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Independencias (3) – Coord. Federica Morelli y Jordana Dym
Scott Eastman

Urban Revolt, Nationalist Revolutions: Puebla and Valencia, 1808-1814

[31/03/2011]

Résumés

Between 1808 and 1814, the cities of Puebla and Valencia resisted invasion, established and participated in constitutional government and negotiated new forms of local and national identity forged during the wars. Clerics played central roles in both the warfare and political revolutions of the epoch, as priests spearheaded armed resistance and participated in the formation of new governments. Across the Spanish Monarchy, patriotic rhetoric and liberal notions of the sovereignty of the people spread from Enlightenment-era salons to political debates and to the pulpits of the Catholic church. Urban residents navigated and reinterpreted liberal ideals in a burgeoning public sphere. The combined efforts of local actors and municipal bodies established a revolutionary template upon which, by 1812, the Cortes of Cádiz had consolidated a new liberal regime. In sum, urban revolts in both hemispheres transformed the contours of government and national identity within a crucible of conflict.

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  • 1 See, for example, Álvaro Flórez Estrada, Introducción para la historia de la Revolución de España ( (...)
  • 2 On the War of Independence in Spain, see Gabriel H. Lovett, Napoleon and the Birth of Modern Spain, (...)
  • 3 P. Maestro Salmón, Resumen histórico de la Revolución de España, III (Cádiz, 1812), in Colección Do (...)
  • 4 By taking a macrohistorical point of view, François-Xavier Guerra narrates the widening divisions b (...)

1Witnesses to the uprising against French occupation of the Iberian peninsula and the usurpation of the Spanish throne considered the struggle one of the most significant events of the Napoleonic age1. According to contemporary accounts, the revolt which began in 1808 undoubtedly constituted a profound realignment of the archaic political structures dominant in the peninsula since Habsburg rule2. The Augustinian friar P. Maestro Salmón, in his 1812 Historical Summary of the Revolution in Spain, argued that the founding of a liberal state to supplant the corrupt, torpid institutions of the Old Regime was the greatest accomplishment of the era: “Convoking the Cortes, in the midst of the ruins and desolation of such incredible tyranny was the greatest, most admirable and illustrious work of this glorious revolution”3. In many ways, the fact that elected deputies wrote a constitution and created the institutional apparatus of a working government points to the unique successes of Spanish resistance to the French imperium years before similar battles took shape in central Europe. Yet the combined efforts of local actors and municipal bodies established a revolutionary template upon which, by 1812, the Cortes of Cádiz had consolidated a new liberal regime. Across the provinces of Spain and Spanish America, regionally-based Juntas had seized power in 1808 to stave off the French threat to Spanish sovereignty. Thus, the “revolution” that transformed the Spanish Monarchy must first and foremost be analyzed at the local level4.

  • 5 Theda Skocpol, Social Revolutions in the Modern World (Cambridge, 1994), 99.
  • 6 Salmón, Resumen histórico de la Revolución de España, III, 318.
  • 7 Marx echoes this point, arguing that the Constitution of 1812 did not mimic the French Revolutionar (...)

2As revolutions tend to be studied at a macrohistorical level, to what degree can localized phenomena be considered revolutionary? In other words, from a theoretical standpoint, can microcosmic changes within state borders, in the midst governmental disintegration, be deemed revolutionary? According to Theda Skocpol, revolutions fundamentally alter the mythology and common values of a society and contribute to the radical transformation of extant structures, both political and social5. Understood within the frame of this definition, revolutions seldom succeed in washing away the vestiges of the past, although rebellions and new leaders frequently achieve short-term and superficial change. Spanish liberals justified radical proposals for a revitalized national government by appealing to their time-honored heritage of representation by a parliament, the Cortes, which had not met regularly since the ascension of the Habsburgs. Similar to calls by colonists in North America for representation in the British Parliament, legitimized by their ancient liberties as enshrined in the Magna Carta, Spaniards on both sides of the Atlantic couched their demands in the language of a supposedly venerable, national tradition. They tried to avoid accusations of a more radical revolutionary agenda—namely, breaking with the past and undermining both the church and the dynastic state. While many Hispanic liberals advocated individual rights, constitutionalism and limits on royal power, few wanted to repeat the excesses of the Terror and de-Christianization campaigns in France. In fact, Salmón urged all Spaniards to embrace “Truth, sincerity, decency and religious moderation”6. Thus, revolutionaries in the Spanish Monarchy consciously worked to bridge the gap between past and present and between customary practice and innovation7. Although the Hispanic revolutions of the age did not represent a rupture with social or cultural traditions, the cornerstones of a new political culture — liberalism and nationalism — were ensconced in cities across the Spanish Monarchy between 1808 and 1814.

  • 8 Silke Hensel has noted that “for a long time the movements for independence from Spain were interpr (...)
  • 9 For works on autonomists in Spanish America, see Jaime E. Rodríguez O., The Independence of Spanish (...)
  • 10 Jeremy Adelman, Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic (Princeton, 2006), 344.

3Liberal revolutions transformed the stratified structures of Old Regime municipalities such as Valencia, in peninsular Spain, and Puebla, in New Spain. Each city also faced the specter of violence and upheaval, endemic during the Napoleonic occupation of Spain and the ensuing civil conflict in the Americas. In both cities, revolutionary leaders, including clerics, sought to defend their respective provinces while at the same time enacting constitutional, reformist legislation to reshape city government and engage in the political process begun by the calling of the Cortes and culminating with the promulgation of the Hispanic Constitution in March, 1812. As seen from a transatlantic perspective, fundamentally similar dynamics operated in both the Americas and the Iberian peninsula at the time. While national histories tend to reify the contemporary nation-state, and nationalists validate their claims by tying the body politic to ethnic roots in the primordial past, independence was not a foregone conclusion for Spain or Spanish American polities between 1808 and 18218. Recent studies have emphasized the impact of autonomist sentiment and inclusivity as integral aspects of the political and ideological movements of the age9. Although constitutions were, in the words of Jeremy Adelman, “meant to resolve underlying questions about the principles of rulership, questions opened up by revolutionary upheaval,” lawmakers “did not dissolve the heritages of imperial and revolutionary pasts into shared national destinies in the Iberian Atlantic”10.

  • 11 The conde de Toreno’s Historia del levantamiento, guerra y revolución de España was one of the firs (...)
  • 12 Brian R. Hamnett, “Puebla: City and Province during the Independence Period, 1800-1824,” in Ricardo (...)
  • 13 On citizenship, see Tamar Herzog, Defining Nations: Immigrants and Citizens in Early Modern Spain a (...)

