Rebecca Earle’s central theme is how Spain lost its American territories. Timothy Anna (1983) and Michael P. Costeloe (1986) concentrated on metropolitan Spain’s contribution to this process, through missed political opportunities, miscalculations, or inactivity at the center of decision-making, and a misconceived political economy at a time of changed patterns of trade. Their focus turned discussion away from why the “patriots” won and shifted attention from the traditional preoccupation with how new Latin American states came into being in terms of separate national histories. For Anna and Costeloe, the perspective was imperial and their specific vantage point was metropolitan Spain. The present book continues the imperial perspective but focuses on the particular case of New Granada, throwing light on the perceptions and conduct of its royalist military and civil officials. This is not a study of Spain’s policymaking (or lack of it) but...

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