This work is an outgrowth of the author’s 1993 dissertation at the University of Pittsburgh plus the eight articles he has published up to 1997. It also draws upon a broad and extensive range of archival, printed, and monographic sources.

Honorable Lives is rich in interesting historical propositions revolving around the place of lawyers in New Granadan history between 1780 and 1850. It clearly establishes the role of the legal profession as a state-service elite in colonial times and its continuance and leadership in the independence and early national periods. Divisions among the lawyer-bureaucrats saw temporary outbreaks of caudillismo (Urdaneta, 1830–31; the Supremos 1839– 42; and Melo, 1854). Uribe-Uran maintains that many members of the legal elite came to a consensus by the 1850s to pursue economic business careers rather than to continue seeking “honor-status” ones in the bureaucracy. True in part, perhaps,...

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