4The cities of Puebla and Valencia represent important variations from the dominant narratives of “wars of independence” across the Spanish Monarchy11. Puebla did not see the rise of a localized insurgency, such as the conspiracy hatched in Querétaro and spread outwards from the Intendancy of Guanajuato, which often takes precedence in histories of the period. Nevertheless, the Intendancy of Puebla became the epicenter of civil war between insurgents, under the priest José María Morelos, and supporters of the Spanish Monarchy by 1811 and 1812. Royalists held onto the city of Puebla but failed to prevent insurgents from taking other significant towns and rural zones in the province, New Spain’s second most important economic region12. In the province at large, insurgents led by Morelos made considerable inroads as they struggled to defeat Royalist armies and create a new American state. A civil war raged alongside a battle of propaganda, as ideologues of various political persuasions attempted to construct modern notions of citizenship and unify disparate cities and provinces13. Royalist forces ultimately drove Morelos back to Oaxaca by 1812, although insurgent bands continued to find support in many areas of the region. Likewise, Valencia held out against the French for four years after most population centers had been occupied, an anomalous case in the Iberian peninsula. Valencians defeated invading French forces under Marshall Moncey in 1808, and the city was one of the last to fall to Napoleonic troops, succumbing in January of 1812.

  • 14 Brian R. Hamnett, Roots of Insurgency: Mexican Regions, 1750-1824 (Cambridge, 1986), 11; J. Vicens (...)

5Both cities were regional centers of political and economic power, centrifugal forces in spite of proximity to their respective capital cities. Each maintained vibrant commercial ties to regional trading networks and produced manufactures, including cotton textiles, as well as agricultural commodities. Both provinces recorded over 800,000 inhabitants in census figures from the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries: the city of Puebla was the second largest in all of New Spain, and Valencia was third in overall population in Spain with approximately 100,000 residents. In contrast to peninsular Spain’s relative homogeneity, repúblicas de indios marked rural New Spain, and the indigenous comprised seventy-five percent of Puebla’s populace14.

  • 15 Historians have been divided as to the role played by clerics in peninsular Spain during the War of (...)
  • 16 Manuel Ignacio González del Campillo, Exhortación del Ilustrísimo Señor Obispo de Puebla a sus dioc (...)
  • 17 On the role of the clergy in New Spain during the War of Independence, see Eric Van Young, The Othe (...)

6Clerics played central roles in both the warfare and political revolutions of the epoch, as priests spearheaded armed resistance and participated in the formation of a constitutional government15. Across the Spanish Monarchy, patriotic rhetoric and liberal notions of the sovereignty of the people spread from Enlightenment-era salons to political debates and to the pulpits of the Catholic church. In New Spain, calls for the defense of “mother Spain” rang from churches as ecclesiastics upheld the values of “the glorious and invincible Catholic Spanish Nation”16. Other clerics took up arms against the Spanish regime, while continuing to maintain their fidelity to the monarch Fernando VII17. Although peninsular Spaniards initially fought off French occupation in regions of the east and the south, unrest increased after the fall of the Bourbon Monarchy in Madrid. In Valencia, the liberal priest Juan Rico, acting as the “representative of the people,” led early efforts to defeat the French and install a new municipal government during the “revolution” of 1808. Local militias and guerrilla bands contained French regiments until 1812, as nationalists fostered a unifying rhetoric of Spanish identity against the foil of a supposedly godless, atheistic French colossus. Between 1808 and 1814, the cities of Puebla and Valencia resisted invasion, established and participated in constitutional government and negotiated new forms of local and national identity forged during the wars. Furthermore, urban residents navigated and reinterpreted the new politics of liberalism in a burgeoning public sphere. In sum, revolutionaries in both hemispheres began to define the contours of Spanish national identity within a crucible of conflict.

The Revolution in Valencia, 1808

  • 18 Real Decreto (Madrid, March 16, 1808; Valencia, March 21, 1808), in Biblioteca Valenciana (B.V.).
  • 19 Con fecha de ayer se sirvió S.M. dirigir al Excelentísimo Señor Duque del Infantado, Presidente del (...)

7Throughout the first months of 1808, as French troops marched south and began to occupy Spanish military posts, royal authorities avoided inflammatory rhetoric and confrontation. A royal decree issued in March by King Carlos IV had downplayed the threat posed by Napoleonic France: “My beloved vassals….Breathe freely: you know that the Army of my dear Ally the Emperor of the French crosses my Kingdom with ideas of peace and friendship….What do I have to fear?”18 At the end of March, Napoleon’s troops occupied Madrid and soon held the king and his son—the heir to the throne—hostage in France. Yet a decree in April continued to emphasize fraternity, declaring that the Spanish monarch avidly desired to consolidate the bonds of friendship and the intimate alliance between Spain and the Emperor of France in the name of their respective peoples and nations19. The massacres of May 2 in the streets of Madrid ended all such talk and the illusions of a Franco-Spanish alliance. Across the Spanish Monarchy, the Old Regime fell to forces promising to defend the patria and raise armies to end military occupation and political subservience to France.

  • 20 Jordana Dym, From Sovereign Villages to National States: City, State, and Federation in Central Ame (...)

8After Napoleon forced both Fernando and Carlos IV to renounce the throne on May 6, spontaneously-formed provincial committees toppled local authorities and assumed power. In Valencia at the end of May, in reaction to the tumultuous events of the past several months, political agitators displaced the local government and established a Junta, or committee, called in times of crisis and war to lead the city. Such committees often included prominent figures within the community such as bishops and canons. Significantly, these Juntas, established on the basis of popular will in May, June and July of 1808, declared that the sovereignty of the nation resided with its people. By linking a primordial Spanish nation asserting its rights to the efforts of municipalities defending the privileges of los pueblos, the towns, representatives reinforced the equation of the nation with the people, el pueblo20.

9Clerics fostered notions of unanimous resistance against Napoleon, emphasizing the popular character of the struggle to reclaim sovereignty. Juan Rico, a Franciscan living in Valencia, described the period as a revolutionary war of independence waged by the Spanish people against the French. He articulated a pronounced liberal nationalism based upon the radical idea of the people as the nation. His Historical Memories of the Valencian Revolution, although written three years after the initial uprising, documented a distinct national identity forged during the war:

  • 21 Juan Rico, Memorias históricas sobre la revolución de Valencia, que comprehenden desde el 23 de may (...)

As the general revolution in Spain has coalesced around a group of partisans in each province…and though they have been directed toward the same ends at almost the same time, and they have as their objective to throw off the yoke of slavery and avenge the insults committed by the French government against the Spanish People and their Kings, there was always a space to write about the particulars of Valencia, that kingdom where the people rose up with the most energy and enthusiasm, exalting in the first shouts of independence and of the war against the tyrant [Napoleon]21.

  • 22 Cited in Sabino Delgado, ed., Guerra de la Independencia: proclamas bandos y combatientes (Madrid, (...)

10Rico emphasized the regional uprising in nationalist language, maintaining the idea that the Spanish people were the protagonists of the national struggle that had its origins in localized resistance. Documents written at the time corroborate Rico’s testimony and show the intersections between regional and national identification across Spain. For example, the Proclama de la ciudad de Orense bluntly addressed the inhabitants of Galicia as first and foremost Spaniards: “To those our Compatriots: you will destroy the enemy: you are Spaniards and that is enough. Long live Galicia, long live Spain, long live the Faith, long live Fernando, Death to the Tyrant22. The order of loyalty was significant and pointed to the prominence of an emerging Spanish nationalism.

