The subtitle of Roberto Breña's new work signals the importance he ascribes to the events in metropolitan Spain as a trigger for the conflicts that led to Spanish American independence. Napoleon Bonaparte's overthrow of the Bourbon monarchy and efforts to incorporate Spain and its overseas colonies into his European empire unintentionally set in motion revolutions in the metropole and in the Americas alike. In Spain, the Constitution of Cádiz of 1812 was the most lasting achievement, shaping the struggles over the form of government for several decades. In the Americas, with the exception of Cuba and Puerto Rico, the crisis of 1808 led eventually, but unpredictably, to independence. Mutually constituting, Spain's liberal revolution and the processes of American independence form the “revolución hispánica” (p. 15), a category that Breña seeks to defend as the most encompassing and precise for studying the period....

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