo de San Francisco de Quito, 1808-1812, Quito, 2012, 31 January 1809, p. 55.
  • 24 1812 Constitution, Article I, in Julio Montero (ed.), Constituciones y códigos políticos españoles, (...)
  • 25 Marcela Echeverri, Indian and Slave Royalist in the Age of Revolution: Reform, Revolution, and Roya (...)
  • 26 Marie Laurie Rieu-Millan, Los Diputados americanos en las Cortes de Cádiz: igualdad o independencia(...)
  • 27 La Bagatela, 21 July 1811, nº 2, p. 3.

8The Cortes articulated representation by integrating the imperial territories of the Monarchy. In so doing, the Cortes opened up an opportunity for political participation to the colonies. Legal documents and frequent institutional debates led to the articulation of a common nation in distinct geographical spaces. In discussions at the town council of Quito in 1809, for instance, it was pointed out that “both Spanish Europeans and American-born subjects formed part of the same nation inasmuch as they were vassals of the same king23”. Similarly, and already making reference not to vassals but to citizens, the first article of the 1812 Constitution established that “the Spanish nation is the union of all Spaniards in both hemispheres24”. Despite multiple points of contention regarding inclusion and exclusion, the Cortes became an imperial parliament with worldwide representation25. The number of American representatives represented a significant proportion of total assembly26. Yet the Cortes had very limited influence over the Americas. Much of the American territories were already outside Spanish control. Still, in the American territories beyond the reach of the authorities in Cádiz, defining the new political subjects with any specificity was also problematic. A commentator pointed out in the Santa Fe centralist newspaper La Bagatela (1811-1812) that “sovereignty resides in the mass of inhabitants27”, without going into any more precision regarding the limits and exercise of the concept.

  • 28 Antonio Annino (ed.), La revolución novohispana, 1808-1821, Mexico, FCE, 2010.
  • 29 C.A. Bayly, Recovering Liberties: Indian Though in the Age of Liberalism and Empire, Cambridge, Cam (...)
  • 30 John Leddy Phelan, The People and the King: The Comunero Revolution in Colombia 1781, Madison, Wisc (...)
  • 31 Armando Martínez Garnica, « José Joaquín Camacho y su influencia en la Constitución de la Provincia (...)
  • 32 « Reglamento de Constitución provisional para el Estado de Antioquia », in Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila (...)

9In the midst of political turmoil, sovereignty was defined through practice. Local level practices of sovereignty started to emerge after Bayonne28. Local juntas provided the initial impetus for the idea of “recovering” sovereignty. As in anti-colonial discourse, the official narrative called for the recovery of liberties subrogated by the monarch at some past moment29. In Castile, the lost liberties referred to the Revolt of the Comuneros in the 1520s and in parts of the America, they referred to the period before the conquest. All in all, subjects of the Spanish Monarchy shared a political theory that was reminiscent of sixteenth-century neo-scholastic thinkers, such as Francisco Suárez and Francisco de Vitoria, who affirmed that the rule of the king was based on a pact with the republic30. The first constitutional documents of New Granada stressed the idea of laying out the terms for a new political pact between the Monarchy and its subjects31. The centralization of the peninsular juntas through the establishment of the Junta Suprema Central in September 1808 did not go over in the Americas. In the new continent, local and provincial juntas declined to recognize the authority of this Central Junta. In fact, a number of provincial territories reacted by declaring their sovereignty, most often within the Spanish Monarchy. The example of Antioquia illustrates this process of provincialized sovereignty. Antioquia’s leaders understood it as recovering historical rights, which until then had been transferred to – if not usurped by – the Spanish king. They declared that “the peoples, among them the one of Antioquia, reassumed their sovereignty, as well as their sacred and imprescriptible rights granted to mankind by the supreme author of nature32”.

  • 33 La Bagatela, 25 August 1811, n° 7, p. 3.
  • 34 Sucesos notables y principales ocurridos en Popayán desde 1808 y que pueden servir de memoria para (...)
  • 35 Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, Un nuevo reino: geografía política, pactismo y diplomacia durante el Inter (...)
  • 36 Parliamentary Proceedings of Venezuela, 2 September 1811.

10The Santa Fe newspaper already cited, La Bagatela, warned its readers of the difficulty in “dissuading the provinces of their ill-fated Quixotism in thinking themselves capable of maintaining their sovereign representation33”. Not far from Santa Fe, in the Cauca, the author of an 1826 history of the Popayán revolution pointed out that, in 1810, “even the parishes declared themselves sovereign34”. At that time many of the juntas were refashioning themselves into legislative bodies. Indeed, in the Viceroyalty of New Granada, eleven provinces declared themselves sovereign and summoned a representative assembly and twelve constitutional charters were passed35. State-makers and legislators in 1811 Venezuela argued for avoid “inconveniences of an extreme divisibility in the proliferation of sovereignties” so that they would not end up with “an infinity of sovereignties incapable of maintaining themselves or contributing to the stability of the Confederation36”.

  • 37 José M. Portillo, « El poder constituyente en el primer constitucionalismo hispano », Jahrbuch für (...)
  • 38 Javier Lasarte, Las Cortes de Cádiz…, op. cit., p. 105-109.
  • 39 See above note 24.

11In the 1810s and 1820s, the creation of parliaments was the primary expression of the reshaped notion of sovereignty. The crisis of the Spanish monarchy put the parliaments in a position to forge constituent power and give expression to new forms of sovereignty37. The main difference between Cádiz and the semi-independent American spaces lie in their articulation of state powers. From the very start, the Cortes de Cádiz established the preeminence of the parliament over the king38. This supremacy occupied a central position in the 1812 Constitution39. The concept of nation, for the first time placed at the center of a key constitutional text, encompassed the whole of the territories under the Spanish Monarchy. In contrast, in areas where the effects of political disaggregation were keenly felt, such as in New Granada, as well as other parts of the Americas, different interrelated scales of sovereignty emerged. Federal parliaments were forced to coexist with sovereign provincial assemblies, with the result that the practices of political representation overlapped. Federalism and con-federalism became central concepts in the re-articulation of sovereignty. In the 1810s, the distinction between federation and confederation reflected differing degrees of political cession between the provinces and federal state, while in the 1820s the connotation implied the union of distant political entities already under the idea of nation.

  • 40 Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, Un nuevo reino…, op. cit., p. 239.
  • 41 Ibid., p. 222-229.
  • 42 La Bagatela, 13 October 1811, n° 15, p. 3.
  • 43 Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia, Fondo Quijano, 151.
  • 44 Clément Thibaud, República en armas…, op. cit., p. 222-223; see also Carole Leal Curiel, « Concepci (...)