  • 23 Rico, Memorias históricas sobre la revolución de Valencia, 65.
  • 24 Ibid., 37-38.
  • 25 Vicente Martínez Colomer, Sucesos de Valencia desde el dia 23 de mayo hasta el 28 de junio del año (...)
  • 26 Rico, Memorias históricas sobre la revolución de Valencia, 17-18.

11Rico led the effort to organize the revolutionary Junta that rapidly undermined the Old Regime municipal authorities. He benefited from the opening of the public sphere, as news from Madrid, which had reached Valencia by May 20, effectively stirred residents to denounce cooperation with France. With local notables facing increased pressure to prepare the city’s defenses, and as clerics such as Rico agitated for military mobilization to begin, city leaders resolved to establish a new governing Junta on May 23, 1808. Although at first hesitant to take his place in the Junta, at the urging of the people, Rico became “the Representative of the people,” speaking for the classes which previously had been disenfranchised in local administrations. He recalled: “The Junta was installed immediately; and everyone swore the most solemn oath to defend the rights of the nation, liberty and the independence of the people, and to continue the war against France until our King and our national honor have been avenged”23. Working in compact with Rico, Vicente González Moreno, the captain of the army, explained the events as a concrete manifestation of the principle of equality: “We will combine ideas and proceed…to create a Junta suprema de gobierno, composed of all classes of the people”24. He issued a declaration two days later, arguing that “our only object is the salvation of the country.” Moreno signed the decree “The Commander of the Sovereign People,” boldly declaring adherence to the liberal tenet of national sovereignty25. By the end of May, 1808, leaders such as Rico and González Moreno were celebrated publicly as champions of the Spanish cause, and, according to Rico’s own testimony, “everyone clamored in unison: Long live Spain, long live Religion, long live Fernando26. In the aftermath of such successes, May 23was celebrated as the day on which the revolution began and the heroic defense of occupied Spain was first mounted.

  • 27 Ibid., 73.
  • 28 Ardit claims they enlisted up to 9,800 men. Manuel Ardit Lucas, Revolución liberal y revuelta campe (...)

12On May 23, the Junta also began to enlist resident males between the ages of sixteen and forty. Wielding great influence within the Junta, Rico soon secured a proclamation of war against France, immediately read aloud to the public. A subsequent decree of May 26 implored all of the regular and secular clergy capable of bearing arms to join in the defense the city27. Recruitment took place in the convents of Santo Domingo and San José and in the churches of la Virgen de los Desamparados and del Salvador. By May 27, they had enlisted over 8,000 men28. Firmly establishing the war as a nationalist struggle against French tyranny, Rico situated the Spanish nation as the primary locus of identification embodied in the name of the king. By declaring the de facto sovereignty of the people while maintaining loyal to the throne, Rico presaged the legitimating rhetoric of constitutional monarchy.

  • 29 Prospecto para la Gazeta de Valencia.

13Periodicals instantly provided a public eager for news with coverage of local, national and international politics. The Gazeta de Valencia began publishing on June 7, 1808. Lamenting the lack of communication among Spaniards, the Gazeta focused on the campaigns of allied forces in the peninsula, the successes of the Spanish army, local decrees and the proceedings of the Junta. Editorials offered an engaging forum for “a People that are more noble than others on the continent and are so interested in public deliberations.” Imagining the press as an eternal monument to public virtue, the editor promised to avenge Napoleon’s invasion and inaugurate a new era of peace and prosperity for the world29.

  • 30 Gazeta de Valencia no. 15 (July 15, 1808).

14By June 21, however, the French had fought their way toward Valencia with a series of victories over unprepared Spanish forces, including the defeat of Rico and others on June 24. On June 25, 26, and 28, the French Marshall Moncey sent letters demanding an immediate surrender. The Junta refused, and the French continued to march toward the city walls. The Conde de la Conquista, a French sympathizer, along with other afrancesados, likely would have worked under a collaborationist administration, but nationalists carried on the struggle. The pivotal battle was fought on June 28, and Moncey retreated after an ineffectual campaign. The Gazeta de Valencia heralded the valor of the city residents and specifically mentioned the zeal and ardor of clerics and the religious, who not only animated the spirits of the soldiers but fired on the enemy themselves as dignified representatives of the Spanish nation30. Valencia had triumphed.

  • 31 Valencianos (Valencia, 1810), in B.V.

15Valencia remained outside the zone of French occupation for close to four years, while almost all other major Spanish cities fell. Political developments in Valencia followed those of many urban areas of Spanish America, as local leaders harnessed liberal ideals and repeatedly called for a reconstituted Cortes. Accordingly, in February of 1810, elections were held across the territories of the Spanish Monarchy. The governing Junta celebrated “the illustrious Representatives of the Spanish people” that declare the sessions of Bayonne null and void, uphold their fidelity to Fernando, proclaim the imprescriptible rights of man, unify the fraternal accord between the European Spaniard, the African Spaniard and the Asian Spaniard, and between the inhabitant of the Americas; forming a family of integral parts of the Spanish Monarchy, without regard for the difference of climates, colors or of fortunes…. Valencianos, Castellanos, Andaluces, Spaniards…now you will have a country31.

  • 32 Ibid.

16Such discourses epitomized the ideals of inclusivity encoded within a burgeoning liberal nationalism. Despite Spain’s regional variation, the nation-as-family incorporated the distinct peoples and territories of the monarchy within a universalist model of the liberal state. Catholicism represented the remaining tie to a Hispanic cultural patrimony. As the Junta proclaimed its allegiance to the Cortes, and vowed to live in freedom or die, they simultaneously swore to “sustain with our blood the holy Religion of Jesus Christ”32.

  • 33 Joaquín Company, Exhortación que dirige el Arzobispo de Valencia á los Vocales congregados en esta (...)
  • 34 Joaquin Centelles y Nuñez, Efemerides ó bien sean sucesos memorables ocurridos en Valencia, desde 1 (...)

17Significant figures, such as the Archbishop of Valencia Joaquín Company, steadfastly opposed the new political landscape, arguing that the deputies of the Cortes must place religion above all else. He bluntly stated: “Religion is the only support of government.” Company rejected the principle of popular sovereignty, in spite of the advent of representative government in the city, and upheld the notion that “the Lord gives us sovereignty….The social compact opens the door to rebellion”33. Internecine conflicts threatened the viability of the liberal project. Although French forces took the city prior to March of 1812, city leaders proclaimed the Constitution on July 25, 1813, after combined English and Spanish armies had ousted French troops earlier that month. Elaborate festivities were held to celebrate the sacred articles of liberal, constitutional government34.

  • 35 E.J. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality (Cambridge, 1992), 40.

