This article argues that the impact of the Constitution of Cádiz among Indigenous communities in the Viceroyalty of Peru was significant. In the context of the imperial crisis of the Spanish crown, Indigenous people took the tools that the constitution granted them to increase their level of self-government. Moreover, the changes implemented by the constitution persisted after its abolition, allowing Indigenous people to retain a level of self-government otherwise impossible to conceive after Ferdinand VII restored absolutist rule. In other words, Indigenous communities held on to their jurisdictional authority and refused to surrender the political tools that the constitution had granted them. Their actions demonstrate that the constitution was a watershed moment in the history of the viceroyalty because it inaugurated an era of political change with consequences nobody could predict at the time.