12In this regard, the case of New Granada is paramount to the Latin American context. The viceroyalty became what Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila labelled “a monstrous body without head40”. Yet there was an attempt to attain sovereignty beyond the provincial level, with a federal congress summoned in Santa Fe de Bogotá. A first attempt in December 1810 failed, but the second call in November 1811 gathered delegates from the different provinces of what was then called the United Provinces of New Granada41. The delegates were not elected but rather were selected from provincial assemblies as some kind of Diet of plenipotentiaries. Furthermore, the goal of this congress was never made clear. As soon as hearings began, substantial differences in how to understand sovereignty came to the surface. The Congress quickly collapsed, provincial delegates were never able to reach an agreement on the proper place for sovereignty. Cartagena recognized the authority of the Spanish Regency while Cundinamarca sought to abrogate the sovereignty of the other provinces42. Within these tensions, minor provincial territories, such as Sogamoso or Zipaquirá, claimed the right to representation at the federal congress43. Indeed, open conflict broke out between federalists and centralists in 1812-1814 that put an end to the federation44. Still, the example of New Granada shows how actors negotiated sovereignty within an institutional space. The failed congress of the United Provinces makes evident that the very definition of a parliament itself became a contested issue.

  • 45 José María Portillo Valdés, Revolución de nación. Orígenes de la cultura constitucional en España, (...)
  • 46 Carlos Garriga, Marta Lorente, Cádiz, 1812: la Constitución jurisdiccional, Madrid, CEPC, 2007; Mar (...)

13As a result, the concept of nation in Cádiz differed from the one in New Granada. In Spain, the nation was understood as the essential subject of the constitutional framework45, which meant one nation encapsulating the multiplicity of territories and subjects of the Monarchy; in New Granada during the 1810s, on the contrary, the federation was understood as a sole body with multiple heads. The federation, therefore, became the space of concurrence in the articulation of sovereignty. Despite this difference, one similarity was clear: sovereignty was not understood in absolute terms in either place, since it implied the articulation of multiple territories46.

  • 47 Colombian Parliamentary Proceedings, 18 May 1821.
  • 48 Article 3 of the 1823 Peruvian Constitution; Actas del Congreso Constituyente Mexicano, Mexico, 182 (...)
  • 49 María Teresa Calderón, Clément Thibaud, La majestad…, op. cit., p. 191-192.

14While the political experiment in 1820s Spain built on the work of constitutional statesmen from the previous decade, the situation took a different path in the Americas. To begin, the political elites overcame the complicated political dilemma of the 1810s. The larger entities took advantage of their size to bring together the sovereign provinces that had emerged in the 1810s. Some of these more sizable entities then federated themselves, creating new states. The formation of the Republic of Colombia in 1821, the Mexican Empire in 1822, and independent Peru and Bolivia were all part of the construction of new political entities that ensued. The Congress of Cúcuta in 1821 defined the new political entity as follows: “The provinces of New Granada and Venezuela remain for now and forever assembled in a body of nation entitled Republic of Colombia47.” As with the Mexican parliament convened on 24 February 1822 and the 1823 Peruvian Constitution, the 1821 Colombian Constitution stated that “sovereignty essentially resides in the nation48”. In a sense, the claims on national sovereignty echoed the opening session of the Cortes de Cádiz. The notions of sovereignty finding expression for the first time thus inherently conveyed an abstract concept of the nation, one that had yet to be implemented but was nonetheless still understood as the center from which sovereignty emanated49.

  • 50 Colombian Parliamentary Proceedings, 17 May 1821.
  • 51 María Teresa Calderón, Clément Thibaud, La majestad…, op. cit., p. 197.

15The principle of national sovereignty quickly gained ground. As it did, opposing views of the source of sovereignty emerged. One representative of the Colombian parliament claimed that sovereignty had been usurped since it rested with “all its citizens and not on the representatives50”. There were two reasons behind the view that sovereignty belonged to the congress and through it the nation, according to the discussions taking place that day: some representatives argued that the resolution linking sovereignty to the Congress would legitimate the convention and improve the chances of successful parliamentary sittings. Following a very restrictive understanding of the concept of sovereignty, M.P. Pedro Gual claimed that “sovereignty is just the right to vote of citizens according to law”. All in all, the conceptions of sovereignty embedded in the establishment of the Republic of Colombia in 1821 differed from those of the previous decade, in which sovereignty rested on the people51. In the 1810s, only the federal parliament, not the provinces, backed the idea that sovereignty was to reside in the parliament, in contrast to the practice of grounding popular sovereignty at the provincial level.

  • 52 Jaime E. Rodríguez O. (ed.), The Origins of Mexican National Politics, 1808-1847, Wilmington, SR Bo (...)

16In Mexico, where the process of independence took a quite different path, similar tensions between popular and national sovereignty also arose, although in a different direction. Crisis struck in 1821 when Agustín de Iturbide, a royalist military officer linked to the Spanish Crown, decided to support secession from the Spanish state, albeit initially maintaining New Spain within the Spanish Monarchy. On the basis of the so-called Plan de Iguala, Ferdinand VII would be subordinated to the new sovereign body, the Mexican Congress52, the same way the Spanish Cortes subordinated the crown and how it was supposed to be in 1811 Cundinamarca. It was after negotiations with Spain had failed and the newly independent state consolidated in the form of a monarchy, with Iturbide as emperor, when the question of the source of sovereignty reemerged.

  • 53 Silke Hensel, « La coronación de Agustín I. Un ritual ambiguo en la transición mexicana del antiguo (...)
  • 54 Timothy E. Anna, The Mexican Empire of Iturbide, Lincoln and London, University of Nebraska Press, (...)

17Iturbide managed to become emperor by exploiting a contradiction. On the one hand, he followed Napoleon’s example by staging his coronation53. This symbolic performance of power not only conveyed a sense of political unity, but also projected a powerful image of authority to which the territories and subjects submitted. On the other hand, the structure of the empire subordinated the emperor to the parliament54. The Mexican empire thus became in fact a constitutional monarchy where the parliament was preeminent and embodied the principle of national sovereignty.

  • 55 Israel Arroyo García, La arquitectura del Estado mexicano: formas de gobierno, representación polít (...)
  • 56 Antonio Annino, « México ¿soberanía de los pueblos o de la nación? », in Manuel Suárez Cortina, Tom (...)