18With the vocal support of men such as Company, however, the end of Spain’s first liberal government came swiftly as Fernando VII swept away the constitution in May of 1814. Yet significantly, the new regime appropriated the symbols of nationalism and the language of popular sovereignty in the years following the reinstatement of absolutism. Liberals had established the foundational narrative of an inclusive ideology, creating a paradigm of popular nationalism that served as a template for all competing political forces. Eric Hobsbawm has maintained that “The modern nation was part of liberal ideology”35. In Spain, narratives of popular resistance, giving agency to the general will of the people, rhetorically situated el pueblo at the center of political discourse. All subsequent ideologies had to contend with notions of popular sovereignty and had to justify their claims on the basis of the rights of the people and the vote of the nation. Liberalism had infused Spanish nationalist ideology from the outset. Fernando VII’s swift decree abolishing the constitutional government of the Spanish Monarchy in 1814 and the subsequent exile of prominent dissidents did not expunge liberalism in peninsular Spain or within the warring American provinces.

  • 36 Facundo Sidro Vilarroig, Memoria de los regocijos públicos que en obsequio del rey nuestro señor D. (...)

19During festivities held to celebrate the return of el deseado, Fernando VII, cities hearkened back to the final days of May 1808 and the movements to resist the French invasion. The ceremonies in his honor deployed the imagery of resistance and insurgency, featuring royalist regalia amidst paintings that glorified those who first called on their fellow citizens to rise up against the French. Fernando entered Valencia on Saturday, April 16, 1814. In the royal chapel, artists erected transparent pyramids with two oversized medallions in between, adorned with images of Fernando VII and King George III of England. Reminders of the combined efforts of Spain and Britain during the war, the symbols evoked traditional conceptions of the Old Regime Spanish Monarchy. A female represented the city of Valencia, who, in front of the altar of the Virgin Mary, prayed for the heath and well-being of the king. A separate portrait of the monarch appeared with the words “Viva Fernando” underneath it. There were other symbolic displays as well, such as the coats of arms of Spain and England. Another installation featured images of Fernando and George III next to a rendering of Joseph Bonaparte, bottle in one hand and cup in the other, with a flask of liquor placed in between. The crown on his head was falling off as dogs and a leopard, representations of the enduring strength of the provinces of Spain and their allies from England, pounced on him and overtook the inebriated tyrant. An additional “transparencia” showed a French general pursued by bats, the symbol of Valencia. All of the transparencies were illuminated at night so that they could be seen by the public36.

  • 37 Ibid., 46.

20Not all of the elaborate artwork commissioned for the king solely conjured up royalist sentiment. At the Royal Academy of Art, paintings depicted the work of men like Rico and their participation in the “noble and loyal movements of May 23, the most glorious day of Valencia’s glorious and heroic revolution, an example which started the general revolution throughout the Nation”37. In sanctifying the anti-French resistance in cities such as Valencia, artists and their patrons tacitly paid tribute to liberals and nationalists such as Rico. Similarly, a number of prominent clerics continued to call for representative government and to pay homage to the Constitution of 1812. In 1814, Joaquín Sanchis Albella lavished praise upon the intimate alliance between the Spanish, Portuguese and British. He argued that liberty and Spanish independence emanated from the rule of law and necessitated protection under the benevolence of a constitutional regime. An image in the text, with a medallion pictured in the center, mirrored those that had been designed to honor Fernando VII upon his triumphant return to Spain. In it, Lord Wellington pointed approvingly to the engravings of both the English and Spanish kings and the flags flying in the background. Underneath the legs of two generals who have embraced each other, a lion was avenging Spanish honor, attacking an eagle as the symbol of Napoleon’s hubris and ambition.

  • 38 Facundo Sidro Vilarroig, Memoria de los regocijos públicos que en obsequio del rey nuestro señor D. (...)

21The disjuncture between the liberal nationalism espoused by those who would maintain representative institutions and a revived absolutism advocated by reactionary leaders was manifest during commemorations of el dos de Mayo in 1814. Describing Fernando’s return to Spain, after his years of captivity in France, the Valencian friar Facundo Sidro Vilarroig celebrated the restoration of Old Regime values, symbolized by the rechristening of Constitution Plaza, in the city’s historic center, as the Royal Plaza of Fernando VII. Occurring on May 2, the event did not take place without controversy. The engraved stones were placed as armed militia members looked on, “zealously guarding the rights of the king, no longer able to tolerate the insults and lack of respect shown in the presence of the Sovereign.” According to Sidro Vilarroig, the regiment diffused the tension in the crowd, a mixed gathering of all the classes within the city, and prevented “dissidents” from spreading discord amongst the populace.38 The fact that witnesses mentioned the political divisions within the city attests to the difficulties faced by Fernando as he undermined the work of the Cortes and attempted to purge liberalism from his kingdom.

The Children of Mother Spain: Puebla and the Revolution of 1812

  • 39 Alicia Tecuanhuey Sandoval, “Puebla 1812-1825. Organización y contención de ayuntamientos constituc (...)

22In Puebla, Royalists held out against rebel armies of between two and four thousand men between 1811 and 1812. Insurgents took key towns in the province, such as Cuautla and Tehuacán, but did not effectively mobilize forces for an all-out attack on the city. By 1813, Royalists counted over seven thousand men at arms in the province, and Morelos had retreated south. Whereas nationalist rhetoric came to subsume regionalism in the case of Valencia during the struggle against the French, autonomist sentiment dominated the public sphere in Puebla39.

  • 40 Reinhard Liehr, Ayuntamiento y oligarquía en Puebla, 1787-1810, II (México, 1976), 143-44.
  • 41 González del Campillo, Exhortación del Ilustrísimo Señor Obispo de Puebla a sus diocesanos, 16.
  • 42 Ibid., 35-36.
  • 43 Ibid., 6.
  • 44 See Unos diarios de Valencia que fueron reimpresos en Puebla (Puebla, Imprenta de la Rosa, 1808), i (...)
  • 45 Cited in Dorothy Tanck de Estrada, “Los catecismos políticos: de la revolución francesa al México i (...)
  • 46 Catecismo civil y breve compendio de las obligaciones del español (Puebla, reimpresión, 1808). Cite (...)

