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José de Bustamante and Central American Independence, Jose de Bustamante and Central American Independence, 081731427X, 0-8173-1427-X, 978-0-8173-1427-9, 9780817314279, , , Jose de Bustamante and Central American Independence, 0817357106, 0-8173-5710-6, 978-0-8173-5710-8, 9780817357108, , , Jose de Bustamante and Central American Independence, 0817386181, 0-8173-8618-1, 978-0-8173-8618-4, 9780817386184,

José de Bustamante and Central American Independence
Colonial Administration in an Age of Imperial Crisis
by Timothy Hawkins

Quality Paper
2011. 312 pp.
Price:  $39.95 s
E Book
2011. 312 pp.
Price:  $39.95 d

The first full-length study of a significant figure of the Spanish Enlightenment

Latin American independence histories of the last 150 years have tended to stereotype Captain General Bustamante, governor of the Spanish colony of Guatemala from 1811 to 1818, as a tyrannical arch-villain who personified colonial oppression. Timothy Hawkins, in contrast, examines Bustamante and his administration within the context of preservation of empire, the effort by colonial officials and partisans to maintain the integrity of the Spanish empire in spite of internal and external unrest.

Based on extensive primary research in the archives of Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain, Hawkins’s approach links the Central American experience to that of areas such as Peru, Venezuela, and Mexico, that also responded equivocally and haphazardly to rebellious uprisings against colonial rule. While conceding that Bustamante’s role in the suppression of unrest turned him into one of the more controversial figures in Latin American history, Hawkins argues that the Bustamante administration should not be seen as an isolated and perverse case of Spanish repression but as an example of a relatively successful, if short lived, campaign by Spain to preserve its empire.

Timothy P. Hawkins is Professor of History at Indiana State University and has written articles for the Colonial Latin American Historical Review, The Historian, and the Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture.
“This is a fine work--clear, well written, intelligent. . . . It is quite original, fills a need in the literature, and is satisfyingly complete. We have no other detailed treatment of the royalist government in Guatemala during the greater part of the independence period, and no other treatment of Bustamante or his administration in such detail.”
—Timothy E. Anna, author of Spain and the Loss of America
“Bustamante’s tenure in office is especially significant because he advocated many of the Spanish Enlightenment themes, he was a senior naval commander, and he had served as Alejandro Malaspina’s co-planner and commander during the great Spanish scientific maritime expedition and imperial inspection mission of 1789-1794.”
—Christon I. Archer, author of The Army in Bourbon Mexico, 1760-1810