18Only the fall of Iturbide in 1823 and the instauration of a new republic the following year brought a federal articulation of the state. Indeed, sovereignty was then negotiated with formerly independent provinces such as Yucatán. Sovereignty officially remained in the hands of the national authorities, but in practice the provinces had a voice in defining its contours. The consolidation of the Mexican republic with a federal structure could not happen without maintaining harmony within and reconciling the territories that comprised the new state. As Israel Arroyo has pointed out, “the Mexican nation was conceived as a society of provincial societies55”. Sovereignty thus rested on the nation but lower levels of administration, such as the pueblos, were not fully excluded from it56.

  • 57 Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, The Caudillo of the Andes…, op. cit., p. 114-146.
  • 58 Jorge Basadre, Historia de la República del Perú, 1822-1933, Lima, Editorial Universitaria, 1969, v (...)
  • 59 Article 3 of the 1823 Constitution established that “sovereignty essentially resides in the nation” (...)

19In a similar vein, the former Viceroyalty of Peru underwent both integration and disintegration during the 1820s and 1830s. In 1834, Peru separated into two states: the Republics of North and South Peru. They were both, in the same instance, integrated into a confederation together with Bolivia led by Marshal Andrés de Santa Cruz57. That year assemblies were convened in each of those territories and a congress of plenipotentiaries in Tacna was summoned for the following year in order to provide the new confederation with a constitutional framework58. In terms of the political context, the previous constitutional texts had already established that sovereignty resided with the nation or with the people59.

  • 60 Marta Lorente, La nación y las Españas: representación y territorio en el constitucionalismo gadita (...)
  • 61 Duncan Kelly, « Popular sovereignty as state theory in the nineteenth century », in Richard Bourke, (...)

20In sum, by the 1810s and 1820s, parliaments had become key spaces for communication and negotiation of the source of political power. As fundamental institutions of representative government, parliaments largely shaped the emerging political languages and cultures. They also became central spaces where fragmented, negotiated forms of sovereignty could be coordinated or articulated. Since the delicate territorial equilibria between state, towns, and provinces had to be maintained, parliaments had to reconcile the notion of national sovereignty with demands for federalism and provincial or local autonomy. On the one hand, sovereignty enabled the union of multiple territorial jurisdictions60. On the other, it introduced new sources of political power. It also transformed the source of power. Popular sovereignty, which implied a high degree of political radicalization, turned into national sovereignty, a more indirect form of sovereignty of the people61. In the context of emerging political languages, national sovereignty came to represent an umbrella for new sources of legitimate political power in constitutional governments.

Between territory and nation: Mobility and representation in Spain and the Americas

  • 62 Circulation of actors and ideas in the time previous to 1808 is considered in Clément Thibaud, Libé (...)

21The formation of post-colonial states in Latin America was largely a product of the movement of people and ideas. In the age of revolutions, political representatives crossed paths and mixed with political exiles, military men, and many other highly mobile groups. Turmoil throughout the Atlantic opened up and accelerated the circulation of people, ideas, and practices62. As the highest institution of the state, parliaments threw a spotlight on the circulation of political concepts and practices of political representation. The procedures for running one parliament necessarily looked to and mirrored those of other parliaments abroad. The construction of space, procedures, and rituals within parliaments was closely linked from one to another. In this respect, parliamentary experiences throughout the nineteenth century could be productively approached by focusing on the elements transcending borders.

  • 63 Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, Un nuevo reino…, op. cit., p. 304-315; Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, « Legislat (...)

22This approach can be easily applied by looking at war and political exile. Military personnel, such as Daniel Florencio O’Leary in New Granada and Otto Philipp Braun in Bolivia, reveal the transnational profile of the actors involved in the making of the new independent states of the Americas. The representatives themselves, however, showed a more local or regional profile. In Antioquia and the United Provinces, for instance, representatives issued from the ranks of local elites with a limited geographical range63. Indeed, they themselves were elected by local notables in a constrained constituency. Nonetheless, many representatives traveled frequently and kept close contacts with the outer world, becoming in the process agents of transnational transfers.

  • 64 Academia Colombiana de la Historia, Camilo Torres y Tenorio Collection, p. 116-121.
  • 65 Antonio Nariño, « A Creole reads the Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen », in Ann Farswor (...)

23Although firmly establishing the transnational profile of such actors is an endeavor for further research, a few examples show the promise of this approach. For instance, Camilo Torres, president of the United Provinces of New Granada in 1811, was charged by colonial authorities in 1796 for possessing works written in French64. Some translated seminal legal texts into Spanish that then circulated throughout the Americas, such as Antonio Nariño, who was put on trial for translating the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. Another notable, José Manuel Restrepo, one of the most important personalities behind the Colombian state, made a hand-written translation of the French Constitution of 179365.

  • 66 Parliamentary Proceedings of the Cortes de Cádiz, 25 September 1810, p. 6; Actas de la Comisión de (...)

24Such transfers, however, do not square with the notion that representatives were actors used to crossing borders. Eligible citizens were to be rooted to the territory they represent, not transients. Among other requirements, electoral legislation required a minimum period of residency in the constituency. Even though representatives probably stayed within state borders when assemblies were in session, they were constantly on the move. The distances they had to cover were considerable and crossed rough geographies, if not the Atlantic or the globe. Ventura de los Reyes y Serena, elected representative of the Philippines at the Cortes de Cádiz, took 10 months to sail from Manila to Cádiz. Scores of American deputies also traveled to Cádiz from distant corners, such as Cuzco, Quito, and Popayán. In peninsular Spain, many elected representatives had no option but to reach Cádiz by circumnavigating the Peninsula altogether. Requests were constant for vessels to transport representatives on Spain’s eastern coast for those who could not reach Cádiz by road during the last months of 181066. Travel by road in the Americas was also arduous and exhausting for representatives from distant areas to the towns where parliaments had been summoned. Arriving from Quito, Caracas, or Panamá to Santa Fe de Bogotá, for example, implied long, unpleasant journeys across high, jagged mountains along muddy roads. It was expensive and it meant leaving family, lands, and professional duties behind for several months. It was not unusual for representatives to give up and turn back because of illness, the loss of draught animals, or depletion of funds.

  • 67 Colombian Parliamentary Proceedings, 17 June 1823.
  • 68 Diario de las actas y discusiones de las Cortes. Diputación General de los años 1822 y 1823. Legisl (...)

25To compensate, subsistence allowances were discussed, agreed and enacted all over the Americas and Spain. Notwithstanding, the allowance paid was often insufficient to cover the travel necessary to meet parliamentary duties and breakdowns in the system often prevented representatives from being paid in time. There was no shortage of complaint over the lack of support. A senator representing Panamá in the 1823 congress of the Colombian Republic went on record to complain of the distance he had to cover despite not receiving his full compensation. Another affirmed that many senators found themselves in similar circumstances67. Meanwhile, in Spain, the representatives struggled to decide where this allowance should be paid. In March 1822, the Cortes ended up approving a new tax meant to cover the subsistence allowances68.