23As news spread of the French takeover in 1808, novohispanos pledged their fidelity to the monarch. In Puebla, the Ayuntamiento requested permission from Viceroy Iturrigaray to hold a public ceremony in honor of the king, Fernando VII, on July 28, 1808. With unrest increasing in the city due to the events in the peninsula, leaders proclaimed Fernando the legitimate monarch on August 31, following festivities held in Mexico City earlier that month40. Uniformed bands of volunteers paraded through the streets to honor the new king in a demonstration of unity. The Bishop of Puebla, Manuel Ignacio González del Campillo, in a sermon given shortly thereafter, proclaimed that “Spain is the City [Pueblo] of God”41. He unequivocally stated allegiance to Fernando VII: “we are his faithful vassals and his beloved children… while he lives, he reigns over and governs us…or in his Royal Name the Supreme and Sovereign Junta of immortal Sevilla, recognized as such by all of those Kingdoms, and even by foreigners, and in the pacts and the new alliances that have been concluded recently, proclaims his Sovereignty”42. The Bishop continued to draw upon the familial metaphor of mother and child in articulating the relationship between the metropole and its overseas provinces: “to us your Settlers and your children, nothing remains but the sad consolation of crying for the misfortunes and disgrace of our common Mother”43. News of events in peninsular Spain circulated widely in the Americas. For instance, the Diario de Valencia, complete with coverage of the events of the “revolution” of 1808, was republished in Puebla in 180844. Pastoral instruction from across the Atlantic spread the idea that Napoleon and Murat threatened not only peninsular Spain but the Americas as well. Religious schools trained children to recite catechisms originally published in the peninsula, such as the Catecismo político para la instrucción del Pueblo Español, which had been reprinted in New Spain between 1808 and 1811. Reports highlighted instances of students marching through Mexico City singing “free us from Napoleon and from the French nation”45. The response to the fundamental question of allegiance—What do you call yourselves?—reinforced fidelity to the patria. The definitive answer was: “Spaniard”46.

  • 47 González del Campillo, Exhortación del Ilustrísimo Señor Obispo de Puebla a sus diocesanos, 38-39. (...)
  • 48 See, for example, Pública Vindicación del Ilustre Ayuntamiento de Santa Fe de Guanaxuato justifican (...)

24While on the surface the situation in New Spain appeared stable, clerics such as the Bishop of Puebla saw the dangers inherent within the new political ideologies that were discussed openly across the Hispanic public sphere. In a sermon given in October of 1808, he decried republicanism and the notion of popular sovereignty, warning parishioners not to be seduced by novel “revolutionary” ideals47. Although a majority of novohispanos upheld the legitimacy of the monarch and declared their loyalty to Spain, the liberal political revolutions which began in municipalities such as Valencia served as models for revolutionaries in New Spain. Two years later, Royalists would condemn the treachery of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and Ignacio Allende, initial leaders of the rebellion against Spanish authorities in New Spain, and denounce them as partisans of “revolution”48. The insurrection of Hidalgo and the uprising of Bolívar in Venezuela are generally equated with nineteenth-century Latin American “revolutions.” Yet, in many ways, the insurgents did not monopolize the revolutionary paths of the disparate regions of Spanish America. Rebels and Royalists alike extolled the sovereignty of the people.

  • 49 Francisco Xavier Conde y Pineda, Oración moral deprecativa a la milagrosa imagen de Jesus Nazareno, (...)
  • 50 Liehr, Ayuntamiento y oligarquía en Puebla, 148.
  • 51 In the majority of cases, American Juntas recognized the legitimacy of the Junta Central, and earli (...)

25By 1809, with the conflict in Spain painted as an epic struggle against a common enemy, clerics in New Spain emphasized the values of religiosity and fortitude as the measure of national character. Preaching in Puebla, Francisco Xavier Conde y Pineda described “a Catholic nation that happily stands out above the rest [and] a city so devoted and religious like this one, distinguished by its honorable loyalty…to the King and to the country.” He pointed to the Junta Central as a bulwark of defense against the perfidious French: “And above all, the Junta Suprema Central gubernativa, that is for the enemy, and will be, a fatal reef where the furies of their insolent audacity will break, for us is an impregnable wall of defense, like the tree of life planted in the middle of paradise…restoring our forces and infusing them with the greatest vigor and support”49. In March of 1809, and again in May of 1810, the Ayuntamiento of Puebla swore solemn oaths of allegiance to the Junta Central and the reconstituted authorities governing in the name of Fernando in peninsular Spain50. Americans viewed the Junta of Sevilla, and its successor, the Junta Central, as legitimate governing bodies, because they had assumed power legally in the name of the king51.

  • 52 José María Portillo Valdés, Revolución de nación: orígenes de la cultura constitucional en España, (...)
  • 53 Virginia Guedea. En busca de un gobierno alterno: Los Guadalupes de México (México, 1992).
  • 54 Manuel Abad Queipo, Carta pastoral del Ilustrísimo Señor Obispo electo y Gobernador del Obispado de (...)
  • 55 Manuel Díaz del Castillo, Sermón político-moral, que en las solemnes rogaciones hechas procesionalm (...)

26The crisis precipitated by the French invasion and the subsequent realignment of political forces led to the opening of the public sphere and increased calls for representative government between 1808 and 181052. In addition, conspiracies and rumors circulated throughout the Americas as Creoles pushed for autonomy and threatened the legitimacy of Spanish authority53. In hailing the advent of a central administration to fight the forces of Napoleon, clerics vehemently criticized two decades of unfettered absolutist authority. In New Spain, a bishop condemned the venality of Carlos IV’s minister Godoy while upholding the people as the archetype of steadfast loyalty: “The Spanish people, always devoted and loyal to their kings, suffered with resignation the disorders of the disorganized government of the favorite Godoy: and also suffered the attacks of Bonaparte, while they were well disguised (or poorly disguised) with the appearance of friendship”54. Others emphasized the possibilities of a novel transatlantic relationship no longer bound by the language of colony and metropole: “With great regard from the Junta Central, you see all of these considerations reconciled to abolish the name of colonies for the Americas and to declare them an essential and integral part of that Kingdom”55. An elected body to represent the interests of the entire Spanish Monarchy symbolized a new era and an end to policies pursued at the expense of Spanish America.

  • 56 Liehr, Ayuntamiento y oligarquía en Puebla, 149. Two of the final three candidates were clerics.
  • 57 Archivo del Cabildo Eclesiástico de Puebla (A.C.E.P.), (1811).
  • 58 Libro de Cabildos, 80, (1811), in A.M.P.
  • 59 A.C.E.P., (June 11, 1811).

27Poblanos, in elections for the Cortes, ultimately chose Antonio Joaquín Pérez, a canon and resident of the city56. Yet just as elected representatives began to gather in Cádiz to open the inaugural sessions of the Cortes on September 24, 1810, civil war broke out in New Spain. Hidalgo’s rising in the city of Dolores, in the intendancy of Guanajuato to the northwest of Puebla, threatened the viability of a transatlantic nation premised upon the ideals of liberal government. In cities throughout the viceroyalty, municipal leaders hastily improvised defense forces to combat the advances of the insurgency. In accordance with a military plan drafted by the government in October, volunteers were enlisted in the Distinguished Patriotic Battalions of Fernando VII. By the spring of 1811, clerics in Puebla steadfastly preached the virtues of fidelity to the monarchy and the “obligation to love the Country and to secure its liberty and independence”57. In correspondence from March, the Ayuntamiento expressed grave concern over “the painful circumstances faced by the city, with insurgents intending a cruel invasion.” Leaders implemented “prudent measures” to provide for armed regiments in the city in the name of “Religion, Loyalty and Patriotism”58. Funds also were solicited to aid in the defense of peninsular Spain in April and May of 1811. In June, the cathedral of Puebla focused on local recruitment and on a monthly donation to the Volunteers of Fernando VII59.

