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Who Should Rule?Men of Arms, the Republic of Letters, and the Fall of the Spanish Empire$
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Mónica Ricketts

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190494889

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190494889.001.0001

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Abascal and the Problem of Letters in Peru, 1806–1816

Abascal and the Problem of Letters in Peru, 1806–1816

(p.141) 6 Abascal and the Problem of Letters in Peru, 1806–1816
Who Should Rule?

Mónica Ricketts

Oxford University Press

The focus turns to Peru in this chapter, which offers an ideal case study for understanding the power struggles between the royal military and the republic of letters. One of the most successful military officers and viceroys of the empire, Fernando de Abascal, was vehemently committed to expanding his prerogatives and the military’s, while quashing efforts to implement liberal measures in his jurisdiction. With the support of one of the largest armies of the Spanish Empire, Abascal succeeded in both undertakings. Only a weak liberal opposition developed in Peru, a liberalism mainly concerned not to declare independence from Spain or claim autonomy within the Spanish Empire but to overcome the overwhelming power of the viceroy and his army. Abascal ruled as a virtual military dictator, confirming Liberals’ protests against him and establishing a model for future military caudillos.

Keywords:   José Fernando de Abascal, Royal Army of Alto Peru, military despotism, insurgencies, José Manuel de Goyeneche, Mateo Pumacahua, caudillos, rebellions, conspiracies

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