26Representatives were obliged to attend parliamentary sessions. Their duties were linked, on the one hand, to the sacredness of the office of representative, and therefore to the concept of sovereignty. On the other hand, representatives also responded to the districts that elected them. They swore loyalty to the president of the parliament while pursuing satisfaction of the petitions sent by their constituencies. Representatives not only represented the body politic as a whole, they were also local agents defending local interests, hence their tendency to understand sovereignty in a relational form. With time, representatives became important agents at both the local and national levels.

  • 69 Archivo Histórico Arquidiocesano de San Juan, Puerto Rico, Archivo Histórico Catedral, Fondo Cabild (...)

27The example of the Puerto Rican representative Ramón Power shows the importance of the links between his constituency and the national parliament. Power left San Juan for Cádiz in early May 1810 on the Spanish corvette Príncipe de Asturias, which stopped in Puerto Rico on its way back to Spain from Cartagena and Havana. Before boarding, the San Juan authorities held a farewell celebration for him. Power swore to carry out the assignments given at the San Juan town council and promote and defend local interests at the Cortes. In this context, his departure became a performative moment representing the new position of Puerto Rico within the constitutional structure of the Spanish Empire. Mr. Power became one of the better known personalities in the island. Due to the importance of his position, local authorities even granted him a chair at the Cathedral’s chorus, increasing his social cachet even more and generating significant disgruntlement within local ranks69.

  • 70 Archivo Restrepo, Fondo I, vol. 7, p. 36.

28Similar trends can be observed elsewhere. Representatives of Santa Fe de Antioquia on their way to the parliament of the United Provinces of New Granada in 1810 were the object of similar attention on leaving town. The lack of a bridge across the Magdalena River forced representatives to cross it in a small boat, which authorities adorned with seats and pillows to respect the dignity of the traveling deputies. A flag on the boat portrayed the four town councils of the province of Antioquia while a richly adorned Cavalry Corps waited on the other side of the river. Speeches, feasts, refreshments, and three days of festivities followed70. These incidents show how departures became symbolic acts by rendering local interests through performance in the newly formed state of New Granada.

29The significance of representing a district was felt at both the local level and in the political capitol. The anecdotes recounted from San Juan of Puerto Rico and Santa Fe de Antioquia illustrate the efforts required of representatives to arrive at their destination. Moreover, their travels did not only imply crossing geographical borders, for they were also asked to mediate between distinct societies. Thousands of miles from Spain, Puerto Rico was a multi-ethnic, slave-based society in the Antilles where creole elites sought to improve sugar production and commerce. Having a voice at the Cortes was an important milestone for them. Similarly, Santa Fe de Antioquia acquired a certain degree of political distinction as the Colombian state was constructed from 1820 onwards.

30For these early parliamentary representatives, putting sovereignty into practice implied re-imagining the body politic. Investing the new political entities with concrete meaning was difficult. The transit between local districts and the legislative seats influenced the political transformation that occurred during this period. Whether trans-national, trans-regional, or trans-border, the movement of representatives informs the complex process behind the implementation of representative politics in the Atlantic world. Geographical obstacles reinforced the strength of local and regional scales in negotiating the territorial shaping of these political communities. Distances and geographical obstacles separating legislative districts and seats made the grand, universal notion of sovereignty into confederation of loosy tied provinces into practice.

The transnational contours of parliaments

  • 71 Jonathan Israel, The Expanding Blaze: How the American Revolution Ignited the World, 1775-1848, Pri (...)
  • 72 La Bagatela, 5 August 1811, nº 5, p. 1.

31Along with operating a multi-regional articulation, parliaments necessarily referred to broader political realities. Representative politics quickly spread beyond state borders in the Atlantic. In a first moment, familiarity with concepts and practices of popular and national sovereignty came with the British constitutional model and were pushed further by the American and French revolutions71. In addition to the theory and practices of representative politics that they circulated throughout the Hispanic Atlantic during the age of revolutions, political actors also re-thought seminal political concepts from their own experience. Defining sovereignty became a domestic issue, but one that necessarily involved external references. As Antonio Nariño complained in La Bagatela, “all of the provinces, the major ones and the minor, wanted to be independent, sovereign states carried away by the enthusiasm they rightly felt for the governments of the English America without noting, or questioning, whether we were in the same circumstances72”. His statement shows how these questions were necessarily related to distant political spaces, such as North America, Britain or France.

  • 73 Federico Suárez, Las Cortes de Cádiz…, op. cit., p. 88.
  • 74 Parliamentary Proceedings of the Venezuelan Assembly, 2 July 1811.

32As modern parliaments emerged in the course of several decades in the late eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, they helped define and legitimize each other. Intercrossed references to nearby or distant parliaments were a common practice of national self-assertion. In December 1810, José Mejía Lequerica, a representative from Quito at the Cortes, cited the Tennis Court Oath of the National French Assembly of June 1789 in requesting a commission be formed to draft a Constitution73. France was, indeed, continually referenced as the revolutionary assembly par excellence. At the first Venezuelan assembly in July 1811, representatives debated the differences between the French National Convention (1792-1795) and the Venezuelan congress. The disagreements among deputies put aside, they were reflecting on their representative institution in light of the French parliamentary experience. Venezuelan deputies established the differences between themselves and Robespierre and the Jacobins in order to concretize their goals as an assembly74.

  • 75 Parliamentary Proceedings of the Venezuelan Assembly, 5 July 1811.
  • 76 Caracciolo Parra Pérez, Miranda y la Revolución Francesa, Madrid, Ediciones Culturales del Banco de (...)

33The case of this first Venezuelan congress is highly relevant. It was the first in Hispanic America to declare itself a sovereign republic fully independent from Spain. In discussing the possibility of declaring its independence, the deputies looked abroad and compared their country with other constitutional models. Juan Germán Roscio, who was to become one of the principal players in Venezuela’s independence, argued in early July 1811 that independence was impossible for lack of sufficient population. Francisco de Miranda refuted Roscio’s argument by comparing the case of Venezuela to small European republics, mentioning Lucca, San Marino, Ragusa, Genoa, Denmark, Sweden, the Dutch Republic, and even the Electorate of Hannover75. These references were related to Miranda’s own life experience. They also show the extent to which the concept of nation was still absent from the construction of independent states in the Americas at this early phase. In 1785-1789, he had taken a grand tour around Europe. He made use of his personal observations in discussing the contours of the Venezuelan political system. Miranda was one of the most renowned transnational agents of the Hispanic world during the revolutionary period. His role in the French Revolution and his experiences and travels throughout Europe and the United States of America imbued him with a certain political aura as well as authority among Venezuelan revolutionaries76. As a matter of fact, Miranda was one of the most important political exiles of the Americas throughout the period preceding the collapse of the Spanish Monarchy.