  • 60 Ilustrador Americano no. 5 (June 10, 1812). Others criticized the entire process of convening an as (...)

28Creole autonomists urged political solutions in the wake of growing violence and warfare. In an editorial in Ilustrador Americano, the priest and insurgent leader José María Cos argued that “The two belligerent parties recognize Fernando VII; the Americans have given ample evidence of this, swearing and proclaiming oaths of loyalty in all parts…and stamping it on their money and coins: the enthusiasm of everyone depends upon this fact, and the insurrectionary party has always been grounded on this assumption as well.” Cos insisted that “Spain and America are integral parts of the monarchy, subjects of the king, but equal among themselves and without dependence or subordination with respect to each other.” In essence, he bridged the gulf between factions by highlighting their common ties to the Bourbon monarchy. Cos further opined: “Loyal America has more right to convoke a parliament and call representatives than the few patriots of Spain infected with disloyalty”60. Criticism of the political process in Cádiz did not imply a rejection of parliamentary government. Instead, American autonomists continued to voice their objections to political subordination. Figures such as Cos advanced notions of an American identity within an inclusive Spanish constitutional system and demanded equality as Americans and as Spaniards.

  • 61 Libro de Cabildos, 81, (1812), in A.M.P.
  • 62 Libro de Cabildos, 81, (1812), in A.M.P.

29On March 19, 1812, representatives from the Americas and the peninsula who had served in the Cortes unveiled the Hispanic Constitution, written in Cádiz as Spanish, English and guerrilla forces launched offensives against occupying French armies and civil war spread across the Americas. The Constitution enshrined the principles of liberal nationalism, borne in struggles such as those of Valencia in 1808, and definitively declared both hemispheres equal parts of the national body. In Puebla and Valencia, constitutional adherence took the form of elections, held as insurgents were defeated in Puebla and in the aftermath of the French defeat in Valencia in 1813. By September, 1812, the Constitution had been published in Mexico City, and Puebla began to discuss its implementation by October 1461. The town council made elaborate preparations, as prescribed in documents issued by the Cortes on May 2. Cities such as Puebla carefully followed the extensive guidelines for the establishment of constitutional government, all done under the auspices of the church. At the beginning of November, 1812, theViceroypresided over the consecration of liberal government in Puebla. Swearing public oaths of loyalty proceeded in stages, with the cabildo pledging adherence to the Constitution first at 7:30 in the morning in the presence of an ecclesiastic. The Intendant, judges and regidores vowed to uphold the Constitution immediately afterward. Then remaining local officials and Indians pledged their adherence, followed by a mass at the city’s main cathedral to inaugurate the new charter. Parishioners were to take the vow in their respective parochial churches. At 2:30, citizens honored the publication of the Constitution in the main plaza. Everyone stood in silence, while the Governor took the Constitution in his hands, kissed it, symbolically touched it to his head and gave it to the royal official in charge of publication. He solemnly ordered: “Publish, in conformity with the Sovereign will of the King, this precious Code, with which the Spanish Nation recovers its rights, liberty and independence, and strengthens its happiness and glory.”62 Finally, the day ended with a festive banquet, fireworks and the ringing of the church bells across the city.

Cities, Revolution and the Monarchy: The Noble Daughters of Spain

  • 63 Josef Demetrio Moreno y Buenvecino, Oración panegírico=moral pronunciada en la Santa Iglesia Catedr (...)
  • 64 Many pamphlets criticized the public sphere as “revolutionary,” viewing with disgust the “Diarrea d (...)
  • 65 Centelles y Nuñez, Efemerides ó bien sean sucesos memorables ocurridos en Valencia.

30Americans shared the outrage and frustration felt by peninsular Spaniards who saw their country overrun by a foreign army in the spring and summer of 1808. Expressing his sentimental attachment to the Motherland, one American cleric, Josef Demetrio Moreno y Buenvecino, referred to Puebla as “the noble daughter of Spain that, penetrated by the most profound humiliation in observing the bloody and horrible scenes of combat and ruin…runs to the temple and prostrates herself in the sanctuary, to express outrage and to importune…the heavens”63. The war powerfully affected Americans and peninsular Spaniards alike, albeit in different ways. In addition, despite the great distance separating Spain from the Americas and the distinctive aspects of regional economic and political developments, similar ideologies informed the manifest revolutionary changes on both sides of the Hispanic Atlantic. The vibrancy of the public sphere and of political debate, together with the promulgation of the Constitution of 1812, brought together competing factions, and liberalism provided new constituencies with a voice in government64. In Valencia, the priest Juan Rico spoke for the lower classes and played a critical role in the events leading up to the defeat of the French forces in June, 1808. With an improvised Junta that claimed to speak for the nation, Valencia moved toward representative government during the years prior to French occupation. In February of 1810, elections took place for the Cortes. Despite the capitulation of General Blake and the end of Spanish resistance to the French in January of 1812, the Constitution became law in July, 1813, after English and Spanish troops re-entered the city. Similar festivities took place in both Valencia and Puebla to usher in the first Hispanic constitutional government65.

  • 66 Following Guerra, Roberto Breña highlights the biennium of 1808-1810 as the foundational epoch of l (...)
  • 67 On the relationship between struggles over sovereignty and autonomy at the local, regional and nati (...)

31Although historians commonly reference these years as a struggle for “independence,” a complex set of local, regional and national factors influenced the political revolutions and the nascent language of nationalism articulated at the time. In peninsular Spain, the insurgency against the Napoleonic occupation served as the foundational myth for discourses of national identity in the early nineteenth century. Class-based grievances that had been staples of Old Regime mobilizations against the royal authorities were displaced by anti-French sentiment and outrage at the destruction and privation caused by the war. Class conflicts and regional identification were largely elided in favor of nationalist rhetoric that called for defending the Spanish church and nation against the godless French. In many parts of New Spain, such as Puebla, Americans pressed for inclusion, autonomy and the liberal tenets of representative government. As a process rife with contradiction and controversy, the construction of national identities across the Spanish Monarchy began with the political revolutions of 1808-181466. Based in large part upon the blueprint of municipal revolutions, liberals harnessed nationalist energies and built the edifice of a transatlantic nation in Cádiz with the Constitution of 181267. Subsequent nationalist revolutions in Spain and Spanish America would follow a similar cultural script, in which liberals established governments based upon popular sovereignty, individual rights and the uniformity of legal codes within their respective national territories.

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Notes

1 See, for example, Álvaro Flórez Estrada, Introducción para la historia de la Revolución de España (London, 1810), 6, 45. The first issue of the Gazeta de Valencia, published at the beginning of June of 1808,argued that the struggle for “national liberty” was a “new phenomenon in the history of Nations.” Karl Marx similarly viewed the period as one of the most important chapters in modern history. See Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Revolution in Spain (New York, 1939), 28.

