The Cabildo in Peru under the Bourbons: A Study in the Decline and Resurgence of local Government in the Audiencia of Lima 1700-1824
Publisher: Duke University Press
iv+275 pages with foldout map, illustrations, appendices, bibliography and index. Royal octavo (9 1/2" x 6 1/4") bound in original blue cloth with white and black lettering to spine. First edition.
The Spanish American Empire of the eighteenth century has often been depicted as a monolithic autocracy under the Bourbon dynasty. This work refutes this concept with a case study in the field of local government. Despite the claims of absolutism by the Spanish rulers there was a measure of self-government, although limited, for the American-born colonists. In the cabildo, or town council, the upper class in the colonies found an instrument for the ventilation of its aspirations. The study opens with a survey of local government in the Peninsula and of the reforms instituted by the enlightened Charles III. The policies of the Bourbons toward the town councils in the Audiencia of Lima, or roughly the territory of present day Peru, are examined. This is followed by an analysis of the composition of the town councils and a description of the functions of the various officials. Particular attention is given to Lima, the capital of the viceroyalty. The establishment of the intendancy in the 1780's meant a diminution of authority for the local council; however, this was accompanied by a reinvigoration of its reaming activities. The town council became the center of resistance to Spanish authority and, simultaneously, a nucleus for the reorganization of government during the period of strife. When independence had been achieved it provide the creole with a sense of continuity with the past as well as an underpinning for the new political structure that had to be erected.
Donald E. Worcester (1915-2003) was an American historian who specialized in Southwestern United States and Latin American history. He was president of the Western History Association from 1974-1975. Worcester graduated from Bard College in 1939. He received an M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1941. He then served in the US Naval Reserve in World War II. He received a PhD. from Berkeley in 1947. From 1947 until 1963 he was a professor at the University of Florida. He then was a professor at Texas Christian University and history department chair. From 1960 until 1965 he was managing editor of the Hispanic American Historical Review. Worcester's view that history is made of complexities, not dualities, is seen as foundational for much of the understanding by later scholars of Southwest United States history.
Worcester's stamp to front end paper and book plate to front pastedown. Corners gently bumped, jacket with light edge wear else a better than very good copy in a near fine jacket.
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