  • 77 Ángel Rafael Almarza Villalobos, Por un gobierno representativo. Génesis de la República de Colombi (...)

34Indeed, parliamentary debates on the political system directly referred to North America. This is not surprising, since the United States of America was not only the first modern republic, but also a former colonial space in which the rest of the Americas saw themselves. Notwithstanding its importance, Venezuelan deputies were far from simply emulating the United States. Rather, they were reflecting on Venezuela in light of the North American experience. As a matter of fact, they even called the young republic the United States of Venezuela in 181177. Revolutionary France similarly served as an example against which the Venezuelan political experience was measured.

  • 78 The circulation of the press in Clément Thibaud, Libérer…, op. cit., p. 269.
  • 79 Government’s reply to Montes, 25 August 1813, in Archivo Nariño, 1812-1815, ed. by Guillermo Hernán (...)
  • 80 Minute of Andrés Ordóñez y Cifuentes to General José Ramón de Leyva, 6 June 1814, in Archivo Nariño(...)

35The reception of the Cortes in Spanish American territories free of Spanish rule, however, was more nuanced than their reception of the North American and French political experiences. American creoles were well informed of the Cortes de Cádiz78. The work of the Spanish parliament certainly affected them, independently of their political position regarding the autonomy or independence of the American territories. In the spaces where the authority of Cádiz was not recognized, notwithstanding, Cádiz was regarded as a distinct phenomenon. In late July 1813, when Toribio Montes, president of the Real Audiencia de Quito, asked Antonio Nariño, president of Cundinamarca, to surrender, the former asked: “What judgement would be made of me in Spain if […] I were to write the Cádiz rulers including a copy of the Constitution of Cundinamarca for them and offering them my benevolence if they subjected themselves to my orders79?” In a similar vein, in 1814 Andrés Ordoñez, representative of the United Provinces, stated that “similar to Spain, America is free for granting herself a government resting in the will of the people; her justice is founded on the very same principles that the Cortes claim for vindicating their rights80”.

  • 81 Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, La Restauración en la Nueva Granada (1815-1819), Bogotá, Universidad del E (...)
  • 82 Eduardo Posada-Carbó (ed.), Congreso de las Provincias Unidas, 1811-1814, Bogotá, Biblioteca de la (...)

36Certainly, Cundinamarca’s political leaders, if not rejecting outright the king’s authority, sought to present themselves on the same level as the Spanish Cortes. Ordóñez’s frankness and Nariño’s irony marked their distance from the Cádiz experience, which they interpreted as the opposite pole of their political project. Indeed, 1813-1814 marks the turning point in which New Granada elites started to understand themselves as members of a political community outside the Spanish Monarchy81. The Act of Federation of the United Provinces established in its Article 5 that “each and every United Province deliberately ignores the authority of the executive power or Regency of Spain, Cortes de Cádiz, courts of justice, and any other authority subrogated to the peoples of the Peninsula82”.

  • 83 Archivo Santander, Bogotá, Águila Negra Editorial, 1917, vol. XI, p. 198.
  • 84 Parliamentary Proceedings of the Colombian Republic, 29 April 1823.

37More than inspired by Cádiz or other European revolutionary parliaments, Latin American congresses paid attention to the developments on their own continent once the independent states were consolidated in the 1820s. Close contacts were established among the new American republics. However, the congress was not the institution leading these interchanges. Rather, diplomats and ministers of foreign affairs were the vehicle. In the case of Colombia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pedro Gual and plenipotentiaries such as Joaquín Mosquera led inter-governmental negotiations in South America to define the borders and organize relations among the new republics. In 1822, Colombia reached an agreement with Perú and Chile establishing a confederation. Far from consolidating representative government, its aims were to set borders and to define rights in international affairs, especially regarding Spain. What is important for our argument is that, since these treaties implied renunciation of some levels of sovereignty, the agreements might be passed by congresses. As a consequence, different parliaments were in the position of discussing and voting the same resolution. Pedro Gual related to Col. Gabriel Pérez, the personal secretary of Simón Bolívar, how the congresses of both Colombia and Chile had rejected certain articles of the confederation out of fear of the intervention of foreign states in their domestic affairs83. In Bogotá, the representative Rafael Urdaneta stated that both the Peruvian congress and the Chilean National Convention had yet to pass the agreement. The change in the political situation in Peru worried Urdaneta, since he believed that the relations between Peru and Colombia might be affected. The Colombian congress hence called the Secretary of Foreign Affairs for information about the political situation in the southern part of the continent84.

38This episode reveals the important transnational dimension of parliaments. Different layers of sovereignty, sometimes in tension with each other, affected the emergence of a new body politic in the Americas. Experiences of federation and confederation were at the core of the process of political reconstruction of the colonial territories. Parliaments had to deal with the same issues and work in coordination. In pursuing common goals, representatives were not the primary agents. On the contrary, members of the executive power became agents of parliamentary interchanges. They could travel, carry out extraordinary missions, and be received by other parliaments.

  • 85 Jorge Basadre, Historia de la República del Perú, 1822-1933, Lima, Editorial Universitaria, 1963, v (...)

39Transnational decision-making also reflected the delicate equilibrium among independent states. One of the first issues, for instance, that the Peruvian Republic faced after passing its constitution was determining its president. As they had offered the position to Bolívar, the Peruvian parliament sent a commission to Bogotá to ask permission to keep Bolívar as their head of state. In addition, a message of gratitude was conveyed by the Peruvian representatives to the Colombian congress85.

40Projects of confederation marked the agenda of the nascent postcolonial states in Latin America. While sovereignty was negotiated from the ground up, confederations among countries became an open issue negotiated between national governments until the mid-century. In this regard, Colombia represented a central node. From it, projects of confederation with Central America and Mexico also emerged. Furthermore, the Bolivarian project of heading a multi-national space containing most of South America remained relevant until the late 1820s. The role of parliaments proved central in promoting the notion of national sovereignty, even though their role within different political systems varied over time. While the parliament sometimes served as the primary institution in the architecture of the state, at other times, dictatorial figures gained the upper ground and diminished the standing of parliaments in the institutional architecture: Bernardo O’Higgins did this in Chile, Mariscal Santa Cruz in Bolivia and Bolívar in Peru and Colombia. Yet even when the actual power of the parliaments within the state was weakened, they remained legitimizing nodes in a transnational arena.