2 On the War of Independence in Spain, see Gabriel H. Lovett, Napoleon and the Birth of Modern Spain, 2 vols. (New York, 1965); John Lawrence Tone, The Fatal Knot: The Guerrilla War in Navarre and the Defeat of Napoleon in Spain (Chapel Hill, 1994); Charles Esdaile, Fighting Napoleon: Guerrillas, Bandits and Adventurers in Spain 1808-1814 (New Haven, 2004).

3 P. Maestro Salmón, Resumen histórico de la Revolución de España, III (Cádiz, 1812), in Colección Documental del Fraile (C.D.F.), Servicio Histórico Militar, vol. 932, sig. 3368, 300.

4 By taking a macrohistorical point of view, François-Xavier Guerra narrates the widening divisions between the mental universe of modernizing elites and traditional rural society. François-Xavier Guerra, Modernidad e independencias: Ensayos sobre las revoluciones hispánicas (México, 1992). Others have emphasized the impact of municipal sovereignty and localized identities in New Spain. See a brief discussion of the literature in Brian Connaughton, “A Most Delicate Balance: Representative Government, Public Opinion and Priests in Mexico, 1821-1834,” Mexican Studies 17, no. 1 (Winter, 2001), 42.

5 Theda Skocpol, Social Revolutions in the Modern World (Cambridge, 1994), 99.

6 Salmón, Resumen histórico de la Revolución de España, III, 318.

7 Marx echoes this point, arguing that the Constitution of 1812 did not mimic the French Revolutionary constitution and was, in fact, “a genuine and original offspring of Spanish intellectual life.” Marx and Engels, Revolution in Spain, 68.

8 Silke Hensel has noted that “for a long time the movements for independence from Spain were interpreted, especially in the national historiographies, as the founding years of each nation-state.” See Silke Hensel, “Was There an Age of Revolution in Latin America? New Literature on Latin American Independence,” Latin American Research Review 38, no. 3 (2003), 237.

9 For works on autonomists in Spanish America, see Jaime E. Rodríguez O., The Independence of Spanish America (Cambridge, 1998), “From Royal Subject to Republican Citizen: The Role of the Autonomists in the Independence of Mexico,” in Jaime E. Rodríguez O., ed., The Independence of Mexico and the Creation of the New Nation (Los Angeles, 1989); Manuel Chust, La cuestión nacional americana en las Cortes de Cádiz (Valencia, 1999).

10 Jeremy Adelman, Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic (Princeton, 2006), 344.

11 The conde de Toreno’s Historia del levantamiento, guerra y revolución de España was one of the first published accounts to move away from the generalized reference to “la revolución” and use the term “War of Independence” in its place. See José María Quiepo de Llano, conde de Toreno, Historia del levantamiento, guerra y revolución de España (Madrid, 1953) 107; José Álvarez Junco, “La invención de la Guerra de la Independencia,” Studia Histórica-Historia Contemporánea 12 (1994), 75-99.

12 Brian R. Hamnett, “Puebla: City and Province during the Independence Period, 1800-1824,” in Ricardo Sánchez, Eric Van Young, and Gisela Von Wobeser, eds., La ciudad y el campo en la historia de México (México, 1992), 166.

13 On citizenship, see Tamar Herzog, Defining Nations: Immigrants and Citizens in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America (New Haven, 2003).

14 Brian R. Hamnett, Roots of Insurgency: Mexican Regions, 1750-1824 (Cambridge, 1986), 11; J. Vicens Vives, Historia de España y América social y económica. Vol. IV. Los Borbones. El siglo XVIII en España y América (Barcelona, 1977), 4-10.

15 Historians have been divided as to the role played by clerics in peninsular Spain during the War of Independence. See William J. Callahan, Church, Politics, and Society in Spain, 1750-1874 (Cambridge, Mass., 1984), 87-89; John Lawrence Tone, The Fatal Knot: The Guerrilla War in Navarre and the Defeat of Napoleon in Spain (Chapel Hill, 1994), 149.

16 Manuel Ignacio González del Campillo, Exhortación del Ilustrísimo Señor Obispo de Puebla a sus diocesanos (1808), in C.D.F., vol. 35, signatura 206. On the other hand, Simón Bolívar referred to Spain as an “unnatural stepmother” in 1815. Simón Bolívar, Reply of a South American to a Gentleman of this Island, in Harold A. Bierck, Jr., ed., Selected Writings of Bolivar (New York, 1951), 105.

17 On the role of the clergy in New Spain during the War of Independence, see Eric Van Young, The Other Rebellion: Popular Violence, Ideology, and the Mexican Struggle for Independence 1810-1821 (Stanford, 2001), 240; William B. Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred: Priests and Parishioners in Eighteenth-Century Mexico (Stanford, 1996), 453; Nancy M. Farriss, Crown and Clergy in Colonial Mexico: The Crisis of Ecclesiastical Privilege (London, 1968), 237-242.

18 Real Decreto (Madrid, March 16, 1808; Valencia, March 21, 1808), in Biblioteca Valenciana (B.V.).

19 Con fecha de ayer se sirvió S.M. dirigir al Excelentísimo Señor Duque del Infantado, Presidente del Consejo, el Real Decreto siguiente (Madrid, April 8, 1808), in Archivo Histórico Municipal (A.H.M.), Valencia, Libros Capitulares, signatura D-204 (1808).

20 Jordana Dym, From Sovereign Villages to National States: City, State, and Federation in Central America, 1759-1839 (Albuquerque, 2006).

21 Juan Rico, Memorias históricas sobre la revolución de Valencia, que comprehenden desde el 23 de mayo de 1808 hasta fines del mismo año, y sobre la causa criminal formada contra el P. F. Juan Rico, el BrigadierD. Vicente González Moreno, el Comisario de Guerra D. Narciso Rubio, y otros (Cádiz, 1811), iii.

22 Cited in Sabino Delgado, ed., Guerra de la Independencia: proclamas bandos y combatientes (Madrid, 1979), 25.

23 Rico, Memorias históricas sobre la revolución de Valencia, 65.

24 Ibid., 37-38.

25 Vicente Martínez Colomer, Sucesos de Valencia desde el dia 23 de mayo hasta el 28 de junio del año 1808 (Valencia, 1810), in Colección LaFragua (C.L.), Biblioteca Nacional, México, vol. 185, 17.

26 Rico, Memorias históricas sobre la revolución de Valencia, 17-18.

27 Ibid., 73.

28 Ardit claims they enlisted up to 9,800 men. Manuel Ardit Lucas, Revolución liberal y revuelta campesina: un ensayo sobre la desintegración del régimen feudal en el País Valenciano (1793-1840) (Barcelona, 1977), 140.

29 Prospecto para la Gazeta de Valencia.

30 Gazeta de Valencia no. 15 (July 15, 1808).

31 Valencianos (Valencia, 1810), in B.V.

32 Ibid.

33 Joaquín Company, Exhortación que dirige el Arzobispo de Valencia á los Vocales congregados en esta Capital, para el nombramiento de Diputados de las Cortes que van á celebrarse (1810), in B.V., 11-12.

