An Uneasy Unity: Córdoba Society in the Viceregal Period

Sunday, January 5, 2014: 11:20 AM
Congressional Room A (Omni Shoreham)
Peter Blanchard, University of Toronto Scarborough
This paper will examine some of the tensions and antagonisms that existed in Córdoba in the late colonial period to try to explain the path that Córdoba chose following the May Revolution in Buenos Aires in 1810 that began the region’s process of independence.  During the viceregal period various factors affected the nature of Córdoba’s development, including the city’s geographical location, its economy based on the mule trade, its religious and educational importance that maintained its firm conservative beliefs, and, perhaps most importantly, the continuing threat of indigenous unrest.  While efforts were made to maintain traditional standards, as evident during this period in accusations of heresy and insistence upon purity of blood for certain positions, the insistence upon these also indicated the presence of contending ideas, which were a factor in the growing differences of opinion the divided the elites.  Friction included divisions between secular officials and the church and, more notably, between contending cliques in the municipal government.  These revolved around the actions and loyalties of the most famous intendant of the period, the Marqués de Sobremonte and his allies, the Allende family, on one side and the Funes family and their allies on the other.  The latter emerged as dominant in the aftermath of the English invasions of the Río de la Plata in 1806-1807, whose events discredited both Sobremonte and the Allendes and provided an opportunity for the more nationalistic Funes and their group to assume a leading role just as the independence struggles were unleashed.  As a result, rather than siding with the royalist group centred in Montevideo, the city chose to follow the self-governing option favoured by the porteños.