Conclusions

41The long passage from royal to national sovereignty that took place during the nineteenth century went through an important turning point in the 1810s and 1820s. The emergence of parliaments contributed to the reshaping of the notion of sovereignty during this period. In the Hispanic world, the new parliaments combined provincial, state, and imperial dimensions.

42At the parliamentary seat, sovereignty was put into practice and subjected to negotiation. In the context of forming independent, postcolonial states, delicate equilibria among the American territories had to be maintained. This article has argued that parliaments articulated sovereignty by covering different territorial layers. While research on Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico has already shown the jurisdictional character of national sovereignty, its articulation also took place in a transnational arena. In this arena, jurisdictional issues were left aside in order to promote inter-state collaboration. In domestic politics, sovereignty was fragmented, negotiated, and shared by a conglomeration of new political entities, especially in the 1810s. Yet sovereignty was also operative in the confederations established among equal, independent states during the 1820s. The example of the confederation of Peru and Colombia shows how collaboration among American states served for both to reinforce international ties and consolidate their own process of state building.

43The concept of the nation in this context, however, had yet to be clearly defined. As a result, the concept of national sovereignty became fragmented, negotiated, and liquid. But both nation and sovereignty, as key concepts of modern political vocabulary, found expression in the modern parliaments that emerged in the Hispanic world. Parliaments became crucial spaces for the communication and political action that defined the postcolonial entities of the Americas as the Spanish empire disintegrated and the period of post-independence began. Regions, nations, and empires were all part of the process through which sovereignty in the Hispanic world took on new meaning through the parliaments where legitimacy was determined.

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Notes

2 Anthony McFarlane, War and Independence in Spanish America, New York, Routledge, 2013; Clément Thibaud, Repúblicas en armas: los ejércitos bolivarianos en las guerras de independencia en Colombia y Venezuela, Bogotá, Editorial Planeta Colombiana, 2003; Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, The Caudillo of the Andes: Andrés de Santa Cruz, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011; Juan Luis Ossa, Armies, Politics, and Revolution: Chile, 1808-1826, Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 2015.

3 José M. Portillo, Crisis atlántica: autonomía e independencia en la crisis de la monarquía hispana, Madrid, Marcial Pons, 2006; Marta Lorente, José M. Portillo (eds.), El momento gaditano: la Constitución en el orbe hispano (1808-1826), Madrid, Congreso de los Diputados, 2011; Roberto Gargarella, Latin American Constitutionalism, 1810-2010: the Engine Room of the Constitution, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013; Scott Eastman, Natalia Sobrevilla Perea (eds.), Rise of Constitutional Government in the Iberian Atlantic World: The Impact of the Cádiz Constitution of 1812, Tuscaloosa, University of Alabama Press, 2015; M.C. Mirow, Latin American Constitutions: the Constitution of Cadiz and its Legacy in Spanish America, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015.

4 Jeremy Adelman, Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2006; Hilda Sabato, Republics of the New World: The Revolutionary Political Experiment in 19th Century Latin America, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2018.

5 Eduardo Posada-Carbó, « Congresses versus caudillos: the untold history of democracy in Latin America, with special emphasis on New Granada (Colombia), 1830-1860: A new research agenda », Parliaments, Estates & Representation, 37, 2017, nº 2, p. 119-129.

6 Some remarkable examples of an extensive literature are Federico Suárez, Las Cortes de Cádiz, Madrid, Rialp, 1982; Javier Lasarte, Las Cortes de Cádiz: soberanía, separación de poderes, Hacienda, 1810-1811, Madrid, Marcial Pons, 2009; Miquel Urquijo Goitia (ed.), Diccionario biográfico de parlamentarios españoles: Cortes de Cádiz (1810-1814), Madrid, Congreso de los Diputados, 2010, 3 vols.

7 Two remarkable examples are Timothy Tackett, Becoming a Revolutionary: The Deputies of the French National Assembly and the Emergence of a Revolutionary Culture (1789-1790), Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1996; and Thomas Mergel, Parlamentarische Kultur in der Weimarer Republik: Politische Kommunikation, symbolische Politik und Öffentlichkeit im Reichstag, Düsseldorf, Droste, 2002.

8 Pasi Ihalainen, « European parliamentary experiences from a conceptual historical perspective », in Pasi Ihalainen, Cornelia Ilie, Kari Palonen (eds.), Parliament and Parliamentarism. A Comparative History of a European Concept, New York, Berghahn Books, 2016, p. 19-31.

9 See Akira Iriye, Pierre-Yves Saunier, « Introduction. The Professor and the Madman », in Akira Iriye, Pierre-Yves Saunier (eds.), The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History. From the Mid-19th Century to the Present, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2009, p. XVIII.

10 Among many other examples, Maurizio Isabella, Konstantina Zanou (eds.), Mediterranean Diasporas: Politics and Ideas in the Long 19th Century, London, Bloomsbury, 2016 ; Sarah Panter, Johannes Paulmann, Margit Szöllösi-Janze, « Mobility and biography: Methodological challenges and perspectives », European History Yearbook, 16, 2015, p. 1-14; Maya Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2011; Jeanne Moisand, Delphine Diaz, Romy Sánchez Villar, Juan Luis Simal (eds.), Exils entre les deux mondes : migrations et espaces politiques atlantiques au xixe siècle, Mordelles, Les Perséides, 2015; Clément Thibaud, Libérer le nouveau monde. La fondation des premières républiques hispaniques. Colombie et Venezuela (1780-1820), Mordelles, Les Perséides, 2017, p. 87-156.

11 Jürgen Osterhammel, The Transformation of the World. A Global History of the Nineteenth Century, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2014, p. 763.

12 Juan Fernández Sebastián, « Iberconceptos. Hacia una historia transnacional de los conceptos en el mundo iberoamericano », Isegoría. Revista de Filosofía Moral y Política, 2007, n° 37, p. 165-176.

13 María Teresa Calderón, Clément Thibaud, La majestad de los pueblos en la Nueva Granada y Venezuela, 1780-1832, Bogotá, Taurus, 2010.

14 Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, Un nuevo reino: geografía política, pactismo y diplomacia durante el Interregno en Nueva Granada, 1810-1816, Bogotá, Universidad del Externado, 2010; Israel Arroyo García, La arquitectura del Estado mexicano: formas de gobierno, representación política y ciudadanía, 1821-1857, Mexico, Instituto Mora, 2011.