34 Joaquin Centelles y Nuñez, Efemerides ó bien sean sucesos memorables ocurridos en Valencia, desde 1. de Enero de 1801 hasta fin de Diciembre de 1825, in Biblioteca Universidad de Valencia (B.U.V.).

35 E.J. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality (Cambridge, 1992), 40.

36 Facundo Sidro Vilarroig, Memoria de los regocijos públicos que en obsequio del rey nuestro señor D. Fernando VII. En su tránsito por esta capital (Valencia, 1814), in B.V., 47-48.

37 Ibid., 46.

38 Facundo Sidro Vilarroig, Memoria de los regocijos públicos que en obsequio del rey nuestro señor D. Fernando VII, 106-107. See also Centelles y Nuñez, Efemerides ó bien sean sucesos memorables ocurridos en Valencia, in B.U.V.

39 Alicia Tecuanhuey Sandoval, “Puebla 1812-1825. Organización y contención de ayuntamientos constitucionales,” in Juan Ortiz Escamilla and José Antonio Serrano Ortega, Ayuntamientos y liberalismo gaditano en México (Zamora, Michoacán, 2009), 340, 351.

40 Reinhard Liehr, Ayuntamiento y oligarquía en Puebla, 1787-1810, II (México, 1976), 143-44.

41 González del Campillo, Exhortación del Ilustrísimo Señor Obispo de Puebla a sus diocesanos, 16.

42 Ibid., 35-36.

43 Ibid., 6.

44 See Unos diarios de Valencia que fueron reimpresos en Puebla (Puebla, Imprenta de la Rosa, 1808), in Biblioteca Palafoxiana (B.P.), Puebla.

45 Cited in Dorothy Tanck de Estrada, “Los catecismos políticos: de la revolución francesa al México independiente,” in Solange Alberro, Alicia Hernández Chavez, Elías Trabulse, eds., La revolución francesa en México (México, 1992), 69. On the Catecismo político para la instrucción del Pueblo Español, see Alfonso Capitán Díaz, Los catecismos políticos en España (1808-1822) (Granada, 1978).

46 Catecismo civil y breve compendio de las obligaciones del español (Puebla, reimpresión, 1808). Cited in Tanck de Estrada, “Los catecismos políticos,” 68.

47 González del Campillo, Exhortación del Ilustrísimo Señor Obispo de Puebla a sus diocesanos, 38-39. Inquisitors in New Spain decreed that popular sovereignty constituted a heresy in August 1808.

48 See, for example, Pública Vindicación del Ilustre Ayuntamiento de Santa Fe de Guanaxuato justificando su conducta moral y política en la entrada y crímenes que cometieron en aquella ciudad las huestes insurgentes agabilladas por sus corifeos Miguel Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende (1811), in C.D.F., vol. 638, sig. 2356, 4.

49 Francisco Xavier Conde y Pineda, Oración moral deprecativa a la milagrosa imagen de Jesus Nazareno, que se venera en la parroquía de Señor San Josef de la Ciudad de Puebla (México, 1809), 12, in Colección LaFragua, la Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (B.U.A.P.).

50 Liehr, Ayuntamiento y oligarquía en Puebla, 148.

51 In the majority of cases, American Juntas recognized the legitimacy of the Junta Central, and earlier on, the Junta of Sevilla. Manuel Chust, “Un bienio trasendental: 1808-1810,” in Manuel Chust, coord., 1808: La eclosión juntera en el mundo hispano (México, 2007), 23.

52 José María Portillo Valdés, Revolución de nación: orígenes de la cultura constitucional en España, 1780-1812 (Madrid, 2000). On the public sphere, see Scott Eastman, “Las identidades nacionales en el marco de una esfera pública católica: España y Nueva España durante las guerras de independencia,” in Jaime E. Rodríguez O., ed. Las Nuevas Naciones: España y México, 1808-1850 (Madrid, 2008).

53 Virginia Guedea. En busca de un gobierno alterno: Los Guadalupes de México (México, 1992).

54 Manuel Abad Queipo, Carta pastoral del Ilustrísimo Señor Obispo electo y Gobernador del Obispado de Michoacán (Valladolid, 1812), in C.D.F., vol. 607, sig. 2252, p. 22.

55 Manuel Díaz del Castillo, Sermón político-moral, que en las solemnes rogaciones hechas procesionalmente desde la Santa Iglesia Metropolitana de México a la del Imperial Convento de N.P. Santo Domingo (1809), in C.D.F., vol. 604, sig. 2199, 6.

56 Liehr, Ayuntamiento y oligarquía en Puebla, 149. Two of the final three candidates were clerics.

57 Archivo del Cabildo Eclesiástico de Puebla (A.C.E.P.), (1811).

58 Libro de Cabildos, 80, (1811), in A.M.P.

59 A.C.E.P., (June 11, 1811).

60 Ilustrador Americano no. 5 (June 10, 1812). Others criticized the entire process of convening an assembly to represent Spain and the Americas. The periodical Semanario Patriótico Americano, edited by Andrés Quintana Roo, lambasted the Cortes, insisting that “in reality only Spain would decide the fate of the Americas, which would have to obey its decrees.” Semanario Patriótico Americano no. 10 (Sept. 20, 1812).

61 Libro de Cabildos, 81, (1812), in A.M.P.

62 Libro de Cabildos, 81, (1812), in A.M.P.

63 Josef Demetrio Moreno y Buenvecino, Oración panegírico=moral pronunciada en la Santa Iglesia Catedral de la Puebla de los Angeles, por su prebendado don Josef Demetrio Moreno y Buenvecino, el 7 de mayo de 1809 ... implorando la divina clemencia a favor de los sucesos de ambas españas (México, 1809), in B.U.A.P., 10.

64 Many pamphlets criticized the public sphere as “revolutionary,” viewing with disgust the “Diarrea de periódicos aun más en Cádiz que en el resto de la Península.” Fray Francisco Solchaga, Apología regular (Habana, 1812), in C.D.F., vol. 228, sig. 832, 2.

65 Centelles y Nuñez, Efemerides ó bien sean sucesos memorables ocurridos en Valencia.

66 Following Guerra, Roberto Breña highlights the biennium of 1808-1810 as the foundational epoch of liberal revolution. See Roberto Breña, “Introducción,” in Roberto Breña, ed., En el umbral de las revoluciones hispánicas: el bienio 1808-1810, (México, 2010), 17.

67 On the relationship between struggles over sovereignty and autonomy at the local, regional and national levels, see Antonio Annino, “Soberanías en lucha,” in Antonio Annino and François-Xavier Guerra, eds., Inventando la nación: Iberoamérica siglo XIX (México, 2003), 180.

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Scott Eastman, « Urban Revolt, Nationalist Revolutions: Puebla and Valencia, 1808-1814 », Nuevo Mundo Mundos Nuevos [En ligne], Débats, mis en ligne le 31 mars 2011, consulté le 26 juin 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/nuevomundo/61241 ; DOI : 10.4000/nuevomundo.61241

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Scott Eastman

Creighton University, seastman@creighton.edu

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