Three Andean Cities and Their Representatives in Late 18th-Century Spain

Friday, January 5, 2018: 9:10 AM
Madison Room A (Marriott Wardman Park)
Alvaro Caso-Bello, Johns Hopkins University
The representatives of cities in the court remain as understudied figures in the literature of colonial Spanish America. This is particularly true for the case of the eighteenth century when their activities in the hey-day of “enlightened absolutism” have gone remarkably unnoticed. A characterization of these representatives would place them as figures that operated within well-established juridico-political contours and institutions. Working in an area in which Hispanic legal culture and the political interests of their constituents converged, these representatives were instrumental in staging opposition to royal policies and seeking benefits for colonial locales. Situated in this zone in which juridical rationalities and legal cultures were politically mobilized, this paper will analyze the cases of three Andean cities such as Quito, La Paz, and Arequipa, which used representatives to vicariously oppose taxation in late eighteenth-century Madrid. In doing so, this paper will shed light on how colonial elites, such as the ones present in the city councils who selected representatives, were very much aware of the tools at their disposal to battle policies in the “court of Madrid.”