15 See above note 6.

16 See José M. Portillo, Crisis atlántica…, op. cit., p. 124-158. This is one of the few examples that consider the formation of parliaments in the Hispanic world under a single analytical framework.

17 Jaime E. Rodriguez O., The Independence of Spanish America, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 75-106; Brian Hamnett, The End of Iberian Rule on the American Continent, 1770-1830, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2017, p. 107-144.

18 François-Xavier Guerra, Modernidad e independencias. Ensayos sobre las revoluciones hispánicas, Madrid, Encuentro, 2009.

19 Miguel Artola, La España de Fernando VII, Madrid, España, 1999, p. 285-314; Manuel Chust (ed.), 1808. La eclosión juntera del mundo hispano, Mexico, FCE, 2007.

20 François-Xavier Guerra, Modernidad e independencias…, op. cit., p. 148-188.

21 Juan Fernández Sebastián, « El mundo atlántico como laboratorio conceptual, 1750-1850 », Jahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas, 45, 2008, n° 1, p. 1-7.

22 Josep M. Fradera, The Imperial Nation: Citizens and Subjects in the British, French, Spanish, and American Empires, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2018; A.G. Hopkins, American Empire. A Global History, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2018, p. 123-129.

23 Actas del Cabildo de San Francisco de Quito, 1808-1812, Quito, 2012, 31 January 1809, p. 55.

24 1812 Constitution, Article I, in Julio Montero (ed.), Constituciones y códigos políticos españoles, 1808-1978, Barcelona, Ariel, 1998, p. 39.

25 Marcela Echeverri, Indian and Slave Royalist in the Age of Revolution: Reform, Revolution, and Royalism in the Northern Andes, 1780-1825, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016. See also Josep M. Fradera, « Tainted citizenship and imperial constitutions: The case of the Spanish Constitution of 1812 », in Clifford Ando (ed.), Citizenship and Empire in Europe 200-1900: The Antonine Constitution after 1800 Years, Stuttgart, Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016, p. 223-232; Frederick Cooper, Citizenship, Inequality, and Difference. Historical Perspectives, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2018, p. 45-54.

26 Marie Laurie Rieu-Millan, Los Diputados americanos en las Cortes de Cádiz: igualdad o independencia, Madrid, CSIC, 1990.

27 La Bagatela, 21 July 1811, nº 2, p. 3.

28 Antonio Annino (ed.), La revolución novohispana, 1808-1821, Mexico, FCE, 2010.

29 C.A. Bayly, Recovering Liberties: Indian Though in the Age of Liberalism and Empire, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

30 John Leddy Phelan, The People and the King: The Comunero Revolution in Colombia 1781, Madison, Wisconsin University Press, 1978; Tulio Halperin Donghi, Tradición política española e ideología revolucionaria de mayo, Buenos Aires, Prometeo, 2010, p. 37-66.

31 Armando Martínez Garnica, « José Joaquín Camacho y su influencia en la Constitución de la Provincia de Tunja (1811) », Historia y Memoria, 2012, n° 5, p. 49-72; Isidro Vanegas, « El constitucionalismo revolucionario en la Nueva Granada », Procesos. Revista Ecuatoriana de Historia, 2013, n° 37, p. 35-56.

32 « Reglamento de Constitución provisional para el Estado de Antioquia », in Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila (ed.), Las asambleas constituyentes de la independencia. Actas de Cundinamarca y Antioquia (1811-1812), Bogotá, Universidad del Externado de Colombia, 2010, p. 187.

33 La Bagatela, 25 August 1811, n° 7, p. 3.

34 Sucesos notables y principales ocurridos en Popayán desde 1808 y que pueden servir de memoria para la historia de la revolución de la misma provincia, by Santiago Pérez de Valencia, Archivo Central del Cauca, Arboleda Collection, Sign. 69, p. 13.

35 Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, Un nuevo reino: geografía política, pactismo y diplomacia durante el Interregno en Nueva Granada, 1810-1816, Bogotá, Universidad del Externado, 2010, p. 329-330; Gilberto Loaiza Cano, « Las primeras constituciones de Colombia, 1811-1821 », Historia y Espacio, 10, 2014, n° 42, p. 185-205. Cundinamarca and Antioquia passed three constitutions. See also Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, « Legislaturas revolucionarias. El caso neogranadino (1811-1816) », Estudios de Historia Contemporánea de México, 2017, n° 54, p. 44-61.

36 Parliamentary Proceedings of Venezuela, 2 September 1811.

37 José M. Portillo, « El poder constituyente en el primer constitucionalismo hispano », Jahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas, 2018, n° 55, p. 1-26.

38 Javier Lasarte, Las Cortes de Cádiz…, op. cit., p. 105-109.

39 See above note 24.

40 Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, Un nuevo reino…, op. cit., p. 239.

41 Ibid., p. 222-229.

42 La Bagatela, 13 October 1811, n° 15, p. 3.

43 Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia, Fondo Quijano, 151.

44 Clément Thibaud, República en armas…, op. cit., p. 222-223; see also Carole Leal Curiel, « Concepciones y visiones del federalismo en Iberoamérica, 1750-1850 », Jahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas, 2008, n° 45, p. 81-111.

45 José María Portillo Valdés, Revolución de nación. Orígenes de la cultura constitucional en España, 1780-1812, Madrid, CEPC, 2000, p. 365.

46 Carlos Garriga, Marta Lorente, Cádiz, 1812: la Constitución jurisdiccional, Madrid, CEPC, 2007; María Teresa Calderón, Clément Thibaud, La majestad de los pueblos…, op. cit., p. 106.

47 Colombian Parliamentary Proceedings, 18 May 1821.

48 Article 3 of the 1823 Peruvian Constitution; Actas del Congreso Constituyente Mexicano, Mexico, 1822, vol. I, p. 8. Article 2 of the 1821 Colombian Constitution.

49 María Teresa Calderón, Clément Thibaud, La majestad…, op. cit., p. 191-192.

50 Colombian Parliamentary Proceedings, 17 May 1821.

51 María Teresa Calderón, Clément Thibaud, La majestad…, op. cit., p. 197.

52 Jaime E. Rodríguez O. (ed.), The Origins of Mexican National Politics, 1808-1847, Wilmington, SR Books, 1997.

53 Silke Hensel, « La coronación de Agustín I. Un ritual ambiguo en la transición mexicana del antiguo régimen a la independencia », Historia Mexicana, 61, 2012, nº 4, p. 1349-1411.

54 Timothy E. Anna, The Mexican Empire of Iturbide, Lincoln and London, University of Nebraska Press, 1990, p. 77.

55 Israel Arroyo García, La arquitectura del Estado mexicano: formas de gobierno, representación política y ciudadanía, 1821-1857, Mexico, Instituto Mora, 2011, p. 102.

56 Antonio Annino, « México ¿soberanía de los pueblos o de la nación? », in Manuel Suárez Cortina, Tomás Pérez Vejo (eds.), Los caminos de la ciudadanía: México y España en perspectiva comparada, Madrid, Biblioteca Nueva, 2010, p. 37-54.

57 Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, The Caudillo of the Andes…, op. cit., p. 114-146.

58 Jorge Basadre, Historia de la República del Perú, 1822-1933, Lima, Editorial Universitaria, 1969, vol. II, p. 135-140.

59 Article 3 of the 1823 Constitution established that “sovereignty essentially resides in the nation”, while Article 8 of the 1826 Constitution stated that “sovereignty emanates from the people”.

60 Marta Lorente, La nación y las Españas: representación y territorio en el constitucionalismo gaditano, Madrid, UAM Ediciones, 2010, p. 38-42; Antonio Annino, « México… », op. cit.; Justo Miguel Flores Escalante, Soberanía y excepcionalidad: la integración de Yucatán al Estado mexicano, 1821-1848, Mexico, El Colegio de México, 2017.

61 Duncan Kelly, « Popular sovereignty as state theory in the nineteenth century », in Richard Bourke, Quentin Skinner (eds.), Popular Sovereignty in Historical Perspective, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016, p. 270-296, especially p. 272.

62 Circulation of actors and ideas in the time previous to 1808 is considered in Clément Thibaud, Libérer…, op. cit., p. 87-156.

63 Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, Un nuevo reino…, op. cit., p. 304-315; Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, « Legislaturas revolucionarias… », op. cit., p. 50.

64 Academia Colombiana de la Historia, Camilo Torres y Tenorio Collection, p. 116-121.

65 Antonio Nariño, « A Creole reads the Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen », in Ann Farsworth-Alvear, Marco Palacios, Ana María Gómez López (eds.), The Colombian Reader: History, Culture, Politics, Durham, Duke University Press, 2017, p. 513-516; Archivo Histórico Restrepo, uncatalogued document.

66 Parliamentary Proceedings of the Cortes de Cádiz, 25 September 1810, p. 6; Actas de la Comisión de Constitución, 30 November 1810. Debates and resolutions regarding this issue also in Archivo del Congreso de los Diputados, P-01-03-01-01-02.

67 Colombian Parliamentary Proceedings, 17 June 1823.

68 Diario de las actas y discusiones de las Cortes. Diputación General de los años 1822 y 1823. Legislatura de 1822, Madrid, Imprenta Dávila, 1822, vol. 2, 16 March 1822, p. 3.

69 Archivo Histórico Arquidiocesano de San Juan, Puerto Rico, Archivo Histórico Catedral, Fondo Cabildo, Serie Secretaría Capitular, Libro IX de Actas Capitulares, 1 March 1810, pp. 87-88 My deepest thanks for this reference go to the director of this archive, Else Zayas-León.

70 Archivo Restrepo, Fondo I, vol. 7, p. 36.

71 Jonathan Israel, The Expanding Blaze: How the American Revolution Ignited the World, 1775-1848, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2017. See also C.A. Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914: Global Connections and Comparisons, Malden, Blackwell, 2004, p. 107.

72 La Bagatela, 5 August 1811, nº 5, p. 1.

73 Federico Suárez, Las Cortes de Cádiz…, op. cit., p. 88.

74 Parliamentary Proceedings of the Venezuelan Assembly, 2 July 1811.

75 Parliamentary Proceedings of the Venezuelan Assembly, 5 July 1811.

76 Caracciolo Parra Pérez, Miranda y la Revolución Francesa, Madrid, Ediciones Culturales del Banco del Cariba, 1966, 2 vols.

77 Ángel Rafael Almarza Villalobos, Por un gobierno representativo. Génesis de la República de Colombia, 1809-1821, Caracas, Academia Nacional de la Historia, 2012, p. 106-138; Verónique Hébrard, Venezuela independiente: una nación a través del discurso (1808-1830), Frankfurt am Main, Vervuert, 2012.

78 The circulation of the press in Clément Thibaud, Libérer…, op. cit., p. 269.

79 Government’s reply to Montes, 25 August 1813, in Archivo Nariño, 1812-1815, ed. by Guillermo Hernández de Alba, Bogotá, Biblioteca de la Presidencia de la República, 1990, vol. IV, p. 342.

80 Minute of Andrés Ordóñez y Cifuentes to General José Ramón de Leyva, 6 June 1814, in Archivo Nariño, vol. V, p. 351.

81 Daniel Gutiérrez Ardila, La Restauración en la Nueva Granada (1815-1819), Bogotá, Universidad del Externado, 2016, p. 226.

82 Eduardo Posada-Carbó (ed.), Congreso de las Provincias Unidas, 1811-1814, Bogotá, Biblioteca de la Presidencia de la República, 1988, vol. 1, p. 2.

83 Archivo Santander, Bogotá, Águila Negra Editorial, 1917, vol. XI, p. 198.

84 Parliamentary Proceedings of the Colombian Republic, 29 April 1823.

85 Jorge Basadre, Historia de la República del Perú, 1822-1933, Lima, Editorial Universitaria, 1963, vol. 1, p. 141.

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Jorge Luengo, « Flows of sovereignty: a transnational approach to parliaments in the Hispanic world during the age of revolutions »Diasporas, 34 | 2019, 47-63.

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Jorge Luengo, « Flows of sovereignty: a transnational approach to parliaments in the Hispanic world during the age of revolutions »Diasporas [En ligne], 34 | 2019, mis en ligne le 29 février 2020, consulté le 24 juin 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/diasporas/4162 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/diasporas.4162

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Jorge Luengo

Jorge Luengo est professeur assistant à l’université Pompeu Fabra à Barcelone. Il est l’auteur de Una sociedad conyugal: las élites de Valladolid en el espejo de Magdeburgo en el siglo XIX (Valence, 2014) et coauteur de « Writing Spanish history in the global age: Connections and entanglements in the nineteenth century » (Journal of Global History, vol. 13, 2018, n° 3).

Jorge Luengo is assistant professor at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. He is the author of Una sociedad conyugal: las élites de Valladolid en el espejo de Magdeburgo en el siglo XIX (Valencia, 2014) and co-author of « Writing Spanish history in the global age: Connections and entanglements in the nineteenth century » (Journal of Global History, 13-3, 2018).

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